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  • The Perfect Knit Pumpkin Centerpiece!

    You might have seen the pictures of our Leisure Arts Halloween festivities yesterday! (If you haven't seen them, click here!) If you have a watchful crafter's eye, one thing might have stuck out to you. This Knit Pumpkin!

    Crochet Pumpkin Leisure Arts! Halloween Knit Pumpkin - Leisure Arts

     

    Isn't this adorable? The soft yarn and muted orange makes this plushy pumpkin perfect for a warm Fall dinner setting. As a special treat from us, we're giving you this Knit Pumpkin pattern FOR FREE! Here's how it's done:

     

    THE KNIT PUMPKIN

    Stem and Top

    With Brown, tie beginning yarn between the third and fourth st to form a ring.

    Rnds 1-3: Knit around.

    Rnd 4: Increase in each st around: 6 sts.

    Rnd 5: Beginning with the next loop bind of 6 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 6: Beginning with the next loop, (increase in next bind off st, pick up one in next st) around: 9 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 7: Beginning with marked st, bind off 9 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 8: Beginning with next loop, increase in each bind of st around: 18 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 9: Beginning with marked st, bind off 18 sts, cut yarn after second working loop and pull through remaining st.

    Body

    Rnd 1: Join Orange and pick up one loop in each bind off st: 18 sts.

    Rnd 2: Beginning with next loop, bind off 18 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 3: Beginning with next loop, (pick up in next bind off st, increase in next bind off st) around: 27 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 4: Leaving marked st unworked, knit each st around.

    Rnd 5: Beginning with marked st, bind off 27 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 6: Beginning with next loop, (pick up in next 2 bind off sts, increase in next bind off st) around: 36 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 7: Leaving marked st unworked, knit each st around.

    Rnd 8: Beginning with marked st, bind off 36 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 9: Beginning with next loop, (increase in next bind off st, pick up in next 3 bind off sts) around: 45 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 10: Leaving marked st unworked, knit each st around.

    Rnd 11: Beginning with marked st, bind off 45 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 12: Beginning with next loop, pick up one st in each bind off st around: 45 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 13: Leaving marked st unworked, knit each st around.

    Rnd 14: Beginning with marked st, bind off 45 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnds 15-26: Repeat Rnds 12-14, 4 times.

    Rnd 27: Beginning with next loop, pick up one st in each bind off st around: 45 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 28: Leaving marked st unworked, (K2 tog, K7) around: 40 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 29: Beginning with marked st, bind off 40 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 30: Beginning with next loop, pick up one st in each bind off st around: 40 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 31: Leaving marked st unworked, (K6, K2 tog) around: 35 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 32: Beginning with marked st, bind off 35 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 33: Beginning with next loop, pick up one st in each bind off st around: 35 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 34: Leaving marked st unworked, (K2 tog, K5) around: 30 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 35: Beginning with marked st, bind off 30 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 36: Beginning with next loop, pick up one st in each bind off st around: 30 sts and one maked st.

    Rnd 37: Leaving marked st unworked, (K3, K2 tog) around: 24 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 38: Beginning with marked st, bind off 24 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 39: Beginning with next loop, pick up one st in each bind off st around: 24 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 40: Leaving marked st unworked, K2 tog around: 12 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 41: Beginning with marked st, bind off 12 sts, place marker in remaining st.

    Rnd 42: Beginning with next loop, pick up one st in each bind off st around: 12 sts and one marked st.

    Rnd 43: Leaving marked st unworked, K2 tog around: 6 sts.

    Rnd 44: Beginning with marked st, bind off 6 sts; cut yarn 6 loops past the last worked st. Cut loops open to form a long end.

    Thread yarn needle with long end and weave through bound off sts; gather tightly and secure end.

    OPTIONAL JACK O' LANTERN FACE

    Eye (Make 2)

    With Black, cast on 4 sts.

    Row 1: K2 tog twice: 2 sts.

    Row 2: K2 tog; cut yarn 6 loops past the last worked st. Cut loops open to form a long end.

    Mouth

    With Black and beginning with 13th loop, pull 12th loop through 13th loop, pull 11th loop through 12th loop, work in same manner using all loops from cast on; cut yarn 8 loops past the last worked st. 

    Cut loops open to form a long end.

    Using photo as a guide, attach facial featured.

