Crafts are at the top of our list of summer activities for kids. We’re all about crafts! So obviously we made some with kids in mind. And don’t limit yourself to this list! See our blog archives for more craft ideas. There are plenty we left off the list that your kids would love to try. Some are advanced enough that older kids will enjoy them more, but don’t fret. There are plenty for all ages to enjoy.
Another must-have on our list of summer activities for kids are our courses. Since your kids are out of school, it’s the perfect time to try a fun, easy course to keep their brains in gear! Our Great Artists courses are designed to get kids thinking creatively. They get to learn about different artists, with lots of great kids crafts to compliment what they’re learning.
These art supplies made for kids are the perfect compliment to the courses we just mentioned! Not only are they a great way to keep your kids busy this summer, they’re also an important developmental resource to boost your children’s creativity and kick their imaginations into action.
We didn’t want to leave the littlest ones out of our list of summer activities for kids! While your older kiddos are off on a bug hunt or playing with puzzles, here are some things that are cozy and fun for even those who can’t walk yet.
Last but not least is our print shop. Summer activity, you ask? Hear me out: we have a shop full of kid-friendly art just waiting to be put to use somewhere in your home. Are your kids old enough to help decorate? Enlist them! What better way to decorate your child’s room than with art they love to look at? Even if your kiddos are too little to pick out their own art, consider it a great opportunity to decorate your baby’s nursery.
We hope we’ve given you some good ideas to keep your kids happy and busy this summer! Now we want to hear from you: what summer activities are your kids doing this summer? And what other kids crafts and activities would you like to see from us? Let us know in the comments below!
One thing I love about Felix’s photo book with Printique is that it’s tangible. You know how it is–we all have so many digital photos now (45k and counting!) that it’s overwhelming to even look through them to find favorites. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to have all my favorite photos of Felix all in one place in a book I can hold. And Jane took so many lovely photos of him over the first few months of his life–thank you, Jane! Being able to flip through a book full of them was a dream.
Friends, Printique‘s photo books are beautiful! That was a requisite for Felix’s first photo book. The cover is a beautiful fabric with gold embossed lettering. It’s exactly the kind of book I want to display and look at all the time, and the beautiful details don’t stop with the cover. I can’t stop running my fingers over it–it’s QUALITY.
There are tons of customization options available for the interior layout and so many cute backgrounds to choose from. And the print quality is spectacular! It was such a pleasure to open up that book for the first time and see the printed versions of those lovely photos. I got all the feels, believe me.
I’m not the biggest technology guru (even though I’ve had a site for about 15 years now!) , but thanks to Printique‘s user-friendly website, making Felix’s first photo book was a breeze. All you have to do is put the photos you want to use in a folder and upload to Printique‘s website. From there, you can customize by adding major milestones, like Felix’s baby blessing (something we do in my church for babies when they’re just a few months old). Oh, and one of my favorite user-friendly features is that Printique allows you to hide the photos you’ve already used. That way you don’t accidentally put duplicates in your book.
What can I say? I’m in love with Felix’s first photo book, and can’t tell you enough how happy I was with Printique. They delivered!
Last thing: you won’t want to miss this! For the next few weeks, Printique is offering a special discount code for Lars readers! Just use code HappyJuly for 15% off. Runs June 30 – July 10 at midnight PST, so hurry and get your books before it ends!
What photo book are you dying to make? Let us know in the comments!
There were a lot of details to work out for our laundry room makeover with regards to storage and organization. It was the one room in the house that actually had flooring when we moved in. While it wasn’t my favorite flooring–it is some sort of dark LVP–we decided to keep it in rather than put in the hardwood flooring like the rest of the house because I knew I’d want to do something fun to it at some point so I’d want to remove it some day. While we didn’t change it for this makeover, I thought it would help to provide a visual picture of where we started.
