DIY Bookmark Tassels

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4 techniques for making tassels and poms for bookmarksMany of you may not know that we have a monthly book club here at Lars. If you’re a fan of reading or want to start reading more, check it out! In addition to discussion questions, we offer a coordinating art print and bookmark by a different illustrator each month (See September’s book art here). Let me tell you, each illustrator always creates the most lovely illustrations that capture the book of the month perfectly. Make sure to check out our Book Club archives to take a peek. For the bookmarks, we like to add a small tassel or bobble to finish it off, but we’ve never shown you how to create it for yourself Shame on us! So today we’re going through 10 varieties of DIY bookmark tassels and pom poms that you can make to jazz up your bookmarks! Don’t stop there though, think key chains, and clutches, and anything else that needs a little something extra!

Check out all the tassel variations

In the Company of Women Book Artwork

In The company of Women book art

Hello readers! Have you enjoyed In The Company of Women? From the comments we’ve received on @larsbookclub, many of these women entrepreneurs and makers inspire you! Tell us why! Here are some questions to discuss, further fun reading suggestions, and of course, enjoy this month’s book artwork by featured illustrator, Libby VanderPloeg, which just may be my favorite to date. Isn’t it great?!   In The company of Women book art

Get the free Women Who Work bookmark download on the next page!

How to press flowers in 3 methods

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

As you know, I’m a huge fan of Australian collage artist/craft/artist extraordinaire, Beci Orpin. She’s released yet another book (she’s so prolific!) and this time it’s about things to do and make with supplies from the outdoors. It’s called Sunshine Spaces and it’s definitely one to add to your craft library. It has a lot of basics for the beginning outdoors lover, such as a guide to indoor plants, a guide to natural dyeing, and other fun projects. Today, she’s sharing her tutorial on how to make pressed flowers with three different methods. 

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.

DIY floral staircase from Old Home Love

I’m pleased as punch to present two special guests to Lars today. Andy and Candis Meredith, from HGTV’s Old Home Love, recently released their first book of the same title, Old Home Love, and it’s gorgeous! If you’ve seen their show or know anything about them, you know that they love old homes and this book is an ode to it. It’s part love story, DIY, and inspiration. It’s also a special book for so many other reasons (go and find out!) and one of them is because it all took place here in Utah, was photographed by Chaunte Vaughn, who also photographed our upcoming book, and styled by my good friend Meta Coleman, assisted by my own sister, Caitlin Watson Boyes. And a couple of my own pieces of furniture and plants even make a special appearance 🙂 Candis and Andy are here today to share a tutorial NOT featured in the book but I know everyone is wondering about: How did you make that floral staircase featured on the cover?! Aren’t you curious?! Let’s find out! 

Hi Friends! I am so excited to share this project with you. I have been a fan of things with big scale for a long time and I am so happy that we got to showcase these beautiful stairs for our new book. This project has such a huge impact for little effort and I think it adds a PUNCH of happiness and color to our understated white space. What’s great about this idea is that you can use almost any image that you love! Landscapes, old photographs, random patterns, portraits! The sky’s the limit. And don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of doing this–it really is SO easy and took less than an hour!

Old Home Love book

Here we go!

DIY Knot Necklace

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Okay Lars fam, we’ve stuck craft book gold again and we can’t not share these things with you! Our friends over at Abram Books (our very own publisher!) sent us the most incredible book “The Year of Knots” written by the one and only Windy Chien. The book just launches TODAY and it needs to go in your craft library. It offers tutorials ranging from home décor to how to adorn your shoes. Just in case you needs a little more convincing on just how fabulous this book is we have included a tutorial on this wonderful knot necklace!

We went ahead and made a few modifications to the original necklace by adding in a second semicircle on it but the bones and idea behind the necklace are all attributed to the very talented Wendy Chien!  This necklace is simple yet intricate and the perfect accessory to pull together any outfit! Seriously, everyone in our office tried it on and it looked great with evert single outfit! Trust us, every outfit you own needs this necklace!

Picture Hope: The Social Distancing Coloring Book

Picture Hope: The Social Distance Coloring Book

It’s a project that I’ve compiled from 64 artists from around the world who have each made a coloring page inspired by hope. The idea is that they provide the blank canvas and YOU add the hope through color. And you know what? It works! I can’t even tell you the goose bumps I got while I was working on it! COVID-19 has indeed changed so much of our routine, yet in the confusion and uncertainty we’ve also witnessed countless moments of compassion and the strength of the human spirit.

