Five Classic Christmas Crafts

Day One of Our Classic Christmas Week

Pomander with Becky Edwards

Becky and Brittany

 

The first of our classic Christmas crafts was pomanders. Becky Edwards graciously helped us make these. If you’re not familiar with pomanders, check out our original post here, were we go into more detail about what they are and their origin. Basically, they’re oranges with cloves stuck into them. Maybe you’ve seen them around, or even made them before? We love how good these lovely little decorations smell and look around the house at Christmastime! It’s also so easy–a perfect activity for you do to with your family or friends, and especially good for kids.

Pomander top view

Becky Edwards, if you haven’t heard, is running for senate. Well it turns out she’s also and avid crafter (amazing, I know)! In our original post, you can learn more about pomanders, and get to know Becky a little better as she crafts with me.

Here’s our original post on Pomanders.

Day Two of Our Classic Christmas Week

Cranberry Garlands with Ben Schilaty

horizontal Ben and Brittany

 

Our second classic Christmas craft was the cranberry garland, which we made with Ben Schilaty. I’m assuming you’ve seen these little beauties around at this time of year–they’ve been a Christmas classic for a long time. And for good reason! They’re beautiful, timeless, and festive–just the thing if the chilly winter weather is getting you down (that deep red does look beautiful against the snow, though).

cranberry garland

If you haven’t heard of Ben Schilaty, see our original post, where we introduce him and get to know him better as we make cranberry garlands together.

Day Three of Our Classic Christmas Week

Christmas Poppers with Romy-Krystal Cutler

Christmas poppers

Third on the list of our classic Christmas crafts was Christmas poppers! We made these with the vibrant and wonderful Romy-Krystal Cutler. If you haven’t seen our Christmas poppers before, you’re in for a treat. Literally. You can fill them up and give them to your friends, neighbors and loved ones just in time for Christmas! Romy has been featured on the blog previously, and I would encourage you to look at our classic Christmas craft post, where we feature her, to learn more.

Brittany and Romy

Here’s the original blog post! There, you can also access links to read more about Romy, after you’re done making your Christmas poppers.

Day Four of Our Classic Christmas Week

Snowflakes with Sheryl Ellsworth

Sheryl Ellsworth and Brittany

Who’s never made a paper snowflake? I would be surprised if more than a few hands went up. Paper snowflakes are such a classic Christmas craft, and have been around forever. I love a good paper snowflake! They’re extremely versatile, not to mention beautiful. I gush all about them here. And making them with a longtime friend of mine, Sheryl Ellsworth, was almost too good to be true.

horizontal paper snowflakes

You can read more about how to make a paper snowflake and watch the video with me and Sheryl here.

Day Five of Our Classic Christmas Week

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar with Pretty Life Girls

christmas bulb advent calendar

For the finale of our classic Christmas craft week, we invited Pretty Life Girls to make our Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar with us! Pretty Life Girls are crafters at heart. In fact, it’s what they do for a living, which means they did a pretty amazing job making this Larsified advent calendar.

Speaking of, advent calendars are one of those classic Christmas traditions that will always be on the docket for me. There are endless options, and this particular one is a favorite: it’s easy to make and equally pretty.

pretty life girls

Here’s the original post where you can read more about advents, and watch me make this one with Pretty Life Girls.

More Inspiration

If you loved learning about these classic Christmas crafts, you’ll probably enjoy this post where we compiled a list of our favorite Christmas decor ideas.

Christmas Decor Ideas

Paper Village Advent

Christmas Advent Calendars

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

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

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

Garlands

cranberry garland

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

wood bead garland

 

Here are our favorite seasonal Christmas garlands:

Wreaths

single arm wreath shot

 

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

Paper Mushroom Wreath

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

Ornaments and Tree Decorations

family heirloom ornaments

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

Paper Honeycomb Ornaments

 

Here are some of our favorite Christmas tree ornaments:

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

Shop Ornaments

Cake and Table Toppers

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

christmas cake topper

Here are our go-to cake and table toppers:

Crepe Paper Christmas Tree Cake Topper

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

pig pinata

Other Decorations

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

stockings

 

