Becoming: Nadia Cates

Meet: Nadia Aguilar Cates  

Nadia is the Founder of Casa Palomí and Ella Rises and a proud mother of 6. Nadia’s passion for her home country has shaped her professional pursuits. With Casa Palomi and her culinary background, Nadia shares her love for Mexican cuisine (especially tamales!) through virtual cooking lessons. After relocating to Mexico for several years, she found a deep connection with her heritage, which has inspired her to empower Latina youth to connect with their roots through Ella Rises. In honor of Día de Los Meurtos, we are excited to have Nadia share how her rich culture has influenced who she has and continues to become. Because we all come from somewhere and somebody.

What do you consider yourself? Ex: designer, artisan, entrepreneur, activist, etc.

  1. There’s definitely an entrepreneurial spirit in me, and I also consider myself a creative. I love to take concepts and bring them to life. For example, Casa Palomí’s pan de muerto class – an amazing Mexican sweet bread – that I did last week. I’ve never done that before but it’s live now and a success with those who have taken it!

How has your childhood influenced what you have become?

My childhood has very much influenced who I am. I was born in Mexico and raised in Southern California. I became a U.S. citizen in grade school. For a long time, I carried shame around my story because people made fun of me and others with similar backgrounds.

I am no longer ashamed of where I come from, and I can honestly say that my story and heritage empower me. I’ve reclaimed a call to uplift and empower those with a similar story.

There’s a quote by Gloria Anzaldua about this that resonates with me. In her words, “I am from the land of the North and the land of the South. Indigenous blood runs through my veins. It calls me, and I honor it. What I once saw as disadvantages, clearly defines me, strengthens, and empowers me.”

What aspects of your Mexican culture have most inspired your work? 

Mexico has such a deep, rich, and consistent cultural heritage. I’m inspired by all of it, but especially the music, food, and textiles. When I can, I meet and work with artisans. I learn about the history of the places I visit and return to them or remain in contact with the people as often as possible because that connection is what inspires me the most.

What learning experiences have been critical to becoming an entrepreneur?

I think the reality of many entrepreneurs is that you ‘fail into success.’ I’ve tried and continue to try different things. When learning opportunities have appeared, I have taken them – most recently, with successful entrepreneurs and women, who I admire, offering mentoring classes!

Which people were instrumental in shaping the trajectory of your life?

There’s so many, but closest to my heart have been my parents, sisters, my husband, and each of my children.

What is a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from?

I’ve always had different guiding statements that have inspired me. They’ve evolved and changed over time, but they’ve helped empower me. A couple I like right now are  “There has to be discomfort to change” and “If we don’t heal the wounds of the past, we cannot expand to our full potential; we can learn from it and be empowered by it.”

What sets your work apart from other brands? 

My work is designed to connect you with the beauty of Mexican heritage and reflected in that you will hopefully see your beauty and strength at the same time.

Was starting your own business or taking on entrepreneurial projects always your ultimate plan? Did you always know that you wanted to incorporate Mexican culture into your work?

Such great questions. I’m a mother of 6, and that’s the most important work in my life right now. But deep within me, there was always a desire to create, but I just wasn’t clear on what that was … until I moved to Mexico. It was then that I knew whatever I did, it would be to preserve our heritage.

What does your daily routine look like? 

Routine? What’s that?

My oldest is 12, and my youngest is 10 months. You could say I’m a slave to my kids’ schedules. I work during nap times and at night. When we have big projects with Ella Rises or Casa Palomí, I always find help. My husband is pretty good at loading up the kids and taking them somewhere when necessary.

What is inspiring you lately?

The Ella Rises girls and the challenges they face. And the female leaders and artists who are participating with Ella Rises. See the second to last question.

Tell us about your current project(s).

At Casa Palomí, we share our heritage with the community through food. We’re currently offering a virtual pan de muerto class for Day of the Dead, and friends from all over the world have signed up for our class! Follow @casa_palomi for more details.

Ella Rises is an initiative to empower Latinas in high school through virtual art and mentoring classes taught by Latinas. This historic project has never been done before, and 125 girls registered for Ella Rises 2020! We meet every Monday and Thursday in October. For more details, check out EllaRises.org

You’ve done culinary school, tamales, catering, all sorts of things. Tell us about your journey!

You know, it is all rooted in my continued journey to discover where I came from and the culture around all of that. Check out @casa_palomi on Instagram –  it’s visually captured there. I think you could say I’ve been on a journey to becoming for a few years now. And, I wouldn’t say that I’m there yet.

