SMP Craft
31 Oct

Freebie Friday: Origami Jack-o’-lantern!

This Freebie Friday is brought to you by our wonderful marketing intern, Ana Perez!

Ready with only a square piece of paper, or in this case a t-shirt, and some tenacity leads to extraordinary things. Origami to Astonish and Amuse lives up to its name! Jeremy Shafer’s book is the perfect starting point for novices (like me) and origami masters alike. As a beginner, I started with the basic folding techniques illustrated in the book and gradually worked my way toward more challenging models. Aside from the paper crane, I tried my hand at one of the more unique models- the jack-o’-lantern. It bypasses paper and uses a t-shirt! It’s very simple and creates an instant celebratory feeling- perfect for fall. I accentuated the pumpkin shape by reinforcing the middle with cardboard and adding a more prominent stem. I also took some felt and just played with shapes to create a more complete look, but the basic pumpkin is just as fun! So on this Halloween Freebie Friday, I give you the treat of the jack-o’-lantern pattern from Origami to Astonish and Amuse.

pumpkin final

The book is really easy to understand, the illustrations are clear, and the results are so gratifying (a flapping paper crane is such a treat!) The book includes 89 original and classic models including:

A clapping and flapping T-Rex
A Swiss army knife complete with corkscrew
A wearable hat
And so many more!

Jeffery has been making origami pieces since he was ten, making him a great teacher and inspiration. His own style and personality comes out in his original designs, which is what makes them so unique and fun. This book is sure to surprise, and really furthers origami as an art form. Origami to Astonish and Amuse is divided into four sections: Origami Action, Symbols and Signs and Stunning Designs, Models from the Heart, and Origami for the Almost Deranged. Each section begins with models anyone can fold, and progresses to more complex projects. This is a perfect craft book for cold winter days spent indoors!

Try your hand at the jack-o’-lantern project and come back on Sunday to learn how to win your own copy of Origami to Astonish and Amuse.

Origami to Astonish and Amuse

Can’t wait? Buy your copy today!

Barnes & Noble

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Tagged with: books, Crafts, free, free project, smpcraft
30 Oct

Kwik Sew Harley Quinn Halloween Costume by Angela Craft

Today’s SMP Craft piece is written by special guest blogger Digital Marketing Manager Angela Craft AKA Batman villain Harley Quinn!

It’s been an exciting fall for comic book fans! Between new superhero shows like The Flash and Constantine and the huge Marvel Phase 3 announcements, there’s never been a better time to love comics and media. To celebrate the superhero spirit, as well as Halloween, this year I’m dressing up as Batman villain Harley Quinn, and making the costume from scratch.

Harley Quinn has many incarnations, so for this costume I drew my inspiration from the animated DC film Assault on Arkham, creating a Harley costume that wouldn’t leave me freezing in New York City in late October. The base costume is from two Kwik Sew patterns, meaning that from start to finish assembling the costume can be done in just a few hours. The top is Kwik Sew KP-3497 (view C), and the leggings are Kwik Sew KP-3636 (view A – stirrup pants may be passé but I want to keep the pants effortlessly tucked into my boots all night!). I used stretch jersey knit in burgundy and black, about a yard total of each.

Harley-Quin-ArkhamACHarleyQuinnHarley Quinn suppliesThe trickiest part of the costume is putting together the patchwork effect of the top. The trick is to sew your two colors of fabric together before making the first cut. Fold your fabric along the seam, and place the edge of the pattern on that fold just like you would normally. The leggings were easier, as each leg is one piece of fabric, so I could cut one of each color.

The final details are the collar and arm warmers. The collar is cut from a square of fabric as wide as my shoulders, with a triangle pattern cut into it. I’ve bulked it up a little bit with peel-and-stick felt. And while patterns for arm warmers exist, I simply sewed two tubes of fabric and cut holes for my thumbs.

Accessorize with a blonde pigtail wig (not pictured) and a maniacal smile!

