SMP Craft
5 Jan

Happy Pub Day: The Origami Garden, Made in Paracord! and 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet!

Happy New Year, indeed! We have not one, not two, but THREE amazing new craft books publishing today. If you’re like me, your New Year’s resolution (like every year’s) is to read more books and make more things. So I would definitely recommend buying all three of these very different books for your collection!

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First up is The Origami Garden: Amazing Flowers, Leaves, Bugs, and Other Backyard Critters by Ioana Stoian. This collection of 40 charming origami designs includes delightful flowers and foliage, cute animals, and other backyard critters that are sure to inspire you to get folding. Ideal for beginners and more experienced practitioners, each cleverly designed origami pattern is complete with detailed step-by-step artwork.

Learn how to fold traditional forms such as birds or butterflies, or try out some cute, contemporary designs such as a rabbit or a ladybug. Plus, there’s even 20 sheets of origami paper included, so you can get started right away!

Origami front coverBuy your copy today!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
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Indiebound
Powell’s Books

The next addition to your TBR pile is the ridiculously fun Made in Paracord: 25 Great Jewelry, Accessories, and Home Projects to Knot by Caitlin Wynne. If you haven’t heard of crafting with parachute cord before, prepare to have your mind blown with these 25 super-cute projects, all created in brightly colored paracord. There are no special skills required, and paracord is an easy, and easily available, material to work with, so you’ll be creating simple and stylish pieces in no time. You’ll find tons of accessories, including survival and other bracelets, key chains, bags, belts, and headbands, as well as homewares like wall hangings, hammocks, bowls and plates! I mean, just look at these beauties.

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Paracord cover

Buy your copy today! 

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

Last but certainly not least is the latest from crocheter extraordinaire Leonie Morgan: 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet: The Ultimate Mix-and-Match Patterns in Eye-Popping Colors. Hexagons 1This is a delightful collection of hexagons to crochet in bright and inspiring colorways. With 75 original designs to choose from, a further 50 vibrant color variations, and five eye-catching projects to try, there’s plenty here to spark the imagination. Complete with a wide variety of designs that range from simple to more advanced, each hexagon comes with a clear written pattern, an easy-to-follow chart, and a large photograph of the crocheted piece. Hexagon 2

Simply pick your favorite pattern and get crocheting, or mix and match the blocks to create your own unique project!

Hexagon cover

Buy your copy today!

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

 

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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 omiyageblogs.ca.

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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.

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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:

Omiyage.ca | Omiyageblogs.ca | Pinterest.com/Omiyageca | Facebook.com/Omiyage.ca | Twitter.com/MarisaEdghill | Instagram/omiyage_ca

 

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Order Washi Style at your favorite bookseller!

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

Check out our new January and February books!

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12 Aug

How-To Tuesday: Gift Card Holder

This How-to Tuesday is a guest post by one of our SMP Crafters! Michelle Cashman is a publicity assistant who has helped Karen on numerous How-to Tuesdays…take it away, Michelle!

Gift cards are lifesavers.  Sure, I always try to look for that perfect gift but sometimes if that alludes me due to time, funds, or a general feeling of “I just don’t know what to get them,” I never feel bad about purchasing a gift card for someone.  It always guarantees that they can get exactly what they want (just so long as they like the store you bought it from).

One thing I do hate about gift cards is the store-branded holders they come with.  I find them ugly and tacky. What if I didn’t want all the other guests knowing I only bought you a $10 Starbucks card for your birthday? So instead of using the designated holder, I whip up my own customized ones in a few minutes using adorable scrapbook paper. They are cheap to make and one piece of standard sized scrapbook paper can make several holders.  The instructions below fit a standard sized gift card.

Supplies
Scrapbook paper, preferably heavy-weight
Ruler
Scissors
Glue or double stick tape
Pencil
Clips (optional)
Stickers, glitter, decorative materials (optional)

1. Using the corner edge of your paper measure a rectangle that is 4 1/2 inches long x 3 1/2 inches wide. Then,  draw a line down the middle of your rectangle (this will be 2 1/4 inches from the outside edge).  You gift card should be able to fit inside of these two rectangles.

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2.  On the right side of the rectangle, draw a line 3/8 inches from the outside edge. Then draw another line 3/8 inches from the bottom edge of the right rectangle. These will form the tabs.

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3. Draw four angled lines on each end of the tabs you just created. You can erase any excess lines you have on the paper.

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4. Cut out the pattern. Be careful not to accidentally cut off the tabs.

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5. Score the paper on the remaining lines. One for each tab and one down the middle, making sure you don’t cut through the paper. (Note: if using a thinner weight paper, you may not have to score the paper as long as you can bend and fold it easily)

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6. Put a thin layer of glue on the outside of each tab.

