Handmade Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Handmade Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a day dedicated to celebrating the hard work and devotion of fathers everywhere. Whether here in the States, or halfway across the continent, the men in our lives deserve some recognition. Running to the store last minute and spending $400 on a tool belt might sound tempting. Here at Lars, we offer a handmade approach without breaking the bank. Here are some handmade gift ideas to get those creative wheels turning!

Handmade Card

There’s something special about receiving a handmade card from your children. It’s knowing they did it all themselves that makes you so proud! It’s also a great way for them to express their creativity. Simultaneously, expressing gratitude for the hardworking dad in their lives. We created some printable cards to make the process a bit easier.

Bow Tie or Tie

Father's day tie and bowtie pattern DIY

Ties and bow ties are a classic gift. A classic gift made all the more meaningful when made by you! The best part is that they aren’t too tricky to make. Find your favorite fabric and get making! Here’s how to make a bow tie and a regular tie.

Sports Donuts

Father's Day Sports Donuts

If I know anything, there are two things dads undeniably love – eating food and watching a good game of sports. Why not combine the two with a delicious Father’s Day treat? Sports-themed donuts are sure to capture his heart and his taste-buds! Here’s how to make some sports donuts.

Lollipop Ribbon

LolliPOP Father's Day prize ribbons

Turn a lollipop into a winner by creating a ribbon! Such a fun and easy way to provide some sugar in an award winning form!

Customizable Portrait

We’ve made some impressive crafts over the years. This one takes the cake! It’s perfect to do with your kids.  All you need is to cut, arrange and glue to make a customizable portrait of your father/grandfather/uncle. You can get the templates and tutorial here.

Origami Gift Boxes

These Origami Shirt Gift Bags are a creative way to box up some goodies. Just fold the shirt, put some small treats in, and you’re ready to go! Here’s how to make the origami shirt bags.

DIY Picnic Tote

DIY picnic blanket

This is for all the nature-loving dads out there! Try your hand at a DIY Picnic Tote. It doubles as a picnic blanket and a blanket perfect for late-night stargazing! I personalized mine by putting my dad’s face on it–hahahaha! Find out how I made it here.

Handmade gifts are a perfect way to show your dad you love and appreciate him on Father’s Day. Go ahead and send this post to someone who could use it;) Ha!

Do you have a go-to handmade gift idea for dad? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment!

Try other Father’s Day projects

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Handmade gift ideas for Mother’s Day

Handmade Gift Ideas to give for Mother’s Day

Personally, I love the idea of receiving a handmade gift from my child–it’s a great way to mark their skills as they get older too! Here are some great handmade gift ideas for Mother’s Day.

  1. Handmade Cards

A handmade card is a classic gift that never gets old. Making a card yourself allows you to express your creativity and personalize the card to your mom’s liking. You can use various materials such as construction paper, glitter, markers, and stickers to create a beautiful card. You can also add a heartfelt message or quote to express your love and gratitude.

We have a variety of printable Mother’s Day cards as well as printable cards that are perfect for adding in a gift card. Our printable Mother’s Day collection, above, can be found here. Our printable gift card can be found here.

Mother's Day Gift Card HolderMother's Day gift card

And this gift card one can be found here.

  1. DIY Jewelry

If your mom loves jewelry, a handmade piece would be an excellent gift idea. You can make a necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings using beads, wire, and other materials. You can also customize the jewelry by incorporating her favorite colors or birthstone.

Brittany is wearing a white blouse and a rainbow colored clay necklace. She's standing against a green wall.

This DIY handmade clay bead necklace is an easy one for all ages and looks great too!

Or try this DIY knot necklace. You can make it in any color too!

  1. Printable Coloring pages for Mother’s Day

We have the cutest Mother’s Day Activity Pack to give as a gift. It includes a coloring page, certificate, prize ribbon, build-a-bouquet, and a few other fun fill outs. You can see more about it here.

As well as this beautiful Mother’s Day Coloring page here.

Mother's Day coloring page

  1. Personalized Photo Album

A personalized photo album is a great gift to give your mom to showcase your special moments together. You can select your favorite pictures and arrange them in a scrapbook. You can also add captions or decorations to make it more personal. We did this collaboration with Mixbook for a wedding book, but it could be customized to any holiday and the flowers would be so so beautiful for Mother’s Day!

  1. DIY Candles

Candles are a popular gift idea, and making them yourself would make them more special. You can make candles using natural ingredients such as beeswax, essential oils, and dried flowers. You can also choose a scent that your mom would love and personalize the candle’s label.

We made these DIY twisted candles, which are a fun twist, pun intended, for a gift.

  1. Handmade paper flower

Flowers always remind me of mother. We love a good paper flower around here and there are so many to choose from.

Paper flower hydrangeas

These paper flower hydrangeas are so stunning. Can you guess what they are made from? So clever!

Paper hydrangeas in a white vase against a floral orange background

Paper flower foxgloves

These paper flower foxgloves are my favorite. And I love the colors too! Put them in a stunning pot to keep them forever!

Paper flower peony

You can never go wrong with a peony. They are so lush and beautiful–they’re everyone’s favorites! Here’s how to make a paper flower peony.

We have a lot more paper flower options. Try here for more!

  1. Pillows of you children

These small pillows were inspired by our family heirloom photo ornaments and I love them in a slightly bigger shape. My kids love having them too! Here’s how to make the photo heirloom dolls.

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

  1. Embroidered brooch

If your mom loves sweets, homemade cookies would be a great gift. You can make cookies using your mom’s favorite recipe or try something new. You can also package the cookies in a personalized container or wrap them in a decorative ribbon.

Brittany is sporting her embroidered floral brooch and holding baby Felix.

  1. DIY apron

If your mom loves to keep her home smelling fresh, DIY potpourri would be a great gift idea. You can make potpourri using dried flowers, herbs, and essential oils. You can also customize the scent to your mom’s liking and package it in a personalized container.

