DIY Dried Flower Pumpkins

Today we’re bringing you a DIY fall project with dried flowers, but this one is a little different than our DIY Rainbow Pumpkins we posted last month. However, both projects could be left up year-round to add a little charm and cheer to your front porch.

I love our pumpkin projects because they involve no carving. That’s right, no scraping the inside of a pumpkin for hours until your arm gets numb. No sifting through pumpkin goop to get out the seeds for roasting. And no more planning out an elaborate design, only to accidentally cut off a huge piece of pumpkin and ruining the whole thing! I’m really making a case for a no-carving Halloween, aren’t I? Well it turns out, there are other ways to dress up pumpkins, and I’d argue they let you be even more creative than a carving set!

Unlike our colorful painted gourds, this pumpkin DIY relies on natural adornmentspreserved flowers, to be precise! You don’t need a perfectly round pumpkin for this DIY fall project with dried flowers. In fact, you could even dress up some acorn or butternut squash if that’s what you have on hand. How gorgeous would these pumpkins be as a Thanksgiving table centerpiece?

Even though we’re using preserved flowers for this project, that doesn’t mean the colors have to be tone down. You know which blog this is, right? Bring on the brightness! Choose jewel toned flowers that hold onto their hues after drying, like dried globe amaranth or strawflowers. How perfect is the name “strawflower”?! It evokes those beautiful red berries we all know and love and the “straw” makes me think of fall harvest.

Here are some of our favorite preserved and dried flowers from around the web!

DIY Fall project with dried flowers and pumpkins!

Materials:

See above!

Instructions:

  1. Pick out your flowers (we got ours from Terrain) and pumpkins. We went with a monochromatic scheme because…elegance!
  2. Plan your pattern.
  3. Start gluing! Use extra glue to make sure they stay on!

That’s it!

It’s really an easy project, but you can get super intricate with the design and style of the pumpkin. Again, how lovely would it be as a wedding centerpiece. I’m definitely showing these off ASAP!

Yes, summer is over, and it’s taking the beautiful flowers with it, but don’t fret! This DIY will help you preserve the colorful blooms all through the fall season.

Thank you Terrain for providing the beautiful preserved flowers! You can shop their collection here

Things To Do For Mom

Give her breakfast in bed

Breakfast in bed is the classic Mother’s Day gift! But this year you can make it even more unique by cutting out fruit in the shape of flowers. It’s a simple way even the little kids can feel like they’re contributing to help make mom feel special. To get you started, give her a hot cup of tea in this speckled loopy mug from our shop, or add a twisted candle in a flower candle holder.

Here are some more supplies to help prep for the perfect breakfast in bed:

Make dinner

Growing up, my dad would make dinner for my mom every Mother’s Day. Most of the time, he did a pretty spectacular job (though I still remember the time he forgot the cheese in the lasagna). Don’t worry, if you’re not feeling confident enough in your cooking to take on a whole meal yourself (I understand, I really do–I’m the queen of not knowing how to cook), enlist the help of siblings and friends and make a day of it! There’s also no shame in a few store-prepared elements to your meal (Harmon’s and Trader Joe’s are my favorites).

If your mom loves to cook, some great gifts we mentioned in our Mother’s Day gift guide this year are our recipe cards and this adorable new checkerboard apron!

Here are some other great kitchen supplies to make the dinner extra special and beautiful:

Give her a beautiful card

A Mother’s Day card can never go wrong. It’s simple, but something every mother loves. Luckily for you, we have a whole host of Mother’s Day cards and stationary like this Scandinavian one to get you started!

Something handmade

What mom doesn’t love a handmade gift from their child? Head straight to our blog for tons of great DIY projects that double as great Mother’s Day gifts! For example, try these photo transfer dolls, or this beautiful clay necklace. This lovely embroidered brooch is another great option your mom can wear. For the kids, check out this post with tons of great Mother’s Day ideas kids can help with!

Two embroidered plush dolls on a blue background surrounded by colorful toys

Closeup of the embroidered floral brooch on Brittany's chambray quilted coat.

Flowers

Of course we couldn’t forget flowers. You know we love flowers, here at The House that Lars Built. Why not make some paper flowers for your mom this year? Some of my favorites are peonies, foxgloves, and hollyhocks. It’s a bouquet that stays looking fresh long after Mother’s Day!

Paper peony bouquet held by a person in a striped dress

Magenta and purple hollyhocks made of crepe paper against a dark grey background

No time to make a bouquet? Here are some lovely flower-centric options to try:

Go on a mom date

Take her out to her favorite restaurant, go get manis/pedis, get massages or do a full spa day, get a yummy treat, go on a walk amidst the blossoms, the options are endless. The one thing we know is that she’ll love getting to spend some quality time with you.

