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.

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

Birthday Cake Topper with Brother

As you can probably tell by now, we can’t stop talking about how much we love National Craft Month. It’s the perfect time to celebrate your creativity and get to work crafting up all of the amazing things you’ve been thinking about. If you are feeling like you are in a bit of a craft funk we have teamed up with our friends at Brother to bring you a sweet yet impactful project to get you out of your slump and on your way to crafting town!

Using the Brother P-touch ELITE we created these colorful flag cake toppers inspired by our newest line from Abby Low found in the Lars Print Shop. You may know by now that we love celebrating and since we are already celebrating craft month we figured we may as well celebrate anyone and everyone out there with a March birthday with these adorable birthday flag cake toppers.

Birthdays are so very special and we tend to go bananas decorating and that’s part of the reason we love using the P-touch ELITE because of how easy it makes it to create personalized ribbon! Think up your birthday phrases and print them on ribbon (the P-touch Embellish ELITE prints on tape too!) so you can create the perfect phrases, specific for your birthday queen or king!  

Here’s how you do it! 

Directions: 

  1. Pick your color palette 
  2. Paint your skewers to the colors you have chosen. We painted three skewers of each color and used 21 skewers and six colors (the more the better in our opinion)
  3. Set aside to dry. 
  4. Paint the wood beads in the same palette, three of each color in all six colors. 
  5. Set aside to dry. 
  6. Download the Ptouch Design&Print app to your phone!
  7. Select “Create your own label”.
  8. Select “text” and add in whatever you want the ribbon to say or even a graphic!
  9. Once the text is in click “Done”.
  10.  Adjust the “Taper length” depending on how long your message is. 
  11. Scroll to the left to find “label alignment” and align your text to the right” 
  12. Once your text is in and the alignment is correct click “print” 
  13. Set your ribbon to the side and begin building your flag frame. 
  14. Attach a piece of wire around  the dried painted skewer by wrapping it around the top. 
  15. Once the wire is attached, measure the length of the wire against the length of the ribbon and cute wire accordingly. 
  16. Using the glue stick apply glue to the back of the ribbon. 
  17. At the mid point on the ribbon place the skewer there and fold the ribbon in half so the wire is in in between the two halves. 
  18. Attach a painted wood bead to the top using a hot glue gun. 
  19. Place completed flag in cake! 

We love using the Brother P-touch ELITE it is the perfect easy-to-use ribbon and tape printer that you can use to create any and all of the exciting crafts you have planned for this Craft Month! We can’t wait to see what you create!

The green polka-dot background is from our Lars Print Shop. Thank you @glweddingcakes for the lovely cake!

DIY My Little Belleville Easter Egg Columns

I love working with Michelle from My Little Belleville. We have worked together on painted pumpkins for Halloween (twice!), printable Halloween cards, and nativity puppets for Christmas, as well as an illuminating artist interview! You also may have also seen some of her Valentine cards in our shop. Her work has such a playful, painterly feeling that keeps us coming back for more. The House that Lars Built and My Little Belleville fit together like Easter and eggs.painted Easter egg columns perched on colorful books against a pink background.

For this painted Easter egg project, Michelle sent me wooden easter eggs that she had painted with faces and patterns. Can you even believe the personality that all her little faces have? We’re in love. We stacked them up and voilà! Painted Easter egg columns!

Colorful painted easter egg columns stacked on books against a pink background.

These make an excellent Easter table decoration because they add interest and height without getting in the way of your sight lines. There’s nothing more awkward than sitting down to a meal and not being able to make eye contact with the person across from you!

Colorful painted easter egg columns stacked on books against a pink background.

Make Your Own painted Easter egg columns

Materials

To make your own you will need

Colorful painted easter egg columns stacked on books against a pink background.

