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.

Easter Crafts

Our Favorite Easter Crafts

We have so many Easter crafts that we’re just thrilled to share with you this year. Many of them are brand new, too! Need a new Easter Basket? We’re here for you. How about a fresh spring wreath? We’ve also got you covered in that department. Without further ado, here’s the list of our favorite Easter crafts!

Wreaths

I love a good wreath. And spring wreaths are some of my favorites! They’re a must have when talking about Easter crafts. This year we have a brand new Palm Leaf Wreath you’re sure to love. It’s delicate, colorful, and festive. Just the thing to celebrate Palm Sunday, Easter and spring all in one go! If you’re feeling more into eggs, try our ever popular Easter egg wreath, or this sweet Honeycomb Easter wreath. Both are lovely and sure to put a little spring in your step. Also, you can’t go wrong with a simple floral theme. This Daffodil Wreath is very appropriate for the season, as is this Lemon Wreath!

Easter Baskets

You can’t have Easter crafts without Easter baskets! And we have a brand new one for you to try this year. It’s our DIY Easter Basket, and the best part is that it doesn’t require any sewing. Another clever no-sew Easter basket is this Paper Easter basket. Just download, print, cut and assemble, it’s that easy! If you want to sew an adorable bag that doubles as an Easter basket and will be around for years to come, try this carrot shoulder bag! The bonus is it packs up easily and is equally cute.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to fill your basket with, look no further than this Easter Basket choose your own adventure. We help guide you through the steps to picking your perfect Easter basket, along with everything to put inside it, like this Paper carrot treat box, or this DIY stuffed bunny. You can also make some of these Danish Easter letters to tuck inside.

Eggs

As it so happens, we have a lot of Easter crafts that have to do with eggs. Are you really that surprised? I mean, what’s Easter without at least one little nod to an egg or two. Just yesterday, we release the most lovely nesting Easter eggs! We love the little twist on original nesting dolls. Also try these Easter egg columns, which are a lovely way to decorate your home this Easter. Don’t forget about these Honeycomb Easter eggs, either! Make them into a wreath or decorate with the individual eggs. Either way they’re lovely!

Another fun variation on decorating Easter eggs are these dried flowers on Easter eggs, as well as our Pysanky Easter eggs (here’s the E-book of the Pysanky eggs, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort). If you’re into more decorating, try our DIY pom pom Easter eggs! Or if you’re having a party, you’ll definitely want to take a look at our Easter egg name tags, Easter egg cupcake toppers, and Easter egg runner.

For Kids

If you have kids, you’ll love these Easter-themed toys, accessories, and activities. First stop: these fun bunny party hats. Having a new baby this spring? You won’t want to miss these adorable DIY Baby bonnets! Need a craft to do with your kids to keep them busy and happy? You’ll love these Easter Egg coloring pages, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort. Then there’s our DIY stuffed bunny, which is a sweet little Easter toy. Plop it in your child’s Easter basket and you’re all set!

 

Doily Valentine

Doily Valentines

It seems like the tradition of doilies for Valentine’s Day has been around forever. It might be that they seem to be everywhere at this time of year. Or maybe it’s just that they’re just so lovely. Either way, we decided to accept the challenge and make our own version! Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. One of our talented interns, Chelsea, tackled this project and I have to say she did a spectacular job! The perfect blend of delicate and unique, these are a breath of fresh air from your traditional, mass-produced doily.

With the custom designs featuring floral motifs, these doilies are full of delicate whimsy. Add in the subtle hearts and intricate flourishes and it’s hard not to be convinced. Are you ready to learn how to make your own?

