DIY Sparklers For New Year’s Eve

We’ve been busy sharing our favorite DIYs for a fun New Year’s Eve celebration, including paper crowns, 2021 glasses, and more from the Lars archives. Today we’re delving into a really fun project to add to these—some DIY sparklers!

Maybe you’re not a fan of actual fireworks, or the thought of going outside in the chilly night air on New Year’s Eve is not appealing. Either way, this craft is for you. These sparklers require no fire, no lighters, no matches…nothing. Which makes it perfect for the whole family to enjoy, even your youngest kiddos!

DIY Sparklers for New Year's Eve

All you need to make your own DIY sparklers is some colorful cellophane and some wooden dowels. And like many of our projects, this one is reusable.

DIY Sparklers

Materials:

Wooden dowels

Cellophane: We used gold, but also love this iridescent option and this colorful set. You can also use ribbon or tissue paper.

Scissors

Hot Glue Gun

Instructions:

  1. Cut three 12 inch by 5 inch strips of cellophane.

2. Create a fringe effect with each strip by cutting parallel lines down the full strip, making sure never to cut all the way to the edge of your material.

3. Once all 3 strips are fringed, take your dowel and begin gluing one strip on to the top of the dowel.. Starting on one side and twisting it around the skewer, adding a dab of glue when needed to keep it in place.

5. Do that for each strand creating 3 tiered layers at the top of the skewer.

6. Add 1 thin piece of cellophane around the bottom of the 3 tiers to add the finish touch!

This projects also makes for great cake toppers! Or use them for your New Year’s Eve party centerpieces, drink stirrers, tablescape and more.

New Year's Eve Cake Topper

For more creative New Year’s ideas, check out our New Year’s Eve archives.

DIY Twisted Candles for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner

We made our candles in red and pink to add them to our Valentine’s day decorations. They would be perfect to display on the mantle, dining table, bookshelf, bathroom, anywhere, really! They would also be perfect to light on your Valentine’s day dinner at home. These candles are functional, beautiful, and customizable. No wonder we love them!

DIY Twisted Candles

Supplies:

Candles

Ziplock bag

Rolling Pin

Instructions:

(based on 12 inch tall candles)

  1. Fill a bowl with warm enough water to cover candles

2. Soak candles in warm water for 15-20 min, or until they are flexible

3. Working with one candle at a time – transfer a candle to a ziplock bag

3. Using your rolling pin, roll the center of the candle flat until it is a 1/2″ wide. Make sure to leave 2″ at the top of the candle that is unrolled, as well as 2″ from the bottom.

Tip: If at any point the candle is becoming too firm to roll out, let it sit in the warm water longer and then start rolling again.

5. Once you have flattened out the center of your candle, slowly twist it until you have created the look you want!

Embrace the trend and flaunt your modern flair!

Don’t forget to add some Doily Honeycomb Decorations and Valentines Heart Pom-Poms to your Valentine’s day decorations this year!

 

 

DIY Easter Decor Projects For 2021

DIY Easter Home Decor

From entryway wreaths to napkin settings, we have fun DIY Easter decor projects for anyone and everyone as the holiday quickly approaches.

Easter Egg Wreath

What better way to welcome Easter than a wreath made of Easter eggs! With some crepe paper, paper mache eggs, glue gun, and a wreath frame, you can make yourself a rainbow Easter egg wreath.

If you are the type of crafter who would prefer all of your project supplies all wrapped up in a pretty little kit, ready to go, we hear you. We will be releasing our Easter Egg Wreath Kit again this year! Sign up for our newsletter here, and follow along on our Lars Shop Instagram to be the first to know when the kits become available for limited early bird pricing.

Easter Egg Pom-Poms

Or you can decorate a bunch of springtime branches with pom pom Easter eggs!  They’re easy to make and the pops of color will brighten any room.

Pysanky Dyed Eggs

If you want to learn a new way to decorate eggs, try your hand at these beautiful traditional Pysanky eggs. We offer an E-Book and video tutorial, which makes the seemingly daunting craft very doable.

DIY Easter Basket Gifts

Bunny Baby Bonnets

Did you or someone you know welcome a newborn this spring? Then these adorable baby bunny bonnets are a must! If there’s one thing the world needs right now, it’s more babies in bunny bonnets!

Carrot Surprise Balls

A fun craft to make with or for a child are these DIY carrot surprise balls. Wrap a treat or toy and have fun shaping it into a carrot. Pack them in baskets and deliver them to friends, use them for a scavenger hunt, or simply make a basket-full for your little one(s).