     

    Halloween Crochet Pumpkin - Leisure Arts! Halloween Knit Pumpkin - Leisure Arts!
    Thanksgiving Pumpkin- Leisure Arts Thanksgiving Knit Pumpkin- Leisure Arts

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ta-Da! You have yourself a perfect centerpiece that can last you through the entire season of Fall. The best part about this pattern is that you can make just the Pumpkin base, or you can add the Jack O' Lantern face for Halloween! The versatility in this design is what makes it a perfect project to take on, no matter the skill level.

  • 5 Crafty Creations To Concoct Before Halloween Is Over!

    It's a spooky time of year, Maker friends! The things that go bump in the night are ready to rumble. Halloween is just around the corner, and soon we'll see monsters and goblins and vampires roam the streets till the late hours of the night. If you're one of those die hard Halloween enthusiasts, then go out there and stir up some trouble! But if you're wanting to be less of a Frankenstein and more of a Casper The Friendly Ghost, then you've visited the right blog post. We've got some addicting and crafty creations that you can make before 'All Hallow's Eve' approaches.

    halloween1-02

    Don't worry, these projects are warlock tested, mother approved.

    Create Your Own Frankenstein

    Get in the mindset of Dr. Jekyll when you create these Amigurumi Monsters! You can create endless possibilities with different colors and types of yarn, until you have created the perfect masterpiece.

    Halloween Projects Amigurumi Monsters - Mohawk and Flame
    Halloween Projects Amigurumi Monsters - Sunny and Pom-Pom

    Practice Your Black Magic

    Bubble bubble, toil and trouble! Sometimes you need a little magic in the air to make your night special. This potion for activated Charcoal soap is sure to work it's magic and make your skin soft as the silk off a witch's hat. Become your everyday Sanderson sister with these recipes for homemade soap from Home Soap Making.

    Halloween Projects Activated Charcoal Soap - Home Soap Making

    Conjure A Fairy Wonderland

    Make some fairy friends this Halloween, by creating a magical garden for them! These creative DIY Fairy Garden landscapes from Kristi Simpson are sure to brighten up your home for the mystical and magical holiday.

    DIY Magic Gardens Rose Garden - DIY Fairy Gardens
    Garden Moss Garden Hut - DIY Fairy Gardens

    Get Enchanted by Seasonal Cross Stitch

    Cross Stitch is a fascinating craft that hooks you in once you start sewing. Trust me when I say that after looking at these Halloween patterns, you'll be under the Cross Stitch spell.

    Halloween Decor Seasonal Cottages - Halloween
    Halloween Decor Sample The Seasons - Halloween

    Become The Halloween Pumpkin King

    David Pumpkins who? Become the aficionado on all things pumpkin decor when you create our projects from Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins! Make lasting Halloween decor that can be used for years to come with craft pumpkins.

    Halloween Decor Personalized Spooky Decor - Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins
    Halloween Decor Personalized False Pumpkin Decor - Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins

     

    Most of these crafts will last you for years to come too, so you'd be creating some long term decorations that will impress your friends and family. These are the perfect projects to work on while you watch your favorite Halloween classic and fill up on Snickers and Paydays! The best part is that you can start working on these projects right now! Just follow the links to our website and purchase our eBooks. If you've created some fun Halloween crafts, tell us below, or even better, share a picture to our Leisure Arts Facebook Page! We'd love to see how our fellow makers are decorating their homes for Halloween.

     

    Have a crafty Halloween, Makers!

     

    -Leisure Arts Team

     

     

  • DIY Diamond Art Transformations - Blue Dahlia Welcome Home Sign

    Diamond Art! Our new product that's taking over craft stores across the nation. We're glad that you all have been loving and sharing our new designs with your friends and family. So far you guys have only seen our beautifully dotted canvases, in and out of frames. But, what if you went the extra mile, and thought outside of the frame? We did, and we have some great DIY Diamond Art Projects that you can create from your newly dazzled Diamond Art Canvas! You didn't think we were done dazzling, right? Just because our #DiamondArtParty is over, doesn't mean we stopped cranking out new designs and projects. Keep tuning into our social to see what's coming soon.

    DIY Diamond Art?

