Back to School: DIY Whiteboard Upgrade

Because my love of pretty school supplies runs deep, making a DIY Whiteboard felt like a natural step. This would be a great teacher project (can you imagine how cute in your classroom??) or it would also look great in your home office, study space, or bedroom. If you’re a homeschool family, making this whiteboard would be a great project because it integrates math and design. Then you get a great, useful whiteboard in the end! Win win!

A squiggly-painted whiteboard with paint swatches, ribbons, and other mood board-like objects taped to it. It's on wallpaper with a green botanical design.

Make Your Own DIY Whiteboard

Materials

You’ll need a whiteboard, a ruler, a dry-erase marker, acrylic craft paint, and a paintbrush.

A squiggly-painted whiteboard with paint swatches, ribbons, and other mood board-like objects taped to it. It's on wallpaper with a green botanical design.

Instructions

You can make this DIY whiteboard with whatever size of square whiteboard that you have. It will take a little bit of math, but hey! It’s back to school time! You can handle it!

(If your whiteboard is *almost* a square, just proceed as written below and fudge the numbers a bit. You’ll make the squiggle with dry erase marker, so it will be easy to modify. Good news: no one’s grading this!)

Step by step photos in a grid showing how to make the DIY Whiteboard

  1. Measure the sides of your whiteboard. Divide the length of your whiteboard by six. We’ll call this new number “x” in honor of all the algebra classes we sat through.
  2. With a dry erase marker, make a mark around the board’s perimeter every “x” inches, starting in a corner and going all the way around.
  3. Starting at the first mark you made (x inches from the corner), mark a point half the length of x perpendicular to the edge of the whiteboard towards the center of the board and mark. Wait, what? Too much math? Let me break it down. If x is 7 inches, then you’ll mark a point 7 inches away from the corner of the whiteboard and 3.5 inches in toward the center. You’ve got this.
  4. Go to the next mark you made on the whiteboard’s perimeter. From here, mark another point x inches in toward the center of the board. In our example, this point would be 14 inches away from corner and 7 inches toward the center.
  5. Go all the way around the whiteboard marking points. Alternate them half of x inches (3.5 in our example) and x inches (7 in our example) all the way around.
  6. The hard part is over! Look at you, you mathematician! Connect all the new alternating marks by making a zig zag all the way around the board. At this point you’re still using the dry erase marker.
  7. Round the zig zag out and erase any previous markings. Now you have a nice even squiggle around your whole whiteboard.
  8. With acrylic paint, paint the outline of your squiggle design.
  9. Fill in the squiggle design with more paint.
  10. If you need to, do a second coat of paint on your whiteboard. Tadaa! You’re all done and ready for a fantastic school year!

Troubleshooting a Rectangle

If you have a rectangular whiteboard that’s very much longer than it is wide or vice versa, you can still make this DIY whiteboard but you’ll need to do a bit more math (and maybe some troubleshooting). Here’s my advice:

  1. Measure the short side of your whiteboard and divide that number by 6 to get x.
  2. Now measure the long side of your whiteboard and divide that number by x. If it’s close to a whole number, just go with that x value and proceed as above. Your long side will have more squiggles than your short side and it will look great.
  3. If you divide the long side of your whiteboard by x and it’s not close to a whole number, then find another number that divides neatly into your board’s length and width measurements. Just make sure that it goes into those numbers an even number of times, or else your squiggles won’t work.

Wow, have you had enough math for today? I think it’s time for a snack, then recess or reading time. Happy crafting!

A squiggly-painted whiteboard with paint swatches, ribbons, and other mood board-like objects taped to it. It's on wallpaper with a green botanical design.

More Back to School Inspiration

I made these paper lunch sacks with apples painted on them and I think they’re such a cute way to reimagine the classic apple motif. I also put together some creative quarantine homeschool activities for kids, so wherever the pandemic takes us you can be ready.

And don’t forget The School that Lars Built! We have art and art history classes for kids, a flower drawing course for people of all ages, and more coming soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

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!

Lars Shop Highlight: Floral Art Prints

Last month we did a post about spring cleaning and switching out your art prints, and I shared some art from the Lars print shop. This May, though, I’m focusing on flowers (even more than I do year round! Ha!) so I wanted to show you my curated collection of floral art prints.

Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated, subdued artwork or a playful print there’s something that’s sure to catch your attention in the floral art print shop!

Playful

These prints are charming for children (or children-at-heart)! Ayang Cempaka’s whimsical fairytale-themed prints are colorful and fun, and they are lovely reminders of some favorite stories. Thumbelina’s meadow scene is particularly fitting for Spring, don’t you think?

