SMP Craft
16 Dec

How To Tuesday: Washi Tape Gift Bags Stuffed with Homemade Candied Pecans

How is it already December 16th? Literally, I’ve done ZERO shopping. Not for family, not for friends, certainly not for that office Secret Santa I’m a part of tomorrow. I’m doomed. If you’re like me, then we’re both in luck as I have the perfect, easy, done-in-1-hour homemade holiday treat that’s great to give as a gift, or to enjoy just for yourself.

Candied Pecans are a go-to gift for me. They’re easy to whip up and everyone loves them. Cinnamon-sugared baked pecans will leave your kitchen smelling like one of those nut stands on the corner of New York City streets (aka the best smell in the world.) Then, using Washi tape and parchment bags, you can create festive one-of-a-kind gift bags to share with coworkers, the mailman, or anyone you need that last minute gift for.

CoolingnutsWashi bags filled with pecans

First, start by preparing the Candied Pecans. Once your pecans are in the oven baking, you can start making your Washi tape gift bags.

Candied Pecans (Adapted from Sinful Southern Sweets)

Makes four 3 oz. servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Candied Pecans ingredients

  • 12 oz. Pecan halves
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • ½ Cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ Cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg white and water. Using a whisk, or electric mixer, beat the two together until light and frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the pecans to the egg mixtures, and stir to coat evenly. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined. Add the sugar mixture to the pecans, and stir to coat evenly. On a foil-lined baking sheet, spread the pecans in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour; stirring every 15 minutes. After an hour, the pecans should smell delicious and have a hardened candy shell surrounding them. While your pecans are baking, you can start making your Washi tape gift bags. Using strips of Washi tape, decorate the bags in any design or pattern you like. Once your bags are ready and the pecans have cooled to the touch, fill up the gift bags and seal with a piece of tape.

Eggwhites beat

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg white and water. Using a whisk, or electric mixer, beat the two together until light and frothy, about 2 minutes.

Nuts in bowl

2. Add the pecans to the egg mixtures, and stir to coat evenly.

Nuts brown sugar

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined.

foillined baking sheet

4. Add the sugar mixture to the pecans, and stir to coat evenly.

Finished

5. On a foil-lined baking sheet, spread the pecans in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour; stirring every 15 minutes.

Coolingnuts

6. After an hour, the pecans should smell delicious and have a hardened candy shell surrounding them.

While your pecans are baking, you can start making your Washi tape gift bags.

Washi Tape Gift Bags

  • Parchment bags — you can also use paper bags, mason jars, or any receptacle of your choosing.
  • Washi tape

Washi Tape bags

Washi Bags

Using strips of Washi tape, decorate the bags in any design or pattern you like.

Washi bags filled with pecans

Once your bags are ready and the pecans have cooled to the touch, fill up the gift bags and seal with a piece of tape.

This will be the easiest and tastiest DIY gift you’ll make all season!

For more recipes, make sure to check out St. Martin’s Kitchen on Facebook and Pinterest and for more Washi inspired crafts, pick up your copy of Washi Style! by Marisa Edghill, available January 13, 2015, wherever books are sold.

WashiStyle
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

New in December & January!

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Tagged with: candied nuts, candy, christmas, foodies, gifts, handmade, holiday crafts, holiday gifts, homemade, how to, Japan, nuts, pecans, washi
12 Dec

Freebie Friday: Macrame Nordic Snowflake Coasters and Striped Hotpad

Protect Thy… Tabletops! During this particularly social time for many people, when holiday parties are simply par for the course, whether you’re throwing a cocktail or dinner party or attending one or all of the above, we have a FREE PROJECT DOWNLOAD for the ultimate handmade gift to give yourself or to the host(ess): Stylish, functional, Nordic snowflake coasters and a striped kitchen hotpad–made by using the craft of knotting, also known as macrame.

Nordic Coaster Striped Hotpad

These projects are from Macrame Pattern Book by Marchen Art Studio, a creative group that supervises Marchen-Art Company in Japan, which designs leather and hemp cords accessory parts, and other craft items. This dream of a book (especially for a knotter like myself who finds the repetition cathartic) is an outstanding resource for both new and experienced knotters and includes over 70 knots and small repeat patterns plus 33 projects–ranging from simple jewelry pieces and accessories to more complicated projects such as net bags and ornate baskets.

NetbagFringebelts

So this holiday party season: To Knot or Knot to Knot? That… beloved Crafters, is the question!

Order your copy of Macrame Pattern Book now!

MacramePatternBook

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

New in December & January!

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Tagged with: coasters, hotpad, how to, macrame, nordicstyle, snowflakes, trivet
9 Dec

HOW TO TUESDAY: Drop Cloth Tablecloth

Cue the Christmas music! ‘Tis the season to give and here’s a really simple and easy, quick-to-make, personal present idea. I was scouring Pinterest, admit it, you do it as well – you’re probably doing it right now! – and I came across this drop cloth table cloth idea from Blue Cricket Design and I had to make one. All you need is a drop cloth, size of your choosing – preferably one that fits the table you’re making it for, and some sharpies. Our How-To today is probably my favorite one ever!

Step 1: Acquire a drop cloth the size of your table. Cut and hem, if needed.

Step 2 (optional): If you’re like me you’ll want to iron out any creases or wrinkles.

table-cloth-collage

Picture courtesy of Blue Cricket Design

Step 3: If you’re being brave and want to start work on the table cloth on the table itself, you’ll need to put down some newspapers to avoid the ink from seeping onto the table. I chickened out and did it on the floor.

Table Cloth Mitali

Step 4: Begin writing the words on the cloth. There’s no method to it but I like to start in the middle and fan out. It’d also be helpful to make a list beforehand of all the words that you’d like to write out.

Table Cloth 1

Step 5: Voila! A few hours later you’ll have a table cloth full of words and phrases that mean something to you.

Table cloth 2

Here are some of my favorites that I included above: I studied abroad in Florence, love Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, Barbie is throwback to my childhood obsession with collecting the dolls and who doesn’t love pizza? Can you spot some of them?

I took a moment to look over and check for spelling errors and the almost blunders I avoided while making it and realized how fun it had been. All the words now had more meaning once I started associating them with the making of  this table cloth. It’s something you can make with anyone, friend, coworker, sibling or parents!

Happy Holidays, friends! Let us know what you’re looking forward to most this season. And don’t forget to check back for more including our Freebie Friday this week!

New in December & January!

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Tagged with: Art, Crafts, DIY, how to, how-to-tuesdays, Pinterest, project, Sharpie, smp craft, table cloth
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
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our newest November title!

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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

Check out our newest November title!

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

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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