Home Blog

Paper bag heart snowflakes

Paper bag heart snowflakes

What I love most about these heart snowflakes is that they are literally made of just paper bags. That’s it! It’s just knowing how to assemble that creates that beautiful shape. The impact is big especially for a Valentine’s Day celebration.

Valentine's day snowflakesvalentine's day decorationvalentine's day decoration

How to make Paper bag snowflakes

This tutorial can be applied to all types of snowflakes but I’m going to teach you how to do them with hearts.

Materials

See above

valentine's day decoration

Instructions

  1. First take a piece of cardstock and trace the edge of the paper bag. Cut the cardstock to be the same size as your paper bag. This will be your template!
  2. On the piece of cardstock, start cutting the hearts and edges how you would like. Be careful not to cut too far into the middle of the template as that will cut off too much of the bag and it won’t hold its shape properly.
  3. Once you have the template ready, you can use it on the paper bags! Place the template on top of a paper bag and trace the edges with a pencil, then cut along the lines you drew!
  4. Cut out the hearts on about 7 paper bags, then you are ready to glue them together!
  5. Take a bag and put one line of hot glue straight down the middle (it doesn’t matter which side you put the glue on, just make sure you use the same side for each bag) then, place another bag directly on top of it, same side facing up, so they’re lined up.
  6. Continue this gluing pattern for all 7 bags
  7. Now, you can take the bottom bag and the top bag and open them up all the way so they meet in the middle and your snowflake takes shape! You will glue them together with another strip of hot glue just as you have the others.
  8. To string it up simply punch a hole in one of the edges and pull some matching string through! Now you have a cute snowflake for Valentine’s day!

paper bag snowflake hearts

I’d love to see how yours turn out! Tag your photos with #LarsLovesLove, our Valentine’s Day hashtag! 

Floral winter coats

2

Floral winter coats

Floral everything has been in for awhile and it finally made its way to winter coats (not to mention quilted coats!). I’m in! And the Canada Goose x Reformation collaboration is just unreal. From the prints, to the head scarves to the styled shoot. Call me president of the fan club. I mean, look at this:

Floral puffer coat options

Here are some more favorites from around the web.  yellow floral puffer coat canada goose

Clockwise from top left: Diamond print long coat, Yellow floral print coat, black floral puffer coat, blue puffer coat, black long puffer coat, green polka dot (not floral but still cute print), black abstract floral

Not pictured: This cute green floral print puffer, this pink puffer coat,

What do you think? Is it something you’d splurge on? I know I’m waiting for a big sale! 

Valentine Exchange

0

Valentine Exchange

In the mad rush of the holidays, I was looking ahead to Valentine’s Day, as one does. I was thinking about something we could do as a community to share in the love and showcase our mad making skills and thought about a Valentine exchange–it would be perfect!

When we first moved here to Utah (about ten years ago now!), I was invited to an in-person Valentine exchange (funny how you have to clarify these things like that these days). I made these leather heart pouches and met some of my now closest friends there. It was such an informative event and I loved seeing what everyone brought.

Egg valentine

I thought it might be nice to do in with our dear Lars community because if anyone can make a mean Valentine, it’s you! But even if you aren’t a “maker”, you’re still invited to participate.

What’s a Valentine Exchange?

A Valentine exchange is just what it sounds like: you make a handmade valentine and someone else makes a valentine and you will exchange them. Simple enough? Ha!

How will the valentine exchange work?

  1. First, fill out this form indicating that you would like to participate by Sunday, January 22nd.
  2. On Monday we will email you you a name and address via email of one person to send a handmade Valentine to.
  3. You will receive one Valentine in the mail from someone else.
  4. We will also be sending a discount code to our Valentine shop in case you’d like to use any of our templates for it.

What should you make for a Valentine Exchange?

The big question–what to make! This is really up to you! You can go as big or a simple as you want to go. The goal here is to share the love! It’s not a competition! Whatever you think you would be excited to receive is probably what other people would also like to receive.

If you’re still stumped, I put together this handmade Valentine card list with some great ideas to get you going. You can also check out our Valentine Pinterest board for more inspiration.

be a part of our Valentine exchange

Note about Valentine’s Day

Last week on Insta stories I asked about your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions. A lot of of people wrote in saying how much they despised Valentine’s Day because it made them feel sad and lonely. I totally get it. It can be triggering. While I totally think that we should talk about that and hold space for it, I also want this to be a space where we can all express a shared love, independent from romantic love. In fact, I’ve totally disassociated it from romantic love because I think it should be a day to say “hey, you exist and I love you”. To me, it’s about caring and sharing.

