DIY Summer Flower Garland

Collaboration leads to inspiration

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

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

Where to put your paper flower garland

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

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

More paper garlands for every season

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

DIY Summer Flower Garland

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

Full instructions can be found here!

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

DIY summer flower garland

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

Special delivery (again!)

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

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

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

Behind the scenes of our birth announcement video

Having a baby during COVID

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

High Risk Pregnancy

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

How am I doing right now?

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

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

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

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!

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!

 

DIY Baby Bunny Bonnet

twins wearing baby bonnets

The simple printable pattern for your own Easter bunny baby bonnet can be found here! Choose any fabric you like and get started!

Our favorite springtime fabrics for this project

 

newborn baby girl in baby bonnet

DIY baby bonnets

How to make your own baby bonnet

  1. Print out the pattern pieces
  2. Cut out all of the printed pattern pieces.
  3. The “bonnet backing” paper pieces should be pinned together at the double solid line marks before cutting the fabric so the piece is the right size. 
  4. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and cut out the correct amount of each piece. 
  5. Using a chalk pencil, mark the sewing line. This will speed up your process as you begin to begin to pin and sew.
  6. You will need to sew the bunny ear pieces first! 
  7. Take two of the bunny ear pieces and place them right sides together, you can use two different fabrics if you like! 
  8. Pin ears together. 
  9. Once pinned sew around the ear in the indicated spot on the pattern leaving the bottom of the ear open.  
  10. Once sewn, clip and notch any curves on the ear so that it will lay the right way. 
  11. Flip the ear inside out, and press the ear. 
  12. Repeat steps 7-11 for the other ear. 
  13. Now you can start on the bonnet!
  14. Take one of your bonnet sides and one of your bonnet backing pieces and pin the pieces together along the sewing line. You may notice a bit of overhand at the back of the bonnet on the backing piece, that will be used to close the bonnet up later. 
  15. Once the one side is pinned, repeat step 6 on the other side of the same bonnet piece. 
  16. Be sure to pin so that the seams will both be facing the same direction. 
  17. Once both sides are pinned, sew the bonnet on both sides at the line you just pinned.  
  18. You will need to remove pins as you sew. 
  19. Repeat steps 14-18 with the remaining bonnet pieces, only this time you will add in your bunny ears at about 2.5 inches in from the front of the bonnet. 
  20. To place the ears you will fold them in half, if there is a color you would like the inside of the ear to be make sure that color is on the inside of the fold. 
  21. Once folded correctly you will place them front facing (check the orientation of the ears to make sure, you don’t want a backwards ear!) in at 2.5 inches in with the ear placed in between the bonnet side and the bonnet backing with the open end of the ear being the part sticking out with the seam. 
  22. Be sure to add in the ear on both sides.  
  23. Once both of your bonnet pieces are sewn, press open the seams of the bonnet. 
  24. Once pressed, you will pin the two bonnet pieces together, both seams at this point will be facing outward, you will flip it inside out after sewing it together.  As you pin you will need to add in your straps. Pin them in at the front bottom corners. 
  25. When placing the straps you will place the ribbon sandwiched between the two pieces, you might find this confusing but once you flip the pieces the right way your strap will stick out. 
  26. Make sure your seams align and leave the back of the bonnet open so you can flip it the right way later.  
  27. If you are having a hard time with the bulk from the ears and ribbon  being sandwiched between the two pieces, pull them through the back opening that you are not sewing closed yet. 
  28. Once you have your pieces pinned together and the straps in place you can sew the two pieces together.
  29. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of sewing these pieces together. 
  30. Once sewn together, pull your ears that have been placed in the opening and it will pull the piece the right way out hiding any seams inside. 
  31. Press your recently sewn pieces together flat and tuck back opening pieces up, press and pin in place. 
  32. Once pressed you will sew as close as you can to your edge all around the bonnet to secure the hat pieces together. 
  33. Be sure to sew closed the bottom hole which will naturally sew closed in step 32. 
  34. Press the finished bonnet and out out on your baby! 

This tutorial can also be completed without the bunny ears for a standard baby bonnet!

newborn twin boy in baby bonnet for easter

We love seeing what Easter looks like for you and all the great things have made! Be sure to tag us with #larsmakes so we can see how precious your bunny bonnets turn out!

How to Make a Foil Balloon Arch

We have big things happening here, and I’m not only talking about all our product launches lately, but specifically with one of our team members, my sister, Caitlin. Caitlin is our product designer and all the pretty things you see coming from our shop is because of her. Caitlin is also expecting twins this January! And she already has a one year old! Gah! We are stoked for her (and realizing the babysitting game will be stepped up!). Multiple babies mean big celebrations and we couldn’t help but go all out for Caitlin’s baby shower. We had to create the most beautiful balloon installation your eyes have ever seen. 

