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!

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Although throwing a dinner party can seem daunting, let alone Thanksgiving, we’re making it easy for you this year! With our Friendsgiving Printables, you can (1) Send out invitations, (2) Set the table with placemats, (3) Set the table with place cards or invite guests to bring a dish to share and label it, and  (4), Send them away with leftover boxes. The key here is going potluck style: you be in charge of the turkey and perhaps a dessert, and then delegate the rest. This allows guests to contribute and bring a taste of their home to the party. Easy as apple pie!

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Leftover boxes are a genius addition to any Thanksgiving feast because there is always so much food! And let’s be honest, those turkey cranberry sandwiches you make the day after are one of the best parts of the holiday!

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

What’s better than adorable and disposable placemats? These will make such a lovely and festive tablescape without breaking the bank!

Friendsgiving Printables

Friendsgiving Printables

And if you’re looking for a different style, try this one from two years ago! 

Photography by Clara Jones | Illustrations by Ashley Isenhour

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.

DIY geometric cardboard piece tower

How to make a 3D geometric cardboard structure

The fun with this game/art piece is to go wild making shapes and put them together. First, we took the existing pieces from this mobile:

bauhaus inspired tablescape

Then, we added in some cardboard pieces that we painted solid colors with house paint. And then we added slits into them with scissors.

Then got to stacking them in this way or that.

To learn about how we painted the original pieces, you can read the original post here.

We’d love to see how you make your own cardboard structures. Tag us with #LarsMakes so we can see them!

DIY Gold Foil Star Crown

We could have bought one for her as our gift, but what’s the fun in that when you can make it yourself and then have that added special sentiment? We made a template just for it so you can either hand cut it or put it into your craft cutter.

DIY Paper Gold Star crown

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Using the template cut and out as many stars as you will need. The amount of stars you need will vary depending on the size of the head you are creating the stars for. All of the large stars have 3 stars stacked and the small stars are stacked with two.
  2. We used a craft cutter to cut out stars but you can do this with scissors or an x-acto knife.
  3. Once you have the right amount of stars cut out you will gold foil them.
  4. To gold foil the stars you will apply a small amount of gold leaf adhesive, allow 10 seconds to dry and apply a sheet of gold leaf.
  5. Allow 2-3 minutes for the gold leaf to set and then gently brush away using your soft bristle brush.
  6. Repeat step 5 on the other side. If you feel it looks okay you can just cover one side, however, Later on you will turn the edges up slightly which may reveal more color than you would like to see of the back. We covered both sides.
  7. Once all of your stars are foiled you will begin to stack them.
  8. To stack your large stars you will use a variation of three sizes of large stars and to connect them you will use a small dab of hot glue. Be sure you are placing them correctly because if you have to pull it off to replace it it will pull off the gold leaf.
  9. For the small stars you will repeat step 6 however you will only stack 2 of the small ones.
  10. Once all of the stars are stocked correctly you can begin laying them out on top of the string so you can adjust the placement and check that you have enough to make sure you have enough of the stars.
  11. Once they are all positioned correctly you can apply them to the ribbon with a small hot glue dab to the gold ribbon.
  12. Once all the stars are attached you will use a dab of hot glue to connect your ribbon ends, try to strategically place your stars so that the stop where the ribbons overlap is covered by a star.

Would love to see if you make it! Tag us with #LarsMakes so we can take a lookie! 

Why use a Cricut? A Q&A

Do you need a Cricut machine?

As professional crafters, we love to get our hands on any type of tool or machine and the Cricut is no exception, but the next natural question is, do YOU need the machine. And the answer depends on what you’re trying to use it for. 

One of the main reasons we love using our Cricut is the ability to design AND cut our own projects. Cricut has a library of thousands and thousands of templates and patterns in their Design Library, which is amazing, BUT we love doing our own thing. And I suspect that you might as well? I’ve had a number of designers reach out over the years about this topic and I think if you like to design in Illustrator, it’s totally worth it. You can take any design you make and have it cut in the machine. Then the magic is up to you!

