Simple Party Idea: an Infused Water Station

"hydration station" - cute party idea

This is one simple party trick that you can take all the way to the bank: an infused water station – or a “hydration station” if you will! This little party touch comes in particularly handy when you’re serving your guests alcohol because, let’s be honest, staying hydrated during a night of debauchery is KEY (good riddance hangover!) Gaby and I picked up some glass bottles at Ikea and stuffed them with some of our favourite infused water combinations (more below!). If you really want to get your Martha on, consider picking up a few tags (we bought chalkboard ones at Michael’s) to denote each combo. Place them in a big bucket of ice, set out some glasses, and let your guests have at em’.

ps – the tutorial for the “hydrate yourself” palm frond signs can be found right here

pps – the rest of the pics from this party are over here

"Hydration Station" Hydration station Ferns Infused water Infused water station 

.strawberry & basil.
.cucumber & mint.
.blackberry & sage.
.blueberry, lemon & mint.
.oranges, cardamom, cinnamon & cloves.
.watermelon & mint.
.lemon & lavender.
.rosemary & grapefruit.
.cantaloupe, honey & mint.
.blackberry, peach & coconut.

[break]Photography: Heidi Lau | Design & Styling: Lark & Linen and The Vault Files


CATEGORIES | DIY, Entertaining

Party Idea: A DIY Dipping Station

Cute party idea
While I’m still relatively new at the entertaining game, if there’s anything I’ve learnt for certainty it’s that food is king. Whether you order from the best Thai place in the city, create an epic charcuterie spread (like my family did here), or whip up your world famous what-have-you that everyone raves about, there’s nothing better than gathering with good people over delicious eats. And while, on a day to day basis, I prefer to keep things simple, every once in a while it’s fun to take your party to the next level with a food feature of sorts. Enter: our dipping station. When Gaby and I were brainstorming fun ideas to elevate our girl’s night in party a while back, we came up with this simple idea that ultimately ended up being the party show-stopper. It was tasty, interactive, and truly didn’t take a whole lot of effort to whip together. Perfect for our girl’s night in, a shower, or heck, even a wedding, it’s these little details that tend to go a really long way. With photos from Heidi Lau, grab our cheat-sheet for creating a dipping station of your own below. And head on over to Gaby’s blog, The Vault Files, to read all about how we created the adorable palm frond signs to accompany it! 

ps – a DIY popcorn bar is another crowd pleaser

dipped goodies dipping station_2 dipping station_3dipping station_5dipping station_6dipping station_4 dipping station_8 dipping station_9 dipping station_10 dipping station_11 dipping station_14 

.Hot fudge
.White chocolate (melted)
.Homemade dulce de leche 
.Vanilla bean marshmallows (we used I Love Puffy Love)
.Donut holes (we picked ours up at a bakery)
.Pretzel sticks
.Homemade pizzelles (though you could easily use store bought cookies of any variety)
.Shredded coconut
.Coloured sprinkles
.Edible confetti (picked up at Michael’s)
.Crushed oreo crumbs

dipping station_15


. Keep the decor minimal, but impactful. For our tropical-themed dipping station, we spray painted pineapples, and tucked extra palm fronds and foliage in unassuming areas. In addition, we wrapped white and gold twine around the dips, and used small wooden boards (picked up at home sense!) in lieu of plates 

.For beauty factor, pay attention to height, scale and texture. We placed the dips on a cake stand, made sure to use white bowls of different sizes, and threw in a slate cheese board to display our cookies for a hint of texture. We also balanced the height of the cake stand with a simple bouquet of flowers in our party colours. Doing so adds interest, and makes the whole scheme feel intentional and properly pulled together. 

.Create simple DIY signs (you can grab the tutorial for our palm frond versions on Gaby’s blog right here!)

.Ensure your dishware co-ordinates, not matches. Much like pulling together an outfit, stick to a colour palette to keep a cohesive feel, but use various vessels for interest (we stuck with black, white and hints of gold here)

.Consider sweet and salty components. While a dipping station is naturally geared towards those with a sweet tooth, we made sure to add some pretzel sticks so that not everything felt overly saccharine. I weirdly feel like plain potato chips could work well here too? 

