Amanda Seyfried painting a nativity set

Crafting with Amanda Seyfried Interview!

A few weeks ago I got to chat LIVE on Instagram with the wonderful Amanda Seyfried. She graciously agreed to paint the angel from our nativity set for the Craft Along we’re doing to raise money for Nest/. Crafting with Amanda Seyfried was a dream come true!

At the end of the Craft Along we’ll be auctioning off the complete 8 piece nativity set and donate the profits to Nest. So stay tuned to see how you can own it yourself!

Though you can watch the interview on Instagram (I’ll link it below), we also transcribed it so you can read some of her answers if you don’t have a moment to watch. We talked about everything from motherhood to birthing with a mask on to a fun project she’s working on with her childhood girlfriends.

Crafting with Amanda Seyfried

Amanda has been a long-time Lars reader and she’s even made a few projects that she’s posted about on her Instagram in the past. Because of that, I thought she might be interested in participating in our Craft Along, but never did I think she’d respond so enthusiastically and so quickly. You can read below how it happened!

Here’s the full transcript of our Amanda Seyfried interview. I particularly loved hearing about how crafting is such a big part of her identity. She’s a true maker!

Amanda Seyfried Interview

Brittany: Amanda, are you in your craft room?

Amanda: Yeah, when i’m in LA which is not where i live, it’s like my heaven–this is my view!

 

B: You are a legit crafter! Let’s start there.

A: I am! If only I got paid to do it!

B: Uhhh–I’m pretty sure someone would love to [pay for] that. 

B: It’s technically a hobby, but it’s how I’m happiest–-creating things!

Craft Along for Charity

B: Okay, I really want to get into that.  I’m gonna do some prefaces first. So first of all, I got really excited about your craft room so I think that’s why I jumped in! Welcome to our live, everybody! We are here with Amanda Seyfried because we’ve got some really fun things that we’re working on today! So, we are here to paint a nativity set. We’re painting an angel and it’s gonna be super fun, but we’re also raising funds for Nest!

Nest is a non-profit that supports hand workers in the global economy. So, specifically for this we’re trying to raise $2,500 to support Makers United which gives resources to makers in the US and also, more specifically to refugees who have come to America from Afghanistan and other makers in the US. It’s a super important cause and that’s why I was like “you know, we have to reach out to somebody who loves crafting.” I know you’re super involved with causes that you’re very passionate about, so to me it was like a no-brainer. When you actually said yes, I was like, “What’s going on!?”

There [are] three ways to raise money for [Nest]. 1) One is buying the e-book which tells you how to do this nativity set, then 2) straight up donations which we have a link for in our bio, and then 3) at the end we’re gonna auction off this nativity set! So, Amanda is joining us, but so are seven other people who are also really awesome at what they do, [and they’ll make more of the figurines].

A: Thanks for letting me join in on this! … I didn’t know about the craft along! What better way to raise funds for this kind of thing than to get people together and do the same thing, especially these days! You’re a genius and I really appreciate what you do in general. I’ve been following you for a while and I bought your book a while back and then you sent me another one! … It’s nice to meet you!

B: So we’re going to get started! We’re painting this angel. … I have to say, I craft for a living but crafting in public terrifies me!

A: It’s terrifying! Anything can happen! It’s super public!

B: Who knows what this is actually going to be! I’m probably going to be paying more attention to you than anything else. … I’m very slow so I have a feeling I might get the hair done and that’s it. 

A: Also I’m really chatty 

B: So I’m having a hard time actually painting ’cause I just want to ask you a question! I guess what I’m most excited about is–-I don’t know, have you ever talked about crafting, this part of what you do, and your hobbies?

A: You know, every time I have an interview or I’m doing a press junket for a movie, I think my favorite part is when they ask me things that have nothing to do with the project. Because you know, once you get me going I can just… go anywhere! … I have my hands in so many different crafts and fiber arts and stuff like that. So it’s it’s really fun to talk about, which is why I said yes so fast! I was like “Oh, the other love of my life which is making!” And I am a maker! I just, you know, have my first job which is acting, and then this … feels like my second job. I just have less time [now], you know, with kids.