Stuffed Easter Bunny

Another popular Easter project is the DIY stuffed Easter bunny. They are simple to make and a unique gift to add to an Easter basket. Plus, if you make the baby bunny bonnets mentioned above your little one will MATCH with their new stuffed toy! Take a second to let that cuteness sink in.

Danish Easter Letters

Finish the basket with a whimsical Danish letter called gækkebreve, or snowdrop letters. We have readymade PDF templates to download and use.

Easter Table Settings

Create a festive mood for Easter brunch with these DIY Easter decor ideas for the table: daffodil napkin bouquets, an Easter egg runner tablescape, and mini basket place settings. We love to go all out for holidays and when preparation is done early enough, you can make the table setting eggs-traoradinary!

Easter Printables

The fun doesn’t end with decor and crafts! Print some Easter bunnies and chicks paper dolls for your children to color and play. Or add these golden bunny hairpins and printable cards to your Easter basket!

We also have Easter egg coupons for you and your family to find during your egg hunt. These are great if you are aiming for a more sugar-free holiday this year! Replace the candy in your egg hunt with the printable coupons, for fun prizes your kids will be even more excited about! This way you can keep the cadbury eggs all to yourself 😉

I hope you found at least one from our list you’d like to make! Whether easy or difficult, if there’s one (or more!) you love, don’t hesitate to try! Share your experiences with us, some tips and tricks you may have discovered, and of course the final products! Use the hashtag #Larsmakes , and we look forward to seeing all your amazing projects!

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

Haunted Cardboard Houses for Recycled Holiday Decor

This year, the holidays look a little different, but in my opinion, that gives us even more excuses to be creative! This spooky holiday decor made out of recycled items can even be re-used next year.

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

This cardboard haunted house was inspired by our DIY Gingerbread Houses from a few years ago, but you can choose to yours them big or small. Set them on your porch or mantle on All Hallow’s Eve, where they can cast a spooky glow. And—a big plus—they are a super sneaky hiding place for the candy you told your kids went missing. Your secret is safe with us!

You probably already have most of the supplies in your recycle bin or overflowing craft closet (don’t worry…we all have one.)

How to make your cardboard haunted house

Materials:

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

Instructions:

1. Start by cutting out the pieces from the template. The large pieces called “Base front”
and “Base back” are each split onto two pieces of paper. You’ll need to cut them both
out and then tape them together, so you have one “Base front” and one “Base back”.

2. Place the template pieces flat on the cardboard and trace them with a pencil (you might
want to label each piece before you cut them out).

3. Cut out all the tracings with a box cutter or a crafting knife.

4. All the structures are labeled, so start with #1 and glue together the front, two sides,
and back piece. (See labeled diagram at the end of these instructions)

5. For structure #2, start by gluing the door to the “front door structure”, then glue the
two sides to the “front door structure”. Once that dries, glue the sides to the center of
structure #1.

6. Now you’re going to put the roofs on both structure #1 & #2. To bend each roof piece,
place the cardboard against the edge of a table and gently press down with your hand
to get a curve. Move the piece up and down on the table edge until the whole piece has
a slight curve. Then glue the roof pieces onto the top of structures #1 & #2.

7. Next take the pieces for structure #3, and glue together the front, sides, and back. Place
this structure on the roof of #1, make sure it fits, and then glue #3 to the roof of #1.

8. Now for structure #4, glue the window piece to the front piece. Then glue the sides and
bottom to the front piece. After that dries, glue #4 to the center of structure #3.

9. For the roof pieces of #3 & #4, repeat the same process as Step 6 to get the curved effect. Then glue the roof pieces onto the two structures.

10. For structure #5, take 4 of the rectangle “side” pieces and glue them together with all
the shortest edges at the bottom (these pieces are all labeled (top) on the upper edge,
make sure that is facing up and not upside down). Then glue #5 on the right side of the
roof on structure #1.

11. Now for structure #6, take the two pieces called “#6 front” and “#6 back” and the last
two side pieces and glue them together. It should look similar to structure #5, but the cuts will allow it to fit on top of structure #3.

12. Glue structure #6 onto the roof of the #3.

13. For the roofs of #5 #6, take 4 of the triangle roof pieces and glue all the sides together
so it looks like a pyramid. Put glue on the top of structure #5 and then place the roof
down onto the glue (the edges of the roof will overlap the top edges of structure #5.

14. Repeat Step 13 for structure #6.

15. After your house is completely dry, cover the entire house in black paint.

16. Then take the gray paint and a smaller paint brush (if you have one) and draw details on the window, door, roofs, and wherever else you want. You can add cobwebs to the
corners.

