Lars Summer Pool Floats

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pool float round upIt’s time to for afternoons at the pool and weekends at the beach! And what better way to enjoy all that water time than with the cutest pool floats in town! I’m not sure why the pool float trend emerged but I’m jumping on the bandwagon with a big splash! Surely social media has played a large role in encouraging people to post their pool float pics, thanks largely to Taylor Swift and that iconic swan float! The trend has been going strong for a few years now, with more options available than ever. We’ve sifted through the best of them and identified our favorites so you can float through this summer in style. From rainbows to sunflowers, these are the pool floats with the look of Lars!

Make Your Own Holiday Nesting Dolls

Today we’re bringing you our first Christmas DIY of the season—holiday nesting dolls. This project is reminiscent of our popular hand-painted nativity and DIY dala horse. Like those, these holiday nesting dolls start from natural wood shapes and turn into colorful heirlooms by the time you’re done. It’s the perfect type of Christmas craft!

What Are Nesting Dolls?

Though nesting dolls we know today came from Russia, the original nesting dolls actually date back to ancient China. Both Russian and Chinese nesting dolls rely on the same concept—one large doll (often representing the mother or maternal figure) encompasses a set of smaller dolls. However, the smallest of the Chinese nesting dolls held a grain of rice (that’s a tiny doll!). 

Before the traditional dolls made their way to Russia, they caught on in Japan. It was there that a Russian woman noticed the dolls and took them with her to Russia. Her husband, Savva Mamontov, was a patron of the arts particularly interested in Russian folk art.

The first Russian dolls appeared in the late 1800s, where they were referred to as “Matroyshka,” which comes from the Latin root “mater,” or mother. We love the symbol of the nesting dolls as much as the dolls themselves—as it represents creation and new life (something we all hope for at the end of this tumultuous year!). 

Now we’ll show you how to make your very own holiday nesting dolls you can pass down for generations to come.

How to paint your own nesting dolls

This project was heavily influenced by our mid-century heirloom nativity set. You can see that project here.

Materials

Instructions

  1. You can either start out by painting each one a solid color like I did. OR you can pencil in your design.
  2. Pencil in your design or continue painting in the design.
  3. That’s it!

It’s a simple method that produces big results!

Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Once you do, tag us with #HolidaysWithLars or #LarsMakes.

If you liked this, you might also like

How to make a holiday leaf crown
Advent Candle
DIY Christmas Traditions from Around The World

Happy Valentine’s Day!

ombre heart garland in pinks
heart wreath ombre

Guys! I can’t even wait to tell you how Paul and I are celebrating Valentine’s Day. Hint: costumes will be involved. And Paul’s may be fancier than mine. That’s all I’m going to say for now.

I’ve had a ball creating Valentine’s Day projects for you. I love Valentine’s Day. I think it must be the warm color palette. Or love or something. I made this ombre garland for a couple of workshops that I gave this week. Stay tuned for more details about them.

Happy day!

Valentine’s Day craft ideas

No matter how you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, we’ve got some crafts that will surely bring you some joy! Whether you want to adorn your house in pinks and reds or prefer a more subtle take to the holiday, we have some Valentine’s Day craft ideas for you!

Wreaths

Wreaths are the perfect addition to your home for any holiday you’re celebrating! This Valentine’s Day paper flower wreath is a Lars favorite! This crepe paper cherry wreath is also great for the holiday and for welcoming the warmer months of Spring! If you’re feeling extra fancy, incorporate real flowers into your decor with this baby’s breath heart wreath.

Paper crafts

String these printable Papel Picado streamers in your home for some festive decor. For some adorable and creative Valentine’s check out these paper lipstick valentines. Every Valentine’s Day celebration needs fun drink stirrers or straws! Take a look at these eyeball gumball drink stirrers and these party straws and stirrers.

If you aren’t into big Valentine’s Day parties, valentine’s cards are still a must! We’ve made it super easy to hand out Valentine’s to all of your friends and family with printables! These compliment cards have plenty of different sayings, so you can hand them out to everyone including friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers! If you’re in a pinch, check out these last-minute Valentines printables. There’s everything from cards, to games, to gift boxes in the last-minute list!

