Rainbow Product Gift Guide

Apart from the fact that it’s a lot of fun, I have a really good reason to share my favorite rainbow products! Color is the place to start when you’re putting together a design.

Brittany holding colorful paper in a rainbow dress.

Sometimes when you’re designing a space or an outfit, there are simply too many options. Have you ever felt that? You look through your drawers or your closet and you see a whole range of things you like, but putting them together in a cohesive way is where the trouble starts.

Well, I propose a solution (and maybe just a life motto in general!): look to color! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by options, take a step back and really think about what colors you want to use in your design, your room or your outfit. If you get a good color scheme, the rest can fall into place. See? Even Jasper gets it! #JasperLinesThingsUp

color match your toys to the rainbow with sidewalk chalk

Color is also a great place to begin looking for gifts, so consider this a rainbow gift guide, too. Got a wedding coming up? You can’t go wrong with something gorgeous in the happy couple’s favorite color. Birthday? Same. I’ve found that I’m a better, more creative gift-giver when I consider color.

And I attest to this! Whenever we start a project or DIY, we start with a color palette. It makes the rest of the decisions so much easier. So without further ado, a guide of my favorite rainbow products and items in all hues!

Red

Red is a bright color with lots of impact.

Pink

Look, I know that pink isn’t traditionally part of that ROYGBIV rainbow we all memorized. But let’s be honest–it deserves a spot alongside the rest. Like, do you really think that the color indigo holds more cultural cache than pink?? Yeah, right. Here are my favorite pink gifts.

Orange

Orange you glad that warm hues are in? I sure am!

Yellow

All these yellow products are so cheerful and lovely. From books to decor to roller skates, we’ve got your gift-giving back.

Green

One day I’ll write a whole blog post about why I believe that green counts as a neutral (it’s everywhere in nature!) but for now just check out these gorgeous green gifts.

Blue

There are so many gorgeous tints, shades, and hues of blue that I have a (not so) secret theory that everyone loves blue. Look at these and just try to deny it.

Violet

Violet is such a regal color. I also think of lilacs, lavender, violets (duh), crocuses, and all kinds of lovely flowers. These are sure to bring that calm, cozy energy to your space.

Rainbow

You didn’t think I could just go through the individual colors and leave out rainbow, multicolored things, did you? No way. It’s not a rainbow product gift guide without a section dedicated to all things rainbow. And who knew that there were so many lovely rainbow mugs, right?

Of course, don’t forget my book, Craft the Rainbow which you can find in our shop here.

Craft the Rainbow book on a table with a brass hand-shaped lamp against a striped wall.

Every time you buy something from one of our affiliate links, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Yay!

Palm Springs Style You Can’t Miss

The city really took off after the 1940s when the Golden Age actors of Hollywood wanted a retreat from the growing sprawl of Los Angeles. With all of that wealth coming to town, architects came along with it. William Krisel and John Porter Clark and Arthur Frey and Jack Meiselman and so many more created masterpieces and tract houses alike in this town. While you and I probably can’t commission the architecture gods to build us new homes, we can take cues from their style! It’s also a very real possibility to snag one of the homes for yourself if you’re in the market.

John Porter Clark home. The sky is bright blue, the house is modern and flat-roofed and brilliant white, and the foreground is beige gravelAlbert Frey home made of glass and steel tucked into the plants and rocks of Palm SpringsA white and black Jack Meiselman Home at sunset. Palm trees sway in the background, and the front yard is xeriscaped.

Color Reigns

The look of Palm Springs is one of openness and ease, minimalism with playful twists. With the pervasive sun and expansive sky, most of the homes in the area are painted white but you’ll be hard pressed to find a neutral-colored door. Pastels and neons reign! Hooray! There is this random house that isn’t one of the rat pack mansions or anything, but it has become famous because of #thatpinkdoor. A few cans of paint is all it takes for you to bring this Palm Springs styling tip home with ya! 

Vertical image of a modern white home with a pink door, agave plants, and structural landscaping

Don’t Forget to Look Up

If you go visit Palm Springs, odds are you’ll be so busy looking at all of the fabulous architecture that you might not notice the sky. Who am I kidding – it’s huge and bluer than you’ve ever seen it before. You can’t miss it. The architects who polished this corner of desert into a gem certainly didn’t! It’s almost as if they designed with the sky as the centerpiece. Check out this picture from my good friend Frank’s house. Architect E. Stewart Williams wasn’t messing around – he was showcasing the skies. My favorite Palm Springs houses have windows that are higher than I’m used to seeing. They also have cantilevered sections and skylights. This stunning photograph of the Sunnylands Estate, AKA “Camp David of the West” shows how important the sky is to the design of the property. By the way, Obama and Xi Jinping hung out here a few years back. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me! 

Image of a house with a huge blue sky, topiary-style trees, modern flat roof, and a pink ramp leading into a flat blue pond.

Geometric Ease

Okay, thanks for humoring me while I ranted about the sky for a bit. A huge part of the appeal of Palm Springs is its ease. I just look at pictures and feel relaxed. The design is simple to understand; it’s all about straight lines and symmetry. I love this photo of a room at Twin Palms – the sunburnt orange color is definitely an homage to the earth tones outside. I love that color as a headboard! The symmetry of the room is so precise and uncomplicated that it looks good from every angle. Imagine having a wall of matching prints of identical size behind you for zoom calls! The exteriors of Desert Modernist homes tend to have breeze block and hardy plants that are almost impossible to kill. What’s not to love about that? 