.And last but not least, try to set everything out before your guests arrive, keep everything on display, and ensure napkins (or plates) are easily accessible so they’re encouraged to dig in right away.

[break]Photography: Heidi Lau | Marshmallows: I Love Puffy Love | Design & Styling: Lark & Linen and The Vault Files

CATEGORIES | DIY, Entertaining

Easter Egg Place Cards

Easter DIY
Easter has kind of snuck up on us, hasn’t it?! All the same, I’m pretty excited about it. As kids, my family and I would always get together in and around this time to decorate eggs, followed by an enthusiastic egg hunt that always resulted in amazing prizes and goodies to be won. Oh, nostalgia…

As adults living in a big city, I feel like many of us have to resort to other Easter traditions. On my mind lately: a pretty festive gathering! I made these Easter egg place cards (place eggs?) for my guests. They were super easy to do, and made my Easter table significantly more festive. Grab the details below! XO, Coco & Mingo

Easter DIY Watercolor easter eggs Easter eggs Easter Place Cards

Large white eggs
Bamboo skewers
Watercolor paint
Paint brushes (2)
Gold leaf (or gold paint)
Gold leaf adhesive
Cardstock paper
Sewing needle or pushpin
Glue or tape
1/8″ masking or blue painter tape (optional)

|STEP 1|
With the sewing needle, poke a hole into each end of the egg. Wiggle the needle around until the hole is just large enough to fit the skewer through both ends.

|STEP 2|
Stick the skewer inside the egg to pierce the yolk. Then, stick the straw on one side of the hole and blow the inside of the egg into a bowl. (Don’t throw the insides of the egg out! It makes for one heckuva breakfast omelette!)

|STEP 3|
Rinse, clean, and towel dry the now empty (and fragile!) egg shells.

|STEP 4|
Wrap the the 1/8″ masking tape around the egg to create a fun and unique pattern. Keep in mind that whatever pattern is underneath the tape will appear white when you remove it.

|STEP 5|
Paint the egg with watercolor paint, painting over the masking tape and let dry.

|STEP 6|
Remove masking tape and use a brush to paint the gold leaf adhesive in whatever pattern you choose (or brush gold paint directly onto the egg!) Then let dry for 10 minutes. 

|STEP 7|
Once adhesive has dried slightly, apply the gold leaf and set it.

|STEP 8|
Use clean brush to wipe away excess gold leaf.

|STEP 9|
In your prettiest penmanship, write or print your guest names on cardstock paper and glue or tape them to the bamboo stick.

|STEP 10|
Fit the bamboo stick into the holes in the egg. Keep the bamboo in place by using pretty pastel-colored washi tape to cover both holes of the egg! And voila! You have a fun (and personalized) gold speckled Easter egg for all your friends and family.

Happy Easter and happy crafting!

lineDIY, Photography & Styling: Coco & Mingo  



DIY Lucky Leather Magnets

DIY lucky leather magnets

Hey guys! Lexy from Proper here and I’m so excited to share a little project while Jacquelyn is off touring terrific Thailand!

I’m on a bit of a leather kick. And a gold leaf kick. So it’s only fitting that we find some way to incorporate those two trends into a project for St. Patrick’s Day! Skip the green and go right to the gold, my friends, with these simple DIY magnets! They’re in the shape of a 4-leaf clover so they’re holiday-themed, but they can totally grace your refrigerator or inspiration board all year round!

Homemade magnet DIY DIY lucky magnets Gold leafed magnets (an easy DIY) Easy DIY

leather (real or faux!)
permanent marker
gold leaf with adhesive
stick-on round magnets

|STEP 1|
This really is just the easiest! I free-handed my four-leaf clover, but if you’re stuck, simply find an image online and copy as best you can! Draw the clover on the back of the leather and cut out carefully.

|STEP 2|
Paint a little adhesive on the front of each clover and wait a few minutes for it to become tacky. Once it’s ready, press the gold leaf sheet onto the clover until all the adhesive is covered! Brush away any flakes and you’re almost done!

|STEP 3|
Next, it’s time to make them into magnets! You guessed it. You simply add a round stick-on magnet to the back of each clover. And you’re all set! If you want the magnet to be a little sturdier, you can absolutely hot glue it in place. But I’m too lazy to do that! ;)

|STEP 4|
Now, place these babies all over your house and feel lucky every time you see one!

