DIY Palm Leaves

DIY PALM LEAVES

These palm leaves are a BREEZE to make (see what we did there 😉


Materials:

Directions: 

  1. Trace out your leaf template and cut it out. (We have formatted the the template to cut an 8.5×11 however, the leaves that we made were done with a much larger. To accomplish this you can use the template and size up by hand or send it to print at a larger scale.)
  2. Fan your leaf shape: start from the middle fold, choosing one side of your teardrop-shaped leaf to begin making even smaller folds, helping your leaf get that pretty fanned palm look. Repeat on the other side. (you can use a scoring tool to help you get sharper folds)
  3. Color your leaf: before connecting your leaf to the stem, you’ll want to paint it to make sure it gets an even color throughout. BEFORE PAINTING be sure your creases are defined! Then flatten out your shape again, just enough that you can get an even coat of paint on it. Paint and let dry for 1-2 hours! We used spray paint.
  4. While your leaf is drying, make the petiole stem!
  5. Use petiole stem paper cover template (once again this can be sized up on the computer or sized up based off the printed template)
  6. Fold your stem along the dotted lines on the template.
  7. You should be able to make a long pyramid-looking stem now with your paper! Hot glue the extra 4th fold to hold it all together (leave the extra 2-3 inches at the top unglued).
  8. Paint your petiole stem to match the leaf!
  9. After your leaf is dry, follow your original creases to re-fold your leaf into its fan shape
  10. Take a lollipop stick and place it inside of the most middle crease of your leaf, only a few inches from the bottom. Hot glue it in place.
  11. Cut diagonally from the leaf to the stick to take the excess off of where the leaf meets the stick (refer to photo).
  12. Tape the very bottom together to keep the shape of the leaf fanned and the stick secure
  13. Slide your petiole stem paper cover over the lollipop stick (the 2-3 inch extra end first), allowing those 2-3 inches at the top to cover the very bottom of the leaf and cover the area where your leaf is glued/taped to your stick. Hot glue the top in place.

For Home Decor

These palm leaves are great on their own for home decor. They’re also great as decor during Easter time like for Palm Sunday! Read about our post here.

We can’t wait to see these beautiful palm leaves in your home! Make sure to tag us with #larsmakes so we can see these beautifies in your home!

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

Creative things to do during your Quarantine and SALE

Crafts Ideas During Social Distancing

While you are practicing social distancing or quarantine, crafting can help you and your kids use your hands, quiet the stress, and explore your creativity in a way you may not always have time to! In addition to our 40% sale and free coloring page downloads, we want to make all of our tutorials as accessible as possible for your during this time.

Below we have organized some of our favorite projects by age group. You may already have the supplies on hand to complete many of these crafts, and if not we linked basic craft supplies you can have at your door in no time. We promise, having craft supplies on hand will make your quarantine go much smoother! And if that is too overwhelming, some of these projects only need to be printed off and they are ready to go!

Projects by age

We know many of have suddenly found yourself with all of your kids at home, trying to keep up with their schooling while not going crazy. Therefore, many of the projects below are not only fun but educational!

Toddler & Preschool

Start their art history knowledge off early with this DIY Matisse felt board. After that, your kids can even dress up as their favorite picture book, and act it out for the family! With our If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and our Giving Tree costume tutorials.

Elementary School

Even a travel ban can’t keep you from taking a day trip to Paris and back during lunch break! These Paris placemats are the perfect way to turn lunch time into a history and geography lesson. Or dive more than surface deep with your homeschooling and learn all about whales with the help of this stuffed whale template!

Middle School

Did school just get cancelled for 4-6 (or more, ah!) weeks? Sounds like you won’t be using your paper lunch bags for a while. Put them to use and make these colorful lunch bag honeycomb fans!

Did your 8th grader’s biology class get cancelled? No problem, switch them over to the science of horticulture for the next few weeks. This paper template has a great range of plants to get your child excited about using their green thumb. Next, they might even be asking to weed your garden for you, who knows!