    DIY Diamond Art Blue Dahlia Welcome Home Sign
    DIY Diamond Art Blue Dahlia Diamond Art Kit

    Today we have a tutorial for this beautiful DIY Wall Art, using a popular beginner level kit, The Blue Dahlia Diamond Art Kit. If you're not familiar with it, here are some pictures.

    We have some close ups too, in case you weren't convinced enough to go out and buy a kit yet.

    As you can see, we found a way to go beyond the scope of the printed diamond art canvas, and we created this unique welcome home sign that can hang in your entryway or living room! All it took was a little bit of effort, adhesive and creativity.

    Supplies

    Here are the things you'll need for this DIY Diamond Art Project:

      • A Diamond Art Canvas  (We used the Blue Dahlia, but you can always switch it out for another flower canvas)
      • Embroidery Floss (Or any type of thread you prefer for a trim)
      • Two-Sided Adhesive Backing (Make sure that you get a backing that is bigger than your Dazzle Area)
      • A Wood Pallet / Custom Wood Frame
      • Acrylic Paint (you pick the colors, be creative!)
    • Wood Block Letters 

    I Got The Supplies! Now What?

    The first thing you'll want to do is dazzle your Diamond Art Canvas, of course. In our case, the Blue dahlia is a beginner level kit, so there isn't a big learning curve in terms of starting the craft. Diamond Art is meant to be a leisurely craft that lets you put the canvas away for later if you wanted to, or complete it in one day, the choice is up to you!

    After you've dazzled your way to success, carefully cut out your design, and stick it to one side of your adhesive backing. Next, carefully line your dazzle area (where there are gemstones) on your canvas with the Embroidery Floss, making sure that the floss sticks to the extra adhesive. This will give you a clear guide when cutting your canvas again.  You can get your frame from the Wood Crafts section of any craft store near you, pick your favorite! You can even go the extra creative mile and craft your own! All you would need are some wood planks and nails.

    Now that you've laid out your floss, you can cut the excess adhesive from around the whole artwork. Now you can start to lay your design onto the frame! Peel off the second layer of the backing, and after that you're unstoppable. Remember to leave enough room for the letters to be evenly spaced out, and assuming that you have already painted your letters to the colors you want, glue them onto your newly dazzled frame!

    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 with a nice hot cup of tea, and marvel at your finished Diamond Art Masterpiece.

    If you make a DIY Diamond Art Project of your own, be sure to share it on our social so we can show it some love. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks to see more of our DIY projects, you never know what the next big thing will be!

    Happy Dazzling!

    -Leisure Arts Team

    DIY Diamond Art Lifestyle

  • DIY Beauty Queen Stephanie Rose: Make and Give Home Apothecary!

    We are honored to have Stephanie Rose, author of Make and Give Home Apothecary, give us some insight on why she made the massively popular book on making DIY beauty products. Read what drove her to create these unique and natural health and beauty staples!

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    DIY Beauty Products Minty Sugar Scrub

    Why "Make and Give"?

    I think it’s just as much fun to give a gift as to receive one, especially when it’s one of the handcrafted creations from my new book, Make & Give Home Apothecary – Easy Ideas for Making & Packaging Bath Bombs, Salts, Scrubs & More. I had so much fun creating the projects for this book, and I know that you will to. They are easy to master, look beautiful, and smell fantastic. And after you craft them up, you will have a pretty great stash of gorgeous gifts to give away.

    DIY Beauty Products Botanical Salt Gifts

    Homemade gifts are not only a joy to make, but they are also a meaningful way to share a sentiment that comes from the heart. When someone has a new baby, moves into a neighborhood, or becomes suddenly ill, we share a piece of ourselves to mark the occasion. A casserole for the new parents. Freshly baked muffins for the new neighbors. Or a get well soon card for somebody who's fallen ill. It's these little gestures that bring us together as a community and allow us to feel connected in the highs and lows of our lives. 

    DIY Beauty Products Handcrafted Lip Balm

    Why DIY Beauty Products?

    It was one of those occasions where I learned about the power of herbs. Unfortunately, I was the one who became suddenly ill, and as a consequence, I made huge changes to my life. One of the biggest changes was looking at what products I used on my skin. Many of us go to great lengths to be sure that what we eat is natural and healthy, but often the products that we put on our skin go overlooked. 

