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

 

The Teacher Gift that Lars Gave

The start of a new school year means new classes, new friends, and new teachers. There’s simply too much to say about how we need to treat (and pay!) teachers better, so I won’t get into it. But we can at least show our gratitude!

Here are some great, simple teacher gift ideas to show appreciation for all the hard work and love they put into educating our communities.

Teacher Gift Ideas

Books Books Books!

Lots of teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies (and let’s face it–they’re not exactly being paid the big bucks, so this is a real sacrifice). One great way to show appreciation to your teacher or your kid’s teacher is to give them some of your favorite books!

Last week on Instagram I asked about your favorite children’s books, and you really delivered! I loved your list so much that I put it together as a collection on my Bookshop page. If you’ve never heard of Bookshop before, it’s a great place to buy books that gives back to small bookstores all over the country. We love Bookshop, so be sure to check out our full list of favorite children’s books on their site!

And don’t forget these lists of our favorite Black-authored books, which would also be great teacher gifts!


Classroom Decor

A literary-themed art print would make another great teacher gift. Lucky for you, we have lots of storybook themed art prints in our shop!

Little Women art print on a patterned wall with warm colors around.A print of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables walking through a corridor of blossoms against a pink background with real blossoms in front.

This Little Women or Anne of Green Gables art print would make a great teacher gift, especially if the teacher is a fan of the books!

four art prints by Ayang Cempaka hanging above a play kitchen. The prints show hansel and gretel, thumbelina, little red riding hood, and Pippi Longstocking.

And wouldn’t these whimsical fairy tale prints be precious in an elementary classroom?

Everyone Loves Treats

Teachers pretty much always could use a snack–after all, molding the future generation is hard work! Cookies or other treats in a cute printable cookie box are sure to hit the spot. You can find our printable cookie boxes in the shop (I know that some say that they’re for Christmas or Valentines Day, but there’s never a bad time to show your teachers some love)!

Colorful cookie boxes arranged next to a handpainted midcentury nativity against a pink wall Colorful paper takeout boxes Pink and blue house-shaped cookie boxes next to a green squiggly background and some heart-shaped cookies Pink house-shaped cookie boxes Tell me your favorite teacher gifts!

I would love to hear what your go-to teacher gift is. Are you a classic apple-on-the-desk person or do you put your own spin on things? Let me know what you do to show your teachers that you care!

Sunshine Piñata to Make you Smile!

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

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

Printable 4th of July Glasses

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

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

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

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

Make your own printable 4th of July glasses

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

Materials

Instructions

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

Voila!

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

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

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

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

You might also like…

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

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

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

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

Printable Party Decor

I want your parties to be smash hits, and the printable party decor from our shop are surefire ways to get off to a great start. The Lars party suites are downloadable packages of invitations, party decorations, cake toppers, and accessories. And they couldn’t be easier to use! Just download, print (or send to a a local print shop), cut out, and voilà! Party magic.

Most of these party suites were designed with birthdays in mind, but whether you’re celebrating a birthday, graduation, an engagement, an anniversary, a holiday, a new move, or just getting friends together, these party decorations are sure to put smiles on everyone’s faces and make your party better (and prettier!) No matter what you’re celebrating, pick out the perfect printable suite below!

Birthday Parties

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, go for it! You do you!

Now that vaccine availability (in the US, at least) is abundant, I’m so excited to bring people together and get back to celebrating. And what’s a party without invitations and decor? 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. 

Rainbow 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! This party suite would also be perfect for a Pride party! #LarsLovesLove

This Rainbow Party Decor Suite includes an invitation, bracelets for party favors, a birthday crown, 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.

Summery Parties

Having a June birthday means that I can throw garden-themed birthday parties for myself, but here’s the truth: garden parties are for everyone! Celebrate Midsummer or simply bring your friends together in honor of the the long days and warm nights that the season brings.

Floral Party

Adriana Picker from our print shop made the art for this Floral Birthday Suite and it couldn’t be prettier!

Sherbet-colored floral bunting hangs in the background. A white frosted cake with floral cake toppers sits on a mint green cake stand. Invitations and a floral crown peek in at the corners.

I love the elegant colors and the botanical drawings in this collection, and I think the different colors of invitations are so delightful. And don’t get me started on how gorgeous the printable flower crown is! These decorations will make your party glamorous and colorful and fresh.

