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.

In the Mood For: The Royal Wedding Anniversary

More than knowing how to throw a party, they know how to show love and respect for one another and people around the world. Aside from all of the drama, Harry and Meghan have been busy running their non-profit organization, Archewell. I did a little digging and learned that they chose this name because the Greek word “arche” means “source of action” (Archie = Arche). Aside from that, Meghan recently teamed up with Save the Children and did a fantastic story-time segment available on instagram. We are donating the proceeds from our Picture Hope coloring book to the same organization! That makes us just like Meghan, right?

Okay. Now that I’ve talked about how wonderful Harry and Meghan are for humanitarian reasons, I can talk about what we all guiltily came here for: FASHION. 

Since joining the royal family, Meghan has become an icon. And in the months since Megxit, she has stepped up her wardrobe in a big way. I’ve been feeling a little tired of my same two house dresses and have spent a fair bit of time looking at pictures of Meghan and Kate for fashion inspiration. You’ll love what I found!! The mix of classic elegance with modern, playful touches is perfect. Truthfully, that’s what I hope Lars makes you, dear reader, think of. I’d like to think Meghan is a Lars girl. 😉 

Two years ago, we wrote about the wedding and made a mood board! If you want to see their wedding style synthesized, try this out! You probably have one friend who is a big time fan of all things royal (mine is named Dana). Send her something from our Royal Weddings collection!  

(I won’t tell if you make a purchase for yourself.)

royal wedding stationary to celebrate the royal family

Keep on scrolling down to see some pieces that are a perfect fit for a royal-loving Lars girl. When you’re ready, head to our instagram today to vote on your favorite royal wedding fashion items. Which wedding was your favorite, Meghan’s or Kate’s? 

Now that’s the tea – don’t spill.

Everyday style inspired by the Royal Family

How to plan your own royal wedding

If you are day dreaming of your very own classic wedding, inspired by Meghan and Harry’s big day, we have all the resources to help you! We are in full support of you going all out for the classy, iconic wedding of this decade. Visions of pastel colors and big hats are dancing around our heads. If you can picture it too, keep reading! After all, your deserve to feel royal on your wedding day.

paper wedding bouqet meghan markle's wedding bouqet from the royal wedding

You can find the templates needed to make your own paper version of Meghan’s wedding bouquet in our new paper flower e-book.  Start the theme with your bridal shower, with the help of these printable invites the queen herself would approve of! Click here to see the royal wedding inspired tea party we held, for inspiration for your bridal shower or the reception itself!

Explore the links below for fashion inspired by the personal styles of members of the royal family. Imagine your guests donning classy pastel attire for the garden wedding every one will be talking about. Below you’ll find dresses, spring blazers, heels, and even hats the royal family would love any excuse to wear

Royal Wedding Fashion

Royal Wedding Accessories

 

This post is part of our “In the Mood For” series, where we highlight the taste of famous people and characters we love. Click these links to be inspired by kindred spirits like Anne of Green Gables or Jo March, or to learn how to re-create the iconic styles of real life heroes Iris Apfel or Alexander Girard

DIY Painted Blocks for Kids

Did you catch the #toddlertemptation I did with Jasper this weekend on Instastories? (You can see it saved in highlights) I set out a plate for his dinner and left the room for a bit (2 minutes max?) and asked him not to eat anything until I got back. Of course, I recorded the whole thing. Well, that little sneak totally snuck soooo many bites! He was very stealthy about it so I don’t know whether to be impressed or worried! 

While I am a little heartbroken about leaving the baby stage, watching him grow is the most amazing thing ever. And truthfully, he gets more fun to play with every day! 

You might remember this old post about his nursery. It’s crazy to think that was more than two years ago!! It’s pretty clear that I love to decorate and craft and change things all the time, so it should come as no surprise to you that I add and remove things from his room constantly. 

DIY painted blocks for kids wooden toys

One thing that I am introducing to his menagerie of toys are hand-painted blocks! This is a project that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile and I finally scheduled it to make it happen (one of the perks of crafting for a living!). In fact, for my sister’s baby shower, we left out a ton of blank wooden blocks and guests could add their own pattern to it so you get a variety of handpainted blocks from your dear friends. I’ve been wanting a set for myself ever since.

 There are tons of cute and trendy wood blocks for sale right now, but I wanted ones that were more specific and personal for him. If you read my piece from March, Why I Feel Called to Craft, you’ll get why I wanted to paint my own blocks. 

DIY painted blocks for kids wooden toys

All of my life, I’ve watched my great grandma, grandma, and mom crafting. You’ll recall my family’s famous fridge quote that “a creative mess is better than tidy idleness.” Right now, I find myself pulled by those two opposites – do I want my home to be tidy or do I want to play and craft? Sure, painting Jasper’s blocks myself might have made a mess, but I made memories while doing it. 

