We're celebrating the Dazzle Days of Summer this month, and have we got some projects for you! From stars to bright color, we're confident these will dazzle you!
To The Moon And Back
What could be more dazzling than the moon and stars in the night sky? This knit Diaper Cover Set is perfect for the future astronomer in your life.
Vases To Make Your Daisy
The brightly colored vases are the perfect complement to your patio furniture. With Yarn Crafts, yarn isn't just for knitting or crochet. Grab your brightest yarn and start wrapping!
Go A Little Wild
We would go safari as to say our Elephant and Giraffe kits will brighten your world. Whether you choose both or just one is irrelephant, your results will be giraffic! Bring these majestic creatures to your home, or gift them to an animal lover in your life.
You'll Be Hooked
We'll hook you up with this bright and cheerful afghan—all you'll need are scraps of colorful yarn and your favorite crochet hooks. We've got this and other Scrappy Afghans you'll be yarning to create!
Any baby would love to wrap themselves in the universe with this crochet Starry Set from Nature’s Gifts For Baby. Reach for the stars, yarn & crochet hooks and create a galaxy!
Color Us Dazzled
August 3 is National Coloring Book Day, a great occasion to get yourself our Summer Coloring Bundle. All the things you love about summer bundled up and ready for you to add your own special creativity.
You Will Love Your Letters
We initially thought you would love these letters, and we don't think we're mistaken! Pick a letter you love, add some bling, and brighten up your room! Decorate with Letters shares ideas and inspiration to spark your creativity!
We'll Have You In Stitches
You need our Neon Mandala Embroidery Stitch Kit in your life! Your fingers will delight in every moment of this all-in-one project, with colorful embroidered threads that pop in a big way on black fabric. Dazzling!
Don't let this summer end without being dazzled. All of these projects make shimmery shiny gifts, or why not keep them for yourself! So many possibilities—what will you choose?
We'd love to see what you are creating! Please share your photos by tagging @leisureartsinc or using #leisurearts on your social channels. C'mon, dazzle us!
It’s May-ker Month at Leisure Arts, and we have some great kits and books to inspire the maker in you. Creating things by hand not only allows you to express your creativity, it sets free even more creativity that’s hiding just beneath the surface. Read on to find just the right project — or eight — below.
These Roses Have No Thorns
An English rose brings to mind delicate charm and natural beauty — this pattern is no exception. Our Mini Maker English Roses Stitch Kithas everything you need to create these beautiful flowers, including a hoop, pre-printed fabric, needle, floss, & instructions. Calming and modern, this piece will be a beautiful addition to your world. So stop, smell the flowers, & stitch the roses!
Don’t Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill, Make It Out of Yarn
Punch needle embroidery can be traced way back to Ancient Greece, from decorating religious vestments to passing the time on long sea voyages making rugs. It remains popular today and fits in beautifully with our modern-day decors. Punch needle embroidery is fun for all levels, and results in a highly textured design, often described as an oil painting with yarn. Mountain Waves will be your next masterpiece, to gift or to hang on your favorite wall.
Iloominate Your Life
Our Bracelet Loom makes easy work of creating fashionable and fun bracelets. The Mini Maker Bracelet Loom comes with a loom, needle, comb & instructions. Your creations will make cherished gifts for family or friends, or will also look great on your own wrist! Whatever you choose to do with your creations, you’ll be over the loom with this kit!
Everything you need to make your own face masks
Who knew a mask could be so simple to make? Our Mask Kit has enough supplies to sew 2 washable handmade masks, with a pocket to hold removable filters. A formable wire nose piece & elastic ear loops helps the mask conform to the contours of your face. The ear tie can be knotted to fit faces of all sizes, and it's 100% cotton. Reminder: This is not an N-95 respirator and the capability for protection is unknown. Filters not included.
Weave Your Worries Behind With Macramé
This craft from the 70s seems to have quite comfortably weaved its way into 2020. If you’re a knitter or crocheter, macramé will appeal to you. If you’re new to crafting, learning curve macramé is small. Plus, it blends nicely in any decor. The Mini Maker Macramé Feather Wall Hanging has everything you need to complete this project, one weave at a time.
