Printable Cookie Box with Arlo’s Cookies

These Christmas cookies might (might!) be too pretty to eat! I mean, can you even tell that they’re cookies?! Arlo’s Cookies is the BEST! She has an awesome holiday workshop happening right now. You can also find her Guide to Mixing Colors here. If I wasn’t such an inept baker, I’d be right there with you!

We did a adorable Valentine’s Gift Box collaboration with Arlo’s back in February (doesn’t that seem like years ago?!).

This year we are making a set of cookies inspired by our DIY mid-century nativity. We’re even launching a printable gift box to match the cookies which folds into a house shape. You can safely deliver these to your neighbor’s porches and spread some Christmas cheer!

Printable Christmas Nativity Cookie Box

This cookie box is awaiting to be made. Here’s how to do it!

Materials:

See above (the printable you can find here)

Instructions:

  1. Cut out the template
  2. Cut in between the two pitched lines at the top of the house (see second photo on right. There’s a solid line indicating where that is).
  3. Start scoring all the dotted lines.
  4. Once the lines are scored, fold back all the lines.
  5. Start gluing the tabs to the walls.
  6. You can either glue the tops of the pitched gables in place or secure with a light double sided stick tape so that it can be opened by the receiver.

Optional: Use a hole punch at the top for the tabs and secure with a ribbon!

Head on over to our Shop to see more cute printables and templates!

If you liked this project, you might like the following

Make your own Holiday Nesting Dolls
DIY Bottlebrush Christmas Trees
Printable Santa Lucia crown

This project was done in collaboration with Arlo’s Cookies,

A trend we love “cherry” much!

Trend Alert: Cherries!

Some of our favorite cherry inspired projects from Lars past are our paper cherry wreath and our tootsie pop cherry gifts! So of course now that cherries are majorly on trend WE ARE HERE FOR IT.

Click here to learn how to make your very own cherry wreath!

Very Cherry Statement Pieces

Cherries can make a statement in literally any area of your life, as you’ll see below! We found cherry inspired fashion, decor, stationery, art, and more! As the weather warms up, usher in spring and summer with some fun nods to this current trend.

Imagine a cherry 🍒 themed party?! Hang this garland, lay out these napkins, and you’re on your way! These cherry gift balls from Meri Meri are hiding fun party favors, and these clips from Ban.do make perfect party gifts too! Here are some of our favorite unique ice cream sundae flavors that will literally be the cherry on top of your party.

Cherry pillows are such a fun statement item! Find the grown up version here for your living room, or the kid’s version here!

Lars Exclusive

Our newest design in our exclusive wrapping paper line features this trend! And it is on sale right now!

Originally made to be valentines, our tootsie pop cherries can be given as gifts all year round! Think birthdays, teacher appreciation, and random acts of kindness to brighten someone’s day!

10 best ice cream flavors

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Best ice cream flavors

Knowing that July is coming to a close (RIP) and it’s still National Ice Cream Month for a few more days, I thought I’d share some of my favorite ice cream posts from the Lars archives, including paper flowers, of course!

So, here they are! Get the links after the jump!

Becoming: Luna Ellis of Arlos Cookies

Have you ever seen edible artwork? That’s exactly what Luna of Arlo’s Cookies creates. Delectable, bite sized pieces of art, in cookie form! Growing up on a little island off the coast of Belize, Luna uses her love of color from her homeland and her current love of design, textiles and plants as her daily cookie inspiration. You can find her spending time with her family, enjoying the great outdoors, and dreaming up her next cookie design at her home in Utah.

Becoming Luna Ellis

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

Oh man, I feel like a hybrid of all of these! I grew up as an artist, had a career in design, I’m also a current business owner and educator! What I love most about what I do is that I get to be all of these things!

Bohemian-style cookies decorated as hearts, stars, moons, cactuses, macrame hangings, and pendant with names.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

I really wanted to become a doctor, then when I realized how much school that was I designed to go the design route. 😉

Where did you grow up? Are there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

I grew up on a teeny tiny (like realllly small) island off the coast of Belize called Caye Caulker. I had an amazing, free living childhood. Actually the bright Caribbean colors are what made me first fall in love with design and influenced a lot of my work when I was in design school.

Decorated pink parrot cookie surrounded by green leaf cookies.

What is one skill you wished you learned when you were younger?

How to be more out-going. Can that be taught?! Or public speaking.

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

Go with the flow. Don’t stress over the small stuff and always remember what is really important to you in life, whatever that may be. I have so many influential women in my life and pieces of this advice are from all of them in one way or another. 

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career?

