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Leisure Arts Blog

  • Spring Blooms Coffee Filter Flowers

    Dying and making coffee filter flowers was so much fun as an indoor activity when the weather outside was a bit uncooperative. But it is spring, right? That means a lot of changeable forecasts that may alter family play time. So gather a few supplies and have fun indoors as this activity spaces out over a few hours to a couple of days depending on the volume of flowers you want to cultivate!

    I was reminiscing about my coloring from 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers, when I decided to jump onto Pinterest to see what was popular using such search words as "flower" and "color".

    Spring inspiration, item 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers by Leisure Arts. Spring inspiration, item 6806 - Art of Coloring Flowers by Leisure Arts.

    My Pinterest search lead me to the "coloring [or dying] of coffee filter flowers".  Making coffee filter flowers has remained very popular so I started to investigate further. When I saw a post on Poppies by Reality Daydream, I knew I had found my jumping off point into the wonderful world of dying and making coffee filter flowers!

    Close-up of a Poppy; a coffee filter flower. Close-up of a Poppy; a coffee filter flower.

    There are many methods and supplies for dying and making coffee filter flowers. I gathered my basket coffee filters and food coloring to dye them. To add variety to my flowers, I wanted to cut shapes from some of the coffee filters. I again relied on Pinterest to assist me;  this Pin shows simple shapes.

    Fold several basket coffee filters and cut shapes before dying. Cut different shapes to make a varied floral arrangement. Fold several basket coffee filters and cut shapes before dying. Cut different shapes to make a varied floral arrangement.

    With shapes in mind, next I needed to get my dyes ready. I relied on food coloring from the pantry. As seen here, my technique was simple; line up plastic containers of water with various dye colors. The number of drops of dye, the size container and amount of water, and the length of time the coffee filters sat in the dye are all contributing factors into the resulting color. One important note to make: the dye colors appear darker in the water, so as your coffee filters dry the shades appear lighter.

    Food coloring was the dye of my choice. I used assorted "traditional" and neon colors. Food coloring was the dye of my choice. I used assorted "traditional" and neon colors.

    I folded and cut three coffee filters at a time. I let each folded bunch sit in dye from 30 minutes to 8 hours. After removing each bunch from dye, I opened and placed each bunch on cookie racks placed inside an inverted box lid lined with waxed paper. I did not try separating each wet layer at this time. Coffee filters take forever to dry on their own! So my preferred method of drying was to place the inverted box lid (with wet flowers on cookie racks) under a ceiling fan! TIP: You may have to place another cookie rack over the inverted box lid to prevent any coffee filter flowers from flying around the room as each wet flower layer dries!

    Two different shapes just removed from food coloring dye. I opened each folded stack of three and placed on cookie racks. Two different shapes just removed from food coloring dye. I opened each folded stack of three and placed on cookie racks.

    I kept experimenting with multiple colors and shapes. Here's my finished variety of dyed coffee filters at the end of the weekend.

    Many shapes and colors later - voila! Now I have choices from which to begin. Many shapes and colors later - voila! Now I have choices from which to begin.

    I reviewed my Pinterest pin which led me to the post on Poppies to prepare both the center and the stem for each flower.  Since I am not a seamstress, I had no exciting fabric to use as the Poppies' centers, so I relied on felt. I glued the felt to some cardstock to give the center a bit more strength.

    Felt glued onto cardstock to be used as the center of some flowers. Felt glued onto cardstock to be used as the center of some flowers.

    To create the Poppies as described in the Pin, several layers of coffee filters would be stacked and glued one on top of another. But I wanted to insert a stem through the bottom coffee filter layer, not glue the wire to the outside of all of the coffee filters. I decided to insert floral wire through the bottom coffee filter layer and added an extra piece of plain cardstock for support. This bottom layer also hides the wire and glue as you stack the other layers on top of it.

    Floral Stem Wire (20 gauge) inserted through coffee filter and cardstock circle; hot glue melted over both. Floral Stem Wire (20 gauge) inserted through coffee filter and cardstock circle; hot glue melted over both.

    I noticed that I was drawn to the look of flowers that resemble both Peonies and Roses. This gathering of pale colored flowers was so inspiring, I wanted to try her technique. One drawback for me at this time was that I didn't want to use my flowers as a centerpiece, or glued to a wreath or for the underneath of each flower to be seen. Let me know if you think of a good technique to use to finish the back of these flowers so that the pinched masking taped center is hidden.

    With all of the above in mind, I decided to insert wire for stems into my other floral creations, too. I held a pipe cleaner with the 20 gauge floral stem wire to give my stem extra thickness before wrapping with floral tape.

    Day Lily-like flower. Curled pipe cleaner connected to 20 gauge floral stem wire; lighter-weight 26 gauge floral wire wrapped around base of flower. Day Lily-like flower. Curled pipe cleaner connected to 20 gauge floral stem wire; lighter-weight 26 gauge floral wire wrapped around base of flower.

    In addition to the Poppies I made, the other varieties of coffee filter flowers included a Day Lily, a Peony and a Shasta Daisy.

    Day Lily and Peony look perky in a decorative glass milk bottle (item #47918 by Leisure Arts). Day Lily and Peony look perky in a decorative glass milk bottle (item #47918 by Leisure Arts).
    Pretty yellow Shasta Daisy shows off its beauty simply placed in a decorative glass milk bottle (item #47918 by Leisure Arts). Pretty yellow Shasta Daisy shows off its beauty simply placed in a decorative glass milk bottle (item #47918 by Leisure Arts).

    I gathered all of my coffee filter flowers into a larger vase and placed on my desk. I wanted to enjoy the colors of spring everyday in the office; pollen-free and no watering necessary!

