DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote

DIY duffel bag picnic blanket tote

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

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

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

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

Material List:

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

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

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

Check out our other posts for Spoonflower:

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

Printable New Year’s Glasses

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

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

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

The Flower

Just a dash of floral, of course!

The Cloud

Cloud eyes with a rainbow nose bridge!

The Folk

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

Printable New Year’s Glasses

Materials

Instructions

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

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

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

Hanging paper lantern tutorial & template

Hanging paper lantern tutorial & free Cricut template.

A Midsummer Mingle (see pics here and here) was graciously sponsored by the generous folks at Cricut. As a part of the partnership, we were asked to create a project using their brand new spankin Cricut Explore machine which we love and use all the time.

Cricut Explore

If you’re unfamiliar with the Cricut Explore, it’s basically a paper crafter’s dream. You can choose from thousands of designs and cut it in a variety of materials like paper, leather, foam, you name it OR you can create your own designs, upload them, and then watch as it cuts it for you. As a designer, I haven’t gotten into any paper cutter before because of the limited design options–I’m rather possessive–so this has been my answer to bespoke designs. I’m excited to try more with paper flower templates and such!

Using our Cricut to make party decor

For the party I wanted a project that could be used practically as well as aesthetically. I came up with a lantern that you can place an electric tea light in. I added some florals on it (of course) and voila! You’re good to go! Ashley Isenhour was kind enough to help me transform the pattern into Illustrator (my Illustrator skills are minimal).*

How to make paper lanterns for your party

American Crafts provided the paper for the event so I used their lovely shades to cut some lanterns for my Mad Hatter themed section of the party. I had giant flowers everywhere along with loads of garlands from BHLDN like these flower garlandspaper fans, and pennant garland along with felt ball garlands from Hello Maypole, and other simpler paper lanterns (learn how to make them here). I love the look these floral lanterns and they did so much for the space.

Instructions:

Step 1: Once you’ve downloaded the template you will need to upload your design into Cricut Design Space. First, you’ll create a new project. Next you will upload your image as a vector (using the svg file). It should pop up in your Design Space.
Step 2: Scale the design to how big you’d like it to be.
Step 3: Let Cricut cut away.
Step 4: (this is where the pictures below start). I couldn’t figure out how to create a file with score lines so I hand scored it myself by lightly cutting down the lines. I did 3 light strokes because my knife was very dull. If yours is sharp, one might be fine.
Step 5: Score your lines according to the photo below.
Step 6: Glue the tabs and insert them onto each other.
Step 7: Finish up by creating the bottom of the lantern, gluing it, and inserting it into the bottom.
Now, insert a votive and you’re set! They let off the prettiest light and they’re perfect for parties!

Show us!

If you make some for yourself, I’d love to see them! Tag your projects with #makingwithlars.

If you’re digging this project and would like to make more crafty projects with Cricut, they’re having a sale right now. Such a creative investment! Click here to get in on the sale.

* If you’re wanting to learn Illustrator and learn how to make patterns in Illustrator, might I suggest taking Alma Loveland’s Illustrator 101 and 110 class on Atly? Alma has saved me MANY times in dire need and she is the source of all Illustrator knowledge! Do it! See more here.

This project was sponsored by Cricut. Thank you Cricut for helping to make A Midsummer Mingle a success! 

studio photography by Trisha Zemp 
environment photos by Natalie Norton

Floral Favor Boxes

Floral Favor Boxes

We love these floral favor boxes. They’re the perfect thing for so many occasions! Does someone you know have a spring birthday? Instant party favors. Of course, they’d also make adorable additions to a floral tea party, bridal shower, or wedding. There aren’t a lot of situations where these sweet little boxes could go wrong!

Instructions

Prepping the Box

  1. To create a closed bottom on one end of the tube, make four evenly spaced slits at the bottom of one end, about 1″ deep. This will give you four flaps. Fold the flaps under the tube and glue them together.
  2. Fill the tube with candy or a small gift.