If you’re looking to add some freshness to your space, try channeling the vibe of Palm Springs! Its simple color scheme, sky-inspired design, and linear geometry create such a feeling of comfort and relaxation. That’s exactly what I want right now!!

Shop Palm Springs-Inspired Decor

Shop Palm Springs-Inspired Fashion

Palm Springs-Inspired Accessories

Looking for more style guides? Don’t forget to check out our In the Mood For series! We’ve found fashion, home decor, and accessories inspired by Frida Kahlo, Josef Albers, The Queen’s Gambit, Andy Warhol, Alma Thomas, Monet, Wes Anderson, The Royal Wedding Anniversary, Jane Austen’s Emma, Iris Apfel, Little Women, Alexander GirardAnne of Green Gables, and Hamilton.

Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Summer Craft Kits

During Little Lars Summer Camp we’ve made a DIY Charcuterie board, rounded up easy crafts for kids, and shown you our favorite templates and printables from the shop, and now we have limited edition summer craft kits for kids and adults alike!

Little Lars art kit on a yellow background

 You know the feeling of losing steam for a craft session because all the prep felt like chores? Ugh. We do, too. When you have a great project in mind, the last thing you want to have to do is run all over town looking for the right supplies! Enter our summer craft kits, which we will ship right to you so you can jump in to crafting.

Kids Craft Kit

With our limited edition Kids Craft Kit, your kiddo will be well on their way to making masterpieces.

Little Lars art kit, including a red tote, a paint palette, paintbrushes, colored pencils, a sketchbook with a sticker, an eraser, and an apron on a yellow background

The kit includes:

  • a kid-sized apron
  • a sketchbook
  • colored pencils
  • paintbrushes
  • a paint palette
  • an eraser
  • a little artist tote to keep everything in

Run, don’t walk to buy this kids craft kit in our shop here, because supplies are limited! We’re so excited to see what your kiddos create with this kit.

Little Lars art kit on a yellow background

And know what would complement the kit perfectly? Our Great Artists course!

In the Great Artists course you can learn about 6 incredible artists and make work inspired by them. If you’re looking for a summer school or homeschool curriculum (or just something creative and fun to do with your kids!) look no further. You can find it on The School that Lars Built here and read more about it on this blog post. Right now you can use discount code CAMPLARS25 for 25% off the six-artist bundle, so don’t wait to bring your kid’s (and your!) art knowledge to new heights.

colored pencils and an eraser on a yellow background

Beaded Fruit Earring Craft Kit

At The House that Lars Built we’re firm believers that crafts aren’t only for kids, and this should come as no surprise to any of our readers. So, in true Lars fashion (and trust me, this is a fashion you won’t want to miss) we’re releasing a beaded fruit earring kit! We truly can’t get enough of this project, and we wanted to make it as accessible and easy as possible.

DIY Fruit EarringsDIY Fruit Earrings

Choose between a pineapple, an apple, and an orange–you really can’t go wrong. Make just one for yourself or buy a 3-pack, then get your friends together for a crafting party and complete the set. If you do this with your friends it will be like a cute friendship charm in the form of a summer craft kit! A bonding activity and a memento? Yes, please!

DIY Fruit Earrings

The beaded fruit earring craft kit comes with:

  • red, orange, or yellow seed beads
  • green teardrop-shaped beads
  • wooden beads as an armature for your wrapped, colorful beads
  • thread
  • metal headpins
  • jewelry glue
  • earring hooks
  • written instructions and a video tutorial

DIY Fruit Earrings

You’ll need to provide needle-nose pliers and a tiny bit of hot glue, but all the crucial pieces of this beaded summer craft kit will show up on your doorstep, ready to go! You can buy this kit in our shop here.

DIY Fruit Earrings

I’m excited to see your creations! Show us with #CampLars and #LarsMakes. Happy crafting!

 

A Lars Closet: Floral Dresses

This May I’m celebrating flowers on The House that Lars Built, so I wanted to compile some phenomenal floral dresses for you! It’s a great time to be a flower-loving dress wearer, so I came up with quite a long list. In true Lars fashion I’ve organized them according to the rainbow. You’re welcome for all the inspo! Ha!

Dresses are an instant, one-piece outfit. I love that I don’t have to figure out if I have a blouse that goes with a skirt or think too much about putting things together. They’re really my daily uniform!

Brittany wearing a long floral dress and holding a baby

Dresses look great as an outfit all by themselves and they’re easy and fun to style up with other accessories. I love versatility! Dresses are cool in the summertime and easily warmed up with tights in the winter, and only wearing dresses means that I don’t have to search high and low to find pants that fit right. As you can tell I’m a serious believer in dresses and I’m more than happy to spread the good word!

So, without further ado, here are some of my current favorite floral dresses that you can buy and join my Lars Closet team.

Red

A smocked red and blue floral dress with ruffled sleeves and a smocked bodice A red and pink patterned maxi dress

Looking at these red dresses has me dreaming of poppy fields and berry picking!