    A purple glass vase is perfect for spring and showcasing my floral bouquet; from left to right, see a Day Lily, Poppy, Shasta Daisy and Peony. A purple glass vase is perfect for spring and showcasing my floral bouquet; from left to right, see a Day Lily, Poppy, Shasta Daisy and Peony.

    Spring into something fun and share your love of color!

    Martha

     

  • Vintage Adult Coloring Book Clip Magnets

    A themed coloring book magnet became my gift to those who helped me for the past two years. As a member of P.E.O., I completed a two-year term as a local chapter President. P.E.O. is an international women's organization supporting the education of women. I wanted to give the women who served as my officers a remembrance gift as a thank you for their time. 

    I decided to make a small remembrance gift using a coloring book page. P.E.O. has the Marguerite Daisy as one of its icons. I knew I found the right design when I saw the daisies in 7041 - Art of Coloring Vintage Collection by Leisure Arts.

    A daisy repeat pattern from Leisure Arts #7041 - Art of Coloring Vintage Collection. A daisy repeat pattern from Leisure Arts #7041 - Art of Coloring Vintage Collection.

    I wanted a playful look to the daisies as if one was running through a field of flowers. I used splashes of color with markers, with added blotches of white soft pastel chalk. Did you know there are many hues of white in a pastel chalk collection? I chose one that was not too gray, and not too creamy in hue.

    During last fall, I made a few magnets using both mini stretched canvases and board panels, you can read my earlier post here. I wanted a variation of this theme by including a clothespin to make this project a clip magnet. With this goal in mind, I purchased a pack of 2" canvas board panels. The board panels provide a solid flat back onto which I could securely glue both a clothespin and magnet.

    The coloring book page was "loosely" colored with markers and a soft white chalk pastel. The yellow squares are painted 2" canvas panels. The coloring book page was "loosely" colored with markers and a soft white chalk pastel. The yellow squares are painted 2" canvas panels.

    I wanted to determine how much of the colored daisy page I would use decorating eight board panels. For an easy visual determination, I placed the painted board panels on top of my colored page. That's when I decided to turn the canvases so that instead of presenting as a square, each would become a diamond. For the clip, I would glue a 1.5" clothespin on the back of each panel with each clothespin's opening facing down.

    The daisy page was cut into 2" sections. The design was placed "en pointe". Glued onto the backside of each canvas panel, was a painted clothespin and magnet. The daisy page was cut into 2" sections. The design was placed "en pointe". Glued onto the backside of each canvas panel, was a painted clothespin and magnet.

    Thank goodness for Mod Podge® Gloss sealer! A wonderful -- and easy -- method of sealing a project on all sides. I definitely wanted a glossy sheen for these flowers! I added a date on the back and was ready to wrap!

    Here are several examples after Mod Podge® Gloss Sealer was applied. Here are several examples after Mod Podge® Gloss Sealer was applied.

    I decided to put each magnet in a small box; I didn't want the clothespin or panel board corners to break through a paper gift bag. Instead of wrapping each box in gift wrap, I decorated each white box lid with another daisy and a little glitz. The little glitz ribbon I found as I was rushing through my local Dollar Tree store; here is the ribbon I used on their website.

    Gift boxes were decorated with Diamond Wrap Ribbon and a daisy; both were purchased at a local Dollar Tree store. Gift boxes were decorated with Diamond Wrap Ribbon and a daisy; both were purchased at a local Dollar Tree store.

    These coloring book clip magnets were a perfect expression of my love of coloring and appreciation to the women in P.E.O. who assisted me during the last two years. It was a great way to share myself and say thank you as part of this remembrance gift keepsake. Another organization for which this daisy gift could be used is the Girl Scouts of  the United States of America. The daisy-themed project would be great to give the leaders or parents of any Daisy Girl Scout troop! Because of their age, the Daisy Girl Scouts would need older girl or adult help making the final project, but what a delight the leaders and/or parents would get when they received such a memorable gift!

    Enjoy all that you do; the resulting gift will show the care that you share!

    Martha

  • Wood Decor: Plates, Birds & Paint

    Aren't we ready for spring? Let's make a new wood decor project for our homes using paint and birds as we clean out our nests from the winter blues!  Since March is National Craft Month, I am also trying something new with my wood piece: decoupage with a crackling effect!

    When I think of spring, I think of birds building their nests as one reminder that longer days and warmer sunshine are closer than we think. I put my hands on the book I was ready to use, Birds and Butterflies Decorator Collection (Leisure Arts #7066).

    Beautiful vintage prints are included in this book with nature as its subject matter (Leisure Arts #7066 - Birds and Butterflies Decorator Collection). Beautiful vintage prints are included in this book with nature as its subject matter (Leisure Arts #7066 - Birds and Butterflies Decorator Collection).

    In addition to using spring as my theme for my new project, I also wanted to incorporate the use of wood. Haven't you noticed how popular the use of wood has become again? Just search for ideas or walk through craft stores to find wood pallet projects, wood signs, wood initials, and wood tree crafts.

    I already had a 14" unfinished wooden plate that I could use, but I also wanted something a bit more non-traditional. I found the slight difference I was looking for with this natural-looking piece of wood from Amazon; it was advertised as a tree bark footed server. It was an authentic slice of tree repurposed as a kitchen item. Well, it seemed to be the perfect solution for me; I purchased it for this project!

    This cross-section is a beautiful slice of a tree found on Amazon for my project. It is described as a footed tree bark server. This cross-section is a beautiful slice of a tree found on Amazon for my project. It is described as a footed tree bark server.

    With my Birds and Butterflies leaflet in hand, I made a list of effect(s) I wanted my projects to have along with the required supplies. There's a great chart within the book that outlines what you'll need for each of the photographed projects shown in the leaflet.

