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

Thanksgiving Table Decor

Thanksgiving Table Decor

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

one table two ways

Larsgiving Table Decor

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

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

The centerpiece

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

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

Dinnerware

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

Gold Silverware
Brown plates

color block napking

Spoonflower tablecloth

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

Spoonflower napkins

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

how to sew a corner

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

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

My personal Thanksgiving table decor

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

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

The centerpiece

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

Dinnerware

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

Gold silverware
White plates (similar)

Spoonflower tablecloth

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

Spoonflower napkins

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

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

Shop the look:

More Inspiration

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

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

Rainbow Product Gift Guide

Apart from the fact that it’s a lot of fun, I have a really good reason to share my favorite rainbow products! Color is the place to start when you’re putting together a design.

Brittany holding colorful paper in a rainbow dress.

Sometimes when you’re designing a space or an outfit, there are simply too many options. Have you ever felt that? You look through your drawers or your closet and you see a whole range of things you like, but putting them together in a cohesive way is where the trouble starts.

Well, I propose a solution (and maybe just a life motto in general!): look to color! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by options, take a step back and really think about what colors you want to use in your design, your room or your outfit. If you get a good color scheme, the rest can fall into place. See? Even Jasper gets it! #JasperLinesThingsUp

color match your toys to the rainbow with sidewalk chalk

Color is also a great place to begin looking for gifts, so consider this a rainbow gift guide, too. Got a wedding coming up? You can’t go wrong with something gorgeous in the happy couple’s favorite color. Birthday? Same. I’ve found that I’m a better, more creative gift-giver when I consider color.

And I attest to this! Whenever we start a project or DIY, we start with a color palette. It makes the rest of the decisions so much easier. So without further ado, a guide of my favorite rainbow products and items in all hues!

Red

Red is a bright color with lots of impact.

Pink

Look, I know that pink isn’t traditionally part of that ROYGBIV rainbow we all memorized. But let’s be honest–it deserves a spot alongside the rest. Like, do you really think that the color indigo holds more cultural cache than pink?? Yeah, right. Here are my favorite pink gifts.

Orange

Orange you glad that warm hues are in? I sure am!

Yellow

All these yellow products are so cheerful and lovely. From books to decor to roller skates, we’ve got your gift-giving back.

Green

One day I’ll write a whole blog post about why I believe that green counts as a neutral (it’s everywhere in nature!) but for now just check out these gorgeous green gifts.

Blue

There are so many gorgeous tints, shades, and hues of blue that I have a (not so) secret theory that everyone loves blue. Look at these and just try to deny it.

Violet

Violet is such a regal color. I also think of lilacs, lavender, violets (duh), crocuses, and all kinds of lovely flowers. These are sure to bring that calm, cozy energy to your space.

Rainbow

You didn’t think I could just go through the individual colors and leave out rainbow, multicolored things, did you? No way. It’s not a rainbow product gift guide without a section dedicated to all things rainbow. And who knew that there were so many lovely rainbow mugs, right?

Of course, don’t forget my book, Craft the Rainbow which you can find in our shop here.

Craft the Rainbow book on a table with a brass hand-shaped lamp against a striped wall.

Every time you buy something from one of our affiliate links, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Yay!

Thanksgiving table ideas for kids

Thanksgiving table ideas for kids

I’m a big fan of the kid’s table for Thanksgiving and I love the idea of making it a celebration and a memorable experience. You can achieve this with some cute decorations, games, and activities. And guess what? We’ve got them all! Plus, I’ll include some jazzy accessories to go with it all.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Table idea

This printable Thanksgiving Day parade theme by far our most popular for Thanksgiving. While I think it would be super fun for any table for Thanksgiving, it’s a pretty appropriate one for the kid’s table. Especially if you watch the parade that morning too–how fun would that be?!

Bonus tip: You can either print off the NYC skyline in advance and make it yourself OR you can have the kids cover boxes and make the DIY version like this one below.

