Valentine’s Day Activities

Galentine’s Day Activity Ideas

As you are probably aware, Galentine’s Day has a special place in our hearts. What started out as a classic Parks and Rec joke has since become an iconic tradition for women all over. And is it really that hard to see why? Everyone should be cherished and loved for who they are, whether they have a significant other or not. Galentine’s Day is a special opportunity to share the love so it’s not a glum holiday for anyone who won’t spend Valentine’s Day at a fancy restaurant, staring dreamily across the table at their significant other.

Galentine's Day party

We’ve done a few different things with Galentine’s Day in the past, like this and this. We also wrote a post a few years back with lots of fun Galentine’s Day activities, which you can read more about here.

Here are a few more suggestions we’ve dreamt up since that last brainstorm post of ideas:

Craft Night

A craft night is the perfect thing to do with the gals on Galentine’s Day. It’s fun, interactive, and you get to bring home some lovely memoirs, too. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of easy DIY valentines, like our valentine face boxes, that are just the thing for a Galentine’s Day craft night. Another absolutely adorable and timeless valentine we recently made and are obsessed with are our Hand and Heart Love Tokens! You won’t regret adding them to your list of Galentine’s Day activities. Also, try wrapping a candle or chocolate bar to send home with the gals.

galentine's day gift boxes

Speaking of making DIY valentines, why not make this sweet little valentine box to put them in?

Spa Night

We could all use one, right? Galentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to stop putting it off and actually make it happen! Here are some must-have spa items you’ll want to stock up on:

Game Night

We wouldn’t say no to a night of games with the gals. Try our printable Valentine’s Day song bingo, or our Valentine’s themed tic tac toe. Or here’s an assortment of a few different printable table games!

Party Favors

Send your ladies home with a sweet little package of party favors! Some of our favorites from the shop include these heart hair ties, ombre spiral hair ties, these wooden heart clips, valentine’s themed pins, and these adorable Valentine’s Day stickers.

And here are some other sweet little party favors to include!

Valentine’s Day Activities For Kids

We don’t want your kiddies to feel left out on Valentine’s Day. I mean, aren’t they the most precious of all? In our post where we listed Galentine’s Day activities, we also mentioned some great ideas of things to do with your kids from the team here at The House that Lars Built.

Crafts

Obviously crafts make it onto every list of activities we ever make. As with Galentine’s Day, we think this post of easy DIY valentines is great for all ages, kids and adults alike. Sit down with your little ones and help them make valentines for school with these sweet cherry tootsie pop valentines or paintbrush valentines. Then help them decorate their own valentine box!

Becca's Top 15

Printables

If you’re looking for a craft that doesn’t require too much time and energy but is still perfect for Valentine’s Day for your kids, check out our little food pun valentines! Eggs, Frogs, Veggies, there’s something for every kid. Oh, and don’t forget about these cute as a button valentines or these other clever pun variations.

Games

Speaking of printables, we have some fun valentines games that are perfect for little ones available in the shop! We love these coloring placemats for a variety of ages, as well as this assortment of table games–just print them off and you’re ready to play. It includes bingo, tic tac toe, would you rather, and those sweet coloring placemats.

Write Love Letters

Encourage you kids to write little letters to those they love! Don’t worry, you don’t have to scare them off the dating scene in the 3rd grade. Have them write notes to siblings, parents, grandparents, teachers, or friends. For those who are far away, print off these little love postcards to send. And see our shop for endless options of printable valentine cards your kids can write their notes on.

printables

Bake Together

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that baking always tends to be a big part of Valentine’s Day activities. Get together and make some conversation heart sugar cookies to put in these little conversation heart cookie boxes. If you’re in the mood for cupcakes, these and these are both great options for some sweet little cupcake toppers. Or, go all out and bake a Valentine’s Day cake. Complete it with this lovely cake topper! For inspiration, can you believe how intricate and delicate these beautiful cookies are?! A few years back, Arlos cookies was kind enough to collaborate with us to make the valentine cookie magic happen.

Strawberry Heart Cake Topper

More Inspiration

Loved this post on Valentine’s Day Activities and need more valentines-related ideas? See our gift guides for men and women and get some gift ideas for your S.O. this year.

Our Favorite Printable Valentines

printables

Lars Shop Artists

For those of you who may be unaware, we have many amazing artists whose work we feature in our shop. They’ve collaborated with us to make all kinds of things, from home decor items to puzzles. One of the highlights of the year is seeing all the beautiful valentines these talented artists come up with! The best perk about the valentines made by our artist friends is that most all of them are printables. That means you can still fulfill your need for fresh and fun valentines without a big time commitment. Print them off and have your kids assemble them for their school valentines! But don’t worry, adults love them too. In fact, they’re perfect for all ages, really. Give them to anyone who needs a little love. Take a look, we have a feeling you’ll find something that’s just right for you!

Our Favorite Printable Valentines

Printable Valentines Hearts For a Face Mask

face mask hearts

Perfect for a Valentine’s Day in the middle of a pandemic, we love Jessie Kanelos Weiner’s printable valentines hearts for a face mask. Just print and cut, and you’ll be donning this festive face mask all day.

You’re the Top Valentines

you're the top

Also by Jessica Kanelos Weiner, these little valentines are classic, playful, and just the thing for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

Printable Vase Valentines

printable valentine

We LOVE these printable vase valentines, designed by the talented Angie Stalker. Playful and whimsical, just print them off and attach a flower to them and you’re ready to give them to your loved ones. One thing that has us totally sold, is that once you’re done with them as valentines, keep them up on your wall for a fun pop of color and texture all year round (bonus: make a few paper flowers to go with them, perhaps)? If you’re interested, here’s another foldable variation.

Valentines Heart Card

heart

Also by Angie Stalker, meet the valentines heart card. If you’re feeling like celebrating Valentine’s Day with a very literal pun, this clever little card is for you.

IOU Cards and Envelopes

IOU valentines

Angie Stalker does it again! We love her IOU cards, complete with matching envelopes. This is such a fun twist on valentines, and is such a perfect opportunity to give a service-oriented gift to your loved ones this year. We all love chocolate, but how about some luxurious foot rubs? a surprise dinner? Just scratch off the sticker to reveal the IOU assignment.

Valentine Postcard by Emily Isabella

Next on the list of our favorite printable valentines is this valentine postcard by Emily Isabella. Nothing says Valentine’s Day in Paris like these ornate little beauties. They’re delicate, classy, and absolute eye-candy to look at. I’m definitely getting some Madeline vibes, here. I have to say, I’d be ecstatic to get one of these sweet little valentine postcards in the mail.

