Posts Categorized: DIY

DIY + illustration + Kids + Life + Projects / Monday, 25 Mar 2013

Cheer Up Mouse & book giveaway

photography by Ashley Thalman

Awhile back, even before landing back in America, I was approached by illustrator Jed Henry, to collaborate on a project for his brand new children’s book, Cheer Up Mouse. He showed me the trailer…

…and I was sold! How adorable is it? I mean a walnut playing squirrel? Too much for me. I have it on good authority that kids watch this over and over. What am I saying? I can (and did) watch it over and over. Even just for the sweet soundtrack.
illustration from Cheer Up Mouse by Jed Henry. ©Houghton Mifflin
So we got to thinking of a DIY that would best suit the book and we came up with a little play for kids complete with masks (click here for the masks), which we thought would be the perfect Spring Break activity. The book has 10 characters who each attempt to cheer little Mouse up with a sweet, well-meaning line, like so…
So, how does it work? 
Materials: 10 kids (or have a few kids take on multiple characters), Cheer Up Mouse book (available ON SALE on Amazon) for the script or win a copy–see instructions below, cardboard sets are optional, masks (click here), 3×5″ index cards
Step 1: With Cheer Up Mouse book in hand, use ten cards, 1 for each child to write down the lines. A few kids will get multiple lines. There are 18 lines total.
Step 2: Create the masks (there will be a follow-up blog post to this one showing you the step-by-step).
Step 3: Let the kids learn their lines.
Step 4: Watch the magic! 
I promise PROMISE you’ll fall in love with the characters. In fact, our Mouse for the shoot had a little “moment” when she needed some cheering up and all the kids were quick to chime in “Cheer up, Mouse!”. Presh.
illustration from Cheer Up Mouse by Jed Henry. © Houghton Mifflin.
Jed is giving away a copy of Cheer Up Mouse to one lucky reader. Wahoo!
TO ENTER: “Like” The House That Lars Built on Facebook OR “follow” on Instagram. Then leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you’ve done (please let me know!). Bonus votes if you follow on any other blogging platform. If you’ve already done so on all platforms before, share the post for entry. Contest ends one week from today, Monday April 1st.

Thank you to the wonderful wardrobe providers: 
Wunway Kids (THE cutest and hippest clothes!)
Caramel (UK, but they have a US presence too–wish they made big girl sizes)
Orfeo (also UK–beautiful stuff)
The Children’s Hour shop in Salt Lake City–the ONLY children’s store in all of Utah with cool stuff. Promise, we tried them all. The owner has impeccable taste. And they have great stuff for mamas too.
photographer: Ashley Thalman
sets: Tanei and Jed Henry
masks and styling: Brittany Watson Jepsen
photoshoot coordinator: Tanei Henry
assistants: Lindsay Barlow, Audrey Ellsworth
illustrator: Jed Henry
models: Titan, Modock. Karli, Nohea, Stella, Crew, Cole and thank you to all the terrific moms and families!
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DIY + holiday + Projects / Friday, 22 Mar 2013

Bunny topiary wreath for your door

You know I love dressing up my door of the holidays and Easter is the last obvious holiday for months until…4th of July? I’ll take advantage while I can. 
My mom sent me a picture of this bunny wreath from Simplicity in the South and I knew I had to recreate it with paper for my door. Isn’t it a cute little hopper? I loved her idea. I used a similar process as the one I did for Valentine’s day and for the wedding topiaries.

Materials: crepe paper in shades of green (here’s an Amazon suggestion), scissors, embroidery hoops in two different sizes (I used a 4″ and 8″, wire cutters (not pictured), wire (not pictured), floral tape, glue gun, ribbon (optional)

Step 1: Attach the two hoops together with floral tape.
Step 2: Make 2 “bunny ears” out of wire leaving about 4 inches on one end to wrap around the hoop.
Step 3: Wrap the bunny ears around the smaller hoop at the top.

Step 4: Make leaves. I cut 3 at a time by folding the paper accordion style. My leaves are about 1: tall and 1/2″ wide.
Step 5: Layer the leaves on top of each other going around the hoops.

Step 6: Finish it off with a ribbon if you like.

Done!

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Crafts + DIY + Easter + flowers + holiday + Projects / Monday, 18 Mar 2013

How to make Easter egg terrariums

You know how terrariums are super in right now? Yes, they’re everywhere. I love the look and wish I could have them, but to be completely honest, they totally frighten me. As much as I love flowers, I have the biggest black thumb. I cannot keep a cactus alive. And then to have the responsibility of a mini eco-world in the form of a terrarium? That’s just way too much pressure.

SO, when I came across these clear Easter eggs at Smith’s, my first reaction was “terrariums!” and then reality started to set in. I did what every adult evading responsibility does: I faked it. Yes, this is a fake terrarium. The dirt? Real. The moss? Real. The flower? Well, shouldn’t you know by now that it’s paper?! So, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be all for a fake terrarium. Much less pressure. But to give myself a little bit of credit, the egg is too small to have a living thing grow inside without bursting out of the seams. ALSO, there is no oxygen hole and any type of drilling would have shattered the plastic.

Am I forgiven?

Materials: clear plastic eggs (again, got mine from Smith’s but I also saw a giant version–about 4″ tall– at Michaels), moss, dirt, gold spray (optional)
Step 1: Spray the colored egg part gold. Wait 24 hours to dry properly.
Step 2: Insert a bit of wet dirt into the bottom of the egg filling about 1/3.
Step 3: Add a bit of moss on top.
Step 4: Dig your wire flower into the dirt.

Done!

