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Easy DIY

  • DIY Craft Skills To Share This August! #ShareYourSkills

    Sharing is caring, makers. This month, we're celebrating #ShareYourSkills in the spirit of going back to school. Whether you're just starting high school, making the trek to college, or wandering through life looking for the next thing to learn, this month is all about sharing what you know, and learning about what you want to know.

    We Share: Skills You can Learn

    We'll kick off the blog with crafts that we want to share with you. Use this month as an opportunity to not just pass on a skill to someone you care about, but to learn a new skill for yourself!

    The Ultimate Knit Collection - Book 7577

    Knit Journal Cover - The Complete Knit Collection- Book 7577

    If you've always wanted to knit, and don't know where to start, try The Complete Knit Collection. This is a recent release from Marly Bird, filled with a wide range of projects to work on. From Simple Fingerless Gloves, to Knit Journal Covers (above), you can learn the basics and knit luxury accessories all from the patterns inside this book! The book is designed to start with beginner projects, and slowly progress into harder patterns as you read. So when you reach pro-crafter status, you have patterns to try and challenge you as you get more comfortable with knitting.

    The Ultimate Crochet Collection - Book 7512

    The Ultimate Crochet Collection - Book 7512

    If Knitting isn't your speed, and you'd prefer to learn a skill with just one hook and some patience, try crochet! The Ultimate Crochet Collection is another Marly Bird release that has a slew of projects that are cute and functional! Start with Small Scrubbies (above) as a starter project, or one of the many other beginner patterns, and work your way up as you get more comfortable with crochet! The book is structured the same way as The Complete Knit Collection, set up as the perfect intro into this addicting craft.

    You Share: Share Your Skills With Others

    One of the best ways to give back this month is to teach a skill to someone else! If you already know how to knit and crochet, why not pass those talents on? We found some patterns that are easy to teach, and would make perfect projects for the upcoming seasons.

    Cool Stuff Teach Me To Knit - Book 6648

    You can start teaching others how to knit like you with the simple and easy projects from Cool Stuff - Teach Me To Knit. This rippled and multicolored knit afghan is a perfect project to start on this month of beginners, because fall is just around the corner, and who doesn't need a little throw for the couch? You can even create a complimentary pillow like the one above!

    Cool Stuff Teach Me To Crochet - Book 6649

    The same rules apply for this crochet ripple afghan from Cool Stuff - Teach Me To Crochet. Mix and match colors to your liking, and even mess with the size of the afghan! You can help someone learn to customize and create cozy necessities with the help of cool pattern books like these.

    Speaking of #ShareYourSkills, the Craft Yarn Council is hosting their Certified Instructor's Program again, starting August 12th and running all the way through September. So if you are passionate about passing on your skills and teaching larger groups of people, check the program out! You'll be seeing a lot more posts from us on this subject, maybe even sooner than you think (wink, wink).

    We All Share: Share Your Skills With Gifts

    If you're not the teaching type, but still want to #ShareYourSkills, try gifting something homemade! Nothing says that you care about someone more than a homemade trinket or home décor item.

    Textured Pillows - Book 7450

    Textured Pillows is a good craft to learn if you want to work with yarn, but don't want to knit or crochet. Plus, how adorable would these pillows be as gifts? With hot glue and a little creative flair, you can create fun and fresh accents for that loveseat that needs a little extra TLC. There are even patterns with fabric that don't require stitching! You can start out minimalist, or go in with a splash of color, the choice is your! All patterns are super easy to learn and follow along to.

    Modern Woodburning - Book 7524

    If you're feeling something a little more rustic, try Modern Woodburning for a change! Woodburning is super versatile and has limitless customization options, so this is a great book to get you started. Start off with small projects like these Succulent Coasters, and then work your way up to the more advanced projects in the book. You'll find that it's just as simple as putting a drawing pen to paper. It's just 1,000 Degrees hotter and more inventive!

    Do you plan to #ShareYourSkills this month? We'd love to see! tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts to show us what's going on in your studios.

    Happy Sharing!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Easter Projects that are 100 Times Better Than Chocolate Bunnies.

    Easter is a holiday that drives faith and creativity. You spend hours making colored eggs and arranging beautiful baskets of goodies, all as a selfless and loving act for the ones you love. It's a perfect holiday for the family to come together and celebrate in what they have, and what they are thankful for (like thanksgiving, but with pastels and bunnies).

    Photo courtesy of shutterstock.com

    We all have that 'extra' family member that decks out everything on Easter (if you don't know who your decor crazy family member is, it's probably you). Oversized glittering eggs in the yard, pastel table runners on every surface, eats nothing but hard boiled eggs during the whole month leading up to Easter (because they're trying to perfect their deviled egg recipe, obviously). This post is for those big brawlers come Spring season. We've curated a list of fun and festive Easter projects that are definite crowd pleasers, and will update your already extensive Easter collection.