What designers/creatives/entrepreneurs do you look up to from the past or present?

Luis Barragan, a Mexican architect, came to my mind. I love his work! I often turn to it for inspiration, and I love his use of color and thoughtfully-curated spaces.

My culinary school maestros, Yuri de Gortari and Edmundo Escamilla, still inspire me today. They ignited a spark of love and reverence for my heritage, and I’ll forever be grateful for that.

I am also inspired by Mexican artisans. I’ve been building relationships with weavers and embroiderers. Their names may never go down in history, but I know them and love them.

What is on the horizon for you and your work in the remainder of 2020?

Casa Palomí and Ella Rises are thriving, and I hope we continue to do so through the end of the year. We’re connecting and reaching individuals who seek a space of love, respect, and appreciation for people of different backgrounds. Follow @casa_palomi or @ellarises and join our journey.

What is a piece of advice you’d give to women who are considering starting their own business? 

I turn to a higher power for direction. If seeking divine direction resonates with you, I’d recommend praying, meditating, going out in nature, and reconnecting with our creator. Then, create a statement of what you want to be, look like, and do. Rewrite it in the present tense, start repeating it daily, and keep seeking divine guidance.

What is the best advice you’d give to a businesswoman on determining her brand’s mission? 

When someone asks me for advice, I try (not perfect at it) to just listen to what they have to say. I believe that we often have or already know the answers to our questions.

Are you where you want to be in your life?

Katie Richardson, the creator of the Puj Tub, once told me “You’re right where you need to be.” I’ve taken that and ran with it. So, to answer your question, “I’m right where I need to be.”

Is there anything more you’d like to “become?”

Definitely! I embrace myself fully with where I am, but my journey of growth and progress continues. A millionaire would be nice too since I would love to invest more in my wildest ideas to help people. 🙂

Day of the Dead

For this feature, we worked with Nadia on creating this portrait, honoring both her, this unique time of year with the face mask, and the catrina in honor of Day of the Dead. This Mexican holiday typically involves friends and family coming together to pray and remember those who have passed on. It is seen as a festival of celebration rather than mourning. Ofrendas, or offerings, are often set out with pictures of ancestors and tokens that represent them. Thank you, Nadia.

You can find Nadia

Casa Palomi
Ella Rises

DIY Summer Flower Garland

Collaboration leads to inspiration

The inspiration for this particular garland came from two places: our wrapping paper products designed for Alexis Mattox Design, and a collab we did Chatbooks! The floral patterns we did with AMD were just so fun and punchy that we had to make a garland inspired by the wrapping paper. Chatbooks used some of those same wrapping paper designs as covers for their books. After seeing that, it occurred to me that I wanted to see these colors and flowers everywhere. Cue the crafting!

This DIY Summer Flower Garland is the perfect decoration for all your summer soirees. And is pretty enough to keep up all year long! You’ll be happy to hear that the materials were pretty cheap too. It’s made with crepe paper and cardstock, and is totally customizable. You can change the colors by simply using a different color paper. If you do play with a new color scheme, send me pictures!! Color is my favorite.

Where to put your paper flower garland

The fun part about a garland is that it can go anywhere. Wreaths go on the front door, flower vases on tables, but garlands? They do it all. In our Flower & Leaf Garden E-Book, we put garlands over the backs of chairs, as table runners, wound around a staircase handle, hung over doorways, or delicately draped on walls. If you’re planning a wedding, think of how fun it would be to make a DIY Summer Flower Garland with friends! It would be beautiful hung over a trellis or fireplace or as a photo-wall backdrop.

This project is great to work on with friends or alone! Heck, you could probably collab with a friend from afar! Mail each other your pieces to create one big DIY Summer Flower Garland!  If crafting is your cathartic alone time, this garland is perfect for you. Spread out over a few days, and soak up that creative time. Summer days are meant for crafting, am I right?

More paper garlands for every season

You can download the templates for each of these garlands (and more!) individually here or all of them together for a discount!

DIY Summer Flower Garland

Materials:
  • Crepe paper in green, cornflower blue, orange, white, and yellow
  • Cardstock in blue, pink, yellow, and white
  • Acrylic paint in coral, yellow, and blue
  • Wire flower stamens in red
  • 22 gauge cloth covered floral wire in 18″ lengths
  • Spool of 24 gauge florist wire
  • Hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • Templates
Instructions:

Full instructions can be found here!

