Lars’ Gardening Essentials

Lars favorite gardening essentials

Lars and Gardens

If you’ve been following along for a while now, you’ll know I love gardens. I mean, anything that’s compatible with flowers is a big yes for me. Years ago, I described my dream gardens in this post. It’s a great place to start if you need a little help deciding on what types of plants to fill your garden with.

Tips for Beginners (or anyone, really!)

Speaking of tips on growing a garden, if you need some, see this post on how to grow a garden even when you think you can’t. I wouldn’t consider myself a pro, but you can see what I did to the front yard garden of our little rental (serious nostalgia here! I love our new house, but that little rental will always have a special place in my heart. And the garden turned out so lovely)!

A display of geraniums in terracotta pots

Another post that can steer you in the right direction if you’re in need of a little garden inspiration is this post on how to plant a rainbow container garden. I go through plants of every color of the rainbow! It’s a lovely and easy way to add some color to your garden.

Oh, and if you need a few more gardening tips, as well as basic tools? See this post! It’s amazing how helpful a few basic tools can be in creating your dream garden. And speaking of tools and other essentials, you won’t want to miss this garden apron tutorial.

Other Garden Inspiration

Interested in our other garden content? You might want to check out this garden transformation we did with Troy Bilt! Honestly, the before photos are unrecognizable. Also see this post, where we compiled the inspiration for our new house! And last year, we did a roundup of planters and pots for you to peruse. And don’t forget our shop! Inspire yourself with floral and garden-centric art like this or this.

Lars’ Gardening Essentials

And for your convenience, here are some other Lars’ gardening essentials. From gloves to planters, you’ll be set for spring with a variety of tools. Whether you’ve got a pumpkin patch in your backyard, a few pots on your front porch, or some herbs on your windowsill, there’s something for every gardener (or wannabe) out there!

DIY Paper Heart Wreath

 

DIY Paper Heart Wreath

To me, Valentine’s Day demands decorations that are beautiful and easy to make at the same time. We’re all back from the holidays, which means we don’t have as much down time as the blessed Christmas break gave us. This DIY paper accordion wreath is the perfect solution! Made with custom gradients that fold into hearts, it’s straightforward to make and the result is a lovely wreath of accordion gradients to get you in the mood for love day. I know I get so tired of seeing all the shades of brown, so this wreath is a breath of fresh air. Gentle pinks to welcome me in after a long day? Yes please! If you’re like me, tired of looking at all that brown outside, try this adorable wreath for a change.

How to Make a DIY Paper Heart Wreath

Without further ado, here’s how to make your very own DIY paper heart wreath.

step photos

Prepping the Hearts

  1. First, print off three copies of the pdf of our paper heart gradient printable found here. You should end up with 45 pieces of paper, each with a different gradient on it.
  2. Next, cut out each gradient.
  3. Start with one of the flat edges of the gradient and fold a thin strip in along the flat edge, roughly 1/4 inch wide.
  4. Continue stacking the folds back and forth, making an accordion fold as you go.
  5. Keep going until you reach the other flat edge. You should now have a long, thin strip of paper about a 1/4 inch wide.
  6. Now, fold the stack in half.
  7. To complete your heart, hot glue the center together along the flat edge.
  8. When the glue is dry, pull the paper gently apart to reveal the heart shape.

Prepping Your Wire Wreath Form

  1. To prep the wreath form, cut a long, narrow strip of pale pink crepe paper (about an inch thick).
  2. Now, wrap the crepe paper around your wire wreath form, securing with hot glue as you go.
  3. Continue until the entire wire wreath form is covered in a layer of crepe paper. Add an extra layer if you’d like it to be a little thicker.

Assembling Your DIY Paper Heart Wreath

Now you’re ready to assemble your DIY paper heart wreath!

  1. Using your hot glue gun, place a dab of glue on each heart and press onto the crepe paper-covered wreath form.
  2. Continue until the wreath is completely covered and as full as you’d like. For our wreath, we ended up using only 35 of the 45 hearts, but if you’d like, you can always make it a bit more full and add in all the hearts. And you can always add a fancy ribbon, like we did.
  3. Voilà! You’re done with your beautiful DIY paper heart wreath!

accordion heart wreath

Styling Your Wreath

As you probably already know from past wreaths we’ve made, you don’t have to limit your wreath decorating to the front door. Yes, any door is a great place for a wreath, but it’s not your only option. Have a blank spot of wall handy? Fill in the gap with your heart wreath! Outdoor, indoor, against a window, in an area of the house that’s a little sparse on decorations, there are so many options.

We would love to see what you do with your beautiful DIY paper heart wreath!

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on how to make a DIY paper heart wreath? You’ll probably love our other Valentine’s Day content! You can craft to your heart’s content with these lovely DIY valentines. Speaking of valentines, check out this post and our shop for endless options of adorable printable valentines. Need a box to put your valentines in? Our DIY painted valentine box is a spectacular option that doubles as a tissue box when you’re done with valentines. Oh, and if you’re looking for gifts for that special someone, you’ll definitely want to check out our Valentine’s Day gift guides for men and women. And here are some great Valentine’s Day activities!

