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

Flower Lane Kids Birthday Crowns

Months ago I was dreaming of releasing a line of kids birthday crowns. I wanted them to be whimsical, colorful, and such high quality that they would become heirlooms. In my research I stumbled across Flower Lane and I realized that Sarah, Flower Lane’s founder and designer, had already realized my kids birthday crown dreams!

A pink Flower Lane crown embroidered with the name June  on a yellow, cream, and pink rug.

I reached out and asked if we could collaborate on a collection of Lars x Flower Lane crowns and I’m so glad that it worked out! Our collection has such beautiful colors and I’m considering myself lucky to have gotten a few for my boys and their cousins.

Heirloom Quality Kids Birthday Crowns

Lars x Flower Lane kids birthday crowns are designed to last and will make your kiddos feel like birthday royalty year after year. They have adjustable straps, too! This means you need not fear about your child’s growing noggin sizing them out of their crown.

Jasper wears his yellow Flower Lane crown and sits in a field of daisies.Jasper wears his yellow Flower Lane crown and plays with cars in a playground

I’m so impressed by the time and care that goes into each Flower Lane kids birthday crown. Sarah sews and then embroiders each crown by hand. She also makes the crowns with super high quality linen. You can totally feel the difference in their lovely texture and softness.

An orange Flower Lane crown embroidered with the name Donovan on a yellow rug

When you order a crown, you get to choose the main color, the embroidery color and style, and any pom pom colors you want. All this paired with your child’s name lovingly embroidered on the crown make for a truly customizable heirloom. Jasper’s is so perfectly customized to his personal taste that he may never take it off. Good thing Sarah built these babies to last!

Jasper is wearing his yellow Flower Lane crown and a striped yellow shirt and playing on a playground.

I’m so happy that we collaborated on this collection of Lars x Flower Lane kids birthday crowns. I really believe that this collaboration is better than anything we could have made on our own. Hooray for joining forces!

Jasper plays with toy cars at a playground. He's wearing his yellow Flower Lane crown

More Birthday Inspiration

You can buy our collection of Lars x Flower Lane kids birthday crowns in our shop here. Don’t forget to share your birthday photos with us with #LarsParties

Jasper's yellow Flower Lane crown in a field of daisies.

Becoming: Louise Pretzel from the Lars Print Shop

I’m so excited for you to meet Louise Pretzel, an illustrator extraordinaire and our newest addition to the Lars Print Shop!

Louise Pretzel is an illustrator inspired by vintage kitschery and the styles of yesteryear. Formally trained in the art of graphic design and traditional illustration, Louise brings a fresh take on a range of subject matter with favorite themes including decadent desserts, foraged wildflower bouquets, and nostalgic mid century oddities. She currently lives in the midwest with her husband and two fluffy dogs, where she works out of her home studio.

Meet Louise Pretzel!

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

When I was first starting out my career, I considered myself solely a designer. As of today I definitely consider myself an illustrator as well!

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

Hmm, definitely not an illustrator! I think at one point when I was trying to figure out what I should be, I thought being an anesthesiologist or radiologist sounded like viable career paths without actually considering the fact that I was terrible at math and science, lol. It wasn’t until about my junior year of high school where I realized that I could pursue what I actually enjoyed doing as a hobby (art and design) as a full time career. 

Louise Pretzel sits at her desk painting. The desk has paper flowers and a framed illustration of a rabbit on it.

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

I was born and raised in Southern California. Probably the biggest thing that influenced me to follow a path into art and design was actually practically living out my childhood on Neopets and Myspace, spending countless hours blinging out my pages with graphics made on a pirated bootleg version of Photoshop. Those were the days! Another big aspect that influenced my illustration style and aesthetic was going thrifting and antiquing with my mom and sister. Looking back now, since moving to the Midwest, I can say I was a bit spoiled with such easy access to so many great vintage and flea markets like the Rose Bowl.

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

Growing up I was always on the artsy side and took traditional illustration classes in high school and college. I ended up pursuing graphic design in college, since that seemed to be the “financially viable” path to take as an artist. I actually didn’t even consider being an illustrator, or even realize it was something I could be! But I would say that spark and interest in illustration was something I always had ingrained in me, but I just needed the right opportunity to allow myself to fully embrace and explore that path professionally.

What inspired you to become an illustrator?

My first job out of college was a graphic designer role, doing layouts for stationery and home decor items. We actually had two in-house illustrators, but at some point they both quit which ended up sort of forcing the graphic design team to take over the illustration duties. From there I had a lot of opportunities to create new original art, which really sparked my passion for illustration, and also provided me a space to experiment with different styles and methods of creating which was so great! That ultimately gave me the confidence to start creating illustrations on my own outside of my 9-5. 

A print of Louise Pretzel's elephant leans against a pink wall with wooden tree toys in front of it.

What are three words to describe your style?

Kitschy, whimsical, random? Haha. I am the worst at describing myself! I’d be more interested in finding out how other people describe my style!

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

Probably the most helpful advice that was instilled into me throughout my life came from my dad. He is a financial banker-type of guy, and he always encouraged me to negotiate, know your worth, and to walk away if the offer isn’t right. That has been essential advice to me as an artist, and has helped me walk away from a few opportunities with no regrets. And without fail, when I have walked away from those opportunities, a better one came my way! 

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

Having pursued graphic design in college, I think has really helped me as an illustrator. It gave me a lot of the technical know-how in terms of actually applying my art to products, knowing the essentials of typography and layouts, and being able to fully understand the printing process for setting up my files for clients. 

A print of Louise Pretzel's Rocking Horse leaning against a gold wall with pastel wooden blocks in front of it.

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

I personally have trouble sticking to one style, it’s probably the biggest stereotype for an artist to be successful that you need to have a signature style. Maybe that’s true! But in that case maybe I don’t want to be successful. Lately I have been trying to just stick true to what brings me true joy as an artist, and a lot of that comes with trying new styles and experimenting with ways of creating. I think about having to stick to the same style for all of eternity… that sounds a bit boring! 

What is a typical day like for you? 

I usually wake up when the sun rises, fix myself a cup of coffee, and let my two little white fluffy dogs outside. My mornings are usually spent cuddling with my dogs on the couch, and catching up on email and social media. From there I pretty much just go into work mode with some breaks throughout the day! I love to take an afternoon break with some tea and cookies. Later on in the day I might do some gardening, take the dogs on a walk, fix dinner, and end with watching a movie or episode of whatever I’m currently binging with my husband. 

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

I actually bought and moved into my home during the pandemic, so I was able to set up my home office knowing that I would be spending a lot more time in it than I probably would have otherwise! I’ve surrounded myself with most of my vintage poodle collection, as well as plenty of art prints and paintings I’ve created over the years. Probably my favorite thing in my office is a vintage 1960’s student drafting table that I picked up from FB Marketplace which I promptly painted pink, and now use as my painting and crafting table! 

A collection of vintage poodles and other fun kitchery.

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

Actually, probably the spring garden print I created for the Lars shop! I love all the fun garden critters hiding within the flowers and foliage. I was actually inspired by my own garden for this print, which I made during the height of my tulip garden blooming, so it also feels a bit personal. This was actually my first year of being a homeowner, and subsequently, my first foray into gardening in a yard of my own. It was so exciting to see all the tulips pop up from the bulbs we planted in the Fall. I think the garden print captures that feeling of magic and excitement of seeing things begin to blossom in early Spring. 