    For both my wood plate and bark server, the first step was to sand each using both medium-grit and fine-grit sandpaper.

    A 14" wooden plate sanded twice and wiped clean with a dry tack cloth. A 14" wooden plate sanded twice and wiped clean with a dry tack cloth.

    For wooden surfaces, a primer was needed to be applied before anything else, followed by another round of sanding. After wiping away the dust once again, I applied a base coat.

    I masked the outer edge with plastic so that the tree bark would not get Primer on it when applied. Then, a first coat of base coat acrylic paint was applied. I masked the outer edge with plastic so when Primer was applied, it would not get on the tree bark. Then, a first coat of base coat acrylic paint was applied.

    After the turquoise paint was applied near the center of the bark server, I painted the surface with a spring green color. I didn't know if the darker turquoise area would be noticeable underneath the green, or, through how many layers the crackling effect would appear. Here's a close-up of the crackling effect.

    Green acrylic paint was applied over the dark turquoise as my base coat(s). You can see the green between the cracks. Green acrylic paint was applied over the dark turquoise as my base coat(s). You can see the green between the cracks.
    To create the cracked effect, crackle medium was applied over the base coat(s). Paint was applied over the crackle medium rendering the cracks. Finally a glazing mixture was applied over the crackle medium. To create the cracked effect, crackle medium was applied over the base coat(s). Paint was applied over the crackle medium rendering the cracks. Finally a glazing mixture was applied over the crackle medium.

    The wooden plate had its rim painted yellow with its center an antique white. Then a darker green was used in preparation for the future inset bird nest image to be decoupaged in the plate's center.

    The 14" wooden plate had the same procedures done to it as described for the server. Except, to add an additional masked look to the paint on the plate's rim, I used a dry brush to apply a very light layer of paint over the cracked paint. The 14" wooden plate had the same procedures done to it as described for the bark server with one exception.. I added an additional masked look to the paint on the plate's rim, by using a dry brush to apply a very light layer of paint over the cracked paint.

    Okay, so far so good but how to make this plate's crackling effect and use of the print images different from the bark server project? Below you'll see the completed steps that I had so far; I needed to pause with this project to consider my next step.

    One image for the wooden plate. What else can I do to give it even more dimension that just the crackling effect? One image for the wooden plate. What else can I do to give it even more dimension than just the crackling effect?

    Moving right along with the bark server, I needed to decide on the print images to use and their placement. I cut out many images from the book and started positioning them on the bark server without gluing until I decided on a final composition. I think the below placement looked like a winner!

    Deciding what print images to use on which wood pieces. I'm glad I've cut several from the leaflet; now I can reposition to my heart's content! Deciding what print images to use and their placement on the bark server. I'm glad I've cut several from the leaflet; now I can reposition to my heart's content!

    As I reread the crackling steps in the Birds and Butterflies leaflet, I noticed a sentence outlining how to create a "stained" topcoat effect. Maybe I would try that along with gluing reeds and sprigs of shrubbery around the plate's rim; that would create the effect of peering in on the nest and its inhabitants while in its natural environment!

    Maybe I'll try the "stained"topcoat effect as described in the leaflet 7066 - Birds and Butterflies Decorator Collection. Then I'll start experimenting with placing reeds and springs of shrubbery to the plate's rim for an additional dimensional effect. Maybe I'll try the "stained" topcoat effect as described in the leaflet 7066 - Birds and Butterflies Decorator Collection. Then I'll start experimenting with placing reeds and sprigs of shrubbery to the plate's rim for an additional dimensional effect.

    Here are my final two wood projects... I am pleased with the results. There are multiple steps to be coordinated with the effects and/or paint techniques you plan on trying. So be careful that you've outlined the steps you need to take and supplies you need to have on hand!

    Here's the finished wooden server that won't be used for food any longer. It is now a display piece, and I will happily display it in honor of spring! Here's the finished wooden bark server. It won't be used for food in my household; it is now a display piece! I will happily display the bark server in honor of spring!
    The final plate decorated to give the viewer the effect of peering through the reeds only to discover a warbler's nest. What a great present this would make for any bird lover! The final wooden plate decorated to give the viewer the effect of peering through the reeds only to discover a warbler's nest. What a great present this would make for any bird lover!

    There are multiple steps with each of these projects, but they are not difficult. You must make sure you follow the manufacturers' directions on each of the supplies that you purchase for the effect you desire to create on your project(s).

    Enjoy your new discoveries both in nature and in art; happy National Craft Month!

    Martha

     

  • Dress Up Your Sweet Treats This Valentine's Day!

    Hearts, flowers, and candy galore usually define Valentine's Day. Make your celebration even more heartfelt by including thoughtful special gift wraps or decorative embellishments as additions to your gifts and sweets.

    My idea was simple enough; I wanted to make some animal cut-outs using pages from my coloring book stash. Then I got serious when I saw these super-cute animal shapes by Lia Griffith and just had to do them for Valentine's Day.

    These animal templates for DIY Candy Huggers by Lia Griffith found on Pinterest served as my inspiration. These animal templates for DIY Candy Huggers by Lia Griffith found on Pinterest served as my inspiration.

    My first step was to choose one book from my coloring book collection. I chose Leisure Arts' item #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature after I saw several pages with heart-shapes incorporated into the designs. Plus, I wanted nature-themed pages for my animals.

    A wonderful collection of imaginary and realistic flora can be found in Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. A wonderful collection of imaginary and realistic flora can be found in Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature.

    Here's an example of one page whose heart shapes were very well incorporated into its design.

    The heart shape can be found peeking out among the flowers and birds on this page from Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. I've lightly colored some for you to see more easily. The heart shape can be found peeking out among the flowers and birds on this page from Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. I've lightly colored some for you to see more easily.