We even have a printable taxi for name cards, which you can also use for the adult table.

Thanksgiving activities for kids

The focus of Thanksgiving is the meal, so let’s focus on the table! This Thanksgiving printable coloring placemat is a fun and decorative idea that also provides some entertainment. Set out some colored pencils or markers and let the kids go wild!

Thanksgiving printable placemat coloring page from The House That Lars Built

We also have this turkey dinner printable coloring placemat. So cute!

Thanksgiving games for kids

After the meal, provide some of the games for kids–they’ll have a ball! We have printable Bingo cards, Mad Libs, and Would you Rather?.

bingo games on a blue background. It's very colorful.

 

Would you rather printable games on a pink background.

Thanksgiving garlands

A festive idea for the kid’s table is to add in a boatload of Thanksgiving inspired paper garlands. We even added in some “gobble gobble” signs at the chairs! Use your craft cutting machine to speed up the time!

Paper bag turkey centerpiece

A fun craft project to make with the kids is this paper bag turkey that you can fill with popcorn. I mean…too cute!

Pie Crust decorations

Let the kids add some food coloring to the pie crust! I love these plant-based food coloring variety packs too, which make it that much safer!

Here are some fun ideas to add to your table:

I’d love to hear what your ideas are for the kid’s table for Thanksgiving! What has worked for you? 

Dye in every shade of the rainbow using natural ingredients and DIY Napkins

Nectar, which one might describe as being the Yellow of the Gods. Yellow, as defined by the dictionary, “is the color between green and orange in the spectrum, a primary subtractive color complementary to blue; colored like ripe lemons or egg yolks.” In the dictionary of Brittany Jepsen, I like to define it as “the happiest color.” Nectar is the most vibrant perfect yellow you have ever laid your eyes upon.

The second color of the year is…Artichaut! It’s a deep, rich green (think artichoke!). Some shades of green can be hard to use and fully appreciate at times when it’s not quite the right shade or hue, but it is impossible NOT to appreciate Artichaut.

Green is essentially the color of life. It is associated with nature, growth, harmony, and also envy but trust me, you aren’t going to be feeling any of that with this green in your kitchen! It is the perfect green to go in any home and it’s definitely the green that is going to get me a-cookin’!

Speaking of cooking, I decided that the best way to start cooking would be to “cook” up some natural dyes in the color of the rainbow to create the most beautiful linen napkins to accompany these gorgeous colored cookware. What can I say? Baby steps! From red cabbage to raspberries, the Lars team cooked up some colors that your eyes will not believe! 

Materials to dye with natural ingredients: 

Directions: 

Fabric Preparation: 

  1. Cut fabric to 17” x 17” squares using a rotary cutter. 
  2. Prep fabric for dyeing with vinegar and salt. For all of your vegetable based dyes, use vinegar to set them and for fruit based dyes you will use salt. 
  3. For the vinegar, pour 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups water into a pot and bring it to a boil. If you have a larger dye batch, be sure to adjust liquid measurements accordingly.
  4. Place your fabric into the vinegar water solution and let the fabric boil for one hour. 
  5. For the salt, pour 1/2 cup salt and 3 cups of water into a pot and bring it to a boil. If you have a larger dye batch be sure to adjust salt and liquid measurements accordingly.
  6. Place your fabric into the salt water solution and let the fabric boil for one hour. 
  7. Rinse and it’s now ready to use! 

While these are boiling you can get going on dyes!

How to dye red using natural ingredients

  1. Skin and cube the beets. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dyeing. For every 1 cup of beets you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the beets into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with beets to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour.
  7. Bring the beets and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove beets with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water. 
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

How to dye pink using natural ingredients

  1. Remove the stems from strawberries and any leaves from raspberries. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of fruit you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the strawberries and raspberries into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with fruit to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the beets and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove beets with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water. 
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

How to dye orange using natural ingredients

  1. Peel the dry skin off of the onion. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of peels you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the peels into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with peels in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the peels and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove peels with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

How to dye yellow using natural ingredients

  1. Peel your oranges and lemons. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of peels you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the peels into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with peels in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the peels and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove peels with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry! 