    Find your favorite craft medium, and jump right in!

    ----------------------------Yarn Fun----------------------------

    Warm Hats for Wee Noggins - Book 5538

    Beautiful Bookmarks - Book 6687

    Just look at that baby face. Make your little one as cute as can be in this baby beanie with bunny ears! Warm Hats for Wee Noggins is full of cute knit patterns that will make you want to deck out your baby for every holiday.

    Sometimes its the little things that make the most impact when it comes to decoration. This thread crochet pattern from Beautiful Bookmarks shows a subtle but striking nod to the faith based component of Easter. Its intricate and detailed thread crochet work gives the bookmark a delicate nature to it, but don't be fooled the structure of the pattern is very strong, and works as a functional bookmark that will make sure you never lose your place.

    Overlay Crochet - Book 7503

    Fun Animal Pillows - Book 7341

    You can revamp your Easter décor by by punching up the typical pastel color scheme. Overlay Crochet is full of bold and cheerful designs, but this Doily Rug takes the cake. The colors bring an energetic feel to your space, and paired with some bright flowers like the sunflowers shown, this home décor accessory will make your home instantly Easter Sunday ready.

    Want to throw something extra in with the Easter basket this year? Try Crocheting this adorable bunny from Fun Animal Pillows! With its colorful stripes and adorable face, kids can't resist this adorable bunny, and honestly, adults can't either. The pillows in this book are so cute, and comfortable, everyone wants a crocheted cuddle buddy!

    Adorable Baby Cardigans - Book 7290

    Casual Weekend Knits - Book 7373

    Easter Sunday clothes are cute and all, but most outfits have a fatal flaw... they don't have a good cover up to match. Which is terribly unfortunate for your little ones who have to sit there shivering during your Sunday Service or egg hunt. This cardi from Adorable Baby Cardigans is the perfect neutral cover up that goes with almost anything. This Green Eyelet Lace Cardigan is a personal favorite, because it feels very nature inspired.

    The same rules for Easter outfits apply to adults too. Casual Weekend Knits is full of great cover ups like this aqua and gray buttoned trim shawl. This top is perfect for a nice spring day, and even better for early bird Easter services!

    ----------------------------CROSS-STITCH----------------------------

    Dye-Namic Cross Stitch - Book 7588

    If you're looking to dye something other than Easter eggs this year, try these beautiful flower portraits from Dye-Namic Cross Stitch! This mixed media cross stitch is super easy to follow, and the result is beautiful. You use Rit Dye to pigment your canvas with whatever colors you see fit, and then create these beautiful flowers like this spring beauty with simple stitches, and then. The book is filled with other seasonal flowers too, so you have a flower to create for every season!

    ----------------------------CRAFTS----------------------------

    Colors of Nature - Book 7518

    Nature Hunt Page - Colors of Nature

    Here's another Easter alternative: Instead of hunting for Easter eggs, why not hunt for flowers? Colors of Nature is a great interactive nature journal, full of drawing tutorials and lessons about 15 beautiful plants and flowers. You can go on a nature hunt this Easter, and take your book and record your observations while learning to draw what you see! It takes a traditional Easter activity to the next level, and it gives a perfect balance of education and creation.

    DIY Fairy Gardens - Book 7364

    If you still want to switch up tradition, try DIY Fairy Gardens by Kristi Simpson! Spend some quality time antiquing with the family to find the vessels for these fun little homes, and say thanks to the sprites that keep your Easter eggs safe. After you've found the base, it's as easy as using elements from nature to make your Fairy Garden your own! Kristi just recently stopped by our video studio to talk about how fun and easy these portable spaces are to make, you can watch it here!

    Most of the things you see in this blog post are from our April Giveaway on our website. Enter to win all of these great projects and goodies! We also did a #LeisureLife Live! Segment on our Craft Away Stress Campaign, give it a watch.

    We hope some of our easter inspiration makes its way into your home décor this year! If you end up making any of these wonderful Easter projects, share it with us! Just use #LeisureLife. We love to see what's going on in your craft universe.

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • DIY Valentines - Quick and Crafty ways to Celebrate Love

    Valentine's Day is coming up, Makers! We all know that one person who waits till the last minute to buy a gift, or has a hard time coming up with ideas. This post is for them! We've come up with some cute and quick DIY Valentines that you can make within a week of Valentine's Day, so you can look responsible and romantic.

    So, find your favorite craft medium, and see if you've found the perfect homemade gift for your boo!