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7. Fold the left side of the holder over, securing to the tabs.  If necessary, use clips to secure the back of the holder to the tabs while it dries.

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8. When the glue is dry, you can customize the card holder further with stickers, glitter, or whatever your crafty heart desires!

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Now your gift card says more than, “I didn’t have time to buy you an actual gift.”  It will say, “I got you this awesome gift card because you deserve to treat yo’self and because I love you, I took the time to make you the fabulous one-of-a-kind holder because that’s how special you are to me.”

Want to kick this up a notch? Here’s some other awesome DIY gift card tutorials courtesy of Buzzfeed!

Ready to take your gift card to the next level? Buy Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe and give it a go!

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Check out our August and September titles:

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1 Jul

Project of the Month: Pinwheel Bouquet

Happy July!

To us at SMP Craft, July means barbecues with friends, family picnics, and just enjoying the great outdoors. Of course, when eating outdoors don’t forget to spruce up that shabby picnic table. It just so happens we have the perfect table centerpiece for your outdoor dining: a pinwheel bouquet displayed in an outdoorsy-chic mason jar.

IMG_0929We found this craft on Tiny Painter and thought it was perfect for our project of the month. We made ours to decorate the office once we realized SMP Craft HQ was a bit unpatriotic. What better way to show USA pride for the 4th of July—and the World Cup!—than this lovely display of red, white, and blue? But these pinwheel bouquets can decorate for any occasion. Try some black with silver and gold accents for a graduation party or some nautical blues and yellows for an easy beach house decoration!

The pinwheels were pretty easy and fast to make. There were four of us and we made 8 pinwheels in under 30 minutes.

Supplies needed:
* Square sheets of paper (6 in. x 6 in. is ideal; pick the patterns to match your personality!)
* Scissors
* Hot glue gun (and additional glue sticks if needed)
* Buttons, coins, or any other decoration for the middle of the pinwheel
* Sticks (we used wood skewers)
* Mason jar
* Pebbles or sand (anything to put in the mason jar to hold the pinwheels up)

Instructions:

1. Cut the paper from the corner towards the center (stop approximately 1/2 inch from the center). Repeat for all 4 corners.

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2. Fold one side of one triangle to the center and glue it down. Repeat on all 4 triangles but make sure you’re using the same side for each.

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3. Pick a cute matching button or a coin – or anything else you can think of – and glue it to the center where the four “triangle” corners meet.

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4. Flip over your pinwheel and glue your stick to the back.

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5. Fill a mason jar with pebbles or sand and stick in the pinwheels. Voila! A beautiful and centerpiece for any occasion.

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*Note: These are not functional pinwheels; they are purely decoration.*

 

Check out our July and August titles:

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3 Jun

Project of the Month: Embossed Invitations

*Today we have a guest post from one of our colleagues here at St. Martin’s Press. Welcome Erin and thank you for sharing your project!*

It’s June, which means wedding season is in full swing and our mailboxes are full of thick, heavy envelopes from soon-to-be-wed couples.

Now, I love a beautiful, personalized wedding invitation as much as the next person. But when the time came to think about my own invitations, I realized I also really loved staying in budget and protecting my sanity. I wanted to send my friends and family something that reflected my fiancé and me, but I didn’t want to spend a small fortune or every spare minute to do it.

So I took what I knew about myself (I’m not a calligrapher, but I can print out color copies on nice paper like a pro) and researched some easy ways to make a simply-made invitation a specially-made one as well.

In the process, I fell in love with embossing. I love how it gives depth to what is otherwise just a flat piece of paper, and I love how difficult it is to mess up. It was fun, it was fool-proof, and it even ended up being one of my favorite parts about planning the wedding. Plus, I didn’t have to go into the red to do it. (Well, technically I went into the dark red, but that’s just because it was one of the colors I’d chosen for my wedding!)

First, I designed the components to my invitation and, after a few paper jams, printed them successfully on nice paper stock on a color copier.

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Then, I turned card-stock into a mini-folder and used an embosser to imprint it with my fiancé’s and my initials. I wanted to add some texture to the invitation pieces themselves, so I used the embosser on the back flap of the RSVP cards as well. You can get a custom embosser online for around $30, and with different interchangeable plates, you can use it for everything from a book stamp to a monogram. (Word to the wise: Keep the image or words you’re imprinting simple so the embossed message stays legible.)

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Finally, I finished with a raffia ribbon.

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And there you have it. Embossing is an easy and affordable way to put your own stamp on an invitation or a card.

 

 

Check out our June and July titles:

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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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