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! 

Easter Outfits 2022

Our Custom Fabric

First of all, let’s talk about our custom fabric! Designed by our talented designer, Garet, these repeat patterns lean fully into the florals that are so appropriate for this season. Stay tuned for the official release of our phone cases featuring many of the same patterns and much more! Consider this Easter outfits project an Easter egg for what is to come–it’s going to be GOOD.

Fabric Choices for the Easter Outfits

For the Easter outfits, we decided to go with our Secret Garden print for Brittany’s dress, Block Print in Cream for Felix’s jumpsuit, Block Print in Daffodil for Jasper’s, and Block Print in Periwinkle for Paul’s tie. Since we didn’t have much time before Easter, we took a major gamble and ordered the full amount of fabric before ordering a sample first. To our delight, the fabric was even more beautiful in person than we’d hoped!

Here’s the low down on each outfit:

TIP: Don’t forget to pre-wash your fabric!

Brittany’s Dress

Oo la la, this dress turned out absolutely fabulous! We adored the combination of that secret garden print and the flowy tiers of the dress. I mean, what more could you ask for from an Easter dress than pretty florals and a pattern that’s whimsical enough to make you feel like you’ve been transported to the set of Pride and Prejudice? It’s so lovely it makes me want to sew five more! I could honestly gush all day about that secret garden print. The colors blend in such a lovely way at a distance, and up close the details are stunning. Garet really outdid herself on this one!

For the pattern, we went with Friday Pattern Company’s Wilder Gown. It paired perfectly with the secret garden print. The result was honestly jaw-dropping–so beautiful!

How to make your own version of Brittany’s Easter dress

  1. Start by heading over to our Spoonflower design shop and ordering our Secret Garden print! Follow the guidelines on the dress pattern for yardage requirements. We’d recommend a light cotton poplin for this breezy piece.
  2. Next, purchase and download the Wilder Gown PDF (or purchase the print version, if you prefer. We chose the PDF because we could instantly download and get sewing).
  3. Now all you have to do is print and assemble your pattern, following the instructions on the pattern.
  4. Just follow the step by step instructions on the pattern to make your dress and you’re done!

Paul’s Tie

Paul’s Easter outfit was simple: a tie. He loves skinny ties, so that’s what we went with! It’s surprising how easy it is to make, and looks so classy when it’s done. To make it even easier on you, we have a PDF tie pattern you can use. We loved that periwinkle blue block print pattern. It’s delicate and refined while still having that touch of masculinity when in tie form! Here are the steps to making your husband his own Easter tie:

How to make your own version of Paul’s Easter tie

Prepping the fabric and pattern

  1. First, download the template for our tie, found here.
  2. Next, follow the instructions included in the PDF and make your tie!

Jasper and Felix’s Jumpsuits

Last on our list of Easter outfits were Jasper and Felix’s jumpsuits. We used this lovely Etsy pattern! It was clear Jasper’s outfit needed to be at least a little bold, so we went with a beautiful golden color. For Felix’s, we chose a more delicate cream and periwinkle. The subtle block print was the perfect little detail for both the boys’ outfits. Words cannot describe how adorable these two boys look in their new Easter outfits!

How to make your own version of Jasper and Felix’s Easter outfits

  1. Download this Etsy pattern.
  2. Print out the PDF and follow the instructions for assembly. (Don’t forget the buttons or snaps! We used buttons).
  3. Done!

What do you think our our fresh new Easter outfits?! Are you going to join the fun and make your own? Even after Easter’s come and gone these would all still make perfect spring and summer outfits. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on our Easter outfits? You’ll probably love this other Easter content. Try these Easter Activities for Kids, or our roundup of Easter Crafts. Our Ukrainian Easter Coloring Pages are another great way to keep kids busy this spring. Also see our Nesting Easter Eggs for the sweetest little Easter decoration. And don’t forget about our DIY Easter Basket and our Easter Basket Choose Your Own Adventure!

Flower Lane Kids Birthday Crowns

Months ago I was dreaming of releasing a line of kids birthday crowns. I wanted them to be whimsical, colorful, and such high quality that they would become heirlooms. In my research I stumbled across Flower Lane and I realized that Sarah, Flower Lane’s founder and designer, had already realized my kids birthday crown dreams!