I realize it may not mean the same thing to everyone, but I think that’s precisely why we need this!

Share in the love

I think it will be very cool to see what people are making and where they are making it from. Tag any process photos or video along with your final card with #LarsValentineExchange so we can all see it happening. I’m so excited to see where everyone is from and what you’re making!

Link to sign up for the Valentine Exchange

Becoming Tracy Reese

Becoming Tracy Reese

Hi, I’m Tracy Reese! I’ve been designing clothes for more than three decades. My previous brands were Tracy Reese and Plenty by Tracy Reese. In 2019, I launched Hope for Flowers. Hope for Flowers is designed for women who are inspired by beauty and desire to use their power as consumers to be agents for positive change in the world. We believe that by incorporating positive social and ecological practices into our sourcing and operating structures, we can imbue our products with greater substance and offer our customers an opportunity to be a part of doing good while looking good.

I launched Hope for Flowers in Detroit, because I saw an opportunity to learn more about my home town and add value to my community.

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

I consider myself a designer, but I’ve always thought more like a business person. I love illustrating, making art and crafting, but I don’t always prioritize making time to just…play! I need to. It’s where some of the best ideas start!

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

I grew up in Detroit and had a wonderful childhood here. My parents were very involved in my and my sisters’ development, especially my Mom who was a modern dance teacher and later had a small business of her own. She was also an avid home sewer and taught me to sew. My sisters and I all had to take piano and dance lessons and we got to choose other activities we wanted to participate in. I always had art classes on Saturdays and I had to take swimming and tennis lessons because I was chubby and my Mom wanted to make sure I exercised. I was a girl scout from Brownies through Cadets and loved summer camp!

I went to a great city-wide high school here in Detroit called Cass Tech and that’s where I was first exposed to the fashion industry and was encouraged to attend Parsons School of Design in New York for College.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

I imagined becoming an architect or interior designer. I wanted a profession that allowed to express my creativity.

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path?

A head of the Fashion department at my high school actually encouraged me to consider fashion design as a profession.

What sparked your interest in design/making?

It was what I considered the best of two worlds: drawing and sewing! When I learned that fashion was also a huge industry, my decision to pursue fashion design as a career was made!

What is your design process like?

I’ve always loved color, pattern and beautiful textiles. I often begin a season looking at the latest developments at industry textile fairs. I also check out museum exhibitions and art galleries for inspiration. I start building a mood board with images I find inspiring and develop a color story. I love developing prints because we can express almost any thought, or color inspiration. Nature is the ultimate inspiration. I LOVE flowers! Once I have established a direction, I start sketching, trying out new ideas and updating ideas that have already been successful. Editing is the hardest part of the process.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?

I’ve always been inspired by the work of other female designers and artists. I think women clothing designers approach design in a much more tangible and respectful way. We want to problem solve for real world situations while still creating beautiful pieces. I love the work of Callot Soeurs, Madame Gres, Claire McCardell and so many others.

We would love to hear about Hope For Flowers. Can you tell us more?

As a world-class, Black-owned and female-run business, Hope for Flowers is demonstrating that Detroit can be the perfect hub for innovative, socially focused, sustainable enterprises.

Hope for Flowers is committed to creating beautiful clothing for socially conscious luxury consumers through an ecosystem of responsible design, production and distribution in Detroit. We support the livelihood and sustainability of Detroit’s children and families by being a local hub for arts enrichment, apprenticeships and community workshops focused on sustainable life tools.

The collection itself is quite feminine and joyful. I tend to stick to classic silhouettes reimagined familiar shapes to be modern and relevant for today.fashion designer Tracy Reese

You can find Tracy Reese

Hope for Flowers website
@HopeForFlowers
@Tracy_Reese
Read more about her in this New York Times article (I relate so much to her switch up in her business model!)

Handmade Valentine Cards

Handmade Valentine Cards

I will always be Team Handmade Card even if I don’t actually get around to making anything (ha! the reality of being a working mom, or just a mom…or just human ;). To me, a handmade card is a wonderful expression of your innate creativity. Plus, you don’t really need a gift if you spend some time making a handmade card. That IS the gift, right?!