When I initially set about decorating his room, I stuck with moody-but-airy colors like muted blues, greens, and greys, with red providing the pop of color and energy. Remember, whimsical color schemes always need some neutral hue to ground everything! For the blocks, I decided to deviate a bit from my original color scheme and go with ~summery~ colors. Pinks and aquas and yellows were too hard to resist!

How to make your own painted blocks

I found this great blank set of blocks that wasn’t too expensive. In addition, it’s even nicely sanded and comes with a box to put them away in.

Materials:

  • Set of wood blocks from here
  • Acrylic or house paints in a variety of colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • If you’re worried about your children eating the blocks, add a child proof sealant onto the paint
  • Blue tape 

Instructions:

  1. Start painting some wood blocks a solid color. Or stripes, or whatever you’d like. If you want super straight lines (I wanted mine to feel more handpainted) use blue tape (and follow the instructions on the tape!) to block off your colors.
  2. After that, let the blocks sit for the allotted time drying time.
  3. Finally, use child-friendly sealant if you’re worried about your children eating the blocks. 

DIY painted blocks for kids wooden toys

Color scheme ideas for your painted blocks

Here are some ideas of color schemes we love!

Jasper’s colors

 

Circus colors

 

Spring colors

 

Bold colors

Quirky colors

 

Hopefully, Jasper will have as much fun with these blocks as I did! I want him to look back on his childhood the way I do mine; it was full of life and color and creativity and inspiration from the people I love. 

That’s it! Would love to see if you make some! To be featured, tag us on instagram with #LarsMakes or #LarsKids so we can see them! 

Other wood blocks we love

If you would rather purchase some beautiful wood blocks instead of painting your own, here are some of our favorites!

 

How to show our thanks on Nurses Day

Embroider a sentiment on scrubs

Scrubs were never designed to be a luxe fashion item – they are designed to be practical. Practical doesn’t have to mean thoughtless or impersonal, however. Check out these lovely (and free!) embroidery designs and stitch them on a pair for a friend or family member who is a medical professional. When nurses can’t be with their loved ones, we want nurses to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them. Personalizing scrubs tells the wearer that they are known, seen, and above all, their efforts are recognized. We are so grateful for the care and support that nurses show us. I hope this little gift can return some care and support to the people who deserve it most: medical professionals.

DIY scrubs personalized for nurses day to say thank youDIY scrubs personalized for nurses day to say thank youDIY scrubs personalized for nurses day to say thank you

We did some research and found out that some medical professionals who wear scrubs CAN have adornment while others cannot. It depends on the type of office, so you’ll have to look into it to see what your options are.

Hailey went to town embroidering the scrubs for her sister, Maegan. A heart on the top, a bandaid on the bum (they are cheeky sisters after all…pun intended), and a little floral adornment on the pocket.

Thank You Cards for Nurses and Doctors

Thank you card for nurses day you can print at home

I heard about a nurse who spent the entirety of her shift on Mother’s Day running as she went from room to room, helping patients connect with their family members using her cell phone. Now, I’m sure that she also performed her normal nursing duties, which include running diagnostic tests, administering treatments and medications, organizing treatment plans, intubating patients, taking care of patient comfort and hygiene, and much much more. These professionals do so much more than just their jobs, and we can all do a little more to show our appreciation. 

If you don’t know a nurse personally who you can personalize scrubs for, there is still something you can do! Print off this “Thank you, hero!” card to give to the nurses and doctors and any other medical professional that have been a hero in your life. Thank the nurse who watched over your grandma, your child, whoever it is. Or even better, to get the whole family involved – deliver a stack of cards to a hospital for some surprise gratitude for the staff.

You can find the free embroidery patterns here
You can find the printable Thank you, hero! card here

Cinco de Mayo Drive By Party

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the battle of Puebla. It’s not Mexico’s Independence Day but a common celebration in the United States. Our family visited the city of Puebla when we lived in Mexico City, and fell in love with its charm and history.
For Cinco de Mayo, we love inviting friends and family to a party. But with the quarantine this year we’re hosting a drive by fiesta. I loved Brittany’s papel picado idea and will use it as inspiration to decorate my door. The bright, festive, papel picado decorates the streets of Mexico for festivities, with that as our backdrop we’ll give our friends homemade bottled salsa, totopos (tortilla chips), and Mexican candy!
– Nadia @Casa_Palomí

DIY Cardboard Mariachi Instruments

We made some instruments out of cardboard and painted them. A sweet yet simple touch! cardboard guitard

DIY cardboard instruments mariachi

DIY Cardboard accordion

This is my favorite! I love how it turned out.