Picture Hope: The social distancing coloring book

64 Artists from Around the World

I’m going to list all the artists here because they all deserve recognition for dropping everything to make this happen:

Abbey Lossing, Alli Stocco, Ane Kirstine Bilde, Angie Stalker, Ashley Isenhour, Audrey Smit of This Little Street, Ayang Cempaka, Beci Orpin, Brooke Smart, Caitlin Connolly, Cat Seto, Corrie Beth Hogg, Danielle Kroll, Darcy Miller, Dylan Mierzwinksi, Elizabeth Graeber, Ellie A. Osborne, Emily Isabella, Emma Block, Eva Jorgensen, Flora Waycott, Hannah Gumbo, Helen Dealtry, Hilary Onyon, Jackie Diedam, Jacqueline Colley, Janna Morton, Jen Hewett, Jess Whittaker, Jessie Kanelos, Weiner, Jéssyka Gomes, Jordan Sondler, Josefina Schargorodsky, Julie Marabelle of Famille Summerbelle, Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow, Katie Kortman, Kelsey Garrity Riley, Kendra Dandy, Libby VanderPloeg, Lisa Congdon, Loris Lora, Madison Blake, Maria Trolle, Meenal Patal, Merrilee Liddiard, Meta Coleman, Mia Saine, Michéle Brummer Everett, Michelle Christensen, Miranda Sofroniou, Monica Dorazewski, Natalie Apuzzo for Winter Water Factory, Normandie Luscher, Phoebe Wahl, Roxy Marj, Samantha Hahn, Sarah Jane Wright, Sebastian Curi, Suzy Ultman, Tara Nearents of Rad and Happy, Tonya and Steve Vistaunet of A Happy Vista, Victoria Riza, Yelena Bryksenkova

Creativity is Important Now More Than Ever

I’ve spent my career developing The House That Lars Built, whose mission is to encourage people to make things with their hands. We believe that the act of making has the power to heal and improve your well-being. The goal of this book is the same and it’s needed now more than ever. Coloring is a simple yet profound act that allows for meditation and mindfulness and this coloring book is even more profound because of the many voices of support behind it.

Donate for Coronavirus Relief

You can purchase Picture Hope in our shop and donate for larger amounts if you wish.

You can find the printable book over in our Shop!

And if you do some of the coloring pages, we’d love to see them! Tag us with #PictureHopeColoringBook

Book Club January 2020

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What does it mean to be a part of the Lars Book Club?

There’s nothing tricky about it!

First, we announce a new book every month here on Lars, then we provide some questions and insights over at our Instagram page. Next, we follow up with a printable poster and bookmark in our Print Shop (you can see previous posters here) OR something to make inspired by it (new this year!). Lastly, we provide an interview with the illustrator who designed the poster (see previous interviews here) and, also new this year, an interview with the author, when applicable.

Why a Lars Book Club?

Our Book Club is really our excuse to hold ourselves accountable to reading more all the while reading books we’re interested in–think art, design, and making–it’s our dream book club, one that we can’t find any place else! We also like to stay in the know about new books in these categories and love introducing them to you.

Like it? Join us!

Lars Book Club check-in: Frida Kahlo print & bookmark

Frida Kahlo quote printable

We all know Frida as a pop icon, but it’s so fascinating to read about her life’s history through her biography by Hayden Herrera, Frida Kahlo, for this month’s book club selection. Even knowing how she got into painting is so fascinating. I still have a ways to go before I’m done, but I thought I’d pipe in with some encouragement to start. And! Even more encouragement is an illustrative quote and bookmark by this month’s guest illustrator, Merrilee Liddiard of Mer Mag.

Lars Book Club moderator, Julie Richardson, has created some questions to get you thinking about the book. Feel free to comment in the comments section about your thoughts about the book and her life as well as over on the Instagram account.

Check out the discussion questions and prints below and join @LarsBookClub on Instagram

March Book Club poster and bookmark

Helloooo readers! We’re well into March (and spring!) and hope you’re enjoying A Big Important Art Book: Now With Women! Has it opened your eyes to the art women have made and ARE making all over the world? Pretty amazing, right? We’ve got some questions below and fabulous art print for you! This month, our poster and book mark were illustrated by one of our favorite artists, Australian artist and designer, Beci Orpin, who leads the way in collage art and bright and quirky products and illustrationgs (pssst–you HAVE to check out her new portfolio site. It’s a piece of art!) We’ll be featuring an interview with Beci on Sunday, so stay tuned! 

Beci illustrated a quote from fine artist, Bobbie Burgers, that reads “be willing to destroy” because we all should be, no?! 

The Glass Castle Book Art

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The Glass Castle Book Art Readers! How have you enjoyed The Glass Castle? The book is getting a lot of attention with the opening of the movie, but you guys, neither the book NOR the movie disappoint! Jeannette Walls is a masterful writer, draws you in, and makes you experience just what she and her siblings did. Head to the blog to print off this month’s amazing print with a quote from the book by Kelsey Garrity Riley which we absolutely love! 