Pink

A woman wearing a flowing cream colored dress with pink flowers and green line-drawn stems gazes at the camera A painterly printed tiered dress in pink with purple, yellow, aqua, and orange accents.

Here at The House That Lars Built we think of pink as a neutral color because it’s so versatile. Whether you’re looking for something subdued or show stopping, these pink floral dresses are perfect for summer.

Orange

A tiered orange dress with 70s-inspired pink, yellow, and blue swirling accentsA woman leans against a chair in a light-filled room. She's wearing an orange sleeveless dress with a flounce at the bottom and abstract large white flowers printed on it. A dog lounges on a bench behind her.

These orange dresses are transporting me to citrus groves and lovely terra cotta streets. Wear these on your summer adventures!

Yellow

A woman wears a loose maxi dress in a shirt dress pattern. It's printed with large yellow flowers. A woman wears a light yellow floral dress with Mexican-inspired embroidery and frilled sleeves with a flounce at the bottom.

Here comes the sun! These yellow floral dresses are all things sunshine and cheerfulness.

Green

A woman wears a loose-fitting dress printed with green and purple large modern flowers. A woman wears a black and green floral printed midi dress with a lace-trimmed collar in a room with light wood floors.

Channel your earthiness and all your garden dreams with these green dresses.

Blue

A woman wearing a dark blue calico printed dress with a ruched collar and waistband, a flounce at the hem and the sleeves, and pleating in the bodice stands in a white room with a grey floor. A blue calico-printed midi dress with ruffles and flounces crossing the body and on the short sleeves. It has a tied belt and a v neck

Blue is another color that can read as a neutral–maybe because blue jeans are such a staple in the average wardrobe? Achieve the same lovely, relaxed vibe with these blue floral dresses without the horrors of hot jeans in the summer!

Purple

A woman wearing a purple high-necked dress with long, slightly puffed sleeves that's trimmed with darker purple at the neck, sleeve ends, and hem hold a child's hand in a green outdoor space A woman wears a purple calico-printed dress with 3/4 sleeves and a large ruffled collar with a flounce at the hem.

Floral prints go hand in hand with purple. These dresses make me think of gorgeous bundles of wisteria and delicate clumps of violets. Dreamy.

Rainbow!

A woman wearing a square-fronted dress with ruffled tiers and ruffled shoulder-covering sleeves. The dress is black, printed with red, blue, yellow, white, green, and light pink flowers A woman wearing a tiered maxi dress with lilac, blue, aqua, and chartreuse floral tiers stands in a grey room

For days when your color story defies any part of the spectrum, wear a multicolored floral dress. Walt Whitman‘s not the only one who contains multitudes!

Neutrals

A woman wearing a cream-colored tiered dress with long sleeves and botanical illustrations printed on it. A dress with ruffled tiers in the body and on the ends of the long sleeves. It's slightly sheer and has a gathered neckline.

Louder for the people in the back: NEUTRAL DOESN’T MEAN BORING! These floral dresses in subdued tones from white and black to shades of rich brown are so lovely and refined. They will fulfill all your cottage core dreams!

More Summer Fashion Inspiration

If looking at floral dresses in all colors of the rainbow hasn’t satisfied your desire to look at summertime fashion, here are some more projects and posts to peruse:

Thanks for letting us help you build your wardrobe! Every time you shop through links on our blog we get a small commission that helps us bring you more great content.

Summer Paper Flower Wedding Bouquet Kit

A couple years ago, we posted a number of DIY paper flower wedding bouquets. Some of our past ones include this colorful Cinco de Mayo bouquet, a stunning white peony bouquet, and the royal wedding inspired bouquet. It was time for another wedding bouquet, as well as a kit! That’s right, you can buy all the materials in one place–our shop!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

Wedding flowers are usually HUGELY expensive. They are gorgeous and undoubtedly worth the money if you can afford it. HOWEVER, not everyone has the cash for lavish floral decor, accessories, and bouquets. Then, at the end of the big day, most of the flowers get tossed and the ones you keep fade away much too quickly. I have even heard brides talk about coming home from a honeymoon to wilting flowers and feeling all the wedding and honeymoon hype slump down into post-wedding blues. How sad!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.A bride in a white dress against a pink background holds a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

But why not make something that will be just as beautiful and will last so much longer? Our paper flower wedding bouquet kit is unique, breathtaking, and won’t wilt. Honestly, if you keep it away from water and out of flames, this baby should last forever!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

Make Your Own Paper Wedding Bouquet

We have the perfect paper wedding bouquet kit ready for anyone who wants to make their own flowers. To help you get started, we gathered the materials for you (including a lovely ribbon to tie everything together!) so that there’s one less thing to think about as you plan your wedding.

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

We understand that it’s not easy to find the right materials in the correct colors and amounts. It turns out that lots of these materials (I’m looking at you, crepe paper) only come in bulk! Getting started and gathering the materials is probably the hardest part, so we took care of that for you! By buying our kit, you’ll save a lot of time, headache, and money, as well as templates and instructional videos.

A bride in a white dress against a pink background holds a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

If you’re not confident about how your paper flower wedding bouquet will turn out, ask a friend and/or family member for help and have a bouquet-making party! The point is, enjoy your time planning while making something meaningful for your special day. This bouquet will become such a meaningful memento of your wedding and the memory of making it will be even more meaningful!