Finishing Touches

  1. Lay the tube on one end of the strip (the long side of the tube should be parallel with the short side of the strip). Position the tube so about one inch of crepe paper will hang below the closed bottom. Roll the strip around the tube. Tuck the overhanging crepe paper at the bottom and glue it under the tube.
  2. Tie a piece of twine around the crepe at the top of the tube and cinch it. Slip in a paper leaf before tying it off. Flatten the crepe paper at the top and fold it in half vertically. Cut a leaf shape through all the layers down to just above the twine to make petals.
  3. Unfold the crepe paper. Separate the petals and gently stretch the center of each to make a cupped shape.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial, courtesy of Jodi Levine. We would highly recommend checking out her new ebook, Toilet Tube Treasury, where you can find other clever ways to repurpose toilet tubes!

More Inspiration

What did you think of Jodi’s toilet tube tutorial on floral favor boxes? We loved it! If you did, too, we’re guessing you’ll also be interested in some of our paper flower tutorials. Have you seen our new paper orchid tutorial? Also try our DIY Paper Hollyhocks, or these Poppies, Peonies, and Posies. Have a spring or summer wedding coming up? Here, here and here are some beautiful bouquets to choose from. You can also check out this holiday flower roundup if you’re interested!

All Our Paper Flower Tutorials

Blooms for Bouquets

There are so many things you can do with paper flowers, but you need to make them first! Mix and match these flowers for bouquets or let them stand alone. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Paper parrot tulips in cream, yellow, and red.Paper peony bouquet held by a person in a striped dressIcelandic Paper PoppyPaper hydrangeas in a white vase against a floral orange backgroundThe Exquisite Book of Paper Flower Transformationspaper daffodil on a cream backgroundA pink and blue space divided down the middle with flower bells in each color

Find paper flower tutorials here: Sunflowers, Parrot Tulips, Peonies, Poppies, Morning Glory, Hydrangeas, Eden Rose, Daffodil, Paper Flower Bells, and Narcissus.

Lots of flowers have stamens, and here you can make your own floral stamens for paper flowers.

Bouquets

I’m a big fan of paper wedding bouquets because they are long-lasting reminders of your big day. There’s no wilting here! I have loved making paper flower tutorials for all these bouquets.

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.Paper Flower Wedding BouquetRoyal Wedding Inspired BouquetCinco de Mayo Wedding Bouquet

Find tutorials here: Spring Wedding Bouquet, White Peony Bouquet, Royal Wedding Inspired Bouquet, and Cinco de Mayo Inspired Bouquet.

Paper Flower Accessories

Flowers add delicacy and magic to your fanciest events, but I’m all for wearing them in between big parties, too! These paper flower crowns and this corsage will have you searching for events because they’re so fun to wear! You can find paper flower tutorials for the accessories below.

A paper shamrock and flower crown on a brunette girl's head against green and white wallpaperPaper Flower Bridal Hair PieceA little girl wears a paper flower crown and smells some little flowers.a floral crown on long, straight brown hairPaper Flower Corsage

Find tutorials here: Shamrock Flower Crown, Paper Flower Bridal Hairpiece, Flower Girl Crown, Spring Paper Flower Crown, Paper Flower Corsage, Paper Flower Graduation Tassel, and Paper Poppy Pin.

Home Decor Flowers

Wreaths

When I started adding paper flower wreaths to my doors, I made a huge discovery. Coming home to something beautiful makes a big difference! So add paper flower wreaths to your doors and start feeling OVERJOYED when you get to your home. I promise, it works for me!

Paper daffodil wreath against a pink backgroundCrepe Paper Lemon WreathBrittany holding a wreath with floral accents cut from wallpaper.A hand reaches into frame holding a rainbow floral wreath

 

Wreath tutorials here: Daffodil Wreath, Lemon and Blossom Wreath, Wallpaper Floral Wreath, Rainbow Flower Wreath, Paper Poinsettia Wreath, Palm Leaf Wreath and Pink Paper Blossom Wreath.

Chandeliers and Mobiles

I absolutely love what chandeliers and mobiles do to fill the empty space in a room. And come on, they look adorable. So do yourself a favor and hang one over your new baby’s crib! It will surely give you and baby some much needed delight amidst the lack of sleep.

