6 Ways to Celebrate Halloween while Social Distancing

Have you heard about the Ohio dad who invented a candy chute for a contactless way to get candy right into kid’s trick or treating buckets this year? I love it! Since then I’ve heard talk of slingshots, catapults, and some even crazier ideas on how to make trick or treating happen this October. Not gonna lie, my wheels have been turning too. We have made it this long adjusting our daily lives for this virus, and now as we are about to hit all the major holidays I can’t help but wonder how many traditions will need to be thrown out the window this year. Of course I am willing to do whatever is needed, and there are much bigger things to worry about. But I am grateful for the joy and hope that the holidays bring every year, and I am determined to not miss out on at least that part of the celebrations!

One major thing I am looking forward to is, this year, the holidays will be more about family time than ever! No extravagant parties needed, I am looking forward to making the next few months just as exciting and fun with just my own household! My “quarantine crew” and I can still party hard. And at the very least, more leftover candy for me this year 😉

If you’re hoping to make this Halloween something special, we’ve put together some amazing ideas you can throw together with your family. And even friends with some proper social distancing! All you need to get started is a printer and some scissors.

How to celebrate Halloween while social distancing this year

1. Throw a socially-distant Halloween party

We’ve all missed out on lots of family and friend get-togethers this year. (Cross your fingers we’ll be back to normal by next Halloween!) Luckily, weather permitting, you can still have a fun outdoor Halloween Party if you’re creative (and we’re betting you definitely are if you’re reading this blog!) Even if you are sticking with just your immediate family members this year, go all out! Slip an invite under everyone’s door see whose costume impresses even your teenager. Halloween while social distancing can still be as festive as ever.

Print off our ghoulish Halloween Invitations and customize them so everyone knows the lowdown (masks a must!) Decorate your trees with our fall garland (or maybe your trees are cloaked in fall colors already and don’t need any decoration). Add some twinkle lights to the trees and bushes for a bit of warmth.

2. Eat a spooky (but tasty!) Halloween feast with family

Remember our Halloween Feast? You can throw one with your immediate family. Use our Halloween Menu Printable to get started. These printable placecards can make each setting special, and complete it with that family member’s favorite candy!

3. Put on a Halloween Parade

Need a fun way to celebrate Halloween with your friends, but don’t want to get too close? How about a Halloween Parade in the neighborhood? Use any of our free costume ideas, including these easy iron-ons you can combine with items you probably have sitting around the house. I’d argue that the best part about Halloween right now is you can do it all while wearing a mask 😉

4. Host a Halloween movie night

Don’t have the energy or time for a party? Plan for a night in with your family, but make it memorable. If you’re getting tired of rewatching Hocus Pocus every year (if that’s possible) this could be a fun time to pull out a classic scary movie. The Birds, anyone? Eat out of our Halloween Candy Gift Boxes (you can fill them with popcorn, too!) After all, this is the year to trick or treat yo’self!

5. Incorporate costumes into your at home learning

For most of us this school year has become a modge-podge of online classes and homeschooling. If you’re already losing your motivation to keep at home learning going, don’t worry. If you don’t know what you’ll do when cold weather means you can’t keep ushering the kids outside for “nature class” – now is the perfect time to mix it up! One of my favorite ways to make learning super memorable is to have students dress up as the famous people they are studying!

This happens in our Great Artists! kid’s course a bunch. Some of the daily activities include recreating famous art pieces in person, not just on paper! We also did this when we dresses up as famous artists themselves for Halloween one year. Mix Halloween traditions in with your at-home learning by challenging your kids to dress up as someone they are learning about. Print off these placemats, make a yummy Halloween themed meal, and see what figure from history shows up to the breakfast table!

Plus for your younger children, they can join in on the fun too by dressing up as their favorite picture books! See what I mean here and here.

6. Hold a Halloween porch decorating contest

There’s nothing wrong with a little contest! In fact, since most sporting events got cancelled, I think we need a dose of healthy competition in our lives. You know we love to deck out our porches come Halloween. Use one of our printable designs to elevate your porch above the rest. 

If you’re not sure how you will celebrate Halloween while social distancing this year, don’t be too hard on yourself! Everything about 2020 has been different than we thought it would. However, taking part in beloved traditions like celebrating Halloween can help!

Click here to check out all of our printable Halloween resources, including the full Halloween Party Suite for a discounted price!

 

We’re having a ….