Is your daughter’s BFF feeling a little under the weather? Use our friendship bracelet tutorial above to have her make a special gift, add our downloadable friendship cards and her her doorbell ditch a gift to cheer her buddy up!

High School

Your Sophomore might be feeling a little on edge with the news about prom being cancelled. However, projects like this rope necklace or clay hair clips will cheer them up and keep them busy.

For you!

You also deserve some creative time during all of this craziness. Setting aside even an hour to use your hands and make something new is sure to cure cabin fever. Now if only it could cure the virus!

Can’t get out to the grocery story for some fresh flowers? But you’re longing for something fresh and pretty to look at? Our paper flower tutorials are the perfect project to tackle with all this new-found time on your hands.

Projects for the whole family to do together

Learn about the presidents (and learn new embroidery skills) with our Heirloom E-book doll project. After that, Send some love postcards to grandparents you can’t visit right now.

Basic Craft Supplies

Click here for our favorite basic craft supplies on Amazon!

Other creative resources during quarantine

It’s amazing to see the creative community going all out for those who have to stay in. In addition to ours, here are some resources from other creatives doing great things.

Know of any others? Send them over! Would love to add to the list!

DIY Paper Shamrock Plant

DIY Paper Shamrock plant

You can find the materials above
Find the shamrock template here

Directions: 

  1. Download the Shamrock Leaf PDF or SVG
  2. Prep your paper by following the white washing instructions (steps 2-5).
  3. Cut out the shamrock leaf file with craft cutting machine. This step can be done by hand with a pair of scissors if you don’t have a machine!
  4. Cut out enough pieces to create your shamrocks. We cut out somewhere around 120 pieces to create 30-40 three-leaf clovers and a few four-leaf clovers for luck!
  5. Once your pieces are cut out fold them in half to create a crease between the two arches.
  6. Mix acrylic paint with a few drops of water to create a thinner paint.
  7. Once thinned, gently paint the leaf from the stem up and out to thin points at the middle of the leaf. Repeat this action several times until you are pleased with the appearance of the leaves.
  8. Once all leaves are painted you will begin assembling them as clovers.
  9. Cut pieces of wire 3-5 inches long, we cut ours long and cut them to adjust height when we placed them into the plant.
  10. Once your wires are cut you will take a leaf and place it at the top of the wire, while holding the leaf in place you will take the floral tape and wrap down just far enough to secure that leaf.
  11. Cut the floral tape.
  12. Repeat step 10 two more times until you have three of the leaves attached.
  13. If you would like to make a four-leaf clover just add in an addition leaf and repeat step 10 again!
  14. Once you have your clovers made you can begin to place the clovers into floral foam until its full!

Thank you to Terrain for providing us the most magical scalloped pot, we can feel our luck increasing just being around it! Be sure to tag us with #Larsmakes so we can see how you’re catching luck this month! Stay tuned for even more ways to make this St. Patty’s Day the biggest hit yet!

Here are some more pots we love for this project!

 

DIY geometric cardboard piece tower

How to make a 3D geometric cardboard structure

The fun with this game/art piece is to go wild making shapes and put them together. First, we took the existing pieces from this mobile:

bauhaus inspired tablescape

Then, we added in some cardboard pieces that we painted solid colors with house paint. And then we added slits into them with scissors.

Then got to stacking them in this way or that.

To learn about how we painted the original pieces, you can read the original post here.

We’d love to see how you make your own cardboard structures. Tag us with #LarsMakes so we can see them!

An Easy Houseplant Anyone Can Take Care Of

DIY Paper Begonia Maculata

We at Lars love paper flowers and other plants. This particular paper plant is seriously so easy. Our Polka Dot Plant (Begonia Maculata) is just the plant to liven up your space! Polka dots are just wonderful, and seeing them in a PLANT is something that really tickles my fancy.