Here’s what it looked like before:
For this phase of the renovation, I wanted a laundry room makeover that wouldn’t cost a lot of money, that could be the destination for the sink from our kitchen that we’re currently renovating (more on that soon!). Basically, I want the space to be a beautiful work horse. Moving the sink into the laundry room, we’ve already changed how we use these two rooms. Anything that is remotely dirty goes into the laundry and not the kitchen (think all things kid-related).
We didn’t have a basin or faucet in the laundry room before, but again, thinking of transferring all potentially dirty tasks here, I wanted something that would hold up well. That’s where Delta Faucet came into the picture.
Delta Faucet Touch2O® Technology Faucet
If you recall, I was thrilled when I discovered Delta Faucet’s Touch2O® Technology Faucet back when we first moved in (you can read about it here). If you haven’t heard of this technology, allow me the pleasure. Instead of having to reach for the faucet handle with wet and/or messy hands, all you have to do is touch the faucet. It’s so cool! Not to mention a dream when dealing with a toddler. No more dealing with slippery hands and handles, all Jasper has to do to turn this faucet on and off is give it a quick touch. And umm, I should mention, too, that Jasper and Felix honestly love just turning it on and off repeatedly.
Oh, and did I mention there’s a kid friendly fail safe feature? If Jasper accidentally leaves the water on, the water will automatically turn off after 4 minutes. And we all know with this Utah heat and dire drought situation, we could all do our part to waste a little less water.
Last thing about this amazing faucet: there’s a light that tells you how hot or cold the water is! Again, a dream when dealing with tiny baby and toddler hands. This is perhaps my favorite feature.
Delta Faucet Glass Rinser
The next thing I’m absolutely jazzed about with this laundry room remodel is the Delta Faucet Glass Rinser. What a genius invention! Just stick the glass on top of it and a jet of water shoots out and cleans it instantly. It makes cleaning glasses, baby bottles, thermoses, and anything else that’s tough to get into with a brush easier. It turns out kids are creative and Jasper fills bottles and jars with all kinds of mystery substances, so I am loving this glass rinser.
What I changed to my laundry room
So, I had the sink, the faucet, and the glass rinser already and thankfully it fit snuggly into the corner of the laundry room. The yellow color happened to work beautifully with a new wallpaper I made for another project that I happened to have extras of. Basically, I wanted this antique Portuguese tile but it was going to cost more than our car so we turned it into a wallpaper (see here!) and boom. I LOVE how it turned out! And now we have some cabinets for storage–win/win! I love being able to reuse stuff from around the house.
I’m almost done gushing over our new laundry room makeover with Delta Faucet. Guys, it’s a dream for anyone, but especially anyone with kids! I love how they help create a space to play that can easily be cleaned, as a bonus. Needless to say, I’m in love with our new laundry room (as if you couldn’t tell already). Now please, go get yourself one of those amazing Delta Faucet Touch2O® Technology Faucets and a Glass Rinser while you’re at it.
First of all, let’s talk about our custom fabric! Designed by our talented designer, Garet, these repeat patterns lean fully into the florals that are so appropriate for this season. Stay tuned for the official release of our phone cases featuring many of the same patterns and much more! Consider this Easter outfits project an Easter egg for what is to come–it’s going to be GOOD.
Oo la la, this dress turned out absolutely fabulous! We adored the combination of that secret garden print and the flowy tiers of the dress. I mean, what more could you ask for from an Easter dress than pretty florals and a pattern that’s whimsical enough to make you feel like you’ve been transported to the set of Pride and Prejudice? It’s so lovely it makes me want to sew five more! I could honestly gush all day about that secret garden print. The colors blend in such a lovely way at a distance, and up close the details are stunning. Garet really outdid herself on this one!
Next, purchase and download the Wilder Gown PDF (or purchase the print version, if you prefer. We chose the PDF because we could instantly download and get sewing).
Now all you have to do is print and assemble your pattern, following the instructions on the pattern.
Just follow the step by step instructions on the pattern to make your dress and you’re done!
