How to make writing in your journal fun and creative

Why should I write in a journal?

Baby prompts journal with promptly

We have all been told the importance of writing in a journal for our posterity’s sake. If this is the reason you write, I admire you for it! Preserving history and making sure your great-grand kids know what it was like during the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginning of tik tok is a noble reason to keep a diary. Though for some of us this motivation wanes from time to time, and we find our personal history missing some pretty major gaps.

For me, I have found I am the most consistent with writing when I make it a creative project. This post is full of tips on how to make your journal writing more fun and creative, and we think it will keep you more motivated than ever! Keeping a diary can be a creative outlet that helps you  get pumped up in the morning or wind down at the end of the day. It can help you learn discipline making good habits.

How writing in a journal can improve your art

I remember reading the book Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which discusses the importance of “morning pages.” The idea is that, first thing when you wake up, you write at least 3 pages of stream of consciousness in your notebook. No thinking of making sense, just writing whatever (whatever!) comes to your mind. Doing this regularly unlocks your creativity and trains your mind to let ideas flow freely. I love this idea! It takes all of the pressure out of writing daily.

Different types of journals

If you are stuck on page 2, it’s possible you aren’t using the right kind of journal for you! Try out a new kind from the list below:

Writing prompts

My Life In Color a creative and colorful guided journal

Wreck This Journal

(And other journal books you get to color in!)

Photo books

Write one line a day

Travel journals

If writing daily feels like too much right now, stick to travel books instead! Find one that will be sturdy enough to stay nice in your carry-on, reflects the place you are visiting, and fill it with memorabilia and travel stories to tell your friends back home!

how to improve your handwriting for journaling

Different ways to fill in your journal

If you’re the queen of filling up the first few pages of a notebook never to touch it again, I feel you. I see you. No one wants a journal that jumps from 8th grade to Senior prom to their wedding day; so when we find an old (and mostly blank) book it’s hard to find the motivation to start writing in it again. Though there are not many feelings better than starting a fresh crisp new notebook, our hope is that with this complete journal guide we can all start a brand new diary and then actually stick with it! And remember, when you reach the end you can reward yourself once again with another beautiful empty book.

The key to filling an entire journal is remembering this is meant to be a modge podge book filled with your growth, mistakes, good days, and everything in between. No one’s life is free of spilled milk and mascara stains, and your journal shouldn’t be either! As a recovering perfectionist, even I can promise that a full messy journal is a much bigger accomplishment than a half empty perfect looking one.

If you are having trouble overcoming your desire for perfectly dotted i’s and margins free of doodles – try this: abandon your perfectionism in at least one area of your life – your diary. Doodle to your hearts content. Bring your notebook with you to the breakfast table and don’t worry about spilling your coffee. Fill your book full of ticket stubs and anxious scribbles.

If we are overwhelming you, take a deep breath. There is a more structured way you can learn to love a messy journal – this Brave New World journal is filled with prompts to help unleash your inner artist. Baby steps, baby steps.

Try these creative ways to fill your journal

Doodling

While trying to jog your memory of what happened this morning, don’t be afraid to doodle in the margins, or fill the entire page! This snapshots in time say just as much about your current self as your words do. Our daily flower drawing challenge is the perfect place to start! Draw a daily flower in your notebook and use this to keep yourself on track with writing!

Bullet points

Don’t stress over a novel of your day, just write at least a few key bullet points at the end of your day and call it good! If that’s all you can do, it’s a great place to start. Before you know it you’ll find yourself wanting to write more and more!

Collect recipes

If writing or doodling aren’t really your things, figure out what is! One idea is to gather family recipes and write down the memory you have attached to them. Making and writing our the recipe for your mom’s infamous chocolate cake is sure to start a flood of memories you’ll be itching to get down on paper. Try keeping a notebook dedicated to recipe related memories!

Baby boy's first birthday party

For Jasper’s first birthday I filled his baby book with photos, pins, and other paper momentos from his party! I can’t wait to show him when he is older.

Our favorite journals

Hardcover

Simple ruled

Dotted

Bullet

Unruled

This colorblock journal is customizable, comes in multiple color choices and page options!

Customizable

Journals for kids

Stickers

We promised you ways to make writing more fun, so of course we had to include stickers!

These habit forming stickers are such a fun way to keep yourself accountable (for more habits than just writing daily!)

Journal supplies

Hold all of your journaling supplies in this folio! These pastel pens are on sale in our shop now for a limited time!