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

I absolutely feel most inspired after a day of thrifting and antiquing. I always have my phone out taking pictures of the weirdest & kitschiest items I can find, as well as any amazing vintage color palettes, patterns, and typography. 

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

Historically, I look up to painters and textile print artists, often from the 50’s and 60’s. Artists like Tammis Keefe, Paule Marrot, and Vera Neumann to name just a few! Present day, I absolutely love the work of Emily Isabella, one of the artists in the Lars Shop! Her work is just absolutely splendid. I actually feel a bit honored to be sharing the same digital air-space as her in the shop! 

Louise sits at a desk painting a pink pretzel.

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

I just finished bingeing the last season of Shrill and I am pretty devastated it’s over. While I work on illustrations and client work, my go-to background noise is Married At First Sight. I’m also gearing up for the next season of the Bachelorette. Me and my friends always get together and do a fantasy league (of which I am currently the reigning champion). It’s the perfect excuse to get together, drink wine and eat more cheeses than anyone ever should in one sitting! Much needed after a year of quarantine. 

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

For me, the biggest challenges I face are finding the motivation to create new work and also imposter syndrome. I feel like those two feed into each other and create a cycle of self doubt. But when I find a moment of inspiration and I sit down and just make something that I love, I look back on those negative thoughts and I’m like “what were you thinking?! You’re amazing!”. It’s definitely a cycle of major highs and lows! 

A print of Louise Pretzel's Grasshopper leaning against a light blue wall with wooden rainbow and tree toys in front of it.

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

My secret talent is that I can yodel (poorly). But I always thought it would be cool if I could harness that skill (anyone know any professional yodel instructors out there? lol). As for skills I am working on, I only recently started illustrating more on my iPad, so I love learning new tips and tricks and experimenting with new brushes.

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

In terms of my illustration career, I don’t know what will come next! It’s actually only been about a year since I started doing my own illustration work as a daily practice and “putting myself out there” which essentially all began at the beginning of quarantine, so in that regard I feel like my journey as an artist is only just beginning, which is exciting! Outside of illustration, I have grand ideas of being able to someday move to a more rural area where I can have some chickens. 

Shot of Louise sitting at her desk from behind. The image is symmetrically composed and a corkboard with colorful notes and drawings hangs against the wall.

What is your long-term goal?

Aside from the chickens, I’d love to just keep illustrating and see where it takes me. Quite honestly, I have little to no expectations that this will bring me any great success. What is most important to me is that I keep the passion and joy of creating, always. If I can continue that, then I will consider myself wonderfully successful! 

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

Just do it! The hardest part (at least for myself) is getting that initial spark or motivation to simply begin, so I understand how it feels to be nervous about starting something new. I think the greatest advice would be to just begin and then keep moving forward, even if you think it’s terrible during the beginning, I think you often are surprised at the final result. 

A print of Louise Pretzel's Pull Duck Toy against a gold background. Pastel wooden block toys are arranged in front.

More to Love

If you loved reading about Louise Pretzel’s trajectory as an illustrator and creative, you’ll love looking at her work! You can find her prints for the Lars Print Shop here, her website here, and don’t forget to follow her on Instagram @LouisePretzel.

In addition to Louise Pretzel’s interview, you can read about more of our lovely Lars Print Shop artists and illustrators we’ve interviewed! Here’s an interview with Julie Marabelle, Becca Stadtlander, Cat Seto, Libby VanderPloeg, Amelia Giller, Justina Blakeney, Rachel Kiser Smith, and more!

Stay tuned for more Becoming interviews, coming soon. 

What you need for your new baby

What you need for new baby

As a disclaimer, I’m a big believer in that you don’t need too much. I’m actually quite frugal when it comes to making purchases so I tend to either buy cheap or do without unless I find it totally beautiful and worth being in my life and if not the most beautiful, then just super helpful. That said, I’ve noticed that that there are some specific times when you should invest as it will totally make life easier and for the better and if not, more beautiful at least, because that is also important. As a note, I’m not including clothing or furniture for now (though you can find his nursery reveal here!), just product. I’ll be following up with some clothing recommendations.
Rattan bassinet

Ok! Don’t let all these disclaimers deter you, let’s get going! I’ll be updating this list as Baby continues to grow into different stages that require new products so do check back for more recommendations. Also, I’d love to hear your own recommendations. I’m always open to hearing about beautifully designed items.

Lars Baby essentials round up

Lars’ Favorite Baby Essentials

This time around, I’m grouping the products into time frames so you don’t have to buy everything at once. This way you can spread out the purchases and expenses.

Italics are my updated experience with my second child, Felix.

Before Baby gets here (you’ll need it right away)

  1. I legit didn’t know there was such thing as a “coming out outfit” when I had Jasper. And while it’s obviously not crucial to have a photogenic outfit, it feels like a beautiful rite of passage when there’s some sort of stunning outfit to come home in. This time around I bought a few outfits that felt special and just rotated them a bunch. I picked out this baby bundle set from Storq, which came with a sweet white outfit and hat. For some reason I love when babies don’t have as much color and patterns like I normally prefer. That said, I also got a little set with my favorite pattern from Lewis Home. And something similar to this set.
  2. Uppababy car seat and Uppababy Vista Stroller. I LOVE the look of this car seat and the fabric actually wicks away sweat. Plus, I love that it’s interchangeable with the stroller and base in the car. I got the MESA and love it.
  3. Pampers Pure diapers. We did a sponsored post with them a few months ago but now I’m no longer required to say anything and I’m still using them. I love that they are better for baby and earth. I just wish it was easier to find them at all stores. You have to order them online. We also use Kirkland brand (Costco) because Paul’s favorite place on earth is Costco and everything they do is high quality.
  4. Diaper bag. I don’t know why, but this is the one I obsessed with most prior to baby’s arrival. I spent A LOT of time searching for a great diaper bag. There are a lot of good ones out there now that are both great for mom and functional and though I haven’t tried them all out, I decided to start cheap and see how it goes. I bought this one in red as I just so happened to stumble on it on Amazon and turns out! I spot dozens of moms wherever I go using it. It’s a smart design, spacious, and helpful. And they come in tons of other colors. I’m going to be doing a post all on diaper bags because I found some pretty great options. Ok, I never found a diaper bag that I loved that I actually bought because I’ve come to the point where I realized “why do I need a special bag for diapers?” Well, you don’t! But Jasper has put his through the ringer and so now I’m glad that it was cheap.
  5. Changing basket. Design Dua has the most beautiful collection of baskets including this plain changing basket. I love it so much. It keeps him contained so he doesn’t roll around, which he is doing otherwise. The only downside is that I found that it scratched my brand new changing table. I had to take a rug pad and cut it to the shape of the basket and put underneath it.
  6. Onesies. Because you can never have enough! I like dressing baby in a plain white onesie and that’s it!
  7. Clothes. Check out this post for some of my favorite clothes for baby boys 
  8. Travel Changing Pad. This was sent to me by Joy of Oh Joy for her product collaboration with Target long before Baby was even an embryo but I held onto it because 1) it’s adorable and turns out 2) it’s so handy. It looks like a clutch so it doesn’t scream baby and it works well with a slot for wipes. It’s thin enough to squeeze snuggly in my bag. Now that I’m with my second baby, I use this every single day to change diapers around the house. 
  9. Brest friend. I was using another pillow for nursing but it was killing my back. This one happened to pop up on my Facebook ads and I bought it on the spot. I LOVE MY BREST FRIEND. It’s a game changer for my bad back, especially after baby when it was at an all time hurt.
  10. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. By the way, this book was SUPER helpful for learning to breastfeed.
  11. Swaddles. I didn’t include swaddles in my first round of essentials because I figured most people get a ton as gifts, BUT I got a couple of extras the second time around–ones that I LOVE the prints on so they cheer me right on up. These ones from Lewis are too cute. I also have one from Clementine that I love as well as Little Unicorn.