In The Mood For: Frida Kahlo Inspired Interior Design

Home Decor Inspired by Frida Kahlo

How to use decor like Frida would

Consider Color

Casa Azul is aptly named, as the exterior of the house is painted this fantastic cobalt blue. It’s the kind of blue that if you saw it and weren’t expecting it, you’d whip your head around for a second look and say something profound like, “that house is blue!” Or, perhaps the color puts you speechless! It certainly does that for me. Rather than use a ton of neutrals to ground one pop of color, Kahlo did the opposite in her home and it totally works! She employed blue, citron yellow, kelly green, and terracotta red liberally with just a pinch of neutrals thrown in. The neutrals that are used are all natural. One section of the house has greyish walls because the walls are made of volcanic rock and shells!

Image source

For more inspiration on decorating your home with the bright colors of Frida’s hometown, check out my trip to Mexico City here!

Embrace your surroundings

With the use of volcanic rock and seashells, Casa Azul perfectly illustrates how to bring the outside in. This creative yet ancient way of using natural resources works beautifully in juxtaposition to her wild colors and more modern stylings. If you live in a wooded area, use beautiful wood! Same goes for those of you who live in rocky areas or sandy areas or wherever areas! Get outside to get inspired. Another way Frida Kahlo brought the outside in is by adding house plants. She used plants all the time in her paintings, and had plenty to study in her home! Yes, the trick is old as time but never gets old. Bringing in natural elements to balance the color will help you nail Frida Kahlo inspired interior design.

Image source

Embracing one’s surroundings goes beyond the literal outside – you should try and bring a bit of your culture and community within your doors. Embracing culture is essential in a Frida Kahlo inspired home. Kahlo has tons of traditional Mexican tiles and Indigenous pottery throughout her house and it gives a sense of identity to both the woman who lived there and the space itself. Frida’s celebration of her heritage is a wonderful thing, but I know many people who feel like they don’t have a heritage to celebrate. That’s just silly! Do a little research on your family, your community, and any other places your family line has been. Then, use interior decorating to remind you of where you and your ancestors have been. That sort of thing is really grounding, and who doesn’t need that right now?? 

Persevere

So, I intentionally haven’t talked much about the messier parts of Kahlo’s life. She will probably haunt me for watering down her deeply complex life into interior design tips, but hey! We’re keeping her legacy going! Frida Kahlo experienced a lot of tragedy that included abuse, tragic accidents, chronic illness, mental health problems, and infidelity. At eighteen, she was seriously wounded in a bus accident and was laid up in the hospital for months unable to move her body. She knew that this accident would prevent her from studying medicine as she had planned, so she took to painting from her hospital bed. Her mother had a special easel made that she could use in bed, and a mirror was placed above her bed. There she painted a slew of self portraits, pictures of her visitors and view. 

In fact, this is one of Frida’s major life events that inspired one of the activities in our Great Artists! course. During week 1, the kids will have a chance to grab a mirror, climb into bed, and see what it feels like to draw a self-portrait exactly the way Frida Kahlo herself started. These kinds of activities are what make history come alive, and teach the children about the lives of artists like Frida in way appropriate for their age.

What Frida did about it

She took inventory of what she could do and what her literal setting allowed, and then did it. Kudos to Frida for transforming a space with limitations into a space where she could create! As an interior design nut, I just love that. In the midst of one of the toughest periods of her life, Frida Kahlo redefined herself as an artist. Rather than allowing herself to be defined by tragedy, she molded it into therapy, self expression, and a new career. 

Towards the end of her life, Kahlo was finally receiving widespread recognition for her innovative work. She was to have her first solo exhibition in 1953, but right before the opening night, Frida was put on bedrest for a chronic illness. Rather than miss her big moment, Frida Kahlo had an ambulance deliver her from Casa Azul to the museum on a stretcher. Once in the museum, she was moved to her own four-poster bed that was brought there earlier that day. Much to the surprise of everyone there, she laid in her own bed at her own exhibition opening. You’ve got to love a girl who just won’t quit, much less miss her own party. 

In your life & home

If you’re needing a little help translating all of this, check out our Great Artists! Course for kids that includes some wonderful crafts/projects cooked special for you by our Lars team. There you’ll find the perfect Frida Kahlo and Casa Azul inspired pieces to perk up your home. Also, we’ve scoured the internet and have found some wonderful pieces that look like something straight out of her paintings (and wardrobe!)

I hope that by reading about Frida and looking at photographs of her home and work, you feel inspired to play a little, especially if life is hard right now. She’d like that. Let your home be both the subject and object of your playing! (I believe that’s called interior design.)

Image source: 1 | 2

Fashion Inspired by Frida Kahlo

Accessories

This post is a part of our In the mood for series where we show you how to recreate interior design styles and fashion inspired by people we admire! Click any of the links below to check out the past posts in this series!

Anne of Green GablesEmma WoodhouseIris ApfelWes Andersonthe Royal FamilyLittle Women, Monet, Josef Albers, Alma Thomas, and Alexander Girard

 

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Pool Noodle Recliner: the Summer DIY You Didn’t Know You Needed

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How to make your own pool noodle recliner

We made this DIY recliner for a comfy way to rest poolside all summer long. It is incredibly simple to make, but so fun to personalize! Now you won’t have to worry about the kids spilling melting popsicles on your nice outdoor chairs.

When completed, this recliner lays out flat. So you can enjoy a nap or work on your tan. Or bundle it up anyway you like to create the way you prefer to rest. Stack just a few of the noodles at the end and make yourself a bed for an outdoor movie! Or stack up a full back rest. So you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite magazine – just like Jasper.

Supplies:

Pool noodles – We used 17

Parachute cord – 128 feet total. We used 2 alternating colors.

