Summer Strawberry Party

Strawberry Party Suite

For our summer strawberry party, our designer, Garet, designed the most adorable strawberry party suite ever! I’m in love with all the little details, like the perfect color palette of those strawberries. Or those tiny ants?! Complete with invitations, strawberry toothpick toppers, and box wrappers, this suite will do the trick perfectly for all your strawberry party needs. The best part is that there are plenty of variations with this party suite. Not interested in the toothpick toppers being attached to toothpicks? Print them out on sticker paper instead and hand them out as party favors! 

Here’s what to do with our strawberry party suite:

  1. Download, print and cut out the files from our shop here.
  2. Next, fill in those invitations and send ‘em out! Then you can start prepping the other party details.
  3. Now hot glue them to one end of a toothpick.
  4. For the box wrappers, wrap them around the box and secure with hot glue.

Strawberry Surprise Garland

Oh, and don’t forget that amazing strawberry surprise garland–we altered our original strawberry surprise balls to make them into a garland that will make you want to make this strawberry party a tradition for years to come. Because what’s better than GIANT strawberry decorations?! They definitely make it feel more like a party.

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been to parties and have been unsure where the party is (this is especially tough at parks where there are a million parties happening at the same time). Maybe it’s just me (though I have a feeling it’s not), but please, help a girl out and make your party eye-catching so it can be seen from afar. That was definitely the point with this garland; your guests won’t be left guessing when they arrive at the party–they’ll know exactly where to go. Plus, it’s just so fun.

How to make a strawberry surprise garland

  1. Download the garland template found here (it’s part of the strawberry party suite).
  2. To make the balls, follow the instructions found here. The only difference is that each strip is made up of two separate pieces, since it’s bigger. Glue them together and then follow the rest of the instructions!
  3. Lastly, to add the string, just thread it from one side to the other on the opposite side of the ball. Keep adding strawberries until it’s as full as you’d like!

Summer Strawberry Party Food

It wouldn’t be a party without food! Take this opportunity to go all in with the strawberry-themed foods. That means strawberries (duh!), cupcakes with strawberry frosting, mini pb & j’s (strawberry jam, of course!), etc. You know what to do! Those adorable little toothpick toppers are perfect to poke in the tops of the pb & j’s and cupcakes. You can also use them for those plain ‘ol strawberries–why not double up? There are so many strawberry foods that would be so cute. So just have fun.

Now tell us: what are you going to do for your summer strawberry party? 

More Inspiration

Want to make your summer strawberry party into a picnic? Try your hand at making one of these two simple quilt hacks! Also see this watermelon picnic blanket, duffle/picnic blanket, and autumn picnic blanket. And don’t forget to check out our shop for all your go-to party needs!

Paper Flower Garland

Flowers Forever

Flowers can/should never go out of season, right?! Well, that’s my personal motto anyway. I came up with this paper flower garland tutorial and loved how it turned out. And you may not have noticed, but the technique is pretty much a riff off of a paper fan, so it’s easy! It’d be perfect for a birthday or garden party. I love having a supply of garlands on hand just in case I need to throw a party or shower someone with love for a day. It seems to happen more often than I expect.Paper flower garlandPaper flower garland

How to Make a Paper Flower Garland

Making the Flowers

  1. First, do a 3/4″ accordion fold with an 8.5×11″ piece of paper. Cut off any excess paper.
  2. Next, fold the folded paper in half (use this fan tutorial to see how it’s done), then staple the mid point of the folded paper.
  3. To form the petal design, cut the edges of the paper so that it forms a fun design (kind of like making a paper snowflake).
  4. Repeat steps 1-4 to create a second one, then glue them together to form a circle.

Adding the Flower Centers

  1. Cut 1 1/2″ circles for the center of the flowers. You’ll need three per flower.
  2. Paint a fun design onto the circles if desired for the center of the flower.
  3. Glue the front circles onto your flowers, but leave the back circle off for now.
  4. In the circles you haven’t attached yet, use your hole punch to punch two holes about 1/4″ apart in the center of your circle.

