Hanging paper lantern tutorial & template

Hanging paper lantern tutorial & free Cricut template.

A Midsummer Mingle (see pics here and here) was graciously sponsored by the generous folks at Cricut. As a part of the partnership, we were asked to create a project using their brand new spankin Cricut Explore machine which we love and use all the time.

Cricut Explore

If you’re unfamiliar with the Cricut Explore, it’s basically a paper crafter’s dream. You can choose from thousands of designs and cut it in a variety of materials like paper, leather, foam, you name it OR you can create your own designs, upload them, and then watch as it cuts it for you. As a designer, I haven’t gotten into any paper cutter before because of the limited design options–I’m rather possessive–so this has been my answer to bespoke designs. I’m excited to try more with paper flower templates and such!

Using our Cricut to make party decor

For the party I wanted a project that could be used practically as well as aesthetically. I came up with a lantern that you can place an electric tea light in. I added some florals on it (of course) and voila! You’re good to go! Ashley Isenhour was kind enough to help me transform the pattern into Illustrator (my Illustrator skills are minimal).*

How to make paper lanterns for your party

American Crafts provided the paper for the event so I used their lovely shades to cut some lanterns for my Mad Hatter themed section of the party. I had giant flowers everywhere along with loads of garlands from BHLDN like these flower garlandspaper fans, and pennant garland along with felt ball garlands from Hello Maypole, and other simpler paper lanterns (learn how to make them here). I love the look these floral lanterns and they did so much for the space.

Instructions:

Step 1: Once you’ve downloaded the template you will need to upload your design into Cricut Design Space. First, you’ll create a new project. Next you will upload your image as a vector (using the svg file). It should pop up in your Design Space.
Step 2: Scale the design to how big you’d like it to be.
Step 3: Let Cricut cut away.
Step 4: (this is where the pictures below start). I couldn’t figure out how to create a file with score lines so I hand scored it myself by lightly cutting down the lines. I did 3 light strokes because my knife was very dull. If yours is sharp, one might be fine.
Step 5: Score your lines according to the photo below.
Step 6: Glue the tabs and insert them onto each other.
Step 7: Finish up by creating the bottom of the lantern, gluing it, and inserting it into the bottom.
Now, insert a votive and you’re set! They let off the prettiest light and they’re perfect for parties!

Show us!

If you make some for yourself, I’d love to see them! Tag your projects with #makingwithlars.

If you’re digging this project and would like to make more crafty projects with Cricut, they’re having a sale right now. Such a creative investment! Click here to get in on the sale.

* If you’re wanting to learn Illustrator and learn how to make patterns in Illustrator, might I suggest taking Alma Loveland’s Illustrator 101 and 110 class on Atly? Alma has saved me MANY times in dire need and she is the source of all Illustrator knowledge! Do it! See more here.

This project was sponsored by Cricut. Thank you Cricut for helping to make A Midsummer Mingle a success! 

studio photography by Trisha Zemp 
environment photos by Natalie Norton

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

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

3 Valentine’s Day piñata boxes

 

It’s been a while since my school days when everyone brings in a homemade box to store their valentines from classmates, but after our hair product pinatas for Rubi’s workshop, we wanted to piñata everything! Thus, Valentine boxes were in order. We made some red lips, a Love Bug with a trunk that opens, and a hot air balloon. Each one I’m trying to figure out how I can display on a permanent basis. They are too cute!
Hot air balloon pinataLove bug valentine box

Find the full tutorials below! 

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.

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

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: 

DIY Doily Honeycomb Decorations

DIY Paper Doily Honeycomb Decorations

You might recall that we made these custom Honeycomb Christmas decorations from templates that we designed, but we wanted it to be a bit easier. Turns out, doilies are great because the shape is created for you and all you have to do is cut them down the middle and assemble. Plus, the doilies create that beautiful lace effect.

The More You Know

I had to do a bit of digging to find out more about what a doily is and why we have them. Turns out, the term doily came from the last name “Doily”, a London firm of linen merchants who made fringed napkins in the 1700’s. Then, from 1711, a doily was a small  ornamental napkin used at dessert. THEN, they were placed on the backs of chairs to protect them from the oil that men used on their hair. Nowadays, some people use them to protect surfaces of tables from decorative objects.

Ok, so now that we know the history of doilies, let’s get to learning how to make these honeycomb decorations. I’m thinking they would be lovely to give as a Valentine or adorn a branch tree (you know we love a decorative tree!) or taking the place of a wreath.

Here’s how to make it!

DIY Honeycomb Valentine ornament

Materials:

  • See above for where to get the doilies
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors or paper cutter

Instructions: 

  1. Measure a line down the middle of the doily to create an axis of symmetry
  2. Cut doilies in half. If your doilies are heart-shaped and have different colors on each side (ours are white on the back) keep the right-sided halves separated from the left-sided ones. You will alternate gluing left and right sides of the heart.
  3. Glue a line down the middle of one half-doily (starting at the axis and moving to the edge.
  4. Place another doily on top. For heart-shaped doilies or ones with different colors on each side, glue the same colors together. The contrasting color/blank side will now be facing up.
  5. Glue two lines down the sides of the doily on the top of the stack.
  6. Place another doily on top, again gluing the same colors together.
  7. Carefully separate the layers where glue may have escaped to lower layers through the holes in the doily.
  8. Repeat steps 4-8 until the stack is tall enough to open up and wrap back around so that the first and last layers meet. This will be about 50 layers or 25 whole doilies.
  9. While pressing down the layers of doilies, glue a line down the spine of the stack and even it out with the warm tip of the glue gun. Make sure that all the layers are adhered together with this glue.
  10. Glue a loop of ribbon to the top of the spine.
  11. Fan open the ornament, carefully separating any layers that may still be stuck together, and glue the first and last layers together. You’re finished!

How to make a circle doily honeycomb decoration

And the tutorial is a bit different if you’re doing a heart. Here’s how to make it:

Would love to see how you put them to use. What will you do with them? Tag us when you make yours with #LarsLovesLove #LarsMakes.

Like these? You’ll also love these:

Honeycomb Ornaments
Lunch sack honeycomb decorations
Printable honeycomb cards

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!

 

Zodiac pinatas

Zodiac pinata aries

I’m absolutely tickled to introduce you to today’s guest contributors, Eunice and Sabrina Moyle of one of my all-time favorite stationery companies, Hello Lucky! These two are creative masterminds who have inspired me in so many ways. Eunice’s wedding as featured here, was a huge inspiration for my own wedding. They take the simplest of projects and turn it into something extraordinary and clever. Welcome, ladies! 

We were appointed hosts of a sex reveal party for an expecting couple and wanted to plan something unexpected! We landed on a piñata, because what’s not to love about piñatas? The astrological inspiration allowed us to personalize it based off the babies birth month. We filled it with candy (nuts/ no nuts) and let the parents have at it!

Astrological piñatas are great for birthday parties too! They make an entertaining and special addition to any party theme. Added bonus- They’re super fun to make (even more so to destroy).

-Eunice and Sabrina Moyle | Hello!Lucky

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!

We’re having a ….

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

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

How’s the pregnancy going?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gender reveal balloon arch

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

Love to you all!