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?!).

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

 

In the Mood For: The Royal Wedding Anniversary

More than knowing how to throw a party, they know how to show love and respect for one another and people around the world. Aside from all of the drama, Harry and Meghan have been busy running their non-profit organization, Archewell. I did a little digging and learned that they chose this name because the Greek word “arche” means “source of action” (Archie = Arche). Aside from that, Meghan recently teamed up with Save the Children and did a fantastic story-time segment available on instagram. We are donating the proceeds from our Picture Hope coloring book to the same organization! That makes us just like Meghan, right?

Okay. Now that I’ve talked about how wonderful Harry and Meghan are for humanitarian reasons, I can talk about what we all guiltily came here for: FASHION. 

Since joining the royal family, Meghan has become an icon. And in the months since Megxit, she has stepped up her wardrobe in a big way. I’ve been feeling a little tired of my same two house dresses and have spent a fair bit of time looking at pictures of Meghan and Kate for fashion inspiration. You’ll love what I found!! The mix of classic elegance with modern, playful touches is perfect. Truthfully, that’s what I hope Lars makes you, dear reader, think of. I’d like to think Meghan is a Lars girl. 😉 

Two years ago, we wrote about the wedding and made a mood board! If you want to see their wedding style synthesized, try this out! You probably have one friend who is a big time fan of all things royal (mine is named Dana). Send her something from our Royal Weddings collection!  

(I won’t tell if you make a purchase for yourself.)

royal wedding stationary to celebrate the royal family

Keep on scrolling down to see some pieces that are a perfect fit for a royal-loving Lars girl. When you’re ready, head to our instagram today to vote on your favorite royal wedding fashion items. Which wedding was your favorite, Meghan’s or Kate’s? 

Now that’s the tea – don’t spill.

Everyday style inspired by the Royal Family

How to plan your own royal wedding

If you are day dreaming of your very own classic wedding, inspired by Meghan and Harry’s big day, we have all the resources to help you! We are in full support of you going all out for the classy, iconic wedding of this decade. Visions of pastel colors and big hats are dancing around our heads. If you can picture it too, keep reading! After all, your deserve to feel royal on your wedding day.

paper wedding bouqet meghan markle's wedding bouqet from the royal wedding

You can find the templates needed to make your own paper version of Meghan’s wedding bouquet in our new paper flower e-book.  Start the theme with your bridal shower, with the help of these printable invites the queen herself would approve of! Click here to see the royal wedding inspired tea party we held, for inspiration for your bridal shower or the reception itself!

Explore the links below for fashion inspired by the personal styles of members of the royal family. Imagine your guests donning classy pastel attire for the garden wedding every one will be talking about. Below you’ll find dresses, spring blazers, heels, and even hats the royal family would love any excuse to wear

Royal Wedding Fashion

Royal Wedding Accessories

 

This post is part of our “In the Mood For” series, where we highlight the taste of famous people and characters we love. Click these links to be inspired by kindred spirits like Anne of Green Gables or Jo March, or to learn how to re-create the iconic styles of real life heroes Iris Apfel or Alexander Girard

Women Who Work: Erin Benzakein

When did you know that flowers and gardening were your jam?

I found flowers through landscape design and my love was deepened through farming. As my understanding of flowers grew my desire to arrange them did too. I began with what I could grow in my garden, including many grown items that are not typically thought of when one creates arrangements. Herbs, vegetables, fruits, if I could grow it I was using it. I began to see the beauty in what each season could produce making each bouquet moments of captured time. I practiced and practiced and was constantly met with love,  support and positive feedback which kept me going on my journey and has helped me arrive where I am today.

Why is it important to you to create?

Creating is part of something much bigger than beautiful arrangements or design. Creating helps myself and others think ahead and pioneer new ideas. Creating is a chance to mark life’s greatest milestones and everyday events in a simple yet meaningful ways.

What’s your advice to women wanting to pursue the same thing?