Paul’s Easter outfit was simple: a tie. He loves skinny ties, so that’s what we went with! It’s surprising how easy it is to make, and looks so classy when it’s done. To make it even easier on you, we have a PDF tie pattern you can use. We loved that periwinkle blue block print pattern. It’s delicate and refined while still having that touch of masculinity when in tie form! Here are the steps to making your husband his own Easter tie:
How to make your own version of Paul’s Easter tie
Prepping the fabric and pattern
First, download the template for our tie, found here.
Next, follow the instructions included in the PDF and make your tie!
Jasper and Felix’s Jumpsuits
Last on our list of Easter outfits were Jasper and Felix’s jumpsuits. We used this lovely Etsy pattern! It was clear Jasper’s outfit needed to be at least a little bold, so we went with a beautiful golden color. For Felix’s, we chose a more delicate cream and periwinkle. The subtle block print was the perfect little detail for both the boys’ outfits. Words cannot describe how adorable these two boys look in their new Easter outfits!
How to make your own version of Jasper and Felix’s Easter outfits
Print out the PDF and follow the instructions for assembly. (Don’t forget the buttons or snaps! We used buttons).
What do you think our our fresh new Easter outfits?! Are you going to join the fun and make your own? Even after Easter’s come and gone these would all still make perfect spring and summer outfits. Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Every child needs an Easter basket! It’s one of our favorite Easter activities for kids. But have they ever been able to help make one themselves? For older kids, this Rope Easter Basket is a great option that requires absolutely no sewing. Just twist and glue and you’re done!
Our Paper Easter Basket is a perfect option for kiddos who aren’t quite up to the rope Easter basket level yet, but still want to try their hand at making an Easter basket. Just print, cut and assemble and you’re ready for that Easter egg hunt.
What to Put In Your Easter Basket
A fun activity that doubles as the perfect addition to your child’s Easter basket, try these carrot treat boxes! Fill them with treats and they also double as party favors for a spring or Easter themed party.
Once you’ve dyed your eggs, you’ll need a way to display them. Try our Easter egg holders!
Slip a few of the lovely eggs you’ve dyed (or painted) into the grass for an Easter egg hunt. Let your kids find them using one of the Easter baskets above or this carrot shoulder bag!
Spring Birthday Activities
While not restricted to just a birthday activity, this Easter Scavenger Hunt with anagram balloons is a great one to add to the list if your child has a birthday at this time of year! And of course, no birthday required for a fun Easter scavenger hunt.
Speaking of spring birthdays, this Easter Tablescape Party Suite is the perfect way to celebrate. The best part is all you have to do is print and cut and you’re all done!
What kid doesn’t like a little dress up? It’s a perfect Easter activity for kids. For the littlest of them all, this Baby bunny bonnet is adorable, not to mention a great way to keep their tiny scalps from getting sunburnt. For toddlers and children of all ages, these DIY bunny ears, Bunny party hats, and Easter printable crowns are fun and festive.
Need more activities? These Easter egg coupons will give you endless ideas of activities to do with your kids this Easter! Bonus: you can put them in their Easter eggs to avoid a sugar rush and keep them excited all the same.
We have so many Easter crafts that we’re just thrilled to share with you this year. Many of them are brand new, too! Need a new Easter Basket? We’re here for you. How about a fresh spring wreath? We’ve also got you covered in that department. Without further ado, here’s the list of our favorite Easter crafts!
I love a good wreath. And spring wreaths are some of my favorites! They’re a must have when talking about Easter crafts. This year we have a brand new Palm Leaf Wreath you’re sure to love. It’s delicate, colorful, and festive. Just the thing to celebrate Palm Sunday, Easter and spring all in one go! If you’re feeling more into eggs, try our ever popular Easter egg wreath, or this sweet Honeycomb Easter wreath. Both are lovely and sure to put a little spring in your step. Also, you can’t go wrong with a simple floral theme. This Daffodil Wreath is very appropriate for the season, as is this Lemon Wreath!