To handcut or to Cricut

Of course, we also love to cut things by hand. There’s a quality that you just don’t get with a machine. If you’re going for perfection and quantity, I’d recommend the machine, but if it’s a hand-cut quality, it might be best to stick with your scissors.

Now, HOW to use the Cricut. I demonstrated how to do our paper flower cake topper as a Live a few weeks ago. You can see it here

How to Make Crafts with Cricut

  1. Plug in your Cricut and place it on a flat surface (if you don’t have a designated craft room, your kitchen table works, too!).
  2. Make sure you have a laptop or phone nearby so you can load the design into the Cricut via Bluetooth (oh, and turn your Bluetooth on whatever device you’re using).
  3. Connect your device to the Cricut machine via Bluetooth.
  4. Set up Cricut Design Space if you haven’t already by going here.
  5. Get your design ready! For Cricut, you will need SVG files. Cricut has a library of designs in Cricut Design Space, which is included with your machine, or you can use one of ours
  6. Choose a material. If you have the Cricut Explore Air 2, you can use the Smart Set Dial, which adjusts the cut settings according to the material you’re using. Nifty! Options include iron-on material, cardstock (both light and heavyweight), fabric, poster board, and more. If you’re using the Cricut Maker, there is no dial, but the machine will adjust the blade settings for you–just select the material you’re using in Design Space.
  7. DesignSpace actually runs through a beginner project with you after you set it up. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect—this is just practice, after all!
  8. You can create your own designs in Design Space or upload them. Once you do that, the rest is quite intuitive. Design Space will show you what to do as far as measuring and cutting a piece of material, and from there, you simply load your material (cut according to Design Space’s measurements) onto the sticky mat, and then load it into the Cricut much like you would a printer. 
  9. If you are using the Cricut Explore Air 2, make sure the dial is set to whichever material you’re using (if it’s not listed on the dial, hit “Custom”). The Cricut Maker will automatically adjust to the material you’ve chosen in Design Space.
  10. Hit the start button (the Cricut logo button, which will flash when it’s ready to go). 
  11. That’s it! 

Which Cricut machine do I need?

That depends on what you’re trying to achieve and how often you think you’ll use it. Let’s look at the options:

Cricut Joy

If you like making small projects or greeting cards, they just came out with the new Cricut Joy. Admittedly, I haven’t tried it out myself so I can’t speak to it, but I just saw that it’s sold in stores at Target so it’s accessible and looks like a great option for quick projects.

Here’s what you would need with the Cricut Joy:

Cricut Joy
Replacement blade
Cricut Joy Lightgrip Mat or Standard mat
And some fun materials like vinyl and such to experiment with

Cricut Maker

This is the most expensive option, but it’s also the most versatile machine so personally, I like using this the most. The interface is easy, it cuts a variety of materials, and it’s just so great.

It comes in a variety of color options, but they’re basically all the same!

Cricut Maker

Here’s what you would need with the Cricut Maker:

Cricut Maker
Cricut basic tool set
Cricut standard mat or the variety pack

Cricut Explore Air 2

That said, as much as we use our Maker, we mostly just cut paper so we’d be fine using the Explore. And it comes in a few options like the Explore Air 2, which doesn’t require cords.

Here’s what you would need with the Cricut Explore Air 2:

Cricut Explore Air 2
Cricut basic tool set
Cricut standard mat or the variety pack

What Can I Make with A Cricut?

The real question is what can’t you make? No really, the possibilities are seemingly endless, and with the number of materials you can use, you could be crafting forever (and that’s not a bad thing). Some of our favorite things we’ve made with a Cricut are:

DIY stuffed whale with free templates

iron on your costumes with vinyl decals for Halloween

This is the Easy Press from Cricut, which allows you to iron on vinyl!