It is all in the practice of your medium and finding what works best for you. I’ve found that everyone struggles more or less with the same things: how to approach color, basic mechanics, proper ingredient selection, and most importantly, confidence. Be gentle with yourself as you work through these things and thing the meaning in the work you are creating.

How to get started

 

You can find Erin here:

@FloretFlower
Floret Flowers site
You can find her latest book, A Year in Flowers here
Her first book, Cut Flower Garden here
2020 Floret Farms planner here
Her Garden Journal here

Gardening Art Print

You can find all of the Women Who Work here!

If you are passionate about gardening be sure to check out Floret Farm’s A Year In Flowers and be sure to hang up the Gardening Print in your home to remind you of just how incredible you are at your work!

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

Becoming Loria Stern

In 2011, Loria Stern started attending adult education classes entitled “Medicinal and Edible Plants” where she learned about foraging and the power of plant medicine. She started combining her culinary skills with the knowledge she was learning about botanicals. All the while she was posting her bespoke creations on Instagram. In 2016 her work was highlighted in Vogue Magazine and she received over 30,000 followers overnight. Fans were asking where they could purchase her treats so she started selling them on her website. The first day she posted her treats, she received over 20 orders. Since that day, her business has grown into a successful baking operation where she employs 4 helpers with living wages. She’s still growing her business, writing a cookbook and pitching a TV show. Exciting things are in store for this hardworking woman!

Loria is wearing a floral dress and standing in a kitchen surrounded by colorful produce.

Meet Loria Stern

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, baker, business person, educator, etc.?

Well, I consider myself all of these things but more so one than the other depending on what day of the week we’re talking about. I would say I started out as an artist and maker, and then became a baker and now my daily tasks are more of a business person and educator. 

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now? 

I grew up in Ojai, CA, a small quaint town nestled in between large mountains but just a 20 minute drive to the beach. The town had a lot of nature–my childhood neighborhood streets were lined with tall oak trees. There was and still is a huge element of health consciousness and spirituality in Ojai and I think those elements absolutely influenced what I do now and the person I’ve become. 

Loria stands with her back to the camera. She's surrounded by fresh cut flowers and she's wearing a straw hat, and there are misty mountains in the background.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger? 

Of course I wanted to be a professional tennis player! That dream ended around 14 years old and then I wanted to be an artist. I guess that dream has come true except through a different medium (culinary arts vs. the visual arts).

Rolled out cookie dough with colorful pressed flowers pressed onto each round circle of dough.

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path? 

Not really one single person, but more so a number of different friends who loved eating the foods I cooked and baked for them and encouraged me to follow this path.

What sparked your interest in edible flowers? 

I’ve always loved flowers (who doesn’t?!) but it wasn’t until I started learning about the medicinal properties of botanicals in my 3 semesters of the adult education classes that my love for combining edible flowers + botanicals with cooking and baking, really opened up an entire new craft for me. 

Rolled out cookie dough with colorful pressed flowers pressed onto each round circle of dough.Brightly colored flowers pressed onto sugar cookies on a wooden background.

What are three words to describe your style? 

Creative, happy and cool.

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career? 

I graduated with a BA from college and spent my last year painting and drawing. I was in an art show in my final year of college and sold several pieces. As noted earlier, I also took 3 semesters of adult education classes post college– “Medicinal + Edible Plants” and learned a lot about treating ailments naturally with wild, edible plants. I also attribute my dedication as a competitive tennis player to my strong work ethic, which I think is the most important aspect of my current success. 

Loria sits cross-legged on a teal blanket surrounded by pressed flowers in books and a cup of tea.

Have you ever made a big career switch? If so, what prompted that? Are there aspects of a prior career that you incorporate into what you do now? 

I did not really have a career after graduating college in 2006–I more so worked a bunch of odd jobs to pay the rent–teaching tennis, nannying, working as an assistant, etc. It was not until 2010 when I worked my first job as a prep chef that I really learned my love for the culinary arts and that I wanted to make this a career.

What inspired you to become a baker/florist/gardener? 

My love for nature, working with my hands and discovering new alchemic combinations.

Brightly-colored flowers pressed onto green matcha cookie dough.

