Friendship Bracelet Inspired Balloon Garland

how to make a flower balloon garland

Friendship Bracelet Inspired Balloon Garland

This year, we turned to our friend Wendy who has the most charming old white house (we’ve talked about her before here), which is a dreamy setting for her preschool.  We had aspirations of flowers and we wanted it to be BIG.  That’s when our friends at Anagram stepped in and gave us a hand with some of their balloons. My favorites are the purple/pink ombre ones, how about you? We knew with Wendy’s house and Anagram’s balloons we could pull off something really fun.how to make a flower balloon garland

Midsummer decor idea

Now, Wendy used to live in Sweden, so she was very eager to hop on the idea of Midsummer balloons. Did I also mention that Wendy is a BIG time lover of balloons!  Match made!  With the idea of greenery (read more about Sweden’s Midsummer traditions HERE) and flowers abounding, we got to work making some flowers out of balloons.

Beaded Flower bracelets

We were reminded of these popular bracelets that our friends at HonestlyWTF made and knew what we had to do. With some extra white balloons, we were able to make a chain and string the flowers together making the perfect balloon friendship bracelet.how to make a flower balloon garland

Here’s how to make them!

Materials: 

Make a flower balloon: 

  1. Start by using a gold/yellow balloon for the center.
  2. Blow up 6 “petals” to go around the center. Use packing tape to secure together and to the center.
  3. Blow up 5 white balloons for the garlands. Use balloon tape to hold them together. Use packing tape to secure if necessary.
  4. To adhere the garlands to your structure, use gaffer tape.

Tip: We found that packing tape is AMAZING for balloon to balloon adhesion and gaffer tape is great for balloon to other surfaces.

how to make a flower balloon garland

Recycling foil balloons

Did we mention recycling?  Yes!  Anagram foil balloons can be used year after year. Or you can gift them to friends like we did to give them a second life. It turned out so cute and we can’t wait for her kids to see!  how to make a flower balloon garland

This post is sponsored by Anagram but all opinions are my own! 

All You Need for A Midsummer Party

Even those of us not in Sweden can throw a Midsummer party to celebrate long days, the bounty of beauty in our gardens, and good food. Lucky for us, I have made lots of Midsummer-themed projects so we can have the Midsummer party of our dreams without dishing out for a plane ticket!

Midsummer Parties Past

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A blonde woman in a white dress holds a small bouquet.

Years ago I celebrated Midsummer by dressing up and dancing around a maypole with my team, and it was truly magical. You can see more photos here.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light.

The next year I teamed up with my friend and designer extraordinaire Meta Coleman, Merrilee of Mer Mag, Sarah of Sarah Jane Studios, Melanie and Alma of Caravan Shoppe, and Eva of Sycamore Co to organize a huge Midsummer party. We called it A Midsummer Mingle and it was epic, if I do say so myself.

Women dressed in white descend stairs in a green space filled with dappled light.women dressed in white eat on a picnic blanket. In the background, a maypole stands in front of some pine trees. It's dusk.

You can find out more about it here, here and here. Wasn’t it beautiful?

Two women in white wearing floral crowns smile at the camera. It's night and the background is distantly lit with warm light. A woman in white wearing a white floral crown hangs up a picture on a clothesline

Now let me level with you. Both of those Midsummer parties were stunning and magical, and you might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed right about now. Take a deep breath. Remember that I had help on both projects, as should all party planners, and you don’t have to be a professional to throw a gorgeous Midsummer party. You can do it! No matter how low-key or extravagant you want your party to be, I have Midsummer tutorials and inspiration to knock your flower crown off.

Women in white wearing flower crowns hold hands and walk in a line in front of some pine trees.

Midsummer Projects

Maypole

Brittany is wearing white and dancing around a DIY maypole with her interns, who are also wearing white.

I made a maypole for the Midsummer Party with my interns, and I know what you’re thinking: “You made a maypole?!” It was a surprisingly simple DIY that I know you can make too.  Once you’ve made a maypole, you’ll have the backbone of your Midsummer celebrations taken care of for years to come! Again, find the tutorial here.

