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  • Keep Calm and Carry Yarn

    October is I ❤️ Yarn Month at Leisure Arts, and we're excited to share projects that will satiate your love for yarn crafts. Baby toys, afghans, fashion for kids and adults and home decor—we've got what you've been yarning for.

    I Yarn, Therefore I Yarn

    Babies can't get enough of the delightful stacking toys in Baby Stacks. Each one is so easy to crochet, you'll be yarning to make one for each precious baby in your life. Choose from six designs including zoo animals, donuts, flowers, an octopus, and a rainbow. 

    Baby Stacks - 6 Easy Toys to Crochet #75668

    Surround Yourself With Yarn

    Snuggle up by the fire with a gorgeous knit afghan, and gift the other 23 to loved ones! Each solid-color knitted wrap in the Big Book of Quick Knit Afghans offers comforting warmth while adding a welcome spot of color to the gray days of winter.

    Big Book of Quick Knit Afghans #3137

    Have a Yarny Yuletide

    Yarn Whimsies for the Holidays shows just how easy it is to transform colorful yarns into festive, whimsical decorations. There are so many fresh and unique projects, you can have endless fun! Create your own holiday cards, a wreath, garland, light covers and other décor!

    Yarn Whimsies for the Holidays #6889

    Yarn Is Cheaper Than Therapy

    Crafting with yarn is not only fun, it is good for your psyche. So obviously, you can never have too many yarn hobbies! Modern Punch Needle takes your beloved yarn to a whole new, texture-y level! So easy to master, punch needle crafting is what’s been missing from your life. 

    Modern Punch Needle - step-by-step guide plus 14 progressive learning projects #7513

    Yarn It, Darn It

    No matter the outfit—whether casual to dressy—crocheted Lacy Wraps can add plenty of style, flair and a touch of warmth. Choose from eight airy shawl designs for you or as a gift for a loved one.

    Lacy Wraps #6995

    Coast Into Fun Home Décor

    Give your drinks a safe place to land with a set of plastic canvas Coasters. From kittens to succulent strawberries and vibrant sunflowers, you'll find designs for every style.

    Coasters #6078

    Great Balls Of Yarn

    Make life comfy for kids with the classic sweaters in Knits For Kids! Featuring pretty patterns and lace, or stripes and checks, you destined to create their new favorite tops for the cooler seasons.

    Knits For Kids #7118

    No Spinning A Yarn Necessary

    We're not spinning a yarn when we tell you how easy and fun these projects are, and how much you will be appreciated when you gift them.

    Please share your spook-tacular creations by tagging your photos with #leisurearts or @leisureartsinc on your social channels. We love to see what's going on in your studio.

    Yarns truly,

    Leisure Arts Team

  • After the holidays, thank you notes!

    Now it is time to write some handwritten thank you notes. New Year's Day is behind us and most seasonal celebratory activities and get-togethers are over. Show your appreciativeness for those few individuals who made your holiday experience extra special by coloring them a handwritten thank you card!

    I do take advantage of using electronic means to write notes; messages, invites, updates, and notes of appreciation. But there are times when even a brief handwritten message means so much more to the recipient than an "e" message. Now add another special feature to your holiday thank you cards by coloring! The perfect solution is Leisure Arts' Thank You Coloring Note Cards (item #48231).

    Each package of Thank You Coloring Note Cards (#48232) contains six cards with envelopes; two each of three designs. Each package of Thank You Coloring Note Cards (#48231) contains six cards with envelopes; two each of three designs.

    There are three designs, two cards per design, and six envelopes contained in each package. This set offers a nice variety of designs so that you can vary the use of each depending on the age of the recipient, or your artistic mood at the time of coloring.

    The package of Thank You cards has three designs, two cards per design (Leisure Arts #48231). The package of Thank You cards has three designs, two cards per design (Leisure Arts #48231).

    Spend a little extra time by adding some coloring pizzazz to your note -- wow, what a pop your handwritten message will have!

    Color your own Thank You cards! Colored pencils and markers used on one of three pattern designs (Leisure Arts #48232 - Thank You Coloring Note Cards). Color your own Thank You cards! Colored pencils and markers used on one of three pattern designs (Leisure Arts #48231 - Thank You Coloring Note Cards).

    Now I can't wait until later this month for my friend's January birthday -- yes, Leisure Arts carries Birthday Coloring Note Cards, too!