DIY magnets

PS: 7 other St. Patrick’s Day DIY’s that aren’t totally lame

linePhotography, Styling & DIY: Proper


The Twisted Ponytail

The twisted ponytail
Hi guys! Irrelephant here taking over while Jacquelyn is off in Thailand! Today we’re chatting all about hair. We often get asked to share hair tutorials that can take you from work to dinner and beyond, so we thought we’d oblige. This twisted ponytail tutorial is a style that’s easy, cute AND elegant. Best of all, it can be done in any length of hair!

Hair how-to
|STEP 1|
Tease your crown! Spray Bumble and Bumble Dryspun Finish from mid shaft all the way to the to ends.

twisted ponytail_3
|STEP 2|
Grab your headwrap (ours is from Flower Crown Society) and wrap it around your head, like you’d wear a crown. Tie it into a knot and tuck the little ears under the wrap. Alteratively, you could make a bow or leave the ears out – depending on the look you’re after!

The twisted ponytail tutorial
|STEP 3|
Pull your hair all to one side, gently twist it and pin it as shown. Make sure to pin right under the wrap.

The twisted ponytail
|STEP 4|
Grab a 1 inch section of hair from around your face, cross it over the previous pinned section and pin it in place.

Hair DIY
|STEP 5| 
Make sure your bobby pins are secure (try crossing 2 bobby’s together to form an “x” for bonus points). Then, spray and gently pull a few pieces out for a more undone look. 

The twisted ponytail

That’s it! It should be noted that the key here is texture! If you have any further questions, send us an email or comment below. Special thanks to Allison and her beautiful headwraps


Photography, hair tutorial & styling: Irrelephant Blog

CATEGORIES | DIY, Fashion & Beauty

Rosemary Sea Salt Favors


I always joke that my only vice is salt. I rarely drink, I definitely don’t smoke, but extra salt on anything and everything? Guilty as charged. Though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with good ol’ table salt, I have to admit that on the right dish, a dash of rosemary sea salt goes a VERY long way. I recently filled these adorable little dollar store jars with homemade* sea salt, tied on a wee canvas tag and used them as place settings at a dinner party (which you can see right here!) Not only did they add a little somethin’ somethin’ to my table, but my guests got to take them home when they left. A place card AND favor DIY in one? That’s something I think we can all agree upon. With photos from my darling Heidi Lau, read on for the steps! 

*I admitedly use the term homemade lightly. I’m not sure if tossing two things together consists of homemade status, but let’s run with it

DIY Rosemary sea salt favors DIY Rosemary sea salt favors DIY Rosemary sea salt favors materials

:: 1 cup coarse sea salt
:: 3 Tbsp. rosemary leaves
:: Small clear glass jars (I picked mine up at the dollar store!)
:: Thin ribbon or twine
:: Canvas tags (I picked mine up at Michael’s!)
:: Graphite pencil or paint pen

instructions|STEP 1|
In a bowl, mix together your sea salt and rosemary leaves.

|STEP 2|
Fill each jar with your rosemary sea salt mixture.

|STEP 3|
In your prettiest penmanship, write the name of each guest on the canvas tag (if you’re using a graphite pencil, just be careful not to smudge it).

|STEP 4|
Tie the tag to the jar and place at each setting!