Within the first couple of weeks

  1. Scissor clippers. Moms might know the terror that comes with clipping your baby’s nails. These ones are great because you can go slowly so that you have more peace of mind. I Love them! These are actually the reason why I wanted to create this post for you. I want everyone to know about them! Yup! Still love them! 
  2. Willow pump. GAME CHANGER. I was dreading having to pump so for a number of months I just didn’t unless I really had to. I was using the pump that my insurance company had given me until I tried this and all of a sudden I was free! It sits in your bra and you can walk around and do whatever you want WHILE IT PUMPS! Ladies! Admittedly, I don’t love pumping, but I do use this still my second time every so often when I need to fill up.
  3. Nose Freda. I received two of these as baby gifts so I thought there must be something to it. This one is genius. Do yourself a favor and get one in your cart pronto. Seems odd, but really not odd at all to suck up your baby’s snot. 😉 Really though, it’s efficient and clever and I highly recommend it. Yup, do it! 
  4. Aquaphor. I don’t even need to say much else than you need it. If there’s ever any redness or rash, use it and poof! Gone! We also tried using my sister’s Butt Paste and it works super well, though it stays on the baby as a white substance.
  5. Collapsible bath tubI tried out a few bath tubs that didn’t work so well for me either because of the size of our sink or sturdiness. I like this one because it worked for a newborn and then it can be transformed for a larger baby when they can sit up by themselves by popping down the side and turning it into a more typical bath tub. We recently got a new one compartment sink and it wasted a lot more water by filling it up than our previous one so this was a better option.
  6. Dock a Tot (not pictured). Jasper slept in this for the first few months and it was great because you can transport it around and set him anywhere you are. LOVED IT! Not in love with the huge logo on it. WHY IS IT SO BIG???? For Felix I got the William Morris cover–it’s so pretty! 
  7. Baby Bum diaper rash brush. This was given to me as a baby gift and I’ll be honest, I thought, “this looks like one of those products that you don’t actually need but someone thought they’d try and make a buck by appealing to vulnerable mothers” BUT I WAS WRONG! Thankfully, I don’t have to use it too often, but when Baby boy gets some redness, I use a dollop of Aquafor and apply it with this and it’s so helpful! You don’t have to get your fingers in baby’s crevices. Everyone wins! Still love it! 
  8. 4 Moms Mamaroo. Baby is loving more and more the more we set him in it. He especially loves it now that he play with the items and actually reach them. Jasper didn’t love being in it and Felix loved it a bit more! I wish that the top play part moved–I think babies might stay more interested.
  9. Tubby Todd body wash. Tubby Todd sent me a baby gift to try some of their wash and I’ve been hooked from day one. It smells lovely and it’s gentle for baby, hypoallergenic, and extra-gentle for sensitive skin.
  10. Grass Bottle drying rack. Just makes life easier in a clever design! I rarely used bottles with Jasper and once again with Felix so I didn’t have a HUGE need for it, but if you bottle feed a lot it’s great.
  11. Boppy carrier. This one was sent to me by the company and I’m not required to talk about it, but I have to let you know that it changed the way baby slept. Prior to this, baby could only fall asleep if we coaxed him while he was in our arms. As you might imagine, we couldn’t get much else done. As soon as I slipped him in there for the first time, he passed out. For the first 3 months of his life, he slept in there for every nap. Then all of a sudden we could set him in his bassinet and he could nap on his own. I’m really grateful for this one. I still use it. In fact, I’m using it right now as I travel to NYC and Atlanta. It’s so snug. I wouldn’t say it’s the most beautiful one on the market, but for us, it was a game changer so I don’t care how it looks. Once again with Felix, this was a LIFESAVER! He slept in it exclusively until about a month ago. 

1-2 months out

  1. White noise maker. I was hoping I wouldn’t need a white noise maker and perhaps I don’t because I haven’t noticed a difference in J’s sleep quality, but I find it more useful in thinking that we can carry on at a normal decibel level than if it’s not on. Love this one because you can turn it on and off remotely. Ok, since last time, we’ve been using a white noise machine with Jasper ever since and with Felix too. As soon as the white noise machine is off, Felix is up. I find that it allows us to feel like we don’t have to tip toe around to not make noise. Love it. We didn’t buy the same brand for Felix, which was a mistake. The one we bought is poorly designed. I’ll be buying this brand again!
  2. Uppababy stroller. The stroller can hold the car seat, a bassinet, and a normal sitting seat for an older child. I’m using the VISTA while I travel right now because baby can only sleep laying down completely so I stick him in the bassinet. It’s so beautiful, quick to assemble and disassemble. I’ve become a big advocate of it! Plus, I love the touch of the leather handle–classy! I didn’t need a stroller for the first couple of months because Jasper would just cry. Felix did the same thing, but starting at 4 months he LOVED sitting upright.
  3. Rattan bassinet from Bundle and Bloom As you know from this post, I was on a big search for rattan bassinets for baby’s nursery. I searched high and low to find a vintage one, but I couldn’t find one in the US and shipping from France was going to cost 2x the cost of the crib itself, SO, I was thrilled to find this version from Bundle and Bloom. It’s beautiful and the cost is NUTS! They’re handmade in Guatemala and we’ve been using it since we got it. I love it!
  4. Moses Basket. Early on in the prepping process, I spent a good deal of time looking for a Moses basket because I’ve always loved the look of them. Turns out? They’re also handy. This one I got from Briar and it’s so beautiful it makes me want to cry.
  5. Sleep Sack.

When their old enough to hold their heads up (4 or 5 months)

A lot of these are basically contraptions to place baby so you can have a sec to do something. I like to spread them around the house so that there’s always something.

  1. Chair swing. Ok, this is an exception to the “beautiful” rule. I don’t love the look of it, but I love the price and I wanted to see if he would even use before buying something more expensive. I started him in it at about 4 months and he would last for about 5 minutes. Ha! We’re working on it! I think he’ll love it…one day! This is the chair swing I’d try if I thought we’d have gotten more use out of it. Well, Jasper never learned to love it and we’ll find out about Felix. I have a feeling he will though because he loves his…
  2. Exersaucer. I borrowed this contraption from my friend, Michele, and Jasper didn’t love it. I borrowed it again for Felix and he LOVES it! He’s at 5 months now and having a ball. Sometimes he lasts for 2 seconds and other times he can stay in for 15 minutes. 
  3. Briar bonnets. I feel such a need to protect Baby’s skin from the harsh sun especially since he’s so pale. These bonnets are both adorable and great for protection. We did a collection with them and they turned out so cute! 
  4. Bumbo. I love the Bumbo for setting him in when I need to get some stuff done, like putting on make up. Bonus is that is comes in this gorgeous color. I searched high and low for a pretty color and found it in this one.
  5. Joovy baby walker (not pictured in graphic). I loved this walker because it was the best looking one that didn’t have the built in toys and it comes with a removeable and washable tray!
  6. Charlie Crane. This is another one that was given to me and I felt like I had won the jackpot because it’s truly so beautiful. I love that it can sit seamlessly in your home, though I have it at work for baby to sit and play in. Helpful and beautiful!

