DIY Birthday cake chandelier

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It was this time 6 years ago that I started The House that Lars Built for a residential design class for graduate school. I used my new blog as a place to put my homework assignments and my ode to Trader Joes* and other frivolous yet totally important stuff. It continued that way for a couple of years until our wedding was released online and people started to ask how we made the decor from it, like the big paper flowers. Soon I was getting asked to contribute DIYs to different websites and all of a sudden, without realizing it, Lars became a DIY site. Though it’s only been a couple of years that I found the DIY focus on Lars, it’s been SIX years since I started it for class and that deserves a celebration, non? 
To kick off the birthday festivities Ashley made a birthday cake chandelier that would be perfect to create as an heirloom piece and bring it out for each holiday. She took the traditional tiered chandelier, flipped it upside down, added some birthday candles, and voila! Let’s get to it shall we? 

photography by Trisha Zemp
craft by Ashley Isenhour
styling by Brittany Jepsen

Click below to see the step by step tutorial!


Materials:

scissors, x-acto knife, cardboard, posterboard or cardstock, 3/4 yard of fabric for cake (optional), pencil, ruler, glue gun, pipe cleaner, 1/6 yard of contrasting fabric for trim, pipe cleaners, paper straws, tissue paper, paint (optional), embroidery thread 

Step 1: Use your x-acto knife to cut two circles (one about 3″ smaller in diameter than the other) out of cardboard. Cut two circles of the same sizes out of colored cardstock. Mine were 12″ and 9″ in diameter. Nesting mixing bowls make great templates 🙂 Glue the cardstock circles to the corresponding cardboard circles. These circles will be the tops of your cake layers.

Step 2: Cut 6″ strips out of posterboard or colored cardstock. 

Step 3: Cut 8″ strips of your fabric. Place your posterboard strip on top of your fabric strip. Fold the extra inch of fabric over the bottom of your strip and secure with hot glue. Pull the extra inch of fabric at the top taut, fold it over the top of the posterboard strip, and secure with hot glue. Repeat steps for the wall of your top cake layer. (Note: the easier way is obviously to use a colored posterboard or cardstock to begin with… I just go I little crazy sometimes 😉 )

Step 4: Squirt a 3″ strip of hot glue 1″ down from the top of your posterboard strip. Place the edge of your cardboard circle on the strip of glue. Squirt another 3″ strip of glue and roll the cardboard circle along the glue strip. Continue this process until the entire wall of your cake layer is wrapped around the cardboard circle. Secure the overlapping end with hot glue. Repeat process for the other cake layer. 

Step 5: Squirt hot glue along the bottom rim of your top cake layer. Attach top cake layer to the bottom tape layer. You may need to squirt more hot glue along the seam once the top layer is placed on the bottom layer. 

Step 6: Twist the ends of a few pipe cleaners together to make one long pipe cleaner (long enough to wrap around your bottom cake layer). Hot glue one end of a fabric strip to the pipe cleaner and wrap the pipe cleaner so that it is completely covered. Hot glue wrapped pipe cleaner around the bottom rim of your bottom cake layer. Repeat at the top rim of your bottom cake layer and top rim of your top cakelayer.

Step 7: Cut paper straws in half to make candles. You can paint them or leave them as they are. Cut 1″ squares of tissue paper. Pinch each square in the middle and twist. Squirt a bit of hot glue in the end of each straw and stick the twisted end of your tissue in there. (This genius idea is from Icing Design Online).

Step 8: Hot glue the base of each candle on the inside rim of your top layer.

Step 9: Cut 6 strands of embroidery thread to the same length. Bundle threads together and tie tight double knots along the length of the bundle. Cut to the sides of each knot. Hot glue these “faux french knots” onto your cake layers as decoration.

Step 10: Cut 2 long strands of embroidery thread to the same length. Holding the strands together, fold them in half and tie a knot at the mid point, leaving a loop. Hot glue the four loose ends to the inside rim of your top cake layer. Space the four ends as evenly as you can. Once glue is dry and secure use loop to hang cake chandelier.

*Are you just as puzzled why there isn’t one in Provo? Let’s get it here! Join the Facebook group! I’m serious! I do love me my TJs and I made the Facebook group to prove it.