    After enlarging and printing the original templates by Lia Griffith, I modified one so that my three animal shapes included a cat along with the bunny and bear shapes. Once I had a master set of my own templates, I set out arranging them on a coloring book page; I could trace and cut three animal shapes from one coloring book page!

    I arranged my animal templates to ensure all three shapes could be cut from one coloring book page. The red construction paper had already been glued to the back of the coloring book page. I arranged my animal templates to ensure all three shapes could be cut from one coloring book page. The red construction paper had already been glued to the back of the coloring book page.

    I found some heart-shaped candy that I thought would fit under the animals' arms once crossed into a hug; I was anxious to see this project come together!

    Each animal had a foam sticker placed on its body. Then a non-edible treat like a Valentine's-themed eraser, or a piece of heart-shaped candy was place over the heart. Every animal had a foam sticker placed on its body. Then a piece of heart-shaped candy, or a non-edible treat like a Valentine's-themed eraser, was placed over each animal's heart. 

    Now I wanted to place a decorative tie around the arms instead of permanently gluing them together. Because the arms could be uncrossed, and the candy eaten, I always wanted a heart shape to be seen while the paper animal was being used. I adhered heart-shaped foam stickers to each of my paper animal huggers.

    Next, each animal's arms were crossed and held together in a hug by a removable silk cord. Next, each animal's arms were crossed and held together in a hug by a removable silk cord.

    I knew I had to find another type of treat instead of candy. Not every treat has to be edible; sometimes there are dietary restrictions that must be followed for children and adults alike. Don't take the celebration out of the party, just find a suitable fun treat that can be used instead of candy. You can see my solution was a fun mini-eraser!

    Instead of a heart-shaped candy, try using a different treat like this eraser for your "animal hugger". Instead of a heart-shaped candy, try using a different treat for your "animal hugger" like this eraser.

    Here are my animal huggers all in a row atop some festive Valentine's Day paper doilies.

    Here are four of the six "animal candy huggers" made by using two coloring book pages from Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature. Here are four of the six "animal candy huggers" made by using two coloring book pages from Leisure Arts #6903 - Art of Coloring Nature.

    If you prefer not to make animal shapes, consider dressing up a rectangular-shaped chocolate bar. Look what you can do with some Paper Shaper Craft Scissors and paper flowers (like the ones I made in my earlier post Birthday Coloring Cards & Tea Light Cake).

    Wrap a candy bar, color a few shapes, secure with a band made from construction paper and add some paper flowers. Now that's fancy chocolate! Wrap a candy bar, color a few shapes, secure with a band made from construction paper and add some paper flowers. Now that's fancy chocolate!

    If you have a photo taken every year on Valentine's Day, or have a favorite one in mind to give in a personalized frame, try combining a few decorative ideas into one gift. Because I found a modestly-priced wooden frame it had no glass in its frame's opening to cover a photograph, nor did it have a wooden back to more securely hold an image in place.

    So now I needed to use a coloring book page that could act as the frame's back, as well as, to serve as a nice-looking image place holder until a new photograph was inserted. The page I planned on cutting was from Leisure Arts' item #6905 - Art of Coloring Designs.

    I call this page "Hearts Aplenty" and I used it with my painted frame. This design can be found in Leisure Arts #6905 - Art of Coloring Designs. I call this page "Hearts Aplenty" and I used it with my painted frame. This design can be found in Leisure Arts #6905 - Art of Coloring Designs.

    I painted my inexpensive wooden frame red. Then I glued a wooden ampersand symbol painted black, with a white outline, onto the frame to help signify the unifying feeling of love on this day. As part of the frame's presentation, I placed one of my animal huggers on top of it.

    I painted two inexpensive wooden items and combined them to make a very nice Valentine's gift. The frame with heart-shaped opening along with the ampersand were painted with acrylic paint and then sprayed with an acrylic sealer. A photo can be added later but until then, I chose to use a coloring book page as a placeholder. The bunny is not attached to the frame. I painted two inexpensive wooden items and combined them to make a very nice Valentine's gift. The frame with heart-shaped opening along with the ampersand were painted with acrylic paint and then sprayed with an acrylic sealer. A photo can be added later but until then, I chose to use a coloring book page as a placeholder. The bunny is not attached to the frame.

    Wonderful ideas come together with a little inspiration - and coloring book pages! How do you try to incorporate your coloring into other gifts, stationery, and/or decorations?

    Happy Valentine's Day to all!

    Martha

  • Birthday Coloring Cards & Tea Light Cake

    Celebrate the next birthday with a card and cake made by you. Birthdays are celebrated all year long and can come when the weather is preventing you from leaving the house. Don't despair; you can make a personalized card -- and cake -- in advance of that special birthday celebration!

    Grab your package of Birthday Coloring Cards (#48232) and choose one of three designs to color. The weather can be challenging during many seasons, so lighten the stress by coloring one of these fun designs. I tried to make my letters deep and bold, while still being playful. I used colored pencils and markers, then added some glittery color with gel pens.

    Color a birthday card! Experiment with different hues, techniques and media. One of three pattern designs found in a package of six cards with envelopes (#48231). Color a birthday card! Experiment with different hues, techniques and media. One of three pattern designs found in a package of six cards with envelopes (#48232).

    My colleague, Pam, colored the same design as I did. It's a great comparison to see another's finished work with their use of colors and media. I really like the different way her card makes the word "Birthday" POP off the page!

    Personalize a birthday card by coloring it using your favorite media in the recipient's favorite colors! Try using gel pens, markers and/or colored pencils (#48231). Personalize a birthday card by coloring it using your favorite media in the recipient's favorite colors! Try using gel pens, markers and/or colored pencils (#48232).

