Our Favorite Printable Valentines

printables

Lars Shop Artists

For those of you who may be unaware, we have many amazing artists whose work we feature in our shop. They’ve collaborated with us to make all kinds of things, from home decor items to puzzles. One of the highlights of the year is seeing all the beautiful valentines these talented artists come up with! The best perk about the valentines made by our artist friends is that most all of them are printables. That means you can still fulfill your need for fresh and fun valentines without a big time commitment. Print them off and have your kids assemble them for their school valentines! But don’t worry, adults love them too. In fact, they’re perfect for all ages, really. Give them to anyone who needs a little love. Take a look, we have a feeling you’ll find something that’s just right for you!

Our Favorite Printable Valentines

Printable Valentines Hearts For a Face Mask

face mask hearts

Perfect for a Valentine’s Day in the middle of a pandemic, we love Jessie Kanelos Weiner’s printable valentines hearts for a face mask. Just print and cut, and you’ll be donning this festive face mask all day.

You’re the Top Valentines

you're the top

Also by Jessica Kanelos Weiner, these little valentines are classic, playful, and just the thing for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

Printable Vase Valentines

printable valentine

We LOVE these printable vase valentines, designed by the talented Angie Stalker. Playful and whimsical, just print them off and attach a flower to them and you’re ready to give them to your loved ones. One thing that has us totally sold, is that once you’re done with them as valentines, keep them up on your wall for a fun pop of color and texture all year round (bonus: make a few paper flowers to go with them, perhaps)? If you’re interested, here’s another foldable variation.

Valentines Heart Card

heart

Also by Angie Stalker, meet the valentines heart card. If you’re feeling like celebrating Valentine’s Day with a very literal pun, this clever little card is for you.

IOU Cards and Envelopes

IOU valentines

Angie Stalker does it again! We love her IOU cards, complete with matching envelopes. This is such a fun twist on valentines, and is such a perfect opportunity to give a service-oriented gift to your loved ones this year. We all love chocolate, but how about some luxurious foot rubs? a surprise dinner? Just scratch off the sticker to reveal the IOU assignment.

Valentine Postcard by Emily Isabella

Next on the list of our favorite printable valentines is this valentine postcard by Emily Isabella. Nothing says Valentine’s Day in Paris like these ornate little beauties. They’re delicate, classy, and absolute eye-candy to look at. I’m definitely getting some Madeline vibes, here. I have to say, I’d be ecstatic to get one of these sweet little valentine postcards in the mail.

Love Potion Valentines

love potion

By artist Danielle Kroll, these love potion valentines are a creative twist on a traditional valentine card. We’re not saying you should give your S.O. a love potion, but we think this card just might do the trick.

Strawberry Dress/I Love You More Than Paris Valentines

strawberry dress

Another of our favorite printable valentines are these strawberry dress valentines. Sweet, simple and adorable, we can’t get enough of them or their sisters, “I love you more than Paris” valentines! They say “I love you” in an absolutely whimsical and dreamy way. Michelle Christensen of My Little Bellville really outdid herself with these charmers.

Tear Apart Valentines

Eclectic, original and so appropriate for the season, these tear apart valentines are a sweet idea. They’re the perfect valentine for a best friend or significant other. Give one half away, keep the other. Just like a friendship bracelet, but with valentines!

Zoo Valentines

animal printables

Okay, we have to say, we’re completely obsessed with these adorable zoo valentines. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day party for kids or for your kiddos to take to school, these valentines are one of our favorite printable valentines of all time. They’re just so versatile. Fun for kids, fun for adults, these sweet little guys check all the boxes! Jessica Whittaker is a true master.

Historical Figure Valentines

Also by Jessica Whittaker, these historical figure valentines are a creative way to celebrate love day. If you’re a fan of clever puns, these are for you. You won’t be able to hold in the giggles.

Valentines Stamp Cards and Envelopes

printable valentine

These sweet, supersized stamp cards are perfect for your long distance love needs. Are you surprised they made the list of our favorite printable valentines? This adorable twist on postage stamps is just the thing to brighten your loved one’s Valentine’s Day. I mean, can you imagine opening the mailbox to find this?! Day made. Thank you, Josefina Schargorodsky!

Kiss Me Swallow Valentine

If you love birds, look no further. We are drooling at how cute this little swallow valentine is! Classy and playful, it relies on beautiful simplicity to create a love note your significant other will treasure forever. Hilary Onyon did a spectacular job, we have to say.

Hey You Carnation Valentine

carnation

Also by Hilary Onyon, we love this bold, two tone valentine with a little floral accent. It’s simple, clean, and distinct, and adds a fun pop of color to your valentine card collection. It definitely makes the list of our favorite printable valentines.

Cupid Valentine

We love the refreshing pop of blue on this cupid valentine by Hilary Onyon.

Heart Tile Valentine

house tile valentine

This heart tile valentine is such a clever idea. Nestled among the shingles is a heart with a hidden message on it! Folk-art inspired tiled roof, we love this modern twist. And the colors? Perfection. We love Julie Marabelle’s work!

Valentine Chocolate Wrap

A clever twist on Valentine’s Day cards, we love the idea of a printable chocolate bar wrapper! The retro designs by Normandie Luscher are fun and bold, and it feels like stepping in to a Willy Wonka Chocolate shop. Here’s a candle wrap alternative, if you’re not feeling like gifting chocolate this year.