Flower Crowns

Flower crowns are a Midsummer staple, and Amy from Amy Anne Floral made these gorgeous and simple Midsummer Flower Crowns for the Midsummer Mingle. It has a super simple-to-follow tutorial, so check it out!

Goldenrod flower crown from Midsummer Mingle. A woman in a white dress holds it against her side. waxflower and laurel flower crowns are stacked in a pile.

There’s also this Crepe Paper Flower Crown and this one, this Shamrock Flower Crown, these Lady Liberty-inspired Flower Crowns, this Printable Flower Crown, and this tutorial for a Flower Crown Inspired by Art History.

A little girl wears a paper flower crown and smells some little flowers.a floral crown on long, straight brown hairA little girl with brown hair wears a paper shamrock crown and a cream colored floral blouse. The background is bold colored wallpaper.Lady Liberty Flower CrownsA printable flower crown in purple, yellow, pink, white red, and blue being held up by two hands. A woman wearing a lavish flower crown of dahlias and berries and greenery looks at the camera. The background is sky blue.

Midsummer Decorations

You won’t want to skip out flowers for your Midsummer party. Use this tutorial to make gorgeous floral arrangements that you can place around in vases or hold as bouquets.

Pink florals from A Midsummer Mingle

This paper Summer Flower Garland would look lovely draping between the trees or wrapped around your may pole. Because it’s made of paper you can keep it for next year’s Midsummer party.

Summer Paper Flower Garland

Speaking of paper flowers, I’ve compiled lots and lots of paper flower tutorials in one place here. These would be great for arrangements, cake decorations, or to wear.

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 Transformations

For a decoration that you’ll want to keep hanging after the season changes, make this Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile. It will remind you of your delightful Midsummer party and be a great conversation starter!

Close up of a colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i A colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i

Finishing Touches

No party is complete without music, and your Midsummer party is no exception. My friend Melissa Leavitt graciously agreed to make this Midsummer playlist, and I think you’ll love it.

Brittany and her friends smile at the camera. It's dark and in the background, there are warm lights.

If you serve cake (and when do we ever not want to serve cake!?) this Midsummer Pole Cake Topper is perfect for the occasion.

Midsummer Pole cake Topper Midsummer Pole cake Topper

Food

Look, you know that I don’t cook. Still, your Midsummer party will need food. Go traditional with pickled herring, boiled potatoes, grilled meat, and strawberries and cream for desert. For those who imbibe, Midsummer is also an opportunity to drink beer and schnapps, but as a non-drinker I’ve found that fizzy lemonade does the trick, too. Smaklig måltid (bon appetit in Swedish)!

strawberry-covered layer cakes on pastel cakestands at an outdoor party

Glad Midsommar!

I would love to see your Midsummer celebrations! Tag me in your photos with #MidsummerWithLars.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A graphic that says Midsummer celebration is at the top.

Poppies and Peonies and Posies: Paper Flower Tutorials

Without further ado, here’s a guidebook to all the paper flower tutorials in the Botanical Garden that Lars Built.

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. 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: Parrot Tulips, Peonies, Poppies, Morning Glory, Hydrangeas, Eden Rose, Daffodil, Paper Flower Bells.

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 these 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, 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! 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

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! 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

Chandeliers and Mobiles

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, Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile

Centerpieces

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

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

Potted Paper Flowers

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 room

Find tutorials here: Paper Foxgloves, Easter Lily, Christmas Cactus, Medinilla Plant, and more Paper House Plants

Parties!

Cakes

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

Backdrops

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

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

Garlands

Paper flower garlandPaper flower garland hangs over a rattan chair

Garland tutorials here: Paper Flower Garland, Summer Flower Garland

DIY Daisy party hat

And don’t forget this Daisy Party Hat tutorial!

Holiday

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 more!

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! Plus, keep an eye out for an exciting new paper flower development in the shop, coming soon!