Rattan bassinetRattan bassinet

Again, I’ll be updating this list the more I become familiar with other products and stages of baby’s life. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your tried and true products! Dish!

photos by Jane Merrit and Rebecca Hansen

State Flower Map Coloring Poster

I’m excited to release this new State Flower Map Coloring Page in our shop! I love easy projects that you can do with your family or friends, and coloring this state flower coloring page fits the bill! You could sit down and have everyone color in their favorite place to vacation or where they’re from. This coloring page is also a great option if you want to do something with your hands while you watch movies with friends but you’re not a big fan of puzzles. Because this coloring page poster is big enough to spread out on the kitchen or coffee table, it’s a great project to do as a group.

The State Flower Map Coloring Page hangs on Brittany's rainbow calendar with some art prints and a painting by Jasper.

On the Road

Have you seen those map posters that you scratch off each state or country as you visit it? This printable poster would be a great way to mark your travels within the USA—you could color in each state’s flower when you visit it!

The coloring map is on a red table. Colorful markers are scattered around and some hands reach in to color it.

I think it would be so fun to plan a road trip with state flowers in mind. In every state you visit, try to find the state flower! What a fun way to get into nature and get moving! If you do, be sure to tag us in your pictures with #LarsLovesFlowers and #LarsTravels.

The coloring map is on a red table. Colorful markers are scattered around and some hands reach in to color it.The coloring map is on a red table. Colorful markers are scattered around and some hands reach in to color it.

At Home

Even if you’re relaxing into another summer at home, coloring in the State Flower Map Coloring Page poster is a perfect art project to celebrate flowers and learn some geography. If you’re looking for a way to give your kids some structure in the summer, this would be a great addition to a summer school curriculum. Fun and educational? Yes please! Best of all, you’ll finish the activity with a gorgeous poster to hang.

The State Flower Map Coloring Page hangs on Brittany's rainbow calendar with some art prints, a painting by Jasper, and a cutout bird. A colorful desk with flowers, a laptop, books, and a globe is in front of the calendar.

Make your own State Flower Map Art

When you finish coloring your State Flower Map Coloring Page, hang it up! It has the potential to be It’s extra personal because you’ll color it yourself, and it will make a great conversation starter. Print your state flower coloring page on nice paper and then frame your finished work for extra gravitas. It would be so great in a kid’s room!

The State Flower Map Coloring Page hangs on Brittany's rainbow calendar with some art prints and a painting by Jasper.

Materials

All you need to make your own state flower art is our State Flower Map Coloring Page, markers, crayons, or colored pencils, and a frame.

The State Flower Map Coloring Page hangs on Brittany's rainbow calendar with some art prints, a painting by Jasper, and a cutout bird. A colorful desk with flowers, a laptop, books, and a globe is in front of the calendar.

Instructions

  1. Download the State Flower Map Coloring Page from our shop.
  2. Send the file to your local print shop or at a larger chain like Staples (we used this service and it’s under $10!). You can print the poster on sturdy paper, but you don’t have to.
  3. Gather your friends and color! You know what to do!
  4. If you want to frame your coloring page, this magnetic poster frame is a great and easy option. Enjoy!

The State Flower Map Coloring Page hangs on Brittany's rainbow calendar with some art prints and a painting by Jasper.

Looking for more coloring pages? I have great news in the form of COLORING BOOKS. Check out our Picture Hope coloring book, which we made with lots of artists to raise money for COVID 19 relief. Find it in our shop here. I’ve also made a coloring book called Flowers, and don’t forget all our other coloring pages in the shop! Get coloring!

I would love to see your finished coloring pages and hear about your summer adventures, whether you hit the road or just the couch. Tag us with #LarsLovesFlowers and #LarsTravels!

Printable Party Decor

I want your parties to be smash hits, and the printable party decor from our shop are surefire ways to get off to a great start. The Lars party suites are downloadable packages of invitations, party decorations, cake toppers, and accessories. And they couldn’t be easier to use! Just download, print (or send to a a local print shop), cut out, and voilà! Party magic.

Most of these party suites were designed with birthdays in mind, but whether you’re celebrating a birthday, graduation, an engagement, an anniversary, a holiday, a new move, or just getting friends together, these party decorations are sure to put smiles on everyone’s faces and make your party better (and prettier!) No matter what you’re celebrating, pick out the perfect printable suite below!

Birthday Parties

Part of why I enjoy birthdays so much is because they’re an opportunity to do what you really want to do. If that means skydiving, go for it! It’s your birthday. If that means staying inside and watching The Holiday, 10 Things I Hate About You, or Roman Holiday on repeat, go for it! If that means eating a decadent cake, go for it! You do you!

Now that vaccine availability (in the US, at least) is abundant, I’m so excited to bring people together and get back to celebrating. And what’s a party without invitations and decor? These printable birthday suites are the perfect solution when you want fun decoration without too much fuss. Since releasing our original printable birthday party decor, we have been dreaming up even more unique themes. 

Rainbow Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

Of course we started with a rainbow theme, and this one works for all ages! This rainbow birthday theme can go as many directions as there are colors in the rainbow. Planning for your miracle child? Plan a rainbow baby party! Your mom is turning 50? Ditch the dark “over the hill” cards and plan an “over the rainbow” party instead! This party suite would also be perfect for a Pride party! #LarsLovesLove

This Rainbow Party Decor Suite includes an invitation, bracelets for party favors, a birthday crown, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Animal Menagerie Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

This is our most classic birthday set, a colorful circus of animals! I cannot wait to use this one for a first birthday party for baby boy #2. For this party we also added some DIY felt pennants that can be customized for the birthday kid. Pssst, level up your party EVEN MORE with a simple balloon installation kit.

This Animal Menagerie Party Decor Suite includes party hats, bunting, an invitation, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Summery Parties

Having a June birthday means that I can throw garden-themed birthday parties for myself, but here’s the truth: garden parties are for everyone! Celebrate Midsummer or simply bring your friends together in honor of the the long days and warm nights that the season brings.

Floral Party

Adriana Picker from our print shop made the art for this Floral Birthday Suite and it couldn’t be prettier!

Sherbet-colored floral bunting hangs in the background. A white frosted cake with floral cake toppers sits on a mint green cake stand. Invitations and a floral crown peek in at the corners.

I love the elegant colors and the botanical drawings in this collection, and I think the different colors of invitations are so delightful. And don’t get me started on how gorgeous the printable flower crown is! These decorations will make your party glamorous and colorful and fresh.

Detailed drawings of flowers make up a fuchsia and orange flower crown, which is resting on a pile of sherbet-colored plates. Floral party invitations with different flowers on pink, grey, and yellow backgrounds sit amongst floral bunting and cake toppers.