Valentine cards by Rosie Harbottle

printable valentine

Reminiscent of a dreamy Valentine’s Day in Europe, we love the painterly illustrations on these lovely cards. Rosie Harbottle’s brushwork is fantastic and the colors bold and subtle at the same time, for a dreamy effect. If our travel is limited due to COVID, let’s bring all those travel vibes back home with these cards.

You’re Eggstra Special Valentine

egg and frog valentines

Last but not least on the list for today of our favorite printable valentines is our eggstra special valentine. If you’re a fan of food puns, you’ll definitely want to take a closer look at these adorable and funny little valentines by Michéle Brummer Everett. They’re a great option for kids, especially those little ones who aren’t feeling very lovey and are scared of cooties. Another fun variation on the egg valentines are these frog valentines, or these beet valentines, all designed by Michéle.

More Inspiration

This list of our favorite printable valentines is definitely not comprehensive, and we have many more printable valentine options available in our shop! Check out our full Valentine’s Day collection here, complete with printables, stickers, hair ties, and more.

 

 

Bird gift topper

Gift topper idea

One of my favorite ways to jazz up a gift is to keep some bright wrapping papers in my arsenal and then add on a cute gift topper. That could be a pretty ribbon or gift tag. Here, I took a more artistic approach and cut out a bird out of black paper and added in some cute details with paint. It’s simple yet striking, no?! It’s a fun little project for feeling like you’re reaching your creative quota for one day.

Solid colored wrapping papers

It all starts with some awesome solid colored wrapping papers in great colors. Here are some great options that you can find in a bundle if you’re looking to add to your gift wrap station. Here’s another brand in really great color options.

GIFT-TOPPERBird gift topper

Hopefully you already have everything you’ll need for this one since it’s so simple, but if not, here’s what you’ll need!

Materials:

Instructions

  1. Start by cutting out the shape of the bird with scissors or on your craft machine*
  2. Paint decorations on the bird with white paint or marker (marker is easier to control if you don’t have much experience with painting)
  3. Affix a paper adhesive mount to the back of the wing for the frontal wing and to the front of the bottom of the wing for the back wing.
  4. Cut out the flag for the bird and if you’ve cut it out on black paper (like we did) paint it peach.
  5. Write in your gift tags on the flag part.
  6. Gift it away!

PAPER-BIRD-GIFT-TOPPER

Of course, you can get into the spirit of decoration and go wild painting and I say have fun with it! This project is one that is meant for getting out your creativity.

Here are some more gift topper ideas:

Prize ribbon Gift topper
3D paper flower gift topper
Tissue paper flower gift topper

Show us your projects on Instagram by using the hashtag #LarsMakes

Photography and crafting by Ashley Isenhour

DIY New Year’s Crafts

New Year’s Tablescape

This year, we have a brand new New Year’s tablescape that we released just last week! It’s the perfect solution if you’re wanting a way to feel like you’re in New York City for the Ball Drop. We instantly fell in love with this DIY New Year’s craft. We’re so excited about it–fresh, fun, and new, it’s just the thing to bring in the new year with a bang. The best part about it is it’s printable, so if you’re short on time it’s a great solution for a smashing party that (unbeknownst to your guests) takes only a minute to complete! Here’s the full lowdown on our New Year’s tablescape.

New Year’s Crowns

Next on our list of DIY New Year’s crafts is New Year’s crowns. You can’t properly welcome in the new year without a festive crown to help you fit the part! You can tell we love crowns here at The House that Lars Built because we have more than a few options for you to choose from. Each is unique and perfect for whatever style of New Year’s party you’ll most likely be attending (or hosting).

Wrapping Paper-Inspired New Year’s Crown

new year's crowns

We love this fun, printable paper crown that was inspired by our very own wrapping paper. It’s bright, cheery, and just the thing to combat the freezing cold January that will be here before we know it. You can find the full feature of our wrapping paper inspired crown here. The best part about it is all you have to do is print, cut and glue, and it’s ready to go!

Skyscape Crown

New Years Paper Crown

Another more subdued version of a printable paper crown is this lovely, black-and-white skyscape crown. If you’re feeling a little more mysterious, this crown may be for you! Dreamy and reminiscent of the night sky, it’s the perfect crown to give you that extra touch of class and elegance this New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve Star Crown

star crown

Also on our list of DIY New Year’s crafts is this dazzling New Year’s Eve star crown. This crown is more than a printable, so if you’re looking for a fun DIY activity, this fits the bill perfectly! It’s easy and quick, so you don’t have to stress if you have more than a few of these to make for a party, by the way. Everything you need to know is included in our tutorial.

New Year’s Tabletop and Art Deco Crowns

New Years Tabletop

If you’re hosting a party this year for New Year’s, this next DIY tabletop idea is for you. Complete with decorations and crowns that match, we love this fun New Year’s tabletop’s Art Deco vibe! The electric citron, gradient blues and pale pinks help invite that nostalgia right in. You can visit the full post here to learn more about how to recreate this stunning New Year’s tablescape, decorations and matching crowns.

DIY Sparklers for New Year’s Eve

DIY sparklers

Fireworks are a classic element of celebrating the new year. But sometimes it’s not always ideal to light a real, burning sparkler in the middle of your kitchen. That’s why these DIY paper sparklers are the perfect solution! They still add that sparkling pop of gold, but the bonus is you can be inside, and they can be styled in a myriad of ways. Use them as a cake topper, give them to your kids to play with, or use them as an element of your New Year’s tablescape, these sparklers practically do it all. And they do it without burning anyone or anything–a definite plus. Click here to see how to make your own DIY sparklers!