Amanda the Maker

B: What do you make? 

A: Right now I do a lot of embroidery. I make hats–I mean, I used to make hats; I don’t make hats anymore. Right now I’m making a scarf… I love crocheting. I like to [knit] sweaters [and] socks when I can really focus… I like to… fix things and I just got into [mending]. I can’t read Japanese, but I just got… a new [Japanese] mending book.

B:They have the best craft books.

A: Yeah! I like to… make flowers paper flowers. I made [some] paper flowers 10 years ago and they’re still beautiful! Oh also, you know what I do big time? I have one of those those cutters. The Cricut ones.

B: You have a Cricut machine! Haha I love this this! This is so fun! Did you make plants? 

Paper plants by Amanda Seyfried

A: I made so many of them and I gave them to so many people! There’s one up there, too!

B: We just made some beautiful hollyhocks. Well, I didn’t make them. We have a crafter, Gwen, who made these ones. I mean, she’s incredible. Let’s be honest. Like, right now I have a new baby and I’m trying to keep a business going, [so I’m not crafting much right now] 

A: I don’t know how you do it.

B: I don’t know how you do it! But I think it’s awesome that you prioritize your time to make things! … I have to show you this. This is a new tutorial that we just made I don’t know if you can see it it’s pretty incredible. [You can see the paper flower hollyhock tutorial here]

paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.

A: It looks real! It’s so substantial!

B: It’s pretty fun. We have a new tutorial about how to make hollyhocks on the blog.

A: Do I need my Cricut?

B: No, this one is made out of crepe paper but … it’s super easy [with] simple shapes. It’s super easy to do.

A: Is there a lot of glue or wiring?

B: Wiring, yeah, with the leaves. And glue. …It looks kind of intricate, but it’s really simple to do.

A: …When they look real, I swear! I mean, I hate spending money on things that I think I can make. And I think I can make everything! It’s so hard but then you see something–

B: You never make it!

A: And then … you don’t have time to make it. …I bought these huge flowers … and I felt really guilty doing it, but then I was also supporting somebody who spent hours and hours and hours of their time creating these beautiful things. 

B: That’s the trade-off. Because it’s like, you can either support an artist making it or you can like pretend like “I will add that to my priority list!” and I rarely do that these days.

A: Yeah it’s so funny, when I was pregnant with my son I just had my daughter so it was a lot easier when she was two I made because of the pandemic I was able to release it and make so many things I finished a really heavy sweater I did a giant granny square blanket I started making a rug which i still haven’t finished, hand quilting, all that stuff POOF my time gone.

B: I hear you.

A: How old’s your baby

B: Almost 9 months 

A: It’s so fast and so slow. Who helps you–i mean who’s helping you?

B: Well, I have a team of makers. Jane is here helping me today–she’s our photographer and video person and she knows how to make lovely things too and then there’s Hailey who, shout out, did my amazing nails.

A: Oh SHE does them, wow.

B: And Gwen’s our maker who made so many amazing things that’s what we do we make things. Garet is the one who dreamed up this Craft Along!

A: I’d love to be a part of your meetings like what are we gonna make next.

B: Okay you’re invited.

A: Thanks

B: Our brainstorm meetings are on Friday so schedule it in.

A: Amazing. One day, if I have time, I swear that’s what I would do. 

B: How about, okay, I have an idea for you crafts…maybe something inspired by your films…like Mamma Mia…maybe something Greek.

A: That’s, I mean, that would take some fabric to sew together or something like a crown. I love your crowns.

B: Okay that’s fun–I like where we’re going with this crown inspired book. I feel like you could do color palettes inspired by Greece…I don’t know I think I think there’s something there…

Colors

A: I’m obsessed with color palettes

B: Oh thanks! What’s your favorite right now? 

