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)!
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!
The sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower. This beautiful flower has a long history with Ukraine, it turns out! Aside from sunflower seeds being a popular snack, Ukraine and Russia are some of the world’s largest suppliers of sunflower oil. Then there’s its historic message of peace, like in 1996 when it was used to celebrate Ukraine giving up nuclear weapons. Currently, as well, it’s become a bright beacon of hope and peace amidst all the turmoil and we want to do our best to show support. It seemed only fitting to make a Ukrainian paper sunflower in honor of the Ukrainian people. If you’re interested, click here to read the full article about Ukraine’s history with sunflowers.
Ukrainian Paper Sunflower
Here’s how to make your own Ukrainian paper sunflower:
Prepping the Paper
First, download the paper sunflower template found here.
Next, cut out the template pieces in crepe paper. We used about 30 yellow petals, 7 green back pieces, and between 2 and 4 green leaves of varying sizes per flower.
Cut each side of the leaves separately. Make sure to cut out the leaves so the grain of the crepe paper angles up slightly on each side (like the veins on the leaves).
Making the Center
To make the center of your paper sunflower, cut some long strips of crepe paper that are roughly 1″ wide. We used green, pale yellow, and orange.
Cut slits in the strips to make a fringe.
Securing with hot glue, wrap the fringe tightly around the top of a piece of floral wire. Make sure the wire is thick enough to hold the weight of the heavy sunflower blossom. Start with green, then move to yellow, then orange.
Continue wrapping and gluing the fringe until it’s as thick as you’d like. Also, make sure the orange layer is set a bit higher than the rest.
When the center is as thick as you’d like, fluff the orange fringe so it splays out a bit.
Now, gently paint a gradient of green to yellow on the center you just made. See step photos for reference. Alternate option: You can use black or brown for the center, too, if you’d like! The center of most sunflowers varies in color.
Assembling the Sunflower
Now you’re ready to add the petals and back greenery to your paper sunflower!
Gently shape the petals (see step photos for reference), then glue one around the center. We spaced them roughly 1/4-1/2″ apart.
Next, add in a second row, this time staggering the petals behind the first row.
Now you can add the back pieces. For this, shape the green pieces according to the step photos, then hot glue them around the stem. They should fan evenly around the back.
Leaves and Stem
The last steps of your paper sunflower are the leaves and stem!
For the stem, cut a piece of crepe paper that’s roughly the length of your wire piece and 2-3″ wide, depending on how big your sunflower is.
Securing with hot glue, wrap the crepe paper strip around the wire stem to thicken it.
Next, start at the top just overlapping the back greenery of the sunflower. Wind floral tape all the way down to cover up the crepe paper.
For the leaves, glue the two sides together, making sure the grain angles up slightly on each side to mimic the leaves’ veins.
Now flip the leaves over and hot glue a thin piece of floral wire to the back. Make sure the floral wire extends a few inches past the stem of the leaves. Once the hot glue is dry, you can shape the leaves however you’d like.
To attach the leaves to the stem, simply wrap floral tape around the wire.
Styling Your Paper Sunflowers
We varied the length of our sunflower stems, then arranged them in a pretty vase. We love how they turned out! They would make a bright addition to any room. Set them on a table, counter, mantlepiece, or side table. We also think they’d be a lovely accent for a bathroom or home office.
More Ways to Support Ukraine
We’re trying to do our part to support Ukraine. One way is through our shop! We currently have three art pieces in our shop made specifically to support Ukraine. We’re donating all the profits to the Ukrainian war effort. Special thanks to Amanda Jane Jones, who donated this print. Another special thanks to Nathalie Lètè, who donated this one and this one.
Once again, I worked with my friend, interior designer Meta Coleman, on the main closet system. The closet is an extension of the bathroom so it was important that they flow well together, but they didn’t have to match exactly. That’s how I roll, flows but not too perfect. Perfection is boring!
The closet is a walk in, but not too big so it just needed a bit of paint, a rug, and a chandelier, but you can make a big impact with just those things. But first, the before pictures.
Before pictures of our closet system
As you can see, the room was totally fine. Basic storage with those long shelves, rods. Basic. It was going to serve the function well. Meta came in with the idea to draw from the colors of the bathroom. I wanted a pink peach because I had read somewhere that Jackie O always painted her bathrooms a peach to reflect well on her skin.
Trying out paint colors for the closet
Meta tried out a number of pinks and we held them up in different lighting. we tried it on a foam board and then directly on the walls themselves.
Meta is so good with color that a lot of them are custom colors that she came up with. She also picked out a perfect refreshing green for the window trim. I love it. and it looks so good with the wallpaper from the bathroom.
I got to painting the closet walls the pink and the shelves the green and love how it looked. This was taken at night so the lighting is funky, but hopefully you can get it.
