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.

Paper Poinsettia Wreath

close up window shot

Paper Poinsettia Wreath

If you’ve been following our tutorials for a while, you might notice that the flowers on this poinsettia wreath look familiar. Right you are! We originally released a tutorial back in 2017, showing you how to make some paper poinsettia flowers, but then we got thinking: what if we turned those flowers into a wreath?! And the paper poinsettia wreath was born.

red close up

A winter floral wreath is a breath of fresh air from all the pine-centric wreaths, if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pine bough wreath, but I’m always looking for a way to sneak some flowers in. Can you blame me? The poinsettias are such a perfect way to make a wreath that feels seasonal and festive, but that’s fun, colorful, and whimsical at the same time.

Don’t Have a Wreath Form?

Don’t worry! If you’re looking for wreath form alternatives you can simply buy heavy gauge wire (see the link to it in the materials list above) and coil it into a few circles, securing with floral tape or something similar. This makes a DIY wreath form that’s sturdy enough to last in any size you like.

window shot of paper wreath

Paper Poinsettia Wreath Instructions

Here’s how to make your very own paper poinsettia wreath!

Prepping the flowers

  1. Using our Paper Poinsettia Flowers tutorial, assemble your flowers. You will need roughly ten large flowers. Note: when we made our poinsettia wreath flowers, we left out the leaves that are included in the original tutorial.
  2. Next, make five or six smaller flowers, using the same steps above. The difference is that you’ll only use the two small petals in the template, not the two large ones.

Assembling the wreath

Once all your poinsettias are made, you’re ready to assemble your wreath!

step photos

  1. Resting the stem of the poinsettia against the wreath form so the flower faces towards the front, wrap the extra wire stem around it. Then secure in place with some hot glue.
  2. Continue this process all the way around the wreath until it’s full. Alternate with the small and large poinsettias so you have some size variation. Depending on the size of your wreath form and how bushy you want your wreath, you may need more or less flowers than we used for ours.

You’re all done!

close up of pinks

How to style your paper poinsettia wreath

This beautiful paper poinsettia wreath can be styled in so many ways! You can put it on your front door, but you can also hang it on any other door in your house. You can also hang it on your wall in the living room, kitchen, or any other room, really. Wreaths are really versatile, so if you don’t have very many indoor plants, this can be such a great addition, especially if you have a blank stretch of wall that needs a little love.

The best thing is you don’t have to water them and they’ll last a long time! If you’re like me and you’re constantly forgetting about your houseplants, paper flowers are the perfect solution. And if you’ve ever dealt with the needles dropping off of a pine bough wreath, you’ll love this paper poinsettia wreath.

We would love to see what you do with your paper poinsettia wreaths!

window wreath

More inspiration

If you loved this tutorial on how to make a paper poinsettia wreath, you’ll probably love these other paper flower and seasonal decorations tutorials, too: DIY paper hollyhocks, paper pansies, poppies and peonies and posies, crepe paper Christmas tree topper, paper mushroom wreath, and pink paper blossom wreath.

single arm wreath shot

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday

Here are some more small businesses to support this Small Business Saturday! I’ve grouped them into categories, but most of them are women owned and led! Enjoy! Anymore I should know about? I love learning more!

I also had to throw in a lot of our own stuff because what type of business owner would I be if I didn’t! We appreciate your support!

Crafts/Creative/Kits to support on Small Business Saturday

  • Fabled Thread. Upscaled embroidery kits. They’re so beautiful!
  • Neon Tea Party. Marissa makes crafting fun with these great kits!
  • Creators Club. Sara has created this awesome monthly subscription to learn about art for kids!
  • Flax and Twine. Anne has taken arm knitting and weaving to the next level. Her kits are so good!
  • Purl soho. The golden standard of kits!
  • Sweet Red Poppy. Kim has some awesome sewing and Cricut classes!
  • The Crafted Life. Rachel has curated the most colorful crafting supplies!
  • Yayday Paper. Amber of Damask Love has a crafting subscription that looks super fun!
  • Elle Cree. Paint by number kits! I had so much fun doing mine!

 

Artists/Illustrators to support on Small Business Saturday

Ok! Now for artists and illustrators who are in our Lars Print Shop but also have their own shops! They create their own worlds and I love seeing how they do it!