  1. Handmade Pillow Cover

If your mom loves to decorate her home, a handmade pillow cover would be a great gift idea. You can use fabric and sewing supplies to create a unique design. You can also customize the pillow cover by adding a personalized message or quote.

This DIY bias tape pillow cover is a very cute one to try.

DIY weaving bia tape pillow Creative hobbies to try when you are feeling uninspired

Or turn a scarf into a pillow case! Here’s how!

Or try a pillow in a fun shape like our flower shaped pillow!

Handmade gifts are a great way to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her on Mother’s Day. These gifts are personal, sentimental, and can be tailored to your mom’s preferences. Feel free to nonchalantly forward this post on to someone who might benefit from seeing it ;). Ha!

Easy Halloween Ideas From Our Shop

My Ideal Halloween

My ideal Halloween is playfully spooky, crafty, and (above all) easy, and there’s no such thing as too many easy Halloween ideas. If you’re looking for a fun, simple way to celebrate the season without turning your home into a Spirit Halloween storefront, read on for easy Halloween ideas!

Easy Halloween Decorations

This Haunted House makes a perfect Halloween centerpiece and conversation starter. You’ll make it from recycled cardboard boxes, which is a win for Planet Earth, and it’s beautiful enough to come back year after year, which is a win for you! Check out our blog post on it here.

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

Garlands are another classic when it comes to Halloween decor. Try this fun new Halloween garland featuring the Halloween shapes you’ve been missing. If you love the spooky aspect of Halloween, check out this Vampire Teeth Garland. It’s creepy without being too macabre, and oh so easy.

DIY vampire teeth garland

Another slightly spooky and impeccably easy decor idea is this wooden transfer plaque template! I’m all for riding the line between pretty and creepy at Halloween, and these really fit the bill. Find the tutorial here.

wooden cross sections of branches with spiders and bugs transferred onto them hanging from maroon ribbons.

This painted pumpkin face template makes for such a fun, easy DIY! Give your porch some whimsy this Halloween by painting these sweet characters on your pumpkins. Read the tutorial here and get painting!

painted pastel pumpkin faces against a pink background

How many times can you say “pretty paper pumpkin project?” Whatever your answer, you should check out this template for rainbow paper pumpkins, along with this tutorial blog post. These make a beautiful, refined, seasonal table setting, they’ll look great for all of Autumn, not jus Halloween. A Thanksgiving comeback, anyone?

orange, gold, and yellow paper pumpkins on a table setting.

If you’re in a pinch and looking for quick decorations, don’t forget this post about last minute Halloween decor!

Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

There’s something to be said for a super intricate, detailed costume for sure. But even if you don’t have the time and energy to become a perfectly accurate storm trooper, dressing up doesn’t have to be out of your reach. Lots of our costume templates just require some simple clothing, some paper, and a prop or two. No professional costuming degree necessary!

Our Ruth Bader Ginsberg collar is maybe our simplest costume for adults. Just cut it out (a cricut or other cutting machine is helpful here), put it over a dark dress, and pull your hair back. Voilà! You’re ready to advocate for your sisters.

A white paper lace collar on a black background.

If you’ve been a Lars reader for more than about a minute you’ll know that I love flowers. So of course I wanted to dress up as a bouquet! Ha! Practice making some paper flowers for this Sweet Pea Paper Flower Bouquet costume (and read the tutorial here).

Brittany wearing a bouquet costume with paper flowers and a white paper wrapper against a green backdrop

Group costumes are always so fun, so pair your bouquet costume with greenhouse garb for a friend! This greenhouse costume uses cardboard and iron-on flowers, and is sure to turn heads. You can find the tutorial here. Speaking of group costumes, you really don’t want to miss our Andy Warhol Campbell’s soup can team costumes, or our Wild Things costumes. They’re some of my favorites, and they’re great for any size group!

a white woman with brown hair wears a green dress with iron on flowers, a greenhouse hat, and yellow clogs. She's holding flowers and a watering can.

Family Costume

Another cute Halloween costume for a pair of friends would be our beehive and picnic costumes. Both use an iron-on technique to make easy halloween costumes that are as cute as a bug. Find the tutorials here.

Brittany wears a gingham red dress with ants ironed onto it and holds a rattan picnic bag. a white woman wearing a yellow dress with iron-on bees, black gloves, a bee headband, and black shoes stands in front of a blue background.

This constellation costume with iron-on stars is absolutely dazzling. Honestly, you might as well break it out all year round because it’s that beautiful.

a blonde woman wearing an off-the-shoulder black jumpsuit with silvers stars all over it, sparkly makeup, and a spangled headband against a periwinkle background

For a subtle Halloween look, just print off our Pumpkin Crown and wear warm autumn tones.

Printable Pumpkin Crown

Easy Halloween Costumes for Kids

Brand new this year are our classic Halloween costumes for kids! We give you options for a witch, bat, and pumpkin. Not only are they simple to make in a pinch, they’re adorable and you’ll be glad you tried them out. One of our most glamorous costumes with templates in the shop is our sun, cloud and rainbow set. This makes a great baby and mom costume, because you can add sun rays to a baby bonnet. I love how our model matched the baby’s outfit to her sling! With this costume you can invest as much or as little as you want. Just want the Sun and Rainbow headpiece? No problem. What about the Cloud Bag and Cloud Earrings? Done. Just want a sunny baby bonnet pattern? Your wish is our command. Make the costume just how you like it with this tutorial.

Rainbow costumeRainbow and sun mommy and me costume

This Giving Tree costume is another easy Halloween idea that you could make in a flash. And who doesn’t want to reference a classic children’s book in their costume? Find the tutorial here.

A mom wearing a green outfit with leaves and holding a felt apple bag stands next to her child in red overalls. They're dressed as the Giving Tree.

If you have a gaggle of children to costume, consider our Three Blind Mice baby costume pattern or our Crayon Hat template. Both are simple to put together and oh so sweet. For more kids costume ideas, see this post!

3 blind mice diy costume for kidsFour kids wearing crayon halloween costumes in orange, red, blue, and green.

