Guide to Spring City, Utah


Guide to Spring City, Utah

A few years ago I was invited to go down to Spring City with some friends to celebrate Pioneer Day, a state holiday here in Utah. We were guided around the town by Spring City native, Zina Bennion, whose family settled there in the 70s and helped turn it into the artist destination that it is today. Zina is a wealth of knowledge about many things but especially about Utah history and artists as both of her parents are well-respected artists and she grew up immersed in that community. Zina is sharing her guide to her hometown with us.

Before we start, you might be wondering why you even need to know about this little town in Nowheresville, Utah. I would have wondered the same thing before visiting. First off, this place is a little piece of magic. Second, only two complete towns in the US are listed on the National History Registry–Spring City and Williamsburg, Virgiina. Additionally, Forbes listed it as one of the top prettiest towns in America. Who would have thought?!

So, without further ado, here’s Zina!

History of Spring City, Utah

Spring City is located in almost the geographic center of Utah (the actual center is further south between Manti and Ephriam) in beautiful Sanpete County. It is known as a historic treasure with the entire town is on the National Historic Registry as the best example of a Mormon Pioneer village. In the past 40 years it has become an inspiration and home for many artists and arts enthusiasts and in 2010 Forbes listed it as one of the top prettiest towns in America!

Spring City was founded in 1852 by Englishman James Allred under the direction of Brigham Young. The early inhabitants of the town were predominantly English and Danish, (and for a long time there was a healthy rivalry between the two groups) who brought with them the architectural styles of their homelands which they adapted to the materials of the area. Many homes, and the chapel are built from gorgeous creamy off white Oolite limestone (the same stone the Manti temple is built from) quarried from nearby hills.

At one point the town boasted a theater, several stores and gas stations, but after WWII the population gradually declined and by the mid 1970’s it was officially deemed a ghost town. However, slowly people started to rediscover this hidden gem and lovingly restore the historic homes and bringing to life the town’s original charm.

Spring City is located off of Highway 89 between Mt. Pleasant and Ephriam. It is about a two hour drive from Salt Lake City, and an hour or so from Provo. It makes for a perfect day trip or weekend getaway and feels like stepping back in time with the vivid history and slower pace of life. Here is

Events in Spring City

Spring City has a number of organized events each year that are a great way to experience the town.

  • Heritage Days: Probably the very best way to see Spring City is to attend the annual Heritage Days celebration that takes place every year over Memorial Day weekend. If you enjoy peeking in other people’s homes (who doesn’t!) this day is your jam. Each year dozens of gorgeous historic homes are open for you to tour, talk to the owner, and peek to your hearts content.
    • In addition there is a silent auction called Art Squared where artists like Brian Kershisnik, Lee Udall Bennion, Doug Fryer, and more paint a 24” x 24” panels which go up for silent auction. At the Spring City Old School there is a KILLER antique sale, there is a Sanpete style turkey BBQ for lunch, wagon rides, and pottery and artisan sale, and more!
  • Artist’s Studio tour and Plein Air painting competition:  Art lovers! This event is for you! Every Labor Day Weekend artists from all over the state come to compete in a Plein Air painting competition for two days (September 2 – 4th) which culminates in a winner and a show where you can buy the paintings (September 5th). In addition on September 5th many of the artists who live and work in Spring City will have their studios and galleries open for you to tour (again, who doesn’t love to peek in someone else’s space!?).
  • Concerts at the Spring City Arts Center: Spring City Arts is a community group that is dedicated to promoting artists, and the arts in the Sanpete County community. They run a cooperative gallery where you can stop by anytime to see (and purchase!) art. In addition they help host classes and events. You can keep track of upcoming events here.
  • Life Under the Horseshoe Live Radio Show: Move over Serial . . . the next big thing in radio is Spring City’s very own live radio show Life Under the Horseshoe. Every episode is written, directed, and acted by town locals, and performed live in the historic Victory Hall on Main Street. Live shows usually run early April through mid-July.
  • Bluegrass Festival: Every summer all the fiddles, mandolins, guitars and banjos make their way to Spring City for a few days of good tunes, good, people and lots of laughs. If Bluegrass is your thing, you won’t want to miss this.
  • 24th of July Pioneer Day Celebration: The 24th of July is a state holiday in Utah commemorating the arrival of the first Mormon Pioneers in the Salt Lake valley. While Salt Lake hosts a huge parade and events, it’s Spring City’s celebration that is really worth attending. The parade is filled with local talent, tons of salt water taffy being thrown, and is just the right length. There are BBQ’s, Pioneer games, softball tournaments, fireworks and more. It’s pretty much the best day ever. The end.

Self Guided Trip in Spring City

  • Historic Homes: Even if you can’t go inside, just driving (or walking or riding bikes) around town and looking at the old homes is so fun. Here is a pretty comprehensive guide to many of the old homes and the history of each home. Make sure you click the “older posts” link at the bottom to get to all the pages with old homes on them.
  • You might also want to stop by one of the local shops like Horseshoe Mountain Pottery (it’s never locked) or the gas station to pick up a copy of the book Spring City Guide to Architecture and History which includes a detailed tour of all historic buildings, their history, architectural notes, and color photos. Proceeds go to benefit ongoing preservations projects by the Friends of Historic Spring City.
  • Or, you can schedule a tour of Spring City with local historian and Spring City expert Kaye Watson by calling her at 435-462-2211.
  • Landmarks:
    • Historic Chapel: The crowning jewel of historic Spring City is the gorgeous LDS chapel in the heart of the town. Built out of the iconic Oolite limestone between 1902 – 1911 this building has always been the center of both religious and community gathering for the people of Spring City.
      • In the 1970’s the chapel was slated to be torn down and replaced with a more modern meeting house (c’mon 70’s??? Why so many bad architectural choices?) but the residents of the town fought hard to preserve this building their ancestors sacrificed to built. Eventually it went all the way to the President of the LDS church to gain clearance to instead make a historically compatible addition to provide a gymnasium as a part of the church. Today this lovely building is considered one of the top 15 most important historic buildings of the LDS church.  

spring-city-utah-historic-chapel dsc_0546_adjboth of above photos are from


Photo from

    • Pioneer Cemetery: 240 N 100 E The pioneers of Spring City established a cemetery at this location in 1857. It is in the shape of the State of Utah. Many of the markers are made of local sandstone, and the elements have washed away some of the names and dates.
      • This cemetery was nearly covered with wooden markers, mostly children’s graves. Some graves were marked with only a square stone at the head and a smaller one at the foot, and still others with a pile of rocks. The last person buried here was Isaac Morton Behunin in 1910. PS see if you can find the grave of  Lars Alexander Justesen!
    • Old School: One of the most iconic and gorgeous buildings in Spring City is the old school. Built in 1899 this stately school was used through the mid 1900’s until a newer school was built right next to it (which has itself been replaced by a newer school and now houses the city offices).
      • In 1977 the old school was deeded to the local chapter of Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP) for $1.00 and ever since then a very long slow restoration project has been eeking along. In recent years great progress has been made and they are in their final push to raise the money they need to fully restore this beauty as a thriving community center. (You can help! Go here!) Here is a full timeline of this labor of love.
    • spring-city-school

photo from here 

  • Art:

    • Spring City Arts Gallery: Main street, the block before the chapel on the east side of the street in the old Strate’s Garage building. This co-op run gallery features artwork from members of the Spring City Arts organization and is run by the artists. Summer hours are Wed – Saturday Noon – 5:00 pm
    • Black Sheep Gallery: Main Street, across the street to the north of the gas station. Home and studio of Lynn Farrar aka Sophie Soprano. Lynne’s work ranges from landscapes to portraits of animals, while her alter ego Sophie paints whimsical imaginings of rural Spring City life.  
    • Horseshoe Mountain Pottery: Main Street, a block past the chapel on the west side of the street. World renown pottery (and my dad!) Joe Bennion has shown is work and taught in places like Japan, Latvia, LA, and beyond, but made the intentional decision to sell primarily from his home studio in Spring City.
      • He practices an open door policy and never locks the shop, trusting customers to pay for what they take and leave the money in a lock box in the gate that separate the showroom from his studio. If you’re lucky you’ll catch him there working, but if not just check at Das Cafe or call the number he leaves to have him come down and give you a tour. Also, bonus, all pottery is ½ off the marked priced any time you shop directly from the shop.Horseshoe Mountain Pottery