Lemon Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

The fun colors of this birthday suite printable makes for the perfect theme, whether your birthday feels sweet or sour! The rest of the decor comes easily once you’ve got a theme down! In fact, we have a few other DIY projects from days past that would be darling with the birthday suite. This lemon wreath is one that stands out in my mind. Or, plop some freshly sliced citrus in the middle of the table for a citrusy centerpiece like we did here! And the colors of our original balloon kit have the perfect fruity feel!

This Lemon Party Decor Suite includes a banner, straw toppers, party hats, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

Garden Party

Printable Birthday Party Decor

Another thing that comes much easier when your party has a theme is planning the menu. Thanks, theme! When paired with this printable garden party decor, fruity desserts are always a hit. I went through a popsicle phase a few years back and wrote about three I loved: lemon creme, pineapple pink lemonade, and berry lemonade! These are perfect for when you want a treat but don’t want to turn the oven on. Who said every birthday party HAS to have a cake? 

We designed these themed set for a dreamy summer outdoor party (it doesn’t even have to be a birthday party, an excuse for a party is good excuse.) However, as we head into winter I am starting to daydream up an indoor garden party. Hear me out — paper flower garlands and greenery turning the living room into a summery dream. Sounds like just the thing for seasonal depression, right??

This Garden Party Decor Suite includes an invitation, name tags, cake toppers, and more! Check out the full printable suite here.

You deserve to party, whether it’s your birthday or not! Take time to decorate extravagantly (and easily) with a little help from your friend, Lars. Then do exactly what you want to do. Go to the grocery store and just buy snacks and flowers. Dance obnoxiously to Motown classics. Dress up in a formal gown and don’t bother styling your hair. Plan a fabulous meal for yourself and make someone else cook it/buy it. Eat ice cream straight out of the carton. I won’t tell!

Holiday Parties

Don’t limit your celebrations to birthdays and summertime!

Easter Printable Tablescape Suite

Easter printable tablescape with flowers and rabbits and a floral garland. Your next Easter party will be your most picturesque with this Easter Tablescape Party Suite! With an illustrated table runner, menu cards, name cards, and a garland, this hassle-free printable decor is sure to become a favorite.

Halloween Party

Halloween party invitations, placemats, place cards, and party tags arranged on a table

Halloween parties are fun for all ages, and they deserve fabulous printable party decor, too! This Halloween Party Suite includes printable invitations, party tags, placemats, and place cards.

Head to our Shop for even more printable birthday party decor and gift ideas! And you can find all of our Birthday DIY projects here

Out Now: A Lars Flower Drawing Course!

Looking for a summer art project for yourself or your kids? Look no further! Learn to Draw: Flowers is a flower drawing course designed to bring floral drawings into your home and into your skillset.

A hand holds a bird of paradise stem and a cutout bird of paradise against a black background. A few red tulips and cutout drawings of tulips against a black background.

Newsletter Perks!

Newsletter subscribers got early access to the course, as well as early bird early bloom pricing for the course. Lucky ducks! Still, if you missed early access don’t fret! Signing up for our newsletter will give you more great deals in the future, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at The House that Lars Built. The Lars team works hard to deliver great newsletters every week, so don’t worry–we promise not to flood your inbox. And signing up is super easy! Scroll to the bottom of the page and find a green box where you can put your email address, and voila! You can also sign up here.

Even if you missed this round of newsletter goodness, you can still get a great deal on Learn to Draw: Flowers. Today only you can get the course for 15% off with code GARDENIAPARTY15, and if you’re one of the first 20 lucky people to buy Learn to Draw: Flowers, you’ll even get a free floral sticker pack thrown in! Don’t miss out!

A hand holds a bouquet of irises with some drawings of irises against a black backdrop.

About Learn to Draw: Flowers

Long-time readers might remember a 31-day flower drawing challenge I hosted several years ago. I taught budding artists (pun intended) how to draw a new flower every day for a month. Then, at the end we all had a gorgeous portfolio full of floral drawings. These artists used their newfound drawing skills to make paper crowns, paintings, repeat patterns, cookie decorations, greeting cards, and more! Check out #LarsFlowerChallenge for some incredible inspiration—I was honestly floored by everyone’s creativity, and I’m so excited to see more of it!

This flower drawing course expands on those tutorials, with lots and lots of added new content. I wrote the course to set you up for flower drawing success. I’m excited to see how you fill your life with lovely flower drawings, and you should be too! Working through this course would be a great way to kickstart your creativity every morning, but you can do the course at whatever pace feels best to you.

A hand reaches into frame holding orange, red, and yellow poppies and some drawings of poppies. The background is black with a white line drawing of a poppy.Floxgloves and drawings of foxgloves against a black backdrop

On top of the instructional videos about how to draw each flower, the course includes historical information about 31 different kinds of flowers, references to the flowers throughout art history, and floral design tips for each bloom. You’ll definitely impress your friends with all your flower knowledge, and I bet you’ll have lots of fun identifying the various flowers in your neighborhood and in arrangements.

Learn to Draw: Flowers also comes with new, never-before seen printable posters, which would look incredible in an art studio, bedroom, kitchen… pretty much anywhere!

Whether you’re 9 or 99 (or even younger!) this course is sure to be great fun for budding floral enthusiasts and artists. I would love to see what you learn with #LarsDrawsFlowers. Share the inspiration!

3 methods to get better ideas

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How to get ideas for your content

While I used to be the one and only person at Lars, at this point I’m not always coming up with all the ideas. Because of the sheer volume of work we product, it’s not possible (and because I’m still in maternity mode and also my brain is fried. Anyone else?!??!). That said, the conception part is my favorite especially when I have the time to really do a proper brainstorm.

Brainstorm

Ok, this might seem obvious, but a good quality brainstorm session will ultimately be worth the time and effort.  What does that look like? It means allowing yourself a proper setting to receive inspiration. Do you get your ideas best in a shower? Or on a walk? Put yourself into that place! If you don’t know where that place is, start noting a moment when you have a really good idea. Did you get the idea because of where you were?

I admit that I don’t always give myself this proper brainstorm time because of well, a lack of time, but I find that when I do it’s both rewarding and fruitful. Just typing this out makes me realize that I don’t know when the last time I did this–and that’s fine too because there are other ways to get ideas….My new TV looks just like a painting!

Accidents

Some of my best ideas have come when I’ve mistaken something for something else. One time I was at my niece’s house in Denmark. I mistook a balloon garland in her room for a fruit balloon garland. Now, this was before balloon DIYs were big–I think it was 2010 or 2011 so I wasn’t necessarily thinking in that vein. But then I thought, wouldn’t it be so cool to turn balloons into fruits?

balloons turned into fruits

Of course, the problem with this method is that you can’t force accidents so it’s not necessarily the most efficient method. However, my advice here is to LEAN into the accidents and don’t dismiss them when they happen. Consider if it could be something that could be a part of your work or at least process.

Limitations

My last method is probably the one that I use most: Limitations. What does this mean? Well, contrary to what it sounds like, giving yourself some limitations or rather, specific criteria, will actually help you to narrow down your ideas and focus more effectively. How do you do that?

Branding

When you have proper branding in place, whether the branding is of you as a person or for your company, then you can channel your ideas. Some of our key words here are Lars are: rainbows, flowers, beautiful, not too cute, whimsical, grounded, colorful but not too saturated. There’s more to our brand than just those words of course, but when it’s time to come up with ideas, we can use those words to channel our ideas into something more refined.