Change of plans
But then, Modular Closets reached out and asked if we wanted to work together on a closet and I said “STOP EVERYTHING!” and stop is just what we did. They make customizable closet solutions. They even have a design system that you can use yourself to pick out what you want and I spent a good deal of time coming up with different solutions. It was right before I gave birth so I was in a frenzied nesting mode!
We immediately tore out the existing shelving.
Repairing the walls
We ripped out the shelves to prep for it and had to repair the dry wall that was removed. I had hired someone to install it thinking it was outside of my skill level, but then we got COVID in July and after so much time staying indoors I got desperate and spent my nights putting them pieces together and putting them up MYSELF! Paul held them in place, but I did everything else and honestly, I feel like I can do any home improvement project. It’s absolutely not true but try and stop me!
Types of closet space for our closet system
When evaluating what type of storage we needed I jotted down what I owned and what I anticipated owning. I wear only dresses so I asked for mostly full length units. I also don’t want to have a dresser in my room so I wanted some drawers so I can put everything away. Modular Closets came up with some different arrangements for me and the process was great. There was one small thing they didn’t send and after a short chat with customer service they sent it right over. Such a breeze!
Hardware for my closet system
The Modular Closets system came with gold hardware, but I wanted to try something different. As you can tell by the photos, I’m still trying to think of what that might be. I’m thinking acrylic maybe…Any ideas for me?
I don’t love the look of plastic so I got all rattan and grass baskets. Here are some of the exact ones I got:
How I use the closet
I’m not the best at creating systems, but I have found a few things have worked for me:
The dresses I wear on repeat I change out by season and place the closest. Those are the ones I grab first.
The closet came with the ability to do washer/dryer hook up. I thought I would want to use as much of the closet as I possibly could so I didn’t even consider the option, but now seeing how much we go up and down and up and down to the laundry room, I’m kind of wanting to put it in. Anyone have any thoughts about this?
I added in my own shoe rack that I already owned onto the floor for additional storage and it’s working great.
I tied my scarves to one of the rods since I don’t really use the short hanging units.
On the middle shelf featured here, I put jewelry in those boxes. I’m thinking of doing a DIY where I paint or wallpaper some basic wood boxes instead, but I have these for now.
The more wood baskets hold travel bags, hats, and more hats.
I’ve always LOVED toleware because I’m a floral fiend and I thought a toleware chandelier in this space would be the perfect amount. I love it! It’s so cute! I found mine on Etsy here but there are a lot out there.
If you’re looking to do the same thing, try and find something in the US if possible. Because I bought it from Europe, I had to get it rewired for the states, which was an additional $100.
I bought this teeny tiny oil painting from one of my favorite painters, Leslie Duke ages ago and found the perfect home for it in the closet. Meta paired it with this gorgeous handmade rosette from Australian artist, Leila Sanderson of Skinny Wolf who makes the most incredible work. It’s honestly exquisite.
Green checkerboard rug
I was pretty ecstatic that this green checkerboard rug was so perfect for the space. I ordered a custom size on Etsy and was surprised with how easy and spot on it was. I ordered a 3×7″ and it came out a big larger but that was great for the space so it’s a win. I love having something so plushy on top of the hardwood Stuga floor because it feels so luxe.
The ottoman was a quick and convenient find from At Home that I didn’t think we’d keep, but I kind of love having something in there.
This project made me realize that shoes kind of aren’t my thing. I like shoes, but I’ll always buy a piece of clothing over shoes any day.
I didn’t realize how much a closet with a system would impact the use and efficiency of the space but it really did. You can fit more in and spot things quicker when they’re prominently displayed. I’m such a scatterbrain that it’s helped immensely. I really want to do it to all of our closets now!
Ok! That’s it! I’d love to hear your thoughts about our main closet. You can also read more about it on Domino.com.
And if you’re interested in seeing more of our space:
We couldn’t tell you about our Eeboo kid’s toys without introducing the company’s incredible background. First of all, women and mothers run this company. I mean, who knows kid’s toys better than mothers? I love how thoughtful these toys are. They make board games, watercolor sets, puzzles, and so much more. (You can find them here!) It just goes to show how the experience of being a mother influences their ability to understand children’s brains and what they need. And need I mention that they have the awards (Oppenheim best toy awards and honors) to prove it?
Encouraging development in children
One amazing aspect of Eeboo as a company is their focus on developmental learning in kid’s toys. They help kids develop skills like literacy, storytelling, drawing, imaginative play, and basic math. I mean, could I be more impressed? Kid’s toys that help their development while also helping them have fun? I can say from experience that it can definitely be a challenge to get kids to want to settle down when they’re feeling wild. And you can forget concentrating on learning things like math. So to have kid’s toys that are fun, interactive, and help make learning fun is a dream come true.