DIY paper easy houseplant

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still enjoy a little green in your home. What you need is the easiest houseplant ever. Our Begonia Maculata pattern is super cheap. The materials are probably things you already have. The look of the houseplant is chic and fresh, and the project itself is simple enough that you can do it with your kids!

No matter your gardening ability, you can enjoy the aesthetic benefit of a cheery (but easy) paper houseplant.

How to make your own Polka Dot Plant

DIY paper easy houseplant

Steps:

  1. Download the Begonia Maculata template here
  2. Cut out each leaf out of slightly varied shades of green cardstock. We cut 11 leaves for ours.
  3. Fold each leaf slight along the curve where the vein would be in a natural leaf
  4. With the white acrylic paint, add polka dots of varying sizes to the top of the leaf
  5. Cut floral wire to the lengths of stems you desire
  6. Wrap floral tape around the wire stems to add texture and make them a lighter shade of green
  7. Hold a wire stem against the wide bottom of leaf and glue down a small piece of green paper on top of the wire to hold it in place
  8. Continue to complete each leaf
  9. To arrange your leafs in a pot, hold all the stems in one hand and gently bend each stem to place the leaves at different angles and heights. Once your have achieved your desired look, use another piece of floral tape to hold your bunch together as arranged
  10. Place the entire bunch in a pot and enjoy your new plant friend!

Other Paper Houseplants

Perhaps you’d like to craft a whole greenhouse of houseplants! If so, you’ve come to the right place. We have a bunch of plant patterns that include the ever-trendy Monstera Obliqua (swiss cheese plant), a bright and cheery shamrock bush, some foxgloves that look quite stunning if I may say so myself, hydrangeas, and even a Japanese Maple tree!

Click on any of the photos below to make your own paper plant palace.

DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant

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

 

Interview with Sofia Vusir Jansson

Interview with Sofia Jansson of Mokkasin

What do you consider yourself? 

I used to say that I’m a creator and a photographer mainly.  I’m not sure if creator is a commonly used word in English, but I am a person who does a lot of creative projects. My focus is often on prop/set design and DIY. And my job as a photographer, which I am almost exclusively doing these days, includes building the scene for the photos and hand making all of the props. Absolutely not a business person, that is the last I would call myself.

Who helped you “become” who you are?

I would say that my four kids have made me into the person I am. Their free way of seeing the world and their never ending fantasies have influenced me so much. In their minds they’re not so anxious about their worlds, it’s true and imperfect which, for me, is a very perfect way of being. 

Do you feel like you’ve arrived at what you set out to do? 

Yes I think so. Nowadays I do so many different things. No two days are alike, and I love it that way. It’s very easy for me to say YES even if I didn’t know if I could manage the project load. Maybe it is for this reason that I love my job so much, it is never boring and makes me stretch and develop every minute to meet the needs of each project. 

What more would you like to “become”? 

I would like to work more with set design. If I could do it all again I would probably go receive my education in art directing, that’s a dream of mine. Nowadays I work on projects within this spectrum, but I dream about the big traditional theaters and doing set design and art direction. It would also be very fun to be really good at building things, like a carpenter. Or a glass artist! Ohh there are so many things I would love to learn.

Where did you study, and what did you study? 

I haven’t studied more than high school, and after high school I studied to be a hairdresser. I worked in this field for 10 years and loved every day. But, one day I decided to quit, and I have never looked back. I think, if you do something creative you must have some fire inside you, you must love your work.  If you don’t, as it was for me that day, it’s better to find another path. 

How did you get started doing what you do? 

Actually, everything began when I started to run a little shop. I built all the marketing with my own pictures. The same day I started the shop I also started a blog, and THAT is where everything started. The blog transformed from a business blog that connected to the shop, to a lifestyle blog featuring almost exclusively my own pictures. People found me that way and the blog continued to live as a sort of portfolio. In that way, beside running the shop I got more and more assignments with focus at photography, styling and DIY. One lead to the other. 

When did you discover your love for your work? 

