SMP Craft
3 Jul

11 DIY Outdoor Party Games

Got plans for 4th of July?

We heard this quite a bit this past week. And since we’re SMPCraft, as is often the case around a holiday, questions followed that mined us for solutions and ideas to decorate a deck, something to bring to a picnic in the park, give to a host throwing a barbecue, make for a beach party.

We offered some how-to tips and suggestions. But we also sent everyone off with a bigger idea: DIY OUTDOOR PARTY GAMES. Backyard, rooftop, park, beach games.

Several of these games can be put together in minutes with items most of us already have in our homes and enjoyed this weekend while others are a touch more involved. But remember, we have all summer to play!

1. DIY Giant Jenga Made By A Beautiful Mess

DIY Giant Jenga

1. DIY Giant Jenga

2. DIY Beer or Soda Bottle Toss Made By Landeelu: There’s nothing like that first sip of a hard earned bottle of beer!

DIY Beer or Soda Bottle Toss

2. DIY Beer or Soda Bottle Toss

3. DIY Ladder Money Bags Toss Made By Landeelu: Up the stakes. Make the levels monetary units of ridiculous sums. Top rung $1,000,000!

DIY Ladder Bean Bag Toss

3. DIY Ladder Bean Bag Toss

4. DIY Milk Crate Tug of War Via Women Daily Magazine: Try this on a full stomach. Not easy.

Tug of War

4. DIY Tug of War

5. DIY Recycled Bottle Bowling Made By Moonfrye: You can also use black or blue masking tape in place of the paint to cut the prep time in half!


5. DIY Recycled Bottle Bowling

6. DIY Tin Can Toss Via Inhabitots: Yes We Can recycle and repurpose!

6. DIY Tin Can Toss

7a. DIY Cornhole Toss Built By Prepare to get a workout playing this addicting game and waking up the next morning in need of an arm massage.

Corn Hole Toss

7a. DIY Cornhole Toss

7b. Here’s another version by Brit + Co that uses canvas and cardboard!

DIY canvas and cardboard Cornhole game

7b. DIY Cornhole Board Version 2

8. Giant Outdoor Chess Found on The DIY Network: We can see this game being a huge hit at a fancy dress-up Black & White themed summer cocktail party! Alternative to grass for those in regions experiencing drought: astroturf!

8. Giant Outdoor Chess

9. DIY Lawn Scrabble Made By W. O. R. D.


9. DIY Giant Lawn Scrabble

10. DIY Lawn Checkers Made By Lilyshop using paint lids!

DIY Lawn Checkers Made with Paint Lids

10. DIY Lawn Checkers

11. DIY Dunk Bucket Made By The Happy Housewife: Brilliant.


11. DIY Dunk Bucket

Happy 4th of July! Happy Summer!

Tagged with: 4th of July, backyard bowling, Bean toss, cornhole game, Crafts, DIY, DIY Backyard Games, holiday crafts, Independence day, outdoor games, recycled bottles, smpcraft
20 Jun

The Secret to Making Your Father’s Day Gift Super Special

This Father’s Day, probably the best gift to show Dad how special and loved he is, is to spend more time with him, participate in his hobbies, and help him with household chores and big projects since what dads really want is time and attention from the people they care most about.

For many of us, we can’t actually be physically present to make this happen. But we can still keep this in mind and show thoughtfulness and care in the gift we give.

Whether you’re donating money under his name to a cause he feels strongly about, or helping him manage that wild beard with a membership to the Dollar Shave Club, ordaining him Top Chef with a new Global or Henckels or Shun Chef Knife, or signing him up for the Custom Golf Clubs he’s been (not-so-secretly) coveting–what will REALLY show Dad how special he is?

What’s the secret?

Finish the gift with a follow-up that shows up a few days or even a week or two later, something personal and handmade that shows him that your appreciation for him goes beyond one national holiday.

This one simple act will bring a smile to his face and resonate long after Father’s Day. Why? He won’t know it’s coming. It’s unexpected. A wonderful surprise.

Admittedly, it’s not a secret really but a reminder to look beyond what’s immediately in front of us and find ways to act meaningfully.

You probably have some ideas of your own as a follow-up to your Father’s Day gift. But if you need a little guidance, we have a few suggestions. Just a few since the point is to really think about YOUR father.

Each of these takes less than an hour to accomplish:

Send him a handmade post card. Even if he lives next door. It can go with the theme of your gift, or be a picture of you and him together, or stenciled with his favorite saying or phrase. Don’t forget to convey the message: Wish you were here!

Here’s the postcard I made to send to my stepdad, a former pilot. He got me into flying and it’s a subject the two of us have killed considerable hours talking about.


Show ongoing support. Wish him luck on a project–career or personal–that he’s battling. Buy seven or 30 $1 scratch-off lottery tickets. Wrap each in a sticky note labeled for each day of the week. Instruct him to scratch one ticket every day. He’ll have at least one thing to look forward to every day, a fun moment of distraction. If you want, fold an origami crane, a symbol of luck and fortune, and send everything in a cool origami box. Click here for instructions on making the box. And if you’re feeling ambitious, click here for some instruction on making moveable origami.

