It’s that time of year when the stores are packed with new school supplies, fall clothes are starting to fill the catalogs, and the leaves are just barely starting to turn. We have mixed emotions about this whole fall thing, but we’re trying to embrace certain aspects of it. Insert: Back to school shopping. Although many of the Lars Team are finished with school, we often have college interns returning for fall semester. Perhaps you’re taking a few courses yourself, or have kids starting soon. Whatever your situation, this time of year everyone is allowed some “back to school shopping.” A little retail therapy is always a great way to transition to a new season. We’re covering laptop covers today, to ensure your tech accessories are in tip-top shape. Whether you’re at the library, the office, or working from home, it’s always nice to personalize and protect your laptop in a pretty case.
So much has been going on in our shop that I have a whole list of Spring shop launches to announce! Working with incredible artists and brands is such a fun aspect of what I do, and I’m so excited to announce these Springtime collaborations and additions to the shop.
Betsy holds a special place in my heart because she used to be an intern at The House that Lars Built! On top of that, she is an amazing ceramic artist (check out our interview of her here). I adore her new line and I’m ecstatic that I get to partner with her and sell her work through my shop!
Betsy’s mugs are so beautiful and unique that you won’t want to close the cupboard doors on them. I love the vibrant, looped handles, which really make them showstoppers.
Can you believe how whimsical these floral candlesticks are? They would be so lovely grouped together as a tabletop garden or even individually. Each candlestick comes with a candle so you can get started right away.
While all of Betsy’s products would make ideal Mother’s Day gifts, these mini vase brooches are especially fitting. They attach to a blouse securely with two pins, which means they won’t twist upside down and accidentally spill your teeny bouquet. The brooches come with a mini paper flower kit that we made especially for the vase so you can make a bloom that will last a long time. I love giving gifts with a handmade component, and this ticks all the boxes.
In addition to Betsy’s phenomenal work, there’s a whole collection of Mother’s Day gifts in my shop! There are darling earrings of so many shapes and sizes that no matter your mother’s (or aunt’s or grandma’s or friend’s) sensibilities, there’s something cheerful and beautiful for the people on your list.
Plus, our corsage inspired aprons are always a win!
Nothing says Mother’s Day like a handwritten note, and we also have you covered there. Choose between a wide variety of designs and messages and express your love in style.
Kids need to be able to get in on the Mother’s Day festivities too, so we made this detailed and delightful activity pack. Print out the files and let your kids go to town to make a gift that’s memorable and oh so personal.
If you’re looking for more Mother’s Day inspiration, check out our post about Mother’s Day gifts that kids can help out with here.
If you’re familiar with The House that Lars Built, it’s no surprise to you that my boys are a big presence here. We make a lot of projects for kids, so this spring we launched the Baby and Children’s section of the shop. Between patterns, products, and prints, there’s so much to make and do and decorate with for Little Lars (you know I love an alliteration!).
I teamed up with lots of brilliant illustrators and artists to make artwork you can use to decorate a kid’s room (or your own! I won’t tell)! Lots of the artwork is storybook themed so your little one can decorate with art from some of their favorite books.
Finally, we collaborated with Winter Water Factory, one of my favorite clothing brands, to design a print. If you’re someone who looks at kids clothes and thinks “I want that in my size,” this is for you! Winter Water Factory makes clothing for kids and adults alike, as well as a few key accessories for babies. This collaboration also happened in partnership with Hazel Village to make clothes for stuffed animals. Name something cuter than your whole troupe decked out in matching Dutch Floral clothing–I’ll wait. Ha! We came up with an adorable coloring page to go with it.
I was inspired by the floral patterns on Dutch pottery for this line and I think that all the products came out so beautifully.
Keep In Touch
We’re always releasing new products and projects, and I would hate for you to miss them! Our Instagram pages are great places to keep up with what I’m working on. For more shop-exclusive content check out @houselarsbuiltshop and for a broader look at what’s going on in the world of Lars follow along with @houselarsbuilt. I look forward to seeing you there!
First up, our Springtime Activity Pack. This is intended to sit snuggle inside of an Easter basket for your craft child. It comes with a set of double sided origami paper, ten rolls of beautiful washi tape and an acrylic tape dispenser, a set of pastel rainbow pens, and a set of colorful glue sticks. SO fun!
Stay tuned for some origami Easter tutorials!
Easter basket stuffers for your child
Next up, the cutest accessories you ever did see! I mean, look at this adorable bunny visor!
And bunny socks for someone who is TOE-tally awesome?! I may make Jasper wear these! 😉
Easter Hair accessories
Now for the hair clips, which are my personal favorite.