Ha ha ha! Yes, I’m very thrilled to have another boy–I love my first one so much and he brings me so much joy, how could I not?! I mean, am I disappointed that I won’t do smocked dresses or be able to actually shop in baby boutiques (let’s be honest, they’re not made for boys)?! Of course! But I love the idea of two little rascals.

I have this feeling that this new boy will be the complete opposite of Jasper–dark haired, solemn, shy, obedient…hahhaha! We shall see!

How’s the pregnancy going?

Well, thank you for asking! I had a terrific pregnancy with Jasper so I expected the same, but it has been different. Thankfully, I’m not super sick (except the typical first trimester nausea), but this time around, I have the weirdest symptoms.

For one, I didn’t want sugar until like last month. What a blessing! No treats. I wish it would have lasted. But the desire is back and I’ve since made up for lost time.

Second, and for those of you not interested in female anatomy and systems, tune out, my pelvic floor is not being nice to me. I’ve had problems since Jasper was born. I couldn’t walk and certainly couldn’t run. I tried to do a race in October and the day of the race I could hardly walk. Every time I mention it to my doctor I’m told the same thing (do you kegels) but that hasn’t worked and I have a hunch there’s something more to it.

Then all of a sudden two weeks ago I could hardly walk again. I’m definitely a stereotypical waddler who looks very pregnant, but again, I have a hunch is treatable. Anyone know of an awesome pelvic floor doctor? TMI????? I know.

Lastly, NOSE BLEEDS. What the heck? I’ve never had them before but I have had them nearly every night for like three weeks. So stinking weird.

Other than that, this pregnancy has flown by but mostly because work is insane–especially the the Great Artists! course–renovating a house, and trying to move in tomorrow. Am I going insane? Yes. Most definitely. Send help.

Gender reveal balloon arch

On another note, because of the upcoming baby boy, we made a new balloon arch kit in shades of blues for your own gender reveals (nothing is worth detonating fire over!) and you can find it in the shop now!

Love to you all!

DIY Summer Flower Garland

Collaboration leads to inspiration

The inspiration for this particular garland came from two places: our wrapping paper products designed for Alexis Mattox Design, and a collab we did Chatbooks! The floral patterns we did with AMD were just so fun and punchy that we had to make a garland inspired by the wrapping paper. Chatbooks used some of those same wrapping paper designs as covers for their books. After seeing that, it occurred to me that I wanted to see these colors and flowers everywhere. Cue the crafting!

This DIY Summer Flower Garland is the perfect decoration for all your summer soirees. And is pretty enough to keep up all year long! You’ll be happy to hear that the materials were pretty cheap too. It’s made with crepe paper and cardstock, and is totally customizable. You can change the colors by simply using a different color paper. If you do play with a new color scheme, send me pictures!! Color is my favorite.

Where to put your paper flower garland

The fun part about a garland is that it can go anywhere. Wreaths go on the front door, flower vases on tables, but garlands? They do it all. In our Flower & Leaf Garden E-Book, we put garlands over the backs of chairs, as table runners, wound around a staircase handle, hung over doorways, or delicately draped on walls. If you’re planning a wedding, think of how fun it would be to make a DIY Summer Flower Garland with friends! It would be beautiful hung over a trellis or fireplace or as a photo-wall backdrop.

This project is great to work on with friends or alone! Heck, you could probably collab with a friend from afar! Mail each other your pieces to create one big DIY Summer Flower Garland!  If crafting is your cathartic alone time, this garland is perfect for you. Spread out over a few days, and soak up that creative time. Summer days are meant for crafting, am I right?

More paper garlands for every season

You can download the templates for each of these garlands (and more!) individually here or all of them together for a discount!

DIY Summer Flower Garland

Materials:
  • Crepe paper in green, cornflower blue, orange, white, and yellow
  • Cardstock in blue, pink, yellow, and white
  • Acrylic paint in coral, yellow, and blue
  • Wire flower stamens in red
  • 22 gauge cloth covered floral wire in 18″ lengths
  • Spool of 24 gauge florist wire
  • Hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • Templates
Instructions:

Full instructions can be found here!

Once you’ve created all the individual flowers, begin to hot glue the elements onto the green floral wire. Mix in plenty of green crepe paper leaves. We made our garland about 6 feet long.

DIY summer flower garland

Photography by Anna Killian | Crafting by Ashley Isenhour and Rebecca Hansen

Special delivery (again!)

We originally made the video for my first pregnancy, which resulted in a miscarriage. So then we used it for Jasper (see here!) and adjusted the month. This time around, we don’t have to adjust the month! Bonus! (unborn baby–I still love you even though you’re already getting hand-me-downs!).