A pink Flower Lane crown embroidered with the name June  on a yellow, cream, and pink rug.

I reached out and asked if we could collaborate on a collection of Lars x Flower Lane crowns and I’m so glad that it worked out! Our collection has such beautiful colors and I’m considering myself lucky to have gotten a few for my boys and their cousins.

Heirloom Quality Kids Birthday Crowns

Lars x Flower Lane kids birthday crowns are designed to last and will make your kiddos feel like birthday royalty year after year. They have adjustable straps, too! This means you need not fear about your child’s growing noggin sizing them out of their crown.

Jasper wears his yellow Flower Lane crown and sits in a field of daisies.Jasper wears his yellow Flower Lane crown and plays with cars in a playground

I’m so impressed by the time and care that goes into each Flower Lane kids birthday crown. Sarah sews and then embroiders each crown by hand. She also makes the crowns with super high quality linen. You can totally feel the difference in their lovely texture and softness.

An orange Flower Lane crown embroidered with the name Donovan on a yellow rug

When you order a crown, you get to choose the main color, the embroidery color and style, and any pom pom colors you want. All this paired with your child’s name lovingly embroidered on the crown make for a truly customizable heirloom. Jasper’s is so perfectly customized to his personal taste that he may never take it off. Good thing Sarah built these babies to last!

Jasper is wearing his yellow Flower Lane crown and a striped yellow shirt and playing on a playground.

I’m so happy that we collaborated on this collection of Lars x Flower Lane kids birthday crowns. I really believe that this collaboration is better than anything we could have made on our own. Hooray for joining forces!

Jasper plays with toy cars at a playground. He's wearing his yellow Flower Lane crown

More Birthday Inspiration

You can buy our collection of Lars x Flower Lane kids birthday crowns in our shop here. Don’t forget to share your birthday photos with us with #LarsParties

Jasper's yellow Flower Lane crown in a field of daisies.

Becoming Loria Stern

In 2011, Loria Stern started attending adult education classes entitled “Medicinal and Edible Plants” where she learned about foraging and the power of plant medicine. She started combining her culinary skills with the knowledge she was learning about botanicals. All the while she was posting her bespoke creations on Instagram. In 2016 her work was highlighted in Vogue Magazine and she received over 30,000 followers overnight. Fans were asking where they could purchase her treats so she started selling them on her website. The first day she posted her treats, she received over 20 orders. Since that day, her business has grown into a successful baking operation where she employs 4 helpers with living wages. She’s still growing her business, writing a cookbook and pitching a TV show. Exciting things are in store for this hardworking woman!

Loria is wearing a floral dress and standing in a kitchen surrounded by colorful produce.

Meet Loria Stern

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, baker, business person, educator, etc.?

Well, I consider myself all of these things but more so one than the other depending on what day of the week we’re talking about. I would say I started out as an artist and maker, and then became a baker and now my daily tasks are more of a business person and educator. 

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now? 

I grew up in Ojai, CA, a small quaint town nestled in between large mountains but just a 20 minute drive to the beach. The town had a lot of nature–my childhood neighborhood streets were lined with tall oak trees. There was and still is a huge element of health consciousness and spirituality in Ojai and I think those elements absolutely influenced what I do now and the person I’ve become. 

Loria stands with her back to the camera. She's surrounded by fresh cut flowers and she's wearing a straw hat, and there are misty mountains in the background.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger? 

Of course I wanted to be a professional tennis player! That dream ended around 14 years old and then I wanted to be an artist. I guess that dream has come true except through a different medium (culinary arts vs. the visual arts).

Rolled out cookie dough with colorful pressed flowers pressed onto each round circle of dough.

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path? 

Not really one single person, but more so a number of different friends who loved eating the foods I cooked and baked for them and encouraged me to follow this path.

What sparked your interest in edible flowers? 

I’ve always loved flowers (who doesn’t?!) but it wasn’t until I started learning about the medicinal properties of botanicals in my 3 semesters of the adult education classes that my love for combining edible flowers + botanicals with cooking and baking, really opened up an entire new craft for me. 

Rolled out cookie dough with colorful pressed flowers pressed onto each round circle of dough.Brightly colored flowers pressed onto sugar cookies on a wooden background.

What are three words to describe your style? 

Creative, happy and cool.

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career? 