Instructions

  1. Paint all of your wooden eggs in solid background colors, then let them dry.
  2. Set aside a few eggs that will be the heads. It’s nice to vary the columns in height, so leave 1-3 non-head eggs per head.
  3. Paint faces on the eggs you set aside. Consider adding facial expressions, hats, cheeks, makeup, etc. Individuality is the goal!
  4. Paint patterns on the remaining eggs. Flowers, dots, stripes, and plaid patterns all look great.
  5. Let all the eggs dry completely.
  6. Put a pea-sized dollop of hot glue on the tops of the pattern eggs. Immediately after placing the glue, hold the eggs together so that the glue can set. Repeat for all your eggs.
  7. Set up your painted Easter egg columns in egg cups. If you like, you can secure them with a dot of glue (make sure that it will be able to come off your egg cup completely so that you can use it again later).

We would love to see your painted Easter egg column tablescapes! If you make this project, tag us with #EasterWithLars.

Colorful painted easter egg columns stacked on books against a pink background.

If you liked this post, you might also like

DIY paper Swedish Easter tree
Swedish Easter Wall Hanging
Honeycomb Easter Eggs

Haunted Cardboard Houses for Recycled Holiday Decor

This year, the holidays look a little different, but in my opinion, that gives us even more excuses to be creative! This spooky holiday decor made out of recycled items can even be re-used next year.

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

This cardboard haunted house was inspired by our DIY Gingerbread Houses from a few years ago, but you can choose to yours them big or small. Set them on your porch or mantle on All Hallow’s Eve, where they can cast a spooky glow. And—a big plus—they are a super sneaky hiding place for the candy you told your kids went missing. Your secret is safe with us!

You probably already have most of the supplies in your recycle bin or overflowing craft closet (don’t worry…we all have one.)

How to make your cardboard haunted house

Materials:

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

Instructions:

1. Start by cutting out the pieces from the template. The large pieces called “Base front”
and “Base back” are each split onto two pieces of paper. You’ll need to cut them both
out and then tape them together, so you have one “Base front” and one “Base back”.

2. Place the template pieces flat on the cardboard and trace them with a pencil (you might
want to label each piece before you cut them out).

3. Cut out all the tracings with a box cutter or a crafting knife.

4. All the structures are labeled, so start with #1 and glue together the front, two sides,
and back piece. (See labeled diagram at the end of these instructions)

5. For structure #2, start by gluing the door to the “front door structure”, then glue the
two sides to the “front door structure”. Once that dries, glue the sides to the center of
structure #1.

6. Now you’re going to put the roofs on both structure #1 & #2. To bend each roof piece,
place the cardboard against the edge of a table and gently press down with your hand
to get a curve. Move the piece up and down on the table edge until the whole piece has
a slight curve. Then glue the roof pieces onto the top of structures #1 & #2.

7. Next take the pieces for structure #3, and glue together the front, sides, and back. Place
this structure on the roof of #1, make sure it fits, and then glue #3 to the roof of #1.

8. Now for structure #4, glue the window piece to the front piece. Then glue the sides and
bottom to the front piece. After that dries, glue #4 to the center of structure #3.

9. For the roof pieces of #3 & #4, repeat the same process as Step 6 to get the curved effect. Then glue the roof pieces onto the two structures.

10. For structure #5, take 4 of the rectangle “side” pieces and glue them together with all
the shortest edges at the bottom (these pieces are all labeled (top) on the upper edge,
make sure that is facing up and not upside down). Then glue #5 on the right side of the
roof on structure #1.

11. Now for structure #6, take the two pieces called “#6 front” and “#6 back” and the last
two side pieces and glue them together. It should look similar to structure #5, but the cuts will allow it to fit on top of structure #3.

12. Glue structure #6 onto the roof of the #3.

13. For the roofs of #5 #6, take 4 of the triangle roof pieces and glue all the sides together
so it looks like a pyramid. Put glue on the top of structure #5 and then place the roof
down onto the glue (the edges of the roof will overlap the top edges of structure #5.

14. Repeat Step 13 for structure #6.

15. After your house is completely dry, cover the entire house in black paint.

16. Then take the gray paint and a smaller paint brush (if you have one) and draw details on the window, door, roofs, and wherever else you want. You can add cobwebs to the
corners.

17. Have fun! Your recycled holiday decor is now complete.

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

After you’ve made your haunted cardboard house, style it on your mantle, porch, or entryway table. If you want to cut some windows, try placing electric tea lights inside, which will cast eerie shadows on the wall (don’t use regular candles inside the cardboard, though.) If you’re setting up your recycled holiday decor for a Halloween Party, you could even use the houses as party favors! Fill them with candy and send your trick-or-treaters on their way.