A maidenhair fern hangs from a wooden hoopA floral upcycled chandelier with paper greenery hangs over a party table. A paper mobile hangs in a white room with a cactusA colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i

Mobile tutorials here: Paper Maidenhair Fern Mobile, Paper Flower Chandelier, Scandinavian Paper Mobile and Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile.

Centerpieces

Another way I love to incorporate flowers is through centerpieces. Because isn’t having company over the perfect excuse to make something with paper flowers?

Paper flowers and colorful candles on a branchPaper tulips in an arrangement.

Centerpiece tutorials here: Paper Flower Branch Candelabra, Spring Tulip Centerpiece, Rainbow Paper Flower Tablescape

Potted Paper Flowers

I love me a good potted paper plant. These little beauties are the perfect addition to any room, so what are you waiting for?

Brittany holds a paper easter lily in a terracotta pot in front of her facePaper Christmas cactus in a white potPaper Medinilla plant in a grey spaceColorful paper plants in a grey roomPaper pansies in a distressed terracotta planter. They're placed on a stack of colorful books on a chair. In the background, you can see some red floral wallpaper and blue wainscoting.Magenta and purple hollyhocks made of crepe paper against a dark grey background

Find tutorials here: Paper Orchids, Paper Foxgloves, Easter Lily, Christmas Cactus, Medinilla Plant, Pansies, Hollyhocks, Paper Flower Bells and more Paper House Plants.

Parties!

Cakes

Another impeccable excuse to incorporate some flowers, do yourself (and your guests) a favor! If I had to guess, I’d say these flower-centric party decorations will do the trick perfectly.

Floral Number Birthday Cake TopperPaper Kumquat and Quilled Flower CakeMidsummer Pole cake Topper

Cake topper tutorials here: Floral Number Birthday Cake Topper, Paper Flower and Kumquat Cake Decoration, Midsummer Pole Cake Topper and 3D Paper Flower Gift Toppers.

Backdrops

DIY Crepe Paper Peony tutorialTropical Leaf and Hibiscus BackdropBrittany stands in front of a paper daisy-covered wall wearing a yellow dress.

DIY paper poppy backdrop and pinPaper Tulip Backdrop

Backdrop tutorials here: Crepe Paper Peony Backdrop, Tropical Leaf and Hibiscus Backdrop, Paper Daisy Backdrop, Paper Tulip Backdrop and Paper Poppy Backdrop.

Garlands

Isn’t spring the perfect time for a floral garland? Well, for your convenience, we have some lovely options that transition right into summer, too!

Paper flower garlandPaper flower garland hangs over a rattan chair

Garland tutorials here: Paper Flower Garland and Summer Flower Garland.

DIY Daisy party hat

And don’t forget this Daisy Party Hat tutorial!

Holiday

Holidays are the perfect time to get making a few flower-centric decorations. To help you out, here are our favorites:

Valentines Day

Brittany looks over her shoulder at the camera while wearing a pink, red, and white daffodil crown

Wear this Valentine Flower Wreath on your head or decorate your door with it. Either way, you’ll be feeling festive and ready for the spring blooms that will pop up not too long after Valentines Day with this wreath!

Halloween

A mom wearing a paper flower costume and a daughter dressed as a mouse pose in their costumes

Chrysanthemum Mom and Kid Costume

Hannukah

Gold, blue, yellow, and pink paper flower menorah

Paper Flower Menorah

Christmas

This Christmas you can make holly large or small, as well as these really exciting poinsettia blooms.

Paper Poinsettia FlowerDIY Paper Holly boughsGiant paper holly and paper berries hung around a big banister

Poinsettia, Crepe Paper Holly, Giant Paper Holly Decoration and Amaryllis.

More From Our Shop!

Find more floral Lars materials on our shop. Here’s our Flowers Coloring Book, this sticker sheet, a whole collection of floral art prints, and more!

Our Learn To Draw Flowers Course

And don’t forget about our learn to draw flowers course! It’s the perfect companion piece to all these paper flower tutorials. And the great thing is, if you don’t have all the materials handy to make the tutorials right now, you can learn to draw them first! By the time your materials come in the mail, you’ll be a pro at drawing flowers and will be all ready to start making them.