SMP Craft
3 Jun

Project of the Month: Embossed Invitations

*Today we have a guest post from one of our colleagues here at St. Martin’s Press. Welcome Erin and thank you for sharing your project!*

It’s June, which means wedding season is in full swing and our mailboxes are full of thick, heavy envelopes from soon-to-be-wed couples.

Now, I love a beautiful, personalized wedding invitation as much as the next person. But when the time came to think about my own invitations, I realized I also really loved staying in budget and protecting my sanity. I wanted to send my friends and family something that reflected my fiancé and me, but I didn’t want to spend a small fortune or every spare minute to do it.

So I took what I knew about myself (I’m not a calligrapher, but I can print out color copies on nice paper like a pro) and researched some easy ways to make a simply-made invitation a specially-made one as well.

In the process, I fell in love with embossing. I love how it gives depth to what is otherwise just a flat piece of paper, and I love how difficult it is to mess up. It was fun, it was fool-proof, and it even ended up being one of my favorite parts about planning the wedding. Plus, I didn’t have to go into the red to do it. (Well, technically I went into the dark red, but that’s just because it was one of the colors I’d chosen for my wedding!)

First, I designed the components to my invitation and, after a few paper jams, printed them successfully on nice paper stock on a color copier.


Then, I turned card-stock into a mini-folder and used an embosser to imprint it with my fiancé’s and my initials. I wanted to add some texture to the invitation pieces themselves, so I used the embosser on the back flap of the RSVP cards as well. You can get a custom embosser online for around $30, and with different interchangeable plates, you can use it for everything from a book stamp to a monogram. (Word to the wise: Keep the image or words you’re imprinting simple so the embossed message stays legible.)


Finally, I finished with a raffia ribbon.


And there you have it. Embossing is an easy and affordable way to put your own stamp on an invitation or a card.



Check out our June and July titles:

3D_LoomKnitting-100x140 3D_LoomKnitting-100x140

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30 May

Freebie Friday: How to Bead with Wire

When I was a kid one of my favorite things to do was make my own jewelry. Granted, they were all pretty similar looking (i.e., multicolored beads herded onto a piece of string), but they were mine, darn it, and if Etsy had existed back then I would’ve had a shop set up in no time.

Luckily there are lots more options for us grown-up crafters, and I’ve got a quick and easy FREE PROJECT for you that clearly explains how to use wire (not string!) to make your own beaded jewelry.

Here’s a pretty example from our book Stonesetting for Contemporary Jewelery Makers.

Birch wood and glass beads threaded with wire. Bracelet by Lucie Veilleux.

Birch wood and glass beads threaded
with wire. Bracelet by Lucie Veilleux.


Clear step-by-step illustrations combined with concise instructions and practical advice make this book an invaluable reference for professional jewelry makers, students, and (yep) Etsy sellers.

Green fluorite stones wrapped in sterling silver wire. Earrings by Erin Staples.

No other book currently available focuses on the use and application of ready-made settings, which are most commonly used by jewelers today. Stonesetting not only shows you how to use and incorporate these settings into existing designs but also teaches you how to make settings from scratch. Also included is an overview of tools and materials, accompanied by an in-depth guide to choosing and evaluating a variety of stones. The second part covers the range of settings available—from bezel to prong to snap settings—and uses step-by-step instructions explaining how to set cabochons, faceted stones, and other variants. A handy section in the back contains care, maintenance, and repair advice, plus a gallery of gorgeous finished pieces.

Stonesetting for Contemporary Jewelry Makers combines everything you need to know about this specialized craft all in one place, making this an indispensible reference for beginners and professionals alike.

Stonesetting for Contemporary Jewelry Makers

Be sure to check back in on Sunday for a chance to win a copy on Goodreads!

Or if you just can’t wait (and who can blame you?), buy it now.

 Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

Check out our May and June titles:

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15 Apr

Happy Pub Day!

On sale now!

If you’re like me, beginning a new craft better come with an entire instruction manual, or you’re going to end up with a table full of science experiments and a swear jar filled to the brim. If learning how to use a serger, or overlock machine, has been on your agenda but seems too daunting, I’ve got just the thing for you. The Serger’s Technique Bible by Julia Hincks goes on sale today!

When it comes to achieving professional-quality edging, hemming, seaming, and decorative stitching, you can’t beat a serger. A serger allows you to quickly sew, trim, and finish seams all in one go! This book contains all you need to get the most out of your machine.

Starting with the basics, the anatomy of a serger and its different functions are clearly explained, followed by a section that covers each of the core techniques, from basic serging to fancy stitching like pintucks and picot edging, all shown in detailed step-by-step photographs so you can achieve professional results. A useful overview of available feet and accessories used to add piping, elastic, or beading to your project is provided, along with tips for how to cut down on construction time by using your machine to quickly attach collars, alter garments, work with lace, and more. A buyer’s guide that takes you through all the questions to ask when buying your first serger, and the practical information included for how to maintain and troubleshoot your machine makes this a reference book all machine sewers will return to again and again for easy-to-follow, helpful advice.

Convinced? I know I am!

Order today!

Barnes & Noble

Check out our new April and May titles:

3D_Serger'sBrightBazaar (2)3D_GameDay-206x3003D_FloralKnits-206x300

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21 Feb

Freebie Friday: Ladder Stitch Beading

Today’s official FREEBIE DOWNLOAD is a tip on ladder stitching!


I used to make necklaces and bracelets all the time as a kid. Now I can have that same fun and sense of accomplishment – but create something I’d actually wear!

Just like having an expert on call 24 hours a day, 200 Beading Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets provides the answers to any beading questions or dilemmas you might have.

Whether stringing, wiring, or beadweaving, step-by-step photographs, diagrams, and clear instructions will guide you through each stage of your work. The techniques are organized in the order you need them when making a project, from using the right tools and materials to finishing tips for neat, professional results–or you can dip in for help with a particular problem.

Whether you’re using large glass beads, crystal, or seed beads, using wirework techniques or stitches, making jewelry as gifts or to sell, 200 beading Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets has all the answers!


Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

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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


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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!



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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