Photography: Heidi Lau | Design & styling: Lark & Linen

CATEGORIES | DIY, Entertaining, Parties & Entertaining

DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Boxes


Hi Lark & Linen readers! I’m so glad to be here today! Seeing that Valentine’s Day is literally right around the corner (along with some of the coldest temperatures in the country…ugh!!), I thought I’d share a quick printable for ya! I got these 3x3x3″ boxes from my nearest craft store (which you can also find at the Container store), and with the intention of gifting friends with Valentine’s macarons, I thought I’d sweeten these boxes up by creating these printable love labels for them. Just download them here, wrap them around the box and tape them up using your favorite washi tape! Super simple, inexpensive, totally cute Valentine’s Day gifts.

Happy Valentine’s Day, loves!! xo, Coco & Mingo

Valentines printable_2Valentines printable_5Valentines printable_4Valentines printable_6
DIY, Photography & Styling: Coco & Mingo contributor-badge_coco-mingo


CATEGORIES | DIY, Free Printable, Holidays

DIY Leftover Takeout Boxes

Free printable: leftovers label

As an interior designer, I’m always preaching about the importance of all of those little layers that may seem insignificant. And though I’ve only been entertaining for a few short years (hello adulthood!), the same seems to ring true when it comes to hosting a party. Though company is, of course, of utmost importance, standing out in said company’s mind is so easy to do. During my post-holiday dinner party I shared with you guys last week, I mentioned that I created these super simple DIY leftover takeout boxes so I could send my guests home with some goodies to munch on (all the while getting rid of all those leftovers that tend to go bad in my care). Move over tinfoil! These guys were SUCH a hit, and seriously couldn’t have been easier to throw together…

DIY: leftover takeout boxes (including free printable) DIY: leftover takeout boxes (including free printable)
:: Cardboard boxes (I picked mine up at Michaels!)
:: Parchment paper
:: Twine
:: Mini clothespins (I picked mine up at Michaels!)
:: Printable leftover labels (grab it here!)


| STEP 1 |
Assemble your boxes according to package directions. 

| STEP 2 |
Cut out a square of parchment paper and tuck it in the bottom of the box (to help avoid leaks!)

| STEP 3 |
Print out the leftover labels (grab them above!) and cut out around each label

| STEP 4 |
Fill each box with your guests leftovers, tie with a piece of twine and use the clothespin to affix the label. 

Photography: Heidi Lau | Design & Styling: Lark & Linen 

CATEGORIES | DIY, Entertaining, Parties & Entertaining

12 Simple Ways to Decorate for Christmas

12 simple ways to decorate for Christmas!
You’d think that my self-proclaimed Christmas obsession would mean that I want said holiday to throw up everywhere. But, weirdly enough, just the opposite is true. For me, less always seems more. A tiny evergreen sprig at a place setting, a simple gilded mug, or an elegant little shrub wrapped in burlap… It’s the little touches that tend to go a really long way. Here are 12 great examples of simple ways to decorate for christmas!

Christmas tree alternative {cute Christmas tree alternative}

Boxwood wreath on a gilded mirror {a simple boxwood wreath on a gilded mirror}

Simple Christmas decor {a tiny touch of greenery}

DIY Christmas Tree Basket{a homemade Christmas tree basket}

Festive place setting {elegant place settings}

Simple Christmas decor {a tiny tree wrapped in burlap} 

Tiny tree in a box {table top tree in a vintage box}

Wool stockings {wool stockings}

Gingerbread moose {simple gingerbread moose decorated with royal icing}

Festive gallery wall  {unassuming details}

Tiny sprigs of greenery {a little table top love}

Homemade gingerbread house {and homemade gingerbread houses}


First Image: Wing Ta | Gingerbread House Kit: SMP Living | Christmas Tree Basket: SMP Living | Tabletop Christmas Tree: Unknown | Jarred Tree: My Scandinavian Home | Simple Boxwood Wreath: Unknown | Place Setting: Kara Rosenlund | Tree Wrapped in Burlap: Lantliv | Christmas Cookies: Unkown | Wool Stockings: La Petite Cuisine | Christmas Mantle: Originally posted here | Taped Decor: Gardenista | Wall Tree: Almost Makes Perfect

CATEGORIES | 12 Tips, DIY, Holidays

DIY Gold Dipped Place Cards

DIY thanksgiving project! Cute place cards 
Hello there, friends! Always a pleasure to be back here in the Lark & Linen space! I’m pretty excited about today’s Thanksgiving DIY – mostly because it combines all my favorite things – calligraphy, shiny gold, and nature… oh, and the holidays!