You can’t have Easter crafts without Easter baskets! And we have a brand new one for you to try this year. It’s our DIY Easter Basket, and the best part is that it doesn’t require any sewing. Another clever no-sew Easter basket is this Paper Easter basket. Just download, print, cut and assemble, it’s that easy! If you want to sew an adorable bag that doubles as an Easter basket and will be around for years to come, try this carrot shoulder bag! The bonus is it packs up easily and is equally cute.
As it so happens, we have a lot of Easter crafts that have to do with eggs. Are you really that surprised? I mean, what’s Easter without at least one little nod to an egg or two. Just yesterday, we release the most lovely nesting Easter eggs! We love the little twist on original nesting dolls. Also try these Easter egg columns, which are a lovely way to decorate your home this Easter. Don’t forget about these Honeycomb Easter eggs, either! Make them into a wreath or decorate with the individual eggs. Either way they’re lovely!
If you have kids, you’ll love these Easter-themed toys, accessories, and activities. First stop: these fun bunny party hats. Having a new baby this spring? You won’t want to miss these adorable DIY Baby bonnets! Need a craft to do with your kids to keep them busy and happy? You’ll love these Easter Egg coloring pages, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort. Then there’s our DIY stuffed bunny, which is a sweet little Easter toy. Plop it in your child’s Easter basket and you’re all set!
We love these floral favor boxes. They’re the perfect thing for so many occasions! Does someone you know have a spring birthday? Instant party favors. Of course, they’d also make adorable additions to a floral tea party, bridal shower, or wedding. There aren’t a lot of situations where these sweet little boxes could go wrong!
Prepping the Box
To create a closed bottom on one end of the tube, make four evenly spaced slits at the bottom of one end, about 1″ deep. This will give you four flaps. Fold the flaps under the tube and glue them together.
Fill the tube with candy or a small gift.
Lay the tube on one end of the strip (the long side of the tube should be parallel with the short side of the strip). Position the tube so about one inch of crepe paper will hang below the closed bottom. Roll the strip around the tube. Tuck the overhanging crepe paper at the bottom and glue it under the tube.
Tie a piece of twine around the crepe at the top of the tube and cinch it. Slip in a paper leaf before tying it off. Flatten the crepe paper at the top and fold it in half vertically. Cut a leaf shape through all the layers down to just above the twine to make petals.
Unfold the crepe paper. Separate the petals and gently stretch the center of each to make a cupped shape.
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial, courtesy of Jodi Levine. We would highly recommend checking out her new ebook, Toilet Tube Treasury, where you can find other clever ways to repurpose toilet tubes!
For those of you who are new to all of this (I definitely was when I involuntarily jumped into this boat), Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism. What?! Me, hyperthyroidism? You can imagine my surprise.
Something was off, I could feel it for sure, but with a new baby, running a business, and all the stresses of life, I couldn’t tell if I was just stressed out, burned out, or who knows what. Eventually I went to the doctor because I really wasn’t doing well. I hadn’t lost a single pound from birth, my hormones were heightened (that’s a tactful way of saying it my husband would say ;), and my blurry “light-headedness” was at an all-time high.
The doctor helped me pinpoint that it wasn’t actually light-headedness, it was my vision. It was slow to focus and blurry. These were the symptoms directly after childbirth!
Thyroid Eye Disease
Luckily for me, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, I’ve partnered up with Horizon Therapeutics on its Listen to Your Eyes campaign to share information on the link between thyroid conditions, like Graves’ disease, and a separate but related disease called Thyroid Eye Disease (TED). Did you know that up to 50% of people living with Graves’ disease are at risk for developing Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)?
Since my diagnosis, I’ve opened my eyes (pun not intended) to the possibility of new diagnoses and how beneficial this information can be to others who may be struggling with similar issues but are lacking the resources they need to understand what they’re living with and how to cope.