How to press flowers in 3 methods

I’m so excited to share this tutorial on how to press flowers with Beci Orpin, one of the most inspiring creatives I know. She’s an artist and illustrator who makes incredible crafts, and I feel lucky to get to share some of her expertise with you.

Press Flowers with Beci

I am an avid collector of many things, but old books are one of my favourites – I rarely walk out of an op shop without one. Quirky typesetting and old-school printing aside, one of the things I love about second-hand books is the chance of discovering a little surprise inside them. I’ve found many treasures tucked inside those yellowing, musty pages, including some flattened Easter-egg wrappers from the 1940s, a birthday note from an aunt to a favourite niece and, best of all, several books containing some beautiful pressed flowers.

When I was a child I used to press flowers with my grandma, and I remember never having enough patience to wait the weeks and weeks before the flowers were completely dried and pressed. Luckily for me, while I was researching this project, I discovered that there are several methods of pressing flowers, some of which allow you to cheat, so you don’t have to wait forever and ever before they are ready. This is good news for me, as I still have as much patience as a five-year-old.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci OrpinYOU WILL NEED:

  • flowers/foliage: ones with flat petals are best (see a list here. I like pansies, geraniums, flowering weeds – anything pretty and dainty
  • book/iron/microwave: what you use will depend on which method you choose.
  • paper or a card: try blotting paper, coffee filter paper, printer paper, several layers of tissue paper

NOTES:

  1. Flowers should preferably be freshly picked, to prevent browning.
  2. Don’t pick your flowers too early in the morning, as they will still have dew on them. The extra moisture from the dew may cause them to go mouldy during the pressing process.
  3. Flowers should have just bloomed or be about to bloom. If they are too mature, they will lose their petals.
  4. If the flowers have obvious stamens, remove them before pressing.

Method 1, Pressing in a book:

(This is the easiest but slowest method; I found it produced the best results.)

Open up your book and place a sheet of paper on one side of the book. Liquid from the flowers can leach into the surrounding pages, so use an old book or several sheets of paper to prevent this. TIP: Don’t use a phone book, as the paper is too flimsy.

Arrange your flowers on the piece of paper, making sure the flowers aren’t overlapping (unless you want them to). Cover with another piece of paper (or fold the first piece of paper in half) and close the book.

Weight down the book by placing some heavy books or bricks on top of it.

Change the papers after 1 week, then leave for a few more weeks until the flowers are completely dry. Try to resist the temptation to check them (unless changing the paper), as this can disturb the flowers.Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

Method 2, Ironing:

Flatten the flowers between pieces of paper in a book, following steps 1–3 (left). Leave the flowers to dry for however long you can manage (I recommend at least 1 day). Empty any water out of the iron (you don’t want any steam), and set the heat to the lowest setting.

Remove the flowers from the book, leaving them sandwiched between the two pieces of paper, and press them with the iron for 10–15 seconds. You don’t need to move the iron around, just press it on the paper.

Method 3, Microwave:

Arrange the flowers in the book between two pieces of paper, following steps 1–2 (left). Make sure that your book has no metal in the spine or type before putting it in the microwave. Place in the microwave and zap for 30 seconds. Take the book out and let it cool by opening the pages to let the steam out (don’t open the pages that have the flowers enclosed). TIP: Have a couple of books on the go at once, so you can have one heating in the microwave while the other one is cooling down.

Once the book is cool, zap it in the microwave again. Repeat until the flowers are almost dry (you may need to do this about four or five times: smaller flowers will dry out quicker), taking care you don’t overcook them, as the flowers will turn brown.

What To Do With Pressed Flowers

Learning to press flowers is just the beginning! Once you’ve pressed your flowers there are so many great crafts you can do with them.

Adding pressed flowers to a handmade card or invitation adds a whimsical touch. You can also place pressed flowers between two sheets of glass and then frame them for a garden-inspired wall decoration, as pictured here.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

This gorgeous pressed flower tray made by Jessica Pezalla of Bramble Workshop is an unexpected and delightful project to make the color from your garden last.

