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

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

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

 

Thanksgiving Table Decor

Thanksgiving Table Decor

To make the magic happen, we needed some help. Luckily for us, we partnered with Spoonflower to make the Thanksgiving table decor ideas happen, and I have to say, they delivered. So, here we go: here’s one table in two different tablescape ideas.

one table two ways

Larsgiving Table Decor

Our first Tablescape rendition is vivid, full of color, and just the thing to brighten up a brown, Utah November. Introducing our classic Larsgiving tablescape! Featuring gold silverware, dusty pink plates, and a magnificent fruit smorgasbord of color, this tablescape is a showstopper. But what really makes the tablescape is the essential addition of the Spoonflower tablecloth and napkins. Combine the warm, cozy colors and geometric pattern with the sprawling, fruit centerpiece and the result is vivid, eye-catching, and just so fun. gold silverware

And the bonus is that Spoonflower not only has an endless amount of patterns to choose from, but you can apply those patterns on a myriad of products like napkins, tablecloths, table runners and more. 

The centerpiece

For our fruit harvest, I used a combination of papaya, dragon fruit, lemons, asian pears, yellow squash, and loquats. These may not be available at your average grocery store. I went to our local Rancho Markets, but you should also be able to find them at a Mexican market in your area. Some specialty grocery stores may also carry them. Bonus–it’s also cheaper!papaya on the table

I wanted it to feel harvesty, colorful, and a bit tropical to go with the pink of the tablecloth. I love how it turned out! Thanksgiving table decor

Dinnerware

Target was our go-to for dinnerware. We found most of our plates, silverware, and cups there! Listed below are the links to the items we used:

Gold Silverware
Brown plates

color block napking

Spoonflower tablecloth

I spent HOURS searching for the right tablecloth for this. Literally, so many hours. And I found SO many great options. I saved them all in this collection here. I chose one from Miamaria, a Norwegian designer as it turns out. She does really great color combinations in awesome geometrics.Thanksgiving harvest fruits

Spoonflower napkins

Last but not least, let’s talk about our napkins! This was such a fun project and I really love how it turned out. I knew I wanted them to be colorblock to go with the geometric pattern of the tablecloth, so I went to Spoonflower once again because they have some great solid options. In fact, the designer made a collection of solids based on the tablecloth, so I picked out one yard of each color. You can pretty much find a solid in every color of your choice. You can find our color choices here. Here are the steps to making your own colorblock napkins.colorblock napkins

how to sew a corner

DIY Colorblock napkins
  1. The first step is to pick out the two colors you’ll be using for your napkin. 
  2. Then, cut out one rectangle of each fabric. The total dimensions of the napkins are 12”x14”, which means each half will be 6”x14”. Important note: don’t forget to take into account the seam allowances and hems! With seam allowances and hems being ½”, cut out two pieces that are 8”x16” (1” all the way around each piece).
  3. Now you’re ready to sew the pieces together! With right sides together, sew the pieces together, lengthwise, using a 1” seam allowance. 
  4. Iron out the two pieces along the sewn line, flattening the two sides of the seam apart. 
  5. Now fold each side of the center seam under, reversed, into the center seam line. Press and secure with a straight stitch. Make sure you don’t sew the top portion of your fabric! You don’t want this showing through to the front of the napkin.
  6. Now you’re ready to do the corners and hems. We used a special technique here, so the corners are especially precise. See our tutorial here! The only difference with this rendition of our napkins is that we used a straight stitch all the way around the outside hem, rather than a zig zag. 
  7. The last step is to simply fold your napkin in thirds, so the colorblock is revealed in its full glory. The napkin should be divided equally in half between the two colors.make a napkin

That’s a wrap for our first Thanksgiving table decor idea. Happy Larsgiving!

My personal Thanksgiving table decor

My personal Thanksgiving tablescape was a whole different game. I wanted to go with something a bit more elegant and bright, but a little more subtle than our Larsgiving tablescape. For my tablescape, I decided to go with a gold and yellow theme, and white accents to brighten things up, but also something a little different than what you normally see. The effect was elegant, sophisticated, festive, and cheery. I was thrilled with the result! 

Here’s what you can do to recreate my personal Thanksgiving tablescape.yellow and neutral fruits and veggies

The centerpiece

My centerpiece consisted of a lovely combination of traditional yellow, golden, and brown Thanksgiving fruits and vegetables. The effect was a soft, magical glow of cozy warmth! To get the effect, try a combination of onions (white or yellow, with the brown outer layers still hanging on), spaghetti squash, cantaloupe, honeydew, asian pears, and yellow squash.