Knowledge brings hope
When I began this journey, I felt at a loss to understand what was happening to my body. Now I know so much and am still learning!
Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) causes eye symptoms including bulging, double vision and debilitating pain. If not treated early, TED can cause serious damage to vision and appearance of the eyes. TED can even cause vision loss in more severe cases.
I still have so much to learn but have a lot of hope for the future. If you or someone you love has Graves’ disease, pay attention to any eye symptoms. If you notice changes in your eyes, like bulging, light sensitivity and pain, don’t just assume those symptoms are part of Graves’ disease. Report them to a TED Specialist – such as an oculoplastic surgeon or neuro-ophthalmologist.
The Lars team brainstormed 2021 costume ideas that reflected our most memorable moments from the past year, and we realized something. Picking a Halloween costume is a great opportunity for reflection! We always try to dress up as something that’s just right for the current year, which means that we spent some time looking back on our favorite (and sometimes least favorite) moments, events, and pop culture icons.
Here’s to another year of unforgettable moments!
It wouldn’t be a list of 2021 costume ideas without some mention of COVID. I know, I know, we’re all sick of hearing about it. But what’s scarier than a deadly disease (and a society that refuses to acknowledge how serious it is??) In order to keep from crying, we have to laugh. You could be:
You can’t go wrong with movie and TV-inspired costumes. Here are some of our ideas:
Bridgerton. I’m all about the costumes and wigs from Bridgerton. Get some great inspiration from this pink Marie Antoinette costume from a few years ago!
Queen’s Gambit-inspired chess pieces. Okay, technically it came out last year. But it was right before Halloween, so we didn’t have much time to put together costumes! Cut us some slack! And enlist your friends to be chess pieces with you.
The Black Widow. We love a female superhero!
Cruella. All right, all right, we also love a villainess!
2021 Current Events
Tom Daley knitting. Did you catch Tom Daley’s amazing knitting skills during the Olympics? I have to admit, I’m not a huge sports watcher, but I could watch Tommy knit and purl between dives all day. Check out his Instagram account @MadeWithLoveByTomDaley and go Team Great Knittin’!
Bernie with mittens. Speaking of yarn, this meme would be a great (and cozy!) costume.
a boat stuck in the Suez Canal. There are so many hilarious ways you could do this: I’m thinking paper mache boats, all blue outfits with a sideways boat appliqué, the sky (or sea) is the limit!
Olivia Rodrigo’s drivers license. Picture this: a big cardboard card that you rig so that your face fits where her face would go. I love this idea so much that if you don’t do it, I just might.
Britney Spears. #FreeBritney!
Frank Ocean’s alien baby from the Met Gala. This is still fresh on our minds, and it would be pretty easy: all you need is a sleeper set and some florescent yellow-green paint!
Lady Gaga at the Inauguration. Her performance was incredible. Also, speaking of the inauguration, I’m still thinking about the beautiful moment when Jennifer Lopez yelled “una nación bajo Dios con libertad y justicia para todos!” during her musical number.
Elon Musk, Grimes, and their baby X Æ A-XII. This would be a hilarious (and not too difficult) family costume for someone with a baby. I’d love to see you pull it off!
I’d love to see your Halloween costumes and hear about your 2021 costume ideas!
Did you know one study found in 2020 that “9.71 million Americans used 21 or more sandwich bags” in seven days?! If you take into consideration that the run-of-the-mill plastic sandwich bag has been making it into our lunches since the late 1960s, that’s a lot of plastic. Save the planet and your wallet by creating these reusable DIY beeswax wraps. Every little bit helps!
Along with these snack wraps, we’ve made some reusable lunch sacks (which you can see in the photos). Keep your eyes peeled for a tutorial!
Measure 5 x 9 inch rectangles onto your fabric. Alternatively, measure rectangles that will fit onto the baking sheet you are using. The measurements aren’t fussy, but whatever size you make cut out rectangles.