Client limitations

One sure fire way to come up with an idea is if there’s an objective or story in place. Oftentimes when we work with clients, they will give us their campaign objective for their product or service. This helps us to filter our brand story into their objective. It’s much easier to have something in place so that we can fulfill their goals through our lens. Does that make sense?

The challenge of adapting a brand who may not seem aligned with ours and figuring out a project that works for both of us is one of my favorite things to do because it just means you have to exercise more creativity. And one of my favorite definitions of creativity is clever problem solving.

Well, those are my top ways to come up with ideas. I have more. Let me know if you’d interested in more! And I’d love to hear your ideas too! 

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Everything you need for your resolutions
DIY Doily Honeycomb Decorations
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How to press flowers in 3 methods

I’m so excited to share this tutorial on how to press flowers with Beci Orpin, one of the most inspiring creatives I know. She’s an artist and illustrator who makes incredible crafts, and I feel lucky to get to share some of her expertise with you.

Press Flowers with Beci

I am an avid collector of many things, but old books are one of my favourites – I rarely walk out of an op shop without one. Quirky typesetting and old-school printing aside, one of the things I love about second-hand books is the chance of discovering a little surprise inside them. I’ve found many treasures tucked inside those yellowing, musty pages, including some flattened Easter-egg wrappers from the 1940s, a birthday note from an aunt to a favourite niece and, best of all, several books containing some beautiful pressed flowers.

When I was a child I used to press flowers with my grandma, and I remember never having enough patience to wait the weeks and weeks before the flowers were completely dried and pressed. Luckily for me, while I was researching this project, I discovered that there are several methods of pressing flowers, some of which allow you to cheat, so you don’t have to wait forever and ever before they are ready. This is good news for me, as I still have as much patience as a five-year-old.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci OrpinYOU WILL NEED:

  • flowers/foliage: ones with flat petals are best (see a list here. I like pansies, geraniums, flowering weeds – anything pretty and dainty
  • book/iron/microwave: what you use will depend on which method you choose.
  • paper or a card: try blotting paper, coffee filter paper, printer paper, several layers of tissue paper

NOTES:

  1. Flowers should preferably be freshly picked, to prevent browning.
  2. Don’t pick your flowers too early in the morning, as they will still have dew on them. The extra moisture from the dew may cause them to go mouldy during the pressing process.
  3. Flowers should have just bloomed or be about to bloom. If they are too mature, they will lose their petals.
  4. If the flowers have obvious stamens, remove them before pressing.

Method 1, Pressing in a book:

(This is the easiest but slowest method; I found it produced the best results.)

Open up your book and place a sheet of paper on one side of the book. Liquid from the flowers can leach into the surrounding pages, so use an old book or several sheets of paper to prevent this. TIP: Don’t use a phone book, as the paper is too flimsy.

Arrange your flowers on the piece of paper, making sure the flowers aren’t overlapping (unless you want them to). Cover with another piece of paper (or fold the first piece of paper in half) and close the book.

Weight down the book by placing some heavy books or bricks on top of it.

Change the papers after 1 week, then leave for a few more weeks until the flowers are completely dry. Try to resist the temptation to check them (unless changing the paper), as this can disturb the flowers.Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

Method 2, Ironing:

Flatten the flowers between pieces of paper in a book, following steps 1–3 (left). Leave the flowers to dry for however long you can manage (I recommend at least 1 day). Empty any water out of the iron (you don’t want any steam), and set the heat to the lowest setting.

Remove the flowers from the book, leaving them sandwiched between the two pieces of paper, and press them with the iron for 10–15 seconds. You don’t need to move the iron around, just press it on the paper.

Method 3, Microwave:

Arrange the flowers in the book between two pieces of paper, following steps 1–2 (left). Make sure that your book has no metal in the spine or type before putting it in the microwave. Place in the microwave and zap for 30 seconds. Take the book out and let it cool by opening the pages to let the steam out (don’t open the pages that have the flowers enclosed). TIP: Have a couple of books on the go at once, so you can have one heating in the microwave while the other one is cooling down.

Once the book is cool, zap it in the microwave again. Repeat until the flowers are almost dry (you may need to do this about four or five times: smaller flowers will dry out quicker), taking care you don’t overcook them, as the flowers will turn brown.

What To Do With Pressed Flowers

Learning to press flowers is just the beginning! Once you’ve pressed your flowers there are so many great crafts you can do with them.

Adding pressed flowers to a handmade card or invitation adds a whimsical touch. You can also place pressed flowers between two sheets of glass and then frame them for a garden-inspired wall decoration, as pictured here.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

This gorgeous pressed flower tray made by Jessica Pezalla of Bramble Workshop is an unexpected and delightful project to make the color from your garden last.

And don’t forget about pressing flowers when next Easter comes around! Then you can use our tutorial for dried flowers on Easter eggs. The possibilities are limitless.

Another floral project I love is this DIY flower pounding on fabric. It makes such beautiful design and the way the flowers transfer their color is delightful.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

If you use this tutorial to press flowers, I would love to see what you make! Share with us with the hashtag #LarsFlowerMonth.

You can purchase Sunshine Spaces here 

Keep reading! See more of our book recommendations here.

Photography by Chris Middleton  |  Book by Beci Orpin 

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

Felix’s New Nursery

Before my first son, Jasper, arrived we raced to get his nursery done and it paid off (you can see it here. I had such a wonderful experience having a fully designated space for him–it felt almost magical. Just him and me having our special place together nursing and me admiring him. We were certainly in a little newborn bubble. I think I even heard choruses of angels around us.

Interior shot of a child's room. Walls are green, A pink checkerboard rug is on the floor. A white rocking chair is central in the image.

With Felix, because of all the new home renovations and normal, if not over, work load, I didn’t get his nursery done, not even close. And I felt the toll! For a while I slept on a mattress downstairs next to his bassinet before transferring up to our bedroom and then we were constantly moving because we’ve been renovating the closet, bathroom, putting baseboards, etc. It’s been wild, uncomfortable…chaotic. Not conducive to a magical experience.

An interior shot featuring a painted green wall with a brightly colored lamp and a toy doll perched on a wicker shelf.

And then we partnered with our friends at Pottery Barn Kids and life got so much better as you might expect when you, well, partner with Pottery Barn Kids. 

Most important to me when creating a space for a baby is figuring out the immediate needs. Number one, especially in the early stages, is nursing. Life kind of revolves around it at this point (you too?): schedules, meals, outings (or lack there of right now, right?!). Everything! I nursed exclusively with Jasper and I’ve done the same with Felix (though I seriously reconsidered that this weekend after my first bout with mastitis–YIKES!).

Interior shot of a nursery. In the foreground, a red toy airplane rests on a white ottoman. In the background is a wooden dresser with a small Danish flag on top and some illustrations on the wall.

Because of my bad back, I like to have a great chair set up in place so I know it will be comfortable and I don’t have to scramble to make something up last minute. Jasper’s rocking chair has almost become a member of our family based on how much we use it. Though I no longer nurse him, we gather around it for stories every day. I knew I needed another one for Felix so we could create the same tradition in his room.

Interior shot of a child's room. Walls are green, A pink checkerboard rug is on the floor. A white rocking chair is central in the image.