Knit Your Ordinary Knitting Projects
Have you ever thought of knitting a journal cover? Or a handy yoga mat bag? Even if you have never knitted before and aren't sure where to start, or if you’re a seasoned knitter looking for quick yet innovative projects, the Complete Knit Collection is for you! Designer Marly Bird walks you step-by-step through each project, with progressive projects to take you from easy all the way to pro-crafter status!
Cozy up to the Ultimate Crochet Collection
If knitting isn’t your speed, but you like the idea of progressive projects and easy-to-follow instructions, Marly Bird does it again with theUltimate Crochet Collection for Beginners. And talk about cute and functional! Face scrubbies are all the rage for their gentle texture, durability, and great looks. And, we can’t get enough of this cowl — perfect for staying cozy at home or for the office where you’re never quite sure what the temperature will be. Both projects, along with the entire book, are a great intro into this addicting craft, or choose from the large variety to test your skills from easy to more difficult.
We're Resin the Bar With This DIY
Express your creativity and make something beautifully unique. Our DIY Resin Pour Kit will allow you to create your own one-of-a-kind work of art. From trays to customized coasters, these projects will elevate your home decor and/or gift-giving! With the step-by step instructions, you’ll easily learn to mix and pour purple, gold, and white to create washes of rich glossy finishes. We'll share details on how to resin pour on a cheese board, tray, pedestal table, and coasters, and we'll give you resin-pouring basics, tips, and a resin estimator. We’re confident this kit will resin-ate with you!
These projects are sure to inspire the maker in you. The more you make, the more you (and those around you) are inspired to make more, and the circle of creativity just gets wider and wider. We'd love to see what your making, so don't forget to post on your social media channels and tag @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts.
April is Stress Awareness Month, and it couldn’t have come at a more fitting time! If you are looking for ways to relax and bring those stress levels down, crafting could be your answer. Stepping back and taking these little moments in life to crochet, knit, paint, or do anything creative, does more good for your body than you may realize. When you are crafting, you are taking charge and focusing on your mental and physical health, which is critical in times like these. So craft away your stress with any creative project—here are just a few ideas to help inspire you!
Jump on the Diamond Art Bandwagon
If you enjoy crafting AND puzzles, it’s time to jump on the Diamond Art bandwagon. Our Rainy Day Diamond Art by Leisure Arts, powered by Diamond Dotz kit has what you need for a stress-free creative activity. The color-coded chart makes it easy for you to complete this abstract modern surrealist beauty, along with the pre-printed adhesive. With high-quality color printed fabric, 13-faceted diamonds, and handy tools like the comfort grip stylus and wax caddy, you’ll be dipping, dotting, and dazzling your way to a colorful masterpiece!
An Apron a Day Keeps the Stress Away
Sooooooo, you want to relax and be productive at the same time? (See what we did there?) Sew your way to calm with functional and adorable Simple to Sew Aprons. Whether you’re into gardening, chicken-raising, crafting, harvesting, or cooking and baking, we’ve got an apron pattern for you. You can never have too many aprons, right? Designer Billie Steward takes you step by step with instructions that will have you sewing these 13 quick projects and calming your nerves before you know it. With styles from bandanna to eggs to summer picnic or retro, these aprons also make amazing gifts.
Wrap Yourself in Hand-Knitted Warmth
Wrap yourself in hand-knitted warmth and comfort with theseKnit Cardigans by designer Andi Javori! Choose from 12 gorgeous cardigans, or heck, why not all of them? The hard part will be choosing which to knit first. Most of these aprons are rated Easy, with a couple of Intermediate ones sprinkled in just to keep you on your toes. Grab your knitting needles and make yourself a new sweater today! Each is destined to become a favorite.
Double the Creativity, Double the Fun
You and your kids can double your creativity with Play Mats from Leisure Arts—make your own interactive felt scenes, and then enjoy using them to make up your own fun stories. Seven different sets are all easy to cut and assemble with glue and simple stitching. Designs by Kimberly Layton include a castle complete with princess and unicorn, life under the sea, a sweet cupcake shop, a campsite, a farm, a cottage in the woods, and a neighborhood. Arrange the colorful pieces in endless ways and mix with other toys to expand the settings and characters.