Perfect for upcoming Thanksgiving, or even for Christmas, these gold leaf dipped place cards (and/or decor pieces) will be a nice keepsake for your friends + family when they’re over for holiday brunch/lunch/dinner/gift giving and then some… don’t you think?

I’m sure you’ve all collected some of the gorgeous fall leaves that are currently covering our sidewalks. And this is a great way to put them to use! Simply follow the steps below. xo, Coco & Mingo

Inexpensive thanksgiving DIY!Cute placecard idea!Gold dipped place card DIY
Dried leaves
Gilding adhesive
Gold leaf
Metal leaf sealer

No 1::  I first tried flattening them for a day within the pages of a book (but be warned, it takes a few days for the moisture to draw from the leaves in order for the “flatness” to stick).

No 2::  Apply thin layer of gilding adhesive. Let dry for ~15 minutes.

No 3::  Apply gold (aluminum or copper, your choice!) leaf, brush on to make it stick to adhesive.

No 4::  Apply thin layer of metal leaf sealer on top of imitation gold leaf.

Create place cards or gift tags by painting your family/friends’ names and/or create display decor pieces by writing holiday sayings, quotes, or a list of things you’re thankful for
DIY, Photography & Styling: Coco & Mingo



Homemade Popcorn Bar

Party idea: a popcorn bar!

Last weekend, Justin’s mom hosted a really sweet baby shower for his little sister (hashtag I’m going to be an aunt!!) And though his mom handled every last detail like the rockstar she is, I wanted to contribute in a small way. Enter: the popcorn bar. Inexpensive (seriously, the whole thing maybe cost me $30 for 30 people, including the ingredients), terribly cute, and a massive crowd pleaser. Truly. I cannot tell you how big of a hit this was!

Grab the steps to create your own popcorn bar for your next party!

I’d be lying if I told you it was quick and easy (read: it was not). But I like to make my life difficult and decided to make all of the popcorn myself, on top of creating that fancy little do-dad of a popcorn bar sign. It wasn’t hard by any means, just time consuming. But I don’t mind, because although it took me like three hours to cut around all those curly edges, I know I’ll get good use out of it (read: popcorn bars at every event I host from here on out!) 

Party idea: a popcorn bar

And if you don’t want to torture yourself by making batch after batch of popcorn, may I suggest simply picking up a collection at the grocery store? Next time I would probably buy the salted butter, the kettle corn and perhaps a caramel corn pre-made, and then whip up two (in lieu of five) others.  

The popcorn bar 
A few tips, if you’re looking to create your own popcorn bar for your next party: head to your local party store or craft store and pick up a bunch of the striped popcorn boxes. They come in a million different colours, and cost no more than a dollar for 5. Oh, and most party stores sell mini plastic scoops for like 50 cents each! Grab a handful of those too and place them in each vessel.

Next, grab vessels, vases, punch bowls, and anything else you have on hand. Try to keep it all consistent (ie: all glass, all porcelaine etc…), and try to vary the shapes, sizes and heights. Grab some sticky labels, write each popcorn variety on each label in your prettiest penmanship, and stick em on! 

And though this silly little sign took a lot of time and patience, it really was worth it as it totally took the whole shebang to the next level. The piece de resistance, if you will. Here’s how you do it….

DIY popcorn bar sign (a free printable!)

A sharp exacto knife
(2) wooden dowels (I picked mine up at Michael’s!)
(1) thin piece of wood (I picked mine up at Michael’s!)
Hot glue
The popcorn bar printable (download it here!)
Thick cardstock (100 lb.)


No. 1 – Print out the free popcorn bar printable on thick cardstock (you may need to adjust your printer’s settings so that you don’t get a paper jam). 

No. 2 – Using your exacto knife and scissors, carefully cut around the outline. Be patient, and replace your exacto blades often so that you get a nice clean cut!

