With the school year ending and schedules winding down, June brings us more time for fun, relaxation, and yes, a splash of creativity. Get out your supplies, imagination, and get ready to create with a splash.
Add a splash of color to your bath with 15 unique, fancy and fragrant Sparkle And Fizz Bath Bombs. Bath bombs have a magical way of turning ordinary bath time into a sublime, spa-like experience. These bombs also make adorable pieces to brighten up your bathroom décor.
Vibrant and Bold Are the Words of the Day
Happy Abstracts - Fearless Painting for True Beginners will unleash your inner artist and open your mind to what's possible. The stroke-by-stroke how-to photo guides take you through six projects that will allow you to express yourself in vibrant and bold ways. So, what are you waiting for? Express yourself!
You'll Have a Whale of a Time
Next we'll head under the sea for some darling Water Babies Amigurumi. These crochet sea creatures are not only the cutest, they will be your budding marine biologist's best friends! The baby seal is, of course, totes adorbs, but I'm kind of partial to the puffer fish myself. You'll get to choose from a crab, seahorse, octopus, puffer fish, mermaid, seal, shark, starfish & whale. Or, crochet them all!
A Pour Decision You'll Be Happy With
Paint Pouring is mesmerizing and relaxing—a great way to spend a summer afternoon out of the heat. Get Started In Paint Pouring gives you the tips, techniques and inspiration to create amazing abstract works of art.
Got a Full Plate? Wipe it Clean With Vibrant Dishcloths!
If you're the more practical type who enjoys form AND function, look no further! These crochet Dishcloths are easy to make so you'll get instant gratification, and they're so bright and cheerful everyone in the house will be clamoring to do the dishes!
Set Your Table for Fun
A Splash of Color Livens Up Any Meal, and Playful Place Matswill do just that. Using one simple shape, and your choices of fabrics, you can sew up countless different looks. These mats will soon be screaming, "Dinner's on me!" and everyone will come running.
It's time to brighten up your life with bright colors and bold creativity. Your house will love you for it, your family will love you for it, and you will love creating these vibrant works of art. Whichever project (or projects) you choose, you'll be impressed with the results.
We love to see what you've created. Don't forget to post photo on social media and tag @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts, so we can all enjoy your creations with you!
If you're looking for a way to unplug the kids from the internet, TV, or video games, crocheting and/or knitting are sure to do the trick! Both are fun—and productive—hobbies for kids of all ages.
Linking learning with fun is the most effective way to teach. Once your favorite child sees that this fun activity leads to creating something they can keep and cherish, or gift to someone special, their excitement will only grow. Not only that, both knitting and crocheting use real-life math and reading, and helps improve fine motor skills. There's knit a thing to lose and so much to gain!
Getting Down To The Knitty Gritty
Children will love the step-by-step photos and kid-friendly instructions in Cool Stuff—Teach Me to Knit. Soon they'll be hooked, proudly creating their own beautiful and useful projects. Our book includes helpful notes for you while you teach, along with tips & videos to help along the way.
After learning the slip knot and cast on, the first easy-to-take-on project is a knit coaster (or as a simple decorative touch under vases, frames or knick knacks). A few projects later is a soft drink cozy, which can be made to match the coaster. Keep your hands warm and your table dry while drinking a cold can of your favorite 12-ounce beverage, all the while beaming with pride.
Before you can say "To knit or not to knit, now that’s just a silly question," your special youngster will be on the way to being an awesome knitter, making this lap-sized wrap and pillow that will wow everyone!
As if that weren't enough, children will learn to create their own scarf, leg warmers, mittens and hat, to stay nice and cozy through the winter. Just imagine the look of pride on their face when they are out and about wearing their own creations!
Olé, It's Time To Crochet!
If crochet is more your style, Teach Me To Crochet gives similar tips and instructions to make any child a pro. Once they go through the basics of crochet, they'll create a chain loop daisy. Your child will be delighted to display these daisies on their backpack, notebook, hair clip, wherever they want!
Prepare for those nights of homework, reading, or watching TV, with this colorful Round Pillow and Ripple Lap Warmer.
