SMP Craft
8 Oct

Simple Sustainable Kitchen Crafts: Make a Wine Cork Trivet and a Monogrammed Kitchen Towel

There’s nothing like a legitimate reason, i.e., excuse, for the healthy number of bottles of wine passing through my apartment these past months: My mother’s birthday is in November. I’ve been doing this for her. For the trivet I’m making out of wine corks and a hose clamp to protect her tabletop from scalding pots and pans!

My mother’s a big recycler. She’ll appreciate both the gesture and the rationale behind the gift: saving money, making instead of buying, reuse, repurpose, and don’t waste.

9-inch Wine Cork Trivet: First, collect 50 to 60 natural wine bottle corks. Make sure to avoid synthetic corks; they’re not heat resistant. Purchase a stainless steel hose clamp from the hardware store or online. Hose clamps are adjustable and come in varying sizes–a pair of 12-inch diameter hose clamps can be purchased for under $15. Next, with a flathead screwdriver and a ruler, adjust your clamp to a 9-inch diameter.

Hose Clamp Wine Corks

Tridon Hose Clamp and Natural Wine Bottle Corks

Next, with the hose clamp laying flat, place the corks, starting from the outer rim and working your way in toward the center. You’ll need to use some elbow grease when arranging the corks so that they fit snuggly. Use a book to flatten the corks. Tighten the clamp further. And finally, cut the excess metal.

wine cork hot pot trivet

Natural wine corks and a hose clamp = Wine Cork Trivet!

To make the monogrammed kitchen towel + gift wrapper, I used scrap white cotton cloth and two iron-ons–a simple flower and my mother’s initial “A” from the book SUKI Iron-Ons by Darrell Gibbs and Julia Gibbs. Alternatively, you can also handwrite an initial or hand draw a flower or design on the towel using a colored Sharpie Pen!

suki iron ons

SUKI Iron-Ons by Darrell Gibbs and Julia Gibbs


Iron-On Flower from SUKI

TA-DA!  Here’s the Wine Cork Trivet all wrapped up in a reusable monogrammed kitchen towel wrapper and ready to go!

Iron-on kitchen napkin - SUKI

Iron-on Monogrammed Kitchen Towel Gift Wrapper


Tagged with: DIY gifts, wine corks
5 Aug

10 DIY Sharpies Projects: It’s So Easy to Be Crafty, Stylish, and Thrifty with Sharpies!

Money doesn’t grow on trees. Waste not, want not. Life is messy. Accidents happen. Time takes its toll. Reuse and recycle. Make beautiful things.

Whether you agree with any or all of these age-old adages and modern prescriptions, we heartily believe you’ll want to try one or all of these small, gratifyingly simple and stylish DIY fixes and tricks to save time, money, and even our lovely planet with the classic permanent marker: Sharpies!


1. DIY Sharpie Ombre Napkins via Kirtsy

DIY project Sharpie Pen Ombre Napkins

DIY Sharpie Ombre Napkins

2. DIY Sharpie Ombre Bedding via HouseandHome

DIY Projects with Sharpie Pens

DIY Ombre Bedding via HouseandHome

3. DIY Sharpie Shibori-inspired throw pillows via HotforHouses

DIY Sharpie Throw pillows Japanese

DIY Shibori-inspired Sharpie throw pillows via HotforHouses

4. Another option for a DIY Sharpie Pillow via Hometalk’s Sabine Schmidt


DIY Sharpie Pillow via Hometalk’s Sabine Schmidt

5. DIY Sharpie Tabletop via Hometalk’s Janel Hutton

Sharpie Table Top - IKEA hack

DIY Sharpie Table Top

6. DIY Sharpie Lampshade via ALittleGlassBox


DIY Sharpie Lampshade via aLittleGlassBox

7. No-Sew Pillow Covers decorated with Sharpies via JustaGirlandHerBlog


No-Sew Pillow Covers decorated with Sharpies via JustaGirlandHerBlog


We’re huge fans of pampering ourselves–splurging once in a while makes for a balanced life. But sometimes we go a little overboard… or maybe we’re saving up for a big vacation. Or that wedding for which you’re a bridesmaid or maid of honor creeps up on you… Times like these, Sharpies to the rescue!

8. DIY Superfine Sharpie Nail Art via TheBeautyDepartment

DIY Sharpie nail designs and art

DIY Superfine Sharpie Manicure

9. DIY Sharpie Galaxy print canvas shoes via Timeforteabeads

DIY Sharpie Galaxy canvas shoes via Timeforteabeads

DIY Sharpie Galaxy canvas shoes via Timeforteabeads

10. And last but never least…. Lord of the Rings Guitar decorated with Sharpies!!! Get inspired or commission the artist Vivian Xiao to deck out your instrument! via technabob


Lord of the Rings Guitar decorated with Sharpie permanent marker, artwork by Vivian Xiao


Tagged with: budget crafts, diycrafts, Fashion, home decor, homemade, ombre, permanent markers, sharpie markers, sharpie pens, sharpies, smp craft, smpcraft
17 Nov

Burlap Wreath by Heather Moscola

Today’s SMP Craft piece is written by Heather Moscola, executive assistant at Macmillan by day, closeted DIY-extraordinaire by night. She’s been married for five years with a partner she describes as “the most patient, loving, décor oblivious (thank gosh!!) man ever, Joe.” HeatherMoscolaThey share their home with two furry friends–Maxwell, a feisty little Maltese Chihuahua mix, and Milo, a curious Border Collie with a hint of Corgi.