    ----------------------------CROCHET----------------------------

    The Perfect Gift for Book Nerds

    DIY Valentines Beautiful Bookmarks - Book 6687
    Beautiful Bookmarks - Book 6687 Beautiful Bookmarks - Book 6687

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If your special rose is obsessed with reading, then this is the best gift you can give. A subtle way to show that you care about their hobbies goes a long way, especially when you have such Beautiful Bookmarks like these (above). Easy to make and fun to gift, these bookmarks will bring a smile to anyone's face, especially your little bookworm's.

     

     

    ----------------------------KNIT----------------------------

    Beaded Bracelets and Yarn Fun!

    DIY Valentines Beaded Bracelets to Knit - Book 4786
    screen-shot-2019-02-08-at-2-51-44-pm Beaded Bracelets to Knit - Book 4786

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    When you think of jewelry, you might be imagining a bright and beautiful emerald bracelet, or a subtle silver chain. But this year, we want you to think outside the box, and take some inspiration from the spool! these Beaded Bracelets to Knit (above) are beautiful, simple, and breathtaking, making these little bauble perfect homemade gifts for knit enthusiasts to make.

     

    ----------------------------CRAFTS----------------------------

    YouTube Fun! DIY Valentines from the Studio

    DIY Valentines Sneak Peek - DIY Valentine Video -YouTube
    DIY Valentines Sneak Peek - DIY Valentine Video -YouTube

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had some fun in our video studio this week creating these fun, quick, and cute surprises for that special someone On Valentine's Day. Later on this week, we'll show a quick tutorial on our YouTube channel about how fast you can make these little giftables!

    ----------------------------CROSS STITCH----------------------------

    Cross Stitch Crafts - Valentines for the Soul

    Loving Hearts - Book 6743 Loving Hearts - Book 6743
    Loving Hearts - Book 6743 Loving Hearts - Book 6743

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Cross Stitch is a popular craft that is super easy to learn - which is why we included this craft category this week. Try your hand at small little votives like these Loving Hearts Cross Stitch frames. These little buddies look so great on a mantle that they can sit there all year round!

     

     

    If you make any of these projects, tag us @leisureartsinc with #LeisureLife. We love to see what's going on in your studios!

    Stay Creative!

    wc_logo_2-11

    -Leisure Arts Team

     

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  • Dip Dot and Dazzle Your Living Room! DIY Diamond Art Throw Pillows

    You may have already heard (because it's awesome and becoming wildly popular), but we just launched our Diamond Paint by Number product, Diamond Art by Leisure Arts, and it's taking off as a new sensational craft (*Humble Brag*)! Now that you've gotten to see our first line of products, we have so many ideas for them. We think that Diamond Art goes beyond just a scroll on a wall, and can be incorporated into everyday items like handbags, phone cases or in this post, a sparkling pillow! Read on for a tutorial on how to make a one of a kind throw pillow with your dazzling canvases. This is a tutorial that works with almost every design we offer, but in this case, we decided to go simple and sophisticated using our Cherry Blossom Diamond Art Intermediate Canvas. 

    Throw Pillow Cherry Blossom Pillow - DIY Diamond Art

    Supplies

    • A Diamond Art Canvas 
    • Strong Adhesive Backing (fabric glue, hot glue, etc.)
    • Your Favorite Sewing Thread & Needle (embroidery floss, thick sewing thread, etc.)
    • Basic Throw Pillow (varies by type and size, MUST have a solid surface, no fur/velvet)
    • Scissors
    • OPTIONAL - Extra Accessories (pom-poms, tassels, etc.)

     

    Get Started On Your Throw Pillow! 

    Throw Pillow Diamond Art Cherry Blossom Canvas

    1. Dazzle Your Diamond Art Canvas

    There isn't a big learning curve in terms of starting the craft, just dip, dot, and dazzle! Diamond Art is meant to be a leisurely craft that lets you put the canvas away for later if you wanted to. Complete it in one day, or complete it one day next week, the choice is up to you!

    2. Cut Out Your Dazzle Area

    After you've dazzled your way to success, carefully cut out your design, and get ready to sew!

    3. Create Your Trim 

    To keep the edges of the canvas from fraying -and for extra support- carefully line the edges of your cut out canvas with the embroidery floss or thread.

    4. Craft Your Throw Pillow

    Get to work on placing your design onto the center of your throw pillow using your adhesive of choice and a steady hand. Make sure to layout flat, and smooth the canvas out for air bubbles once placed. If you're worried about our beads falling off, don't be! Our adhesive keeps our beads intact with the force of a thousand dazzling suns. (Pro Tip: If you want extra support for your design, stitch a few notches into the pillow itself with extra thread you used for the trim!)