Dinnerware

As with our Larsgiving tablescape, Target was our go-to for dinnerware. We found most of our plates, silverware, and cups there! Listed below are the links to the items we used:

Gold silverware
White plates (similar)

Spoonflower tablecloth

Again, in all my searching, I arrived at this lovely fall-inspired pattern by Danika Herrick. You can find it here along with the rest of the Thanksgiving fabrics I saved here. Follow the link to find the exact tablecloth, as well as some other options that were in the running. We chose a beautiful white and gold option that intertwined beautifully with the fruit, dinnerware, and napkins. The effect was breathtaking!fall tablecloth

Spoonflower napkins

I paired the fall-inspired tablecloth with this golden stripe by Holli Zollinger. No sewing this time, so if you don’t consider yourself a pro at sewing, these napkins are for you! You can pretty much turn any fabric into a napkin (or table runner, tablecloth etc). Adding a touch of class and elegance to the party, I knew these subtly-striped, golden napkins would be the perfect way to complete my personal Thanksgiving tablescape. 

And voilà! There you have it, two jaw-dropping table decor ideas to spice up your Thanksgiving. Would love to hear what you’re doing for Thanksgiving! foraged leaf on napkin

Shop the look:

More Inspiration

Fell in love with these Thanksgiving tablescapes? Us, too. Don’t worry, the fun doesn’t have to be over yet! Here are some more amazing projects featuring Spoonflower fabrics, wallpaper, and more. Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower, DIY Spoonflower picnic blanket tote, and Our office makeover with Spoonflower

That’s a wrap for our first tablescape. Happy Larsgiving!

Birthday Printable Collection

Printable Birthday Suite

We love the colors, the sentiment and the craftiness. Here’s what we have!

Printable Birthday Invitations

You know what they say, first impressions are everything; so, let your guests know they are in for a great time with these invitations!

Printable Birthday Banner

Is a birthday party really a birthday party without a proper birthday banner?! We think not! Hang this up to set that party mood!

Birthday Crown

We heard you can only have a proper birthday if you are wearing a crown… so, we present you what might be the best birthday crown you have ever seen!

Cake Toppers

Lest the Birthday Queen or King forget how old they (yes, this has happened to me once or twice…) remind them with these cake toppers that are good for anyone ages 1-1,000!

Thank you to Dahlia Bakes for the scrumptious and beautiful cake. If you’re local in Utah Valley, we highly recommend her work!

Printable Birthday Decorations e-book

You can find all the individual components in the shop OR you can find them all in our Birthday e-book here. Here are a few must haves for your next birthday Party!

As always, we can’t wait to see how you make your birthday come to life with our printables. Tag us with #LarsMakes so we can see! 

How to Style Indoor Plants

How to style indoor plants

A lot of people want to transform their spaces into dreamy urban jungles, but don’t know how to style indoor plants. This can mean that their green spaces turn grey, end up looking cluttered, or gathering dust.

chinese money plant made from paper

Knowing how to style indoor plants can make a huge difference and give your plants all the impact they deserve. Here are my best plant styling tips!

Gauge your own commitment

Look. Your plant dreams won’t come true if you don’t choose plants that you can keep alive. Maybe you’re a big fan of ferns, but you live in a dry climate and don’t have it in you to water and spray a plant every day. 🙋🏼‍♀️ I know it hurts, but you might need to hold off on living with some higher-demand plants until you’re a more experienced plant parent. Know yourself and get plants that you can keep alive, because no matter how well-styled your plant kingdom is, it won’t look good if it’s dead.

Here are some of my favorite plants, and you can check out their care requirements to make sure that you’re signing up for something you can handle.

Light

Make sure that your plants have the correct amount of light for the species. Some thrive in the shade, some need bright light, and many plants do their best somewhere in between. You need to consider your space and the light before you even buy plants if you want a healthy indoor plantscape.

And of course, paper plants won’t die no matter what light you put them in, but remember that they might fade in bright light.

pre-potted plants Tranquility

Temperature

Unfortunately, lots of plant parents fail to consider a space’s temperature and are confounded when their plants keep dying. If you live somewhere with cold winters, avoid putting sensitive plants near drafty areas like doors or right by a window, especially when temperatures drop. And if your living space tends to be really hot and sunny, make sure that you don’t have sensitive, cool-loving plants in places where they’ll scorch and die. Again, if you’re working with paper plants, this isn’t an issue.

Paper heartleaf philodendron in bright green in a checkered pot on a wooden table

Water/Humidity

Some plants, like ferns and other tropicals, need more water and humidity than others (like succulents and cacti). If you have a plant that needs to be cared for and watered often, put it somewhere easily accessible so that watering doesn’t become a hassle.