At Eeboo, the goal with their kid’s toys is to integrate learning and play in a screen-free way. This is so important (and need I say refreshing?) when we all have screens coming out our ears! It’s hard to get away, and these kid’s toys are a really beautiful way to succeed at it.
They also commission all their artwork from well-known and well-loved illustrators. It shows, too! The illustrations make their kid’s toys feel so fresh and original–artwork straight from the source. And friends, these illustrations are beautiful. They are delicate, detailed, and full of personality. Need I add that they are colorful and bright? They’re just what every child needs to stay interested and engaged.
Look at the illustrations on these watercolors and paper! Incredible, right? They’d make the perfect gift for a rainy afternoon to get those creative juices flowing.
Care and dedication
I’d have to say one of my favorite things about these Eeboo kid’s toys is the care and dedication they give to their customers. They even have a booklet that talks about their values and priorities. I mean, come on! They go to great efforts to be sustainable, respect diversity, value design, and so much more.
I just keep dreaming about the things I would have done if I’d had these toys as a kid. I love how these building blocks promote creativity and imaginative play, for instance.
The inspiration for my DIY wainscoting came from a picture that my friend, interior designer, Meta Coleman, saw of a door frame in Paris. You can see it in the collage below (bottom right). She presented the idea to me in her mood board below: and though I didn’t totally get it at first, I never saw no to Meta. I say yes and then I figure it out!
You can DIY wainscoting, too!
Look. I know that any time a room remodel starts means bringing out the power tools a lot of you probably sigh and put the project on the shelf. DIY wainscoting is pretty involved, and it can seem overwhelming! Fear not, though, because I’m here to show you that it’s actually totally doable.
The first step in our remodel was the flooring, which we got from Stuga Studios. I mention it here because it made a HUGE difference in our space, which was truly unfinished. Being able to walk through your house without shoes on makes a big, big difference!
Things got really exciting after the floor was installed and it was time to take care of the walls. I knew from Meta’s original design that I wanted the bottom half of the walls to be a light blue color to offset and cool down the red Josef Frank wallpaper that would cover the rest of the walls. So one night I just started painting!
The circle/square pattern
One of the trickiest parts of my DIY wainscoting installation was mapping out exactly how tall I wanted the chair rail to be, how I would fit the wooden cutouts, and where I needed to cut some of them down to size. I taped up paper diamonds and circles to figure out the wainscoting height as well as distance between columns.
I highly recommend making paper mockups whenever you do a DIY like this, because they’re so easy to adjust and tweak. I tried a few variations: each column with the same pattern and then switched it around so every other one was the same. I tried an ABA pattern as well as an ABBA pattern and decided to go with every other row being the same and starting at a different point.
I also had to play around with how big each one would be and how many shapes I would need. All of them were made from maple plywood 1/4″ thick. The circle was 3.5″ in diameter, but the square had to be slightly smaller at 3″. I worked with Zach at Laser Lingo and he was wonderful. He even gave me a 20% discount for ordering so many. The circles were a ready made product he already had here. It came out to about $200 for the shapes.
How many do I need?
First, I had to figure out about how many columns I would have in the room. I spaced them out every 9″ and drew a line. I figured out how many squares/circles each column would have and multiplied that by the amount of columns and then added 10% more to make sure I had enough.
Figuring out the height
First, I placed the shapes at the bottom of the baseboards and realized that they would look better if they were cut in half at both the top and the bottom. Chair rails feel best when they are about 1/3 from the bottom so that’s what we were aiming for, but we also had to take into account where the shapes were going to end. We took into consideration the width of the chair rail too, so we stopped the pattern at around 32″ and then the chair rail took up another few inches leave it at around 34″ ish.
Trim and finish painting
Once I decided on a height, it was time to install all the trim and finish painting. Don’t you love the feeling of a space progressing with every step? I remember walking into the bathroom once it was painted and breathing a sigh of relief. It was coming together!
Prepping the squares and circles for paint
You will paint the squares and circles before applying them to the wall. My painter, who is the absolute best, took him the squares and circles, sanded them, sprayed them lightly from 4 different angles with an airless gun (you can rent them for cheap!) two different times. He placed them on plywood to spray them. He said it’s all about the prep! We had 280 pieces total so it was a bit of a process.
Applying the squares and circles to the wall
After painting and verifying my design, it was time to start the installation. We had a great team installing molding and trim to the exactly correct height. Then came the fun part: gluing up the wooden cutouts!
Draw a straight line on the wall of where you will be installing the squares/circles. Make sure it’s level and perfectly straight.
Use standard construction adhesive (he used Liquid Nails) like 3-4 dabs per square/circle. You don’t need too much of it. The squares are easy to affix because we placed them on each points like a diamond so we could align them perfectly. The circles were eyeballed.
He used a saw to cut off the bottoms prior to painting so that the ends were nicely finished.
