Things to do during winter break

Things to do during winter break

I’m of the opinion that every good break deserves a bit of down time, family/friends time, and making time. I can’t help you much with the first two but I CAN and WILL help you with the latter. Making time is my jam! Here are some ideas of things to do during the winter break. Please leave me a comment with your ideas!

Making intricate snowflakes

If you’re in elementary school, start with the basics, but level it up once you’re in high school or college. The more intricate the better! We have some templates for these snowflakes here, but feel free to make your own. Hint: I’ve also seen Star Wars or Harry Potter themed snowflakes floating around the interwebs. Find your interest and get cutting!

vertical snowflakes with hands

Christmas Friendship Bracelets

Friendship bracelets were a big part of my childhood and I’m a big believer in keeping up the tradition. You can put any friendship bracelet into a Christmas color theme, but we also have some candy cane, poinsettia friendship bracelets here. They’re a bit tricky, but you got this!

Paper angels

We made tons of mini paper angels for our tree this year, but try blowing it up and making a big one! They’ll take you throughout the winter season!

Paper starburst ornaments

These paper starburst ornaments are so pretty for a tree but also awesome as a garland or as a simple decoration. Learn how to make the paper starburst ornaments here.

paper starburst ornament

Paper Danish woven hearts

To you and me these woven paper hearts might appear St. Valentine’s-y, and you certainly can get ahead of the game and make them for that, but they are made all winter time in Scandinavia. They’re such a lovely craft!

Danish Christmas hearts

Oversized paper star

Speaking of getting ahead of the game, I love using winter break to work on Christmas projects for next year. These oversized paper stars are such a stunner and take a bit of time so it’s now or never!

Oversized Paper Christmas Stars

Hand in heart valentines

Again, getting ahead of the game, now is a great time to work on some Valentines, like these hand in heart valentines, but they’d also be sweet to hand out to friends or neighbors during the break or as a great thank you note.

hand and heart love tokens

Paper Christmas cactus

I have a couple of real Christmas cactuses and they are the best! But paper Christmas cactuses are even better–no watering needed! Here’s how to make a paper Christmas cactus.

DIY paper Christmas cactus

Ice lanterns

If you live in a snowy climate, ice lanterns are a fun thing to try out! Here’s how to make them!

Photo heirloom ornaments

These are our most popular Christmas craft by far! I’ve been seeing readers make them all year round! Not only for Christmas but for birthdays or anniversaries. They’re just a hit all around! Here’s how to make these photo heirloom ornaments!

family heirloom ornaments

Nativity Set

Our heirloom nativity set is also a big winner. They take quite a bit of time so a break would be a good time to do it!

Midcentury painted heirloom nativity figures against a pink and red striped background.

Make a piece of clothing

My favorite winter breaks were those when I would come home from college and make a piece of clothing. This year we came out with our fabric collection and shared some of our favorite patterns. Here are some patterns to get your juices flowing!

Clothespin dolls

These winter clothespin dolls would be a fun kids and grown up activity. Make them look like your friends or family members!

Clothespin People Ornaments

Painted frames

Dig into the close family times by creating some pretty frames to go with your family pictures. Here’s how to transform some dollar store frames into works of art.

Quilt Hack

You don’t have to be a huge quilter to make a quilt. Here’s our trick to making a quilt! Such a cozy way to celebrate the cold weather.

Shaped pillows

We made these fun shaped pillows to go on our studio sofa. You can pick your own shapes or make these ones.

Paper Flowers

You can’t just go to the nursery and grab some flowers right now, so make them! We have a ton of paper flower tutorials but this paper orchid is a favorite!

Ok! That should be a good list to get your going for your winter break, but do let us know what you like to do. I always love to hear your comments! 

Paper starburst ornaments

Paper starburst ornament

This year was the year of paper Christmas ornaments! First it was the paper angel, then the Christmas hearts and now the paper starburst ornaments. In all honesty, I wanted to do 12 days of paper ornaments, but clearly it wasn’t my year ;). But for sure, next year when I can prep more.

paper ornament

Colorful paper ornaments

What I love about these ones is that they are SUPER simple to make yet so impactful with their fullness. Plus, add on the pretty cut out shapes (templates here) and it’s really so stunning. Of course, we had to put it into colorblock colors, but you could keep it all the same colors!

Paper Starburst ornaments

Materials (see above)paper starburst ornament

Instructions

  1. Cut squares of 3″, 6 for each ornament (can be more can be less–have fun experimenting!)
  2. Fold the paper in half each way. Fold the paper on the diagonal each way.
  3. Now bring the corners together and bring the squares together along the diagonal.
  4. Create 5 more.
  5. Glue each square together to create a circle. Before you glue the whole thing together, insert a ribbon to hang as an ornament.

Note: If you’d like to use the templates to create some visual interest, cut those first either on the craft cutting machine or by hand.

 

Paper Starburst ornament video

If you’d like some video instruction, hopefully this video helps!