Look for this kit in our shop to make your own, and tag us with #LarsPaperFlowers

 

Face Mask Quilted Coat

1

It all started when I was going on lots of walks with my three month old. Hate to say it, but a lot of people don’t know how to use the trash can! So, being the earth-loving girl that I am, I thought it would be better to PUT THEM TO USE! I mean, they’re perfectly useable! If you’re only wearing it once, it might as well go on the body!  Coat made from face masks

And just think, if they’re doing a great job of shielding viruses, think of what they would do when protecting your body! It’s like armor really.

Coat made from face masks

I removed all the wire from the nose area (I’ll be turning that into a project too, stay tuned!) as well as the elastics (hair ties coming soon!). I attached them to some infusible interfacing and then sewed them together to form a piece of fabric. But, it also needed a little something extra. RIBBON AND COLOR! We finished off the edges with some grosgrain ribbon in yellow, greens, and pinks. Coat made from face masksCoat made from face masks

On that note, I know a lot of you are going to want the same thing soooooooo, I’ve opened up a new company called Burlington Covid Factory where I’ll make coats from YOUR masks. Just send me your discarded face masks (or of your loved ones’) and we’ll flip it around in less than a week. Can you imagine the meaning behind each coat?

Coat made from face masks Coat made from face masks

Lastly, Happy April Fools Day!

To cut or not to cut: Quilted Coats

In an effort to understand both sides more fully, I proposed the question to our Instagram community this past weekend and you guys certainly had your opinions (you can read all about it here), which has definitely helped inform my own thoughts so thank you!

Now, a few prefaces. I have a pretty good knack for seeing both sides to most issues and this is no exception. Hopefully I can bring both sides fairly to light. Additionally, some might be surprised that this is even an issue as I was at first. But, I’ve come to learn that the quilting community is passionate and loyal so I understand where most of them are coming from.

Should you cut up quilts to make a coat

With all that said, the comment I’m directly responding to is one from our How to Make a Quilted Coat post:

“Great tutorial–for demolishing an heirloom work of art. I’m ashamed of you and all the other “entrepreneurs” who ravish our quilt heritage.”

Some pretty strong language, and there were others in the Instagram posts with similar thoughts. So, let’s get to it!

My love affair with quilts

I first fell in love with the notion of quilted coats when I spotted this coat on Pinterest years ago (I don’t know the source but would love to know if anyone knows!):

Isn’t it exquisite? I love everything about it! The pattern, the colors, the scarf, the feeling. It’s cozy with its nod to quilt, but in a fashion way. I searched for ages for something similar to no avail, because they weren’t in style quite yet. I even contemplated making one myself, but it would have been a steep learning curve and a time commitment that I didn’t want to make. I looked into having someone make one for me or finding one similar from Etsy or eBay. I even found a company who makes quilts (don’t remember the name) from your own fabric. Ultimately, it was turning into a much bigger time suck to making it happen than I wanted to commit.

The trendy coat quilt

Finally, Gorman came out with a patchwork quilted coat a few years ago that mimicked the vibe I was going for, but they had made a design and printed it onto fabric. I don’t have a picture of me wearing it but I found this lovely lady here in the exact coat. I still have it and wear it ALL the time. In fact, they came out with a subsequent style and I bought that too and wear it ALL the time as well. In fact, they’ve been my pregnancy coats both times.

You can imagine when I started seeing makers and small companies coming out with quilt coats I went GA GA. FINALLY! Now, they weren’t necessarily marked at a price point that I wanted to commit to, though I understand why it is set that way. You can read about some of my favorites here (and I think there’s more by now!).

DIY Quilted Coat

We connected with one of our favorite clients (thank you Fiskars!) who come on board and I knew it was time to show people how to make a quilt coat of their own by someone who actually knew how to sew, Romy-Krystal Cutler of Sew Like. To me, it was important that we did it correctly by hiring someone who knows what they were doing versus us buying such a beautiful quilt and wreaking havoc on it. And she did a tremendously beautiful job!

My relationship to history

As I mentioned in the Instagram post, I studied art history and almost went into historic preservation. I have a deep love of old things and history. I even worked for an architect who worked with National Geographic whose mission was to preserve culture. With that in mind, part of the way that we celebrate art movements and culture is by bringing them to light and being inspired by them through our work. It’s a great talking point and remembrance of eras that might have been forgotten. Taking something that is old and making it modern is one of my favorite ways to keep history alive. And that’s how I feel about repurposing quilts into fashion.

Real Talk

Real talk, how many of us display our grandmother’s quilts? Or are they tucked away in a cupboard somewhere? How many of us plan on displaying them at some point? Or are they an heirloom that gets passed down from one cupboard to another? While this is a fine way to preserve an heirloom, I find that keeping it visible is an active way to celebrate our heritage. I’ve always loved the artful combined with the practical so turning the quilt into something that will be used is my ideal method of celebration and preservation.

