Paper Poinsettia Flowers

DIY Paper Poinsettia Flower

I used to think Poinsettia flowers were one of the lesser flowers on my “favorites list”. I felt like Christmas deserved a much lovelier blossom to represent its magical qualities. That was until I realized that poinsettias were more than just the gold cellophane wrapped arrangements at the grocery store or the tacky silk ones at the craft store. Poinsettias can be found in the most stunning colors and varieties! There are speckled versions, bright pink varieties, and much more. After this revelation, I knew it was time to make some Paper Poinsettia Flowers. It’s one that has been requested over and over by readers throughout the years.

Crepe paper is the perfect medium to add some texture to the petals and have some fun with color. From speckles to brush strokes, these poinsettias will give their real counterparts a run for their money! We teamed up with Cricut so you can easily download the SVG files and your Cricut Maker will cut out all the pieces in no time! Yes, the new Cricut Maker cuts crepe paper! It’s a Christmas Miracle!

Paper Poinsettia Flower

Find out how to make your own paper poinsettia flowers after the jump!

5 Tips to Creating the Perfect Christmas Card


Perfect Christmas Card

It’s that time of year again! No, I’m not talking about Halloween–It’s Christmas Card season! I’ve come to find that there are two camps: Those who LOVE Christmas Cards, and those who really don’t care. I happen to be a BIG fan of sending and receiving Christmas cards and grew up in a home where it an essential part of the seasonal traditions. I looked forward to opening up the envelopes and taping them up onto the door and seeing how people had changed over the years and what exciting news they had to share! So I’ve tried to keep up the tradition with my own family and also at work. I literally am jittery with excitement as I type this.Perfect Christmas Card

We teamed up with Chatbooks to create some lovely Christmas cards to send out to friends and clients! We posed in front of our new mural and wore items from our clothing collaboration with Winter Water Factory. The cards turned out so cute and I can’t wait to send them off! But I wanted to give you a few tips on how to create the Perfect Christmas Card, since I feel so passionately about the subject 🙂

See my tips and get 20% off your Christmas card order at Chatbooks!

How to wrap heirloom picture frames and free download wrapping paper


You know the type–the person who has everything they need and are impossible to shop for (my Secret Santa name this year, for example!). What do you do? One thing I like to do is to give a gift in the form of a framed picture. It’s meaningful, it’s something they don’t have, and you can never have too many framed pictures. It’s a trusty default.

I’ve partnered up with Preservation and Creation once again (remember the advent city and name tags?) to show you how to give to the person who has everything. And it’s perfect for last minute shoppers (guilty!). Find out below how you can get 30% off their prints!preservation-and-creation-canvas-prints-3-preservation-and-creation-canvas-prints-6preservation-and-creation-canvas-prints-36

One way to add extra love into an heirloom gift is through the wrapping. As you all know by now, I believe a well-wrapped gift can add value and sentiment to the actual gift. We came up with a free printable wrapping paper that is worthy of being hung up on a wall too. It’s a couple of black and white Dutch baroque paintings that are absolute stunners! With a ribbon completing the look, it would be a fun discovery for the recipient on Christmas morning.

Gingerbread layer cake with lemon buttercream


Gingerbread layer cake with lemon butter creamGingerbread layer cake with lemon butter cream

Isn’t it wonderful what cake can do? This cake can turn any day into an absolute WinterWonderland. Whether you’re absolutely miserable, stuck in doors due to snow or sleet, with barely any sunlit hours in the day, or like me, you’re only barely coping with ridiculously hot and muggy weather here sunny Australia.

Either way, this beautiful Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Buttercream will whisk you away to some Narnia-like realm where the snow falls in beautiful crystalline flakes, and the air is cool and crisp and the sky is bright. It’s cool, but somehow not too cold, and the woods are frosted white and beautiful. A slice of this cake and a steaming cup of hot coffee or chocolate truly will lift your spirits, no matter what kind of extreme weather you’re dealing with.

