Lars’ Gardening Essentials

Lars favorite gardening essentials

Lars and Gardens

If you’ve been following along for a while now, you’ll know I love gardens. I mean, anything that’s compatible with flowers is a big yes for me. Years ago, I described my dream gardens in this post. It’s a great place to start if you need a little help deciding on what types of plants to fill your garden with.

Tips for Beginners (or anyone, really!)

Speaking of tips on growing a garden, if you need some, see this post on how to grow a garden even when you think you can’t. I wouldn’t consider myself a pro, but you can see what I did to the front yard garden of our little rental (serious nostalgia here! I love our new house, but that little rental will always have a special place in my heart. And the garden turned out so lovely)!

A display of geraniums in terracotta pots

Another post that can steer you in the right direction if you’re in need of a little garden inspiration is this post on how to plant a rainbow container garden. I go through plants of every color of the rainbow! It’s a lovely and easy way to add some color to your garden.

Oh, and if you need a few more gardening tips, as well as basic tools? See this post! It’s amazing how helpful a few basic tools can be in creating your dream garden. And speaking of tools and other essentials, you won’t want to miss this garden apron tutorial.

Other Garden Inspiration

Interested in our other garden content? You might want to check out this garden transformation we did with Troy Bilt! Honestly, the before photos are unrecognizable. Also see this post, where we compiled the inspiration for our new house! And last year, we did a roundup of planters and pots for you to peruse. And don’t forget our shop! Inspire yourself with floral and garden-centric art like this or this.

Lars’ Gardening Essentials

And for your convenience, here are some other Lars’ gardening essentials. From gloves to planters, you’ll be set for spring with a variety of tools. Whether you’ve got a pumpkin patch in your backyard, a few pots on your front porch, or some herbs on your windowsill, there’s something for every gardener (or wannabe) out there!

All Our Paper Flower Tutorials

Blooms for Bouquets

There are so many things you can do with paper flowers, but you need to make them first! Mix and match these flowers for bouquets or let them stand alone. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Paper parrot tulips in cream, yellow, and red.Paper peony bouquet held by a person in a striped dressIcelandic Paper PoppyPaper hydrangeas in a white vase against a floral orange backgroundThe Exquisite Book of Paper Flower Transformationspaper daffodil on a cream backgroundA pink and blue space divided down the middle with flower bells in each color

Find paper flower tutorials here: Sunflowers, Parrot Tulips, Peonies, Poppies, Morning Glory, Hydrangeas, Eden Rose, Daffodil, Paper Flower Bells, and Narcissus.

Lots of flowers have stamens, and here you can make your own floral stamens for paper flowers.

Bouquets

I’m a big fan of paper wedding bouquets because they are long-lasting reminders of your big day. There’s no wilting here! I have loved making paper flower tutorials for all these bouquets.

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.Paper Flower Wedding BouquetRoyal Wedding Inspired BouquetCinco de Mayo Wedding Bouquet

Find tutorials here: Spring Wedding Bouquet, White Peony Bouquet, Royal Wedding Inspired Bouquet, and Cinco de Mayo Inspired Bouquet.

Paper Flower Accessories

Flowers add delicacy and magic to your fanciest events, but I’m all for wearing them in between big parties, too! These paper flower crowns and this corsage will have you searching for events because they’re so fun to wear! You can find paper flower tutorials for the accessories below.

A paper shamrock and flower crown on a brunette girl's head against green and white wallpaperPaper Flower Bridal Hair PieceA little girl wears a paper flower crown and smells some little flowers.a floral crown on long, straight brown hairPaper Flower Corsage

Find tutorials here: Shamrock Flower Crown, Paper Flower Bridal Hairpiece, Flower Girl Crown, Spring Paper Flower Crown, Paper Flower Corsage, Paper Flower Graduation Tassel, and Paper Poppy Pin.

Home Decor Flowers

Wreaths

When I started adding paper flower wreaths to my doors, I made a huge discovery. Coming home to something beautiful makes a big difference! So add paper flower wreaths to your doors and start feeling OVERJOYED when you get to your home. I promise, it works for me!

Paper daffodil wreath against a pink backgroundCrepe Paper Lemon WreathBrittany holding a wreath with floral accents cut from wallpaper.A hand reaches into frame holding a rainbow floral wreath

 

Wreath tutorials here: Daffodil Wreath, Lemon and Blossom Wreath, Wallpaper Floral Wreath, Rainbow Flower Wreath, Paper Poinsettia Wreath, Palm Leaf Wreath and Pink Paper Blossom Wreath.

Chandeliers and Mobiles

I absolutely love what chandeliers and mobiles do to fill the empty space in a room. And come on, they look adorable. So do yourself a favor and hang one over your new baby’s crib! It will surely give you and baby some much needed delight amidst the lack of sleep.

A maidenhair fern hangs from a wooden hoopA floral upcycled chandelier with paper greenery hangs over a party table. A paper mobile hangs in a white room with a cactusA colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i

Mobile tutorials here: Paper Maidenhair Fern Mobile, Paper Flower Chandelier, Scandinavian Paper Mobile and Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile.

Centerpieces

Another way I love to incorporate flowers is through centerpieces. Because isn’t having company over the perfect excuse to make something with paper flowers?

Paper flowers and colorful candles on a branchPaper tulips in an arrangement.

Centerpiece tutorials here: Paper Flower Branch Candelabra, Spring Tulip Centerpiece, Rainbow Paper Flower Tablescape

Potted Paper Flowers

I love me a good potted paper plant. These little beauties are the perfect addition to any room, so what are you waiting for?

