SMP Craft
23 Nov

Goodreads Giveaway: 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet

On Friday, we offered our free project download, The Sunflower Square Crochet Block, a beginner-friendly project from Betty Barnden’s 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet: Beautiful Patterns to Mix and Match for Afghans, Throws, Baby Blankets, and More. Blocks range from traditional blanket squares with petals and rosebuds to colorful polygons with three-dimensional flowers and leaves. Here are examples of other floral patterns found in her book:

Fall_WinterSpringGreenSummerPink_hexagonShamrocktriangle

We’re sure there’s something here to inspire every crochet fan–from beginner to well-seasoned. And, we’re running a Goodreads Giveaway so that you can enter for a chance to win one of 20 copies. See below for giveaway details, and enter before it closes on Thursday!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

75 Floral Blocks to Crochet by Betty Barnden

75 Floral Blocks to Crochet

by Betty Barnden

Giveaway ends November 27, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

If you don’t want to wait or want to give the gift of crocheting to a beloved crafter in your life, 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet can be ordered now at your favorite bookseller:

75FloralBlockstoCrochet

Amazon
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Walmart

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Tagged with: crochet, floral patterns, flowers, goodreads giveaway
18 Nov

How to Tuesday: Leaf Covered Candle Holders

I love candles. And mason jars. And holiday-themed decorations.  So these leaf covered candle holders are pretty much perfection to me. While mine will be part of my Thanksgiving table centerpiece next week, these cute holders can be displayed around my apartment all fall long. You can use fake or real leaves for this project.  Or you can use the same steps but with doilies or other semi-sheer materials to fit whichever holiday or activity (I’m looking at you…rustic chic weddings) that comes to mind. Even better, this is a great craft for kids as all it requires is some glue (if using a hot glue gun, please supervise).

Materials (*All found at Michaels)

  • Mason jars Glue – Mod Podge or hot glue gun
  • Leaves or material of your choice
  • Sponge brushCraft 1

1. Gather your leaves.  If using real leaves, go outside and grab a handful of the prettiest ones you can find. If using fake leaves, first clip them so that each leaf is separated. If you’re like me, sort those leaves into corresponding color, size,  and texture piles. Craft 2

2. Start gluing your leaves to the mason jar. I like having a bit of texture to the outside of the jar, so I didn’t glue each leaf completely flat. Continue to add leaves around the jar until you have the desired effect. Depending on the weight of your leaves,  you may need to use hot glue to secure them to the mason jar. Craft 3

3. Once you have all of your leaves attached, let the jar dry overnight. Craft 4

 

 

 

 

 

4. Once completely dry, pop a votive candle inside the mason jar, dim the lights, and enjoy the ambiance. Craft 5

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Tagged with: candles, crafty, holiday, holiday decorating, lighting, table setting, Thanksgiving, votive
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 Etsy.com 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.

RingFlowers

 

 

 

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.

AttachBurlapRuffleBurlapScrunchBurlapFinishedBurlap

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.

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

How-to Tuesday: Show and Sell Your Crafts!

I struggle to remember a time before Etsy and Artfire, where you can easily find handmade products online. Every time I’m buying someone a gift I always start looking online to see what one of a kind surprise I can find—and I’m never disappointed. If you prefer to see these beautifully made items up close and personal there are thousands of crafts fairs that take place across the country. Check out this picture of all the vendors at the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair!

MerchantList

For those of you who have a gift for making beautiful things—be it jewelry, bags or purses, scarves or hats, even furniture—it can be difficult to figure out how to stand out among all the crafters out there and successfully share your crafts to potential customers. Luckily, Torie Jayne has got your back. Torie has more than fifteen years of experience as a fashion designer working in New York and London, giving her a deep understanding of how to create, design, and develop strong brands that resonate with customers worldwide. Her passion for crafting and baking led her to start a blog as a creative outlet to share her numerous ideas and projects. Her blog has gained a large international audience who know her for her feminine, pretty, color palette-driven design style.

In How to Show & Sell Your Crafts, Torie guides soon-to-be artisans from the first step of finding the perfect workspace and making it your own, all the way to developing various social media platforms to market your products. With helpful tips dispersed throughout the book, Torie doesn’t leave anything out. For today’s How-to Tuesday I’m going to share some of her tips on building your very own brand.

First things first: don’t be afraid of how corporate “branding” sounds. Put simply, a brand is a promise to your customers. Once you decide what you want your customers to think of when they hear your name, you need to follow through. Logos and brand names aside, you are the most important representation of your brand. Your brand separates you from the pack so don’t shy away from what makes you and your crafts unique!

Once you have an idea for your brand develop it completely. No detail is too small. Everything goes into your brand: your logo, color palette, theme, even fonts you use! People will remember a cohesive brand so these small things matter. To help develop your brand, Torie recommends creating an inspiration board. The board is a place to put anything you think is part of your craft business. An inspirational quote, color swatches, pictures, anything can go on this board. Click here to see Torie’s inspiration board!

One way to show off your newly-developed brand is by creating labels for your homemade goods. Our guest blogger, Kim, showed us how to make our own personalized labels a few weeks ago. They’re very simple and go a long way toward achieving that cohesive and personal flair needed for a successful craft brand of your very own.

photo 2      photo 3

Check out How to Show & Sell Your Crafts for more tips on creating your very own brand to successfully sell your crafts. With support from Torie Jayne and all of us here at SMP Craft, what are you waiting for?

how to show and sell cover

Buy your copy today!
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Tagged with: books, Crafts, how to books, how-to-tuesdays, smpcraft, Social Media, Tips
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

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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