    Throw Pillow

    6. Accessorize (Or Don't)! 

    Now that your Diamond Art is placed, all that’s left are finishing touches. Make your pillow one of a kind by adding extra accessories around the edges, or placing a bead here and there. Show the world how creative you can be with your Diamond Art. Be 'extra' to your heart’s content, and then voila! You have a decorative and dazzling throw pillow.

    It's as simple as that. This is a great and unique way to utilize your Diamond Art canvas to the fullest! Now that you're finished, you can sit back and accept all kinds of compliments from people as they say, "your throw pillow is too pretty to lean against".

    If you try your hand at this, share it to our Diamond Art Facebook Page! We'd love to see what's going on in your studio.

    Want more DIY Diamond Art projects? your wish is our command! Check out our other projects here:

    DIY Diamond Art Phone Case

    DIY Diamond Art Welcome Sign

    Happy Dazzling!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Wall Hangings That Will Bring Out The Interior Decorator In You

    We've all done it. We've seen the fancy fiber art wall hangings that are typically in niche home decor stores, or luxurious art galleries, and take it off the rack, ready to give it a new home. But then you feel the cold stab of betrayal as you flip the price tag and see that the wall art you loved so much, costs a lot more than you would like to spend. Et Tu, department store markups?

    That's why we had Sharon Silverman come in to save the day with her awesome guest blog, and show you that you can teach those department stores who's boss! You can learn to craft beautiful crochet wall hangings that won't break your bank, and will make you look like you vacation in Cabo every third Wednesday.

    Take it away, Sharon!

    -------------------------------------------------

     

    I love browsing in furniture stores, don’t you? It’s so much fun to see the vignettes they have set up for home, office, and outdoors. Being a fiber artist, I always pay particular attention to the accessories. What kinds of rugs and afghans are popular? How about the pillows? What type of art is on the walls?

    There are plenty of furniture stores to explore in and around the newly expanded King of Prussia Mall, just 35 minutes from my home in Pennsylvania: Arhaus, Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware, and more. Recently, I started to notice a common theme in their textiles: lots of fabric and yarn wall-hangings, including some that took me right back to the macramé days of my youth! Seeing those put a smile on my face, but the price tags didn’t. Hundreds of dollars for pieces that I knew I could make myself for a fraction of the cost—and so could you.

    That was the beginning of the idea for Wall Hangings.

    Wall Hangings Wall Hangings

    Once I got the go-ahead from Leisure Arts, I started coming up with designs. I wanted to incorporate flourishes like tassels, pom-poms, and fringe in some of the designs. Exuberant Embellishments uses a variety of yarn weights and textures from Lion Brand Yarn: LB Collection Wool, Romance, Color Clouds, Vanna’s Glamour, and Glitterspun. 

    My Wall Hangings

    Wall Hangings Exuberant Embellishments

    The neutral colors of the piece let the textures and finishes of the yarn stand out. Even though I am usually a fan of lightweight yarn, I really love the chunkiness of the fringe and some of the larger stitches.

    Winding Links also incorporates pom-poms and tassels, but this time in a consistent yarn weight. I used Red Heart Super Saver in brown (Coffee) and Aqua (Aruba Sea), but you could choose any two contrasting colors that complement your décor. 

    Wall Hangings Winding Links

    Winding Links is made in segments and then hung on a dowel. I-cords are used to hang the segments at various heights and to connect them to each other. If you haven’t mastered crocheted I-cord, this is a good chance to practice. After a few tries and misfires, I discovered that I love making it!

    The choice of stitch patterns creates the texture in Fur & Loops. Lion Brand Cotton Bamboo is worked in the loop stitch for the persimmon section, and the fur stitch for the hyacinth section. Looks challenging, right? Don’t tell anyone, but the fur stitch and loop stitch are easy variations on single crochet. They are actually the same stitch, but for fur stitch the loops are cut to make them shaggy.

    Wall Hangings Fur and Loops

     

    The natural world inspired several of my designs. Spiral Stems uses a sturdy twig as the hanger for the individually crocheted spirals in greens and greys from Patons Décor.

    Wall Hangings Spiral Stems

     Some of the spirals are long and skinny, some are shorter and thicker, just like the variations found in plants and trees.

    Wall Hangings Spiral Stems Close Up

    When I worked on a yarn installation at Hagley Museum and Library, the original site of the DuPont powder works in Wilmington, Delaware, I used a lot of crocheted roses to adorn the iron gates.

    Wall Hangings Rose Arbor Detail

    I was reminded of them when I worked on the Wall Hangings designs. They’re fun to make, cheerful to look at, and bring a great pop of color to a room! I used various shades of pink and yellow, as well as green leaves, for Rose Arbor. The flowers are Red Heart Super Saver, and the leaves are Lily Sugar ‘n Cream.