Brittany holds a paper easter lily in a terracotta pot in front of her facePaper Christmas cactus in a white potPaper Medinilla plant in a grey spaceColorful paper plants in a grey roomPaper pansies in a distressed terracotta planter. They're placed on a stack of colorful books on a chair. In the background, you can see some red floral wallpaper and blue wainscoting.Magenta and purple hollyhocks made of crepe paper against a dark grey background

Find tutorials here: Paper Orchids, Paper Foxgloves, Easter Lily, Christmas Cactus, Medinilla Plant, Pansies, Hollyhocks, Paper Flower Bells and more Paper House Plants.

Parties!

Cakes

Another impeccable excuse to incorporate some flowers, do yourself (and your guests) a favor! If I had to guess, I’d say these flower-centric party decorations will do the trick perfectly.

Floral Number Birthday Cake TopperPaper Kumquat and Quilled Flower CakeMidsummer Pole cake Topper

Cake topper tutorials here: Floral Number Birthday Cake Topper, Paper Flower and Kumquat Cake Decoration, Midsummer Pole Cake Topper and 3D Paper Flower Gift Toppers.

Backdrops

DIY Crepe Paper Peony tutorialTropical Leaf and Hibiscus BackdropBrittany stands in front of a paper daisy-covered wall wearing a yellow dress.

DIY paper poppy backdrop and pinPaper Tulip Backdrop

Backdrop tutorials here: Crepe Paper Peony Backdrop, Tropical Leaf and Hibiscus Backdrop, Paper Daisy Backdrop, Paper Tulip Backdrop and Paper Poppy Backdrop.

Garlands

Isn’t spring the perfect time for a floral garland? Well, for your convenience, we have some lovely options that transition right into summer, too!

Paper flower garlandPaper flower garland hangs over a rattan chair

Garland tutorials here: Paper Flower Garland and Summer Flower Garland.

DIY Daisy party hat

And don’t forget this Daisy Party Hat tutorial!

Holiday

Holidays are the perfect time to get making a few flower-centric decorations. To help you out, here are our favorites:

Valentines Day

Brittany looks over her shoulder at the camera while wearing a pink, red, and white daffodil crown

Wear this Valentine Flower Wreath on your head or decorate your door with it. Either way, you’ll be feeling festive and ready for the spring blooms that will pop up not too long after Valentines Day with this wreath!

Halloween

A mom wearing a paper flower costume and a daughter dressed as a mouse pose in their costumes

Chrysanthemum Mom and Kid Costume

Hannukah

Gold, blue, yellow, and pink paper flower menorah

Paper Flower Menorah

Christmas

This Christmas you can make holly large or small, as well as these really exciting poinsettia blooms.

Paper Poinsettia FlowerDIY Paper Holly boughsGiant paper holly and paper berries hung around a big banister

Poinsettia, Crepe Paper Holly, Giant Paper Holly Decoration and Amaryllis.

More From Our Shop!

Find more floral Lars materials on our shop. Here’s our Flowers Coloring Book, this sticker sheet, a whole collection of floral art prints, and more!

Our Learn To Draw Flowers Course

And don’t forget about our learn to draw flowers course! It’s the perfect companion piece to all these paper flower tutorials. And the great thing is, if you don’t have all the materials handy to make the tutorials right now, you can learn to draw them first! By the time your materials come in the mail, you’ll be a pro at drawing flowers and will be all ready to start making them.

Inspired by Cinco de Mayo

Nadia Aguilar Cates

Last year I talked to my friend Nadia Aguilar Cates about Cinco de Mayo and some of her plans to celebrate it. She explained that “Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the battle of Puebla. It’s not Mexico’s Independence Day but a common celebration in the United States.” –Nadia Aguilar Cates, @Casa_Palomi

Two little boys dressed in Mariachi outfits holding cardboard instruments stand in front of a giant pink papel picado decoration

Last year Nadia and I worked together to make a COVID-safe drive-by Cinco de Mayo party. This party was complete with cardboard mariachi instruments for kids and a giant papel picado backdrop. If you missed it last year, it’s not too late to get ready for this year’s festivities!

We also interviewed Nadia last Fall. Everything she does to preserve and celebrate her Mexican heritage is so inspiring. Check out her interview here! Oh and definitely keep an eye on Ella Rises, the organization Nadia created to empower Latina youth.

Nadia Aguilar Cates stands in front of a giant pink papel picado decoration

History of Cinco de Mayo

As Nadia said, Cinco de Mayo commemorates an important Mexican victory in the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862 in the city of Puebla. The battle, in which the Mexican army defeated French troops, marked a turning tide in the fight for Mexican sovereignty. It also signaled Mexico’s strength to the rest of the world, which tended to underestimate their power.

Because The House that Lars Built is located in the United States, where anti-Mexican racism is still a pervasive problem, we’re using Cinco de Mayo to reflect on the importance of listening to and celebrating Indigenous and Mexican stories. In true Lars fashion, this means I’m highlighting some of my favorite Mexican artists and designers!

Lars Loves Mexican Artists

Frida Kahlo

Photograph of Frida Kahlo holding a small carved idol. She's wearing a black and orange woven top and has flowers and ribbons braided into her hair, and she's standing against a turquoise wall. Where would we be without our Queen, Frida Kahlo? She’s probably one of the best-known Mexican artists, and for good reason! Her work explores her Mexican Indigenous heritage in bright colors and with psychologically rich symbolism.

 

Painting by Frida Kahlo.
Self-Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States, 1932

If you’re looking for more Frida in your life, check out our Great Artists course for kids, which will teach your little one (and you) more about Frida’s work. You can also look at these DIY projects inspired by Frida and this roundup of Frida Kahlo-inspired decor.