Free Phone and Desktop Wallpaper Downloads from Craft the Rainbow

free rainbow phone and desktop wallpaper downloads

Free phone wallpaper downloads

We loved creating these free downloadable wallpapers just as much as creating Craft the Rainbow. If you haven’t read it before, you’ll want to! As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s the ultimate stay-at-home companion, which is something we all might need right now. And now, for the first time ever, it is available for your Kindle for super cheap too I might add.

Quarantine boredom is no joke, but what better solution is there than crafting? We created these downloadable wallpapers as we were inspired by Craft the Rainbow, so who knows what you could be inspired to? Let that simmer in your thoughts as you look through each colorful wallpaper, and choose what speaks to you the most. Inspiration can be found in the darndest places, and here at Lars, sometimes it’s a sweet background photo.

These were one of my favorite parts of creating the book with my friend, photographer Chaunte Vaughn. We spent A LOT of time making them. Ha! I wanted each chapter to show the love I have of it through finding all the beautiful craft supplies in that color. Some of the beautiful objects were provided by friends and crafters from around the world including Ruth Ribeaucourt of The French Muse, who sent me a huge supply of beautiful objects from Provence. To me, they made the book!

Chaunte was so patient making these with me. We shot it in January when we had shorter light to work with so we had to RACE to get them done.

free phone wallpaper downloads

Free desktop wallpaper downloads

Check out these new wallpapers as soon as you can, and let us know which one was your fav! Unless all of them were, in which case you’ll want to download them all! Look through the shop today for the free downloads, and let Craft the Rainbow keep inspiring you for the rest of the month (or maybe the rest of your life!)

free rainbow desktop wallpaper downloadsfree rainbow desktop wallpaper downloads

The artist behind these rainbow wallpapers

These beautiful background canvases in each the images were created for Craft the Rainbow by artist Rachel Kiser Smith. She added so much texture and vibrancy that we’ve been using the backgrounds for shoots ever since.

We love her work so much and wanted to introduce her to you! Here amazing use of color and texture fills the pages of Craft the Rainbow and we couldn’t be happier about it. Read through her interview below to get to know Rachel, and to see more of her process while creating for our book!

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

Artist, creative, dabbler

Who helped you “become” who you are?

My Mom always had a creative project going and supplies to share. As an adult, friends who are also making art have been important to me. And can I say authors? I love reading anything on the creative process.

Do you feel like you’ve arrived at what you set out to do?

Yes and no. Perhaps the heart has secret dreams that will always keep me from feeling like I’ve arrived. But just starting to make work and share it on Instagram (after years of hiding) was an arrival of sorts. I remember the thrilling feeling when I realized that I was working with people I’d admired for a long time.

What more would you like to “become”?

Speaking of secret dreams . . . ha! I want to be a children’s book author and illustrator!

What did you study? Did you go to school specifically for what you do?

I took a bit of a meandering path in college and ended up with a double major in Spanish and Visual Arts. Spanish may seem inapplicable, but I think reading, analyzing, and writing about beautiful works of literature has had as much influence of my creativity as the art classes I took.

What’s your work space like?

When we moved into our house, we turned the formal living room into a creative space. It has a wall filled with art supplies and another with books. Usually the whole family shares a big table in the middle, but since having the kids home full time for distance learning, we’ve brought in another table just for me. That’s been a game changer.

Did you always have an ultimate plan?

No, and I still don’t! When I begin on a project or painting, I just have to start making stuff. The ideas come as I begin. I think careers can be like that too.

What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in a creative field?

Protect your creative time from yourself. Part of you will come up with any excuse to not create. Commit to editing and researching later.

What’s inspiring you lately?

Amy Merrick’s book On Flowers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez novels, reading The Wind in the Willows to my kids, and watching the caterpillars in our yard.

Where you can find Rachel’s other work

@rachelkisersmith on Instagram

Her work for sale on Minted

Shop the Rainbow

Many of our Craft the Rainbow items, like journals, our guided journal My Life in Color, and more are still on sale! Shop the entire rainbow here and gear up for your quarantine creativity!

My Life in Color guided journal for creatives

The Devil’s Cloth poster

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The Devil's Cloth Printable Poster

Readers, let’s hear your thoughts! Have you been enjoying The Devil’s Cloth? It may be a small book, and it may be a very narrow topic of discussion, but it’s packed with information and abundant food for thought. We’ve got some discussion questions for you, as well as other reading suggestions (Pastoureau has written several about color!) if you enjoyed this book. We also have more amazing artwork for you! This month’s illustrator is Jaqueline Diedam whose work is absolutely dreamy! The Devil's Cloth Printable Poster

Check out the discussion questions and the Devil’s Cloth Poster and Bookmark!