How to Make a Doily Valentine

  1. First, upload your svg doily file into the cricut design space.
  2. Meanwhile, put your sheet of cardstock paper onto the adhesive cutting mat. We used yellow, silver, pink, orange, and teal.
  3. Next, select heavy cardstock paper type (this generally does a better job cutting through a regular weight cardstock).
  4. Press go and wait for the cricut maker to finish cutting the design!
  5. When the design has finished, gently pull it up from the adhesive mat. Make sure to go slow enough so it doesn’t rip. Use a scraper tool to remove the small paper pieces from the mat once the main sheet of paper is removed.
  6. Now, simply repeat the process until you’ve made the amount you’d like.
  7. You’re done! See how easy?

What To Do With Your Doily Valentines

I love that these doily valentines are as versatile as they are delicate and beautiful. You can leave them plain or write a sweet note on them. But you can also place them under a vase of flowers (real or paper) or candle or use them as a decorative element and tape some fancy chocolate to them. I mean, you could really pair them with anything festive and valentine’s-related and they would add a whimsical touch of love to your gift.

What are you going to do with your doily valentines? Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Did you love this tutorial on how to make your own doily valentine? Well it turns out we have quite a few valentine’s-related posts that might be right up your alley! Interested in more DIY valentine crafts? Check out this post, which is full of DIY crafts that are appropriate for the love day. And don’t forget about our sweet little DIY painted valentine box–you’ll need something to put your valentines in, too. Bonus: you can help your kids make their own and they can bring one to school. If you’re wanting a quick valentine that’s also cute, check out this post and our shop. We have endless options of adorable printable valentines! Need gift ideas? Try our valentines gift guides for men and women. And if you want ideas of what to do on Valentine’s Day, here are some Valentine’s Day activity ideas to get you started.

Bird gift topper

Gift topper idea

One of my favorite ways to jazz up a gift is to keep some bright wrapping papers in my arsenal and then add on a cute gift topper. That could be a pretty ribbon or gift tag. Here, I took a more artistic approach and cut out a bird out of black paper and added in some cute details with paint. It’s simple yet striking, no?! It’s a fun little project for feeling like you’re reaching your creative quota for one day.

Solid colored wrapping papers

It all starts with some awesome solid colored wrapping papers in great colors. Here are some great options that you can find in a bundle if you’re looking to add to your gift wrap station. Here’s another brand in really great color options.

GIFT-TOPPERBird gift topper

Hopefully you already have everything you’ll need for this one since it’s so simple, but if not, here’s what you’ll need!

Materials:

Instructions

  1. Start by cutting out the shape of the bird with scissors or on your craft machine*
  2. Paint decorations on the bird with white paint or marker (marker is easier to control if you don’t have much experience with painting)
  3. Affix a paper adhesive mount to the back of the wing for the frontal wing and to the front of the bottom of the wing for the back wing.
  4. Cut out the flag for the bird and if you’ve cut it out on black paper (like we did) paint it peach.
  5. Write in your gift tags on the flag part.
  6. Gift it away!

PAPER-BIRD-GIFT-TOPPER

Of course, you can get into the spirit of decoration and go wild painting and I say have fun with it! This project is one that is meant for getting out your creativity.

Here are some more gift topper ideas:

Prize ribbon Gift topper
3D paper flower gift topper
Tissue paper flower gift topper

Show us your projects on Instagram by using the hashtag #LarsMakes

Photography and crafting by Ashley Isenhour

Neighbor Gift Ideas

Neighbor Gift Ideas

Cookie Boxes

cookie boxes

To start things off, we thought we should probably mention our cookie boxes. This is such a fun, easy way to package up your gifts! You can put actual cookies inside, like we did with our nativity-inspired cookie boxes, or you can fill them with other holiday goodies. If you loved our Mid-Century Nativity, you may want to go with the first option of cookie boxes. If you’re looking for a slight variation and fun gift to put inside, though, you should really check out our DIY Paper Fortune cookies and printable box. It’s also good gift that doesn’t involve sugary treats, so if you’re not sure of your neighbor’s dietary needs, this is a safe option.

Colorful paper takeout boxes

Another sweet and decorative option is our Paper Advent village calendar, which can be turned into a goodie box in an instant.