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

Normandie Luscher’s prints are also inspired by favorite stories. If you’re a reader, these prints are a great way to decorate your space with reminders of your favorite books. You’ll be transported to lovely Avonlea when you look up at Anne’s Way of Delight!

An art print of girls inside and outside a brick building covered with vines and surrounded by trees and flowers. Next to the print are wooden toys shaped like trees and a rainbow. A print of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables walking through a corridor of blossoms against a pink background with real blossoms in front.

Another floral art print that celebrates Spring and promotes literacy is Josefina Schargorodsky’s Reading In the Woods illustration. This artwork would be perfect for a kid’s room or next to the bookshelf.

A print of a girl reading in a garden surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers against a golden background.

Painterly

Decorating with a painterly floral art print is a way to introduce some serenity and style into your space. Helen Dealtry’s Secret Garden print feels like a mysterious portal into another, greener world–just like in the book!

A print of flowers in a green secret garden tunnel hangs on the wall in front of a plant and some craft supplies

Lynne Millar’s paintings are not to be missed! The way she treats shadow and light is dramatic in the same way that a really well-planned garden can be, so you can bring the outdoors in with her prints. Check out this interview of Lynne here!

In interior shot of a pink couch with cushions, a table with a plant, a modern lamp, and artwork on the walls. One of the works is Lynne Millar's Rose painting.

Julie Marabelle of Famille Summerbelle makes glorious paper cut art by painting on paper and then cutting intricate floral designs into them. We have several of her works in our floral art print shop and they would look so lovely in any space!

Field of Colored Flowers Papercut By Julie Marabelle is framed and perched on top of a stack of books next to a yellow bed and a blue and white striped wallpapered wall.

A framed paper-cut floral print on a spruce-themed wallpapered wall by a yellow bed and a blue lamp

These dainty prints by Monica Dorazewski and Yas Imamura will bring whimsy into your home. They would be perfect in a space that needs a breath of light, fresh air, and feminine energy.

Seven Flowers Print by Yas Imamura

Adriana Picker also makes gorgeous, bright, botanical prints. Find her dahlia print here, her tulip print here, her cosmos print here, and her rose print (not pictured) here. You can also read this interview from Adriana Picker and find out more about the artist.

Three pink floral art prints on a white mantle next to a potted plant and a green candlestick

Graphic

Would you describe your style as bold and bright? Some of these more graphic floral art prints might just be calling your name.

Lisa Congdon’s style would look great in a super modern space–I love the idea of kids coming into a living room or kitchen to do homework with “Openness is Essential to Creativity” hanging on the wall next to them. How inspiring, right? Danielle Kroll’s Clementine print would also be so cute in a kitchen.

Openness is Essential To Creativity print by Lisa Congdon among plants and books Clementine Print by Danielle Kroll

For floral art prints in bold colors with less geometric designs, I think that Alli Stocco’s Flamenco Flamingos are a great fit. I also love the Mae West quote written on the print: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Such great words to live by!

Rosie Harbottle’s Iris Apfel print brings bright, bold energy into a space. When I see this print I feel inspired to be daring like Iris, and I think all of us could use some of that oomph in our lives.

Flamenco Flamingos by Alli StoccoIris Apfel print by Rosie Harbottle against a sage wall surrounded by stationary and paper plants.

If you’re like me and you can’t get enough of flowers, check out this roundup of floral interior decor–it would all look great with a print from our shop.

What do you look for when choosing art for your home? I would love to see how you decorate with floral art prints, so tag us with #LarsAtHome to share!

Tips and Tricks for Painting Chunky Colorful Stripes

With the stairway being a first impression, we had to make sure we were conveying a colorful and fun message to our visitors. One of our greatest sources of inspiration for this project was a candy shop–fun, colorful, and whimsical. I think we checked all 3 with these chunky stripes.  It was a toss up between green and blue, but I think the blue gives a nice fresh welcome and complements the pink floors quite nicely.

How to paint stripes on the walls

If you’ve ever tackled stripes before, you know they are no easy task. Here are some tips to make it easier!

  • Use Scotch® Blue Sharp Lines Painter’s Tape!
  • A laser level.  A laser level projects a temporary line of light on your wall while you mark it off with your tape.  No pencils or chalk needed.  And if you find a suction laser level, then you can easily do the project with just one person!  If not, another helper works just as well;). I did it after the kids went to bed with a podcast (or two ;)and honestly, got so sucked into the project that I kind of wish I had more stripes to paint.
  • Once we had the lines marked off, it was as easy as painting and peeling. A quick tip: peel your painters’ tape off at a 45 degree angle away from the paint. This prevents the tape from tearing.  Once you’ve removed the tape, it’s time to step back and enjoy your work.