Quilted coat
Photo by HoneyBea Design Hive

You wouldn’t believe the comments I get when I wear this coat out (I mean, it’s quite limited as I don’t get out much right now). “Did you make that?” or “is that your grandmother’s?”. The questions create such beautiful conversation starters and I find that I encounter kindred spirits wherever I go. In my opinion, much better than storing it in a keepsake box that I open infrequently.

Arts vs. Crafts

In graduate school, I took a class at the Smithsonian on crafts vs. arts. Are crafts considered art? Ultimately, I learned, it depends on who you are talking to. I believe that is the case here. In this case, are quilts art? Not all, I would say. Certainly, some are. I think you could talk with any quilt maker and they would tell you that not all of their work would be considered art. There are probably some quilt makers who don’t consider their work art at all.

Our regional art museum, Springville Museum of Art, has an annual quilt show that is well attended and looked forward to. You wouldn’t believe the amazing quilts that are shown. They’re incredible. And while I would consider some art, you might talk with some fine artists who wouldn’t. It all depends on who you talk to.

What’s the intent?

quilted coat
Photo by Psychic Outlaw

It’s the same with anything else old. In the practice of historic preservation for houses the argument is always–is this house/building worth preserving? Oftentimes it comes down to intent, design, and materials. Not all were intended to last. Especially those made with poor quality materials or tools.

Fashion as art

So, if quilts indeed are considered art, what about fashion? Certainly, some fashion is art. Look at haute couture. It can be breathtaking. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say my COVID/postpartum look is art. AT ALL. But quilts AS fashion? Again, it ALL depends! I would like to say that sometimes I treat my fashion choices as art–I love mixing colors and patterns and expressing myself in that way. Hence, when I see quilts as an art form AND fashion as an art form, the two together are magic.

Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion

One argument I saw a few times over was calling out fast fashion for being part of the problem. Is it? I kind of suspect it’s not as it would take A LOT of work for fast fashion companies to 1) gather all the quilts and 2) design to each unique quilt. It would require a new pattern each time and that’s not a good use of their time. It would be much more efficient to create their own fabric. The textile industry is one of the most harmful to the environment (I’ve heard is the second most polluting industry) so creating fabrics is not optimal. I’m going to venture to say, and this is just a guess, that it’s small companies who see the the repurposing of quilts as an art form and have a reverence for them. They probably wouldn’t spend their time scouring markets for quilts if they didn’t love them.

What to do with the scraps?

I saved onto the quilt pieces that from the coat I had made and we recently repurposed them into a sleeping mask and I’ll be making a face mask soon. There are so many things to make with fabric scraps and we’ll be sharing more of them soon.

Prices go up and resources become scarce

Now, of course it’s a bummer that when I go and look for quilts on eBay that the prices are much higher than they would have been just a year or so ago. These small companies are no doubt trying to get their hands on whatever they can. That doesn’t feel good, but perhaps we could also ask–who is selling these quilts? And why are they selling them?

Quilts as heirlooms

A lot of people mentioned quilts as family heirlooms. Much like the argument of whether quilting is an art form, I think it all depends on who made it and their intention. If a quilter makes hundreds of quilts in their life, is each one considered an heirloom? Is it possible or necessary to treat each one with reverence? I’m going to guess that the quilter had ones that they preferred over others. It’s the nature of creating.

I have a friend who quilts as a hobby. She literally has hundreds of quilts that she’s given away and my son was the lucky recipient of one of those. He received it as a baby gift when he was born. I will keep it forever because she is a dear friend. Perhaps he will give it to his child one day. And now that I think of it, it would be quite cool to turn it into a kid’s jacket so that he would be cozy in the winter. In this instance, it’s a matter of if I want to use it as a quilt for warmth in a bed or warmth against the elements. To me, both are important and show reverence.

When it goes out of trend

Sadly, we all know that when something becomes a trend it will eventually become untrendy. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m sure some people will want to get rid of their quilted coats and when they do, please offer it to me first! I will take each one! And you know what, there are other people who will love them and the cycle will continue. That’s assuming that we all sell or donate our used goods.

Quilts that are imperfect

Many people also mentioned that the quilts that they use for cutting up are ones that had deteriorated in some form. How wonderful that instead of going to a landfill, the quilt could have a second life.

Photo by Carleen

On that note, think of how fabric is first created and intended. It’s designed to be cut up in one way or another. Is the designer of that fabric sad about that? I doubt it because they know the outcome. Perhaps we just need to get more comfortable with the idea that repurposing can be a good thing? Just a thought.

History of the Quilt

One of my favorite arguments on the Instagram thread was bringing to light the history of the quilt. Quilts came to be when scraps were left over from making clothes and turned into a useful blanket. A ha! It all comes full circle. Clearly, I wouldn’t turn every quilt into a piece of clothing.

What have I learned in contemplating both sides of the story? Well, 1) there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t agree with you and you know what? We have to be fine with that (unless it’s harmful!). Hopefully, we can express ourselves without feeling the need to tear each other down. I feel like if we’ve learned anything in the past year it’s that we need to do better at communicating with respect.

I absolutely CHERISH the quilt coat that Romy made me. I have worn it nearly every day since I received it. It’s beautiful and cozy and perfect. Quilts have a such an amazing ability to communicate exuberance and joy all while telling a story. And if they are used on the bed or the body, I feel like we should make the decision thoughtfully.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment!