Oversized Paper Christmas Stars

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

More Inspiration

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

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

christmas bulb advent calendar

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

We couldn’t have our classic Christmas week without including an advent calendar. Advent calendars have been around since the 19th century, when families would mark the days in December until Christmas Eve with a chalk line. Well, we’ve come a long way since the chalk lines, but the tradition of counting down the days ’til Christmas still stands! We’ve made quite a few Christmas advent calendars in our day, but decided the perfect fit for this occasion was the Christmas bulb advent calendar. We love this fun variation on an advent calendar that doubles as a playful Christmas garland filled with little Christmas goodies, and who better to share it with than the Pretty Life Girls?

close close up

Introducing Liz and Sam of the Pretty Life Girls

If you haven’t heard of the Pretty Life Girls before, you are missing out. This was my first time meeting Liz and Sam in person, and wow, I was blown away by how fun they are! They are truly kindred spirits–crafters and bloggers at heart, they’re creatives who love making beautiful things and sharing them. Here’s their website if you’d like to learn more about them.

Brittany and Pretty Life Girls

The whole time they were in the studio, it felt full of life and Christmas cheer! We could have talked all day, and it took some self-restraint to keep the video to a realistic length. As you can imagine, as crafters themselves, they took the trickiest of our classic Christmas crafts of this week and made it look easy. Oh, and bonus, Sam brought her adorable baby with her.

Here’s the video of me, Liz and Sam making a Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar together:

How to Make your own Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

For a full tutorial on how to make your own Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar, we would recommend visiting our original tutorial that takes you through step by step. You can find the tutorial here.

christmas bulb advent calendar

How to Style your Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. One of my very favorite things about this advent calendar is how amazingly versatile it is! You can hang it on your mantlepiece, yes, but you can also drape it on your Christmas tree, hang it in a window, around a door, on the wall, or on the bannister. Seriously, the options are endless, and I’m sure there are more I failed to mention. This advent calendar’s bright, poppy colors are such a fun way to celebrate the holidays and add a little pizazz to your traditional seasonal decor.

Bulb opened

We would love to see what you do to style your Christmas Bulb Advent Calendars. Let us know!

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

More Inspiration

If you loved this episode of our classic Christmas week, we feel sure you’ll love the others! Pomanders with Becky Edwards, Cranberry Garlands with Ben Schilaty, Christmas Poppers with Romy-Krystal Cutler, and Snowflakes with Sheryl Ellsworth.

Cranberry Garlands with Ben Schilaty

Cranberry Garlands

We’re excited to be making cranberry garlands today! These are such a fun, festive tradition and the ruby red berries look so beautiful amidst all the green pine boughs and other Christmas decorations. We were curious how cranberries became associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we did a little research. We found that cranberry garlands became popular in the 1800s in colonial Massachusetts, partly because of their long shelf life. They were also harvested in the fall and winter, making them the perfect candidate for holiday decorations and food! Their beautiful red color sealed the deal and we’ve been hooked ever since. If you’ve never made a cranberry garland before, this is such a great Christmas craft to add to your repertoire. It’s so easy, and the result is magical. I had such a fun time making mine with Ben Schilaty!

cranberry garland

Introducing Ben Schilaty

First of all, Ben is my next-door neighbor! I didn’t know him nearly well enough, so I thought making cranberry garlands would be the perfect opportunity to get to know him a little better. If you didn’t know, Ben wrote a book called A Walk in My Shoeswhich is about his experience being a gay member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I would highly recommend! He also hosts a podcast with his friend, Charlie Bird (who is also a gay member of the same church), called Questions from the Closet, which also addresses being gay and members of their religion.

horizontal Ben and Brittany

Ben was such a fun guest to have join us! He also did an impeccable job on his cranberry garland, I must say. This is proof that getting to know your neighbors is a good thing! Here’s the video of us making the cranberry garlands:

Making Cranberry Garlands With Ben Schilaty

And now, here’s how you can make your own cranberry garland:

Cranberry garland

How to Make a Cranberry Garland

  1. First, measure how long you would like your garland to be. Cut a piece of string to that length, plus a few inches.
  2. Now take your string and thread it through your needle.
  3. Next, dump your bag of cranberries into a bowl for easy access.
  4. Now you can start threading the cranberries onto your string! Simply poke the needle through the middle of the cranberry and slide it all the way down. Tie a knot at the end so the berries don’t slide off the end
  5. Keep sliding cranberries along the string until it’s full.
  6. Remove the needle and tie a knot at the other end of the string. Clip the excess string.