Making the Leaves

  1. First, cut out your leaves using a Cricut maker or scissors, if you don’t have a Cricut maker (template here).
  2. Now paint a fun design on them as shown.
  3. After you’re happy with your design, cut two holes about 1/4″ apart in the center of the leaf with a hole punch.

Assembling your Garland

  1. First, thread the string through the two holes in one of the leaves and pull the extra through.
  2. Now thread the string through the two holes in one of the circles. Keep alternating, threading leaf, then circle, then leaf, until the whole garland is threaded through the string.
  3. Once all the circles and leaves are in place on the string, go ahead and hot glue the flowers to the circles, so the circles you already glued on are facing towards the front.
  4. Now all that’s left to do is pick somewhere to hang up your finished paper flower garland and you’re done!

paper flower tutorial

Styling your garland

This is one of my all time favorite paper flower garlands. One of my favorite things about garlands, in general, is how versatile they are. Make them as short or long as you like, and hang them pretty much anywhere. My favorite places are around doorways or entryways, relaxed and drapey against a wall or over a table, on a mantlepiece, along bannisters, and so much more.

Enjoy! And drop any questions or comments below!

Paper flower garland Paper flower garland

More Inspiration

Loved this paper flower garland and want more where that came from? Try this lovely summer flower garland, our tea stained flower garland, or this eucalyptus garland if you’re feeling a little more leafy. Want more flower content? You won’t want to miss this compilation of all our paper flower tutorials, or our learn to draw: flowers course.

How to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday

My 40th Birthday Plans

Leading up to my 40th birthday, I had lots of plans. Specifically, I wanted a big Europe trip to celebrate! But we are in up to our necks in behind-the-scenes projects here at The House that Lars Built, which means a trip to Europe just wasn’t in the cards. At least for now. Maybe in the fall? I’ll keep you all posted. There’s noting wrong with a belated birthday trip, after all!

I’m not the only one turning 40 here, though! Despite my lack of exciting birthday plans for now, all my friends are also soon-to-be or already over the hill, which means I’ve attended some great 40th birthday celebrations in the past year. I couldn’t just not share those ideas with all of you! So today I’m giving you the lowdown on all the things my friends did for their 40th birthdays, plus a few extra ideas.

How to Celebrate Your 40th Birthday

Birthday Trip

Birthday trips are a classic way to celebrate a big milestone birthday like your 40th! (hence, my hopes to make it to Europe this year). But if you can’t make it internationally and still want a weekend getaway, try something closer! It’s amazing what a quick trip to somewhere new can do. And of course it’s always better with friends or family to come along for the fun.

For your enjoyment, here are some photos from our most recent trip to Denmark (and I promise to post more once I make it back to Europe for my birthday trip)!

Karaoke

So I don’t know if you were aware, but there’s something about 40-year-olds and karaoke that is just magical. I’ve been to a handful of karaoke parties to celebrate the big 40 and I have to say that a bunch of moms singing karaoke are a different breed of unparalleled fun. What are you waiting for?! Warm up those vocal chords and get ready to sing yourself into your 40’s!

Spa Day

A birthday classic for a girls day out especially, a spa day can be the perfect, relaxing way to usher in the 40’s with some self care. Pamper yourself; you deserve it! Go for a mani/pedi, massage, the whole nine yards. We promise you won’t regret it!

Here are some spa essentials to get you going:

In-person Parties

Post COVID lockdowns, it feels that much more triumphant to have a party IN PERSON with people you love! So even though parties aren’t unique to a 40th birthday, there’s a reason we have parties for every birthday. It’s a classic way to celebrate that never really gets old!

Speaking of parties, we have some great party decorations for your to peruse in our shop! Check out our birthday suites, and all of our birthday content here!

Lemon-themed bunting swoops across a pink backdrop. In the foreground, straw toppers, invitations, and lemon-slice party hats sit in front of a white-frosted cake with lemon and lemon blossom cake toppers.