If you’re interested in seeing the making of this video, you can see it all here!

The video was done by stop motion wizard, Trisha Zemp (she even has a stop motion school now!) and the lettering by Jill DeHaan and the illustrations by Lexi Nilson and flower illustrations inspired by our coloring book here.

Behind the scenes of our birth announcement video

Having a baby during COVID

Having a baby during COVID-19 hasn’t been much of an adjustment for me other than I try to stay even more away from people because I’m high risk. I’m also finding that I’m in good company with a lot of friends who are also having babies during this time (thank you stay at home mandates 😉 Yes, I can’t bring anyone to the doctor with me, but there’s nothing that has been too crazy…yet.Behind the scenes of our birth announcement video

High Risk Pregnancy

As you might recall, Jasper’s birth was a bit of an adventure. Long story short, which you can read here, I got eclampsia during the birth (seizured!) and so I’m just being MUCH more cautious this time around by going to a high risk OB and taking a baby aspiring a day, which pretty much is the only thing that doctors suggest in this situation to help mitigate it from happening again.

How am I doing right now?

So far, my energy is GONE! Like, really gone. I used to be able to work at nights and now it’s REALLY tought to stay awake past 10:30. My other two pregnancies I saw a lack of ambition and motivation during the first trimester and the same thing definitely applied during this one–but add that to a pandemic and being a business owner, buying a house, renovating a house, and I’m DEFINITELY running on survival mode. Thankfully, the nausea ended two weeks ago so at least there’s a silver lining!

As for that good parts–we are thrilled to be expecting a baby! My hunch is that it’s a girl, and everyone I’ve talked to has mentioned the same thing. I don’t know if it’s because they know how much I’d love one…probably…but I still have the hunch, and usually my hunch is correct so we shall see!

ANYWAY, that’s our happy news. Which might explain why I’ve been MIA on Instagram and such. Stay tuned for lots of baby design on the way!

Dyed Watermelon Blanket for National Picnic Month

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DIY dyed watermelon blanket for National Picnic Month from The House that Lars Built

National Picnic Month + Watermelon Day

August is National Picnic Month, and Watermelon day happens to be in August too! August 3rd is the day to whip out those blankets, slice up some fruit, and head outdoors. Having an adorable (and on-theme) picnic blanket is the cherry-on-top for the perfect picnic.

This fabric stated out as a tablecloth that we turned into a cozy picnic blanket! If you’re reminded of the Harry Styles video, just know this was our idea first 😉 It was planned with friends and family in mind, all having a good time out in the summer sun.

This DIY watermelon picnic blanket is also the perfect size for social-distancing. Picnicking is one of the few acceptable social activities in big cities, and the perimeter of the blanket is a subtle reminder to stay 6 feet apart even while getting closer together. Just add some delicious food (like this watermelon limeade), outdoor games, and fun activities and you’re set!

Watermelon Sugar High

If you just can’t get enough of all things watermelon sugar, let me point you in the right direction. Obviously, there’s the song of the summer by Harry Styles for all you fangirls. We have a super cute tutorial on watermelon friendship bracelets, and I am hoping to cover my arms in them like sleeves. Feel free to send me one! If you love the idea of a picnic but hate the “outside” part, try this watermelon tablecloth instead. This one is all paper, and easy enough that you could make it a family craft. If you’re still not satisfied, check out this roundup post with a bunch of cute watermelon ideas! We’ve got everything from doormats to lemonade.

DIY WATERMELON PICNIC BLANKET TUTORIAL:

watermelon-picnic-blanket-11See how to make the DIY watermelon picnic blanket below! 

Provo Mural Guide: A Lars Tour

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Why Murals?

Murals have been around forever but have seen an unprecedented bout of popularity since the rise of Instagram. They can be incredibly simple, like The Pink Wall of Los Angeles fame. They can also be intricate and heavily patterned. I’d be crazy not to include our murals in a Provo mural guide! The House That Lars Built team has actually painted two pieces around the town already! In 2016, I teamed up with Dove Chocolate and painted one of their classic foil-phrases behind an antique shop: What are you waiting for? The brilliant letter-artist Jill DeHaan helped design the scripting and whatnot. I had the hardest time selecting colors, but am really pleased with how it turned out. It feels wonder-full. 

Our “what are you waiting for” mural is located behind Block 100 Antiques (145 N University Ave) in Downtown Provo.