Instructions:

  1. Line up your pool noodles. You can use alternating colors, or 3 or more colors to create any pattern you like! See the best color options we found here!

2. Cut your cord into 16 ft lengths. Fold one of the 16 ft lengths of rope in half. Take the loop end & lay it under the noodles, then pull the two loose ends through the loop to secure it around the first noodle.

3. Lay the length of the secured rope under the noodles. Fold another 16 ft length of rope in half and lay it on top of the noodles, tying it to the secured loop on the first noodle.

4. Weave the noodles together by taking the top and bottom lengths of rope and weaving them above and below the noodles, through the loops made by each rope. (The top rope will go below the noodle & bottom rope will come above the noodle, they will intersect & the two strands of one rope will go between the two strands of the second).

5. Continue weaving in this way all the way to the end & secure all 4 ties to the final noodle with a loop or a knot.

6. Weave 4 rows of rope to secure the noodles, with two 16 ft lengths of rope used to make each row.

7. After each row is secure, prop the noodle chair up against a wall or bend it in half to create a stable back. Enjoy your new outdoor pool noodle recliner!

DIY pool noodle recliner

Check out our similar tutorials

Here are some other comfy seating tutorials from Lars days past. Including our rainbow floor pouf, DIY camp chairs to level up your GLAMPING game, and how to choose outdoor furniture.

Other summer staples

No pool? No problem! Check out our favorite pool floats here. And our full summer style guide here!

Celebrating Bastille Day

What’s Bastille Day?

Much like our Fourth of July, Bastille Day celebrates France’s independence every year on July 14th. The Bastille was a structure originally built to protect Paris from English attacks; later, it became a prison for wealthy citizens and spies. On July 14, 1789, revolutionaries swarmed the prison to take the gunpowder housed inside, signaling the beginning of the French Revolution. Today, France marks the occasion with a military parade, fireworks, and spending time with friends and family. Check out our roundup for our best Bastille Day inspiration!

Let them Eat Cake

The French are known for their bakeries: cream puffs, fresh bread, and macarons are a thing of beauty in a shop window or neatly lined up in a glass counter, so why not start with a cake. Best for a backyard party or picnic, a cake is a simple crowd-pleasing dessert—especially when it has a Parisenne topper. Designed by illustrator Jessie Kenelos Weiner, author of Paris in Stride, this will be a perfect addition to your Bastille festivities to make you feel like you’re in the heart of the city (and you can download it here for free)!

Need something to place your food on? I love these French placemats for my Bastille festivities. Figures like Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte can guard the dessert table or be a great coloring craft for the kids. In this picture, I’ve paired it with a red gingham tablecloth and blue and red plates to match the French flag. 

French placemats sit on a festive table.

Fit for a King

Rather focus on your guests attire? How about these Bastille Day crowns that celebrate the city where it all took place? Featuring notable landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, kids and adults will not only look festive for the party, but also great in the pictures you’ll have to look back on. 

Lady Liberty Flower Crowns

While I love a good paper crown, if you’re looking for something less literal, may I suggest our red, white, and blue floral crowns. They’ll still mimic the colors of the french flag and will never be considered a fashion faux pas!

Bastille Day Decoration Inspo

Now you may be thinking how do I decorate for Bastille Day? There are two great things about this French holiday: 1. The American flag and the French flag share the same three colors and 2. Bastille Day comes after the Fourth of July. Taking these two things into account, it has never been easier to reuse decorations from one holiday to another! Or in this case, you can leave them up an extra couple weeks without feeling guilty. I’m looking at you, outdoor Christmas lights! 😉

This patriotic bunting can liven up your home’s exterior while this American flag weaving could easily be transformed to more accurately represent the french flag. 

4th of July balloon bunting on the old Lars Studio houseAmerican Flag Weaving

No matter how you choose to celebrate Bastille Day, I’d love to hear your plans in the comments, and if you decide to make any crafts, tag me with #Lars Parties!

DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote

DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote

I recently read Ray Bradbury’s book Dandelion Wine and I loved this quote: “Sandwich outdoors isn’t a sandwich anymore. Tastes different than indoors, notice? Got more spice. Tastes like mint and pinesap. Does wonders for the appetite.”

I truly buy into the idea that food tastes different outdoors! I think about the packed meals I would eat on hikes with my dad growing up, and somehow a plain old ham and cheese truly would taste far better when I was tired and outside. Use this DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote on your next adventure. Hopefully you’ll get the delicious outdoor flavor without having to deal with attitude from reluctant adventurers. 😉

One of the perks of Spoonflower is the custom design features. My sister, Caitlin Watson Boyes, has some of her fabric designs on Spoonflower under her company called Funky Pretty, and she has designed some great stripes. I was immediately drawn to this stripe and thought I’d just go for it on both sides. BUT THEN I thought…let’s customize it! Caitlin is a textile and pattern designer and so I had her do something with our dad on it. We call it  Dad’s Head Through the Ages. Ha! I find it hysterical! And even funnier because I haven’t told him about it yet and he’ll be finding out as you are. You’re welcome, Dad!

The best part is the practicality of the blanket. We made it so that it’s SO easy to pack and unpack. The two straps allow you to fold it up like a duffle bag. So easy to carry around! AND, you can even place your plates and such in the blanket as you fold it and it will keep it nice and compact. Score!