DIY cardboard accordionDIY cardboard instruments mariachi

Materials:

  • Two rectangle boxes about 4 or 5″ by 8 or 9″
  • 3 pieces of white office paper
  • House paint or acrylic
  • paint brushes
  • tape

Instructions:

  • Paint your cardboard boxes in the color of your choice. Once it’s dry, add on the black details of the keyboard.
  • Make an accordion fold in the office paper the tall way and glue the three pieces of paper together.
  • Add on a handle by cutting a 1″ strip and taping it to the side of the box.

DIY Cardboard Guitar

DIY cardboard guitarDIY cardboard instruments mariachi

Materials:

  • cardboard
  • embroidery floss or string
  • scissors or craft knife
  • glue gun

Instructions

  1. Cut out two layers of the guitar base, including the neck.
  2. Cut out a circle in one of them.
  3. Paint the two pieces and then glue and glue together.
  4. Add on a 2″ strip for the bridge (where the strings are held at the bottom)
  5. Add on the neck of the guitar
  6. Glue the strings onto the bridge and up onto the neck.

DIY Cardboard trumpet

DIY cardboard trumpetDIY cardboard instruments mariachi

Materials:

  • Cardboard
  • paint

Instructions:

  1. Draw a trumpet shape onto your cardboard.
  2. Cut it out with your scissors or craft knife.
  3. Paint the trumpet.

Voila!

DIY oversized papel picado

Now, for the ginormous papel picado. This one is giant impact! And requires very little money, just a bit of time.Cinco de Mayo drive by party

Materials:

  • butcher paper
  • craft knife
  • scissors
  • masking tape
  • plates and cups for perfect circles

Instructions

  1. Measure out the door you’d like to attach your papel picado to. A lot of party supply places or office supply places have butcher paper by the foot and it’s about 3′ wide. We did ours 12′ and then lined up three pieces together and taped them on the back.
  2. Draw your design onto the paper. We used our own papel picado in our shop for reference. If you’re not confident with your drawing abilities, you can project the image onto the wall. Another trick is to divide up your image into a grid so you know where to apply the design.
  3. Once it’s all drawn out, start cutting it out! We used bowls and cups to create the scalloped edges and circles. But we also liked it to not be perfect cut so we allowed for the handmade touch.
  4. Apply it onto your garage door with some safe tape (like masking tape).

cardboard mariachi instruments

cardboard trumpetcardboard guitard
cardboard mariachi accordion
If you’re looking for colorful decor, look no further than our Fruit Tissue Honeycombs and classic Papel Picado Streamers. You might have seen a mini version of the streamers in our fiesta a few years ago, but we love bringing them back whenever we can! They’re a template that you can cut out on your craft cutting machine (AKA EASY) and can be made to any size to fit your Cinco de Mayo party! The Fruit Tissue Honeycombs are simple to make as well, and we think they add a fun vibe to the fiesta as a big pop of color and shape.
And the perfect centerpiece for your table? Try our Paper Wedding Bouquet, inspired by the colors of Cinco de Mayo! Make a large bouquet to sit in the middle of the table, or challenge your guests to create their own, and invent a new tradition this year making paper flowers.
Looking for more inspiration for your fiesta? Check out our previous post detailing our very own Lars Cinco de Mayo party we hosted in years past. We think we got everything: the streamers, the colors, and the food! We listed out our fiesta menu, and created a Cinco de Mayo party collection of things that we loved!

How to make writing in your journal fun and creative

Why should I write in a journal?

Baby prompts journal with promptly

We have all been told the importance of writing in a journal for our posterity’s sake. If this is the reason you write, I admire you for it! Preserving history and making sure your great-grand kids know what it was like during the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginning of tik tok is a noble reason to keep a diary. Though for some of us this motivation wanes from time to time, and we find our personal history missing some pretty major gaps.

For me, I have found I am the most consistent with writing when I make it a creative project. This post is full of tips on how to make your journal writing more fun and creative, and we think it will keep you more motivated than ever! Keeping a diary can be a creative outlet that helps you  get pumped up in the morning or wind down at the end of the day. It can help you learn discipline making good habits.

How writing in a journal can improve your art

I remember reading the book Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which discusses the importance of “morning pages.” The idea is that, first thing when you wake up, you write at least 3 pages of stream of consciousness in your notebook. No thinking of making sense, just writing whatever (whatever!) comes to your mind. Doing this regularly unlocks your creativity and trains your mind to let ideas flow freely. I love this idea! It takes all of the pressure out of writing daily.

Different types of journals

If you are stuck on page 2, it’s possible you aren’t using the right kind of journal for you! Try out a new kind from the list below:

Writing prompts

My Life In Color a creative and colorful guided journal

Wreck This Journal

(And other journal books you get to color in!)