Green house Halloween costume

Other Supplies to Use with Your Cricut

Besides an outlet, a flat surface, and a good internet connection, you will need a few other things to create, print, and finish your design.

As you can tell, we love using our Cricut and I’m betting most of us need a good creative distraction from all the stuff that’s happened this year! Try one of our fun crafts with Cricut to start, and we promise you’ll be hooked.

We’d love to see how YOU use your machine. Tag us in your projects!

This post is not sponsored by Cricut, we just really love our machine. This post does contain affiliate links. 

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.

 

Last Minute Easter Printables

Easter gift tags and cards

For the final touch even the Easter bunny himself would approve of, print off these cards and add them to baskets and gifts. You can make it simple, and add a punny carrot tag. Or add a handmade touch with our Danish Easter letters template.

carrot easter gift tagsFunny and sweet compliment cardsEaster gift cards to pair with hair clipsDanish Easter Letters template

Add a hair clip to these printable “Here’s to a good hare day” cards. Or sprinkle in happy compliments for an easter basket for a friend!

Sugar-free Easter egg fillers

Printable Easter Gift coupons to put in sugar-free easter eggs

During social distancing, I have been doing my best to fill Jasper’s easter basket with fun activities to keep his little hands busy. The last thing I need is a sugar frenzy! (for him, or for me when I sneak his cadbury eggs.) These coupons above were made to be printed off, and take the place of candy filling your eggs for the hunt. Your kids will be extra surprised this year when they find coupons to cash in for a movie night of their choice, family karaoke, and more fun! There are blank coupons provided you can fill in with your own activity ideas too! It’s truly the Easter gift that keeps on giving, to the whole family!

You can find the coupons here
You can find the plastic gold Easter eggs here

Easter coloring pages

Easter Bunny coloring page

Easter egg hunt coloring pageChocolate bunny and Easter Candy coloring page

Print off copies of our exclusive Easter coloring pages for the whole family to enjoy!

Easter activities

Bunny and chick paper dolls

We could not be more excited about the addition of these whimsical Easter bunny and chick paper dolls to our shop this year! You can print off multiple outfits, and even a tablescape scene for the dolls to enjoy. Available in a colorful option OR a blank one to color in and make the fun last even longer!

Easter paper dolls and coloring pages activity pack

The set above includes all our paper dolls sets and Easter coloring pages. Complete your fun-filled Easter basket with this activity set!

Explore our full Easter shop here and get all ready for Sunday!

 

 

 

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

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. 

A trend we love “cherry” much!

Trend Alert: Cherries!

Some of our favorite cherry inspired projects from Lars past are our paper cherry wreath and our tootsie pop cherry gifts! So of course now that cherries are majorly on trend WE ARE HERE FOR IT.

Click here to learn how to make your very own cherry wreath!

Very Cherry Statement Pieces

Cherries can make a statement in literally any area of your life, as you’ll see below! We found cherry inspired fashion, decor, stationery, art, and more! As the weather warms up, usher in spring and summer with some fun nods to this current trend.

Imagine a cherry 🍒 themed party?! Hang this garland, lay out these napkins, and you’re on your way! These cherry gift balls from Meri Meri are hiding fun party favors, and these clips from Ban.do make perfect party gifts too! Here are some of our favorite unique ice cream sundae flavors that will literally be the cherry on top of your party.

Cherry pillows are such a fun statement item! Find the grown up version here for your living room, or the kid’s version here!

Lars Exclusive

Our newest design in our exclusive wrapping paper line features this trend! And it is on sale right now!

Originally made to be valentines, our tootsie pop cherries can be given as gifts all year round! Think birthdays, teacher appreciation, and random acts of kindness to brighten someone’s day!

Printable Cookie Box with Arlo’s Cookies

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

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

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

Printable Christmas Nativity Cookie Box

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

Materials:

See above (the printable you can find here)

Instructions:

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

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

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

If you liked this project, you might like the following

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

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