Because I knew that I’d be installing wallpaper after we finished the DIY wainscoting, I didn’t worry about any paint that reached above the waist-level wainscoting. It all got covered up once we wallpapered!
Why Custom Design
I know that some of you are wondering why I insisted on installing my own custom wainscoting design instead of using a pre-made one. It certainly would have been easier! But I love living in a space that I designed myself. There’s just something about seeing something develop from the very beginning and tweaking it along the way so that it’s just right. Having Meta’s help was also very encouraging, because she has such a talent for making a space really reflects its occupant. I knew that with her help, we could make my custom DIY wainscoting dreams a reality.
More Bathroom Remodel Inspo
Remodeling the bathroom took a lot of time and turned out to be a lot of steps. You can read more about everything that came together for our remodel here, so even if you aren’t ready to install DIY wainscoting there’s lots of bathroom inspo for you on the blog!
The road to our bathroom remodel was long and winding, and part of that is because Paul and I have such different sensibilities when it comes to style and design! If he had his way, we’d live in a sleek warehouse with Brutalistic concrete floors. Ha! So you can imagine that we had lots of negotiations and conversations during our ideation faze, which ultimately led to “do whatever you want”. I will, thank you very much 😉
I get by with a lot of help from my friend, Meta Coleman
I would be sadly remiss if I didn’t start out by singing the praises of my friend and designer, Meta Coleman. Meta is a rockstar designer who’s work is like actual magic. I’m convinced that she knows everything there is to know about interior design because she eats, drinks, and breathes it, and I’m the luckiest to be able to work with her and be her friend. Having Meta at the helm of this bathroom remodel made everything possible. Read more about Meta being my dream designer!
Meta’s process begins with really getting to know the people who live in the space she’s designing, which is part of what makes her work so immaculate. You can see this part of Meta’s designing process through this video of Paul and me talking about our history and design preferences. I really respect how thorough of a designer Meta is, because even though she already knew me and knew my style, she checked in to get really clear on my vision.
Then, with my style clearly in mind, Meta brought in so much magic! I was astounded by the way that she totally understood my taste, then surprised and stretched me through her design. All I can say is that I’m super lucky to be close friends with such an amazing interior designer! I highly recommend it.
It’s also thanks to Meta’s incredible interior design that our bathroom was featured in Domino Magazine, which is such a fun honor. Get to know Meta a little bit better through her Becoming interview, check out her website, and definitely follow her on Instagram @MetaColeman_ to keep up with her work.
Our Big Bathroom Remodel
Like I mentioned, our bathroom started out rough. It was a total bare-bones cavern! I mean, look at this:
With Meta’s help, we came up with a mood board that both Paul and I loved. As you’ll see, the final design departed just a bit from the mood board while still very much holding on to the essential spirit of Meta’s original design.
I’m a big believer in starting out with a great mood board. It makes everything so much easier and provides an invaluable frame of reference for later, when you’re in the middle of building your design and feel stuck. Check out this tutorial on making mood boards!
The very first step was to install flooring, and we fell in love with this amazing wood floor from Stuga Studio. The color we chose is called Tivoli, and it’s perfect–warm but not too yellow. It’s such lovely, high-quality wood, and it has so much personality. We installed it throughout pretty much the whole house, and instantly felt so relieved about our plans to totally update a blank slate fixer-upper. Check out this post to read more about the flooring.
Early on in the design process, I got this gorgeous vanity from Signature Hardware. I knew that I wanted an accent piece of furniture, but I didn’t have an overarching design planned out yet, so it was a tricky choice. Still, I had a deadline, so I went for a strong color that also serves as a neutral–the Olsen vanity in a deep emerald green. The green vanity informed lots of the remaining design choices for the bathroom remodel.
I’m so glad I went with the green! I’m a strong believer that green can count as a neutral color in design, and this bathroom is a strong example of that: it grounds the rest of the colors, which is what neutrals do best.
As you can see, I put the vanity to use long before things were finished or ready. Just keeping it real!
So beautiful, right?? I love the intricate floral designs and I think that cabinets make such perfect heirlooms (sturdy and useful? Check and check), so I decided to paint my wooden hutch with flowers. Stay tuned to learn more about that process in a future post!
Signature Hardware also has beautiful towel racks and wall hooks, which are so important for a bathroom remodel. I installed the Vintage Towel Bar and the Vintage Towel Ring in brushed gold, and they land at the perfect intersection between simple and refined.
Apart from all the technical things (like flooring, plumbing, and electricity), the custom DIY wainscoting was a big part of the remodel. Meta presented the concept to me after seeing a photo of it on a door frame in Paris. She directed me to how to make it happen and then I was off to figure it out. I bought square and circular wooden cutouts, painted them in a soft, light, blue, and attached them to wall’s bottom third. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the workmen we hired to paint and install trim didn’t think so. Haha! You should have seen their faces when I explained my plan! Thankfully they warmed up to the idea.