Halloween Party Supplies

Even though gathering in big groups for Halloween parties is starting to look less and less likely (again 😔), you can still throw a Halloween party for your family, roommates, or pod! This Halloween Party Suite includes printable invitations, placemats, party tags, and place cards. Talk about easy Halloween ideas!

Halloween themed place cards.

Paper party goods with a halloween theme on a black background. They're orange, yellow, black, white, navy, and peach.

And for a party favor, try these printable poppers or printable Halloween candy gift boxes.

Halloween party poppersPrintable Halloween Candy Gift Box

These Halloween coupons make a fun halloween activity for your family. They’re a great way for parents to get their kids to relinquish some candy in return for fun activities.

halloween coupons in pink, red, blue, and black.

These illustrated Halloween cards are another great party favor because you can attach them to treat bags, trade them, send them as cards, or just hang them up.

Printable Halloween Cards

If your party is more freaky than funky, you might like this elegant invitation and Halloween dinner menu.

black and white illustrated halloween party invitation in a black decorative hadn surrounded by foliage and fruitsBlack and floral printable halloween menu

Party Food

Real talk here: what’s a party without cake? Use these printables and templates to make your Halloween cake extra fancy. The Spooky Town printable cake topper set is quaint and just a bit creepy, while this Black Birds cake topper is decidedly Hitchcock-approved. Red velvet cake makes it even more dramatic!

a colorful, cute printable cake topper set on a cake."The Birds" Cake Topper

If your fall party isn’t so Halloween-specific (or even if it is!) this Fall Leaf cake topper will add elegance and fun to the celebration.

DIY fall leaf cake topper

More Inspiration

Looking for more cards, costumes, and decor? Search for Halloween on our blog! You’ll be blown away by the years of great, easy Halloween ideas and DIYs. If you’re interested in many of these ideas (who wouldn’t be!?), you can check out our E-Book, The Halloween that Lars Made. It’s a one-stop shop for easy Halloween ideas, DIYs, and projects. Also, for more festive ideas check out this post on how to get into the Halloween spirit this year!

“The Birds” Halloween Wall Decor

A Halloween Party To Remember

The best thing about “The Birds” Halloween wall decor is that it’s quick and easy but still a showstopper! So if you’re short on time and want something people will remember, this project is for you. All you need is a Cricut maker, our template, and some black paper and you’re all set to make the birds a reality. Trust us, it’s worth it. People aren’t going to forget this in a hurry.

While our “The Birds” cake topper was originally inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s famous thriller, we couldn’t help but think of Moira Rose’s amazing performance in “The Crows Have Eyes III: The Crowening” (if you’re not a Schitt’s Creek fan, you will be after watching this). Needless to say, donning my own crow outfit and joining the birds seemed only natural.

How To Make “The Birds” Halloween Wall Decor

  1. First, download the template found here.
  2. Next, using a Cricut Maker or scissors, cut out as many birds as you want for your wall decor.
  3. Now use poster putty to put your birds up on the wall. If you’re not sure of the configuration you want, you can reference our photos for ideas.
  4. Done! 

Tip: we’d highly recommend pairing this amazing wall decor with “The Birds” cake topper. Even better, make a whole night of it and watch The Birds! It’s a classic, after all. And if you’re in the mood for humor rather than horror, Schitt’s Creek is probably more up your alley.

Now we want to know: What are you doing for Halloween? Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on making “The Birds” Halloween wall decor? Right this way. Looking for more Halloween ideas? Check out our Halloween shop! Also, check out our blog archives for more awesome Halloween ideas, like this char-boo-terie Halloween snack board or some costume ideas. My personal favorite was the wild things family costume from last year. Also check out our Halloween e-book!

Punch Needle Wall Art

Punch Needle Art

We’ve been wanting to do a punch needle project for a while now. Then, when our project manager, Jenny, started here at Lars last winter, it was as if the stars had aligned. She has a side tufting business and it inspired us to finally try it out! (You can check out her business, Thread Haven, here–it’s honestly incredible). Jenny has a fancy tufting gun, which was a little advanced for us, so we decided to go with the more beginner-friendly, handheld version: a punch needle.

Punch needling is surprisingly easy, once you get all the right supplies! The way ours turned out was so amazing. Jenny helped demystify punch needling for us and made the most adorable punch needle wall art featuring our retro floral motif. It’s the perfect addition to any wall, and will help to make your dorm (or wherever you live, not limited to dorms!) that much more cozy. 

Make Your Own Punch Needle Wall Art

Here’s all you need to know make your own punch needle wall art:


Let me explain the supplies, so you know exactly what you’re getting into:

  1. Punch needle. This is a must. You can’t punch needle without it! The problem is, there are lots to choose from, and many are far from satisfactory. We did the research and found one here that’s good quality and does the job well. (we went with a #9 regular, ⅜” loop).
  2. Yarn. Go with a more bulky yarn and the end result will be fluffy and lovely! We got ours at Michael’s. Colors: yellow, red/orange, and a blue/green. (or whatever colors you want).
  3. Punch needle loom. You need fabric that has the right weave, as well as something to hold it taut. The perfect solution is this punch needle loom, so you don’t have to manually staple the fabric to anything. We went with the smallest size, but you can do any size you choose.
  4. Retro floral template. If you want to make yours look like ours, the easiest way is with this simple template! All you have to do is download and cut out on a Cricut Maker or with scissors and you’re set.

There you have it! That’s all you need!


  1. First, use the template to trace your design onto the back side of your punch needle loom. See our photos for reference.
  2. Now start with the flower center. Take the color of yarn you want to use for the center and thread it through the punch needle (for help threading the needle, see this helpful video).
  3. After your needle is threaded, you’re ready to start punch needling! For this, start at the perimeter of the center. Poke the tip of the needle all the way down so the metal part is hidden and the fabric touches the wooden part of the punch needle.
  4. Now, pull the needle back out, move over a ¼ of an inch along the center’s perimeter and poke the needle back down all the way, as you did before. 
  5. Continue this process until the center of the flower is full.
  6. When the center is full and you’re ready to move on to the next color, clip the excess yarn so there’s an inch or two of excess. Now, with the punch needle, poke that little tail back through the same hole so it pokes out in the front. Clip it down to about ¼” so it’s hidden amongst the loops. 
  7. Now repeat steps 3-6 for the second and third colors. Note: when starting a new color, leave about a ¼” of space between the colors. If you start too close to the other colors, you could unravel the yarn. Don’t worry, the gap will be hidden on the front side of your project. 
  8. Done!