If you liked this project, you might also like:

DIY Rainbow Pumpkins
How to Decorate Pumpkins with Succulents
Pumpkin Leaf Favors

DIY Palm Leaves

DIY PALM LEAVES

These palm leaves are a BREEZE to make (see what we did there 😉


Materials:

Directions: 

  1. Trace out your leaf template and cut it out. (We have formatted the the template to cut an 8.5×11 however, the leaves that we made were done with a much larger. To accomplish this you can use the template and size up by hand or send it to print at a larger scale.)
  2. Fan your leaf shape: start from the middle fold, choosing one side of your teardrop-shaped leaf to begin making even smaller folds, helping your leaf get that pretty fanned palm look. Repeat on the other side. (you can use a scoring tool to help you get sharper folds)
  3. Color your leaf: before connecting your leaf to the stem, you’ll want to paint it to make sure it gets an even color throughout. BEFORE PAINTING be sure your creases are defined! Then flatten out your shape again, just enough that you can get an even coat of paint on it. Paint and let dry for 1-2 hours! We used spray paint.
  4. While your leaf is drying, make the petiole stem!
  5. Use petiole stem paper cover template (once again this can be sized up on the computer or sized up based off the printed template)
  6. Fold your stem along the dotted lines on the template.
  7. You should be able to make a long pyramid-looking stem now with your paper! Hot glue the extra 4th fold to hold it all together (leave the extra 2-3 inches at the top unglued).
  8. Paint your petiole stem to match the leaf!
  9. After your leaf is dry, follow your original creases to re-fold your leaf into its fan shape
  10. Take a lollipop stick and place it inside of the most middle crease of your leaf, only a few inches from the bottom. Hot glue it in place.
  11. Cut diagonally from the leaf to the stick to take the excess off of where the leaf meets the stick (refer to photo).
  12. Tape the very bottom together to keep the shape of the leaf fanned and the stick secure
  13. Slide your petiole stem paper cover over the lollipop stick (the 2-3 inch extra end first), allowing those 2-3 inches at the top to cover the very bottom of the leaf and cover the area where your leaf is glued/taped to your stick. Hot glue the top in place.

For Home Decor

These palm leaves are great on their own for home decor. They’re also great as decor during Easter time like for Palm Sunday! Read about our post here.

We can’t wait to see these beautiful palm leaves in your home! Make sure to tag us with #larsmakes so we can see these beautifies in your home!

DIY Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tablescape

We’ve loved using Anagram for other balloon projects, like our DIY Jingle Bell Balloons for Christmas, and more recently, our Halloween Ghost Installation

Balloon projects are awesome because they don’t require a ton of skill (although they can be time-consuming depending on how big you go) but they always look impressive and joyful! They’re one of those projects that are hard to mess up. I am very excited to share this balloon installation because it has just as much impact, but needs significantly less time than our past balloon projects!

The theme for this project is…(drumroll please)…The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! If you’ve been a Lars reader for a while, you might recognize this project from four years ago. I love using the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a theme for Thanksgiving day parties. It’s so fun and makes for a clever twist on the normal turkeys and leaves everywhere this time of year. I am all for traditions, but this might be the perfect year to replace your mom’s ancient fall tablecloth with this unique theme (though I love that too!)

Bring The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade To Your Own Feast

As soon as the realization hit me that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will not be the same this year, I immediately knew this was the year this project needed to be revamped. We still don’t know all the details for the actual parade, but like everything else this in 2020, it’s sure to be different. We do know that nobody will be watching the parade in person, including New Yorkers, but for most of us that doesn’t change that we can watch the parade on TV. Luckily my panicked googling confirmed at least that much. 

My one consolation is that I can bring the parade to my very own Thanksgiving party this year! We partnered with Anagram to make this Thanksgiving theme bigger and better than ever. This year, create an entire balloon installation with the directions below. We even included printable versions of the cityscape to make your decorating as simple as possible, without sacrificing the wow factor.