No. 3 – Using a hot glue gun, glue the dowels to your wooden base and let dry completely. 

No. 4 – Hot glue the popcorn bar sign to the dowels and enjoy!

All images original to Lark & Linen

CATEGORIES | DIY, Entertaining, Free Printable

12 Halloween DIY’s That Aren’t Totally Lame

12 Awesome Halloween DIY's

Halloween is sneaking up on us fairly quickly, which means I’m feeling that familiar pull to get my holiday craft on. And though there are a TON of Halloween DIY’s out there, I think we can all agree that the vast majority are, well, a little lame. So I’ve made it my mission to uncover some of the best of the best there is. From homemade costumes to tiny but adorable details, one thing’s for certain: Halloween is about to get a whole lot cuter around here. 

Click on each image to grab the details!

DIY cotton candy costume. Heart explosion. Beautiful DIY decoupaged pumpkins DIY gilded treat bowl DIY malachite pumpkins DIY pumpkin mugs DIY masked animals DIY pumpkin place card holder Free printable Halloween treat bags DIY calligraphy pumpkins DIY jack-o-lantern pops DIY felt masks DIY donut pumpkinsline

Black Pumpkins: Style Me Pretty Living | DIY Cotton Candy Costume: Style Me Pretty Living | DIY Decoupage Pumpkins: Poppytalk | DIY Halloween Glasses: Sugar and Cloth | Trick or Treat Basket: A Merry Thought | DIY Malachite Pumpkins: Design*Sponge | Masked Animals: The Merry Thought  | Gold Pumpkin Place Cards: Style Me Pretty Living | DIY Treat Bags: Coco & Mingo | DIY Calligraphy Pumpkins: Style Me Pretty Living | DIY Pumpkin Pie Pops: Freutcake | DIY Felt Masks: A Beautiful Mess | Donut Pumpkins: Studio DIY


DIY Halloween Treat Boxes

Sound the alarm! Start the music! We’re taking on monthly contributors around here and the excitement is virtually palpable. First up: my darling Jess of Coco and Mingo. Chances are you’ve already seen some of Jess’ work in the past as she’s guest posted for me on a few occasions. And my love for her? Well it runs deep. Since DIY projects and I don’t always jive, Jess is going to pick up where I lack with a monthly DIY post. Woot! So hold on tight, and let’s get our craft on… 

DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen

Hello, Lark & Linen readers!

…and hello Fall! It’s my favorite season and contains one of my favorite holidays…Halloween! Besides the whole dressing up thing, I actually love handing candy out to the kiddos, or to friends! I usually decorate the treat bags, but this year I thought I’d give out Halloween treat boxes instead.

I created these printable treat boxes for you to put whatever you choose in – whether you’re the type who gives out loads of candy or even non-candy (i.e. stickers, floss, cute erasers), these printable boxes will hold it all. Simply click here to download and print them yourself! 

Enjoy and happy Halloween! xox, Coco and Mingo 

DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen 


Do you have a love for all things pretty? Are you interested in being a monthly Lark & Linen contributor? Feel free to e-mail with a few examples of your work! 


A Tip for Ikea Ribba Frames


I’m convinced that everyone on the face of the planet has at least one Ikea Ribba frame mounted somewhere within their home. They’re timeless, pretty, and simply do the trick when budget is of the essence (read: crazy inexpensive as far as frames are concerned). But one thing that’s always driven me crazy about them is the fact that their mats are a creamy (almost yellow) hue instead of a crisp white. We have a gallery wall front and center in our dining “room” in our teeny condo, which means you can see it from, well, everywhere. And the creamy mats have always made me batty. So I did what any sane person does: went to the dollar store, bought a ton of bright white cardstock and made my own. Though the difference may seem minute, it instantly made our space feel more vibrant and alive. So if you happen to be a fellow Ikea Ribba horder, I promise you the minimal effort involved in making this change is more than worth it!