Recipe and photos by contributor Sarah Coates of The Sugar Hit

1st Day of Christmas Crafts: DIY glitter trees

Happy first of December! In Denmark, the 24 days prior to Christmas are usually celebrated with advent calendars (check out Oh Happy Day for some stellar ones) accompanied with a little activity or gift. We’ve got our own kind of advent calendar activity with these DIY glitter trees, which are the first of many Christmas crafts!
I do think I’m a little crazy with this 24-day Christmas craft challenge, but they won’t always be big crafts, so I think it might be doable. Wanna do it too? Let me know and let’s share ideas!

DIY Glitter Trees

I’ve been super into glitter since the days of the lantern and thought it would be a nice addition to these trees that my mom used to make out of magazines. They are a cinch to make, and I thought they turned out quite well!


  • Old magazines
  • Gold spray paint
  • Spray glue or glitter glue (couldn’t find glitter glue in Europe. Help!)
  • Glitter


  1.  Make your first fold by taking the top and folding it down so it creates a nice line with the center of the magazine.
  2. Make your second fold by taking the edge of that first fold and folding it into the center line.
  3. Take the point of the new bottom fold and fold it up so it’s flush with the bottom edge of the magazine. The tree will stand on this so it must be able to sit on a table.
  4. Repeat, repeat, repeat until the last page.

5.  Spray some gold paint on.

6. Embellish with glitter by spraying on adhesive spray. Start at the top and trickle it as it comes down the tree for an ombre effect.

Done! Now you can make a forest of glitter trees!




I think I’m going to do dozens more to act as our real Christmas tree since we don’t have a lot of space in our little apartment. Enjoy!

Want more ideas for Christmas crafts? Check out these DIY custom Christmas stockings and this DIY painted pinecone wreath!

9th day of Christmas Crafts: Flapper trees

These glitter trees and candy lights were the first couple of Christmas crafts, and now we have these flapper trees! Now, I’m seriously running out of room in our little place to feature all of these projects. Luckily, these flapper trees are small enough that they can be placed on mantels or side tables and leave room for any other holiday decorations you may have!
I found some papier mâché cones at a little shop back in November and have been trying to figure out what to do with them since. Well, this whole 24 Days of Christmas Crafts was the perfect excuse to give them a go. Paul took one look at these trees when he arrived home and said, “They look like flapper girls,” hence their now coined name. I found these mint crepe paper streamers in October at a really disgusting party store in DC (sorry, it was just really gross) but this color totally stood out.

DIY flapper trees



  1.  Cut into the streamers about 1″ in ever 1/4″ inch.
  2. Affix double stick tape to the bottom rim of the cone about the height of the streamer.
  3. Wrap around the base about 3 times.
4. Continue up the tree, each time leaving less and less space between layers.
5. For the last layer, cut the streamer in half to leave a little topper on the tree.
Voila! Now you can display all your flapper trees for the holiday.

Christmas tree crafts

We’re all about creating the best and brightest holidays possible here at Lars (and, of course, we want you to make every day beautiful)! Stay tuned for the next Christmas craft, and be sure to check out the blog archives for more creative ideas! Read below for some Christmas tree favorites up on the blog.

If you loved these little flapper trees, be sure to check out more Christmas tree craft ideas and inspiration! Learn how to make these DIY family photo heirloom ornaments for your Christmas tree, and check out the tutorial for this applique tree skirt! Take a look at some of our favorite Christmas tree inspiration here!