    Wall Hangings Rose Arbor
    Wall Hangings Rose Arbor Close Up

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The monochromatic panels in Windy Sails gives that project a classic look, updated with coiled I-cord decorations at the bottom. Panels use different stitch patterns to create interest. Dowels at the top and bottom keep things neat.

    Wall Hangings Windy Sails

    Leisure Arts holds onto the finished projects, but I liked Curves & Lines so much that I made one for my dining room and another one for my son’s apartment. (I did his in blues with some black and white thrown in, and made the fringe in an arc shape to mimic the trajectory of a rocket after launch. When you’re the mother of a rocket scientist, you get some unusual requests!) All of the projects use Patons Lace. I picked a straight dowel to go across and extend beyond a quilting hoop because that arrangement kind of reminds me of Saturn.

    Wall Hangings Curves and Lines
    Wall Hangings Curves and Lines Alternative

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I try never to miss an opportunity to add beads to my work, and this leaflet was no exception. Beaded Tapestry uses a variety of beads in earth tones on a background of blue Lily Sugar ‘n Cream to create a pattern that’s just abstract enough to make you wonder what it is. A bird? A fox? Just shapes? You decide.

    Wall Hangings Beaded Tapestry
    Wall Hangings Beaded Tapestry Close Up

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The fringe below is adorned with beads of various colors at different heights to finish off this long, graceful hanging in style.

    Wall Hangings Beaded Tapestry Detail

    It was a pleasure working with Leisure Arts on Wall Hangings. Along with doing the editing and photography, they staged the pieces in a variety of attractive settings.

    I encourage crocheters to make wall art using these patterns, rather than paying inflated prices for finished products. The projects are rated Easy, but even experienced crocheters will find them interesting to make—and may even learn some new techniques and stitch patterns along the way. Wall hangings make great gifts, too: one size fits all! 

    As for my professional background, I am the author of 16 crochet books and a private line of patterns. I’m a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America and a design member of The National NeedleArts Association. I was a featured guest on HGTV’s fiber arts program, “Uncommon Threads,” and have been interviewed on numerous radio podcasts. My crochet work includes large-scale museum installations, indoors and out. I am a crochet instructor for Annie’s Online Classes.

    I’m inspired by everything from the beauty of nature to the stunning creations of architects and furniture-makers. And, of course, by yarn! 

    Please join me on Facebook and Pinterest at Sharon Silverman Crochet; on Ravelry, YouTube, Etsy, and Instagram at CrochetSharon; and on my website, www.SharonSilverman.com.

    Happy crocheting!

    Sharon Silverman Sharon Silverman

     

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    Are you ready to make your own Wall Hanging? What are you waiting for! Go get Sharon's book, and show off your newly learned crochet skills.

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Homemade Accessories That Are Cooler Than A Diamond Bracelet.

    As Marilyn Monroe once sang, diamonds are a girls best friend! Except for today, because this post is about homemade accessories that are way cooler than wearing a boring and cold diamond bracelet on your wrist.

    Making your own accessories sets you apart from the crowd, and brings out the creative monster inside of you. Some people make a living out of selling their homemade jewelry, and others just don't want to look like everyone else. No matter how you look at it, there are multiple reasons to start making your own stylish accessories. Let us help you make the coolest ones! Here are some of the best accessories that you can make yourself, that'll go with any outfit.

     

    Quick and Simple Stringing - SKU # 7212

    A beaded jewelry technique made from stringing a variety of beads together, this technique can turn a simple thread into modern magic. Just look at some of the designs you can create from our patterns!

     

    Homemade Accessories Classic Pearl Strung Necklace
    Multi-Colored Stacked Necklaces Multi-Colored Stacked Necklaces
    Homemade Accessories Retro Sunburst Turquoise Necklace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Just look at that pearl necklace! It looks like you could get that at any fashionable jewelry store. But if your style is more subtle, you can make something simple that makes a statement, like the stacked necklaces.

     

    Quick and Simple Linking - SKU # 7213

    Similar to any chain link technique, this method lets you link jewels with metals or beads, or really any shiny thing you think would look good. This method can give you the chance to make grand statements, and let's you keep adding to your piece if you wanted. here are some striking examples!

     

    Homemade Accessories Stacked and Linked Amber Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Simple Citrine Linked Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Subtle and Simple Stacking Necklace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These designs are perfect for the one who doesn't want to wear diamonds, but still wants to feel luxurious. Plus, it's a definite bonus that these beautiful baubles won't break your bank.