Here’s to a good HARE day (comes with the card so it can go straight into the basket). A velvet bunny hair tie.
Collars are super in right now as a part of the whole cottagecore trend and I am DIGGING them. I mean, you have to be super careful about them so as not to appear too 19th century. You can modernize it a bit more by wearing a blouse tucked into pants. I’m not much of a pants owner so I had to go with my dress here, but I’m going to assume that you own pants–am I correct? Ha! A lot of the ones out there are collars connected with the blouse but I wanted one that you could detach and pair with lots of different ones.
I LOVE a collar on kids too, though admittedly, I think I’d probably put it on a girl if I had one more than my boys. But, who cares?! They’re so fun! Almost like a necklace.
Rickrack is the braided trimming in a zigzag pattern often used as decoration on clothes. In the past, we used them to embellish blouses, and most recently, we used them in our baby bonnet pattern. We love the trimming so much, we wanted to use it in creating other matching accessories for the whole family. Starting with mom and child, make a rickrack collar that you can attach and detach to any outfit. Because rickrack has such a nostalgic appeal, they will maintain its classic look and feel for years to come. Read on to find out how to make one for yourself using our rickrack collar pattern.
Cut out your fabric. Make sure that you cut the collar back pieces on the fold!
Pin the collar front pieces to the collar back along the shoulder seam. If your fabric is printed, the right sides should be together.
Sew along the shoulder seams.
Press the seams open.
Repeat steps 3-6 with the other collar back and front pieces so that you have two identical pieces.
With the right sides together, pin the two pieces together.
Sew around the perimeter of the collar, but leave a gap about three inches long where you don’t stitch at the bottom of the collar back.
Through the unsewn gap, turn the whole thing right side out. Press all the seams so that they’re nice and tidy. Make sure that you press the corners where the collar meets in the front so that you see the point. It can help to push the corner out with a pencil or a skewer.
Starting at the top corners (where the collar will meet just below the neck), pin your rick rack to the edge of the collar.
Topstitch all along the edge of the collar, securing the rick rack down. This will also close up the gap you used to flip the collar right side out.
You’re almost done! To finish your collar, hand sew the hook and eye on at the top corners.
If you make this collar we would love to see it! Use #LittleLars to show us. Bonus points if you make two and match with your little one!
Even if you’re putting on a costume to hang out at home and watch the Sanderson sisters’ hijinks, our DIY Halloween Face Masks Tutorial will scratch that creative itch. And, as everyone knows, I don’t believe costumes are just for one night in October. Where’s the fun in that? Yep, you can reuse these masks for playtime, too (or for wearing when you leave your house for the first time in months to take out the trash and you don’t want your neighbors to see you…).
One note: I already LOVED Portland Garment Factory’s plain cotton face masks, because I’ve found them to be the best shape for breathability–you don’t suck the fabric in and out! So, working with them on this project was really a practical choice. And a bonus that you can have so much fun with them!
We chose some classic Halloween costume ideas to show just how easy to is to transform the iconic into a practical face mask/costume. You can choose from a jack-o-lantern, mummy, a Day of the Dead skeleton.
As you know, we’re getting more and more into embroidery (Celebrity crush dolls anyone?!) and the idea of making something that will last a little bit longer than a throw away sticker is really appealing. In this way, it acts more as a patch than a pin. We couldn’t be more proud to let people know that we voted so might as well keep it up all year long!
Statement headbands have been trending over the past few years and they are here to stay for 2021, thanks to Amanda Gorman! We’ve seen a resurgence of headband designs made with velvet and satin, embellished with pearls, rhinestones, and beads. They almost resemble Renaissance and medieval headwear that adorned the hair like a tangible halo glow. On Inauguration Day, Amanda Gorman glowed as she read her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” and her red headband simply accentuated her shine. Gorman’s “fiery red” headband by Prada quickly sold out since her speech, so we wanted to recreate the look by making our own headbands.
How to Make Your Own Statement Headbands
Plain 1.5 inch wide headbands (without teeth), 1/4 yard upholstery foam (½ inch thick), a permanent marker, scissors, a glue gun and glue, 1/3 yard fabric, a satin ribbon to finish.
Puffy Amanda Gorman Headband:
With your permanent marker, trace the outline of your headband onto the foam. Cut it out outside the lines, giving about half an inch of ease on each end (as the foam bends it scrunches up a bit and loses some length). If you want your headband to be extra tall, cut two foam shapes.
Making sure the foam and the headband are centered, glue the foam to the top of the headband. It’s easiest to keep it centered if you start with the two ends, then glue the top and sides.