Photo from here

    • Jock Jones Windsor Chairs: Main street, directly across the street from the historic chapel. Jock Jones is a master chair builder who hand crafts some of the finest (and most comfortable!) wooden chairs and tables in America. You won’t want to miss seeing his amazing studio and meeting this living legend.
  • Eats:
    • Spring City Spring: Spring City is not named after the delightful season, but actually has delicious, cool fresh spring water- or as my family calls it ‘Spring City White Wine’. The spring bubbles up in the center of town through a historic marker located at the one gas station. Stop and get a drink and fill up your water bottles, maybe also bring huge jugs to fill up and take home with you. It’s the best water in the world.
    • Das Cafe: If you go to Spring City and miss eating as Das Cafe you have basically failed. JK JK, but really you DO NOT want to miss eating the delicious German home cooking by the beautiful Schroeder sisters and their family who run this darling and delicious place. For breakfast you can’t go wrong with Opa’s Omelette, or their amazing oatmeal (with ALL the works), or if you are really hungry the Big Max will feed you for days.
      • Lunch is all delicious (I’m partial to the Kraut Burger and the Reuben) but if they are doing their Goulash for a special do not miss it! Be forewarned they are closed Sunday and Monday and are only open till 3:00 pm.
    • Zona Barrio Grill: Guys, I’ll be honest. I haven’t eaten here yet! But I have heard RAVE reviews. It’s fresh, elevated Mexican and is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Sleeps: If you want to make a weekend getaway of your trip to Spring City you are in luck! There are several darling B&B’s so you can stay in one of these historic cuties and live out your fantasy of being a Spring City Pioneer.

Nearby Spring City

While Spring City is really the best town in the county, the rest of Sanpete County is pretty darling and fun to explore as well. Here are just a few of my favorite hidden gems you won’t want to miss:


  • Fairview Museum: This place is so so awesome if you love small town museums. There are two buildings, one houses a full scale mammoth skeleton that is a copy of an actual full mammoth skeleton that was found in the mountains above Fairview. There is also an amazing little art collection, and collection of local Native American artifacts and a little gift shop that has antiques at screaming low prices.
    • The other building houses any and all interesting artifacts from the city of Fairview’s history including a tree that grew through a sewing machine, old farm tools, an entire room dedicated to dioramas made by a local man, and much more.
  • Corner Station: The Corner Station on Main Street in Fairview is a darling shop filled with gifts, decorations, and children’s toys – all with a vintage feeling. This is my go to shop for children’s gifts and vintage style decor.

Mt. Pleasant

  • Nevan’s Thrift Store: Nevan’s Thrift Store is a total treasure trove. You have to dig, but one room is filled with consignment items and I’ve scored some amazing antiques there for great prices. It’s totally worth a stop, but be warned they are closed Mondays.
  • Wasatch Academy: Founded in 1875, Wasatch Academy is the second oldest educational institution in the state of Utah, and hardly anyone knows about it! This hidden treasure is an amazing college prep boarding school that boasts students from all over the United States and globe (last I checked 50 countries and 28 states!). It’s a beautiful campus to drive around, and if you are interested in a tour just set up a campus visit ahead of time.
  • The Basin Drive – In: Guys, there is nothing better than a drive-in movie. Oh wait. There is. Eating a cheeseburger at a drive in movie. The Basin is one of the few remaining drive-in theaters in Utah and it is the best. And really, their cheeseburgers are the best in the world. They usually open in May and close sometime in October. Be sure to check ahead for the schedule and what’s playing.

Getting to Spring City

If you are heading south on I-15 from Salt Lake or Utah County, I strongly recommend taking the exit for Highway 6 and heading east. You will drive through Spanish Fork Canyon, and then watch for signs for Highway 89. Head south on 89, and you will drive through a lovely winding canyon, and then descend into the Sanpete valley with gorgeous views of the mountains. You will hit Fairview first, and then Mt. Pleasant. At the south end of Mt. Pleasant watch for a brown sign (just after the Hardware Store) on your left that says Spring City Historic District. Take that left and it will lead you right into town.

You can also take I-15 south to Nephi and then catch UT 132 which will take you through Nephi canyon. You will hit Fountain Green First, and then Moroni and then Mt. Pleasant where you will head south on 89 and they look for the turn off for Spring City on your left. But really, this way is just not as pretty. Don’t do it.

About Zina Bennion

Zina Bennion is the Director of Business and Marketing for Mom’s Stuff Salve, a small business she runs with her mom, Lee Udall Bennion. Lee started making this hand-crafted salve for her family 20 years ago and it has slowly grown into a successful business helping people all over the world heal dry, cracked hands and feet, eczema and many other skin issues. A year ago Zina came on to handles all of the marketing, sales, shipping, website design, and business aspects of the company.

Zina, in addition to having an idyllic childhood in Spring City, holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College with an emphasis in literature and visual arts; a MS from Brigham Young University in Youth and Family Recreation, and has worked extensively in outdoor education and libraries. She is passionate about Mom’s Stuff, hiking, art, cooking, travel, her husband and cats, reading and creative collaboration with friends.

Handmade gift ideas for Mother’s Day

Handmade Gift Ideas to give for Mother’s Day

Personally, I love the idea of receiving a handmade gift from my child–it’s a great way to mark their skills as they get older too! Here are some great handmade gift ideas for Mother’s Day.

  1. Handmade Cards

A handmade card is a classic gift that never gets old. Making a card yourself allows you to express your creativity and personalize the card to your mom’s liking. You can use various materials such as construction paper, glitter, markers, and stickers to create a beautiful card. You can also add a heartfelt message or quote to express your love and gratitude.

We have a variety of printable Mother’s Day cards as well as printable cards that are perfect for adding in a gift card. Our printable Mother’s Day collection, above, can be found here. Our printable gift card can be found here.

Mother's Day Gift Card HolderMother's Day gift card

And this gift card one can be found here.

  1. DIY Jewelry

If your mom loves jewelry, a handmade piece would be an excellent gift idea. You can make a necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings using beads, wire, and other materials. You can also customize the jewelry by incorporating her favorite colors or birthstone.

Brittany is wearing a white blouse and a rainbow colored clay necklace. She's standing against a green wall.

This DIY handmade clay bead necklace is an easy one for all ages and looks great too!

Or try this DIY knot necklace. You can make it in any color too!

  1. Printable Coloring pages for Mother’s Day

We have the cutest Mother’s Day Activity Pack to give as a gift. It includes a coloring page, certificate, prize ribbon, build-a-bouquet, and a few other fun fill outs. You can see more about it here.

As well as this beautiful Mother’s Day Coloring page here.

Mother's Day coloring page

  1. Personalized Photo Album

A personalized photo album is a great gift to give your mom to showcase your special moments together. You can select your favorite pictures and arrange them in a scrapbook. You can also add captions or decorations to make it more personal. We did this collaboration with Mixbook for a wedding book, but it could be customized to any holiday and the flowers would be so so beautiful for Mother’s Day!

  1. DIY Candles

Candles are a popular gift idea, and making them yourself would make them more special. You can make candles using natural ingredients such as beeswax, essential oils, and dried flowers. You can also choose a scent that your mom would love and personalize the candle’s label.

We made these DIY twisted candles, which are a fun twist, pun intended, for a gift.

  1. Handmade paper flower

Flowers always remind me of mother. We love a good paper flower around here and there are so many to choose from.

Paper flower hydrangeas

These paper flower hydrangeas are so stunning. Can you guess what they are made from? So clever!

Paper hydrangeas in a white vase against a floral orange background

Paper flower foxgloves

These paper flower foxgloves are my favorite. And I love the colors too! Put them in a stunning pot to keep them forever!

Paper flower peony

You can never go wrong with a peony. They are so lush and beautiful–they’re everyone’s favorites! Here’s how to make a paper flower peony.

We have a lot more paper flower options. Try here for more!

  1. Pillows of you children

These small pillows were inspired by our family heirloom photo ornaments and I love them in a slightly bigger shape. My kids love having them too! Here’s how to make the photo heirloom dolls.

Two embroidered plush dolls on a blue background surrounded by colorful toys

  1. Embroidered brooch

If your mom loves sweets, homemade cookies would be a great gift. You can make cookies using your mom’s favorite recipe or try something new. You can also package the cookies in a personalized container or wrap them in a decorative ribbon.

Brittany is sporting her embroidered floral brooch and holding baby Felix.