Happy Geeky Halloween!

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Tagged with: batman, comics, DC Comics, halloween, harley quinn, Kwik Sew, superhero
17 Oct

Freebie Friday: Cobwebby Scarf


Did I scare you? No? Well, maybe the Internet isn’t the most effective place to give a Halloween startle. But you know what is truly scary? The fact that we’re giving away this FREE PROJECT and you haven’t started it yet!

scarf closeup This short yet luxurious cowl-like scarf can be made as cobwebby as you like and will still keep you toasty-warm when there’s a chill in the air. The swirling flowery design is the same on both sides, so no need to worry about a spooky breeze turning it inside out.

This project is one of many found in Carnival of Feltmaking: Easy Techniques and 26 Colorful Projects for You and Your Home by Gillian Harris, inspiring you to capture the carnival atmosphere of bright colors and cheerful patterns with stylish felted projects. Gillian draws on inspiration from the carnival atmosphere, featuring a diverse range of 26 brilliant accessories and home items, like:

  • a plush rose-trimmed evening bag
  • a luminous eight-panel lampshade in a medley of patterns, accented with felted flowers and ribbons
  • a heavenly nuno-felted heart-shaped cushion
  • a dazzling tropical-inspired knitting needle case
  • variegated vintage-style plant baskets decorated with either a floral or oceanic pattern
  • a sweet and adorable strawberry deerstalker hat for baby

Plus, Carnival of Feltmaking contains an overview of equipment and materials, and step-by-step breakdowns with close-up photographs of all the major techniques used in the book, including wet felting, 3D felting, needle felting, fine cobweb felting, and more.

The exuberant projects in this book showcase Gillian’s vibrant style and creativity, making this is an excellent resource for both newcomers and more-experienced fiber crafters looking for exciting inspiration.

And this isn’t the first time we’ve featured cool felting projects! Discover how to make Fabric Pumpkins , a Needle-Felted Pig, and a stylish Spectacle Glasses Case in case you missed these posts the first time around.

And be sure to check back here on Sunday, when we’ll be giving away 20 copies of Carnival of Feltmaking. Or if you just can’t wait, buy a copy now!

 Carnival of Felting

Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

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Tagged with: books, Colorwork, Crafts, felt, free project, how to books, project, scarf
14 Oct

How-to Tuesday: Fabric Pumpkins!

I’m not a fan of Halloween but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for pumpkins. Maybe it comes from watching Cinderella so many times as a little girl, or the numerous field trips to the pumpkin patch followed by roasting seeds, but the reappearance of pumpkins is a bright spot in October for me. So when I came across how to make fabric pumpkins on Me and My Shadow, I couldn’t resist the urge to make my very own pumpkin patch. Special thanks goes to Michelle Cashman, one of our guest posters who is a crafting guru.

- Orange material
- Green material
- Yellow/light orange embroidery floss
- Green embroidery floss
- Sewing needle (preferably a long one, size 16 or bigger)
- Polyester filling
- Scissors


step 2      step3     step 4

step 5     step 6     step 7

step 8     step 9      step 10

            finished one

Step 1. Cut your orange fabric into a rectangle. The size doesn’t matter as long as it is twice as long as it is wide. The pumpkins above were 8″x16″, 6″x12″,     and 4″x8″. We also tried out different material for each pumpkin. The biggest was made with orange felt, the polka dotted with cotton fabric, and the smallest came from t-shirt scraps. Once your material is cut, fold it in half making a square. The inside of your pumpkin is now showing.

Step 2. Using only three strands of the floss, take your yellow-orange floss and stitch the right sides of the square together.  This works best if you use a very long piece to keep using for the whole pumpkin

Step 3. After stitching the right sides together, move to the bottom of the square and sew a running stitch going all the way around the bottom. Once you go all the way around, pull the thread taut creating a pouch. Sew some back stitches to keep in place and turn the material right side out.