How to dye green using natural ingredients

  1. Measure out 1 cup of spinach. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of spinach you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the spinach into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with spinach in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the spinach and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove spinach with sieve.
  9. Wet fabric with cold water. 
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry! 

How to dye purple using natural ingredients

  1. Measure out 1 cup of blueberries and blackberries. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of fruit you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the spinach into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with spinach in it to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the fruit and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove fruit with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry! 

How to dye blue using natural ingredients:

  1. Slice the cabbage. 
  2. Pour water into the pot you are using for dying. For every 1 cup of cabbage you pour in you will want to add 2 cups of water. Be sure to adjust the measurements depending on how much dye you would like to make. You will want to make enough to fully submerge your fabric into the dye.   
  3. Pour the beets into the water.  
  4. Bring the water with beets to a boil. 
  5. Turn down the heat to a low. 
  6. Let simmer for an hour. 
  7. Bring the cabbage and water to room temperature. 
  8. Remove cabbage with sieve. 
  9. Wet fabric with cold water.
  10. Place wet fabric in the dye. 
  11. Let sit for a minimum of one hour. The longer you leave it in the dye the more vibrant the color will be. 
  12. Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with cold water. 
  13. Set out to dry!

Sewing a napkin:

We decided to complete our table with a homemade napkin using our dyes. Here’s how to get the look.

  1. Cut the fabric edges straight and trim away any strings that have frayed.
  2. Press the edges ½-inch to the back of the fabric and pin in place.
  3. Repeat step two so that all of your sides have been folded down twice. Press the edge fold and mark along the inside edge of the second fold with chalk.
  4. Once you have all the sides marked, unfold the second fold. Mark with a dot where your lines have intersected on all four corners.
  5. Bring the corners to meet the dots you have made.
  6. Make a deep crease and mark with chalk on that line. Make sure it is visible as this is the line you will be stitching through later.
  7. Fold the fabric so the corner is pointed and the line you made earlier is visible on both sides. Stitch through the line you marked. Start and end the stitch with back stitching.
  8. Cut the extra seam allowance and press the seam open.
  9. Turn the edge inside out and stitch along the folds to keep it in place! 
  10. Once you have completed these steps you can finish the napkin edge with a tight zig-zag stitch along the edge. 
  11. To create the zig zag edge place your machine on the zig-zag stitch, your stitch width at 1 and your needle position at 5. 
  12. Finish each edge with the zig-zag stitch in a  contrasting color for a fun decoration!
  13. Trim any thread hanging off. 

Le Creuset colors of the year

We loved working on this rainbow project that was so beautifully brought to life by our friends at Le Creuset.  We now want to dye everything these incredible shades of the rainbow and do all of our dying in their dutch ovens! *Hint* we’re thinking tablecloths! I may not be the best cook but something tells me I may just be doing a bit more cooking thanks to these gorgeously colored items!

Be sure to tag us so we can see your incredible creations with #larsmakes!  

This post is sponsored by Le Creuset. We love our sponsors who allow us to create beautiful, original content for you! 

Valentine’s Day traditions

Valentine’s Day Traditions

I’m going to venture to say that a part of the reason that Valentine’s Day has been hyped up so much, besides the history and symbolism of it all, is because after Christmas and New Year’s we need something to look forward to. It’s the height of winter, it’s pretty bleak and boring and gosh darn it, we need some red and pink in our lives!

History of Valentine’s Day

That said, there IS a long history to the holiday, which I find super fascinating. Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14th that has its origins in ancient Rome. The holiday was originally called Lupercalia, and it was celebrated as a fertility festival. As part of the festival, men would draw the names of women from a jar and pair up with them for the duration of the festival–(really hoping the women had a choice in the matter–anyone know?!).