  1. DIY apron

If your mom loves to keep her home smelling fresh, DIY potpourri would be a great gift idea. You can make potpourri using dried flowers, herbs, and essential oils. You can also customize the scent to your mom’s liking and package it in a personalized container.

  1. Handmade Pillow Cover

If your mom loves to decorate her home, a handmade pillow cover would be a great gift idea. You can use fabric and sewing supplies to create a unique design. You can also customize the pillow cover by adding a personalized message or quote.

This DIY bias tape pillow cover is a very cute one to try.

DIY weaving bia tape pillow Creative hobbies to try when you are feeling uninspired

Or turn a scarf into a pillow case! Here’s how!

Or try a pillow in a fun shape like our flower shaped pillow!

Handmade gifts are a great way to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her on Mother’s Day. These gifts are personal, sentimental, and can be tailored to your mom’s preferences. Feel free to nonchalantly forward this post on to someone who might benefit from seeing it ;). Ha!

Easter Crafts

Our Favorite Easter Crafts

We have so many Easter crafts that we’re just thrilled to share with you this year. Many of them are brand new, too! Need a new Easter Basket? We’re here for you. How about a fresh spring wreath? We’ve also got you covered in that department. Without further ado, here’s the list of our favorite Easter crafts!


I love a good wreath. And spring wreaths are some of my favorites! They’re a must have when talking about Easter crafts. This year we have a brand new Palm Leaf Wreath you’re sure to love. It’s delicate, colorful, and festive. Just the thing to celebrate Palm Sunday, Easter and spring all in one go! If you’re feeling more into eggs, try our ever popular Easter egg wreath, or this sweet Honeycomb Easter wreath. Both are lovely and sure to put a little spring in your step. Also, you can’t go wrong with a simple floral theme. This Daffodil Wreath is very appropriate for the season, as is this Lemon Wreath!

A floral Easter wreath hanging on a pink wall next to a white door. A wooden mushroom is also on the porch.

Easter Baskets

You can’t have Easter crafts without Easter baskets! And we have a brand new one for you to try this year. It’s our DIY Easter Basket, and the best part is that it doesn’t require any sewing. Another clever no-sew Easter basket is this Paper Easter basket. Just download, print, cut and assemble, it’s that easy! If you want to sew an adorable bag that doubles as an Easter basket and will be around for years to come, try this carrot shoulder bag! The bonus is it packs up easily and is equally cute.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to fill your basket with, look no further than this Easter Basket choose your own adventure. We help guide you through the steps to picking your perfect Easter basket, along with everything to put inside it, like this Paper carrot treat box, carrot surprise balls, or this DIY stuffed bunny. You can also make some of these Danish Easter letters to tuck inside.

Easter Egg ideas

As it so happens, we have a lot of Easter crafts that have to do with eggs. Are you really that surprised? I mean, what’s Easter without at least one little nod to an egg or two. Just yesterday, we release the most lovely nesting Easter eggs! We love the little twist on original nesting dolls. Also try these Easter egg columns, which are a lovely way to decorate your home this Easter. Don’t forget about these Honeycomb Easter eggs, either! Make them into a wreath or decorate with the individual eggs. Either way they’re lovely!

Another fun variation on decorating Easter eggs are these dried flowers on Easter eggs, as well as our Pysanky Easter eggs (here’s the E-book of the Pysanky eggs, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort). If you’re into more decorating, try our DIY pom pom Easter eggs! Or if you’re having a party, you’ll definitely want to take a look at our Easter egg name tags, Easter egg cupcake toppers, and Easter egg runner.

Felted Easter Eggs

New this year is a tutorial from Jessica Peterson all about felted Easter eggs. They’re a new classic! All the supplies are listed here

For Kids

If you have kids, you’ll love these Easter-themed toys, accessories, and activities. First stop: these fun bunny party hats. Having a new baby this spring? You won’t want to miss these adorable DIY Baby bonnets! Or these Easter bunny twist ties.

Need a craft to do with your kids to keep them busy and happy? You’ll love these Easter Egg coloring pages, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort. Then there’s our DIY stuffed bunny, which is a sweet little Easter toy. Plop it in your child’s Easter basket and you’re all set!


Easter printables

A great way to get crafty is with some printables, and we’ve got some great ones!

These Easter egg coloring pages featuring pysanky are great for older kids.

Along with our chick and bunny paper dolls and matching color pages.

Paper crowns

One thing is for sure, if I had a little girl, I’d be making a paper crown floral crown.

And we’ve got a few to choose from! These pretty blue, red, pink, and white flower crowns.

This printable spring crown.A printable flower crown in purple, yellow, pink, white red, and blue being held up by two hands.

And another handmade paper flower crown perfect for spring.

Easter paper flowers

While we’re on the topic of paper flowers, these Easter lilies are a favorite of mine. I think I’m going to try and make them again this year.

Easter Egg Column People

A new favorite of mine are these adorable Easter column people. I think they’d make a great tablescape!

painted Easter egg columns perched on colorful books against a yellow and pink background.


My Life in Color: Seeing my daughter in all her many colors


My life in color: Seeing my daughter in all her colors

My daughter Kiara was born on July 4th, 2019. And she emerged in shades of red, white and blue.

There were actually myriad shades that covered Kiara’s lanky 8 pound body. Her long, skinny legs had a splattering of dark red spots – or port wine stains as we learned they were called within a few minutes after her birth. A wide streak of blue that was somehow both dark yet transparent at the same time – or a Mongolian birthmark – stretched from the top of her neck across her left chest. Her back had the same color markings.

And perhaps most strikingly, the entire left side of her beautiful round face – from the top of her forehead to the bottom of her cheek – was a shade of deep purple that was fading to dark red before our very eyes.

Aside from her brilliant colors, everything else about holding Kiara was comfortingly familiar from the birth of my older daughter Alina. The squinting eyes that were in total shock from the harsh hospital lights. The classic newborn baby wail that serves as that paradoxical sound of relief for all parties in the delivery room. And of course, the way that she instinctively clung to and remained on my chest in the moments after she was born.

The time Kiara spent on my chest didn’t last long. Within minutes, she was laid bare on an examination table next to me and my husband. I remember looking at her, knowing deep in my heart that she was perfect and healthy, and being more concerned that she just looked so cold.

Pediatricians, obstetricians and various specialists came in and out of the room offering a range of sentiments – from inconclusive diagnoses to confirmations that Kiara’s vitals were all normal. Some of these doctors were friends and colleagues offering their concerned congratulations, as my husband was a gynecological oncologist at the same hospital where Kiara was born.

While we left the hospital the next day with many details regarding Kiara’s condition being unknown, we did know that Kiara had a vascular malformation syndrome undetected by prenatal testing or ultrasound. We heard preliminary diagnoses of Sturge Weber Syndrome given the large port wine stain on her face. Kiara’s vascular malformations affected her capillaries specifically. In addition to being greater in number, her capillaries also didn’t seal or coalesce as they normally should.

So while for most of us, the palette of colors that exists under our skin remains hidden, covered by a single monochromatic sheet of skin, Kiara’s are visible. They all rise to the surface. And just as I remember her on that examination table in the delivery room of Mt. Sinai Hospital, all her colors are laid bare for all to see.


Recent studies have shown that color is disappearing from our world. A research group that uses machine learning to track the prevalence of color in common materials and items showed how the percentage of pixels in a range of 7,000 common items has been literally decreasing year over year since the 1800s, with the most drastic decline taking place in the past 20 years. We recently followed our own decorator’s advice to have the living room in our Manhattan apartment painted a deep gray with white trim. Monochrome holds an inherent association with perfection. Clean, minimalistic and single-tone design are both the style of choice and the aspiration.

And to help Kiara get closer to this ideal, she started her weekly laser skin treatments when she was just 10 days old. We’ve dubbed these as “necessary torture sessions,” during which the incredible laser skin surgeons who have become Kiara’s allies and advocates place tiny metal shields in her eyes to protect her from the laser’s scorching lights. Nurses then hold her down as the doctor proceeds to zap the affected areas across her body to temporarily seal her excess and visible capillaries, thereby making her port wine stains less visible.

When Kiara was six months old, it was confirmed that her superficial vascular malformations and the cosmetic implications may actually be the least of our medical concerns. Her pediatric ophthalmologist confirmed that the capillaries around her eyes were causing increased pressure, and there was a meaningful risk that this pressure would ultimately damage the optic nerve. She had glaucoma, which after her extensive port wine stains were the second indicator of Sturge Weber Syndrome. We were told to prepare for the third and final marker of Sturge Weber, which is brain involvement.