If your bathroom has enough light, consider styling it with some humidity-loving plants. All the steam from your showers will make them thrive.

a variety of potted houseplants

Scale

When you’re designing your planty spaces, you don’t want to just have a lot of little plants scattered around. Choose one or two larger plants (indoor trees are great here!) and make these a focal point.

While big houseplants can be expensive, you can try making your own with paper (we have some great tutorials on the blog!) or check out our next tip for height help.

outdoor potted plants

Height

In an arrangement of plants, you want the tallest ones to be at the back. Think of them like a choir, with the tallest singers standing at the back. You can also give some plants a boost to add more height and give the illusion of larger plants. Try using shelves, bricks, blocks, an overturned flower pot, stacks of decorative books, and more to add some height to your plantscape.

planter garden with a sculptural head planter

Color

Indoor plants come in all kids of colors, not just green! Consider the colors and lighting in your space before you buy or make plants. If you plan it right, you can get beautiful, dramatic, intentional looks by curating your plant colors. Imagine a room with all deep purple foliage! So regal, right??

Paper Poinsettia Flower

Paper Plants

Like I’ve mentioned, I love paper plants for their ease and also because they’re a super fun craft! You can check out this paper plant video, these favorite tutorials, and these templates and ebooks from our shop. And don’t forget the flowers!

DIY Paper Japanese maple tree

Paper pansies on a windowsill. There's a white lacy curtain next to them, and red floral wallpaper on the other.

Once you’ve become a full-fledged plant parent, you might want to treat yourself with this Plant Lady print by Libby VanderPloeg from our shop.

What are your favorite plant tips? Let me know!

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

A trend we love “cherry” much!

Trend Alert: Cherries!

Some of our favorite cherry inspired projects from Lars past are our paper cherry wreath and our tootsie pop cherry gifts! So of course now that cherries are majorly on trend WE ARE HERE FOR IT.

Click here to learn how to make your very own cherry wreath!

Very Cherry Statement Pieces

Cherries can make a statement in literally any area of your life, as you’ll see below! We found cherry inspired fashion, decor, stationery, art, and more! As the weather warms up, usher in spring and summer with some fun nods to this current trend.

Imagine a cherry 🍒 themed party?! Hang this garland, lay out these napkins, and you’re on your way! These cherry gift balls from Meri Meri are hiding fun party favors, and these clips from Ban.do make perfect party gifts too! Here are some of our favorite unique ice cream sundae flavors that will literally be the cherry on top of your party.

Cherry pillows are such a fun statement item! Find the grown up version here for your living room, or the kid’s version here!

Lars Exclusive

Our newest design in our exclusive wrapping paper line features this trend! And it is on sale right now!

Originally made to be valentines, our tootsie pop cherries can be given as gifts all year round! Think birthdays, teacher appreciation, and random acts of kindness to brighten someone’s day!

How to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday

My 40th Birthday Plans

Leading up to my 40th birthday, I had lots of plans. Specifically, I wanted a big Europe trip to celebrate! But we are in up to our necks in behind-the-scenes projects here at The House that Lars Built, which means a trip to Europe just wasn’t in the cards. At least for now. Maybe in the fall? I’ll keep you all posted. There’s noting wrong with a belated birthday trip, after all!

I’m not the only one turning 40 here, though! Despite my lack of exciting birthday plans for now, all my friends are also soon-to-be or already over the hill, which means I’ve attended some great 40th birthday celebrations in the past year. I couldn’t just not share those ideas with all of you! So today I’m giving you the lowdown on all the things my friends did for their 40th birthdays, plus a few extra ideas.

How to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday

Birthday Trip

Birthday trips are a classic way to celebrate a big milestone birthday like your 40th! (hence, my hopes to make it to Europe this year). But if you can’t make it internationally and still want a weekend getaway, try something closer! It’s amazing what a quick trip to somewhere new can do. And of course it’s always better with friends or family to come along for the fun.

For your enjoyment, here are some photos from our most recent trip to Denmark (and I promise to post more once I make it back to Europe for my birthday trip)!

Karaoke

So I don’t know if you were aware, but there’s something about 40-year-olds and karaoke that is just magical. I’ve been to a handful of karaoke parties to celebrate the big 40 and I have to say that a bunch of moms singing karaoke are a different breed of unparalleled fun. What are you waiting for?! Warm up those vocal chords and get ready to sing yourself into your 40’s!

Spa Day

A birthday classic for a girls day out especially, a spa day can be the perfect, relaxing way to usher in the 40’s with some self care. Pamper yourself; you deserve it! Go for a mani/pedi, massage, the whole nine yards. We promise you won’t regret it!