    The package of Birthday cards (#48231) is also available! The package of Birthday cards (#48232) is also available!

    We'd love to see some of your colored cards. Share your finished coloring note cards on Leisure Arts' Color Art for Everyone Facebook page; we'd love to see them!

    Happy 2017...



  • Birthday and Mother's Day Cards

    I have been so busy with making birthdays gifts in April that I completely forgot about Mother’s Day. So please don’t tell my mother!!! Even with all the TV and radio ads I guess in my head I thought I still had plenty of time. I like making my own gifts for my friends and family. I know in a previous blog post that I said my new favorite book is Crafting with Buttons and Ribbons by Leisure Arts. In this book I think my gift cards are called Gift Tags I thought they would look really cute cutout and glued onto blank cards that I found at Michael’s craft store.

    Birthday Cupcake Birthday Cupcake

    They have the templates in the book to help you make cards or tags. All you have to do is make a copy of it or trace it. I used tracing paper to trace the cupcake and the bird. You could probably even use white tissue paper if you don’t have any tracing paper. For the birthday cupcakes cards I used felt for the icing and the inside of a sleeve that they use for hot cups at Starbucks for the bottom. On my next cupcake that I plan on using tiny buttons for my sprinkles instead of tiny colorful bits of felt. But for my mother’s day card I used a piece of scrapbook paper for the bird, a piece of felt for the wing and a button for the eye. I just used good old fashioned Elmore’s glue to glue all the pieces onto the cards. Good Luck! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mamma’s from two legged babies to four legged fur babies!!

    Mother's Day Mother's Day
  • How I Spent My National Craft Month

    Well!  March was National Craft Month, National Crochet Month, and National Month of the Internet Giving Away All Kinds of Things.  I made the last one up, but it's true in spirit if not in name.  There were just so many celebrations of crafting!  It was great!

    I didn't participate as fully in things as I would have hoped, but there was quite a lot to enjoy.  I wanted to try a few new things, and I did at least do that.   Here's some other things I did.  Surely I earned a badge somewhere in all this activity.

    I spent some time with this sewing machine, and even learned how to wind the bobbin on it!

    I made and talked about granny squares, probably too much, because it was also National Crochet Month!  And also because of my deep and abiding love for granny squares.

    I talked to the wildly talented Kim Guzman about her Tunisian crochet designs--especially her newest book, the Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide.

     I took my craft corner from this:

    to this:

    I got really excited and somewhat crafty for my daughter's second birthday.  I knitted a few bunnies, put up some banners, and arranged some flowers.  I'm so ready for spring and growing things! 

    I also helped co-host a baby shower, and thought it would be cute and creative to arrange some multicolored carrots around a delicious carrot cake my husband made.  It made sense at the time.

    And then I finally settled on a project for the baby shower babies!

    I even made a cowl for myself! 

    I didn't start stitching Pearl Jam lyrics onto a wall-hanging like I had wanted to at the beginning of the month, but I've bought an embroidery hoop and I did do this for my husband's birthday a couple of days ago.

    I wrote a message on some cardstock, traced along the words with a needle, and backstitched my way across some letters.  Next time, I will definitely print.

    I got to talk to the creators of a Facebook crochet-a-long group for military wives.  That was probably my favorite thing I did all month.

    I started and stopped more projects than I even feel like counting.

    I tried to figure out which yarns were making my hands break out in a rash.  It might be all of the yarns?  Craft-related problems are crafty, right?  (It was still my least favorite thing I did all month.)

    I tried to mess with some of the settings on my camera so I could take better pictures.  Baby steps.

    And there were my usual plans, pins, and gardening daydreams. On the blog, there were the usual posts revolving around video tutorials in addition to the special March crafting madness things.  It was a fun month, and I hope you tried some new crafts!  Or that you won something in an online giveaway, because there were a lot and that would be cool. 

    I'm excited for April!  I'm not really sure what I'll try or what I'll write about, but I'm still really excited.  It's spring, and things are new and exciting! 

    Happy crafting!