Love Potion Valentines

love potion

By artist Danielle Kroll, these love potion valentines are a creative twist on a traditional valentine card. We’re not saying you should give your S.O. a love potion, but we think this card just might do the trick.

Strawberry Dress/I Love You More Than Paris Valentines

strawberry dress

Another of our favorite printable valentines are these strawberry dress valentines. Sweet, simple and adorable, we can’t get enough of them or their sisters, “I love you more than Paris” valentines! They say “I love you” in an absolutely whimsical and dreamy way. Michelle Christensen of My Little Bellville really outdid herself with these charmers.

Tear Apart Valentines

Eclectic, original and so appropriate for the season, these tear apart valentines are a sweet idea. They’re the perfect valentine for a best friend or significant other. Give one half away, keep the other. Just like a friendship bracelet, but with valentines!

Zoo Valentines

animal printables

Okay, we have to say, we’re completely obsessed with these adorable zoo valentines. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day party for kids or for your kiddos to take to school, these valentines are one of our favorite printable valentines of all time. They’re just so versatile. Fun for kids, fun for adults, these sweet little guys check all the boxes! Jessica Whittaker is a true master.

Historical Figure Valentines

Also by Jessica Whittaker, these historical figure valentines are a creative way to celebrate love day. If you’re a fan of clever puns, these are for you. You won’t be able to hold in the giggles.

Valentines Stamp Cards and Envelopes

printable valentine

These sweet, supersized stamp cards are perfect for your long distance love needs. Are you surprised they made the list of our favorite printable valentines? This adorable twist on postage stamps is just the thing to brighten your loved one’s Valentine’s Day. I mean, can you imagine opening the mailbox to find this?! Day made. Thank you, Josefina Schargorodsky!

Kiss Me Swallow Valentine

If you love birds, look no further. We are drooling at how cute this little swallow valentine is! Classy and playful, it relies on beautiful simplicity to create a love note your significant other will treasure forever. Hilary Onyon did a spectacular job, we have to say.

Hey You Carnation Valentine

carnation

Also by Hilary Onyon, we love this bold, two tone valentine with a little floral accent. It’s simple, clean, and distinct, and adds a fun pop of color to your valentine card collection. It definitely makes the list of our favorite printable valentines.

Cupid Valentine

We love the refreshing pop of blue on this cupid valentine by Hilary Onyon.

Heart Tile Valentine

house tile valentine

This heart tile valentine is such a clever idea. Nestled among the shingles is a heart with a hidden message on it! Folk-art inspired tiled roof, we love this modern twist. And the colors? Perfection. We love Julie Marabelle’s work!

Valentine Chocolate Wrap

A clever twist on Valentine’s Day cards, we love the idea of a printable chocolate bar wrapper! The retro designs by Normandie Luscher are fun and bold, and it feels like stepping in to a Willy Wonka Chocolate shop. Here’s a candle wrap alternative, if you’re not feeling like gifting chocolate this year.

Valentine cards by Rosie Harbottle

printable valentine

Reminiscent of a dreamy Valentine’s Day in Europe, we love the painterly illustrations on these lovely cards. Rosie Harbottle’s brushwork is fantastic and the colors bold and subtle at the same time, for a dreamy effect. If our travel is limited due to COVID, let’s bring all those travel vibes back home with these cards.

You’re Eggstra Special Valentine

egg and frog valentines

Last but not least on the list for today of our favorite printable valentines is our eggstra special valentine. If you’re a fan of food puns, you’ll definitely want to take a closer look at these adorable and funny little valentines by Michéle Brummer Everett. They’re a great option for kids, especially those little ones who aren’t feeling very lovey and are scared of cooties. Another fun variation on the egg valentines are these frog valentines, or these beet valentines, all designed by Michéle.

More Inspiration

This list of our favorite printable valentines is definitely not comprehensive, and we have many more printable valentine options available in our shop! Check out our full Valentine’s Day collection here, complete with printables, stickers, hair ties, and more.

 

 

Safe travels

Safe travels to Denmark

First off, we knew that Denmark has a high vaccination rate (nearly 80%) so we felt more comfortable going. Paul and I are vaccinated and have both received boosters so we felt as secure as we can entering a country. Here, you are required to wear a mask inside all public places and are required to show proof of vaccination to sit down at all eating establishments and public places. We have felt very safe and have done our part to ensure that others feel safe as well.

We can do this

Speaking of doing our part, I’m happy to take part in the We Can Do This campaign to speak up about the things that we can do to protect ourselves and our communities from the ongoing spread of COVID-19, especially our children, who are now at risk. While both of my boys are too young to receive the vaccinations (at this point you must be 5 and older), I’m encouraged by the ongoing research that helps me make informed decisions to maintain healthy families.

COVID risks for children

We are all parents who care about our children. We all have questions and want what’s best for our families. All questions are valid and important. The process of getting your questions answered is important. My goal today is to present correct information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that will help you make the best decision for your family. Here are some things I’ve been researching for parents of 5-year-olds to 17-year-olds:

  • COVID is a greater threat to your child than any potential risk from side effects of the vaccine.
  • There is no way to know how COVID will affect your child, but clinical trials showed vaccines help prevent severe illness and death from COVID.
  • Since August, 1 in 5 new COVID cases have been in kids, but vaccines can bring that number down and help protect children from severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID.

Vaccinations for children to stay safe

I love having the peace of mind knowing that I’m protecting my child with the most effective tool we have. Here’s a few more points that I’ve been learning with regards to the vaccine and COVID for children:

  • COVID vaccines for kids 5+ offer the same effective protection that hundreds of millions of American adults have from COVID vaccines.
  • COVID vaccines are safe and are given to kids 5-11 in smaller doses that have been specially tailored for younger children. Adolescents ages 12 years and older receive the same dosage of the COVID vaccine as adults.
  • In clinical trials, children had the same kinds of temporary side effects from COVID vaccines that adults have, such as pain at the injection site, tiredness, or headache.

It’s nice having these succinct points so nice and tidy, but if you have questions, please consult with your doctor. You can also find more information on vaccines.gov.

I know it’s a long haul at this point, but any amount of protection we can offer to our children and those who are more susceptible to diseases is worth it.

Let’s do this together and then go on another epic trip after. Who’s with me?! Where should we go??? #WeCanDoThis

Want to see more?

If you’re interested in seeing more of Denmark, you can check out my Copenhagen travel guide here.

And remember this epic trip in Denmark?! 