If you liked this, you might be interested in

Quilted Coats we love
The NY Times article about quilted coats

Lars Approved Brand Alert: Marimekko

Many of us are sprucing up our homes and planning to decorate for spring. Our Marimekko roundup highlights many home decor items that are perfect for new additions and finishing touches. You may even consider replacing some items like the old dish towels and oven mitts hanging sadly in the kitchen!

Marimekko for Your Kitchen and Dining

While we’re on the topic of oven mitts, choose from this oven mitt or this pot holder for pops of bright flowers in the kitchen. Or maybe you need a new set of dishtowels. The deep magenta and orange hues add a pleasant statement anywhere they hang.

Switch your current placemats to these bold prints. Add these plates or these and some glass tumblers or mugs to complete the table setting. The magic of Marimekko design is that there is no wrong combination of prints and colors! You can mix and match any design and surprise yourself in seeing that they somehow complement each other.

If you’re heading out for a picnic or plan to throw a party at home, make a theme out of Marimekko and use these paper napkins (1, 2, 3) as the source of your inspiration.

 

For Your Bedroom

Simple additions like wallpaper and new bedding create an entirely new atmosphere to a room. And we love a great accent wall! Use this striped wallpaper or floral mural to create a vibrant mood. Moreover, add these striped sheets on this comforter set and you will have encapsulated our Marimekko spirit.

 

Marimekko for the Minimalists

For those not so inclined to bold colors, Marimekko also offers neutral pieces that add the perfect amounts of pattern. There are cream colored hand towels or a chestnut colored polka dotted one, a beige polka dotted bath towel, an off-white and beige throw, a black and white floral bed sheet set, and these subtle pink vases (1, 2). Patterns and textures provide subtle accents in neutral pieces.

 

For the Everyday

Maybe you can’t make such dramatic changes at the moment. There are still ways to make big impacts with small changes. Switch up your bath towels for some red florals or red and pink stripes. You’ll feel like you rolled into Candyland! Or you can add these fun slippers to your everyday loungewear and carry a colorful tote bag on your weekly trips to the market. Switch up your makeup bag or create a smaller one for everyday use. Although we may have less reasons to go out these days, when the occasion arises, carry a chic clutch instead of a big purse.

Marimekko Dresses and Fashion

Embrace your inner Marimekko spirit and create your very own wonderland of vibrant colors and prints.

Marimekko Fabrics

One of my favorite parts of this bold Finnish brand is they also sell fabrics! This way you can give your home decor a fresh DIY makeover in full Marimekko style.

DIY Sleeping Mask and The Comfiest PJs

You all know that, up until recently, my Lars uniform was a puffy, flowy dress in any color or pattern I could find. I lived in dresses! In any weather or circumstance, I would never fail to don a dress. However, since welcoming Felix into the world and moving the Lars office into my home – I must admit, I have found a new uniform of choice. LOUNGEWEAR. Who knew I would ever become a loungewear gal?! NOT ME! Ha! 

In fact, this new obsession of mine has taken over my wardrobe so completely that most days I find myself sliding into full-on pajama territory. I basically wear the same thing night to day…and then night again. But honestly, I’m not even mad about it. The latest addition to my PJ drawer is this set from the Sleepy Jones + Purple collaboration. When my favorite sleepwear brand and mattress company put their minds together to create a new pair of PJs, you just know they will be the most comfortable item in your closet. 

How to Complete The Ultimate Cozy Look

My favorite part of these new Sleepy Jones + Purple Pajamas? THE STRETCH. I could go on and on about the stretch. Especially when my time is currently spent feeding Felix and working at the same time (somehow?!). I feel stretched thin, so of course I need my loungewear to feel stretchy too. They truly provide the all day comfort I have been longing for. 

I do need to tell you now though, ordering your own pair of Purple PJs is a fluffy, soft, and slippery slope that will inevitably lead to a full Purple bedtime set up. And that is where I find myself now, wearing my new pajamas, surrounded by new Purple SoftStretch Sheets, and Harmony Pillow. But can you blame me? “Stretch” and “harmony” are suddenly my two favorite words, especially to describe my sleeping situation. 

To complete my night time routine, I decided to add a DIY Sleeping Mask to match my new stretchy goodness made from a quilt (remember our quilted coat tutorial?!)! I am already dreaming of the endless good nights of rest I’ll be getting now and perhaps you might benefit from it as well!

DIY Quilted Sleeping Mask

Items made from quilts (like the now popular quilted coat) is the new black and so I had to try my hand at it. It helped that I had scraps leftover from when Romy made mine. Turns out, it makes the coziest sleeping mask (and you better believe I’ll also be turning it into a face mask!)