Here are some spa essentials to get you going:

In-person Parties

Post COVID lockdowns, it feels that much more triumphant to have a party IN PERSON with people you love! So even though parties aren’t unique to a 40th birthday, there’s a reason we have parties for every birthday. It’s a classic way to celebrate that never really gets old!

Speaking of parties, we have some great party decorations for your to peruse in our shop! Check out our birthday suites, and all of our birthday content here!

Lemon-themed bunting swoops across a pink backdrop. In the foreground, straw toppers, invitations, and lemon-slice party hats sit in front of a white-frosted cake with lemon and lemon blossom cake toppers.

Learn a New Skill

Your 40th birthday is such a milestone that it can be great motivation to learn a new skill or take on a new hobby you’ve been wanting to try! It’s never too late, and 40 seems like the perfect time to try. Turn it into a party and invite someone to teach you and your girlfriends how to knit, cook something fun and fancy, or even make a punch needle rug! The options are endless. What do you want to learn how to do?

Movie Night

Movies are a classic way to celebrate anything special, so why not your 40th birthday? Go out to the theater with the gals (maybe even rent it out if you’re feeling ambitious!), or take the party home and have a marathon of your favorite series! Personally, I’ll be watching Bridgerton. What are your favorites? Send the recommendations my way! I’m always game for a fun new show.

Game Night

The options are endless with this one! Just because it’s your 40th birthday doesn’t mean you can’t have a simple game night. So many categories of games. Are you more of a board game or card game person? Or do you prefer a combo of both? If you’re like Paul, you’ll be hanging around those old classic arcade games all night. Whatever gets you most excited is what you should do!

Here are some game night options to get you started:

More Inspiration

We have plenty of ideas to get you started on 40th birthday decor! It starts with our five birthday suites: animal menagerie, garden party, lemon, rainbow, and floral. Click here to see the rest of our birthday shop! Also, don’t forget to check out our past birthday blog content, like our Flower Lane birthday crowns, twisted birthday candles, or DIY birthday felt pennants.

A flat lay of twisted birthday candles and confetti on an orange background.

Hopefully we gave you some good ideas to get you started planning your 40th, if you haven’t had it already. And now we need to know: what did you/are you doing to celebrate your 40th? Let us know in the comments!

Christmas Decor Ideas

Paper Village Advent

Christmas Advent Calendars

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

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

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

Garlands

cranberry garland

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

wood bead garland

 

Here are our favorite seasonal Christmas garlands:

Wreaths

single arm wreath shot

 

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

Paper Mushroom Wreath

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

Ornaments and Tree Decorations

family heirloom ornaments

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

Paper Honeycomb Ornaments

 

Here are some of our favorite Christmas tree ornaments:

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

Shop Ornaments

Cake and Table Toppers

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

christmas cake topper

Here are our go-to cake and table toppers:

Crepe Paper Christmas Tree Cake Topper

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

pig pinata

Other Decorations

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

stockings

 

Oversized Paper Christmas Stars

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

More Inspiration

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

Inspired by Cinco de Mayo

Nadia Aguilar Cates

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

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

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

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

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

History of Cinco de Mayo

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

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

Lars Loves Mexican Artists

Frida Kahlo

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

 

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

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

Luis Barragán

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

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

Michelle Franzoni Thorley

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

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

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

Cinco de Mayo in the Archives

Paper Fan Garland

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

Honeycomb fruit

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

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

Cinco de Mayo Bouquet

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

brightly colored paper bouquet

Fiesta

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

Mexico City Travel Guide

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

a colorful papier mache man floats in a white museum space

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

Viva México!

More Inspiration

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

All Our Paper Flower Tutorials

Blooms for Bouquets

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

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

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

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

Bouquets

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

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

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

Paper Flower Accessories

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

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

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

Home Decor Flowers

Wreaths

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

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

 

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

Chandeliers and Mobiles

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

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

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

Centerpieces

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

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

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

Potted Paper Flowers

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

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

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

Parties!

Cakes

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

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

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

Backdrops

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

DIY paper poppy backdrop and pinPaper Tulip Backdrop

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

Garlands

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

Paper flower garlandPaper flower garland hangs over a rattan chair

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

DIY Daisy party hat

And don’t forget this Daisy Party Hat tutorial!

Holiday

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

Valentines Day

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

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

Halloween

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

Chrysanthemum Mom and Kid Costume

Hannukah

Gold, blue, yellow, and pink paper flower menorah

Paper Flower Menorah

Christmas

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

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

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

More From Our Shop!

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

Our Learn To Draw Flowers Course

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