“Brain involvement.” It was a phrase that I found both so vacuous and so clearly severe at the same time. In terms as stark as the phrase sounds, “brain involvement” meant that the vascular malformations would cause lesions on the brain which would in turn cause seizures and developmental disabilities. We were told that a seizure could start at any moment, and that we should keep anti-seizure medication in our diaper bag and in close proximity to Kiara at all times. Seemingly overnight, each of the innocuous nighttime movements that most parents associate with deep sleep became frightful.

Kiara is now three and a half years old, and she is truly our miracle – the rarest of the rare. An MRI at one year of age confirmed that Kiara does not have lesions on the brain. It does appear that she has increased blood flow to her left side of the brain, which doctors suspect is simply due to increased capillary formation. And we suspect that this beautiful internal asymmetry is what has contributed to her ability to learn to play Twinkle Twinkle on the piano by ear, harmonizing with both hands, before her second birthday. We also like to think it’s also enabled her to focus on a game of chess with her father at the age of three. Not to mention her ability to pick up riding a two wheeler at the age of 2 or skiing down a mountain without any assistance at age 3.

Today, Kiara continues to receive laser treatments across her body. While these repeated zapping sessions have certainly faded the colors across her body, they still remain. To treat her glaucoma, Kiara has had one surgery, takes four eye drops a day, and also wears adorable round pink goggle glasses. Her signature glasses have taken on a dual role of both helping her see of course, and also creating a camouflage effect. Her pink left cheek and her pink glasses reflect off each other, and there is a literal “rose-tinted glasses” effect in which her entire face has a gorgeous rosy hue.

It’s when Kiara takes her glasses off that the stares and questions from other children are most likely to arise. The questions always come from a place of curiosity, and that curiosity is entirely to be expected. From a young age, we are taught that colors help us categorize. Red means hot. Blue means cold. Green means go. So I know that when children look at Kiara and see various colors, they’re bound to be curious. They’re bound to ask questions. And it’s our opportunity to reveal to them that the world isn’t always monochromatic. Sometimes in fact, it’s more interesting than that.


As Kiara approaches four, she has yet to ask us about the palette of colors across her body. And while I know and am prepared for that day to soon come, I am also beyond grateful that it hasn’t come yet. I’ll never forget the day Kiara was sitting at our kitchen table, thoroughly enjoying an extremely gooey – and extremely messy – chocolate chip cookie.  After she savored the delicacy, and got chocolate all over her face in the process, we made our way to her bathroom to clean her face.

Stepping up on her stool, Kiara looked in the mirror and screamed, “What is that!?” My heart sunk as I was somehow illogically convinced the moment had come where she would ask about her beautiful birthmark. Rather she exclaimed, “My face is brown and black everywhere!” I had just watched her smother her face in chocolate for the past 15 minutes. But she apparently was enjoying the treat too much to realize its messy side effects. After gently wiping the chocolate remnants from across her cheeks and mouth, she calmly looked at herself in the mirror and simply said, “That’s better.” It was only the chocolate that was the abnormality. Everything else was good. Everything else was Kiara.

As we continue to witness the loss of color from our world, I live in immense gratitude for all the colors and experiences that Kiara has shared with us. As I watched her take her first steps the day after her first eye surgery, or bounce back within minutes from her laser sessions, I see how she has taught us that we’re all actually born resilient and strong. And that fear is actually something we pick up along the way.

Thanks to my husband’s intrepid spirit and leadership in the medical community, she has leapfrogged the field of Sturge Weber research by years. Her story and unique case is prompting more research and trials happening today that would not have happened had she not been born.

Through her amazing group of friends, she has confirmed our belief that children are inherently loving and accepting – and that while colors certainly prompt curiosity, children are born to see beyond it.

And through her incredible big sister Alina, she has shown us what true love and being a soul sister really mean.

As I look around our new gray and white modern sleek living room, I realize that when life is monochrome, life is certainly clean. Maybe it’s even ostensibly perfect. But when life is complicated, as it became in the delivery room on July 4th, 2019, well, that’s when life is colorful.


Benita Singh lives in Manhattan with her husband Nimesh and daughters Alina and Kiara. When she’s not spending time with her family, she advises, mentors and serves as a communications consultant for impact-driven start-ups and non-profits. Throughout her career, she’s served as an advocate for the artisan and handcraft sector, from co-founding a non-profit supporting women weavers in Guatemala to launching the first online sustainable textiles sourcing platform.

Thank you, Benita, for your beautiful story. I’m so inspired for your vision and perspective.

If you have a story you’d like to share in this new series, please email with your pitch. Please use the subject line “My life in Color” along with a little paragraph about your idea. I’d love to hear it!

You can read more about this new direction here at Lars here
Are you color scared?
Neutral vs. Default colors

Floral-inspired swimwear with Limericki

Floral-inspired swimsuit with Lime Ricki

When we first discussed a partnership together, the team at Lime Ricki came with a mood board and I knew it would be love from that moment. They wanted a collection inspired by Scandinavian florals–we knew just what to do.

I immediately began thinking about the florals I was inspired by when I lived in Denmark: wild flowers, daisies, meadows. I wanted to bring them together in celebratory prints in colors that reminded me of my time there.

At the same time, you know we love a good patchwork moment and pairing of prints so we wanted to try that out on swimsuits. We took the shape of the patterns and together with the Lime Ricki team, figured out how to highlight a mix of patterns while also creating a shape that was flattering.

Our 4 patterned floral collection

We created 4 patterns for the collection and each one is named after a famous flower-loving Dane. Let me tell you about them. And let me also include a pronunciation guide because not everyone on the team has wrapped their brain around it yet (ha!).

Margrethe: [Mar-great-uh]

Our sweet daisy print is named after the current Queen of Denmark, Queen Margrethe II. Her name actually means daisy and so this is our ode to her. Also fun fact: Did you know that there is a route in Denmark that is 3600km long and takes you to the most beautiful parts of Denmark? It’s called the Margrethe route and the signs have a big daisy on it!


Blixen is our moody wildflower print and is named after author Karen Blixen, who famously wrote Out of Africa. Every time I go back to Denmark I visit her beautiful home on the east shore of Sjaelland. She was a huge flower lover and kept a gorgeous wild garden that is still maintained today. One of her hobbies was to create impeccable arrangements from these flowers.

Tage: [tay-uh]

I wrote about my love of floral artist and sculptor, Tage Andersen, years ago here on Lars. Think of Claude Monet transplanted in modern times though the wardrobe stays the same. His shop in downtown Copenhagen is other worldly. He also transformed a Swedish country palace into a remarkable farm and home with his handmade sculptors and gardens. Visiting Gunillaberg changed my life. He is a famous floral artist to the queen. We named our gingham after him for his refined eye.

Claus [not like Santa, but like clow-s]:

Claus Dalby is probably Denmark’s most famous gardener. He has a charming youtube channel where he teaches how to recreate his famous tulip container gardens and other marvelous gardening tips. Our yellow oversized floral print is named after him because of his exuberant use of the floral form in his Aarhus gardens.

New suits to the collection

We introduced a couple of new shapes to the collection including a rash guard and a dress that has a suit underneath) as well as this one piece inspired by a patchwork quilt. It’s perfect. In fact, on a personal trip to France for my 40th in September, Jane and I did a quick shoot at the calanques in Provence and our model loved this one the most. She said the fit was perfect. I’ll take it!

Why we partnered with Lime Ricki

There were many reasons why we decided to partner with Lime Ricki aside from our shared love of color and fun. I wanted to name a few incase you’re new to their brand.

The fit

You know when you just want to swim and be active and you don’t want your boobs hanging out? It is seriously so hard! I don’t want it to be a factor! These suits are designed to keep you comfortable and flattering without having to adjust anything all day. There is a suit for every comfort level and every shape. And they don’t skimp out on details–it’s lined where it needs to be lined and cupped where it needs to be cupped.

Speaking of!


There is no right size here–it’s for everyone. They have sizes from XXS to 4X. Period.

All-women owned and run

In honor of International Women’s Day, I’m proud to associate with a fellow all women run company. It’s run by Nicole, Jennifer, and Colette. Their bio is insane (read about them here), but just know that they have traveled the world and know how to do it right! We’ve had a wonderful experience with these kind, smart, compassionate women. I wish you could know them in person–they are the best part of their company!