Paper advent village calendar 7

Christmas Poppers

Similar to cookie boxes, Christmas Poppers are a lovely way to package up your neighbor gifts. This one is a bit smaller, which means you’re limited on size. Regardless, these Christmas poppers are adorable and festive, not to mention quick and easy to make. Stuff them with Christmas candy and you’re ready to go! Hint: you can double up and use our wrapping paper to make these pretty babies.

Christmas poppers

Wrapping Paper

wrapping paperwrapping paperwrapping paper

Did you know there is a wide range of options when it comes to the things you can do with wrapping paper? Yes, you can wrap a square box with it, but we’ve also compiled a few creative things you can do to spice up your neighbor gifts with wrapping paper. This is a post on different packages you can make by folding wrapping paper (like bags and even an origami shirt box)! And if you have simple colored paper lying around, you would probably love our Fruit and Licorice wrapping paper hacks.

fruit wrapping paper

licorice

Oh, and here’s our color combination wrapping paper for all your gift wrapping needs! You can use it to get creative with neighbor gifts, and even make it into Christmas poppers.

wrapping paper

Gift Toppers

greenery gift topper

Gift toppers are another eye-catching and festive way to spice up your neighbor gifts. These holiday greenery gift toppers are the perfect addition to your neighbor gift packages! Since they’re paper, you don’t have to worry about real pine boughs drying up and falling off.

3D Paper flower gift toppers

If you can’t seem to say goodbye to flowers during winter, these 3D paper flower gift toppers are the perfect solution. Prettify your gifts while helping keep the seasonal depression at bay for you and your neighbors!

Last little gift topper idea: This put a bird on it gift topper is a good inside joke, if you’re into Portlandia, and a unique gift topper that is both cute and decorative (the nice thing is, your 90-year-old neighbor doesn’t need to get the joke to appreciate the bird). Also, need I mention that it’s so easy? Just put a bird on it!

bird gift topper

Cupcake toppers

Now these cupcake toppers are a little more involved, if you decide to make cupcakes. But the fun thing about them is you can easily make them into a simple gift topper if you don’t have the time for baking! And then the option to get baking is always there if you’re in for the extra time commitment.

christmas cake topper

The same can be said for our adorable little Christmas Tree cake toppers. Gather them into a little bundle and you have another variation of our holiday greenery gift toppers. The other option is to throw a holiday party and invite your neighbors! Then you have every reason to make a cake and use these adorable little trees in their original state, while simultaneously fulfilling your neighbor gifts.

Crepe Paper Christmas Tree Cake Topper

Christmas Ornaments

Now that you’ve made your adorable gift packaging, the question is, what are you going to fill it with? Well, it just so happens that we have some adorable and seasonally appropriate things in our shop right now that might suit your fancy! To start with, we have a large collection of ornaments that are delicate, beautiful and a wonderful option to gift to loved ones. If you’re looking for something a bit more DIY, we also have some wonderful little templates to make your own paper ornaments (like this and this). And with kids in mind, don’t forget about our lovely snowflake templates (here’s the link to the full tutorial), Nativity paper dolls or coloring pages.

Shop Ornaments

nativity coloring pages

More Inspiration

If you need more last minute gift 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. For more Christmas gift ideas, see our shop!

 

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.

Paper Snowflakes

Paper snowflakes

I know making paper snowflakes can be intimidating at times. I’ve definitely felt that creative block of not knowing where to start to make the perfect snowflake design. It’s tricky, so we’ve designed four beautiful and unique snowflake templates to help you get over that hurdle (you can find them here). Are you ready? Here’s how to make the perfect paper snowflake with your trusty Fiskars scissors.

Step photos

Prepping the paper

  1. First, fold the paper diagonally to make a triangle (when unfolded, your paper is now a perfect square). Then cut off the excess.
  2. Fold the paper diagonally again, making sure to line up the corners with precision. The more precise you are, the easier cutting the snowflakes will be!
  3. Now fold your paper into thirds, using the bottom corner as a reference point. Tip: I like to fold the first side a bit smaller than an exact third because it allows the top to fold down evenly against the side.
  4. There will be two triangles at the top of your folded snowflake. Cut them off and you’re ready to go!