Ta da!

close up of cranberry garland

This cranberry garland is such a versatile and beautiful Christmas decoration. You can use it to decorate your Christmas tree, string it along your mantlepiece, hang it along a wall, drape it around a window, and so much more. I love the little pop of color it can add to a room, too! The best part is, cranberries (as we mentioned before) have a great shelf life. They dry out after a while, but still look pretty that way. And after you’re done with them, they’re biodegradable, too!

We would love to see what you do with your cranberry garlands!

More Inspiration

If you had fun making cranberry garlands with us, we would recommend these other lovely Christmas crafts: Pomanders with Becky Edwards, Paper Poinsettia Wreath, Oversized Holly and Berry Garland, Christmas bulb advent calendar, holiday nesting dolls, paper honeycomb ornaments, DIY nativity puppets.

Christmas decorations gift guide

Our Lars Gift Guides will always point you to the most colorful, refined, yet whimsical items. I scoured the web to find those items for Christmas decorations. And honestly, I could have whole guides about each topic: advents, ornaments, candles, etc. This is so much fun to pick out. Here are the Christmas decorations on my wishlist right now!

Christmas decorations above:

  1. Christmas tree advent calendar
  2. Rainbow bauble
  3. Box of vintage inspired colorful ornaments
  4. Nathalie L’ete 12 Days of Christmas plates
  5. Folk Stocking
  6. Ombre Christmas tree candles
  7. Felt Floral Garland
  8. Gingerbread house welcome mat
  9. Rainbow striped stocking
  10. Elves Christmas crackers
  11. Alphabet felt ornaments
  12. Candy cane candle
  13. Bottle brush trees in rainbow shades (pinks)
  14. (greens)
  15. (blues)

And here’s more Christmas decorations to choose from!

This Christmas decorations gift guide is just the beginning. We have more in store. Stay tuned over the next week for the remaining gift guides. So many of them are on sale right now so it’s a perfect time to snag them.

Here are some more:

Christmas gifts for her
Christmas gifts for kids

Are you looking for anything in particular right now for your holiday shopping lists? If so, let us know! We’re happy to add them in!

How to get in the Halloween spirit this year

Halloween Printables in the Lars Shop

We have some really fun Halloween printables in our shop, and they’re sure to put you in the mood to celebrate! Whether you’re searching for costumes, decorations, cards, or candy gift boxes, get a head start on your Halloween planning necessities. Scroll down to see some of the items on sale in the shop!

Go all out with the holiday decor this year

I don’t know about you, but all this extra time spent at home has me dying for a change. I’m so excited to celebrate Halloween in our new house again, and this time we’re a little more settled in so we can really decorate! If you’re also in need of a change and aren’t in the middle of remodels (lucky duck!) decorating for the holidays is the PERFECT way to change it up your space without a major overhaul. Hang a garland on your mantel, paint some pumpkins, and really get in the Halloween spirit!

Rainbow pumpkins arranged on a porch.

Last month we brought back these DIY Rainbow Pumpkins to begin decorating for fall! If you’re looking to add some character to your rainbow pumpkins, check out the Pumpkin Faces PDF template in our Halloween shop and on our blog! Who knew pumpkins could be so cute? 

painted pumpkin templates

Plan your holiday parties in advance

Get those dates on the calendar now for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas! You’ll thank me later. We’re hoping that this year we can celebrate a bit more, but even if parties turn into zoom calls and holiday trips become facetime calls to the grandparents not all is lost! You can plan to make the next few months special, no matter what.

In our Halloween shop, you’ll also find garland templates, party invites, cake toppers, and plenty of other ways to complete your Halloween look this year. For the biggest discount, check out our Halloween E-book full of our most popular printables!

Find a clever Halloween costume

Costumes are, in my opinion, one of the hardest parts about Halloween planning. You want to be creative and stylish without splurging on a new costume every year, right? We have plenty of costume PDF templates—  for both kids and adults— right in our shop. The best part is that these costumes can be put together in under an hour AND you can use items you probably already own to complete the look. Our Halloween shop is meant to make your load lighter this year (so you can carry more weight in candy) 😉

Find joy in giving holiday gifts

There is no need to hold off on the giving spirit until December. I think any holiday is a great reason to drop off some neighbor gifts! We created some printable gift boxes to fill with seasonal candy and gift to a friend. This will come in handy more than ever this year when who knows if trick or treating will even be a thing??