Material List:

  • 2 yards each of 2 Spoonflower fabrics in lightweight cotton twill
  • Matching Thread
  • 6 yards coordinating bias tape (We used double folded)
  • 2 yards 60” wide batting
  • 1 yard of webbing
  • Scissors
  • Fabric Ruler
  • Cutting Mat
  • Sewing Machine
  1. Cut batting and your 2 fabrics all the same size (size of blanket you want)
  2. Put right sides out with batting in between
  3. Sew all three layers
  4. Open the bias tape, stick the blanket edge in, pinch closed and pin
  5. Continue around the perimeter of the blanket
  6. After pinning, Sew bias tape down
  7. Cut your webbing in 2 even lengths
  8. Pin and sew one strap to the center of the top edge of the blanket
  9. Fold your blanket into thirds with the strap as the center top
  10. Roll your blanket towards the strap
  11. Mark where your second strap needs to be
  12. Unroll and unfold
  13. Pin and sew the second length of webbing downTaDa(d) <see what I did there 😉

We’ve done a number of sponsored posts with Spoonflower now and I’m one of their biggest fans. If you’re looking for fabric, wallpaper, or even home decor centered around a particular theme (seasons, fathers, you name it!), Spoonflower is sure to have what you’re looking for. If you’re a designer, I encourage you to upload a pattern of your own! But if uploading a pattern with your father’s face on it isn’t really your thing, try building a collection of existing patterns on Spoonflower’s Marketplace (there are over 1 million!). Stay tuned for a post about some of my favorite Spoonflower artists!showing a picnic blanket that turns into a duffle bag

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower. All opinions are my own.

Check out our other posts for Spoonflower:

Mother’s Day Tablescape
DIY fabric lampshade
My bedroom makeover
How to install Spoonflower wallpaper

All You Need for A Midsummer Party

Even those of us not in Sweden can throw a Midsummer party to celebrate long days, the bounty of beauty in our gardens, and good food. Lucky for us, I have made lots of Midsummer-themed projects so we can have the Midsummer party of our dreams without dishing out for a plane ticket!

Midsummer Parties Past

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A blonde woman in a white dress holds a small bouquet.

Years ago I celebrated Midsummer by dressing up and dancing around a maypole with my team, and it was truly magical. You can see more photos here.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light.

The next year I teamed up with my friend and designer extraordinaire Meta Coleman, Merrilee of Mer Mag, Sarah of Sarah Jane Studios, Melanie and Alma of Caravan Shoppe, and Eva of Sycamore Co to organize a huge Midsummer party. We called it A Midsummer Mingle and it was epic, if I do say so myself.

Women dressed in white descend stairs in a green space filled with dappled light.women dressed in white eat on a picnic blanket. In the background, a maypole stands in front of some pine trees. It's dusk.

You can find out more about it here, here and here. Wasn’t it beautiful?

Two women in white wearing floral crowns smile at the camera. It's night and the background is distantly lit with warm light. A woman in white wearing a white floral crown hangs up a picture on a clothesline

Now let me level with you. Both of those Midsummer parties were stunning and magical, and you might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed right about now. Take a deep breath. Remember that I had help on both projects, as should all party planners, and you don’t have to be a professional to throw a gorgeous Midsummer party. You can do it! No matter how low-key or extravagant you want your party to be, I have Midsummer tutorials and inspiration to knock your flower crown off.

Women in white wearing flower crowns hold hands and walk in a line in front of some pine trees.

Midsummer Projects

Maypole

Brittany is wearing white and dancing around a DIY maypole with her interns, who are also wearing white.

I made a maypole for the Midsummer Party with my interns, and I know what you’re thinking: “You made a maypole?!” It was a surprisingly simple DIY that I know you can make too.  Once you’ve made a maypole, you’ll have the backbone of your Midsummer celebrations taken care of for years to come! Again, find the tutorial here.

Flower Crowns

Flower crowns are a Midsummer staple, and Amy from Amy Anne Floral made these gorgeous and simple Midsummer Flower Crowns for the Midsummer Mingle.

Goldenrod flower crown from Midsummer Mingle. A woman in a white dress holds it against her side. waxflower and laurel flower crowns are stacked in a pile.

There’s also this Crepe Paper Flower Crown and this one, this Shamrock Flower Crown, these Lady Liberty-inspired Flower Crowns, this Printable Flower Crown, and this tutorial for a Flower Crown Inspired by Art History.

A little girl wears a paper flower crown and smells some little flowers.a floral crown on long, straight brown hairA little girl with brown hair wears a paper shamrock crown and a cream colored floral blouse. The background is bold colored wallpaper.Lady Liberty Flower CrownsA printable flower crown in purple, yellow, pink, white red, and blue being held up by two hands. A woman wearing a lavish flower crown of dahlias and berries and greenery looks at the camera. The background is sky blue.

Midsummer Decorations

You won’t want to skip out flowers for your Midsummer party. Use this tutorial to make gorgeous floral arrangements that you can place around in vases or hold as bouquets.

Pink florals from A Midsummer Mingle

This paper Summer Flower Garland would look lovely draping between the trees or wrapped around your may pole. Because it’s made of paper you can keep it for next year’s Midsummer party.

Summer Paper Flower Garland

Speaking of paper flowers, I’ve compiled lots and lots of paper flower tutorials in one place here. These would be great for arrangements, cake decorations, or to wear.

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 Transformations

For a decoration that you’ll want to keep hanging after the season changes, make this Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile. It will remind you of your delightful Midsummer party and be a great conversation starter!

Close up of a colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i A colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i

Finishing Touches

No party is complete without music, and your Midsummer party is no exception. My friend Melissa Leavitt graciously agreed to make this Midsummer playlist, and I think you’ll love it.