CATEGORIES | DIY, Interior Design

DIY Bachelorette Survival Kits


Seeing as my sister is offfiiiicially getting married on Saturday (!!), it only seemed fitting to finally share the details of the bachelorette survival kits I put together for her last hurrah. I created one for every guest in attendance just as a wee little thank you for being so awesome to my big sis over the years. An adult loot bag, if you will! The best part is that they can be totally customized depending on your preference/location/event. Staying in Miami? Toss in some sunscreen and aloe. Vegas? Obviously a poker chip to get everyone started. The one thing that I must insist upon: glitter glasses. Fun group photoshoots are bound to ensue! (Tip: pick up the kids glasses – they’re only $1 at most party stores in lieu of the $8 adult ones. They don’t totally fit, but they do stay on, and nobody will ever know)

PS – scenes from that weekend right here!




Read on for the instructions…



DIY Yipee Cake Topper


If my tea party favour project is any example, when it comes to DIY I definitely fall into the simpler-the-better camp. Though I like to believe that there are many things I excel at, DIY projects are not one of them. That said, I did (loosely) come up with another ridiculously simple project for my sisters’ bridal shower and I couldn’t help but share. This Yipee cake topper ended up being a bit of a star, making this fantastic cake shine just a little bit brighter.

Click below for the steps!


CATEGORIES | DIY, Parties & Entertaining

DIY Tea Party Favors


My mom and I recently hosted a mini bridal shower in celebration of my big sisters’ upcoming nuptials. The theme: a modern tea party, complete with delicious eats, unexpected decor, and really great people. Though the gathering was intended to be small and intimate, I didn’t want to send our guests home empty handed and needed a way to thank them for joining us on that sunny Saturday afternoon. Enter: a simple tea party favour. A mini box (shaped as a milk carton, no less!) filled with everything your guests will need to steep a cup of warm deliciousness at home. I wasn’t originally planning on sharing them (DIY is not exactly my forte), but I’m really happy with how they turned out and I thought they were too cute to keep to myself! 
tea-tubes tags DIY-tea-tube tea-tubes_2 tea-party-favors disposable-tea-bagsDIY-Tea-Party-Favors3

Click for instructions…


CATEGORIES | DIY, Parties & Entertaining

DIY Fabric Hanger from House of Earnest


Hey guys! Erin here from House of Earnest holding down the fort while Jacquelyn is off in Mexico! I’ve whipped up a totally adorable DIY that is so easy to do I swear you could do it blindfolded. When it comes to creating beautiful things for the sake of having beautiful things, this hanger may fall into that category, but it’s so pretty when complete, that I decided to go ahead and make a bunch. When it was finished, however, I realized that it was worked wonderfully for holding onto tanks on tight and keeping dress pants in place.

Not only is it a great use for some pretty prints I have laying around (that aren’t large enough to make something substantial from), but it’s also a really unique and pretty idea for a bridal shower, housewarming or in miniature for a baby shower.

I made a few for some pretty lace tanks that I have hanging in my closet, but totally plan on making some fun colored versions for friends.


The steps are super easy, it just takes a bit of patience in the wrapping. Materials are readily available and really really customizable. Use pretty florals for a wedding shower, brightly color polka dots for some children’s hangers, or just plain colors if you’re looking for a practical solution to your slipping shirts (and pants).

:: Plastic tubular hangers
:: Scrap cotton printed fabric
:: Spray adhesive
:: Super glue



ONE Tear your fabric into 1″ wide strips. It will be a little frayed, but that is ok. 


TWO: spray hook portion as well as the first few inches of the hanger with spray adhesive on one side.

THREE: start at the bent hook portion of the hanger. Wrap the fabric flatly around the tip of the hanger. Once you get it wrapped once, start twisting the fabric and re-wrap the start of the hanger with the twisted fabric, covering the flat start to the wrap.

DSC_4768 DSC_4764

FOUR: keep twisting and wrapping around the hanger.

FIVE: just before your strip ends, start another piece – wrapped flat. Wrap the previous piece overtop of the new piece for a few rotations. Then start twisting and wrapping the new piece around the tail end of the previous piece.

SIX: once you make it around the entire hanger, superglue the loose end into place.