How to paint stairs

Because we were also painting over stairs that were once covered in carpet we had a lot of prep before we could actually start painting.

  1. First we had to clean A LOT
  2. Then we had to take out all the staples from the carpet and putty over them
  3. Next we primed
  4. Then we used Scotch® Blue Tape to create clean lines against the ribbon of the staircase.
  5. Then we painted them with a high gloss white (easier for cleaning and we liked the shiny look!). One tip for even more durability is to get a patio paint. They didn’t have it in the color I wanted so I’m risking it with white. 
  6. Then we moved onto the walls

We loved how this project turned out. And even better, we’re not as embarrassed to invite visitors into our studio, ha!

This post is sponsored by Scotch® Painter’s Tape though all opinions are my own.

Where to Hang Art – 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Spot(s)

The Secret to Hanging Art

…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.

a chaunte vaughn photo hanging against a textured green wall above a lamp by a headboard.

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. 

Interior shot of a green nursery. In the foreground is a white rocking chair with a few toys on it. In the background is a wooden dresser.on it and in the background is a wooden dresser.

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. 

Openness is Essential To Creativity print by Lisa Congdon among plants and booksIris Apfel print by Rosie Harbottle against a sage wall surrounded by stationary and paper plants.

Get Creative

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. 

a photo by chaunte vaughn in a bookshelf surrounded by colorful books.

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!!

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

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. 

Kid’s Toys: Lars Shop Highlight

What is Eeboo?

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?

kid's toys

kid's toys

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.

kid's toys

Screen-free

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.

Commissioned illustrators

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.

kid's toyskid's toys

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.

kid's toys

If you haven’t caught on by now, I am in love with these kid’s toys and can’t wait for Jasper (and eventually Felix) to start playing with them! Click here to get to our whole Eeboo shop collection. If you also fell in love while reading this, you’ll probably also love these other favorites: Kid’s art kit, Op art paper mobile, Thanksgiving coloring placemats, and quilted dog book plate.

Laundry Room Makeover with Delta Faucet

Laundry Room Makeover

There were a lot of details to work out for our laundry room makeover with regards to storage and organization. It was the one room in the house that actually had flooring when we moved in. While it wasn’t my favorite flooring–it is some sort of dark LVP–we decided to keep it in rather than put in the hardwood flooring like the rest of the house because I knew I’d want to do something fun to it at some point so I’d want to remove it some day. While we didn’t change it for this makeover, I thought it would help to provide a visual picture of where we started.

Here’s what it looked like before:

For this phase of the renovation, I wanted a laundry room makeover that wouldn’t cost a lot of money, that could be the destination for the sink from our kitchen that we’re currently renovating (more on that soon!). Basically, I want the space to be a beautiful work horse. Moving the sink into the laundry room, we’ve already changed how we use these two rooms. Anything that is remotely dirty goes into the laundry and not the kitchen (think all things kid-related).  

We didn’t have a basin or faucet in the laundry room before, but again, thinking of transferring all potentially dirty tasks here, I wanted something that would hold up well. That’s where Delta Faucet came into the picture.

Delta Faucet Touch2O® Technology Faucet

If you recall, I was thrilled when I discovered Delta Faucet’s Touch2O® Technology Faucet back when we first moved in (you can read about it here). If you haven’t heard of this technology, allow me the pleasure. Instead of having to reach for the faucet handle with wet and/or messy hands, all you have to do is touch the faucet. It’s so cool! Not to mention a dream when dealing with a toddler. No more dealing with slippery hands and handles, all Jasper has to do to turn this faucet on and off is give it a quick touch. And umm, I should mention, too, that Jasper and Felix honestly love just turning it on and off repeatedly.

Oh, and did I mention there’s a kid friendly fail safe feature? If Jasper accidentally leaves the water on, the water will automatically turn off after 4 minutes. And we all know with this Utah heat and dire drought situation, we could all do our part to waste a little less water.

Last thing about this amazing faucet: there’s a light that tells you how hot or cold the water is! Again, a dream when dealing with tiny baby and toddler hands. This is perhaps my favorite feature.

Delta Faucet Glass Rinser

The next thing I’m absolutely jazzed about with this laundry room remodel is the Delta Faucet Glass Rinser. What a genius invention! Just stick the glass on top of it and a jet of water shoots out and cleans it instantly. It makes cleaning glasses, baby bottles, thermoses, and anything else that’s tough to get into with a brush easier. It turns out kids are creative and Jasper fills bottles and jars with all kinds of mystery substances, so I am loving this glass rinser.