 

paper starburst ornamentpaper starburst ornamentpaper starburst ornament

I’d love to see how yours turn out! Tag us with #LarsMakes or #HolidaysWithLars so we can see it!

Danish Christmas Hearts

Danish Christmas Hearts

Christmas hearts, or julehjerter, have a long history throughout Scandinavia, but we know about them through Hans Christian Andersen, who, in addition to his writings, was a wonderful paper cut artist. Danish children would practice them to increase their fine motor skills and I can say that they still do them today!

The hearts are typically done using red and whites. We had to add our touch to it so we used a few different colors in reds, pinks, and teals. The traditional method is to do it using scissors and of course, you are welcome to do that, but we put them into our Cricut to get those lines super crisp. Both ways work! We have four different templates to try out ranging in difficulty levels. See below!

Danish paper christmas hearts

How to make a woven Danish Christmas heart (julehjerter)

Materials

  • paper (you can even find kits here)
  • scissors or Cricut machine
  • glue stick
  • templates (you can find them in our shop)

Instructions

    1. Using the Cricut (or your trusty scissors) cut out the shapes from the template including the cuts in the middle, using two different colors of paper 
    2. Fold both of the shapes with the two ends meeting
    3. Next you will combine the two sides of the heart, weaving each of the strips together
    4. Choose a side to start with, and take the first strip closest to you in your hands 
    5. Pull the strip through the loop of the nearest strip on the other colored paper
    6. The strip that you pulled through, will now go over the next strip of the other color
    7. Pull that same strip through the loop of the next strip 
    8. Continue this pattern with each strip of each side, alternating each one, until your heart takes shape! 
    9. Glue a long strip of paper to the inside of each side to create a loop to hang your heart on your tree!

Scandinavian Christmas hearts video tutorial

If you’re looking for a visual, here’s a video to show you how we did it!

Danish Christmas hearts

These would make a wonderful holiday break activity. If you make them tag us with #holidaysWithLars so we can check them out! 

Christmas traditions

Christmas traditions

a list of christmas tradition ideas

For me, Christmas is the icing on the cake at the end of each calendar year, especially now that I live in cold weather. Nothing gets me through the winter misery better than the lights, treats, trims on the tree, carols, cards…you name it. (In fact, you can read more about my obsession over at Scary Mommy!).

I’m all about a Christmas tradition that has personal meaning, won’t break my back, and will be enjoyed by all. Now that I have kids, I want to make sure that it’s enjoyable and will be memorable though I won’t mention the meltdown I had the other day when trying to implement one tradition that I started this year.

This list is meant to provide ideas for traditions that you might want to try out and is definitely not meant to add pressure! Pick and choose, adjust, do whatever you’d like!

1. Christmas Crafting tradition

As you might guess, I love me a good Christmas craft–from crafting with the kids to crafting some decor. Here are a few favorites!

Christmas paper village

This accordion paper village is one that you can put into your craft machine or cut by hand. It’s a simple and sweet way to add in some festivities to a mantle. Bonus: turn it into an event! Invite some friends over for holiday crafting!

2. Christmas crafts for kids

Now that I have kids I’m realizing the magic that comes with the holiday. There are, of course, an endless amount of things you can do with kids that can feel festive but these are some of our favorites.

vertical snowflakes with hands

Winter Snowflakes

Paper snowflakes are such a classic winter tradition. We took it up a notch with these templates. But, of course, feel free to do your own! Bonus: Get some family over to make them together!

Paper angel ornaments

These paper angels can be used as ornaments or as decor. We made them in color block colors but they are also beautiful in all white!

Christmas friendship bracelets

These Christmas friendship bracelets might be a little more complicated for little hands, but they’re great for older kids and teenagers. They’d be a great gift too!

3. Advent Calendars

As you know, I love a good Christmas advent calendar. I think it’s one of the best ways to amplify the excitement of the season.

In Denmark they have the tradition of lighting a candle on each of the four Sundays leading to Christmas. Typically, the four candles are arranged in a wreath of sorts (like this). We got a small table wreath from Trader Joe’s this year and I had already bought a gold metal stand with four candles so we are finally doing it in our own home!

Other advents mark the countdown to Christmas starting with that first Sunday or on December 1st. Here are some of my favorites!

kid's room decked out for the holidays

Christmas book Advent

I had seen this Christmas book advent calendar for awhile and decided to try it out this year. We picked out some new and some we already had and the boys love unwrapping the selected book each day. I’d say this is one we’ll continue with!

children's christmas books

Printable service advent

This is a printable advent calendar from our shop filled with prompts to engage in one act of service.

We have a ton more advent options in this post if you’d like to explore more!