17. Have fun! Your recycled holiday decor is now complete.

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

After you’ve made your haunted cardboard house, style it on your mantle, porch, or entryway table. If you want to cut some windows, try placing electric tea lights inside, which will cast eerie shadows on the wall (don’t use regular candles inside the cardboard, though.) If you’re setting up your recycled holiday decor for a Halloween Party, you could even use the houses as party favors! Fill them with candy and send your trick-or-treaters on their way.

If you liked this project, you might also like:

DIY Rainbow Pumpkins
How to Decorate Pumpkins with Succulents
Pumpkin Leaf Favors

DIY Ox for Chinese New Year

The Chinese zodiac is a repeating 12-year cycle of animal signs based on the lunar calendar. In order, the zodiac animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. 2021 is the year of the Ox, and the Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, marks the transition from one zodiac animal to the next.

Much like the zodiac signs we know as horoscopes, each Chinese zodiac animal represents personality traits, romantic compatibility, and what fortune the year will bring. In Chinese culture, the ox is a valued animal because of its role in agriculture and its positive attributes. People born in the year of the Ox distinguish themselves as honest and hard-working. Because of their honest and earnest character traits, they are reliable and trustworthy. They tend to be low-key and never look for praise, but their hard work often leads to recognition. These are only some of the traits associated with people born in the year of the Ox. Find more here.

Make Your Own Year of the Ox Party Decor

Supplies:

Pencil or marker, cardboard, craft knife, paper or packing tape, hot glue gun (with LOTS of glue sticks for all that fringe), acrylic or tempera craft paint and a paintbrush, brown tissue paper (multiple shades make a nice look, but only one is necessary), scissors, red, white, and tan cardstock, and red, yellow, and green crepe paper. 

Instructions:

  1. Draw a basic ox body shape onto a piece of cardboard and cut it out (you can add the horns and ears later!)
  2. Using the first cutout ox, trace and cut out another. Now you have both sides of your piñata.
  3. Cut long strips of corrugated cardboard 3 inches wide. You want the corrugation running perpendicular to the length of the strip so that it can bend easily to your ox’s contours.
  4. Using paper or packing tape and starting with one side at a time, attach the cardboard strips to the perimeter of the ox. Add more cardboard strips as needed to wrap around the entire circumference of the ox body. 
  5. Affix the other side of your ox with your tape. The ox should become 3D at this point.
  6. Wrap the hooves in tissue paper (about 11×11 inch squares worked well for us) and secure with glue.
  7. Cut long strips of tissue paper fringe (we used a mix of browns to get a pretty variegated look). The strips should be about three inches tall with fringe slits cut up about two inches.
  8. Working from bottom to top and wrapping around your ox’s body, glue down the fringe. You can alternate colors as desired, but it looks nice to have a base color you come back to. 
  9. Accessorize! Cut eyes, ears, and rosy cheeks out of cardstock and glue them to your ox. Cut two horns from cardboard and paint them, then glue them to your ox’s head. We made a tail by gluing some extra tissue paper fringe to a ribbon and attaching it to the ox’s rump.
  10. Make red paper peonies. Cut out a small rectangle (¾ by 2 inches or so) of yellow crepe paper and cut fringe into it, then roll it up to form the center of the flower. Secure with hot glue. Cut out red crepe paper petals and shape them by slightly stretching the middle to get a cup shape. Ruffle the tops of the petals by stretching small sections along the petals’ tops. Glue the petals to the yellow center. Cut out a few green crepe paper leaves and attach them to your ox along with your peonies.

This year, we wanted to lift our dreary winter moods in February by looking to world festivities. The Lunar New Year, aka Spring Festival, seemed like a fun celebration to set the tone for the coming spring. Display our DIY Ox as a lucky centerpiece to welcome the new year and all that it has in store for us.

Christmas Decor Kit + Virtual Workshop: Crepe Paper Bottle Brush Trees

I have a thing for bottle brush trees. Since making our first project with them, I’ve decided they will be a staple in my Christmas decor every year. My favorite part is you can use them to curate your own Christmas color scheme! Whether you purchase an existing colorful set (like this one from Terrain, or this ombré version from Maisonette, or this pastel set just added to our very own Lars Shop!) or dye your own custom colors with our DIY tutorial, they are such a fun piece of Holiday decor.

