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!

Gift Guide: $25 and under


How’s your holiday shopping going? For once, I took advantage of Black Friday and bought some essential items I’ve been eyeing throughout the year. But now it’s time for the thoughtful items for friends and family and we’ve got you covered. Over the next few days we’ll be sharing 4 gift guides with you: $25 and under, $50, $100, and one for kids, because that’s my favorite of them all these days. We’ve scoured the web searching for just the right items: colorful, whimsical, yet refined. You can find the full list below! 

Gift Guide: Kid Edition


Gift Guide Kid Edition

Since having a baby of my own, I love nothing more than searching for really adorable children’s stuff. Toys, clothes for boys, you name it. If it’s adorable, I will find it! Here’s our guide for kids this year!

23rd day of Christmas crafts: advent candle

During the holiday season in Denmark every store carries advent candles. We currently have one single advent candle for every day leading up to Christmas as well as a set of 24 candles, one marked for each day. I’ve never seen them in the states so I thought I’d make my own. I realize it’s a little late in the advent game, but a thought for next year.
You will need a plain-o candle, a paint pen, and ruler. I used centimeters to fit the size of my candle. A 9 1/2″ candle perfectly fits 24 centimeters and therefore 24 days. Happy adventing! 
I have so many projects still that I want to make, but alas, not enough days anymore. I will have a special edition Christmas Eve version tomorrow. Muhaha.

Painted Pinecone Wreath

Painted Pinecone Wreath

There is never a wrong time for a wreath on your front door, but I would argue that December is the PRIME time. There is just something about a wreath on your door during the holidays that screams festive and non-Scroogey, perhaps the worst insult of them all. As much as I love a traditional green pine wreath, I wanted to go outside the box for this one. I came across the idea to make flowers out of pine cones a few months ago and was immediately intrigued. You basically cut the pine cone in half to reveal a sort of flower bloom shape. For this Painted Pinecone Wreath we decided to mix pinecones with fresh pine boughs but put it into a fresh color palette. Everything got a painted a fresh coat of white and then we added a few pops of color, and a dash of our favorite gold leaf.

Rainbow Ombre Advent Calendar


Rainbow Ombre Advent Calendar

Advent Calendars have always been one of my favorite holiday traditions. They seem to make the build-up to Christmas that much more exciting. Each day holds a little surprise and a reminder of the big event! We tapped into our love of rainbows to create a Rainbow Ombre Advent Calendar. Each day counting down to Christmas is represented by a different color bag, filled with coordinating colored toys, treats, or trinkets! We partnered with the Brother to create festive P-Touch Embellish ribbons stating days 1 to 25, to tuck into each bag. You, your partner, or your little ones, will have a blast discovering a new treasure each day, not to mention it makes a beautiful display on your wall!

Get the full tutorial for the Dyed Rainbow Advent Calendar

DIY Christmas Poppers!

We’re getting ready to rock around the Christmas tree, or in this case pop around the tree, with these DIY Patterned Poppers! Fill these up with all of your favorite goodies for all of your favorite friends and make the giving experience all that much more fun when you pop these bad boys open to find anything from treats to tiny trinkets, the options are endless!

How to make DIY poppers


  • Poppers patterns (you can print large ones at your printer or smaller at your house, your printer can also resize them to create a variation of sizes!)
  • Kraft paper (we used a little extra wrapping paper we had laying around!)
  • Ribbon
  • Exacto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scoring tool


  1. Print out your popper patterns.
  2. Cut out your pattern with an exact knife of scissors.
  3. Use a scoring tool to score the lines that will be folded.
  4. Cut out your popping piece.
  5. Fold your 2″ rectangle into thirds.
  6. With the two halves of your popping pieces you will need to glue them to the 2″ rectangle in the middle fold, be sure to leave a small space between the two strips of paper.
  7.  Take your popper template and choose which flap you would like to attach your popper to.
  8. Gently push your popper template edges in so you create a mountain piece at each end to mimic what it will be like all folded and use the popper piece to mark the spot where it should be places. That will be the distance apart that you need to make your poppers be placed.
  9. Glue your popping piece to the popper template at the measured spot from the previous step on both sides of the popper.
  10. Place all of your goodies in the popper.
  11. Roll the folded layers to create the final shape of the popper.
  12. Your first tab and last tab will overlap.
  13. tie ribbons around the end to secure it closed