Brittany and her friends smile at the camera. It's dark and in the background, there are warm lights.

If you serve cake (and when do we ever not want to serve cake!?) this Midsummer Pole Cake Topper is perfect for the occasion.

Midsummer Pole cake Topper Midsummer Pole cake Topper

Food

Look, you know that I don’t cook. Still, your Midsummer party will need food. Go traditional with pickled herring, boiled potatoes, grilled meat, and strawberries and cream for desert. For those who imbibe, Midsummer is also an opportunity to drink beer and schnapps, but as a non-drinker I’ve found that fizzy lemonade does the trick, too. Smaklig måltid (bon appetit in Swedish)!

strawberry-covered layer cakes on pastel cakestands at an outdoor party

Glad Midsommar!

I would love to see your Midsummer celebrations! Tag me in your photos with #MidsummerWithLars.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A graphic that says Midsummer celebration is at the top.

Lars Gardens: Planter and Pot Roundup

I have big dreams of landscaping my yard one day, but let’s be honest–it wasn’t going to happen in year one as a home owner. After all, there’s so much to do in the house that I couldn’t get myself to prioritize the outdoor space just yet. Instead, this year I’ve turned to my old standby of making a container garden on the porch, so I wanted to round up some statement planters to get you excited about planting flowers in your space!

Brittany steps out the door to a porch garden full of container plants in bright colors.

Even when I do get around to planning out and designing my whole garden, I’ll probably keep filling my porch with planters and pots because it looks so good and planting is such a great activity to do with kids. Whether you’re a homeowner or you’re renting in a small space, growing a garden in planters is an accessible way to cultivate joy in your space.

Lest you think that container gardening is a step-below gardening in the rest of the yard, look at my current gardening hero: Claus Dalby. Claus Dalby is a Danish gardener who’s going to be publishing a book soon, and I’m so excited to read it! He also is the king of container gardening. I love the way all the flowers look when they’re stacked together. Check out Claus Dalby’s instagram @ClausDalby

Sunset-colored container gardenPastel pink container garden.Purple container garden with lots of tulips. Orange container garden by Claus Dalby

Planter Roundup

A few years ago I shared some of my favorite places to buy planters in this post. They’re still excellent resources, but some of them are only in-person shops. Well, this year I’ve put together a big list of planters and pots that you can buy online. Now you can build your own collection of planters, whether live across the globe or across the street from me!

An exterior shot of a porch container garden with lots of flowers and sunlight.

Pre-potted plants

First up, pre-potted plants!  We partnered up with Plantquility to show you that anyone can (and should 😉 be a plant person, especially a houseplant person.  Plantquility’s pots come with fully grown healthy pre potted indoor plants.  Their site even showcases a comprehensive Care Guide for any of the plants you can purchase on their site. This means no guessing when it comes to your plant maintenance and care. 

Their pots come in nice, neutral colors so fit in with any room design. And with a premium and durable fiberglass material, these pots are sure to last! 

Here are some of our favorites:

pre-potted plants Tranquility

Colorful Planters

It wouldn’t be The House that Lars Built if I didn’t guide you to something colorful! There are colorful planters for every budget here.

Terracotta Planters

A display of geraniums in terracotta pots

Terracotta is a go-to for container gardening, and for good reason! Not only does it look beautiful, terracotta has a porous texture so it keeps plants from staying too wet. There’s nothing wrong with the standard terracotta pot look, but I found a few terracotta statement planters that are extra special.

Hanging Planters

Brittany holds baby Jasper up to a hanging flower pot full of pink flowers.

Hanging planters are a great way to get height and variety in your garden design. They look especially good with flowers or vines that spill over the sides. Once it gets too cold for plants to live outside, you can bring your hanging planters in and use them with your houseplants.

Unique-shaped Planters

Planters and pots come in so many unique shapes. From modern and sleek to abstract to even puppy shaped, there’s no reason not to incorporate some interesting shapes to your collection of planters and pots.

Patterned Planters

Planters with interesting patterns look great with ornamental grasses, greenery, and houseplants.

Textured Planters

 

If you’re looking to liven up your collection of planters without going all-out on the decorations and designs, interesting textures can hit the spot.

If you’re still looking for gardening inspiration, check out this post where I fantasize about my dream garden and this post where I show you how to plant a rainbow container garden.

Thanks for shopping through this planter roundup with me! Every time you buy something through one of my links I get a small commission, which helps me bring you more great projects and designs.

This post is sponsored by Tranquility though all opinions are mine.

DIY rainbow doormat inspired by my latest tv show binge

DIY rainbow doormat inspired by the new Peacock show Five Bedrooms

My latest tv show binge

I remember talking with my brother about the show maybe a year ago. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where the show has been out for a while now. It’s just about to premiere for viewers in the US and I’m so excited!! August 13th is going to be a binge day; it’s already calendared in. This show is seriously perfect for me and I’m assuming you too if you’re into a Friends meets HGTV interserction. It has everything I could possibly want! 