Learn a New Skill

Your 40th birthday is such a milestone that it can be great motivation to learn a new skill or take on a new hobby you’ve been wanting to try! It’s never too late, and 40 seems like the perfect time to try. Turn it into a party and invite someone to teach you and your girlfriends how to knit, cook something fun and fancy, or even make a punch needle rug! The options are endless. What do you want to learn how to do?

Movie Night

Movies are a classic way to celebrate anything special, so why not your 40th birthday? Go out to the theater with the gals (maybe even rent it out if you’re feeling ambitious!), or take the party home and have a marathon of your favorite series! Personally, I’ll be watching Bridgerton. What are your favorites? Send the recommendations my way! I’m always game for a fun new show.

Game Night

The options are endless with this one! Just because it’s your 40th birthday doesn’t mean you can’t have a simple game night. So many categories of games. Are you more of a board game or card game person? Or do you prefer a combo of both? If you’re like Paul, you’ll be hanging around those old classic arcade games all night. Whatever gets you most excited is what you should do!

Here are some game night options to get you started:

More Inspiration

We have plenty of ideas to get you started on 40th birthday decor! It starts with our five birthday suites: animal menagerie, garden party, lemon, rainbow, and floral. Click here to see the rest of our birthday shop! Also, don’t forget to check out our past birthday blog content, like our Flower Lane birthday crowns, twisted birthday candles, or DIY birthday felt pennants.

A flat lay of twisted birthday candles and confetti on an orange background.

Hopefully we gave you some good ideas to get you started planning your 40th, if you haven’t had it already. And now we need to know: what did you/are you doing to celebrate your 40th? Let us know in the comments!

All Our Paper Flower Tutorials

Blooms for Bouquets

There are so many things you can do with paper flowers, but you need to make them first! Mix and match these flowers for bouquets or let them stand alone. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

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 Transformationspaper daffodil on a cream backgroundA pink and blue space divided down the middle with flower bells in each color

Find paper flower tutorials here: Sunflowers, Parrot Tulips, Peonies, Poppies, Morning Glory, Hydrangeas, Eden Rose, Daffodil, Paper Flower Bells, and Narcissus.

Lots of flowers have stamens, and here you can make your own floral stamens for paper flowers.

Bouquets

I’m a big fan of paper wedding bouquets because they are long-lasting reminders of your big day. There’s no wilting here! I have loved making paper flower tutorials for all these bouquets.

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.Paper Flower Wedding BouquetRoyal Wedding Inspired BouquetCinco de Mayo Wedding Bouquet

Find tutorials here: Spring Wedding Bouquet, White Peony Bouquet, Royal Wedding Inspired Bouquet, and Cinco de Mayo Inspired Bouquet.

Paper Flower Accessories

Flowers add delicacy and magic to your fanciest events, but I’m all for wearing them in between big parties, too! These paper flower crowns and this corsage will have you searching for events because they’re so fun to wear! You can find paper flower tutorials for the accessories below.

A paper shamrock and flower crown on a brunette girl's head against green and white wallpaperPaper Flower Bridal Hair PieceA little girl wears a paper flower crown and smells some little flowers.a floral crown on long, straight brown hairPaper Flower Corsage

Find tutorials here: Shamrock Flower Crown, Paper Flower Bridal Hairpiece, Flower Girl Crown, Spring Paper Flower Crown, Paper Flower Corsage, Paper Flower Graduation Tassel, and Paper Poppy Pin.

Home Decor Flowers

Wreaths

When I started adding paper flower wreaths to my doors, I made a huge discovery. Coming home to something beautiful makes a big difference! So add paper flower wreaths to your doors and start feeling OVERJOYED when you get to your home. I promise, it works for me!