The wallpaper came next, and at that point things started getting really exciting. It turns out that having finished walls makes a huge difference! Ha! At this point we started shooting some projects in the bathroom. Some of our eagle-eyed readers may have caught onto a few bathroom remodel teasers in the backgrounds of some past projects. For example, you can see some wallpaper and wainscoting behind these paper pansies.
I also couldn’t resist shooting these paper hollyhocks between the sinks, so you can see the countertop, wallpaper, and some of the mirrors in this picture.
After we got all the main pieces installed, it was time to style the bathroom. Meta Coleman came back to lend a hand, and I truly love the way she put my bathroom together.
The mirrors are custom made by Meta, and I love the way the two-tone glass reflects such warm, glowing light around the room. She used this two toned mirror technique on her own bathroom and generously gave me the remains. We tried a few different shapes included a wavy design and a flower, but ultimately, I wanted to keep it a simple oval.
Meta also custom made my curtains using Soane fabric. I love the mustard color, and the fabric’s pattern reminds me so much of Matisse’s paper cutouts.
Our Full Bathroom Remodel Reveal
Whew! So many things came together for this bathroom remodel, and it was seriously so much work. I’m so grateful for Meta’s help all along the way! I truly couldn’t have done it without her.
I have a closet attached to my bathroom, and I updated that, too! I’ve included a few sneak peeks in this post, but you can stay tuned to see more of it soon. 😉
These DIY paper hollyhocks are part of my ongoing home upgrade. As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, I’ve been doing a lot of renovations since I bought my house last June. Lately I’ve been working on finishing my upstairs bathroom, and let me tell you–nothing motivates you to work on a big project like having to use an unfinished bathroom! 😬
My bathroom vanity has two sinks with a mirror above each one, so I wanted to make something beautiful to go between them. Earlier this year we made some paper pansies for the bathroom and I love them so much that I wanted to do another flower. I decided on a few stalks of DIY paper hollyhocks, and I’m so glad I did because these have IMPACT. The individual flowers are really simple, but when you put the whole stalk together they’re absolutely show-stopping. I keep thinking how pretty they would be as bridal flowers!
Decide what colors of flowers you want. I made blooms in three different colors, and each color used a main color and a darker stain color.
Cut your main hollyhock paper into 3 strips that are 5 inches wide and about 20 inches long. Cut your stain paper into 3 strips about 2.5 inches wide and 20 inches long. Make sure the grain of both of these strips is such that it stretches horizontally.
Prepare your paper
The next steps will stain your table and fingers, so put down a piece of thick butcher paper or cardboard if you’re working on a precious surface and consider wearing gloves!
Tape the ends of the main petal paper down so that it lies flat on a table. Tape the darker stain paper over the main color of paper so that it runs along the center of the wider purple strip.
Dip a paintbrush in water and wet the stain paper only. Then, press it down onto the main petal paper. This will transfer some of the dark dye onto the main crepe paper.
Repeat this with your other strips of paper.
Prepare the pieces
While your petal paper (say that five times fast!) is drying, cut the rest of your template pieces out. You’ll cut the inner petals out of dark yellow paper, a stigma out of light yellow paper, and leaves out of green paper. Each flower will have 5 petals, 5 inner petals, and one under-petal leaf piece.
You can also cut out purple rectangles of various sizes (the buds) and the bud leaves in green.
Once your petal paper is all dry, you can cut those petals out. Arrange them so that the dyed portions are at the narrow base of the petal.
Make a thick stem. Cut three pieces of 14 gauge wire to varying lengths. The longest should be a little shorter than you want your flower stalk, the middle one should be about 2/3 that length, and the shortest should be about 1/3 the length of the first.
Hold the three wires together so that they all overlap at the bottom.
Starting at the bottom where they all overlap, wrap the wires with floral tape. Wrap all the way to the end of the longest wire, forming a long, stiff stem that narrows toward the top.
Make the DIY paper hollyhock pieces
Start with the flower’s stigma by crumpling up a small ball of crepe paper from your scraps. Glue this to the tip of your regular weight floral wire.
Put a dab of glue on the center of the cut out stigma square and put this on the crumpled paper. Fold down the ends so that it covers the crumpled paper, then secure with more hot glue.
Glue each yellow inner petal to the base of a purple petal.
Make a line of glue on the side/bottom of a petal next to the yellow inner petal. Glue then next petal to that first petal. Repeat for all 5 petals.
Attach your line of petals to the flower center so that they wrap evenly around, and secure with glue.
Put a dot of glue halfway up the edge of each petal and attach it to the one next to it.
Stretch the green under-flower leaf piece and glue it to the base of the flower.