I graduated with a BA from college and spent my last year painting and drawing. I was in an art show in my final year of college and sold several pieces. As noted earlier, I also took 3 semesters of adult education classes post college– “Medicinal + Edible Plants” and learned a lot about treating ailments naturally with wild, edible plants. I also attribute my dedication as a competitive tennis player to my strong work ethic, which I think is the most important aspect of my current success. 

Loria sits cross-legged on a teal blanket surrounded by pressed flowers in books and a cup of tea.

Have you ever made a big career switch? If so, what prompted that? Are there aspects of a prior career that you incorporate into what you do now? 

I did not really have a career after graduating college in 2006–I more so worked a bunch of odd jobs to pay the rent–teaching tennis, nannying, working as an assistant, etc. It was not until 2010 when I worked my first job as a prep chef that I really learned my love for the culinary arts and that I wanted to make this a career.

What inspired you to become a baker/florist/gardener? 

My love for nature, working with my hands and discovering new alchemic combinations.

Brightly-colored flowers pressed onto green matcha cookie dough.

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why? 

I love making tall tiered wedding cakes and delivering them to the venue. It is always so rewarding.

Tall wedding cake frosted with white frosting and purple and yellow flowerscake frosted with blush pink frosting with purple, yellow, and white pansies pressed onto it. It's styled in a pink draping fabric with a vase of flowers.

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

In nature first and foremost. 

How do you make social connections in the creative realm? 

Many via Instagram, I’ve met some of my best friends and have found a beautiful, supportive community of my work there.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present? 

Gah, there are so so many! Truly too hard to just pinpoint a few.

Horizontal photo of Loria wearing a floral dress and holding a tray of baked cookies. Flowers are pressed onto the top of each one.

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days? 

My father was a jazz clarinetist and music pervades much of my childhood. I love all types of music and have found there is a time and a place for every genre of music. I love documentaries and listening to podcasts. But I try to stay away from negative media as it definitely affects my mood.

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto? 

Work hard and always do your best. Hold yourself and others accountable. Treats others how you’d want to be treated.

Horizontal photo of Loria measuring sugar into a yellow mixing bowl. She's in a kitchen and surrounded by flowers and a turquoise kitchenade mixer

What is your workspace like? Has it changed at all since the beginning of the pandemic last year? 

I moved to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara just one month before the pandemic began. I had to find a new commercial kitchen and employees within that time and it was extremely difficult to say the least. Looking back, I feel so grateful for the commercial baking space and my LA helpers. 

Loria stands in a field of zinnias wearing a white dress and a straw hat. She's holding a basket full of flowers.

How do your surroundings influence your work? 

So much. I realized I am creatively motivated by my physical space. I love natural light and need to be close to nature. 

Loria bends down to pick wildflowers in a meadow. She's wearing a white dress and a straw hat.

Describe some habits that keep you motivated and productive. How do you climb out of a creative slump? 

Exercise is always a good idea and I have found it to be the number one cure for all sorts of slumps. 

What is a typical day like for you? 

I enjoy waking up early. I drink coffee first thing in the morning, then I’ll mosey around my backyard garden with coffee in hand. I’ll stroll up to my home office, check business and personal emails, and then the day is off and running. I usually pick edible botanicals from my garden then meet my team at the bakery. We start cranking our baking orders and then before I know it, it’s 6pm! Then I’ll come home, meet up with my boyfriend and we’ll cook dinner and watch a show.

Loria decorating a pan of focaccia with flowers and vegetables. She's shaped them into a floral scene.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

To learn as much as you can about the hobby / skill. There is so much readily available information that one can learn online that school is not necessary as long as there is curiosity, dedication and a strong work ethic.

Loria standing at the head of a banquet table full of food and flowers. It is sunset and there are mountains in the background.

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on? 

I’d say tennis is my secret talent for those who are just meeting me now! Otherwise, I’m working on learning how to surf but it’s extremely hard!

Two pans of botanical cookies with pressed flowers. The ones on the top are a vanilla shortbread and the ones on the bottom are pink.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business? 

Gah, I am still trying to figure that out. I have not accepted investment from outside sources however am currently looking into it to grow my business!

A plate of baked floral shortbread stacked up. In the background there are lots of flowers scattered.

Is there anything more you would like to “become?” 