You might remember our first balloon arch that we did just a little over six years ago (six years! Where does the time go?!) I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try out a new technique and Caitlin’s twin s were the perfect excuse. I had the vision and luckily our friends at Anagram provided the Balloons and the balloon arch was in motion. This balloon arch is different from any arch we have done before for a few reasons: 

3 DIY Baby Swaddle ideas with Delta Faucet

In honor of the recent arrival of Royal Baby Archie, baby gifts have been on the brain.  Watching Meghan become a mother reminds me of my own time with a newborn. Baby was SO little and I loved swaddling that tiny baby in my arms.  Mary gave me the sweetest swaddles when baby was born and I used them all the time. With this in mind, we created three DIY ways to add a little pizazz to basic swaddles to give to the new moms in your life. We added a fancy embroidery stitch to one, a ribbon trim border to the other, and finished with a hand dyed swaddle with an embroidered monogram. PLUS they all make the best wrapping paper for a sweet baby gift.

Registering for baby and printable baby shower invitations

How to create a baby registryThe moment I found out I was pregnant I started searching for a place to create a baby registry. Ha! How’s that for wasting no time! Clearly, I was pretty stoked. For me, a registry was less about asking friends for gifts (because how uncomfortable is that?!) and more about gathering all the products for baby in one central location in order to provide friends and family a quick and easy way to locate helpful gifts. These days I’m all about saving time for everyone! Time efficiency is my love language.

After doing some snooping around on the webs, I realized that I didn’t want a registry from just one shop because it’s too limiting and I didn’t like the idea of registering at many shops (“the new mom is registered at so and so, and so and so, and so and so”, so awkward!) plus I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep track of it all. In my searching, I came across Babylist, which advertised as a one-stop baby registry from anywhere on the web. That’s PRECISELY what I was looking for…and I didn’t even know it!

Sign up for babylist

I used Babylist throughout my pregnancy and beyond. In fact, I still use it to gather items together (and I’ll tell you why below). I even forced my sister to go and sign up right away too when she announced she was pregnant over Christmas. It’s never too early to start! I have a tendency to forget items that I said I would always remember once it’s finally time to note them down. Does that ever happen to you?

Anyway, I loved the service so much that I reached out to them to see if they’d want to partner and I’m so thrilled that it’s worked out so I can offer you painless registry experience solution with a heartfelt endorsement! SCORE!

Not only that! No, no, along with my encouragement to sign up for Babylist (do yourself a favor!), I’m also offering a FREE PRINTABLE baby shower invitation. We created it for my sister’s baby shower that we threw in June and I LOVE how it turned out. We had an Alexander Girard theme complete with a baby block accordion invitations and they are SOOOO cute.

Sunshine Piñata to Make you Smile!

Ever since having Jasper, my eyes have been opened to the magical world of children’s clothing. Everything is cuter when it’s pint-sized! I’m sure many of you with kids are familiar with Gymboree, so you’ll be thrilled to know they are giving their brand a revamp! The clothing styles are modern and fresh while still maintaining the comfort and sensibility kids need. The clothing is so sweet and is sure to make you and your littles smile! We were so inspired by the colorful, fun pieces that we designed a party scene around the new line, complete with an Alexander Girard-inspired Sunshine Piñata!

Take a peek at the collection and download the templates to make your own sunshine piñata!

My Baby Shower

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Brittany's Baby Shower

I feel like the luckiest lady in all the land! A couple of weeks ago, the ladies here at the office threw me a baby shower with all the bells and whistles. It was so sweet. No literally, it was VERY sweet. We had delicious sweet waffles along with all the treats a pregnant girl could want. There wasn’t one savory dish on the menu. Ha! It was right up my alley. It was so wonderful to celebrate our baby boy amongst the company of those I get to work with who I love so much. It’s always so overwhelming to have people spend time and efforts on you. Like, how do you thank them? In a blog post, of course! 😉 Thank you so much to the ladies I love for all the love that went into this shower. This baby (and mama!) feel so loved!

Check out all the details of the baby shower (along with my huge bump!)!

DIY Cloud Balloons

DIY cloud balloons

These cloud balloons make me want to sing Frank Sinatra’s “Fly me to the Moon” all day long! This is a super simple DIY but one with big impact. We first created them for our Galentine’s Hearts, Hands, Eyes, party, but thought you might like to learn how to make them too. All you need is white balloons and a glue gun and you’ll be feeling like you’re on cloud nine! You can secure these to a backdrop as we’ve done here on blue paper, or you could hang them from the ceiling. Cloud balloons would be perfect for a baby shower, a birthday party backdrop, or any occasion that you want to give a little lift.DIY cloud balloons

Gender reveal stork pinata

Stork pinata gender reveal

Ashley is a very good friend to everyone around her. She volunteered to help a friend announce the gender of their baby with their friends and came up with a stork piñata to do so. Such a clever idea! Inside the stork they filled candy and decorations in pink to announce the girl they were having. I loved the idea so much I asked if they could document the process.