Here are some spa items you could incorporate into an at-home spa day:

Clean for her

Every mom appreciates a little help with the cleaning. Growing up, I remember asking my mom what she wanted for birthdays and she’d always mention cleaning. We can all relate! No matter how on top of the chores you are, it’s nice to take a break and let someone else take care of it for a change. The best part about this is that all ages of children can do a little something to help. Your mother deserves it!

Oh, and to top off your cleaning, why not light a deliciously scented candle? Mmmm, I love a good candle, and I bet your mom does, too.

More Gift Ideas

Still stumped? Check out our 2022 Mother’s Day gift guide!

Lars Gardens: Planter and Pot Roundup

I have big dreams of landscaping my yard one day, but let’s be honest–it wasn’t going to happen in year one as a home owner. After all, there’s so much to do in the house that I couldn’t get myself to prioritize the outdoor space just yet. Instead, this year I’ve turned to my old standby of making a container garden on the porch, so I wanted to round up some statement planters to get you excited about planting flowers in your space!

Brittany steps out the door to a porch garden full of container plants in bright colors.

Even when I do get around to planning out and designing my whole garden, I’ll probably keep filling my porch with planters and pots because it looks so good and planting is such a great activity to do with kids. Whether you’re a homeowner or you’re renting in a small space, growing a garden in planters is an accessible way to cultivate joy in your space.

Lest you think that container gardening is a step-below gardening in the rest of the yard, look at my current gardening hero: Claus Dalby. Claus Dalby is a Danish gardener who’s going to be publishing a book soon, and I’m so excited to read it! He also is the king of container gardening. I love the way all the flowers look when they’re stacked together. Check out Claus Dalby’s instagram @ClausDalby

Sunset-colored container gardenPastel pink container garden.Purple container garden with lots of tulips. Orange container garden by Claus Dalby

Planter Roundup

A few years ago I shared some of my favorite places to buy planters in this post. They’re still excellent resources, but some of them are only in-person shops. Well, this year I’ve put together a big list of planters and pots that you can buy online. Now you can build your own collection of planters, whether live across the globe or across the street from me!

An exterior shot of a porch container garden with lots of flowers and sunlight.

Pre-potted plants

First up, pre-potted plants!  We partnered up with Plantquility to show you that anyone can (and should 😉 be a plant person, especially a houseplant person.  Plantquility’s pots come with fully grown healthy pre potted indoor plants.  Their site even showcases a comprehensive Care Guide for any of the plants you can purchase on their site. This means no guessing when it comes to your plant maintenance and care. 

Their pots come in nice, neutral colors so fit in with any room design. And with a premium and durable fiberglass material, these pots are sure to last! 

Here are some of our favorites:

pre-potted plants Tranquility

Colorful Planters

It wouldn’t be The House that Lars Built if I didn’t guide you to something colorful! There are colorful planters for every budget here.

Terracotta Planters

A display of geraniums in terracotta pots

Terracotta is a go-to for container gardening, and for good reason! Not only does it look beautiful, terracotta has a porous texture so it keeps plants from staying too wet. There’s nothing wrong with the standard terracotta pot look, but I found a few terracotta statement planters that are extra special.

Hanging Planters

Brittany holds baby Jasper up to a hanging flower pot full of pink flowers.

Hanging planters are a great way to get height and variety in your garden design. They look especially good with flowers or vines that spill over the sides. Once it gets too cold for plants to live outside, you can bring your hanging planters in and use them with your houseplants.

Unique-shaped Planters

Planters and pots come in so many unique shapes. From modern and sleek to abstract to even puppy shaped, there’s no reason not to incorporate some interesting shapes to your collection of planters and pots.

Patterned Planters

Planters with interesting patterns look great with ornamental grasses, greenery, and houseplants.

Textured Planters

 

If you’re looking to liven up your collection of planters without going all-out on the decorations and designs, interesting textures can hit the spot.

If you’re still looking for gardening inspiration, check out this post where I fantasize about my dream garden and this post where I show you how to plant a rainbow container garden.

Thanks for shopping through this planter roundup with me! Every time you buy something through one of my links I get a small commission, which helps me bring you more great projects and designs.

This post is sponsored by Tranquility though all opinions are mine.

Our Top Ten Posts of 2021

Our Top Ten Posts Of 2021

I have to admit, it was a fun surprise to see which posts came out on top. 2021 was an eventful year and it was nostalgic to go back through those memorable projects we had so much fun with. Keep scrolling to see what your Lars 2021 favorites were! As you reminisce with us, consider this a perfect opportunity to revisit these must-do projects and get inspiration for the coming year.

