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  • DIY Digital Bridal Shower

    Your wedding planning is one of the most stressful yet fun times of your life. With budgets, guest lists, venues, flowers, and everything else, who has the time to plan a bridal shower? Usually it would be one of the mothers, but this year it probably has to be different. Whether it's because of a virus or because of distance, going digital is a good way to work around whatever tries to stop your bridal experience.

    How does any bride begin their planning process? A good place to start is with books and magazines. They're good for both inspiration and guidance. Try picking up a book with premade lists and have everything perfectly laid out for you!

    Book #125813

    A book like Ultimate Wedding Planner has been curated and collected just for you. It's meant to make everything easy to keep track of and organized in one place.

    For the planning of both your bridal shower and your bachelorette you and your co-planners may want some pre-planned inspiration and DIY projects to add some unique touches to your look. A book like Celebrate the Bachelorette is full of decor, food, drinks, favors, and more, most of which can be translated to a digital party. You'll be able to narrow down food, drinks, games, and a theme, be it Breakfast at Tiffany's or Rustic Ritz (pictured). And bonus: it's downloadable!

    Now to the actual party planning. The main component of any virtual party these days is your background. You could go with the premade, pixelated ones online, but why not just make your own? Here's what you'll need for a shabby chic background:


    Burlap flowers, light brown and dark brown shown here
    Burlap letters
    Jute, twine, rope, or yarn for hanging
    A poster board

    Start by gluing the flowers and letters onto whatever you use to hang. In the final picture, you can see we alternated colors, but you could even dye your flowers to fit your color scheme. Some cute phrases to use include: Happily Ever After, Miss to Mrs, He Put A Ring On It, or Bride To-Be.

    Attach those to your poster board and you've got your background! you could paint or color your background, change up the flowers, or whatever strikes your fancy! This day is all about celebrating you as a bride and the union you are about to enter into.

    From there, you'll need a video calling app. Zoom has free one-hour calls, if you're hoping to limit your time or don't have a lot of people you want to include. Skype, Google Meet, and Facetime are good alternatives as well. Just pick your date, time, and if you want a theme and you're all set.

    Another fun way to make everyone feel more together is by suggesting food or drinks for everyone to make. Whether it's your favorite coffee drink or a brunch item that you love, the options are endless and entirely up to you.

    Not being able to see your loved ones at such a special time in your life is unimaginably difficult. Even if it's just because of distance, the day will come when everyone can gather again. In the mean time this is a simple and fun way to bring people together.

    Happy planning!

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • How to Master a New Craft or Skill

    “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:

    1. Grab a how-to book with expert instruction to guide you step by step
    2. Gather all the materials you will need. Ex: yarn, needle, paint, pen, etc.
    3. Start small with swatches, samples, small projects, etc. before tackling the harder stuff
    4. Practice your new skill regularly—that will help to make it almost automatic
    5. 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!

    Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners #7512

    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.

    Learn to Crochet with Custom Hooks #6381

    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!

    Beginner's Guide to Crocodile Stitch #6377

    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.

    Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet #5599

    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"!

    Learn to Crochet Toys #6188

    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. 

    Chunky Pillow, Complete Knit Collection for Beginners #7577

    Market Bag, Complete Knit Collection for Beginners #7577

    Learn beautiful mosaic knitting with The Beginner's Guide To Mosaic Knitting. Create complex-looking fabrics with only one color per row, with yarn guru Melissa Leapman guiding you through.

    The Beginner's Guide To Mosaic Knitting #7492

    Come in first lace learning how to create gorgeous purses, doilies, scarfs, and more, with the Beginner's Guide to Lace Knitting.

    Beginner's Guide to Lace Knitting #6351

    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.

    Modern Punch Needle #7513

    Channel your inner pyromaniac and learn how to leave your mark (on wood, of course) with Modern Woodburning - 9 Skill-Building Projects for Learning Pyography You'll really enjoy blazing this trail!

    Modern Woodburning #7524

    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.

    Get Started In Macrame #7217

    Paint happy thoughts with Happy Abstracts - Fearless Painting for True Beginners. Stroke-by-stroke how-to photo guides take you through six colorful and abstract projects, sure to be a centerpiece of your home décor.

    Happy Abstracts - Fearless Painting for True Beginners #7412

    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!

    Hand Lettering - Great for Weddings & Other Occasions #7326

    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!  

    -Leisure Arts Team

  • Wedding Fever: DIY Wedding Crafts With Leisure Arts


    Hey Craft Family! 

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


    For The Big Day

    Handmade Wedding – #7323 

    Handmade Wedding

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

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

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



    Our Favorite Craft

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

    Sign A Stone

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



    The Wedding Shower

    Wedding Showers - #6591

    Wedding Showers Cover

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

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

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

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


    Our Favorite Craft

    Wedding Shower Flowers

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


    Glitz and Glam : Florals!