Detailed drawings of flowers make up a fuchsia and orange flower crown, which is resting on a pile of sherbet-colored plates. Floral party invitations with different flowers on pink, grey, and yellow backgrounds sit amongst floral bunting and cake toppers.

Lemon Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

The fun colors of this birthday suite printable makes 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

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.

You deserve to party, whether it’s your birthday or not! 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!

Holiday Parties

Don’t limit your celebrations to birthdays and summertime!

Easter Printable Tablescape Suite

Easter printable tablescape with flowers and rabbits and a floral garland. Your next Easter party will be your most picturesque with this Easter Tablescape Party Suite! With an illustrated table runner, menu cards, name cards, and a garland, this hassle-free printable decor is sure to become a favorite.

Halloween Party

Halloween party invitations, placemats, place cards, and party tags arranged on a table

Halloween parties are fun for all ages, and they deserve fabulous printable party decor, too! This Halloween Party Suite includes printable invitations, party tags, placemats, and place cards.

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

2021 Costume Ideas: Lars’ Top 15

The Lars team brainstormed 2021 costume ideas that reflected our most memorable moments from the past year, and we realized something. Picking a Halloween costume is a great opportunity for reflection! We always try to dress up as something that’s just right for the current year, which means that we spent some time looking back on our favorite (and sometimes least favorite) moments, events, and pop culture icons.

Here’s to another year of unforgettable moments!

COVID-themed costumes

It wouldn’t be a list of 2021 costume ideas without some mention of COVID. I know, I know, we’re all sick of hearing about it. But what’s scarier than a deadly disease (and a society that refuses to acknowledge how serious it is??) In order to keep from crying, we have to laugh. You could be:

  • a mask. Or check out our Quilted Face Mask Coat from April Fool’s Day for a twist.
  • a nasal test swab. After all, gross is good at Halloween!
  • a vaccine syringe. You know those ketchup bottle costumes? I bet you could modify one into a vaccine with just a little craftiness.
  • or mask costumes to coordinate with the costumes like this Mummy mask and this pumpkin mask.

halloween costume of a vaccine illustration: a blonde woman wears a blue and white shift dress with numbers drawn on to look like a syringe. She's wearing a tall sharp hat that looks like a needle. The background is green.

Stay safe, everyone!

Movies and TV

You can’t go wrong with movie and TV-inspired costumes. Here are some of our ideas:

  • Bridgerton. I’m all about the costumes and wigs from Bridgerton. Get some great inspiration from this pink Marie Antoinette costume from a few years ago!
  • Queen’s Gambit-inspired chess pieces. Okay, technically it came out last year. But it was right before Halloween, so we didn’t have much time to put together costumes! Cut us some slack! And enlist your friends to be chess pieces with you.
  • The Black Widow. We love a female superhero!
  • Cruella. All right, all right, we also love a villainess!

Cruella illustration: a woman with black and white hair, a mask, and a red gown on a pink background.

2021 Current Events

  • Tom Daley knitting. Did you catch Tom Daley’s amazing knitting skills during the Olympics? I have to admit, I’m not a huge sports watcher, but I could watch Tommy knit and purl between dives all day. Check out his Instagram account @MadeWithLoveByTomDaley and go Team Great Knittin’!

Tom Daley Knitting costume: A woman wearing a blush pink swimming suit with an olympic gold medal knitting a red, white, and blue scarf.

  • Bernie with mittens. Speaking of yarn, this meme would be a great (and cozy!) costume.
  • a boat stuck in the Suez Canal. There are so many hilarious ways you could do this: I’m thinking paper mache boats, all blue outfits with a sideways boat appliqué, the sky (or sea) is the limit!

Celebrity Hijinks

  • Olivia Rodrigo’s drivers license. Picture this: a big cardboard card that you rig so that your face fits where her face would go. I love this idea so much that if you don’t do it, I just might.

Olivia Rodrigo Drivers License illustration: a woman with a pink and red heart sweater and jeans with a california drivers license cutout around her face

  • Britney Spears. #FreeBritney!
  • Frank Ocean’s alien baby from the Met Gala. This is still fresh on our minds, and it would be pretty easy: all you need is a sleeper set and some florescent yellow-green paint!

Frank Ocean's Alien Baby costume illustration: a woman wearing green face paint and a green printed footie pajama set on a blush pink background.