1. How to Press Flowers in 3 Methods

Winning by a landslide, our number one post of 2021 was How to Press Flowers in 3 Methods. If you didn’t get a chance to see this the first time, I would highly recommend trying out these methods for pressing flowers come Spring. Beci Orpin is a genius, and we were thrilled to feature her tutorial on how to press flowers.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

2. (Fall)ing in Love With Quilted Coats

Remember our obsession with quilted coats? We sure do. (Fall)ing in Love With Quilted Coats is a post dedicated to those oh so lovely statement pieces you’ve been seeing everywhere. An element of cottagecore (which you can learn more about in the original post), these coats are surprisingly timeless, while also being unique and one-of-a-kind in both style and class. If this is your first time hearing about quilted coats, you’re in for a real treat.

Now, we know there’s been some debating going on, so don’t worry, we’ve addressed that, too. If you’re interested in reading more about it, see our post here for more.

Brittany wears a pink and neutral quilted coat in front of a white house with green grass.

Oh, and here’s our very own quilted coat! And as an ode to COVID, here’s another variation.

3. Baby Lars’ French-Inspired Rattan Nursery

Our third post in our top ten posts of 2021 was the Baby Lars’ French-Inspired Rattan Nursery. I mean, how could that rattan in all its glory not make the top ten list?! There’s a reason we’re so obsessed with it, and you will be too once you read this post, if you haven’t already.

Dramatic Rattan bed with a criss-crossing rattan headboard

A rattan bassinet with metal legs in a light-filled nursery

4. Meet Brittany’s New Rainbow Office

An ode to all the home renovations we’ve been doing since we moved into our new house, Meet Brittany’s New Rainbow Office was such a fun renovation to add to the list! From the rainbow carpet to the rainbow calendar, I honestly love sitting in my office. Just ask the rest of the team, it’s where you’ll find me most of the time. Can you blame me?

rainbow calendar home office

5. Make The Midsummer Floral Crown

The fifth post of our top ten posts of 2021 was Make The Midsummer Floral Crown. Come summer, you won’t be able to resist dipping your toes in the water and trying out these lovely little floral crowns. Perfect for a summer tea party, picnic, wedding, or gathering with the gals, they also double as a quick and easy summer craft! We love how dainty and refined these customizable crowns feel, and would highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t already.

waxflower and laurel flower crowns are stacked in a pile.

6. 3 DIY Lampshades Made With Unexpected Recycled Materials

Okay, I could go on for a long time about these 3 DIY Lampshades Made With Unexpected Recycled Materials. It’s amazing what lighting can do to complete the look of a room, and these DIY lampshades do just that. We had so much fun making them, and if you haven’t had a chance, head over to the original post and give them a try! The best part is, you can cut down on environmental waste while you make something beautiful for your home. Yes please!

DIY lampshade with Spoonflower fabric

7. 3 Pie Crust Designs To Wow Your Guests This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and a large reason why has to do with the pies. These 3 Pie Crust Designs To Wow Your Guests This Thanksgiving were such a fun way to still do something creative with the Thanksgiving food, while also avoiding the actual cooking (this was a requisite for me, as anyone who knows me can attest–cooking is not my thing). I’m totally okay not cooking, as long as I get to help beautify the already-made foods! And I have to say, these pies do look stunning. So! Keep them in the back of you mind as you prep for this year’s Thanksgiving. I know it’s a ways away, but it can’t hurt to be prepared, right?

8. In The Mood For: Frida Kahlo Inspired Interior Design

Next from our top ten posts of 2021 was In The Mood For: Frida Kahlo Inspired Interior Design. I mean, am I really ever not in the mood for Frida Kahlo inspired interior design? It’s a merging of two of my favorite things! This post, dedicated to helping inspire your inner Frida as you decorate your home, is one that is useful for far more than just a glance through can provide. Take a look, and just see if you aren’t inspired to take a leaf out of Frida Kahlo’s book. Or painting.

9. Printable Summer Pie Boxes

Are you ready for Summer? I know it’s only January, but I have a feeling I’m not the only one already itching for those warm summer days and endless opportunities for outdoor parties and get togethers. Well, if you really want to be prepared to wow your guests, these Printable Summer Pie Boxes are the perfect thing! Everyone knows what a pain it is to get to the end of a party, only to realize there are delicious treats left but no to-go boxes to put them in. That’s where these summer pie boxes come in. They’re adorable, but perfectly functional for all your pie-storing and transporting needs. Oh, and keep them around–you can use them in November for those adorable pies you made.

Leftover summer pie box

10. DIY Doily Honeycomb Decorations

Last but definitely not least on our top ten posts of 2021 are our DIY Doily Honeycomb Decorations. A variation on our Honeycomb ornaments, these delicate little decorations are the perfect thing to celebrate your relationships this Valentine’s Day. And how convenient, it’s just about a month away, so now’s the perfect time to get decorating!