Have you searched on Pottery Barn Kids recently? Look at all their nursery chair and ottoman options. I’ll wait….There’s a TON of styles and features. I looked for one that had a shallow back so that it wouldn’t have to strain while nursing. I also wanted one that felt both classic yet modern. I arrived at the Modern Wingback Slipcovered Glider and Ottoman. I got it in their classic white linen, which on first glance seems crazy, but because it’s a slipcover, you can easily take it on and off (velcro!) and wash it. 

Brittany sits in a white rocking chair next to a window and a green wall and snuggles Felix.A white rocking chair against a green wall with a colorful lamp in the background. An orange stuffed fox and a pillow are on the chair. Interior shot of a green nursery. In the foreground is a white rocking chair with a few pillows, toys, and books on it and in the background is a wooden dresser.

It may seem like a funny thing to get excited about, but I need my nursing conditions to be, well, perfect, and their ottoman is the perfect height so I can prop Felix up and be super comfortable. I’m so pleased with my new arrangement I can’t even express it. The magical feelings are starting to reemerge again and none too soon!

A white rocking chair against a green wall with a colorful lamp in the background. An orange stuffed fox and a pillow are on the chair.

But there’s more. Have you seen their collection of cribs and changing stations? There are so many beautiful options. I went all white with Jasper, but I wanted something different for Felix so I got an all wood collection–something to feel deeper. I chose the Dawson Convertible Crib, which is somehow even more beautiful in person than it is on a screen. It will grow with Felix into a toddler bed too so it’s worth the investment (two beds in one!). It’s also GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it meets or exceeds stringent chemical emissions standards and it’s made in a Fair Trade Certified facility. I feel really good about their manufacturing processes and love being able to align myself with them.

A wooden dresser with a clock, changing basket, Danish flag, and blanket on top. The wall has a few illustrations hanging on it.

Then for the changing table/dresser I went with the Dawson dresser. Again, it’s a beautiful blend of traditional and modern with the clean lines and fine detailing on the drawers. It comes in a lovely acorn color with the same ethical standards. Again, even more beautiful and illuminating in person. It looks so good against the green walls! Which brings me to my next point.

Brittany sits in a white rocking chair against a green wall and snuggles Jasper and Felix.

Jasper’s nursery at our old house was more light and airy and again, I wanted something where we played with color more. The room is also acting as Paul’s office so I wanted to take his preferences into consideration. Paul loves BRIGHT colors. I’m talking saturated, BRIGHT colors. We settled on a agreen, but what green was the question! He LOVES a classic Jaguar green but then I got this lovely checkerboard pink/magenta rug (used from Hannah Carpenter as spotted by Meta Coleman) and wanted to merge the two colors together somehow.

A white rocking chair against a green wall with a colorful lamp in the background. An orange stuffed fox and a pillow are on the chair. The floor is covered by a magenta checkerboard rug with a few wooden cars and an airplane on it.

I figured out that the green needed to be a bit more blue so we went with this Palm Frond color. I thought it was going to be too much for me but with the gorgeous wood furniture, it’s MAGICAL. I tried out a contrasting trim in a light blue, the same color we’ll be using for our bathroom, and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it…I like it sometimes and other times I’m not sure. I’m not sure you can see it too well in these photos so maybe you can speak to that quite yet.

Interior shot of a child's room with a green wall, a wicker shelf with a toy on it, and a crib. The crib has a denim-colored quilt hanging over the side.

I accessorized with the cutest bed sheet/comforter set. The sheets are dreamy soft and play well with the green of the walls. I love the chambray look always. It tends to go with most things.

Then I added in some green gingham curtains to play with the color too.

Shot of the inside of a wooden crib, with a few toys and pillows inside it.

With all the other bright color accessories we own, the color works so well and it’s now one of the few rooms in the house that feels GOOD! I’m still calling it a phase one design because we might adjust some things, but in the meantime, I’m spending all my time in there.

Brittany sits in a white rocking chair against a green wall and snuggles Jasper and Felix.Interior shot of a green nursery. In the foreground is a white rocking chair with a few toys on it. In the background is a wooden dresser.on it and in the background is a wooden dresser.

Thank you Pottery Barn Kids for making our nursery dreams come true and for sponsoring this post!

Baby Lars’ French-inspired rattan nursery

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When I first published a roundup of my favorite rattan nursery furniture I hadn’t yet revealed the sex of my baby (surprise, Jasper’s a boy! And Felix, too! Ha!) so I kept my nursery favorites simple. While neither of my boys are a surprise to any readers anymore, it’s nice that so much rattan furniture is gender-neutral and timeless, so no matter who you’re expecting there’s something here for you!

In case you haven’t caught it, mood boarding is a major theme for Lars–I use them for pretty much every project! Becca made one for her wedding and I made one for my personal style. They’re just so helpful in setting a foundation for any creative project.

Designing a Nursery

Both times I found out I was pregnant I immediately started a secret Pinterest mood board to narrow down the 1,701 nursery design pins (I’m not kidding!) I had accumulated over the years and I started to notice a trend. The nurseries I was attracted to leaned on the French side with a heavy dose of rattan.

, tooOver the last few years, the USA has woken up to the world of rattan a little bit, but it’s still a lot easier to get show-stopping rattan nursery furniture in Europe. Shipping to the States can get really expensive (think $1500 to ship a crib! *Sigh*)! I spotted this flawless rattan crib, pictured above, on Atelier Vime’s site and it was inevitable, I fell in love. It doesn’t hurt to have aged herringbone wood flooring and other lovely architectural features like in the photo, too…

Rattan Cribs and Bassinets

With that immaculate crib as by inspiration I set out looking for French-inspired rattan nursery furniture and I found this beautiful bassinet by Crate and Barrel.

A rattan bassinet with metal legs in a light-filled nursery

I did some more digging around and noticed that I loved the rattan mixed in with other wood elements and mixes of fabrics like the one below. Though you’d probably attribute this one to a boy’s room, it could easily be changed up for a girl’s room if these colors and toy choices aren’t your thing. This Cribs and Co. bassinet is for sale on Etsy, and gives the same kind of look.

Rattan Bassinet with plush cactus and lotus flower inside.

A rattan bassinet in a white spaceI’m a big fan of the Jayce bassinet from Pure Salt Shoppe (pictured above), but like any new mother, I’m unsure what types of furniture you actually need. Lots of people swear by bassinets, but I found out they are cute and small but you may not use it for very long. Dommage! I was informed by my dear friends who are mothers that a Moses basket is a great transition into a crib because they’re transportable and cheap and once again, adorable.

Rattan moses basket in a grassy field

They’re not always rattan, but they are a part of the same family so they flow well together. I talked more about my favorite baskets in my Lars Baby Essentials post, so check that out!

Rattan day beds

Paul and I are quite practical when it comes to discussing our sleeping habits so we anticipate needing to spend nights in the baby nursery. Might as well make it comfortable while we’re at it! I’ve spotted a number of lovely rattan beds here in America. Hooray! Like this one from Anthropologie or this much more dramatic one.
Rattan day bedDramatic Rattan bed with a criss-crossing rattan headboard

I love the back of this Venus Rattan Day Bed, and it would surely hold its own as furniture long after the need for a nursery fades. The Avalon Day Bed (on the right) is another great option, and it comes in a kid’s size too, which means that once you move your crib out of the nursery you can stick with the French-inspired rattan theme!