This post is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Nativity Paper Dolls

Our Mid-Century Heirloom Nativity

If you’re new to this whole thing, I should start by introducing our mid-century heirloom nativity set. Inspired by the set my mom created when she was young, we decided to try our hand at creating our own version (I wish I could show you hers)! If you haven’t seen it, you can read more about our original nativity set here, since our original set is what inspired our nativity paper dolls.

Heirloom Nativity

But it turns out our relationship with that beloved Mid-Century Heirloom Nativity set was far from over. We received such a positive reaction from the first set that we got to work on the puzzle of manufacturing it, but to no avail. We did come up with a different solution, though: we decided to make a miniature version with wooden clothespins instead of the full-sized candlesticks. If you don’t want to spend quite so much time, painstakingly painting, this bite-sized, adorable version is for you!

Clothespin nativity

Nativity Craft Along

Midcentury painted heirloom nativity figures against a pink and red striped background.

After those two experiments with the nativity, we decided to launch our nativity craft along! This was SO much fun. We loved getting to support makers around the U.S. with donations throughout the craft along and from the charity auction at the end. There were so many wonderful things we learned. We especially loved getting to meet our guest stars and craft with them (and all of you!)

 

If you’re interested in reading more about our nativity craft along, see these posts: Nativity Craft Along, Nativity Craft Along: Meet Our Guests, and Nativity Craft Along: Auction Details.

Nativity Alternatives

All these experiences with our nativity helped us realize something: we wanted to make the nativity more accessible to a wider audience. As many of you know, the full-sized nativity set is quite the undertaking. It’s very time consuming, and some of you have mentioned feeling a bit inadequate as far as painting those perfect lines goes. It’s also not the ideal craft for younger children.

We partially addressed these concerns with our mini clothespin nativity. It’s a bit quicker because it’s smaller, but still requires some meticulous care with a paintbrush. So! If you want a fun nativity project related to our full-sized nativity, but that’s a lot more approachable, our nativity paper dolls are right up your alley!

nativity paper dolls

Nativity Paper Dolls

You may have noticed these sweet little paper dolls on our shop–they’ve been up for a few weeks now. We launched these towards the end of our nativity craft along, and we love this quick and easy version of the real thing! Spitting image of our original wooden nativity pieces, these are the perfect option if you don’t feel like your painting skills are quite up to par. They’re also great for younger audiences who aren’t quite ready for the meticulous patience the full-sized nativity requires. All you have to do is print and cut them out! You can find them in our shop. Play with them, hang them on the wall, these are such a fun little craft that’s quick and easy.

nativity paper dolls

uncut nativity paper dolls

Nativity Coloring Pages

When we decided to make nativity paper dolls, we couldn’t help but make some nativity paper doll coloring pages as well! These are a great alternative, especially if you’re looking for a festive, low-pressure activity to do with your kids at Christmastime.

nativity coloring pages

We love that these coloring pages are fun for a wide range of ages, and that you can happily color them any way you like! There’s no right or wrong way to do it, and they’ll look cute no matter what.

We would love to see your variations of our nativity paper dolls and coloring pages!

 

More Inspiration

If you loved reading about our Mid-Century Heirloom Nativity and all its variations, you’ll love these other quick and easy seasonal crafts. Our Printable cookie box is the perfect little package to send out holiday treats! Patterned Christmas Poppers are also a great way to send little goodies to friends and family. Need a little bit of color for your wall? Try our Cuckoo Holidays Print. And as you’re wrapping gifts, don’t forget about our Paper Holiday Gift Toppers and Holiday Gift Tags, which are such a fun way to spice up your wrapping job. Oh, and if you want to add to your tree decorations, Fair Isle Christmas Ornaments are a great option.

Winter 2022 Creative Internship Call

Winter 2022 Creative Internships at The House That Lars Built

The House That Lars Built is a creative design studio and website focused on artful living through beautifully produced, original content. Our goal is to help empower its readers recognize and fill your life with beauty while also providing skills that you can take with you to your next job! We create daily blog content, content for other brands, products, a YouTube channel, and are constantly seeking new ways to create an artful living. We are looking for interns in the following categories:

  1. Illustration
  2. Graphic Design/Marketing (3 different positions: Pinterest, Newsletter, Instagram)
  3. Shopping
  4. Crafting
  5. Business
  6. Content Writing
  7. E-commerce (product development and Shopify)
  8. Sewing/Embroidery 
  9. Marketing
  10. Art Curation
  11. Creative Director assistant

Click here for in-depth descriptions of what each internship includes!

What’s in it for you?

Here at The House That Lars Built, we are passionate about internships! Brittany herself has completed many internships all around the world, and her experiences are what set her up to turn what started as a graduate project into a full-time growing business.

Things like our top 7 tips for nailing your internship will help you stand out in your field. An internship can (and should) be the gateway to the rest of your creative career. Whether or not your personal brand or your future plans align perfectly with the Lars Brand, your experience writing, designing, or illustrating for an existing brand will build your skills, portfolio, and resume.

As an ever-evolving company, while working with The House That Lars Built you will have hands-on opportunities to adjust what you have studied in a new market and changing economy. Working with a small team will allow everything you do during your internship to be seen, and your impact will be felt and noticed. You will have opportunities to utilize the skills you already have and improve in new areas.

Many of these internships listed above have a long legacy here are the House that Lars Built! Lars Alumni are part of a creative, passionate, and inspired community working to make the world more colorful! As a part of the Lars team, you will instantly have networking opportunities at your fingertips that can be vital to your career in a creative field.

In addition to our long standing internships, we are so excited to have some brand new focuses available! More specific internships such as art curation, newsletter marketing, and e-commerce were created to help you narrow down which direction you want to go in your long-term career. Click here to read more about what these new internships include.

Details on all internships

Interns will specialize in their respective category but all are expected to participate in the following:

  • Assisting on photo shoots
  • Helping with the general maintenance of the studio
  • Running errands and complete shipping tasks
  • Writing and brainstorming activities
  • participating in training meetings
  • assistant duties

Internships are unpaid, but can be used for university credit, in fact we highly encourage this. The applicant will need to work with your university to get it approved.

You must be able to work a minimum of 10 hours per week. We expect a full commitment to the position once you’ve accepted the position. The internship will last from late January 2022-April 2022. Exact days can be flexible.

How to apply

Please email hello@thehousethatlarsbuilt.comwith the subject line INTERN and the desired position. Include your resume and portfolio (can be online, photos, basically anything to help us understand your proficiency and skills) and a cover letter. We will email you back to invite you in for an interview.

Please don’t hesitate to apply! Many of our internships can be specialized to fit both our current needs and your amazing skills!

Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards with Mixbook

This year’s Christmas card features team Lars! Sadly, we didn’t snag a photo with all of our team members in it, but you get the idea: lots of color, plenty of DIY, this card can’t get much more Lars than it already is.

Team Lars Christmas Cards

You might recognize it as our Team Halloween costume–Andy Warhol’s soup cans. It was only appropriate. And once I found the designs by Oh Joy, I knew we had to use it. Now, sadly, that means that we are missing a few players like Kerry, Carrie, Sophie, and Garet. We love you still!

I love how the card template we chose strikes the perfect balance of holiday cheer and essential team Lars spirit! It’s bright, colorful, whimsical, and just the thing to brighten up this season that is cold and dark so much of the time. I think we can all agree that we need color all year round, but especially at this time of year! If you’re interested in the templates we’ve made with Mixbook, you can take your pick between classic, bright, Lars style and more traditional, cozy holiday cards. P.s. if you happen to be getting married this winter, you’re in for a treat with our wedding invitation templates.

holiday cards

Our Take

One of the best things about Mixbook is how customizable their templates are. It’s so helpful to have a template as a base, but the fun of making your own Christmas card is being able to make it feel like yours, you know? Hence, Crafty Holidays was born. We were just feeling the creative spirit of making this holiday season. Anyway, what better way to spend your holidays than crafting your heart out?

We love sending out cards to our clients and friends. Email me if you’d like one! Happy to send one off to you! 

christmas cards

Other Mixbook projects

The fun doesn’t end with holiday cards! If you’ve been following along, we’ve also dipped our toes into Mixbook’s photo albums and year in review books. The results were stunning, and such a fun way to capture memories! You can read more about our other Mixbook projects here: new holiday card with Mixbook, Lars for Mixbook, and our year in review with Mixbook.

Here was last year’s Christmas card that we designed!

And our year in review book.

And our travel book! Oh little Jasper! I can hardly stand it! He can hardly stand too!

The House That Lars Built for Mixbook travel book

Mixbook Discount

Since it’s the holiday season and we’re feeling full of that Christmas spirit, we want to share the love! We’ve honestly been so happy with the way our Mixbook projects have turned out and can’t recommend them enough. To give you a nudge in the right direction, Lars readers get 55% off holiday cards using code HLARS50. Offer expires 1/01/2022, so don’t sleep on it! In case you missed it, here’s a link to Mixbook.

We would love to see what you choose! Crafty Holidays!

gold foil christmas cards

This post is sponsored by Mixbook. We love our sponsors who allow us to create beautiful original content for you! 

DIY headboard

Jasper’s New Bed

First, I have to say that this was more of an undertaking than I had anticipated, and I definitely can’t take all the credit. I had a lot of help from the amazing members of team Lars. Carrie, our designer/maker, and Hailey, our project manager, both took on the challenge to design and sew the bedskirt and duvet cover, and I was thrilled with the result. A special shout out also goes out to my brother in law, Tanner, for helping me tackle the challenge of that tricky, atypical headboard and doing such a splendid job.

headboard

It’s amazing what a good bedspread and headboard will do to spruce up a room and make it feel complete. The decision to cover the headboard, duvet, and underside of the bed was definitely driven by the desire to have something distinctive, loud and eye-catching, but also appropriate for a child’s bedroom. It needed to feel cozy, fun, and warm, and the cabana stripe did just the trick for Jasper’s new bed!

I had been challenged by Waverly Fabrics to make something from their collection at Walmart and it was so easy because they have a wonderful collection of stripes and toiles. It was just hard to narrow it down! AND, the fabric is $3.99/yard so all the fabric for the headboard, duvet, and bedskirt cost less than $60! The plywood cost about the same price (lumber right now, amiright?! With the foam, bias tape, and batting it came to about $150 total for everything.

How to recreate Jasper’s new DIY headboard

We had so much fun designing Jasper’s DIY headboard. It was hard to narrow it down! I knew I wanted something I had never seen before so Gwen sketched out a bunch of designs. She sketched one out and that was it–a circus tent-inspired shape that paired SO perfectly with the fun, striped, cabana fabric we chose. With some patience and a little effort, we feel totally confident in your ability to make this children’s bedspread work! The trick is accurate measurements. Let’s do this!

Jasper's bed

Prepping the materials for a DIY Headboard

Fabric

  1. Pre-wash the fabric you’ll be using for the duvet cover. It’s probably not necessary to wash the headboard fabric, as you won’t really be removing it later to wash it again, anyway. You can decide if you want to pre-wash the bedskirt fabric, but it’s probably not the end of the world if you don’t.
  2. After the fabric is washed in warm water and dried on a low heat setting in the dryer, iron or steam out the wrinkles. This makes the measuring process much easier. Don’t forget to get the wrinkles out of the fabric you didn’t pre-wash!

doll

DIY headboard

If you’re not familiar with upholstery, this might be the trickiest part of recreating Jasper’s new bed, but you can do it! We’ll walk you through it.

Prepping the understructure

  1. First, use butcher paper to make a template for your headboard. Use the mattress and bed frame as a reference so you get the dimensions right.

butcher paper headboard prep

  1. Using a jigsaw or handheld router, take your piece of plywood and cut out your desired shape for the headboard. The full width of the headboard should be the same width as the short side of your bed.
  2. Cut out the thick foam piece (it’s a camping foam from Home Depot) into the same shape as the plywood. The bottom of the foam should rest right above the mattress when set up right.
  3. Using quilting batting, wrap the portion of the headboard with the foam and secure with a few staples. Make sure to extend the batting all the way under the foam. We slip stitched it to the foam.

headboard close-up

Prepping the fabric for the DIY headboard

  1. Measure the dimensions of the cut-out, batting-wrapped headboard. You’ll need four sections of fabric: one for the front (this piece will extend from the top of the mattress all the way to the top), one for the thin middle section between front and back, one for the back, and one for the bottom front section below the mattress.
  2. In your dimensions, make sure to add 1/2 in (or desired amount) of seam allowances to all three sections of fabric.
  3. Now, with your desired color of bias tape (we used a periwinkle blue), make piping to line the front and back edges of the headboard. To do this, take your cord (1/8″ wide is good), and wrap it into the center of the bias tape, wrong sides together.
  4. Sew along the open edge with a zipper foot so you can get nice and close the the cord.
  5. Next, align the front piece of fabric with the middle section’s fabric, right sides together. As you pin, carefully align the edge of the piping (the edge without the cord) with the edges of the fabric sections, slipping the piping between the two pieces of fabric as you go. Sew in place with a zipper foot, trying to keep as close to the cord as you can.