Floral prints by Chaunte Vaughn on a mint green wall

Poppy I print by Rachel Smith

Iris Apfel June Book Club Artwork

  • Yas Imura has a beautiful print in our shop!
  • Helen Dealtry creates the most unreal florals! We even have some of her designs on stickers in our shop!
  • Samantha Hahn is a wonderful letter artist who opened up a shop of rainbows called Maison Rainbow! We have one in our shop!
  • Merrilee Liddiard sells the most beautiful handmade dolls as well as printables. She’s an incredible artist! We have a Frida Kahlo print of hers in our shop.
  • Angie Stalker. Her works bring FUN into our shop!
  • Yelena Brysksenkova was one of the first artists I heard of when blogs became a thing. She has an Etsy shop where she sell her items but we also have some awesome things of hers!
  • Jessie Kanelos Weiner is a talened watercolor artist who has some wonderful things in our shop. She also has a new calendar out with Rizzoli!
  • Jessyca Gomes. I love the style of this Brazilian artist. She has the cutest children’s prints in our shop!
  • Jacqueline Colley has some awesome Christmas prints in our shop!

Phew! That was an epic list!

Utah based small businesses

You may or may not know that Utah has a ton of businesses that you’re probably familiar with and if not, get to know them! Here are a few of my favorites!

  • Heirloom curates the most beautiful items with soul!
  • Harmony. Anything bright and colorful for making projects, go here!
  • Gathre
  • Chatbooks
  • Hello Maypole curates fun colorful felt balls!
  • Mochi is a fun kid’s shop that just opened up a brick and mortar in SLC
  • Mabo just released a collab with Gathre that’s perfection!
  • Koo de Ker has a perfectly curated collection of womens wear.
  • Nena and Co is ethically made handbags. I love everything they stand for!

Splurges

lewis home

Children’s Shops to support on Small Business Saturday

  • Lewis Home. Organic basics for kids–I could live in their stuff forever if I could!
  • Winter Water Factory. Organic basics for kids with a focus on prints. We’ve done a few collaborations with them!
  • Raduga Grez has THE BEST children’s toys. They’re art.
  • Pehr has some of my favorite clothes for my boys!
  • La Coqueta has dreamy children’s wear
  • Oeuf’s winter collection right now is a dream!
  • Tubby Todd

I can’t believe we made it through that! Are you still here? Happy shopping! 

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!

How to make a fall wreath

DIY Fall wreath

I first spotted a dried flower wreath with straw flowers and some colorful baby’s breath awhile back and noted it for a fall project (I can’t remember the source though, does anyone know what I’m talking about?). We had previously done this baby’s breath wreath, which I LOVE, but I loved the idea of adding more to it. I fee like it perfectly captures the season especially when you customize the palette with a little paint. It’s such a great blue!

dried floral fall wreath

Fall Wreaths

I don’t know what it is but I’m obsessed with wreaths in general. I think they run the line of being so cheesy, so I think I’m always trying to think of how NOT to make it cheesy. This one is so sweet and whimsically colorful so I think it works? And the good news is, it’s as easy as it is cute. It’s the perfect DIY project for those cold days when you just want to snuggle up in a cozy sweater and pajamas all day.

straw flowers on a wreath for fall

How to make a fall wreath with baby’s breath and straw flowers

Here’s everything you need to make it yourself!

You will need:

how to make a dried floral wreathdried status on a wreath

Instructions:

  1. If you buy your flowers fresh, hang them to dry for a few days. We bought ours on a Wednesday and started making it on a Friday. It worked great!
  2. Tie small groupings on flowers together and wrap with floral tape. If the stems aren’t long enough, add wire to the ends
  3. Cluster the groupings evenly around the wreath form and secure with floral tape. We started with a baby’s breath base and then tucked in the other flowers as we went.
  4. Some of the flowers were so fragile that we glue gunned them into place.
  5. Add a ribbon on for a final touch!

Finishing touches on the fall wreath

I love the combination of colors and the harvest feel for fall. It’s perfect! Plus, we added on a metallic ribbon from Studio Carta, which works perfectly.

straw flowers on a wreath

baby's breath on wreath

If you’re a pinning type, we made this graphic with a few step photos so you can easily Pin and bookmark it for your future projects.

Who is this project for:

This project would be awesome as a group project because flowers can get expensive to buy. If you buy for a full group then it will lessen the load!

how to make a dried floral fall wreath

If you like this fall wreath, you might also like these ones:

Winter pinecone wreath
Paper mushroom wreath
Dresden Wreath

If you make this project, tag us with #larsmakes so that we can see your beautiful creations!

