How to Make a Post-It Heart Piñata

I’ve been wanting to play with post-its FOREVER and finally got the opportunity last week to make this post-it heart piñata.

DIY post-it heart piñata

Confession, they aren’t really post-its. I wanted a wider color palette, so I had to make them myself.

Materials:

  • Post-its (or paper of your choice in post-it size. I used one to measure)
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • String
  • Glue gun
  • Pencil

Instructions:

  1. Draw a heart onto your cardboard (mine was 20″ down the middle and 30″ across the widest point)
  2. Cut out two hearts for the front and back of your piñata
  3. Cut strips of cardboard 5″ wide to go around the perimeter of the heart
  4. Curl the strips with a pencil so they are more pliable
  5. Glue the strips to the heart
  6. Fill your heart with fun favors or candies
  7. Glue the other side of the heart to the strips
  8. Apply the post-its or paper with the glue gun starting at the bottom and working your way up to get the layered effect. (I started with light colors on the bottom and worked up to darker colors).
  9. Punch two holes on either side of the arch of the heart
  10. Bring a string through and tie on top

Done! Now you’ve got a post-it heart piñata for your celebration!

For more pictures of the process, go to Brooklyn Bride.

A HUGE thank you to Amanda Thomsen for taking time out of her day to come take the final shots with our super models, JJ and Cecilie.

I have another project coming with post-its. Are you stoked?!

More DIY piñata ideas

Who doesn’t love piñatas? We always have fun making our own, plus you can create it in whatever shapes or colors you’d like! If you’re really into piñatas, check out the wedding cake. Another DIY piñata tutorial is this sunshine piñata that’s sure to put a smile on your face! For Christmas, check out this peppermint pig tradition that we turned into a piñata! For more DIY piñata ideas (for any occasion!), take a look through the archives here.

Let us know how your piñata creations turn out with the hashtag #larsmakes on Instagram

 

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

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!

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.

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.

Virtual Workshop + Giveaway With Hello!Lucky

Since our big move, all of our schedules have been thrown off a little. It doesn’t help that I am still losing everything (thanks pregnancy brain!) Jasper has been the most affected by the move though. It’s a big change for my little boo! It has helped to get back our sense of normalcy by taking any chance I can to spend some time with Jasper, doing something he is familiar with.

One of Jasper’s favorite activities is reading and, of course, that makes me so happy. Recently I shared “What Children’s Books I am Reading to my Toddler Right Now” and I am happy to share our latest find with you today! It is the perfect addition to your kid’s book collection just in time for Thanksgiving.

My friends at Hello!Lucky – a women-owned and fun shop in San Francisco – offer the most amazing letterpress cards, stationery, and more recently, children’s books! I have read many of them with Jasper and he LOVES them.

With their bold style and side-splitting humor, Hello!Lucky is excited to introduce their latest picture book that’s all about gratitude. Thanks A Ton! 

Thanks a Ton! Is a pun-derful picture book celebrating gratitude! Offering tons of ideas for how to say “thanks” when words just aren’t enough. Written and illustrated by Eunice and Sabrina Moyle from Hello!Lucky. Eunice and Sabrina have created over 15 children’s books selling more than 1 million copies. Their books support children’s social and emotional development, and let them (and their parents) know that they are amazing exactly as they are. Their titles include My Mom is Magical! (my personal favorite ;), a book celebrating moms,  Kindness Rules!, a book about kindness, Thanks a Ton!, a book about gratitude, and I Believe in You, a book about unconditional love. A full list of their amazing books can be found here.

And! Hello!Lucky will donate $5 for every copy of Thanks a Ton! purchased on raredevice.com to Love For Our Elders, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring joy into the lives of the elderly and you guessed it, writing letters to them is one of those ways!

Enter to Win a Copy of Our Picture Hope Coloring Book + A Copy of Thanks A Ton!

We are jumping on board with Hello!Lucky in the name of gratitude and hope this season. So, we are excited to announce we now offer hardcopies of our Picture Hope Coloring Book!

Picture Hope: The Social Distancing Coloring Book, is a compilation of coloring pages designed by 64 of your favorite artists from around the world. It is meant to lift spirits and calm anxious minds with its bold message of hope. Each artist has contributed a drawing of what hope means to them along with a few of their own words. The pages are designed for all skill levels and ages, kids and adults. It’s a perfect activity for staying at home and practicing mindfulness and meditation while filling in your hope through color. The profits of the book go to seasonal charities, which are announced here. Through downloads of Picture Hope, over $8000 has already donated!