Craft the Rainbow full set

All of the items in the photo above are on sale right now for Craft the Rainbow month! Click here to see the sale and start your own My Life in Color journal! 

DIY Baby Bunny Bonnet

twins wearing baby bonnets

The simple printable pattern for your own Easter bunny baby bonnet can be found here! Choose any fabric you like and get started!

Our favorite springtime fabrics for this project

 

newborn baby girl in baby bonnet

DIY baby bonnets

How to make your own baby bonnet

  1. Print out the pattern pieces
  2. Cut out all of the printed pattern pieces.
  3. The “bonnet backing” paper pieces should be pinned together at the double solid line marks before cutting the fabric so the piece is the right size. 
  4. Lay out the pattern pieces on your fabric and cut out the correct amount of each piece. 
  5. Using a chalk pencil, mark the sewing line. This will speed up your process as you begin to begin to pin and sew.
  6. You will need to sew the bunny ear pieces first! 
  7. Take two of the bunny ear pieces and place them right sides together, you can use two different fabrics if you like! 
  8. Pin ears together. 
  9. Once pinned sew around the ear in the indicated spot on the pattern leaving the bottom of the ear open.  
  10. Once sewn, clip and notch any curves on the ear so that it will lay the right way. 
  11. Flip the ear inside out, and press the ear. 
  12. Repeat steps 7-11 for the other ear. 
  13. Now you can start on the bonnet!
  14. Take one of your bonnet sides and one of your bonnet backing pieces and pin the pieces together along the sewing line. You may notice a bit of overhand at the back of the bonnet on the backing piece, that will be used to close the bonnet up later. 
  15. Once the one side is pinned, repeat step 6 on the other side of the same bonnet piece. 
  16. Be sure to pin so that the seams will both be facing the same direction. 
  17. Once both sides are pinned, sew the bonnet on both sides at the line you just pinned.  
  18. You will need to remove pins as you sew. 
  19. Repeat steps 14-18 with the remaining bonnet pieces, only this time you will add in your bunny ears at about 2.5 inches in from the front of the bonnet. 
  20. To place the ears you will fold them in half, if there is a color you would like the inside of the ear to be make sure that color is on the inside of the fold. 
  21. Once folded correctly you will place them front facing (check the orientation of the ears to make sure, you don’t want a backwards ear!) in at 2.5 inches in with the ear placed in between the bonnet side and the bonnet backing with the open end of the ear being the part sticking out with the seam. 
  22. Be sure to add in the ear on both sides.  
  23. Once both of your bonnet pieces are sewn, press open the seams of the bonnet. 
  24. Once pressed, you will pin the two bonnet pieces together, both seams at this point will be facing outward, you will flip it inside out after sewing it together.  As you pin you will need to add in your straps. Pin them in at the front bottom corners. 
  25. When placing the straps you will place the ribbon sandwiched between the two pieces, you might find this confusing but once you flip the pieces the right way your strap will stick out. 
  26. Make sure your seams align and leave the back of the bonnet open so you can flip it the right way later.  
  27. If you are having a hard time with the bulk from the ears and ribbon  being sandwiched between the two pieces, pull them through the back opening that you are not sewing closed yet. 
  28. Once you have your pieces pinned together and the straps in place you can sew the two pieces together.
  29. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of sewing these pieces together. 
  30. Once sewn together, pull your ears that have been placed in the opening and it will pull the piece the right way out hiding any seams inside. 
  31. Press your recently sewn pieces together flat and tuck back opening pieces up, press and pin in place. 
  32. Once pressed you will sew as close as you can to your edge all around the bonnet to secure the hat pieces together. 
  33. Be sure to sew closed the bottom hole which will naturally sew closed in step 32. 
  34. Press the finished bonnet and out out on your baby! 

This tutorial can also be completed without the bunny ears for a standard baby bonnet!

newborn twin boy in baby bonnet for easter

We love seeing what Easter looks like for you and all the great things have made! Be sure to tag us with #larsmakes so we can see how precious your bunny bonnets turn out!

DIY Stuffed Koala for Australia Fire Relief

Art Auction for Australian Relief

The idea to do a koala came from Australian stylist and photographer Kara Rosenlund who made a goal to raise $8k for the koalas who are being lost and has now to date raised over $167k! It’s extraordinary. And her videos on the koalas is heartbreaking.

The auction we are participating in features over a hundred artists from around the world contributing their work. Please consider bidding to contribute to this extraordinary cause.