What Would You Like to See This Year?

We loved getting to reminisce with you through our top ten posts of 2021. It’s sparked a lot of ideas, and we’re thrilled for a new year full of engaging projects to keep us all sane and happy!

We would love to know: what would you like to see from us in 2022?

4 Ways to Make Succulent Pumpkins

 1. A Pumpkin Family with Succulents and Squash

In the spirit of my Halloween decorating philosophy (classic harvest season decorations are always a win!), I will be providing you a few tutorials on how to create a lovely Halloween. First up, a DIY pumpkin family. Are you dying from cuteness overload yet? I nearly did as we shot this. It’s too much. I teamed up with the succulent expert Cassidy Tuttle of Succulents and Sunshine (a blog all about succulents. She even has an ebook!) and illustrator of the most adorable faces, Michelle Christensen of My Little Belleville to bring you the world’s cutest pumpkin family. Succulents as hair and a painted face. I die. AND, Michelle made you some templates so you can recreate her faces. You can find them in our Halloween shop here. Score!

Materials:

  • Light-colored pumpkins (I found that white works the best)
  • Acrylic paints (black and red and white are all you really need)
  • Fine paintbrush
  • Carving knife
  • Pumpkin faces PDF template (download here)
  • Pencil
  • A variety of succulents
  • Rocks for succulents

Instructions:

  1. Carve out the top. You won’t need it so feel free to discard.
  2. Scoop out the seeds.
  3. You can trace the faces onto the pumpkin by positioning the template where you want the face and then pressing hard with a pen or pencil.

OR 4. You can use pins or toothpicks to transfer the image onto the pumpkin.

OR 5. Use the template as a stencil and cut it out and paint over it with your brush.

6. Paint in the lines with your acrylic paints.

7. Die of cuteness overload.

8. Put some rocks into the pumpkin and insert your succulents. Try a few in the head or just one larger succulent.
I mean…
Greenery AND pumpkins? I love it. Look at how adorable and colorful this pumpkin family is! You could also make this DIY pumpkin family resemble your own family! How cute would that be?
Photography by Cassidy Tuttle of Succulents and Sunshine
Illustration by Michelle Christensen of My Little Belleville (check out her adorable shop!)
Assistant: Audrey Ellsworth
Art direction and crafting: moi

2. Succulents and flowers on pumpkins and squash

I also thought it’d be fun to add some succulents onto some pumpkins as if they were flower petals or a mandala. Super easy yet lovely. We’ve been thinking about many ways to decorate pumpkins with succulents, and this one is fun for all ages!

Materials:

  • Pumpkins (light-colored work best)
  • Succulents in various shades
  • Glue gun

Instructions:

  1.  Break off the succulents carefully at the very base of where they meet the trunk.
  2. Apply hot glue onto the pumpkin and then apply the succulent. I found that when you applied it onto the succulent, it’s more prone to fall off.
DONZO.
You know that I’m more comfortable working with paper and fabric than succulents! But I do love greenery, and these tutorials are a great way to work with plants, even if you’re not an experienced gardener. This tutorial is especially perfect if you have succulents around the house that are falling apart. Don’t let those beauties go to waste! Use the leaves to decorate a pumpkin!

Photography by Cassidy Tuttle of Succulents and Sunshine 

3. DIY Words made from Succulents Pumpkins

Here’s the third of four projects that Cassidy and I collaborated on. She made these adorable pumpkins spelling the words “BOO” written in succulents.
This DIY is pretty easy, and it doesn’t require many materials! We stacked the pumpkins in this tutorial, but you can always place them next to each other to spell out whatever phrase your Halloween decor calls for. Gah! Stacking pumpkins is harder than it looks!

Materials:

  • Succulent Cuttings
  • Pumpkins (live or fake!)
  • Hot glue or floral glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Permanent marker

Instructions:

  1. If you’re opting to stack your pumpkins, I applaud you! The first step is to stack the pumpkins how you want them displayed
  2. Use a permanent marker to trace the letters on your pumpkins (we decided “BOO” was a cute and easy phrase!)
  3. Attach the succulent cuttings to the pumpkins with hot glue, floral glue, or toothpicks. Cassidy decided that toothpicks work best for larger succulent cuttings. According to Cassidy, floral glue also works very well when working with succulents!
  4. If you decide to use the toothpick method, stick the toothpick into the pumpkin, leaving about 1/2″ sticking out. Then take your succulent cutting and stick it on the toothpick. Voila!

Get the full scoop on how to do it and pictures of the process on her blog, Succulents and Sunshine. Let me know in the comments what you chose for your phrase and how your own succulent worded pumpkins turned out!

