SMP Craft
16 Dec

How To Tuesday: Washi Tape Gift Bags Stuffed with Homemade Candied Pecans

How is it already December 16th? Literally, I’ve done ZERO shopping. Not for family, not for friends, certainly not for that office Secret Santa I’m a part of tomorrow. I’m doomed. If you’re like me, then we’re both in luck as I have the perfect, easy, done-in-1-hour homemade holiday treat that’s great to give as a gift, or to enjoy just for yourself.

Candied Pecans are a go-to gift for me. They’re easy to whip up and everyone loves them. Cinnamon-sugared baked pecans will leave your kitchen smelling like one of those nut stands on the corner of New York City streets (aka the best smell in the world.) Then, using Washi tape and parchment bags, you can create festive one-of-a-kind gift bags to share with coworkers, the mailman, or anyone you need that last minute gift for.

CoolingnutsWashi bags filled with pecans

First, start by preparing the Candied Pecans. Once your pecans are in the oven baking, you can start making your Washi tape gift bags.

Candied Pecans (Adapted from Sinful Southern Sweets)

Makes four 3 oz. servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Candied Pecans ingredients

  • 12 oz. Pecan halves
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • ½ Cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ Cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg white and water. Using a whisk, or electric mixer, beat the two together until light and frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the pecans to the egg mixtures, and stir to coat evenly. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined. Add the sugar mixture to the pecans, and stir to coat evenly. On a foil-lined baking sheet, spread the pecans in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour; stirring every 15 minutes. After an hour, the pecans should smell delicious and have a hardened candy shell surrounding them. While your pecans are baking, you can start making your Washi tape gift bags. Using strips of Washi tape, decorate the bags in any design or pattern you like. Once your bags are ready and the pecans have cooled to the touch, fill up the gift bags and seal with a piece of tape.

Eggwhites beat

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg white and water. Using a whisk, or electric mixer, beat the two together until light and frothy, about 2 minutes.

Nuts in bowl

2. Add the pecans to the egg mixtures, and stir to coat evenly.

Nuts brown sugar

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined.

foillined baking sheet

4. Add the sugar mixture to the pecans, and stir to coat evenly.

Finished

5. On a foil-lined baking sheet, spread the pecans in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour; stirring every 15 minutes.

Coolingnuts

6. After an hour, the pecans should smell delicious and have a hardened candy shell surrounding them.

While your pecans are baking, you can start making your Washi tape gift bags.

Washi Tape Gift Bags

  • Parchment bags — you can also use paper bags, mason jars, or any receptacle of your choosing.
  • Washi tape

Washi Tape bags

Washi Bags

Using strips of Washi tape, decorate the bags in any design or pattern you like.

Washi bags filled with pecans

Once your bags are ready and the pecans have cooled to the touch, fill up the gift bags and seal with a piece of tape.

This will be the easiest and tastiest DIY gift you’ll make all season!

For more recipes, make sure to check out St. Martin’s Kitchen on Facebook and Pinterest and for more Washi inspired crafts, pick up your copy of Washi Style! by Marisa Edghill, available January 13, 2015, wherever books are sold.

WashiStyle
Amazon
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New in December & January!

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Tagged with: candied nuts, candy, christmas, foodies, gifts, handmade, holiday crafts, holiday gifts, homemade, how to, Japan, nuts, pecans, washi
15 Dec

SMP Craft Sweepstakes: The Knitting Encyclopedia by Claire Montgomerie

I had quite the holiday shopping list this season: my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, my roommate, my co-workers, and of course you crafters! Well, I haven’t had much luck with the others on my list but I think you’re going to like what I picked out for you guys: The Knitting Encyclopedia!

Enter HERE for a chance to win The Knitting Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Guide for All Knitters by Claire Montgomerie.

encyclopediaThe Knitting Encyclopedia is the perfect guide for any knitter. Claire Montgomerie covers all the techniques needed to learn to knit and beyond. She shows you what materials and equipment work best from types of needles to stitch holders. She also walks you through the basics of casting on and off while sharing intermediate techniques of making patterned stitches using knit and purl combinations. And for the true knitting master ready for a challenge, Claire explains how to adapt patterns to make your own projects.

 

Claire also includes a comprehensive stitch directory grouped into numerous sections such as lightweights and heavyweight stitches, colorwork, and even a whole section dedicated to lace. The pattern section provides 30 stunning projects to make with detailed instructions perfect for any level of knitter. The beautiful 500 color photographs throughout ensure this will be user-friendly resource that you’ll turn to again and again.

Can’t wait? Order now from your favorite bookseller!

encyclopedia

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s

New in December & January!