Let Marvin Mega Boy Come to Your Rescue
Let Marvin Mega Boy save you from your worries! This Mini Maker Yarn Crafts kit is a bite-sized craft experience that will leave you with a cherished and cuddly super hero. The kit has everything you’ll need to create your own adorable 8.5” Marvin Mega Boy amigurumi, including easy-to-follow instructions, yarn, crochet hook and yarn needle. This little guy packs a big punch when it comes to bringing you joy. PS. He also makes a great companion for napping and watching TV.
Color Your Life with Paper Flowers
Not only are Paper Flowers easier to create than you’d expect, they bring out your creativity and wash away stress. With each turning page of this book, designer Jennifer Maker inspires you to create fabulous florals full of texture and color. And you’ll craft it all using tissue paper, cardstock, floral tape, and other readily available craft materials. You’ll uncover 10 projects in all that include a daisy, dandelion, orchid, and rose — one is sure to be your favorite. The best part — you’ll soon be diving into your very own blossoming projects. We’re sure of it.
Be Homebound in Comfort With This Cozy Quilt
Picture this: Lounging on your couch binge-watching your latest show, covered in a cozy blanket you quilted yourself! Our Homebound: Quilt with Leisure Arts pattern pack has a classic look, but never goes out of style. By adding a twist here or a fabric substitution there, you can go modern or traditional, or both! The finished lap quilt measures 49' x 65' with optional crib, twin, full, and king/queen sizes. The possibilities are endless-ish! And that makes us (and you!) very content.
A Bike Ride That Will Soothe Your Soul
Any Cycologist will tell you that this Bicycle Ride is good for your soul. You’ll have the sudden urge to jump on your own bike, gather flowers, and frolic your heart out, but not until you finish this charming embroidery project. If you find this Bicycle Ride embroidery project as charming as we do, then might we mention that your kit will contain everything you’ll need to embroider it into existence? Plus, the pattern itself is pre-printed on the enclosed fabric, so it’s ideal for beginners and experts alike. Yields one hoop of bicycle bliss. So go ahead – frolic away!
Yes, We Do Believe in Unicorns
Do you believes in unicorns? We do! Let this Unicorn Dreamcatcher protect you from your worries. The kit has everything you need to craft yourself to relaxation and create this unique dreamcatcher. But wait, there’s more! A bonus 32-page project book comes with your kit so you can create more great projects. You’ll be creating an organizer, doily dreamcatcher, ribbon chandelier, wreaths and more! Using the easy to follow instructions that come with our Mini Maker kits, you can easily bring creativity into your everyday life.
Pamper Yourself With Cotton
Pamper yourself and your family with the soft cotton creations featured in All About Cotton. This book guides you easily through 10 projects like making baskets, bottle carrier, tote, plant hanger, bath set, coasters, dishcloth and hanging dishtowel, potholder, napkin ring, and a rug. You’ll use soft and cool, yet sturdy and durable, cotton medium-weight yarn, perfect for quick crochet projects. Not only will you relieve stress by crocheting, you will be beautifying your home as well!
Choose one, two, three of these projects to bring some calm into your days, and come out of it with memories and cherished items. All of these projects are easy to accomplish and are perfect for you to do by yourself or include your children or other family members. Once you finish one or many of these stress relieving projects, be sure to share it with us @leisureartsinc or using the hashtag #LeisureArts on your social channels. We love to see what's going on in the craft universe. In addition, most of the items we’ve written about in this blog post are included in our April Giveaway on our website. Enter to win all of these great projects and craft your way to calm.
Hello Makers! It's that time of year again, March is National Craft Month. Can you believe it's springtime already? With 2020 flying by at high speeds, we're taking a moment to focus on one of our favorite holidays. Crafting and DIY projects are not only a great way to be creative and expand your home décor and wardrobe, but also create opportunities to give to loved-ones or those in need, be more mindful and mentally healthy, and practice purposeful self-care. Take a look at some of our favorite books and projects to celebrate National Craft Month with!
Heroes and animals and monsters, oh my! WithAmigurumi An Adorable Collection, you'll be led through this Japanese crochet style with ease. Whether you want to add some whimsy to your wardrobe or give the gift of courage to a child in your life, there's an animal scarf, superhero doll, and other fun projects that will fulfill all your crochet desires. And since it's National Craft month and you have so many projects to get through, this book is also available as a file download.