Here are some favorite Handmade Valentine cards.

Tootsie Pop cherry Valentines

These Tootsie Pop cherry Valentines are such a cute idea for kids AND adults. It would be fun to get some kids or friends together and make them altogether. Plus, they are a super simple project even if you don’t think your craft skills are top notch. Write a little note on the leaf as a personalized card.

Tootsie Pop Cherry Valentines

Hand in heart token Valentines

These hand in heart token Valentines have a long history, which you can read about here. You can cut them by hand or put them in a craft cutting machine. We even made some templates for them, which you can find here.

diy valentine cards

Scandinavian woven hearts

These woven hearts are used at Christmastime in Scandinavia, but I think they’d be VERY cute as Valentines too. You could even blow up the proportions and use it as a Valentine’s Day box.

Danish Christmas hearts

Library card Valentines

We found the cutest library cards and had to turn them into a library theme for Valenine’s Day. You could either paint on them, color, or, in our case, embroidered them. So many fun options there. You can find the tutorial here.

Embroidered Library Card Valentines

Bleeding hearts card

In our Learning to Draw course, we have a section on how to draw bleeding hearts (some of my favorite flowers). I think it would be so so pretty to draw a card with them. They are a beautiful symbol for love.

Paper face boxes

I love the idea of a Valentine that also acts as a candy receptacle and these paper face boxes are just that. Plus, you can add in a printable card to go inside or make your own! The templates for the face boxes can be found here and the printable can be found here.

Paper Lipstick Valentines

One of the best ideas for girlfriends are these paper lipstick Valentines. You can find the tutorial here.

Paper Lipstick Valentines

Shrinky Dink Valentines

A cute way to add some personality to a card is by adding in a shrinky dink pin to go with it. Here’s how to make shrinky dink.

shrinky dinks

3 ways to Fold a love letter

You don’t have to go completely over the top but you can just look like you did. Take a normal piece of paper and then fold it in a cute way. Here are three ways to fold a love letter.

Make your own heart doily

We created some beautiful templates to make a handmade papercut heart Valentine doily. You can even use your craft cutting machine to get it absolutely perfect. Put a solid piece of paper underneath for a pretty contrast.

Heart tassel box

This paper heart box is a little more involved but you can simplify it by not adding the paper cuts on the box. Here’s how to make the heart tassel box.

Fruit pinatas

I love these fruit pinatas and think they’d be the cutest to give out for Valentine’s Day. Here are the full instructions. You can even download the sticker for a complete look.

Make a heart box

You can make a heart box and include a note inside of it for a full handmade Valentine. Here’s the tutorial and template for making it!

Let me know how it goes! I always love to hear how you’re getting creative! 

Valentine’s Day traditions

Valentine’s Day Traditions

I’m going to venture to say that a part of the reason that Valentine’s Day has been hyped up so much, besides the history and symbolism of it all, is because after Christmas and New Year’s we need something to look forward to. It’s the height of winter, it’s pretty bleak and boring and gosh darn it, we need some red and pink in our lives!

History of Valentine’s Day

That said, there IS a long history to the holiday, which I find super fascinating. Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14th that has its origins in ancient Rome. The holiday was originally called Lupercalia, and it was celebrated as a fertility festival. As part of the festival, men would draw the names of women from a jar and pair up with them for the duration of the festival–(really hoping the women had a choice in the matter–anyone know?!).

In the 5th century AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day, in honor of a martyr named Valentine who was believed to have been executed on that day. The Catholic Church recognizes several saints named Valentine, but the exact identity of the one honored on Valentine’s Day is unclear.

Over time, Valentine’s Day evolved into a day to express love and affection between romantic partners. People began to exchange gifts, such as flowers and chocolates (two of my favorite things), and write love letters to their loved ones.

Valentine’s Day tradition ideas

As you know, I LOVE this holiday and we’ve been sharing ways to celebrate for years and years. Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate love in all its forms that would make terrific traditions!

My rules about traditions

There aren’t “rules” per se, but I’m pretty insistent on not taking on anything that overwhelms you. Find traditions that work with your interests and time constraints, otherwise you’re setting yourself up for unmet expectations. I’ve been there and done that! Take these as ideas, not have-tos!

Valentine’s Day advent calendar

Ok! Let’s start! I say, why not get all the excitement out of every holiday as we can?! Why leave an advent calendar just for Christmas?! We made countdown for Valentine’s Day and I have to say–it’s a great way to build excitement!