    DIY Beaut Products DIY Perfume Rollers

    Once I learned a few basic recipes, I was hooked. From just a few ingredients—many of which I found in my kitchen or grew in my garden—I was able to make a wide variety of real products that soothed and pampered my body. I was astonished that those small changes made such a huge difference in how I feel. The balms made my skin feel like silk, the herbal baths eased away the aches and pains, and the fragrances helped to lift my mood and settle me down. This lead me to create a home apothecary, filled with natural ingredients that could be whipped into a variety of lotions and potions to for myself, my family, and my friends. 

    DIY Beauty Products Coffee Bean Bath Melt

    Since using plant-based skincare products have made such a positive difference in my life, I’ve swapped out the casseroles for wonderful concoctions I create from my home apothecary. Herbs, flowers, cocoa butter, plant oils, beeswax, and essential oils can make an abundance  of homemade gifts that look like they should be on the pages of a magazine. From decadent cocoa butter lip balm to botanical salt scrubs, luxurious bath bombs, stimulating massage bars, healing foot soaks and more, the recipes contained in the following pages all draw on the healing power of plants in the most beautiful way possible.

    Make and Give Home Apothecary Botanical Salt Mixture

    Can Anyone Make These Products?

    The projects that I’ve shared in Make & Give Home Apothecary show a variety of techniques that you can easily replicate or personalize to suit your own tastes. Plus they give you the opportunity to customize the products so that they suit the person you're giving them to. Once you’ve completed them, I’ve included a creative way to package each product for gift-giving that makes them extra special. You can scale the projects up for wedding or event favors, or give a single gift for a special occasion. Package a few of the projects together for a gift basket or sell them at a fundraiser or craft show. No matter how you choose to give your gifts, be sure to make some extras for yourself because you deserve a gift too. 

    DIY Beauty Products DIY Floral Bath Bombs

    Be sure to check out Stephanie's new book, Make and Give Home Apothecary! Create these beautiful and natural gifts for the ones you love, or make some for a rainy day of relaxation. Click the picture for the link!

    DIY Beauty Products Home Apothecary Cover

     

    Happy Crafting!

     

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Merry Christmas in July! Fun Crafts for a Quirky Holiday

    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.

    If you want to enter the Giveaway, Click Here. 

    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.

    Kid's Snuggles - SKU # 75678

    Holiday Crafts Mermaid Snuggie
    Holiday Crafts Princess Snuggie

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A fun and popular book for the kids, this is a great pattern book full of gifts that spark imagination! Make nap time fun with character blankets and soft yarn.

     

    Baby Stacks -  SKU # 75668

    Holiday Crafts Bumble Bee Baby Stack
    Holiday Crafts Zoo Animal Baby Stack

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You'll have so much fun making these adorable designs for your little one at home! These baby stacks make for great activities that keep the baby's attention and coordination skills in good shape.

     

    Busy Baby Boxes - SKU # 75672

    Holiday Crafts Fairy Princess Baby Box
    Holiday Crafts Farm House Busy Baby Box

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A fun addition to playtime, these designs are great for keeping the little one's attention and are filled with up to six little crochet finger puppets as an added bonus!

     

    Fun With Crochet

    Crochet is one of our most popular categories, because there is so much versatility! We have a few of our new books in crochet available during our sale, like these two favorites!

    Artisan Jewelry - SKU # 75670

    Holiday Crafts Thread Crochet Fan Necklace
    Holiday Crafts Bead and Tassel Necklace
    Holiday Crafts Chain Link Necklace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

    Quick Crochet Flowers - SKU # 75684 

    Holiday Crafts Crochet Flower Dream Catcher
    Holiday Crafts Embroidery Hoop Flower Art

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This is a great book full of fun home decor projects. The new designs take crochet to an elegant level that sophisticates your home with DIY Flowers and embroidery.

     

    Extras!

    I know that having all of these books to choose from is a lot to take in, so let us help! here are a few extra books that we love that you should pick up during our sale.

    Oversized Knits - SKU # 75680

    Holiday Crafts Oversized Blue Knit Cap and Scarf Set
    Holiday Crafts Oversized Messy Bun Hat
    Holiday Crafts Oversized Lime Green Shawl

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A book chock full of quirky designs, this is an interesting pattern book that will make you want to pick up jumbo knitting. The designs range from fun winter hats to flirty summer shawls!