I went to school for visual communications with an emphasis on design. So I always knew that one way or another I want and need to be doing something creative. 

What sparked your interest in baking? What attracted you to this field?

I made a super hard decision to leave my career behind and stay home with my son, Arlo. Once day I was browsing Pinterest for 1st birthday ideas and came across decorated cookies! I looked at them and thought “I can do that” and I did! I became instantly hooked. 

Decorated cookies in the shapes of dinosaurs, party hats, and pendants with the name "Arlo" arranged in a flat lay.

What are three words to describe your style?

Calm, Modern, Feminine.

What inspired you to take your baking and designs to the next level?

Shortly after started I quickly realized that decorating cookies was filling a void in me. I always had some part of design in my life from my line of work in digital marketing to my hobby of hyper realism portrait drawing. For a whole year I was doing nothing, and then I just clicked with this (as weird as it sounds). It’s like I still have the digital design that I love (when planning out sets) and the hands on creative work in the decorating that I loved about drawing. 

Christmas-themed decorated cookies. They're shaped like houses, presents, a wreath, a stocking, Santa Claus, and ornaments.

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path? 

This is a hard question, because I feel so lucky and blessed to have so many encouraging people in my life and have made so many “cookier” friends over the past two years. But if I had to just choose one person I would choose the owner of Brighton Cutters, Amanda. I connected with her early on in my cookie journey and from day 1 she has always been so encouraging and supportive. 

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?

I honestly love ALL of my cookies and each set because my new favorite. There are a few pieces that I’m really proud of though! One is a cookie based off of Gia Graham’s work. She’s an illustrator/letterer/designer and the piece says “There’s room for all of us.” I just love the meaning behind it so much. 

A square cookie decorated with pink and green flowers and decorative text reading "there's room for all of us"

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

Everyday life! I’m constantly taking photos for inspiration of things I see. Textiles, wildflower fields,  home decor, the list goes on! Sometimes if I’m having a hard time planning something out, I’ll just bake my cookies, mix up the icing & colors and start decorating with no plan and let my creative mind take over. 

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?

Oh man.. where do I even start? I love Amber Davenport, her use of bright colors gives me all the tropical feels which just brings back so many great childhood memories. I love Megan Warne from Downtown Dough T.O. She’s an amazing, supportive, kind human and a fellow cookie decorator & designer who lives in Canada! Also my mom, Cindy Novelo, who is a musician, yogi, and life coach. I could literally go on all day!

Hyperrealistically painted cookies featuring a dog.

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days?

I don’t even know if my music is in these days, but depending on my mood you can find me listening to bluegrass, folk/indie or reggae 😀 

What is the most challenging part of your work? How have you, or how do you, overcome those challenges?

Honestly, working too much. I love what I do so much that I’ve found myself just ignoring all other parts of my life and only focusing on Arlos Cookies. Being a business owner and a mama is hard! When this starts to happen I literally just will sit by myself and talk—yup, talk! I’ll remind myself what’s most important to me right now, which #1 always is Arlo and spending time with him because these years go way too fast! Then I’ll set goals for myself, like stop working by 4 pm. If I am working and Arlo asks to play, it helps to take a break and play! When my work life and real life are balanced, I find that my anxiety and stress go way down. So if I ever find myself super overwhelmed I’ll reevaluate my schedule and goals!

A little boy blows out three candles on a birthday cake. There are cookies decorated with dinosaurs on a plate next to him.

What are some stereotypes of your job that you wish to break?

“Cookies should be cheap.” Cookie artists are making edible art, not large batch chocolate chip cookies! They take hours and hours and lots of planning!

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?

I feel like I’m still learning every day! As far as selling cookies go – charge your worth! A rule I live by is once I’m turning away too many orders because my schedule is full, that means it’s time for me to up my prices! I started at $4/cookie two years ago and now charge $18-22/cookie. Again, it’s not just any cookie, it’s literally edible art!

A collaboration between Arlos and Lars! Colorful geometric and floral patterns on ornament-shaped cookies.

How do you deal with negativity, stress, and/or anxiety?

Disengage from social media, go on a hike, or hug Arlo!

What is your workspace like? Has it changed at all since the beginning of the pandemic last year? 

I started out working at home. I took over our kitchen table and our house and life started getting over-crowded with all things cookie making. Now I have my own little cookie space near downtown SLC where I can escape to, clear my mind and be creative! 

How do your surroundings influence your work?

I need somewhere calm, quiet, and clutter free or my creative mind just shuts down!

A bohemian-themed room where Luna makes many of her creations.