Printable Birthday Party Decor

Part of why I enjoy birthdays so much is because they’re an opportunity to do what you really want to do. If that means skydiving, go for it! It’s your birthday. If that means staying inside and watching The Holiday, 10 Things I Hate About You, or Roman Holiday on repeat, go for it! If that means eating a decadent cake that is not diet-friendly, by all means, go for it! Diets and I are have never been friendly anyways… 

At the moment, a huge bash might have to wait. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate!! Now more than ever we all deserve a chance to party. These printable birthday suites are the perfect solution when you want fun decoration without too much fuss. Since releasing our original printable birthday party decor, we have been dreaming up even more unique themes. Whether you are planning your own party, a dinner for your quarantine buddy, or baby’s first birthday, pick out the perfect printable suite below!

Rainbow Birthday Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

Of course we started with a rainbow theme, and this one works for all ages! This rainbow birthday theme can go as many directions as there are colors in the rainbow. Planning for your miracle child? Plan a rainbow baby party! Your mom is turning 50? Ditch the dark “over the hill” cards and plan an “over the rainbow” party instead! We can

This Rainbow Party Decor Suite includes an invitation, bracelets for party favors, a birthday crown, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Lemon Birthday Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

The fun colors of the birthday suite printables make for the perfect theme, whether your birthday feels sweet or sour! The rest of the decor comes easily once you’ve got a theme down! In fact, we have a few other DIY projects from days past that would be darling with the birthday suite. This lemon wreath is one that stands out in my mind. Or, plop some freshly sliced citrus in the middle of the table for a citrusy centerpiece like we did here! And the colors of our original balloon kit have the perfect fruity feel!

This Lemon Party Decor Suite includes a banner, straw toppers, party hats, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Garden Party Decor

Printable Birthday Party Decor

Another thing that comes much easier when your party has a theme is planning the menu. Thanks, theme! When paired with this printable garden party decor, fruity desserts are always a hit. I went through a popsicle phase a few years back and wrote about three I loved: lemon creme, pineapple pink lemonade, and berry lemonade! These are perfect for when you want a treat but don’t want to turn the oven on. Who said every birthday party HAS to have a cake? 

We designed these themed set for a dreamy summer outdoor party (it doesn’t even have to be a birthday party, an excuse for a party is good excuse.) However, as we head into winter I am starting to daydream up an indoor garden party. Hear me out — paper flower garlands and greenery turning the living room into a summery dream. Sounds like just the thing for seasonal depression, right??

This Garden Party Decor Suite includes an invitation, name tags, cake toppers, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Animal Menagerie Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

This is our most classic birthday set, a colorful circus of animals! I cannot wait to use this one for a first birthday party for baby boy #2. For this party we also added some DIY felt pennants that can be customized for the birthday kid. Pssst, level up your party EVEN MORE with a simple balloon installation kit.

This Animal Menagerie Party Decor Suite includes party hats, bunting, an invitation, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Whether or not you love your birthdays, make this one special! Take time to decorate extravagantly (and easily) with a little help from your friend, Lars. Then do exactly what you want to do. Go to the grocery store and just buy snacks and flowers. Dance obnoxiously to Motown classics. Dress up in a formal gown and don’t bother styling your hair. Plan a fabulous meal for yourself and make someone else cook it/buy it. Eat ice cream straight out of the carton. I won’t tell. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Head to our Shop for even more printable birthday party decor and gift ideas! And you can find all of our Birthday DIY projects here

How to make an ombre wedding cake pinata

I have to say that this is one of my favorite shoots I’ve done. And there’s a lot more where these come from. ooOOOoo! I did this one for the Etsy wedding blog and talked about creating an interactive wedding favor, hence the fortune cookies inside with little love fortunes. I also thought a wedding cake would be a nice alternative to the couple who doesn’t really do wedding cakes or sugar. But let’s face, the real reason to have a pinata at a wedding is…who doesn’t want to hit stuff? I’m sure it would release a lot of tension for the couple as well as the wedding planners.

Get the full instructions here.

Thank you Amanda Thomsen for taking these beautiful photos!