  • Lady Gaga at the Inauguration. Her performance was incredible. Also, speaking of the inauguration, I’m still thinking about the beautiful moment when Jennifer Lopez yelled “una nación bajo Dios con libertad y justicia para todos!” during her musical number.
  • Elon Musk, Grimes, and their baby X Æ A-XII. This would be a hilarious (and not too difficult) family costume for someone with a baby. I’d love to see you pull it off!

I’d love to see your Halloween costumes and hear about your 2021 costume ideas! 

 

Paper Poinsettia Wreath

close up window shot

Paper Poinsettia Wreath

If you’ve been following our tutorials for a while, you might notice that the flowers on this poinsettia wreath look familiar. Right you are! We originally released a tutorial back in 2017, showing you how to make some paper poinsettia flowers, but then we got thinking: what if we turned those flowers into a wreath?! And the paper poinsettia wreath was born.

red close up

A winter floral wreath is a breath of fresh air from all the pine-centric wreaths, if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pine bough wreath, but I’m always looking for a way to sneak some flowers in. Can you blame me? The poinsettias are such a perfect way to make a wreath that feels seasonal and festive, but that’s fun, colorful, and whimsical at the same time.

Don’t Have a Wreath Form?

Don’t worry! If you’re looking for wreath form alternatives you can simply buy heavy gauge wire (see the link to it in the materials list above) and coil it into a few circles, securing with floral tape or something similar. This makes a DIY wreath form that’s sturdy enough to last in any size you like.

window shot of paper wreath

Paper Poinsettia Wreath Instructions

Here’s how to make your very own paper poinsettia wreath!

Prepping the flowers

  1. Using our Paper Poinsettia Flowers tutorial, assemble your flowers. You will need roughly ten large flowers. Note: when we made our poinsettia wreath flowers, we left out the leaves that are included in the original tutorial.
  2. Next, make five or six smaller flowers, using the same steps above. The difference is that you’ll only use the two small petals in the template, not the two large ones.

Assembling the wreath

Once all your poinsettias are made, you’re ready to assemble your wreath!

step photos

  1. Resting the stem of the poinsettia against the wreath form so the flower faces towards the front, wrap the extra wire stem around it. Then secure in place with some hot glue.
  2. Continue this process all the way around the wreath until it’s full. Alternate with the small and large poinsettias so you have some size variation. Depending on the size of your wreath form and how bushy you want your wreath, you may need more or less flowers than we used for ours.

You’re all done!

close up of pinks

How to style your paper poinsettia wreath

This beautiful paper poinsettia wreath can be styled in so many ways! You can put it on your front door, but you can also hang it on any other door in your house. You can also hang it on your wall in the living room, kitchen, or any other room, really. Wreaths are really versatile, so if you don’t have very many indoor plants, this can be such a great addition, especially if you have a blank stretch of wall that needs a little love.

The best thing is you don’t have to water them and they’ll last a long time! If you’re like me and you’re constantly forgetting about your houseplants, paper flowers are the perfect solution. And if you’ve ever dealt with the needles dropping off of a pine bough wreath, you’ll love this paper poinsettia wreath.

We would love to see what you do with your paper poinsettia wreaths!

window wreath

More inspiration

If you loved this tutorial on how to make a paper poinsettia wreath, you’ll probably love these other paper flower and seasonal decorations tutorials, too: DIY paper hollyhocks, paper pansies, poppies and peonies and posies, crepe paper Christmas tree topper, paper mushroom wreath, and pink paper blossom wreath.

single arm wreath shot

DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote

DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote

I recently read Ray Bradbury’s book Dandelion Wine and I loved this quote: “Sandwich outdoors isn’t a sandwich anymore. Tastes different than indoors, notice? Got more spice. Tastes like mint and pinesap. Does wonders for the appetite.”

I truly buy into the idea that food tastes different outdoors! I think about the packed meals I would eat on hikes with my dad growing up, and somehow a plain old ham and cheese truly would taste far better when I was tired and outside. Use this DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote on your next adventure. Hopefully you’ll get the delicious outdoor flavor without having to deal with attitude from reluctant adventurers. 😉

One of the perks of Spoonflower is the custom design features. My sister, Caitlin Watson Boyes, has some of her fabric designs on Spoonflower under her company called Funky Pretty, and she has designed some great stripes. I was immediately drawn to this stripe and thought I’d just go for it on both sides. BUT THEN I thought…let’s customize it! Caitlin is a textile and pattern designer and so I had her do something with our dad on it. We call it  Dad’s Head Through the Ages. Ha! I find it hysterical! And even funnier because I haven’t told him about it yet and he’ll be finding out as you are. You’re welcome, Dad!