How To Make Your Own Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tablescape

Materials:

Instructions:
  1. Figure out how long your table is and how much you want to fill of it with cityscape. One copy of our printable cityscape should fill about 3’.
  2. Cut out the buildings and attach them to foam core.
  3. Cut out the buildings with a craft knife.
  4. Use glasses to prop up the city scape (or make your own stands by creating a wing attached to each one)
  5. Blow up your balloons with a pump and seal shut. 
  6. Attach them to a balloon stick and then attach to the backs of the city scape with tape
  7. Set your table! We included these printable taxi cab place cards to complete the look.

For our table, we used plates from Knot and Bow, cups from Knot and Bow, napkins from Oh Happy Day. 

Creating this wonderful balloon centerpiece for your Thanksgiving holiday will bring some much-needed cheer. Plus, like all our balloon projects, you can reuse them every year! This balloon installation would go wonderfully with our Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Printables.

This post is sponsored by Anagram. We love our sponsors who allow us to create beautiful original content!

 

An Easy Houseplant Anyone Can Take Care Of

DIY Paper Begonia Maculata

We at Lars love paper flowers and other plants. This particular paper plant is seriously so easy. Our Polka Dot Plant (Begonia Maculata) is just the plant to liven up your space! Polka dots are just wonderful, and seeing them in a PLANT is something that really tickles my fancy.

DIY paper easy houseplant

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still enjoy a little green in your home. What you need is the easiest houseplant ever. Our Begonia Maculata pattern is super cheap. The materials are probably things you already have. The look of the houseplant is chic and fresh, and the project itself is simple enough that you can do it with your kids!

No matter your gardening ability, you can enjoy the aesthetic benefit of a cheery (but easy) paper houseplant.

How to make your own Polka Dot Plant

DIY paper easy houseplant

Steps:

  1. Download the Begonia Maculata template here
  2. Cut out each leaf out of slightly varied shades of green cardstock. We cut 11 leaves for ours.
  3. Fold each leaf slight along the curve where the vein would be in a natural leaf
  4. With the white acrylic paint, add polka dots of varying sizes to the top of the leaf
  5. Cut floral wire to the lengths of stems you desire
  6. Wrap floral tape around the wire stems to add texture and make them a lighter shade of green
  7. Hold a wire stem against the wide bottom of leaf and glue down a small piece of green paper on top of the wire to hold it in place
  8. Continue to complete each leaf
  9. To arrange your leafs in a pot, hold all the stems in one hand and gently bend each stem to place the leaves at different angles and heights. Once your have achieved your desired look, use another piece of floral tape to hold your bunch together as arranged
  10. Place the entire bunch in a pot and enjoy your new plant friend!

Other Paper Houseplants

Perhaps you’d like to craft a whole greenhouse of houseplants! If so, you’ve come to the right place. We have a bunch of plant patterns that include the ever-trendy Monstera Obliqua (swiss cheese plant), a bright and cheery shamrock bush, some foxgloves that look quite stunning if I may say so myself, hydrangeas, and even a Japanese Maple tree!

Click on any of the photos below to make your own paper plant palace.

DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant DIY paper easy houseplant

Becoming Loria Stern

In 2011, Loria Stern started attending adult education classes entitled “Medicinal and Edible Plants” where she learned about foraging and the power of plant medicine. She started combining her culinary skills with the knowledge she was learning about botanicals. All the while she was posting her bespoke creations on Instagram. In 2016 her work was highlighted in Vogue Magazine and she received over 30,000 followers overnight. Fans were asking where they could purchase her treats so she started selling them on her website. The first day she posted her treats, she received over 20 orders. Since that day, her business has grown into a successful baking operation where she employs 4 helpers with living wages. She’s still growing her business, writing a cookbook and pitching a TV show. Exciting things are in store for this hardworking woman!

Loria is wearing a floral dress and standing in a kitchen surrounded by colorful produce.

Meet Loria Stern

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, baker, business person, educator, etc.?

Well, I consider myself all of these things but more so one than the other depending on what day of the week we’re talking about. I would say I started out as an artist and maker, and then became a baker and now my daily tasks are more of a business person and educator. 

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now? 