Once you’ve created all the individual flowers, begin to hot glue the elements onto the green floral wire. Mix in plenty of green crepe paper leaves. We made our garland about 6 feet long.

DIY summer flower garland

Photography by Anna Killian | Crafting by Ashley Isenhour and Rebecca Hansen

Printable Summer BBQ Invitations

printable summer BBQ invitations

Patriotic Holidays to Celebrate

With Flag Day, Juneteenth, and Independence Day, there are plenty of reasons to have fun and celebrate. First up is:

Flag Day – on June 14th. It commemorates the day in 1777 that the US adopted the Betsy Ross flag! Few women are mentioned in early American history, so I’m glad this lady is one I like. Betsy is a woman after my own heart – she was involved and crafty!

Juneteenth or June 19th – marks the day that the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. This gave enslaved people their freedom in 1865. The holiday is one for family and freedom. Make sure to celebrate how far we’ve come! And don’t forget: plan for the improvements we have yet to make! 

Independence Day or the Fourth of July – already has its own color scheme. You’ve gotta love the red, white, and blue! Since the other two holidays are also about American history, I’m going to use the same color scheme for all three. This gives me an excuse to have summer party decor up longer! Brilliant, isn’t it?

printable summer BBQ invitations

Printable Summer BBQ invitations and more!

Are you having a BBQ this summer? We have a Barbecue invitation suite made just for you! If you’re grilling up the summer feast, I wish you good luck. And I also recommend you try these printable summer party decor items – especially the leftover label. You will more inclined to eat leftovers if they’re wrapped up nicely. 

printable summer BBQ invitations and leftover labels for 4th of july

If you live somewhere that you can’t light off fireworks, make these fun red-white-and-blue party poppers! These make an excellent party craft – it’s the entertainment and decor wrapped up in one cute package. Even kids can help out with this one!

4th of July party poppers printable

After you have printed off you printable summer BBQ invitations, if you still want more, check out our older posts from Independence Days of years past! We’ve figured out how to make DIY buntings, a flag weaving, cake toppers, and even Lady Libertyinspired floral crowns

Let’s all enjoy the summer together, celebrating health and freedom!

Memorial Day Paper Poppy Pin

How to celebrate Memorial Day

What are some of your Memorial Day traditions? Here at Lars, our holiday plans usually include hot dogs. After that, maybe a dip in the pool, and lots of time with family! However, this Memorial Day might look a little different than what we’re used to. (Much like everything else these past few months.) So, this has us thinking about how we can celebrate new, or at least new to us, traditions! We are taking this opportunity to remember the sacrifices people have made out of love for their country. Today, we’re pulling inspiration from Remembrance Day, with our very own paper poppy pins!

DIY paper poppy pin for memorial day

In addition to roasting up some hot dogs this Monday, add this project to your family activities! Not only are these paper poppies super easy to make, but the pin is so sweet you’ll want to wear it all summer long! We love the way these turned out and can’t wait for you to make your own paper poppies!

How to make a paper poppy pin for Memorial Day

Supplies needed:

All supplies are linked on Amazon Prime so you can make your pin in time for Memorial Day!

Instructions:

  1. First, download and print your templates
  2. Cut out three “petals” from the red” template.
  3. Cut out a circle from the black using your template. This is your stamen. Make tiny incisions into the circle as close to each other as possible all the way around the perimeter. Curl the edges of the stamen with a pencil and cup them so that they are as vertical as possible.
  4. Make the center that goes inside the stamen by gluing the four corners together. Also, glue the bottom to the inside of the stamen.
  5. Add embroidery stitches to the inside of the petals and to the leaves.
  6. Glue the petals together so that they evenly overlap each other.
  7. Glue the center onto the top petal.
  8. Add the leaves to the underside.
  9. Finally, add a pin backing to the back.
  10. Start a new tradition and wear your poppy pin this Monday!

Other poppy projects

paper poppy cake toppers for summer party decor paper poppy background for DIY party decor paper flower corsage for prom or high school dance ideas paper summer garland for DIY summer party decor how to draw a poppy drawing tutorialpaper poppy tutorial paper wedding bouqet

As self-proclaimed “poppy ladies” we think poppies fit in ANYWHERE. As cake toppers, in a summery flower garland, or even covering an entire wall! You can make paper poppies as intricate and life-like as you choose. So, click on any of the projects above different methods for making your own. Some are simple enough for the entire family to help with, like these, and some look real enough to add to a bouquet.