Assembling the headboard

Now you’re ready to put everything in place!

  1. To make sure everything is aligned right, line up the point of the fabric with the understructure.
  2. At the base of the batting on the headboard, staple the fabric in place, making sure to pull it taut.

3. Now, pull up firmly and slide the sewn pieces over the front edge of the headboard and pull them towards the back so the corners are nice and taut against the frame.

4. Pull taut at the back and staple in place. Work from both sides and the center evenly to avoid puckering.

5. Now, take the piece of fabric you measured for the back and fold under 1/2 inch. Now line up with the edge of the back and staple in place to cover the raw edges of the front pieces.

6. The headboard is complete! Whew, the hardest part of Jasper’s new bed is done!

 

headboard alt shot

Sewing a bedskirt

Taking the measurements

For the bedskirt on Jasper’s new bed, you’ll want to start with measurements. The measurements you’ll use will depend on the size of bed you have, and whether or not you have a box spring. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Measure the length, width, and height of your bed frame. If you have a box spring, include the height of the box spring in the total height measurement of the bed frame. For example, if your bed frame is 12 inches tall, and the box spring is 7 inches tall, the total height you’d need would be 19 inches. We didn’t use a box spring, so our dimensions were 12 inches for the height, 74 inches for the length, and 38 inches for the width.

bedskirt close up

Cutting the fabric

For the fabric, you’ll need a basic, white (or other solid color that won’t show), woven fabric. You’ll also need the patterned fabric of your choice for the bedskirt, duvet and headboard. Here’s how to cut the fabric:

  1. First, take the plain fabric and cut it into the length and width of your twin bed. Add on 1/2 of an inch to each dimension. For example, since our length was 74 inches and our width 38 inches, we cut a large piece that was 75 inches by 39 inches.
  2. Next, cut out your bedskirt pieces. This takes a bit of thinking, especially if the pattern on your fabric needs to go a certain direction, like our vertical stripes. To cut out the bedskirt, think of it this way: you need one long piece of fabric that has a width of 13 (the height of the bed frame, 12, plus a seam allowance). For the length, you’ll need a piece that’s the length of three of the sides of the bed (74+38+74=186). You’ll also need to add in the length of four pleats, which are 12 inches each (12×4), then (186+48=234). Then add 1 inch to each end, so you can hem it under. The total length=236 inches.
  3. Now, because we wanted vertical stripes on Jasper’s new bed, we pieced together a bunch of pieces of fabric to get that length (the width of the fabric was definitely not long enough). It will look pretty seamless if you just match up the stripes, making sure to alternate stripe colors when you sew on a new section of fabric.

Jasper's new bed

Assembling the pleats

  1. the first step in sewing the pieces together is to hem the bottom of the long strip of fabric you’ve already sewn together (roll under 1/2 in, then 1/2 again).
  2. Hem one end of the large, rectangular piece of fabric. (Again, roll under 1/2 in, then 1/2 again).
  3. Next, you need to pin the pleats in place. To do this, start from one end of the long strip of fabric and measure in HALF the length of the long dimension (74/2=37). Mark that spot with a pin. Now, keep going in that same direction and measure 6 more inches. Mark that with a pin, then measure 6 more inches and mark that.
  4. Now, take the two pins on either side and bring them to the center pin to make the pleat. Secure the pleat in place with additional pins.
  5. Repeat the steps above for the pleat on the opposite end.
  6. For the corner and center pleats, simply calculate how far over the next pleats need to be, based on your bed’s dimensions. Pin them in place the same way you did the first two pleats.

Jasper's new bed close

Sewing the pieces together

You’re finally ready to sew the pieces together! This is really simple:

  1. To sew the pieces together, line up the raw edge of the long, pleated strip of fabric with the large rectangular piece of fabric all along the border, with right sides together. Sew in place, and finish the raw edge of the underside with a zig zag or serged finish to prevent fraying.
  2. Done! Now you can go ahead and slip this bedskirt on the bed between the bed frame/box spring and mattress.

books on duvet

DIY duvet cover

The duvet cover is the finishing touch of the bedspread that really gives it the oo la la! It also happens to be the easiest to make, which is a big relief after that headboard and bedskirt! Here’s how to make a simple duvet cover:

Taking the measurements

  1. Make sure you have the right size of duvet, then base the length and width off of its dimensions. Our duvet was a standard twin, which was 66″x 86″.
  2. Leave these dimensions as they are, rather than adding on additional seam allowances.  This will make the duvet fit nice and snugly inside of the cover, for a nice, full appearance.

Front view Jasper's bed

Cutting the fabric

  1. If you have custom fabric that’s extra wide or made for bedding, you’re in luck! You’ll just need two, big pieces that are both 66″x 88″ (leaving room for extra hems at the bottom, so you can slip the duvet inside).
  2. If your fabric is like ours was, and is more of a standard width (ours was 44″), you’ll simply need to sew it together to make it wider. Ours has a very subtle seam in the middle that’s hidden because the seam is exactly in line with the stripes.
  3. Once you have your two pieces cut, you’ll prep them for the rest of the sewing by hemming one short side of each piece.
  4. Now you’re ready to sew it together!

side view of bed

Sewing the pieces together

  1. Now, simply line up the edges, both hemmed sides matching up and right sides together, and sew around the three, un-hemmed sides. Backstitch at each end for extra strength.
  2. To finish the seams, zig zag or serge the edge to prevent fraying.
  3. If you’d like to, you can add a few buttonholes and buttons to the open end to keep it closed once the duvet is inside.
  4. The last step is to simply arrange everything and make the bed. Voila!

This bedspread is so cozy and perfect for Jasper’s bedroom, it was totally worth the time and effort it took! We are in love with Jasper’s new bed. We can’t wait to see what you do in your kids’ rooms!

Jasper's New Bed

More inspiration

Did you love this tutorial featuring Jasper’s new bed? You’ll probably love these, as well: Felix’s new nurseryour new closet system, before and after master bedroom, and designing our main bathroom.

We’ve got more plans for his bedroom. Stay tuned!

Thyroid Eye Disease: My Story

Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)

Discovering TED

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.

Brittany and FelixThe 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)? 

Thyroid Eye Disease

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.

Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)

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.

Brittany and Felix

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.

To find a nearby TED Specialist and other resources, visit www.FOCUSonTED.com.

This post is sponsored by Horizon Therapeutics. Thanks to our sponsors that allow us to create unique content for you!

Kid’s Toys: Lars Shop Highlight

What is Eeboo?