And don’t forget about pressing flowers when next Easter comes around! Then you can use our tutorial for dried flowers on Easter eggs. The possibilities are limitless.

Another floral project I love is this DIY flower pounding on fabric. It makes such beautiful design and the way the flowers transfer their color is delightful.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

If you use this tutorial to press flowers, I would love to see what you make! Share with us with the hashtag #LarsFlowerMonth.

You can purchase Sunshine Spaces here 

Keep reading! See more of our book recommendations here.

Photography by Chris Middleton  |  Book by Beci Orpin 

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

DIY Grocery Store Flower Bouquet

I love making grocery store flower bouquets. Before I learned a few simple flower-arranging tips, though, I used to buy pre-made bouquets from grocery stores, trim the ends, and dunk them into a vase as is. It looked decent and there’s nothing wrong with doing that, of course! But learning how to arrange flowers properly helped make a simple flower arrangement look like a professionally made bouquet.

A bouquet made of eucalyptus leaves, chamomile, roses, and hydrangeas against a pink wall with a mint green jewelry box in the background.

Buying a beautiful floral arrangement usually costs an arm and a leg. You can make a beautiful bouquet of your own with a fraction of that cost with flowers from a grocery store! Follow the step-by-step tutorial below to learn the tips and tricks.

Detail shot of eucalyptus leaves, chamomile, roses, and hydrangeas against a pink wall with a mint green jewelry box in the background.

Make Your Own Grocery Store Flower Bouquet

When you’re buying flowers for a bouquet, consider a color scheme that you want to design around and look for a variety of shapes and textures.

Detail shot of eucalyptus leaves, chamomile, roses, and hydrangeas against a pink wall with a mint green jewelry box in the background.

There are four basic categories to look for when making a bouquet. First choose larger blooms that will be focal points (like hydrangeas, roses, peonies, zinnias, tulips etc.). Second, line flowers (like goldenrod, calla lilies, or other flowers that form a strong visual line) or accent flowers (spray roses, carnations, eryngium, etc.). Third, get filler flowers (like chamomile, wax flower, or baby’s breath). Fourth and finally, choose greenery or foliage for your bouquet.

Choosing a vase for your arrangement is too-often overlooked. Whether you want something colorful or subdued, putting some thought into your vessel will elevate your bouquet. I put together a list of some of my current favorite vases here, or DIY a paper mâché or recycled egg carton vase with these tutorials!

Instructions

A person using a knife to trim the bottom of a stem next to some roses and a vase on a picnic table.A person removes rose leaves from a stem. In the background are rose petals, greenery, and a purple and white vase on a picnic table.A person arranges eucalyptus branches in a purple and white vase.A person arranges bright orange spray roses in a purple and white vase full of eucalyptus branches.A person places hydrangeas in a bouquet of eucalyptus and roses in a purple and white vase.A person places chamomile blossoms in a bouquet of eucalyptus, roses, and hydrangeas in a purple and white vase.

  1. Prepare all your flowers and foliage by trimming off the ends with a sharp, clean knife or some clean flower pruners. Take all the leaves off the bottom of the stems. You don’t want leaves to sit in the water, because then they’ll rot!
  2. Your flowers should have come with a little packet of flower food. Pour this, along with some water, into a vase.
  3. First place your foliage in the vase. Think about the ways that foliage can frame flowers or provide a more neutral backdrop for them. I’m arranging with willow eucalyptus, which has long, elegant leaves, so I’m also considering how they drape. Hold a few branches back to add in at the end.
  4. Next place your line flowers or accent flowers. I used spray roses here.
  5. Arrange the focal flowers in the vase. The stems from your foliage and accent flowers will form a sort of lattice that makes it easier to get your focal flowers right where you want them.
  6. When you arrange your focal flowers, think about how tall you want them and what direction you want them to face. If they’re too long, trim the stems a little bit at a time, because you can all ways take away more stem but you can’t make them grow taller!
  7. Arrange your fill flowers around the focal and line/accent flowers.
  8. Add in any foliage you held back.
  9. Place your bouquet somewhere in your home that you’ll see it often so that you really enjoy it! To keep it fresh for as long as possible, pick the flowers up and trim an inch off the stems every few days. When you do this, make sure there’s plenty of water and it’s clean.