    Another birthday card has a design for you to color without the birthday greeting printed as part of the design. Don't ever feel like you have to color the entire design area for your coloring to be complete.

    Choose one of three designs in a package of six cards with envelopes. Some have a "Happy Birthday" inscription; all are blank inside (#48231). Choose one of three designs in a package of six cards with envelopes. Some have a "Happy Birthday" inscription; all are blank inside (#48232).

    Prepare for some added fun -- it's time to get your make-ahead birthday cake ready now! I was so intrigued by making a cake out of a tea light that I had to give it a go. I was first inspired by these photographed steps showing how to easily make spiral flowers and spiral paper flowers here. Then my wheels began turning...

    I started gathering items I would need which included a new craft supply for me, Paper Shaper Craft Scissors (#47596). I grabbed one of my tea lights (#47150) from my stash, and since I enjoy using my paper supply from my coloring books, I tore a page from one of my recently obtained coloring books, Art of Coloring Vintage Collection (#7041). 

    Gathering supplies to make paper flowers on a tea light birthday cake! For a decorative edge on your flowers, choose one of the 12 shapes found in the Craft Scissors Value Pack (#47596). Gathering supplies to make paper flowers on a tea light birthday cake! For a decorative edge on your flowers, choose one of the 12 shapes found in the Craft Scissors Value Pack (#47596).

    Reviewing the images of the spiral flowers, and spiral paper flowers, I cut my spirals using the pink-handled scissors. I then curled each flower by holding the outermost edge with my needle nose pliers. NOTE: depending on which way you curl the paper, the printed design may appear on the inside or outside of the flower petals. I chose to curl in different directions to add more dimension to my final birthday cake.

    Don't forget the necessary tools to be used: a pair of needle nose pliers and hot glue gun. Don't forget the necessary tools to be used: a pair of needle nose pliers and hot glue gun.

    Each flower had a dab of hot glue placed at its base. I used Washi Tape to decorate the outside edge of my tea light birthday cake. Then I hot glued each individual flower around the flame on the top of the tea light. This was so much fun! As I worked, it dawned on me to make a two-tiered cake. Since I wasn't sure I wanted to keep forever multiple tea lights with the same pattern from one coloring book page, the additional tea lights on the bottom cake tier only had a removable paper circle placed over each flame (see the cut slits in each flower pattern center).

    Here's a close-up of the stacked tea lights. Only the top tea light has the flowers permanently glued around its flame. Here's a close-up of the stacked tea lights. Only the top tea light has the flowers permanently glued around its flame.

    Make the birthday person's place setting extra special with your colored birthday card and tea light birthday cake presented on a plate!

    I stacked four tea lights to give it an appearance of a two-tiered cake. Present your "cake" on a plate with your card for a special presentation. I stacked four tea lights to give it an appearance of a two-tiered cake. Present your "cake" on a plate with your card for a special presentation.

    Here's a different look for announcing the birthday honoree...

    All aglow with happiness - anyone would feel special with such a nice presentation! All aglow with happiness - anyone would feel special with such a nice presentation!

    Even with the flames turned off, the tea light birthday cake stands out announcing someone's special day!

    A different way to present your tea light birthday cake is on a plain footed base. A different way to present your tea light birthday cake is on a plain footed base.

    The tea lights are not permanently glued together. They are stacked and can be moved until the perfect setting is acquired for the Birthday Boy or Girl.

    Here's a super-close image of the tea lights. Another decorative option is the add a little color to some of the edges of each flower. Here's a super-close image of the tea lights. Another decorative option is to add a little color to some of the edges of each flower.

    No matter how you choose to celebrate someone's birthday, you will make it stand-out by adding your special touches with a personalized colored birthday card and everlasting tea light birthday cake!

    Have a happy day!

    Martha

  • Knit Gifts For Babies

    Top Gifts To Knit Baby

    We've compiled our most unique, unexpected, and beautiful knit patterns in a search for the best gifts for baby.  Use your knitting skills and softest yarns to create perfect, memorable gifts for baby this year.

    1. An Adorable Knit Sweater: These cute baby sweaters will be loved by everyone! Baby will get all of the attention and compliments - a great sweater for pictures! Use fun colorwork, lace, cables, and more to create the perfect gift for baby as shown in Adorable Baby Sweaters.

    Knit Sweater For Baby

    2. A Warm Hooded Blanket: The sweet cooing of a baby is surely the best sound in the world! Make that bundle of joy comfortable and happy with this unique knit. This cozy blanket features a pig hood, complete with ears! Enjoy making this little knitted 'hug' for the precious babies on your list. Get started now with Oh-So-Sweet Baby Knits.

    Knit Hooded Blanket For Baby

    3. A Snuggly Animal Lovie: Babies and toddlers will love this fun, huggable little creature. Knit a Brown Bear, Bunny, Lamb, Penguin, Duck, Owl, Puppy, Kitten, Panda, or Giraffe! This perfect, soft toy that comes in handy as a blanket for naptime as well. Give this great gift to baby with Animal Lovies.

    Knit Animal Lovie For Baby

    4. A Sporty Hat: Let your playful side show when you're knitting this cozy cap for baby. This fun football hat is perfect for daddy's little boy or girl. Wearing it is sure to get so many compliments and cute pictures, plus the warm knit will keep baby warm! Knit this great gift for baby with Knit Hats For Babies.

    Knit Football Hat For Baby

    5. A Cozy Blankie: So original, so adorable--a blanket this warm and beautiful will be perfect for that special baby! Delight a new mom with a blanket of sweet sheep for her little lamb. Baby will be delighted by the fluffy textures of the sheep too! This small afghan is quick and easy to knit, making it a truly precious gift. Get the pattern now with Precious Knit Blankies For Baby.