Printable New Year’s Eve Invitation

Printable new years eve invitation

Okay, we’re obsessed with this New Year’s Eve party invitation! It just so happens to pair perfectly with that skyscape crown we mentioned just a bit ago. When you’re throwing a party, it does help set the mood when the invitations give the guests a sneak peak at what lies ahead! So, take our advice and pair these sweet, classy little invitations with the lovely skyscape crown. You won’t regret it. Here’s more info on these easy, printable New Year’s Eve invitations!

DIY Chinese New Year Ox

Chinese New Year Ox

We couldn’t end this list without a nod to Chinese New Year! This DIY Ox is the perfect thing to celebrate with. We know Chinese New Year is a bit later than January first (It starts on February first, this year, to be exact), but hopefully this will get you thinking ahead. The fun doesn’t have to end with your New Year’s Eve celebration, you can have round two in just a month! Here’s the link to our tutorial on how to make your own DIY Ox for Chinese New Year.

We would love to know: what are you doing New Year’s Eve?

 

New Year’s Eve Tablescape

New Year's Eve Tablescape 2022

Bringing the New York City Ball Drop to You

The inspiration for our New Year’s Eve tablescape theme was, naturally, the iconic New York City Ball Drop! It just seemed like the perfect theme for our New Year’s tablescape. I mean, who doesn’t love that Ball Drop? The problem is, not all of us can travel to New York City to watch it in person. That’s why we wanted to bring the New York City ball drop to you through this nostalgic, bite-sized rendition.

buildings close up

Our New Year’s Eve Tablescape

We’re thrilled with the way our New Year’s Eve tablescape turned out! There’s something about those vibrant colors against the bold white and blacks of the buildings that’s so joyful, hopeful and indicative of the wonder to come in the new year. And we all need a little hope, don’t we? This tablescape is the perfect way to celebrate fresh starts, anticipate the good to come, and enjoy the warmth of loving relationships.

Buildings close up

Centerpiece

For the centerpiece of our New Year’s Eve tablescape, we decided to go with a show-stopping printable cityscape, complete with the Ball Drop. Our designer, Garet, is to thank for the amazing cityscape design. Those vivid colors contrasted with the stark, New York cityscape was a bold choice, and one that had a dazzling effect when paired with that sparkling ball. You can find the template for our cityscape centerpiece here! We also added a little flair with our 2022 signage–that shimmering glitter paper was the perfect thing to highlight 2022. Numbers glinting in the light, they added just the touch of pizazz we wanted.

2022 with confetti

Making this amazing New Year’s Eve tablescape centerpiece is simple. Here’s how:

How to make the centerpiece

  1. Download our centerpiece printable found here.
  2. Once you’ve downloaded the printable, go ahead and print it off.
  3. Now, cut out the pieces.
  4. Using a hot glue gun, mount the paper pieces onto foam core (cut out the foam core with a craft knife) so they’re a little more sturdy.
  5. The last step is to attach a small triangle as a support to the back of each building.

I love NY

Tablecloth

We wanted our tablecloth to help you feel as if you were in the city with this New Year’s Eve tablescape, so we decided to go with a simple, black and white windowpane print (something like this should do the trick). The grid of the tablecloth paired perfectly with the striking colors and bold brushstrokes of the tablescape. We loved that this tablecloth was minimal, yet distinct, hinting at a city-like grid of streets that stretch in every direction.

Plates, Cups, Napkins, and Flatware

Our plates, cups, napkins and flatware added another bright pop of color to our New Year’s Eve tablescape. We went with a variety of colors: pink, yellow, green and salmon for the forks, vivid, royal blue for the plates, and confetti-speckled salmon napkins (you may have to go with plain salmon if you can’t find patterned ones you’re happy with–we had a hard time finding them for you). To top it off, we added silver paper cups. Can you say fun?! The reflection of all the colors in the tablescape against those shiny cups tied in the sparkling ball perfectly and made it feel like the warm celebration we were all craving.

plates close up

Place Cards

Yet again, we had to repurpose our mini taxi place cards in our New Year’s Eve tablescape. You may recognize them from our Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tablescape last year, and in 2017. These cute little cars are the perfect way to really solidify the feeling that you’re in New York City for the big event. What feels more like New York than those mustard yellow taxis, honking as they whiz by? Your New Year’s Eve tablescape won’t truly be complete without them.

place setting

How to make the New Year’s ball

For the iconic Ball Drop element of our New Year’s Eve tablescape, you’ll just need a few simple things: (see our materials list above for reference) a 3 inch diameter styrofoam ball, a 1 inch diameter styrofoam ball, a metal pole (or painted wooden dowel), Mod Podge, hot glue, fake craft jewels, gold glitter, and silver glitter.

Ball Drop

Preparing the balls

  1. First, apply a coat of Mod Podge to the larger styrofoam ball. Then, roll the ball in gold glitter, coating it thoroughly. Work quickly so the Mod Podge doesn’t dry before you apply the glitter!
  2. Next, do the same thing with the smaller styrofoam ball, this time using silver glitter.