Describe some habits that keep you motivated and productive.

Lists! Also important to me are going for a walk and realizing when I need to take a break! 

What is a typical day like for you? 

Lately, I’ve been waking up and getting in a walk or workout. Then I sit and enjoy some coffee—hopefully all before Arlo wakes up! Then we’ll have a little play time before heading to the kitchen to bake, make icing etc. 

Then we play some more, go on a bike ride, and have lunch! Arlo gets to pack a bag and he knows he can fill it with toys. Whatever fits he gets to bring to my studio. He’s the sweetest and will sit and play while I get some decorating work in!

Some days I have all to myself and these are usually my busy decorating days where I’m sitting at my desk decorating cookies from what feels like sun up to sun down. 

Five cactus-shaped cookies in various shades of green.

How has social media influenced your work?

Without social media there would be no Arlos Cookies! Arlos Cookies first started out as an Instagram page that I created to share my cookie work so that I didn’t annoy friends/family with the constant cookie pictures. And now, thanks to Arlos Cookies’ growth on social media, I was able to turn this from hobby to business!   

How do you make social connections in the creative realm?

I have to go back to Instagram again and thank this platform for all of my social connections I currently have. I’ve met so many creatives on social media that I would not have been able to connect with without Instagram!

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on?

Hmm, I like to knit! But I haven’t knitted since I took up cookie making. I was by no means great at it, but I loved doing it! And also drawing! A few years back I had the opportunity to take an intensive, week-long workshop with German artist Dirk Dzimirsky. If you don’t know who he is you have to check out his work!

Cookies decorated with floral line drawings and the King St. Vodka logo

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

Just go for it! If you love what you’re doing, passionate and true to yourself success will come!

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?

Educate more! I have lots of dreams as far as educating and teaching others and I hope to one day make them all a reality!

Is there anything more you would like to “become?” 

I think about this a lot actually. Maybe one day I’ll go back to school, learn more. Maybe become a nurse?!

Decorated cookies on a glass coffee table.

More inspiration!

Can’t get enough of Luna and Arlos Cookies? Neither can we! Check out Luna’s instagram @arloscookies and her website here.

If you love these Becoming interviews as much as we do, you can find more here! We’ve interviewed so many amazing women, and every time we feel so inspired and wowed by their lives and trajectories. If you have someone in mind that you’d love for us to interview, let us know in the comments!

Homemade heart marshmallows

In this week of intense glamping, we thought we’d try our hand at a traditional campout dish, the s’more, and add a Lars detail…heart mallows. 
Of course, any talk on this subject and we all know the authority from the smore masters themselves. You know what I’m talking about.

photography by Trisha Zemp and Victoria Riza
heart marshmallow making by ME Hammond 

See full recipe below



recipe adapted from Alton Brown

Homemade Heart Shaped Mallows
3 packages gelatin
1/2 c. ice cold water
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch

Instructions:
1. Mix together powdered sugar and cornstarch. Prepare a 9″ by 13″ pan by spraying with non stick spray and lightly dusting with powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture. (Don’t use all of it though because you will need more at the end)
2. Place gelatin and ice cold water in stand mixer with whisk attachment. Light mix and let sit.
3. In a sauce pan mix the remaining 1/2 c. of water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Stir the mixture lightly until the sugar is dissolved. Using candy thermometer, cook sugar to about 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Once the sugar mixture has reached 230 degrees pour over the gelatin mixture in the stand mixer. Turn on the mixer immediately to a medium high speed. The mixture will start to thicken, and begin to look white and glossy–like marshmallow fluff! Imagine that. Let it go for about 8-9 minutes. Just before the mallows are done, add the vanilla extract and whip about another minute. It should be thick enough to have a strong pull when you touch it but be careful not to get it too thick or the marshmallows will start to set before you can finish them!
5. Spread the marshmallows as evenly as you can into the prepared pan. Mallow mixture is very sticky so be warned. You may want to spray your spatula with some non stick spray as well.
6. Spread what is left of the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture over the mallows, this will help some not be so sticky.
7. Let the mallows rest over night.
8. Use heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes.
9. Go glamping with your fabulous heart shaped mallows.

3 Unique sundae flavors

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Unique sundae flavors

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream month? It’s true! And I was so inspired by the latest Williams Sonoma catalog cover featuring some delicious sundaes in these soda fountain glasses that I wanted to make some for Lars and reveal the recipes. Don’t they look delicious?! Get the full recipes below!