These worded succulent pumpkins will surely turn heads of passersby. And as if these worded pumpkins are not cute enough…

BAM! Dogs make everything 15 times cuter.

4. DIY Succulent Monogram Pumpkin

These succulent monogram pumpkins are the final project in my collab with Cassidy of Succulents and Sunshine. This was my first time working with succulents and I have to say that I love the little fellers. They’re so perky and sweet. But leave it to me to find a way to kill a couple suckers. Gah! That’s why I work with paper flowers.
Cassidy made this monogram succulent pumpkin. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to make your own! Trust me, even if you’re not great with plants, it’s still such a fun tutorial and offers a twist on classic Halloween decor. If you’re looking for an easy way to amp up your holiday decorations, this is it!

Materials:

  • Succulent Cuttings
  • A pumpkin (live or fake!)
  • Hot glue gun or floral glue
  • Marker (for tracing initials on the pumpkin)

Instructions:

  1. Use the marker to draw an outline of your letter on the pumpkin
  2. Glue small succulents onto the marker line
  3. Cover the rest of the pumpkin with succulents of your choice!
Pretty simple, right? Head on over to Cassidy’s blog to check out the full instructions with pictures of the process. She even suggests which succulents to use for placing your pumpkin outdoors in freezing temperatures!

Succulent Pumpkin Variations

If you’re not that great at handling live plants, you could use fake succulents and a fake pumpkin to save it for future holidays. If you love succulents AND flowers, check out some of our paper flower tutorials here and here (with many more tutorials throughout the Lars archives!) to position flowers between your succulents. Place your succulent monogram pumpkins on your doorstep or inside your home for a stylish, succulent-filled Halloween!

Need more Halloween pumpkin inspiration? Take a look at a Lars favorite, these DIY Rainbow Pumpkins! Add more pumpkins to your monogram succulent decor with a DIY Rainbow Pumpkin Arch.  Use your pumpkins to decorate for a Halloween dinner party, or display them to get into the Halloween spirit!

Lars’ Gardening Essentials

Lars favorite gardening essentials

Lars and Gardens

If you’ve been following along for a while now, you’ll know I love gardens. I mean, anything that’s compatible with flowers is a big yes for me. Years ago, I described my dream gardens in this post. It’s a great place to start if you need a little help deciding on what types of plants to fill your garden with.

Tips for Beginners (or anyone, really!)

Speaking of tips on growing a garden, if you need some, see this post on how to grow a garden even when you think you can’t. I wouldn’t consider myself a pro, but you can see what I did to the front yard garden of our little rental (serious nostalgia here! I love our new house, but that little rental will always have a special place in my heart. And the garden turned out so lovely)!

A display of geraniums in terracotta pots

Another post that can steer you in the right direction if you’re in need of a little garden inspiration is this post on how to plant a rainbow container garden. I go through plants of every color of the rainbow! It’s a lovely and easy way to add some color to your garden.

Oh, and if you need a few more gardening tips, as well as basic tools? See this post! It’s amazing how helpful a few basic tools can be in creating your dream garden. And speaking of tools and other essentials, you won’t want to miss this garden apron tutorial.

Other Garden Inspiration

Interested in our other garden content? You might want to check out this garden transformation we did with Troy Bilt! Honestly, the before photos are unrecognizable. Also see this post, where we compiled the inspiration for our new house! And last year, we did a roundup of planters and pots for you to peruse. And don’t forget our shop! Inspire yourself with floral and garden-centric art like this or this.

Lars’ Gardening Essentials

And for your convenience, here are some other Lars’ gardening essentials. From gloves to planters, you’ll be set for spring with a variety of tools. Whether you’ve got a pumpkin patch in your backyard, a few pots on your front porch, or some herbs on your windowsill, there’s something for every gardener (or wannabe) out there!

DIY Dried Flower Turkey Gourds

DIY Dried Flower Turkey Gourds

We have a really simple but beautiful DIY for you today—dried floral arrangements for your Thanksgiving Dinner. These are reminiscent of our gorgeous dried flower pumpkin DIY from a few weeks back, and just like that project, you can re-use these in the years to come! Once again, we used the beautiful preserved flower choices from Terrain and they were perfect! 

Unlike fresh flower arrangements (which we also love, naturally), these dried floral turkey gourds don’t need water to keep them looking great. This arrangement also isn’t specific to Halloween or Thanksgiving—you can keep it up all through autumn (and maybe winter too, if you’re already dreading the cold months and need something to remind you of slightly warmer days).

Dried Flowers

Did you know people used to think dried flowers represented bad luck? The tradition goes that dried flowers no longer have a “soul,” or “chi,” so they bring bad luck to your home. While we don’t quite follow this line of thinking, make sure to keep your dried flowers in a dry, temperature-controlled place to keep them from accumulating mold, mildew, or dust.