Paper daffodil wreath against a pink backgroundCrepe Paper Lemon WreathBrittany holding a wreath with floral accents cut from wallpaper.A hand reaches into frame holding a rainbow floral wreath

 

Wreath tutorials here: Daffodil Wreath, Lemon and Blossom Wreath, Wallpaper Floral Wreath, Rainbow Flower Wreath, Paper Poinsettia Wreath, Palm Leaf Wreath and Pink Paper Blossom Wreath.

Chandeliers and Mobiles

I absolutely love what chandeliers and mobiles do to fill the empty space in a room. And come on, they look adorable. So do yourself a favor and hang one over your new baby’s crib! It will surely give you and baby some much needed delight amidst the lack of sleep.

A maidenhair fern hangs from a wooden hoopA floral upcycled chandelier with paper greenery hangs over a party table. A paper mobile hangs in a white room with a cactusA colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i

Mobile tutorials here: Paper Maidenhair Fern Mobile, Paper Flower Chandelier, Scandinavian Paper Mobile and Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile.

Centerpieces

Another way I love to incorporate flowers is through centerpieces. Because isn’t having company over the perfect excuse to make something with paper flowers?

Paper flowers and colorful candles on a branchPaper tulips in an arrangement.

Centerpiece tutorials here: Paper Flower Branch Candelabra, Spring Tulip Centerpiece, Rainbow Paper Flower Tablescape

Potted Paper Flowers

I love me a good potted paper plant. These little beauties are the perfect addition to any room, so what are you waiting for?

Brittany holds a paper easter lily in a terracotta pot in front of her facePaper Christmas cactus in a white potPaper Medinilla plant in a grey spaceColorful paper plants in a grey roomPaper pansies in a distressed terracotta planter. They're placed on a stack of colorful books on a chair. In the background, you can see some red floral wallpaper and blue wainscoting.Magenta and purple hollyhocks made of crepe paper against a dark grey background

Find tutorials here: Paper Orchids, Paper Foxgloves, Easter Lily, Christmas Cactus, Medinilla Plant, Pansies, Hollyhocks, Paper Flower Bells and more Paper House Plants.

Parties!

Cakes

Another impeccable excuse to incorporate some flowers, do yourself (and your guests) a favor! If I had to guess, I’d say these flower-centric party decorations will do the trick perfectly.

Floral Number Birthday Cake TopperPaper Kumquat and Quilled Flower CakeMidsummer Pole cake Topper

Cake topper tutorials here: Floral Number Birthday Cake Topper, Paper Flower and Kumquat Cake Decoration, Midsummer Pole Cake Topper and 3D Paper Flower Gift Toppers.

Backdrops

DIY Crepe Paper Peony tutorialTropical Leaf and Hibiscus BackdropBrittany stands in front of a paper daisy-covered wall wearing a yellow dress.

DIY paper poppy backdrop and pinPaper Tulip Backdrop

Backdrop tutorials here: Crepe Paper Peony Backdrop, Tropical Leaf and Hibiscus Backdrop, Paper Daisy Backdrop, Paper Tulip Backdrop and Paper Poppy Backdrop.

Garlands

Isn’t spring the perfect time for a floral garland? Well, for your convenience, we have some lovely options that transition right into summer, too!

Paper flower garlandPaper flower garland hangs over a rattan chair

Garland tutorials here: Paper Flower Garland and Summer Flower Garland.

DIY Daisy party hat

And don’t forget this Daisy Party Hat tutorial!

Holiday

Holidays are the perfect time to get making a few flower-centric decorations. To help you out, here are our favorites:

Valentines Day

Brittany looks over her shoulder at the camera while wearing a pink, red, and white daffodil crown

Wear this Valentine Flower Wreath on your head or decorate your door with it. Either way, you’ll be feeling festive and ready for the spring blooms that will pop up not too long after Valentines Day with this wreath!

Halloween

A mom wearing a paper flower costume and a daughter dressed as a mouse pose in their costumes

Chrysanthemum Mom and Kid Costume

Hannukah

Gold, blue, yellow, and pink paper flower menorah

Paper Flower Menorah

Christmas

This Christmas you can make holly large or small, as well as these really exciting poinsettia blooms.