     

    Make a Crochet Garden - SKU # 75669

    Holiday Crafts Crochet Cacti Pencil Cup Holder
    Holiday Crafts Hanging Crochet Garden
    Holiday Crafts Succulent Crochet Table Runner

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This pattern book has been one of our most popular this year, and for good reason! The book allows you to create a garden that will never wilt, and bring a unique edge to your usual home decor!

     

    After School Kid's Crafts - SKU # 7238

    Holiday Crafts Small and Soft Owl Satchels
    Holiday Crafts Felty Fun Unicorn Art
    Holiday Crafts Fun Felt and Stitch Tree Art

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A fun book to bring home to the kids! They'll make the coolest school accessories with the designs from this book.

     

    There are plenty more where these came from, Crafters! There are over 560 titles in the Christmas in July Sale section right now, so I would take advantage of it while it lasts!

     

    Shop our Sale, Now! 

    Use code JINGLEJULY at checkout to get the discount.

     

    Happy Crafting!

     

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Bountiful Pencils

    My favorite time of year is here -- sort of; fall is having a difficult time arriving with above-average temperatures and little rain! So to encourage all things autumnal to surround me, I pulled out my Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone coloring book (one of my favorites) to decide which page would be my next to color.

    Blank page of pumpkins and gourds to be colored using Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582) by Leisure Arts. Blank page of pumpkins and gourds to be colored using Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582) by Leisure Arts.

    Coloring is so much fun especially when the design is themed around something you love. So coloring a fall-themed design was easy for me. I've been using and loving the new pencils Leisure Arts has to offer. There are two choices; they are the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils. Both of these new sets of pencils give an extra "wow" factor to a picture!

    As with most pictures I color using colored pencils, it is the layering and blending of colors that bring an image to life.

    Close-up of the colors and blending started on a section of the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993). Close-up of the colors and blending started on a section of the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993).

    Think outside-the-box when it comes to your color palette; don't think you should only use the "traditional" or "natural" colors for the pumpkins and gourds.

    Larger section showing traditional and non-traditional colors chosen for the leaves, pumpkins and gourds (from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders by Leisure Arts). Larger section showing traditional and non-traditional colors chosen for the leaves, pumpkins and gourds (from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders by Leisure Arts).

    Another step to my creation of a 3-D look to a 2-D drawing is the use of a second medium. To aid in this dimensional effect, I introduced some watercolor pencils to my coloring.

    Adding the watercolor colored pencils over certain sections of the premium colored pencils already rendered on page. Adding the Watercolor Colored Pencils over certain sections of the Premium Color Colored Pencils already rendered on a page.

    The final incorporation of both the Premium Color Colored Pencils and Watercolor Color Colored Pencils comes after the water-dipped paint brush blends those layers together. After the pumpkins and gourds are colored, I move on to coloring the falling leaves. I will first use the watercolor pencils on a few of the leaves and highlights on some pumpkins and gourds.

    After the water was added to blend the layer of watercolor pencils over the already existing colored pencil colors. After the water was added to blend the layer of watercolor pencils over the already existing colored pencil colors.

    Working on my page for a little while every day was very convenient for me; morning coffee and coloring. I always enjoy seeing an image come to life with each added color!

    The combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils to the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993 by Leisure Arts). The combined effects of using both the Premium Colored Pencils and the Watercolor Pencils to the page from Bountiful Wonders (6993 by Leisure Arts).

    Here are some of the selected pencils that I used on this page. In the below image, the silver pencil shafts are the Premium Colored Pencils on the left, and the gold shafted pencils are the Watercolor Colored Pencils on the right.

    I am very pleased that I used both the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582)! I am very pleased that I used both the 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils (48581) and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils (48582)!

    All I have to do is find a nice frame in which to place my completed page. I very much want to keep this page protected, yet share its bounty with my guests.

    Page of pumpkins and gourds from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone by Leisure Arts. Page of pumpkins and gourds from 6993 - Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone by Leisure Arts.

    Happy fall decorating using Bountiful Wonders Color Art for Everyone!

    Martha

     

  • Pom-Pom Halloween

     

    The uses and appearances of pom-poms have expanded from winter gear and sports’ embellishments to include year-round home decor. See how simple pom-poms can become part of your Halloween-themed decorations.