Styling Your Punch Needle Wall Art

The thing I love most about punch needling is that it is incredibly versatile. We chose to make our punch needle project into wall art, by leaving it on the loom and hanging it on a simple pin, screw, or hook. But you actually have a lot of options! Once you’re done with the punch needling, you can remove it from the loom, finish the edges with a simple slip stitch and hang it loose, without the loom, too. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your art into a rug, throw pillow, or something else entirely! There are so many options. 

We can’t wait to see what you make! Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Need more dorm inspiration? Try this Lars girl’s back to school guide, as well as this and this dorm room makeover. Also try this simple DIY pencil case and fanny pack for your on the go needs!

Camp Lars: Summer Activities for Kids


Crafts are at the top of our list of summer activities for kids. We’re all about crafts! So obviously we made some with kids in mind. And don’t limit yourself to this list! See our blog archives for more craft ideas. There are plenty we left off the list that your kids would love to try. Some are advanced enough that older kids will enjoy them more, but don’t fret. There are plenty for all ages to enjoy.

Here are our picks for best crafts for kids:

Matisse Felt Board

DIY block printing stamping art with potato


Another must-have on our list of summer activities for kids are our courses. Since your kids are out of school, it’s the perfect time to try a fun, easy course to keep their brains in gear! Our Great Artists courses are designed to get kids thinking creatively. They get to learn about different artists, with lots of great kids crafts to compliment what they’re learning. 

Another course that’s great for older kids is our Learn to Draw Flowers course. This course will teach your kids all about 31 different types of flowers and how to draw them. Once they’ve nailed this course they can move onto some of our other crafts, like these nesting eggs or our classic nesting dolls (here are the plain wooden nesting dolls to paint). 

Art Supplies

These art supplies made for kids are the perfect compliment to the courses we just mentioned! Not only are they a great way to keep your kids busy this summer, they’re also an important developmental resource to boost your children’s creativity and kick their imaginations into action.

Here are some options from our shop we love:

Other Kids Toys/Activities

Our shop is full of other summer activities for kids! From puzzles to bug hunting kits, we have something for every type of child, so take a look and see what suits your child’s fancy. 

Eeboo kids toys

back to school stickers on notebooks


For the Littlest Ones

We didn’t want to leave the littlest ones out of our list of summer activities for kids! While your older kiddos are off on a bug hunt or playing with puzzles, here are some things that are cozy and fun for even those who can’t walk yet. 

cute gifts for baby

Colorful, geometric paper shapes hang from a mobile in a green room.

Home Decor for Kids

Last but not least is our print shop. Summer activity, you ask? Hear me out: we have a shop full of kid-friendly art just waiting to be put to use somewhere in your home. Are your kids old enough to help decorate? Enlist them! What better way to decorate your child’s room than with art they love to look at? Even if your kiddos are too little to pick out their own art, consider it a great opportunity to decorate your baby’s nursery.

A print of a girl reading in a garden surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers against a golden background.

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.


cheap art for kid's rooms

We hope we’ve given you some good ideas to keep your kids happy and busy this summer! Now we want to hear from you: what summer activities are your kids doing this summer? And what other kids crafts and activities would you like to see from us? Let us know in the comments below!

Eight Crafts to do with Leftover Cardboard

Papier-mâché Vase

First on our list of crafts to do with leftover cardboard is this Papier-mâché Vase we made recently. It’s the perfect way to use up some cardboard and make something lovely at the same time. I think we can all agree a beautifully-painted papier-mâché vase looks better than a pile of cardboard in the corner.

DIY Cardboard Cactus

A DIY cardboard cactus is another great option if you’re looking for easy home decor! Of course some paper plants had to make it in here somewhere. The best part about paper plants? You can’t kill them. And these cacti? They’re helping keep our planet just a little bit cleaner.

2D Cardboard Vases

There’s no shortage of cardboard vases for you to peruse on our list of crafts to do with leftover cardboard. It seems that cardboard is just the perfect material for an easy DIY vase! These ones are lovely 2D options that are as cute as they are simple. I love how easily customizable they are with a simple coat of paint!

2D Cardboard Vase

Recycled Cardboard Sun

Speaking of keeping our planet clean and beautiful, why not try this Recycled cardboard sun? We made it in honor of Earth Day, but really, isn’t every day Earth Day if we love her? It’s also the perfect summer craft to do when kids are bored–a win win.

make a cardboard sun with recycled materials

Geometric Cardboard Piece Tower

Another great craft to do with cardboard boxes and kids is this geometric cardboard piece tower. We based it off this Bauhaus inspired mobile (which you could easily turn into another cardboard project). We love that it’s simple and fun for kids to do, and it doubles as a great puzzle to keep them busy when they’re done making it.

DIY Painted Cardboard Vases

Next on our list of crafts to do with leftover cardboard are these DIY painted cardboard vases. We painted them to match our lovely blue porcelain inspired tablescape, but you can paint them to match anything you’d like!

Jasper’s Viking Cardboard Box Costume

A real show stopper on our list of crafts to do with leftover cardboard is the iconic viking cardboard box costume. Now we know it’s not Halloween, but what kid doesn’t like an excuse to dress up, much less like a viking?! You could make it into a viking themed birthday party, or just do it for fun. Turns out it’s a great way to keep kids busy during those looong summer months before school starts again!

Papier-mâché Rainbow Vase

Another vase to add to your repertoire from our list of crafts to do with leftover cardboard is this lovely papier-mâché rainbow vase. We love that you can use it for your paper flowers, or as a desk organizer for pens, markers, and anything else you need to keep out of the way.