Lining a baking sheet with tin foil, then lay down the fabric rectangles flat side by side.
Begin to sprinkle beeswax making sure to distribute evenly (Tip: Because the beeswax will melt in the oven, you don’t have to cover generously. Think sprinkling an ice cream sundae instead of salting a sidewalk).
When all three rectangles have been covered with beeswax, place in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to set your timer!
After 10 minutes, the beeswax should be melted. When you pull your baking tray out of the oven, the fabric color will look uneven. Don’t be afraid of the splotchiness!
Sprinkle a second layer of beeswax, especially making sure to target the areas that didn’t have enough wax the first time around. You’ll be able to see them because they’ll be lighter.
Put back in the oven at the same temperature for another 10 minutes.
Pull out of the oven and let cool. Fabric should feel firm and waxy.
Take one rectangle and fold onto itself leaving a 2 inch flap similar to a plastic sandwich bag.
With a sewing machine, sew up one side using a zigzag stitch. Repeat on the other side.
You should now have a little pouch. Fold over the 2 inch flap to close. Voila! The perfect on-the-go snack pouch!
Can’t wait to see your DIY Beeswax wraps using #larsmakes on Instagram!
As you might imagine, Internet was spotty, but also crucial for my job, so when the connection went down on the construction site, I hiked with a couple of others to the next mountain (people who know me now are like…what?!??!?!? hiked?!?!?! YES, HIKED!) and plugged in at the phone tower. In order to get up there, I passed a number of small houses complete with mini farms–chickens, goats, luscious hydrangeas. It was so beautiful. It was also typhoon season, which brought on spectacular views AND a constant thread of crazy rain storms. (I wish I could find my hard drive from 10 years ago with all the pictures!)
We must have made a scene because we were soon joined by a few villagers. Through a translator or hand gestures, I can’t remember, we got to talking and they shared their beautiful handiwork with me. Handmade pewter plates and textiles and more. I was floored. Their work was exquisite.
At the time I was super interested in manufacturing so I was trying to come up with ways to work together. But, like I mentioned, I was fresh out of graduate school and had recently gotten married and moved to Copenhagen, Denmark so I wasn’t in a spot where I could feasibly make too much happen, both financially or logistically–I, myself, was trying to navigate a new country, social system, network, not to mention everything that comes with marriage. I couldn’t take on too much more.
Women Makers in Nepal
What I learned in those weeks was how crucial women were to the building and heart of the the village. In fact, these women, young and old, were the ones who traveled up and down the mountain with huge baskets on their backs full of heavy rocks, the building material of the memorial that was being constructed. There was also a community center designed for the women of the village to host their individual business like nails, micro blading, and making these really cool pom pom blankets and I got to spend some time there. They even dressed me up in their traditional clothing and I felt like a super model because my normally average height in the US was now considered very tall. Ha!
The business origins
Oftentimes the origins of their businesses started from places of sorrow. For example, the owner of the micro blading business began her venture after her husband left her and she could no longer fall back on her family because they had disassociated themselves from her, which is common for the culture. They became enterprising because of the need to survive. Witnessing it for myself instilled in me a desire to be involved somehow, someday, but I didn’t know how to do so when I was also at a point in my life when I also needed to be enterprising.
After the memorial was dedicated, we spent some time in Kathmandu, which was truly an out of this world experience. It was my first time in Asia and everything felt so foreign, but SO exciting–the colors, the pace, the smells. One highlight of the trip was visiting a rug factory where some of the luxury rug companies that you might be familiar with are made. They showed us how they dyed the yarns and how they turned those yarns into the intricate weavings that become full rugs. Women and men sat atop scaffolding that can lift them higher or lower depending on the size of the rug.
Family involvement in factories
What I found most interesting of this factory visit was how the children would gather in the work space after they were done with school. Sometimes they would sit right next to the parent. My memory is now fuzzy, but I want to say that I recall someone nursing their baby while working. As one who currently works from home and nurses her 7 month old baby, it feels like a privilege, but also super complex. But that’s a story I want to dive into at a later date.