Lime Ricki is based here in Utah and they have two stores, one here in Provo and the other in Salt Lake. We even get to do their window displays for the launch so please check it out!

They make their suits in Mexico City and in Los Angeles at responsible companies. I love that they do their homework!

Where to find Lime Ricki

Anywhoo, I could go on and on and on, but please know, Lime Ricki is the real deal–everything you could want in a company–thoughtful, responsible, fun, adventurous, looking out for the customer.

I’m worried it might sell out before you get one, so I’d recommend jumping on the train now! Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever!

Here’s where to shop the collection

Pantone color of the year

Pantone color of the year: Viva Magenta!

The Pantone Color Institute announced their color of the year at Art Basel in Miami in December. I had the privilege to attend the reveal at Artechouse and it was a beautiful homage to the vibrant color of the year. In fact, if you’d like to see the reveal for yourself, you can view it here.

Everyone awaited the big reveal as we listened to the Leatrice Eisman’s, head of Pantone, thoughts about the importance of color–something you know I’m fully in support of. Once the color was announced we explored the Artechouse galleries, which celebrated the color. viva magenta

Now, how do I factor into all of this?

Spoonflower x Pantone Color of the Year

A couple of weeks prior to the event we were invited to collaborate with Spoonflower, one of our favorite, long-time partners, to create a pattern inspired by Pantone’s Color of the Year. Even though it was our busiest time of the year and the turnaround was CRAZY tight, I had to say yes. I mean, what choice did I have?! When it comes to color, I say YES!

Here’s the thing, they didn’t tell us what the color was!

Pantone Color of the Year

Keeping Pantone’s Color of the Year on the down low

They gave us color codes to work with, I’m guessing so that it wasn’t easy to track down and figure out if it came into the wrong hands. It was all so covert.

We translated all of the codes into colors and here’s what we had to work with:

In fact, our turnaround was so tight that I was trying to deduce all the colors at stoplights on my way home and it was VERY tricky to do it on a phone let me tell you.

Our assignment was to interpret Pantone’s ethos that speaks to the following:

  • Bravery to break boundaries
  • Fearless optimism
  • An endless new ecosystem emerging in the world
  • Pantone’s pillars this year are Art + Design and Science + Tech

So, of course, we created a pattern inspired by beautiful bold blooms and went to town incorporating their colors.

Here’s a screenshot of some of the combos we were playing around with, again, not knowing which was the actual color.

Viva Magenta

We gave Spoonflower a ton of options to work with and didn’t know exactly what they were going to use them for but they requested on that was large in repeat and one that was smaller and more suitable to dinnerware.

When I arrived at the event in Miami, I couldn’t wait to see how they had used the selected patterns. I had somewhat of a hunch of what it might be, just because Magenta was such a knockout out of bunch, but, of course, I didn’t know for sure.

After Viva Magenta was in fact announced (yay!), they led me up to gallery where they had installed our wallpaper in the color, which you can see behind me here. I hadn’t yet seen it so I was getting the big reveal at this precise moment.

And voila! There she is! Ha!

And, of course, we had to have some fun in front of it!

Spoonflower artists

I was one of 6 artists invited to participate and everyone did such an amazing job! Some had very specific themes to work with, like

Jeanetta Gonzalez, who I met years ago at Alt Summit. Hi Jeanetta!
Elishka Jepson of Robyrider who is a legit rocket scientist by day and pattern designer at night. She created a design inspired by STEM. So amazing.
Cecilia Mok, who is based in Sydney, Australia and wasn’t able to come. We missed you!
Virginia Odeon
Judy Quintero of Shop Cabin

You can read more about the artists here on the Spoonflower blog.

Pantone Color of the Year

And here’s the artists with the Spoonflower team, who I love. They’re all just the best. Truly.

Pantone Color of the Year

Here are everyone’s designs in Viva Magenta through Spoonflower.

Viva magenta wallpaper and more

Here’s our pattern into wallpaper, throw pillows, and more! You can find the full collection here.

pantone color of the year

Thank you to Spoonflower and Pantone for the wonderful opportunity! Consider me your biggest fan!

You can shop our Pantone Color of the Year collection on Spoonflower here.

Photo credits: For the pillow stack image: Alex Craig  |  All event images: Katherine Jones  |  iphone photos by Brittany Jepsen

Alice in Wonderland Family Costumes

Costume Inspiration

For years now, I’ve had my eye on this amazing vintage fabric, illustrated by Charles Voysey. The fabric features beautiful, classic illustrations of Alice in Wonderland characters. The colors and way in which he depicts the characters is stunning, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Then I thought–why not make this stunning fabric into our family costumes?! An excuse for my children to dress up as a walrus and card-wearing rabbit was an opportunity much too good to pass up. That’s how these Alice in Wonderland family costumes were born.

How to Recreate Alice in Wonderland Family Costumes

These costumes aren’t exactly what you’d call “simple” or “quick”. That said, they’re stunning, and so worth the time, if you plan ahead. Here’s how to recreate these Alice in Wonderland family costumes:


I had my heart set on a walrus costume for either Jasper or Felix this year. Jasper’s getting to that age where he’s a bit more opinionated when it comes to costumes, so since Felix didn’t object, we decided the walrus was best for him. Here’s how to make it:


First, I have to give credit to the mastermind behind the paper mache, Carrie. The job she did on that paper mache walrus and rabbit was too much! Here’s what to do for the walrus hat:

  1. The paper mache hat is the most important part of this costume. First, make the cardboard understructure, using our photos as a reference. We used gaff tape to stick the cardboard pieces together because it’s amazingly sticky.
  2. Once the pieces are cut and assembled, you can add a few layers of paper mache. To make paper mache, add one part flour to two parts water, mix, then heat in the microwave or on a stovetop until it thickens just a bit. You don’t want it too thick, just enough so it’s not like water anymore.
  3. Once the paste is made, rip up strips of newsprint, dip into the paste, and apply until your walrus is fully coated. Let dry completely (this can take at least a couple days, so plan ahead)!
  4. When your walrus is fully dry, go ahead and paint in the details and add finishing touches, like fur.
  5. To attach the hat to your child’s head, tie a piece of string to either side of the head and tie around your child’s chin.

Walrus outfit

For our walrus outfit, we went the simple route and bought a walrus jumpsuit so we could focus on that paper mache showstopper hat. We found ours here. We also found some clothing (courtesy of my sister!) that was perfect for it–check out your local thrift shops for options.


We decided to have Jasper be the rabbit, thinking he’d be content with the choice if he got to wear an awesome paper mache hat. Well, content is a relative term–at least we could take the photos before he changed into his spider man costume. Ha! Here’s how to make the rabbit portion of our Alice in Wonderland family costumes:

Rabbit hat

  1. First, cut out and assemble the rabbit understructure, using our photos as a reference.
  2. Next, follow the instructions above to add the paper mache to your rabbit understructure. Tip: we found that, once coated in paper mache, the ears started to sag a bit. To help with that, prop a cardboard box up behind the ears to keep them from falling backwards as they dry. Once dry, they’ll stand up fine with the help of the stiff paper mache.
  3. When the paper mache is dry, paint the rabbit and add any embellishments you’d like. We painted some thin, floral wire black and turned it into whiskers.
  4. To attach the hat to your child’s head, tie a piece of string to either side of the head and tie around your child’s chin.


The easiest option here is to buy a shirt with puff sleeves for our child. We couldn’t find one that would arrive in time, so we DIY’ed a shirt instead.


For the collar, we used crepe paper, string or yarn, an embroidery needle and the same technique as for our vintage clown costumes. Easy!


  1. For the cards, cut eight pieces of cardboard that are each 6 ½” wide and 9 ¾” tall. 
  2. Once they’re cut, paint them all white. We used white house paint and a large brush to speed up this process. We also painted them at the same time as Paul’s cards.
  3. When the paint is dry, use the cricut to cut out the card shapes using the templates. Tape in place on the white paint.
  4. To attach to each other, use ribbon and staples. For attaching the front and back, again, use ribbon and staples.


For the rabbit feet, all you need is some white faux fur. Tear it down to the size of your child’s shoe and safety pin some elastic on to hold it in place.