Paper Mâché Rainbow Vase

Bonus: Recycled Egg Carton Vases

Now we know egg cartons aren’t technically recycled cardboard boxes, but these egg carton vases are a great way to recycle your egg cartons, while you’re at it! Because egg cartons do no good in a landfill, either. Wouldn’t you rather have a lovely vase?

Which of these recycled cardboard crafts is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!



Cyanotype Sun Prints

What is a Cyanotype?

Ever seen those iconic blue and white photographs and wondered how they were made? If cyanotypes are new to you, here’s a little background. Did you know that cyanotypes are where architects and engineers picked up the term “blueprint”? They are literal blue prints! That’s because of the traditional blue and white color of an exposed cyanotype. A cyanotype is a photo process where specially treated paper reacts to UV light (the sun’s rays) and exposes the paper. Specifically, our method involves placing foliage on cyanotype paper that turns blue when exposed to the sun, leaving beautiful white shapes of foliage behind.

Pressed Flowers

Remember this post on how to press flowers in three methods? Cyanotypes are a perfect way to repurpose your beautiful pressed flowers again and again! We love the delicate designs the pressed flowers make in a cyanotype.

In our cyanotype method, we use a simple sheet of clear acrylic to make our design first, then set it on top of the cyanotype paper. That way your design is set in place and you won’t damage your precious cyanotype paper trying to get the glue dots off.

How to Make Your Own Cyanotype Sun Prints

  1. First, create your pattern by arranging pressed flowers on one side of the acrylic. Make sure the design fits. Secure the flowers with glue dots (this is helpful to keep your design in place, especially if there is wind).
  2. Next, lay the cyanotype paper flat on the ground in a spot that gets direct sunlight.
  3. Now, position the acrylic on the cyanotype paper and set it in place.
  4. Leave in the sun for about 20 minutes, or until the design has set. Our paper was quicker than 20 minutes (closer to 5 or 10), but the time varies depending on the specific brand of paper you use.
  5. Last step is to rinse the cyanotype paper with water, and let it fully dry on a clean surface. Done!

If you’d like, you can frame your beautiful print or leave it on its own, whichever you prefer. Add it to your collection of art and put it somewhere that makes you happy!

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on cyanotype sun prints? Remember to check out our post on how to press flowers in three methods! Also see this post, where we compiled all our paper flower tutorials all in one place.

Becoming Cassidy Demkov

Please write a short, 3rd-person bio about yourself

Cassidy is an artist and surface pattern designer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She enjoys designing intricate hand-drawn & painted floral patterns. Her art & patterns are inspired by her love of traveling,  flowers, animals and vintage things. Her love for art began at a very young age; from the moment she could pick up a crayon her grandma & family was always encouraging her creativity. 

Cassidy has always had a love for art & architecture. That love is what originally drew her into the interior design field for many years including a summer spent studying in Florence, Italy. Her favorite part was working with the textiles & home decor. Her passion for color and pattern made her dream of designing her own textiles. When she was given the opportunity to return to college for Visual Arts & Graphic Design she knew she had to pursue it. While she was finalizing her Visual Arts degree she accepted a temporary job to gain experience which led her to creating art & patterns for paper collections. This opportunity gave her a lot of experience designing patterns & paper products. However, she still wanted to design her own textiles so after 5 years she left to pursue her dream. 

Currently, Cassidy works as an illustrator & surface pattern designer and has designed multiple fabric collections currently licensed by Cloud9 Fabrics. She also licenses her designs to be used on a variety of products such as women’s clothing, baby products, pet accessories, stationery & gifts. In addition to this she has started a small but growing stationery line where she incorporates many of her patterns & illustrations. She hopes to expand this stationery line into including a variety of stationery & lifestyle products. Most recently she has been spending time developing more designs and patterns for wallpaper, home decor, pillows and fabric which she plans to put more focus on in the next few years.

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

I would consider myself a few things including artist, textile designer and illustrator. 

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

Mostly in Salt Lake City, Utah but I did live in Texas for a period of time when I was a child. My grandma and family always encouraged my love for art and creativity. 

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

My love for animals made me want to be a veterinarian until I realized what that really involved. Then I had being an Interior Designer in my head for a long time. I remember even dreaming up how I would design my dolls’ houses and decorating my own bedroom. 

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

There are a lot of people who have been influential, including artists, designers and creatives I admire. I have also definitely had a lot of encouragement and support from friends and family to be able to do what I am doing now.  

What sparked your interest in art?

I remember my grandma always being so creative and really admiring her. Even her home decor and  garden always seemed very unique to me. The first piece of art that really caught my eye was “The Girl with a Watering Can” by Renoir. She had a print of it in her hallway that is now in my home. This interest grew over the years. Then, when I spent a summer in Florence and had the opportunity to see original works of art like Botticelli’s, the appreciation grew even more.

Years after that I have had some great opportunities to travel. My travels have always been focused on seeing historical architecture, museums &  gardens. This has had a huge influence on inspiring my creativity and design. Visiting so many beautiful villages, estates and gardens has influenced the design of my own home and garden.  

What inspired you to become a surface designer?

I was inspired to become a surface designer because it gave me a way to collaborate with other brands I admire. It also gave me the opportunity to see my artwork come to life on their products. Seeing a flat design come to life on fabric or a product that someone will use in their daily life is very rewarding. Anytime I am in a store I see products and instantly think of how I would design them or what patterns of mine would look good on them. I especially love designing fabric because I instantly get to see the way my designs inspire  another person’s creativity and all of the different things that are created with the fabric.  

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

I don’t necessarily have one individual piece, but I am proud of my stationery collection. It started out as a little side project to sell some of my designs on cards at a local shop, Salt & Honey Market. This little passion project quickly grew to become more than just a side project. 

I am also really proud of my recent fabric collection, Flora, because I was able to see so many of my floral patterns come together in one single project. This project took a lot of time and detail but overall it came together really well.

What is your design process like? Where do you find inspiration for new creations?