We couldn’t tell you about our Eeboo kid’s toys without introducing the company’s incredible background. First of all, women and mothers run this company. I mean, who knows kid’s toys better than mothers? I love how thoughtful these toys are. They make board games, watercolor sets, puzzles, and so much more. (You can find them here!) It just goes to show how the experience of being a mother influences their ability to understand children’s brains and what they need. And need I mention that they have the awards (Oppenheim best toy awards and honors) to prove it?

kid's toys

kid's toys

Encouraging development in children

One amazing aspect of Eeboo as a company is their focus on developmental learning in kid’s toys. They help kids develop skills like literacy, storytelling, drawing, imaginative play, and basic math. I mean, could I be more impressed? Kid’s toys that help their development while also helping them have fun? I can say from experience that it can definitely be a challenge to get kids to want to settle down when they’re feeling wild. And you can forget concentrating on learning things like math. So to have kid’s toys that are fun, interactive, and help make learning fun is a dream come true.

kid's toys

Screen-free

At Eeboo, the goal with their kid’s toys is to integrate learning and play in a screen-free way. This is so important (and need I say refreshing?) when we all have screens coming out our ears! It’s hard to get away, and these kid’s toys are a really beautiful way to succeed at it.

Commissioned illustrators

They also commission all their artwork from well-known and well-loved illustrators. It shows, too! The illustrations make their kid’s toys feel so fresh and original–artwork straight from the source. And friends, these illustrations are beautiful. They are delicate, detailed, and full of personality. Need I add that they are colorful and bright? They’re just what every child needs to stay interested and engaged.

Look at the illustrations on these watercolors and paper! Incredible, right? They’d make the perfect gift for a rainy afternoon to get those creative juices flowing.

kid's toyskid's toys

Care and dedication

I’d have to say one of my favorite things about these Eeboo kid’s toys is the care and dedication they give to their customers. They even have a booklet that talks about their values and priorities. I mean, come on! They go to great efforts to be sustainable, respect diversity, value design, and so much more.

I just keep dreaming about the things I would have done if I’d had these toys as a kid. I love how these building blocks promote creativity and imaginative play, for instance.

kid's toys

If you haven’t caught on by now, I am in love with these kid’s toys and can’t wait for Jasper (and eventually Felix) to start playing with them! Click here to get to our whole Eeboo shop collection. If you also fell in love while reading this, you’ll probably also love these other favorites: Kid’s art kit, Op art paper mobile, Thanksgiving coloring placemats, and quilted dog book plate.

Family Costume Reveal

Where the Wild Things Are Family Halloween Costume

I just realized that this is our first family Halloween costume we’ve done with our kids. I always just highlighted Jasper–that was fine enough for me. But once Jasper started really acting like Max from Wild Things I knew we had to do this costume as a family. Gwen from our team took on the challenge and SHE NAILED IT! Seriously so good. We had a lot of hands on it too since I’m still in baby survival mode ;).

family costume wild things

Where the Wild Things are Max Costume Idea

This part of our family costume is so simple. Seriously, it hardly takes any time at all, so if you’re in a pinch, this is a great option: cute, cozy, and simple.

First things first, you’ll need a white jumpsuit. Easy. This is a good option if you need help finding one. We added in some more visible buttons like the illustration as well as a tail.

wild things max costume

You’ll also need: 

  • Faux fur like this (for the tail and crown)
  • A crown. For ours, we used Jasper’s flower lane crown. We would highly recommend! They are durable, comfortable, and adjustable and you can use them for birthdays and more. If you’re interested, you can find them here.
  • Hot glue, safety pin, or clip (to attach the tail)

Instructions for DIY Max Costume

  1. First, cut the length of the faux fur rope needed for Max’s head circumference. Tie in a knot. (crown should fit snugly inside)
  2. Then cut another piece of faux fur rope for the tail (estimate length as needed). Hot glue, pin, or clip the faux fur tail in place.
  3. Done! So easy, right?

max from where the wild things aremax and wild things costumes

Baby Wild Thing Halloween Costume

Baby’s costume was super simple because we started with a simple furry onesie base and worked it out from there.

wild things costume for baby

You will need:

  • Furry jumpsuit with hood (we used one like this)
  • Cardboard
  • Horn template from our shop
  • Masking tape
  • Acrylic paint (we used white and gray)
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Face paint (we used black for his little nose)

where the wild things are baby costumecardboard foot claws

DIY Cardboard Horns and feet for Wild Things Halloween Costume

where the wild things are papier mache mask

  1. For the horns, cut out two sets of our template, found here.
  2. Print out the templates.
  3. Trace the templates onto cardboard, then cut out the templates as indicated.
  4. Slide the two separate pieces into the corresponding slots, then wrap completely with masking tape so the cardboard is covered. Wrap as if you’re wrapping a mummy, so the tape is nice and flat, no bumps or wrinkles (this will make painting them a lot easier later!)where the wild things are webbed feet cardboard
  5. Paint the horns your desired color/pattern/texture! We did kind of a gradient to mimic the original illustrations in the book.
  6. For the feet, print out the template (found here), then trace it onto cardboard and cut out.
  7. Paint the feet however you want! We chose gray for the claws and white for the rest, then added some texture.
  8. Wait for the paint to dry, then use hot glue to attach the horns and claws to the furry jumpsuit.
  9. Ta da!

wild things papier mache mask costumewhere the wild things are scales costume

Adult Where The Wild Things Are costumes

The adult wild things costumes were definitely the most time intensive of the family costumes, but are also showstoppers. So worth it. For these, you’ll need:wild things costume with big masks

  • Cardboard (plenty of it! You’ll use it for the masks and feet)
  • Newspaper, 1 part flour, 5 parts water, 2 Tbsp salt, and a pot for the paper mache
  • Scissors
  • Black faux fur like this
  • orange/brown yarn like this
  • Two baseball caps
  • Twine
  • Acrylic paint
  • Yellow sweatsuit set (something like this and this)
  • Brown hoodless sweatshirt
  • Gray sweats
  • Yellow felt
  • cream/white felt
  • Hot glue
  • Floral wire (we used 22 gauge)
  • Styrofoam balls for eyes (3in diameter balls are a good size)
  • Elastic (¾ or 1 in width is good)