In the 5th century AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day, in honor of a martyr named Valentine who was believed to have been executed on that day. The Catholic Church recognizes several saints named Valentine, but the exact identity of the one honored on Valentine’s Day is unclear.

Over time, Valentine’s Day evolved into a day to express love and affection between romantic partners. People began to exchange gifts, such as flowers and chocolates (two of my favorite things), and write love letters to their loved ones.

Valentine’s Day tradition ideas

As you know, I LOVE this holiday and we’ve been sharing ways to celebrate for years and years. Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate love in all its forms that would make terrific traditions!

My rules about traditions

There aren’t “rules” per se, but I’m pretty insistent on not taking on anything that overwhelms you. Find traditions that work with your interests and time constraints, otherwise you’re setting yourself up for unmet expectations. I’ve been there and done that! Take these as ideas, not have-tos!

Valentine’s Day advent calendar

Ok! Let’s start! I say, why not get all the excitement out of every holiday as we can?! Why leave an advent calendar just for Christmas?! We made countdown for Valentine’s Day and I have to say–it’s a great way to build excitement!

Valentine’s Day Cards

A classic and simple way to express love is to write a card for Valentine’s Day. I’m talking like when you’re in elementary school–handing out cards. You can do store bought cards, of course, but there’s something lovely about making your own, or even just folding a piece of paper in a unique way. We have a ton of printable options and handmade ideas.

Handmade Valentine’s Day Cards

Making Valentine cards by hand is always my ultimate goal (now, do I actually do it??? that’s the real question…). Here are some ideas!

Printable Valentine’s Day cards for teens and adults

Printable Valentine’s Day cards for kids

Valentine’s Day Giftables

A simple card is great, but add on a little tiny gift to it and it becomes a gift-able, which is  that much better! These would be great for a neighbor or friend gift to hand out.

Tootsie Pop Cherry Valentines

More Valentine giftable ideas

Friendship bracelets with hearts.

Valentine’s Day Party Ideas

A Valentine’s Day party, or Galentine’s Day, my favorite form of the Valentine’s Day party, is a great tradition idea. This year I’m wanting to do a Valentine exchange party where we all make some and hand them out.

 Valentine’s Day Party Decor

A party themed around love is the best kind to throw. Here are some beautiful ideas to add to your event:

Valentine’s Day food

Valentine’s Day games

Table top games are a fun idea for the event!

Valentine’s Day Home Decor

accordion heart wreath

Valentine’s Day artwork

An art print up on the wall gets you in the spirit of the season. Here are some favorites:

Give a Valentine’s Day gift

A gift for a loved one is a great idea. Chocolate and flowers is super traditional and in my mind a super win/win. BUT, use this wrapping of sweet cherries or truffles and it takes it up a notch 😉

Valentine’s Day accessories

If you’re not one to dress up all in red and pink on Valentine’s Day (and I ask you to reconsider), maybe a simple accessory is more your style. Here are some DIY projects to get you in the mood:

wearing red and pink on Valentine's Day
Me on Valentine’s Day last year

DIY Valentine's Day heart collar pin

Valentine’s Day box

For the school-aged kids, a Valentine’s Day box is tradition (at least around these parts!). I love going over the top! Here are some ideas for you.

Valentine’s Day tradition ideas from around the world

In modern times, Valentine’s Day is a day for couples to express their love for one another. Many people give gifts, such as flowers, chocolates, and jewelry, to their partners. It is also common for couples to go out for a romantic dinner or take a trip together. Some people also choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their friends and family members.

Valentine’s Day is also a popular time for proposals and weddings. Some people choose to propose or get married on Valentine’s Day to make the occasion even more special.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is celebrated differently around the world. For example, in South Korea, it is common for women to give chocolate gifts to men, while in Japan, it is the opposite, where men give gifts to women.