Teach your kids about the sacrifices we honor on Memorial Day with the help of this poppy coloring page.

In the Mood For: The Royal Wedding Anniversary

More than knowing how to throw a party, they know how to show love and respect for one another and people around the world. Aside from all of the drama, Harry and Meghan have been busy running their non-profit organization, Archewell. I did a little digging and learned that they chose this name because the Greek word “arche” means “source of action” (Archie = Arche). Aside from that, Meghan recently teamed up with Save the Children and did a fantastic story-time segment available on instagram. We are donating the proceeds from our Picture Hope coloring book to the same organization! That makes us just like Meghan, right?

Okay. Now that I’ve talked about how wonderful Harry and Meghan are for humanitarian reasons, I can talk about what we all guiltily came here for: FASHION. 

Since joining the royal family, Meghan has become an icon. And in the months since Megxit, she has stepped up her wardrobe in a big way. I’ve been feeling a little tired of my same two house dresses and have spent a fair bit of time looking at pictures of Meghan and Kate for fashion inspiration. You’ll love what I found!! The mix of classic elegance with modern, playful touches is perfect. Truthfully, that’s what I hope Lars makes you, dear reader, think of. I’d like to think Meghan is a Lars girl. 😉 

Two years ago, we wrote about the wedding and made a mood board! If you want to see their wedding style synthesized, try this out! You probably have one friend who is a big time fan of all things royal (mine is named Dana). Send her something from our Royal Weddings collection!  

(I won’t tell if you make a purchase for yourself.)

royal wedding stationary to celebrate the royal family

Keep on scrolling down to see some pieces that are a perfect fit for a royal-loving Lars girl. When you’re ready, head to our instagram today to vote on your favorite royal wedding fashion items. Which wedding was your favorite, Meghan’s or Kate’s? 

Now that’s the tea – don’t spill.

Everyday style inspired by the Royal Family

How to plan your own royal wedding

If you are day dreaming of your very own classic wedding, inspired by Meghan and Harry’s big day, we have all the resources to help you! We are in full support of you going all out for the classy, iconic wedding of this decade. Visions of pastel colors and big hats are dancing around our heads. If you can picture it too, keep reading! After all, your deserve to feel royal on your wedding day.

paper wedding bouqet meghan markle's wedding bouqet from the royal wedding

You can find the templates needed to make your own paper version of Meghan’s wedding bouquet in our new paper flower e-book.  Start the theme with your bridal shower, with the help of these printable invites the queen herself would approve of! Click here to see the royal wedding inspired tea party we held, for inspiration for your bridal shower or the reception itself!

Explore the links below for fashion inspired by the personal styles of members of the royal family. Imagine your guests donning classy pastel attire for the garden wedding every one will be talking about. Below you’ll find dresses, spring blazers, heels, and even hats the royal family would love any excuse to wear

Royal Wedding Fashion

Royal Wedding Accessories

 

This post is part of our “In the Mood For” series, where we highlight the taste of famous people and characters we love. Click these links to be inspired by kindred spirits like Anne of Green Gables or Jo March, or to learn how to re-create the iconic styles of real life heroes Iris Apfel or Alexander Girard

How to show our thanks on Nurses Day

Embroider a sentiment on scrubs

Scrubs were never designed to be a luxe fashion item – they are designed to be practical. Practical doesn’t have to mean thoughtless or impersonal, however. Check out these lovely (and free!) embroidery designs and stitch them on a pair for a friend or family member who is a medical professional. When nurses can’t be with their loved ones, we want nurses to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them. Personalizing scrubs tells the wearer that they are known, seen, and above all, their efforts are recognized. We are so grateful for the care and support that nurses show us. I hope this little gift can return some care and support to the people who deserve it most: medical professionals.

DIY scrubs personalized for nurses day to say thank youDIY scrubs personalized for nurses day to say thank youDIY scrubs personalized for nurses day to say thank you

We did some research and found out that some medical professionals who wear scrubs CAN have adornment while others cannot. It depends on the type of office, so you’ll have to look into it to see what your options are.

Hailey went to town embroidering the scrubs for her sister, Maegan. A heart on the top, a bandaid on the bum (they are cheeky sisters after all…pun intended), and a little floral adornment on the pocket.

