SMP Craft
5 Dec

Freebie Friday: Braid Cable Socks

There has been snow. Thanksgiving leftovers are gone. The Rockefeller Tree is lit. As *NSync would say, I guess it’s Christmas time. Inevitably, along with the expected cheer and good tidings, a bit of gift anxiety usually follows. I always plan on saving money from October and November to put toward the gift fund in December, but things always come up. Like unplanned trips, concerts, and Seamless. But this year Isela Phelps has me covered. In her book, Loom Knitting Socks I found easy-to-follow instructions as well as helpful photos and diagrams. There’s even a Socks 101 section for those of us entering unknown territory. Because of Isela’s excellent tips and guidance, today’s FREE PROJECT is for all sock makers—no matter the experience level.

cable sock These braid cable socks will be perfect for the cold weather months ahead. Choose a plain yarn for the cable to show best. Although these deep red socks look magnificent, it wouldn’t surprise me if my loved ones received a pair in every shade of the rainbow.  As the wise Albus Dumbledore once said, “One can never have enough socks.” Well said, sir.

Along with the braid cable socks you’ll find other thick socks perfect for winter (some even with snowflakes) and even breathable socks perfect for playing sports. Altogether there are fifty projects in Loom Knitting Socks—and none require a needle! Once you’ve learned the loom basics and a sock’s knitted anatomy check out one of seven sock sections (say that 5 times fast): Simple Socks, Textured Socks, Colorwork Socks, Fancy Cables and Beads Socks, Lace Socks, Kids Socks, and even Footsies—describing other foot coverings that can be used for pedicures and yoga class.

socks2 socks socks3 socks4 socks5 socks6

Come back on Sunday to learn how you can enter to win a copy of Loom Knitting Socks this week!

loom knitting socks coverBuy your copy today!

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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.

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

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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!

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.

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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?

how to show and sell cover

Buy your copy today!
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2 Nov

Goodreads Giveaway: Origami to Astonish and Amuse

On Friday we shared with you exclusive instructions on how to make your own jack-o’-lantern from a t-shirt! We know Halloween is over but Origami to Astonish and Amuse has plenty other projects for all skill levels. This book can teach you how to make a wine glass (perfect for a Thanksgiving centerpiece) and even a present box for the upcoming holiday season. Origami to Astonish and Amuse teaches the basics of origami and then provides 89 original models to create, including a crane envelope and a magic cube. There are four sections: Origami Action, Symbols and Signs and Stunning Designs, Models from the Heart, and Origami for the Almost Deranged.

This book is too good to keep to ourselves so we’re giving away 20 copies on Goodreads. Enter any time today through Wednesday for a chance to win a copy. See below for details!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Origami to Astonish and Amuse by Jeremy Shafer

Origami to Astonish and Amuse

by Jeremy Shafer

Giveaway ends November 06, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Origami to Astonish and Amuse
Not a fan of Lady Luck? Buy your copy today!
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31 Oct

Freebie Friday: Origami Jack-o’-lantern!

This Freebie Friday is brought to you by our wonderful marketing intern, Ana Perez!

Ready with only a square piece of paper, or in this case a t-shirt, and some tenacity leads to extraordinary things. Origami to Astonish and Amuse lives up to its name! Jeremy Shafer’s book is the perfect starting point for novices (like me) and origami masters alike. As a beginner, I started with the basic folding techniques illustrated in the book and gradually worked my way toward more challenging models. Aside from the paper crane, I tried my hand at one of the more unique models- the jack-o’-lantern. It bypasses paper and uses a t-shirt! It’s very simple and creates an instant celebratory feeling- perfect for fall. I accentuated the pumpkin shape by reinforcing the middle with cardboard and adding a more prominent stem. I also took some felt and just played with shapes to create a more complete look, but the basic pumpkin is just as fun! So on this Halloween Freebie Friday, I give you the treat of the jack-o’-lantern pattern from Origami to Astonish and Amuse.

pumpkin final

The book is really easy to understand, the illustrations are clear, and the results are so gratifying (a flapping paper crane is such a treat!) The book includes 89 original and classic models including:

A clapping and flapping T-Rex
A Swiss army knife complete with corkscrew
A wearable hat
And so many more!

Jeffery has been making origami pieces since he was ten, making him a great teacher and inspiration. His own style and personality comes out in his original designs, which is what makes them so unique and fun. This book is sure to surprise, and really furthers origami as an art form. Origami to Astonish and Amuse is divided into four sections: Origami Action, Symbols and Signs and Stunning Designs, Models from the Heart, and Origami for the Almost Deranged. Each section begins with models anyone can fold, and progresses to more complex projects. This is a perfect craft book for cold winter days spent indoors!

Try your hand at the jack-o’-lantern project and come back on Sunday to learn how to win your own copy of Origami to Astonish and Amuse.

Origami to Astonish and Amuse

Can’t wait? Buy your copy today!

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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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