SMP Craft
30 Sep

How-To Tuesday: Make Your Own Label and Sweeten Your Life!

It’s my pleasure to introduce Kim Harrison… our guest blogger this week.

By day, Kim’s COO of Simon Sinek, Inc. By night (and often weekends) she transforms into… SUPER CRAFTER! Kim sews, crochets, and knits–quilts, blankets, afghans, aprons, plush baby toys, bags to hold liquor flasks… and she promises to share her projects with us throughout the year (yippee!) which means we have some fun cool crafts and insight to look forward to!

For this post, she encourages us to sweeten our lives by adding personal LABELS to our homemade projects. YES!

photo 3

Here’s how:

For years I talked about learning how to sew. I had some basic skills my mom and grandmother taught me, but didn’t really know how to do a project from scratch. About five years ago I received two amazing gifts for my birthday.  My boyfriend got me a sewing machine and my mom got me a serger.  This was the year I really began to experience the magic of crafting. I didn’t really have a choice! When you live in New York City, everything in your apartment has to be used and these two machines took up quite a bit of room. I couldn’t justify keeping anything that I don’t really use.

I currently spend two to ten hours a week working on sewing projects. Mainly gifts for people I love.  A few years ago my best friend Lissa suggested I make my own label for my projects.  It seemed like a silly idea being as though I don’t sell my wares, but I explored it with her anyway.  We came up with the idea that hand made gifts “sweeten your life” just a bit. We were working with a “sweeten your life” theme when one day she called me and said ‘Dab of Honey. A little honey just makes everything better.” I loved it!  We decided it would be our collective label.  Lissa isn’t much of a crafter, but she helps me pick fabrics, choose projects, and is the receiver of many of my homemade gifts.

I gotta admit, having my own little label makes a project feel polished.  It’s a nice little touch and I feel a great deal of pride when I see something I made at a friends house featuring this little tag. They are very inexpensive to produce and make a very special addition to any sewing 4A few tips:

1) Spend some time brainstorming about what theme or images inspire you. photo 1

2) Doodle away even if you don’t consider yourself good at drawing. The clearer you are on what you want, the cheaper and faster the design turnaround will be. If you don’t have a friend who is a designer (which I fortunately did), I suggest using one of the amazing design websites out there to help find someone, like photo 2

3) There are countless options for labels. I ordered 100 labels made with satin/polyester for about $20. If you google “printed garment labels” or “fabric tag labels” you can explore fabrics, sizes and colors. Etsy has some fantastic options. I plan to use inkaprint for my next print run.

Make your own label. Sweeten your life!
Dab of Honey

For your serging needs, we think you’ll find Julia Hincks’ The Serger’s Technique Bible: The Complete Guide to Serging and Decorative Stitching incredibly useful.

Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

Check out our new September and October titles!



7 Sep

Goodreads Giveaway: Game Day by Cindy Cummins


Friday night, I watched the Miami Marlins crush the Atlanta Braves in an 11-3 victory. I have no loyalties to either team, but I like the description ascribed to Miami–the fighting fish–and the font they use and their official team colors.


Whether you’re in my camp, the side that enjoys an exciting well-played match and has affinities influenced by factors other than a particular loyalty to one team or another, or are at the other end and have, say, transformed your daughter’s room into a Chicago Cub’s den, we assure you that Cindy Cummins’ Game Day: 50 Fun Spirit Fleece Projects to Sew will be invaluable to you if not right this instant, then in the future. Game Day

At some point, you’ll find yourself searching for that perfect gift for the sports fanatic in your circle or headed to a frigid NFL football game and need to show support for your sweetheart’s favorite team but don’t own a bright green puffy jacket. It’s moments like these where you’ll be relieved to have Game Day in your library.

 Game Day includes fun and stylish fleece fabric projects, including items for the entire family (and pets!). The projects are designed to be fast and easy to make; few take more than an afternoon to complete, and many can be made in less than an hour. Fleece is wonderfully forgiving for the newbie sewer and comes in literally thousands of textures, colors, and prints.

And… guess what? You’re in luck. Our Goodreads Giveaway of Game Day starts today! Enter now for the chance to win one of 20 copies.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Game Day by Cindy Cummins

Game Day

by Cindy Cummins

Giveaway ends September 11, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Crunched for time? Need more than one copy ASAP? We’ve got you. It’s available to purchase now at your favorite bookstore and online retailer:

Barnes & Noble

Check out our new September and October titles!




5 Sep

Freebie Friday: Ear Warmer Headband

I love summertime and if I had my way, I’d bask in warmth and sunshine all year long. But I’m also a sucker for the changing of the seasons and all the loveliness that comes with it. I tell my friends and family back home in southern California who brag about the weather and question my choice to live in what they call a ridiculously cold and unbearable place, that it’s only unbearable if you’re not prepared and dressed properly for the weather.

So today’s FREE PATTERN DOWNLOAD, an Ear Warmer Headband from Cindy Cummins’ Game Day, is both a look ahead to the coming fall and winter briskness and an homage to being prepared. I’m not quite ready for the full-on winter wool beanie and this stylish alternative (the pattern includes a clever hole for a ponytail), which uses fleece, is perfect for those chillier evening strolls through the park or sitting in the bleachers at your favorite baseball team’s postseason game.