Thank You Cards for Nurses and Doctors

Thank you card for nurses day you can print at home

I heard about a nurse who spent the entirety of her shift on Mother’s Day running as she went from room to room, helping patients connect with their family members using her cell phone. Now, I’m sure that she also performed her normal nursing duties, which include running diagnostic tests, administering treatments and medications, organizing treatment plans, intubating patients, taking care of patient comfort and hygiene, and much much more. These professionals do so much more than just their jobs, and we can all do a little more to show our appreciation. 

If you don’t know a nurse personally who you can personalize scrubs for, there is still something you can do! Print off this “Thank you, hero!” card to give to the nurses and doctors and any other medical professional that have been a hero in your life. Thank the nurse who watched over your grandma, your child, whoever it is. Or even better, to get the whole family involved – deliver a stack of cards to a hospital for some surprise gratitude for the staff.

You can find the free embroidery patterns here
You can find the printable Thank you, hero! card here

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!

I Voted! printables and embroidery pattern

Embroidered “I Voted” Pattern

As you know, we’re getting more and more into embroidery (Celebrity crush dolls anyone?!) and the idea of making something that will last a little bit longer than a throw away sticker is really appealing. In this way, it acts more as a patch than a pin. We couldn’t be more proud to let people know that we voted so might as well keep it up all year long!

How to embroider an “I voted” pin

Materials: see above

Instructions:

  1. Print out the “I Voted” embroidery pattern. Use a sharp pencil to poke through the paper on the felt along the lines of the type (you can also use embroidery transfer paper).
  2. After poking through with a pencil, remove the paper and lightly connect the dots to create lines.
  3. Trace around the pattern pieces and cut out pieces following instructions on pattern.
  4. Once pieces are cut embroider the type with a satin stitch on the smaller pink circle.
  5. Once that is done, center it on the background felt color and pin them together.
  6. To connect the back and front, whip stitch the edge of the front circle to the back circle following white stitching.
  7. Attach last circle to back to create backing.
  8. Using hot glue attach the broach piece with hot glue.
  9. Wear around to let everyone know you voted!

If you are printing stickers use the instructions on the sticker paper to create your stickers!

“I voted” printable stickers

Make your own “I voted” stickers by downloading our set of 5. There’s an option for “I absentee voted” and even one in Spanish. You can find the full set here.

We can’t wait to see you wearing these around! Will you be printing yours off as a sticker or embroidering them? Be sure to tag us with #larsmakes so we can see them! 

Hint Hint Hubby: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Husbands! Boyfriends! Significant others! We are talking to you. We assume your lady did her job and sent you over to our complete Valentine’s Day Gift Guide. Using this guide will allow you to surprise her AND find a gift you already know she will love! We have categorized our gift ideas to help you narrow down the search. What will make Valentine’s Day extra special this year for your true love?

For sentimental value

Heart jewelry is a natural direction to go when gift hunting for your Valentine. To make your gift long-lasting and unforgettable make sure to find jewelry she will love to wear all year long! These earrings and this necklace are simple and minimal, and she won’t want to take them off! Pair it with a fragrance you’ll both love and your upcoming date nights are sure to be extra special!

For the hostess

Does your wife love to host amazing parties? These gifts will know you took time to think of what she would love most. Bring a hint of romance to every party with this agate cheeseboard made of amethyst, February’s gemstone. Putting your flowers into a new amazing vase this year will instantly level up the gift.

For everyday

Sometimes the best gifts are the simple ones, that she can use every single day! Above you’ll find a floral thermos, a portable charger, a new passport cover (maybe to tell her about an upcoming trip, eh? 😉 and more – all in colors she will swoon over!

For the hopeless romantic

Flowers she can keep forever (they are dried!) romantic vases and perfumes that hint of Paris – the city of love. Make this Valentine’s Day feel like her favorite romantic movie with these gifts.

Surprise her! Unique and unexpected gifts

Your Valentine will never expect a fun gift like this heart-shaped waffle maker – Even better, use it to make her breakfast in bed! And bring her this monogrammed mug with her initial!

For a well-deserved spa day

Offer to watch the kids for a couple hours and let your wife try out all of these self-care items – like this luxurious waffle robe, or this silk pillowcase. Write a sweet love note in this bar of fancy soap. She’ll love you forever for it.

How to wrap your gift

When it comes to gift-giving, it’s really the details that make it special. Taking extra time and care your wrap your gift will pay off, we promise she will notice! Below you’ll find our special Valentine’s Day wrapping paper, and some of our favorite gift wrap items. Your lady will be thanking you before she has even opened her present!