Brittany’s Outfit

I’m not sure of the official name of Brittany’s character, since we based the costumes off illustrations instead of the book’s official character names. That said, we’ll call her a knight. Mostly we had to make this costume because the outfit was just incredible. Here’s how to recreate it:

Cardboard Skirt/Hat

  1. Using our photos as a reference, cut out and assemble the shapes for the cardboard torso, skirt, and hat pieces.
  2. Now paint them, using our photos as a reference.
  3. Oh, and that makeup?! Have fun with it.


For the pants and tights, we used a mauve pair of sweats, cut off and gathered at the knees, and these golden yellow tights


The next element of Brittany’s outfit was the blouse. We needed to find some great puffy sleeves, which we found here. Then we cut out fabric embellishments and appliquéed them on with a simple zig zag stitch around the edge. See our photos for the shapes we used!


The shoes needed to be vintage-looking, sort of like pilgrim shoes. Brittany happened to own just the pair already!

Paul’s Outfit

Last outfit of our Alice in Wonderland family costumes to complete was Paul’s. His character was a card man wearing an all-blue outfit/hood. This was a simple costume to figure out! Here’s what we did:

Blue Outfit

For the blue outfit, we bought a simple blue sweatsuit with a hood. We found our’s here and here.


  1. To make the cards, cut two large pieces of cardboard. They should be the same size, big enough to cover the torso all the way to the shoulders and down to the knees.
  2. After cutting the cardboard down, paint them both white. We used house paint and a roller to speed up the process. Note: if you’d rather, you can also use white foam core or mat board and skip the painting.
  3. Once the paint is dry, cut out the card template pieces on the cricut with black cardstock and glue or tape in place on top of the white paint.
  4. Last, attach the two pieces of cardboard together using ribbon and staples. We also used gaff tape for extra support.


The last essential element of Paul’s costume were the shoes. Like Brittany, he needed some classic-looking shoes. We ended up using some simple, black ones Paul already had. We’d also recommend checking your local thrift shop–there are often hidden gems there.

And that’s a wrap! What do you think of our Alice in Wonderland costumes?

More Inspiration

Loved these Alice in Wonderland family costumes and want more costume ideas? See these classic Halloween costumes for kids! Also see our vintage clown costumes, Barbiecore costume, wild things costumes and Campbell’s soup cans. Then check out our blog archives for tons more costume ideas. And see this post for tons of last minute Halloween ideas from our shop!

Easy Halloween Ideas From Our Shop

My Ideal Halloween

My ideal Halloween is playfully spooky, crafty, and (above all) easy, and there’s no such thing as too many easy Halloween ideas. If you’re looking for a fun, simple way to celebrate the season without turning your home into a Spirit Halloween storefront, read on for easy Halloween ideas!

Easy Halloween Decorations

This Haunted House makes a perfect Halloween centerpiece and conversation starter. You’ll make it from recycled cardboard boxes, which is a win for Planet Earth, and it’s beautiful enough to come back year after year, which is a win for you! Check out our blog post on it here.

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

Garlands are another classic when it comes to Halloween decor. Try this fun new Halloween garland featuring the Halloween shapes you’ve been missing. If you love the spooky aspect of Halloween, check out this Vampire Teeth Garland. It’s creepy without being too macabre, and oh so easy.

DIY vampire teeth garland

Another slightly spooky and impeccably easy decor idea is this wooden transfer plaque template! I’m all for riding the line between pretty and creepy at Halloween, and these really fit the bill. Find the tutorial here.

wooden cross sections of branches with spiders and bugs transferred onto them hanging from maroon ribbons.

This painted pumpkin face template makes for such a fun, easy DIY! Give your porch some whimsy this Halloween by painting these sweet characters on your pumpkins. Read the tutorial here and get painting!

painted pastel pumpkin faces against a pink background

How many times can you say “pretty paper pumpkin project?” Whatever your answer, you should check out this template for rainbow paper pumpkins, along with this tutorial blog post. These make a beautiful, refined, seasonal table setting, they’ll look great for all of Autumn, not jus Halloween. A Thanksgiving comeback, anyone?

orange, gold, and yellow paper pumpkins on a table setting.

If you’re in a pinch and looking for quick decorations, don’t forget this post about last minute Halloween decor!

Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

There’s something to be said for a super intricate, detailed costume for sure. But even if you don’t have the time and energy to become a perfectly accurate storm trooper, dressing up doesn’t have to be out of your reach. Lots of our costume templates just require some simple clothing, some paper, and a prop or two. No professional costuming degree necessary!

Our Ruth Bader Ginsberg collar is maybe our simplest costume for adults. Just cut it out (a cricut or other cutting machine is helpful here), put it over a dark dress, and pull your hair back. Voilà! You’re ready to advocate for your sisters.

A white paper lace collar on a black background.

If you’ve been a Lars reader for more than about a minute you’ll know that I love flowers. So of course I wanted to dress up as a bouquet! Ha! Practice making some paper flowers for this Sweet Pea Paper Flower Bouquet costume (and read the tutorial here).

Brittany wearing a bouquet costume with paper flowers and a white paper wrapper against a green backdrop

Group costumes are always so fun, so pair your bouquet costume with greenhouse garb for a friend! This greenhouse costume uses cardboard and iron-on flowers, and is sure to turn heads. You can find the tutorial here. Speaking of group costumes, you really don’t want to miss our Andy Warhol Campbell’s soup can team costumes, or our Wild Things costumes. They’re some of my favorites, and they’re great for any size group!

a white woman with brown hair wears a green dress with iron on flowers, a greenhouse hat, and yellow clogs. She's holding flowers and a watering can.

Family Costume

Another cute Halloween costume for a pair of friends would be our beehive and picnic costumes. Both use an iron-on technique to make easy halloween costumes that are as cute as a bug. Find the tutorials here.

Brittany wears a gingham red dress with ants ironed onto it and holds a rattan picnic bag. a white woman wearing a yellow dress with iron-on bees, black gloves, a bee headband, and black shoes stands in front of a blue background.

This constellation costume with iron-on stars is absolutely dazzling. Honestly, you might as well break it out all year round because it’s that beautiful.

a blonde woman wearing an off-the-shoulder black jumpsuit with silvers stars all over it, sparkly makeup, and a spangled headband against a periwinkle background

For a subtle Halloween look, just print off our Pumpkin Crown and wear warm autumn tones.

Printable Pumpkin Crown

Easy Halloween Costumes for Kids

Brand new this year are our classic Halloween costumes for kids! We give you options for a witch, bat, and pumpkin. Not only are they simple to make in a pinch, they’re adorable and you’ll be glad you tried them out. One of our most glamorous costumes with templates in the shop is our sun, cloud and rainbow set. This makes a great baby and mom costume, because you can add sun rays to a baby bonnet. I love how our model matched the baby’s outfit to her sling! With this costume you can invest as much or as little as you want. Just want the Sun and Rainbow headpiece? No problem. What about the Cloud Bag and Cloud Earrings? Done. Just want a sunny baby bonnet pattern? Your wish is our command. Make the costume just how you like it with this tutorial.

Rainbow costumeRainbow and sun mommy and me costume

This Giving Tree costume is another easy Halloween idea that you could make in a flash. And who doesn’t want to reference a classic children’s book in their costume? Find the tutorial here.

A mom wearing a green outfit with leaves and holding a felt apple bag stands next to her child in red overalls. They're dressed as the Giving Tree.

If you have a gaggle of children to costume, consider our Three Blind Mice baby costume pattern or our Crayon Hat template. Both are simple to put together and oh so sweet. For more kids costume ideas, see this post!

3 blind mice diy costume for kidsFour kids wearing crayon halloween costumes in orange, red, blue, and green.

Halloween Party Supplies

Even though gathering in big groups for Halloween parties is starting to look less and less likely (again 😔), you can still throw a Halloween party for your family, roommates, or pod! This Halloween Party Suite includes printable invitations, placemats, party tags, and place cards. Talk about easy Halloween ideas!

Halloween themed place cards.

Paper party goods with a halloween theme on a black background. They're orange, yellow, black, white, navy, and peach.

And for a party favor, try these printable poppers or printable Halloween candy gift boxes.

Halloween party poppersPrintable Halloween Candy Gift Box

These Halloween coupons make a fun halloween activity for your family. They’re a great way for parents to get their kids to relinquish some candy in return for fun activities.

halloween coupons in pink, red, blue, and black.

These illustrated Halloween cards are another great party favor because you can attach them to treat bags, trade them, send them as cards, or just hang them up.