A: Like a dusty rose and like, what’s the blue called…periwinkle 

B: I’m into like periwinkle–it’s having a moment right now.

A: Peach is having a moment for me. I thought i would never like peach

B: I just painted my closet peach. Jackie O always painted her bathrooms like a pinkie peach because she thought it reflected well on her skin, so I did that too.

A: Really good idea. Everything in my house is gray all the walls are like gray or white. I love your aesthetic. I look at it. I love the website I love everything you do. It’s so colorful, but then I was looking to your stories and the things that you post from other people just for inspiration or whatever. You have a really good eye I don’t know if you have but if you ever make an interior design book.

B: That would be a dream.

A: What are these right here [points to the top of the angel]

B: Those are little clips, little hair clips.

A: What color are they?

B: They’re like a light blue, one might say a periwinkle 😉

A: Is it number 12 

B: I think so. Jane didn’t put numbers on mine so I don’t know which one it is.

A: You are giving a set away? 

B: We’re giving away two sets because we’re giving one set away that our guest crafters are painting, like yourself, and the one that Team Lars paints.

A: right right right 

B: So we’ll be giving away 2. We’ll auction them off at the end of this craft along. Just a reminder for those just joining that we are raising funds for Nest today. We have a link in our bio to donate directly to Nest. Additionally, the profits from this ebook, which are also linked on our bio or the housethatlarsbuilt.com.

Midcentury painted heirloom nativity figures against a pink and red striped background.

B: What types of crafts did you do growing up?

A: Yeah I did I did crafts growing up creating stages and then being all the characters in the play in my imagination. I grew up designing like I went through a phase where I color coded everything in my room so around my bed was blue with like a bowl of blue candies or whatever blue things I had.

I’ve suffered from some OCD so I think I think it’s really served me well in some ways as a creative but I mean obviously it’s a struggle as well but it’s it’s interesting the way I wanted to curate everything in a very specific way which is funny why I don’t know why I didn’t become an interior designer. I realized I wouldn’t be good at it as an adult. I didn’t learn to crochet or knit until I was 18 but I made costumes. I don’t know I couldn’t stop creating things because I felt like I needed something to do. I needed something to start and finish.

I loved the question about podcasts.

Podcasts for crafting

B: Yes–what do you listen to while you make or watch or are you in silence?

A: No, no silence never. You know it’s funny I put on Hercules for my daughter today and I’m like I cannot watch Hercules for the 17 thousandth time so I started watching the second episode of the Morning Show and I was very disappointed when it’s like and it was only one episode. I love podcasts I just finished In Your Own Backyard thrillers or friends that I know everyone has podcast these days. I used to listen to Dan Savage, but right now i’m listening to an English thriller on Audible. What about you?

B: I’m I’m a big Netflix and crafter type of person 

A: You can’t do subtitles that way. 

B: It has to be something light and maybe I’ve already seen. Maybe The Office for the 11th time

TV shows for crafting

A: Have you seen offspring?

B: No what’s that 

A: It’s my favorite show. It’s an Australian show about an obstetrician and I’m obsessed. It’s the best comedy. It’s really funny yeah it’s a little sad but it’s really funny as long 

B: As long as it’s mostly funny. I have a thing where, especially during the pandemic, I can only do comedies or rom coms.

A: I totally get it. There’s nothing like a good comedy like The Office to go back to especially the English Office. 

B: True.

A: I feel like can always recalibrate.

The Dropout Movie with Amanda Seyfried

B: Talk with me about what you’re working on right now. Are you in LA for something special?

A: Yeah I’ve been here for a while I’m going back soon thank God because there was an earthquake in the night and I just about lost my mind because I was at work. I am working full time right now on a true-crime show right now and it’s it’s actually in the news right now because I play Elizabeth Holmes and her trial is is in session so…

B: I’m obsessed with this case–I’ve listened to every podcast about it.