We cant wait to see the you pop around! Be sure to tag us with #Holidayswithlars

Favorite project from Christmas past


Oversized holly garland

The analytics and photos have spoken and you, dear readers, have claimed this oversized berry and holly garland your favorite Lars holiday project of all time. To celebrate, I’m sharing some additional photos of the project as well as some reader photos of their own re-creations.
Oversized holly garland

Blast from the past holiday

Share a coke blast from the past holiday party with The House That Lars Built

The holidays seem to bring a nostalgic tone, don’t they? Reminders of our childhood or even of different eras from the past with the music of Nat King Cole’s Holiday song playing in the background while sipping hot cocoa. It’s part of the magic of Christmas! I was giddy to partner with Coca-Cola with their Share a Coke campaign as the image of Coca-Cola is such a clear picture of a classic and fun holiday. With their retro glass bottle shape, they were such a blast from the past that we had to throw a holiday party in the same tone.

We found royalty free images of cute houses, cars, and trees that we turned black and white, cut out, and painted on top to create a little snowed in holiday town and added in the Coke bottles to act as name tags for each guest topped with bells and ribbons. As you’ve probably seen, their Share a Coke campaign features various names and this season, for a limited-time, it’s names like the 8 reindeer (Dasher & Dancer, Prancer & Vixen, Comet & Cupid, Donner & Blitzen) as well as Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, Santa’s Helper, Someone Naughty, Someone Nice, Under the Mistletoe. They’re pretty adorable. And! You can even order your own customized bottles! I printed out pictures of my family and created tags to go on each one. I had a ball picking out who would be with which bottle. Clearly, Dad had to be Santa and Mom had to be Mrs. Clause. I gave myself “Someone Naughty” because it’s only fair, and Paul I gave “Under the Mistletoe, because, well, you know…;)Share a coke blast from the past holiday party with The House That Lars BuiltShare a coke blast from the past holiday party with The House That Lars BuiltShare a coke blast from the past holiday party with The House That Lars BuiltShare a coke blast from the past holiday party with The House That Lars Built

We’ve provided everything you will need to create this scene including the free downloads of the village. All you need now is to print it off, add some adornment, and get some Cokes.

DIY Christmas Bulb Advent Calendar

advent with wreath

I had the honor of contributing this DIY Christmas bulb advent calendar to the holiday issue of Sister Mag magazine, a German publication from some of my favorite ladies. I’ve contributed before (here (my hair!!!!) and here) and this time I was in the company of a few other artists from around the world with an advent calendar idea.

This one is super easy to make, especially if you have a craft cutting machine, and I love hanging it in our office right now.advent-calendar-light-bulb-7advent-calendar-light-bulb-12

See below for the full tutorial! 

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!

9th day of Christmas Crafts: Flapper trees

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 at a really disgusting party store in DC in October (sorry, it was just really gross) but this color totally stood out. 

Materials needed: papier mâché cones, crepe paper streamers, scissors, double stick tape.
Step 1: Cut into the streamers about 1″ in ever 1/4″ inch. 
Step 2: Affix double stick tape to the bottom rim of the cone about the height of the streamer.
Step 3: Wrap around the base about 3 times.
Step 4: Continue up the tree, each time leaving less and less space between layers. 
Step 5: For the last layer, cut the streamer in half to leave a little topper on the tree. 
Now, I’m seriously running out of room in our little place to feature all of these projects. I’ve decided to start putting them on the shop so they can go to a good home! Check it out here