wild things costume masks

Instructions

Prepping the masks

  1. Cut out two large circles of cardboard, one for each mask. Make one slightly larger than the other.
  2. Cut three, evenly-spaced slits in the top third section of the cardboard circles
  3. Overlap each of the slits with each other slightly, then hot glue. This will give the mask a little dimension.
  4. Cut off the bottom third of each of the circles(these will be the mouths)
  5. For the teeth, cut out roughly ten triangles (just estimate the size) for the smaller, yellow wild thing, and 14 for the bigger, horned wild thing.
  6. Next, glue the teeth onto the bottom of the top third section, underlapping them slightly. Leave a few inches of space on each side of the teeth. Do this with both masks.
  7. Then, hot glue the bottom section of both masks back on, bending the top third around so the bottom section underlaps slightly and gives the sides and bottom a little depth.how to make a papier mache mask
  8. For the horns on the bigger wild thing, you can use the same template used for the baby wild thing (found here) and just make them bigger.
  9. For the eyes, poke wire through the styrofoam balls and loop back through to secure. Then poke the wire through the cardboard and twist in the back to secure.
  10. For the nose, take one styrofoam ball (for the center of the nose) and do the same thing you did with the eyes, placing it where the nose should go. Then, for each nostril, shave off the bottom as needed (roughly one third) to let the balls settle down on each side of the nose center. Secure with wire.
  11. Now, crumple/fold some pieces of newspaper and build them up around the top and bottoms of the eyes. These are the eyelids.

Now you’re ready to do the paper mache!

how to make a papier mache mask wild thingsPaper mache

Prepping the paste/newspaper

  1. Cut a bunch of long, thin strips of newspaper. It’s nice to have them cut in advance so you don’t have to do this with sticky hands later. Cut as many as you think you’ll need to cover both masks adequately in a couple layers.
  2. Boil 4 parts water. In separate bowl, whisk 1 part warm water with one part flour. Try to get out any lumps. If you live in a humid place, add a few tablespoons of salt to prevent mold growth. 
  3. Once the flour mixture is done, slowly stir into the boiling water. Mix it in well, then let boil for a few minutes. If it seems a little thick, you can add water, and if it seems thin, you can add flour.
  4. Now you’re ready to apply the glue!where the wild things are bird costume with long hair

Glueing the masks

  1. First, take a strip of newspaper and dip it into the paste. Coat the paper completely, sliding your fingers over the paper so the paper is covered in a thin layer of the paste. 
  2. The next step is to apply the sticky newspaper to the mask! (Note: you make want to use gloves for this step, it can get pretty messy)
  3. Keep applying the newspaper pieces until the mask is covered (cover the teeth, too!). Tip: Make sure to place them randomly, rather than going the same direction the whole time. The paper mache will hold better this way.
  4. Remember to cover the horns with paper mache, too! Wrap them like a mummy, using the same wrapping technique as for the baby wild thing horns.
  5. Let dry COMPLETELY before moving on to the next steps.

Painting

Once you’ve applied two or so coats and they’re dry, you’ll be ready to paint! Note: it usually takes at least a day or two for the paper mache to dry (faster in dry, hot climates, and slower in cold, humid climates).

papier mache maskFinishing touches

  1. Now for the fun part: paint the masks! Use ours as a reference for colors, and we’d also recommend looking at the original illustrations if you need more help figuring out how to paint them.
  2. After the paint is dry, you can cut out strips of the faux fur and hot glue them all around the bigger wild thing’s head. Cut strips of yarn and hot glue them onto the smaller wild thing’s head. To make the yarn look like it’s parted in the middle, you can fold the strips of yarn in half and glue the folded sections to the middle where the part is.where the wild things are with long hair
  3. Now, poke two eye holes below the nose (they will look like nostrils). You want to be able to see while wearing this thing!
  4. The next step is to hot glue the baseball caps inside the masks. Place them so the back of the hat is just above the eye holes. This should make it so you can see when the hat is on your head.
  5. If you would like, you can also hot glue a couple of pieces of twine to the back of the mask that you can tie around your head for extra stability.
  6. The masks are done! Whew!

family costume where the wild things arePrepping the adult clothing

Prepping the adult outfits of the family costume is simple:

  1. Cut out a bunch of yellow, felt strips. Hot glue them onto the brown sweatshirt.
  2. For the pants, cut out a bunch of strips that are flat on one side and have a row of triangles on the other (see photos of the costumes for details). Hot glue these on in rows.
  3. Last is the feet. For these, cut out cardboard feet using our templates (found here)
  4. Next, paint the claws on the yellow wild thing. We did white for the claws and the rest a bit textured with yellow, gray and brown.
  5. Glue a yellow piece of felt onto the main template for the smaller, yellow wild thing. For the bigger wild thing, glue gray felt onto the feet, then more white felt cut the same way the pants are.
  6. When the paint is dry, hot glue a strip of elastic to each corner of the backs of the feet to make loops like stirrups (the loops will attach around the backs of the heels and help keep the feet on over your shoes). 

That’s a wrap! Let the wild rumpus start!

If you loved this costume tutorial and would like to find more great family costume ideas, check out these other posts: Mom and Baby Costumes, Group Halloween Costumes, and Last Minute DIY Costumes, Jasper’s Viking Costume

Painted Mini Pumpkins

Painted Mini Pumpkins

I love the look of all of our mini painted pumpkins this year, especially as a cohesive look. In fact, the more the better! We based them off of our new Casetify collection because they are definitely worth replicating! The checkerboard is such a fun and easy pattern to paint as is the colorblock and squiggles. The florals take a bit more work but they are *chef’s kiss.* Do you have a fave? I’m leaning towards the folk floral, but then again, that’s also my favorite case so there’s a theme there.

painted pumpkins DIY

How to paint mini pumpkins

We started out with white pumpkins so that it would be easier to see the pattern. Orange works too, but you need more layers of paint to see the design. It’s also easier if you choose pumpkins with longer stems. I know that because we couldn’t find any and it was tricky! It’s nice to be able to hold onto something sturdy.

painted pumpkins to match The House That Lars Built casetify cases

Materials

  • white mini pumpkins (you should be able to get these at most grocery stores this time of year!)
  • acrylic or house paint (see colors below!)
  • paintbrushes
  • UV sealant (optional–keeps the paint looking nice longer)

How to paint a checkerboard pattern on a pumpkin

To create the checkerboard pattern on a pumpkin you will need to do the following:

  1. Paint your whole pumpkin in the lighter of the two colors you plan to use. Let it dry,
  2. With a thin marker, draw lines down each of the mini pumpkin’s natural grooves. The lines won’t be perfectly measured, but they will be a lot easier to paint this way!
  3. Draw even horizontal stripes around the mini pumpkin.
  4. Fill in every other box with the darker paint! Make sure you cover up the marker lines.
  5. We added in thicker accent stripes to mimic our cases just for fun
  6. Add on your UV sealant if desired.

folk painted pumpkin

How to make the quilted folk floral mini pumpkin

  1. Use your permanent marker to draw out a grid pattern on your mini pumpkin, similarly to how you did with the above checkerboard technique. We made ours two grooves thick so that the “quilt squares” were bigger.
  2. Paint in the colors of your squares. Wait until dry.
  3. Use the end of a pencil or large paintbrush to create a ring of the petals inside the squares.
  4. Paint contrasting circles onto each square in the center of the petals.
  5. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

How to make wavy line painted mini pumpkin

How to make the simple floral painted mini pumpkin

  1. Paint the whole mini pumpkin in a solid background color.
  2. Follow the flower instructions from the quilted pumpkin, but without the squares–just place them around your pumpkin randomly!
  3. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

How to make large floral painted mini pumpkin

These are one of my favorites! I love the decorative element it brings.