    Glam Wedding Florals - #6591

    Glam Wedding Florals Cover

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

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

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

    screen-shot-2018-06-20-at-11-22-26-am screen-shot-2018-06-20-at-11-22-53-am




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


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


    Our Favorite Craft

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

    screen-shot-2018-06-20-at-11-20-54-am screen-shot-2018-06-20-at-11-20-42-am


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



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


    Paper Flowers - # 7241

    screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-10-33-53-am screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-10-31-20-am screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-10-31-10-am


    Formal Jewelry - # 6383

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


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


    Happy Crafting, and good luck!


    -Leisure Arts Team


  • It's a Nice Day for a Wedding Dishcloth

    My husband's cousin got married last weekend and you know what that means!

    I had to shower the happy couple with good wishes and a stack of dishcloths!

    And some cutting boards because they were on the registry.

    These are all dishcloths I've written about before, but I wanted to show them to you again.

    Sometimes I get a little bummed that I make a dishcloth, blog about it, and throw it in the gift stash and it never gets any praise or recognition again.  And sometimes I think about things I want to say about dishcloths after I've written about them and I want a second chance!  And yes, of course I did this with papers and the essay portions of tests for nearly TWO YEARS after I graduated from college!

    Like this heart dishcloth from Holiday Knit Dishcloths.

     I don't think I ever mentioned that I think my favorite thing about this dishcloth is that the heart is made of two lines instead of being one big purled heart.  I think this design looks much cleaner this way.  I want to make one for my own family for Valentine's Day because I get pretty excited about that holiday, and I love having this pattern on hand for wedding presents.

    And this Swirl Dishcloth from Dishcloths.

    It's just six rows of alternating colors.  Or six colors.  Whatever you want!  It's a quick and easy dishcloth that is just so pretty.  I made 6 of them in one weekend once, and I've been having the same urge to do it again lately.  I want to use superhero colors, and make dishcloths that look Captain America's shield or Iron Man's reactor core on his suit.  I think those would look really great.

    Here's the Spiral Dishcloth from Dishcloths and the Nine Patch dishcloth from Knit Dishcloths.  They're both homey and simple patterns that have beautiful designs.  They're unabashedly handmade-looking patterns, and I like that.  They look like something a grandma would make (in a good way) and I'd love to have them in my kitchen.

    And of course, here's a fun dishcloth dress for the newlyweds' first married bottle of Joy or Dawn or whatever it is the kids use these days.

    This is the Going Dancing Pattern #1 from Dishcloth Dresses.  I had originally wanted to give the happy couple a stack of dishcloths in only reds and whites, but then I wanted to include this dishcloth dress with its bright kelly green and hot pink stripes.  So I mixed up the rest of the dishcloths to include a little more variety.

    Oh, and do you see the Off-Center Granny Square from Dishcloths at the top of this picture?

    Okay, good.  I didn't have too much to say about it, but I wanted to make sure you saw because it's a cute thing to do with a granny square and I'm proud of it.  It has cheerful colors and I like it.

    I didn't have a chance to attend any of the wedding showers for my cousin-in-law, so we just brought a gift bag full of kitchen goodness to the wedding and then spent the evening eating cupcakes and dancing with friends and family.  But I'm hoping she liked this collection of pretty and bright dishcloths.  
    Thanks for indulging me with with all this dishcloth talk!  Sometimes those dishcloth-a-week posts aren't enough for me.  Yes, there will be another post about dishcloths this week.  There are just so many dishcloth patterns to talk about!  A wealth of dishcloths!  An embarrassment of riches!
  • Love is in the Air AND in My Dishcloth!

    Love is in the air and wedding dates are on my calendar.  A cousin-in-law is getting married in a couple of weeks, and a former co-worker got married just last month.  I need to send gifts to congratulate these loved ones on their happy events, and that means I'm sending dishcloths!  Home-making supplies are always my favorite type of wedding presents because I love practical gifts.  And the only way you could get any more practical than a gift of dishcloths is to show up at a wedding shower with an unwrapped bag of trash bags.

    I think I actually did receive trash bags as a wedding gift.  But it was in a laundry basket filled with cleaning products, which was a dream come true for a clean freak like myself.  Still, cleaning products can be kind of a personal choice, and I would never presume to pick out someone else's trash bags.  Especially because I buy store brands and I don't want to be judged.

    But that's not the kind of thing that happens to a dishcloth-giver! 

    So anyway, I decided the Sweet Heart pattern from Holiday Knit Dishcloths would be a perfect dishcloth to make as part of a wedding present.  And I was right!

    I love it when that happens.

    The heart pattern is some strategically placed purl stitches in the stockinette portion of this happy little pattern.  I knit through it with no problems, and it took less than 2 hours to complete.  As a bonus, this pattern has both written directions and a chart.