Step 4. Stuff the pouch with the polyester filling. This craft works best with stretchy material so don’t be afraid to really stuff those pumpkins!

Step 5. Just as before, sew a running stitch along the top of the pouch. Pull taut and sew a few stitches to keep in place. If you have a little  extra fabric and don’t want to stuff your pumpkin anymore, just tuck in the edges into the pouch and sew shut.

Step 6. Take the needle through the center and come out through the bottom. Repeat this step a few times to have the pumpkin take shape.

Step 7. This step requires a lot of thread or floss so I would check to to make sure you have enough to circle the pumpkin five or so times. Take the needle around the outside of the pumpkin and come back through the bottom giving the pumpkin one of its signature ridges. Repeat as many times as you’d like to finish the pumpkin shape. Knot and cut your floss.

Step 8. To make the stem: cut your green material into a small rectangle and roll it into a sausage shape. We used felt for our stems. Thread your needle with green floss (using 1 or 2 strands) and wrap it around the stem sporadically from top to bottom.

Step 9. Sew the stem to the top of the pumpkin. Make sure it’s secure before knotting and cutting.

This craft is doable despite your sewing experience. I have never sewed anything besides the occasional cross-stitch and with Michelle’s guidance was able to make my own pumpkin. When making your own pumpkin patch, experiment with different material and don’t be afraid to mix up the colors and patterns. The orange polka dotted pumpkin was our favorite!

all pumpkins


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Tagged with: Crafts, Fabric, halloween, how-to-tuesdays, pumpkins, Sewing, smpcraft
12 Oct

Goodreads Giveaway: Wild Things to Sew and Wear!

The thing about Sunday is it marks the end of the weekend. But it also means it’s time for SMP Craft’s weekly Goodreads Giveaway!

On Friday we shared with you the most adorable bunny coat from Molly Goodall’s Wild Things to Sew and Wear. Now is your chance to win your very own copy!

WILD THINGS COVEREveryone has a little wildness inside; now you can make these charming animal- inspired designs so your children can have the fun of wearing it proudly on the outside! This collection of 15 animal-themed garments and accessories includes easy-to-follow patterns to suit all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and in a range of sizes. These are simple, bold, and playful clothes that your child won’t want to take off. Learn how to create adorable wearables in the shape of woodland animals, wild animals, and farm animals, including a lion or fox coat, an owl hat, a leopard skirt, kitten mittens, and more. A comprehensive techniques section shows you how to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, transfer markings, and cut with confidence. The combination of classic tailoring techniques mixed with contemporary styling makes for timeless garments sure to be treasured for years. As an added bonus, a pattern CD is also included!

Don’t wait too long–the giveaway ends on Thursday!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wild Things to Sew and Wear by Molly Goodall

Wild Things to Sew and Wear

by Molly Goodall

Giveaway ends October 16, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Not the gambling type? Order your copy today!

Barnes & Noble

Check out our October and November titles!

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Tagged with: books, Crafts, giveaway, Goodreads, Sewing, smpcraft

Author of the Month

This month we sit down for a Q&A with Molly Goodall, artist, designer, creator of the unique children’s clothing brand, Little Goodall, and author of Wild Things to Sew and Wear. Originally from North Carolina, Molly earned her BFA in fashion design from Parsons School of Design in 1997, where she became focused on children’s wear. She then worked as a toy designer in New York before deciding "it would be more fun to be an artist" and moved to North Texas, where she, her husband, and son currently live.

Molly Goodall, author of Wild Things to Sew and Wear

Project of the Month

Little Monster

Perfect for any rambunctious little dude or dudette, this frighteningly cute hat, mittens, and booties set will have the neighbors forkin’ over the treats in no time. All measurements are given for sizes 6-12 months, 12-24 months, and 2-3 years. From Nuriya Khegay’s fun-packed Monster Knits for Little Monsters: 20 Super-Cute Animal-Themed Hat, Mitten, and Bootie Sets to Knit.

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