Another mural painted by the Lars team is our geometric color wall! Everything we do is about color. You can see why in our video Hue Are You? Asking a person what their favorite color is might be a silly question, but as a person who is crazy about color, it means a lot to me! The wall we painted is a tribute to color, and our geometric patterning was designed to the let hues shine. This mural of ours is located on the west side of 111 W 600 S.

The Provo Mural Guide 

Of course, our murals are not the only ones in town. I love seeing all of the art contributed to my community by fabulous artists, and I’ve narrowed down the list to some of my favorite murals. If you ever come to town, visit the murals! It’s like a community museum with the sky as the roof. 

Colorful Provo Mural

Located at 27 100 W

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CHOM Mural

Painted on the side of the tasty burger joint CHOM, this mural is allll about line play. The wall is broken up into three segments; one has a white, rolling line wandering along a black background. Another section has a circle segmented by an invisible line. The invisible line cues a color change! 

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Color Block Wall

Located on the north side of 150 S 100 W

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Maeser Park Wall Mural

This lovely work is featured prominently in a local park, and the quasi-primary color scheme reminds me of fun childhood years. I love how the artist used a familiar color scheme, but altered the colors just enough to hold my attention. Located at 600 S 500 E.

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“This is our home” Mural

Located at 111 W 600 S Provo, UT.

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Leuven Provo Bike Mural

With its hot pink hue and white lettering and bicycle, this wall painting makes me smile and remember days when a bike was my only way around town! I still love ‘em, and am happy that Provo has its own delightful bike culture. This mural is tucked back behind FoxGlove Flowers and Rent-A-Center near 470 W Center Street in Provo.

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Musicians Mural

I love funky illustration, and these musicians are definitely feelin’ it! The proportions are silly, the colors simplified, and each person has a unique identity and emotion. I could look at this one and giggle for quite some time. This one is a must-see on any Provo mural guide. Located on the east side of June Audio, located at 39 W 200 N

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Shapes Mural

From a design standpoint, this mural speaks to me! It’s fairly simple, but the shapes are organic and brightly colored. The color scheme is consistent throughout, but no shapes near each other have the same hue. It creates a lively vibe as my eyes hop from one shape to the next!

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Fish Kiss Mural

I think I could do something similar to this mural! If you’re looking for some DIY inspo, check out the mural on the side of the Fish Kiss spa. The round bubble shapes present a casual riff on polka dots. Love it. 

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One Time in Provo

I figured I’d wrap up my Provo mural guide with a piece painted in the city’s unofficial town square. Part of why I love this one is the varied script – the cursive is simple yet elegant, and reminds me of a storybook. The big punchy block letters stand out and remind me of my excitement just to be here!  

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Take a Walk

No matter where you live, take a long walk around town and look for art. While art in your community might not be as obvious as a gigantic mural, I hope you’ll find some wonderful secret spots in the town you call home. 

And if you are local to Provo or Salt Lake City and want to visit even more colorful walls, check out our full guide here!

How to make your own mural

Want an art installation with big impact but minimal clean up? Our oversized paper-chain mural is the perfect choice when you don’t want something permanent!

Draw your own mural! We made this one in our old studio that doubled as a massive coloring page anyone could help color in! Just tape up some large white paper and go to town.

Or for another great temporary option, learn how we made a sticky note mural here! Yes you read that right, a mural made completely out of sticky notes.

Click here to see our process for painting a lemon mural in our office! We also added a dainty wall mural to Jasper’s nursery when he was first born. We are big fans of going all out for a real mural, indoors or outdoors. Don’t worry! You can always paint over it one day.

 

 

Paris-Inspired Design: A Bastille Day Bash

How to visit Paris without leaving home

Bastille Day is akin to the USA’s Independence Day in that it marks an important historical turn towards democracy. The bastille building itself was an armory that citizens of Paris stormed and set political prisoners free on July 14, 1789. Modernly, people celebrate in different ways all over the country! My favorite tradition takes place each year in the gardens of the President’s residence, the Palais de l’Elysee. The President hosts a picnic!! Isn’t that amazing? Take your own trip to France tomorrow by celebrating Bastille Day!

Cue the inspiration for my Bastille Day celebration: I’m throwing myself a picnic. Make your picnic simple and clever with these printable placemats!