    Like all of the other patterns in Holiday Knit Dishcloths, the Sweet Heart dishcloth pattern would be an excellent introduction to working from a chart.  The pattern is labeled "Beginner" and I think it would be a great start for a new knitter who wants to knit something a little beyond a garter stitch or stockinette project.  The but it also has enough variety for a more experienced knitter as well--and it's just so cute. 

    And it's a great wedding gift.

    Yes, I know this is a little cheesy to give to some newlyweds, but I love love!  And hearts!  And clean kitchens!  They're all lovely things that I'd like to give to a couple starting out on a new adventure.  I'll include the Sweet Heart dishcloth with a collection of dishcloths that feel more 'everyday' than 'lovey dovey' (Oh wow--how great would a dishcloth with 2 doves holding wedding rings be?!?!?!?!), along with some mixing bowls or measuring cups.

    But I do like to think just a little extra love can't hurt.

  • 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!
  • A New Craft Pattern Book—Deco Mesh Wreaths

    Have you ever made anything with deco mesh? It seems to me that deco mesh decorations are everywhere! I saw them at Easter, St. Patrick’s, Valentine’s Day, and especially back at Christmas. I’m kinda liking the look of it...if you’re liking it, too, I’ve got some good new! Now, you can create your own deco mesh décor with the 14 seasonal and holiday designs in our new craft pattern book—Deco Mesh Wreaths! Check out the book details:
    “Big and beautiful deco mesh wreaths are the hottest trend going! And it’s no wonder, because they’re so easy and quick to make! Deco mesh can be used indoors or out. It’s perfect for celebrating the seasons and holidays, as well as life’s special events. We’ll show you how to fashion 14 exciting deco mesh wreaths using readily available crafting supplies. It’s fun! It’s fast! You’re going to love this!” 
    Winter Wreath
    Spring Wreath
    Summer Wreath
    Patriotic Wreath
    Autumn Wreath
    Halloween Wreath
    Poinsettia Wreath
    Red and Silver Wreath
    Snowman Wreath
    Fleur-De-Lis Wreath
    Birthday Wreath
    Team Spirit Wreath
    Wedding Wreath
    Baby Wreath
    Get your copy of Deco Mesh Wreaths today. There are great craft patterns in it for every occasion, every day, and every décor!
  • 10 Tips for a Green Wedding

    What is a green wedding, anyway? According to The Green Wedding Guide, it just means that in all aspects of your wedding plans, you do your best to use products and services that will have as little impact as possible on the planet and the people who live on it. By using products made from recycled and renewable resources, creating less waste, and avoiding petroleum-based and toxic chemicals, you make a contribution to conservation and to a healthier planet. The result will be a celebration of love that encircles not only yourselves, your family, and your friends, but which also reaches around the entire Earth.

    Earth Day’s coming up, and it’s wedding season. How does an eco-conscious bride-to-be ethically combine the two? The Green Wedding Guide by Valerie Edmunds has some great green and economical earth-friendly tips!

    1. Use locally-grown, pesticide free, organic flowers for your bouquet! (Your local farmers’ market and the family garden are great sources!)

    2. Use eco-friendly ink and tree-free cardstock paper to print your own wedding invitations at home.

    3. To add a bit of shine, decorate your handmade invites with vintage metal buttons from the flea market.

    4. What with all the social and environment issues associated with diamonds and precious metals, antique rings “recycled” from a previous generation (or a second-hand store) are an eco-friendly option to new!

    5. Rent your bridesmaids’ dresses right along with the men’s tuxes! What a great way to save money and avoid exploiting new resources! (Plus the bridesmaids don’t get stuck with another dress after all’s said and done.)

    6. Don’t go out and buy new beads and bangles! Thrift-shop beads and jewelry can be some of the most gorgeous, earth-friendly, and cost-efficient accessories!

    7. Celebrate nature and hold your wedding outdoors! National and public parks make for outstanding ceremony locations!

    8. Used bottles are an earth-friendly solution for arranging flowers for the reception.

    9. Borrow family heirlooms to decorate the serving tables at your reception. (Or visit thrift stores to start your own heirloom collection!)

    10. Find a talented friend or friends to provide live music for the occasion. The natural sound of live music blends well with a green wedding. (And another plus, friendly musicians are often willing to work for food!)

    With these 10 Earth Day-friendly tips plus many others available in The Green Wedding Guide, couples whose lifestyle is environmentally and socially conscious can create the green wedding of their dreams! And bonus! The Green Wedding Guide is on sale! This regularly $19.95 inspiration book is currently marked down to $9.98!

  • 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—

  • Wedding Week: Free Cross Stitch Samplers

    Just in case you’ve been procrastinating over stitching up that wedding present, and you need to get started right now, right this minute, I’ve got two really pretty (and pretty simple) cross stitch sampler free instant download projects for you.

    Love’s Joy Sampler
    This design reads, “To Love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth.”

    Reflection on Marriage Sampler
    This sampler offers up some good advice to the newlyweds, “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, But in looking together in the same direction.”

    Hope you have a happy Saturday! Don’t stitch too hard!

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