    Pom-poms were frequently only seen on winter accessories, or worn by a team’s cheer squad. It's wonderful that the uses for and appearances of these puffy mounds of yarn have been greatly expanded! Beautiful household items are crafted with pom-poms such as wall hangings and wreaths!

    Halloween is coming in a few weeks and I wanted to get ready with some pom-pom décor. Getting a lot of ideas from Pinterest was easy. Look at this cute mantle garland and another version for one's vertical porch decor; both are awesome! Using these two Pins as my guidelines, I began making pom-poms with an end result in mind.

    Since I had many pom-poms to make in varying sizes, I took the advice of one of our designers and purchased Clover Pom-Pom Makers. To reinsure that you're using your pom-pom maker correctly, watch a video in less than five minutes.  I gathered several yarn weights with different textures. One of my favorites for this project was Red Heart's Reflective yarn. The reflective yarn has a thin gray strip that reflects the light; reflective does not mean glow-in-the-dark.

    Before: Parts to make Halloween characters. Small pom-poms (1.625") and pipe cleaners cut in half. Before: Parts to make Halloween characters. Small pom-poms (1.625") and pipe cleaners cut in half.

    Of course, my Halloween pom-poms were going to include a pumpkin, a spider, and a ghost. First would be the pumpkin. This would be fairly easy to accomplish: one pom-pom with a curled pipe cleaner as its stem.

    My second figure was the spider. Again the main part was the pom-pom as the spider body. Then, I added six pipe cleaner legs. I even challenged myself to make a red spot to indicate a Black Widow spider. I followed color pattern suggestions as found on the back of the Clover Extra Large Pom-Pom Maker's packaging.

    Added a little more drama to the spider character; here's a Black Widow! Added a little more drama to the spider character; here's a Black Widow!

    The last Halloween figure I needed to make was a ghost. This appeared more challenging than I thought. My final decision was to make a pom-pom for the ghost's head and attach it to the loose yarn strands to represent its body. I made three ghosts; each received an added yarn embellishment giving each one its own personality.

    After: Halloween characters include a spider, ghost and pumpkin. After: Halloween characters include a spider, ghost and pumpkin.

    I was ready to display my characters at home and office so I needed both a wall/door decoration, as well as, tabletop decor ideas. I wanted to incorporate extra color into my display and the perfect complement was Leisure Arts' Jute Twine (item 48526)I chose to use three of the six colors.

    Planning my display; love the colored jute! Planning my display; love the colored jute!

    My colleague found the perfect fallen branch from his hickory tree. Upon its arrival in the office, it quickly became a character itself and given the name, "Old Hickory". The branch had so much character with its craggy texture, knuckled sections and lichen patterns, I didn't want to cover all of it.

    Halloween pom-pom characters suspended from "Old Hickory" as door decor. Halloween pom-pom characters suspended from "Old Hickory" as door decor.

    Here are my extra pom-poms used for some added character for one of the most-anticipated days to celebrate around the office.

    Other Halloween decor using pom-poms in two sizes. Other Halloween decor using pom-poms in two sizes.

    I hope you enjoy making pom-poms and  decorating for Halloween; happy haunting!

    Martha

  • LED Candles for Every Season

    We've all seen color changing LED Candles by now.  But if you're like me, you might be wondering how to fit them into your home decor and if you'd want to use them outside of the holiday season.  I challenged myself to use the Leisure Arts LED Candle Set in my own home for every season of the year.

    LED 3-Pack Candle Set includes a remote that offers 12 different color settings, two timer settings and a flickering-light mode. LED 3-Pack Candle Set includes a remote that offers 12 different color settings, two timer settings and a flickering-light mode.

    Here are the results of my experiment incorporating the LED Candle Set into my home for a year.  I hope you'll find some inspiration!

    First up is Valentine's Day. I incorporated the LED Candle Set  into my tablescape with red tulips and a wooden sign.  Color-wise, I found red and white worked well for the candles.

    LED Candles at Valentine's Day LED Candles at Valentine's Day

    For Easter, I went in a more fun direction using hydrangeas and Peep Easter Eggs into a flower arrangement.  I used pink, green and yellow for the LED candles and brightly colored Easter eggs in jars to finish off the decor.

    blog2 Easter Decor with LED Candles

    For early summer I opted for a simple flower arrangement and green, blue and white candles.

    blog3 LED Candles in Summer Decor

    For the Fourth of July, I went with the classic red, white and blue candles and used a fun Patriotic planter to highlight the season.