DIY hair pinatas

Throw a hair party with some festive pinatas!

On Tuesday evening we were pleased as punch to host the release of Rubi Jones‘ book, The Art of Hair, with a braiding workshop and book signing here at the studio. We knew we needed something punchy and celebratory for the event so we decided to go all out with a brigade of hair-inspired piñatas. Along for the ride are a metallic comb, hair brush, blow dryer, shears (I was corrected that they are not scissors), and hairspray. “But, Brittany, what do I need a brigade of hair-inspired pinatas for?” Friends, the possibilities are endless (and I’m sure you can add to it):

  • braiding party (a la the intro of Full House)
  • treat yo’ self night
  • your salon, your friend’s salon, your wanna be salon (a la, your living room)
  • girl’s night out
  • weekend retreat
  • your bathroom/party room
  • surprise at a friend’s door for a birthday
  • and last but not least, Galentine’s Day party as shown by Kelly Of Studio DIY

You catch the drift.

Well, I’ve combined with Kelly of Studio DIY to complete the hair product brigade with an adorable hair spray complete with an air pouf along with a detailed step by step tutorial. Scroll down to see how hers completes the puzzle or check the full post here.Throw a hair party with some festive pinatas!Throw a hair party with some festive pinatas!

See the full troop and instructions below! 

DIY Birthday Felt Pennants

Why decorate?

Birthday decor is just too fun. And since birthdays are so rare, celebrate longer by crafting in advance! You can print off felt pennant patterns and phrases from our shop, then iron them onto felt. These make for perfect props in photo shoots, mini-celebrations, and they’re cute enough to leave up long past the birthday. 

How to make DIY Birthday Pennants

Materials

Instructions

1. Connect the Cricut machine to your computer & open Design Space. Upload the pennant document and cut the triangle & rectangular shape on a piece of card-stock. (You will use these as a template to trace on the felt) OR the Cricut Machine can cut it out for you.
2. Upload the desired phrase document to your Cricut machine and MIRROR it! (Select the “Mirror” toggle while editing). **If you go to cut and the letters separate & aren’t in order as the phrase layout shows, go back to edit & highlight all the letters, right click & select “Attach,” and then they should stay in the correct layout.
3. Place the iron-on material shiny side down on your Cricut adhesive cutting mat. Cut out the phrase, checking again that it’s mirrored so it will be read the right way when it’s ironed on!
4. Pull the iron-on phrase off of the cutting mat. Then separate the two layers of the iron-on material, leaving the phrase stuck to the clear layer. (Be sure to remove the small pieces in the holes of the letters!)
5. Trace the triangle & rectangle shape from the template onto a piece of felt & cut them out.
6. Lay the iron-on phrase onto the triangle piece of the felt pennant, with the clear layer on top and the phrase touching the felt so the phrase isn’t mirrored, but is read from left to right.

7. Hold an iron set to 280 degrees F. on the pennant for 30 seconds. Wait for the iron-on to cool completely before removing the clear layer. (Check the Cricut website for information on heat & time to hold the iron or Cricut Easy Press on your fabric, depending on fabric type and iron-on type.)

8. Cut four strips of extra felt for your ties – the length will depend on how long you want the ties to be & whether you want to tie them in a bow or knot them.
9. Layer two felt tie strips, lined up on top of each other, and hot glue the very ends together. Do this to all 4 strips, creating 2 ties total.
10. Glue the two ties an inch away from the corners on the vertical edge of the triangle pennant.
11. Glue the rectangle piece of fabric on the vertical edge of the triangle pennant, covering the ties.
12. Wait for the glue to dry & tie your pennants on a dowel. Enjoy your festive birthday decor!

Go celebrate!

I’m sure I’m like you right now– you probably miss spending time with certain people right now. While I am glad to be safe, I miss people. So! I’ve decided to start birthday researching and planning for different people in my life ~in advance.~ It’s something to keep me busy, and it’s a way I can feel and share love. One easy place to start is to make a DIY felt pennant! This piece of decor is cute, classic, and personal. And you can send it to a friend in the mail if you can’t celebrate together. 