 

Tracing your snowflake template

Now you’re ready for your template.

  1. Print off your templates (found here). Using your Fiskars scissors, cut them out as precisely as possible. Using cardstock or something that’s a bit thicker can be helpful, since you’ll probably be using these templates to trace multiple snowflakes.

Note: I love Fiskars scissors because they’re smooth, sharp, and cut precisely. They’re also durable. I can say from experience that not all scissors are created equal, and Fiskars are definitely at the top of my list, especially when trying to cut through multiple layers of paper, as with these snowflakes.

 

2. Now, lay the cut-out template on the folded paper. Take your pencil (it’s much easier if it’s sharp) and trace the template as precisely as you can. Precision each step of the way helps to make the end product more symmetrical, so do your best.

Cutting out your snowflake

Once your template is traced, you’re ready to start cutting!

cutting the snowflakes

  1. Taking your Fiskars scissors, carefully cut out your snowflake along the tracing lines. Since there are multiple layers of paper, it can be easy to slip and cut too much, so take care.
  2. When you’re done cutting, you’re ready to unfold your snowflake.
  3. Unfold your snowflake. Careful here, the paper sometimes sticks together, so go slowly to avoid ripping your beautiful masterpiece.
  4. Take a minute to step back and admire your handiwork!

single snowflakes

Oo la la!

String these paper snowflakes together and hang them in a window, mantlepiece, or simply tape them up and scatter them around the house for a little holiday cheer. They are so versatile and easy! It’s the perfect activity for friends or family anytime you’re wanting to stay inside and keep warm while also doing something festive.

snowflake

More inspiration

Loved this tutorial? Here’s a list of simple DIY crafts you can make using the Original Orange-handled Fiskars scissors: Thanksgiving Tablescape printable, Retro ornaments printable, New Years crowns printable, and Nativity cookie box printable.

This post is sponsored by Fiskars. We love the brands who support us and allow us to continue to make beautiful content for you! 

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 press flowers in 3 methods

I’m so excited to share this tutorial on how to press flowers with Beci Orpin, one of the most inspiring creatives I know. She’s an artist and illustrator who makes incredible crafts, and I feel lucky to get to share some of her expertise with you.

Press Flowers with Beci

I am an avid collector of many things, but old books are one of my favourites – I rarely walk out of an op shop without one. Quirky typesetting and old-school printing aside, one of the things I love about second-hand books is the chance of discovering a little surprise inside them. I’ve found many treasures tucked inside those yellowing, musty pages, including some flattened Easter-egg wrappers from the 1940s, a birthday note from an aunt to a favourite niece and, best of all, several books containing some beautiful pressed flowers.

When I was a child I used to press flowers with my grandma, and I remember never having enough patience to wait the weeks and weeks before the flowers were completely dried and pressed. Luckily for me, while I was researching this project, I discovered that there are several methods of pressing flowers, some of which allow you to cheat, so you don’t have to wait forever and ever before they are ready. This is good news for me, as I still have as much patience as a five-year-old.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci OrpinYOU WILL NEED:

  • flowers/foliage: ones with flat petals are best (see a list here. I like pansies, geraniums, flowering weeds – anything pretty and dainty
  • book/iron/microwave: what you use will depend on which method you choose.
  • paper or a card: try blotting paper, coffee filter paper, printer paper, several layers of tissue paper

NOTES:

  1. Flowers should preferably be freshly picked, to prevent browning.
  2. Don’t pick your flowers too early in the morning, as they will still have dew on them. The extra moisture from the dew may cause them to go mouldy during the pressing process.
  3. Flowers should have just bloomed or be about to bloom. If they are too mature, they will lose their petals.
  4. If the flowers have obvious stamens, remove them before pressing.

