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. 

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,

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!

 

 

 

DIY Sparklers For New Year’s Eve

We’ve been busy sharing our favorite DIYs for a fun New Year’s Eve celebration, including paper crowns, 2021 glasses, and more from the Lars archives. Today we’re delving into a really fun project to add to these—some DIY sparklers!

Maybe you’re not a fan of actual fireworks, or the thought of going outside in the chilly night air on New Year’s Eve is not appealing. Either way, this craft is for you. These sparklers require no fire, no lighters, no matches…nothing. Which makes it perfect for the whole family to enjoy, even your youngest kiddos!

DIY Sparklers for New Year's Eve

All you need to make your own DIY sparklers is some colorful cellophane and some wooden dowels. And like many of our projects, this one is reusable.

DIY Sparklers

Materials:

Wooden dowels

Cellophane: We used gold, but also love this iridescent option and this colorful set. You can also use ribbon or tissue paper.

Scissors

Hot Glue Gun

Instructions:

  1. Cut three 12 inch by 5 inch strips of cellophane.

2. Create a fringe effect with each strip by cutting parallel lines down the full strip, making sure never to cut all the way to the edge of your material.

3. Once all 3 strips are fringed, take your dowel and begin gluing one strip on to the top of the dowel.. Starting on one side and twisting it around the skewer, adding a dab of glue when needed to keep it in place.

5. Do that for each strand creating 3 tiered layers at the top of the skewer.

6. Add 1 thin piece of cellophane around the bottom of the 3 tiers to add the finish touch!

This projects also makes for great cake toppers! Or use them for your New Year’s Eve party centerpieces, drink stirrers, tablescape and more.

New Year's Eve Cake Topper

For more creative New Year’s ideas, check out our New Year’s Eve archives.

Paris-Inspired Design: A Bastille Day Bash

How to visit Paris without leaving home

Bastille Day is akin to the USA’s Independence Day in that it marks an important historical turn towards democracy. The bastille building itself was an armory that citizens of Paris stormed and set political prisoners free on July 14, 1789. Modernly, people celebrate in different ways all over the country! My favorite tradition takes place each year in the gardens of the President’s residence, the Palais de l’Elysee. The President hosts a picnic!! Isn’t that amazing? Take your own trip to France tomorrow by celebrating Bastille Day!

Cue the inspiration for my Bastille Day celebration: I’m throwing myself a picnic. Make your picnic simple and clever with these printable placemats!

Our Paris cake toppers from illustrator Jessie Kenelos Weiner, author of Paris in Stride are available for FREE! Download your own and make breakfast extra sweet tomorrow morning. Plus, you can count this as tomorrow’s homeschool geography lesson 😉

How to celebrate like a Parisienne

Lars girls love garden parties and all things French, so this particular celebration is downright delightful. I whole-heartedly suggest you decorate with some adorable France printables, as they are an easy way to play with the stylish theme: Paris-inspired design. Take color cues from there! The tricolore of red, white, and blue is simple and classic – just like French design. Don your best Breton striped top (blue and white of course), chic trousers/skirt, and a pop of color in the form of red lipstick. Stay up late and light off fireworks to celebrate the end of the day. 

Print off our Paris crown and invitation suite here for your next party. Whether you are celebrating Bastille Day, a garden party, a birthday party, or anything else – this party is sure to be tres chic.

How to decorate and dress like a Parisienne

I can’t write about Paris without mentioning how much I adore the style and design identity of this city. With each encounter, I feel creatively inspired. You got your first taste of this with our tips on how to recreate the iconic style of Monet’s French home. And everyone knows Paris has the best fashion. They even have a best baby’s clothes! As I figured when I visited while pregnant with Jasper. Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for incorporating Paris-inspired design in your home and wardrobe. 

1. Don’t overdo it

You’ve probably heard this quote from Coco Chanel: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” I’m pretty sure she is talking about accessories here…  Still, the advice stands – Paris-inspired design/fashion tends to be somewhat minimal. The pieces themselves can be extravagant and ornate, but use a light hand when decorating and accessorizing. 

2. Mix the classic with the eclectic

Part of what makes Paris so magical is its history. There’s just so much that has happened in that ancient city, and all of it feels magical. Select pieces that reflect the growth of the city! Ornate mirrors and crown moldings look fantastic juxtaposed with chic European modernism. Picture a chunky strand of gems or pearls atop a simple black suit jacket. Or fabulous shoes beneath a pair of pleated shorts. Invest in a few significant Paris-inspired pieces, then really showcase them. 

3. Embrace romance

The feel of Paris is really worth celebrating and if you’ve been, you know that feeling is one of romance. It’s almost as if some city official found a way to transform Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose into a scent and then pipe it through every vent in the city. If you’ll take a moment to recall the romantic moments of your life, I’m sure you’ll discover what I have: it’s all about the details. The same idea goes for creating a romantic feel for a space or look! Pick one romantic touch, like long-stemmed candles, your grandmother’s hand-embroidered pillows, ornate frames surrounding photographs from memories you love, sheer curtains, or a touch of crystal. Little details like these can make even the coldest rooms come alive. 

Paris-inspired Decor

 

France-inspired art prints to hang on your walls

We firmly believe anyone can pull off a beret, and this print from Monica Dorazewski agrees! Or for a more subtle reference to the city of love, transport your self to the Palais-Royal with this Stripes is Rhythm print from Jaqueline Diedam.

Fill your home with the art of French artist Julie Marabelle. We carry some of her stunning papercut art in the Lars Print Shop and they have added a touch of a French garden to my bedroom. You can read more about her life in France here.

Other fun French items

Everything you need for Paris-inspired design filling your home. If you are planning a trip to France, our favorite guides are Paris in Stride which you can read more about here. As well as Paris by Design by my good friend Eva Jorgensen. You can also find our guide to small shops in Paris here. As well as our itinerary from our last visit to France, here!

 

Enjoy! 

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!

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!

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.

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!

 

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!

 

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!

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.