  • Wedding Paper Crafts—Free Projects

    After making Father’s Day cards the other day, I realized that there also always seem to be wedding bells ringing this time of the year, and every time I turn around, I seem to need another wedding card. Consequently, since I really like making and giving handmade cards, June can be a challenging month for me, but I think I’ve found a solution—the In Love with Paper Crafts inspiration book from Leisure Arts and Paper Crafts magazine!
    “Because everyone needs ways to express love all year long, the editors of Paper Crafts magazine have compiled this dynamic anthology with 443 of their most lovable cards and valentines, plus gift bags, boxes, albums, home accents, sweet treats, and party d'cor. It’s an irresistible go-to resource for design guidance in all the categories of love. Themes include wedding, anniversaries, romance, family devotion, passion for life, and other heartwarming experiences. There is even a “Love and Learn” section featuring clever ways to use basic paper crafting tools and products and a variety of stamping techniques. Try out some advanced techniques, or keep it simple with quick and easy 5-step designs. It's always the perfect time to let someone know you care!”

    To inspire you during wedding season, I’m sharing two free projects (two of my favorite cards to make and give), from In Love with Paper Crafts—the Happily Ever After Card and the With This Ring Card.

    Here’s how I made these two free projects for wedding cards:

    Happily Ever After Card
    Designer: Sonja Skarbo
    1. Make card from cardstock.
    2. Stamp flowers and border.
    3. Adhere border strip.
    4. Stamp sentiment.
    5. Attach brad.
    Finished size: 6-1/2" x 5".

    With This Ring Card
    Designer: Janette Olen
    1. Make card from cardstock; punch top corners.
    2. Cut cardstock slightly smaller than card; punch top corners. Adhere.
    3. Cut Cardstock strip; punch border and adhere.
    4. Tie ribbon around front flap.
    5. Stamp bride and groom on cardstock. Trim and apply ink around image. Mat with cardstock. Adhere rhinestones. Adhere with foam tape.
    6. Stamp sentiment.
    Finished size: 5-1/2" x 4-1/4".

    I’m sure all you paper craft fans out there will enjoy these free projects so much that you’ll need your own copy of In Love With Paper Crafts. It’s not just about weddings! This book’s got project inspiration for love in general and for all kinds of paper craft projects—not just cards!
  • Happy Father’s Day & Last Minute Card Making!

    Hope you’re all having a fabulous Father’s Day! The Daddy at our house is still asleep, and The Cat and I are trying to decide on a last minute handmade card design to make for him. I’ve pulled out one of my favorite paper craft source books—The Best of Stamp It! Cards for inspiration…
    Which one would you make?

    Gears for Dad & Daddy’s Little Monkey

    Special Dad & Father’s Day Tree

    You Rock! & I Heart My Dad

    With Gratitude & Howdy Daddy

    Keep Your Chin Up & Tie Rack

    Making a Difference & Super Dad

    I’m leaning toward You Rock! ’cause The-Love-Of-My-Life plays guitar, but I’m also really liking Howdy Daddy just for the fun shape…
    Guess I’d better get started paper crafting before he wakes up. Then I’ve got cooking to do ’cause he’s all about home cooking on special days. (I think he’s getting chicken and dumplings for supper this year, but first I’ve got to figure out breakfast...What do you feed a man who’s allergic to eggs?)
    Wishing you and yours a special Father’s Day, too!
    (Oh, and if you like these cards as much as I do, get yourself a copy of The Best of Stamp It! Cards, so you can wait till the last minute for card making—just like me!
  • A New Paper Crafts Inspiration Book & A Free Mother’s Day Pattern

    Have you peeked at our new paper crafts idea book—Card Sketches for Paper Crafters, yet? I’m inspired! The editors of Paper Crafts magazine have gathered over 145 sketches and over 500 projects to show you just how to use a sketch for your next card design, and you can discover how it all works with this free project right out of Card Sketches for Paper Crafters
    Using this sketch for inspiration, you can easily create our Brilliant Flowers card for Mother’s Day!
    Brilliant Flowers Card – designed by Kim Kesti
    Finished Size: 6-1/4 inches x 4-1/2 inches
    1. Make card from cardstock; cover with patterned paper.
    2. Print sentiment on cardstock. Mat with cardstock and adhere.
    3. Layer flowers, attach brads, and adhere with foam tape.
    You can also use the same sketch as inspiration for making more cards like this Fall Thanks Card, Buttons & Bows Card, or this Hello Chick Card. How cool is that?
    Card Sketches for Paper Crafters includes inspiration for cards for All Occasions, Anniversary, Baby, Birthday, Congratulations, Easter, Encouragement, Father’s Day, Friendship, Get Well, Graduation, Halloween, Hello, Love, Mother’s Day, Miss You, Season’s Greetings, Sympathy, Thank You, Thanksgiving, Thinking of You, and Wedding! Plus you’ll find Shaped Sketches, Square Sketches, Horizontal Sketches, and Vertical Sketches!
    Take a peek at some of the other projects:

    If you’re a fan of card making or would like to be, you’ll definitely want to add Card Sketches for Paper Crafters to your creative library!
  • Celebrate a Paper Crafty Valentine’s Day!