Method 1, Pressing in a book:

(This is the easiest but slowest method; I found it produced the best results.)

Open up your book and place a sheet of paper on one side of the book. Liquid from the flowers can leach into the surrounding pages, so use an old book or several sheets of paper to prevent this. TIP: Don’t use a phone book, as the paper is too flimsy.

Arrange your flowers on the piece of paper, making sure the flowers aren’t overlapping (unless you want them to). Cover with another piece of paper (or fold the first piece of paper in half) and close the book.

Weight down the book by placing some heavy books or bricks on top of it.

Change the papers after 1 week, then leave for a few more weeks until the flowers are completely dry. Try to resist the temptation to check them (unless changing the paper), as this can disturb the flowers.Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

Method 2, Ironing:

Flatten the flowers between pieces of paper in a book, following steps 1–3 (left). Leave the flowers to dry for however long you can manage (I recommend at least 1 day). Empty any water out of the iron (you don’t want any steam), and set the heat to the lowest setting.

Remove the flowers from the book, leaving them sandwiched between the two pieces of paper, and press them with the iron for 10–15 seconds. You don’t need to move the iron around, just press it on the paper.

Method 3, Microwave:

Arrange the flowers in the book between two pieces of paper, following steps 1–2 (left). Make sure that your book has no metal in the spine or type before putting it in the microwave. Place in the microwave and zap for 30 seconds. Take the book out and let it cool by opening the pages to let the steam out (don’t open the pages that have the flowers enclosed). TIP: Have a couple of books on the go at once, so you can have one heating in the microwave while the other one is cooling down.

Once the book is cool, zap it in the microwave again. Repeat until the flowers are almost dry (you may need to do this about four or five times: smaller flowers will dry out quicker), taking care you don’t overcook them, as the flowers will turn brown.

What To Do With Pressed Flowers

Learning to press flowers is just the beginning! Once you’ve pressed your flowers there are so many great crafts you can do with them.

Adding pressed flowers to a handmade card or invitation adds a whimsical touch. You can also place pressed flowers between two sheets of glass and then frame them for a garden-inspired wall decoration, as pictured here.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

This gorgeous pressed flower tray made by Jessica Pezalla of Bramble Workshop is an unexpected and delightful project to make the color from your garden last.

And don’t forget about pressing flowers when next Easter comes around! Then you can use our tutorial for dried flowers on Easter eggs. The possibilities are limitless.

Another floral project I love is this DIY flower pounding on fabric. It makes such beautiful design and the way the flowers transfer their color is delightful.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

If you use this tutorial to press flowers, I would love to see what you make! Share with us with the hashtag #LarsFlowerMonth.

You can purchase Sunshine Spaces here 

Keep reading! See more of our book recommendations here.

Photography by Chris Middleton  |  Book by Beci Orpin 

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

Honeycomb Easter Eggs

Longer Days and Hope for Spring

Making these honeycomb Easter eggs feels therapeutic after what has felt like the longest Winter ever. Spring in Utah is laughably capricious and I haven’t seen the end of snow days, but now I am absolutely REVELING in longer, warmer days. Between these honeycomb Easter eggs, the balmy weather I have been enjoying, and receiving the first dose of the COVID vaccine, I am feeling hopeful. And it’s about time! Something I love about Easter is the focus on growth and light after a time of darkness and fear, and this year it is really hitting home. 

honeycomb Easter eggs on a blush pink background

Sitting down to make these honeycomb Easter eggs is a great opportunity to practice some mindfulness. Here’s to the renewed hope that comes from both Spring and science.

DIY Honeycomb Easter Eggs

Mixing paper colors while building these eggs makes me feel excited to dye Easter eggs soon, but these paper honeycomb eggs have the added benefit of never going bad. I love a project that you can do once and then toss into storage to take out year after year. No rotten egg smell here!