Paper Poinsettia FlowerDIY Paper Holly boughsGiant paper holly and paper berries hung around a big banister

Poinsettia, Crepe Paper Holly, Giant Paper Holly Decoration and Amaryllis.

More From Our Shop!

Find more floral Lars materials on our shop. Here’s our Flowers Coloring Book, this sticker sheet, a whole collection of floral art prints, and more!

Our Learn To Draw Flowers Course

And don’t forget about our learn to draw flowers course! It’s the perfect companion piece to all these paper flower tutorials. And the great thing is, if you don’t have all the materials handy to make the tutorials right now, you can learn to draw them first! By the time your materials come in the mail, you’ll be a pro at drawing flowers and will be all ready to start making them.

Inspired by Cinco de Mayo

Nadia Aguilar Cates

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. This party was 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. Everything she does to preserve and celebrate her Mexican heritage is so inspiring. Check out her interview here! Oh 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 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. 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

Paper Fan Garland

Along with last year’s drive by party, I wanted to share more Cinco de Mayo inspiration from years gone by. One of my earliest projects was this paper fan garland decoration.

Honeycomb fruit

Another early project was this collection of DIY honeycomb fruit ornaments.

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

Cinco de Mayo Bouquet

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

Fiesta

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

Mexico City Travel Guide

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!

More Inspiration

Looking for Cinco de Mayo decorations, or just some spring decor to freshen up your home? Look no further than our shop for the templates to get you going! Try the Cinco de Mayo bouquet template and e-book to make it a lovely centerpiece. Also, here’s the template for those Cinco de Mayo streamers we mentioned. You’ll probably also love this paper flower garland or this boutonniere! You may want to check out this house plants e-book as well, along with our flower and leaf garland e-book.

Valentine’s Day Garland

 

Valentine’s Day Garland

What better to bring in love day than a festive Valentine’s Day garland? Not much, in my opinion. It also goes perfectly with that festive gradient heart wreath we made a week ago! So do yourself a favor and take the decorating beyond your front door. Featuring a variety of Valentine’s Day appropriate shapes and fun pops of color, this garland is the perfect solution for cold, brown February.

How to Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Garland

Making this Valentine’s Day garland is seriously so simple. I mean, you don’t even need scissors if you have a Cricut maker! And if not, the shapes are simple enough that scissors are a good second best option. You do need a sewing machine, though it’s simple enough that even the most novice of sewers should be able to handle it.

Here’s how to make your own Valentine’d Day garland:

Prepping the Paper

  1. First, download the garland template found here.
  2. Upload the template into the Cricut design space.
  3. Now, using the paper colors of your choice, cut out the shapes using your Cricut maker. For thicker cardstock, we find it works best to use the glitter cardstock setting. We used anywhere from 50-80 shapes on each strand.

Sewing Your Garland Together

  1. This part is so easy! To start, just leave a 10″ tail of thread, then sew the paper pieces together.
  2. Leave a 10″ tail of thread at the end.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 for each shape in your garland.
  4. All done!

How to Style Your Valentine’s Day Garland

One of the things I love about this sweet garland is how versatile it is! You can hang it from practically anywhere, and customize how long you’d like it to be. Put it in a window, against a wall, over the table, along a mantle or a bannister. We love the way it looks hanging from the ceiling over a table setting! It’s so simple, but looks so bold, bright and colorful once its hung. It’s the perfect addition to a Galentine’s Day party, too, if you ask me. Just add some table games and party favors to your table and you’re all set!

More Inspiration

Remember, if you want even more ideas of how to host a Galentine’s Day party, consult our Valentine’s Day Activities post! Speaking of ideas, if you need DIY valentines crafts, check out these easy DIY valentines, this adorable valentine box,  or this paper heart wreath. Need valentines? We just released some brand new Harry Styles ones, along with these delicate doilies. And here’s a whole host of printable valentines from our shop! Oh, and here are two Valentine’s Day gift guides, one for men and one for women.

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!