These Ruffled Hair Scrunchy & Loopy Hair Scrunchy are off the hook! Not only will she have fun making these, she'll be pleased as punch to show them off at school or anywhere else.
Does the child in your life have a furry best friend? If so, either of these projects is sure to be a hit!
Your favorite teen will be styling on the go and ready for yoga relaxation.
These coasters, washcloths and scrubbies will help any teen to clean up nicely.
Before you know it, they will soon be crocheting these beautiful and stylish wardrobe additions!
With these projects under their belts, children and teens will be able to take on even more projects that will bring them (and you!) pride and joy. They won't even realize they are actually improving their math, reading and motor skills while making all the things they love. Instead of yawning and telling you how bored they are, they will spend the summer yarning and creating spectacular items. Let us help guide you and the child in your life from beginner to WOW!
As they finish each project, be sure post photo/s on social media and tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts, so we can all enjoy their progress as well!
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ―Mahatma Gandhi
Have you always to start something new and weren't sure where to start? Whether you want to learn how to crochet, how to knit, how to paint, how to tackle a new stitch, the list below gives you the basics on how to become a pro at your new creative endeavor:
Grab a how-to book with expert instruction to guide you step by step
Gather all the materials you will need. Ex: yarn, needle, paint, pen, etc.
Start small with swatches, samples, small projects, etc. before tackling the harder stuff
Practice your new skill regularly—that will help to make it almost automatic
Sit back and revel in your new creations!
In the next few paragraphs, we'll explore several of our books that come with easy-to-follow instructions and progressive projects for you to learn how to conquer new stitches, new skills, and entirely new crafts.
Great Balls of Yarn: Learn Crochet or Expand Your Skills
If you’re new to crochet or if you want to learn a new crochet skill or two, we've got you hook, yarn and fun with these easy-to-follow books! Learn how to crochet with ease and enjoyment.
The progressive projects of The Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners take you from easy to more difficult with easy-to-follow instructions and patterns. You'll love learning how to crochet with Marly Bird, and the resulting creations are cute AND functional!
You'll be hooked on crochet with Learn to Crochet with Custom Hooks! We'll supply you with a hook designed especially for beginners, so it will be extra easy to learn how to crochet any of the adorable accessories for kids or adults.
This eye-catching stitch will croc your world! The Beginner's Guide to Crocodile Stitch is the perfect "how-to" to add an eye-catching layer of "scales" to your crochet projects. You'll be surprised how easy it is to learn with our step-by-step instructions, photographs, and videos. On a scale (see what we did there?) of 1-10, this book is definitely a 10!
If you adore crocheting and love the look of knits, you won't want to miss out on this hybrid! Award-winning teacher Kim Guzman walks you through the basics with clear photos and friendly instructions in the Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet.
We wouldn't toy with you—your children, grandchildren, friends' children (we could go on and on), will love these toys! And with Learn to Crochet Toys, you'll be a crocheting wizard before you can say "Bodacious ballerina begs you to begin"!
Life's a Stitch: Learning Knitting is Fun and Relaxing, with Beautiful Results
Don't be at your knit's end learning a new skill. Let our pros guide you through a basketful of knitting projects with ease and joy.
Designer Marly Bird walks you every step of the way through how to knit multiple projects in the Complete Knit Collection. You'll not only create awesome gifts—or keepers—you'll gain the skills to be a knitting pro. From trendy dishcloths to a beautiful shawl or afghan, this collection has got you covered.
Not only will this book teach you everything you need to know to make several styles of hats, it includes a kit with everything you need to knit one complete hat. Get started right away without worrying about the materials. If you've been wanting to learn how to knit hats, Knit Hat Book Plus Kit is for you.
Craftastic New Hobbies That Are Easy to Learn
Fun for all levels, Modern Punch Needle takes a modern twist on the traditional needle craft. The step-by-step instructions and 14 progressively harder projects take you from beginner to pro. Once you learn the ins and outs, you'll want to check out this post featuring our newest punch needle kits.