Luis Barragán

A woman holds a black horse's bridal in front of a tomato-colored wall at Luis Barragán's Cuadra San Cristóbal stables. There's also a flat blue pool and pink and purple structures in the background.
Photograph by Rene Burri

Luis Barragán was an incredible Mexican architect and designer, whose geometric buildings are breathtakingly colorful. His iconic San Cristobal Stables was one of the most memorable parts of my trip to Mexico City a few years ago. Brittany walks under a bright pink structure at Luis Barragán's San Cristobal stables in Mexico City

Michelle Franzoni Thorley

A black and white portrait of Michelle, who looks at the camera. She's wearing a white top and a chunky necklace, and she's standing in front of some plants

Michelle Franzoni Thorley is a local-to-me painter and family historian whose work explores her Mexican heritage and the power of knowing about our ancestors. She also is an anti-racism educator and all-around powerful human being. So make sure you follow her on Instagram @florafamiliar!

A painting of women in mountains, a desert, and a cemetery holding onto a red ribbon that connects them.
Ancestresses by Michelle Franzoni Thorley

Cinco de Mayo in the Archives

Paper Fan Garland

Along with last year’s drive by party, I wanted to share more Cinco de Mayo inspiration from years gone by. One of my earliest projects was this paper fan garland decoration.

Honeycomb fruit

Another early project was this collection of DIY honeycomb fruit ornaments.

paper fruits in the shape of grapes, an orange, a grapefruit, and a strawberry hang in front of a window

Cinco de Mayo Bouquet

I was also inspired by vibrant Mexican design when I made this Cinco de Mayo paper wedding bouquet! You don’t have to be a bride to make this, though! Putting together this bouquet would be such a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo while simultaneously gearing up for Summer blooms.

brightly colored paper bouquet

Fiesta

If you’re looking for full-on Cinco de Mayo party inspiration, look no further than the fiesta I threw a few years ago! You can find great decor, lots of delicious recipes, and links to tableware that will make your party a true fiesta! a festive Cinco de Mayo table set with Mexican food and decorated with colorful papel picado banners

Mexico City Travel Guide

Maybe I’m getting carried away, but I also want to share my travel guide from Mexico City. In 2018 I went to Mexico City and it was absolutely dreamy. In my Mexico City guide you can find my favorite places to go and things to see, as well as (perhaps most importantly?) where to eat. I can’t wait until I can go back and experience even more of Mexico City, because it’s truly a magical (and huge!) place, with so much to do and see.

a colorful papier mache man floats in a white museum space

I came home from Mexico City feeling so inspired by the color and design that I put together a roundup of fashion and design that reminded me of my trip! I’m itching to go back, but looking through these travel-inspired objects is satisfying a bit of my wanderlust…for now!

Viva México!

More Inspiration

Looking for Cinco de Mayo decorations, or just some spring decor to freshen up your home? Look no further than our shop for the templates to get you going! Try the Cinco de Mayo bouquet template and e-book to make it a lovely centerpiece. Also, here’s the template for those Cinco de Mayo streamers we mentioned. You’ll probably also love this paper flower garland or this boutonniere! You may want to check out this house plants e-book as well, along with our flower and leaf garland e-book.

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed

For our Mother’s Day breakfast in bed, we decided to go with something classic and gave it a little twist to make it extra cute for mom. This Mother’s Day breakfast in bed is so simple, but so adorable. Think edible arrangement in bed. Here’s how to recreate it:

Tray

To make your Mother’s Day breakfast in bed extra comfy for mom, you’ll want one of these handy trays. We went with a simple white Amazon edition. It was perfect with the colorful fruit and other components, like our retro floral fabric we turned into a bedspread!

Dishes

A vase and plate or bowl make a lovely addition to your breakfast in bed arrangement. We chose a simple white vase and pink plate we had on hand, but you can also see this post for many more options that would be beautiful as well!

Napkins

We chose our DIY napkins using natural ingredients for this breakfast in bed. We loved the bold colors in contrast with the fruit and that retro floral bedspread.

Flower fruit

The real stars (or flowers) of the show were the cookie cutters, which we used to cut out various types of fruit into flowers and arranged them. This part is fun–get creative and make your own edible arrangement for mom. Here’s how you can recreate these edible arrangements:

  1. First, cut out wide, flat slices of fruit (wide enough for various sizes of the flower cookie cutters to fit on).
  2. Cut out various sizes of the cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, and pineapple. We found that the watermelon and pineapple worked best for the larger cookie cutters, while the honeydew and cantaloupe were ideal for the smaller ones.
  3. Next, cut a length of 18 gauge wire that’s slightly longer than a straw. Slide it through the straw and stick a large fruit flower onto the tip. The flower should sit nicely on top of the straw now.
  4. Cut a small piece of wire and use to attach a smaller flower onto the center of the big flower.
  5. Make as many as you’d like for the arrangement!

Other food ideas

We went with a very fruit-centric breakfast with edible arrangements, grapes and strawberries (these didn’t work with the cookie cutters but are nonetheless delicious). But we also included some delicious cherry turnovers so mom could indulge. Get creative and add anything to your breakfast you think your mother would like!

What are you going to do for your Mother’s Day breakfast in bed? Let us know in the comments!

Spring Tablescape with Retro Florals

Our New Spring Tablescape

Tablecloth

There are so many components of our new spring tablescape that we’re absolutely over the moon about! Let me start by talking about the tablecloth. For past tablescapes, our go-to has been Spoonflower, of course. This time was no different, except that instead of using someone else’s design, we used our very own retro florals! If you haven’t heard yet, we have a whole library of designs to choose from, many of which are based off our popular Casetify phone case designs. It turns out retro florals looks amazing in more ways than just a phone case!

Tableware

As we mentioned earlier, our tableware came from the one and only Year & Day. Wow, are we in love. It’s absolutely perfect for this season and goes amazingly well with the retro florals tablecloth. We opted for blush pink plates, bowls, and napkins, as well as classic gold flatware. Can you say dreamy? Oh, and perfectly unpredictable and unique with our custom tablecloth twist.