I grew up in Ojai, CA, a small quaint town nestled in between large mountains but just a 20 minute drive to the beach. The town had a lot of nature–my childhood neighborhood streets were lined with tall oak trees. There was and still is a huge element of health consciousness and spirituality in Ojai and I think those elements absolutely influenced what I do now and the person I’ve become. 

Loria stands with her back to the camera. She's surrounded by fresh cut flowers and she's wearing a straw hat, and there are misty mountains in the background.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger? 

Of course I wanted to be a professional tennis player! That dream ended around 14 years old and then I wanted to be an artist. I guess that dream has come true except through a different medium (culinary arts vs. the visual arts).

Rolled out cookie dough with colorful pressed flowers pressed onto each round circle of dough.

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path? 

Not really one single person, but more so a number of different friends who loved eating the foods I cooked and baked for them and encouraged me to follow this path.

What sparked your interest in edible flowers? 

I’ve always loved flowers (who doesn’t?!) but it wasn’t until I started learning about the medicinal properties of botanicals in my 3 semesters of the adult education classes that my love for combining edible flowers + botanicals with cooking and baking, really opened up an entire new craft for me. 

Rolled out cookie dough with colorful pressed flowers pressed onto each round circle of dough.Brightly colored flowers pressed onto sugar cookies on a wooden background.

What are three words to describe your style? 

Creative, happy and cool.

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career? 

I graduated with a BA from college and spent my last year painting and drawing. I was in an art show in my final year of college and sold several pieces. As noted earlier, I also took 3 semesters of adult education classes post college– “Medicinal + Edible Plants” and learned a lot about treating ailments naturally with wild, edible plants. I also attribute my dedication as a competitive tennis player to my strong work ethic, which I think is the most important aspect of my current success. 

Loria sits cross-legged on a teal blanket surrounded by pressed flowers in books and a cup of tea.

Have you ever made a big career switch? If so, what prompted that? Are there aspects of a prior career that you incorporate into what you do now? 

I did not really have a career after graduating college in 2006–I more so worked a bunch of odd jobs to pay the rent–teaching tennis, nannying, working as an assistant, etc. It was not until 2010 when I worked my first job as a prep chef that I really learned my love for the culinary arts and that I wanted to make this a career.

What inspired you to become a baker/florist/gardener? 

My love for nature, working with my hands and discovering new alchemic combinations.

Brightly-colored flowers pressed onto green matcha cookie dough.

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why? 

I love making tall tiered wedding cakes and delivering them to the venue. It is always so rewarding.

Tall wedding cake frosted with white frosting and purple and yellow flowerscake frosted with blush pink frosting with purple, yellow, and white pansies pressed onto it. It's styled in a pink draping fabric with a vase of flowers.

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

In nature first and foremost. 

How do you make social connections in the creative realm? 

Many via Instagram, I’ve met some of my best friends and have found a beautiful, supportive community of my work there.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present? 

Gah, there are so so many! Truly too hard to just pinpoint a few.

Horizontal photo of Loria wearing a floral dress and holding a tray of baked cookies. Flowers are pressed onto the top of each one.

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days? 

My father was a jazz clarinetist and music pervades much of my childhood. I love all types of music and have found there is a time and a place for every genre of music. I love documentaries and listening to podcasts. But I try to stay away from negative media as it definitely affects my mood.

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto? 

Work hard and always do your best. Hold yourself and others accountable. Treats others how you’d want to be treated.

Horizontal photo of Loria measuring sugar into a yellow mixing bowl. She's in a kitchen and surrounded by flowers and a turquoise kitchenade mixer

What is your workspace like? Has it changed at all since the beginning of the pandemic last year? 

I moved to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara just one month before the pandemic began. I had to find a new commercial kitchen and employees within that time and it was extremely difficult to say the least. Looking back, I feel so grateful for the commercial baking space and my LA helpers. 

Loria stands in a field of zinnias wearing a white dress and a straw hat. She's holding a basket full of flowers.

How do your surroundings influence your work? 

So much. I realized I am creatively motivated by my physical space. I love natural light and need to be close to nature. 