5 gift topper ideas

photography by Trisha Zemp

I’ve been wanting to collaborate with my talented friend Kate Zaremba for while now (I wrote about her work ages ago–she did textile designs for Rachel Antonoff)–and finally the time is here! Kate recently launched her illustration company where she does adorable prints, wallpaper, gift wrap, cards and custom illustrations. She was kind enough to supply me with some of her brand new gift wrap and I made 5 simple gift toppers for them with all the instructions below. PLUS, we’re doing an Instagram contest where she’ll make an original design based off of YOUR inspiration. Just post a pic of your inspiration, tag it with #giftwrapinspirationcontest and follow @kathrynzaremba. The winner will be selected, Kate will design some gift wrap, and you’ll receive it as a gift. FUN huh?! Head on over to instagram for more info. Contest ends Monday, November 25th.

In the mean time, let’s make some gift toppers for her gift wrap! I made 5 of them: a perfect bow (based one one I’ve been spotting around blog town lately but can’t seem to find an original source for), holly and berries, paper pom, the pendant, the forest. Aren’t they cute? They’re so simple to make and would be easy for any holiday gift. 
For some really lame drawings that I did to show how to make them all, read full instructions below. 

I hope these drawings are sufficient. It’s more of an experiment. I can’t draw super well with my tablet so they are super childish, but hopefully they do the job. 
One thing for the bow, I sprayed two pieces of her gift wrap together so that it would be firmer. 
With the pendant, I sprayed two pieces of her paper front to back so that it would be firmer.

Day 2: Printable St. Lucia crown

Printable St. Lucia crown

We’ve got a strong adoration for all things Scandinavian, as you might have caught on. Somehow they manage to execute folk, modern, minimalist, and classic design elements all impeccably. Not to mention their wonderful pastries, 6 hour work days, and ample vacation days. Sign me up! Another thing Scandinavia does right? Christmas. I joined up with a group of Scandinavian bloggers to create a Swedish Advent Calendar: 24 days of posts from 24 different bloggers, each consisting of a Scandinavian inspired project. So mysigt! That means cozy in Swedish 😉 You can find the project for Day 1 by Gina Vide at Willowday and tomorrow’s post with Pysselbolaget as well as a list of the other participants. I’m so excited to see them all!

Because Scandinavia gets so dark in the winter, the Christmas season means lights and candles galore! Saint Lucia Day in Sweden is one of their biggest holidays, celebrated on the 13th of December. It recognizes Saint Lucia who was martyred as a young christian girl because of her faith. Lucy means light, and Lucia was said to wear candles atop her head so her hands would be free to serve the persecuted Christians. Today, St. Lucia’s Day is celebrated in all of Scandinavia. Traditionally, girls wear white dresses and red sashes, each with an evergreen crown of candles atop her head. A procession is then held in each town or school and carols are sung. It’s such a lovely sight! I can’t forget to mention that Pepparkakor (Swedish gingersnaps), Lussekatar (sweet saffron buns), and glogg (a mulled cider), are usually accompanied. Are you sold yet? St. Lucia Day is such a cozy holiday and I think it’s a shame we don’t celebrate it here in the states. Insert: A printable St. Lucia Crown! Skip the frigid winter and enjoy carols and sweets all while looking like a Scandinavian Princess in the comfort of your own home!

Holiday Swag with Vistaprint


This post is sponsored by Vistaprint. We love our sponsors who allow us to create beautiful, original content for you. Use code LARSHOLIDAY to get up to 50% off holiday cards, wall calendars, and photo gifts!

One of my very favorite family traditions has been our yearly Christmas card. It’s that rare time of year when I can get Paul in front of the camera to document our family’s growth. Pre-photo generally tends to be a little stressful: organizing outfits, finding a location yadda yadda, then there’s the actual time in front of the camera which usually looks something like us bribing Jasper with some type of treat to get the shot (zoom in!). But man oh man the joy of looking through those photos once Jane (our in-house photographer) sends them back to us is twelvefold.

Holiday gifts wall art with washi and giveaway (closed)

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with washi tape–I jumped on the bandwagon a bit later than everyone else–so I was thrilled when I heard about the new Fun with Washi book by Jessica Okui of Zakka Life, published by Chronicle. It has 35 washi tape ideas that are all fun and bright, just the way I like ’em. And today Jessica is sharing one of the tutorials and templates from her book, a holiday gift wall art. It’s such a simple and cheap way to decorate for the holidays, which I’m all about. And she’s also giving away two copies of the book. One for you and one for a friend! See below on how to enter.