You can find our PDF koala pattern here
You can bid over at @RuthRibeaucourt ‘s Instagram page

How to Make a Foil Balloon Arch

We have big things happening here, and I’m not only talking about all our product launches lately, but specifically with one of our team members, my sister, Caitlin. Caitlin is our product designer and all the pretty things you see coming from our shop is because of her. Caitlin is also expecting twins this January! And she already has a one year old! Gah! We are stoked for her (and realizing the babysitting game will be stepped up!). Multiple babies mean big celebrations and we couldn’t help but go all out for Caitlin’s baby shower. We had to create the most beautiful balloon installation your eyes have ever seen. 

You might remember our first balloon arch that we did just a little over six years ago (six years! Where does the time go?!) I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try out a new technique and Caitlin’s twin s were the perfect excuse. I had the vision and luckily our friends at Anagram provided the Balloons and the balloon arch was in motion. This balloon arch is different from any arch we have done before for a few reasons: 

Documenting our trip to Denmark with Mixbook and giveaway!

Thank goodness for our The House That Lars Built x Mixbook Collection because it’s put the fire in me to get photo books made! I’m so bad at getting stuff printed–you too? All my photos live on my phone! And I literally think every day how much I’d love to see them in a tangible format. Honestly, and not just because we have a collection with them, but they do make it so easy to make and design. Their software is pretty dreamy. AND, their quality is lovely.

With our travel collection, I made a photo book based on our trip to Denmark. I ordered the premium matte lay flat book because it’s great for little hands–think board book. The moment I got it I sat down with Jasper and walked him through the pictures and he ATE IT UP. I mean, he’s predominantly featured in our book because a) he’s adorable and b) you don’t have a baby and not feature them predominantly in your photo books so he LOVED looking at himself. We flipped through every page together and he pointed to mostly himself, but a few “da das” and “mamas” in there. We recreated the moment fo you so you can see how angelically he paid attention (note: although I’m joking, he did actually pay really close attention. Ha! It’s a testament to having pictures of yourself in a book format!)

The House That Lars Built for Mixbook travel book

He couldn’t WAIT to take it out of my perfectly placed vignette! That rascal! Just kidding, I said there was candy on the books to get the shot. 

DIY mushroom playmat

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Have you seen the adorable stuffed playmats in the shape of leaves or plants? I’m so in love with them! I was wanting to make one for Jasper long ago, but that ship sailed. There’s no way he can be contained to a little space like that these days. I couldn’t get it out of my mind so we brainstormed one that has a large touch and came up with a mushroom. Isn’t it so cute? It will be perfect for Next Baby (not an announcement!). Our photographer, Jane, had her adorable 4 month old cousin, Sam come over to test drive it and I think it’s safe to say he approved.

What do you think?! Ha! Such a sweetie pie. Learn how to make it below!

3 DIY Baby Swaddle ideas with Delta Faucet

In honor of the recent arrival of Royal Baby Archie, baby gifts have been on the brain.  Watching Meghan become a mother reminds me of my own time with a newborn. Baby was SO little and I loved swaddling that tiny baby in my arms.  Mary gave me the sweetest swaddles when baby was born and I used them all the time. With this in mind, we created three DIY ways to add a little pizazz to basic swaddles to give to the new moms in your life. We added a fancy embroidery stitch to one, a ribbon trim border to the other, and finished with a hand dyed swaddle with an embroidered monogram. PLUS they all make the best wrapping paper for a sweet baby gift.

Registering for baby and printable baby shower invitations

How to create a baby registryThe moment I found out I was pregnant I started searching for a place to create a baby registry. Ha! How’s that for wasting no time! Clearly, I was pretty stoked. For me, a registry was less about asking friends for gifts (because how uncomfortable is that?!) and more about gathering all the products for baby in one central location in order to provide friends and family a quick and easy way to locate helpful gifts. These days I’m all about saving time for everyone! Time efficiency is my love language.

After doing some snooping around on the webs, I realized that I didn’t want a registry from just one shop because it’s too limiting and I didn’t like the idea of registering at many shops (“the new mom is registered at so and so, and so and so, and so and so”, so awkward!) plus I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep track of it all. In my searching, I came across Babylist, which advertised as a one-stop baby registry from anywhere on the web. That’s PRECISELY what I was looking for…and I didn’t even know it!

Sign up for babylist

I used Babylist throughout my pregnancy and beyond. In fact, I still use it to gather items together (and I’ll tell you why below). I even forced my sister to go and sign up right away too when she announced she was pregnant over Christmas. It’s never too early to start! I have a tendency to forget items that I said I would always remember once it’s finally time to note them down. Does that ever happen to you?