We wouldn't macra-stray you wrong—Get Started In Macramé has 11 gorgeous wall hangings and other projects for beginners to learn how to master this craft from yesteryear. We can also help you out with the supplies you'll need.
The World IS your oyster with Hand Lettering - Great for Weddings & Other Occasions. Your creations can be just as spectacular as you see in stores, or on Pinterest and Instagram. Artist Kathryn Erney will teach you several styles—each building on the last—and before you know it, you’ll have mastered those pen strokes and will be making beautiful pieces!
So whether you want to learn how to knit, how to crochet, or learn a new craft all together, our experts take you step-by-step through the process. Whether you're a beginner or want to enhance your repertoire, at least one of these books is perfect for you. When you're finished, post your photo/s on social media and be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts, so we can all enjoy your journey as well!
I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday. I love all the decorations. I like to drive around and look at everyone else’s decorated yards. I leave my decorations up until the day after Day of the Dead. I was looking for something quick and easy project to do. Something that I can work on in and out of the car this week while waiting in the carpool line at school or while waiting on after school activities. I went through all of my Leisure Art Books and found this cute Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin dishcloth in a book called A Dishcloth a Month.
I was just finishing tucking in all my ends when my friend asked me if it was a new coaster for our table at the new knit shop. I said I had not planned on it but why not. It is slightly big for a coaster but it is really cute idea for decorating a table. So I am in the process of making a few more for our knit/crochet table. I am even going to crochet some without the Jack-O-Lantern face. You just follow the pattern and as if you had changed your color from orange to black. My favorite part I will only have four ends to run in or tuck in. Whichever way you want say it. You can even use brown for the stem instead of the green. Since it is fall I can keep the ones without faces through Thanksgiving. It’s a win! Win! I hope that you have had as much fun with this Jack-O-Lantern pattern as I have. I used 100% cotton. I am going to check and see if Sugar n Cream has a variegated fall colored yarn for some of my solid pumpkins. I think that would be really cute.
Wow! Easter is a day away. I have finished crocheting a cute little Easter egg dishcloth just in time. I found the pattern for this in a Leisure Arts book called Crochet book called A Dishcloth a month. So if you are looking for a last minute project it didn't take much time at all. Continue reading →
I've made this before, but I decided I didn't like my color choices once I was done. And I think the pictures for the post I wrote about it were ugly because I hadn't figured out some of settings on my camera. Yes, I know that the camera came with an instruction manual. No, I don't know what it's trying to tell me most of the time.
So I wanted a do-over. And here it is! I love the African flower motif--that's why I was so tickled with how my blanket has looked so far. But I thought that if I crocheted this dishcloth with white and blue yarn that it could look like a snowflake. I'm not sure if it does. Maybe I should have worked this with yellows and pinks and greens. Maybe that's what I'll do next time. I think I'll call this a snowflake dishcloth anyway.
It has six points, the yarn is in wintery colors, and I've declared this dishcloth to be a snowflake dishcloth. So ta da!
I already feel better at this attempt at an African flower motif dishcloth because I went ahead and used the recommended I hook for this. I normally go down a hook size or two in my crochet projects because I have a pretty loose gauge. But with African flower motifs, you should probably use a bigger hook than what you think you might need. The long single crochet stitch (when you crochet into the stitch two rows down) can pull the crocheted fabric of your project and you're going to want it to stretch instead of bunching.
Hello, I have crocheted slant stitches! I had been seeing tutorials for this look on Pinterest lately, and was thinking about trying it out. When I realized that Dishcloth #34 in The Big Book of Dishcloths used it, I had to do it!
I say this a lot, but I feel like it's okay to preach this like it's my religion: if you want to try out something new, find a dishcloth pattern that incorporates it. It's perfect practice, it's a small project, and you have a useful and beautiful dishcloth to show for your trouble when you're finished.
So. The slant stitch. You're crocheting your double crochet stitches, and then you skip a stitch. Then you crochet three crochet stitches (or however many your pattern tells you to).
I'm really bad at using my camera with my left hand, y'all. Sorry for what you're about to see.
