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!

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!

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.

Cute Watermelon Round Up for Watermelon Day

We could all use a little more celebration in our lives, and this watermelon round up for National Watermelon Day is a great way to make the everyday a little bit more special.

Watermelon crafts

There are few things more refreshing than watermelon on a hot day, and lately, every day seems to require more watermelon than the day before (it’s been so hot here!). I’m happy to see that we’re not the only ones who are watermelon-obsessed, because there are so many other fun watermelon projects and products floating around the web these days.  I don’t know if everyone else is also all about celebrating random holidays, but we’ll take it! We created a watermelon round up of our favorite watermelon-inspired products, recipes, and projects to help you celebrate!

Watermelon Round-Up

  1. Watermelon Peter Pan Collar
  2. Refreshing Watermelon Lime Lemonade
  3. Paper Watermelon Tablecloth
  4. Friendship Bracelets
  5. DIY Watermelon Picnic Blanket
  6. Paper Watermelon Peperomia Plant
  7. Fruit Wrapping
  8. Watermelon Doormat 

Like I said, we’re not the only ones with melons on the mind. Check out some of our favorite watermelon DIYs from our friends around the web!

  1. Make this Watermelon Pinata and fill with all the fruity candies!
  2. Mini Watermelon Bags make adorable favors for a party.
  3. DIY Watermelon Serving Tray is a great addition to a summer get together
  4. For the rice Krispie fanatic that I am, these Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats sound like a dream
  5. Say goodbye to rainy day blues with this DIY Fruit Slice Umbrellas
  6. Watermelon Sun Hat keeps you shady and sweet!
  7. I love these Mini Watermelon Pinata pouches for gifts!
  8. Watermelon Medallion Banner is a fun, fruity decoration

Shop Watermelon-themed Products

Still craving watermelons but don’t have time for a DIY? “Water” you worried about? Here’s a watermelon round up that you don’t have to break out the paintbrushes for.

Thanks for checking out our curated lists of projects and products. Every time you buy something from a link we post, we get a small commission back (at no cost to you) which helps us keep making these roundups.

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!

Friendship Bracelet Inspired Balloon Garland

how to make a flower balloon garland

Friendship Bracelet Inspired Balloon Garland

This year, we turned to our friend Wendy who has the most charming old white house (we’ve talked about her before here), which is a dreamy setting for her preschool.  We had aspirations of flowers and we wanted it to be BIG.  That’s when our friends at Anagram stepped in and gave us a hand with some of their balloons. My favorites are the purple/pink ombre ones, how about you? We knew with Wendy’s house and Anagram’s balloons we could pull off something really fun.how to make a flower balloon garland

Midsummer decor idea

Now, Wendy used to live in Sweden, so she was very eager to hop on the idea of Midsummer balloons. Did I also mention that Wendy is a BIG time lover of balloons!  Match made!  With the idea of greenery (read more about Sweden’s Midsummer traditions HERE) and flowers abounding, we got to work making some flowers out of balloons.

Beaded Flower bracelets

We were reminded of these popular bracelets that our friends at HonestlyWTF made and knew what we had to do. With some extra white balloons, we were able to make a chain and string the flowers together making the perfect balloon friendship bracelet.how to make a flower balloon garland

Here’s how to make them!

Materials: 

Make a flower balloon: 

  1. Start by using a gold/yellow balloon for the center.
  2. Blow up 6 “petals” to go around the center. Use packing tape to secure together and to the center.
  3. Blow up 5 white balloons for the garlands. Use balloon tape to hold them together. Use packing tape to secure if necessary.
  4. To adhere the garlands to your structure, use gaffer tape.

Tip: We found that packing tape is AMAZING for balloon to balloon adhesion and gaffer tape is great for balloon to other surfaces.

how to make a flower balloon garland

Recycling foil balloons

Did we mention recycling?  Yes!  Anagram foil balloons can be used year after year. Or you can gift them to friends like we did to give them a second life. It turned out so cute and we can’t wait for her kids to see!  how to make a flower balloon garland

This post is sponsored by Anagram but all opinions are my own! 

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

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! 

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.

All You Need for A Midsummer Party

Even those of us not in Sweden can throw a Midsummer party to celebrate long days, the bounty of beauty in our gardens, and good food. Lucky for us, I have made lots of Midsummer-themed projects so we can have the Midsummer party of our dreams without dishing out for a plane ticket!

Midsummer Parties Past

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A blonde woman in a white dress holds a small bouquet.

Years ago I celebrated Midsummer by dressing up and dancing around a maypole with my team, and it was truly magical. You can see more photos here.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light.