    Knit Blankie For Baby

    6. A Fun Diaper Set: Great for shower gifts and picture days, this knit set will be loved by both baby and parents! Baby will love to buzz about happily and explore the world in this cute, easy-to-knit set found in Diaper Cover Sets.

    Knit Bee Outfit For Baby

    7. A Playful Hat: Keeping babies warm is so important to their health! Knit this unique hat for baby to wear everywhere. Any baby would adore the soft texture, button eyes, and big nose! Plus, a variety of sizes are included so every baby can have the cozy warmth of a knit hat! Knit this cute hat now with Warm Hats For Wee Noggins.

    Knit Deer Hat For Baby

    8. A Flowery Little Afghan: Knit the perfect present for baby when you make this Pretty Posies Afghan. Fashioned with soft pastels and fun textured flowers, this afghan makes a great gift for keeping baby warm and for decorating the nursery. Plus, this fun-to-knit design come with plenty of close-up photography and step-by-step instructions just for you - find it in Our Best Knit Baby Afghans. 

    Knit Floral Afghan For Baby

    9. A Set Of Soft Knit Balls: The impulse to knit for little ones comes naturally for many of us! These knit toys - Baby's First Balls - will be a joy to make and to share! Parents will love how soft and gentle this toy is, and baby will love to throw and roll them around the house. Knit this unique gift for baby now with It's Playtime Baby!

    Knit Balls For Baby

    10. An Adorable Pair Of Booties: Every parent and baby can appreciate a nice, cozy pair of booties. And the bow on these is too cute! Keep baby's feet warm and safe with these loom knit Garter Booties. Great for a quick, small gift to show how much you care! Knit this great gift for baby now with Oval Loom Knit Collection.
    Knit Booties For Baby

    Need more gift ideas? Check out our Gifts To Knit.

  • Crochet Gifts For Babies

    Top Gifts To Crochet Babies

    We've compiled our most unique, unexpected, and beautiful crochet patterns in a search for the best gifts for baby.  Use your crochet skills to create perfect, memorable gifts this year. Both baby and parents all be thrilled by these fun gifts!

    1. A Crochet Mobile: This colorful Baby Bugs and Happy Flowers Mobile will make any baby giggle happily when it is hung above their crib. They will love the fun colors and textures along with the smiling flowers and bugs. Crochet this great baby gift now with the Simply Soft Baby Brites eBook.

    Crochet Mobile For Baby

    2. A Baby Blanket Inspired By Nature: New parents will love how this gender-neutral blanket use imaginative stitch patterns, color blocking, and appliquéd shapes to celebrate the beauty of the natural world. Baby will the love the playful fox and cozy matching hat! Crochet this great gift with Nature's Gifts For Baby.

    Crochet Fox Set For Baby

    3. A Dumbbell Shaped Rattle: Parents and baby will laugh at this soft, unique rattle. Shaped like a dumbbell, it's perfect for baby to exercise their minds as they shake the rattle around and begin to explore the world. Crochet this gift that's sure to be a hit with everyone with Baby's Buddy Amigurumi.

    Crochet Rattle For Baby

    4. An Animal Lovie To Snuggle: Give baby a little friend to cuddle and take everywhere they go. Cute, fun, and loved by everyone who sees them, each blanket is a simple granny square with the toy attached at the center. Crochet this great gift for baby now with Animal Lovie Blankets. 

    Crochet Animal Lovie For Baby

    5. A Ferocious Hat: Any baby will look adorable in this fun animal hat, complete with ears. It is sure to keep their own little ears warm too!  Great for cold winter days and wearing for adorable photos. Crochet this quick and easy hat for a gift baby will love with Baby Hats.

    Crochet Bear Hat For Baby

    6. A Sporty Diaper Cover: Great for baby pictures or baby showers, this fast and easy-to-crochet diaper cover makes a great gift. New moms will love seeing their precious babies dressed in this fun, sporty piece. Find the pattern for this great baby gift in Sweet & Sporty Diaper Covers.

    Crochet Sporty Diaper Cover For Baby

    7. A Sweet Striped Afghan: Create nursery pizzazz with simple stripes and interesting stitch patterns that everyone will love. Baby will be entranced by these gentle waves of color. This adorable baby afghan is Easy-Plus skill level, making it a great project to relax with. Get the pattern in Sweet Stripes For Baby. 

    Crochet Afghan For Baby

    8. A Set Of Soft Stacking Rings: This soft crochet toy is perfect for keeping baby entertained and encouraging their little mind to grow. The plush rings are great and safe for little hands to explore. Everyone will love this thoughtful and unique gift for baby! Get started now with Everyday Crochet For All.

    Crochet Toy For Baby

    9. A Fun, Colorful Play Mat: This Crochet comfort for baby with this great pattern! This cozy scrap afghan is great for nap time, but also makes a classic, soft play mat for baby - a perfect addition to any nursery. Baby will love the bright colors, shapes, and textures of this gift! Get started now with Great Grannies!

    Crochet Play Mat For Baby

    10. A Cute Sock Monkey Set: Want a gift idea that will be a big hit at baby showers or any gathering? Crochet this adorable hat and diaper cover set! Transform Baby into a playful sock monkey with these cozy pieces, adorned with adorable ears, a pom-pom, and an oversized button for extra cuteness! Make this great crochet gift for baby now with Hats & Diaper Covers Book 2.
    Crochet Sock Monkey Set For Baby

    Need more gift ideas? Check out our Gifts To Crochet.