Don’t forget to check out the Lars Valentine’s Day shop to get more printables, craft ideas, and gifts for your loved ones!

photography by Trisha Zemp

DIY Gingerbread house gift boxes

Gingerbread house gift boxes

You know I love getting creative with my wrapping paper–it’s part of the fun of gift-giving! We were challenged by Painters to use our imagination with their markers and so we came up with these adorable DIY gingerbread house gift boxes, which just might induce more squeals than the actual gift box itself. And no need to fear, they require just three materials. Easy squeezy!

Painters is hosting the Style by Aisle Painters Contest for all you looking to get creative this month. Through December, they are giving a winner a prize valued at $500 to someone creating something in the Party and Seasonal Decor category. You and your other talented DIY friends/family can submit your homemade creations to elmers.com/painters. On the website, you can even download a coupon for Painters products so you can add more colors or tips to your DIY/crafting collection.  You can take advantage of the coupon even if you don’t enter the contest. Go to the website to learn more!

Edit: The Style by Aisle Painters Contest has closed.

Gingerbread house gift box tutorial

See below for the full Gingerbread house gift box tutorial! 

DIY tropical paper leaf table runner

Last week I had the opportunity to host a workshop event at Anthropologie in Salt Lake City where I showed people how to style an outdoor soiree party for the summer months using some of their new products. It was the perfect combo of me being a big ‘ole fan of Anthro and my local peeps at the SLC location and my immense love of dinnerware. To go with the tropical themed collection, our team came up with three little custom projects that you can add to go with it that we’ll be sharing this week, starting with this paper leaf table runner inspired by their collection. It’s SO easy and cheap and adds a lot of pop!


On Juneteenth by Sheryl Garner Ellsworth

On Juneteenth

Last year’s killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd heightened racial tensions prompting an unprecedented increase in the desire to better understand the Black American experience from many of my non-Black friends. My phone was flooded with apologetic texts seeking forgiveness for racist comments, willful ignorance of Black history, and denial of the existence of systemic racism. It was a heavy time. Over a year has passed but the cloud of police brutality and ever-increasing political partisanship continue to spur rifts in many friendships; add the impact of a global pandemic and hope for meaningful change seems hopeless. But despite these challenges, I’m hopeful that our future will be brighter particularly as many friends and well-known companies (e.g. Google, Facebook, Adobe, Lyft, etc.) begin to acknowledge the contributions of Black people in America by celebrating and honoring Juneteenth.

For many, Juneteenth remains a mystery. Largely absent from most history curricula, Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. Despite the Emancipation Proclamation’s abolishment of slavery on January 1, 1863, slavery continued in much of the South. On June 19, 1865, a little over two months after the official end of the Civil War, and two and a half years after the abolition of slavery, a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that all enslaved people were finally free. Juneteenth commemorates these events.

Juneteenth is a special day for me, not only for its historical significance but also because it’s my birthday. Growing up I quickly realized that Juneteenth’s significance wasn’t equally understood or appreciated. Whenever older Black people heard that my birthday was June 19, they would immediately respond with, “Oh wow, you share a birthday with Juneteenth!” Meanwhile, non-Black people would say, “Oh wow, your birthday is just shy of the first day of summer!” or, “I bet you share your birthday a lot with Father’s Day!” I’ve continuously tried to share my knowledge of Juneteenth, as the end of slavery is a joyous moment that should be celebrated by all not only Black people.

My hope is that everyone, whether their company formally gives them the day off or not, takes a moment to honor those who never tasted freedom and recognize that America’s foundational wealth was built with the free labor of enslaved Africans. Acknowledging this fact is not anti-American, it’s our American history. And as Abraham Lincoln said, “History is not history unless it is the truth.”

So take the time to learn and celebrate Juneteenth and our shared triumph over slavery’s evil. No celebration would be complete without food and Juneteenth is no different. Red foods like strawberry soda, hibiscus tea, red velvet cake, strawberry pie, and watermelon are customary for Juneteenth as red or crimson is the symbol of ingenuity and resilience in bondage. Happy Juneteenth!