10 years later
As you might know, over the years I continued to work on The House That Lars Built, the blog I had started in 2008 for graduate school (you can read more about it here). It has grown into a multi-person company where we encourage people to make things with their hands. We believe that there is a project and a time frame for every person because making something with your hands has the power to transform your well-being. And when you get in touch with your hands you tap into your soul, which is very powerful connector to your identity and culture.
Knowing this, and witnessing first hand how important the handmade economy is around the globe and even more so now than it was 10 years ago, I’ve found an organization that I have invested time and money into and will now be working with as an official advisory board member: Nest, a non-profit that supports women makers in the handmade economy.
Nest and the handmade economy
I became familiar with Nest a couple of years ago when we joined in on their 25 days of Making. Later that year we worked with 18b to donate profits from our shops for Giving Tuesday, which continued to last year. Most recently, we shared how they’ve been involved with helping some of the quilt makers from Gee’s Bend put their beautiful work onto their new Etsy shops.
As an advisory board member, I wholeheartedly support the organization in the fulfillment of its mission, vision, and strategy. I will be sharing more about the organization next week and an exciting project we are working on together. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, you can read more about our partnership and learn how to donate here.
I’m so glad that I found Sarah Cambio’s business, Flower Lane! Her work is so high-quality, beautiful, intentional, happy… I’m not about to run out of adjectives describing how much I love what she does. I loved getting to know her a bit better, and I hope you do too!
Sarah Cambio is the founder of Flower Lane; a small shop that handmakes embroidered linen crowns. Inspired by all things whimsical and nostalgic, Flower Lane delivers keepsakes that can be cherished forever. Sarah immigrated from Germany to the US when she was 11 years old. Not knowing how to speak English, she spent that summer learning before jumping into school. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.
Becoming Sarah Cambio of Flower Lane
What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?
I think I see myself as a hybrid between a designer and maker, but slowly learning how to be a business person. I love making things with my hands but also really enjoy the business side. There is so much to learn and I love that!
Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?
I was born in Germany and immigrated to the US when I was 11 years old. I grew up in what many here know as a Waldorf type setting and I think that has always inspired me. When I think of Waldorf I think of whimsy things, traditions, and seeing the beauty of childhood.
What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?
So many things! I never had my heart set on just one thing and thought it would be so cool to be everything from an FBI Agent, a teacher, or social worker.
What sparked your interest in making kids birthday crowns?
I was inspired by crowns made from felt and wanted something similar for our daughter’s 3rd birthday. I taught myself how to sew and added my own twist; using linen, adjustable ties, wooly pom poms, and embroidering the child’s name.
What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career?
I graduated from High School with a full scholarship, attended college for 2 semesters, dropped out, and a decade later completed my certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. I volunteered as an EMT for about 2 years and quit because Flower Lane was taking off–a complete 180 from what I pursued my education in.
What inspired you to start a business?
I’ve always dreamed about having my own business and felt so inspired by those around me who were running theirs successfully. It wasn’t until we got pregnant with our 4th that I decided that this is it!
A few months prior I taught myself how to sew with a $20 Facebook Marketplace sewing machine. It took me forever to figure out how to sew in a straight line and a circle was basically impossible! I purchased patterns and jumped right in and learned how to sew clothes while teaching myself how to use my machine at the same time.
Once I understood patterns, sewed straight lines, and learned about fabric, I began making stroller clips because that’s what I wanted for my baby. A cute little toy that clipped onto the canopy of the stroller.
During this time we lost our baby. I felt alone and depressed. There was a lot of grieving. I went back to sewing clothes as a way to work through my emotions.
In September of 2020 I opened my Etsy store with the stroller clips I worked so hard on. They were a complete failure. I took a month long break and almost quit but something was telling me to keep going.