  • Knit Gifts For Boys

    Top Gifts To Knit Boys

    We've compiled our most unique, unexpected, and beautiful knit patterns in a search for the best gifts for boys. These great gifts are unlike anything store bought! Use your knitting skills and softest yarns to create perfect, memorable gifts for baby this year.

    1. A Fun Hat & Scarf Set: Kids will go ape over this sock monkey earflap hat and pocket scarf. This wonderful knit creation puts the fun in functional! It serves to keep little ears, necks, and hands warm - plus the pockets are great for holding things! Knit this perfect gift for boys with the Big Book of Loom Knitting.

    Knit Sock Monkey Hat For Boys

    2. A Cozy Camo Hoodie: Put a twist on a classic knit hoodie with fun yarn that gives it a camouflage appearance! This Placket Neck Pullover is perfect for young boys who love hunting or just being outside. He will love wearing this knit outside for adventures on cold winter days, and the hood means there is no worry about losing a hat. Give this great gift with Knit Hoodies For Kids.

    Knit Camo Hoodie For Boys

    3. Knit Characters From His Favorite Stories: For the boy who prefers reading, these knit storybook characters will be a hit! He can play with them alone, or listen to their stories with the included CD. Fun for the whole family! Knit his favorite characters now With Storybook Dolls To Knit.

    Knit Storybook Characters For Boys

    4. A Sporty Knit Cap: If he is always wearing baseball caps, this knit hat provides cozy knit warmth while still looking sporty! Perfect for colder days. He will love this Little Guy's Baseball Hat. Get started on this great knit gift now with the pattern in Knit Hats & Scarves For Kids.

    Knit Baseball Cap For Boys

    5. A Knit Game: Knit this Tic-Tac-Toe Throw for hours of entertainment at any gathering. Everyone will be impressed with this unique knit. He will appreciate having something to do, and you might start a new party tradition! Find this unique pattern in Campus Knits.

    Knit Game For Boys

    6. A Warm Afghan: One of the most comforting gifts you can give someone, particularly a child who's 'on the mend,' is a cozy knitted item. Knit this small afghan for the boy on your list. It's a great size for napping or just hanging out on the couch watching tv or playing video games. He will think of you each time he uses it! Get the pattern in Vanna's Choice Heartfelt Gifts To Knit & Crochet.Knit Afghan For Boys

    7. A Knit Train Sweater: Your favorite little boy will be sure to love this fun sweater featuring a train engine design both coming and going. Knitted using worsted weight yarn, this cozy sweater is perfect for boys who love trains. Great for cold days! Start on this great gift now with the Train Sweater ePattern.

    Knit Train Sweater For Boys

    8. Knit Puppet Mittens: Kids will love acting out little skits with these knitted puppet mittens. There's a puppy, bunny, frog, mallard, piglet, cuckoo, dragon, toucan, panda, and flamingo. Knit the boy on your list just a few - or knit him all of them! He will love these fun puppets, and might even put on a show for everyone. Fun for the whole family. Plus, you can get started right now with the Puppet Mittens ePattern.

    Knit Puppets For Boys

    Need more gift ideas? Check out our Gifts To Knit.

  • Craft Gifts For Valentine's Day

    Top Gifts To Craft For Valentine's Day

    This year, show your creativity with your Valentine's Day gifts! Be crafty as you express your feelings for friends, family, and loved ones - take on a big craft project, or just make a little something to add on to a gift or remind them you're thinking of them! There are classic Valentine's Day hearts, flowers, and cute little teddies to make - get started today!

    1. Beautiful Jewelry: Every one is getting fancy jewelry for Valentine's Day, but you can make jewelry even more personal when you craft it by hand! This classic looking pearl necklace and earring set looks beautiful and expensive - even better that it's classic and simple so it can be worn easily any day of the year! Your loved one will be delighted to know you made it by hand! Craft gorgeous jewelry for Valentine's Day this year with Jewelry On A String.Craft Jewelry For Valentines Day

    2. A Fun Wreath - With A Treat: Every This festive heart shaped wreath will be loved decor by whoever you make it for - but it also features homemade heart-shaped cookies for your loved ones to enjoy! A great and unique gift idea this Valentine's Day. Get step-by-step crafting and baking instructions to create this yummy gift in Homemade Gifts From The Heart.

    Valentine's Day Wreath To Craft

    3. Unforgetable Cards: Explore the world of paper crafting to create unique and special cards for all your loved ones - you'll never want to buy a card again! These handmade cards are the perfect way to make someone special smile on Valentine's Day. Get started with making the perfect cards this year with The Ultimate Handbook For Paper Crafters.

    Paper Craft Valentine's Day Cards

    4. A Pretty Mason Jar Vase: Got flowers for your someone special? Make your gift even more personal by hand-painting a beautiful vase for it. They will love this trendy mason jar vase so much they'll want to use it to hold flowers year round! The perfect, crafty addition to your Valentine's Day gift - start now with DIY Mason Jar Crafts.

    Valentine's Day Mason Jar Vase To Craft

    5. A Quirky Bouquet: Put a twist on the classic Valentine's Day flowers and make your own with yarn! This beautiful, colorful bouquet doesn't need water, won't make anyone sneeze, and it will never die! This gift is perfect for sharing a good laugh with a friend and reminding them that you care for them! Make these fun Pom-Pom Flowers with Yarn Crafts.

    Yarn Flowers For Valentines Day

    6. A Lovely Pillow: Reminiscent of traditional redwork, this delicate floral heart is crafted with dimensional fabric paint to create a timeless look, and then transformed into a completely no-sew pillow for a wonderful Valentine's Day gift. Show your loved ones when you make this pillow for them with the Romantic Redwork Pillow ePattern.