4 Ways to Make Succulent Pumpkins

 1. A Pumpkin Family with Succulents and Squash

In the spirit of my Halloween decorating philosophy (classic harvest season decorations are always a win!), I will be providing you a few tutorials on how to create a lovely Halloween. First up, a DIY pumpkin family. Are you dying from cuteness overload yet? I nearly did as we shot this. It’s too much. I teamed up with the succulent expert Cassidy Tuttle of Succulents and Sunshine (a blog all about succulents. She even has an ebook!) and illustrator of the most adorable faces, Michelle Christensen of My Little Belleville to bring you the world’s cutest pumpkin family. Succulents as hair and a painted face. I die. AND, Michelle made you some templates so you can recreate her faces. You can find them in our Halloween shop here. Score!

Materials:

  • Light-colored pumpkins (I found that white works the best)
  • Acrylic paints (black and red and white are all you really need)
  • Fine paintbrush
  • Carving knife
  • Pumpkin faces PDF template (download here)
  • Pencil
  • A variety of succulents
  • Rocks for succulents

Instructions:

  1. Carve out the top. You won’t need it so feel free to discard.
  2. Scoop out the seeds.
  3. You can trace the faces onto the pumpkin by positioning the template where you want the face and then pressing hard with a pen or pencil.

OR 4. You can use pins or toothpicks to transfer the image onto the pumpkin.

OR 5. Use the template as a stencil and cut it out and paint over it with your brush.

6. Paint in the lines with your acrylic paints.

7. Die of cuteness overload.

8. Put some rocks into the pumpkin and insert your succulents. Try a few in the head or just one larger succulent.
I mean…
Greenery AND pumpkins? I love it. Look at how adorable and colorful this pumpkin family is! You could also make this DIY pumpkin family resemble your own family! How cute would that be?
Photography by Cassidy Tuttle of Succulents and Sunshine
Illustration by Michelle Christensen of My Little Belleville (check out her adorable shop!)
Assistant: Audrey Ellsworth
Art direction and crafting: moi

2. Succulents and flowers on pumpkins and squash

I also thought it’d be fun to add some succulents onto some pumpkins as if they were flower petals or a mandala. Super easy yet lovely. We’ve been thinking about many ways to decorate pumpkins with succulents, and this one is fun for all ages!

Materials:

  • Pumpkins (light-colored work best)
  • Succulents in various shades
  • Glue gun

Instructions:

  1.  Break off the succulents carefully at the very base of where they meet the trunk.
  2. Apply hot glue onto the pumpkin and then apply the succulent. I found that when you applied it onto the succulent, it’s more prone to fall off.
DONZO.
You know that I’m more comfortable working with paper and fabric than succulents! But I do love greenery, and these tutorials are a great way to work with plants, even if you’re not an experienced gardener. This tutorial is especially perfect if you have succulents around the house that are falling apart. Don’t let those beauties go to waste! Use the leaves to decorate a pumpkin!

Photography by Cassidy Tuttle of Succulents and Sunshine 

3. DIY Words made from Succulents Pumpkins

Here’s the third of four projects that Cassidy and I collaborated on. She made these adorable pumpkins spelling the words “BOO” written in succulents.
This DIY is pretty easy, and it doesn’t require many materials! We stacked the pumpkins in this tutorial, but you can always place them next to each other to spell out whatever phrase your Halloween decor calls for. Gah! Stacking pumpkins is harder than it looks!

Materials:

  • Succulent Cuttings
  • Pumpkins (live or fake!)
  • Hot glue or floral glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Permanent marker

Instructions:

  1. If you’re opting to stack your pumpkins, I applaud you! The first step is to stack the pumpkins how you want them displayed
  2. Use a permanent marker to trace the letters on your pumpkins (we decided “BOO” was a cute and easy phrase!)
  3. Attach the succulent cuttings to the pumpkins with hot glue, floral glue, or toothpicks. Cassidy decided that toothpicks work best for larger succulent cuttings. According to Cassidy, floral glue also works very well when working with succulents!
  4. If you decide to use the toothpick method, stick the toothpick into the pumpkin, leaving about 1/2″ sticking out. Then take your succulent cutting and stick it on the toothpick. Voila!