    LED Candles for Independence Day LED Candles for Independence Day

    At the onset of fall, I incorporated a wooden carved owl and a real leaf themed candle into my decor and went with a classic white look for the candles.

    blog7 Fall Decor using LED Candles

    For Thanksgiving, I moved the candles into a cornucopia display and kept the classic white candles.

    blog8 Thanksgiving with LED Candles

    I used my candles a couple of different ways for the Christmas season.  One, on the dining room table in a classic white surrounded by oversized ornaments.

    blog9 Christmas and LED Candles

    I also used them in the living room surrounded by all the classic symbols of Christmas including  Angels, Santa, and more.

    blog10 Classic Christmas with LED Candles

    Finally, for New Year's Eve I went with a fun pink, blue and green color combination, and surrounded the candles with beads, hats, noisemakers and, of course, Chex Mix™!

    blog11 Ringing in the New Year with LED Candles!

    During the year, we also redecorated my 13 year old daughter's bedroom and got her a set of the candles.  The LED Candle Set is great for teenagers.  The candles present no fire hazard and teens can change the colors whenever they please!

    blog6 LED Candles Make a Great Accent for a Teenager's Bedroom

    I hope you've been inspired to play with decorating your own house with LED candles.  Show me what you've done in the comments, or tag Leisure Arts in your Instagram posts!

    Happy decorating!

    Veronica

     

  • Coffee Filter Flower Baskets

    I enjoyed making my coffee filter flowers so much, I was positively anxious to try making coffee filter flower baskets! This project sounded perfect for some seasonally-appropriate fun now that Spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner.

    There are a few supplies needed, and none are expensive. You may already have the supplies on hand. What a deal! I was inspired by this flower basket pin by Urban Comfort.  I wanted to try using water based markers as a second coloring technique on the coffee filters. I already had flower stem wire  and food coloring left over from my earlier project and coffee filter flower post, my craft collection included water based markers, and my party supplies had some plastic nut cups. Okay, my supplies seemed to be in order.

    I was quickly reminded that sometimes you just have to figure things out or use your best judgment when creating. The plastic nut cups I had on-hand were too small and would have been devoured by the flower petals. I quickly went on-line and had to "guesstimate" on the size I would need for this project. Many nut cups are also called candy cups - so read descriptions carefully. To assist you, here is a link to the specific nut/candy cups from Outside the Box Papers that I used for this project.

    My second coloring technique: use water based markers. The Easter coffee filter flowers are made by using 4-cup size coffee filters. Color each flower with water based markers. The polka dotted paper cup will be the basket; it measures approximately 2"W x 1.375" H. My second coloring technique: use water based markers. The Easter coffee filter flowers are made by using 4-cup size coffee filters. Color each flower with water based markers. The polka dotted paper cup will be the basket; it measures approximately 2"W x 1.375" H.

    Dying the individual coffee filters with water based markers took longer on the front end because each filter got colored by markers. As opposed to dying the coffee filters by placing them in food coloring dyed water to soak for 30 minutes to several hours. Just think of the preparations this way: the time you spend coloring the individual filters is your creation of individual palettes of color; just like each flower is different from another.

    The second coffee filter coloring technique I am trying: water based markers used to color individual coffee filters, draped over inverted glasses, prepped for water! The second coffee filter coloring technique I am trying: water based markers used to color individual coffee filters, draped over inverted glasses, prepped for water!

    Have fun with your patterns - but remember, every mark will bleed once water is applied.

    The marker colors show an immediate watercolor effect. See the colors spreading and dripping once water is spritzed onto them. The marker colors show an immediate watercolor effect. See the colors spreading and dripping once water is spritzed onto them.

    Although some of the demarcations were indistinguishable, I really liked the color intensity the markers produced!

    Some of the finished results reveal that these colors are vibrant. My earlier method let the coffee filters sit in water dyed with food coloring; that earlier method produced lovely pastel colors. Some of the finished results reveal that these colors are vibrant. My earlier method let the coffee filters sit in water dyed with food coloring; that earlier method produced lovely pastel colors.