    Craft Pillow For Valentine's Day

    7. A Sentimental Glass Jar: Learn easy mosaic art to craft great looking gifts for someone special this Valentine's Day.  These glass jars are perfect to fill with a small treat like candy, or you can leave it up to your loved one's imagination and let them fill it with their own jewelry or trinkets. You can craft these great jars with Beginner's Guide to Mosaics.

    Heart Jars To Craft Valentine's Day

    8. A Tiny Teddy: Soft, fuzzy, and fun! Kids will love this cute little bear - A Valentine's Day classic - or it would look great sitting on Baby's bookshelf. Craft it with pom-poms, then add eyes and a bow for extra fun! Plus, learn how craft this fun pom-pom Valentine gift bag to store it in. What a fun gift! Start your Valentine's crafts now with Learn To Create With Pom Poms.

    Valentine's Day Teddy Bear To Craft

    9. Heart Jewelry: It isn't Valentine's Day without hearts everywhere - make fun, girly jewelry for your loved ones this year! Girls of all ages will love this the pretty hearts and beads on this - they won't be able to quit smiling. Learn to make great jewelry gifts for Valentine's Day with Jewelry Making Basics.

    Valentine's Day Heart Jewelry To Craft

    10. A Beautiful Scrapbook: Special memories deserve to be kept in a special scrapbook. Make one for your loved ones for Valentine's Day. These precious ribbon covers are perfect for holding romantic wedding photos or sweet baby photos.  Celebrate your special memories this Valentine's Day with The Little Book of Big Ribbon Ideas.
    Valentine's Day Scrap Book

  • Crochet Gifts For Valentine's Day

    Top Gifts To Crochet For Valentine's Day

    Crochet special gifts for all the special people in your life this Valentine's Day. Whether you're looking for gifts for your friends, family, or loved ones, we have gathered Valentine's classics for you to make. There's hearts and flowers, teddy bears, and even jewelry! Celebrate love this year with the perfect gift.

    1. A Bright Afghan: This brightly colored crochet afghan is sure to brighten someone's day! Perfect for young girls or teens, this q-hook afghan is a perfect gift that is also quick and easy to crochet. The cozy warmth it provides will always serve as a reminder of your love! Get ahead on your Valentine's Day gifts with Q-Hook Afghans For The Family.

    Crochet Heart Afghan For Valentine's Day

    2. Gorgeous, Romantic Jewelry: This Everyone is getting jewelry for Valentine's Day - it's a classic! You can use your crochet skills with metallic thread and beads to make stunning, expensive looking jewelry for all your loved ones. They'll be delighted to wear any of these gorgeous necklaces or bracelets, and they won't be able to believe you made it yourself! Learn to crochet beautiful jewelry to make the best Valentine's Day gifts with Formal Jewelry.

    Crochet Valentine's Day Jewelry

    3. A Lovely Baby Blanket: This Every day is a great day to shower babies in love, but this Heart Blanket is especially perfect for Valentine's Day. Show baby your love when you surround it with hearts, soft pink, and cozy warmth. Crochet this precious baby blanket now with Best-Dressed Baby.

    Valentine's Day Baby Blanket To Crochet

    4. A Valentine Box: Bless someone special's heart on Valentine's Day by making them this beautiful box. The delicate thread crochet container will look lovely on her table and serve as a reminder of your special bond. Perfect for holding jewelry and other trinkets! Fill it with candy or other goodies for two gifts in one. Plus, you can start this great Valentine's Day gift instantly with the Bless Your Heart Box ePattern.

    Crochet Valentine's Day Box

    5. Cozy Floral Slippers: Treat your beloved friends and family to relaxation with these perfect, quick-to-crochet slippers. The beautiful florals make them perfect for a Valentine's gift that can be used all year round, plus you can make them in a variety of sizes to suit any loved one who may enjoy cozy slippers! Crochet great Valentine's Day gifts this year with Slippers for the Family.

    Crochet Valentine's Day Slippers

    6. A Beautiful Afghan: This beautiful afghan makes a great gift for Valentine's Day. Let your loved ones know you care when you give them this intricate, cozy afghan. It will look beautiful all year long draped over a couch or bed. Plus, you can this wonderful gift now with A Year of Afghans 3 eBook.

    Crochet Valentine's Day Afghan

    7. A Whimsy Heart Shawl: Crochet this fun heart shawl for someone special this Valentine's Day! The will love the unique design and stylish warmth it offers. A great way to remind your loved ones how much they mean to you this year! Crochet this quirky Valentine's Day shawl now with The Treasury of Holiday Crochet.

    Crochet Valentine's Day Shawl

    8. A Classic Teddy Bear: Few things say "I love you" quite like a teddy bear, especially one that you've made yourself! With movable arms and legs, this cuddly cub can be positioned in all kinds of lovable poses. You're sure to receive lots of bear hugs in return for such a charming gift! Crochet this fun little bear now with the Lovey Bear ePattern.

    Crochet Valentine's Day Bear

    9. A Crochet Bookmark: Show your valentine or just a close friend that you're saving a special place in your heart for him or her with this bookmark! Clusters form the heart motifs, and fringe makes the page saver easy to find in any book. The perfect small gift to brighten anyones Valentine's Day! Crochet it for someone special with Beautiful Bookmarks.

    Crochet Valentine's Day Bookmark

    10. A Cup Cozy: This cute cozy will make a great gift to warm hearts - and safeguard fingers from hot cups! Let all your loved ones know you are thinking of them on Valentine's Day with this quick and easy crochet gift. Their day is sure to be brighter knowing you thought of them and made them this wonderful crochet cozy. Get ahead on your Valentine's Day gifting with Cup Cozies.

    Crochet Valentine's Day Cup Cozy

    Need more gift ideas? Check out our Gifts To Crochet.

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