The idea is that the artists provide the blank canvas and YOU add the hope through color. And you know what? It works! I can’t even tell you the goose bumps I got while I was working on it! COVID-19 has indeed changed so much of our routine, yet in the confusion and uncertainty we’ve also witnessed countless moments of compassion and the strength of the human spirit.

I’ve spent my career developing The House That Lars Built, whose mission is to encourage people to make things with their hands. We believe that the act of making has the power to heal and improve your well-being. The goal of this book is the same and it’s needed now more than ever. Coloring is a simple yet profound act that allows for meditation and mindfulness and this coloring book is even more profound because of the many voices of support behind it.

A new version of Picture Hope is available now!

Up until now, Picture Hope has only been available for download to be printed at home. We have been working hard (read: months!) to create this physical copy, so that you can order it totally ready to color! This version is also ideal to gift to others this season. Click here to order your hardcopy of Picture Hope!

This high-quality coloring book includes varying levels of intricacy keeping you inspired to color! There are plenty of beautiful motifs to choose from: including botanicals, flowers, animals, cities, people, decorative, quotes. We designed this book for every skill level and age to enjoy! Each page is it’s own unique art piece from one of the 64 contributing artists. 

For the next month, ALL proceeds from the Picture Hope Coloring Book go to the nonprofit Love For Our Elders. This comforting nonprofit fights loneliness with love in senior communities and has spread to over 70 countries, all 50 states, and hundreds of schools. Keep reading for more info about the impact of this nonprofit! 

How to Enter Our Giveaway

Enter to win your own copy of Picture Hope + Hello!Lucky’s best-selling latest picture book, Thanks A Ton!

To enter, head to our Instagram post here to let us know what you’re grateful for in the comments below, and join the virtual THANKS A TON launch event on November 14th. The winner will be announced live. Click here to RSVP for the virtual event!

Write Gratitude Letters With Us At Our Virtual Party With Hello!Lucky

I (Brittany!) will be hosting this event along with Eunice & Sabrina Moyle founders of Hello!Lucky, Jacob Cramer founder of Love For Our Elders, and Giselle Gyalzen owner of Rare Device.

Letters are especially wonderful during times when physical barriers are keeping us apart. A hand-written and a handmade card is a thoughtful, personal expression of care and kindness and can keep us connected to those we love, and to help everyone feel like they matter. During this event we want to share ways your family can help more people receive hand-written letters and cards during the Thanksgiving season.

Our virtual event will take place on Saturday November 14th at 11 am PST. During this event you will have access to these exclusive free printables created by Hello!Lucky and The House That Lars Built – including printable gratitude cards and a template for a fun DIY card! Download the free printables here and print them out to get ready for the event!

What will happen during the virtual event?

I will be leading a DIY craft tutorial that your whole family can recreate this Thanksgiving season. Plus I will share some of my top tips for holiday card making!

During this event you will also learn more about Love For Our Elders, the charity that proceeds from Picture Hope and Thanks a Ton! will be donated to. The founder of this nonprofit, Jacob Kramer, will be joining the event to share stories of the people your gratitude letters and donations can affect. He will also share tips on how your family can write to people who need it this season!

There will also be a live reading of Thanks a Ton! so this is a virtual event the entire family can log on for. RSVP here and make it a family activity.

At this time we will also announce the winner of our giveaway! (Details above.) 

RSVP here for a creative afternoon full of conversation and crafts on Saturday November 14th at 11 am PST.  All ages welcome! 

 

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

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!

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!

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! 

Christmas Tablescape

tablescape with mantlepiece

Christmas in the Studio

We spend pretty much all of our time in the studio here at The House that Lars Built. That means we certainly draw a lot of inspiration from each other, here on the team, as well as the many lovely bits of potential on the walls, floor, ceiling, etc. If it’s in the studio, you can bet we’ve probably mused about all the things we can use it for. So we got to thinking, if we’re in the studio so much, why not make a studio Christmas tablescape that highlights the things we love about our studio?!

tablecloth with centerpiece

Tablescape Inspiration

This Christmas tablescape’s inspiration came straight from the heart of Lars, triggered by our collaboration with the one and only Spoonflower. We knew we wanted it to feel festive and bright, so naturally, we picked a lovely checkerboard pattern of reds, pinks, and oranges to pair with the light, bubblegum pink of the studio floor. From there, we brought in a smorgasbord of golds and greens for the centerpiece and flatware. We topped it off with a backdrop featuring our charming poinsettias, greenery, and a smattering of what we’ve been working on in the studio! You can’t get more Lars than that.

trees and tablecloth

How to Recreate Our Christmas Tablescape

You may be wondering, how can I recreate this Christmas tablescape? Step right this way. What I love about this tablescape is that it’s so magical, yet feels so real and down to earth at the same time. The best part is, it’s simple and totally doable to recreate!