Get the full scoop on how to do it and pictures of the process on her blog, Succulents and Sunshine. Let me know in the comments what you chose for your phrase and how your own succulent worded pumpkins turned out!

These worded succulent pumpkins will surely turn heads of passersby. And as if these worded pumpkins are not cute enough…

BAM! Dogs make everything 15 times cuter.

4. DIY Succulent Monogram Pumpkin

These succulent monogram pumpkins are the final project in my collab with Cassidy of Succulents and Sunshine. This was my first time working with succulents and I have to say that I love the little fellers. They’re so perky and sweet. But leave it to me to find a way to kill a couple suckers. Gah! That’s why I work with paper flowers.
Cassidy made this monogram succulent pumpkin. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to make your own! Trust me, even if you’re not great with plants, it’s still such a fun tutorial and offers a twist on classic Halloween decor. If you’re looking for an easy way to amp up your holiday decorations, this is it!

Materials:

  • Succulent Cuttings
  • A pumpkin (live or fake!)
  • Hot glue gun or floral glue
  • Marker (for tracing initials on the pumpkin)

Instructions:

  1. Use the marker to draw an outline of your letter on the pumpkin
  2. Glue small succulents onto the marker line
  3. Cover the rest of the pumpkin with succulents of your choice!
Pretty simple, right? Head on over to Cassidy’s blog to check out the full instructions with pictures of the process. She even suggests which succulents to use for placing your pumpkin outdoors in freezing temperatures!

Succulent Pumpkin Variations

If you’re not that great at handling live plants, you could use fake succulents and a fake pumpkin to save it for future holidays. If you love succulents AND flowers, check out some of our paper flower tutorials here and here (with many more tutorials throughout the Lars archives!) to position flowers between your succulents. Place your succulent monogram pumpkins on your doorstep or inside your home for a stylish, succulent-filled Halloween!

Need more Halloween pumpkin inspiration? Take a look at a Lars favorite, these DIY Rainbow Pumpkins! Add more pumpkins to your monogram succulent decor with a DIY Rainbow Pumpkin Arch.  Use your pumpkins to decorate for a Halloween dinner party, or display them to get into the Halloween spirit!

Painted Mini Pumpkins

Painted Mini Pumpkins

I love the look of all of our mini painted pumpkins this year, especially as a cohesive look. In fact, the more the better! We based them off of our new Casetify collection because they are definitely worth replicating! The checkerboard is such a fun and easy pattern to paint as is the colorblock and squiggles. The florals take a bit more work but they are *chef’s kiss.* Do you have a fave? I’m leaning towards the folk floral, but then again, that’s also my favorite case so there’s a theme there.

painted pumpkins DIY

How to paint mini pumpkins

We started out with white pumpkins so that it would be easier to see the pattern. Orange works too, but you need more layers of paint to see the design. It’s also easier if you choose pumpkins with longer stems. I know that because we couldn’t find any and it was tricky! It’s nice to be able to hold onto something sturdy.

painted pumpkins to match The House That Lars Built casetify cases

Materials

  • white mini pumpkins (you should be able to get these at most grocery stores this time of year!)
  • acrylic or house paint (see colors below!)
  • paintbrushes
  • UV sealant (optional–keeps the paint looking nice longer)

How to paint a checkerboard pattern on a pumpkin

To create the checkerboard pattern on a pumpkin you will need to do the following:

  1. Paint your whole pumpkin in the lighter of the two colors you plan to use. Let it dry,
  2. With a thin marker, draw lines down each of the mini pumpkin’s natural grooves. The lines won’t be perfectly measured, but they will be a lot easier to paint this way!
  3. Draw even horizontal stripes around the mini pumpkin.
  4. Fill in every other box with the darker paint! Make sure you cover up the marker lines.
  5. We added in thicker accent stripes to mimic our cases just for fun
  6. Add on your UV sealant if desired.

folk painted pumpkin

How to make the quilted folk floral mini pumpkin

  1. Use your permanent marker to draw out a grid pattern on your mini pumpkin, similarly to how you did with the above checkerboard technique. We made ours two grooves thick so that the “quilt squares” were bigger.
  2. Paint in the colors of your squares. Wait until dry.
  3. Use the end of a pencil or large paintbrush to create a ring of the petals inside the squares.
  4. Paint contrasting circles onto each square in the center of the petals.
  5. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

How to make wavy line painted mini pumpkin

How to make the simple floral painted mini pumpkin

  1. Paint the whole mini pumpkin in a solid background color.
  2. Follow the flower instructions from the quilted pumpkin, but without the squares–just place them around your pumpkin randomly!
  3. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

How to make large floral painted mini pumpkin

These are one of my favorites! I love the decorative element it brings.