Plants have been shown to boost one's mood, but why have real ones that die when you can create your own garden full of everlasting beauty? In Stitch a Garden, you can grow your knitting skills and discover 11 easy, new home décor projects, no green thumb required. And if you really want to go green, this book is available as a download. Step-by-step instructions, vibrant photos, and evergreen ideas will fill your home and crafting month with crafted beauty.
If you're looking to add a little boho flair to your home while also creating something functional, then this Mini Maker kit is for you. Get groovy with this retro craft project. TheMini Maker Arrow Plant Hanger Macramé Kit comes with a 10.5" decorative arrow, lots of cording, and easy-to-follow instructions to get you pointed in the right direction the whole way through. Your new plant hanger will make the perfect wall accent for your home or a heartfelt gift for a plant lover in your life.
Take this month to manifest a free mind withFree Spirit Stitching. These eight boho designs will get you feeling creative and calm in no time. Novice stitchers will gain valuable knowledge and experience, while experienced stitchers can breathe easy as you breeze through these gorgeous designs. The foundational embroidery stitches are clearly explained and put into patterns that will have people begging to know where you got such a trendy, well made accessory. From wall hangings and pillows to tote bags and clutches, there's a design for everyone in this book. You can even download it for more ease.
Dip your toe into the soothing waters of embroidery. With theMini Maker Green Fields Embroidery Stitch Kit, you'll get the perfect introduction to embroidery without having to commit yourself to buying all the materials separately. This kit comes with an 8" hoop, 21 gorgeous floss colors, stamped fabric, a needle, and easy-to-follow instructions. There's no easier way to explore a new craft while making a tranquil piece for hanging on the wall or giving to a friend.
Unleash your inner artist and discover how freeing and fun painting can be. Happy Abstracts is a how-to guide for true beginners and seasoned artists alike. You'll be guided through six different projects and encouraged to embrace fearlessness and keep an open mind. There's no need to feel like something has to be perfect if you're the one creating it, and this book helps take that pressure away. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with your art and show the world what you're made of. As an added reminder, there are 14 vibrant pull-out cards to lift you up when you need a boost. They also make great cards for friends and family who need to be reminded of the magic they bring to the world.
Wood just got even cooler. In Modern Woodburning, you can learn the basics of pyrography, the art of decorating wood and other natural materials by burning them. Nine skill-building projects will give you all the woodburning basics, as well as inspiring you to create your own designs. Since this book is downloadable, it's easy to learn all about this red-hot craft. Blaze a trail and get your friends and family involved!
If a little sparkle never hurt anybody, then a lot is probably good for you! Dazzle yourself and your loved ones with a diamond dotting creation like this one.5D DIY Diamond Painting Advanced Wildflowers Kit will be a crafting experience unlike anything else. The individually placed gems come together to create a magnificent piece of wall art. You'll be the envy of all who see it, but they don't have to know how soothing and fun it was to make. The kit contains a printed fabric piece, a stylus, a tray, a wax caddy, a comfort grip, color-sorted gems, and easy-to-follow instructions. It may look like you have to be a master, but it'll actually be a walk in the park to complete.
There's no better time than now to start a new hobby or craft, so pick up one of these projects and get making! We would love to know why you craft and what your big project is for this month! Be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts too, so we can see how you're celebrating National Craft Month.
Hey there, Makers! We kicked off the new year with Creativation 2020, which, is a trade show hosted by the AFCI (Association for Creative Industries) where you can check out the latest trends in crafts and craft products. The Leisure Arts booth was located in the newly created TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) pavillion. We had a blast this year with our sister company PA Distribution, and turned out two booths with all of our new products and product lines! But we know that not everyone can fly to Phoenix Arizona to see how great some of our new products and books are, so we're showing you here on our blog! We have some great videos from the Leisure Arts and PA Distribution booths, where you'll get to see what's coming soon! So scroll to see what's coming for the rest of 2020.
