SMP Craft
30 Dec

Happy Pub Day!

I hope you got everything your heart desired this holiday season–and just in case you didn’t, here’s a treat to buy yourself with the balance still left on that gift card! The latest in Caitlin Sainio’s popular Knit & Crochet series, 75 Lace Crochet Motifs: Traditional Designs with a Contemporary Twist, for Clothing, Accessories, and Homeware, goes on sale today.

Inside you’ll find dozens of versatile blocks and medallions, richly textured flowers, and charming figures, all suitable for thread crochet. From traditional configurations to striking new designs, there are patterns here to suit every taste and skill level. 75 lace

Stiffen small motifs and hang them as ornaments, or incorporate them into jewelry. Embellish clothing and housewares with your favorite designs, or join a series of geometric motifs to create a goregous lace scarf or table runner. Discover limitless ideas, including step-by-step instructions for core crochet techniques, plus full patterns and charts for 75 motifs, and creative projects for putting your motifs to work–like these cute lavender bags! 75 lace 2

The book is divided into clever categories, so you can easily find motifs based on flowers (water lilies and chrysanthemums), special occasions (Christmas and Hanukkah), wildlife (hummingbirds and peacocks), and even hobbies (kites and hot air balloons). There’s no end to the fun, colorful pieces you can crochet with the newest book in this popular series. So if you just can’t wait till the book arrives to start a project, revisit our Project of the Month and crochet yourself some fancy drink coasters in time for tomorrow’s big NYE bash! Or get a long head start on next year’s tree decorating by crocheting all of your handmade ornaments now. I mean, you only have 357 days left, you know.

Order your copy today!

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New in December & January!

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25 Nov

How to Tuesday: Travel Boards

Confession time: I still have two shoe boxes filled with over 300 pictures, tickets, menus, business cards, and other mementos from when I backpacked through Europe…three years ago. On my trip I knew I wanted to make a scrapbook to remember the trip so I collected pretty much anything that could fit in one. (I even kept a few corks.) I have moved to four different apartments schlepping those shoe boxes with me and have not made any more progress on my scrapbook since moving to the city. Luckily, I spotted the answer to my problem hanging on my friend’s wall this week. Instead of putting her travel mementos in a closed book she chose to display them in the open using a bulletin board and create her very own travel board.

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I had never thought of a travel board before Saturday and now I can’t get the idea out of my head. It’s such a simple yet brilliant idea. No more agonizing over finding the perfect scrapbook paper. No more constantly rearranging each page’s content. It seemed a travel board is the answer to my over-analyzing crafting ways.

To get started, gather up your mementos and think of how you want to display your memories. Etsy has some fantastic custom-made bulletin boards. How fantastic is this one made from wine corks in the shape of California?

california cork

Next decide how you want to arrange your travel board. If you’re doing a board for just one trip, perhaps arranging them in chronological order will be a fun way to relive your trip each time you look at the board. Or if you like the collage look overlap your photos in a random arrangement and secure with pushpins.

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One way to customize your travel board even more is to frame it. With the frame you can mat it or choose a rustic frame to give your travel board an extra flair. How to Hang a Picture by Jay Sacher and Suzanne LaGasa offers lots of tips and ideas for the novice framer. From discussing the different places to hang art and how this process differs from drywall, brick, and even cinder block Jay and Suzanne have thought of everything. Before this book I had no idea there were different basic framing options (bleed, float, and matted float for starters). There’s even a section on displaying three-dimensional objects in frames and how to create and hang a shadow box. But Jay and Suzanne don’t stop there. They also show you how to frame and hang needlepoint, plates, giant posters, and more!

Once you’ve got all the hanging finished, make sure to read the last section on proper lighting to show off your fabulously decorated walls. No excuses now, time to dig out all those prints and old art projects you’ve held onto for all these years. You just knew you would hang them up some day!

Buy your copy of How to Hang a Picture today!
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Check out our newest November title!

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11 Nov

How-to Tuesday: Show and Sell Your Crafts!

I struggle to remember a time before Etsy and Artfire, where you can easily find handmade products online. Every time I’m buying someone a gift I always start looking online to see what one of a kind surprise I can find—and I’m never disappointed. If you prefer to see these beautifully made items up close and personal there are thousands of crafts fairs that take place across the country. Check out this picture of all the vendors at the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair!