Other Decorations

We also couldn’t help but use our handy cricut to cut out some simple retro floral designs! We scattered them on the table and attached them to straws to use in little vases by Year & Day. Oh, and don’t forget the colored candles and candlesticks!

More Inspiration

Liked this tablescape and more ideas? We think you’ll also love these other tablescapes! If you want something plant-themed and springy, we’d recommend When Life Hands You Lemons, Easter runner tablescape, rainbow flower tablescape, and Paper Plant Tablescape. Then there are these tablescapes that are appropriate at any time of the year: Bauhaus inspired tablescape and Chanel Inspired tablescape. Oh, and these Thanksgiving tablescapes, which are festive for Thanksgiving but also lovely long before November, too!

 

 

Easter Crafts

Our Favorite Easter Crafts

We have so many Easter crafts that we’re just thrilled to share with you this year. Many of them are brand new, too! Need a new Easter Basket? We’re here for you. How about a fresh spring wreath? We’ve also got you covered in that department. Without further ado, here’s the list of our favorite Easter crafts!

Wreaths

I love a good wreath. And spring wreaths are some of my favorites! They’re a must have when talking about Easter crafts. This year we have a brand new Palm Leaf Wreath you’re sure to love. It’s delicate, colorful, and festive. Just the thing to celebrate Palm Sunday, Easter and spring all in one go! If you’re feeling more into eggs, try our ever popular Easter egg wreath, or this sweet Honeycomb Easter wreath. Both are lovely and sure to put a little spring in your step. Also, you can’t go wrong with a simple floral theme. This Daffodil Wreath is very appropriate for the season, as is this Lemon Wreath!

Easter Baskets

You can’t have Easter crafts without Easter baskets! And we have a brand new one for you to try this year. It’s our DIY Easter Basket, and the best part is that it doesn’t require any sewing. Another clever no-sew Easter basket is this Paper Easter basket. Just download, print, cut and assemble, it’s that easy! If you want to sew an adorable bag that doubles as an Easter basket and will be around for years to come, try this carrot shoulder bag! The bonus is it packs up easily and is equally cute.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to fill your basket with, look no further than this Easter Basket choose your own adventure. We help guide you through the steps to picking your perfect Easter basket, along with everything to put inside it, like this Paper carrot treat box, or this DIY stuffed bunny. You can also make some of these Danish Easter letters to tuck inside.

Eggs

As it so happens, we have a lot of Easter crafts that have to do with eggs. Are you really that surprised? I mean, what’s Easter without at least one little nod to an egg or two. Just yesterday, we release the most lovely nesting Easter eggs! We love the little twist on original nesting dolls. Also try these Easter egg columns, which are a lovely way to decorate your home this Easter. Don’t forget about these Honeycomb Easter eggs, either! Make them into a wreath or decorate with the individual eggs. Either way they’re lovely!

Another fun variation on decorating Easter eggs are these dried flowers on Easter eggs, as well as our Pysanky Easter eggs (here’s the E-book of the Pysanky eggs, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort). If you’re into more decorating, try our DIY pom pom Easter eggs! Or if you’re having a party, you’ll definitely want to take a look at our Easter egg name tags, Easter egg cupcake toppers, and Easter egg runner.

For Kids

If you have kids, you’ll love these Easter-themed toys, accessories, and activities. First stop: these fun bunny party hats. Having a new baby this spring? You won’t want to miss these adorable DIY Baby bonnets! Need a craft to do with your kids to keep them busy and happy? You’ll love these Easter Egg coloring pages, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort. Then there’s our DIY stuffed bunny, which is a sweet little Easter toy. Plop it in your child’s Easter basket and you’re all set!

 

DIY Easter Basket

History of Easter Baskets

Easter baskets have become an iconic element of Easter. But did you know they’re not just a fun, modern tradition for kids? It turns out the Easter basket has roots dating back to ancient times. The Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility, Eostre, was often portrayed holding a woven basked during spring celebrations. Hence, the Easter basket. Early medieval Catholics also used the basket, along with the idea of fertility, in their Easter celebrations. Traditionally, to celebrate the end of Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter), they would bring baskets filled with symbolic treats to the church where the priests would bless them.

If you weren’t aware, many of the items we put in our Easter baskets are symbols of fertility (bunnies, eggs, and the basket, primarily). Across the world, many different cultures view the egg as associated with rebirth and new life, including Ancient Egyptians, Asians, Greeks, and Christians. Here’s the full article explaining a brief history of Easter baskets.

Our DIY Easter Basket

Our DIY Easter basket references this no-sew Easter basket we made years ago. We thought it could use a little sprucing up, so we decided to make an alternate version. We thought it was a fun twist (ha!) on the original.

How to Make Your Own DIY Easter Basket

Here’s how to make your own DIY Easter basket:

Prepping the Rope

  1. First, cut some long strips of fabric that are roughly 2″-3″ wide. We used pink and white fabric (muslin gauze works well for this if you have it). You’ll need quite a few strips if you plan on making a full sized Easter basket. If you’d like, you can also make a mini version, which requires less fabric.
  2. Next, take one white and one pink piece of fabric and hot glue the two together at the very top. The nice thing is you can use whatever colors you’d like, so have fun! Don’t feel like you have to use the pink and white like we did. This basket is totally customizable.
  3. Then, tape the pieces to the table and begin twisting the two together to make a rope. Use our step photos as a reference for this to make sure you twist them the right direction!
  4. When you get to the end of a strip, overlap a new strip of the same color by an inch or so and twist it in with the rest of the rope strand.
  5. Continue until the rope is as long as you’d like.

Prepping the Handle

The handle is a similar process to the rope, with a few slight differences.