Valentine’s Day Cards

A classic and simple way to express love is to write a card for Valentine’s Day. I’m talking like when you’re in elementary school–handing out cards. You can do store bought cards, of course, but there’s something lovely about making your own, or even just folding a piece of paper in a unique way. We have a ton of printable options and handmade ideas.

Handmade Valentine’s Day Cards

Making Valentine cards by hand is always my ultimate goal (now, do I actually do it??? that’s the real question…). Here are some ideas!

Printable Valentine’s Day cards for teens and adults

Printable Valentine’s Day cards for kids

Valentine’s Day Giftables

A simple card is great, but add on a little tiny gift to it and it becomes a gift-able, which is  that much better! These would be great for a neighbor or friend gift to hand out.

Tootsie Pop Cherry Valentines

More Valentine giftable ideas

Friendship bracelets with hearts.

Valentine’s Day Party Ideas

A Valentine’s Day party, or Galentine’s Day, my favorite form of the Valentine’s Day party, is a great tradition idea. This year I’m wanting to do a Valentine exchange party where we all make some and hand them out.

 Valentine’s Day Party Decor

A party themed around love is the best kind to throw. Here are some beautiful ideas to add to your event:

Valentine’s Day food

Valentine’s Day games

Table top games are a fun idea for the event!

Valentine’s Day Home Decor

accordion heart wreath

Valentine’s Day artwork

An art print up on the wall gets you in the spirit of the season. Here are some favorites:

Give a Valentine’s Day gift

A gift for a loved one is a great idea. Chocolate and flowers is super traditional and in my mind a super win/win. BUT, use this wrapping of sweet cherries or truffles and it takes it up a notch 😉

Valentine’s Day accessories

If you’re not one to dress up all in red and pink on Valentine’s Day (and I ask you to reconsider), maybe a simple accessory is more your style. Here are some DIY projects to get you in the mood:

wearing red and pink on Valentine's Day
Me on Valentine’s Day last year

DIY Valentine's Day heart collar pin

Valentine’s Day box

For the school-aged kids, a Valentine’s Day box is tradition (at least around these parts!). I love going over the top! Here are some ideas for you.

Valentine’s Day tradition ideas from around the world

In modern times, Valentine’s Day is a day for couples to express their love for one another. Many people give gifts, such as flowers, chocolates, and jewelry, to their partners. It is also common for couples to go out for a romantic dinner or take a trip together. Some people also choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their friends and family members.

Valentine’s Day is also a popular time for proposals and weddings. Some people choose to propose or get married on Valentine’s Day to make the occasion even more special.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is celebrated differently around the world. For example, in South Korea, it is common for women to give chocolate gifts to men, while in Japan, it is the opposite, where men give gifts to women.

Valentine’s Day traditions from readers

I asked our Instagram community for their traditions and you had a lot to say. Pretty much-you are all better people than me. I love these ideas! There were so many that I had to divide them up into themes.

For the kids

  • “My kids always made their own Valentine’s. This was pre-Pinterest!”
  • “We make a poster for each family member and each write something we love about each other every day until the 14th” [a lot of people contributed something along these lines]
  • “Homemade sugar cookies with our names frosted on them!”
  • “A small box of chocolates for each person and a heart pizza with a rom com for dinner.” [pizza was a big theme for a lot of people!]
  • “A scavenger hunt with clues for a small Valentine gift basket at the end”
  • “Writing a little note to my kids in lipstick on the bathroom mirror”
  • “Fancy breakfast, kids wake to decorate table, love notes, balloons, new book and treats”
  • “My mother would make heart shaped chocolate lollipops and set them at our bed to surprise us”
  • “I felt like it was a dumb commercial holiday, but when my kids were tiny we started “lovefest”. I make them each a handmade Valentine. It sits by their plate at dinner. We go around the table and everyone says what they love about each person. My teenage boys act like they HATE it! But they get the sweetest embarrassed smiles through the whole thing.”