  1. With your permanent marker, draw lines down the mini pumpkin’s natural segments, dividing it into even sections.
  2. Draw out your design in each section. Our design includes an abstract flower at the top (yellow), a tall, symmetrical flower taking up most of the pumpkin’s body (in shades of red and pink with a green stem and leaves), and two abstract flowers at the bottom (yellow).
  3. Using the background color, paint in most of the pumpkin’s background. Avoid painting over your sketch of the flowers, but if you cross the marker lines a little bit, you should be okay. You just want to leave enough of your drawing so that you can see where to paint your flower.
  4. With your yellow, pink, red, and green paints, paint in the rest of your floral design.
  5. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

floral painted pumpkins

How to make the wavy lined painted mini pumpkin

  1. Paint the whole mini pumpkin in a solid background color.
  2. With an accent color, paint the outline of a wavy, squiggly design down the mini pumpkin’s side.
  3. Fill in your wavy shape with the same accent color.
  4. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

A clump of painted mini pumpkins in bright colors.

How to make the delicate floral painted mini pumpkin

This one is such a pretty showstopper, and it’s way easier than it looks! You’ll use a fine tipped paintbrush instead of a foam paintbrush. Just make sure to clean it between colors!

  1. If desired, paint the whole mini pumpkin a solid background color. I opted not to, instead showing off the pretty white pumpkin color, but you do you!
  2. With green paint, paint little curved lines as flower stems and wavy green leaves coming off the bottom of them. Distribute these around the pumpkin randomly.
  3. Top the flower stems with white or light pink flowers with red centers.
  4. Paint abstract yellow flowers around the pumpkin’s surface.
  5. Fill in empty space with mini periwinkle, pink, red, and orange flowers. For these, just make a few small brushstrokes. Paint a tiny green stem underneath or a white dot in the middle for a different style.
  6. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

delicate floral painted pumpkin on a pink and orange background. There's a matching phone case next to it.

Marbling technique didn’t work this time

We tried doing a marbling technique as inspired by our Casetify marbled case, but it just wasn’t working out. I’ll be sharing the failed version over on Instagram (hahahaha!). If you have a marbling technique that has worked for you in the past, let us know!

cell phone cases match the painted pumpkins

You can shop our The House That Lars Built for Casetify Collection here

We would love to see how you’re painting your mini pumpkins this year. Tag us with #LarsHalloween or #LarsMakes so we can see them! 

If you liked these painted pumpkins you might also like these ones:

Rainbow painted pumpkins
Pastel painted face pumpkins
DIY rainbow pumpkin arch
Pumpkin favor with leaf template

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

My tragic front door story and fall porch reveal!

Painting your front door the wrong color

I know what you’re asking–how did this even happen? First, we all make mistakes. Second, here was my reasoning. “I plan on limewashing over the brick of my house sooner than later so I though, oh, I’ll paint the door a color I like now so I don’t have to repaint it again. I think I can handle the sure-to-be mismatch of the door color of the brick.” Sounds smart enough, right?

WRONG!

I couldn’t. Not even one day. Here’s the thing, oftentimes as you’re painting and it looks bad, it’s USUALLY not so bad when you finish it. But this time, it was just SO SO SO SO bad. Like it was making me vomit, bad. Here’s another shot to get the full effect of the radioactive slime.

Can you imagine?!

The inspiration behind my front door

Some of you are wondering how I even got to this point. I hear you. Well, it started out with wanting some sort of sage green like this one below that I’ve been super inspired by lately.

And then I remembered this lighter shade of chair from Terrain, kind of like kicking it up a notch. While I think I nailed the right color, it was DEFINITELY not the right color for the door combined with the house. Again, I knew that, I just didn’t know that I really wouldn’t be able to live with it so much.

The safest way to choose a door color

I quickly got new samples and decided not to experiment much and go for a safety color. Something dark with brick is ALWAYS the way to go if you don’t want to spend time on it. But, I decided to try something with a bit of green and a bit of blue. The paint store could only do one of the three samples I brought it so thankfully they took the decision fatigue away from me and I LOVE how it turned out. I’m not always one for the safer choice, but sometimes you just got to I guess.