Our Paris cake toppers from illustrator Jessie Kenelos Weiner, author of Paris in Stride are available for FREE! Download your own and make breakfast extra sweet tomorrow morning. Plus, you can count this as tomorrow’s homeschool geography lesson 😉

How to celebrate like a Parisienne

Lars girls love garden parties and all things French, so this particular celebration is downright delightful. I whole-heartedly suggest you decorate with some adorable France printables, as they are an easy way to play with the stylish theme: Paris-inspired design. Take color cues from there! The tricolore of red, white, and blue is simple and classic – just like French design. Don your best Breton striped top (blue and white of course), chic trousers/skirt, and a pop of color in the form of red lipstick. Stay up late and light off fireworks to celebrate the end of the day. 

Print off our Paris crown and invitation suite here for your next party. Whether you are celebrating Bastille Day, a garden party, a birthday party, or anything else – this party is sure to be tres chic.

How to decorate and dress like a Parisienne

I can’t write about Paris without mentioning how much I adore the style and design identity of this city. With each encounter, I feel creatively inspired. You got your first taste of this with our tips on how to recreate the iconic style of Monet’s French home. And everyone knows Paris has the best fashion. They even have a best baby’s clothes! As I figured when I visited while pregnant with Jasper. Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for incorporating Paris-inspired design in your home and wardrobe. 

1. Don’t overdo it

You’ve probably heard this quote from Coco Chanel: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” I’m pretty sure she is talking about accessories here…  Still, the advice stands – Paris-inspired design/fashion tends to be somewhat minimal. The pieces themselves can be extravagant and ornate, but use a light hand when decorating and accessorizing. 

2. Mix the classic with the eclectic

Part of what makes Paris so magical is its history. There’s just so much that has happened in that ancient city, and all of it feels magical. Select pieces that reflect the growth of the city! Ornate mirrors and crown moldings look fantastic juxtaposed with chic European modernism. Picture a chunky strand of gems or pearls atop a simple black suit jacket. Or fabulous shoes beneath a pair of pleated shorts. Invest in a few significant Paris-inspired pieces, then really showcase them. 

3. Embrace romance

The feel of Paris is really worth celebrating and if you’ve been, you know that feeling is one of romance. It’s almost as if some city official found a way to transform Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose into a scent and then pipe it through every vent in the city. If you’ll take a moment to recall the romantic moments of your life, I’m sure you’ll discover what I have: it’s all about the details. The same idea goes for creating a romantic feel for a space or look! Pick one romantic touch, like long-stemmed candles, your grandmother’s hand-embroidered pillows, ornate frames surrounding photographs from memories you love, sheer curtains, or a touch of crystal. Little details like these can make even the coldest rooms come alive. 

Paris-inspired Decor

 

France-inspired art prints to hang on your walls

We firmly believe anyone can pull off a beret, and this print from Monica Dorazewski agrees! Or for a more subtle reference to the city of love, transport your self to the Palais-Royal with this Stripes is Rhythm print from Jaqueline Diedam.

Fill your home with the art of French artist Julie Marabelle. We carry some of her stunning papercut art in the Lars Print Shop and they have added a touch of a French garden to my bedroom. You can read more about her life in France here.

Other fun French items

Everything you need for Paris-inspired design filling your home. If you are planning a trip to France, our favorite guides are Paris in Stride which you can read more about here. As well as Paris by Design by my good friend Eva Jorgensen. You can also find our guide to small shops in Paris here. As well as our itinerary from our last visit to France, here!

 

Enjoy! 

DIY Birthday Felt Pennants

Why decorate?

Birthday decor is just too fun. And since birthdays are so rare, celebrate longer by crafting in advance! You can print off felt pennant patterns and phrases from our shop, then iron them onto felt. These make for perfect props in photo shoots, mini-celebrations, and they’re cute enough to leave up long past the birthday. 

How to make DIY Birthday Pennants

Materials

Instructions

1. Connect the Cricut machine to your computer & open Design Space. Upload the pennant document and cut the triangle & rectangular shape on a piece of card-stock. (You will use these as a template to trace on the felt) OR the Cricut Machine can cut it out for you.
2. Upload the desired phrase document to your Cricut machine and MIRROR it! (Select the “Mirror” toggle while editing). **If you go to cut and the letters separate & aren’t in order as the phrase layout shows, go back to edit & highlight all the letters, right click & select “Attach,” and then they should stay in the correct layout.
3. Place the iron-on material shiny side down on your Cricut adhesive cutting mat. Cut out the phrase, checking again that it’s mirrored so it will be read the right way when it’s ironed on!
4. Pull the iron-on phrase off of the cutting mat. Then separate the two layers of the iron-on material, leaving the phrase stuck to the clear layer. (Be sure to remove the small pieces in the holes of the letters!)
5. Trace the triangle & rectangle shape from the template onto a piece of felt & cut them out.
6. Lay the iron-on phrase onto the triangle piece of the felt pennant, with the clear layer on top and the phrase touching the felt so the phrase isn’t mirrored, but is read from left to right.