Valentine’s Day traditions from readers

I asked our Instagram community for their traditions and you had a lot to say. Pretty much-you are all better people than me. I love these ideas! There were so many that I had to divide them up into themes.

For the kids

  • “My kids always made their own Valentine’s. This was pre-Pinterest!”
  • “We make a poster for each family member and each write something we love about each other every day until the 14th” [a lot of people contributed something along these lines]
  • “Homemade sugar cookies with our names frosted on them!”
  • “A small box of chocolates for each person and a heart pizza with a rom com for dinner.” [pizza was a big theme for a lot of people!]
  • “A scavenger hunt with clues for a small Valentine gift basket at the end”
  • “Writing a little note to my kids in lipstick on the bathroom mirror”
  • “Fancy breakfast, kids wake to decorate table, love notes, balloons, new book and treats”
  • “My mother would make heart shaped chocolate lollipops and set them at our bed to surprise us”
  • “I felt like it was a dumb commercial holiday, but when my kids were tiny we started “lovefest”. I make them each a handmade Valentine. It sits by their plate at dinner. We go around the table and everyone says what they love about each person. My teenage boys act like they HATE it! But they get the sweetest embarrassed smiles through the whole thing.”

For the partner or loved one

  • “My husband does at-home spa night for me and pretends to be a spa employee”
  • “We always celebrated my mom and I. A date, flowers, small gift, that sort of thing.”
  • “We do a fancy family dinner and candles and balloons and candy for all”
  • “We always celebrate it on groundhog’s day instead because we’re weird and it’s easier to find a sitter”
  • “Our Valentine’s date involves going together to pick out new cologne and perfume”
  • “We go to the ballet every year”
  • “Order Thai food and watch Princess Bride”
  • “As a kid and still, I always get a love note from my mom”
  • “Watching Notting Hill and slow dancing to our wedding song plus eating take out”
  • “No matter the day it falls on we take the day off and my husband I spend it together”

Valentines Day Craft Roundup

For others

  • “Send out a family Valentine’s Day letter instead of a Christmas card. Less hectic time of year.”
  • “I make handmade Valentines for my girlfriends. Usually a garland so they can decorate!”
  • “I like giving chocolate and a pretty card to girlfriends”
  • “I make little ornaments on cardstock with small bags of candy for friends”
  • “We wrap nice chocolate bars with Valentine wraps and hand them out to friends all day”Pink and blue house-shaped cookie boxes next to a green squiggly background and some heart-shaped cookies

Valentine’s Meals

  • “Heart-shaped meatloaf”
  • “Breakfast for dinner! Pancakes with lots of toppings!”
  • “My mom used to make me brownies and cut them into hearts with cookie cutters”
  • “Artichokes and Cornish game hens for dinner. IDK why, but we did it once andkept it going.”
  • “Make heart-shaped pizza for dinner”
  • “Pink sauce pasta for dinner”

Phew!!! Ok, that’s a LOT Of ideas! Remember, these ideas aren’t meant to overwhelm you. You don’t have to do any of them! Pick and choose what you want according to your interests and time constraints. What’s important is that you find something that works for you and is meaningful so it becomes a beautiful tradition.

Let me know how it goes!

DIY Printable Advent Village Calendar

What’s more exciting than the delicious anticipation of that Christmas morning? In an effort to maintain some of that magic through the month of December, I love using an advent calendar. When I was a child, we would fight over the little chocolates or treasures my mom put inside the little pockets. Then, mom got tired of the candy and replaced it with wooden stars. We still fought over them. Our printable advent calendar is adorable, easy to assemble, and doesn’t involve any candy…so here’s hoping your kids won’t fight over it.

Printable Advent Calendar

Check out some of our other advent calendars from past years. We did a Christmas Bulb one (like a paper chain, but cuter and more Christmas-y), a Christmas Photo Advent Challenge, and an Acts of Service Advent Calendar (my personal favorite). After all, I think we could all use some extra service this year.