Leisure Arts: Coming Soon
We just recently launched our DIY Resin Pour kits, and you guys have probably watched the videos we just put out! These kits have everything you need and more to get into resin pouring, just choose your surface and you're ready to pour! Play with powerful pigments like blues, purples, pinks, and reds! You can elevate the simple cheeseboard with fun colors and marbling, or make a breakfast tray extra special with a wash of blue! Resin is just like paint pouring, but the result gives you more of a glossy and smooth texture. We're ringing in 2020 in luxury!
You've heard of our Stitchery Kits before, but now we have new ones! And they are perfect for that 2020 aesthetic. We're featuring posies, poppies, and priceless saying like "Coffee Please" and "Hold on, let me overthink this". What's great about these kits is that they are a great entry into embroidery, because not only do they include everything you need to get started, but you have a pre-printed cloth canvas to follow along the lines on and make the design perfectly on the first try. It takes the guess work out of the craft, and makes it super easy to try and get hooked on! We're so excited to bring these new designs to you.
Speaking of new arrivals, we have our Punch Needle kits that will be launching this spring! These were also featured in our booth, and they are basically the same concept as the stitchery kit, but with a different type of needle craft. Punch Needle is a craft that has been around for a long time, but its making a comeback in a modern and fashionable way! These kits will have everything you need to get started in the craft, and with modern and cute designs like the flowers you see above, you'll have a hard time choosing which one to start first! Look out for more information on these in the spring.
Our last soft craft you might have heard of is Amigurumi! We've made adorable Amigurumi kits with some of your favorites like lions, monkeys, and cute monsters! Elevate the typical stuffed teddy bear and gift someone with these as an extra special personal memento. These kits make it super easy to create your own customized plush doll with fun colors and quirky faces. These will be making an appearance sooner than you think, so watch out on our social pages for these guys!
New Diamond Art...And More!
We don't just have new Diamond Art canvases, but a new freestyle program from Diamond Dotz! This new program was the talk of the town at Creativation, because it has so many variations and possibilities. Diamond Dotz Freestyle is all about your design your way, because we give you the materials, and you design your canvas! You have two options of a liquid adhesive or sandwich adhesive, and you can use these glues to mix and match your favorite gem colors to jackets, purses, shoes, jewelry, serving trays, and more!
You can buy individual gem colors, or buy our coordinated gem color packs to style your own design to your surface. We've seen some great designs on surfaces like glass, wood, metal, and more! The adhesives are easy to apply, and makes customization effortless. If you need some inspiration on what to design, we've got it in the works! We're going to be releasing some new books specifically designed for the freestyle program! These 8 books will be released March 15th, and we can't wait for your guys to see the beautiful inspiration that's inside of them.
We've got a wide range of ideas, from animals and landscapes, to cutesy patches and expressions. We even have dog and cat specific books for the person who's dying to dazzle their own breed of dog or favorite cat. These books are as simple to follow as our kits, in that they provide you with the directions to build your design, and dazzle it to your liking with photos, charts, and diagrams! You'll be dazzling everything and anything in no time with the help of our new Diamond Dotz freestyle program. So get excited!
As you can see, we've got a lot coming down the pipeline for the rest of 2020! Be sure to watch the video of our booth to get the full list of all of our new product lines and improvements. Now we'll give you guys a sneak peek of the 2020 products from our sister company, PA Distribution!
PA Distribution: Coming Soon
New Brands: An Artist's Dream Products
You may have heard from our recent press release that PA Distribution picked up a few new art brands. This year in the PA Distribution booth you got to see some beloved art products on their shelves, like Cheep paints, ProArt canvases, and Art Advantage utensils! These art supplies have been well known and loved by crafters and artists alike for years, and it was really exciting to see that PA now houses their products. If you are a wholesaler, you can go to their website here and buy it in bulk, but if you just want to buy the products for yourself, stay tuned! We'll have these baubles on our website in the future.
If you want to level up your scrapbooking and paper crafting game, then these Paper Accents supplies are perfect for you. PA has recently expanded their lines of vellum and cardstock, and they are perfect for your next colorful project! Start small with their unicorn cards and envelopes, or get some bang for your buck with their Vellum Rainbow Pack. There's a lot of fun possibilities to work with!