It’s technically a romantic comedy series, but the characters are all new homeowners. Mind you, these homeowners are a bit different from Paul and I. They are five perfect strangers who met at the singles table of a wedding!! One member of the quintet (tipsily) suggests that they co-invest in a home together, as the five singletons have more buying power than your average family. The house they buy is a fixer upper like mine, and I gotta tell you. It’s so refreshing to see someone do a remodel on TV who’s not a professional contractor/design duo *cough cough Chip and Joanna.* What I wouldn’t do to turn Paul into a contractor… 

Anyway! While I don’t exactly share the house with five randos, the remodel struggle is relatable!! The Five Bedrooms makeover was particularly tough due to unexpected shenanigans, and the fact that they’re trying to mesh five independent styles into one home. Melding mine and Paul’s respective design preferences is something that I find exciting, and this DIY doormat is one way I intend to do it! I love a good challenge. If only I’d been hired as the interior designer in the show. If you’re out there, Peacock producers, pick me for the next one! A girl can dream, right? 

Get crafty while you watch a new show!

Adding happy personal touches is one thing I’m doing to stay energized during the remodel stages of my own renovation. There’s a welcome mat that came with the door and it’s old and crumbling and honestly, so depressing. I’ve been wanting to change it ever since we moved in. Yes, I know it’s silly to make little decor items for a house I haven’t moved into yet. But, this is the kind of thing that I need to get excited about in order to proceed with the rest of the logistical nightmare that is home renovations. Excitement and creativity feed off each other, and I need something that keeps those juices flowing.

Cue my doormat plans. The DIY rainbow doormat of my dreams is a cute semi-circle made out of natural fibers. Nothing fancy needed! You can get a similar one at pretty much any store that sells homegoods. I’m going to paint 3-inch wide arched stripes in a color scheme that will go with the new house. It’ll be a little rainbow! Any excuse to show off a good color scheme is not something I’ll let pass me by. Which reminds me – don’t miss the premier of Five Bedrooms! It’s not the kind of show you want to miss. Here is the trailer!

Link to Trailer: here

DIY rainbow doormat inspired by the new Peacock show Five Bedrooms

How to make your DIY rainbow doormat

Materials:

Instructions: 

  1. Decide the shape of the rainbow you would like to paint on your mat. We used a 18 x 30 inch half circle braided doormat. 
  2. Pick a color palette!  We chose mustard yellow, orange-red, and blush pink.
  3. Draw the lines for the arches of the rainbow. We painted the innermost arch 7 inches tall and the middle and outer arch each 5 inches tall.
  4. In order to get clean lines, you will need to tape off every other color section. Tape off the innermost arch first.
  5. Get your brush full of paint (we used mustard yellow first) and dab into the small innermost arch. *If you choose a mat with a coarse texture like we did, you will need to dab firmly to make sure the paint saturates the rug fully*
  6. Once it dries, remove the tape. *Drying will vary, but can take up to 2 hours. It is important to make sure you allow enough time for the arches to dry so the paint will not pull up the already painted arches. When the painted sections have dried, you can tape off the other sections. Or you can use a hair dryer to make the process go faster.*
  7. Next, paint the middle arch by adding tape to the innermost arch you just painted and then add tape above it about 5 inches up to create your inner arch. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with your next color for the middle arch.
  8. Continue on your last arch by repeating steps 4-7.

The symbol of having one completed item in my new house is so important to me–it makes me feel like we can get through all the dust and scheduling and there is something bright at the end of the rainbow 😉 Can’t wait to see your rainbow doormat! Tag us with #LarsMakes so we can see them!

DIY rainbow doormat inspired by the new Peacock show Five Bedrooms

This post is sponsored by Peacock but all opinions are my own!

 

How to make your own colorful glamping experience

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I’m a bit bummed that we can’t travel this summer. While I’m not too eager to board a plane and jet off somewhere, I am very eager to get out of town! Glampsites have been filling airbnb recently and we are loving it! Whether you want to stay in a canvas tent in a national park, a boho vintage airstream in the desert, or a mini hut in California. That’s right, glamping doesn’t even always have to happen in a tent!

Glamping is the perfect solution for people whose trips were cancelled and might not be down for a major camping trip. A few years back, I made a few camping DIY projects and then glamped overnight in a friend’s treehouse. Yes, it was magical. I’m itching to go again!

Keep reading to learn how you can make your own luxury glampsite anywhere! Up the canyon, or in your own backyard. Trust us, even a stay-cation is worth it right now.

SLEEP WELL

The main reason we never camped much was that none of us could ever fall asleep in a tent. It isn’t really the tent that was the problem though – it was the sleeping arrangements. Typical sleeping camp gear is lightweight, portable, and made out of nylon and polyester. None of that sounds comfortable!! Sorry outdoorsy people, but I’d pick a mattress with sheets and a comforter over a sleeping bag every time. Fancy outdoor retailers sell genuinely comfortable sleeping pads, but I’m looking for real luxury. I’m talking about a folding and portable memory foam mattress pad. I’ve slept on one of these babies before and can confirm that it rocks. Put two together and you’ve literally got a king sized bed.

My next tip for glamping is to bring your own bedding! Bring your sheets, pillows, and a nice quilt to wrap up in. I’m pretty attached to my pillow and know that I’ll sleep better with it than without it. If you aren’t backpacking, there’s no need to worry about space. Bring a fur throw blanket! A body pillow! Get luxe!

 

TOUCHES OF HOME

Before you head out to glamp, I recommend tossing in a few things from home. These items shouldn’t be entirely frivolous, but they shouldn’t be “necessary.” For example, I practically live in velvet slippers these days. What could be better than waking up somewhere beautiful and pulling on clean, warm slippers? The real trendy glampsites are filled with comfy poufs, plenty of pillows for lounging around eating s’mores, and rugs underfoot. We are all for this kind of glampsite decorating, especially if you only travelled as far as your backyard. But if you would rather leave your textiles at home and opt for a regular sleeping bag, there are still ways to beautify your campsite

I’d also plan ahead of time what kind of entertainment you’re bringing. If your camping company is musical, toss in a few portable instruments! We added this DIY guitar strap to ours last time we went camping so we could sing campfire songs all night long!

