SMP Craft
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
13 Jun

10 Beer Bottle Crafts

Are you throwing or going to a barbecue this weekend? For 4th of July or before the end of the summer? Will there be beer?

Before you or your host toss those empty beer bottles and caps into the recycling bin, visualize making one or all of these 10 DIY projects that turn your empties (caps, too) into something really cool and useful. Remember Father’s Day is just around the corner… CHEERS!

1. SIX PACK OF SOLAR-POWERED “LIGHT” BEER: Popular Science’s Dave Prochnow




3. CANDLE HOLDER: Threadsence



BeercapCandles5. CLOCK: Apartment Therapy


6. BOTTLE CAP HOT PAD | TRIVET: My Amphetamines and My Purls


7. MODULAR SHELVING: Instructables Ten Green


8. BRACELET HOLDER: Gliter, Wits & Grits 




10. BOTTLE HERB GARDEN: Design Sponge


Tagged with: beer bottle crafts, candles, how to, how to make a clock, interior design, recycle, salt and pepper shakers, shelving, smpcraft, solar power, trivets, upcycle
14 Feb

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY: Nothing says “I love you” like crafts, cats, and classic rap.

Today’s guest post is written by St. Martin’s Press Assistant Editor, Caitlin Dareff.

In honor of Valentine’s Day and all those star-crossed lovers and friends out there, here’s a little story about showing love through cross stitch.

This one goes out to you, Linnie…

My best friend and soul sister, Linnie, recently moved to Oakland, putting thousands of miles between us, as well as temporarily between her and her three beloved cats and husband, who would be following her out there later in the year. I knew she was missing home and her cat-children, and that she and Mike would eventually have a California residence that needed to be decorated. So I decided that the only thing to do, as is often the case, is cross stitch.

Inspired by a Facebook post Linnie had shared weeks before her move (we Facebook stalk the ones we love, right?), I decided to stitch for her a cat-tastic take on the Wu Tang Clan song, “C.R.E.A.M” (“Cash Rules Everything Around Me”). Because, after all, nothing says “I love you” like crafts, cats, and classic rap. Upon further research, I discovered that I would not be the first person to cross stitch this ode to Wu Tang and cats, but I went with my own take on it.

I chose a combination of all caps block lettering and all caps cursive to provide a balance of hard and soft. As I always do when starting a new project, I mapped it out on graph paper beforehand to determine spacing. I waited until I had finished stitching the lettering to decide what kind of cat pattern would best complement it. In my experience, when cross stitching a simple cat pattern, orange tabby and black come out best, so for this project I went with the tabbies for a pop of color.

One week later and I was ready to send Linnie her first housewarming present for her first west coast home, stitched with love.



Check out our new February and March books!

3D_WindowTreat-100x1003D_Upholsterer-100x100 3D_100PinLoomSq-100x100


Tagged with: cats, Cross Stitch, crossstitch, love, music, rap, smpcraft, valentine's day, valentinesday, wu tang clan, wutangclan
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
12 Jan

Author of the Month: Marisa Edghill, author of Washi Style!

WELCOME, Marisa Edghill!

Marisa Edghill

Marisa Edghill

This month, we sit down with Marisa Edghill, craft designer, washi tape aficionado, and author of Washi Style!: Make it with paper tape. Marisa grew up in a house filled with glitter, pretty paper, and an inherent love of craft. Which is to say her love of all things handmade started early! Well-known for her washi tape creations, Marisa blogs about her crafty adventures online at


1. What’s your craft?
This is actually a tough one for me! I’m a craft dabbler–I love making (or at least trying to make) all sorts of things. That being said, I’m probably best known for paper craft–especially projects using washi tape and origami paper. Washi Tape Cuties New 2



2. What project would you consider an all-time best?
I’ve just wrapped up my 2014 creative project, so I’m feeling pretty pleased with it at the moment. The Kirigami Project was a year-long exploration in kirigami papercutting. I spent a great deal of time in 2014 surrounded by piles of paper cuttings and wouldn’t change a thing about that! As a bonus, I teamed up with a fantastic graphic designer, Geri Jewitt, and we released a new design weekly plus provided monthly printable templates.

kirigami glam 8

3. What project would you consider an all-time worst?
A sleeveless ribbed funnel neck sweater knit out of brown acrylic yarn. Without a pattern. So many poor choices there! I never actually wore it though, so I guess that’s a good thing!

4. What tool or material could you not live without?
Washi tape! I really do use it for everything whether it is a tape-based project, to mark a seam allowance on my sewing machine or to seal a package in the kitchen. I keep a roll (or 3) in my purse in case of tape emergencies. It’s definitely my favourite muliti-tasker. My sister summed it up the other day by saying “I don’t know what I did before washi tape came into my life.”jan15 tape combos 3

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. I love to see and discover new places–but I’m not a fan of the actual logistics of getting from point A to point B. How amazing would it be to start your day eating pineapple for breakfast in Hawaii with an ocean view, then wander the cobblestone streets of Florence, popping into a gallery or two (and a gelato shop or three), and still get to sleep in your own bed. Amazing!

Here are some other random things about me…

I was born in Barbados and raised in Canada. After university, I moved to Japan (on a bit of a whim) where I fell in love with the country (and the Brazilian boy I married on a humid Japanese summer day in a humid Japanese city hall). Now we live in an old house in a small town on the southern shores of Georgian Bay and dream that the snow drifts outside are really beach dunes. (Teleportation would be a great asset during the long Canadian winter!)

Follow Marisa Edghill at: | | | | | Instagram/omiyage_ca




Order Washi Style at your favorite bookseller!


Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

Check out our new January and February books!






Tagged with: Crafts, gift wrapping, how to, invitation, kirigami, Paper, paper crafts, washi

Author of the Month

This month, we sit down with Marisa Edghill, craft designer, washi tape aficionado, and author of Washi Style! Make it with paper tape. Marisa grew up in a house filled with glitter, pretty paper, and an inherent love of craft. Which is to say her love of all things handmade started early! Well-known for her washi tape creations, Marisa blogs about her crafty adventures online at
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Marisa Edghill author of Washi Style

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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