To win a copy of the book for you and a friend:

1. Follow The House That Lars Built on Instagram @houselarsbuilt
2. Bonus votes if you share this giveaway
3. Leave a comment here telling me how you’ve entered

Contest ends Tuesday, December 9th.

That’s it!

Happy washi-ing!

Get the full tutorial for the holiday wall art below

Materials: washi in complementary colors, 1 square piece of paper 8″, pencil, ruler, scissors, parchment paper

Here are some favorite washi optionssolid gold,  red and gold two packred stripesChristmas colorsgorgeous black and gold stripessilver washi tape

  1. Place the paper square on the wall where you want to put the gift and trace around the edge of the paper square lightly with pencil.
  2. Using the ruler, find the center of each side of the square and lightly mark with pencil on the outside edge of the square.
  3. To make a diagonal pattern with washi tape stripes to cover the entire square, start at the bottom of the corner, placing parallel stripes. Trim the ends of the washi tape stripes with scissors so they line up with the pencil edges of the box.
  4. Using a washi tape of a complementary color, run a piece of tape down the center of the square vertically, and then run a piece of tape horizontally. Trim the edges of the tape so they line up with the box edges.
  5. With four pieces of the complementary tape, make a box around the outer edge of the square. Line up the corners using the mitered corner technique.
  6. Cut ten small pieces of washi tape and place them on parchment paper in the shape of the bow (get the template here). Cut the bow on parchment paper to have rounded edges. Peel off the ten pieces of the bow one at a time  and place them on the wall on top of the box.

Edited: Congrats Kate, you are the winner of the giveaway!

Voila! Now add in some other fun holiday decor and you’re all set!

DIY Gingerbread gift box video

DIY gingerbread gift box

You guys responded so well to our DIY gingerbread houses that we decided to take it one step further and record it for our YouTube Channel. It’s as easy as a cardboard box, glue, and paint pen. Plus, it would be so lovely as home decor without turning it into a gift box! And you wouldn’t have to worry about little critters or eating it afterward 😉 

Chocolate Tiramisu Layer Cake


Chocolate Tiramisu Cake

by contributor Sarah Coates of The Sugar Hit 

Here in Australia it’s the middle of Summer. It’s hot, the mangoes are cheap and plentiful, and it’s a little hard to get right into the Christmas spirit. We all read the classic Christmas books, and watch Hollywood holiday movies just like everyone else. And it’s hard to ignore the snow falling in every scene, the cozy looking log fires, and everyone wearing ugly, snuggly sweaters.

I’ll be honest with you…I’m a little jealous. Summer is great! I’m not denying that for a second. But when the Christmas tree is up, even after 25 years, it still feels a little wrong to be heading to the beach to go swimming. And that’s why I find myself gravitating to desserts like this one that look as if they’re carpeted in snow.

This Chocolate Tiramisu Layer Cake is almost a lazy person’s Buche de Noel; if you squint, it could easily be a snow-covered log fresh from the forest floor. But I love the way that with its thick swathes of mascarpone frosting, and draped redcurrants, it looks like it’s come from the holiday banquet of some Frost Queen’s castle. Like the food of Narnia, if Narnia wasn’t so obsessed with Turkish Delight. The recipe itself couldn’t be simpler, and it dispenses with the raw eggs of traditional tiramisu. The layers are an easy chocolate sponge that takes only minutes to bake in a sheet pan, and the layers are then brushed with coffee and slathered in a mascarpone mix, sweetened and flavoured with vanilla and a dash of rum (extra holiday spirit!). This is the perfect thing for a holiday dinner, whether it actually is freezing, or you just wish it was. Happy Holidays!