Where to Display Them

We like to put our dried flower arrangements as the table centerpiece, but how amazing would they look on a mantle? You could even put them in a windowsill so your neighbors can enjoy the autumn bounty.

Making the Dried Floral Turkey Gourds

Materials

  • Dried flowers (see above for exact links!)
  • gourds
  • glue gun
  • cardboard
  • spray paint

Instructions

  1. Cut out a piece of cardboard that fits behind the gourd. It should be a in a semi circle.
  2. Identify the center of the cardboard and start gluing the pieces starting from the outside and to the middl of the cardboard.
  3. Try different patterns with the florals for a unique pattern.
  4. For more depth and fullness, try different layers of cardboard in front of the other.

To display

  • Pin the cardboard into the back of the gourd. To separate out sprays with different layers, try using a sponge in between each layer.
  • If it’s a centerpiece, make sure you glue the back of the cardboard too.

Let us know if you make them by tagging us with #LarsMakes or #LarsGivesThanks

If you liked this project, I have a feeling that you’ll also like the following:

DIY succulent monogram pumpkins
Friendsgiving Tablescape
Origami Cornucopia

All You Need for A Midsummer Party

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

Midsummer Parties Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Midsummer Projects

Maypole

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

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

Flower Crowns

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

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

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

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

Midsummer Decorations

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

Pink florals from A Midsummer Mingle

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

Summer Paper Flower Garland

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

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

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

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

Finishing Touches

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

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

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

Midsummer Pole cake Topper Midsummer Pole cake Topper

Food

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

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

Glad Midsommar!

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

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

How to Style Indoor Plants

How to style indoor plants

A lot of people want to transform their spaces into dreamy urban jungles, but don’t know how to style indoor plants. This can mean that their green spaces turn grey, end up looking cluttered, or gathering dust.

chinese money plant made from paper

Knowing how to style indoor plants can make a huge difference and give your plants all the impact they deserve. Here are my best plant styling tips!

Gauge your own commitment

Look. Your plant dreams won’t come true if you don’t choose plants that you can keep alive. Maybe you’re a big fan of ferns, but you live in a dry climate and don’t have it in you to water and spray a plant every day. 🙋🏼‍♀️ I know it hurts, but you might need to hold off on living with some higher-demand plants until you’re a more experienced plant parent. Know yourself and get plants that you can keep alive, because no matter how well-styled your plant kingdom is, it won’t look good if it’s dead.

Here are some of my favorite plants, and you can check out their care requirements to make sure that you’re signing up for something you can handle.

Light

Make sure that your plants have the correct amount of light for the species. Some thrive in the shade, some need bright light, and many plants do their best somewhere in between. You need to consider your space and the light before you even buy plants if you want a healthy indoor plantscape.

And of course, paper plants won’t die no matter what light you put them in, but remember that they might fade in bright light.

pre-potted plants Tranquility

Temperature

Unfortunately, lots of plant parents fail to consider a space’s temperature and are confounded when their plants keep dying. If you live somewhere with cold winters, avoid putting sensitive plants near drafty areas like doors or right by a window, especially when temperatures drop. And if your living space tends to be really hot and sunny, make sure that you don’t have sensitive, cool-loving plants in places where they’ll scorch and die. Again, if you’re working with paper plants, this isn’t an issue.

Paper heartleaf philodendron in bright green in a checkered pot on a wooden table

Water/Humidity

Some plants, like ferns and other tropicals, need more water and humidity than others (like succulents and cacti). If you have a plant that needs to be cared for and watered often, put it somewhere easily accessible so that watering doesn’t become a hassle.

If your bathroom has enough light, consider styling it with some humidity-loving plants. All the steam from your showers will make them thrive.

a variety of potted houseplants

Scale

When you’re designing your planty spaces, you don’t want to just have a lot of little plants scattered around. Choose one or two larger plants (indoor trees are great here!) and make these a focal point.

While big houseplants can be expensive, you can try making your own with paper (we have some great tutorials on the blog!) or check out our next tip for height help.

outdoor potted plants

Height

In an arrangement of plants, you want the tallest ones to be at the back. Think of them like a choir, with the tallest singers standing at the back. You can also give some plants a boost to add more height and give the illusion of larger plants. Try using shelves, bricks, blocks, an overturned flower pot, stacks of decorative books, and more to add some height to your plantscape.

planter garden with a sculptural head planter

Color

Indoor plants come in all kids of colors, not just green! Consider the colors and lighting in your space before you buy or make plants. If you plan it right, you can get beautiful, dramatic, intentional looks by curating your plant colors. Imagine a room with all deep purple foliage! So regal, right??