Last year, I wanted a rainbow of trees in bigger sizes, but couldn’t find a white set to dye in the size I was dreaming of. Well, there is only one place my instantly goes in a situation this like – to paper! Crafting something out of paper is my solution for most problems I run into. Hence our hack for colorful bottle brush trees was born – our DIY crepe paper tree tutorial.

This season our team is taking this one step further – for our most simple version yet, we are releasing this special edition kit! With the help of your own Crepe Paper Bottle Brush Tree Kit, you’ll only have to take care of the fun parts of creating your own rainbow of mini Christmas trees.

Each Crepe Paper Bottle Brush Tree Kit Includes

Supplies to make thirteen (up to) 12″ tall trees each in a unique shade!

  • 13 assorted crepe paper colors of the rainbow
  • 13 – 12 inch wooden skewers
  • 13 – 1 inch drilled wooden rounds
  • Access to virtual workshop with video tutorial
  • Template

As I mentioned before, our yearly goal is to make this top Christmas project of ours more and more accessible. Crepe paper is one of my favorite project supplies, but finding it not in bulk can be tricky! And unless you’re planning an entire forest of rainbow Christmas trees this year, chances are you don’t need much paper in each color. The purpose of this kit is to give you just the supplies you need for a great set, without you over-spending on endless crepe paper you don’t have a need for. Leaving you with time on your hands for all the other Christmas shopping, and some extra $ in your budget!

Cross this off your Christmas to-do list (without needing to check it twice!)

We’ve already done half the work for you – shopped out the best supplies, narrowed it down to only what you need, packaged it up nicely, and will have it delivered right to your door! All that is left is for you to have some fun making your own bottle brush tree set with the help of my video tutorial. You will be given access to the virtual workshop with the purchase of your kit. You can access this video workshop at any time.

Pre-preorder information

This exclusive bottle brush tree kit is currently only available for pre-order! Place your order by Tuesday November 3rd in order to receive your kit in plenty of time for the Holidays. After 11/3 the pre-order will be closed and we cannot guarantee this kit will be available again in the future.

Click here to purchase your Crepe Paper Bottle Brush Tree Kit

Because this project is made of paper it can be stored and used for years to come! Order your kit now to make your holiday decorating crafty AND simple.

DIY Accordion Christmas Village

Today we are sharing another DIY Christmas Village (similar to one we posted last week), but this one is an accordion style and you can use the templates right here from our shop to either hand cut it out OR use a craft cutting machine to do it for you.

I just love the anticipation of Christmas, and a cute village on your mantel with fluffy cotton ball clouds and bottle brush trees just adds to the magic of the season. I like to put little twinkle lights behind the village for an added glow. Here, I added in our heirloom nativity (you can see the tutorial here!)

With this particular DIY Christmas Village, you only need to do a bit of assembly so it’s for someone who has only a sitcom’s worth of time to work on something. This village can sit as a lovely silhouette in your windowsill for passerby to admire.

DIY Accordion Christmas Village

Here’s how to do it for both the craft cutting machines or hand cut!

Materials

See above!

You can get the templates here

Instructions

  1. Use either the SVG or the PDF files, depending on how you want to cut it out. PDF files are for those wanting to hand cut it out and the SVG files are for those who can put it in their craft cutting machines.
  2. To handcut: Use the template to cut out the pieces with your ruler and craft knife.
  3. Craft cutting machine: Each “house” is meant for a different 8.5×11″ page so you’ll need to assemble them together. If you want them to be SUPER sturdy, I’d recommend cutting the tabs at the bottom off a bit and taping them together so that the buildings sit side by side.

Check out our other Christmas village here (this one is also an advent calendar!).

If you like this project, you might also like: 

DIY Peppermint Pig Pinata
Heirloom Nativity Set
Family Tree Ornaments

DIY Shamrock Pom-Pom hack!

DIY Three leaf and four leaf pom hack

We have both a three leaf and a four leaf version, depending on how lucky you aim to be. You can find the directions and supplies in our Shamrock e-book.

Plus! Look at all these amazing green colors!

 

You can find the Shamrock Pom Pom hack in our e-book here.

Green yarn we love!

We want wait to see how your Shamrock Pom-Poms turn out! Make sure to tag us with #Luckylars!

Printable Cookie Box with Arlo’s Cookies

These Christmas cookies might (might!) be too pretty to eat! I mean, can you even tell that they’re cookies?! Arlo’s Cookies is the BEST! She has an awesome holiday workshop happening right now. You can also find her Guide to Mixing Colors here. If I wasn’t such an inept baker, I’d be right there with you!