7. Hold an iron set to 280 degrees F. on the pennant for 30 seconds. Wait for the iron-on to cool completely before removing the clear layer. (Check the Cricut website for information on heat & time to hold the iron or Cricut Easy Press on your fabric, depending on fabric type and iron-on type.)

8. Cut four strips of extra felt for your ties – the length will depend on how long you want the ties to be & whether you want to tie them in a bow or knot them.
9. Layer two felt tie strips, lined up on top of each other, and hot glue the very ends together. Do this to all 4 strips, creating 2 ties total.
10. Glue the two ties an inch away from the corners on the vertical edge of the triangle pennant.
11. Glue the rectangle piece of fabric on the vertical edge of the triangle pennant, covering the ties.
12. Wait for the glue to dry & tie your pennants on a dowel. Enjoy your festive birthday decor!

Go celebrate!

I’m sure I’m like you right now– you probably miss spending time with certain people right now. While I am glad to be safe, I miss people. So! I’ve decided to start birthday researching and planning for different people in my life ~in advance.~ It’s something to keep me busy, and it’s a way I can feel and share love. One easy place to start is to make a DIY felt pennant! This piece of decor is cute, classic, and personal. And you can send it to a friend in the mail if you can’t celebrate together. 

A Lars Girl in Mexico City: Travel Inspired Design and Fashion

Mexico City definitely is at the top of my list of favorite trips. Truly, it is a place of dreams. The gigantic, bustling city is home to almost 9 million residents, and the feel of the city is indescribable. I’m trying to teleport there using fashion and interior design; I’ll let you know if it works!

I visited Mexico City a couple of years ago with friends Nadia Coates of Casa Palomi, Meta Coleman and Chaunte Vaughn. (You can find Chaunte’s work in our print shop here! And some of Meta’s curated home picks here.) We went to visit Abby Low, whose work is also in our print shop! Abby’s book This is Mexico City is full of the color, print, and culture that inspired today’s post.

I am imagining what A Lars Girl would wear if her wardrobe was inspired by Mexico City. And what her home might look like. After getting a feel for some of the amazing sites in our Mexico City guide here, explore the links below for A Lars Girl top picks for fashion and decor.

Mexico City Inspired Fashion

 

Accessories

 

Read more about this amazing place

La Ciudad

Ciudad de México is an ancient city. Long before the land was called Mexico, the Aztec civilization built impressive temples and monuments in the middle of what was then a lake. Due to Spanish imperial efforts, much of the ancient city was destroyed or buried beneath new buildings. Modern renovation projects have done a beautiful job of peeling back the layers, allowing the city to truly shine. Though its past isn’t pretty, a beautiful way of life and a unique design sense has developed literally out of the ruins. Now a modern and very cosmopolitan place, Mexico City is a truly fascinating spot. 

La Mezcla

Old-world European architecture meets older ancient architecture, and all of it fits into an amazing modern place. When I think of Mexican design, I tend to think of folk art and textiles brim with life! Bright colors are used on funky patterns. But when I think of Mexico City, complex stylistic ideas with refined elements come to mind. Once there, you’ll know what I mean. If you’re looking to steal the style, try designing with Old World tastes, then decorate with clean-lined modern elements that allow ornate intricacies to shine. Conversely, try designing in a contemporary, clean design, then add some flair with natural or folk elements. To see this mezcla (mix) work in real life, check out pictures of the Museo de Artes Popular! Its architectural style is stunningly simple art deco, while the works within it are traditional and FUN! 

The residents of this city know how amazing it is, but most are happy to share the place they call home. I became friends with my cabbie and the local barista pretty quickly, and they clued me into the real neighborhood spots. Only true locals know the local spots. So, make some friends and get exploring! While you’re there, or even if you’re just lazing around the house, bring a dash of la Ciudad de Mexico into your life! See our shopping list above and below for clothing items and home decor that we think make the mark.

Mexico City Inspired Interior Design

Artwork

Decor

 

 

3 Pipe Cleaner Crowns (+ a Birthday Party Sale!)

DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party

DIY Pipe Cleaner Crown

You know us, we take any opportunity to wear a crown. We have been watching the delicate gold crown trend with wide eyes, and even made our own version here when our team member Hailey got married! And we have an entire e-book full of printable crowns for every holiday! Today’s crown is kid-friendly and YOU-friendly, easy to make for any (every) occasion, and ready to be personalized.