Ball Drop 2022

Attaching the balls and pole

  1. Now, take the metal pole and gently skewer the large ball through the middle so it can slide up and down.
  2.  Your next step is to attach the small ball. Dab some hot glue on one side of the ball, then stick the pole into the ball on top of the hot glue, about 1/4 inch to secure.

Finishing touches

  1. Lastly, add a little extra sparkle to that ball. Apply a dab of hot glue to the craft jewels and cover the larger ball in jewels.
  2. Done!

tablescape 2022

How to Style Your New Year’s Eve tablescape

The great thing about this New Year’s Eve tablescape is that it can double as a New Year’s decoration for your mantlepiece, shelf, or anywhere else you want to put it, for that matter! You can even hang it, rather than setting it on a surface. I never feel like there are enough New Year’s decorations out there, so this is a spectacular one to add to your repertoire. And the nice thing is, you can always repurpose it for years to come, because it packs away pretty easily.

We would love to hear: what are you doing New Year’s Eve? And please, show us what you do with your New Year’s Eve tablescapes!

2022

More Inspiration

If you loved learning how to make your own New Year’s Eve tablescape, you’ll most likely have fun with these other holiday-themed tablescapes. Our Christmas tablescape is a classic and is the perfect addition to your holiday table. Then there’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tablescape, which will take you back to New York in an instant. And while you’re perusing Thanksgiving ideas, don’t forget about our fun Thanksgiving Table Decor options! If you’re excited about those warmer months, check out our When Life Hands You Lemons tablescape. You’ll probably also love our Easter Egg Runner Tablescape.

Christmas Tablescape

tablescape with mantlepiece

Christmas in the Studio

We spend pretty much all of our time in the studio here at The House that Lars Built. That means we certainly draw a lot of inspiration from each other, here on the team, as well as the many lovely bits of potential on the walls, floor, ceiling, etc. If it’s in the studio, you can bet we’ve probably mused about all the things we can use it for. So we got to thinking, if we’re in the studio so much, why not make a studio Christmas tablescape that highlights the things we love about our studio?!

tablecloth with centerpiece

Tablescape Inspiration

This Christmas tablescape’s inspiration came straight from the heart of Lars, triggered by our collaboration with the one and only Spoonflower. We knew we wanted it to feel festive and bright, so naturally, we picked a lovely checkerboard pattern of reds, pinks, and oranges to pair with the light, bubblegum pink of the studio floor. From there, we brought in a smorgasbord of golds and greens for the centerpiece and flatware. We topped it off with a backdrop featuring our charming poinsettias, greenery, and a smattering of what we’ve been working on in the studio! You can’t get more Lars than that.

trees and tablecloth

How to Recreate Our Christmas Tablescape

You may be wondering, how can I recreate this Christmas tablescape? Step right this way. What I love about this tablescape is that it’s so magical, yet feels so real and down to earth at the same time. The best part is, it’s simple and totally doable to recreate!

Here’s how to recreate your own Team Lars Christmas Tablescape:

 

The Tablecloth and Napkins

 

As I always say, the tablecloth and napkins are the key to creating a successful tablescape. They draw you in and set the tone for the entire occasion. That means it’s imperative that you be happy with them, first and foremost! Well, to say we were happy with our tablecloth and napkins would be an understatement. Spoonflower blew us away! The bright colors, together with the fun, checkerboard pattern were just the things we needed to get the inspiration flowing for the rest of the tablescape.

top view trees and table

We found our tablecloth and napkin fabric pattern here, along with other options we were considering. We went through a lot of options, and it was so hard to settle on just one. Feel free to peruse the options; Spoonflower has so many great ones.

As a note, we had some fun with our napkin folding for this tablescape. If you haven’t seen our full napkin-folding post, check it out here! It’s amazing what a fancily-folded napkin will do. We used the simple accordion fold for these napkins.

table setting with centerpiece

The Flatware, Glasses, and Plates

Target was our go-to for flatware, glasses and plates. We chose a classic gold for the flatware, glasses flecked with gold, and a dark cyan for the plates. The contrast between the dark, cool, cyan and the brighter reds, pinks, and oranges of the Spoonflower tablecloth and napkins was striking and eye-catching.

place setting

Tablescape Centerpiece and Decorations

For our Christmas tablescape centerpiece, we wanted something that felt Christmasy and would contrast nicely with the tablecloth and napkins. We decided to go with our tried-and-true crepe paper bottlebrush trees in various green shades. Then we added in some sparkling, gold accents and confetti. For the mantlepiece behind, we gathered pine boughs and some of our lovely paper poinsettias. Those elements, paired with some other inspiration we picked up around the studio fit amazingly with the rest of the tablescape.

tablecloth and napkin

Oh, and did I mention the pink floor?! It was one of those moments where I knew we’d made the right decision on that pink epoxy flooring, as tricky as it was. Naturally, not everyone has a pink epoxy floor for their tablescape, but that’s okay! Luckily, a rug like this, this or this can help complete the look in a similar way. Just try to pick something that won’t detract from that amazing Spoonflower tablecloth or napkins.

centerpiece

Shop the look

Here are just a few of the options we were considering. There are so many beautiful ones, we would love to see what you choose!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on our Lars Christmas Tablescape? Looking for more tablescape ideas? Here are some great ones you’ll probably love (bonus: many of them feature some lovely Spoonflower fabrics!). Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tablescape, When Life Hands You Lemons Tablescape and Care Package, and Thanksgiving Table Decor.