How to make a DIY advent village calendar

Here’s how to make our village advent! It includes some sweet details like a craft shop, book store, market, boulangerie. It’s too sweet!

Materials

Print off the printable village. There are 25 pieces:

7 – Tall houses
7 – Small houses
5 – Medium houses
5 – Trees
1 – Medium Christmas house

Instructions for cutting out the houses

  1. Cut out the house around the edges
  2. With your scoring device (we used a craft knife and lightly ran the blade over the lines), score the tabs, and each side of the house. You’ll also score the lines under rectangle roofs.
  3. Neatly fold each line.
  4. Cut the the two tabs between the triangle roofs.
  5. Glue the base of the house first
  6. Then glue the side tab of the house
  7. Lastly, glue the roof together. If you want to be able to access the top of the roof for presents or candy, use a light tape or leave it as is.

How to make the Christmas Trees

  1. Cut around the whole shape
  2. In order to fit the template onto one page, we assembled each of the four faces together. Now you will cut off the pieces so that there are four individual pieces, making sure that you leave the tabs.
  3. Score the tabs. We did this with light craft knife lines and a metal ruler.
  4. At the top of the two tree triangles that have the tabs, cut off a bit of the tab so that it is a more narrow angle.
  5. Fold the scored lined tabs in place.
  6. Lightly score the bottom rectangle. This will act as the base of the tree.
  7. Now you’ll assemble with glue each of the triangle shapes into a star formation using the tabs.
  8. Your finished star will glue a tab triangle piece to a non-triangle piece.
  9. Now, bring up the tabs and glue the sides together. If you’d like to access them, use a non permanent double sided stick tape.

Display tips: Display your village on a mantle or shelf OR you could even tie each one up onto a cute branch.

Would love to see yours in the wild. Tag us with #LarsMakes or #HolidayswithLars so we can check them out! 

If you liked this project, you might also like:

DIY oversized paper stockings
DIY Bottlebrush Christmas tree hack
Rainbow ombre advent calendar

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!

Our top ten!

Our top ten!

I’m going to do it Letterman style by starting with our top ten and working our way down the list. Do you have any guesses what they could be? Any personal faves? Honestly, I wouldn’t have guessed any of them myself–ha! But you just don’t know!

10. DIY Paper Sunflower

In homage to Ukraine, we made some paper sunflowers as a reminder of the people’s strength and courage at such a difficult time.

As you know, we love a good paper flower and had yet to do it, so it’s a great time to make the DIY paper sunflower. I had also done an Instagram Live with an amazing Ukrainian embroidery artist in Ukraine to learn how to do their iconic Ukrainian star. You can see that here. That was a real highlight for me this year.

9. Papier Mache Vase

We took a nod from former Lars contributor, Corrie Beth Hogg, for this one. I wanted a vase to match our new kitchen so we did a papier mache version. I love how it turned out!

The wonderful thing about papier mache is that you can make it in whatever shape and style you want. Here’s how to make a papier mache vase!

8. Are you scared of color? 

I announced a new direction to Lars, after some internal discussions focusing on color. I’ve talked about the trend of society moving away from color and I realized there had been times in my life when I was Color Scared. Here’s the essay about being afraid of using color.

I plan on addressing this more this year so stay tuned!

7. DIY Paper Heart Wreath  

2022 was a year of wreaths! We did one for every holiday including this DIY paper heart wreath. We made some ombre templates to go with it. You seemed to like it too!

accordion heart wreath

You can find the full paper heart wreath here. And see below for the top wreath of the year!

6. How to celebrate your 40th birthday

I turned 40 in June last year but we were right in the middle of a crazy project so I ended up postponing activities until September when I went on an amazing trip to France with my closest friends. It was incredible! I made this list to give more ideas about how to celebrate your 40th birthday.

I was curious how other people celebrated their 40th birthdays so I did some research and shared it with you here.