     

    Quick and Simple Wirework - SKU #7214

    Wire wrapping! An extremely intricate looking jewelry style, that is a lot easier than you think. This is a style that can really make any kind of jewelry, because you are actually forming most of the metal products yourself. This is by far the most creative and eccentric method of the three, and for good reason! Check out some of our examples from the book.

    Homemade Accessories Wire Wrapped Crystal Gemstone Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Beaded Silver Wirework Bracelet
    Homemade Accessories Wire Wrapped Bracelet and Broach Set

     

    You can tell how much work is put into each of these designs - and how unique it make them. This Jewelry type is for the stand outs, the ones who know they are making a statement when they wear it, and love it.

     

    Bonus Accessories!

    The bonus this week is a book that's gotten a lot of attention lately, so how could I not include it (again). You may or may not remember this book from last week's post on homemade spa materials.

     

    Aromatherapy Jewelry with Lava Beads - SKU # 7353

    The designs in this book merit a mention in this week's post, because of how simple but striking the designs are. Not only that, but they are unique because of what you can do with them. The lava beads are porous enough to absorb your favorite scented oils and fragrances so you get a two for one deal! They deserve to be put into this sophisticated self-made jewelry category. Check out our examples!

    Homemade Accessories Simple Strung Lava Bead Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Lava Bead and Gold Necklace
    Homemade Accessories Stacked Beaded Necklace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These may not be diamonds, but they look luxurious without them.

    So, the next time you think about going to an expensive big brand retailer for high end jewelry, think about the options you have for making your own. You don't need to spend a fortune!

     

    Have you made any of these before? If so, post them to our social pages! We love to see what's going on in your studios.

     

    Happy Crafting!

    -Leisure Arts Team

     

     

     

  • Wedding Fever: DIY Wedding Crafts With Leisure Arts

     

    Hey Craft Family! 

    Wedding season is year-round, and we know how hard it can be to plan and execute the perfect wedding. Catering, the venue, the dress, the invitations, it can all be very overwhelming! That’s why this week, we’ve compiled a list of ideas from our arsenal of craft knowledge.  With these books, we have no doubt in our minds that with our help, you can have the DIY wedding of your dreams! Let’s get started.

     

    For The Big Day

    Handmade Wedding – #7323 

    Handmade Wedding

    As one of our newer books on the market, this is the go-to book for all wedding things! From personalized Mr. and Mrs. Décor, to colorful centerpieces, this book is a one-stop-shop to having a better wedding than your siblings before you (always strive to be the best).

    Here’s a mood board to sum up the kinds of crafts you can make.  

    screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-41-10-am   screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-43-35-am   screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-41-18-amscreen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-40-50-am screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-43-42-am

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    Our Favorite Craft

    The book has some great ideas like the “Honey Fund” and personalized table décor, but our true favorite is this idea: 

    Sign A Stone

    It’s a guest entry jar full of stones, and when guests sign in, they take a stone and sign it for the happy couple, as a “light” on their path to happiness. This idea would be even better if you got glow in the dark markers, so they can really light up!

     

     

    The Wedding Shower

    Wedding Showers - #6591

    Wedding Showers Cover

    This book is perfect for the couple that becomes so focused on the event itself, that they forget to plan for the small steps along the way. The wedding shower could be just as important as the wedding itself, so of course you should decorate it to the max!

    Here’s another mood board to sum up what’s inside. 

    screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-50-48-amscreen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-50-55-amscreen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-51-03-am screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-50-30-am screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-50-39-amscreen-shot-2018-06-22-at-9-51-10-am

    The ideas can work for any style of wedding shower, but from the mood board it would probably work best for an outdoor event.

     

    Our Favorite Craft

    Wedding Shower Flowers

    The best craft of the bunch? Flower vases made from recycled alcohol bottles. This ideas is both cute and environmentally friendly, and you can take the new uses home and use them for everyday occasions!

     

    Glitz and Glam : Florals!

    Glam Wedding Florals - #6591

    Glam Wedding Florals Cover

    Speaking of Flowers! The best part of wedding decorations are the flowers, hand down. So of course, we have a book specifically for creating the glitzy and glamorous florals your wedding deserves.

    Here’s a mood board so you can see what we're talking about. 

    screen-shot-2018-06-20-at-11-20-34-am  screen-shot-2018-06-20-at-11-20-54-am

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    screen-shot-2018-06-20-at-11-23-18-am  screen-shot-2018-06-20-at-11-20-42-am

     

    B-E-A utiful! Right? This book has a huge range of florals based on what kind of wedding you're planning. There are simple and small baubles, and grand and glittery gestures, multiple styles that fit any wedding. 

     

    Our Favorite Craft

    This is a really tough one, because it ended up being a tie between these two.

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    The creativity in both of these bouquets are wonderful, and either one would give your wedding tables a storybook aesthetic, without it feeling too cookie cutter.