 

Nativity Paper Dolls

Our Mid-Century Heirloom Nativity

If you’re new to this whole thing, I should start by introducing our mid-century heirloom nativity set. Inspired by the set my mom created when she was young, we decided to try our hand at creating our own version (I wish I could show you hers)! If you haven’t seen it, you can read more about our original nativity set here, since our original set is what inspired our nativity paper dolls.

Heirloom Nativity

But it turns out our relationship with that beloved Mid-Century Heirloom Nativity set was far from over. We received such a positive reaction from the first set that we got to work on the puzzle of manufacturing it, but to no avail. We did come up with a different solution, though: we decided to make a miniature version with wooden clothespins instead of the full-sized candlesticks. If you don’t want to spend quite so much time, painstakingly painting, this bite-sized, adorable version is for you!

Clothespin nativity

Nativity Craft Along

Midcentury painted heirloom nativity figures against a pink and red striped background.

After those two experiments with the nativity, we decided to launch our nativity craft along! This was SO much fun. We loved getting to support makers around the U.S. with donations throughout the craft along and from the charity auction at the end. There were so many wonderful things we learned. We especially loved getting to meet our guest stars and craft with them (and all of you!)

 

If you’re interested in reading more about our nativity craft along, see these posts: Nativity Craft Along, Nativity Craft Along: Meet Our Guests, and Nativity Craft Along: Auction Details.

Nativity Alternatives

All these experiences with our nativity helped us realize something: we wanted to make the nativity more accessible to a wider audience. As many of you know, the full-sized nativity set is quite the undertaking. It’s very time consuming, and some of you have mentioned feeling a bit inadequate as far as painting those perfect lines goes. It’s also not the ideal craft for younger children.

We partially addressed these concerns with our mini clothespin nativity. It’s a bit quicker because it’s smaller, but still requires some meticulous care with a paintbrush. So! If you want a fun nativity project related to our full-sized nativity, but that’s a lot more approachable, our nativity paper dolls are right up your alley!

nativity paper dolls

Nativity Paper Dolls

You may have noticed these sweet little paper dolls on our shop–they’ve been up for a few weeks now. We launched these towards the end of our nativity craft along, and we love this quick and easy version of the real thing! Spitting image of our original wooden nativity pieces, these are the perfect option if you don’t feel like your painting skills are quite up to par. They’re also great for younger audiences who aren’t quite ready for the meticulous patience the full-sized nativity requires. All you have to do is print and cut them out! You can find them in our shop. Play with them, hang them on the wall, these are such a fun little craft that’s quick and easy.

nativity paper dolls

uncut nativity paper dolls

Nativity Coloring Pages

When we decided to make nativity paper dolls, we couldn’t help but make some nativity paper doll coloring pages as well! These are a great alternative, especially if you’re looking for a festive, low-pressure activity to do with your kids at Christmastime.

nativity coloring pages

We love that these coloring pages are fun for a wide range of ages, and that you can happily color them any way you like! There’s no right or wrong way to do it, and they’ll look cute no matter what.

We would love to see your variations of our nativity paper dolls and coloring pages!

 

More Inspiration

If you loved reading about our Mid-Century Heirloom Nativity and all its variations, you’ll love these other quick and easy seasonal crafts. Our Printable cookie box is the perfect little package to send out holiday treats! Patterned Christmas Poppers are also a great way to send little goodies to friends and family. Need a little bit of color for your wall? Try our Cuckoo Holidays Print. And as you’re wrapping gifts, don’t forget about our Paper Holiday Gift Toppers and Holiday Gift Tags, which are such a fun way to spice up your wrapping job. Oh, and if you want to add to your tree decorations, Fair Isle Christmas Ornaments are a great option.

Pomanders

bow Pomander

What is a pomander?

You may be wondering, what is a pomander? The name was unfamiliar to me at first, too. It turns out a pomander is an orange that’s been decorated with cloves. I’ve been making these for years, but now I can put a name with it! I explain a bit more about it in the video below, but pomanders have been around since the middle ages, and were originally used to ward off disease. Can you think of a more fitting craft to make in the middle of a pandemic? The bonus is that they smell lovely with that orange, spicy goodness, and look so festive, too. We were also lucky enough to have Becky Edwards with us to make these pomanders, which was amazing!

Group shot

Introducing Becky Edwards

Who is Becky Edwards? You may have seen signs with Becky’s name on them around town. That’s right, friends, Becky Edwards is running for U.S. Senate to unseat Mike Lee! I’m a HUGE Becky supporter and even more so now. To say she was a phenomenal guest would be an understatement. I mean, did you know Becky is a seasoned crafter herself?! How could we have asked for more? We learned just as much about crafting from Becky as she did from us.

Becky and Brittany

Making pomanders with Becky was such a treat. And look at her own cute sweater! When she arrived, she brought a bunch of festive sweaters with her, just to make sure our outfits matched. Can you say soul sister? We clicked immediately. If you think she sounds fun so far, you should watch the video of our crafting session below!

If you’re local in Utah, I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about Becky Edwards over the coming months. I’m particualry excited about her because of her attention to women’s issues, and paid leave. I believe she’s just what Utah needs. She’s a moderate who I believe will do an incredible job for us.