I think I have the blog to thank for that, I love the format. I love to tell stories with words and pictures. The blog has let me create my own universe that only my way of seeing things exists.

Were you scared when you first started looking for jobs? How did you overcome this? 

This sounds like some kind of humble brag, but I’m so lucky that the question of “will I have work?” crossed my mind but was never an issue, I have not had to ask or go looking for work. However, I’m not a nervous person in general and I say “yes” without thinking if I can really manage the job people are asking for. After I have said yes, I sometimes can doubt myself. But I’m lucky to have a husband that always gives me encouragement time and time again. 

What’s your goal with your work? 

To always do jobs that follow my gut feeling and heart. And to always have the work have as much of my personal touch on touch in it as possible, not to follow some others. To constantly be true to myself even in the work I do. 

What are you most proud of in your career? 

I am proud of many things! That Numero 74 chose me as their photographer many years ago and that I still get to work with them, they are always passionate their work and their way of seeing the world. This has helped me to develop myself and my vision.

I am always proud when people ask for props/set design and use them in theater and books. These occasions make everything seem so real. That someone would choose the things you have made by your own hands to achieve their dreams.

And, of course, I’m proud of the book Hidden Places. I’m so proud that that book is exactly as I want it to be. I wished to create a kind of book that hadn’t been done before. Something new and more than just a DIY-guide. During the whole process I wanted the book not to be anxious and stacked in norms and structures. I wanted the photographs to have big spaces and to let the text take space and be grounded in the amazing fantasies of my children. I wanted the illustrations and format to be skewed in a good way. When viewing the book you shouldn’t have the feeling that everything is perfect, things are not always but rather creative and full of fantasy and life. Every time someone gives me feedback about the book I’m so very proud and it makes me really happy!

What is it like working with your family? 

So many projects during the year have involved my family. My husband and my four kids. I really love this and for me it is a huge gift, that everything is like a family affair. My kids have helped me relax and let go of control in a very good way. Before, when I was younger, I was a person that wanted control of everything and everyone. When they were born, 4 kids in 4 years I couldn’t live up to this perfect surface anymore and I think that was my rescue. My husband always saves me, both in life but also with jobs and projects. When I am lost he always has a good idea. He is hugely creative and I trust him one hundred percent. I think many people perceive us as quite a messy family with a thousand projects that go on. And, maybe our house is a little bit different but I think it is only in a good way. 

How did your childhood influence what you have become? 

I played a lot and fantasy was always intense, close and felt very real. I remember when I and one of my sisters ventured into imaginary lands years after our friends had stopped. We built our own worlds and a with games we loved we could continue for weeks, nobody was allowed to clean it away. Every summer we stayed at my parents little cottage in the woods, there was no electricity and the TV was from a car battery which meant that we just had TV for a short moment in the morning. We played from sunrise to sunset during those endless summers, our stick horses took us around in the woods. We had our own fun fair, where the old stroller doubled as the roller-coaster. 

Did you feel pressured in any way to pursue a certain career path? 

Not at all, my mom and dad have always encouraged me and my two sisters to go our own way and told us that the future is ours, exactly equal as it is for everyone else. 

What’s your work space like? 

We live in a big house built in 1913, the whole house is my work space. It’s my photo studio and it’s a space that makes it possible (for everyone) to be creative all over the house. Every part of the house, from cellar to attic, is filled with things and ongoing projects. 

What’s a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from?

 I think it comes from when I was little – to always believe in myself. Always go with your gut feeling and to follow your heart. And as I have grown up my husband has always supported me in this. It is so important to have someone by your side, that believes in you. I think one should “collect” people that follow their own paths in life, people that are beyond over thinking and that are not afraid to be themself.

What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to?