Arranging flowers is a skill that comes in handy all the time, especially if you love having fresh flowers around as much as I do! I would love to see your bouquets at #LarsFlowerMonth

beautiful bouquet made from grocery store flowers

Summer Paper Flower Wedding Bouquet Kit

A couple years ago, we posted a number of DIY paper flower wedding bouquets. Some of our past ones include this colorful Cinco de Mayo bouquet, a stunning white peony bouquet, and the royal wedding inspired bouquet. It was time for another wedding bouquet, as well as a kit! That’s right, you can buy all the materials in one place–our shop!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

Wedding flowers are usually HUGELY expensive. They are gorgeous and undoubtedly worth the money if you can afford it. HOWEVER, not everyone has the cash for lavish floral decor, accessories, and bouquets. Then, at the end of the big day, most of the flowers get tossed and the ones you keep fade away much too quickly. I have even heard brides talk about coming home from a honeymoon to wilting flowers and feeling all the wedding and honeymoon hype slump down into post-wedding blues. How sad!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.A bride in a white dress against a pink background holds a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

But why not make something that will be just as beautiful and will last so much longer? Our paper flower wedding bouquet kit is unique, breathtaking, and won’t wilt. Honestly, if you keep it away from water and out of flames, this baby should last forever!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

Make Your Own Paper Wedding Bouquet

We have the perfect paper wedding bouquet kit ready for anyone who wants to make their own flowers. To help you get started, we gathered the materials for you (including a lovely ribbon to tie everything together!) so that there’s one less thing to think about as you plan your wedding.

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

We understand that it’s not easy to find the right materials in the correct colors and amounts. It turns out that lots of these materials (I’m looking at you, crepe paper) only come in bulk! Getting started and gathering the materials is probably the hardest part, so we took care of that for you! By buying our kit, you’ll save a lot of time, headache, and money, as well as templates and instructional videos.

A bride in a white dress against a pink background holds a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

If you’re not confident about how your paper flower wedding bouquet will turn out, ask a friend and/or family member for help and have a bouquet-making party! The point is, enjoy your time planning while making something meaningful for your special day. This bouquet will become such a meaningful memento of your wedding and the memory of making it will be even more meaningful!

Look for this kit in our shop to make your own, and tag us with #LarsPaperFlowers

 

Inspired by Cinco de Mayo

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, 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, and everything she does to preserve and celebrate her Mexican heritage is so inspiring. Check out her interview here, 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 that 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. Visiting 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

Along with last year’s drive by party that Nadia worked on with me, I wanted to share more Cinco de Mayo inspiration from years gone by. One of my earliest Cinco de Mayo projects was this collection of DIY honeycomb ornaments shaped like fruits.

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

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

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

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!

Alternatives for Floral Foam

A few of our favorite spring projects in the past incorporated floral foam. Like this Colorful Baby’s Breath Wreath and this DIY Paper Shamrock Plant. However this year we want to replace floral foam with a more eco-friendly alternative.

alternative to floral goam with baby's breath DIY wreath in multiple colorsalternative to floral foam with DIY paper shamrock on a table

In order to recreate the Our Baby’s Breath Heart Wreath using alternatives to floral foam, we came across some eco-friendly solutions that may be found around your home or from your nearest garden store. You may even find some materials along your walks around your neighborhood! Keep an eye out and look for the floral foam alternatives below.