For the partner or loved one

  • “My husband does at-home spa night for me and pretends to be a spa employee”
  • “We always celebrated my mom and I. A date, flowers, small gift, that sort of thing.”
  • “We do a fancy family dinner and candles and balloons and candy for all”
  • “We always celebrate it on groundhog’s day instead because we’re weird and it’s easier to find a sitter”
  • “Our Valentine’s date involves going together to pick out new cologne and perfume”
  • “We go to the ballet every year”
  • “Order Thai food and watch Princess Bride”
  • “As a kid and still, I always get a love note from my mom”
  • “Watching Notting Hill and slow dancing to our wedding song plus eating take out”
  • “No matter the day it falls on we take the day off and my husband I spend it together”

Valentines Day Craft Roundup

For others

  • “Send out a family Valentine’s Day letter instead of a Christmas card. Less hectic time of year.”
  • “I make handmade Valentines for my girlfriends. Usually a garland so they can decorate!”
  • “I like giving chocolate and a pretty card to girlfriends”
  • “I make little ornaments on cardstock with small bags of candy for friends”
  • “We wrap nice chocolate bars with Valentine wraps and hand them out to friends all day”Pink and blue house-shaped cookie boxes next to a green squiggly background and some heart-shaped cookies

Valentine’s Meals

  • “Heart-shaped meatloaf”
  • “Breakfast for dinner! Pancakes with lots of toppings!”
  • “My mom used to make me brownies and cut them into hearts with cookie cutters”
  • “Artichokes and Cornish game hens for dinner. IDK why, but we did it once andkept it going.”
  • “Make heart-shaped pizza for dinner”
  • “Pink sauce pasta for dinner”

Phew!!! Ok, that’s a LOT Of ideas! Remember, these ideas aren’t meant to overwhelm you. You don’t have to do any of them! Pick and choose what you want according to your interests and time constraints. What’s important is that you find something that works for you and is meaningful so it becomes a beautiful tradition.

Let me know how it goes!

Pantone color of the year

Pantone color of the year: Viva Magenta!

The Pantone Color Institute announced their color of the year at Art Basel in Miami in December. I had the privilege to attend the reveal at Artechouse and it was a beautiful homage to the vibrant color of the year. In fact, if you’d like to see the reveal for yourself, you can view it here.

Everyone awaited the big reveal as we listened to the Leatrice Eisman’s, head of Pantone, thoughts about the importance of color–something you know I’m fully in support of. Once the color was announced we explored the Artechouse galleries, which celebrated the color. viva magenta

Now, how do I factor into all of this?

Spoonflower x Pantone Color of the Year

A couple of weeks prior to the event we were invited to collaborate with Spoonflower, one of our favorite, long-time partners, to create a pattern inspired by Pantone’s Color of the Year. Even though it was our busiest time of the year and the turnaround was CRAZY tight, I had to say yes. I mean, what choice did I have?! When it comes to color, I say YES!

Here’s the thing, they didn’t tell us what the color was!

Pantone Color of the Year

Keeping Pantone’s Color of the Year on the down low

They gave us color codes to work with, I’m guessing so that it wasn’t easy to track down and figure out if it came into the wrong hands. It was all so covert.

We translated all of the codes into colors and here’s what we had to work with:

In fact, our turnaround was so tight that I was trying to deduce all the colors at stoplights on my way home and it was VERY tricky to do it on a phone let me tell you.

Our assignment was to interpret Pantone’s ethos that speaks to the following:

  • Bravery to break boundaries
  • Fearless optimism
  • An endless new ecosystem emerging in the world
  • Pantone’s pillars this year are Art + Design and Science + Tech

So, of course, we created a pattern inspired by beautiful bold blooms and went to town incorporating their colors.

Here’s a screenshot of some of the combos we were playing around with, again, not knowing which was the actual color.

Viva Magenta

We gave Spoonflower a ton of options to work with and didn’t know exactly what they were going to use them for but they requested on that was large in repeat and one that was smaller and more suitable to dinnerware.

When I arrived at the event in Miami, I couldn’t wait to see how they had used the selected patterns. I had somewhat of a hunch of what it might be, just because Magenta was such a knockout out of bunch, but, of course, I didn’t know for sure.

After Viva Magenta was in fact announced (yay!), they led me up to gallery where they had installed our wallpaper in the color, which you can see behind me here. I hadn’t yet seen it so I was getting the big reveal at this precise moment.

And voila! There she is! Ha!

And, of course, we had to have some fun in front of it!