Making pomanders with Becky Edwards

How to make a Christmas pomander

Here are the steps to making your very own Christmas pomander:

How to make a Pomander steps

  1. First, tie a colored piece of ribbon around your orange however you’d like. Get creative and have fun! We tied ours like wrapping a gift.
  2. The next step is to take your cloves and stick them into the orange, pointy side down. It should be sharp enough to puncture the orange skin without too much trouble.
  3. Arrange the cloves in any pattern you want! Becky made hers into a heart shape, which we loved!
  4. If you’d like, you can secure the ribbon to the orange with a dab of hot glue, so it doesn’t slip off.
  5. You’re done!

bow Pomander

Pomanders can be displayed on a mantlepiece, shelf, countertop, or even hung as ornaments from your Christmas tree. We can’t wait to see what you do with your pomanders, and we hope you had fun making pomanders with Becky Edwards!

More Inspiration

If you enjoyed this post about pomanders, you’ll probably also love these other classic Christmas crafts! Christmas bulb advent calendar, holiday nesting dolls, paper honeycomb ornaments, DIY nativity puppets.

Paper Poinsettia Wreath

close up window shot

Paper Poinsettia Wreath

If you’ve been following our tutorials for a while, you might notice that the flowers on this poinsettia wreath look familiar. Right you are! We originally released a tutorial back in 2017, showing you how to make some paper poinsettia flowers, but then we got thinking: what if we turned those flowers into a wreath?! And the paper poinsettia wreath was born.

red close up

A winter floral wreath is a breath of fresh air from all the pine-centric wreaths, if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pine bough wreath, but I’m always looking for a way to sneak some flowers in. Can you blame me? The poinsettias are such a perfect way to make a wreath that feels seasonal and festive, but that’s fun, colorful, and whimsical at the same time.

Don’t Have a Wreath Form?

Don’t worry! If you’re looking for wreath form alternatives you can simply buy heavy gauge wire (see the link to it in the materials list above) and coil it into a few circles, securing with floral tape or something similar. This makes a DIY wreath form that’s sturdy enough to last in any size you like.

window shot of paper wreath

Paper Poinsettia Wreath Instructions

Here’s how to make your very own paper poinsettia wreath!

Prepping the flowers

  1. Using our Paper Poinsettia Flowers tutorial, assemble your flowers. You will need roughly ten large flowers. Note: when we made our poinsettia wreath flowers, we left out the leaves that are included in the original tutorial.
  2. Next, make five or six smaller flowers, using the same steps above. The difference is that you’ll only use the two small petals in the template, not the two large ones.

Assembling the wreath

Once all your poinsettias are made, you’re ready to assemble your wreath!

step photos

  1. Resting the stem of the poinsettia against the wreath form so the flower faces towards the front, wrap the extra wire stem around it. Then secure in place with some hot glue.
  2. Continue this process all the way around the wreath until it’s full. Alternate with the small and large poinsettias so you have some size variation. Depending on the size of your wreath form and how bushy you want your wreath, you may need more or less flowers than we used for ours.

You’re all done!

close up of pinks

How to style your paper poinsettia wreath

This beautiful paper poinsettia wreath can be styled in so many ways! You can put it on your front door, but you can also hang it on any other door in your house. You can also hang it on your wall in the living room, kitchen, or any other room, really. Wreaths are really versatile, so if you don’t have very many indoor plants, this can be such a great addition, especially if you have a blank stretch of wall that needs a little love.

The best thing is you don’t have to water them and they’ll last a long time! If you’re like me and you’re constantly forgetting about your houseplants, paper flowers are the perfect solution. And if you’ve ever dealt with the needles dropping off of a pine bough wreath, you’ll love this paper poinsettia wreath.

We would love to see what you do with your paper poinsettia wreaths!

window wreath

More inspiration

If you loved this tutorial on how to make a paper poinsettia wreath, you’ll probably love these other paper flower and seasonal decorations tutorials, too: DIY paper hollyhocks, paper pansies, poppies and peonies and posies, crepe paper Christmas tree topper, paper mushroom wreath, and pink paper blossom wreath.

single arm wreath shot

Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards with Mixbook

This year’s Christmas card features team Lars! Sadly, we didn’t snag a photo with all of our team members in it, but you get the idea: lots of color, plenty of DIY, this card can’t get much more Lars than it already is.

Team Lars Christmas Cards

You might recognize it as our Team Halloween costume–Andy Warhol’s soup cans. It was only appropriate. And once I found the designs by Oh Joy, I knew we had to use it. Now, sadly, that means that we are missing a few players like Kerry, Carrie, Sophie, and Garet. We love you still!

I love how the card template we chose strikes the perfect balance of holiday cheer and essential team Lars spirit! It’s bright, colorful, whimsical, and just the thing to brighten up this season that is cold and dark so much of the time. I think we can all agree that we need color all year round, but especially at this time of year! If you’re interested in the templates we’ve made with Mixbook, you can take your pick between classic, bright, Lars style and more traditional, cozy holiday cards. P.s. if you happen to be getting married this winter, you’re in for a treat with our wedding invitation templates.

holiday cards

Our Take

One of the best things about Mixbook is how customizable their templates are. It’s so helpful to have a template as a base, but the fun of making your own Christmas card is being able to make it feel like yours, you know? Hence, Crafty Holidays was born. We were just feeling the creative spirit of making this holiday season. Anyway, what better way to spend your holidays than crafting your heart out?