Both historical and present, my list holds so many but it’s always women and especially those that have always followed their own path and weren’t afraid to be different. One historical figure that inspires me a lot is Karin Larsson, the wife of Carl Larsson, who is Sweden’s most famous artist. Her way of looking at life and things is very inspiring, things don’t have to be so finicky “the hand should be seen” was one of her saying – that means that you should see that the craft is made by hand. She designed a lot of her own furniture that the carpenter thought was so ugly so he delivered in the night. Another inspiration is the illustrator of the book Hidden Places, her name is Maja Sten and I love her way of painting and her way of seeing artistry and creativity. She always makes everything by hand instead of using a digital program and you can really feel the life in her art. My Feldt – she’s a writer (and running a café, and a ecologic apple farming, and a TV personality ) soon releasing her second cooking book. I love her way of being herself , she is one of the most transparent people I know.

How has social media influenced your work? 

I think I can thank my blog for almost everything, and of course also Instagram in the latest years. I have used it like a portfolio and in that way it has been so important. And of course also the people who have I have crossed paths with on social media.

Who is your work intended for? 

I hope I can inspire people and give them another way to look at the world. Everything doesn’t have to be so perfect and correct. I hope people feel that and also are inspired to be creative. I think people have so much to win in being creative in different ways, everyone should be creative in the way that suits them. I think the future will require us people to be more creative, dare to think outside the box in so many ways. To use the creative part of the brain more often. Nowadays, when so many things are served in front of you is it so easy to forget that you have so much creativity inside yourself. 

What’s inspiring you lately?

Actually, Swedish glass. We have had a long tradition of glassmaking, with lots of glassworkers in a particular part of Sweden.  Unfortunately, this is a craft that is disappearing, more and more every year. That is really sad, so I am reading everything that comes around. I am also planning to visit one of the glassworkers that still practices the craft. 

You can find Sofia:

Instagram @sofiaatmokkasin
Website of Sofia

Photos of Sofia by Kristen Krickelin

DIY paper flower menorah

Blue isn’t one of our typical go-to colors, which is precisely why we decided to try it out–we needed to get out of our comfort zone! I’ve also been dying to try my hand at a menorah for years now so it seemed like the only sensible thing to do. And we couldn’t do a menorah without adding in a little Lars flair so paper flowers here we come!

As you might recall, the inspiration actually comes from my FAVORITE Christmas tree of all time, this Martha Stewart stunner. Since I may not ever make a full on paper flower tree, a menorah is much more doable and I love how it turned out!

Of course, if you’re feeling in the mood for blue you could make it OR if you’re in a pinch, you can shop it. Here are some of our favorite BLUE things that are also 30% off this weekend!

Materials:

You can find all the materials in our shop here.

Instructions for menorah:

  1. Spray paint the menorah and beads gold. You are probably going to need to add a few coats of spray paint. 
  2. Allow menorah to dry completely (at least 3 hours).

Instructions for paper flowers:

  1. Print out the flower template and cut out the shapes.
  2. Trace the petal onto the crepe paper with the vein of the crepe going vertically. 
  3. Cut out the petal shapes. 
  4. Cut strands of wire. 
  5. Take 6 petals from the small grouping size. 
  6. Place a small amount of hot glue on the end of the wire and put a petal on the hot glue. 
  7. Repeat step 8 with remaining petals by fanning them out around the wire. 
  8. Once 6 petals are attached to the wire gently pull the petals the create dimension on the flower. 
  9. Wrap wire stem with gold crepe paper. You may need a small amount of hot glue applied to the stem as you place the crepe paper so it stays in place. 
  10. Place a dot of glue in the center of each flower and put a gold bead there. 
  11. Make between 3-5 of each flower size (small, medium and large).

Instructions for berries:

  1. Trace the berry template (you can use this template for multiple sizes). 
  2. Wrap cutout around a round bead and wrap at base. 
  3. Place a small amount of glue at the base and slip a wire in. 
  4. Repeat step 16 
  5. If you would like to make a bundle combine the wrapped beads with wire and wrap the stems together with crepe paper. 
  6. Take the leaf template and trace them only the gold crepe paper. 
  7. Cut out the tracings. 
  8. Take the wire and place a small amount of glue at the tip and place a gold leaf on it, place another leaf a short distance from the first leaf and repeat until you are happy with the amount of leaves on the wire. Be sure to leave a sufficient amount of wire at the bottom to attach it to the menorah. 
  9. With the crepe paper wrap the stem of the leaves, you may need a small amount of hot glue like in step 11. 