    The third method of coloring coffee filters is created by applying food coloring in specific dots or short lines directly onto two or three folded coffee filters. A quick dunk in-and-out of some water, with a gentle squeeze to drain the excess water, is all you need to do to successfully dye your coffee filters. As before, unfold the coffee filters and drape them over inverted glasses to dry. Remember, I sped up the drying time by placing my coffee filters under a ceiling fan.

    All the flowers colored by placing dots of food coloring onto folded coffee filters before dipping into water. All the flowers colored by placing dots of food coloring onto folded coffee filters before dipping into water.
    Different floral effects can be made by the pattern cut into the coffee filters, as well as, by the coloring method. The coloring technique here: food coloring placed directly onto the coffee filters before water was applied. Different floral effects can be made by the pattern cut into the coffee filters, as well as, by the coloring method. The coloring technique here: food coloring placed directly onto the coffee filters before water was applied.
    Intense colors were achieved when drops of food coloring were applied directly onto coffee filters before a quick dip into water! Intense colors were achieved when drops of food coloring were applied directly onto coffee filters before a quick dip into water!

    I referred to the original pin by Urban Comfort to read about their construction of the coffee filter flower baskets. I did not have any glue dots as outlined in their description, so I used hot glue to attach the floral wire to the paper nut/candy cups. I also used hot glue to attach the nut/candy cups to the first coffee filter layer, and in between each layer thereafter.

    Floral Stem Wire (20 Gauge) hot glued to paper nut/candy cups to make coffee filter flower baskets. Floral Stem Wire (20 Gauge) hot glued to paper nut/candy cups to make coffee filter flower baskets.
    Coffee filter flower baskets get transformed into Easter baskets once filled with candy goodies! Coffee filter flower baskets get transformed into Easter baskets once filled with candy goodies!

    Preparing the coffee filter flower baskets to be used as centerpieces, or with tablescapes and serving pieces for display, helps to generate the mood for springtime frolics and Easter Sunday gatherings. I used artificial shrubbery to help show off some candy, as well as, a platter to display all of the baskets.

    Here is one close-up of the completed Easter coffee filter flower baskets colored using water based markers and sprayed with water. Here is one close-up of the completed Easter coffee filter flower baskets colored using water based markers and sprayed with water.

    One whimsical idea is to incorporate your coffee filter flower baskets with other fantasy-themed items such a woodland creatures and fairies.

    I am starting to create an imaginative Easter garden centerpiece. In addition to my coffee filter flower baskets are pieces from the Woodland Garden Kit (#47858) and the 4 Pack Resin Fairies (#47962)! I am starting to create an imaginative Easter garden centerpiece. In addition to my coffee filter flower baskets are pieces from the Woodland Garden Kit (#47858) and the 4 Pack Resin Fairies (#47962)!

    As you set the table, you may decide to decorate everyone's place with an individual coffee filter flower basket and a garden fairy.

    A single fairy with a coffee filter flower basket filled with treats become Easter baskets ready to be placed at every place setting as part of your table decor! A single fairy with a coffee filter flower basket filled with treats become Easter baskets ready to be placed at every place setting as part of your table decor!

    Another option is to use a platter for easy distribution of the coffee filter flower baskets as your guests' take-home gifts.

    So pretty--So pretty! Coffee filter flower baskets adorn a spring platter; keep it simple, or add more... So pretty--So pretty! Coffee filter flower baskets adorn a spring platter; keep it simple, or add more...

    See all of the components to each of Leisure Arts' Fairy and Gnome Garden Sets to help you plan your themed decor.

    Help keep the youngsters entertained during the day. Here are the fairies coming out to play with your guests as part of your Easter activities. Help keep the youngsters entertained during the day. Here are the fairies coming out to play with your guests as part of your Easter activities.
    Nestle some fairies among the candy goodies in and around the Easter coffee filter flower baskets! Nestle some fairies among the candy goodies in and around the Easter coffee filter flower baskets!

    Have fun with these dying techniques; they each produce wonderfully vivid results! I think these coffee filter flower baskets are great for many uses: use with name cards and other place setting decor or place ordinary salt and pepper shakers in them (maybe omit the handle) for your dining table; or, for play time use as an accessory with a doll's outfit, or plan a garden party with a raffle drawing and each basket could hold a secret number under some nuts!

    Even if you don't drink coffee, and however you decide to use these flower baskets, you just might want to invest in some coffee filters - there are so many crafting possibilities!

    Until next time - have fun!

    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

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