Gift wrapping

As I was preparing this list of Christmas traditions, I was trying to think of some really unusual traditions that would knock your socks off, but then I went back to basics–the stuff we probably already do but maybe don’t consider it something special. As I thought more about it, traditions are oftentimes in those small moments! Gift wrapping is one of those small ones. We probably all wrap gifts, but do we consider a tradition? Let’s count it! Especially if we make a point of making a special moment. Maybe we find some unique wrapping paper, or ribbon, or method.

Cardboard Gingerbread House Gift Box

This is one of my favorite projects from the past–a cardboard gingerbread house gift box! A simple brown paper box and a white paint pen. So easy!

Turn Wrapping paper into a gift bag

You can turn any wrapping paper into a gift bag or another fun shape (like a shirt!). Here’s how!

Ribbon Weaving Gift Wrap

Woven Ribbon wrapping

Here’s another fun wrapping idea–Take some beautiful ribbon and weave it to make beautiful patterns. Here’s the how to.

Christmas smells

Christmas conjures up pretty specific smells, doesn’t it! Can’t you smell them now?! Cinnamon, wassail, cloves, nutmeg, trees…

Group shot

Christmas orange pomanders

The tradition of making Christmas oranges and cloves is one of my favorites. Plus, I love that beautiful pop of orange. Here’s how to make them!

Setting a pretty Christmas table

To me, this is another tradition that fits under the “I’m going to do it anyway” type of tradition that you don’t think too much about it. But the beauty in this tradition comes in the thoughtful details and the great company that make the memories. Here are some things to add to your table setting!

Christmas poppers

Christmas poppers

A common tradition in the UK and Australia, these Christmas poppers are a nice pop of fun! We have some printable versions here!

Christmas Song Bingo

This printable Christmas Song Bingo has become a popular game in our shop! Here’s everything you need to know about it including the playlist!

Swan a swimming tablescape-11

Swans a Swimming centerpiece

My brain reels about this one. Oh, to find the time to make an amazing centerpiece like this Seven Swans a Swimming again! If you are up for the challenge, here’s the how to!

Holiday Napkin Folding

Christmas napkin folding ideas

OR, the simpler version of the gorgeous swan above is a napkin fold at each plate. Here are lots of napkin folding ideas for your Christmas table!

Christmas Magic for the kids

As you might imagine, Christmas traditions really exploded once I started having kids. It’s the MOST fun! And hectic and stressful…ha! Here are some ways that we are attempting to create it.

kid's room decked out for the holidays

Mini Christmas tree

Paul has talked about having a Christmas tree in Jasper’s room for awhile and we finally did it! Plus, we decked it out. We even let him pick out his tree–so fun! More on this soon! We added in stockings, the book advent, and switched out pillows and artwork.

Christmas tree ornaments

While we’ve featured Christmas tree ornaments here and there over the years, this is the first year that I’ve really embraced my collection or lack thereof. I need to change that! I love the idea of collecting ornaments from places we go and making sure I treasure the ones given to me too.

family heirloom ornaments

Heirloom Christmas ornaments

Our most popular ornament by far has been our heirloom Christmas ornaments. The tutorial is here!

Paper candles

In Denmark they are pretty unstressed about using real candles on real Christmas trees but living in a desert, I’m not so confident. These paper candles are the way to go! And fun for kids!

Christmas Decor

I have a thing for wreaths! If nothing else, I will have a wreath on my door! Here are some favorite Christmas wreaths!

Poinsettia wreath

Paper Poinsettia wreath

We made these paper poinsettias out of paper! Here’s how!

Dresden wreath

A traditional Dresden wreath is PRICEY! So we made ours out of paper! Here’s how to make a Dresden wreath.

Oversized Paper Christmas Stars

Christmas paper star

I wanted to do a nod to the traditional Swedish paper star and I love how it turned out! Here’s how to make the traditional Swedish paper star.

Bottlebrush Trees

Another simple yet impactful idea is our bottlebrush tree done in crepe paper done in rainbow colors of course!

Christmas cards

I LOVE sending out Christmas cards! Every single year! Even when we didn’t have kids and no one really wants to see just a couple! Ha! I typically send out a team card and a family card. Last year we went with these ones, and this year we used these ones!

Christmas stocking

This is another one of those traditions that I find obligatory and maybe not special enough to actually write down in a list, but it’s a big deal, takes a lot of time, and is so magical! We need to pat ourselves on the back for it all!

Christmas stockings

I loved these DIY stockings that I made for when there were just three of us. I need to do one more for Felix and then we’re cooking! Here’s how to make a Christmas stocking in fun patterns and colors!

Bringing in your heritage

A great way to add meaning to your holidays is to dig into your heritage. I love making it personal! Bring in the background!

For me, this is digging into my Scandinavian roots. We made these Swedish inspired paper ornaments and I still put them on the tree every year!

My Scandinavian Christmas

In the early days of blogging, I did this My Scandinavian Christmas series where I had some friends in Denmark and Sweden contribute a project that meant something to them. There are some amazing projects in this series! Check them out here.

Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia is a big Swedish holiday that I love paying homage to. We made this printable crown a few years ago and I think it’s so so pretty. Here’s more about Santa Lucia and the Santa Lucia crown!

 

Handmade gifts

Gift giving is fun, but handmade gift giving is the ultimate. It can be much more sentimental and meaningful. I’m sure we don’t all have time to make handmade gifts for everyone, but a gift here and there is such a beautiful time well spent.

Paper Christmas Cactus

Corrie Beth Hogg made these Christmas cactus out of paper! It’s so so beautiful! We have templates and instructions here.

DIY Paper Holly boughs

Paper holly

I love this holly made from crepe paper. It’s a beautiful gift topper or decoration for a handmade gift.

Holiday Office Party

Office parties are a fun tradition, even if the office is super small. We typically like to go to dinner or have an activity, but it’s so fun to decorate the office. Here are some ideas!

Christmas Paper Office Decorations

Office paper holiday decorations

This is one of my favorite ideas! Use one ream of printer paper to make all sorts of decorations! Here’s the tutorial!

Grand Entrance

Whenever we’d come home for Christmas, my sister and I would take my parents staircase as a challenge for dressing up. It was such a fun tradition!

Holly and berry garland

Our favorite year was this holly and berry garland. You can find the tutorial here.

 

Nativity

Now that I have kids, I LOVE having some nativity sets that are more kid-friendly. I think it helps involve them in the story of Christmas. Here are some ideas to help them.

Midcentury painted heirloom nativity figures against a pink and red striped background.

Our heirloom nativity set is a modern day classic. I will forever love my set! Here’s how to make it!

Nativity Paper dolls

For Christmas Eve, I’m going to print these nativity paper dolls off and set them out for the kids. We’re planning on recreating the nativity so this will give little hands something to play with!

Nativity clothespin dolls

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a painted set that’s a more more simple than the full set, these nativity clothespin dolls are just the ticket. Such a sweet tradition.

Nativity puppets

But my favorite nativity for kids are our puppets. I bring these to  church with me when I teach the kids to sing Christmas songs and my kids love playing them too. If only they hadn’t lost my baby Jesus…Ha! I plan on keeping up this Christmas tradition until they won’t let me anymore!

Ok! This is QUITE the list! But I’d love to hear yours as well! Leave me a comment!

DIY Christmas angel

DIY Christmas angel

christmas paper angel

Here’s the picture of the oversized DIY Christmas paper angels. I LOVE the ginormous size and even tried it out myself, but I’m showing you how to make a pint size version today.

These DIY paper angels are a common Scandinavian tradition and they make them so beautifully, usually in white. BUT, this is Lars, and we had to put them into colorblock colors! I LOVE the colorblock, what do you think?

DIY Christmas angel

See the materials list above and here’s how to make one!

Prepping your paper for the DIY Christmas angel

  1. Cut your paper into two different sized rectangles, one 5×6 in. for the angel skirt, and one 3 ½x3 in. for the angel wings. 
  2. Start with your bigger piece of paper and begin folding on the longer edge like an accordion. Folds can be about ¼ of an inch or 1 centimeter wide. 
  3. Take the folded paper and fold it in half to find the middle, punch a small hole in the middle.
  4. Take the smaller rectangle and fold just how you did the larger paper, on the longer edge, to make the wings. Fold in half and make a hole in the middle. 

christmas angel

Stringing the angel all together 

  1. Take your string and cut it to about 10 inches. 
  2. Fold the string in half and tie loose ends of the string together in a knot that is bigger than the hole in the middle of your papers. 
  3. Thread the looped end of the string through the bottom of the larger folded paper, then the bottom of the smaller folded paper, and then grab your large bead for the head and thread that on as well. 
  4. Trim the excess thread.

christmas angel

Gluing the Christmas angel all into place 

  1. With your hot glue gun, put glue on just one side of the folded paper, bring it together with the other side to connect them, and hold while glue dries.
  2. Now you can glue the wings to the skirt! Put a strip of glue on the under edge of the wings and press to the top of the skirt. 
  3. Put a blob of glue around the hole on the top of the wings and glue the head in place. 
  4. Now you can unfold it all and see your angel! 

Decorate the Christmas angel

Decorate however you like by punching holes in the skirt and wings to create a lace effect. You can also cut the corners to make them rounded, giving a scalloped look. Enjoy!

christmas angel

DIY Oversized paper angel

I LOVED the original oversized versions so much that I tried that out as well.

And you’ll never guess what we made it from…you ready???