Instructions for leaves:

  1. To attach the leaves on the menorah you will wrap the extra wire around the menorah. 
  2. Begin on the outermost arms of the menorah by adding leaves and flowers then move toward the center. You will find that the center arms need less embellishment and will require the smaller leaves. 
  3. If you find the leaves are slipping you can secure them using a piece of wire wrapped around and secured tightly at the back.
  4. If you secure the pieces make sure to use a gold paint pen to cover the green wire.


We made this project as a collaborative effort to spread the love of handmade gifts with 11 other crafty makers. From December 9th to December 20th, each crafter will post a different DIY gift in a different color to form a beautiful rainbow, so make sure to check us all out in our feeds and our stories!

@damasklove @darcymiller @aliceandlois @houselarsbuilt @corriebethmakes
@thussfarrell @mer_mag @handmadecharlotte @sayyesblog
@robert_mahar @supermakeit @amandakingloff

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

DIY Rainbow Lucky Charms Balloon Arch

In true Lars fashion, our balloon arch is BIG and COLORFUL, and made up of Anagram’s wonderful foil balloons. We said this before and we will say it again, we love these balloons because they are deflatable, and therefore reusable which we love, helps the environment and cuts cost since you can use them again!

How to make the balloon arch frame for under $10

We knew we wanted an arch that was much larger than anything we’ve ever done so we had to think BIG! For our pumpkin arch we made one small enough for our walkway and it worked so well. And this time we went double the size!

Here’s what we did to make the balloon arch frame:

  • We used three 10′ PVC pipes connected with their little connectors (all under $10!).
  • We pounded a piece of rebar on either side of the pole into the ground with a hammer and the pipe slid on nicely over the rebar.

Blowing up the Balloons for an arch

This is one of the questions we get over and over again “How far in advance can you blow up the balloons?” Well, it depends on the type of balloon and the weather and if it will be indoors or outdoors. To ensure freshness, I’d recommend 1-2 days. Anything over that is probably fine but you just never know. Some of the balloons even have tiny holes in them and you don’t know that until a few hours when it’s in the arch and starts to shrivel up.

It took us 5 people in one morning to blow up all the balloons for this arch. Mind you, we blew up waaaaay too many because we didn’t know exactly what shape we were going to build yet and we wanted to be sure. We used about 48 balloons here for this 30′ pole.

How to add on balloons to the pole

We know and love using balloon tape, but for something like this, we prefer to attach it to the pole directly with clear shipping tape. We take an 8″ piece and tie it around the end of the foil balloon and around the pole.

We added on more balloons to the base so that they acted more like clouds.

All the colors!

We must have a soft spot for holiday-themed balloons (You may remember seeing them from our favorite Jingle Bell Balloon post?) since we undertook creating this huge Rainbow Balloon Arch! Despite the helium shortage, we were able to use these reusable balloons to make our BIGGEST balloon arch yet, a full 30 feet because they are all air-filled! Perhaps the real treasure at the end of our rainbow was the rainbow itself! We couldn’t believe how great it turned out, with all our favorite colors. We used a mix of pastels and bright, saturated colors because we love the mix together! 

The Lucky Charms!

We added a few smaller rainbow balloons in to make our arch extra charmed with flour-leaf clovers, an X to mark the spot, hearts, and rainbows! Because can you even have enough rainbows?! This arch is even luckier, since these balloons are made of foil we can make this arch again and again for holidays to come.

Like I said, we sure feel lucky to be able to share this Rainbow Balloon Arch with you and even luckier to work with wonderful sponsors like Anagram who made this arch possible! 

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