    Are you thinking about making handmade Valentine’s Day cards or other hearts and flowers-themed goodies this year? Need some inspiration? Take a peek at some of our best paper crafty idea books and some of my fav projects!

    The Big Book of Holiday Paper Crafts
    This 288-page book dedicates 42 of its project-packed pages to Valentine’s Day, including 70+ cards!

    Love You Berry Much Card
    Love the strawberry-shaped card!

    A Million Little Things Card
    A great way to use up paper scraps!

    Love Always Card
    Another way to use paper scraps, & “Love Always” is how the Love-Of-My-Life and I always sign cards to each other.

    Corrugated Heart Card
    Like the texture of cardboard + I’m a button collector!

    The Best of Stamp It! Cards
    I like to play with stamps and ink, so this book is a natural go-to for me with over 500 cards to create. It includes a 19-page Love section, featuring 38 cards!

    You Are My Universe Card
    Love the concept of universe…plus the use of cardboard!

    Key To My Heart Card
    I’m a fan of using hardware in my paper crafting.

    4-Square Love Card
    Elegant use of simple square punches to create little windows on a card.

    In Love With Paper Crafts
    This is the ultimate Valentine’s paper craft book. It’s all about love and features cards, party goodies, gifts, layouts, recipes, and more.

    Heart Picks
    Perk up some cupcakes with paper crafty hearts!

    Authentic & All Yours Cards
    A great big heart just makes a great card in Authentic, and I have to make the All Yours Card for the youngest kid (whose middle name is Rose…).

    Cherish Card
    A simply elegant card design (that might be perfect for my eldest kid…).

    Heart Ornaments
    How much fun would it be to make a heart ornament mobile to hang over the dining table? More buttons!

    Valentine Calendar Card
    Fun use of vintagy calendar on a card!

    Valentine Celebration Dinner
    In Love With Paper Crafts will even help you stage a Valentine’s celebration with invites, place cards, decorated candles, recipes for sweet treats, and more!

  • World Card Making Day Challenge!

    Hey Paper Crafters! Today is World Card Making Day! Have you got any card creation plans in mind? If not, to celebrate, I’ve got a challenge for you:

    Craft your Christmas cards now, in October, and get it over with! If you‘re a procrastinator like me, taking advantage of this challenge is probably a pretty good idea…that is, unless you like making your handmade cards on Christmas Eve to hand out in person the next day…

    Need some inspiration? If I had to recommend the one perfect book to get you started on your Christmas card making, it would be The Big Book of Holiday Paper Crafts from the editors of Paper Crafts magazine. Pages 176-277 of this 288-page book feature delightful cards for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, plus adorable gift bags and thoughtful little paper crafty presents that you can make in no time for your favorite folks.

    Take a peek at the cards that inspire me—

    Since the holidays always need a little levity…I think I’ll create some cards something like this one except I’ll probably create the sentiment block on the computer and add stamped (and maybe embossed bells).

    Love the idea of stitching on cards, but I’m not dragging out the sewing machine just to make cards. I really like the hand-stitched tree decorated with buttons (great way to use buttons from my collection!) in this design.

    My final card pick to make this year would be this Sing It Loud Card. Think I‘ll scan and print out some of the vintage sheet music I’ve collected and add the words with alphabet stamps.

    Make some cards today to commemorate World Card Making Day! When you’re done, take a photo and post it on the Leisure Art Facebook page, so we can all see how crafty you are!

  • In Love With Paper Crafts

    Isn’t that title just the truth? Love of our families, friends, our pets, and life in general—isn’t that what, at their essence, all those pages we scrap, those cards we labor over, and those paper crafty creations we assemble are all about?

    Need an inspirational book that’s all about love? You’ll love our new paper crafts book from the editors of PaperCrafts magazine: In Love With Paper Crafts! It’s filled with over 400 easy keepsake designs for pages, cards, gifts, home dec, weddings, anniversaries, Valentine’s, and more! There are even a few recipes for cooking up an occasion filled with love. Check out a few of the section openers—

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