Loria bends down to pick wildflowers in a meadow. She's wearing a white dress and a straw hat.

Describe some habits that keep you motivated and productive. How do you climb out of a creative slump? 

Exercise is always a good idea and I have found it to be the number one cure for all sorts of slumps. 

What is a typical day like for you? 

I enjoy waking up early. I drink coffee first thing in the morning, then I’ll mosey around my backyard garden with coffee in hand. I’ll stroll up to my home office, check business and personal emails, and then the day is off and running. I usually pick edible botanicals from my garden then meet my team at the bakery. We start cranking our baking orders and then before I know it, it’s 6pm! Then I’ll come home, meet up with my boyfriend and we’ll cook dinner and watch a show.

Loria decorating a pan of focaccia with flowers and vegetables. She's shaped them into a floral scene.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

To learn as much as you can about the hobby / skill. There is so much readily available information that one can learn online that school is not necessary as long as there is curiosity, dedication and a strong work ethic.

Loria standing at the head of a banquet table full of food and flowers. It is sunset and there are mountains in the background.

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on? 

I’d say tennis is my secret talent for those who are just meeting me now! Otherwise, I’m working on learning how to surf but it’s extremely hard!

Two pans of botanical cookies with pressed flowers. The ones on the top are a vanilla shortbread and the ones on the bottom are pink.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business? 

Gah, I am still trying to figure that out. I have not accepted investment from outside sources however am currently looking into it to grow my business!

A plate of baked floral shortbread stacked up. In the background there are lots of flowers scattered.

Is there anything more you would like to “become?” 

I’d like to become more well-traveled. I want to visit Japan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Sweden, and the list continues! I want to visit these places and learn about new ingredients and cooking techniques and share those with an audience so that they can live on and evolve into our current day’s food. 

A film photograph of Loria walking away from the camera through a field of wildflowers. She's wearing a white dress and a straw hat and there are trees and mountains in the background.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years? 

First and foremost, I hope to remain healthy! Secondly, I hope to open up a physical commissary kitchen with a retail space, classroom and on-site edible flower garden so that I can teach my botanical infused culinary arts to the greater community. There is so much information that I find so inspiring and interesting, I am sure others will as well.

Loria sitting on a bed with teal bedding and flowers in a bowl. She's wearing a beige jumpsuit and there's low, moody lighting.

Can’t get enough of Loria Stern?

We don’t blame you! Follow Loria’s work on her Instagram @LoriaStern and don’t forget to check out her website, where you can buy her delicious, beautiful creations!

Years ago we wrote a post about using edible flowers, and I hope that this interview with Loria Stern makes you even more excited to incorporate beautiful botanicals into your meals (like this edible flower pot).

Read more Becoming interviews here to keep the inspiration flowing!

Loria walking through a meadow of flowers wearing a white dress and a straw sun hat. She's holding a basket of flowers and the sky is blue.

All photos are courtesy of Loria Stern.

DIY Twisted Candles for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner

We made our candles in red and pink to add them to our Valentine’s day decorations. They would be perfect to display on the mantle, dining table, bookshelf, bathroom, anywhere, really! They would also be perfect to light on your Valentine’s day dinner at home. These candles are functional, beautiful, and customizable. No wonder we love them!

DIY Twisted Candles

Supplies:

Candles

Ziplock bag

Rolling Pin

Instructions:

(based on 12 inch tall candles)

  1. Fill a bowl with warm enough water to cover candles

2. Soak candles in warm water for 15-20 min, or until they are flexible

3. Working with one candle at a time – transfer a candle to a ziplock bag

3. Using your rolling pin, roll the center of the candle flat until it is a 1/2″ wide. Make sure to leave 2″ at the top of the candle that is unrolled, as well as 2″ from the bottom.

Tip: If at any point the candle is becoming too firm to roll out, let it sit in the warm water longer and then start rolling again.

5. Once you have flattened out the center of your candle, slowly twist it until you have created the look you want!

Embrace the trend and flaunt your modern flair!

Don’t forget to add some Doily Honeycomb Decorations and Valentines Heart Pom-Poms to your Valentine’s day decorations this year!