We love sending out cards to our clients and friends. Email me if you’d like one! Happy to send one off to you! 

christmas cards

Other Mixbook projects

The fun doesn’t end with holiday cards! If you’ve been following along, we’ve also dipped our toes into Mixbook’s photo albums and year in review books. The results were stunning, and such a fun way to capture memories! You can read more about our other Mixbook projects here: new holiday card with Mixbook, Lars for Mixbook, and our year in review with Mixbook.

Here was last year’s Christmas card that we designed!

And our year in review book.

And our travel book! Oh little Jasper! I can hardly stand it! He can hardly stand too!

The House That Lars Built for Mixbook travel book

Mixbook Discount

Since it’s the holiday season and we’re feeling full of that Christmas spirit, we want to share the love! We’ve honestly been so happy with the way our Mixbook projects have turned out and can’t recommend them enough. To give you a nudge in the right direction, Lars readers get 55% off holiday cards using code HLARS50. Offer expires 1/01/2022, so don’t sleep on it! In case you missed it, here’s a link to Mixbook.

We would love to see what you choose! Crafty Holidays!

gold foil christmas cards

This post is sponsored by Mixbook. We love our sponsors who allow us to create beautiful original content for you! 

Nativity Craft Along Auction: Details

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the auction for?

The purpose of the Nativity Craft Along charity auction is to raise funds for Nest, an amazing charitable organization that supports makers in the global hand maker economy. We feel that it’s such a worthy cause, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. To learn more about Nest, visit their website. You can also visit their instagram.

Nest and The House that Lars Built Maker’s United by Nest

In particular, we are donating to Nest’s Makers United program. With a focus on elevating BIPOC makers and delivering innovative market access solutions, Makers United ensures that the growing American makers movement is generating opportunity for all makers regardless of gender, race, economic means or ability.

 

Gee’s Bend Quilters

This week I was lucky to interview two of the quilters from the legendary Gee’s Bend quilting tradition. Have you seen the PBS documentary about them? Last year, Nest worked with them to get their work onto Etsy to make it more accessible to purchase their famous work. This is one such example of the efforts of Makers United. Your contributions go directly to efforts like this.

wiseman

What will be auctioned off?

We will be auctioning off two nativity sets, one painted by the Lars team and one painted by our celebrity crafters (you can read more about who they are below). You are bidding on an 8 piece nativity set: 1 angel, 1 Mary, 1 Joseph, 1 baby Jesus, 1 shepherd, 3 wisemen.

celebrity nativity setLars nativity

When will the auction be held?

The auction will start this Sunday, November 21 at 9am MST, and go until Tuesday, November 23 at 9pm MST.

baby Jesus

How can I attend?

The auction will take place on instagram, so you can participate from wherever you are!

How do I participate in the auction?

The auction will take place via comments on a post on the @houselarsbuilt grid. Each nativity set will have a separate Instagram post. To bid, simply comment on the post! As a note, make sure to specify the amount you are bidding (in US dollars $).

wiseman

Who painted the nativity set pieces?

celebrity guest crafters

Celebrity Crafters!

We were honored to have eight amazing guests lovingly hand-paint each piece of one nativity set. The result was jaw-dropping–can you say talent? Wow! Amanda Seyfried went first, after which Sabrina Soto, Mary Engelbreit, Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess, Tracy Reese, Erin Jang, Lisa Congdon and Courtney Quinn of Color Me Courtney all joined us. Earlier this week, we dedicated a blog post to introducing them if you missed the weekly craft along videos. You can watch all of the videos and read more about them here!

Amanda Seyfried painted the angel

amanda seyfried painting

Elsie Larson painted Baby Jesus

Tracy Reese painted the Tall Wiseman

Tracy Reese painting

Sabrina Soto painted the shepherd

Sabrina soto painting

Mary Engelbreit painted the wiseman

Mary Engelbreit

Erin Jang painted Joseph

Erin Jang painting

Lisa Congdon painted Mary

Lisa Congdon painting

Courtney Quinn painted the last Wiseman

Courtney Quinn

baby Jesus celebrity nativity pieces

Team Lars

Who painted the second set, you might ask? The one and only team at the House that Lars Built. Brittany started each one live on IGTV with each of our guests and then the whole team pitched in to complete them. Each one takes at a lot of time so we had to have all hands on deck!

wiseman wiseman

And these soup cans painted the second set.

Andy Warhol soup can costume instructions

What if I can’t attend? Can I still donate to Nest?

Of course! You can donate here. You can also click on the donation link to learn more about Nest, your donations, and where they’re going. You can also purchase the e-book, which gives all the instructions and where to buy all the pieces from the nativity set. The e-book is in our shop.

Mary

Official rules of the auction:

Here’s a compiled list of the auction rules!

1. Each nativity set will be posted on Sunday, November 21, at 9 am MST on @houselarsbuilt.

2. If you want to bid on the nativity set, place your bid in the comments.

3. By commenting you are committing to purchase the nativity. You may comment more than once to increase your bid.

4. The auction is open worldwide. Please place bids in the comments with your price in $USD.

5. Bids will close November 23,  at 9 pm MST

6. The final bidder will be notified by Instagram message from @houselarsbuilt with instructions on where to pay.

7. All winning bids are final and must be paid in full.

@buildanest is a registered non-profit and donations to @buildanest may be tax deductible dependent on your circumstances.