How to do a lovely front fall porch

I added on a new fall wreath from Terrain, some new pots and urns and a plethora of bounteous mums and pumpkins (I think I was the first in line to buy pumpkins this year!) in exquisite colors and I’m in LOVE!

fall porch decor

I had always wanted a porch where I could go full stop on a pots and planters. I went to gradschool in Georgetown in Washington, DC, perhaps the capital of fall displays, and it was always on my brain.

Start with a wreath

I know many of you are Team No Wreath, but to me, it’s all about the right kind of wreath and this one is beyond words. It’s metal and has the loveliest details. I got it from Terrain.

beautiful fall wreath

Pumpkin topiaries on urns

I had always wanted to do some pumpkin topiaries and this was the year for sure because I got these cast iron urns from Terrain that were perfect for it. I got some flat pumpkins, took off the stems, and stacked them on top.

pumpkin topiary

Fall blanket weather

Our mail box has the perfect nook to hang a blanket when friends come over and we sit outside. Perfect for COVID measures 😉

cozy fall blanket

pumpkin and mum display front porch

The key to this look was the many layers and colors of the pumpkins, mums, and pots. I also made them more or less symmetrical on either side so that they felt even.

Pots

I got a few of my very favorite pots from Bergs, a Danish brand that has the loveliest details. You can find them here. I also love the warmer toned ones here.

How to get the look:

blanket, wreathurnpot

I’d love to hear what you’re doing with your fall porch this year and your true thoughts about my front door (or do I dare?!).

DIY Paper Hollyhocks

These DIY paper hollyhocks are part of my ongoing home upgrade. As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, I’ve been doing a lot of renovations since I bought my house last June. Lately I’ve been working on finishing my upstairs bathroom, and let me tell you–nothing motivates you to work on a big project like having to use an unfinished bathroom! 😬

paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.

My bathroom vanity has two sinks with a mirror above each one, so I wanted to make something beautiful to go between them. Earlier this year we made some paper pansies for the bathroom and I love them so much that I wanted to do another flower. I decided on a few stalks of DIY paper hollyhocks, and I’m so glad I did because these have IMPACT. The individual flowers are really simple, but when you put the whole stalk together they’re absolutely show-stopping. I keep thinking how pretty they would be as bridal flowers!

paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.

Follow along for the full tutorial!

Make your own DIY paper hollyhocks

Materials

You’ll need our paper hollyhock template, crepe paper in a variety of colors (I used dark purple, indigo, peach, magenta, light yellow, dark yellow, and a few colors of green), hot glue, a glue gun, floral wire, 14 gauge wire, wire cutters, floral tape, scissors, and a paintbrush

Instructions

Prepare your materials
step photos of preparing materials for hollyhocksfor
  1. Download and print our DIY paper hollyhock template (which you can find here in our shop!)
  2. Decide what colors of flowers you want. I made blooms in three different colors, and each color used a main color and a darker stain color.
  3. Cut your main hollyhock paper into 3 strips that are 5 inches wide and about 20 inches long. Cut your stain paper into 3 strips about 2.5 inches wide and 20 inches long. Make sure the grain of both of these strips is such that it stretches horizontally.
Prepare your paper
  1. The next steps will stain your table and fingers, so put down a piece of thick butcher paper or cardboard if you’re working on a precious surface and consider wearing gloves!
  2. Tape the ends of the main petal paper down so that it lies flat on a table. Tape the darker stain paper over the main color of paper so that it runs along the center of the wider purple strip.
  3. Dip a paintbrush in water and wet the stain paper only. Then, press it down onto the main petal paper. This will transfer some of the dark dye onto the main crepe paper.
  4. Repeat this with your other strips of paper.
Prepare the pieces
  1. While your petal paper (say that five times fast!) is drying, cut the rest of your template pieces out. You’ll cut the inner petals out of dark yellow paper, a stigma out of light yellow paper, and leaves out of green paper. Each flower will have 5 petals, 5 inner petals, and one under-petal leaf piece.
  2. You can also cut out purple rectangles of various sizes (the buds) and the bud leaves in green.
  3. Once your petal paper is all dry, you can cut those petals out. Arrange them so that the dyed portions are at the narrow base of the petal.
  4. Make a thick stem. Cut three pieces of 14 gauge wire to varying lengths. The longest should be a little shorter than you want your flower stalk, the middle one should be about 2/3 that length, and the shortest should be about 1/3 the length of the first.
  5. Hold the three wires together so that they all overlap at the bottom.
  6. Starting at the bottom where they all overlap, wrap the wires with floral tape. Wrap all the way to the end of the longest wire, forming a long, stiff stem that narrows toward the top.
Make the DIY paper hollyhock pieces
Flowers