Even if you’re staying in this Halloween, we have discounted items in our shop to help share the Halloween spirit! Send out some Halloween cards to friends, family, neighbors, and those you wish to share this spooky season with. The perfect pairing with one of these cards is a Halloween candy gift box! You can find the instructions for putting together the gift boxes here.

Enjoy your stress-free Halloween planning with great printables! You can find more Halloween sale printables in our shop!

Take time to make DIY holiday decor

We’re hoping that one lasting effect of the pandemic will be that more people are taking time to create and get crafty! We love to see it. Adding a homemade touch is what makes holiday decor special, home-y, and a potential family heirloom. You can dive as deep into our 10+ years of archives as you want to go, but some of our favorite Halloween DIYs are these wood plaque transfers, or our rainbow pumpkin arch!

For more ways to get into the Halloween spirit, check out our Halloween Pinterest board here!

3 DIY 4th of July Bunting Ideas

1 – Draped Paper Bunting:

This is the style of DIY Fourth of July bunting that I came up with last year and I love it. Most buntings are made out of draped fabric, and as a result are super expensive. This one is made out of butcher paper but it has the same fabulous drape – without the extravagant price tag! Follow this link for instructions.

DIY Fourth of July Bunting with butcher paper

2 – 2D Paper Bunting:

Also made out of butcher paper, this bunting is budget-friendly and super quick to make! It is a 2D version of a traditional patriotic bunting, and I love the simple lines. If your home is more modern than traditional, this bunting makes for a great alternative to the ol’ faithful draped bunting. You can’t go wrong with clean design!

DIY Fourth of July Bunting with paper

Materials:
  • Red, white, and blue butcher paper (amount varies depending on your measurements, this can typically be purchased at your local party store).
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tape
Instructions:
  1. Measure the length of the desired location for bunting. Do a little math to figure out how long each individual section should be.
  2. Cut the red, white, and blue papers to the correct lengths and half circle widths. *An easy way to get a nice round shape & even width is to tie your pencil to a string that’s anchored to something heavy enough on the opposite end to hold its position as you draw. Pull the pencil to the end of the length of string and follow it in the natural circular shape, going around the anchored point. Then cut along the line you’ve drawn.*
  3. Glue the red, white and blue half circle shapes on top of each other, with the largest color on bottom, the smallest color on top, and the flat edges lined up.
  4. Double over pieces of tape and stick them to the back of the straight edge to attach the bunting to your desired location.

3 – Balloon Bunting

We love balloon decor, and the Fourth of July is a holiday without enough balloons! Because of this, I decided to make a bunting with balloons. The third DIY Fourth of July bunting features red white and blue balloons of different shapes. Long balloons are reminiscent of the red and white stripes, while small blue ones decorate the bunting like stars! 

DIY Fourth of July Bunting

Materials:
  1. The same materials as the paper bunting
  2. Red, white, and blue balloons – each color in both 5 inch round balloons and 46 inch long balloons (amount varies depending on your measurements) 
    • A low-heat glue gun works best for gluing the balloons to the butcher paper
Instructions:
  1. Follow the instructions above to create your paper buntings in the desired sizes
  2. Blow up enough 46 inch long balloons to create two side-by-side layers of each balloon color. Then hot glue each balloon to the butcher paper bunting, following the half circle arch of the balloons’ corresponding color. Red balloons will follow the arch of the red butcher paper, white balloons will follow the arch of the white butcher paper, and blue will follow the arch of the blue butcher paper.
  3. Blow up enough 5 inch round balloons of each color to fill in the space between the long balloon arches. Then hot glue a layer of round balloons to the corresponding color of butcher paper.
    • Balloon order: Two side-by-side layers of red long balloons, one layer of red round balloons. Two side-by-side layers of white long balloons, one layer of white round balloons. Two side-by-side layers of blue long balloons, fill in the remaining area with blue round balloons.
  4. Double over pieces of tape and stick them to the back of the straight edge to attach the bunting to your desired location.

DIY Fourth of July Bunting with balloons

Don’t Have the Time?

Look, we get it! Sometimes you want the look without spending the time and effort to craft. We’ve still got you. Here are some of our favorite ready-made 4th of July buntings (for a range of budgets).

Click here to see some of our other favorite patriotic projects! And you can find all of our holiday ideas on our Pinterest here.