5. Paper palm wreath

Our paper palm was one of the most popular projects from 2019 so we decided to turn it into a wreath. I think it would be perfect for spring time!

You can find the full tutorial for the paper palm wreath here.

4. Paper orchid

The flower making bonanza continues with this beautiful paper orchid. Honestly, real life orchids are very tough for me to keep alive so this paper version is just what I needed!

3. Shift here at Lars

I talked about a shift we are making here at Lars and I shared a bit of it here. We’ve had even more changes internally that I need to discuss with you soon!

2. How to thread a sewing machine

We started a new series about how to use your sewing machine properly and this post “how to thread a sewing machine” was your favorite! We also did a video series on Instagram. You gotta check out this song. It’s perfect wouldn’t you say?!

  1. Three ways to fold a love letter

Listen, I’m not saying that this isn’t a great post, but I have to admit how surprised I am by this being our number 1! Three ways to fold a love letter! I guess you are writing way more love letters than I ever imagined?! Ha!

There they are! Our top ten from 2022. I love them all even though I’m surprised by some of them. Let me know what you think in the comments. And if there’s anything you’d like to see this year, let me know!

Valentines Napkin Folding Guide

Materials:

The Geometric Heart Napkin

Find the instructions here!

The Love Letter Napkin

Find the instructions here and the Love Postcard insert Here!

The Good Fortune Napkin

Find the instructions here!

The Simple Heart Napking

Find the Directions here!

Be sure to tag us with #LarsLovesLove so we can see those tables in all their love and glory!

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!

 

New Year’s traditions

New Year’s Traditions

New Year's traditions

While New Year’s Eve always creeps up on me, I do love the idea of doing something to indicate the momentous occasion of a fresh new year. Here are some traditions to make New Year’s Eve and Day something to remember.

New Year’s Eve Crowns

new year's crowns

Whether you’re attending a party or celebrating from your sofa, one way to mark the occasion is with a paper crown. Paper crowns are typically found in a festive cracker or popper, but you can go straight to the festive crown with our printable New Year’s Eve crowns (see above) or make a DIY winter glam version (see below). We also have these astrological printable crowns as well as these super fun patterned crowns and these art deco inspired crowns.

Fun Fact: The paper crown tradition can be traced back to the ancient Romans, who wore festive headgear to celebrate Saturnalia, a festival that took place around the winter solstice.

star crown

New Year’s Crackers Poppers

Our friends in the UK love a good cracker (or popper? Verdict is out!). We love a DIY version too! We have these printable poppers that will do the trick!

New Year’s Eve Countdown

You can put on the Time Square Coutdown or you can make your own! I love this DIY countdown backdrop where guests can indicate what time it is using hands of a clock.

Countdown to Midnight Backdrop

New Year’s Table

A celebratory table is sure to ring in the season. Take a nod from our Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade table, we did a Times Square version.

Rose Parade Table

I’m a big fan of the Rose Parade myself (even spent the night one year to get good seats!) so our Rose Parade Tablescape is a personal favorite. You could even let guests create their own that night!

Rose Parade Tablescape

Fireworks cake topper

One of my favorite cake toppers we’ve ever done is the fireworks display cake topper on a totally black cake. Isn’t it awesome! Here’s how to make it! We also have these sparklers cake topper idea.

Paper Firework Cake Topper

New Year’s Resolutions

Sometimes it’s nice to take a moment and reevaluate some goals for the year. In full transparency, I long to do this, but quiet times are more infrequent these days! Here’s a printable New Year’s Resolution page to get your juices flowing and to make it something beautiful to look at!

New Year’s Traditions

I asked for your New Year’s traditions on Instagram and here were some ideas:

  • New Year’s hike or massage
  • crab and a sweet with a coin baked in it
  • “My husband makes beignets and we watch the Rose parade”
  • “Organize/clean my house so that I won’t be totally embarrassed if someone asked for a tour”

I’d love to hear your traditions! Let me know in the comments!