Anytime I am traveling or in my own garden I take tons of pictures of flowers. I save all of these images in folders so I have inspiration when I want to design a floral or other project. Sometimes I just go to my garden directly when the weather permits and I gain a lot of inspiration there. I spend time arranging bouquets or gardening which always inspires me to draw.

Then I sit down and sketch ideas. This is often ideas for future projects that I can easily reference. From these sketches I refine my ideas and patterns. After sketching, I trace over them to get a really crisp, detailed illustration. Depending on the style or detail of the project, I do additional layers with paint or more pencil drawings. From there I scan these drawings into Illustrator to create the final patterns. 

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

I received a set of Beatrix Potter books when I was a child and I was always fascinated by all of the cute drawings in the stories. I loved her style and creativity. Recently I visited her home in the Lakes District of England where I learned more about her life. I have grown to appreciate her as a person just as much as her art. She used a great deal of her wealth from the sales of her books to preserve land in the area she lived.  

Other artists and styles of art I really love are many of the Dutch Masters florals and impressionist artists including Renoir, Van Gogh and Monet. I definitely hope to work on my fine art skills in the near future. I would love to be able to create some of my own floral masterpieces.  

As far as textile designers, a few I greatly admire are the hand-painted interiors of de Gourney, the botanical prints by Josef Frank and the design work of Dorothy Draper. 

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

A few of my favorite quotes, which I have incorporated into my own work and life are: “Even the smallest one can change the world,” (Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter).

“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful-that will be my life,” by Elsie de Wolfe.

How do your surroundings influence your work?

My surroundings have a great deal of influence on my work. I am much more creative in the months that  I am able to spend time outside in my garden and in nature. I think this is why I enjoy illustrating flowers so much. The little animals that live out in my garden have been featured in a quite a few of my designs because they inspire me. They make me smile every time I am gardening.  

What is a typical day like for you?

This varies a bit depending on the season. An ideal day is one where I am able to wake up and spend the early morning entertaining my pups and sitting in my backyard. When it is warm enough I like to spend the morning out there working and planning out my day. Once I have my tasks planned out for the day I get to work. This varies from day to day. I have days that are dedicated to my personal work projects and creative work.

Other days are focused more on client projects, my stationery brand sales, and packing/shipping products. I think a lot of people think being an artist means getting to just sit around drawing  flowers all day. But I do have to do a lot of other things like sales, packing/shipping, ordering products, restocking stores and even some accounting.

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

I don’t know that I have any secret talents, but I have a few skills I am working on and would like to focus more on in the future. One of these is floral arranging. Another is focusing more on some fine art skills such as oil painting. I would love to someday be able to create and paint florals like some of the Dutch Masters.  

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

I personally think that there are so many wonderful online classes available. Having a budget for taking online or in-person classes will always make you a better artist, even if the class isn’t necessarily directly related to what you do. I have found that even something like a gardening class can easily spark my creativity. I also think it is important to try out many different art styles and constantly learn new skills. Doing this has helped me find the things that I enjoy creating. It’s also helped me realize that even though some things inspire me, I don’t necessarily enjoy them myself. Another piece of advice is that  you won’t be great at anything without continued work and practice. It takes a lot of experimenting to develop a skill. 

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

This one is really tough because what is available or works for one person doesn’t always work for another.  However, I can say that if you really want to pursue your dream, you have to be willing to work for it. You also have to do the research. It requires a lot of trial and error. Another piece of advice I have for new artists is that you cannot expect to be successful immediately. It takes time to learn, grow and really refine your work. I highly recommend looking for jobs that will allow you to do this.

Once you are no longer growing or feeling fulfilled, it is time to move on from that and look for your next step or opportunity. This may even mean taking a step back financially so you can move forward. Leaving a full-time job to work for yourself means taking on so much more responsibility and sometimes even a pay cut. Personally, I’ve had to make some lifestyle changes because of this but my progress is worth it to me. I’ve been fortunate to have lots of support and understanding from friends and family. I have had to work much more than I did when I could just clock out and go home for the day.

Also, being willing to invest in yourself and business is big. You will see more growth by  doing so. Sometimes you have to work multiple jobs to help fund your dream. I actually started my stationery line to bring in a little extra income each month and now it has grown into a much larger portion. I have also had to do freelance jobs and pick up projects that I didn’t necessarily love. By working the extra hours and doing these things I have been able to continue working towards being able to pursue my own projects full-time.  

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

This is a hard question to answer because there are so many things I would love to become. Career-wise I would like to see myself focus more on my home decor and interior textile designs in the near future. I’d love that to become a larger part of what I do. It’s difficult because I originally had home textiles as my main focus but along the way I have found that I still have a passion for designing stationery products, clothing and other non-home decor related things. I hope that in some way I am able to balance all of the things that I enjoy designing and creating.  

What is your long-term goal? or What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?

I’d love to have more opportunities to collaborate with more brands while I also grow my stationery and home decor lines into their own unique things. I hope to grow my business to a point where I don’t  have to “do it all” and I can focus more on the parts that I am most successful like the creative direction  and illustration. 


You can read more of our Becoming interviews here.

Becoming Olivia Herrick

Please write a short, 3rd-person bio about yourself.

Olivia Herrick is a graphic designer based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota,
best known for her playful, vibrant, and positive artwork. Though you will often find her glued to her computer at her studio, Olivia finds her greatest inspiration in the great outdoors.

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

I consider myself a graphic designer!

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

I grew up in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Our house was adjacent to a bunch of wooded land and a pond, and we spent nearly every second of every day outdoors. It was so blissful. I have extremely fond memories of my childhood and it deeply impacted the way that I interact with nature today. My mom was an art director/graphic designer before becoming a stay-at-home parent, and her love of color and general aesthetic sensibilities also influenced me greatly.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

By the time I was about 13/14 years old, I knew I wanted to be graphic designer! I got the bug pretty early. But before that I think I went through an interior decorator phase and also the quintessential veterinarian phase as well.