If you are making yours extra tall, glue another layer of foam on top
Trim the foam to create a smooth silhouette. It’s especially helpful to trim down the foam by the ends of the headband so that it tapers. Take your time on this step.
Cut an oval of fabric 24 inches long and six inches wide.
Center the headband on the fabric and wrap the fabric up and over the foam. Glue the fabric to the underside of the headband. Repeat on the other side. It’s best if you keep the glue on the center of the underside of the headband so that it can be covered with the ribbon later. If you have excess fabric, trim it off.
Work your way around the headband, smoothing out big wrinkles along the way.
Trim the excess fabric from the end of the headband, leaving about an inch. Fold it under the bottom and secure with glue.
To finish your headband, cut a length of ribbon long enough to run the entirety of the inside of the headband with about an inch to spare. Glue the ribbon to the underside of the headband, covering any raw edges. Fold the end of the ribbon under to create a clean edge and secure with glue. Where the headband tapers fold both sides of the ribbon under so that the ribbon doesn’t extend beyond the sides of the headband. Glue down and repeat on the other side.
Cover the headband in fabric. To do this, cut a three inch wide strip of fabric just longer than the headband is. Center the headband on the fabric and glue it down so that it covers the top, and fold the ends under the headband. Secure with hot glue and press down to avoid pesky bumps. Trim away excess fabric.
Cut three four-inch-wide strips of fabric and fold them over so that they form a hollow tube. Dot hot glue along the side of each and secure the fabric tubes.
Stack the three tubes and glue them together. Loosely braid the three strands together, taking care to keep the glued seam down. It can help to tape the strands to a table here. Secure the end of the braid with hot glue so that it doesn’t unravel.
Starting in the middle of the braid, attach it to the top of the headband, with a dot of hot glue. Plump up the braid as desired and glue the braid down across the length of the headband. We pulled the braid a little bit tighter at the ends so that it would have more dimension at the top and taper at the sides. Trim any excess braid where the headband stops and add a dot of hot glue to the strands to keep them from unraveling.
To finish your headband, cut a length of ribbon long enough to run the entirety of the inside of the headband with a few inches to spare. Glue the ribbon to the underside of the headband, covering any raw edges. Starting on one side, trim the ribbon so it extends just beyond the end of the headband and fold it up over the bottom. Secure it with glue. Cut a three inch piece of ribbon and glue it to the inside bottom of the headband. Fold and glue the end of the ribbon to create a clean edge, and wrap it around the base. Secure with glue and repeat on the other side.
Cover the headband in fabric. To do this, cut a three inch wide strip of fabric just longer than the headband is. Center the headband on the fabric and glue it down so that it covers the top, and fold the ends under the headband. Secure with hot glue and press down to avoid pesky bumps. Trim away excess fabric. Cut the fabric so that it ends right where the headband ends.
Cover the raw edges of the fabric with a strip of ribbon. Cut a length of ribbon long enough to run the entirety of the length of the headband and glue it down, covering any raw edges. Don’t worry about the ends of the headband; we will finish those later.
Cut a strip of fabric six inches wide and about 30 inches long. Fold it over so that it forms a hollow tube. Dot hot glue along the side and secure the fabric tube.
Tie a loose knot in the center of the fabric tube. Make sure that the seam side isn’t up in the knot or on the top of the strips coming off the knot on either side.
With a dot of hot glue, secure the knot. Use another dot of glue to adhere the knot to the top of the headband.
With the seams down, glue the strips of fabric to the headband. Fold up the ends and fold in the sides, and wrap these around the bottom of the headband. Secure with hot glue.
As Amanda Gorman stated within the last lines of “The Hill We Climb,” may we be brave enough to be the light, in our country and our world.
We want to see how your style your Amanda Gorman headband! Tag us on instagram so we can see your iconic looks.
I have to admit that my New Year’s celebrations tend to turn into duds. Maybe it’s exhaustion from Christmas? Who knows. We made this New Year’s star crown to combat any potential duddy celebrations. I’m pretty sure if you wear it, good things will happen to 2016. No promises, just almost positive 🙂
Now that you’ve got the crown, it’s time to think about the rest of your New Year’s! If you’re throwing a celebration with friends or family, send out some invites! These printable New Year’s Eve invitations are the cutest way to let your guests know the details! You can also find a matching printable crown (perfect for younger kids or adults!). If you want to go for colorful decor (who doesn’t?!), you can take a look at this art deco New Year’s tablescape we made. For the ultimate showstopper, take a look at how to make your own disco ball ceiling installation. Add some metallic fringe to match your New Year’s Eve star crown!