Here’s how to recreate your own Team Lars Christmas Tablescape:

 

The Tablecloth and Napkins

 

As I always say, the tablecloth and napkins are the key to creating a successful tablescape. They draw you in and set the tone for the entire occasion. That means it’s imperative that you be happy with them, first and foremost! Well, to say we were happy with our tablecloth and napkins would be an understatement. Spoonflower blew us away! The bright colors, together with the fun, checkerboard pattern were just the things we needed to get the inspiration flowing for the rest of the tablescape.

top view trees and table

We found our tablecloth and napkin fabric pattern here, along with other options we were considering. We went through a lot of options, and it was so hard to settle on just one. Feel free to peruse the options; Spoonflower has so many great ones.

As a note, we had some fun with our napkin folding for this tablescape. If you haven’t seen our full napkin-folding post, check it out here! It’s amazing what a fancily-folded napkin will do. We used the simple accordion fold for these napkins.

table setting with centerpiece

The Flatware, Glasses, and Plates

Target was our go-to for flatware, glasses and plates. We chose a classic gold for the flatware, glasses flecked with gold, and a dark cyan for the plates. The contrast between the dark, cool, cyan and the brighter reds, pinks, and oranges of the Spoonflower tablecloth and napkins was striking and eye-catching.

place setting

Tablescape Centerpiece and Decorations

For our Christmas tablescape centerpiece, we wanted something that felt Christmasy and would contrast nicely with the tablecloth and napkins. We decided to go with our tried-and-true crepe paper bottlebrush trees in various green shades. Then we added in some sparkling, gold accents and confetti. For the mantlepiece behind, we gathered pine boughs and some of our lovely paper poinsettias. Those elements, paired with some other inspiration we picked up around the studio fit amazingly with the rest of the tablescape.

tablecloth and napkin

Oh, and did I mention the pink floor?! It was one of those moments where I knew we’d made the right decision on that pink epoxy flooring, as tricky as it was. Naturally, not everyone has a pink epoxy floor for their tablescape, but that’s okay! Luckily, a rug like this, this or this can help complete the look in a similar way. Just try to pick something that won’t detract from that amazing Spoonflower tablecloth or napkins.

centerpiece

Shop the look

Here are just a few of the options we were considering. There are so many beautiful ones, we would love to see what you choose!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on our Lars Christmas Tablescape? Looking for more tablescape ideas? Here are some great ones you’ll probably love (bonus: many of them feature some lovely Spoonflower fabrics!). Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tablescape, When Life Hands You Lemons Tablescape and Care Package, and Thanksgiving Table Decor.

 

New Year’s Eve Tablescape

New Year's Eve Tablescape 2022

Bringing the New York City Ball Drop to You

The inspiration for our New Year’s Eve tablescape theme was, naturally, the iconic New York City Ball Drop! It just seemed like the perfect theme for our New Year’s tablescape. I mean, who doesn’t love that Ball Drop? The problem is, not all of us can travel to New York City to watch it in person. That’s why we wanted to bring the New York City ball drop to you through this nostalgic, bite-sized rendition.

buildings close up

Our New Year’s Eve Tablescape

We’re thrilled with the way our New Year’s Eve tablescape turned out! There’s something about those vibrant colors against the bold white and blacks of the buildings that’s so joyful, hopeful and indicative of the wonder to come in the new year. And we all need a little hope, don’t we? This tablescape is the perfect way to celebrate fresh starts, anticipate the good to come, and enjoy the warmth of loving relationships.

Buildings close up

Centerpiece

For the centerpiece of our New Year’s Eve tablescape, we decided to go with a show-stopping printable cityscape, complete with the Ball Drop. Our designer, Garet, is to thank for the amazing cityscape design. Those vivid colors contrasted with the stark, New York cityscape was a bold choice, and one that had a dazzling effect when paired with that sparkling ball. You can find the template for our cityscape centerpiece here! We also added a little flair with our 2022 signage–that shimmering glitter paper was the perfect thing to highlight 2022. Numbers glinting in the light, they added just the touch of pizazz we wanted.