Printable Halloween Cards

If your party is more freaky than funky, you might like this elegant invitation and Halloween dinner menu.

black and white illustrated halloween party invitation in a black decorative hadn surrounded by foliage and fruitsBlack and floral printable halloween menu

Party Food

Real talk here: what’s a party without cake? Use these printables and templates to make your Halloween cake extra fancy. The Spooky Town printable cake topper set is quaint and just a bit creepy, while this Black Birds cake topper is decidedly Hitchcock-approved. Red velvet cake makes it even more dramatic!

a colorful, cute printable cake topper set on a cake."The Birds" Cake Topper

If your fall party isn’t so Halloween-specific (or even if it is!) this Fall Leaf cake topper will add elegance and fun to the celebration.

DIY fall leaf cake topper

More Inspiration

Looking for more cards, costumes, and decor? Search for Halloween on our blog! You’ll be blown away by the years of great, easy Halloween ideas and DIYs. If you’re interested in many of these ideas (who wouldn’t be!?), you can check out our E-Book, The Halloween that Lars Made. It’s a one-stop shop for easy Halloween ideas, DIYs, and projects. Also, for more festive ideas check out this post on how to get into the Halloween spirit this year!

Barbiecore Costume Ideas

Costume of the Century

I love a good pop culture costume. Remember Jasper as Jared Leto? It turns out the Met Gala is too perfect of a pop culture feast to pass up. Well, the feast of the century presented itself earlier this year and Barbiecore made its debut. I mean, what better way to usher in the new Barbie movie than with a show-stopping Barbiecore costume?

We mixed and matched a few different outfits, and loved how they turned out. Oh, and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing model, Hannah! She even brought her own pink outfit to add to the mix, which was PERFECT.

Barbiecore from Around the Web

Since most of you are probably thinking about making a Barbiecore costume a reality, we decided to help out a bit. We scoured the internet for Barbiecore items worthy of a costume. The good news is that there is a lot of potential out there! Here are some options we found that just might be perfect for a Barbiecore costume of the century:

More Inspiration

Loved this Barbiecore costume and need more costume inspiration? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. See this roundup of our best cardboard costumes, and also check out these Mommy and me costumes! Then step over to our blog archives for tons more costume ideas and Halloween content. And don’t forget about our Halloween shop for tons more Halloween ideas!

Classic Halloween Costumes

Witch, Bat and Pumpkin

One of the main requisites of these classic Halloween costumes is simplicity. Of course we love a good elaborate Halloween costume, but sometimes there’s just not time for that. We purposefully designed these three Halloween costumes with that in mind. Some of them do require a bit of sewing, but just simple, straight lines that even the most beginner of sewists can handle. And if you’re not ready for sewing? You’re in luck. Our bat costume can be made with safety pins and staples alone, no sewing required.

Comfy and Cozy

One Halloween back in elementary school, I decided I wanted to be a crayon. I made this amazing costume out of a rolled up piece of poster board, decorated it and wore it to school. The only problem was that I didn’t think about sitting down or moving. I was a little robot all day, tottering around in this big tube that wouldn’t allow me to sit down or run around and play. Eventually I just took it off and people had to guess what I was based on my little sweatsuit alone. Not a dream for a child who loved the costume aspect of Halloween.

I’ve since learned from my crayon Halloween costume experience. We designed these three classic Halloween costumes with your child’s mobility in mind! They can bend, jump and play freely, all while being clearly identifiable as a witch, bat or pumpkin. That said, here’s how to make all three of our classic Halloween costumes:

How to Make a Witch Costume


Witch templates, Black poster board, Black fabric (we used a linen/viscose blend–it has the look of linen, but is much cheaper), Black ribbon (1” and ½” wide), a knobbly stick, twine, and raffia.


  1. Using the hat template, cut out the hat in black poster board.
  2. Next, roll up the half circle so it’s a cone. The rounded edge will be the bottom edge of the cone.
  3. Now, use a pair of scissors to clip the bottom of the hat all the way around with ½” cuts.
  4. Fold the cuts out and tape or glue the rim of the hat onto them, so they’re hidden underneath.
  5. Last, tie the 1” wide black ribbon around the hat into a bow.


  1. First, cut out the front and back of the dress, using the template provided. You can shrink or enlarge the template based on your child’s size.
  2. Next, hem the bottom and sides of both the front and back.
  3. Now, for both front and back, fold the top over twice and sew down to make a casing. Insert a ribbon into each casing, leaving enough slack on each side to tie bows.
  4. Last, sew ribbon onto the sides, as shown in the photos. There should be one on each side of the front and back so they can tie together.


  1. The broom is simple! To make it, bundle the raffia around one end of the stick and bind in place with some twine.
  2. Done!

To embellish the costume, wear a simple black dress, black tights and black boots or mary janes.

How to Make a Bat Costume


Bat templates, Faux fur, Black ribbon (1” and ½” wide), Black cardstock, cardboard box (use an old shipping box), black and white acrylic paint, black webbing strap, adjustable strap hardware (optional), Stapler/staples, glue stick, Scissors, craft knife.


  1. For the body, cut out the template shape for both front and back.
  2. Then, add ribbon to the top two corners of front and back.
  3. Now add ribbon to the sides of both front and back (they should be positioned to tie at the waist). To add ribbon, you can either sew or safety-pin the ribbon on. It’s your preference!


  1. First, cut out two of the wings template. They should mirror each other. Tape them together at the center and wherever else you need, if you’re using multiple pieces of cardboard put together.
  2. Next, paint the wings on both sides as shown in the photos. Let the paint dry before moving on to the next step.
  3. Last, staple on straps. If desired, you can make them adjustable, as we did. To see how to make them adjustable, see this tutorial.


  1. First, cut out the feet template using cardboard. Curve the ends of the claws over a bit.
  2. Next, paint the feet as shown in the photos.
  3. When the paint is dry, attach the feet to the shoes with ribbon, elastic, or tape.


  1. For the ears, cut out two of the ear templates.
  2. Next, fold them together at the slit at the base and tape in place.
  3. Last, cut a length of 1” black ribbon (long enough to tie around your head like a headband) and staple the ears on it.


  1. Use the nose template provided to cut out the nose pieces. Use the craft knife for the nostril holes.
  2. Next fold the rectangular piece with narrow accordion folds.
  3. Now cut slits along one edge of the rectangular piece you just folded.
  4. Next, fold the slits out and curve the rectangle around the front nose piece and glue in place.
  5. Last, cut off the excess and shape the nose to your face, then tape in place on your face. If you don’t want to tape, you can also tie the nose around your head with string.

How to Make a Pumpkin Costume


Pumpkin template, Orange linen/viscose fabric, Black fabric scraps or felt (we used scraps from the witch’s outfit), Green ribbon, Orange cardstock, brown cardstock, green pipe cleaners, scotch tape, scissors, and string


  1. First, cut out the front and back of the pumpkin costume using the template provided. Remember, you can make it smaller or larger depending on the size of your child.
  2. Next, as with the witch, hem the bottom and both sides of front and back, then make a casing for the top edge.
  3. Now feed a ribbon through the top casings of both front and back, leaving some excess at each end to tie bows.
  4. You’ll also need to sew ribbon to the front and back at the waist, with enough slack to tie.
  5. For the face, cut out the template provided in black fabric. 
  6. Then, fold over and iron each piece so the raw edges are hidden, then pin and sew in place. If you don’t want to fold over and iron each piece, you can use felt or something else that won’t fray.
  7. We sewed our face on the pumpkin, but you can also glue it if you don’t want to sew.


  1. For the hat, cut out the template pieces provided (the “c” shape should be cut out in orange, and the rectangle in brown).
  2. Follow the step photos to see how to assemble. Tape the pieces together to secure.
  3. Now wrap pipe cleaner around a pencil to make a spiral, then poke one end into the pumpkin hat and tape on the inside. We added about four pipe cleaner vines to our pumpkin hat.
  4. Last, tape a piece of string to each side of the hat so it can tie around your child’s chin.
  5. Done!

What did you think of these classic Halloween costumes? Will you use them in a pinch? Drop your comments below!

More Inspiration

Did you love these classic Halloween costumes? You might be interested in our other Halloween costumes! Check out our wild things costumes, mommy and me costumes, and best cardboard costumes. For even more costume inspiration, check out this list of our top 15 favorite costumes! Also see influential women costumes, these costumes made from everyday supplies, and these paper costumes. Short on time? Check out these three last minute Halloween costumes! Looking for a real showstopper? Don’t miss our Tortured Artists, Frida Kahlo, or Medusa costumes.