What I changed to my laundry room

So, I had the sink, the faucet, and the glass rinser already and thankfully it fit snuggly into the corner of the laundry room. The yellow color happened to work beautifully with a new wallpaper I made for another project that I happened to have extras of. Basically, I wanted this antique Portuguese tile but it was going to cost more than our car so we turned it into a wallpaper (see here!) and boom. I LOVE how it turned out! And now we have some cabinets for storage–win/win! I love being able to reuse stuff from around the house.

The Takeaway

I’m almost done gushing over our new laundry room makeover with Delta Faucet. Guys, it’s a dream for anyone, but especially anyone with kids! I love how they help create a space to play that can easily be cleaned, as a bonus. Needless to say, I’m in love with our new laundry room (as if you couldn’t tell already). Now please, go get yourself one of those amazing Delta Faucet Touch2O® Technology Faucets and a Glass Rinser while you’re at it.

More Inspiration

Looking for more home renovation content? Here’s everything we did to our house in one year, and an exclusive studio tour. You also won’t want to miss our guest bedroom remodel, bathroom remodel, and new closet system. Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out my craft room in the living by design virtual showhouse! Looking to decorate your home? Stop by our shop and see what suits your fancy!

This post is sponsored by Delta Faucet but all opinions are my own.

Punch Needle Wall Art

Punch Needle Art

We’ve been wanting to do a punch needle project for a while now. Then, when our project manager, Jenny, started here at Lars last winter, it was as if the stars had aligned. She has a side tufting business and it inspired us to finally try it out! (You can check out her business, Thread Haven, here–it’s honestly incredible). Jenny has a fancy tufting gun, which was a little advanced for us, so we decided to go with the more beginner-friendly, handheld version: a punch needle.

Punch needling is surprisingly easy, once you get all the right supplies! The way ours turned out was so amazing. Jenny helped demystify punch needling for us and made the most adorable punch needle wall art featuring our retro floral motif. It’s the perfect addition to any wall, and will help to make your dorm (or wherever you live, not limited to dorms!) that much more cozy. 

Make Your Own Punch Needle Wall Art

Here’s all you need to know make your own punch needle wall art:

Supplies

Let me explain the supplies, so you know exactly what you’re getting into:

  1. Punch needle. This is a must. You can’t punch needle without it! The problem is, there are lots to choose from, and many are far from satisfactory. We did the research and found one here that’s good quality and does the job well. (we went with a #9 regular, ⅜” loop).
  2. Yarn. Go with a more bulky yarn and the end result will be fluffy and lovely! We got ours at Michael’s. Colors: yellow, red/orange, and a blue/green. (or whatever colors you want).
  3. Punch needle loom. You need fabric that has the right weave, as well as something to hold it taut. The perfect solution is this punch needle loom, so you don’t have to manually staple the fabric to anything. We went with the smallest size, but you can do any size you choose.
  4. Retro floral template. If you want to make yours look like ours, the easiest way is with this simple template! All you have to do is download and cut out on a Cricut Maker or with scissors and you’re set.

There you have it! That’s all you need!

Instructions

  1. First, use the template to trace your design onto the back side of your punch needle loom. See our photos for reference.
  2. Now start with the flower center. Take the color of yarn you want to use for the center and thread it through the punch needle (for help threading the needle, see this helpful video).
  3. After your needle is threaded, you’re ready to start punch needling! For this, start at the perimeter of the center. Poke the tip of the needle all the way down so the metal part is hidden and the fabric touches the wooden part of the punch needle.
  4. Now, pull the needle back out, move over a ¼ of an inch along the center’s perimeter and poke the needle back down all the way, as you did before. 
  5. Continue this process until the center of the flower is full.
  6. When the center is full and you’re ready to move on to the next color, clip the excess yarn so there’s an inch or two of excess. Now, with the punch needle, poke that little tail back through the same hole so it pokes out in the front. Clip it down to about ¼” so it’s hidden amongst the loops. 
  7. Now repeat steps 3-6 for the second and third colors. Note: when starting a new color, leave about a ¼” of space between the colors. If you start too close to the other colors, you could unravel the yarn. Don’t worry, the gap will be hidden on the front side of your project. 
  8. Done!

Styling Your Punch Needle Wall Art

The thing I love most about punch needling is that it is incredibly versatile. We chose to make our punch needle project into wall art, by leaving it on the loom and hanging it on a simple pin, screw, or hook. But you actually have a lot of options! Once you’re done with the punch needling, you can remove it from the loom, finish the edges with a simple slip stitch and hang it loose, without the loom, too. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your art into a rug, throw pillow, or something else entirely! There are so many options. 

We can’t wait to see what you make! Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Need more dorm inspiration? Try this Lars girl’s back to school guide, as well as this and this dorm room makeover. Also try this simple DIY pencil case and fanny pack for your on the go needs!