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

My parents. My mom was an art director/graphic designer and taught me from a very early age to see life through a creative lens. She’d point out beautiful colors or save type from magazines that she loved. My dad was an inventor and has an incredibly creative mind. Not in the same type of “technical” creative way that my mom is creative, but he really instilled this deep desire in me to think outside of the box and problem solve. I sometimes refer to myself as an “idea woman” and my dad is the original idea man. He is also one of the hardest workers I know and set a great example of what it means to give something your all.

What sparked your interest in art/design?

I went to a small school that placed a heavy emphasis on the arts, so from 5th to 12th grade I was exposed to a wide variety of mediums and spent a lot of time in choir, theater, photography, painting, drawing, ceramics – you name it. I came to have a deep love of the arts and expressing myself creatively.

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

One project that I am especially proud of is my upcoming children’s book and first word flashcards products – they are currently scheduled to release this fall! I made both for our daughter, and then worked with my publisher to bring them to a broader market, and they are just two pieces that I am extremely proud of and feel are quite personal to me given their origin story.

What is your design process like?

It really depends on the project–my work is different every day, which I love. I might be working on a visual branding project, or a brochure, or food packaging, or a product for retail. It keeps me on my toes! Almost everything starts with sketching of some sort, followed by an exploration of ideas. I try to get a wide variety of concepts out of my head and onto paper/the computer and then move into refinement.

Where do you find inspiration for new creations?

I try as hard as I can to stay off Pinterest and social media when looking for inspiration and really try to ground myself in the real world. I love the library, I love design books, I love clippings from magazines, old packaging.

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

I am fortunate to be surrounded by a community of incredible artists – one perk of social media is being able to connect and build relationships with people that I have never even met in real life! Lately I have been especially fond of following artists in other disciplines – a current favorite is Madison Holler of @rubinskiworks, who does the most stunning beadwork.

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

The library is one of my favorite places in the entire world – I have 3–5 books checked out at all times! Right now I am reading The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck. TV-wise, I love easy-going shows. We just rewatched The Office and Parks and Rec. I have found that I don’t have a lot of emotional bandwidth for dramatic television anymore after becoming a parent! Music-wise, Ben Rector has a great new album out called The Joy of Music. I highly, highly recommend!

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

One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received was from my 11th grade history teacher. Her mom passed away and when she eventually came back to class she could tell that we all wanted to say something but didn’t really know where to start. She stood at the front of the classroom and told us that all you really have to say is “I’m sorry.” You can start small. But you should always find the courage to speak up, always find the courage to connect.

It has impacted my life in many ways – I think we all have moments where we want to reach out to someone / offer condolences / connect / check in, but we don’t really know what to say or how to say it, or if we should even say anything at all. But ever since that day in 11th grade I have made a point to always reach out. And I have never regretted it.

How do your surroundings influence your work?

I would consider myself someone who can work well almost anywhere! But I definitely feel the best in a relatively neat, simple space. I work out of my studio which is a small but mighty space a few miles from our home. It is perfect for what I need!

What is a typical day like for you?

Right now I am working from 8 AM – 2 PM each day – these are the hours we have childcare at the present moment! Motherhood has deeply impacted my ability to go with the flow over the past three years. I used to work from 7 AM – 4 PM every day. Now I get twice as much done in half the time. It’s incredible! I typically wake up at 6, journal and have coffee, spend time with my daughter, and then head to work.

At work I typically try to kick off the day with what I call my “daily design practice” – it’s a 5–20 minute creative warm-up prior to beginning client projects. I tackle emails, and then I generally try to have 2–3 major things I am focusing on each day. I try my best to pack my lunch (and about 100 snacks) each day as well, but am not always perfect when it comes to that! My productivity has really improved in the past year and I find that I am able to stay on task significantly more than I was able to in the past.

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

Don’t be afraid of being terrible at first! It’s a journey, and it takes time. It’s going to take some blood, sweat, and tears, and creative pursuits are no different. I recently took up playing the piano for fun and it has been such a good reminder that improving at anything takes deliberate practice and a humble heart!

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

I play competitive amateur golf! It is a huge part of my life and something I have been doing for the past 20 years. I play around 8–10 tournaments annually on both a local and national level, and train with my coach year-round. It is such a wonderful sport and has had a profound impact on my life.

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

Yes! I am a huge advocate for running lean. Prior to this year, I would outsource a fair amount of work to designers I hired, but it consistently left me feeling stressed and overwhelmed. In 2021 I decided to try something different and take on less work, charge a bit more, and do it all myself. I had my best year yet by every measurement, and was able to allocate those funds to hiring in other categories of my life (childcare, mental health, etc.)

Generally, I would also say do not be afraid to acknowledge that you want to make money. Do I love graphic design? Absolutely. Do I believe it is truly my calling in life? 100%. But… I am still running a business. I think that there is just a general expectation that women need to be led by their heart rather than a desire to generate revenue. In my experience both of those things can be true. Yes, I love my work. And yes, I want to make a living.

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

More at peace, more content, more grateful, and more present.

What is your long-term goal? or What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?

I am someone who is hesitant to map out too many concrete dreams for the extended future, only because time and time again the most wonderful (and terrible!) things that have happened in my life and business have been way outside of anything that I could have ever imagined for myself. But I think I can safely say that in the next 10 years I hope to keep creating, to continue to solve visual problems for my clients, to say yes to new challenges, and to be a present, patient, and joyful wife, mother, and friend.


You can read more of our Becoming interviews here.

Photos by Clara Jones Photography

Nesting Easter Eggs

History of Nesting Dolls

Obviously, these nesting Easter eggs are inspired by the original nesting dolls. Though nesting dolls are popular for their connection to Russia, their origins actually date back all the way to ancient China! In our holiday nesting dolls post, we explain a bit more about their fascinating history. If you’d like to read even more about the history of nesting dolls, check out this post here!

We especially love the symbolism nesting dolls carry of creation and new life. After all, the The first Russian dolls were referred to as “Matroyshka,” which comes from the Latin root “mater,” or mother. Easter being a religious holiday centered around Christ and His resurrection, creation and new life feel like fitting connotations.