Feel the need for more fleece?


Game Day includes more than 50 projects that use fleece–from blankets and scarves and chic arm warmers to drink cozies and even a pet bed! and features ways for you to showcase and celebrate your favorite sports team’s logos and colors. Game Day is also a guide to choosing the right fleece variety for your project and includes all sorts of tips on how to sew fleece. Fleece is arguably a super fabric; it’s available in a variety of weights, colors, and prints.

So… get it now…err…while it’s hot!

Game Day

Barnes & Noble

Check out our new September and October titles!






2 Sep

Happy Pub Day!

It’s nearly fall! (I know this because I’m currently sipping my first pumpkin spice latte of the year, despite the fact it’s 90 degrees outside.) And fall is the perfect time for ribbon-making, to prepare for things like Halloween costumes, holiday parties, Christmas gifts, and for festively adorning your grande pumpkin spice latte on your sweltering walk to work.

So it’s a good thing it’s finally pub day for Deanna Csomo McCool’s wonderful new book 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make: For Perfectly Wrapped Gifts, Gorgeous Hair Clips, Beautiful Corsages, and Decorative Fun!

This delightful collection of more than 50 decorative ribbon projects—some classic, some whimsical, some elegant—will prove irresistible for anyone with an interest in ribbon making. With many sizes, colors, and designs to choose from, you can craft a rosette or a bow as a charming addition to an outfit, a gift box, or even a bouquet of flowers.

The projects are grouped into four main chapters: a beautiful collection of hair accessories and jewelry; some eye-catching gift wrapping ideas and presentation boxes; a wide range of floral designs; and a sweet gallery showing additional uses for your new ribbon creations. dated v2_.indd

Each design features written instructions accompanied by clear step-by-step illustrations, and absolutely no experience is necessary: you will pick up all the expertise you need as you progress through the book. The author, mother of two daughters, began sewing bows so that her girls would feel like princesses. She designs sewing patterns and blogs about ribbon crafts, sewing, quilting and other fiber arts at

Buy your copy now!
Barnes & Noble

Check out our new September and October titles!




Tagged with: how to books, ribbon
19 Aug

How-To Tuesday: Reusable Produce Bag

Happy National Peach Month, Crafters!

Summer may be winding down, but there’s still time to enjoy all the delicious seasonal produce! August is National Peach Month, so now is the time to stock up on this favorite Southern fruit and try some new recipes. Whether you’re hitting the local farmer’s market or making a trip to the nearest grocery store, why not bring along your own reusable produce bag? This craft comes from Delia at Delia Creates, who shared this fun and simple way to reuse old T-Shirts to create your own produce bags.

Easy Knit Produce Bag Photo

Image from Delia Creates


As a lover of reusable products (and someone who hates the little plastic bags from the grocery store), this is a project I need to get started on before I buy my groceries over the weekend. And while I’m on this upcycling kick, I thought I’d share some other great ways to reuse old T-Shirts:

To put some whimsy in your life, try making these adorable T-Shirt Pom Poms by Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous.

tshirt pom poms

Image from Craftaholics Anonymous


In need of a new rug? Make your own colorful Braided T-Shirt Rug, à la Cintia at My Poppet.

braided tshirt rug

Image from My Poppet


For more decorative fun, Lisa at The Red Thread created these cute Coil Fabric Bowls.

theredthread_NeonCoilBowls pic

Image from The Red Thread


A great headband or fun bracelet can add the finishing touch to any outfit. Give this Braided Headband, posted by Alisa Burke on her personal blog, and this T-Shirt Bracelet, by Staci at Crafty Staci, a try.

braided headband

Image from Alisa Burke



Image from Crafty Staci

Who doesn’t love a cozy quilt? Make your own T-Shirt Quilt with this pattern by Jamie at C.R.A.F.T. Add some matching throw pillows, like these no-sew ones by Kristy at 3 Peppers, and you’ve got some free new bedding!


Image from C.R.A.F.T.



Image from 3 Peppers


Time to clean out your closets, crafters, and get started!


Check out our August and September titles:


Author of the Month

This month we sit down for a Q&A with expert sewing machine embroiderer Liz Keegan, author of The Sewing Machine Embroiderer's Bible. Liz launched, compiled, and edits Flair, the U.K.'s only machine embroidery magazine. She also teaches and lectures about machine embroidery. With expert advice about what to look for when buying a new machine and a troubleshooting section for solving common mistakes and problems, Liz's new book will help you get the most of out of your modern sewing machine.

The Sewing Machine Embroiderer's Bible

Project of the Month

Pencil Case

Happy September! It’s officially that time of the year again. It’s back-to-school week here in New York City and we’re reminiscing about all those ‘first days’ of school. A new year means all new supplies, clothes and accessories. So, our Project of the Month is in honor of those who want something different from their pencil cases. We pulled this Pencil Case pattern from Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo because it offers not one but two methods of making the case--one with a zipper and one with a spring clasp!

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