We did a adorable Valentine’s Gift Box collaboration with Arlo’s back in February (doesn’t that seem like years ago?!).

This year we are making a set of cookies inspired by our DIY mid-century nativity. We’re even launching a printable gift box to match the cookies which folds into a house shape. You can safely deliver these to your neighbor’s porches and spread some Christmas cheer!

Printable Christmas Nativity Cookie Box

This cookie box is awaiting to be made. Here’s how to do it!

Materials:

See above (the printable you can find here)

Instructions:

  1. Cut out the template
  2. Cut in between the two pitched lines at the top of the house (see second photo on right. There’s a solid line indicating where that is).
  3. Start scoring all the dotted lines.
  4. Once the lines are scored, fold back all the lines.
  5. Start gluing the tabs to the walls.
  6. You can either glue the tops of the pitched gables in place or secure with a light double sided stick tape so that it can be opened by the receiver.

Optional: Use a hole punch at the top for the tabs and secure with a ribbon!

Head on over to our Shop to see more cute printables and templates!

If you liked this project, you might like the following

Make your own Holiday Nesting Dolls
DIY Bottlebrush Christmas Trees
Printable Santa Lucia crown

This project was done in collaboration with Arlo’s Cookies,

DIY Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tablescape

We’ve loved using Anagram for other balloon projects, like our DIY Jingle Bell Balloons for Christmas, and more recently, our Halloween Ghost Installation

Balloon projects are awesome because they don’t require a ton of skill (although they can be time-consuming depending on how big you go) but they always look impressive and joyful! They’re one of those projects that are hard to mess up. I am very excited to share this balloon installation because it has just as much impact, but needs significantly less time than our past balloon projects!

The theme for this project is…(drumroll please)…The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! If you’ve been a Lars reader for a while, you might recognize this project from four years ago. I love using the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a theme for Thanksgiving day parties. It’s so fun and makes for a clever twist on the normal turkeys and leaves everywhere this time of year. I am all for traditions, but this might be the perfect year to replace your mom’s ancient fall tablecloth with this unique theme (though I love that too!)

Bring The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade To Your Own Feast

As soon as the realization hit me that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will not be the same this year, I immediately knew this was the year this project needed to be revamped. We still don’t know all the details for the actual parade, but like everything else this in 2020, it’s sure to be different. We do know that nobody will be watching the parade in person, including New Yorkers, but for most of us that doesn’t change that we can watch the parade on TV. Luckily my panicked googling confirmed at least that much. 

My one consolation is that I can bring the parade to my very own Thanksgiving party this year! We partnered with Anagram to make this Thanksgiving theme bigger and better than ever. This year, create an entire balloon installation with the directions below. We even included printable versions of the cityscape to make your decorating as simple as possible, without sacrificing the wow factor.

How To Make Your Own Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tablescape

Materials:

Instructions:
  1. Figure out how long your table is and how much you want to fill of it with cityscape. One copy of our printable cityscape should fill about 3’.
  2. Cut out the buildings and attach them to foam core.
  3. Cut out the buildings with a craft knife.
  4. Use glasses to prop up the city scape (or make your own stands by creating a wing attached to each one)
  5. Blow up your balloons with a pump and seal shut. 
  6. Attach them to a balloon stick and then attach to the backs of the city scape with tape
  7. Set your table! We included these printable taxi cab place cards to complete the look.

For our table, we used plates from Knot and Bow, cups from Knot and Bow, napkins from Oh Happy Day. 

Creating this wonderful balloon centerpiece for your Thanksgiving holiday will bring some much-needed cheer. Plus, like all our balloon projects, you can reuse them every year! This balloon installation would go wonderfully with our Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Printables.

This post is sponsored by Anagram. We love our sponsors who allow us to create beautiful original content!

 

Interview with Sofia Vusir Jansson

Interview with Sofia Jansson of Mokkasin

What do you consider yourself? 

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

Who helped you “become” who you are?

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

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

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

What more would you like to “become”? 

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

Where did you study, and what did you study? 

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

How did you get started doing what you do? 

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

When did you discover your love for your work? 

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

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

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

What’s your goal with your work? 

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

What are you most proud of in your career? 

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

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

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

What is it like working with your family? 

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

How did your childhood influence what you have become? 

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

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

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

What’s your work space like? 

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

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

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

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

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

How has social media influenced your work? 

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

Who is your work intended for? 

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

What’s inspiring you lately?

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

You can find Sofia:

Instagram @sofiaatmokkasin
Website of Sofia

Photos of Sofia by Kristen Krickelin