Here’s how to make the oversized paper angel

Those temporary shades that you can find at the hardware store. We lived in these blinds until recently and I had a few hanging around so we went to town with them. They come like 6 for $20 already on Amazon perfectly folded so all you have to do is assemble. Quick and easy!

christmas angel made from paper

Here’s the how to for the big paper angel

  1. Cut one of the shades to be 21 inches. This will be your angel’s wings.
  2. Punch a hole through the center of both shades. (You will need to punch holes in sections at a time)
  3. Thread yarn through the holes to connect the skirt and the wings to make a loop at the top. Make sure that the sticky strip is face down for both of them. Tie the yarn into a knot at the bottom so it doesn’t come through.
  4. Now you can take off the plastic strip that covers the sticky strip. Fold the bottom down to connect with the other side, making the skirt full.christmas angel made from paper
  5. Now you can stick the wings to the skirt using the sticky strip on the bottom of the wings.
  6. Make the head using the honeycomb tutorial (we didn’t use doilies here but I think they’d be super pretty!)
  7. Attach it to the top, around the yarn!
  8. You can cut the edges for a more rounded scalloped look!
  9. Add a ribbon for a sweet finishing touch (we got our ribbon from Studio Carta)

Would love to see if you make it. Tag us with #LarsMakes if you do! 

Christmas books for kids

Christmas books for kids

I finally had the realization that while my children are young I want to get in all the wonderful books that make Christmas and childhood so magical. I don’t want to get to be old and think–“oh man! We never read that one and I always meant to”, you know?! Let’s do it while we can! The window is small!

SO, we had a few books on hand already, but I also went to some local shops and collected some more to add to our collection. I’m certain Jasper will be thrilled to 1) have presents under the tree to open in advance of Christmas 2) have more reasons to procrastinate bedtime and 3) hopefully get more more excited about Christmas because it’s the build-up that’s the best.

Here are the Christmas books I got for our advent this year if you’re interested in starting your own advent tradition.

If you’re looking for shop small:

Mochi Kids
Heirloom carries Christmas Stories by Bernadette Watts that I just picked up (and a lot more great choices that are hard to find!)

Christmas advent calendar books for kids

I also made this little video sharing some of the ones that I got on Instagram hoping to hear more from other people too!

Christmas book advent calendar

I’ve already collected all the books and the next step is to wrap them all up and set them under the tree. I’m thinking I may number each one so that Jasper can identify the number and try and find it (the alternative is to let him pick any book. Then we will read one each night.

You don’t have to go all out and buy everything new though–you can get some books from the library, borrow, or just use what you have.

Tip: Set them aside during the year and only bring them out when it’s Christmas time to make them that much more special.

What are YOUR favorite children’s books for Christmas?

I’d love to hear what books meant something to you when you were young or ones that your children love. What are the ones that you cherished? I’d love to continue adding to this list! Please leave me a comment with your favorites!

If you’re looking for more Christmas advent calendar ideas, I made this post with some more favorites!

Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars

To me, advent calendars are associated with my time in Scandinavia. We didn’t do them growing up, but Denmark is all about counting down the days to Christmas and they do it so well. They have one custom of celebrating each Sunday prior to Christmas as well as a Christmas candle that you burn every day. I love them all!

But, I’m also all about the advent calendars that I’ve seen this year here too. There are all kinds: candy, toys, Lego (my son LOVES LEGO!) beauty, cute houses, you name it. I’m also including some of our favorite DIYs below too, because I think we have some pretty good ones if I do say so myself!

Here are some of my favorites from around the web:

I also thought this Hello Bargello advent calendar was so cool! Are you familiar with bargello? It’s such a beautiful technique and this advent is gorgeous!

DIY Advent Calendars

If you’re looking for a fun Christmas project, here are a few advent calendars to DIY. They make a perfect Thanksgiving weekend project!

DIY printable advent village

This is one of my favorites we’ve done! It would make a great family activity. Put them in a cardboard box for storage afterward!

DIY Christmas Bulb Advent

Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

This Christmas bulb advent is one of our most popular. It’s just that cute!

Paper cut advent Village

This is one you can put into your craft cutting machine. It requires some assembly still but how cute are the results?!

Christmas Gift Guides

Stay tuned for more gift guides! And check out our previous gift guides here:

Christmas decor
Gift wrap

Christmas gift wrap

Christmas gift wrap

There is absolutely nothing better than a beautifully wrapped gift. I would frame every scrap of wrapping if I could. This year I’m trying to get ahead of the holiday rush and order some beautiful wrapping paper as opposed to needing to find something super last minute and it’s just not my vibe. So, I spent a good deal of time finding the best out there! There’s a mix of beautiful Christmas gift wrap, and fun and bright.

Christmas cards and family photo cards

While we’re on the subject of gift wrap, here are some beautiful Christmas card options. I even included some of the cards that were in my saved folder for our family Christmas cards this year–I love them all so so much and it was really tough to decide so I’m sharing the wealth. You can also find Christmas tags and other fun accessories below.

Christmas gift guides

You can also find our Christmas decor guide here!

Stay tuned for more and if there are any that you’re looking to see, let us know! 

Holiday decor guide

Holiday decor guide

It appears that I’m not the only one to get into the holiday mood early. I’ve been spotting a lot of you on Instagram putting up your tree already. And I will admit that I’ve had mine out since August (for a shoot! But I didn’t put it away either…). We need something to help us celebrate the cold weather! Enter: holiday decor guide.