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why? 

I love making tall tiered wedding cakes and delivering them to the venue. It is always so rewarding.

Tall wedding cake frosted with white frosting and purple and yellow flowerscake frosted with blush pink frosting with purple, yellow, and white pansies pressed onto it. It's styled in a pink draping fabric with a vase of flowers.

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

In nature first and foremost. 

How do you make social connections in the creative realm? 

Many via Instagram, I’ve met some of my best friends and have found a beautiful, supportive community of my work there.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present? 

Gah, there are so so many! Truly too hard to just pinpoint a few.

Horizontal photo of Loria wearing a floral dress and holding a tray of baked cookies. Flowers are pressed onto the top of each one.

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days? 

My father was a jazz clarinetist and music pervades much of my childhood. I love all types of music and have found there is a time and a place for every genre of music. I love documentaries and listening to podcasts. But I try to stay away from negative media as it definitely affects my mood.

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto? 

Work hard and always do your best. Hold yourself and others accountable. Treats others how you’d want to be treated.

Horizontal photo of Loria measuring sugar into a yellow mixing bowl. She's in a kitchen and surrounded by flowers and a turquoise kitchenade mixer

What is your workspace like? Has it changed at all since the beginning of the pandemic last year? 

I moved to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara just one month before the pandemic began. I had to find a new commercial kitchen and employees within that time and it was extremely difficult to say the least. Looking back, I feel so grateful for the commercial baking space and my LA helpers. 

Loria stands in a field of zinnias wearing a white dress and a straw hat. She's holding a basket full of flowers.

How do your surroundings influence your work? 

So much. I realized I am creatively motivated by my physical space. I love natural light and need to be close to nature. 

Loria bends down to pick wildflowers in a meadow. She's wearing a white dress and a straw hat.

Describe some habits that keep you motivated and productive. How do you climb out of a creative slump? 

Exercise is always a good idea and I have found it to be the number one cure for all sorts of slumps. 

What is a typical day like for you? 

I enjoy waking up early. I drink coffee first thing in the morning, then I’ll mosey around my backyard garden with coffee in hand. I’ll stroll up to my home office, check business and personal emails, and then the day is off and running. I usually pick edible botanicals from my garden then meet my team at the bakery. We start cranking our baking orders and then before I know it, it’s 6pm! Then I’ll come home, meet up with my boyfriend and we’ll cook dinner and watch a show.

Loria decorating a pan of focaccia with flowers and vegetables. She's shaped them into a floral scene.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

To learn as much as you can about the hobby / skill. There is so much readily available information that one can learn online that school is not necessary as long as there is curiosity, dedication and a strong work ethic.

Loria standing at the head of a banquet table full of food and flowers. It is sunset and there are mountains in the background.

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on? 

I’d say tennis is my secret talent for those who are just meeting me now! Otherwise, I’m working on learning how to surf but it’s extremely hard!

Two pans of botanical cookies with pressed flowers. The ones on the top are a vanilla shortbread and the ones on the bottom are pink.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business? 

Gah, I am still trying to figure that out. I have not accepted investment from outside sources however am currently looking into it to grow my business!

A plate of baked floral shortbread stacked up. In the background there are lots of flowers scattered.

Is there anything more you would like to “become?” 

I’d like to become more well-traveled. I want to visit Japan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Sweden, and the list continues! I want to visit these places and learn about new ingredients and cooking techniques and share those with an audience so that they can live on and evolve into our current day’s food. 

A film photograph of Loria walking away from the camera through a field of wildflowers. She's wearing a white dress and a straw hat and there are trees and mountains in the background.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years? 

First and foremost, I hope to remain healthy! Secondly, I hope to open up a physical commissary kitchen with a retail space, classroom and on-site edible flower garden so that I can teach my botanical infused culinary arts to the greater community. There is so much information that I find so inspiring and interesting, I am sure others will as well.

Loria sitting on a bed with teal bedding and flowers in a bowl. She's wearing a beige jumpsuit and there's low, moody lighting.

Can’t get enough of Loria Stern?