PA essentials is exactly as it sounds. It's starting with the basics of crafting, but with a modern and fun twist! PA essentials line is full of fun starter packs in stencils, cloth, chip shapes, and more! This is a really great line to look into for beginners and seasoned crafters, because everyone relies on the basics of crafting before they branch out. They had such a wide selection at the show, and you can check out all of it on their site, or stay tuned to purchase individually from our site.
You may have heard of washi tapes if you're a bullet journal enthusiast like a lot of our crafters, but you haven't heard of these washi tapes, cause they're brand new! These tapes are bold, bright, and beautiful with metallic options and neon options. Perfect for a first time bullet journal maker, or for a serious scrapbooker! This is a great addition to PA's 2020 product line.
What did you think of our Creativation Lineup? Leave us a comment below, or shout us out @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts. We hope you guys are as excited as we are for these new developments for 2020!
Hey makers! Fall has struck, and we couldn't be happier - because now we can break out that fall décor! We have a bunch of ideas this year to share with you, both festive and just plain fall fun. Almost all of these projects are easy to make and can be finished before the season ends, so you have creative new artwork to show off to your guests. Scroll to find your favorite craft category, and start your next project!
Whether you're ready for Thanksgiving turkey or Halloween popcorn balls, we've got patterns to fit your seasonal décor style. This sugar skull Snuggie from Kids Snuggies is perfect for the Halloween homebody that loves to stay in and watch Hocus Pocus. You can change up the size of the pattern as needed, but we say that this isn't just a Snuggie for kids. This would be a great spooky surprise for adults too! It's so cozy, you can keep it up even after All Saints Day. If you're looking for hunting cabin décor, or just a simple rustic touch to your home, try this rug from Half Moon Rugs! The antlers really make this rug stand out, even though it's made with neutral yarn colors. This would be a great gift for both guys and gals, and would be a great neutral accent to any home during the fall. Who knows, you might wanna keep it through winter.
If you're looking for a bigger project to take on, try this falling leaves afghan from Crochet Afghan Revival. Not only is the picture above a whole mood, but the afghan itself is a really great accessory for your loveseat, during and after fall. This is a style of afghan that goes beyond the season, and the pattern itself is long lasting and comfy for those cold fall and winter mornings.
If you're in need of some extra kitchen accessories, then look no further for festive fall décor. These fruit and veggie potholder and dishcloths from Make In A Weekend Potholders and Dishcloths are perfect for you! The book title is self explanatory, you can literally make these in just one weekend, they're that easy. in days you can have adorable Corn Cob Dishcloths or Golden Apple Potholders to decorate your kitchen for fall.
If you've been waiting to decorate for Halloween since November 1st of last year, then we have some spooky and spell-binding projects that will light up your space brighter than a full moon. Everyone loves a good pumpkin transformation but sometimes you don't want all that mess. Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins has some great transformation ideas that don't require you to gut your pumpkin (see picture above). You can even use fake pumpkins for these ideas, so you can use them year round! Trick or treat with your embellishments with sweet white flowers or scary spiders, and create fun and fancy pumpkin displays to elevate your haunted house.
If you wanna get witchy with your halloween decor, then this crystal candle formHome Candle Makinglooks like it came straight out of a witch's cauldron. You can choose what kind of crystals to put into your candle, and even add your favorite essential oils to make it an extra special potion. The choice is up to you! You can look through the book for other fall inspired candles too, there are tons of recipes!
If you want to go less spooky and more subtle fall vibes, then these Stitchery Kits are great fall projects. These kits really make embroidery easy. You have everything you need to create whimsical and colorful scenes, from needles to multiple colors of floss. The best part about these kits are the pre-printed designs already on the cloth included. It's as simple as securing the design onto the embroidery hoop, and then stitching along the lines! Once you're done you can display them anywhere in your home or office that needs a little autumn magic. Our Falling Leaves Stitchery Kit is extra magical with a translucent fabric as the background, giving an illusion of actual falling leaves. With our Snow Garden Stitchery Kit, you don't have to wait for the snow to fall, you can bring winter mornings to your living room! This kit is a great minimalist addition to our collection and looks really nice next to the falling leaves (pictured above).
Are you feeling festive yet? If you've tried any of these projects, or any have any other fall decor ideas, then tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts so we can see what's going on in your studios.