The best part is the practicality of the blanket. We made it so that it’s SO easy to pack and unpack. The two straps allow you to fold it up like a duffle bag. So easy to carry around! AND, you can even place your plates and such in the blanket as you fold it and it will keep it nice and compact. Score!

Material List:

  • 2 yards each of 2 Spoonflower fabrics in lightweight cotton twill
  • Matching Thread
  • 6 yards coordinating bias tape (We used double folded)
  • 2 yards 60” wide batting
  • 1 yard of webbing
  • Scissors
  • Fabric Ruler
  • Cutting Mat
  • Sewing Machine
  1. Cut batting and your 2 fabrics all the same size (size of blanket you want)
  2. Put right sides out with batting in between
  3. Sew all three layers
  4. Open the bias tape, stick the blanket edge in, pinch closed and pin
  5. Continue around the perimeter of the blanket
  6. After pinning, Sew bias tape down
  7. Cut your webbing in 2 even lengths
  8. Pin and sew one strap to the center of the top edge of the blanket
  9. Fold your blanket into thirds with the strap as the center top
  10. Roll your blanket towards the strap
  11. Mark where your second strap needs to be
  12. Unroll and unfold
  13. Pin and sew the second length of webbing downTaDa(d) <see what I did there 😉

We’ve done a number of sponsored posts with Spoonflower now and I’m one of their biggest fans. If you’re looking for fabric, wallpaper, or even home decor centered around a particular theme (seasons, fathers, you name it!), Spoonflower is sure to have what you’re looking for. If you’re a designer, I encourage you to upload a pattern of your own! But if uploading a pattern with your father’s face on it isn’t really your thing, try building a collection of existing patterns on Spoonflower’s Marketplace (there are over 1 million!). Stay tuned for a post about some of my favorite Spoonflower artists!showing a picnic blanket that turns into a duffle bag

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower. All opinions are my own.

Check out our other posts for Spoonflower:

Mother’s Day Tablescape
DIY fabric lampshade
My bedroom makeover
How to install Spoonflower wallpaper

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!

Easy Halloween Ideas From Our Shop

My ideal Halloween is playfully spooky, crafty, and (above all) easy, and there’s no such thing as too many easy Halloween ideas. If you’re looking for a fun, simple way to celebrate the season without turning your home into a Spirit Halloween storefront, read on for easy Halloween ideas!

Easy Halloween Decorations

This Haunted House makes a perfect Halloween centerpiece and conversation starter. You’ll make it from recycled cardboard boxes, which is a win for Planet Earth, and it’s beautiful enough to come back year after year, which is a win for you! Check out our blog post on it here.

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

If you love the spooky aspect of Halloween, check out this Vampire Teeth Garland. It’s creepy without being too macabre, and oh so easy.

DIY vampire teeth garland

Another slightly spooky and impeccably easy decor idea is this wooden transfer plaque template! I’m all for riding the line between pretty and creepy at Halloween, and these really fit the bill. Find the tutorial here.

wooden cross sections of branches with spiders and bugs transferred onto them hanging from maroon ribbons.

This painted pumpkin face template makes for such a fun, easy DIY! Give your porch some whimsy this Halloween by painting these sweet characters on your pumpkins. Read the tutorial here and get painting!

painted pastel pumpkin faces against a pink background

How many times can you say “pretty paper pumpkin project?” Whatever your answer, you should check out this template for rainbow paper pumpkins, along with this tutorial blog post. These make a beautiful, refined, seasonal table setting, they’ll look great for all of Autumn, not jus Halloween. A Thanksgiving comeback, anyone?

orange, gold, and yellow paper pumpkins on a table setting.

If you’re in a pinch and looking for quick decorations, don’t forget this post about last minute Halloween decor!

Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

There’s something to be said for a super intricate, detailed costume for sure. But even if you don’t have the time and energy to become a perfectly accurate storm trooper, dressing up doesn’t have to be out of your reach. Lots of our costume templates just require some simple clothing, some paper, and a prop or two. No professional costuming degree necessary!

Our Ruth Bader Ginsberg collar is maybe our simplest costume for adults. Just cut it out (a cricut or other cutting machine is helpful here), put it over a dark dress, and pull your hair back. Voilà! You’re ready to advocate for your sisters.

A white paper lace collar on a black background.