Paper Poinsettia Flower

Paper Plants

Like I’ve mentioned, I love paper plants for their ease and also because they’re a super fun craft! You can check out this paper plant video, these favorite tutorials, and these templates and ebooks from our shop. And don’t forget the flowers!

DIY Paper Japanese maple tree

Paper pansies on a windowsill. There's a white lacy curtain next to them, and red floral wallpaper on the other.

Once you’ve become a full-fledged plant parent, you might want to treat yourself with this Plant Lady print by Libby VanderPloeg from our shop.

What are your favorite plant tips? Let me know!

My tragic front door story and fall porch reveal!

Painting your front door the wrong color

I know what you’re asking–how did this even happen? First, we all make mistakes. Second, here was my reasoning. “I plan on limewashing over the brick of my house sooner than later so I though, oh, I’ll paint the door a color I like now so I don’t have to repaint it again. I think I can handle the sure-to-be mismatch of the door color of the brick.” Sounds smart enough, right?

WRONG!

I couldn’t. Not even one day. Here’s the thing, oftentimes as you’re painting and it looks bad, it’s USUALLY not so bad when you finish it. But this time, it was just SO SO SO SO bad. Like it was making me vomit, bad. Here’s another shot to get the full effect of the radioactive slime.

Can you imagine?!

The inspiration behind my front door

Some of you are wondering how I even got to this point. I hear you. Well, it started out with wanting some sort of sage green like this one below that I’ve been super inspired by lately.

And then I remembered this lighter shade of chair from Terrain, kind of like kicking it up a notch. While I think I nailed the right color, it was DEFINITELY not the right color for the door combined with the house. Again, I knew that, I just didn’t know that I really wouldn’t be able to live with it so much.

The safest way to choose a door color

I quickly got new samples and decided not to experiment much and go for a safety color. Something dark with brick is ALWAYS the way to go if you don’t want to spend time on it. But, I decided to try something with a bit of green and a bit of blue. The paint store could only do one of the three samples I brought it so thankfully they took the decision fatigue away from me and I LOVE how it turned out. I’m not always one for the safer choice, but sometimes you just got to I guess.

How to do a lovely front fall porch

I added on a new fall wreath from Terrain, some new pots and urns and a plethora of bounteous mums and pumpkins (I think I was the first in line to buy pumpkins this year!) in exquisite colors and I’m in LOVE!

fall porch decor

I had always wanted a porch where I could go full stop on a pots and planters. I went to gradschool in Georgetown in Washington, DC, perhaps the capital of fall displays, and it was always on my brain.

Start with a wreath

I know many of you are Team No Wreath, but to me, it’s all about the right kind of wreath and this one is beyond words. It’s metal and has the loveliest details. I got it from Terrain.

beautiful fall wreath

Pumpkin topiaries on urns

I had always wanted to do some pumpkin topiaries and this was the year for sure because I got these cast iron urns from Terrain that were perfect for it. I got some flat pumpkins, took off the stems, and stacked them on top.

pumpkin topiary

Fall blanket weather

Our mail box has the perfect nook to hang a blanket when friends come over and we sit outside. Perfect for COVID measures 😉

cozy fall blanket

pumpkin and mum display front porch

The key to this look was the many layers and colors of the pumpkins, mums, and pots. I also made them more or less symmetrical on either side so that they felt even.

Pots

I got a few of my very favorite pots from Bergs, a Danish brand that has the loveliest details. You can find them here. I also love the warmer toned ones here.

How to get the look:

blanket, wreathurnpot

I’d love to hear what you’re doing with your fall porch this year and your true thoughts about my front door (or do I dare?!).

Danish Easter Letters

Danish Easter Letters – Gækkebreve

While you have your kids home from school, you can teach them about the symbolism of the snowdrop flower. As the first flower to pop up through the cold winter ground and signify spring is finally coming, snowdrops symbolize hope! We loved the way Kelsey Garrity Riley included snowdrops in her coloring page entry for our Picture Hope: The Social Distancing Coloring Book!

Though these Danish letters are often delivered leading up to Easter, they represent the entire spring season. Include a note explaining this fun tradition and you can start swapping notes and eggs with your neighbors!

Click here for the templates

How to make Danish Easter Letter patterns

The traditional way of making Danish Easter letters is similar to the technique of making snowflakes during the winter. But we decided to make a few more elaborate ones in case you wanted a challenge. We even made a couple so that you can put it into your craft cutting machine (Silhouette or Cricut machines work great!).

Materials:

See above

Instructions:

Elaborate Templates

To make the elaborate cut ones seen here, download our templates (you can find them here).

Handcut: Use our PDF template to print out and trace onto your piece of paper. Use a craft cutting knife if you’d like to hand cut it using a cutting mat underneath.