     

    Extras

    While those books are the cream of the crop for wedding planning, we wanted to recommend some titles that would be extra helpful along the way:

     

    Paper Flowers - # 7241

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    Formal Jewelry - # 6383

    screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-10-33-03-amscreen-shot-2018-06-22-at-10-33-10-am  screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-10-32-54-am

     

    Hopefully after reading this, you have a pretty good plan for your wedding decor moving forward. If you guys have made any of these things share them with us! We love to see what you're working on.

     

    Happy Crafting, and good luck!

     

    -Leisure Arts Team

     

  • DIY Holiday Lights: Easy Gifting and Decorating Creatively

    Expand the use of tea lights and LED candles to craft easy holiday ornaments and table decor. This can be a most enjoyable time of year with all of the holiday crafting and baking, along with its celebrations, gatherings, and functions. But it can be a stressful time, too; especially when it comes to gifting and decorating creativity. Relax and review some of these craft ideas I've gathered for you!

    I saw the first project below last Christmas season but never got around to making any. So this year it was the first craft project on my list to do and share. A benefit to having been delayed a year, there are multiple variations now! This project's main component are a set of tea lights like the ones Leisure Arts sells (#47150). 

    Use tea lights to make ornaments and luminaries for holiday decor! Use tea lights to make ornaments and luminaries for holiday decor!

    The goal is to make Christmas tree ornaments that look like snowmen using the tea lights. Last year when I started gathering supplies I never could find a stove pipe hat so I moved on and chose a felt stocking cap. Luckily I found one misplaced pack of six and bought them. Fast-forward to this year, I followed a Pinterest pin to this post on Tea Light Snowman Ornaments and followed its directions very closely.

    I tried to purchase another set of the felt stocking caps [in the same size] as I found last year, but they couldn't be found in a local brick-and-mortar store. After not feeling positive about my manipulating ribbon and glue to replicate a scarf, I just experimented with pipe cleaners and really liked the result. Here is a picture of most of my supplies; some supplies were added as modifications to the original tea light snowman were made.

    Most supplies needed for Snowman Santa and Snow Lady tea light ornaments. Most supplies needed for Snowman Santa and Snow Lady tea light ornaments.

    Oh, I'm beginning to have a holiday smile on my face!

    Positioning the felt hat on tea light with eyes and mouth already marked! Positioning the felt hat on tea light with eyes and mouth already marked!

    I added a little more personality to each of the light's characters. The Snow Lady has long eyelashes with a warm chenille pipe cleaner scarf. She's wearing ear muffs crafted out of a smaller piece of pipe cleaner and mini poms-poms. Snowman Santa has a gift with him!

    Snow Lady tea light wears ear muffs with her chenille scarf. The battery compartment is still accessible from the back. Snow Lady tea light wears ear muffs with her chenille scarf. The battery compartment is still accessible from the back.

    My next project was also inspired by a Pin I saw last year using toilet paper cardboard tubes to fashion owl ornaments.

    Molding the cardboard tubes to have owl ears. Molding the cardboard tubes to have owl ears.

    I painted my owl a fairly true-to-life color and added details using my black Sharpie marker. As I was looking at the owl's detailed face and feathers, and thinking about its placement on a tree or wreath, it dawned on me to make it a luminary IF a tea light would fit inside the cardboard tube. I had not planned on the owl decoration to be a luminary, so I had to carefully cut slits through the layers of painted cardboard. Next, I used Loctite® Fun-Tak® to hold the tea light in place.

    Angled feather-slits made with a craft knife through painted cardboard tube. Angled feather-slits made with a craft knife through painted cardboard tube.

    Guess what; a tea light from Leisure Arts was the PERFECT FIT!

    A tea light fits perfectly inside the cardboard tube; it is held in place with some Loctite® Fun-Tak®. A tea light fits perfectly inside the cardboard tube; it is held in place with some Loctite® Fun-Tak®.

    I hot glued a wooden clothespin (Leisure Arts #48158) to the back of the owl so I could perch it anywhere on a tree or wreath. I think the angle of my feather slits need to changed, and the feathers need to be opened more to enhance more illumination.

    A little illumination is visible. Perhaps a different angle or wider slits are needed for more light to be seen. A little illumination is visible. Perhaps a different angle or wider slits are needed for more light to be seen.

    I think I'll experiment with another owl and circular holes.

    A two-tone red owl with pin-pricked holes for better tea light visibility. A two-tone red owl with pin-pricked holes for better tea light visibility.
    The owl's features are done and the tea light is in place! The owl's features are done and the tea light is in place!