PoochiesI’ve always loved the smell of burlap. Let’s blame it on a burlap Christmas sack as I had a child that was always full of little gifts from Santa on Christmas morning. Anyways, when burlap wreaths started to become a thing, I knew I had to have one. (We won’t discuss the fact that I still had a grapevine wreath sporting silk tulips in bright pinks and lush purples on the front door; or the fact that it had hung there for the last … 5 months). And so began my search.

burlapwreatheWell, let me tell you, there are some GORGEOUS wreaths out there. But, unfortunately, the majority of them have some not so stellar prices. So I sat back for a minute and said, “What if I just make my own?” I could completely customize it and maybe even switch it up for each season. So I looked up a few tutorials, headed to the craft store for some supplies and then got down to work.





You will need a wire wreath form, burlap ribbon or a sheet of burlap cut into 4” strips, floral wire, wire cutters, and whatever seasonal decorations you love. I made my wreath for fall, so I grabbed a bunch of burgundy, orange and yellow silk flowers. Start by attaching the burlap to the innermost ring of the wreath with the wire. Next, push loops of burlap through each of the wire rings from behind.


Then twist the burlap and scrunch it together to make it look ruffle-y and full. Repeat these steps all the way around until the wire form is full. Use the floral wire again to attach the end of the burlap to the form.

Now comes the real fun part – decorating it. Since I bought flowers, they all had long stems which I was able to just poke through the burlap and weave around the wire form in the back. If you’re using something smaller, i.e., Christmas balls or pinecones, use the floral wire to attach them to the wire form.

To hang the wreath, you can use a ribbon, or just place the wire form on a hook. Don’t forget, if you grow tired of the decorations, or just want to swap them out for the change of season, it’s easy to remove them and replace with something new.

ArrangingFor more Heather Moscola crafts, DIY tips and decorating mishaps, check out her blog SunsetHillCottage.

Check out our newest November title!

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Tagged with: burlap, DIY, holiday, holiday decorating, Thanksgiving, wreath
14 Nov

Freebie Friday: Reversible Tote Bag

My mood, like New York weather in November, can change on a dime. So how am I supposed to choose a single pattern for my everyday bag? One day I may be feeling gingham, and the next, classic Victorian. One day black, next day plaid. Heck–I may not even wait a day to change my mind. That’s the level of volatility we’re talking about, people.

So you can imagine my elation! Followed by incredulity! Followed by elation again! after seeing this week’s FREE PROJECT: a reversible tote bag that can be designed using two totally contrasting patterns to suit my “flexible” personality. tote freebie 2All you need are two different cotton fabrics, two yards of fusible hemming web, and a spool of thread. The drop-in construction and hidden seams make this tote bag truly reversible, just like your changing mind (hey–it’s our prerogative!).

tote freebie 1This is just one of 30 tote-ally fun projects in the new book Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 Quick and Easy Bags to Make for All Occasions by Helen Angharad Henley, who also happens to be our Author of the Month. This colorful book, which includes a CD of full-size patterns,  guides you through all the possible incarnations of the tote bag, from children’s bags and simple grocery totes to stylish shoulder bags in contemporary fabrics, with patterns ranging from the fun to the functional.

Buy a copy today, and be sure to check back here on Sunday for our Goodreads giveaway.

Barnes & Noble

Check out our newest November title!

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Tagged with: bags, books, free project, patterns, reversible, Sewing, smpcraft
7 Nov

Author of the Month: Helen Angharad Henley, author of Tote-ally Amazing Bags

WELCOME, Helen Angharad Henley!


Helen Angharad Henley

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 and sells her bags online at angharad handmade. herringbone tweed clutch bag_small1. What’s your craft?
I am a compulsive stitcher, and enjoy all kinds of needlework from bag making to quilting; I’m never without a project or three on the go!

finished scrap quilt_smalltweed bag_small

2. What project would you consider an all-time best?
I’m quite fickle when it comes to favourites–one day it might be a herringbone tweed bag and the next a hand-quilted scrap quilt. For me the pleasure is all in the finishing touches, whether it be a pretty row of Liberty tana lawn covered buttons, or a neat line of topstitching.

3. What project would you consider an all-time worst?
I’ve had some cracking craft-fails over the years, but I know my husband would vote for the lederhosen I made for him out of some old 70s curtains when we were students. He was forced to wear them through central London on the way to a fancy dress Sound of Music sing-along with friends, and I don’t think he’s ever quite recovered from the experience!

purple organiser_small4. What tool or material could you not live without?
I couldn’t be without my rotary cutter, rulers and mat. I find that cutting out is the most tedious part of a project as I’m generally itching to get needle and thread to fabric, so anything which can speed up the process, and introduce a bit more accuracy to boot, is a winner in my book.

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I’d love to have the power to accomplish several tasks at once – that way I could be stitching up a bag or two whilst simultaneously helping with the children’s homework and making a cup of tea.

sausage dog coin purse_smallChristmas stockings_small

Follow Helen’s stitching adventures on her blog,

Happy stitching!

 Tote-ally Amazing Bags includes a wide variety of 30 bag designs and full-sized patterns and instructions, guiding beginners and intermediate sewers through all the possible incarnations of the tote bag. Available now at your favorite bookseller:

Barnes & Noble

Check out our new title in November!

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Tagged with: Fashion, handbags, purses, Sewing, stitching, style

CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Commuters Crafting

#CAUGHTCRAFTING: Thursday, Brooklyn, B62 Bus to Long Island City, Queens: Crocheter. She’s crocheting a baby blanket.

doilies and coasters

Your little monster will be the envy of the bus stop with this Project of the Month: a little lamb hat and neck ruff with matching legwarmers and mittens from More Monster Knits for Little Monsters 20 Super-Cute Animal-Themed Hat and Mitten Sets to Knit.In a stylish cream color (not as white as snow) people will be asking, Mary who?

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