Family History Questionnaire

Finding Answers

Growing up, my understanding of family history boiled down to pouring through tedious amounts of old records to discover basic information about my ancestors, like where/when they were born, marriage, and death. That’s about as complex as you can get when all you have to work with are hospital records, immigration records and gravestones. Of course, it’s much easier to get to know your family details while there are still people around to ask! The purpose of this family history questionnaire is just that–get to know your family members now so you and your children can still feel connected years later when the opportunity has passed to ask those questions.

Questions for Parents and Grandparents

Sometimes we take our memories for granted. There is so much value in writing down memories we have of loved ones while our brains still have them accessible. Well, as it happens, our parents and grandparents have years of memories stored up! Why not sit down with them and write down the things they remember? Aside from being a wonderful bonding opportunity between grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren, it’s also a valuable way to learn about your more distant relatives–the ones your older relatives knew and interacted with but you never had a chance to. 

And then, of course, ask questions about your grandparents’ and parents’ lives, too! Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, which is where this family history questionnaire comes in handy. Most people think they know their parents and maybe even grandparents pretty well. But you may be surprised by the things your loved ones share that are completely new to you!

Family History Questionnaire

This family history questionnaire is the perfect way to get your children started on their own family history journey! Just click here, download, print, then grab a pen and get started! Print as many as you want–once you get started, you may find the list of people you want to talk to grows. The questionnaire is intended with grandparents in mind, but can of course apply to anyone! Oh, and don’t forget–our family history questionnaire includes a printable frame for photos or drawings of your grandparents and other loved ones.

Now we want to know: Who’s at the top of your list to interview? Are there other questions we left off? Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Loved this family history questionnaire and want more family history content? You won’t want to miss our popular family photo heirloom ornaments! This year we’re doing a community craft along featuring the heirloom ornaments–learn more about it here. For an alternate photo transfer option, try these photo transfer dolls. Also, check out these painted grandparents day frames and last year’s craft along craft, our mid-century heirloom nativity.

Sewing Basics: How To Take Measurements

Finding the Perfect Fit

If you’re interested in sewing clothing, either for yourself or for others, knowing how to take measurements is a must. It makes all the difference! Instead of worrying about which size will fit, you can simply take your measurements, look at the size chart, and figure out exactly what size is ideal for your body. And if you’re in between sizes? If you’re shopping for finished clothes, you either have to size up or down. But not so when you’re the one sewing! The main perk of sewing clothing by hand is that you can adjust the pattern–if there’s something that’s a little small or large in one area, you can tailor it to your measurements and it will fit like a glove. But in order to do that, you need to know how to take your measurements correctly. Let’s go!

Differences Between Mens’ and Womens’ Measurements

First, let’s talk about how to take measurements for women. Did you know taking womens’ measurements is different than taking mens’ measurements? Yep. That’s because mens’ and womens’ bodies are shaped differently, and the size charts are made with those differences in mind. Men generally have less of a difference between their waist and hip measurements, for starters. They also have different shaped chests and wider shoulders, proportionally. All of that needs to be taken into account when measuring!

How To Take Measurements For Women

The following measurements are important for women to take when making clothes. They’re also generally useful for buying clothes when you aren’t sure of your size! 

Note: When measuring, make sure to remove bulky clothing. Ideally measuring against the skin will give you the most accurate measurement. If that’s not possible, measure with one thin layer of clothing, like leggings and a thin undershirt. Also, it’s nice to have someone else with you to help take measurements because it will make things more accurate. Now let’s learn how to take measurements for women!


The first measurement to take is the neck. This isn’t required for all patterns, but it’s useful to have on hand. To take the neck measurement, simply measure around the neck. Leave a finger width of slack so you don’t choke yourself with a too-small neck opening.

High bust

This measurement isn’t necessary all the time, either, but it can really come in handy if you’re trying to be as precise as possible. To take the high bust measurement, wrap the measuring tape snugly around the torso underneath the armpits. It’s generally most accurate if both arms are outstretched, parallel to the floor.


This is one of the most standard and useful measurements you’ll take, along with the waist and hips. How to take a bust measurement? First, stand with arms out and parallel to the floor. Now wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of the bust. This is usually in line with the nipples. Don’t pull it too tight, just gently fitted. Also make sure to wear a thin fitted bra–not sports bra (that will squish your ladies!) or a padded pushup (that will give you an inaccurately large measurement). 


This is basically your ribcage size and, along with bust measurement, is the measurement needed to figure out bra size. To take measurements of your underbust, simply wrap the measuring tape around your ribcage just below the bust. Make sure it’s snug but not too tight.

Natural waist

You’ll also want to know how to take measurements of the natural waist. This is where your torso bends when you lean to the side. For this measurement, wrap the measuring tape snugly but not too tightly around the natural waist. Leave a little slack so you can breathe in your new outfit later.


Next up: the hips. It’s important to note that the hip measurement is taken at the fullest part of the butt. Basically, you want the widest measurement you can find here so you don’t end up with something disproportionately tight on your booty. To measure, wrap the measuring tape around your hip. Again, don’t wrap too tightly, but avoid slack, too.

Sleeve length

The sleeve length is a bit less common, but nonetheless helpful when sewing. You want those sleeves to hit just at the wrist, rather than dangling over the hands or ending up halfway down your arm. To find the sleeve length, measure from the tip of the shoulder to the wrist with the arm bent.

Back neck to waist

This measurement is less common but useful to have, especially if you have an unusually short or long torso. To take this measurement, start at the nape of your neck (on your back) and extend the tape down to the natural waistline.


You’ll also want to know how to take measurements of the inseam. The inseam is a really useful measurement to have when buying or making pants. To find it, measure right at the top of the inside of the leg, up against the crotch, all the way down to the floor.


The outseam is also useful for pants, skirts, and dresses. For the outseam measurement, go from the natural waist all the way to the floor, this time on the outside of the leg.


It’s nice to have the shoulder measurement, too. Especially if you have a blouse or shirt that you want to hit right at the top of the shoulder. You can take each shoulder measurement individually, or the full shoulder width. For individual measurements, start at the end of one shoulder and go to the nape of the neck on the same side. Repeat for the other side. The full width is from one end of the shoulder, all the way across the back, to the other end.

How To Take Measurements For Men

The key measurements for men are a bit different than that of women. They’re especially useful if you need to buy a suit or dress shirt. Here are the most important measurements to take for men:


It’s essential to know how to take measurements of the neck! If you’ve ever wanted to surprise your husband, brother or dad with a nice new dress shirt then you’ll know it’s nice to know the neck size. To find the neck size, use the same technique as women.


Taking a man’s sleeve measurement is a bit different than for women. Instead of going from the top of the shoulder, go from center back. Then go around a bent, raised elbow all the way to the wrist.


Next up: how to take measurements of the chest. Similar to the bust measurement for women, have him stretch both arms out parallel to the floor. Then measure around the fullest part of the chest after he takes a breath in (so it’s a bit fuller).


The natural waist measurement is the same as for women. Take it where your torso bends when you bend to the side. Unlike women, it’s also nice to take a low waist measurement for reference. That’s where most mens’ pants generally sit. It probably won’t be much different than the natural waist, but it’ll vary a little depending on body type and weight.


You’ll also want to know how to take measurements of the hip! This is also similar to female hip measurements. You’ll simply measure around the fullest part of butt, snugly, but not too loose or tight.


Last up for men is the inseam. This is also similar to female inseam measurements. Simply measure from crotch to ankle. Tip: if you’re measuring someone else and don’t love the idea of sticking your hand right in their crotch to get the measurement, not to worry. Measure instead from the wrist bone down to the floor on the outside of the leg. That will give you almost exactly the same measurement. 

Well, that’s a wrap! Questions or comments? Drop them in the comments below!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on how to take measurements and want more sewing content? Step right this way! Check out the rest of our Sewing Basics series here. You won’t want to miss this DIY Fanny Pack or these cute DIY pencil cases, either! Also, see more past sewing projects: New Team Outfits, Easter outfits, Casetify inspired projects, shaped throw pillows, Mother’s Day apron, quilted shower curtain, quilted face mask, rainbow buttons, reusable lunch sack, and DIY beeswax wraps. Last but not least: check out our shop for lots of sewing templates! And stay tuned for future sewing basics posts, released on Tuesdays.