  1. For the handle, cut a piece of thick gauge wire as long as you’d like the handle to be.
  2. Now, nestle one end of the wire in between the two pieces of fabric you’re going to twist into rope. Secure with hot glue, then tape onto a table or other secure surface.
  3. Start twisting the two pieces of fabric together using the same method above, only this time make sure the wire is wrapped into the middle as you go.
  4. Once you reach the end of the wire, secure with some hot glue and cut off the excess fabric.

Assembling the Basket

  1. To assemble your Easter basket, coil the rope around itself, securing with hot glue as you go. Continue until the diameter of the base is as wide as you’d like.
  2. Next, start coiling the rope into a gradual stack to make the sides of the basket.
  3. Continue until it’s as tall as you’d like, then cut off the excess rope and secure the end with hot glue.
  4. To attach the handle, decide where you want the handle to go and secure with a dab of hot glue on each side.
  5. Done!

Now all that’s left to do is fill your Easter basket. We have tons of ideas in our Easter shop, and stay tuned, because tomorrow we’ll be releasing a post where we talk all about what to put in your Easter basket!

More Inspiration

Looking for more Easter crafts? Try this super easy paper Easter basket! Want even more? Check out all of our Easter blog content here. Also see our Easter shop and this post for lots of ideas of things to put in your Easter basket!

Ukrainian Paper Sunflower

Ukrainian Sunflowers

The sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower. This beautiful flower has a long history with Ukraine, it turns out! Aside from sunflower seeds being a popular snack, Ukraine and Russia are some of the world’s largest suppliers of sunflower oil. Then there’s its historic message of peace, like in 1996 when it was used to celebrate Ukraine giving up nuclear weapons. Currently, as well, it’s become a bright beacon of hope and peace amidst all the turmoil and we want to do our best to show support. It seemed only fitting to make a Ukrainian paper sunflower in honor of the Ukrainian people. If you’re interested, click here to read the full article about Ukraine’s history with sunflowers.

Ukrainian Paper Sunflower

Here’s how to make your own Ukrainian paper sunflower:

Prepping the Paper

  1. First, download the paper sunflower template found here.
  2. Next, cut out the template pieces in crepe paper. We used about 30 yellow petals, 7 green back pieces, and between 2 and 4 green leaves of varying sizes per flower.
  3. Cut each side of the leaves separately. Make sure to cut out the leaves so the grain of the crepe paper angles up slightly on each side (like the veins on the leaves).

Making the Center

  1. To make the center of your paper sunflower, cut some long strips of crepe paper that are roughly 1″ wide. We used green, pale yellow, and orange.
  2. Cut slits in the strips to make a fringe.
  3. Securing with hot glue, wrap the fringe tightly around the top of a piece of floral wire. Make sure the wire is thick enough to hold the weight of the heavy sunflower blossom. Start with green, then move to yellow, then orange.
  4. Continue wrapping and gluing the fringe until it’s as thick as you’d like. Also, make sure the orange layer is set a bit higher than the rest.
  5. When the center is as thick as you’d like, fluff the orange fringe so it splays out a bit.
  6. Now, gently paint a gradient of green to yellow on the center you just made. See step photos for reference. Alternate option: You can use black or brown for the center, too, if you’d like! The center of most sunflowers varies in color.

Assembling the Sunflower

Now you’re ready to add the petals and back greenery to your paper sunflower!

  1. Gently shape the petals (see step photos for reference), then glue one around the center. We spaced them roughly 1/4-1/2″ apart.
  2. Next, add in a second row, this time staggering the petals behind the first row.
  3. Now you can add the back pieces. For this, shape the green pieces according to the step photos, then hot glue them around the stem. They should fan evenly around the back.

Leaves and Stem

The last steps of your paper sunflower are the leaves and stem!

  1. For the stem, cut a piece of crepe paper that’s roughly the length of your wire piece and 2-3″ wide, depending on how big your sunflower is.
  2. Securing with hot glue, wrap the crepe paper strip around the wire stem to thicken it.
  3. Next, start at the top just overlapping the back greenery of the sunflower. Wind floral tape all the way down to cover up the crepe paper.
  4. For the leaves, glue the two sides together, making sure the grain angles up slightly on each side to mimic the leaves’ veins.
  5. Now flip the leaves over and hot glue a thin piece of floral wire to the back. Make sure the floral wire extends a few inches past the stem of the leaves. Once the hot glue is dry, you can shape the leaves however you’d like.
  6. To attach the leaves to the stem, simply wrap floral tape around the wire.

Styling Your Paper Sunflowers

We varied the length of our sunflower stems, then arranged them in a pretty vase. We love how they turned out! They would make a bright addition to any room. Set them on a table, counter, mantlepiece, or side table. We also think they’d be a lovely accent for a bathroom or home office.

 

More Ways to Support Ukraine

We’re trying to do our part to support Ukraine. One way is through our shop! We currently have three art pieces in our shop made specifically to support Ukraine. We’re donating all the profits to the Ukrainian war effort. Special thanks to Amanda Jane Jones, who donated this print. Another special thanks to Nathalie Lètè, who donated this one and this one.

More Inspiration

Loved this paper sunflower tutorial and want more paper flower tutorials? Step right this way. We recently came out with this paper orchid tutorial we think you’ll love. Also, try our DIY Paper Hollyhocks, or these Poppies, Peonies, and Posies. Have a spring or summer wedding coming up? Here, here and here are some beautiful bouquets to choose from. You can also check out this holiday flower roundup if you’re interested!