Stretch a thin stem strip of green crepe paper and wrap it around your DIY paper hollyhock’s stem for 3-5 inches, securing with glue as you go.
Repeat steps 1-6 until you have your desired amount of hollyhock blooms. I think that 5-9 blooms per stalk looks lush and lifelike.
To make the buds, cut rectangles of purple crepe paper and fold the top corners in, then fold the top down repeatedly. Roll up the paper, then glue it to form a rounded bud shape.
Stretch the bud leaves, then glue and wrap them around the bud along with a 5 inch piece of floral wire. Let some of the buds show more purple inside, while some should be mostly or all covered with green bud leaves.
Glue a small leaf to the wrapped bud.
Stretch a thin stem strip of green crepe paper and wrap it around the bud stem, securing with glue as you go.
To make the leaves, use the template to cut the 6 leaf pieces out of green crepe paper. Make sure that you’re cutting the pieces with the grain, as shown on the template.
With a thin line of hot glue, attach the leaf pieces together. The leaf is an organic star-like shape, but if you didn’t cut with the grain of the crepe paper it won’t stretch right.
Stretch the paper slightly to ruffle the edges and give the leaf dimension.
Glue a piece of floral wire along one of the seams in the leaf.
Stretch a thin stem strip of green crepe paper and wrap it around the base of the leaf and the wire stem for 6-7 inches, securing with glue as you go.
Assemble your hollyhocks!
Now you have a lot of hollyhock elements on pieces of wire. We’re going to put them all together, starting at the top of the stalk.
Glue a bud to the stem of another bud, then wrap the glued stems together with a stretched crepe paper strip, gluing as you go.
Add more buds, gluing and wrapping with crepe paper. As you add elements, the stalk will get thicker and stronger, just like a real flower!
After you’ve added and wrapped all the buds, it’s time to attach the thick stem. Glue the wrapped buds and wires to the top of the thick wire stem, then wrap with crepe paper. Keep securing the crepe paper strips with glue as you continue this.
It’s time to start adding your fully bloomed flowers! Glue a flower’s stem and a leaf to the stalk, then wrap with a crepe paper strip.
Continue adding flowers and leaves to the stalk as you work your way down. You want to space them out with a few inches between each one.
If you have extra leaves after you add all your flowers, add them to the bottom of the stalk. Wrap them with a crepe paper strip, just like you did for the prior leaves. You should leave about five inches of stem without flowers and leaves at the bottom of your stalk.
After you finish adding all your flowers and leaves, continue wrapping a crepe paper strip all the way to the bottom of the stalk. Secure with glue, then cut the strip.
Voilà! You have a gorgeous stalk of hollyhocks! Make a few stalks in various colors, then arrange them however you like for your own indoor cottage garden.
Well, now I’m getting into a deeper conversation about what art is, and while I could easily write a 1,000 word blog post on that topic, today I just want to talk about what to do with your art once you’ve found the ultimate piece. Our post today is all about how to hang prints like the ones you can find in our shop!
To Frame or Not to Frame?
So, it finally happened—you locked eyes with that perfect print, whether in a gallery, online, or in a thrift store, and now you need a frame for it! Or do you?
Well, first you need to consider the size of the print (or prints). If you thrifted your art, you may want a different frame, or maybe you hit the thrifting jackpot and it came with a beautiful frame, matting, and it fits your style. However, for most of us, half the fun is deciding on a frame that doesn’t just act as a “place” for your art to live, but it complements the piece, too.
Frames aren’t always necessary. In fact, you can “frame” your art using other more budget-friendly, DIY methods, and you know how much we love a good DIY!
Framing Large Art Pieces
Large-scale wall art is on trend, and it’s not hard to see why! A poster-size print above the bed or fireplace mantle anchors the room. In fact, if you’re trying to design the rest of your space, start with a large print! You can gather inspiration from a dynamic piece of art hanging on the wall.
We tend to think that large art needs a frame. Luckily, you don’t have to splurge on a really expensive frame to match the size of your print. We like using the large RIBBA frame from IKEA, with or without the matting. You might even like removing the plastic to prevent a glare, but if the lighting of your room doesn’t affect the glare too much, leave the plastic on to protect the print.
If you looking to print some large art for a crazy price, we recommend engineer prints from Staples. They’re typically no more than $10 (yep, that cheap).
Other Framing Ideas
Need a beautiful frame, but don’t want to spend too much money? Try replacing the cheap art you find at Target or Home Goods with your own prints. They already come with a nice frame (most of the time) and a mat.
Are you trying to put together a gallery wall? Though it may seem like some of the best-looking gallery walls were simply “thrown together,” it actually takes a bit of extra time to create a balanced look. Use a mixture of sizes, and don’t feel limited to hanging prints. Try hanging other art pieces or sentimental items on the wall to add texture, such as fiber art or a small shelf for displaying treasures.
