SMP Craft
20 Jun

The Secret to Making Your Father’s Day Gift Super Special

This Father’s Day, probably the best gift to show Dad how special and loved he is, is to spend more time with him, participate in his hobbies, and help him with household chores and big projects since what dads really want is time and attention from the people they care most about.

For many of us, we can’t actually be physically present to make this happen. But we can still keep this in mind and show thoughtfulness and care in the gift we give.

Whether you’re donating money under his name to a cause he feels strongly about, or helping him manage that wild beard with a membership to the Dollar Shave Club, ordaining him Top Chef with a new Global or Henckels or Shun Chef Knife, or signing him up for the Custom Golf Clubs he’s been (not-so-secretly) coveting–what will REALLY show Dad how special he is?

What’s the secret?

Finish the gift with a follow-up that shows up a few days or even a week or two later, something personal and handmade that shows him that your appreciation for him goes beyond one national holiday.

This one simple act will bring a smile to his face and resonate long after Father’s Day. Why? He won’t know it’s coming. It’s unexpected. A wonderful surprise.

Admittedly, it’s not a secret really but a reminder to look beyond what’s immediately in front of us and find ways to act meaningfully.

You probably have some ideas of your own as a follow-up to your Father’s Day gift. But if you need a little guidance, we have a few suggestions. Just a few since the point is to really think about YOUR father.

Each of these takes less than an hour to accomplish:

Send him a handmade post card. Even if he lives next door. It can go with the theme of your gift, or be a picture of you and him together, or stenciled with his favorite saying or phrase. Don’t forget to convey the message: Wish you were here!

Here’s the postcard I made to send to my stepdad, a former pilot. He got me into flying and it’s a subject the two of us have killed considerable hours talking about.


Show ongoing support. Wish him luck on a project–career or personal–that he’s battling. Buy seven or 30 $1 scratch-off lottery tickets. Wrap each in a sticky note labeled for each day of the week. Instruct him to scratch one ticket every day. He’ll have at least one thing to look forward to every day, a fun moment of distraction. If you want, fold an origami crane, a symbol of luck and fortune, and send everything in a cool origami box. Click here for instructions on making the box. And if you’re feeling ambitious, click here for some instruction on making moveable origami.

Did you know you can make a custom iPhone Case in less than an hour? Acknowledge his hobbies or favorite pastimes or TV show, or use a funny phrase he’d appreciate like: Will Trade Wife for Whiskey to accessorize his phone. The Cheese Thief shows us how.



Crafty Morning had a terrific idea. Even if your dad doesn’t grill, this spatula with a personalized message using the phrase Flippin’ is simply brilliant as a summertime gift.


If you still need more ideas, check out our post from last week–10 Beer Bottle Crafts to make with empty beer bottles and caps.

But whatever you decide on, always keep in mind the age-old adage: It’s the thought that counts.

Happy Father’s Day (and after)!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
24 Oct

Freebie Friday: Pear Pincushion


A well-known Italian seamstress once told me that Pincushions are a sewing necessity and that, “è vero, vero” It’s true true that one’s pincushion reflects one’s personality. I don’t think I want to know what it means about my personality that the “pincushion” in my sewing box is an old Whitesnake rock band patch I used to accessorize a Heavy Metal Halloween costume.


Nonetheless, while combing through 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet by Cat Thomas, I couldn’t help but recall her comment; despite loving the absolutely adorable sushi, bear, and cactus pincushions pictured above, the moment my eyes landed on the Pear Pincushion, I knew I found my (dare I say it) PEAR-fect pincushion match. So for this week’s Free Pattern Download, I offer you Pear Pincushion, which is knitted in the round, uses worsted weight yarn and no seaming so it knits up quickly.


I’ve decided that this pear pincushion is a Green Anjou, an all-purpose variety valued for its culinary versatility–from slicing fresh into salads to baking into tarts and pies to pureeing for sauces, beverages, and toppings. It’s the most abundant variety in the U.S., is almost always available, and most importantly, has a wonderful flavor profile: refreshing, sweet, juicy, with a hint of citrus!

It’s my friend’s birthday this weekend and I’ve decided to make her a “Pear-themed” present–pear pincushion, a few fresh pears, a pear tart, and pear juice!

If you’re not quite the pear connoisseur but say… have a thing for the circus, or want to make a pincushion for a cat-lover, or maybe love reindeer… and have been learning how to knit or crochet and want a finished handmade something something that you can complete in just a few hours, look no further than  50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet, which is available at your favorite online retailer.

50 Pincushions cover


Barnes & Noble


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!

Barnes & Noble

Check out our August and September titles:


Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
4 Feb

How-To Tuesday: Heart Bookmark


“Hello Lover” is pretty much my expression every time I come across something bookish that is both cute and sensible [Thank you to Carrie on Sex and the City for that perfect line!]

I am fairly new to the SMP Craft team. I also am a novice at all things craft related. No, really—my team tried to teach me a simple knot for beginner knitters and it took a whole lunch hour. I don’t think I could do it again if my job depended on it! Thankfully, I work with talented (and patient) people.

Needless to say, anything that is both easy and practical is perfect for me. Working at St. Martin’s Press, we are all natural book lovers. This is a great craft or present for any book lover in your life—or you!


–          Cardstock (in multiple colors of your choice)

–          Decorative paper (optional)

–          Scissors or utility knife

–          Glue


–          Create a template of a heart, about 1 1/2 inches wide

–          Cut out the template with scissors, trace onto heavy card stock, and cut it out


–          Repeat the step above but only at approximately 2/3rd of the size, cut it out, and trace onto decorative paper or a different color of cardstock paper

–          You can repeat the step above for a third, smaller heart, if you wish

–          If you do it with three hearts, glue the larger two hearts together. Then glue just the top portion of the third heart, leaving the bottom half “open” to sliding in between book pages


–          Voila!




*This craft was inspired by a heart bookmark craft from Martha Stewart

Tagged with: , , , ,
2 Feb

How to Show & Sell Your Craft Goodreads Giveaway!

Happy Sunday, Crafters!

Team SMP Craft is so excited about How to Show & Sell Your Craft coming out next Tuesday, February 11th that we just had to give some copies away! The giveaway starts in two days and you’ll have one whole week to enter to win a free copy of the book.

Torie Jayne has written a must-read for any crafting entrepreneur hoping to make money off their hobby. With highly visual, step-by-step tutorials, you will learn the best ways to merchandise and sell your items online, at craft fairs, markets, pop-up events, exhibitions, and in shops. You’ll also learn how to optimize your workspace to improve creativity and profitability, and how to build a strong brand name and online presence across multiple social media platforms. Reading this book is sure to set yourself up for success!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

How to Show & Sell Your Crafts by Torie Jayne

How to Show & Sell Your Crafts

by Torie Jayne

Giveaway ends February 09, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


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!



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