 

 

DIY Paper Orchids

DIY Paper Orchid

Since it’s a fresh, new year, we were ready for a fresh, new flower. We wanted something delicate and beautiful to combat the winter, something original and different from what we’ve done before. Hence, the birth of the DIY paper orchid! Instead of using our tried and true crepe paper, we went for a softer, more delicate look, imbuing traditional printer paper with a delicate, watercolor-like texture. We love the way the paper gently curls and drapes like the petals of real orchids, and the watercolor texture is a lovely little touch. Ready to learn how to make your own?

How to Make a DIY Paper Orchid

Making your own DIY paper orchid is surprisingly simple! Here’s how to do it:

Prepping the Paper

  1. First, download the paper orchid templates found here.
  2. Using the Cricut maker or scissors, cut out the templates on regular white 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. Feel free to cut out as many as you’d like–we used three small full bloom, six large full bloom, and eight buds. For the leaves, we used one small, one medium, and two large.
  3. Now it’s time to glue the petals. This will give them a bit more shape. To do this, take a petal. It should have a small cut in the bottom near the base. Gently move the side with the stem over on top of the other side. Secure with a dab of hot glue. It should now gently cup in the center.
  4. Repeat step 3 for the rest of the petals and buds.

Prepping Your Workstation

  1. Prepping your workstation will help make the latter steps much easier. You’ll want a jar of water to water down the paint and rinse out brushes. You’ll also want paint brushes (one with a wide, rounded tip works well for this), a paint palette or plate for your paints, and some paper towels to paint on. This is a bit messy so you’ll need them. We especially liked paper towels because they’re more absorbent than newspaper or some other protective covering for your surface.
  2. Once your work station is prepped, you can start painting!

Painting the Pieces

Now you’re ready to paint! You can use a variety of methods for this–watercolor, gouache, and acrylic paint all work well.

  1. Take a petal and wet the entire front (curved inside) with water. This makes for a smooth texture in your gradient.
  2. Then, using a watered down color of your choice for the petal (we used pink), paint a gradient. Start with more concentrated color at the bottom and more watered down at the edges of the petal.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all petals.
  4. For the two tone petals, repeat steps 1 and 2, but paint one color in the center at the base (we used yellow), and one color at the tips (we used pink), blending them smoothly where they meet. Use the same process for the buds, except paint the side that bumps out, rather than the inside.

It will take a bit for the petals to dry, so you can do the other steps while you wait.

The Stamens

  1. For the stamens, first use needle nose pliers to bend a small loop in the top of a piece of 24 gauge wire.
  2. Now, wrap a thin strip of crepe paper around the loop. Bundle it up so it’s nice and neat and secure with a dab of hot glue.
  3. Next, paint the stamen a color of your choice (we used yellow).
  4. Let the paint dry before adding it to the flowers!

The Leaves

  1. First, using your Cricut maker or scissors, cut out the leaf templates on green card stock paper.
  2. Next, fold the leaves in half. If you’d like, you can score the back of the leaf before folding–this makes folding much easier!
  3. After folding, flip the leaves over and hot glue a piece of 18 gauge wire along the fold line. Extend three or so inches of the wire past the base of the leaves so you can bind the leaves together later.
  4. If you’d like to cover up the wire, you can hot glue a strip of floral tape on top. Then flip the leaves back over.
  5. Now wrap all your leaves together with floral wire. Put the smaller leaves on top, and bigger ones on bottom. Use our photos as a reference to see leaf placement.

The Buds

  1. For the buds on your paper orchids, bundle up a little ball of pink crepe paper so it’s nice and neat, then secure with hot glue.
  2. Once the bud petals are dry, you can secure them to the pink ball with a dab of hot glue. Use three petals per bud, pressing them into the shape of the ball as you go. You can also leave some of the buds partially open, like we did.
  3. After the bud petals are glued on, stick a piece of 18 gauge wire into the bottom of the bud a few centimeters and secure with a dab of hot glue.
  4. Now wrap a thin layer of floral tape around the wire.

Assembling the Flowers

Now that the petals are dry, you can assemble your paper orchids!

  1. First, hot glue the two large petals to the three petal piece, using the step photos as a reference. Wrap the bottom strips around to the back and secure with a dab of hot glue.
  2. Next, hot glue the little triangle piece to the scalloped petal, with the point towards the scallops.
  3. Now, hot glue the scalloped petal onto the main flower with the other petals. Again, wrap the extra strip of paper around to the back and secure with a dab of hot glue. Note: if you’d like, you can curl the petals around your finger to contour them to the shape of a real orchid petal.
  4. The stamen is next! Take the end of the wire and poke it through the center of your paper orchid. Pull it all the way through so the stamen is pulled up snugly against the petals.
  5. Flip the flower over and put a dab of hot glue at the site where the wire pokes through.
  6. Once the hot glue is dry, wrap a layer of floral tape around the wire, making sure it’s butted up tightly against the flower’s back.
  7. Using our photos as a reference, secure all the flowers and buds together with floral tape. Start with the smallest buds, then partially opened buds, then small flowers, then large. We separated our flowers into two separate stalks. You can do as many or few as you’d like!
  8. Make sure to leave a large length of sturdy wire to work with at the end for the stem, wrapping the whole thing in a layer of floral tape.

Finishing Touches

Now all that’s left is to put your paper orchid pieces together in a pot!

  1. Place a thick disc of floral foam into your flower pot. The foam disc should fit snugly in your pot.
  2. Poke the orchid branches into the foam, making sure it’s deep enough that they won’t tip over.
  3. Next, poke the leaves in so they’re close to the stems of the orchids.
  4. Arrange the stalks and leaves by bending the wires until you’re happy with the arrangement.
  5. Voilà! You’ve just made your own DIY paper orchid!

Styling Your DIY Paper Orchid

The wonderful thing about all paper flowers, in my opinion, is that they look great pretty much anywhere. And since they’re paper, you don’t have to worry about perfect lighting to keep them happy. Stick them on your desk while you’re working, put them in the bathroom for a pop of color, next to your bedside table, or on the mantle. Honestly, these little beauties are so lovely they’ll do justice to any room or situation. We would love to see what you do with yours! Let us know in the comments.