If you’ve been a Lars reader for more than about a minute you’ll know that I love flowers. So of course I wanted to dress up as a bouquet! Ha! Practice making some paper flowers for this Sweet Pea Paper Flower Bouquet costume (and read the tutorial here).

Brittany wearing a bouquet costume with paper flowers and a white paper wrapper against a green backdrop

Group costumes are always so fun, so pair your bouquet costume with greenhouse garb for a friend! This greenhouse costume uses cardboard and iron-on flowers, and is sure to turn heads. You can find the tutorial here.

a white woman with brown hair wears a green dress with iron on flowers, a greenhouse hat, and yellow clogs. She's holding flowers and a watering can.

Another cute Halloween costume for a pair of friends would be our beehive and picnic costumes. Both use an iron-on technique to make easy halloween costumes that are as cute as a bug. Find the tutorials here.

Brittany wears a gingham red dress with ants ironed onto it and holds a rattan picnic bag. a white woman wearing a yellow dress with iron-on bees, black gloves, a bee headband, and black shoes stands in front of a blue background.

This constellation costume with iron-on stars is absolutely dazzling. Honestly, you might as well break it out all year round because it’s that beautiful.

a blonde woman wearing an off-the-shoulder black jumpsuit with silvers stars all over it, sparkly makeup, and a spangled headband against a periwinkle background

For a subtle Halloween look, just print off our Pumpkin Crown and wear warm autumn tones.

Printable Pumpkin Crown

Easy Halloween Costumes for Kids

One of our most glamorous costumes with templates in the shop is our sun, cloud and rainbow set. This makes a great baby and mom costume, because you can add sun rays to a baby bonnet. I love how our model matched the baby’s outfit to her sling! With this costume you can invest as much or as little as you want. Just want the Sun and Rainbow headpiece? No problem. What about the Cloud Bag and Cloud Earrings? Done. Just want a sunny baby bonnet pattern? Your wish is our command. Make the costume just how you like it with this tutorial.

Rainbow costumeRainbow and sun mommy and me costume

This Giving Tree costume is another easy Halloween idea that you could make in a flash. And who doesn’t want to reference a classic children’s book in their costume? Find the tutorial here.

A mom wearing a green outfit with leaves and holding a felt apple bag stands next to her child in red overalls. They're dressed as the Giving Tree.

If you have a gaggle of children to costume, consider our Three Blind Mice baby costume pattern or our Crayon Hat template. Both are simple to put together and oh so sweet.

3 blind mice diy costume for kidsFour kids wearing crayon halloween costumes in orange, red, blue, and green.

Halloween Party Supplies

Even though gathering in big groups for Halloween parties is starting to look less and less likely (again 😔), you can still throw a Halloween party for your family, roommates, or pod! This Halloween Party Suite includes printable invitations, placemats, party tags, and place cards. Talk about easy Halloween ideas!

Halloween themed place cards.

Paper party goods with a halloween theme on a black background. They're orange, yellow, black, white, navy, and peach.

And for a party favor, try these printable poppers or printable Halloween candy gift boxes.

Halloween party poppersPrintable Halloween Candy Gift Box

These Halloween coupons make a fun halloween activity for your family. They’re a great way for parents to get their kids to relinquish some candy in return for fun activities.

halloween coupons in pink, red, blue, and black.

These illustrated Halloween cards are another great party favor because you can attach them to treat bags, trade them, send them as cards, or just hang them up.

Printable Halloween Cards

If your party is more freaky than funky, you might like this elegant invitation and Halloween dinner menu.

black and white illustrated halloween party invitation in a black decorative hadn surrounded by foliage and fruitsBlack and floral printable halloween menu

Party Food

Real talk here: what’s a party without cake? Use these printables and templates to make your Halloween cake extra fancy. The Spooky Town printable cake topper set is quaint and just a bit creepy, while this Black Birds cake topper is decidedly Hitchcock-approved. Red velvet cake makes it even more dramatic!

a colorful, cute printable cake topper set on a cake."The Birds" Cake Topper

If your fall party isn’t so Halloween-specific (or even if it is!) this Fall Leaf cake topper will add elegance and fun to the celebration.

DIY fall leaf cake topper

Looking for more cards, costumes, and decor? Search for Halloween on our blog! You’ll be blown away by the years of great, easy Halloween ideas and DIYs. If you’re interested in many of these ideas (who wouldn’t be!?), you can check out our E-Book, The Halloween that Lars Made. It’s a one-stop shop for easy Halloween ideas, DIYs, and projects.

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! 

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.