Supplies:

Pipe cleaners

Pom poms

Gems

Glue

DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party

Instructions:

  1. Start by creating the base of your crown with 1 or multiple pipe cleaners. You can create a headband type form or a circle crown form.
  2. Carefully shape the pipe cleaners to your desired shape. Be carefully not to make any sharp unwanted bends.
  3. Create the pipe cleaner crown shape you want, using any of the photos above for reference.
  4. Embellish your crown with gems, pom poms, and anything else your heart desires to add some sparkle!
  5. Plan a birthday party to wear your crown to

DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party

Birthday party supplies on sale now

In honor of naming June Birthday Month, all of our birthday party printables are 15% off for the entire month of June! Stock up now for a year’s worth of family birthdays.

Shop more crowns, invitation suites, banners, and everything you need to make all your 2020 birthday parties special! And keep an eye out for even more birthday items joining our shop all throughout this month!

All of the items below are 15% off now

 

What children’s books I’m reading to my toddler right now

 

favorite books for toddlers

My 31 Favorite Children’s Books for Toddlers

  1. King Bidgood’s In the Bathtub by Audrey and Don Wood. This one was gifted to us as a baby shower gift but it might be my favorite children’s book. Or one of my top 3. I LOVE reading it to Jasper. There are so many fun characters to play and it’s such a clever book. There’s always something to find hidden in the illustrations.
  2. Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. We bought this one at the local used book store and I love the message. It encourages kids to go to sleep but in an empowering way.
  3. Moomin series. Jasper’s especially loving Moomin and the Wishing Star right now by Tove Jansson. Moomin books are all about a whimsical and Jasper
  4. Anything Dr. Seuss. We picked up a few compilations from Costco while we were on a grocery run and there are some unfamiliar stories in there to discover (some of them are a little odd or outdated so I get why they aren’t the most popular ones today, but Jasper still likes them!). The Big Orange Book of Beginner Books by Dr. Seuss and The Big Green Book of Beginning Books and The Big Red Book of Beginning Books by various authors.
  5. My First Book of Patterns by Bobby and June George and art by Boyoun Kim. This is a board book that is great for babies and growing toddlers , but I think it’s such a great way to introduce anyone to the elements of design.
  6. Curious George anything! Jasper cannot get enough of “ooo ah ahs” (aka: Monkies)
  7. Rex vs. Edna by Douglass Rees and illustrated by Jed Henry. This one was illustrated by our friend so we were lucky to snag a copy, but Jasper LOVES it. I mean, he loves dinosaurs in general but this is a funny t-rex story with a twist. For some reason I imagine Edna’s voice as Wanda Sykes.
  8. The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. LOVE this book. I love that it’s based on a true story. The rhyming is clever. And I really love the page where you have to find all the animals on one page. It’s so clever! Jasper loves pointing them all out!
  9. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Jasper is starting to want longer more narrative books so books like this one are great!
  10. Silly Sounds: Ready, Set, Go by Liza Lewis. We also picked this one up at Costco awhile ago, mostly because I wanted to see how Jasper would react to sounds book. He loves it! The story isn’t as prominent. It’s mostly for identifying the right buttons to press.
  11. Babar Learns to Cook by Laurent De Brunhoff. This one was one of Paul’s as a child and Jasper loves it!
  12. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. A personal favorite 🙂
  13. My First Book of Feminism by Julie Merberg and illustrated by Michele Brummer Everett and My First Book of Feminism for Boys. This series of books was illustrated by my dear friend (and Picture Hope illustrator.) and they’re fun to read together.
  14. Lola Dutch When I Grow Up by Kenneth and Sarah Jane Wright. This is another book written and illustrated by dear friends. It’s such a good one for encouraging imagination.
  15. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. Jasper’s babysitter got him this one and it contains all of Jasper’s favorite items: bananas, monkeys and a funny moment. It’s fun to read!
  16. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. It’s a little too long to read so I skip some pages still, but he loves looking at all the machinery.
  17. Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. We have the slide and view version that he loves to interact with!
  18. Animals by Ingela P. Arrhenius. This one was a baby shower gift and I LOVE the illustrations and how large it is. We use it to identify animal sounds because it’s quite simple. If you’re looking for cheap artwork you could even cut out the pages.
  19. Alexander Girard Colors. I picked this one up when I was visiting the International Folk Museum in Santa Fe, which has a huge Alexander Girard room. Jasper loves identifying the colors.
  20. Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin. Such a beautiful, whimsical read!
  21. Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. OK, I hadn’t heard of this one before we bought it in Jackson Hole (we try to pick up a children’s book in whatever city we visit.) But I think this might be my favorite book ever. The pictures are amazing and the story is so good. It’s fun and meaningful and. I’m going to go leave a review on it!
  22. Where the Wild Things Are by Mauric Sendak. Jasper lOVES the monsters!
  23. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. A Jasper favorite.
  24. Are you My Mother? By P.D. Eastman. Another Jasper favorite.
  25. Good Night Baboon! By Sabrina Moyle and illustrated by Eunice Moyle. Great for identifying animals and also, Jasper is on a numbers kick right now.
  26. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. I didn’t super love the book until I listened to this song and now we love it!
  27. Baby Astrology: Dear Little Aquarius by Roxy Marj. My friend, Roxy Marj, just released this new collection of astrology children’s books. And even if you’re not into all the kumbaya stuff of astrology no need to fear. It’s a sweet book that identifies the wonderful qualities of each sign. Roxy was sweet to send us the collection and I had wanted to give them out as gifts. However, Jasper is obsessed with each one!
  28. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. Ok, Jasper could spend SO much time looking for Goldbug and at each car and truck. It’s like this book was made for him! However,  I made the mistake of putting it in his crib last week so he’d have something to look at in the morning. Aaaand it kept him so occupied that, when I went in that morning, he had ripped up the book and it was completely shredded. I think my son is a nordic god.
  29. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. Jasper can’t get enough of this one. He loves placing his fingers and toes on each page!
  30. Woody Pip and Hazel by Elsa Beskow. Once again, Jasper can’t get enough of this one!