Supplies:

Sleep mask template, Quilt/top fabric, .25 yard satin fabric, .25 yard cotton batting, 2 12 inch lengths of .25 inch wide elastic, thread, scissors, sewing pins, fabric pen/pencil

Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out your template. Make sure that your printer settings are set to print actual size.
  2. Trace your template onto your quilt or top fabric, your satin, and your cotton batting. Cut these out. 
  3. With the front of the satin facing up, place the satin on top of the batting and pin in place. Pin the two strips of elastic to the satin/batting layer with the ends lining up where the triangular markings on the template are. Make sure that the elastic isn’t twisting and that they don’t cross.  
  4. With the front facing down, pin the quilt piece to the satin/batting layer. You now have a sleep mask sandwich with batting on the bottom, then satin facing up, then elastic, then your quilt piece facing down. 
  5. Mark two places at the top of your mask about three inches apart where you will start and stop the stitching. You need to leave this space so that you can flip your mask inside out. 
  6. With a seam allowance of 3/8ths of an inch, sew around the outside of your mask.
  7. Grade this seam by cutting the batting layer closer to the seam. This makes it so that the outside of your mask doesn’t have such a bulky section around the perimeter.
  8. Flip your mask inside out from the space you measured out in step 5. Now the end is in sight! You should have satin in the back and your quilt facing forward, with elastic to hold it to your face. 
  9. Gently iron your mask with the satin side down. When you do this, fold the raw edges from the hole under so that they blend in with the rest of the perimeter. Pin in place.
  10. Topstitch around the outside of the mask. This is where you will close the hole you left to flip it inside out.
  11. Following the seams in your quilt, stitch in the ditch to quilt together your layers. Trim all your threads, snuggle up in bed, and start snoozing.

Get Cozy

Once your DIY sleeping mask is complete, pair it with your own Sleepy Jones + Purple PJs for ultimate coziness. 

This post was sponsored by Purple. Thank you for interacting with this content, your support helps us create even more project tutorials and artful resources for you and your family. Thank you!

My favorite everyday leisurewear

I used to think leisurewear consisted of mostly monochromatic colors and unflattering shapes. A bit lackluster and a lot of frumpy. But ever since Felix’s birth and easing into the norm of working from home, I found myself drawn to comfort and the no-need-to-think-about business of leisurewear. Contrary to my assumptions about its one-dimensional look, my dive into the leisurewear rabbit hole led me to an array of designs and styles. Naturally, with my body altered after giving birth, I looked for postpartum leisurewear that made me feel comfortable and happy.

With a growing number of people working from home and comfort emerging as a necessity, many people have also been looking into cozy chic leisurewear. There are now so many cute designs and styles! And you know I’m here for it! For anyone looking to expand their comfortable wardrobe, look no further! I’ve searched high and low and gathered many recommendations. The resulting list does not disappoint!

Here are my current favorites:

My favorite Leisurewear

Let’s jump into our busy days feeling cool and comfortable in these hip everyday leisurewear. They may be considered glorified PJs, and maybe they are, but there’s no one to judge because we’re home! At least we changed out of our nighttime PJs for some daytime ones. Regardless, it feels great to feel comfortable and ready to tackle the day.

My Little Belleville

Ok, I’ve had a REALLY tough time trying to narrow down the hundreds of options I poured through but my very first and only purchase so far has been My Little Belleville’s Embroidered flower faces because there are friggen EMBROIDERED FLOWER FACES on them! They’re soft and cozy and adorable and I’ve worn them now for 5 days in a row.

woven pajamas from Toast

Toast

I’m digging these from Toast. I think they’re technically pj’s but right now everything is pjs to me.

Clare V

Clare V has some great colors and prints and I’m DIGGING this green leopard!

https://shopstyle.it/l/brFLZ old navy

Solids

There are tons of great companies doing beautiful solid sweats. Here are some of my favorites:

Mate has some great color solids that look super comf.
Old Navy has some great solids at a super price point.
Target has a ton of great options too
Cozy Earth has some soft solids too.
Lou and Grey has great colored solids and a few patterns.
Pangaia has wonderful colors and shapes
Esby has a navy blue sweatsuit that I’m eyeing
STATE has a shocking yellow that belongs in my closet
The Hey Gang has a retro looking vibe for kids and adults
Entire World has the most refreshing colors. It looks like they sell out quickly though!
Zara has some pretty options too!
I just found out that Walmart has a new brand called Free Assembly that looks cool and has great basics options like these

Tie dye and Ice Dye Sweats

Of course, the pandemic produced the ubiquitous ice dye trend and companies at all price points dug it like:

LEFT: Big Bud Press, Clare V, and artist Anna Joyce 

Target, Old Navy, Gap all have their own versions too that are good!

Pattern Sweatsuits

To me, there’s nothing better than loungewear with TONS of personality. Here are some of my favorites that do the job well!

Winter Water Factory is a Lars favorite that has prints for kids and adults so you can live out my dream of matching your child.
Bando has some fun and colorful options!
This checkered one, below, is my dream, but they don’t have it in my size!

And I also covet this patchwork one. Isn’t it so good?! It’s from LF Markey.

Ok, that’s it for now! But let me know your favorites. Would love to hear them!

DIY Statement Headbands Inspired by Amanda Gorman

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

Supplies:

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.

Amanda Gorman headband DIY

Puffy Amanda Gorman Headband:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. If you are making yours extra tall, glue another layer of foam on top 
  4. 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.
  5. Cut an oval of fabric 24 inches long and six inches wide. 
  6. 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. 
  7. Work your way around the headband, smoothing out big wrinkles along the way. 
  8. Trim the excess fabric from the end of the headband, leaving about an inch. Fold it under the bottom and secure with glue. 
  9. 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. 