Floral Foam Alternatives

  • Pliable twigs
  • Straw
  • Willow, rattan or other pliable reeds
  • Wood wool
  • Compact moss
  • Chicken wire or metal pins
  • Flower foliage (e.g. boxwood, preserved evergreen fern, or other tangled leaf materials)

Materials such as straw and wood wool are commonly found in clusters often used in food packaging. They may be ideal for our Baby’s Breath Wreath tutorial because of their ability to stay in shape and hold the baby’s breath stems in place. You can easily cluster and tie them into a heart shape to form a firm base to insert flowers.

alternatives to floral foam with pink heart baby's breath wreath

Pliable twigs and reeds may need more maneuvering and layering to tie into desirable shapes. You can attach them to the heart-shaped cardboard base (found in the original instructions) in order to create a net for the baby’s breath.

Moss is a favorite amongst eco-green floral designers because of their ability to hold water. Because moss tends to have a loose texture, they may need attachment to other materials such as chicken wire. Cut some chicken wire to wrap or attach to the heart-shaped cardboard base. Then insert clusters of baby’s breath to create the desired effect. If you have shrubs in your lawn or have wilting flowers in your vase that need composting, you may want to save the stems and shape them as you would with the straw or twigs. In any case, when there’s a will, there’s a way!

Get creative and show us what you use as alternatives for floral form! Use the hashtag “larsloveslove” to share your ideas with us!

More Eco-Friendly Projects You’ll Love

Check out our other eco-friendly DIY projects made with recycled materials, like these lampshadesrecycled egg carton vases, and painted cardboard vases.  We also have a roundup of sustainable products we love here and here.

DIY vase centerpieces made from cardboard painted in blue and white in a well lit room with rattan chairs and blue and white tableclothpink and yellow DIY lamp made from plates and bowls vase made from egg carton in pink and coral colors with houseplants in them

DIY Paper Honeycomb Ornaments

We love the mid-century modern vibe of paper ornaments, and the jewel-toned colors complement any Christmas tree. We especially like that they’re non-breakable—if you have a toddler in your house, you understand.

Plus everyone loves a handmade ornament. They are sweet and sentimental, just like Christmas should be. Though these DIY paper ornaments are quite the level up from popsicle stick reindeers and laminated school photos, ha!

How to Make your DIY Paper Honeycomb Ornaments

These DIY paper honeycomb ornaments are easy to make, you’ll get the hang of it super quick. And like all of our paper crafts, you can reuse them next year! Just make sure to store them in a box where they won’t get crushed by heavier objects.

Materials:

DIY paper honeycomb ornaments

Instructions:

Read all instructions before beginning your project!
  1. Download our ornament templates here
  2. Use your cutting machine or scissors to cut out 66 pieces for each ornament.
  3. Once all of your pieces are cut, you will start glueing them together.
  4. Carefully place 2 thin lines of super glue separate from each other, and perpendicular to the flat edge of the shape. Take care not to spread the glue anywhere else. Your line of glue does not need to go all the way to both edges of the paper, start and end in a little bit to avoid glue spilling over the edges.
  5. Place the next shape on top of the one with glue, carefully lining up all the edges.
  6. On top of this new piece, carefully place one line a super glue, in the middle of where you placed the 2 lines on the last piece.
  7. Place a next pieces on top of top of that, again aligning all edges.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7, alternating between 1 line of glue and 2 until all of your cut shapes are stacked on top of each other.
  9. Now you will seal the flat edges of your ornaments shapes together using bookbinding glue or any other flexible glue.
  10. While holding the shapes together tightly, use a small paintbrush with a flat edge to spread flexible glue along the entire flat edge of your stack of paper shapes.
  11. Before the flexible glue has dried, use it to attach a ribbon to the flat edge, on the side you want as the top of your ornament. This is what you will use to hang it up later.
  12. Let your work sit until all of the glue is completely dry. Now it is time to open your ornament!
  13. Starting at one side, start to carefully open the individual shapes in your stack, carefully unsticking any edges where the super glue might have spilled over if needed.
  14. Your paper shapes should open up to form your ornament, meeting on the opposite side. You’ll see the ribbon is now tucked in in the center of the ornament.
  15. Carefully align and glue together the 2 sides that meet when the ornament is open. Ta da!

Extra Tips

Here are some extra notes that will help you avoid mistakes your first time around!