The next year I teamed up with my friend and designer extraordinaire Meta Coleman, Merrilee of Mer Mag, Sarah of Sarah Jane Studios, Melanie and Alma of Caravan Shoppe, and Eva of Sycamore Co to organize a huge Midsummer party. We called it A Midsummer Mingle and it was epic, if I do say so myself.

Women dressed in white descend stairs in a green space filled with dappled light.women dressed in white eat on a picnic blanket. In the background, a maypole stands in front of some pine trees. It's dusk.

You can find out more about it here, here and here. Wasn’t it beautiful?

Two women in white wearing floral crowns smile at the camera. It's night and the background is distantly lit with warm light. A woman in white wearing a white floral crown hangs up a picture on a clothesline

Now let me level with you. Both of those Midsummer parties were stunning and magical, and you might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed right about now. Take a deep breath. Remember that I had help on both projects, as should all party planners, and you don’t have to be a professional to throw a gorgeous Midsummer party. You can do it! No matter how low-key or extravagant you want your party to be, I have Midsummer tutorials and inspiration to knock your flower crown off.

Women in white wearing flower crowns hold hands and walk in a line in front of some pine trees.

Midsummer Projects

Maypole

Brittany is wearing white and dancing around a DIY maypole with her interns, who are also wearing white.

I made a maypole for the Midsummer Party with my interns, and I know what you’re thinking: “You made a maypole?!” It was a surprisingly simple DIY that I know you can make too.  Once you’ve made a maypole, you’ll have the backbone of your Midsummer celebrations taken care of for years to come! Again, find the tutorial here.

Flower Crowns

Flower crowns are a Midsummer staple, and Amy from Amy Anne Floral made these gorgeous and simple Midsummer Flower Crowns for the Midsummer Mingle.

Goldenrod flower crown from Midsummer Mingle. A woman in a white dress holds it against her side. waxflower and laurel flower crowns are stacked in a pile.

There’s also this Crepe Paper Flower Crown and this one, this Shamrock Flower Crown, these Lady Liberty-inspired Flower Crowns, this Printable Flower Crown, and this tutorial for a Flower Crown Inspired by Art History.

A little girl wears a paper flower crown and smells some little flowers.a floral crown on long, straight brown hairA little girl with brown hair wears a paper shamrock crown and a cream colored floral blouse. The background is bold colored wallpaper.Lady Liberty Flower CrownsA printable flower crown in purple, yellow, pink, white red, and blue being held up by two hands. A woman wearing a lavish flower crown of dahlias and berries and greenery looks at the camera. The background is sky blue.

Midsummer Decorations

You won’t want to skip out flowers for your Midsummer party. Use this tutorial to make gorgeous floral arrangements that you can place around in vases or hold as bouquets.

Pink florals from A Midsummer Mingle

This paper Summer Flower Garland would look lovely draping between the trees or wrapped around your may pole. Because it’s made of paper you can keep it for next year’s Midsummer party.

Summer Paper Flower Garland

Speaking of paper flowers, I’ve compiled lots and lots of paper flower tutorials in one place here. These would be great for arrangements, cake decorations, or to wear.

Paper parrot tulips in cream, yellow, and red.Paper peony bouquet held by a person in a striped dressIcelandic Paper PoppyPaper hydrangeas in a white vase against a floral orange backgroundThe Exquisite Book of Paper Flower Transformations

For a decoration that you’ll want to keep hanging after the season changes, make this Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile. It will remind you of your delightful Midsummer party and be a great conversation starter!

Close up of a colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i A colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i

Finishing Touches

No party is complete without music, and your Midsummer party is no exception. My friend Melissa Leavitt graciously agreed to make this Midsummer playlist, and I think you’ll love it.

Brittany and her friends smile at the camera. It's dark and in the background, there are warm lights.

If you serve cake (and when do we ever not want to serve cake!?) this Midsummer Pole Cake Topper is perfect for the occasion.

Midsummer Pole cake Topper Midsummer Pole cake Topper

Food

Look, you know that I don’t cook. Still, your Midsummer party will need food. Go traditional with pickled herring, boiled potatoes, grilled meat, and strawberries and cream for desert. For those who imbibe, Midsummer is also an opportunity to drink beer and schnapps, but as a non-drinker I’ve found that fizzy lemonade does the trick, too. Smaklig måltid (bon appetit in Swedish)!

strawberry-covered layer cakes on pastel cakestands at an outdoor party

Glad Midsommar!

I would love to see your Midsummer celebrations! Tag me in your photos with #MidsummerWithLars.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A graphic that says Midsummer celebration is at the top.

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.

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