We’re still relatively new in this house (does 2 years count?!) and I haven’t quite figured out how to decorate it yet since the first year I was 9 months pregnant and the second we were in Denmark visiting Paul’s family.

But there’s no excuse for this year! So, here are some of my favorite holiday decorations for the home:

Handmade Christmas decor ideas

If you’re interested in doing some crafting in preparing for the holidays in addition to your holiday decor, here are some Christmas decor ideas to get you going!

As well as some classic Christmas craft ideas

And a beautiful Christmas table idea

Don’t forget that we have our very own Shop with an assortment of Christmas ornaments.

Let me know how you’re decorating for the holidays. I love gathering ideas!

Paper Flower Gift Topper

 

Gift Wrapping with Flowers

You know me. I love gift wrap! Probably more so than the present itself. And even though my birthday is in June, it turns out plenty of people have fall birthdays, which means this paper flower gift topper will definitely come in handy. The best part is, since these flowers are paper, you can save them for plenty of birthdays and occasions for presents to come! I came up with this tissue paper flower gift topper as a fun way to add a dash of whimsy to a gift and it’s super easy. It’s based on paper poms, so if you know how to make those, you’re good to go!

tissue paper flower diyInstructions

  1. First, cut a piece of tissue paper 6″ wide and about 18″ long (depends on how large you’d like it)
  2. Next, cut another piece of tissue paper about 2″ wide and 18″ long. This will be the center of your flower.
  3. Now do an accordion fold up the tissue paper, about 3/4″ wide.
  4. After the accordion folds are done, fold the accordion-folded paper in half.
  5. Now staple the center of the fold.
  6. Once the paper is stapled, cut a point at each end of the paper.
  7. Next, glue the two ends of the paper together and fan out the blossom so that it spreads evenly around.
  8. Using the template, cut out leaves from the green paper and fold down the center. Use whatever size you prefer for your flowers!
  9. Glue the topper to the gift and glue the paper leaves underneath.

Voila! All done!

Tissue paper flower gift topperTissue paper flower gift topperPhotography by Trisha Zemp

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on our paper flower gift topper and need more ideas? We have plenty of gift toppers to choose from! See our popular bird gift topper here. Also check out these 3D paper flower gift toppers. Another classic is this prize ribbon gift topper. And call me premature, but prep early for the holidays with these classic paper holiday greenery gift toppers.

Heirloom Ornament Craft Along!

Crafting with a Cause

If you’re new to all of this, let me clue you in. One of the things that makes the holidays so special to me, aside from seeing family and enjoying good food, is that it’s the season of giving. It seems like it’s the one time all year where the world shares the same sentiment of generosity and helping each other. So while we are crafting for the holidays, it seems fitting that we should include that charitable aspect as well.

I recently partnered with Nest (see this blog post, and this one) and I’m now part of their advisory board. Nest supports artisans throughout the global economy — most of which are women. The purpose of our craft alongs, starting with last year’s, was to raise money for Nest and support their cause to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion.

Last Year’s Craft Along

I have to say, last year’s craft along was one of the highlights of the year. There was so much creative energy and excitement surrounding it, it was amazing to see and be a part of. If you missed it, here’s a quick recap:

We made two sets of our popular mid-century heirloom nativity; one we painted here in the studio at Lars. Then we sent once piece of the other set to each of our guests for them to paint. Each week we held live videos where we got to chat with our amazing guests as we painted our respective nativity pieces. Here’s the post where you can read all about last year’s guests. Oh, and here’s a transcript from our interview with Amanda Seyfried! While all the crafting with our guests was happening, we also opened up this link for donations.

At the end of the craft along, we auctioned off both sets and donated the proceeds to Nest, an organization whose mission is to support female makers in the global economy. Thank you thank you to all who donated or contributed in any way! It was a huge success and we are thrilled to be back at it again this year!

Nativity

This Year’s Heirloom Ornament Craft Along

Let’s get to it. Below is everything you need to know about this year’s heirloom ornament craft along!

Heirloom Ornament Craft Along FAQ

What is a “craft along”?

Think of it like a crafty version of a book club. We all get to work on the same project, have a weekly get together to craft, chat, and join a fun community.

Why a craft along?

Our heirloom ornament craft along is a perfect opportunity to get ready for Christmas (because we all know that it sneaks up on us every year) and get to know your Lars community a bit better. Even though summer’s still on its way out, we wanted to jump into our handmade holiday plans early. Get a head start on your handmade holidays and join in the fun with this heirloom ornament craft along!

How does the craft along work?

As mentioned above, we are working with Nest to raise money for makers all over the world. For this year’s craft along, we’ve set the goal to raise $5,000 for Nest. 