Rattan day bed in a light-filled beige room. A dog, some pillows, and a few magazines and books are on the day bed. A rattan day bed in an airy room full of plants in terracotta planters

Rattan Accent Furniture

Don’t limit yourself to cribs, bassinets, and beds! There are so many great ways to incorporate charming, handmade rattan into a nursery. This rattan rocking horse is sturdy and has lovely vintage flair.

Rattan rocking horse in front of a cabinet.

Once your kid has grown up a bit, chairs are a great way to bring rattan furniture into their room. This antique rattan and teakwood chair is a great one, and so is this rattan bunny chair for kids.

A rattan and teakwood antique armchair for kids in a white room.A rattan chair whose back is designed to look like bunny ears in a white space.

Kids accumulate STUFF, so this shelving solution is another great option.

A rattan arch-shaped shelving unit with three shelves. I think it’s important to find furniture that you’ll love long after your kids have grown out of cribs, and this hanging rattan swing is sure to do that. It looks so pleasant to sit and rock a baby in, and later you and your kids can read in it. It is truly furniture that will become a fixture in your home through the ages and grow with your family.

Rattan hanging swing in a light-filled room with blue pillows and accentsNo, I don’t think it would be wise to outfit the entire nursery in head-to-toe rattan, but I love the idea of bringing in one or two pieces to set the tone. Perhaps it’s a rattan crib and a lamp or perhaps it’s the daybed with some nursery animals. Who knows! I haven’t yet purchased anything. I love the idea of mixing in some vintage pieces too.

Shops that sell rattan baby furniture

I’ve barely scratched the surface with the above links! There’s so much rattan goodness to find and design with. If you’re lucky enough to live in rattan-friendly countries, here is a list of some of my favorite shops that sell vintage rattan furniture:

Custom rattan furniture

I haven’t yet found somewhere in the US that does custom rattan furniture, though I’m sure it exists (anyone know of a place?!) but I did find a place in Australia, The Rattan Collective, where you can get the most beautiful pieces commissioned. And yup, I already asked, and they currently do not sell to the US. (Pssst: this one and this one are my favorites!)

I’d love to hear from you!

Well, I certainly did not intend to write a full post about rattan furniture for the nursery. I guess this exposes my late night obsessions. Guilty! Once again, I’d love to hear your tips about finding beautiful vintage rattan furniture here in the US as the $1500 shipping price really bummed me out, and share your French-inspired rattan nurseries with #LarsAtHome!

Find More!

I have written a few more posts about rattan furniture since I first published this nursery furniture roundup. Check out this post about adding rattan furniture to your home decor and wardrobe, this DIY rattan sunburst mirror tutorial, and a huge roundup of a veritable smorgasbord of rattan furniture and decor.

Looking for more Lars baby content? In the years since I first search for rattan nursery furniture I have come a long way in the baby department, so look no further! Here’s Jasper’s birth story and here’s Felix’s.  Our shop has a dedicated section for babies and children, and it’s full of fun and beautiful toys, patterns for crafts, and art prints to hang in your nursery.

I also made a roundup of my favorite baby gifts and my recommendations for baby essentials, and I would love to hear about your favorite baby gear, too!

Lars Shop Highlight: Floral Art Prints

Last month we did a post about spring cleaning and switching out your art prints, and I shared some art from the Lars print shop. This May, though, I’m focusing on flowers (even more than I do year round! Ha!) so I wanted to show you my curated collection of floral art prints.

Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated, subdued artwork or a playful print there’s something that’s sure to catch your attention in the floral art print shop!

Playful

These prints are charming for children (or children-at-heart)! Ayang Cempaka’s whimsical fairytale-themed prints are colorful and fun, and they are lovely reminders of some favorite stories. Thumbelina’s meadow scene is particularly fitting for Spring, don’t you think?

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

Normandie Luscher’s prints are also inspired by favorite stories. If you’re a reader, these prints are a great way to decorate your space with reminders of your favorite books. You’ll be transported to lovely Avonlea when you look up at Anne’s Way of Delight!

An art print of girls inside and outside a brick building covered with vines and surrounded by trees and flowers. Next to the print are wooden toys shaped like trees and a rainbow. 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.

Another floral art print that celebrates Spring and promotes literacy is Josefina Schargorodsky’s Reading In the Woods illustration. This artwork would be perfect for a kid’s room or next to the bookshelf.

A print of a girl reading in a garden surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers against a golden background.

Painterly

Decorating with a painterly floral art print is a way to introduce some serenity and style into your space. Helen Dealtry’s Secret Garden print feels like a mysterious portal into another, greener world–just like in the book!

A print of flowers in a green secret garden tunnel hangs on the wall in front of a plant and some craft supplies

Lynne Millar’s paintings are not to be missed! The way she treats shadow and light is dramatic in the same way that a really well-planned garden can be, so you can bring the outdoors in with her prints. Check out this interview of Lynne here!

In interior shot of a pink couch with cushions, a table with a plant, a modern lamp, and artwork on the walls. One of the works is Lynne Millar's Rose painting.

Julie Marabelle of Famille Summerbelle makes glorious paper cut art by painting on paper and then cutting intricate floral designs into them. We have several of her works in our floral art print shop and they would look so lovely in any space!

Field of Colored Flowers Papercut By Julie Marabelle is framed and perched on top of a stack of books next to a yellow bed and a blue and white striped wallpapered wall.

A framed paper-cut floral print on a spruce-themed wallpapered wall by a yellow bed and a blue lamp

These dainty prints by Monica Dorazewski and Yas Imamura will bring whimsy into your home. They would be perfect in a space that needs a breath of light, fresh air, and feminine energy.

Seven Flowers Print by Yas Imamura

Adriana Picker also makes gorgeous, bright, botanical prints. Find her dahlia print here, her tulip print here, her cosmos print here, and her rose print (not pictured) here. You can also read this interview from Adriana Picker and find out more about the artist.

Three pink floral art prints on a white mantle next to a potted plant and a green candlestick

Graphic

Would you describe your style as bold and bright? Some of these more graphic floral art prints might just be calling your name.

Lisa Congdon’s style would look great in a super modern space–I love the idea of kids coming into a living room or kitchen to do homework with “Openness is Essential to Creativity” hanging on the wall next to them. How inspiring, right? Danielle Kroll’s Clementine print would also be so cute in a kitchen.

Openness is Essential To Creativity print by Lisa Congdon among plants and books Clementine Print by Danielle Kroll

For floral art prints in bold colors with less geometric designs, I think that Alli Stocco’s Flamenco Flamingos are a great fit. I also love the Mae West quote written on the print: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Such great words to live by!

Rosie Harbottle’s Iris Apfel print brings bright, bold energy into a space. When I see this print I feel inspired to be daring like Iris, and I think all of us could use some of that oomph in our lives.

Flamenco Flamingos by Alli StoccoIris Apfel print by Rosie Harbottle against a sage wall surrounded by stationary and paper plants.

If you’re like me and you can’t get enough of flowers, check out this roundup of floral interior decor–it would all look great with a print from our shop.

What do you look for when choosing art for your home? I would love to see how you decorate with floral art prints, so tag us with #LarsAtHome to share!