All You Need for A Midsummer Party

Even those of us not in Sweden can throw a Midsummer party to celebrate long days, the bounty of beauty in our gardens, and good food. Lucky for us, I have made lots of Midsummer-themed projects so we can have the Midsummer party of our dreams without dishing out for a plane ticket!

Midsummer Parties Past

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A blonde woman in a white dress holds a small bouquet.

Years ago I celebrated Midsummer by dressing up and dancing around a maypole with my team, and it was truly magical. You can see more photos here.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light.

The next year I teamed up with my friend and designer extraordinaire Meta Coleman, Merrilee of Mer Mag, Sarah of Sarah Jane Studios, Melanie and Alma of Caravan Shoppe, and Eva of Sycamore Co to organize a huge Midsummer party. We called it A Midsummer Mingle and it was epic, if I do say so myself.

Women dressed in white descend stairs in a green space filled with dappled light.women dressed in white eat on a picnic blanket. In the background, a maypole stands in front of some pine trees. It's dusk.

You can find out more about it here, here and here. Wasn’t it beautiful?

Two women in white wearing floral crowns smile at the camera. It's night and the background is distantly lit with warm light. A woman in white wearing a white floral crown hangs up a picture on a clothesline

Now let me level with you. Both of those Midsummer parties were stunning and magical, and you might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed right about now. Take a deep breath. Remember that I had help on both projects, as should all party planners, and you don’t have to be a professional to throw a gorgeous Midsummer party. You can do it! No matter how low-key or extravagant you want your party to be, I have Midsummer tutorials and inspiration to knock your flower crown off.

Women in white wearing flower crowns hold hands and walk in a line in front of some pine trees.

Midsummer Projects

Maypole

Brittany is wearing white and dancing around a DIY maypole with her interns, who are also wearing white.

I made a maypole for the Midsummer Party with my interns, and I know what you’re thinking: “You made a maypole?!” It was a surprisingly simple DIY that I know you can make too.  Once you’ve made a maypole, you’ll have the backbone of your Midsummer celebrations taken care of for years to come! Again, find the tutorial here.

Flower Crowns

Flower crowns are a Midsummer staple, and Amy from Amy Anne Floral made these gorgeous and simple Midsummer Flower Crowns for the Midsummer Mingle.

Goldenrod flower crown from Midsummer Mingle. A woman in a white dress holds it against her side. waxflower and laurel flower crowns are stacked in a pile.

There’s also this Crepe Paper Flower Crown and this one, this Shamrock Flower Crown, these Lady Liberty-inspired Flower Crowns, this Printable Flower Crown, and this tutorial for a Flower Crown Inspired by Art History.

A little girl wears a paper flower crown and smells some little flowers.a floral crown on long, straight brown hairA little girl with brown hair wears a paper shamrock crown and a cream colored floral blouse. The background is bold colored wallpaper.Lady Liberty Flower CrownsA printable flower crown in purple, yellow, pink, white red, and blue being held up by two hands. A woman wearing a lavish flower crown of dahlias and berries and greenery looks at the camera. The background is sky blue.

Midsummer Decorations

You won’t want to skip out flowers for your Midsummer party. Use this tutorial to make gorgeous floral arrangements that you can place around in vases or hold as bouquets.

Pink florals from A Midsummer Mingle

This paper Summer Flower Garland would look lovely draping between the trees or wrapped around your may pole. Because it’s made of paper you can keep it for next year’s Midsummer party.

Summer Paper Flower Garland

Speaking of paper flowers, I’ve compiled lots and lots of paper flower tutorials in one place here. These would be great for arrangements, cake decorations, or to wear.

Paper parrot tulips in cream, yellow, and red.Paper peony bouquet held by a person in a striped dressIcelandic Paper PoppyPaper hydrangeas in a white vase against a floral orange backgroundThe Exquisite Book of Paper Flower Transformations

For a decoration that you’ll want to keep hanging after the season changes, make this Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile. It will remind you of your delightful Midsummer party and be a great conversation starter!

Close up of a colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i A colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i

Finishing Touches

No party is complete without music, and your Midsummer party is no exception. My friend Melissa Leavitt graciously agreed to make this Midsummer playlist, and I think you’ll love it.

Brittany and her friends smile at the camera. It's dark and in the background, there are warm lights.

If you serve cake (and when do we ever not want to serve cake!?) this Midsummer Pole Cake Topper is perfect for the occasion.