Games are a big hit with my extended family, so that’s a must-have. Cafe lights would be the perfect accessory to make your night outside feel like a scene from the magical play A Midsummer’s Night Dream. 

You can even include some DIY touches, for real summer camp vibes. Make some outdoors themed felt banners to hang in your canvas tent, or these DIY camp chair covers. And for a campsite craft everyone can get in on, these DIY yarn “God’s eye”s are classic!

Summer camp crafts - DIY yarn God's eyeDIY camp chair cover

EAT WELL

One time in college I went camping with friends and was in charge of planning dinner for us. Mind you, we didn’t camp as kids, so I didn’t know what was normal camp food. I scoured grocery store aisles for a long time, debating which nonperishable items would be best. By the time I was done, I left with what we would call today a charcuterie board! Truly, I brought cured meats, snacking fruits and veggies, an aged cheese that would be fine in the cool night air, and a beautiful rustic loaf of french bread. Yes, my friends made fun of me, but we ate GOOD. I guess they were expecting dehydrated lasagna from a bag.

If you want to level up your camping cuisine and actually cook, try a tin foil dinner! The only real prep required is slicing, all of it can be done in advance. The tin foil packets can be cooked directly over a flame or grill, so there are no dishes to wash! *Cue the Hallelujah chorus.* My family makes tin-foil dinners like this one on the grill quite often. Pick any combo of veggies, starch, and protein, add some seasoning, and you’ve got a real meal! Before you start cooking, start the fire with this homemade herb firestarter and the whole campsite will smell great all evening long.

Another glamping food tip is to bring sliced produce and herbs to put in your water bottle. Who doesn’t love cucumber water? Load up all your snacks in advance in eco-friendly dishware and go enjoy nature. And of course we didn’t forget the American staple – s’mores! Learn how we make these homemade heart marshmallows here!

Here are some of our favorite colorful camp dining supplies below. Pro tip: For extra cuteness cover your coolers and waterbottles in stickers!

 

PLAY WELL

Glamping DIY - printable shadow puppetsglamping DIY - painted rock dominos

Bringing your own hand-painted cornhole set will just the touch of ~homemade fancy~ your glampsite needs, for looks and for entertainment. Or mix crafting and nature with these DIY painted domino rocks! Level up your scary stories with some fitting DIY shadow puppets. Of course card games and friendship bracelets are a must.

DRESS WELL

To wrap it all up, I think traditional camping is filled with unnecessary suffering. Yeah, I said it. Glamping, however, is easy and actually fun! If it’s cold, pack a tent-safe space heater. If it’s hot, bring a battery operated fan! Pack a big bowl to wash your hair in, and use shower wipes often to stay fresh. Oh, and wear clothing you actually like – any washing machine can handle a little dirt. I however, cannot, which is why I glamp.

 

 

The House That Lars Bought: Garden inspiration and first update!

Home renovation update

Before we jump into gardening inspo, I wanted to start off with a little house renovation update. There was one wall in the basement that was…how do we say…naked when we closed. It looked like this.

Every contractor who saw it said that they had never seen anything like it. Frankly, it made me a little nervous hearing things like that.

Earthquake proof and everything proof foundation walls

TURNS OUT! The people who built it got in touch with me on Instagram and have provided a lot of insight. It’s so thrilling. They said that it’s called pollysteel–steel framing with styrofoam. It’s earthquake proof, termite proof, fire proof, and provides better insulation. VERY cool, right? I’m hoping to learn more about the house from them. They’ve already shared a few really touching stories.

I had some drywall experts come on over and they finished it up beautifully.

Ta dah!

Up, that’s the only update. Kind of boring, but I’m all about the baby steps right now.

Landscaping

Ok, now to garden inspiration…The landscaping is mostly super boring town right now. Only lawn but some beautiful sycamore trees. Sycamores remind me of my grandparents home in Los Angeles so I do feel like it’s coming full circle and I’m super stoked about them.

We’ll probably do some different entrance path at some point, again, low on the priority list.

Side yard

And here’s the side yard.

And the other side yard. It’s very slopey so I’ll need your input on what to do here to make it more interesting and garden-y.

Here’s a better view of the side yard . Just grass. And I know a lot of people LOVE grass squares, but honestly, they give me a major case of the snoozies. It’s kind of a swear word to me when someone says “oh, and there’s a big open lawn, you’ll love it”. The amount of flowers you could plant! (dear pun intended).

And how weird is this. Two times I’ve come to the house and the same deer has been in this exact spot munching away. I missed a couple of opportunities on Instastories for this pun and I can’t ruin it again so…it was a major case of deer-ja vu. Hardy har har.

Please diagnosis this tree

Bonus points to whoever can tell me what’s wrong with the side tree. Also, I think I have tryphobia because this picture gives me the chills up and down my spine.

The backyard

The back of the house is long and narrow. There’s a deck coming out from the kitchen with some fir trees. I believe, but need to verify the boundary lines. I was told it’s that telephone post to the right of the shed, which is not ours. I think there’s room to be creative here, but we’ll have to figure out what that is.