DIY Happy Birthday Banners

DIY Happy Birthday Banners

A new year means another birthday is on the horizon! I know a lot of people who get to a point in their life when they don’t want to draw any attention to their birthdays. Those people and I don’t get along very well. There is always reason to celebrate your birthday! Plus, who would pass up an opportunity to throw a party or eat cake? Not to mention the balloons! So whether you’re planning your own birthday is fast approaching or your planning a party for a friend, we have the perfect party decor for you! These DIY Happy Birthday Banners are bright and bold and say it all! Print off these quintessential birthday phrases in whatever colors you want, and you’ve got a party!

Download the letter templates to make your own DIY Happy Birthday Banners!

Birthday Printable Collection

Printable Birthday Suite

We love the colors, the sentiment and the craftiness. Here’s what we have!

Printable Birthday Invitations

You know what they say, first impressions are everything; so, let your guests know they are in for a great time with these invitations!

Printable Birthday Banner

Is a birthday party really a birthday party without a proper birthday banner?! We think not! Hang this up to set that party mood!

Birthday Crown

We heard you can only have a proper birthday if you are wearing a crown… so, we present you what might be the best birthday crown you have ever seen!

Cake Toppers

Lest the Birthday Queen or King forget how old they (yes, this has happened to me once or twice…) remind them with these cake toppers that are good for anyone ages 1-1,000!

Thank you to Dahlia Bakes for the scrumptious and beautiful cake. If you’re local in Utah Valley, we highly recommend her work!

Printable Birthday Decorations e-book

You can find all the individual components in the shop OR you can find them all in our Birthday e-book here. Here are a few must haves for your next birthday Party!

As always, we can’t wait to see how you make your birthday come to life with our printables. Tag us with #LarsMakes so we can see! 

Valentines Gift Box with Arlo Cookies

Printable Valentine cookie box

When Luna (creator of Arlos cookies) agreed to work with us we were ecstatic! We knew we wanted to create a box to put the cookies in but we needed them to be just as lovely as the cookies would inevitably be. With our task at hand we set out to make the most beautiful Valentine gift box worthy that would be carrying the elegant cookies.

To say we love the cookies and the box designed to carry them is an understatement! Wether you are putting Arlos Cookies in these boxes or any other Valentines treats they are bound to amplify your valentines gifting this season! Get your Valentine Cookie Box here!

Be sure to tag us with #larsloveslove so we can see how lovely your valentines gifts turn out!!!

Find Arlos Cookies

Website of Arlos Cookies
@arlocookies on Instagram

 

Birthday Cake Topper with Brother

As you can probably tell by now, we can’t stop talking about how much we love National Craft Month. It’s the perfect time to celebrate your creativity and get to work crafting up all of the amazing things you’ve been thinking about. If you are feeling like you are in a bit of a craft funk we have teamed up with our friends at Brother to bring you a sweet yet impactful project to get you out of your slump and on your way to crafting town!

Using the Brother P-touch ELITE we created these colorful flag cake toppers inspired by our newest line from Abby Low found in the Lars Print Shop. You may know by now that we love celebrating and since we are already celebrating craft month we figured we may as well celebrate anyone and everyone out there with a March birthday with these adorable birthday flag cake toppers.

Birthdays are so very special and we tend to go bananas decorating and that’s part of the reason we love using the P-touch ELITE because of how easy it makes it to create personalized ribbon! Think up your birthday phrases and print them on ribbon (the P-touch Embellish ELITE prints on tape too!) so you can create the perfect phrases, specific for your birthday queen or king!  

Here’s how you do it! 

Directions: 