Thank you Sheryl! And some of you may remember that Happy Birthday cake topper from this collection. We’re so honored! 

Girls’ Night Out coloring party!

coloring-book-for-adults-WITH-BORDER

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about our coloring book, Flowers, with all of you, but what better way to celebrate the release than with a Girl’s Night Out coloring party on Thursday, March 10 from 7:30-9:30.

Each ticket price includes your very own copy of Flowers Coloring Book, coloring materials, a fab bag to take them home in, and refreshments provided by Sweet Tooth Fairy and Black Sheep Cafe.

Bring a gal pal or two (or three or four!) and come for a fun night out! Click here for more info.COLORING-PARTY-TICKETS

See more coloring posts here! 

DIY Ghost Tablecloth for Halloween

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We’re on our very last tutorial from the Tortured Artist party, and this one is my favorite! This DIY ghost tablecloth tutorial is creepy and ghoulish and everything in between. Imagine eating a pleasant Halloween feast when all of a sudden you notice that the cheesecloth you think is artistically bunched up is actually a face. Muhahaha. We used cheesecloth bunched together as a table runner and inserted the faces along in the grooves. Perfectly spooky, right?!
Cheesecloth ghost table runner
Cheesecloth ghost table runner

Photography by Alpha Smoot
Crafting by Carli Randolf
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

DIY ghost tablecloth tutorial

Materials:

  • Face form
  • Cheesecloth
  • Corn starch
  • Water

Instructions:

1. Make starch. Pour 2 cups of water into a microwave-safe container. Add 1 cup of corn starch. Mix well.

2. Microwave it in 30 second installments until it gets thick. Will take about 2 minutes long. Let it cool, but not get cold.

3. Coat your piece of cheesecloth (I recommend doubling it to make it stronger) in the cornstarch.

4. Drape the cheesecloth over your face form making sure to give detail to the face part. Really work your fingers into the facial expression. We used a mannequin head but you can find face forms at Michael’s or Joann. Put freezer paper underneath so it makes it easy to pull off.

5. We alternated between using a hairdryer and letting it air dry. It makes it easy to pull it off the surface.

6. When it’s completely dry, use a butter knife to separate the layers.

7. Create a table runner on your table by bunching up layers cheesecloth. Insert your faces in the bunches. Each face was ended up being about a 12″ square.

Add some candles and greenery to your table for the finishing touch. Muhahahaha. Check out the full spread at our tortured artist party here, and view the tortured artist costumes here.

More decor ideas for Halloween

If this DIY ghost tablecloth grabbed your attention, you can browse through MORE Halloween decor ideas in the Lars archives. Our favorites include this DIY rainbow pumpkin arch, these DIY wood transfer plaques, and creepy printable art decor to match your equally spooky ghost tablecloth. You can also check out more Halloween decor inspiration on our Pinterest board here.

An artful handmade 4th of July

Dear readers, I work with some of the coolest cats on the planet. I recently found out that my photographer, Trisha Zemp, does video too! Of course we had to do one for our 4th of July crafts, right?! And she nailed it!
Some of you foreigners are probably thinking, “You Americans and your patriotism.” I can say this because I have non-American husband and have lived abroad for a number of years. What can I say other than we just love creating a party behind every holiday.
Every craft featured in this video is available as a tutorial in the next couple of days. Can you even handle it?! Stay tuned for a Lady Liberty floral crown, star-spangled crown, pop rock cake, berry lemonade popsicles, flag swag necklace. So much red, white, and blue! And seriously, these ladies really are that happy.
Happy summer! 