More Inspiration

If you loved this tutorial on DIY paper orchids, you’ll want to check out our other paper flower tutorials. We have so many! Try our DIY Paper Hollyhocks, or these Poppies, Peonies, and Posies. Have a spring or summer wedding coming up? Here, here and here are some beautiful bouquets to choose from. You can also check out this holiday flower roundup if you’re interested!

 

Valentine’s Day Garland

 

Valentine’s Day Garland

What better to bring in love day than a festive Valentine’s Day garland? Not much, in my opinion. It also goes perfectly with that festive gradient heart wreath we made a week ago! So do yourself a favor and take the decorating beyond your front door. Featuring a variety of Valentine’s Day appropriate shapes and fun pops of color, this garland is the perfect solution for cold, brown February.

How to Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Garland

Making this Valentine’s Day garland is seriously so simple. I mean, you don’t even need scissors if you have a Cricut maker! And if not, the shapes are simple enough that scissors are a good second best option. You do need a sewing machine, though it’s simple enough that even the most novice of sewers should be able to handle it.

Here’s how to make your own Valentine’d Day garland:

Prepping the Paper

  1. First, download the garland template found here.
  2. Upload the template into the Cricut design space.
  3. Now, using the paper colors of your choice, cut out the shapes using your Cricut maker. For thicker cardstock, we find it works best to use the glitter cardstock setting. We used anywhere from 50-80 shapes on each strand.

Sewing Your Garland Together

  1. This part is so easy! To start, just leave a 10″ tail of thread, then sew the paper pieces together.
  2. Leave a 10″ tail of thread at the end.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 for each shape in your garland.
  4. All done!

How to Style Your Valentine’s Day Garland

One of the things I love about this sweet garland is how versatile it is! You can hang it from practically anywhere, and customize how long you’d like it to be. Put it in a window, against a wall, over the table, along a mantle or a bannister. We love the way it looks hanging from the ceiling over a table setting! It’s so simple, but looks so bold, bright and colorful once its hung. It’s the perfect addition to a Galentine’s Day party, too, if you ask me. Just add some table games and party favors to your table and you’re all set!

More Inspiration

Remember, if you want even more ideas of how to host a Galentine’s Day party, consult our Valentine’s Day Activities post! Speaking of ideas, if you need DIY valentines crafts, check out these easy DIY valentines, this adorable valentine box,  or this paper heart wreath. Need valentines? We just released some brand new Harry Styles ones, along with these delicate doilies. And here’s a whole host of printable valentines from our shop! Oh, and here are two Valentine’s Day gift guides, one for men and one for women.

Our Top Ten Posts of 2021

Our Top Ten Posts Of 2021

I have to admit, it was a fun surprise to see which posts came out on top. 2021 was an eventful year and it was nostalgic to go back through those memorable projects we had so much fun with. Keep scrolling to see what your Lars 2021 favorites were! As you reminisce with us, consider this a perfect opportunity to revisit these must-do projects and get inspiration for the coming year.

1. How to Press Flowers in 3 Methods

Winning by a landslide, our number one post of 2021 was How to Press Flowers in 3 Methods. If you didn’t get a chance to see this the first time, I would highly recommend trying out these methods for pressing flowers come Spring. Beci Orpin is a genius, and we were thrilled to feature her tutorial on how to press flowers.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

2. (Fall)ing in Love With Quilted Coats

Remember our obsession with quilted coats? We sure do. (Fall)ing in Love With Quilted Coats is a post dedicated to those oh so lovely statement pieces you’ve been seeing everywhere. An element of cottagecore (which you can learn more about in the original post), these coats are surprisingly timeless, while also being unique and one-of-a-kind in both style and class. If this is your first time hearing about quilted coats, you’re in for a real treat.

Now, we know there’s been some debating going on, so don’t worry, we’ve addressed that, too. If you’re interested in reading more about it, see our post here for more.

Brittany wears a pink and neutral quilted coat in front of a white house with green grass.

Oh, and here’s our very own quilted coat! And as an ode to COVID, here’s another variation.

3. Baby Lars’ French-Inspired Rattan Nursery

Our third post in our top ten posts of 2021 was the Baby Lars’ French-Inspired Rattan Nursery. I mean, how could that rattan in all its glory not make the top ten list?! There’s a reason we’re so obsessed with it, and you will be too once you read this post, if you haven’t already.

Dramatic Rattan bed with a criss-crossing rattan headboard

A rattan bassinet with metal legs in a light-filled nursery

4. Meet Brittany’s New Rainbow Office

An ode to all the home renovations we’ve been doing since we moved into our new house, Meet Brittany’s New Rainbow Office was such a fun renovation to add to the list! From the rainbow carpet to the rainbow calendar, I honestly love sitting in my office. Just ask the rest of the team, it’s where you’ll find me most of the time. Can you blame me?

rainbow calendar home office

5. Make The Midsummer Floral Crown

The fifth post of our top ten posts of 2021 was Make The Midsummer Floral Crown. Come summer, you won’t be able to resist dipping your toes in the water and trying out these lovely little floral crowns. Perfect for a summer tea party, picnic, wedding, or gathering with the gals, they also double as a quick and easy summer craft! We love how dainty and refined these customizable crowns feel, and would highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t already.

waxflower and laurel flower crowns are stacked in a pile.

6. 3 DIY Lampshades Made With Unexpected Recycled Materials

Okay, I could go on for a long time about these 3 DIY Lampshades Made With Unexpected Recycled Materials. It’s amazing what lighting can do to complete the look of a room, and these DIY lampshades do just that. We had so much fun making them, and if you haven’t had a chance, head over to the original post and give them a try! The best part is, you can cut down on environmental waste while you make something beautiful for your home. Yes please!