Memorial Day Paper Poppy Pin

How to celebrate Memorial Day

What are some of your Memorial Day traditions? Here at Lars, our holiday plans usually include hot dogs. After that, maybe a dip in the pool, and lots of time with family! However, this Memorial Day might look a little different than what we’re used to. (Much like everything else these past few months.) So, this has us thinking about how we can celebrate new, or at least new to us, traditions! We are taking this opportunity to remember the sacrifices people have made out of love for their country. Today, we’re pulling inspiration from Remembrance Day, with our very own paper poppy pins!

DIY paper poppy pin for memorial day

In addition to roasting up some hot dogs this Monday, add this project to your family activities! Not only are these paper poppies super easy to make, but the pin is so sweet you’ll want to wear it all summer long! We love the way these turned out and can’t wait for you to make your own paper poppies!

How to make a paper poppy pin for Memorial Day

Supplies needed:

All supplies are linked on Amazon Prime so you can make your pin in time for Memorial Day!

  • Cardstock in red, green, and black
  • Template
  • Embroidery floss in red and green
  • glue gun
  • scissors
  • needle
  • pin backing
  • pencil

Instructions:

  1. First, download and print your templates
  2. Cut out three “petals” from the red” template.
  3. Cut out a circle from the black using your template. This is your stamen. Make tiny incisions into the circle as close to each other as possible all the way around the perimeter. Curl the edges of the stamen with a pencil and cup them so that they are as vertical as possible.
  4. Make the center that goes inside the stamen by gluing the four corners together. Also, glue the bottom to the inside of the stamen.
  5. Add embroidery stitches to the inside of the petals and to the leaves.
  6. Glue the petals together so that they evenly overlap each other.
  7. Glue the center onto the top petal.
  8. Add the leaves to the underside.
  9. Finally, add a pin backing to the back.
  10. Start a new tradition and wear your poppy pin this Monday!

Other poppy projects

paper poppy cake toppers for summer party decor paper poppy background for DIY party decor paper flower corsage for prom or high school dance ideas paper summer garland for DIY summer party decor how to draw a poppy drawing tutorialpaper poppy tutorial paper wedding bouqet

As self-proclaimed “poppy ladies” we think poppies fit in ANYWHERE. As cake toppers, in a summery flower garland, or even covering an entire wall! You can make paper poppies as intricate and life-like as you choose. So, click on any of the projects above different methods for making your own. Some are simple enough for the entire family to help with, like these, and some look real enough to add to a bouquet.

Teach your kids about the sacrifices we honor on Memorial Day with the help of this poppy coloring page. In addition, anyone can learn how to draw a poppy flower with this quick tutorial from our Flower Drawing Challenge.