How to Hang Prints Without a Nail
One of the best and most cost-effective methods to hang your prints is using Washi tape! We like this method for a more casual look, like on the moodboard above your desk or in your child’s room.
Is your art collection bursting at the seams? Try a floating shelf on the wall to lean your art against! Maybe you have a bare mantle in your front room begging for something else to sit on it besides your WiFi router…instead of getting out your hammer, nails, stud finder, and level, just lean the thing! Nothing could be easier.
Feeling inspired? Don’t forget to check our print shop for some beautiful and affordable art!
A lot of people want to transform their spaces into dreamy urban jungles, but don’t know how to style indoor plants. This can mean that their green spaces turn grey, end up looking cluttered, or gathering dust.
Knowing how to style indoor plants can make a huge difference and give your plants all the impact they deserve. Here are my best plant styling tips!
Gauge your own commitment
Look. Your plant dreams won’t come true if you don’t choose plants that you can keep alive. Maybe you’re a big fan of ferns, but you live in a dry climate and don’t have it in you to water and spray a plant every day. 🙋🏼♀️ I know it hurts, but you might need to hold off on living with some higher-demand plants until you’re a more experienced plant parent. Know yourself and get plants that you can keep alive, because no matter how well-styled your plant kingdom is, it won’t look good if it’s dead.
Here are some of my favorite plants, and you can check out their care requirements to make sure that you’re signing up for something you can handle.
Make sure that your plants have the correct amount of light for the species. Some thrive in the shade, some need bright light, and many plants do their best somewhere in between. You need to consider your space and the light before you even buy plants if you want a healthy indoor plantscape.
And of course, paper plants won’t die no matter what light you put them in, but remember that they might fade in bright light.
Unfortunately, lots of plant parents fail to consider a space’s temperature and are confounded when their plants keep dying. If you live somewhere with cold winters, avoid putting sensitive plants near drafty areas like doors or right by a window, especially when temperatures drop. And if your living space tends to be really hot and sunny, make sure that you don’t have sensitive, cool-loving plants in places where they’ll scorch and die. Again, if you’re working with paper plants, this isn’t an issue.
Some plants, like ferns and other tropicals, need more water and humidity than others (like succulents and cacti). If you have a plant that needs to be cared for and watered often, put it somewhere easily accessible so that watering doesn’t become a hassle.
If your bathroom has enough light, consider styling it with some humidity-loving plants. All the steam from your showers will make them thrive.
When you’re designing your planty spaces, you don’t want to just have a lot of little plants scattered around. Choose one or two larger plants (indoor trees are great here!) and make these a focal point.
While big houseplants can be expensive, you can try making your own with paper (we have some great tutorials on the blog!) or check out our next tip for height help.
In an arrangement of plants, you want the tallest ones to be at the back. Think of them like a choir, with the tallest singers standing at the back. You can also give some plants a boost to add more height and give the illusion of larger plants. Try using shelves, bricks, blocks, an overturned flower pot, stacks of decorative books, and more to add some height to your plantscape.
Indoor plants come in all kids of colors, not just green! Consider the colors and lighting in your space before you buy or make plants. If you plan it right, you can get beautiful, dramatic, intentional looks by curating your plant colors. Imagine a room with all deep purple foliage! So regal, right??
Christmas is a perfect time to join up with our community and do something fun together, so we dreamed up a craft along. After all, there’s no better time to get out your glue and paints than during the holidays! And what’s more classic and meaningful than a handmade gift? I definitely don’t know of anything.
Well, as the Lars team continued scheming and dreaming, our craft along plans got better and better, and now we’re SO EXCITED to make this Mid-Century Heirloom nativity craft along with you!
We’ve teamed up with a few celebrities and crafting heroes, and to be quite honest, I’m already starstruck. Like, let’s just say that I’m going to meet my childhood hero and that we’ll be wearing pink on Wednesdays from here on out. We’ll be releasing our star crafters through our mailing list (sign up here!), but I’d also love to hear your guesses in the comments. 😉
You’ll also be able to meet our star crafters through weekly Instagram Live events, where we’ll be working on a character from the nativity every week.
So what’s a craft along?
A craft along is a way of building community with your fellow crafters while all working on the same (or a similar) project. Our nativity 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. We’ll all be making a midcentury heirloom nativity together, and it’s going to be so lovely! Even though summer’s still on its way out, we wanted to jump into our handmade holiday plans early because this is a project that you’ll want to begin waay in advance. Get a head start on your handmade holidays and join in the fun with this nativity craft along!
Crafting with a cause
As I’ve mentioned in thesetwo essays, I recently partnered with Nest and I’m now part of their advisory board. I really believe in Nest’s mission to support woman makers in the global economy, and I’m so grateful to be part of their amazing work. We’ve set the very exciting goal to raise $50,000 for Nest through this nativity craft along, and we’re doing it in three ways:
Ebook sales: for each ebook sold, we’re donating $5 (with an option for you to donate even more at checkout).