Our goal is to raise that money through the following:

  1. Ebook sales (with and without a kit included)
  2. Donations using this link
  3. Auctioning off a custom set of Heirloom Ornaments made by our team here at Lars
  4. Auctioning off a set of Heirloom Ornaments made by our guests

The money earned from the auction will be donated to Nest, and we’ll ship the ornaments to the winners of the auctions!

Family Photo Heirloom Ornament

Who are your guest hosts?

We are really excited to chat more about our guest lineup soon!

Stay tuned for more details about our guest hosts. We can hardly believe that so many incredible crafters have joined us for this project! You can click here to see the guests that joined us last year. We were lucky enough to have Amanda Seyfried, Mary Engelbreit and so many other wonderful guests! 

How long will the craft along be happening?

Our first guest will join us on Monday, October 3rd, and we’ll wrap up with our last guest on Monday, November 21st. Our auction will be announced following the last guest.

What if I miss a week?

If you miss a week or two, that’s completely fine! The good thing about this heirloom ornament craft along is that it’s virtual. We will save the Instagram Lives where we craft with our guests hosts, and you can watch them on your own time. We’ll also compile the videos into one blog post after they’re over so you can see them all in one place (see the guest videos from last year here). With the ebook and video, you will have all the information you need to complete a set of ornaments. 

How much does it cost?

There are a few different options:

  1. You can purchase our Ebook & kit – the kit will come with everything you need for 8 ornaments along with the Ebook (which includes step by step video) to guide you.
  2. You can purchase our Ebook only and purchase the supply list on your own. We spent a lot of time beefing it up and it now includes step by step videos!

We have gone through our Heirloom Ornament Ebook with a fine toothed comb to make sure that it is clear, concise, and easy to follow. We’ve also added in a step by step video to ensure that any questions you have are answered!

There you have it! Everything you need to get crafty!

Family Photo Heirloom Ornament

Will you hold an auction at the end?

Yes! Last year the auction turned out to be a wonderful way to raise money for Nest, so we want to do it again! As mentioned before, we’ll auction off two separate sets of ornaments. One of those sets will be the set made by our special guest crafters. For the other set, we’ll be auctioning off a “made to order” set. In other words, the winner of that set will send in their photos, we’ll make the set for them, and send it back! If you love these heirloom ornaments but aren’t keen on the idea of making them yourself, this might be the perfect solution. 

How do I start?!

While you wait for our heirloom ornament craft along to officially begin, the first thing you should do is order your supplies! You can get the full Heirloom Ornaments Ebook & Kit here, and the Heirloom Ornaments Ebook without the kit here. Then, mark your calendars for our first guest on October 3rd!

family heirloom ornaments photo transfer

Can’t wait to craft with you! Feel free to spread the word! 

All Our Paper Flower Tutorials

Blooms for Bouquets

There are so many things you can do with paper flowers, but you need to make them first! Mix and match these flowers for bouquets or let them stand alone. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Paper parrot tulips in cream, yellow, and red.Paper peony bouquet held by a person in a striped dressIcelandic Paper PoppyPaper hydrangeas in a white vase against a floral orange backgroundThe Exquisite Book of Paper Flower Transformationspaper daffodil on a cream backgroundA pink and blue space divided down the middle with flower bells in each color

Find paper flower tutorials here: Sunflowers, Parrot Tulips, Peonies, Poppies, Morning Glory, Hydrangeas, Eden Rose, Daffodil, Paper Flower Bells, and Narcissus.

Lots of flowers have stamens, and here you can make your own floral stamens for paper flowers.

Bouquets

I’m a big fan of paper wedding bouquets because they are long-lasting reminders of your big day. There’s no wilting here! I have loved making paper flower tutorials for all these bouquets.

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.Paper Flower Wedding BouquetRoyal Wedding Inspired BouquetCinco de Mayo Wedding Bouquet

Find tutorials here: Spring Wedding Bouquet, White Peony Bouquet, Royal Wedding Inspired Bouquet, and Cinco de Mayo Inspired Bouquet.

Paper Flower Accessories

Flowers add delicacy and magic to your fanciest events, but I’m all for wearing them in between big parties, too! These paper flower crowns and this corsage will have you searching for events because they’re so fun to wear! You can find paper flower tutorials for the accessories below.

A paper shamrock and flower crown on a brunette girl's head against green and white wallpaperPaper Flower Bridal Hair PieceA little girl wears a paper flower crown and smells some little flowers.a floral crown on long, straight brown hairPaper Flower Corsage

Find tutorials here: Shamrock Flower Crown, Paper Flower Bridal Hairpiece, Flower Girl Crown, Spring Paper Flower Crown, Paper Flower Corsage, Paper Flower Graduation Tassel, and Paper Poppy Pin.

Home Decor Flowers

Wreaths

When I started adding paper flower wreaths to my doors, I made a huge discovery. Coming home to something beautiful makes a big difference! So add paper flower wreaths to your doors and start feeling OVERJOYED when you get to your home. I promise, it works for me!