If you are having a hard time opening your ornaments that is most likely because glue spilled over the edges in places it shouldn’t be. That is why it is important to take care to make your lines of super glue and thin and straight as possible. And avoid glueing all the way to the edge of your paper. Just take your time!

You may experiment with where you places you lines of glue to achieve different end looks – as long as you use the same pattern for one entire ornament. These lines of glue effect where the “honeycomb” effect shows up on finished ornaments. For all of the shapes included in our templates, I still used 2 lines of glue alternating with 1 line between them.

DIY paper honeycomb ornaments

More Paper Ornament Ideas

Need more DIY ornament ideas? Check out our tutorial for printable retro ornaments, paper candle ornaments, or a head to toe Swedish Christmas tree.

If you’re not in the mood for a DIY, browse through our whimsical Christmas ornament selection, introduced in this post from a few weeks ago.

Paper Ornaments Available For Purchase

 

DIY Dried Flower Turkey Gourds

DIY Dried Flower Turkey Gourds

We have a really simple but beautiful DIY for you today—dried floral arrangements for your Thanksgiving Dinner. These are reminiscent of our gorgeous dried flower pumpkin DIY from a few weeks back, and just like that project, you can re-use these in the years to come! Once again, we used the beautiful preserved flower choices from Terrain and they were perfect! 

Unlike fresh flower arrangements (which we also love, naturally), these dried floral turkey gourds don’t need water to keep them looking great. This arrangement also isn’t specific to Halloween or Thanksgiving—you can keep it up all through autumn (and maybe winter too, if you’re already dreading the cold months and need something to remind you of slightly warmer days).

Dried Flowers

Did you know people used to think dried flowers represented bad luck? The tradition goes that dried flowers no longer have a “soul,” or “chi,” so they bring bad luck to your home. While we don’t quite follow this line of thinking, make sure to keep your dried flowers in a dry, temperature-controlled place to keep them from accumulating mold, mildew, or dust.

Where to Display Them

We like to put our dried flower arrangements as the table centerpiece, but how amazing would they look on a mantle? You could even put them in a windowsill so your neighbors can enjoy the autumn bounty.

Making the Dried Floral Turkey Gourds

Materials

  • Dried flowers (see above for exact links!)
  • gourds
  • glue gun
  • cardboard
  • spray paint

Instructions

  1. Cut out a piece of cardboard that fits behind the gourd. It should be a in a semi circle.
  2. Identify the center of the cardboard and start gluing the pieces starting from the outside and to the middl of the cardboard.
  3. Try different patterns with the florals for a unique pattern.
  4. For more depth and fullness, try different layers of cardboard in front of the other.

To display

  • Pin the cardboard into the back of the gourd. To separate out sprays with different layers, try using a sponge in between each layer.
  • If it’s a centerpiece, make sure you glue the back of the cardboard too.

Let us know if you make them by tagging us with #LarsMakes or #LarsGivesThanks

If you liked this project, I have a feeling that you’ll also like the following:

DIY succulent monogram pumpkins
Friendsgiving Tablescape
Origami Cornucopia

Holographic Ghost Halloween Balloon Installation

Ghost Balloon Decor

A good balloon installation is our favorite go-to because not only do you just need a little bit of time (and a good balloon pump!) but the large scale look makes a major statement without needing a large scale budget.

We are big fans of Anagram balloons. In fact, this Halloween balloon installation is one of many Holiday ideas they have helped us dream up over the past year. You can check out our tutorials for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and even St Patrick’s Day here! Plus the massive foil balloon arch we made for my sister Caitlin’s baby shower.

Foil balloons are re-useable!

Much like our DIY Rainbow Lucky Charms Arch we made back in March, this one is big, fun, and the best part—the balloons are deflatable! Meaning you can recreate this look next Halloween with the same balloons! Just keep them in storage and bring them out year after year.