We don’t blame you! Follow Loria’s work on her Instagram @LoriaStern and don’t forget to check out her website, where you can buy her delicious, beautiful creations!

Years ago we wrote a post about using edible flowers, and I hope that this interview with Loria Stern makes you even more excited to incorporate beautiful botanicals into your meals (like this edible flower pot).

Read more Becoming interviews here to keep the inspiration flowing!

Loria walking through a meadow of flowers wearing a white dress and a straw sun hat. She's holding a basket of flowers and the sky is blue.

All photos are courtesy of Loria Stern.

DIY Palm Leaves

DIY PALM LEAVES

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


Materials:

Directions: 

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

For Home Decor

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

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

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

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

Which ones are your favorites???

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

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

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

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

Visualizing the process

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

And the marigold:

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

Pattern on pattern advice:

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

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

Citrus tablescape

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

Mother’s Day Care Packages

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

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

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

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

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

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Send a Mother’s Day care package

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

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

Discount for Lars readers

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

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

Valentines Baby’s Breath Heart Wreath

We took a few extra steps of DIY to make this wreath as cost effective as possible by making the heart shaped foam wreath ourself. With a handful of floral foam, glue sticks, string, live baby’s-breath (we use live and then let it dry itself out naturally), spray paint, and cardboard we set out to make our wreath!

Valentines Baby’s Breath Wreath

Materials: 

See above.

Please note: We’ve since done some research on environmentally friendly alternatives to floral foam and you can find them here!

Directions: 

  1. Draw a heart on a piece of cardboard with a slightly smaller heart (about 2 inches apart) inside of it.
  2. Take a good pair of scissors and cut out the outside as well as the inside of the heart.
  3. Take your floral foam pieces and place them around your guide making sure all of the cardboard is covered. Note that some will need to be cut in order to fit all the way around it.
  4. Taking a glue stick spread a generous amount onto and secure each piece in place, this will need time to dry. You can use a glue gun, however, it does not stick as well but it will speed up the process.
  5. With a sharp knife, trim the floral foam according to your guide.
  6. Once you have the shape you want, take some twine and secure each piece in place.
  7. Take your baby’s breath and lightly spray it with spray paint until the color is as deep as you want it.
  8. Once the baby’s breath is dry cut the pieces off and start placing them packed tightly together onto the wreath.

We are loving this wreath on our door this Valentine season and can’t wait to see it on all of your doors! Tag us with #larsloveslove so we can see these wreaths in all their glory!

DIY Grocery Store Flower Bouquet

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

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

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

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

Make Your Own Grocery Store Flower Bouquet

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

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

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

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

Instructions

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

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

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

beautiful bouquet made from grocery store flowers

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!

7 Rental-Friendly Interior Design Hacks

Rental friendly interior design is important to me because I’m a huge believer in the power of interior design to make you happy. Too often we think that unless we own a home we can’t personalize our space, and I think that’s tragic. Everyone deserves to feel at home, so making a house a home in a rental feels much bigger than a simple penchant for style.

7 Rental Friendly Interior Design Hacks

Living Room Reveal with wildflower wallpaperRemovable Wallpaper

This is definitely not the easiest rental friendly interior design hack, so let’s get it out of the way first. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my love for wallpaper. There’s this archaic idea that wallpaper is a nightmare to deinstall, involving lots of steaming, stickiness, and scraping. Yuck. That used to be true, but now there are so many rental friendly wallpapers, so you can peel and stick to your heart’s content!

I’ve loved using Spoonflower wallpaper in my homes and offices, and you can find my favorite Spoonflower artists and designs here!

In my last apartment I really let my imagination run wild with wallpaper, and I loved how fresh and unique it made the space. Here are my tips and tricks for installing Spoonflower wallpaper (which I love!)

Brittany works on installing blue and white striped wallpaper with text that reads "how to install wallpaper yourself"Interior shot of a bedroom with blue and white striped wallpaper. There's a yellow headboard, green floral bedding, paper staghorn ferns, and wicker lamps.Brittany sits on bed in a room with pine-themed wallpaper. She's wearing a pink dress and holding a dark blue and green pillow, the bed is warm wood with a mustard duvet, and there's a wicker lamp in the corner. There's also a blue art print on the wall.