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For those of you who have a gift for making beautiful things—be it jewelry, bags or purses, scarves or hats, even furniture—it can be difficult to figure out how to stand out among all the crafters out there and successfully share your crafts to potential customers. Luckily, Torie Jayne has got your back. Torie has more than fifteen years of experience as a fashion designer working in New York and London, giving her a deep understanding of how to create, design, and develop strong brands that resonate with customers worldwide. Her passion for crafting and baking led her to start a blog as a creative outlet to share her numerous ideas and projects. Her blog has gained a large international audience who know her for her feminine, pretty, color palette-driven design style.

In How to Show & Sell Your Crafts, Torie guides soon-to-be artisans from the first step of finding the perfect workspace and making it your own, all the way to developing various social media platforms to market your products. With helpful tips dispersed throughout the book, Torie doesn’t leave anything out. For today’s How-to Tuesday I’m going to share some of her tips on building your very own brand.

First things first: don’t be afraid of how corporate “branding” sounds. Put simply, a brand is a promise to your customers. Once you decide what you want your customers to think of when they hear your name, you need to follow through. Logos and brand names aside, you are the most important representation of your brand. Your brand separates you from the pack so don’t shy away from what makes you and your crafts unique!

Once you have an idea for your brand develop it completely. No detail is too small. Everything goes into your brand: your logo, color palette, theme, even fonts you use! People will remember a cohesive brand so these small things matter. To help develop your brand, Torie recommends creating an inspiration board. The board is a place to put anything you think is part of your craft business. An inspirational quote, color swatches, pictures, anything can go on this board. Click here to see Torie’s inspiration board!

One way to show off your newly-developed brand is by creating labels for your homemade goods. Our guest blogger, Kim, showed us how to make our own personalized labels a few weeks ago. They’re very simple and go a long way toward achieving that cohesive and personal flair needed for a successful craft brand of your very own.

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Check out How to Show & Sell Your Crafts for more tips on creating your very own brand to successfully sell your crafts. With support from Torie Jayne and all of us here at SMP Craft, what are you waiting for?

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Buy your copy today!
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Check out our newest November title!

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4 Nov

Project of the Month: Cookie “Jewelry” Box

They say there are two types of women in the world: those who love jewelry, and those who love cookies. What? You say you’re both types of woman? Well then I sure have a treat for you. cookie boxWith this FREE PROJECT OF THE MONTH, you can have your jewelry box and eat it too!

This dainty little edible Byzantine-style box is perfect for holding candy, or a little note for your loved one (just be sure they don’t eat it!). And don’t be daunted by the intricate flourishes in this photo–you can easily simplify the design and omit any filigree work to make a more contemporary box using colored royal icing.

This project is from our new book 50 Deliciously Decorative Cookies: Easy-to-Make Cookie Creations by Fiona Pearce, on sale 11/11. For bakers of all skill levels, this delightful book features 50 projects to try with a wide range of different decorating techniques: elegant cookies piped with royal icing; fun and funky fondant cookies; cookies made with amazing colored dough; even sweet treats built up into awesome 3-D cookie sculptures! The projects are grouped according to the type of icing used, and at the back of the book is a selection of cookie recipes, decorating tips, and a set of templates. With step-by-step instructions and photography, each project features simple, elegant designs that are guaranteed to amaze and delight–just in time for the holidays!

What you need:

  • 6 square cookies for each box
  • medium-peak royal icing
  • squeeze bottle and 2 piping bags
  • gold edible paint
  • pin or toothpick and a fine paintbrush

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The cookies assemble just like a gingerbread house!

 

Want more edible projects like this one? Preorder the book today!

On sale 11/11/14

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28 Oct

Happy Pub Day!

Do you like bags? Crafts? Delightful wordplay? If so, you’re in a world of luck, my friend, because today is the official on-sale day for Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 Quick and Easy Bags to Make for All Occasions by Helen Angharad Henley! This one comes with a CD of full-size patterns, too. How can you beat that?

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Can you believe how cute these bags are? (They’re quick and easy to make, too!)

The tote bag in its humblest form is a simple rectangular bag with two handles, but the possibilities offered by the style are limitless. This colorful book guides the reader through all the possible incarnations of the tote bag, from children’s bags and simple grocery totes to stylish shoulder bags in contemporary fabrics, with patterns ranging from the fun to the functional. Techniques cover all the basics of machine sewing and finishing, from straight seams to topstitching, as well as detailed instructions on the specifics of bag construction, handle making, patch and zipped pockets, and interlining. And the styles in this book range from appliqué to stenciled designs using fabric paint, giving you the freedom to design the tote-ally amazing bag of your dreams!

You should tote-ally buy one today.

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Check out our October and November titles!

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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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