I’d like to become more well-traveled. I want to visit Japan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Sweden, and the list continues! I want to visit these places and learn about new ingredients and cooking techniques and share those with an audience so that they can live on and evolve into our current day’s food. 

A film photograph of Loria walking away from the camera through a field of wildflowers. She's wearing a white dress and a straw hat and there are trees and mountains in the background.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years? 

First and foremost, I hope to remain healthy! Secondly, I hope to open up a physical commissary kitchen with a retail space, classroom and on-site edible flower garden so that I can teach my botanical infused culinary arts to the greater community. There is so much information that I find so inspiring and interesting, I am sure others will as well.

Loria sitting on a bed with teal bedding and flowers in a bowl. She's wearing a beige jumpsuit and there's low, moody lighting.

Can’t get enough of Loria Stern?

We don’t blame you! Follow Loria’s work on her Instagram @LoriaStern and don’t forget to check out her website, where you can buy her delicious, beautiful creations!

Years ago we wrote a post about using edible flowers, and I hope that this interview with Loria Stern makes you even more excited to incorporate beautiful botanicals into your meals (like this edible flower pot).

Read more Becoming interviews here to keep the inspiration flowing!

Loria walking through a meadow of flowers wearing a white dress and a straw sun hat. She's holding a basket of flowers and the sky is blue.

All photos are courtesy of Loria Stern.

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

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

DIY Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tablescape

We’ve loved using Anagram for other balloon projects, like our DIY Jingle Bell Balloons for Christmas, and more recently, our Halloween Ghost Installation

Balloon projects are awesome because they don’t require a ton of skill (although they can be time-consuming depending on how big you go) but they always look impressive and joyful! They’re one of those projects that are hard to mess up. I am very excited to share this balloon installation because it has just as much impact, but needs significantly less time than our past balloon projects!

The theme for this project is…(drumroll please)…The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! If you’ve been a Lars reader for a while, you might recognize this project from four years ago. I love using the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a theme for Thanksgiving day parties. It’s so fun and makes for a clever twist on the normal turkeys and leaves everywhere this time of year. I am all for traditions, but this might be the perfect year to replace your mom’s ancient fall tablecloth with this unique theme (though I love that too!)

Bring The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade To Your Own Feast

As soon as the realization hit me that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will not be the same this year, I immediately knew this was the year this project needed to be revamped. We still don’t know all the details for the actual parade, but like everything else this in 2020, it’s sure to be different. We do know that nobody will be watching the parade in person, including New Yorkers, but for most of us that doesn’t change that we can watch the parade on TV. Luckily my panicked googling confirmed at least that much. 

My one consolation is that I can bring the parade to my very own Thanksgiving party this year! We partnered with Anagram to make this Thanksgiving theme bigger and better than ever. This year, create an entire balloon installation with the directions below. We even included printable versions of the cityscape to make your decorating as simple as possible, without sacrificing the wow factor.

How To Make Your Own Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tablescape

Materials:

Instructions:
  1. Figure out how long your table is and how much you want to fill of it with cityscape. One copy of our printable cityscape should fill about 3’.
  2. Cut out the buildings and attach them to foam core.
  3. Cut out the buildings with a craft knife.
  4. Use glasses to prop up the city scape (or make your own stands by creating a wing attached to each one)
  5. Blow up your balloons with a pump and seal shut. 
  6. Attach them to a balloon stick and then attach to the backs of the city scape with tape
  7. Set your table! We included these printable taxi cab place cards to complete the look.

For our table, we used plates from Knot and Bow, cups from Knot and Bow, napkins from Oh Happy Day. 

Creating this wonderful balloon centerpiece for your Thanksgiving holiday will bring some much-needed cheer. Plus, like all our balloon projects, you can reuse them every year! This balloon installation would go wonderfully with our Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Printables.

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

 

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed

Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed

For our Mother’s Day breakfast in bed, we decided to go with something classic and gave it a little twist to make it extra cute for mom. This Mother’s Day breakfast in bed is so simple, but so adorable. Think edible arrangement in bed. Here’s how to recreate it:

Tray

To make your Mother’s Day breakfast in bed extra comfy for mom, you’ll want one of these handy trays. We went with a simple white Amazon edition. It was perfect with the colorful fruit and other components, like our retro floral fabric we turned into a bedspread!