Find our full Valentine’s Day wrapping paper collection here! And to include a fun valentine card with your gift, click here!

Phew, now that we’ve gone over the big stuff, time to get a card, head on over to our shop to pick one out! 

Good luck!

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

 

DIY Valentine’s Rainbow Box and competition

Directions:

  1. Using a pencil draw a rainbow shape of the cardboard, once you have a shape that you like cut it out mine is out 17″ long from one base to the other and 7″ wide and 14″ tall.
  2. Trace the shape of the rainbow arch cut out in step one on another piece of cardboard and cut it out.
  3. Once you have the two arches cut out cut strips of the cardboard that will be used to connect the pieces together, you will need enough to connect the top of the rainbow and the bottom of the rainbow. I cut my trips to be 7″ wide and cut them as long as i could get them out of each piece of cardboard I had.
  4. With the newly cut long strips you will want to bend them so that they can create the arched pieces easily. To do this you can run it down the side of a table applying pressure as you go to break down the board, you will see that the cardboard starts to hold an arch.
  5. once you have these pieces cut bent will begin to assemble them together.
  6. Using a hot glue gun apply and generous amount of hot glue to the edge of the rainbow and place the arched long cardboard pieces to create an edge along the rainbow arch piece. If the 7″ wide piece does not make it all the way across you can add in another piece to get it all the way to the bottom.
  7. Once the piece is attached take your second rainbow arch and use hot glue to in the same manner to attach that piece.
  8. Once the top of the piece is done you will add the underbelly of the arch by repeating step 6.
  9. You can trim with scissors or a craft cutting blade and excess of the 7″ strip of cardboard.
  10. Trace the bottoms of the rainbow onto cardboard where it is still open and cut the pieces out and attach them with hot glue.
  11. Cut a slit at the top for all of your hards to be placed into and your form is done!
  12. Cut strips of news paper about 1.5″ wide by 7″-13″ long
  13. Make paper máche for your rainbow form.
  14. Apply a light layer of paper máche covered news paper to your form and allow sufficient enough time to dry, I left mine overnight.
  15. Once dry you can paint onto it!
  16. I measured mine out a little so I had a good idea of how much of each color I could fit onto the rainbow.
  17. Once your box is painted and dry you can can cut flaps into the bottom of the rainbows to retrieve all of your love letters!

Let the Valentine’s games begin! We are taking this very seriously! Ha!

Printable Retro Ornaments

I’m in love with a decor with a bit more jazz to them, so we designed some paper ones that look adorable printed off and cut out! We embellished ours up with jingle bells, tassels, and wooden beads. You can even include a lip balm in the center for an extra gift! These printable retro ornaments look beautiful on the tree, adorable on a door handle, or even as a gift topper.

Printable Retro Ornaments

Let’s take a look at how to make them!

Printable Retro Ornaments

Printable Retro Ornaments

Printable Retro Ornaments

Printable Retro Ornaments

Materials:

Printable Retro Ornaments

Instructions:

  1. Print off the ornament templates and cut them out using scissors and a craft knife for the center hole.
  2. Paint your wooden beads in similar shades to the ornaments. Let dry.
  3. Make tassels with embroidery floss. See our tutorial HERE.
  4. Punch holes at the bottom and top of the ornament and the center hole, so you have 4 punched holes.
  5. With bakers twine, weave your thread in and out of your punched holes, placing a jingle bell or lip balm in the center of the ornament.
  6. At the top and/or bottom of your printable, add beads and tassel.

Printable Retro Ornaments

Printable Retro OrnamentsPhotography by Jane Merritt

DIY ornaments to decorate for the holidays

If you loved these printable retro ornaments, take a look at some of the other DIY ornaments we’ve created in the past! Whatever your style is, we’ve got a range of ornaments you can create. These DIY paper honeycomb ornaments are a Lars favorite, and you can create them in whatever colors you’d like! Hang them on your tree, in your windows, or any other place in your home that needs a bit of decoration! For a fun and festive DIY, these clothespin people ornaments are great for decorating your tree or giving out as gifts. These DIY ornaments in the shape of fruit will take you to a tropical place this winter! Plus, you can use those shapes to create an origami cornucopia. You’ll be set for any holiday!

You can find more printables and whimsical ornaments in the Lars Christmas shop.