 

 

Valentine’s Day Garland

 

Valentine’s Day Garland

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

How to Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Garland

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

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

Prepping the Paper

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

Sewing Your Garland Together

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

How to Style Your Valentine’s Day Garland

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

More Inspiration

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

DIY New Year’s Crafts

New Year’s Tablescape

This year, we have a brand new New Year’s tablescape that we released just last week! It’s the perfect solution if you’re wanting a way to feel like you’re in New York City for the Ball Drop. We instantly fell in love with this DIY New Year’s craft. We’re so excited about it–fresh, fun, and new, it’s just the thing to bring in the new year with a bang. The best part about it is it’s printable, so if you’re short on time it’s a great solution for a smashing party that (unbeknownst to your guests) takes only a minute to complete! Here’s the full lowdown on our New Year’s tablescape.

New Year’s Crowns

Next on our list of DIY New Year’s crafts is New Year’s crowns. You can’t properly welcome in the new year without a festive crown to help you fit the part! You can tell we love crowns here at The House that Lars Built because we have more than a few options for you to choose from. Each is unique and perfect for whatever style of New Year’s party you’ll most likely be attending (or hosting).

Wrapping Paper-Inspired New Year’s Crown

new year's crowns

We love this fun, printable paper crown that was inspired by our very own wrapping paper. It’s bright, cheery, and just the thing to combat the freezing cold January that will be here before we know it. You can find the full feature of our wrapping paper inspired crown here. The best part about it is all you have to do is print, cut and glue, and it’s ready to go!

Skyscape Crown

New Years Paper Crown

Another more subdued version of a printable paper crown is this lovely, black-and-white skyscape crown. If you’re feeling a little more mysterious, this crown may be for you! Dreamy and reminiscent of the night sky, it’s the perfect crown to give you that extra touch of class and elegance this New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve Star Crown

star crown

Also on our list of DIY New Year’s crafts is this dazzling New Year’s Eve star crown. This crown is more than a printable, so if you’re looking for a fun DIY activity, this fits the bill perfectly! It’s easy and quick, so you don’t have to stress if you have more than a few of these to make for a party, by the way. Everything you need to know is included in our tutorial.

New Year’s Tabletop and Art Deco Crowns

New Years Tabletop

If you’re hosting a party this year for New Year’s, this next DIY tabletop idea is for you. Complete with decorations and crowns that match, we love this fun New Year’s tabletop’s Art Deco vibe! The electric citron, gradient blues and pale pinks help invite that nostalgia right in. You can visit the full post here to learn more about how to recreate this stunning New Year’s tablescape, decorations and matching crowns.

DIY Sparklers for New Year’s Eve

DIY sparklers

Fireworks are a classic element of celebrating the new year. But sometimes it’s not always ideal to light a real, burning sparkler in the middle of your kitchen. That’s why these DIY paper sparklers are the perfect solution! They still add that sparkling pop of gold, but the bonus is you can be inside, and they can be styled in a myriad of ways. Use them as a cake topper, give them to your kids to play with, or use them as an element of your New Year’s tablescape, these sparklers practically do it all. And they do it without burning anyone or anything–a definite plus. Click here to see how to make your own DIY sparklers!

Printable New Year’s Eve Invitation

Printable new years eve invitation

Okay, we’re obsessed with this New Year’s Eve party invitation! It just so happens to pair perfectly with that skyscape crown we mentioned just a bit ago. When you’re throwing a party, it does help set the mood when the invitations give the guests a sneak peak at what lies ahead! So, take our advice and pair these sweet, classy little invitations with the lovely skyscape crown. You won’t regret it. Here’s more info on these easy, printable New Year’s Eve invitations!

DIY Chinese New Year Ox

Chinese New Year Ox

We couldn’t end this list without a nod to Chinese New Year! This DIY Ox is the perfect thing to celebrate with. We know Chinese New Year is a bit later than January first (It starts on February first, this year, to be exact), but hopefully this will get you thinking ahead. The fun doesn’t have to end with your New Year’s Eve celebration, you can have round two in just a month! Here’s the link to our tutorial on how to make your own DIY Ox for Chinese New Year.

We would love to know: what are you doing New Year’s Eve?