Midsummer Pole cake Topper Midsummer Pole cake Topper

Food

Look, you know that I don’t cook. Still, your Midsummer party will need food. Go traditional with pickled herring, boiled potatoes, grilled meat, and strawberries and cream for desert. For those who imbibe, Midsummer is also an opportunity to drink beer and schnapps, but as a non-drinker I’ve found that fizzy lemonade does the trick, too. Smaklig måltid (bon appetit in Swedish)!

strawberry-covered layer cakes on pastel cakestands at an outdoor party

Glad Midsommar!

I would love to see your Midsummer celebrations! Tag me in your photos with #MidsummerWithLars.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A graphic that says Midsummer celebration is at the top.

Printable Party Decor

I want your parties to be smash hits, and the printable party decor from our shop are surefire ways to get off to a great start. The Lars party suites are downloadable packages of invitations, party decorations, cake toppers, and accessories. And they couldn’t be easier to use! Just download, print (or send to a a local print shop), cut out, and voilà! Party magic.

Most of these party suites were designed with birthdays in mind, but whether you’re celebrating a birthday, graduation, an engagement, an anniversary, a holiday, a new move, or just getting friends together, these party decorations are sure to put smiles on everyone’s faces and make your party better (and prettier!) No matter what you’re celebrating, pick out the perfect printable suite below!

Birthday Parties

Part of why I enjoy birthdays so much is because they’re an opportunity to do what you really want to do. If that means skydiving, go for it! It’s your birthday. If that means staying inside and watching The Holiday, 10 Things I Hate About You, or Roman Holiday on repeat, go for it! If that means eating a decadent cake, go for it! You do you!

Now that vaccine availability (in the US, at least) is abundant, I’m so excited to bring people together and get back to celebrating. And what’s a party without invitations and decor? These printable birthday suites are the perfect solution when you want fun decoration without too much fuss. Since releasing our original printable birthday party decor, we have been dreaming up even more unique themes. 

Rainbow Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

Of course we started with a rainbow theme, and this one works for all ages! This rainbow birthday theme can go as many directions as there are colors in the rainbow. Planning for your miracle child? Plan a rainbow baby party! Your mom is turning 50? Ditch the dark “over the hill” cards and plan an “over the rainbow” party instead! This party suite would also be perfect for a Pride party! #LarsLovesLove

This Rainbow Party Decor Suite includes an invitation, bracelets for party favors, a birthday crown, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Animal Menagerie Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

This is our most classic birthday set, a colorful circus of animals! I cannot wait to use this one for a first birthday party for baby boy #2. For this party we also added some DIY felt pennants that can be customized for the birthday kid. Pssst, level up your party EVEN MORE with a simple balloon installation kit.

This Animal Menagerie Party Decor Suite includes party hats, bunting, an invitation, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Summery Parties

Having a June birthday means that I can throw garden-themed birthday parties for myself, but here’s the truth: garden parties are for everyone! Celebrate Midsummer or simply bring your friends together in honor of the the long days and warm nights that the season brings.

Floral Party

Adriana Picker from our print shop made the art for this Floral Birthday Suite and it couldn’t be prettier!

Sherbet-colored floral bunting hangs in the background. A white frosted cake with floral cake toppers sits on a mint green cake stand. Invitations and a floral crown peek in at the corners.

I love the elegant colors and the botanical drawings in this collection, and I think the different colors of invitations are so delightful. And don’t get me started on how gorgeous the printable flower crown is! These decorations will make your party glamorous and colorful and fresh.

Detailed drawings of flowers make up a fuchsia and orange flower crown, which is resting on a pile of sherbet-colored plates. Floral party invitations with different flowers on pink, grey, and yellow backgrounds sit amongst floral bunting and cake toppers.

Lemon Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

The fun colors of this birthday suite printable makes for the perfect theme, whether your birthday feels sweet or sour! The rest of the decor comes easily once you’ve got a theme down! In fact, we have a few other DIY projects from days past that would be darling with the birthday suite. This lemon wreath is one that stands out in my mind. Or, plop some freshly sliced citrus in the middle of the table for a citrusy centerpiece like we did here! And the colors of our original balloon kit have the perfect fruity feel!

This Lemon Party Decor Suite includes a banner, straw toppers, party hats, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Garden Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

Another thing that comes much easier when your party has a theme is planning the menu. Thanks, theme! When paired with this printable garden party decor, fruity desserts are always a hit. I went through a popsicle phase a few years back and wrote about three I loved: lemon creme, pineapple pink lemonade, and berry lemonade! These are perfect for when you want a treat but don’t want to turn the oven on. Who said every birthday party HAS to have a cake? 