  1. With your permanent marker, draw lines down the mini pumpkin’s natural segments, dividing it into even sections.
  2. Draw out your design in each section. Our design includes an abstract flower at the top (yellow), a tall, symmetrical flower taking up most of the pumpkin’s body (in shades of red and pink with a green stem and leaves), and two abstract flowers at the bottom (yellow).
  3. Using the background color, paint in most of the pumpkin’s background. Avoid painting over your sketch of the flowers, but if you cross the marker lines a little bit, you should be okay. You just want to leave enough of your drawing so that you can see where to paint your flower.
  4. With your yellow, pink, red, and green paints, paint in the rest of your floral design.
  5. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

floral painted pumpkins

How to make the wavy lined painted mini pumpkin

  1. Paint the whole mini pumpkin in a solid background color.
  2. With an accent color, paint the outline of a wavy, squiggly design down the mini pumpkin’s side.
  3. Fill in your wavy shape with the same accent color.
  4. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

A clump of painted mini pumpkins in bright colors.

How to make the delicate floral painted mini pumpkin

This one is such a pretty showstopper, and it’s way easier than it looks! You’ll use a fine tipped paintbrush instead of a foam paintbrush. Just make sure to clean it between colors!

  1. If desired, paint the whole mini pumpkin a solid background color. I opted not to, instead showing off the pretty white pumpkin color, but you do you!
  2. With green paint, paint little curved lines as flower stems and wavy green leaves coming off the bottom of them. Distribute these around the pumpkin randomly.
  3. Top the flower stems with white or light pink flowers with red centers.
  4. Paint abstract yellow flowers around the pumpkin’s surface.
  5. Fill in empty space with mini periwinkle, pink, red, and orange flowers. For these, just make a few small brushstrokes. Paint a tiny green stem underneath or a white dot in the middle for a different style.
  6. Use UV sealant if desired to seal the paint.

delicate floral painted pumpkin on a pink and orange background. There's a matching phone case next to it.

Marbling technique didn’t work this time

We tried doing a marbling technique as inspired by our Casetify marbled case, but it just wasn’t working out. I’ll be sharing the failed version over on Instagram (hahahaha!). If you have a marbling technique that has worked for you in the past, let us know!

cell phone cases match the painted pumpkins

You can shop our The House That Lars Built for Casetify Collection here

We would love to see how you’re painting your mini pumpkins this year. Tag us with #LarsHalloween or #LarsMakes so we can see them! 

If you liked these painted pumpkins you might also like these ones:

Rainbow painted pumpkins
Pastel painted face pumpkins
DIY rainbow pumpkin arch
Pumpkin favor with leaf template

A Life Well Lived

A Life Well Lived

Clearly I’m not Matt Damon nor am I on any track to becoming a movie star, but saying yes has not been on my agenda for quite some time. To be fair, how could it? The last year and a half has brought out a lot of no’s. No to public outings, no to gatherings, no to civil discourse. And just when we thought we could start saying yes we were stuck with COVID in July and then the air quality was so bad in Utah that we couldn’t even go outside. Certainly not on the path to a life well lived.

living joie de vivre
Perhaps my team has noticed the shift because I recently took them on two spontaneous field trips. Here we visited the new Harmony store here in Provo, which is a real gem.

In other words–I’ve been feeling STUCK! Physically, emotionally, mentally…all the ways. You too? It doesn’t feel good. Doesn’t feel like living.

Feeling stuck as a new mother

Now, I’m also a new mom to a 9 month old. Any one with a new baby might know the feeling of being stuck. Sometimes you’re physically stuck at home nursing on a schedule or waiting on naps or just hanging out waiting on their every move. It’s constant and exhausting. It’s also emotionally draining and your hormones are playing a game of kickball inside your body. Well, sometimes it’s also a game of pool or kickboxing. Definitely some type of martial arts.

Getting outside your comfort zone to experience a life well lived

So, when I heard Matt Damon talk about saying yes I thought, THAT’S IT! THAT is a life well lived! I need to say yes more because life is too short to say no! And when even did I get trapped in my comfort zone?! And when did my life start taking the shape of a cross stitched life motto?!

As I’m typing this out, I’m realizing that I was actually really good at getting outside my comfort zone and experiencing a life well lived in my 20s and early 30s. And because of it I’ve had some really awesome opportunities…and some more frightening moments. But all experiences that made me grow.

a life well lived
The other was going up to Salt Lake to see one of our own, Gwen’s art show.

For fear of waxing nostalgic I’ll stop there and just say, it’s time to get outside of that comfort zone again. Somehow. Ha! I don’t know how that’s going to happen quite yet because we’re still in a pandemic and I still have a baby, but I am willing and more focused on living more intentionally.

Joie de Vivre means more than just a life well lived

The term joie de vivre keeps on coming back to me–I think about it all the time. I think it’s because I had a friend who told me a story of how her mom once gave a lecture to one of her siblings for not displaying enough of it. Can you imagine?! Joie de vivre! An “exuberance for life”, an “exultation of spirit”! There are few words or phrases that capture the human spirit more than joie de vivre and who wouldn’t want to live life to the fullest?! That is the essence of a life well lived!

Ideas on living a life well lived

Basically what I’m saying is that I want to feel joie de vivre EVEN THOUGH I can’t just drop everything and travel the world or whatever it is that I haven’t yet dreamed up yet. Perhaps a life well lived is experienced in the little things right now? Maybe making a little extra effort to go to a fantastic spot for a walk or hike. Perhaps it’s setting one responsibility aside to focus a bit on something that brings joy. I don’t know! Clearly I’ve got some brainstorming to do or maybe you have ideas for me? Would love to hear them!

Tell me about your life well lived. Are you living it now? If so, I want your tips. If not, what’s the road block? I bet I could join you 😉