A: Yeah, and the new one’s out.

B: I’m losing my mind right now.

A: Producing the show with Rebecca Jarvis and Victoria are not on set because they’re working obviously, but it’s called “The Drop-Out” so it’s intense I will say it’s intense I need a break after this. It’s also intense because I’m an actor so compassion and relating to the character is my job and so it’s it’s really tricky, but it’s a show I think you’re going to love it. I don’t even know what I’m going to say when I’m doing press for it next year it’s just it’s a lot you know.

Motherhood and Acting

B: So do you feel like it’s a part of your job to like live in that moment of empathy. The whole time you’re doing it or you like oh no I need to go home and like do something else? 

A: More recently I’ve I felt like I just need to just take off that whatever you know whatever I’m doing spiritually I don’t know I don’t know how else to describe what’s happening it’s like an energy thing it’s like I’m at work and I’m embodying her and on the weekends sometimes it’s like go to Disneyland or something different immerse myself in what my kids are doing and watch movies at night and do anything, but I also have really short weekend so if I finish at 3 a.m. Saturday morning and then I go back at 5:30 a.m. on Monday so I have to I have to know my lines so I have to look at them and it’s impossible to get away from it so that’s it’s a struggle if that’s always a struggle now that I have two kids especially.

B: Are they there with you right now.

A: Yeah I don’t go anywhere without them.

B: Oh wow.

A: Really my husband’s going to be going to work and we’re staying here. But if I were going to Georgia and work the kids are probably yeah it can’t be like that I can’t go I just can’t–Life’s too Short. 

B: Are you super hands-on?

A: Yeah, I mean I we’ve never had a nanny. It’s just my mom, but my mom lives with us. It’s not like I’ve never had a nanny. My mom is our nanny. I could never be the parent I am if I did not have my mom or someone full time. Not enough people talk about the help you need being a mom and being a parent. 

Working mothers

B: I do. I don’t know how anybody has multiple children. Now I’m gonna speak directly to women–I don’t know how women get things done. Mothers tend to take the caretaker role more often then men. I don’t know how people do it, but right now we don’t have anyone to help so we’re trying to evenly split it. 

A: We all need help. It’s like, I don’t know how it’s not more [addressed]. Maternal health in general especially right after you have a baby. It’s so weird our country so slow to help. It’s like we are creating the children and birthing these children and it’s like it’s a lot to being a new parent and it’s a lot to be a new mother physically, emotionally hormones and not to leave out fathers to me it’s just it’s a lot it’s heartbreakingly beautiful and also just intense and we don’t.  I mean guys not having you know paid leave after having kids that should be something I mean we should have more paid leave for mothers.

B: Did you take time off after your children?

Maternity Leave after Mamma Mia 2

A: Yeah I mean I was lucky they dropped Mamma Mia 2 in my lap when I came two days after I came home from the hospital with my daughter and I cried hysterically not just because i was having a hard time breastfeeding but also because the idea of leaving my kid or at least getting into the headspace of going overseas and in four months from then it was just it was too much to handle we made it work and my mom and husband and they were amazing. I had 4 months off after her and then I had him in the pandemic so I mean I didn’t work until June and I had him on September.

B: So did you have to birth with the mask on? 

A: I didn’t, thank God. Did you they let you take it off?

Swapping birth stories

B: I’m sure they wouldn’t have said anything but I did leave it on the whole time.

A: Did you get an epidural?

B: Yes. 

A: Did you get it in time? 

B: Yes 

A: Oh good 

B:  I had a not a great experience the first time around so the second time we just took all precautions. 

A: Wait, so you got the epidural when you were still kind of okay?

B: Yeah

A: That is the trick

B: Oh yeah, well the plan was to go to a birth center and be in a bathtub and that didn’t quite go as planned.