Donations: we’ll collect donations during Instagram Live events with our famous crafters (think a 21st century twist on a classic fundraising telethon). During these Instagram Live events you’ll get to know some of your favorite crafty celebrities a bit better, and you can work on your heirloom nativity alongside them and me! Doesn’t that sound dreamy? You can donate to Nest over here!
Auction: After all these Instagram Live crafting sessions we’ll auction off our two completed midcentury nativities! There will be one made by me and one made by our favorite crafting celebs, and all the money we raise by auctioning them will go to Nest. So even if you’re not a big fan of crafting, you can get your own gorgeous heirloom midcentury nativity (and it just might come with some star power).
However you do it, your participation in this nativity craft along will help us reach our fundraising goal and help Nest support woman artisans all over the world.
Make Your Own Heirloom Nativity!
Years ago when we first released our Midcentury Nativity project, we used a combination of vintage, found, and purchased wooden pieces. While I love the way our old set looks, it’s impossible to replicate exactly. That can be so frustrating! So this year we’ve worked hard to come up with an excellent set of wooden pieces that you can buy to make your nativity match with ours. If you buy these materials, your pieces will also align just right with the templates we made in our ebook! Convenience and unity for the win!
You can find all the materials we used over in the e-book including the specific wood pieces for the right combinations.
My friend Michele Brummer Everett designed these back to school stickers, and they’d be the perfect addition to your water bottle, notebook, or laptop.
Dorm Room Design
In the college town where I live, the end of August means lots of new students being dropped off at dorms for their first-ever foray into living outside their parents’ house. That means that there are LOTS of fresh-faced students moving into drab, depressing dorm rooms and shabby apartments. Check out this post full of rental-friendly interior design hacks to level up your space. And here are my favorite additions to any student housing situation:
If you’re looking for more dorm inspiration, check it out here and here.
Any time you buy something from our affiliate links, we get a small commission at no cost to you! Hooray!
…is that there really isn’t much of a secret. If it’s in your home and it’s art that you like, you’ll be happier looking at the art on your wall than wondering where to hang art. Yes, really.
Make a decision
Yes, it’s that simple. Just pick one piece (it doesn’t even have to be that good). Base the rest of your pieces from there! Loosely coordinate colors or subjects, or put everything in matching frames. Scratch that – if you don’t want anything to match, let your taste be the unifying factor. Once you’ve decide where to hang your art, it will come together. If that lack of directions drives you crazy, pick a theme like plants, photography, animals, abstraction, portraits, watercolors, you name it.
Build Your Collection
Consider this section the inside scoop – if I could select art for your home, these are some pieces I would choose. Abby Low’s pieces offer a shot of color and geometric print and are a great place to start. Flowers are beautiful, and I can never get enough of them! I love Adriana Picker’s work. Also Picker is just the perfect name for someone who paints flowers. Consider the location of your art – these food prints by the amazing Amanda Jane Jones would be so cute over a dining table. Looking for something a little more high-brow? This cubist-style piece is a fave of mine! Photography is oh-so chic, and Chaunté Vaughn’s compositions are drool-worthy. A little bit of cheer is always welcome, and I found just that in Erin Jang’s print!
Put it somewhere fun!
Deciding where to hang art is the last step. And the fun part! I rarely see a piece of art and think it doesn’t belong where it’s at. That’s the fun part about art – it makes wherever it is placed more lovely! Growing up, my dad decided he wanted control over where the art would be placed and guess where he put it. The bathroom. All of his favorite pieces of art, including the pre-k finger paintings went in the hall ball. His rationale went like this: “Where in the house has the highest foot traffic? Where are guests most likely to see?” Though it might seem like a strange place to put your most treasured works, it kinda makes sense.
One trend that I’ve noticed lately and loved is art just… leaned up against a wall. This is an awesome example because it shows the organization well enough to replicate it. This is another example of art leaned gracefully, nay, artfully, against a wall. I love the way this particular arranging method works with transparency.
Bookcases are another clever place I love to put art in! Let’s be honest, books are art. Add to the look with a framed piece like this or like this. Perhaps you have a lot of art to show off, and it just won’t fit in a bathroom, bookshelf, or propped up somewhere. The gallery wall is the perfect way to showcase your pieces! My friend Meta Coleman wrote a piece for us a while back on how to style the perfect gallery wall, or salon wall as they used to be called. It is a gamechanger!!
So no more head scratching over where to hang art! There’s no need to hire a pro when you can learn do-it-yourself online.
You can find all the art pictured in this post and much more in our shop! Check it out, and maybe you’ll find a new favorite artist.
I’d love to see how you hang art in your space. Tag us with #LarsAtHome to share.