  1. Pick your color palette 
  2. Paint your skewers to the colors you have chosen. We painted three skewers of each color and used 21 skewers and six colors (the more the better in our opinion)
  3. Set aside to dry. 
  4. Paint the wood beads in the same palette, three of each color in all six colors. 
  5. Set aside to dry. 
  6. Download the Ptouch Design&Print app to your phone!
  7. Select “Create your own label”.
  8. Select “text” and add in whatever you want the ribbon to say or even a graphic!
  9. Once the text is in click “Done”.
  10.  Adjust the “Taper length” depending on how long your message is. 
  11. Scroll to the left to find “label alignment” and align your text to the right” 
  12. Once your text is in and the alignment is correct click “print” 
  13. Set your ribbon to the side and begin building your flag frame. 
  14. Attach a piece of wire around  the dried painted skewer by wrapping it around the top. 
  15. Once the wire is attached, measure the length of the wire against the length of the ribbon and cute wire accordingly. 
  16. Using the glue stick apply glue to the back of the ribbon. 
  17. At the mid point on the ribbon place the skewer there and fold the ribbon in half so the wire is in in between the two halves. 
  18. Attach a painted wood bead to the top using a hot glue gun. 
  19. Place completed flag in cake! 

We love using the Brother P-touch ELITE it is the perfect easy-to-use ribbon and tape printer that you can use to create any and all of the exciting crafts you have planned for this Craft Month! We can’t wait to see what you create!

The green polka-dot background is from our Lars Print Shop. Thank you @glweddingcakes for the lovely cake!

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!

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 birthday candle crown

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You guys loved the birthday cake chandelier. Hooray! Well, continuing on the Lars birthday celebration, here’s another for you, a birthday candle crown. Your birthday is no longer complete without it, right? Ashley nailed it again with this fun crown that your special birthday friend will love.

photography by Trisha Zemp
crafting by Ashley Isenhour
styling by Brittany Jepsen

Get the full tutorial below!

Materials:
  • scissors
  • cardstock
  • 1/6 yard of fabric
  • gold thread for embellishment
  • safety pin
  • glue gun
  • paper straws
  • tissue paper
  • paint (optional)
  • crepe paper or fabric strip
Step 1: Cut a strip of posterboard 1.5″ wide and long enough to fit a little loosely around the guest of honor’s head (the candles will take up some space and make the crown fit more snugly). Glue ends together.
Step 2: Cut 3 1″ strips of fabric and 3 strands of gold thread at the same length. Hot glue the end of a gold thread to one end of each of the fabric strips. Secure the ends of the strips together with a safety pin and pin into your carpet / old upholstered chair / the pajama bottoms you’re wearing. Braid strands together. Braid enough to go around your crown twice.
Step 3: Hot glue fabric braids around posterboard base. Tuck end to the inside of the base and secure with hot glue.
Step 4: Cut paper straws in half to make candles. You can paint them or leave them as they are. Cut 1″ squares of tissue paper. Pinch each square in the middle and twist. Squirt a bit of hot glue in the end of each straw and stick the twisted end of your tissue in there. (This great idea is from Icing Design).
Step 5: Hot glue the base of each candle along the inside of your posterboard base. Try to space candles as evenly as possible.
Step 6: Cut a fabric or crepe paper strip and glue over the candles along the inside of the crown. This just makes the crown more comfortable to wear.

3 Pipe Cleaner Crowns (+ a Birthday Party Sale!)

DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party

DIY Pipe Cleaner Crown

You know us, we take any opportunity to wear a crown. We have been watching the delicate gold crown trend with wide eyes, and even made our own version here when our team member Hailey got married! And we have an entire e-book full of printable crowns for every holiday! Today’s crown is kid-friendly and YOU-friendly, easy to make for any (every) occasion, and ready to be personalized.

Supplies:

Pipe cleaners

Pom poms

Gems

Glue

DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party

Instructions:

  1. Start by creating the base of your crown with 1 or multiple pipe cleaners. You can create a headband type form or a circle crown form.
  2. Carefully shape the pipe cleaners to your desired shape. Be carefully not to make any sharp unwanted bends.
  3. Create the pipe cleaner crown shape you want, using any of the photos above for reference.
  4. Embellish your crown with gems, pom poms, and anything else your heart desires to add some sparkle!
  5. Plan a birthday party to wear your crown to

DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party DIY pipe cleaner crown for a birthday party

Birthday party supplies on sale now

In honor of naming June Birthday Month, all of our birthday party printables are 15% off for the entire month of June! Stock up now for a year’s worth of family birthdays.

Shop more crowns, invitation suites, banners, and everything you need to make all your 2020 birthday parties special! And keep an eye out for even more birthday items joining our shop all throughout this month!

All of the items below are 15% off now