Joseph

Other questions

If we’ve missed something or you have other questions, please let us know in the comments. This Sunday can’t come any sooner! We’re waiting on the edge of our seats. See you then!

celebrity nativity set

3 Pie Crust Designs to Wow Your Guests this Thanksgiving

3 Pie Crust Design Ideas

These 3 pie crust designs will give that extra bit of flair to your holiday desserts, and they’re super easy to make! You don’t have to be a baker (or an artist) to ace these pie designs.  Just grab some paper, food coloring, and pies and let’s get started!

Use a Stencil on your Pie

Send a cute or clever message with this stencil technique. This “Give Thanks and Eat Pie” does just that with powdered sugar. Perfect for some extra sweetness too!

I love how simple yet impactful this one is. Just grab some paper and a witty phrase and you’re golden.  Ashley came up with the idea to apply a stencil to a pie and decorate with powdered sugar…genius! This one is great for the Cricut or Silhouette machine. And it’s perfect for your Thanksgiving pie!

Give Thanks and eat pie stencil

Give Thanks and Eat Pie Stencil

Instructions:

  1. Simply download this file and cut it out on your machine or cut it out by hand. I used a piece of scrapbook paper to create the stencil.
  2. Set onto the pie. Not too firmly or it might take a layer of the pie off.
  3.  Sprinkle powdered sugar on top with a sifter.
  4.  Gently take the stencil with hands on either side so you pull it all off at the same time.

Voila!

Give Thanks and Eat pie pie stencil
Matisse inspired pie crust idea.

Paint your Pie Crust with Food Coloring–The Matisse Pie

Last week while I was in NYC I attended the exhibition on Matisse’s cutouts at the MOMA (after getting bummed I couldn’t go to the Tate in London). I was inspired by the colors and shapes, so we came up with the Matisse pie, of course! Put those beautiful shapes to use!
Carli came up with this brilliant idea to paint the pie crust with food coloring. It went on so smoothly and bakes brilliantly.

Instructions:

  1.  Cover your pie with the dough to have a large surface to work with.
  2. Use a paintbrush to paint on your design with food coloring. We used pure food coloring, not watered down. We looked at images from Matisses’ paper cut-outs to mimic the shapes
  3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes to brown the crust (you should have already baked the pie filling).
Matisse inspired pie crust.
Voila!
And, if you want to throw your own tortured artist 
party, try out this pie crust decoration to incorporate Matisse!
Dot pie crust.

The Polka Dot Pie Crust Decoration

We also wanted to play around with texture on a pie and Victoria delivered.  She came up with this fun and easy idea of decorating your pie crust with, well, more pie crust!  Decide on a shape you want to use.  We decided to go with little circles to make polka dots but I think stars would make for an excellent Fourth of July themed pie.

Instructions:

  1. Roll out your dough
  2. Use the back end of an icing tip to punch holes into the dough like a cookie cutter.
  3.  Apply the dots to the perimeter of the pie then coming into the center of the pie filling and bake for the last 15-20 minutes of the pie cooking time.

Voila!

Pie crust idea.

How will you be making your pies for the holidays? Tell me in the comments!

Have some leftover slices of pie? Check out our printable boxes for Thanksgiving pies and summer pies

Photography by Laura Sumrak
Baking and crafting by Victoria Riza, Carli Randolf, and Ashley Isenhour,

Kid’s Toys: Lars Shop Highlight

What is Eeboo?

We couldn’t tell you about our Eeboo kid’s toys without introducing the company’s incredible background. First of all, women and mothers run this company. I mean, who knows kid’s toys better than mothers? I love how thoughtful these toys are. They make board games, watercolor sets, puzzles, and so much more. (You can find them here!) It just goes to show how the experience of being a mother influences their ability to understand children’s brains and what they need. And need I mention that they have the awards (Oppenheim best toy awards and honors) to prove it?

kid's toys

kid's toys

Encouraging development in children

One amazing aspect of Eeboo as a company is their focus on developmental learning in kid’s toys. They help kids develop skills like literacy, storytelling, drawing, imaginative play, and basic math. I mean, could I be more impressed? Kid’s toys that help their development while also helping them have fun? I can say from experience that it can definitely be a challenge to get kids to want to settle down when they’re feeling wild. And you can forget concentrating on learning things like math. So to have kid’s toys that are fun, interactive, and help make learning fun is a dream come true.

kid's toys

Screen-free

At Eeboo, the goal with their kid’s toys is to integrate learning and play in a screen-free way. This is so important (and need I say refreshing?) when we all have screens coming out our ears! It’s hard to get away, and these kid’s toys are a really beautiful way to succeed at it.

Commissioned illustrators

They also commission all their artwork from well-known and well-loved illustrators. It shows, too! The illustrations make their kid’s toys feel so fresh and original–artwork straight from the source. And friends, these illustrations are beautiful. They are delicate, detailed, and full of personality. Need I add that they are colorful and bright? They’re just what every child needs to stay interested and engaged.

Look at the illustrations on these watercolors and paper! Incredible, right? They’d make the perfect gift for a rainy afternoon to get those creative juices flowing.

kid's toyskid's toys

Care and dedication

I’d have to say one of my favorite things about these Eeboo kid’s toys is the care and dedication they give to their customers. They even have a booklet that talks about their values and priorities. I mean, come on! They go to great efforts to be sustainable, respect diversity, value design, and so much more.

I just keep dreaming about the things I would have done if I’d had these toys as a kid. I love how these building blocks promote creativity and imaginative play, for instance.

kid's toys

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