A: I get it listen we all have our ideal settings the, the calmer the better mine was the birth center in a hospital, but it’s also because I know my midwife really well. She’s a friend of mine it was fine, but I didn’t have a great experience with the epidural fine and and I was yeah I was not wearing a mask by the end but tested, of course, they test you right when you get in there.

B: Yeah, same thing.

December birthdays

A: You have a December Baby, right?

B: Yeah

A: December what?

B: 21st.

A: I have a December birthday. Mine’s the 3rd. Right before Christmas. You have a Nativity baby.

B: Secretly this is all for him. Ha!

A: Right, I get it. I totally get it. So your husband’s with him right now?

B: Yeah he took them on a walk right now because I have 3 year old too. How old is your oldest?

A: 4 1/2 in school. She’s in school. I mean, not today obviously, but she’s in school and and she’s busy, thank God.

Painting Check-in

B: How is yours [nativity figure] looking? Let’s do a check-in. I’m a little distracted.

A: You went red and I went white first

B: I know. I’m worried about the details to be honest, but yours is looking great it looks perfect.

A: I should’ve done the red first, you’re right. I should’ve done the red first.

B: Um wait no… is there a better way…no wait yours is probably better because then you can go…I’m gonna have to put tons of white layers on top of each other to cover up my red mistakes so I think you’re…

A: Not having it perfect.

B: Oh yeah.

A: I’m a perfectionist which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to teach your kids how to do what you do.

B: I’m sure they say they love that attention to detail.

A: Maybe

B: Oh! I just looked at the time we only have two minutes .

Side Projects with Amanda Seyfried

A: Oh no oh God okay I was trying to give a little bit of a buffer so I can run downstairs before my meeting. My girlfriends and I are creating a company–more on that in years from now–it’s for play houses. They’re on the East Coast and we always have our standing Sunday meetings otherwise I go to work, but I can spare i can spare like 10 min it’s what happens, i talk…

B: Well, maybe we should wrap up but thank you thank you so much. I should tell everybody from the moment I sent my dm “hey would you be interested in doing this” she wrote back “yes yes yes yes yes” and i was like–“I don’t understand what’s going on.”

Thank you for your generosity and coming to paint with me for this nativity set that we will be auctioning off at the end to raise money for Nest and this e-book with the instructions which tells you where to get the pieces, where to get the colors.

I could have talked to you forever! My goal was to learn way more about what making means to you and what you do and I got to learn a little bit about it so that was a real treat for me so thank you.

Makers for Life

A: Thanks. I think in general I love connecting to makers and moms so it’s like I this is easy for me and I’m so glad that I could do it with you and be a part of this whole thing. I think it’s great we both are trying to make a change. 

I’m gonna finish this when the kids are in bed.

B: I know it’s going to take some work so no pressure! 

A: Oh i’m finishing it it’s going to be an Amanda Seyfried original except I’m going by the instructions.

B: OK sounds fair sounds fair. But i have a feeling you would do pretty well without them too so I’m not nervous at all.

A: I’ll go downstairs and get them 

B: Okay, well, take any artistic liberties you want and make sure you sign the bottom! 

A: For sure. If you ever need me again you know how to reach me. Thanks everybody for coming in and you know and thank you for donating to Nest and have fun.

B: You have fun with your standing meeting.  Can’t wait to see it in many years from now.

A: It’s my girlfriends from home we grew up together and it was like you know what I like designing things and we all have kids you’re going to do this your it’s one of those things that just happens over time you let’s spend more time together and do it for a good reason thank you thank you!

B: Thank you for spending the time with me 

A: And I’ll send this back as soon as I’m done.

B: Hooray!

More chats for our Lars Craft Along

If you liked this Amanda Seyfried interview, you might enjoy watching the other Live interviews I’m doing over on Instagram like with Mary Engelbreit, Sabrina Soto, Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess, Tracy Reese and more on the way

Donate to Nest Here

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