Step by step photos of making a paper hollyhock

  1. Start with the flower’s stigma by crumpling up a small ball of crepe paper from your scraps. Glue this to the tip of your regular weight floral wire.
  2. Put a dab of glue on the center of the cut out stigma square and put this on the crumpled paper. Fold down the ends so that it covers the crumpled paper, then secure with more hot glue.
  3. Glue each yellow inner petal to the base of a purple petal. 
  4. Make a line of glue on the side/bottom of a petal next to the yellow inner petal. Glue then next petal to that first petal. Repeat for all 5 petals.
  5. Attach your line of petals to the flower center so that they wrap evenly around, and secure with glue. 
  6. Put a dot of glue halfway up the edge of each petal and attach it to the one next to it.
  7. Stretch the green under-flower leaf piece and glue it to the base of the flower.
  8. Stretch a thin stem strip of green crepe paper and wrap it around your DIY paper hollyhock’s stem for 3-5 inches, securing with glue as you go.
  9. Repeat steps 1-6 until you have your desired amount of hollyhock blooms. I think that 5-9 blooms per stalk looks lush and lifelike.
Buds

step by step photos of making flower buds

  1. To make the buds, cut rectangles of purple crepe paper and fold the top corners in, then fold the top down repeatedly. Roll up the paper, then glue it to form a rounded bud shape.
  2. Stretch the bud leaves, then glue and wrap them around the bud along with a 5 inch piece of floral wire. Let some of the buds show more purple inside, while some should be mostly or all covered with green bud leaves.
  3. Glue a small leaf to the wrapped bud.
  4. Stretch a thin stem strip of green crepe paper and wrap it around the bud stem, securing with glue as you go.
Leaves

step by step photos showing how to make hollyhock leaves

  1. To make the leaves, use the template to cut the 6 leaf pieces out of green crepe paper. Make sure that you’re cutting the pieces with the grain, as shown on the template.
  2. With a thin line of hot glue, attach the leaf pieces together. The leaf is an organic star-like shape, but if you didn’t cut with the grain of the crepe paper it won’t stretch right. 
  3. Stretch the paper slightly to ruffle the edges and give the leaf dimension.
  4. Glue a piece of floral wire along one of the seams in the leaf.
  5. Stretch a thin stem strip of green crepe paper and wrap it around the base of the leaf and the wire stem for 6-7 inches, securing with glue as you go. 
Assemble your hollyhocks!

step by step photos showing how to assemble hollyhocks

  1. Now you have a lot of hollyhock elements on pieces of wire. We’re going to put them all together, starting at the top of the stalk.
  2. Glue a bud to the stem of another bud, then wrap the glued stems together with a stretched crepe paper strip, gluing as you go.
  3. Add more buds, gluing and wrapping with crepe paper. As you add elements, the stalk will get thicker and stronger, just like a real flower!
  4. After you’ve added and wrapped all the buds, it’s time to attach the thick stem. Glue the wrapped buds and wires to the top of the thick wire stem, then wrap with crepe paper. Keep securing the crepe paper strips with glue as you continue this.
  5. It’s time to start adding your fully bloomed flowers! Glue a flower’s stem and a leaf to the stalk, then wrap with a crepe paper strip.
  6. Continue adding flowers and leaves to the stalk as you work your way down. You want to space them out with a few inches between each one.
  7. If you have extra leaves after you add all your flowers, add them to the bottom of the stalk. Wrap them with a crepe paper strip, just like you did for the prior leaves. You should leave about five inches of stem without flowers and leaves at the bottom of your stalk.
  8. After you finish adding all your flowers and leaves, continue wrapping a crepe paper strip all the way to the bottom of the stalk. Secure with glue, then cut the strip.
  9. Voilà! You have a gorgeous stalk of hollyhocks! Make a few stalks in various colors, then arrange them however you like for your own indoor cottage garden.

paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.