This is when I shared my birthday crowns. Something I was holding in my back pocket until that coming January – our daughter’s 3rd birthday. They sold out the same day I posted them!
I continued sharing, updating, and building a small Instagram community the rest of 2020. This was also the same time my best friend mailed me her embroidery machine and I started customizing crowns with the child’s name.
This business has been such an emotional journey for me and I’m so grateful for all the good that has come from Flower Lane.
What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?
I’m really proud of how much my husband and I have learned in such a short period of time. We both come from non business backgrounds and it’s not a walk in the park. We have to be a team and work together to run Flower Lane every day while also juggling a busy family.
Where do you find inspiration for new creations?
If only there were a few more hours in each day! The one thing all of my ideas have in common is that they are inspired by childhood and family traditions. I want to make something that can be used again and again and brings back a feeling of nostalgia.
What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?
This question had me a little stumped because I couldn’t think of any artists, specifically. I look up to people in my life not for being an artist but for the person they are. I’m inspired by people who create and live a purposeful life.
What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days?
I love getting lost in a good fiction book, enjoy watching The Walking Dead, and listening to 80’s rock.
What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto?
I have missed out on many opportunities and wasted so much time because I never believed in myself. Either I wasn’t qualified or my work wasn’t good enough. Stop seeking permission from others to do what you feel you are called to do. Be confident in yourself and don’t wait. The right time to start is now!
How do your surroundings influence your work?
It’s so important to surround yourself with things that inspire you. I have a hard time working when there’s chaos. I like for things to be aesthetically pleasing but also functional. Flower Lane has taken over a large portion of our lower level and we had to really think about how to make the most use of our space.
What is a typical day like for you?
My day always starts with a cup of coffee, breakfast for our youngest, and checking emails. This is also when I check on our chickens; Emily, Annie, and Betsy!
Our youngest goes to daycare a couple of times a week and those are very busy work days for me. On the days she is home, she plays in her play area in my office. Lots of breaks get taken on those days.
Our oldest two are helpful and my husband puts in a lot of hours during his off time. It’s not the most ideal schedule but it actually works for us!
We have lunch around noon and before we know it it’s time to take our older two kids to their activities. One plays hockey and the other does MMA. We’re busy around here!
During the summer months, dinners and bedtimes are late. Once our youngest is in bed my husband and I work a little more and then watch a show or two before bed.
Every day is a little different here!
What is one skill you wished you learned when you were younger?
How to sew! It’s such a useful skill to have in your toolbox. Our oldest daughter learned how to sew at the same time I did and I love that.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?
We have so many resources these days to get started on a new hobby and skill. Watch YouTube, practice, and learn from others in the field you’re interested in. Stay inspired and surround yourself with what you want to learn.
Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on?
Finding a rhythm between family and work. I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost 12 years and this is new to all of us. Learning to prioritize and understanding that I can’t do it all myself is something I’m working on.
Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?
I’m a big believer in not acquiring debt and knowing your numbers. Focus on one thing at a time and use that profit for growth.
Is there anything more you would like to “become?”
I would love to write a book someday, to be an author! I also have this random idea of owning an ice cream truck. Like a really cool one that serves waffle cones and scoops of the best ice cream. I miss the ice cream shops in Germany and I feel like we need that here!
What is your long-term goal? or What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?
Business wise I have big dreams for Flower Lane and one of those includes moving the business out of our home. We already work with talented individuals in our local community to create these sweet crowns and I would love to see us all together in one space someday. I would also love for my husband to join me full time.
Personally, I dream of finding our forever home. A place where we can gather with our children and grandchildren someday, make memories, and hang stockings from the mantle. It’s such a simple goal but I think that’s ultimately what drives me and keeps me inspired.
Be sure to follow Sarah on Instagram @shopflowerlane and look at her website here! You can buy our Lars x Flower Lane crowns on our shop here.
If you want to read about more inspiring creators, business women, and designers, you can look for more of our becoming essays here!