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Tagged with: books, Crafts, gift, giveaway, holiday, knitting, smpcraft
14 Dec

Goodreads Giveaway: Macrame Pattern Book

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For me, Sunday means two things: the end of the week and weekend and an assessment of the past week’s activities, progress, perhaps even worth. Yet it also signifies a fresh new start and new opportunities.  In this sense and within our SMP Craft context, let’s take a look back and then charge forward. Last week, we offered up a how to on making a quick and nifty drop cloth tablecloth covered in text, two giveaways, and on Friday, gave you two free projects to download–macrame Nordic snowflake coasters and a striped hot pad. Not too shabby would be my assessment. But we can do better. We can always do better.

So this Sunday, just as today is the last day to enter our two crochet book giveaway of Caitlin Sainio’s 100 Snowflakes to Crochet and 100 Lace Flowers to Crochet, today is also the start of our Goodreads Giveaway of the Macrame Pattern Book by Marchen Art.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Macrame Pattern Book by Marchen Art

Macrame Pattern Book

by Marchen Art

Giveaway ends December 19, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Can’t wait and want to order it now?

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

New in December & January!

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12 Dec

Freebie Friday: Macrame Nordic Snowflake Coasters and Striped Hotpad

Protect Thy… Tabletops! During this particularly social time for many people, when holiday parties are simply par for the course, whether you’re throwing a cocktail or dinner party or attending one or all of the above, we have a FREE PROJECT DOWNLOAD for the ultimate handmade gift to give yourself or to the host(ess): Stylish, functional, Nordic snowflake coasters and a striped kitchen hotpad–made by using the craft of knotting, also known as macrame.

Nordic Coaster Striped Hotpad

These projects are from Macrame Pattern Book by Marchen Art Studio, a creative group that supervises Marchen-Art Company in Japan, which designs leather and hemp cords accessory parts, and other craft items. This dream of a book (especially for a knotter like myself who finds the repetition cathartic) is an outstanding resource for both new and experienced knotters and includes over 70 knots and small repeat patterns plus 33 projects–ranging from simple jewelry pieces and accessories to more complicated projects such as net bags and ornate baskets.

NetbagFringebelts

So this holiday party season: To Knot or Knot to Knot? That… beloved Crafters, is the question!

Order your copy of Macrame Pattern Book now!

MacramePatternBook

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

New in December & January!

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Tagged with: coasters, hotpad, how to, macrame, nordicstyle, snowflakes, trivet
9 Dec

HOW TO TUESDAY: Drop Cloth Tablecloth

Cue the Christmas music! ‘Tis the season to give and here’s a really simple and easy, quick-to-make, personal present idea. I was scouring Pinterest, admit it, you do it as well – you’re probably doing it right now! – and I came across this drop cloth table cloth idea from Blue Cricket Design and I had to make one. All you need is a drop cloth, size of your choosing – preferably one that fits the table you’re making it for, and some sharpies. Our How-To today is probably my favorite one ever!

Step 1: Acquire a drop cloth the size of your table. Cut and hem, if needed.

Step 2 (optional): If you’re like me you’ll want to iron out any creases or wrinkles.

table-cloth-collage

Picture courtesy of Blue Cricket Design

Step 3: If you’re being brave and want to start work on the table cloth on the table itself, you’ll need to put down some newspapers to avoid the ink from seeping onto the table. I chickened out and did it on the floor.

Table Cloth Mitali

Step 4: Begin writing the words on the cloth. There’s no method to it but I like to start in the middle and fan out. It’d also be helpful to make a list beforehand of all the words that you’d like to write out.

Table Cloth 1

Step 5: Voila! A few hours later you’ll have a table cloth full of words and phrases that mean something to you.

Table cloth 2

Here are some of my favorites that I included above: I studied abroad in Florence, love Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, Barbie is throwback to my childhood obsession with collecting the dolls and who doesn’t love pizza? Can you spot some of them?

I took a moment to look over and check for spelling errors and the almost blunders I avoided while making it and realized how fun it had been. All the words now had more meaning once I started associating them with the making of  this table cloth. It’s something you can make with anyone, friend, coworker, sibling or parents!

Happy Holidays, friends! Let us know what you’re looking forward to most this season. And don’t forget to check back for more including our Freebie Friday this week!

New in December & January!

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Tagged with: Art, Crafts, DIY, how to, how-to-tuesdays, Pinterest, project, Sharpie, smp craft, table cloth

Author of the Month

This month we sit down with Helen Angharad Henley, mother of three, handbag designer, self-proclaimed “compulsive maker,” and author of newly published Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 quick and easy bags to make for all occasions. Helen lives and works in Wales where she designs, makes, and sells her sewing patterns and handbags. She blogs her stitching endeavours at angharadhandmade.blogspot.com and sells her bags online at angharad handmade.

Helen  Angharad Henley, author of Tote-ally Amazing Bags

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, with this free pattern from our new book 50 Deliciously Decorative Cookies: Easy-t0-Make Cookie Creations by Fiona Pearce, you can have your jewelry box and eat it, too!

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