It's the 25th of July, craft family. You know what that means? It's Christmas Day (in July)! We can all agree that this is an odd holiday overall, and while we complain about seeing all of this Christmas stuff way too early, we secretly can't deny how fun it is to see the festive decorations in store every year. Christmas time is supposed to be a joyous holiday filled with family, friends, and love. Why wouldn't you want that a second time in the year? Which is why we love to celebrate it here at Leisure Arts. We have a Giveaway going on until July Currently, where we are granting one lucky individual a chance to win 15 books, and an Oval Loom Kit.
You can give those books a once over if those interest you, but for this week's post, we're gonna show you some other great crafts that you can make with the family unit for Christmas in July!
Holiday Crafts For The Kids
The people you buy the most gifts for are always the little lights of your life: your kids! Well, or nieces or nephews or grandchildren. Check out some of the best selling pattern books for kids that are currently on sale now.
Thread Crochet is a delicate style of crochet, that can produce amazing results. Jewelry is a phenomenon that you wouldn't expect crochet to fit into, but it does! You can have all different types of unique jewelry from the styles above, from simple baubles to fancy chain links!
Today we’re switching it up with a hot new crafting series, affectionately known as “Crafting Across Cultures”. We get so wrapped up in our own projects, and tend to forget about what’s going on with the rest of the world (in crafting, that is). I want to focus in on a specific country for each post in the series, and shine the spotlight on some of the great crafts and Folk Art they have to share with the world. Let's expand everyone’s horizons in craft, and spread new ideas across cultures.
This Week? We have Mexico!
Known for its beautiful textiles and interesting pottery designs, Mexico has had a stronghold in the arts for quite some time (since 1400 BCE, according to Wikipedia). Today, we’re going to focus on the traditions of making these crafts, and the cultural significance it has for Mexico.
The textiles of Mexico have worn many hats. Clothing was originally made from plants and cottons, which later expanded to more luxurious fabrics like silks and wool after the conquest of the Aztec Empire. Most fabrics are made with naturally dyed fibers, which give nice earthy tones to the coloring and prints in the textiles. Most are embroidered and adorned with fresh patterns that incorporate the Mexican flag in some form or fashion.
Here are some of Mexico’s most popular textile fashions!
This is a garment that is still widely used today in both mixed-race communities and indigenous cultures. This long shawl is used to carry heavy objects close to the body, or support a baby. It’s traditionally a long piece of cloth with fringe on the sides, and can be made as big or as small as the crafter wants.
Serape / Saltillo Blanket
Always featuring a diamond shape in the center, the Saltillo blanket is beautiful and functional. The blankets were historically worn by men during their travels. Made with natural woven fibers, they are always bright in color as a tribute to the gods. It is speculated that if you wear bright colors, you keep evil spirits away and are granted favors from the gods. That’s why these blankets will always have luxurious blues, pinks, greens and purples, all naturally dyed from fruits and insects.
This is a style of embroidery that is implemented on fabrics in Mexico. This style of hand painting on fabric is based off cliff painting and could take weeks or even years to complete. Otomi Women trace a design on a white cotton cloth, and then go back and stitch with a technique that only appears on one side of the cloth. The designs seem abstract, but relate to cave painting motifs that date back to hundreds of years ago.
The Making of Textiles in Mexico
The textiles you just saw are traditionally made by spinning, weaving and sewing. Hand weaving fabrics on backstrap looms to create intricate patterns and color combinations are still common practices in Mexico. In fact,this article from Zinnia Folk Arts references that each Mesoamerican culture had a deity that watched over the women who wove and created fabrics. Textile making was known to be a gift to women from the gods.Fabrics were used as a form of payment earlier in time. Whoever had the best fabrics were known to be of a higher social class. Materials and adornments like beads, feathers, and rabbit fur were woven into the nice materials, and cotton was eventually introduced from the areas the Aztecs took over (but was only available to the wealthy).It’s amazing to think about how important materials like fabrics can be to a culture. From fibers to thread, then thread to tradition.
Hope you had fun learning something new today! If there are other crafts to make from Mexico, please share them with us. We’re always curious!
If you want to learn how to start crocheting or weaving so you can make these awesome designs (or designs similar), we have a few books to recommend!