Craft Cutting Machine: You can cut it out on your craft cutting machine using our SVG files (also found here.

For simpler designs

Like making paper snowflakes you can use a few techniques to get the look you’re going for. Here are some tips:

  • Fold your paper in quarters. Draw your pattern onto one of the corners and cut out.
  • Turn your paper into a square by folding one corner to the opposite side of the paper. Cut off the excess. This technique is if you want yours to be more circular in nature.
  • Think chicks, bunnies, eggs, hearts to get into the spirit of the season!

Add in a snowdrop flower

Traditionally you would add in a snowdrop flower into your letter to send off, but we didn’t have one handy so we added a hyacinth from our yard as well as some wild grape hyacinth.

We’d love to see your versions. Tag us with #LarsMakes.

DIY Grocery Store Flower Bouquet

I love making grocery store flower bouquets. Before I learned a few simple flower-arranging tips, though, I used to buy pre-made bouquets from grocery stores, trim the ends, and dunk them into a vase as is. It looked decent and there’s nothing wrong with doing that, of course! But learning how to arrange flowers properly helped make a simple flower arrangement look like a professionally made bouquet.

A bouquet made of eucalyptus leaves, chamomile, roses, and hydrangeas against a pink wall with a mint green jewelry box in the background.

Buying a beautiful floral arrangement usually costs an arm and a leg. You can make a beautiful bouquet of your own with a fraction of that cost with flowers from a grocery store! Follow the step-by-step tutorial below to learn the tips and tricks.

Detail shot of eucalyptus leaves, chamomile, roses, and hydrangeas against a pink wall with a mint green jewelry box in the background.

Make Your Own Grocery Store Flower Bouquet

When you’re buying flowers for a bouquet, consider a color scheme that you want to design around and look for a variety of shapes and textures.

Detail shot of eucalyptus leaves, chamomile, roses, and hydrangeas against a pink wall with a mint green jewelry box in the background.

There are four basic categories to look for when making a bouquet. First choose larger blooms that will be focal points (like hydrangeas, roses, peonies, zinnias, tulips etc.). Second, line flowers (like goldenrod, calla lilies, or other flowers that form a strong visual line) or accent flowers (spray roses, carnations, eryngium, etc.). Third, get filler flowers (like chamomile, wax flower, or baby’s breath). Fourth and finally, choose greenery or foliage for your bouquet.

Choosing a vase for your arrangement is too-often overlooked. Whether you want something colorful or subdued, putting some thought into your vessel will elevate your bouquet. I put together a list of some of my current favorite vases here, or DIY a paper mâché or recycled egg carton vase with these tutorials!

Instructions

A person using a knife to trim the bottom of a stem next to some roses and a vase on a picnic table.A person removes rose leaves from a stem. In the background are rose petals, greenery, and a purple and white vase on a picnic table.A person arranges eucalyptus branches in a purple and white vase.A person arranges bright orange spray roses in a purple and white vase full of eucalyptus branches.A person places hydrangeas in a bouquet of eucalyptus and roses in a purple and white vase.A person places chamomile blossoms in a bouquet of eucalyptus, roses, and hydrangeas in a purple and white vase.

  1. Prepare all your flowers and foliage by trimming off the ends with a sharp, clean knife or some clean flower pruners. Take all the leaves off the bottom of the stems. You don’t want leaves to sit in the water, because then they’ll rot!
  2. Your flowers should have come with a little packet of flower food. Pour this, along with some water, into a vase.
  3. First place your foliage in the vase. Think about the ways that foliage can frame flowers or provide a more neutral backdrop for them. I’m arranging with willow eucalyptus, which has long, elegant leaves, so I’m also considering how they drape. Hold a few branches back to add in at the end.
  4. Next place your line flowers or accent flowers. I used spray roses here.
  5. Arrange the focal flowers in the vase. The stems from your foliage and accent flowers will form a sort of lattice that makes it easier to get your focal flowers right where you want them.
  6. When you arrange your focal flowers, think about how tall you want them and what direction you want them to face. If they’re too long, trim the stems a little bit at a time, because you can all ways take away more stem but you can’t make them grow taller!
  7. Arrange your fill flowers around the focal and line/accent flowers.
  8. Add in any foliage you held back.
  9. Place your bouquet somewhere in your home that you’ll see it often so that you really enjoy it! To keep it fresh for as long as possible, pick the flowers up and trim an inch off the stems every few days. When you do this, make sure there’s plenty of water and it’s clean.

Arranging flowers is a skill that comes in handy all the time, especially if you love having fresh flowers around as much as I do! I would love to see your bouquets at #LarsFlowerMonth

beautiful bouquet made from grocery store flowers