Spoonflower artists

I was one of 6 artists invited to participate and everyone did such an amazing job! Some had very specific themes to work with, like

Jeanetta Gonzalez, who I met years ago at Alt Summit. Hi Jeanetta!
Elishka Jepson of Robyrider who is a legit rocket scientist by day and pattern designer at night. She created a design inspired by STEM. So amazing.
Cecilia Mok, who is based in Sydney, Australia and wasn’t able to come. We missed you!
Virginia Odeon
Judy Quintero of Shop Cabin

You can read more about the artists here on the Spoonflower blog.

Pantone Color of the Year

And here’s the artists with the Spoonflower team, who I love. They’re all just the best. Truly.

Pantone Color of the Year

Here are everyone’s designs in Viva Magenta through Spoonflower.

Viva magenta wallpaper and more

Here’s our pattern into wallpaper, throw pillows, and more! You can find the full collection here.

pantone color of the year

Thank you to Spoonflower and Pantone for the wonderful opportunity! Consider me your biggest fan!

You can shop our Pantone Color of the Year collection on Spoonflower here.

Photo credits: For the pillow stack image: Alex Craig  |  All event images: Katherine Jones  |  iphone photos by Brittany Jepsen

2023 calendars and agendas

0

2023 Calendars and agendas

The focal point of my home office is this rainbow wall calendar below. It is not only great for organizing, but makes such a statement. For $50 you can cover a whole wall with something impactful! A much cheaper option than any piece of art or wallpaper. You can find this rainbow wall calendar here. And if you’re looking to see more of my home office, see the full post here!

2023 calendars and agendas

Personally, I don’t actually use mine as a calendar, just for the art so you don’t see any pen marks on it. Plus, I don’t really want people who sit in my office to see all the intricacies of my schedule ;).

Digital vesus analog

I used to be a diehard Moleskin planner user, but because of work I’ve adapted to doing using Google calendar for scheduling along with a personal desktop planner and to-do list. And now I’ll be using our own wall calendar to look at major dates and such. I’m curious how you organize your schedule? Are you Team Digital or Analog? Or both? Do you use a desktop or wall calendar?

2023 Desk agendas and planners

Cute agendas and planners are just what the doctor ordered for a bright and fabulous new year. I found some colorful ones in some great patterns! Let me know if you know of any others. Would love to add them to my list!

calendars for 2023

  1. This shocking blue planner is so so beautiful!
  2. Ban.do daily planner
  3. Papier planner. Papier has the cutest planners out there! Such a fan!
  4. Our own calendar from our shop! I used to do one in my early days so it was fun to come back to one for 2023!
  5. Spectrum wall calendar
  6. Abby Clawson Low always does a year calendar based on beautiful typography.
  7. Day Designer Poppy Garden. They also have a collection at Target

And we have some exciting news coming later this year. We can’t give more hints than this, but stay tuned!

Our top ten!

Our top ten!

I’m going to do it Letterman style by starting with our top ten and working our way down the list. Do you have any guesses what they could be? Any personal faves? Honestly, I wouldn’t have guessed any of them myself–ha! But you just don’t know!

10. DIY Paper Sunflower

In homage to Ukraine, we made some paper sunflowers as a reminder of the people’s strength and courage at such a difficult time.

As you know, we love a good paper flower and had yet to do it, so it’s a great time to make the DIY paper sunflower. I had also done an Instagram Live with an amazing Ukrainian embroidery artist in Ukraine to learn how to do their iconic Ukrainian star. You can see that here. That was a real highlight for me this year.

9. Papier Mache Vase

We took a nod from former Lars contributor, Corrie Beth Hogg, for this one. I wanted a vase to match our new kitchen so we did a papier mache version. I love how it turned out!

The wonderful thing about papier mache is that you can make it in whatever shape and style you want. Here’s how to make a papier mache vase!

8. Are you scared of color? 

I announced a new direction to Lars, after some internal discussions focusing on color. I’ve talked about the trend of society moving away from color and I realized there had been times in my life when I was Color Scared. Here’s the essay about being afraid of using color.

I plan on addressing this more this year so stay tuned!

7. DIY Paper Heart Wreath  

2022 was a year of wreaths! We did one for every holiday including this DIY paper heart wreath. We made some ombre templates to go with it. You seemed to like it too!

accordion heart wreath

You can find the full paper heart wreath here. And see below for the top wreath of the year!

6. How to celebrate your 40th birthday

I turned 40 in June last year but we were right in the middle of a crazy project so I ended up postponing activities until September when I went on an amazing trip to France with my closest friends. It was incredible! I made this list to give more ideas about how to celebrate your 40th birthday.