We designed these themed set for a dreamy summer outdoor party (it doesn’t even have to be a birthday party, an excuse for a party is good excuse.) However, as we head into winter I am starting to daydream up an indoor garden party. Hear me out — paper flower garlands and greenery turning the living room into a summery dream. Sounds like just the thing for seasonal depression, right??

This Garden Party Decor Suite includes an invitation, name tags, cake toppers, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

You deserve to party, whether it’s your birthday or not! Take time to decorate extravagantly (and easily) with a little help from your friend, Lars. Then do exactly what you want to do. Go to the grocery store and just buy snacks and flowers. Dance obnoxiously to Motown classics. Dress up in a formal gown and don’t bother styling your hair. Plan a fabulous meal for yourself and make someone else cook it/buy it. Eat ice cream straight out of the carton. I won’t tell!

Holiday Parties

Don’t limit your celebrations to birthdays and summertime!

Easter Printable Tablescape Suite

Easter printable tablescape with flowers and rabbits and a floral garland. Your next Easter party will be your most picturesque with this Easter Tablescape Party Suite! With an illustrated table runner, menu cards, name cards, and a garland, this hassle-free printable decor is sure to become a favorite.

Halloween Party

Halloween party invitations, placemats, place cards, and party tags arranged on a table

Halloween parties are fun for all ages, and they deserve fabulous printable party decor, too! This Halloween Party Suite includes printable invitations, party tags, placemats, and place cards.

Head to our Shop for even more printable birthday party decor and gift ideas! And you can find all of our Birthday DIY projects here

Inspired by Cinco de Mayo

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

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

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

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

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

History of Cinco de Mayo

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

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

Lars Loves Mexican Artists

Frida Kahlo

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

 

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

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

Luis Barragán

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

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

Michelle Franzoni Thorley

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

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

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

Cinco de Mayo in the Archives

Along with last year’s drive by party that Nadia worked on with me, I wanted to share more Cinco de Mayo inspiration from years gone by. One of my earliest Cinco de Mayo projects was this collection of DIY honeycomb ornaments shaped like fruits.

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

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

brightly colored paper bouquet

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

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

a colorful papier mache man floats in a white museum space

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

Viva México!

DIY Spring Wreath Made of Paper Daffodils

You know we love our daffodils because we’ve made them into a variety of wreaths in the past. If you recently looked into our Valentine’s archive for some crafts, we even made the daffodil wreath in Valentine’s day colors! Check out our other daffodil projects here, here, and here. Did you know daffodils symbolize rebirth and new beginnings? They are one of the first perennials to bloom after a winter frost, and with half of our country under literal frost these past few weeks, we think it’s time to bring in some sunshine with these daffodil wreaths.

We actually offered this wreath as a kit in our shop recently! Orders for the kit are now closed, but if you are interested in purchasing a kit with all of the supplies needed to make this project let us know! We may able to bring back kits if requested.

However, you can also order everything you need to make this DIY Spring Wreath through the links below!

How To Make Your Paper Daffodil Wreath

Supplies:

Paper daffodil template

3 – 18 gage floral wire stems (15” long) – wreath form

8 – 18 gage floral wire stems (7.5” long) – daffodil stems

8 x 20 inches ivory crepe paper – petals, tube 

10 x 20 inches yellow crepe paper – petals

4 x 10 inches peach – tube

4 x 15 inches orange – tube

13 x 20 inches light green – leaves, wrap stems

13x 20 inches dark green – leaves, wrap stems

Instructions:

  1. Print off your daffodil wreath template.
  2. Wrap the ends of your long wires around each other to form a big circle. This is your wreath form.
  3. Using the template as a guide, cut out petals, trumpets/tubes, and stigmas from your yellow, white, and orange crepe paper. Each flower needs six petals, one trumpet, and one stigma. Your kit has plenty of paper to cut out seven flowers. Fold the stigma paper in half so that the short sides touch and then glue and wrap around one of the short pieces of wire. 
  4. Glue the vertical sides of the trumpet piece together to form a tube shape. 
  5. Put a rim of glue along the bottom inside of the trumpet. Put the wire and stigma inside the trumpet and squeeze the trumpet to the stigma and wire. The trumpet should be pretty evenly scrunched along the stigma. 
  6. Gently stretch sections along the scalloped top of the trumpet so that it has some movement, and use your index finger to stretch the base a little bit so that it looks more like a cup.
  7. Curl the tips of your daffodil petals by bending them over the scissors.
  8. Glue your petals to the trumpet. Each daffodil has six petals.
  9. Time for the stem! Cut some of your green paper into long strips, making sure that the crepe paper’s grain is perpendicular to the length of the strip. This means that the strips will stretch out really long. You will need one strip for each stem. 
  10. Stretch the strips long.
  11. Cut leaves out of your green papers. We put two leaves on each daffodil, plus more to fill out the wreath.
  12. Put a dab of glue onto the end of a long strip and adhere it to the base of your tulip. 
  13. Wrap the paper around the base of the flower to hide the place where the petals attach. You will need to add a little bit more glue to the base of the tulip to cover the base of the flower.
  14. Keep wrapping around the stem by twisting the flower.
  15. About halfway down the stem, add your leaves. Put a dab of glue at the bottom of a leaf on both the front and the back, press it to the stem (careful not to burn yourself on the glue here!) and then wrap the stem strip around. 
  16. A little bit farther down the stem on the opposite side, attach another leaf using the same method. 
  17. Keep wrapping the stem to the bottom of the wire. Tear off the paper, add a dot of glue to the paper strip, and secure it. 
  18. Repeat steps 4-18 for each daffodil. 
  19. Wrap the stem of each daffodil onto the wreath form about an inch below the leaves to secure them. 
  20. After you attach all your daffodils, add any extra leaves you want by gluing them to the wrapped stems.
  21. Adjust your flowers and hang your wreath. Thanks for making this with us!

Welcome spring with pops of yellow and white daffodils hanging from your door and share some sunshine with every passerby. When the weather is especially gloomy and glum, this DIY Spring Wreath will surely brighten someone’s day.

Other Spring Decor to Go With Your Wreath

DIY Summer Flower Garland

Collaboration leads to inspiration

The inspiration for this particular garland came from two places: our wrapping paper products designed for Alexis Mattox Design, and a collab we did Chatbooks! The floral patterns we did with AMD were just so fun and punchy that we had to make a garland inspired by the wrapping paper. Chatbooks used some of those same wrapping paper designs as covers for their books. After seeing that, it occurred to me that I wanted to see these colors and flowers everywhere. Cue the crafting!

This DIY Summer Flower Garland is the perfect decoration for all your summer soirees. And is pretty enough to keep up all year long! You’ll be happy to hear that the materials were pretty cheap too. It’s made with crepe paper and cardstock, and is totally customizable. You can change the colors by simply using a different color paper. If you do play with a new color scheme, send me pictures!! Color is my favorite.

Where to put your paper flower garland

The fun part about a garland is that it can go anywhere. Wreaths go on the front door, flower vases on tables, but garlands? They do it all. In our Flower & Leaf Garden E-Book, we put garlands over the backs of chairs, as table runners, wound around a staircase handle, hung over doorways, or delicately draped on walls. If you’re planning a wedding, think of how fun it would be to make a DIY Summer Flower Garland with friends! It would be beautiful hung over a trellis or fireplace or as a photo-wall backdrop.

This project is great to work on with friends or alone! Heck, you could probably collab with a friend from afar! Mail each other your pieces to create one big DIY Summer Flower Garland!  If crafting is your cathartic alone time, this garland is perfect for you. Spread out over a few days, and soak up that creative time. Summer days are meant for crafting, am I right?

More paper garlands for every season

You can download the templates for each of these garlands (and more!) individually here or all of them together for a discount!

DIY Summer Flower Garland

Materials:
  • Crepe paper in green, cornflower blue, orange, white, and yellow
  • Cardstock in blue, pink, yellow, and white
  • Acrylic paint in coral, yellow, and blue
  • Wire flower stamens in red
  • 22 gauge cloth covered floral wire in 18″ lengths
  • Spool of 24 gauge florist wire
  • Hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • Templates
Instructions:

Full instructions can be found here!

Once you’ve created all the individual flowers, begin to hot glue the elements onto the green floral wire. Mix in plenty of green crepe paper leaves. We made our garland about 6 feet long.

DIY summer flower garland

Photography by Anna Killian | Crafting by Ashley Isenhour and Rebecca Hansen