Paper daffodil wreath against a pink backgroundCrepe Paper Lemon WreathBrittany holding a wreath with floral accents cut from wallpaper.A hand reaches into frame holding a rainbow floral wreath

 

Wreath tutorials here: Daffodil Wreath, Lemon and Blossom Wreath, Wallpaper Floral Wreath, Rainbow Flower Wreath, Paper Poinsettia Wreath, Palm Leaf Wreath and Pink Paper Blossom Wreath.

Chandeliers and Mobiles

I absolutely love what chandeliers and mobiles do to fill the empty space in a room. And come on, they look adorable. So do yourself a favor and hang one over your new baby’s crib! It will surely give you and baby some much needed delight amidst the lack of sleep.

A maidenhair fern hangs from a wooden hoopA floral upcycled chandelier with paper greenery hangs over a party table. A paper mobile hangs in a white room with a cactusA colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i

Mobile tutorials here: Paper Maidenhair Fern Mobile, Paper Flower Chandelier, Scandinavian Paper Mobile and Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile.

Centerpieces

Another way I love to incorporate flowers is through centerpieces. Because isn’t having company over the perfect excuse to make something with paper flowers?

Paper flowers and colorful candles on a branchPaper tulips in an arrangement.

Centerpiece tutorials here: Paper Flower Branch Candelabra, Spring Tulip Centerpiece, Rainbow Paper Flower Tablescape

Potted Paper Flowers

I love me a good potted paper plant. These little beauties are the perfect addition to any room, so what are you waiting for?

Brittany holds a paper easter lily in a terracotta pot in front of her facePaper Christmas cactus in a white potPaper Medinilla plant in a grey spaceColorful paper plants in a grey roomPaper pansies in a distressed terracotta planter. They're placed on a stack of colorful books on a chair. In the background, you can see some red floral wallpaper and blue wainscoting.Magenta and purple hollyhocks made of crepe paper against a dark grey background

Find tutorials here: Paper Orchids, Paper Foxgloves, Easter Lily, Christmas Cactus, Medinilla Plant, Pansies, Hollyhocks, Paper Flower Bells and more Paper House Plants.

Parties!

Cakes

Another impeccable excuse to incorporate some flowers, do yourself (and your guests) a favor! If I had to guess, I’d say these flower-centric party decorations will do the trick perfectly.

Floral Number Birthday Cake TopperPaper Kumquat and Quilled Flower CakeMidsummer Pole cake Topper

Cake topper tutorials here: Floral Number Birthday Cake Topper, Paper Flower and Kumquat Cake Decoration, Midsummer Pole Cake Topper and 3D Paper Flower Gift Toppers.

Backdrops

DIY Crepe Paper Peony tutorialTropical Leaf and Hibiscus BackdropBrittany stands in front of a paper daisy-covered wall wearing a yellow dress.

DIY paper poppy backdrop and pinPaper Tulip Backdrop

Backdrop tutorials here: Crepe Paper Peony Backdrop, Tropical Leaf and Hibiscus Backdrop, Paper Daisy Backdrop, Paper Tulip Backdrop and Paper Poppy Backdrop.

Garlands

Isn’t spring the perfect time for a floral garland? Well, for your convenience, we have some lovely options that transition right into summer, too!

Paper flower garlandPaper flower garland hangs over a rattan chair

Garland tutorials here: Paper Flower Garland and Summer Flower Garland.

DIY Daisy party hat

And don’t forget this Daisy Party Hat tutorial!

Holiday

Holidays are the perfect time to get making a few flower-centric decorations. To help you out, here are our favorites:

Valentines Day

Brittany looks over her shoulder at the camera while wearing a pink, red, and white daffodil crown

Wear this Valentine Flower Wreath on your head or decorate your door with it. Either way, you’ll be feeling festive and ready for the spring blooms that will pop up not too long after Valentines Day with this wreath!

Halloween

A mom wearing a paper flower costume and a daughter dressed as a mouse pose in their costumes

Chrysanthemum Mom and Kid Costume

Hannukah

Gold, blue, yellow, and pink paper flower menorah

Paper Flower Menorah

Christmas

This Christmas you can make holly large or small, as well as these really exciting poinsettia blooms.

Paper Poinsettia FlowerDIY Paper Holly boughsGiant paper holly and paper berries hung around a big banister

Poinsettia, Crepe Paper Holly, Giant Paper Holly Decoration and Amaryllis.

More From Our Shop!

Find more floral Lars materials on our shop. Here’s our Flowers Coloring Book, this sticker sheet, a whole collection of floral art prints, and more!

Our Learn To Draw Flowers Course

And don’t forget about our learn to draw flowers course! It’s the perfect companion piece to all these paper flower tutorials. And the great thing is, if you don’t have all the materials handy to make the tutorials right now, you can learn to draw them first! By the time your materials come in the mail, you’ll be a pro at drawing flowers and will be all ready to start making them.