I was curious how other people celebrated their 40th birthdays so I did some research and shared it with you here.

5. Paper palm wreath

Our paper palm was one of the most popular projects from 2019 so we decided to turn it into a wreath. I think it would be perfect for spring time!

You can find the full tutorial for the paper palm wreath here.

4. Paper orchid

The flower making bonanza continues with this beautiful paper orchid. Honestly, real life orchids are very tough for me to keep alive so this paper version is just what I needed!

3. Shift here at Lars

I talked about a shift we are making here at Lars and I shared a bit of it here. We’ve had even more changes internally that I need to discuss with you soon!

2. How to thread a sewing machine

We started a new series about how to use your sewing machine properly and this post “how to thread a sewing machine” was your favorite! We also did a video series on Instagram. You gotta check out this song. It’s perfect wouldn’t you say?!

  1. Three ways to fold a love letter

Listen, I’m not saying that this isn’t a great post, but I have to admit how surprised I am by this being our number 1! Three ways to fold a love letter! I guess you are writing way more love letters than I ever imagined?! Ha!

There they are! Our top ten from 2022. I love them all even though I’m surprised by some of them. Let me know what you think in the comments. And if there’s anything you’d like to see this year, let me know!

New Year’s traditions

New Year’s Traditions

New Year's traditions

While New Year’s Eve always creeps up on me, I do love the idea of doing something to indicate the momentous occasion of a fresh new year. Here are some traditions to make New Year’s Eve and Day something to remember.

New Year’s Eve Crowns

new year's crowns

Whether you’re attending a party or celebrating from your sofa, one way to mark the occasion is with a paper crown. Paper crowns are typically found in a festive cracker or popper, but you can go straight to the festive crown with our printable New Year’s Eve crowns (see above) or make a DIY winter glam version (see below). We also have these astrological printable crowns as well as these super fun patterned crowns and these art deco inspired crowns.

Fun Fact: The paper crown tradition can be traced back to the ancient Romans, who wore festive headgear to celebrate Saturnalia, a festival that took place around the winter solstice.

star crown

New Year’s Crackers Poppers

Our friends in the UK love a good cracker (or popper? Verdict is out!). We love a DIY version too! We have these printable poppers that will do the trick!

New Year’s Eve Countdown

You can put on the Time Square Coutdown or you can make your own! I love this DIY countdown backdrop where guests can indicate what time it is using hands of a clock.

Countdown to Midnight Backdrop

New Year’s Table

A celebratory table is sure to ring in the season. Take a nod from our Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade table, we did a Times Square version.

Rose Parade Table

I’m a big fan of the Rose Parade myself (even spent the night one year to get good seats!) so our Rose Parade Tablescape is a personal favorite. You could even let guests create their own that night!

Rose Parade Tablescape

Fireworks cake topper

One of my favorite cake toppers we’ve ever done is the fireworks display cake topper on a totally black cake. Isn’t it awesome! Here’s how to make it! We also have these sparklers cake topper idea.

Paper Firework Cake Topper

New Year’s Resolutions

Sometimes it’s nice to take a moment and reevaluate some goals for the year. In full transparency, I long to do this, but quiet times are more infrequent these days! Here’s a printable New Year’s Resolution page to get your juices flowing and to make it something beautiful to look at!

New Year’s Traditions

I asked for your New Year’s traditions on Instagram and here were some ideas:

  • New Year’s hike or massage
  • crab and a sweet with a coin baked in it
  • “My husband makes beignets and we watch the Rose parade”
  • “Organize/clean my house so that I won’t be totally embarrassed if someone asked for a tour”

I’d love to hear your traditions! Let me know in the comments! 

Things to do during winter break

Things to do during winter break

I’m of the opinion that every good break deserves a bit of down time, family/friends time, and making time. I can’t help you much with the first two but I CAN and WILL help you with the latter. Making time is my jam! Here are some ideas of things to do during the winter break. Please leave me a comment with your ideas!

Making intricate snowflakes

If you’re in elementary school, start with the basics, but level it up once you’re in high school or college. The more intricate the better! We have some templates for these snowflakes here, but feel free to make your own. Hint: I’ve also seen Star Wars or Harry Potter themed snowflakes floating around the interwebs. Find your interest and get cutting!

vertical snowflakes with hands

Christmas Friendship Bracelets

Friendship bracelets were a big part of my childhood and I’m a big believer in keeping up the tradition. You can put any friendship bracelet into a Christmas color theme, but we also have some candy cane, poinsettia friendship bracelets here. They’re a bit tricky, but you got this!