I first fell in love with their holographic ghost balloons that come in a jumbo size and a mini size (too cute!). They also have this great circle balloon with a ghost face on it, which Jasper has dubbed “eggs” as the mouth is yes, in an egg shape. Anagram also has some beautiful solid color shapes so we added in some rose pinks, rust oranges, and some celestial shapes in matte black stars and crescent moons. It’s a beautiful take on a ghoulish theme you know?!

First, I put together a board of the colors I was wanting to use from Anagram.

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And luckily, they were just as pretty in person! Love the rose gold with the orange and iridescent!

Halloween balloon installation

You can use this ghost balloon decor to decorate your porch for All Hallow’s eve, a neighborhood (socially-distanced!) party or parade, or just to catch the eye of passers-by.

Watch our video to see me put together the party with a snap of my fingers!

 

Setting Up the Halloween Balloon Installation (no magic needed) 

This is a fairly easy project skill-wise, but it does take a bit of time to blow up the balloons and set them up. Maybe you’re wondering if you can blow up some balloons in advance, perhaps the night before while you’re watching a scary movie (by “scary” I mean Hocus Pocus…that’s my threshold). We recommend blowing them up only 1-2 days in advance to avoid any premature deflating. ALSO, an important tip is blowing them up in the temperature of where they will be installed. If it’s going to be outside, we recommend blowing them up outside.

Halloween balloon installation

Another perk of these foil balloons is you don’t need helium to fill them up—just plain ol’ air works great. Most of our balloon projects are made so you don’t need helium at all. That is a major plus in my book and since there’s a helium shortage, we tend to steer clear!

Look how cute these ghost balloons look! Special thanks to our sponsor Anagram for making this Halloween balloon decor possible!

If you like this, you’ll love!

Halloween Menu Printable
DIY Rainbow Pumpkins
DIY Pastel Pumpkins
6 ways to celebrate halloween social distance style
Tortured Halloween Artist Party

DIY Dried Flower Pumpkins

Today we’re bringing you a DIY fall project with dried flowers, but this one is a little different than our DIY Rainbow Pumpkins we posted last month. However, both projects could be left up year-round to add a little charm and cheer to your front porch.

I love our pumpkin projects because they involve no carving. That’s right, no scraping the inside of a pumpkin for hours until your arm gets numb. No sifting through pumpkin goop to get out the seeds for roasting. And no more planning out an elaborate design, only to accidentally cut off a huge piece of pumpkin and ruining the whole thing! I’m really making a case for a no-carving Halloween, aren’t I? Well it turns out, there are other ways to dress up pumpkins, and I’d argue they let you be even more creative than a carving set!

Unlike our colorful painted gourds, this pumpkin DIY relies on natural adornmentspreserved flowers, to be precise! You don’t need a perfectly round pumpkin for this DIY fall project with dried flowers. In fact, you could even dress up some acorn or butternut squash if that’s what you have on hand. How gorgeous would these pumpkins be as a Thanksgiving table centerpiece?

Even though we’re using preserved flowers for this project, that doesn’t mean the colors have to be tone down. You know which blog this is, right? Bring on the brightness! Choose jewel toned flowers that hold onto their hues after drying, like dried globe amaranth or strawflowers. How perfect is the name “strawflower”?! It evokes those beautiful red berries we all know and love and the “straw” makes me think of fall harvest.

Here are some of our favorite preserved and dried flowers from around the web!

DIY Fall project with dried flowers and pumpkins!

Materials:

See above!

Instructions:

  1. Pick out your flowers (we got ours from Terrain) and pumpkins. We went with a monochromatic scheme because…elegance!
  2. Plan your pattern.
  3. Start gluing! Use extra glue to make sure they stay on!

That’s it!

It’s really an easy project, but you can get super intricate with the design and style of the pumpkin. Again, how lovely would it be as a wedding centerpiece. I’m definitely showing these off ASAP!

Yes, summer is over, and it’s taking the beautiful flowers with it, but don’t fret! This DIY will help you preserve the colorful blooms all through the fall season.

Thank you Terrain for providing the beautiful preserved flowers! You can shop their collection here