    I checked the "better" illumination by sitting my owl in the office's semi-darkened mail room. I think the red owl will look great on a tree with the tea light snow people!

    Sitting in the office mailroom. Sitting in the office mail room.

    Now to show you all three tea light ornaments clustered together: Snowman Santa, Snow Lady and Owl. I like the brighter color used to paint the owl red. I think I'll lean towards making more owls in a variety of folk art colors and add whimsical details around the eyes, feathers and wings.

    On the office tree! Snowman Santa and the Snow Lady both have their lights on. The owl's light is on, too, but the angle doesn't show it very well. On the office tree! Snowman Santa and the Snow Lady both have their lights on. The owl's light is on, too, but the angle doesn't show it very well.
    See the difference in the tea light noses with the light turned on or off. Remember: color the flame orange with a permanent marker. See the difference in the tea light noses with the light turned on or off. Remember: color the flame orange with a permanent marker.

    Next up, more holiday lights on my dining room table at home. I have my LED 3-Pack Candle Set  in a row  atop a table runner.

    The very popular LED 3-pack candle set can be part of a holiday tablescape, too! The very popular LED 3-pack candle set can be part of a holiday tablescape, too!

    I wanted to add to my tabletop candles and decided on making a paper village using my coloring book paper from Art of Coloring  Festive (Leisure Arts #6945) and Art of Coloring Holiday (Leisure Arts #7094). I've just gotten started but am very pleased with the simple, clean paper house design found here.

    The tea lights make paper house luminaries as part of the table decor. The tea lights make paper house luminaries as part of the table decor.

    I looked at many paper house, paper box and paper folded ornament designs but this design by Hello Bee was the best for this project: a house structure to be a luminary and to show off a coloring book design. The paper house on the right has red and green tissue paper taped to the inside of the structure as a line. With the tea light turned on, the tissue paper-lined house was supposed  to give a warm holiday glow. However, it was the heaviest tissue paper I've ever felt and was displeased with the effect; that house will get a renovation! I like the intent of the added tissue paper, but I will need to buy some new (traditionally lighter-weight) yellow tissue paper. When the tea light is turned off, the tissue paper liner masks the appearance of the tea light if you don't like it being seen inside the house.

    In the early Fall, I showed different ways to use and decorate the LED 3-Pack Candle Set for National LED Day. Along with button garlands wrapped around the pillar candles, other embellishments were incorporated to the tablescape that included leaves, more buttons, baskets, etc. Not shown in my earlier post, was the below image of a wintry decorated candle; it is perfect for Christmas and beyond. I made snowball pom-poms (watch how here) and used them along with another button garland to decorate around the largest LED candle in the set.

    These snowball pom-poms look great in holiday colors complementing the ribbon and button garland. These snowball pom-poms look great in holiday colors complementing the ribbon and button garland.

    Candy canes are quite popular to use as part of your holiday decorations this time of year. This home decor candy cane candle project is so festive you could use it in any room for some extra holiday glitz. I wanted to try making a ring of candy canes surrounding a large candle, that I first saw here. It was a great decorative tip or trick, but I wanted to use the largest pillar candle from my LED 3-Pack Candle Set so I would not have to worry about the candle burning down.

    Simple idea - festive look! I'll use my LED pillar candles and won't worry about any flame! Simple idea - festive look! I'll use my LED pillar candles and won't worry about any flame!

    Since I was going to use a hot glue gun to secure the candy canes to each other and I didn't want any hot glue seepage onto my LED candle, I first made a poster board sleeve, or ring, to fit around my candle. Then I glued each candy cane to the poster board and made the candy cane ring. By using the largest pillar candle from my LED 3-Pack Candle Set I don't have to worry about wax getting a bit too warm for plastic wrapped peppermint candy!

    Peppermint candy canes are hot glued to a poster board sleeve [a 3"-4" ring] wrapped around the tallest LED pillar candle. Peppermint candy canes are hot glued to a poster board sleeve [a 3"-4" ring] wrapped around the tallest LED pillar candle.
    I bought inexpensive candy canes, white poster board and wide ribbon. Since I wanted a long section of each candy cane to be glued down, I cut a 3"-4" wide strip of poster board to act as a protective sleeve around the LED candle. I tied on a ribbon for extra security to assist holding the candy canes in place. Now I have an extra pop of color that can be added to any room -- and this is before the LED candle is lit!

    Fluff out that ribbon -- when you're using an LED pillar candle as part of your table decor! Fluff out that ribbon -- when you're using an LED pillar candle as part of your table decor!

    What a fun and busy couple of weeks I've had preparing and gathering these project ideas for you. I hope they will come in handy and lead you in using your tea lights and LED candles as home decor in different ways than you might have expected - craft on!

    Martha

     

     

     

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