Paper angels

We made tons of mini paper angels for our tree this year, but try blowing it up and making a big one! They’ll take you throughout the winter season!

Paper starburst ornaments

These paper starburst ornaments are so pretty for a tree but also awesome as a garland or as a simple decoration. Learn how to make the paper starburst ornaments here.

paper starburst ornament

Paper Danish woven hearts

To you and me these woven paper hearts might appear St. Valentine’s-y, and you certainly can get ahead of the game and make them for that, but they are made all winter time in Scandinavia. They’re such a lovely craft!

Danish Christmas hearts

Oversized paper star

Speaking of getting ahead of the game, I love using winter break to work on Christmas projects for next year. These oversized paper stars are such a stunner and take a bit of time so it’s now or never!

Oversized Paper Christmas Stars

Hand in heart valentines

Again, getting ahead of the game, now is a great time to work on some Valentines, like these hand in heart valentines, but they’d also be sweet to hand out to friends or neighbors during the break or as a great thank you note.

hand and heart love tokens

Paper Christmas cactus

I have a couple of real Christmas cactuses and they are the best! But paper Christmas cactuses are even better–no watering needed! Here’s how to make a paper Christmas cactus.

DIY paper Christmas cactus

Ice lanterns

If you live in a snowy climate, ice lanterns are a fun thing to try out! Here’s how to make them!

Photo heirloom ornaments

These are our most popular Christmas craft by far! I’ve been seeing readers make them all year round! Not only for Christmas but for birthdays or anniversaries. They’re just a hit all around! Here’s how to make these photo heirloom ornaments!

family heirloom ornaments

Nativity Set

Our heirloom nativity set is also a big winner. They take quite a bit of time so a break would be a good time to do it!

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

Make a piece of clothing

My favorite winter breaks were those when I would come home from college and make a piece of clothing. This year we came out with our fabric collection and shared some of our favorite patterns. Here are some patterns to get your juices flowing!

Clothespin dolls

These winter clothespin dolls would be a fun kids and grown up activity. Make them look like your friends or family members!

Clothespin People Ornaments

Painted frames

Dig into the close family times by creating some pretty frames to go with your family pictures. Here’s how to transform some dollar store frames into works of art.

Quilt Hack

You don’t have to be a huge quilter to make a quilt. Here’s our trick to making a quilt! Such a cozy way to celebrate the cold weather.

Shaped pillows

We made these fun shaped pillows to go on our studio sofa. You can pick your own shapes or make these ones.

Paper Flowers

You can’t just go to the nursery and grab some flowers right now, so make them! We have a ton of paper flower tutorials but this paper orchid is a favorite!

Ok! That should be a good list to get your going for your winter break, but do let us know what you like to do. I always love to hear your comments! 

Paper starburst ornaments

Paper starburst ornament

This year was the year of paper Christmas ornaments! First it was the paper angel, then the Christmas hearts and now the paper starburst ornaments. In all honesty, I wanted to do 12 days of paper ornaments, but clearly it wasn’t my year ;). But for sure, next year when I can prep more.

paper ornament

Colorful paper ornaments

What I love about these ones is that they are SUPER simple to make yet so impactful with their fullness. Plus, add on the pretty cut out shapes (templates here) and it’s really so stunning. Of course, we had to put it into colorblock colors, but you could keep it all the same colors!

Paper Starburst ornaments

Materials (see above)paper starburst ornament

Instructions

  1. Cut squares of 3″, 6 for each ornament (can be more can be less–have fun experimenting!)
  2. Fold the paper in half each way. Fold the paper on the diagonal each way.
  3. Now bring the corners together and bring the squares together along the diagonal.
  4. Create 5 more.
  5. Glue each square together to create a circle. Before you glue the whole thing together, insert a ribbon to hang as an ornament.

Note: If you’d like to use the templates to create some visual interest, cut those first either on the craft cutting machine or by hand.

 

Paper Starburst ornament video

If you’d like some video instruction, hopefully this video helps!

 

paper starburst ornamentpaper starburst ornamentpaper starburst ornament

I’d love to see how yours turn out! Tag us with #LarsMakes or #HolidaysWithLars so we can see it!