Dishes

A vase and plate or bowl make a lovely addition to your breakfast in bed arrangement. We chose a simple white vase and pink plate we had on hand, but you can also see this post for many more options that would be beautiful as well!

Napkins

We chose our DIY napkins using natural ingredients for this breakfast in bed. We loved the bold colors in contrast with the fruit and that retro floral bedspread.

Flower fruit

The real stars (or flowers) of the show were the cookie cutters, which we used to cut out various types of fruit into flowers and arranged them. This part is fun–get creative and make your own edible arrangement for mom. Here’s how you can recreate these edible arrangements:

  1. First, cut out wide, flat slices of fruit (wide enough for various sizes of the flower cookie cutters to fit on).
  2. Cut out various sizes of the cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, and pineapple. We found that the watermelon and pineapple worked best for the larger cookie cutters, while the honeydew and cantaloupe were ideal for the smaller ones.
  3. Next, cut a length of 18 gauge wire that’s slightly longer than a straw. Slide it through the straw and stick a large fruit flower onto the tip. The flower should sit nicely on top of the straw now.
  4. Cut a small piece of wire and use to attach a smaller flower onto the center of the big flower.
  5. Make as many as you’d like for the arrangement!

Other food ideas

We went with a very fruit-centric breakfast with edible arrangements, grapes and strawberries (these didn’t work with the cookie cutters but are nonetheless delicious). But we also included some delicious cherry turnovers so mom could indulge. Get creative and add anything to your breakfast you think your mother would like!

What are you going to do for your Mother’s Day breakfast in bed? Let us know in the comments!

How to Make a DIY Beeswax Wrap

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

Make Your Own DIY Beeswax Wraps

Did you know one study found in 2020 that “9.71 million Americans used 21 or more sandwich bags” in seven days?! If you take into consideration that the run-of-the-mill plastic sandwich bag has been making it into our lunches since the late 1960s, that’s a lot of plastic. Save the planet and your wallet by creating these reusable DIY beeswax wraps. Every little bit helps! 

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

Along with these snack wraps, we’ve made some reusable lunch sacks (which you can see in the photos). Keep your eyes peeled for a tutorial!

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit.Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

What You’ll Need

Brittany sits at a sewing machine and makes a beeswax snack wrap. She's wearing a striped green dress and surrounded by colorful, solid fabric.

step by step photos of making beeswax wraps

Instructions

  1. Measure 5 x 9 inch rectangles onto your fabric. Alternatively, measure rectangles that will fit onto the baking sheet you are using. The measurements aren’t fussy, but whatever size you make cut out rectangles.
  2. Lining a baking sheet with tin foil, then lay down the fabric rectangles flat side by side. 
  3. Begin to sprinkle beeswax making sure to distribute evenly (Tip: Because the beeswax will melt in the oven, you don’t have to cover generously. Think sprinkling an ice cream sundae instead of salting a sidewalk).
  4. When all three rectangles have been covered with beeswax, place in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to set your timer!
  5. After 10 minutes, the beeswax should be melted. When you pull your baking tray out of the oven, the fabric color will look uneven. Don’t be afraid of the splotchiness!
  6. Sprinkle a second layer of beeswax, especially making sure to target the areas that didn’t have enough wax the first time around. You’ll be able to see them because they’ll be lighter.
  7. Put back in the oven at the same temperature for another 10 minutes. 
  8.  Pull out of the oven and let cool. Fabric should feel firm and waxy. 
  9. Take one rectangle and fold onto itself leaving a 2 inch flap similar to a plastic sandwich bag.
  10. With a sewing machine, sew up one side using a zigzag stitch. Repeat on the other side.
  11. You should now have a little pouch. Fold over the 2 inch flap to close. Voila! The perfect on-the-go snack pouch!

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

Can’t wait to see your DIY Beeswax wraps using #larsmakes on Instagram!

Printable New Year’s Glasses

This project pairs perfectly with our New Year’s Printable Crown. And just like that last project, this one is printable (though not reusable…unless you invent time travel or take a Sharpie and cross out the 1 at the end, I guess). These glasses are classic for any New Year’s Eve party and they work for even the biggest party-poopers who don’t want to get all glammed up for a photobooth.