Anyway, I loved the service so much that I reached out to them to see if they’d want to partner and I’m so thrilled that it’s worked out so I can offer you painless registry experience solution with a heartfelt endorsement! SCORE!

Not only that! No, no, along with my encouragement to sign up for Babylist (do yourself a favor!), I’m also offering a FREE PRINTABLE baby shower invitation. We created it for my sister’s baby shower that we threw in June and I LOVE how it turned out. We had an Alexander Girard theme complete with a baby block accordion invitations and they are SOOOO cute.

Lars Baby Essentials

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When I was prepping for Baby’s arrival, I scoured the internet to find products that were both beautiful and well priced but I’ve been reluctant to share any type of “I’m a pro at being a mom and I know what to do and therefore you should too” posts because I’m only five months in and I only know what’s worked for me…so far. BUT! I consider it a new hobby, or rather obsession, to find the most delightful products for baby so today I’m sharing some of my favorite Lars Baby Essentials so that if you’re in the market for it, you’ll have a tried and true reference guide, all with Lars approved products.Rattan bassinet

As a disclaimer, I’m also 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 (thought you can find his nursery reveal here!), just product. I’ll be following up with some clothing recommendations.

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. 

How to Turn Fabric into Vinyl

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Fabric into Vinyl

I hunted religiously for a changing basket I loved and found it with this one from Design Dua. It’s so beautiful! It came with a little muslin liner with a zipper over some foam and of course, Baby J was like “I want to get my bodily fluids all over that thing!” I washed the liner and attempted to put it back on when I realized that it’s not really a liner meant for constantly taking on and off. So, I started to think of liners that I could make myself. After an unsuccessful attempt to find some cute oil cloth patterns to create a custom changing basket cover, I knew we had to get creative. I did some homework and came across a product that essentially allows you to laminate fabric. You take any woven cotton fabric and some iron-on vinyl, add some heat, and you’ve got a wipeable, easily cleanable material! We made a liner to fit perfectly into the changing basket in Jasper’s room and it’s made such a difference! Using this material has gotten my wheels turning. This isn’t even a sponsored post, folks! I’m just genuinely stoked! I’m thinking about making custom placemats and a sweet zipper pouch next! Anyone else ever used this miracle worker?

Continue to see how we turned Fabric into vinyl! 

DIY Crib Skirt and Mattress Giveaway

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DIY Crib Skirt

As one might expect at this point, I’m still getting the hang of this whole “Mom” thing. Every day is a learning day and it’s quite the wild ride! After doing my fair share of baby book reading, I’m constantly paranoid that Baby J might suffocate in his crib, stop breathing, or insert any other fear that gets ingrained in a new mother’s brain. DHP (remember their rad futon and bedding?!)  approached me about their Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Crib and Toddler Mattress I couldn’t have been happier! This mattress is perfect for a worrying mama: Hypoallergenic, Thermo-bonded core so the babe gets plenty of support and water-resistant outer cover for easy clean-ups! What more could you want?! DIY Crib Skirt

This mattress really is top of the line and it won the 2017 Women’s Choice Award as Amerca’s Most Recommended Brand for Crib & Toddler Mattress. Since I am now determined to get Jasper sleeping in his crib with his new mattress I decided to go all in and complete the look with a DIY Crib Skirt. I wanted a traditional gathered look and had Becca, our resident seamstress, whip one up. And since baby mattresses are pretty standard (at least in North America), you can easily make one yourself with these same dimensions. It’s simple enough for a novice sewer.

Find out how to win a Safety 1st Mattress of your own and sew your own DIY Crib Skirt!

My Baby Shower

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Brittany's Baby Shower

I feel like the luckiest lady in all the land! A couple of weeks ago, the ladies here at the office threw me a baby shower with all the bells and whistles. It was so sweet. No literally, it was VERY sweet. We had delicious sweet waffles along with all the treats a pregnant girl could want. There wasn’t one savory dish on the menu. Ha! It was right up my alley. It was so wonderful to celebrate our baby boy amongst the company of those I get to work with who I love so much. It’s always so overwhelming to have people spend time and efforts on you. Like, how do you thank them? In a blog post, of course! 😉 Thank you so much to the ladies I love for all the love that went into this shower. This baby (and mama!) feel so loved!

Check out all the details of the baby shower (along with my huge bump!)!