Photography by Trisha Zemp  |  Recipes by Mary Elizabeth Hammond

Sweet Spot: The Monkey Business Sundae

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monkey-business-sundae-6

I’m so happy to introduce you to a new contributor to Lars. Sarah Coates from The Sugar Hit, based out of Brisbane, Australia, will be sharing a new monthly column on the blog called Sweet Spot and as one who has a major sweet I’m both excited and worried about my soon to be growing waistline. She has a cookbook coming out in the fall and it’s now on pre-order!

monkey-business-sundae-3monkey-business-sundae-1monkey-business-sundae-2

There is nothing I love more than working with people who inspire me, and who know how to have fun. That’s why I’m so excited to be here contributing to The House That Lars Built. Brittany’s eye for colour and design is a major inspiration to me. Getting to bounce ideas and work around with inspiring creative people is what makes it not feel like work at all – it just feels like play.

And that’s the idea behind this sundae – Monkey Business! Nobody plays around better than our primate friends. So I wanted to do something that had a really fun mix of hot and cold, soft and crunchy textures, sweet things and salty things. From there, I couldn’t help but get a little more literal. So this sundae turned into what I imagine would be Curious George’s dream dessert.

Get the full recipe below! 

Marshmallow snowmen from Celebrate Everything

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darcy_holidayparty2013_5857

I’ve been a big fan of Martha Stewart editor, Darcy Miller ever since buying Martha Stewart Wedding magazines back when I had no need to be buying wedding magazines. Everything she touches turns to gold! I was thrilled to get my hands on her new book, Celebrate Everything, which is the ultimate guide to throwing every type of party imaginable. It’s chock full of fun and beautiful events and provides a blue print on how to do it all. It’s the logistical things about party planning that mystify me the most and it’s all broken down here. Each page features a stellar idea after stellar idea.  Darcy has shared one of the projects from her book, the Marshmallow Snowmen, just for Lars readers. Darcy says, “These Marshmallow Men are a fun and easy holiday craft. Yummy on their own or a great way to accessorize a cupcake or a glass of hot chocolate!”

Get the recipe below! 

Dulce de Leche crepes

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unnamed-1dulche de leche crepes

by contributor Sarah Coates

Hey guess what? I wrote a book! And I’m really excited to share a recipe from it with you today. The book, The Sugar Hit, is a mix of recipes that are absolute classics in my life, classics from my blog that I knew I would be murdered for not including, and a bunch of new things that I think the world needs to know about!

These crepes are something knew, but that doesn’t mean they were easy to get to! This recipe was a labour of love for me. I have spent the last 5 years searching for a crepe recipe that did everything I wanted it to do. One that was beautifully silky and buttery, lacy and light, not too eggy and with plenty of flavour. Well, after the long search I finally found them. And here they are – aren’t you psyched I saved you five years of searching?

“The Birds” Cake Topper

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"The Birds" Cake TopperIt’s mid-September already which means we’re knee-deep in Halloween crafts and costumes! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because it’s a chance to embrace all things spooky and moody and even a little bit creepy, which I love. This may be a bit surprising to many of you, but it’s not always rainbows and flowers over here! So to kick off our Halloween posts this year we have “The Birds” cake topper, inspired, of course, by Alfred Hitchcock’s famous thriller. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a great “scary movie.” It is more suspenseful than anything and appropriate for all tolerance levels (I’m a bit of a wimp). Fun Fact: It was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the United States Library of Congress in 2016. So yes, it’s worth a watch!

"The Birds" Cake Topper with svg files for cricut

Lucky for you, these birds won’t attack you when you go in to slice the cake. However, they do make a stunning centerpiece for a Halloween party! A really simple DIY, made even easier if you have a die-cut machine. We chose to pair our birds with a red velvet cake frosted with black icing to up the creepy factor a bit. They’d also make great cupcake toppers for a party if you nestled two or three birds on top. So bookmark this for your next spooky soiree and let “The Birds” cake topper take flight!

Download “The Birds” templates and get baking!

DIY Party style: Edible flowers

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edible flower barkEdible flower cake design love fest flowers in cocktail

Our forsythia is blooming, our bleeding hearts are on the verge of breaking hearts…it’s SPRING! There’s nothing that brings me more job than spring, because that means we are the furthest away from winter. Hallelujah! I’ve been wanting to do an edible flowers project for ages ever since a friend showed me a book on the subject, but I’ve been spotting some people doing some rad projects with it. I think they would be great for a spring tea party or birthday or something. So pretty, right?!

DIY edible flower bark from Paper and Stitch

Edible flower cake from Design Love Fest

Rose spring cocktail from Martha Stewart

See more party ideas here.