Alvin Ailey was a dancer, director, choreographer, and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the most successful dance companies in the world. His work fused theatre, modern dance, ballet, and jazz with black vernacular, creating hope-fueled choreography that continues to spread global awareness of black life in America. We are inspired by Ailey’s movement, creativity, and motivation to create such meaningful and beautiful movement that leaves one feeling so inspired.
One of Paul’s favorite experiences was seeing the Alvin Ailey Dance Company when he worked at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. He still talks about it to this day!
Alma Woodsey Thomas as a Plush Doll
Alma Woodsey Thomas was an Expressionist painter and art educator best known for her colorful abstract paintings. We find ourselves in awe of her exuberant works, which are nothing short of noteworthy in their pattern, rhythm and color. There is nothing not to love about Alma’s work. Her ability to mix patterns and her eye for color are something we strive for in our own work here at Lars.
Beyonce as an Embroidered Plush Doll
Clearly, we had to create Beyonce in plush form. It was a given. Mostly, we wanted to bedazzle her in embroidery even more than she already is. Her raw talent and unstinted work ethic demonstrate to women of all walks of life that we can too. We look up to her ability to inspire others with her music, and that her creativity instills self-love, wonder, strength and an undeniable excitement and joy at being a woman. Beyonce is nothing short of pure magic!
Jean-Michel Basquiat as an Embroidered Plush Doll
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an artist most famous for his Neo-Expressionist paintings. Before Basquiat found his fame, he was using graffiti as an outlet of his artistic expression the name “SAMO.” His work was groundbreaking and addressed by the social and artistic elite. He took the consumerist pop model of the time and transformed it into a social commentary that spoke against systems of racism and power structures. We admire Basquiat’s persistence in creating work that held such powerful messages. Plus, we love his work!
We have even more plans for these dolls coming up, so feel free to comment below of people who want to celebrate. Who knows, they may just make it in a post! Stay tuned and be sure to make your own while you’re at it! You can find our tutorial here. Tag us with #larsmakes so we can see your creations!
We are such big fans of Iris we have this print of her by Rosie Harbottle in our shop! Rosie is a UK based illustrator with a passion for travel and culture, has a knack for prints and textiles, which made her the perfect person to illustrate Iris Apfel. Last June, we read Accidental Icon, a collection of Iris’ musings, for our book club! If you are new to the eclectic and patterned-filled world that is Iris Apfel’s, we recommend starting with this post about her here, and grabbing your own copy of Accidental Icon! It’s a very entertaining read, packed full of photos that will make you want to avoid anything that is a bore and live like Iris does!
Decorate like Iris
“I am inspired by everything around me…I’m just inspired by being alive and breathing and meeting people and talking to people and doing things and absorbing what’s happening. I think if more people did that, there would be better fashion. “
Iris Apfel is iconic for her fashion sense, but her taste spills over to her interior design in abundance. With references to 18th century France and Italy, vintage monkey sculptures everywhere you look, hand-painted chinoiserie patterns, and bold prints that somehow just work, Iris Apfel’s homes are strong evidence that self-expression is the way to go!
Dress like Iris
“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.”
Below you will find chunky acetate chain necklaces (an absolute Iris staple) paired with patterned blazers, hot pink head wraps, and thrifted finds but with a wink in Gucci’s direction. If anything we just said feels overwhelming, don’t worry, take a note from Iris’ playbook and start wherever feels right. But trust us, you’ll be surprised how good an eyebrow-raising day of fashion can feel.
“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude.”
Perhaps our favorite thing about this project is it is just as fun for kids or adults! The short material list and simple shapes make it a very kid-friendly craft. However, this is just a starting point for any design you want to try! Try out more intricate design at any skill level.
How to stamp with a potato
Acrylic or fabric paint
Fabric or paper surface you want to print on
Cut your clean potatoes into the shape you would like to stamp. We used half circles but you can stamp in any shape!
Apply paint evenly to one edge of potato stamp
Press firmly down on your paper or fabric surface
If you would like to combine two potato shapes to make one full color-blocked circle, place both potato stamps before lifting the first, as shown below.
If desired, fill in design more fully after stamping the basic shape.
What to block print on to
We choose to block print onto a canvas art supplies portfolio, we have holding our coloring pages and supplies!
In the past we have also stamped onto bandanas, napkins, wrapping paper, and more. The options are limitless! If you chose fabric, just make sure to use fabric paint.
More block printing and stamping tutorials
Read our interview with one of our favorite professional block print artists, Jen Hewett, here!
Once you start stamping you won’t want to stop. We know from experience. Though block printing is probably our favorite method, there are plenty of other fun ways to make your own design. Try this method for stamping onto a ceramic plate.
What other unexpected supplies have you used to block print? We would love to hear! Comment below