SMP Craft
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.

travel board_cropped

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.

how to hang
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!
how to hang

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our newest November title!

3D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
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!

MerchantList

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.

photo 2      photo 3

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?

how to show and sell cover

Buy your copy today!
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

Check out our newest November title!

3D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
21 Oct

How to Tuesday: Mason Jar Luminaries!

This week we were lucky enough to have the lovely Lizzie Poteet guest post for us. Lizzie is an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press.

After years of living on top of my neighbors in a Manhattan high rise where the term “outdoor space” referred to a courtyard you share with 100 other people and where to get any sort of greenery you have to go to the often smelly park down the block—after years of this Urban Life, I’ve finally moved. To Brooklyn. The land of milk and honey for people who want to live in New York, but not live in New York. My new place is precious—high ceilings, older building, brick walls, and more importantly outdoor space. Glorious, private, just for me outdoor space. My backyard is a strip of concrete with a garden bed, but it’s mine, and so in honor of Halloween and moving, I decided what better way to share my good fortune than to host a housewarming pumpkin carving party?

Well known fact one: moving is expensive. Well known fact two: parties can be expensive. Well known fact three: crafting is fun. So in honor of Halloween and outdoor parties, let’s talk about how you can use items around your house to make some kickass party decorations for this spooky season.

Mason Jar Luminaries:

I saw an idea for this floating around Pinterest and immediately thought “I can do that.” The idea is to take mason jars—or if you’re thrifty like me and want to save those mason jars for pickling, you can upcycle that mostly empty jar of salsa in the fridge—and paint their outsides fun festive colors so that when you put a candle in them, they let off this pretty, colorful glow. Check out this one I found on the Crafts by Amanda blog.

However, most of the luminaries I saw online were very childish. Jack-o’-lanterns and ghouls, and being a twenty-something without children, I wanted something a tad classier. So I whipped out my copy of Stencil It and got to work. Once my basecoat was dried (aptly named “pumpkin spice”), I secured my stencil….and failed. Miserably.

Two things I learned: You really should invest in a stencil brush to get the best results. And if you fail, acrylic paint on glass scrapes right off.

In the end, I decided to go Banksy/creepy with a little Russian doll luminary.

What you need:

Acrylic paint of your choice
Mason Jar
Brushes
Krylon Clear Glaze
Stencil
Candle (one that is small enough to fit in a mason jar but large enough to stand on its own)

Step One: Paint the outside of your mason jar a solid color making sure to get an even layer of paint. When the paint dries, it’ll probably look streaky and the perfectionist in you will be severely tempted to add a second coat. Resist the temptation. Let it dry.

Step Two: Tape down your stencil of choice onto the mason jar and dab paint onto the area. Stencil It will have useful hints on how to not mess up like me.

Step Three: Let the paint dry and then spray it down with the glaze. Add the candle and enjoy!

 

IMG_4778            IMG_4780           IMG_4798

 stencil it
Buy a copy of Stencil It and get started today!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our October and November titles!

3D_toteallyamazingbags-96x1403D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
6 Oct

Author of the Month: Molly Goodall of Wild Things to Sew and Wear

Hello, Molly Goodall. WELCOME!

MollyGoodall

Molly Goodall, photo by Hoyoung Lee

This month, we sit down for a Q&A with Molly Goodall, artist, designer, creator of the unique children’s clothing brand, Little Goodall, and author of Wild Things to Sew and Wear. Originally from North Carolina, Molly earned her BFA in fashion design from Parsons School of Design in 1997, where she became focused on children’s wear. She then worked as a toy designer in New York before deciding “it would be more fun to be an artist” and moved to North Texas, where she, her husband, and son currently live.

MollyGoodall_Workroom

1. What’s your craft?

I design and sew unique children’s clothing.

lion front etsy  SweetheartOwlHatCheekyGreenDinosaur

 

 

 

[The original Ferocious Felt Lion Coat, Sweetheart Owl Hat, and Cheeky Green Dinosaur Coat pictured above are among an incredible collection of children’s playwear, animal-themed coats, dresses, and accessories (and a few adult sized coats under the label “Mrs.Goodall”)–all handmade in North Texas–at the Little Goodall online shop. Founded in 2010, Little Goodall grew out of the original Ferocious Felt Lion Coat, which Molly designed and made to inspire her then two-year-old son who refused to wear the hoods on his coats.]

2. What project would you consider an all-time best?

It’s usually the one I’ve just finished! This year I reworked two of my first designs; a lion coat and an owl coat. I made them from more luxurious fabrics, added removable hoods and several other details so they could be more versatile. Part of the process I enjoy the most is seeing how garments wear and what children like best about them, and then figuring our how to make them even more special.

3. What project would you consider an all-time worst?

Once, when I was about 17 I decided to make my dress to wear to a cotillion dance. I found a lovely and feminine rose print chiffon and a pattern which was all cut on the bias. I hadn’t had any experience sewing with the tricky chiffon, and I chose a lining which was not compatible. I ended up in tears the night before the party, with an ill fitting puckered disaster of a dress which wasn’t even finished. Needless to say there was an emergency shopping trip the next day to find a suitable dress.

4. What tool or material could you not live without?

My iron! It makes everything look finished, helps construct 3-D shapes when sewing, and revives tired looking fabrics. A garment which is pressed throughout construction is much more professional looking than one which is pressed only after finishing. I am a big fan of pressing thoroughly and often.

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Making time more elastic. I always misjudge how long something will take me, so if I could stretch time out when needed it would definitely be super. Most days could use an extra hour here or there, whether for finishing a project or just catching up on sleep.

To learn more, visit Molly’s blog and the Little Goodall company website at www.littlegoodall.com.

Interested in sewing something a little wild for your little one? First: WARNING: These are simple, bold, and playful clothes that your child may never ever want to take off.

wildthingstosew

In Wild Things to Sew and Wear Molly expertly guides you through the creation of 15 adorable children’s garments and accessories in the shape of woodland animals, wild animals, and farm animals, including a lion or fox coat, an owl hat, a leopard skirt, kitten mittens, and more. The book includes easy-to-follow patterns to suit all sewing levels, from beginner through advanced, a comprehensive techniques section that shows how to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, transfer markings, and cut with confidence, and as an added bonus, a pattern CD is also included!

 

Buy Wild Things to Sew and Wear at your favorite bookseller:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our October and November titles!

3D_toteallyamazingbags-96x1403D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
22 Aug

Freebie Friday: Stencil It!

For this Freebie Friday we decided to mix it up a bit. Instead of a pattern or project download, we’ve given you some FREE TIPS on using paint and a stencil brush from Stencil It so you can get started on your next design project immediately!

stencil 1   stencil 2    stencil 3

stencil it

There are lots of ways to customize your home: paint, new furniture, fancy home decor items from those fancy catalogs you never seem to ask for…but by far, one of the most expressive—and least expensive—is stenciling. Did you know stencils have been used for centuries to decorate interiors? It has come a long way these past few centuries! Helen Morris, founder of The Stencil Library, has kept stenciling a popular craft by developing numerous designs, styles, and techniques. (She’s even stenciled on glass, mirror, concrete, and even plaster.) Stencil It shows 101 ways to stencil in your home. From lamp shades to walls and even furniture, you’ll learn how to achieve new decorative schemes by using various configurations and color combinations to create a range of dramatically different looks. Stencil It comes with 15 specially-designed stencils to help you turn your entire home into a blank canvas.

Ready to start? Buy your book now!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our August and September titles:

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x1453D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x145

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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!

My Recent Pins

Follow Me on Pinterest 
My Pinterest Badge by: Jafaloo. For Support visit: My Pinterest Badge