DIY lampshade with Spoonflower fabric

7. 3 Pie Crust Designs To Wow Your Guests This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and a large reason why has to do with the pies. These 3 Pie Crust Designs To Wow Your Guests This Thanksgiving were such a fun way to still do something creative with the Thanksgiving food, while also avoiding the actual cooking (this was a requisite for me, as anyone who knows me can attest–cooking is not my thing). I’m totally okay not cooking, as long as I get to help beautify the already-made foods! And I have to say, these pies do look stunning. So! Keep them in the back of you mind as you prep for this year’s Thanksgiving. I know it’s a ways away, but it can’t hurt to be prepared, right?

8. In The Mood For: Frida Kahlo Inspired Interior Design

Next from our top ten posts of 2021 was In The Mood For: Frida Kahlo Inspired Interior Design. I mean, am I really ever not in the mood for Frida Kahlo inspired interior design? It’s a merging of two of my favorite things! This post, dedicated to helping inspire your inner Frida as you decorate your home, is one that is useful for far more than just a glance through can provide. Take a look, and just see if you aren’t inspired to take a leaf out of Frida Kahlo’s book. Or painting.

9. Printable Summer Pie Boxes

Are you ready for Summer? I know it’s only January, but I have a feeling I’m not the only one already itching for those warm summer days and endless opportunities for outdoor parties and get togethers. Well, if you really want to be prepared to wow your guests, these Printable Summer Pie Boxes are the perfect thing! Everyone knows what a pain it is to get to the end of a party, only to realize there are delicious treats left but no to-go boxes to put them in. That’s where these summer pie boxes come in. They’re adorable, but perfectly functional for all your pie-storing and transporting needs. Oh, and keep them around–you can use them in November for those adorable pies you made.

Leftover summer pie box

10. DIY Doily Honeycomb Decorations

Last but definitely not least on our top ten posts of 2021 are our DIY Doily Honeycomb Decorations. A variation on our Honeycomb ornaments, these delicate little decorations are the perfect thing to celebrate your relationships this Valentine’s Day. And how convenient, it’s just about a month away, so now’s the perfect time to get decorating!

What Would You Like to See This Year?

We loved getting to reminisce with you through our top ten posts of 2021. It’s sparked a lot of ideas, and we’re thrilled for a new year full of engaging projects to keep us all sane and happy!

We would love to know: what would you like to see from us in 2022?

Christmas Decor Ideas

Paper Village Advent

Christmas Advent Calendars

To start off our list of favorite Christmas decor ideas, we had to include advent calendars! I love advent calendars, which is probably why we have so many to choose from at The House that Lars Built. Seriously, take your pick: we have such a wide variety that I’m sure one will suit your fancy! The thing I love about advent calendars is that they serve multiple purposes: A gorgeous and seasonal decoration to brighten your spirits, and a built-in count-down to Christmas! Oh, and the bonus of an occasional treat box.

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

Here’s a list of some of our favorite advents we’ve made over the years:

Garlands

cranberry garland

Another tried and true Christmas decor idea we love is the garland! Besides sharing a name with the one and only Judy Garland, these sweet Christmas decorations are way to bring instant cheer and warmth to this cold season. We have a wide variety of garlands we’ve made over the years, ranging from paper to real fruit. One thing we love about garlands is that they’re so versatile! You can drape them in front of the mantle, use them to create a table centerpiece, hang them on the bannister, or drape them on the Christmas tree, just to name a few options.

wood bead garland

 

Here are our favorite seasonal Christmas garlands:

Wreaths

single arm wreath shot

 

We couldn’t leave wreaths out of this list of Christmas decor ideas. Wreaths are such a classic Christmas decoration and we have plenty for you to choose from! We’re especially excited about our new Paper Poinsettia Wreath, which we just revealed last week.

Paper Mushroom Wreath

Here’s the list of some of our wreath favorites:

Ornaments and Tree Decorations

family heirloom ornaments

Here at The House that Lars Built, we love ornaments! Really, though, you could consider it an obsession. But can you blame us?! Besides being such a classic Christmas decor element, Christmas Ornaments are such a fun decoration and an easy way to make your home feel cozy, festive, and seasonal! It’s hard to pick my favorite, honestly. There are so many lovely options to choose from on this list, you can’t go wrong!

Paper Honeycomb Ornaments

 

Here are some of our favorite Christmas tree ornaments:

If you’re not feeling in the mood to get crafting and want a quick option to decorate your tree as Christmas gets closer, we’re here for you. As always, we have some beautiful new ornaments this year in the shop! Click here to see the options.

Shop Ornaments

Cake and Table Toppers

Okay, now if you’re like me and you like to have a cozy gathering or two during the holiday season, then these cake and table toppers are must-haves! There’s just something about decorating your food to look festive that makes eating it so much more appropriate for the holidays.

christmas cake topper

Here are our go-to cake and table toppers:

Crepe Paper Christmas Tree Cake Topper

And if you’re feeling in the mood for a little seasonal piñata to add to your party, we have just the thing for you:

pig pinata

Other Decorations

We’ve also compiled these other whimsical, fun and festive Christmas decor ideas for you to peruse. They cover a wide range of options, and we’re sure there’s something for you here!

stockings

 

Oversized Paper Christmas Stars

What did you think? We’re excited to see which Christmas decor ideas you decided to go with!

More Inspiration

If you had fun looking through our Christmas decor ideas, you’ll probably love our 2021 gift guides! Christmas Decorations Gift Guide, Best Gifts for Crafters, Christmas Gifts for Women, Christmas Gifts for Men, and Christmas Gifts for Kids.