Photo books

Write one line a day

Travel journals

If writing daily feels like too much right now, stick to travel books instead! Find one that will be sturdy enough to stay nice in your carry-on, reflects the place you are visiting, and fill it with memorabilia and travel stories to tell your friends back home!

how to improve your handwriting for journaling

Different ways to fill in your journal

If you’re the queen of filling up the first few pages of a notebook never to touch it again, I feel you. I see you. No one wants a journal that jumps from 8th grade to Senior prom to their wedding day; so when we find an old (and mostly blank) book it’s hard to find the motivation to start writing in it again. Though there are not many feelings better than starting a fresh crisp new notebook, our hope is that with this complete journal guide we can all start a brand new diary and then actually stick with it! And remember, when you reach the end you can reward yourself once again with another beautiful empty book.

The key to filling an entire journal is remembering this is meant to be a modge podge book filled with your growth, mistakes, good days, and everything in between. No one’s life is free of spilled milk and mascara stains, and your journal shouldn’t be either! As a recovering perfectionist, even I can promise that a full messy journal is a much bigger accomplishment than a half empty perfect looking one.

If you are having trouble overcoming your desire for perfectly dotted i’s and margins free of doodles – try this: abandon your perfectionism in at least one area of your life – your diary. Doodle to your hearts content. Bring your notebook with you to the breakfast table and don’t worry about spilling your coffee. Fill your book full of ticket stubs and anxious scribbles.

If we are overwhelming you, take a deep breath. There is a more structured way you can learn to love a messy journal – this Brave New World journal is filled with prompts to help unleash your inner artist. Baby steps, baby steps.

Try these creative ways to fill your journal

Doodling

While trying to jog your memory of what happened this morning, don’t be afraid to doodle in the margins, or fill the entire page! This snapshots in time say just as much about your current self as your words do. Our daily flower drawing challenge is the perfect place to start! Draw a daily flower in your notebook and use this to keep yourself on track with writing!

Bullet points

Don’t stress over a novel of your day, just write at least a few key bullet points at the end of your day and call it good! If that’s all you can do, it’s a great place to start. Before you know it you’ll find yourself wanting to write more and more!

Collect recipes

If writing or doodling aren’t really your things, figure out what is! One idea is to gather family recipes and write down the memory you have attached to them. Making and writing our the recipe for your mom’s infamous chocolate cake is sure to start a flood of memories you’ll be itching to get down on paper. Try keeping a notebook dedicated to recipe related memories!

Baby boy's first birthday party

For Jasper’s first birthday I filled his baby book with photos, pins, and other paper momentos from his party! I can’t wait to show him when he is older.

Our favorite journals

Hardcover

Simple ruled

Dotted

Bullet

Unruled

This colorblock journal is customizable, comes in multiple color choices and page options!

Customizable

Journals for kids

Stickers

We promised you ways to make writing more fun, so of course we had to include stickers!

These habit forming stickers are such a fun way to keep yourself accountable (for more habits than just writing daily!)

Journal supplies

Hold all of your journaling supplies in this folio! These pastel pens are on sale in our shop now for a limited time!

Craft the Rainbow full set

All of the items in the photo above are on sale right now for Craft the Rainbow month! Click here to see the sale and start your own My Life in Color journal! 

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

Last Minute Easter Printables

Easter gift tags and cards

For the final touch even the Easter bunny himself would approve of, print off these cards and add them to baskets and gifts. You can make it simple, and add a punny carrot tag. Or add a handmade touch with our Danish Easter letters template.

carrot easter gift tagsFunny and sweet compliment cardsEaster gift cards to pair with hair clipsDanish Easter Letters template

Add a hair clip to these printable “Here’s to a good hare day” cards. Or sprinkle in happy compliments for an easter basket for a friend!

Sugar-free Easter egg fillers

Printable Easter Gift coupons to put in sugar-free easter eggs

During social distancing, I have been doing my best to fill Jasper’s easter basket with fun activities to keep his little hands busy. The last thing I need is a sugar frenzy! (for him, or for me when I sneak his cadbury eggs.) These coupons above were made to be printed off, and take the place of candy filling your eggs for the hunt. Your kids will be extra surprised this year when they find coupons to cash in for a movie night of their choice, family karaoke, and more fun! There are blank coupons provided you can fill in with your own activity ideas too! It’s truly the Easter gift that keeps on giving, to the whole family!

Easter coloring pages

Easter Bunny coloring page

Easter egg hunt coloring pageChocolate bunny and Easter Candy coloring page

Print off copies of our exclusive Easter coloring pages for the whole family to enjoy!

Easter activities

Bunny and chick paper dolls

We could not be more excited about the addition of these whimsical Easter bunny and chick paper dolls to our shop this year! You can print off multiple outfits, and even a tablescape scene for the dolls to enjoy. Available in a colorful option OR a blank one to color in and make the fun last even longer!

Easter paper dolls and coloring pages activity pack

The set above includes all our paper dolls sets and Easter coloring pages. Complete your fun-filled Easter basket with this activity set!

Explore our full Easter shop here and get all ready for Sunday!