More paper flower inspo

If you loved this tutorial for DIY paper hollyhocks, then you’ll love our other paper flower projects! Check out our DIY paper peony, DIY paper foxglove, and this roundup of all our favorite paper flower projects. And if you agree with me that these paper hollyhocks would be beautiful as bridal flowers but aren’t sold on paper over real, then check out these lovely paper bouquets inspired by the royal wedding, white peonies, Cinco de Mayo, and spring color.

paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.

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!

Nativity Craft Along

Christmas is a perfect time to join up with our community and do something fun together, so we dreamed up a craft along. After all, there’s no better time to get out your glue and paints than during the holidays! And what’s more classic and meaningful than a handmade gift? I definitely don’t know of anything.

Well, as the Lars team continued scheming and dreaming, our craft along plans got better and better, and now we’re SO EXCITED to make this Mid-Century Heirloom nativity craft along with you!

unpainted wooden angel figure from a midcentury nativity against a pink and red background

We’ve teamed up with a few celebrities and crafting heroes, and to be quite honest, I’m already starstruck. Like, let’s just say that I’m going to meet my childhood hero and that we’ll be wearing pink on Wednesdays from here on out. We’ll be releasing our star crafters through our mailing list (sign up here!), but I’d also love to hear your guesses in the comments. 😉

You’ll also be able to meet our star crafters through weekly Instagram Live events, where we’ll be working on a character from the nativity every week.

Heirloom Nativity

So what’s a craft along?

A craft along is a way of building community with your fellow crafters while all working on the same (or a similar) project. Our nativity craft along is a perfect opportunity to get ready for Christmas (because we all know that it sneaks up on us every year) and get to know your Lars community a bit better. We’ll all be making a midcentury heirloom nativity together, and it’s going to be so lovely! Even though summer’s still on its way out, we wanted to jump into our handmade holiday plans early because this is a project that you’ll want to begin waay in advance. Get a head start on your handmade holidays and join in the fun with this nativity craft along!

Crafting with a cause

As I’ve mentioned in these two essays, I recently partnered with Nest and I’m now part of their advisory board. I really believe in Nest’s mission to support woman makers in the global economy, and I’m so grateful to be part of their amazing work. We’ve set the very exciting goal to raise $50,000 for Nest through this nativity craft along, and we’re doing it in three ways:

  1. Ebook sales: for each ebook sold, we’re donating $5 (with an option for you to donate even more at checkout).
  2. Donations: we’ll collect donations during Instagram Live events with our famous crafters (think a 21st century twist on a classic fundraising telethon). During these Instagram Live events you’ll get to know some of your favorite crafty celebrities a bit better, and you can work on your heirloom nativity alongside them and me! Doesn’t that sound dreamy? You can donate to Nest over here!
  3. Auction: After all these Instagram Live crafting sessions we’ll auction off our two completed midcentury nativities! There will be one made by me and one made by our favorite crafting celebs, and all the money we raise by auctioning them will go to Nest.  So even if you’re not a big fan of crafting, you can get your own gorgeous heirloom midcentury nativity (and it just might come with some star power).

Heirloom Nativity

However you do it, your participation in this nativity craft along will help us reach our fundraising goal and help Nest support woman artisans all over the world.

Make Your Own Heirloom Nativity!

Years ago when we first released our Midcentury Nativity project, we used a combination of vintage, found, and purchased wooden pieces. While I love the way our old set looks, it’s impossible to replicate exactly. That can be so frustrating! So this year we’ve worked hard to come up with an excellent set of wooden pieces that you can buy to make your nativity match with ours. If you buy these materials, your pieces will also align just right with the templates we made in our ebook! Convenience and unity for the win!

unpainted wooden finials and candlesticks in the form of wooden nativity characters

You can find all the materials we used over in the e-book including the specific wood pieces for the right combinations.

Here are the colors we are using for the set:

unpainted wooden wise man figurine from a nativity set against a pink and red striped background

To get templates and tips you can download our ebook!

Follow Along

The best way to stay on top of all our craft along content by following us on Instagram and subscribing to the newsletter. Now enter the giveaway, order your materials, and let’s get crafting!

baby Jesus unpainted wooden figure on a pink and red striped background

Looking for more nativity projects? If you love this, you’ll also love our DIY nativity puppets, this clothespin nativity, and this nesting doll DIY.