A hand reaches for honeycomb Easter eggs on a blush pink background

This is a great project to do with your Cricut or other cutting machine, but if you don’t have one you can still make these honeycomb Easter eggs. Just get your scissors ready!

Supplies:

Cardstock Paper, our honeycomb egg template, super glue, hot glueglue gun, Cricut machine (or else scissors and an increased time commitment), ribbon for hanging

Thanks so much for checking out these materials! When you buy through these links we get a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps us keep up the crafting.

Step-by-step photos of a honeycomb Easter egg DIY

Instructions:

  1. Download the honeycomb egg template from our shop
  2. With your Cricut machine, cut out the paper pieces. We used 54 pieces per ornament, which we were able to cut from 3 pieces of 12×12 cardstock.
  3. Sort your egg pieces into a pile for every egg, with 50-60 cutouts in each pile. This is when you will put together colors and patterns. We did a few variations of simply alternating colors, but the sky’s the limit here (a kid-curated, random-looking egg would be beautiful, too)!
  4. With your super glue, draw a line from the curved outside edge of a cutout to the straight inside edge about halfway up the egg. 
  5. Place the next cutout on top, taking care to line it up on top of the first one. 
  6. Similar to the way you glued the first cutouts together, draw two lines from the outside edge to the inside, one toward the bottom of the egg and one toward the top.
  7. Place the next cutout on top. 
  8. Repeat steps 4-7, alternating between one and two lines of glue, until you have glued together your entire stack.
  9. Seal the spine of your egg by putting a line of hot glue along the straight inside edge and spreading it with the warm metal tip of your glue gun. Repeat this until the spine is held together. 
  10. Using your hot glue, attach both ends of a ribbon to the spine so that it can be hung up.
  11. Bend the beginning and end of your paper cutout stack so that they meet and secure with glue. Sometimes a few pieces of paper will separate at this step. That’s okay! Just dab a little more glue between them and hold them together to secure them again. 
  12. Tadaa! You have finished a honeycomb Easter egg! Make as many as you please and fill your home with Easter joy. 

DIY Valentine Fruit Piñatas

DIY Valentine Pinata from The House That Lars Built

DIY Valentine Piñatas in Fun Fruit Shapes

I’m thinking that these guys would be great to leave at a door for a friend or even send in the mail. And then match up the fruit with candies of the same flavor–can you imagine?! So cute! You can choose from an orange (orange you glad we’re friends?), peach “you’re a peach!”, a strawberry “you’re berry special”, a pear “you’re pearfect”, and a honeydew melon “HoneyDEW you want me to be your Valentine?”.

+ Printable Fruit Sticker Valentines

Complete your DIY Valentine Fruit Piñatas with these printable fruit stickers! Just download the file here and print them out on sticker paper. It’s just the touch your special someone will love.

DIY Valentine Pinata from The House That Lars Built

How to Make Your Own DIY Valentine Fruit Piñatas

Supplies:

DIY Fruit Pinata from The House That Lars Built

Instructions:

  1. Use our templates to trace the shape of the fruit onto cardboard. You’ll need two shapes per cardboard.
  2. Cut 1.5″ strips going against the grain of the cardboard for the sides of the fruit shapes. Glue or tape them onto the fruit shape.
  3. Cut 3/4″ fringe of crepe paper or tissue paper.
  4. Apply the fringe to the bottom of the fruit and then work your way up to the top of the fruit.
  5. STEM: Add on a stem by rolling a piece of tissue or paper around in a circle. Glue in place.
  6. LEAF: Cut a leaf out of paper or crepe paper and glue in place.
  7. Top it all off with one of our adorable fruit stickers (you can find them here).

DIY Valentine Pinata from The House That Lars Built

Other DIY Valentines

A Valentine with a handmade touch is the best way to show your crush, your gal pals, or your loved ones you really care. Check out our Valentine’s Day archives for more DIY ideas for the crafty Secret Admirer, or click any of the photos below.