DIY Jingle Bell Balloons


DIY Jingle Bell Balloons

Materials: 

Directions: 

  1. Download the jingle bell template
  2. With the vinyl cut out enough for the amount of bells you are making. Each balloon will need four pieces. This step can be done with scissors or a craft cutter! 
  3. On the top of each balloon you will place the vinyl following the four seams of the balloon to create the jingle bell. 
  4. Once all of your balloons have been transformed into jingle bells you can start your installation! 
  5. Take the balloons and gently pull them through the balloons tape. Since these aren’t tied off you can secure them with tape at the bottom. 
  6. Create a segment of balloons with the balloon tape that fits the area where your installation is going. 
  7. Using wire or tape secure your balloon tape segment, with balloons in place, to the spot where you would like it to go. 
  8. Once the piece is in place you can add more balloons to it or remove some if they aren’t giving it the right shape. This can be done by adding balloons into the balloon tape or using glue dots to stack the balloons and hold them in place. 
  9. Get ready for Saint Nick to be impressed!

Be sure to tag us with #holidayswithlars so we can see your Christmas decor!

This post is sponsored by Anagram. We love our sponsors who allow us to make original content for you.

Lars Bucket List Trip: Carl and Karin Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden

carl larsson's house

larsson home

There are certain places in the world that mark your memory and change your vision of the world. Visiting Carl Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden was one of those places. Sadly, when I visited a few years ago, I didn’t take great pictures, and you’re not allowed to take pictures inside. BUT! Lars contributor, Meta Coleman, captured it on a recent trip and documented some lovely details and wrote about her experience. Her story kicks off a new series called Lars Bucket List Trips where every now and again I’ll share places to add to your bucket list. Perhaps they’ll inspire you too. 

As a child I had a large Carl Larsson print in my room. It was of a girl sitting in her bedroom holding a tulip. I felt very connected to that little girl and to the beautiful day to day family life painted by Carl Larsson.

Printable 4th of July Glasses

We made these printable 4th of July glasses with celebration in mind. I live in a town that really celebrates the 4th. We’re talking a giant parade, a huge firework show/concert in the local stadium, and a hot air balloon festival. Not to mention the private family celebrations in just about every park pavilion for miles!

A blonde woman in a blue striped dress with red and white rick rack wears blue paper glasses with white accents in the shape of round flowers. She's standing against a blush pink background.

In a place like this where the 4th of July is such a huge deal, it’s especially fun to get into the spirit of the celebration. Why not join in on the good time with a festive outfit? Go all out with these printable 4th of July glasses, which are easy to make and fun for adults and kids alike.

various paper glasses, some with a round floral shape and some reading "fourth," in red and blue with white accents. They're on a blush pink background.

Make your own printable 4th of July glasses

The 4th is prime party time, and there’s always so much to do to get ready for a big celebration. The food, the decor, the playlist–it’s easy to get overwhelmed! But these printable 4th of July glasses would be a perfect party favor because they’re SO EASY to put together.

Materials

Instructions

  1. Print off the printables onto cardstock/heavier paper
  2. Cut around the templates with scissors
  3. Affix the “temples” (the long part) to the frames by folding and gluing together. Note: The Fourth design will be affixed to the back of the frames. Just measure your face to size.

Voila!

paper glasses with a round floral shape in red and blue with white accents. They're on a blush pink background.

Just download our file, send them to your local print shop, cut them out, and voilà! It’s so easy that you can enlist your kids to help out.

Can you imagine how fun it would be to look around at your whole group sporting these goofy GLAMOROUS glasses together? Just make sure you take a photo!

A blonde woman in a blue dress with red and white rick rack wears red white and blue paper glasses reading "fourth." various paper glasses, some with a round floral shape and some reading "fourth," in red and blue with white accents. They're on a blush pink background.

You might also like…

This isn’t our first time making festive paper glasses, so check out our New Year’s and Valentine versions of this printable fashion statement. And if pie or cake features in your 4th of July celebrations, check out these printable pie boxes!

And if you’re looking to go all out with your 4th of July outfit, I can’t recommend this Lady Liberty flower crown highly enough. It’s the perfect way to add some natural whimsy to your festive look. Or try this DIY Tie Dye Bandana for the 4th of July to go with your red white and blue outfit!

paper glasses reading "fourth" in red and blue with white accents. They're on a blush pink background.

The Lars team wishes you a happy 4th! We’d love for you to tag us in your festive 4th photos with #LarsParties. Please celebrate safely!