Did you know that New Year’s Eve Glasses have been around for 30 years? They were first popular because the numbers of the different years matched up perfectly with holes for the eyes. However, after 2009 ended, so did the era of New Year’s glasses with double zeros in the middle. Not to worry, though! Most places have found a creative workaround.

We have three types of glasses: The folk, The Flower, The Cloud. You can select your favorite and go for it!

The Flower

Just a dash of floral, of course!

The Cloud

Cloud eyes with a rainbow nose bridge!

The Folk

These ones are my favorite! Love how wild they are!

Printable New Year’s Glasses

Materials

Instructions

  1. Print off the templates
  2. Cut around the templates (it’s easier to cut out the inside of the glasses with a craft knife as opposed to scissors
  3. Attach the sides of the glasses with glue or tape

Need some more New Year’s Eve ideas? Check out our archive here.

New Year’s Star Crown
New Year’s Invitations
New Year’s Resolutions

Twisted Birthday Candles

Whether you’re a fellow birthday traveler or contentedly partying at home, you can also celebrate your birthday in style with these very on-trend twisted birthday candles.

three twisted candles on a green ceramic plate next to a birthday cake. There's confetti around and the background is red and blue.

What We Learned About Twisting Candles

Do you remember when we showed you how to DIY the twisted candle trend? Well, what you didn’t see then was that it took some serious trial and error to get the candles to come out right. It turns out that when you’re making big twisted candles, you’re working with kind of a thick pillar of wax. You have to be really careful about temperature (not too hot!) and how long you leave the candles in the warm water (a surprisingly long time!). If not, you run the risk of melting the outside and leaving the inside cold and hard. Don’t get me wrong! It’s still a great project with our Lars stamp of approval.

Twisted birthday candles on a white cake with a red background.

I’m pleased to announce, though, that miniaturizing the twisted candle trend bypasses a lot of the project’s potential pitfalls. And thus: twisted birthday candles are born!

Close up of twisted birthday candles on a white cake with a red background.

The narrower candles don’t have to sit in warm water for as long before they get nice and floppy. This means that they’re far less likely to snap or crack when you’re flattening or twisting them and sets you up for twisted birthday candle success!

A flat lay of twisted birthday candles and confetti on an orange background.

Make Your Own Twisted Birthday Candles

You will need:

Long birthday candles, water, a tall, microwave-safe vessel (I just used a mason jar!), a microwave, parchment paper, a rolling pin.

step by step instructional photos of twisting birthday candles

Instructions:

  1. Fill your jar, vase, or tall glass with water.
  2. Warm it up. I found that a few 30 second blasts in the microwave did the trick. It’s key here that your water is warm enough to soften the candle wax without just melting it. Think pleasant bathwater, not hot tub.
  3. Place your birthday candles in the water and let them soak for several minutes. I recommend using more candles than you’ll ultimately need to make room for error.
  4. Your candles are soft enough when they start getting floppy. You’ll want to work with them one at a time and return them to the warm water after you work with them. If at any time the candle you’re working with starts getting stiff, just plop it back into the water until it’s nice and soft again.
  5. Flatten your candles. Put a candle on parchment paper, then fold the paper over the candle. Use a rolling pin to flatten the middle of the candle, leaving its base unflattened so it can easily stick into a cake. Return the candle to the water and repeat for the rest of your candles.
  6. Twist your candles. Take a soft, flattened candle out of the water and gently twist it. If you want it to be very twisted you will probably have to return your candle to the water a few times. Experiment with different degrees of twistiness to find what you like best.
  7. Twist all your candles, then dip them in cold water to harden them.
  8. Don’t forget to make a wish when you blow out the candles!

Close up of twisted birthday candles on a white cake with a red background.

More Birthday Decorations

These twisted birthday candles would be lovely on any cake, but in case COVID got you worried about blowing on a communal cake you could celebrate with cupcakes and this individual cupcake stand.

Check out the printable birthday suites in the shop and browse even more of our Lars birthday decor, because you deserve the most festive birthday party around!

If you’ve aged out of your pin the tail on the donkey years but still are looking for engaging birthday party games, use this birthday bucket list printable! Entertain your guests and find out about their favorite things, and facilitate conversation all in one fun activity.

And most of all, happy birthday!

A flat lay of twisted birthday candles and confetti on an orange background.Twisted birthday candles on a white cake with a red background.