Our Nesting Easter Eggs

For our nesting Easter eggs, we went all in with a floral theme. Oh, and here’s the best part: this a major sneak peak announcement!! Consider it an “Easter egg” (ha!) for coming attractions, because the floral motifs on our nesting Easter eggs are based on our brand new Casetify collection! More details soon to come on the new collection. The timing is so perfect with our new Casetify collection, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use those lovely new florals. We love that flowers, like nesting dolls, are also indicative of new life. A floral theme just made perfect sense!

All that said, here’s how to make a nesting Easter egg.

How to Make a Nesting Easter Egg

The wonderful thing about this tutorial is how simple it is! Just a few steps. If you want to paint your eggs with flowers but need some guidance, see our Learn to Draw: Flowers course.

  1. First, lightly pencil in a floral design of your choosing. You can use our eggs as a reference if you’re stumped coming up with your own designs (It’s hard to pass up those lovely new Casetify designs, in my opinion!), or see our Learn to Draw: Flowers course. If you’d like, you can also paint the background color of each before penciling in your design. Use whatever technique is easiest for you!
  2. Next, start painting in your design. I found it helpful to start with the larger blocks of color first, then move in to the smaller details and thin line work.
  3. Continue painting in the details until your design feels resolved.
  4. To keep the paint looking nice and shiny for years to come, finish up with a spray coat of mod podge.

See how easy? The nice thing about these nesting Easter eggs is that you can make them as simple or complex as you’d like. Just have fun with it!

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on nesting Easter eggs? Well we have LOTS more Easter content where that came from. These adorable Easter egg columns are another fun way to decorate easter eggs. Looking for more Easter egg variations? Try this honeycomb Easter egg tutorial, or learn how to decorate Easter eggs with dried flowers. Also check out this DIY pom pom egg tree or our popular Easter egg wreath. And don’t forget about our brand new Easter items: rope Easter basket, Easter basket choose your own adventure, and Palm Leaf Wreath. Also, here’s a link to all the Easter projects on our blog, and here’s one for our Easter shop.

Thank With Google

I also want to mention that I’m excited to be one of Google’s paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program! Thank with Google is an experimental feature that allows you to purchase a virtual sticker and directly show your support and appreciation for content on my website.

Our loyal community can now feel more connected and engaged because you have the ability to thank me directly and share a personal message when you send a paid sticker. You get to choose and select from a variety of different stickers that translate into direct revenue so we can have some added support as we continue to produce quality design and DIY content. I love that I can read through your messages and see what you love or appreciate about specific posts!

You can find the Thank with Google feature on my site as a button at the top and bottom of this and all blog posts. If you try it out, let me know what you think! I am so grateful for those of you who have been following along for a long time and those who are brand new– thank you for all the support!



Easter Basket Choose Your Own Adventure

Easter Basket Choose Your Own Adventure

When I’m stumped and can’t decide what direction to go with Easter baskets, one thing that helps me is picking a theme. Last year, we dedicated this Activity Filled Easter Baskets post to helping you pick some different themes for your Easter basket. Have a budding chef in your home? What about a gardener or artist? With your theme in mind, here are the steps to this Easter basket choose your own adventure:

Step 1: Pick an Easter Basket!

The first step in our Easter basket choose your own adventure is picking the perfect basket. This can be tricky! There are so many options to sift through. Well, we’ve already done the sifting. Here are our picks:

DIY Easter Baskets

  1. Rope Easter Basket. This one is a brand new Easter basket released just yesterday! We’d love to see what you do with it!
  2. Woven Paper Easter Basket. Another great option, this one is so quick, easy, and equally pretty.
  3. Dip-Dyed Easter Basket. This is a general tutorial on dip-dying, so we’d recommend consulting our list below for options to purchase. Then dip dye to your heart’s content!

Easter Baskets to Purchase

Here are some more options if you’re not interested in making your own Easter basket this year:

Oh, and don’t forget about the Easter grass and other accessories. Here are some amazing options we love:

Step 2: Something To Wear

Who doesn’t want to gift their child with an adorable Easter outfit? You can cater it to their interests, as well as the theme of your Easter basket. Little chef? Think apron. Budding gardener? Maybe something flower-themed would do the trick.

Here are some adorable items from our shop your kiddos will love:

Bunny Rabbit Enamel Pin, Bunny Shaped Hair Clip, Bunny Hair Clip Kit, Wavy Headband, Colorful Hair Ties, Flower Bead Hair Ties, Easter Bunny Baby Bonnet, Sunglasses, Children’s Crown, Daisy Earring, Daisy Earrings 2, and Flower and Pearl Earrings.

And here are some other ideas!

Step 3: Books and Activities

Next step on our Easter basket choose your own adventure are books and activities. Books are a great way to avoid giving your child a sugar rush and also giving them hours of entertainment. Cater the book to your Easter basket theme and you’re all set!

Here are some options from our shop we think will be instant hits:

Springtime Activity Kit, Springtime Printable Activity Pack and Honeycomb Easter Eggs.

And here are a few other options:

Step 4: Toy

We couldn’t leave toys off our Easter basket choose your own adventure! What child doesn’t love toys? What about Easter themed toys? Even better. If you’re on a mission to craft the perfect themed Easter basket, we have tons of suggestions for you.

From our shop we have some great options: the Floppy Bunny Plush Doll, Easter Bunny Stuffed Animal, Garden Game, Color Pencils, and Building Blocks.

Here are more options if you’re interested:

Step 5: Treat

Last but not least on our Easter basket choose your own adventure are treats. Of course, just because you’re trying to vary the options in this Easter basket choose your own adventure doesn’t mean you can’t include some classic Easter treats in your basket. The Paper Carrot Treat Box from our shop is the perfect thing to stuff with goodies and include in your easter basket.

Here are some adorable and tasty treats we love!

More Inspiration

Looking for more Easter inspiration? Check out our Easter shop for many more ideas to get you in the mood! Also see our past blog posts featuring Easter content here.