Did you know you can make a custom iPhone Case in less than an hour? Acknowledge his hobbies or favorite pastimes or TV show, or use a funny phrase he’d appreciate like: Will Trade Wife for Whiskey to accessorize his phone. The Cheese Thief shows us how.



Crafty Morning had a terrific idea. Even if your dad doesn’t grill, this spatula with a personalized message using the phrase Flippin’ is simply brilliant as a summertime gift.


If you still need more ideas, check out our post from last week–10 Beer Bottle Crafts to make with empty beer bottles and caps.

But whatever you decide on, always keep in mind the age-old adage: It’s the thought that counts.

Happy Father’s Day (and after)!

Tagged with: Advice, books, Crafts, DIY, DIY gifts, Father's day, gift ideas, howtocraft, smpcraft
2 Jun

Happy Pub Day!

Hope you’ve got your passport handy, because we’re about to send you straight into a strange and magical world…of knitting! Today we are thrilled to publish Geek Knits: Over 30 Projects for Fantasy Fanatics, Science Fiction Fiends, and Knitting Nerds by Joan of Dark (aka Toni Carr). This fun and fashionable compendium of knitting patterns definitely leans toward the Dark Side, but who says the Dark Side can’t be chic and colorful, too?

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Neil Gaiman

With projects ranging from easy to advanced, there’s something here for everyone: sci-fi lovers, dice rollers, and fantasy enthusiasts alike. And if you’re less into the culture and just need something unique to hold your comic book collection, we’ve got that covered, too.

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Miracle Laurie

Inside you’ll find fun and funky projects modeled by some very familiar faces, including René Auberjonois of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and his Blue Box Scarf, John Carpenter and his Asylum Comic Book Cover, even George R. R. Martin with his trusty knitted Dire Wolf!

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

George R. R. Martin

Whether you consider yourself aligned with the Chaotic Good or take a more Neutral Evil approach to life (and knitting), Geek Knits has everything you need to dress the part. It’s chic to be geek!

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Author Joan of Dark

Snag your copy now!

Geek Knits_Final

Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

Tagged with: books, fantasy, geek, knitting, sci fi
18 Jan

Goodreads Giveaway: Floral Knits by Martin Storey

During winter on the east coast, admittedly, there are many mornings when I wish we could all run around perfectly warm and cozy wearing this all day:

snowsuit But, let’s face it, only babies and possibly Beyonce could get away with wearing this.

So today’s post and Goodreads Giveaway is an extension of our Freebie Friday post where we shared a FREE PATTERN DOWNLOAD so you can knit an all-season matching set of very feminine, stylish, and pretty tulip-inspired beret and fingerless gloves from Floral Knits: 25 Contemporary Flower-Inspired Designs by Martin Storey.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Floral Knits by Martin Storey

Floral Knits

by Martin Storey

Giveaway ends January 22, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Floral Knits is a brilliant collection of colorful nature-themed knit designs to dress your body AND decorate your home–from vests, pull-overs, scarves, shrugs, cardigans, purses, to coasters, blankets, pillows, as well as flower petal accessories. Enter now for a chance to win one of 20 copies. If you miss the deadline, which is this Thursday, January 22, Floral Knits is available at your favorite bookseller. FloralKnits


Barnes & Noble




Check out our new January and February books!


3D_75Lace-100x100 3D_Washi-100x100 3D_MoreMonster-100x1003D_Upholsterer-100x100 3D_100PinLoomSq-100x100

Tagged with: floral, flowers, how to knit, knit fashion, Knitters, knitting, Martin Storey, smpcraft, yarn
16 Jan

Freebie Friday: Tulip Beret (and fingerless gloves)

Matchy matchy! Back in May last year, we fell in love with Martin Storey’s Tulip Fingerless Gloves, one of 25 projects found in his delightful book, Floral Knits: 25 Contemporary Flower-Inspired Designs. We gave you the pattern as a free download. We realized then and still believe now that these brilliant fingerless gloves are an all-season accessory, just as perfectly at home accompanying a bright camisole on a Spring day as they are providing an extra (albeit stylish, feminine, and flattering) layer of warmth during frostier times–like now, on this exceptionally windy and nippitty NYC Friday night. So we’re offering the matching Tulip Beret as this FRIDAY’S FREE PATTERN DOWNLOAD.

TulipBeretFingerlessGlovesSet TulipBeret








And come back on Sunday–when we start our Sunday Goodreads Giveaway, and you can enter for a chance to win one of 20 copies of Floral Knits! If you simply can’t wait, it’s available now at your favorite bookseller:


Barnes & Noble

Check out our new January and February books!






Tagged with: beanies, beret, fingerless gloves, floral fashion, flowers, how to knit, how to make a beanie

CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Commuters Crafting

#CAUGHTCRAFTING: Friday, Manhattan, NYC F-Line Subway Knitter

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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