Amanda Gorman headband DIY

Braided Headband:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

Knotted headband:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. With a dot of hot glue, secure the knot. Use another dot of glue to adhere the knot to the top of the headband. 
  6. 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. 

Amanda Gorman headband DIY

How to make a quilted coat

5

Everything you need to know to make a quilted coat

Now, I knew I couldn’t make it on my own because I’m very much a novice seamstress and didn’t want this to be “lessons from a fool”, so I reached out to one of my favorite local sewing inspiration sources, Romy-Krystal Cutler of Sew Like Romy, to make it happen. Romy has a knack for knowing the latest and greatest trends and making them her own. I’ve been following her for awhile because she does such a great job. And guess what?! She does it during nap time! Romy will be giving us an expert’s tips on how to get the best results.

Fiskars new sewing tools

We are big fans of Fiskars for all sorts of paper crafts and DIY tools, so we were thrilled to learn that they had a new line of sewing tools too. We got our hands on their classic rotary cutter, and their comfort grip rotary cutter, along with their new Sewing Essentials Set, which includes their classic orange handle scissors (a classic), thread snips, which came in handy for this coat, acrylic ruler, measuring tape, and sewing gauge for accurate measurements, and a seam ripper. It’s so helpful to feel prepared! As nerdy as it sounds, I’m pretty stoked to add the sewing gauge to my arsenal for Paul’s hems!

They also equipped us with seamstress scissors, which cut like BUTTAH! And please note: no one better use them for paper! Do I feel like my mother OR WHAT?!

How to make a quilted coat

Romy did an amazingly thorough job with this tutorial. Let’s go!

How to find awesome vintage quilts:

I scoured Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace for vintage quilts that I loved. If you know the style of quilt pattern, search that term, or search “antique quilt” or “vintage quilt”. You could also search “quilt topper” only as there might be more available there. 

Materials:

See above

Buzzwords:

  • Bias Tape/Binding: Narrow strips of fabric cut on the bias used to finish edges. Can be bought premade.
  • Heavy Duty Snaps: These are to close your coat. They come in two options — Sew-in and heavy duty hardware. The heavy duty requires extra tools to secure them in place.
  • Thread Snips: Small, sharp scissors for precision cutting loose threads.
  • Muslin: Plain weave cotton fabric, usually sheer. Used for toiles.
  • Toile: A test version of a garment in cheap fabric.
  • Grade: Trimming your seam allowance to a smaller width.

Preparation:

Not all quilts are the same. Be sure to check that your quilt will fulfill your warmth needs. For this particular coat there was no batting and the back was muslin. If you find yourself in the same position first head down to Tips and Tricks.

Selecting your size. Consulting the finished measurements and comparing these to an existing coat in your wardrobe is a good place to start. If you want to be extra cautious, a toile is an even better place to begin.

Read your patterns instructions and gather all your supplies.

Instructions:

  1. Measure yourself and determine which size of your chosen pattern you are going to use.
  2. Prepare your coat pattern pieces and cut them out with paper scissors.
  3. Lay out your quilt, pin down the pattern pieces, and cut out all pieces for your coat using your fabric scissors. Refer to the cutting layout of your pattern to ensure you have it right before you cut!
  4. Follow the coat patterns sewing instructions.
  5. When the pattern states to finish or serge the seam you will be using bias tape to finish the edges.
  6. For the inside seams: Sew the bias to one edge of the seam, fold over. Grade ¼” (cut down) the other seam and then pull over the edge with the bias to one side and sew down.

7. Follow the pattern instructions to bind the edges of the coat.

8. Lucky last part: Attach your sew in snaps to the front.

9. Do a happy dance and enjoy your new coat!

Tips and Tricks to make a quilted coat

Pro Tip 1:

The top design of a quilt can come just by itself (commonly called a quilt top). They’re usually cheaper since they weren’t made into a formal quilt. The one used on this project was such a case. To get it ready to turn into a coat the steps are simple, the “fabric sandwich.” To complete this you will need to buy backing fabric and batting. Once you have those on hand you create the layer sandwich: Quilt top on top, batting in the middle and the backing fabric on bottom. Once that’s together secure with safety pins throughout to keep the layers from moving. Using a walking foot and quilting thread, you’re then ready to quilt the pieces together. Best part: the design is entirely up to you so the sky’s the limit.

Pro Tip 2:

Reversible coats are not only super functional but so fun! Bias tape is your best friend here. Finish one edge with bias tape and fold over the edge. Grade ¼” (cut down) the other edge of the seam and then pull over the edge with the bias tape and sew down. Presto reversible! Just be mindful of your pocket placement and snaps if you decide to do this!

Pro Tip 3:

Hand sewing can seem never ending but it’s made a lot easier and faster with beeswax. This helps strengthen and stabilize the thread and prevent tangling and shedding. A great investment for the long run with any hand sewing.

Pro Tip 4:

Try on your coat before you add your snaps/buttons. The placement of these on patterns are recommendations but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will suit your body. Try it on and mark where you want your snaps for the best fit.

Thank you, Romy for your expertise. I hope you all have a good experience making your quilted coat! Please show us the results with #LarsMakes! 

This post is sponsored by Fiskars. Thank you to our brands who allow us to make beautiful, original content for you!