2022 with confetti

Making this amazing New Year’s Eve tablescape centerpiece is simple. Here’s how:

How to make the centerpiece

  1. Download our centerpiece printable found here.
  2. Once you’ve downloaded the printable, go ahead and print it off.
  3. Now, cut out the pieces.
  4. Using a hot glue gun, mount the paper pieces onto foam core (cut out the foam core with a craft knife) so they’re a little more sturdy.
  5. The last step is to attach a small triangle as a support to the back of each building.

I love NY

Tablecloth

We wanted our tablecloth to help you feel as if you were in the city with this New Year’s Eve tablescape, so we decided to go with a simple, black and white windowpane print (something like this should do the trick). The grid of the tablecloth paired perfectly with the striking colors and bold brushstrokes of the tablescape. We loved that this tablecloth was minimal, yet distinct, hinting at a city-like grid of streets that stretch in every direction.

Plates, Cups, Napkins, and Flatware

Our plates, cups, napkins and flatware added another bright pop of color to our New Year’s Eve tablescape. We went with a variety of colors: pink, yellow, green and salmon for the forks, vivid, royal blue for the plates, and confetti-speckled salmon napkins (you may have to go with plain salmon if you can’t find patterned ones you’re happy with–we had a hard time finding them for you). To top it off, we added silver paper cups. Can you say fun?! The reflection of all the colors in the tablescape against those shiny cups tied in the sparkling ball perfectly and made it feel like the warm celebration we were all craving.

plates close up

Place Cards

Yet again, we had to repurpose our mini taxi place cards in our New Year’s Eve tablescape. You may recognize them from our Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tablescape last year, and in 2017. These cute little cars are the perfect way to really solidify the feeling that you’re in New York City for the big event. What feels more like New York than those mustard yellow taxis, honking as they whiz by? Your New Year’s Eve tablescape won’t truly be complete without them.

place setting

How to make the New Year’s ball

For the iconic Ball Drop element of our New Year’s Eve tablescape, you’ll just need a few simple things: (see our materials list above for reference) a 3 inch diameter styrofoam ball, a 1 inch diameter styrofoam ball, a metal pole (or painted wooden dowel), Mod Podge, hot glue, fake craft jewels, gold glitter, and silver glitter.

Ball Drop

Preparing the balls

  1. First, apply a coat of Mod Podge to the larger styrofoam ball. Then, roll the ball in gold glitter, coating it thoroughly. Work quickly so the Mod Podge doesn’t dry before you apply the glitter!
  2. Next, do the same thing with the smaller styrofoam ball, this time using silver glitter.

Ball Drop 2022

Attaching the balls and pole

  1. Now, take the metal pole and gently skewer the large ball through the middle so it can slide up and down.
  2.  Your next step is to attach the small ball. Dab some hot glue on one side of the ball, then stick the pole into the ball on top of the hot glue, about 1/4 inch to secure.

Finishing touches

  1. Lastly, add a little extra sparkle to that ball. Apply a dab of hot glue to the craft jewels and cover the larger ball in jewels.
  2. Done!

tablescape 2022

How to Style Your New Year’s Eve tablescape

The great thing about this New Year’s Eve tablescape is that it can double as a New Year’s decoration for your mantlepiece, shelf, or anywhere else you want to put it, for that matter! You can even hang it, rather than setting it on a surface. I never feel like there are enough New Year’s decorations out there, so this is a spectacular one to add to your repertoire. And the nice thing is, you can always repurpose it for years to come, because it packs away pretty easily.

We would love to hear: what are you doing New Year’s Eve? And please, show us what you do with your New Year’s Eve tablescapes!

2022

More Inspiration

If you loved learning how to make your own New Year’s Eve tablescape, you’ll most likely have fun with these other holiday-themed tablescapes. Our Christmas tablescape is a classic and is the perfect addition to your holiday table. Then there’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tablescape, which will take you back to New York in an instant. And while you’re perusing Thanksgiving ideas, don’t forget about our fun Thanksgiving Table Decor options! If you’re excited about those warmer months, check out our When Life Hands You Lemons tablescape. You’ll probably also love our Easter Egg Runner Tablescape.