Then! You yarn over like you're about to make another double crochet stitch. But! You insert your hook into the skipped stitch three stitches back. I know, plot twist!
You work a yarnover and pull that yarn wayyyy out and pull it through two loops, yarnover, and pull it through your last two loops--you know, regular double crochet stuff.
Except that you worked it a few stitches backwards.
Then you skip a stitch and work three double crochet stitches and repeat the whole thing over again until you have this cool-looking dishcloth to show for it.
This was fun! I apparently should have worked another row or two, but once I decided to use orange yarn for my border I guess I got a little impatient. I like the bright orange with the red, but I do wish I'd used the single crochet stitch border instead of this double crochet stitch border. Oh well.
I really like the slant stitch! I'm pretty pumped that I learned it, and I hope I find another pattern that calls for it soon. The dishcloth was great practice and I'm happy to have it in my gift stash. Win win!
When I first started flipping through this book, I wondered if there was a pattern that was just a simple square made of double crochet stitches. And this was it! Yup, that's all this is. The perfect beginner dishcloth, or the perfect dishcloth for someone who's just in the mood for something simple. Either way, this is perfect for variegated yarn.
I was really in the mood to use some of this yarn. It's Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn and it's in the Camelot colorway. I love its reds and pinks and not-quite-oranges. And there's gray! You wouldn't think gray would work too well with those colors, but it does and I loved it from the moment a destashing friend tossed it my way. The navy blue yarn I used for the border made a nice contrast. There are three border options in The Big Book of Dishcloths, and I usually like to pick the one that uses single crochet stitches. I do love a good single crochet stitch border.
I enjoy variegated yarn, but sometimes I don't want to use it on patterns that use distracting techniques. If this dishcloth had a lot of front post crochet stitches, the stitches and the yarn would distract from each other and this might look messy. I like the simple stitches of Dishcloth #20 with this wildly colorful yarn.
My next crocheted dishcloth is going to be fancy, I promise. There are some really interesting patterns that use up to three different kinds of yarn and I'm excited about trying them out. But I just had to try out this variegated yarn before I did anything else. And I'm glad I did, because this one's a beauty.
I have a lot of weird reactions to dishcloth patterns, and I catch myself attributing lots of characteristics to the things I make. Dishcloth #84 from Big Book of Dishcloths struck me as dignified and old fashioned.
I'm not entirely sure why, but 'old fashioned' and 'dignified' kept going through my head while I was crocheting this. It looks like the kind of quilt design you'd see painted on the side of barn. Do you have those in your area? I never seem to see them in Arkansas. When I drove through the Midwest to go to a wedding in Iowa a few years ago, I saw lots of barns with quilt-style patterns painted on several barns. They were lovely! I don't know why anyone would do that, but it seems like a nice tradition.
Maybe 'traditional' is what I'm thinking of with this design. Maybe it reminds me of the kind of afghan someone would make as a wedding gift. Maybe it's a kind of tile you'd see in an older house. Maybe I'm just easily impressed by dishcloth patterns.
Okay, no 'maybe' at all on that last one. I love dishcloths. They're tiny works of art. With #84, I think my favorite element was the cluster stitches at different points in this square.
But while the granny square seemed striking and playful, this dishcloth feels a little staid with its single color. The only way it could be more serious is if I had used off-white yarn. Red almost feels frivolous. As it is, I'm looking at the dishcloth and feeling bad that I have taken our winter coats to the dry cleaners. I probably haven't memorized enough Bible versus. It has been weeks since I gave anyone a jar of homemade jelly.
I also forgot to take a picture earlier in the day, so I had to run out and take pictures on my balcony in order to get enough natural light and now you AND the dishcloth know I don't plan far enough in advance.
I need to give this dishcloth as a gift very, very soon. It will be a very earnest gift. I don't know if I know anyone with a kitchen serious enough for this dignified country lady of a dishcloth. But I'm sure I can find someone who enjoys a nice traditional-looking pattern with an interesting design. Because this is a perfect example of that very thing.