Ok, that’s what we have to work with. Now what do we do? This is the fun part…the dreaming! Every phase needs a dream because you need to feel excited about something, right?!

Side yard inspo

Here’s what I’m thinking: put that side green grass square to work by making a more formal symmetrical path with a beautiful gravel and hedges and flowers. These inspiration photos are to illustrate the idea of the paths and types of hedges.

 

You following?

A place for walking and exploring, beautiful flowers, foot paths, a place to sit and relax. A spot for manicured topiaries contrasted with more wild shrubs.

Front yard

I haven’t flushed out the front yard yet, but I know there’s one thing on the agenda and that’s hydrangeas. There’s ONE type of hyrdangea that grows here in Utah. All the others don’t survive the desert heat. My sister has a neighbor where they are thriving. See?

They only come in that one color and I don’t know the name yet, but they’re so lush. And this house is north facing, as it ours, so I’m feeling like it would be a good plan for the front of the house.

As for the backyard, I don’t have any idea yet…but I’m open to suggestions. Side yard too.

In the mean time, in my mind I’m sitting in the south of France in my side yard and I’m feeling PRETTY good.

Favorite gardeners to follow on Instagram

If you’re needing a big dose of garden inspiration, I ADORE following Danish garden expert, Claus Dalby on Instagram. He’s SO informative and his grounds are out.of.this.world. He gives constant live tours (“livesending” he calls it and he begins every video with “hallo hallo”. I live for it.) We might need to bring a little (a lot!) of Denmark into this project. It’s only right 😉

Also, Monty Don has gotten me through COVID so do yourselves a favor and go watch all of his documentaries ASAP.

Would love your input, especially about sloping side yard and back yard!

Inspiration photos found here, here, here, here, here, here

DIY colorful cornhole and bean bag set

DIY Cornhole Set

Most of the cornhole sets for sale online cost around $80. We were able to make our own DIY painteset for around $40, buying the wood ourself! We already had some of the tools needed on hand.

Instructions:

  1. Used this guide for the measurements
  2. Cut 2 of your 2x4s in half, to create (4) 4 foot long sides for your cornhole set.
  3. Cut (4) 21 inch long pieces out of 1 of your other 2x4s, to create the inside edges of your borders. All of the pieces you have cut so far will create the border shown below, you will have one for each cornhole board. Screw these pieces together.

DIY cornhole setDIY cornhole set

4. The (2) 2 foot x 4 foot plywood pieces you have are already the perfect size! Screw the plywood boards to the boards you created in steps 1-3.

5. Now to cut out the holes – On each of these boards, use a 6 inch wide bowl to trace the edge of the circle, placing the circle 6 inches away from each edge of the board, as shown on this guide.

6. Use a jigsaw to carefully cut around the circle edge you drew. Once cut, use sandpaper to smooth the edge.

DIY cornhole setDIY cornhole set

7. Now you just need to add the legs! Cut (4) 10 inch long legs our of your remaining 2×4.

8. Place your board on top of something that raises the top edge 12 inches off the ground.

9. Use a clamp to hold each leg in place while you drill it in place. Complete these steps for the other cornhole board.

how to build your own cornhole sethow to build your own cornhole set

Other resources

If you do not have a jigsaw to cut the circle out of your wood, you can also purchase these pre-made cornhole boards here and just add the border and legs yourself.

If you prefer to buy a pre-made set to paint yourself, here are the best options we were able to find:

Paint your own cornhole set

DIY painted cornhole set

We choose this pattern because it is fun and bold, yet easy to tape off! Choose your paint colors, and get to painting!

We took a nod from one of our favorite design companies, Dusen Dusen and their awesome stripes!

Painting tips

We recommend taping off every other column, painting those blocks your desired colors. Then, once those areas are dry, tape off the reminding columns and finish painting those. Doing it this way will save you time and tape! This way you will only have your change the vertical tape one time, and will only need to move the horizontal tape for each color change. You can see what we mean below – we painted the purple, pale blue, and bright blue columns first, before retaping the vertical lines and adding the other colors.

DIY painted cornhole set

As you can see above, we painted our cornhole set so that when the 2 boards are next to eachother the pattern is complete!

DIY Cornhole Bean Bag Set

Now that your DIY painted cornhole set is complete, all you need are bean bags before you’re ready to play!

Check out our favorite fabrics for projects like this here! Pick out a fabric that matches your outdoor decor and your painted cornhole set, to complete your yard’s look this summer!

DIY bean bag patterns for cornhole

Instructions:

1.     Using a tailor’s pencil (you can use a regular pencil too, when finished you won’t see the lines) to trace the outline of bean bag patterns (star, triangle, circle & square).

2.     Cut out 2 of your bean bag templates for each shape. We layered our fabric and cut two at once.

3.     Once the pieces are cut out pin them together and begin sewing a 1/4” seam around each shape.

4.     Start sewing from the bottom (backstitching at the beginning of your sewing and at the end) and once you return around the shape leave 2″-3″ of the seam open so you can flip the pattern inside out.

5.     Clip and notch the curves appropriately.

6.     Once sewed flip your pattern right side out. You can use a crochet hook or chop stick to push out all the edges.

7.     Use an iron to press out any wrinkles.

8.     Begin stuffing your bean bag with beans or rice.

9.     Once your bean bag is stuffed to your liking, use your need and thread and close the opening using an invisible stitch!

DIY bean bag patterns for cornholeDIY bean bag patterns for cornholeDIY bean bag patterns for cornhole

DIY painted cornhole set