Materials for the paper flower: paper color of your choice, green paper, stamen (center of the flower–I found mine here), scissors, floral wire wrapped in cloth (here’s my suggestion on Amazon), hole punch (mine is Martha Stewart 1/16″ from Amazon), glue gun
Step 1: Cut a circle, about 1/2″ diameter
Step 2: Make a rounded start
Step 3: Curl the edges up
Step 4: Make a punch in the center of the flower
Step 5: Add a stamen through the hole.
Step 6: Glue on the back side of the flower and hold.
Step 7: Cut a thin leaf in the green paper and curl with your fingers to give it shape.
Step 8: Cut a piece of wire less than the size of the egg.
Step 9: Cut the stamen down to a nub on the back side.
Step 10: Glue the wire to the nub of the stamen.
Step 11: Put a small amount of glue on the leaf and attach to the wire.
Done!
What do you usually give for Easter? 
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DIY + holiday + Projects + St. Patrick's Day / Wednesday, 6 Mar 2013

St. Patrick’s day candy poppers & care package

Aren’t these little guys adorable? Michele Brummer Everett who has pretty much been a god-sent since before I moved back to the US, made some adorable Valentine’s day candy poppers and I just about died out of cuteness. Michele is a wonderful illustrator and textile designer who can pull out the cutest characters. I asked if she would let me borrow her idea for a St. Patty’s day version and thankfully she said yes. AND she drew the cutest little leprechaun. She’s the best! 

Materials: scissors, leprechaun template, toilet paper roll, rainbow template, chocolate gold coins (I bought mine on Amazon Prime–the best!), writing utensil, double stick tape, tissue paper, embroidery floss, scrapbooker’s glue, needle
Step 1: print the rainbow paper on normal office paper.
Step 2: Cut it out and measure against the toilet paper roll.
Step 3: Tape it onto the roll. I used double stick tape to attach it.
Step 4: With the scrapbooker’s glue, glue the end of the toilet paper roll and hold it onto the tissue paper
Step 5:Trace around a quarter onto a piece of paper
Step 6: Cut around it.
Step 7: Cut around the front and back of the leprechauns.
Step 8: With 3 strands of the embroidery thread, make a cross in the circle.
Step 9: Make a hole in the end of the tissue paper with the needle before entering in from the inside of the roll so the paper circle stays on the inside of the roll and the rest of the thread dangles out.
Step 10: Glue the two pieces of the leprechaun onto the end of the thread.
Step 11: Stuff the toilet roll with your goodies. I put in a first layer of moss and then gold coins and then more moss.
Step 12: Glue the top of the toilet paper roll.
Step 13: Attach onto the tissue paper to seal it off.
CARE PACKAGE
You know I love me a good care package (see my Valentine’s heart and suitcase) I lined the inside of the box with the rainbow paper and set down shredded green grass with gold coins on top and the poppers. Then, I wrapped the box with the rainbow paper and now it’s good to go!

Thank you so much Michele!

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DIY + Party + Projects / Saturday, 23 Feb 2013

Oscar party!

Admittedly, I’ve never been nor have I hosted an Oscar party, but my friend was recently talking about how she has her nieces and nephews over for the big day and they all dress up. How fun is that?! SO, I thought these prize ribbon badges (what’s the official name, anyone?) would be a fun accoutrement. I cannot take credit for the idea. You see, I have a very clever friend who is an amazing illustrator, Michèle Brummer Everett (you might remember her as the pencil), who hosted a presidential waffle night on Monday and made badges like these but with the faces of the presidents (take a look on my Instagram account). I asked her if she would show me how to make it and she was kind enough to agree. Thank you thank you! I turned them into the Oscar nominees so that you can use them tomorrow for your Oscar parties. Are you having one? Attending one? 

You will need: template of the Oscar nominees (download here), geometric backgrounds (download here, here, here, here) designed by Michèle Brummer Everett, scissors, pin backings (or safety pin should work fine too), glue gun, long stapler

Step 1: Print out the Oscar nominee template on sturdy laser paper cardstock on 11×17″ (A3). Office paper is fine too.
Step 2: Cut out all of the heads. I left a small white gap around to act as a border.
Step 2: Print out the geometric background paper on 8 1/2 x 11″ (A4) on thinner office paper.
Step 3: Cut out the geometric pattern leaving no white space.
Step 4: Fold the geometric paper in half so it’s long ways.
Step 5: Cut it down the center.
Step 6: Fold up the bottom in half.
Step 7: Fold it up again.
Step 8: Fold it up one more time. These fold will act as guidelines for the next step.
Step 9: Unfold. At the bottom make sure the first fold stars by folding up. You’ll basically make an accordion fold halving the folds you already made.

Step 10: Fold the accordion in half.
Step 11: With your long stapler, staple the center together.
Step 12: Glue the two sides together where the staple is. Make sure you put some in the very center so it glues without bubbles.
Step 13: Hold together for a few moments.
Step 14: Repeat on the other side.
Step 15: Unfold your accordion badge and fix it up a bit so that the folds are even.
Step 16: Now take your chosen Oscar nominee (I choose Bradley Cooper) and glue the back and attach to the ribbon.
Step 17: Take your pin and glue it to the back. Make sure it’s not dead center or it will tilt when it’s attach. About 1/3 down from the top should be fine.
Voila!

How cute are these? Everyone thank Michèle for showing us how to make them. She’s currently redoing her portfolio website and it’s going to be absolutely charming, but in the mean time, visit her here.

Alrighty, if you do make them, I’d love to see them! Use #LarsOscarParty so we can all keep track. Happy Oscaring! Here are some more ideas for your Oscar party from StudioDIY

Oscar nominee actor pictures:
Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Emmanuelle Riva, Naomi Watts, Daniel Day Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Joquin Phoenix, Jessica Chastain, Quvenzhane Wallis

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