If you’re still looking for just the right wallpaper, check out this post I wrote about my other favorite places to buy it.

Upgrade Your Lighting

I can’t say enough how important good lighting is! Of course, lots of natural light is best, but it’s not always available. Don’t worry, though! There’s hope for you and it’s in the form of lamps!

A colorful lamp in a room with wildflower wallpaper and a LACMA exhibition posterJust like when I was in college, I still love adding light with lamps. You can always go to thrift stores and upgrade them with paint or new shades (or even make your own shades). I also put together some of my favorite lampshades on the market right now, so browse these!

On top of lamps, you can say “Let there be light” by upgrading your light fixtures. It might seem daunting, but it’s not too tricky and makes a huge difference. So many rentals are chock full of boob lights, and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t want reminders to #FreeTheNip every time I look up. 🤷🏼‍♀️ If you’re with me on this, consider this your permission to change out your light fixtures and get a new lease on life.

Check out this DIY light fixture you can make to add whimsy and color to your space.

DIY lampshade in bright colors and funky shapes

Find a Statement Piece

Furnishing your rental with statement furniture can really elevate the space. Once you’ve found a piece that you love, plan the colors and design around it for a cohesive, beautiful look. (For bonus points, spot the light fixture I upgraded this room with)

Brittany adjusts pillows on a beautiful green sofa in a light-filled room

Couches, and rugsare my favorite kinds of statement furniture to base a room off. A few years ago I got a life-changing green sofa and I’ll never stop recommending that people add emphasis with colorful furniture.

Couches

Rugs

Plan a Color Story For Each Space

One of my favorite rental friendly interior design hacks is to make and stick to a color palette. Especially when it’s a space that you don’t own and you can’t control everything about, it’s easy for a space to look makeshift and haphazardly thrown together. With a color palette, though, you can go from scattered and “meh” to really fabulous. It takes some creativity and restraint, but it makes a huge difference.

a room with pine-themed wallpaper. There are pillows in dark blue, pink, green, and black, the bed is warm wood with a mustard duvet, and there's a wicker lamp in the corner. There's also a blue art print on the wall.

You can see I designed this room with a yellow, forest green, and deep blue color palette, and that there are little accents of pink throughout. Especially because the wallpaper is busy, having a solid (no pun intended) color palette really makes the room work.

Plants, Plants, Plants!

Houseplants and fresh flowers are a renter’s best friends. They bring (literal) life into your space and also freshen your air. Just remember to water and fertilize them and give them the right amount of light!

Here are some houseplants that you can buy online!

Mirror, Mirror

I’m such a huge believer in mirrors that I even wrote a whole post about why they’re essential in decor. And I’m sticking to my guns here! They make a space feel bigger and lighter, act as a focal point, and they’re a convenient way to make sure we’re walking out the front door looking great. You can find lots of my very favorite mirrors on the market in this post, and also check out this lovely Rattan mirror DIY here!

DIY Rattan Sunburst Mirror

Add Art

Our print shop is chock full of incredible art that would seriously upgrade your home. I know I’ve loved having it in mine! Adding art to your rental friendly interior design plans is so easy, and my main tip is to use command strips. You and your security deposit will thank me later. 😉

Here’s a collection of some floral art prints to bring some everlasting blooms into your home, and you can also read about lots of the artists behind the Lars Print Shop here.

art prints by Julie Marabelle installed in a wallpapered roomAmanda Jane Jones holding up her prints from the Lars Print ShopDaffodil II print by Rachel SmithRental Living

I lived in a rental for years and years before we bought our house, and by the end of our time there we had made some significant upgrades. You can check out everything we did to that apartment here! Not everyone has the opportunity to do as much with a rental as we did, but I hope it inspires you to make your space your own.

I’d love to see what rental friendly interior design tips you have used! Show me your renting secrets at #LarsAtHome!