DSC_4763 DSC_4767

It’s not difficult at all, it just take a bit of patience. Once hanger took me about 15 minutes, so set out an hour of time and make a nice set of four for someone close to you!

DSC_4796 DSC_4792

I hope you like this lovely little project as much as I do!

DIY, Copy & Photography: House of Earnest


DIY Rose Body Scrub


Inspired by my sweet friend over at Oh So Pretty, I thought I’d try my hand at my own version of a rose body scrub. With my upcoming vacation (and the warm weather that promises to be right around the corner), I’ve come to the realization that old man winter has not been kind to my poor skin. It’s rough and dry and anything but ready to be exposed to the masses. Enter: this scrub. It smells delicious, it does it’s job in a quick minute, and it can be made with ingredients you likely already have on hand. Plus, the fact that you make it yourself means you know just what’s going in it – all natural, all day long. That right there is what you’d call a no brainer!

Rose-Body-Scrub-2 Rose-Body-Scrub-3 rose-body-scrub-4

Click for instructions…


St. Patricks Day DIYs That Aren’t Totally Lame

I’m certain I’m not alone when I admit that I find the majority of St. Patrick’s day projects slightly lame. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love an excuse to gather with friends and enjoy a green beer (or a boozy shamrock shake), but the DIY’s that go along with it tend to feel more cheesy than chic. Clover this and leprechaun that – I could easily do without. But this year? This year I’ve made it my mission to unveil a handful of clever St. Patrick’s day DIYs that are anything but tacky. And if you ask me, I’d deem this mission a success!


Shamrock Whoopie Pies: Style Me Pretty Living | St. Patricks Day Cereal Bars: Sugar and Cloth | Lucky Succulents: Snap Creativity | Lucky Treat Bags: Oh Happy Day | Shamrock Wreath: The House that Lars Built | Pot of Gold Printables: Oh So Pretty | Rainbow Cupcakes: Freutcake


Valentine’s Day Ideas


Though I’m a Valentine’s Day advocate, it’s one of those “holidays” that always tends to sneak up on me, leaving me scrambling at the last minute for cute meaningful gifts for my loved ones. But this year? Well this year I’ve done my research, I’ve come prepared, and I’m more inspired than ever. Whether you celebrate with your significant other, your very best friend or your family in it’s entirety, here are a few fun projects from around the web that are guaranteed to get you in the spirit. 

ps – If you click on the heart it will take you to the original post


Inspired Outfit from Could I Have That | Be Mine Cupcakes from Better Homes & Garden | Raspberry Linzer Cookies from Freutcake | DIY Heart-Shaped Tea from Coco/Mingo | Valentine’s Day Garland from Coco/Mingo | Heart Shaped Pillow DIY from Design Love Fest | Candied Valentine Printables from Oh So Pretty via Sugar & Cloth


DIY Journal from Oh So Pretty

Hello lovelies! I’m Victoria from Oh So Pretty, and I’m so excited to be here while Jacquelyn is traveling and exploring! For those of you who know me, I’m all about quick and simple DIY’s. So here I am with just that – you can make this lovely faux leather bound journal in just a few easy steps.
DIY-Journal-02 (1)
Faux leather (1/2 a yard is plenty)
Suede lace cord (1 – 1 1/2 yard)
Paper (standard letter / card stock)
Needle and Thread
1. Fold the paper in half and use that to measure how much leather you’ll need. Remember to leave a little excess material in the back so it can overlap the front
2. Sew the pages to the leather, tying knots at the beginning and the end of the thread – be careful not to poke yourself with the needle!
3. Cut two slits in the excess material (overlap) and string the suede lace cord through
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions (hello{at}oh-sopretty{dot}com)!

A Guide to Fancy Pie Crusts


I’m sure you’ve heard it from a million and one other bloggers already this week (we’re so informative, aren’t we?), but fall is officially here! And, I’m happy to admit, I’m finally ready to welcome it with open arms. It turns out that all it took was a few cool days and lots of warm tea to get me in the spirit.

I’ve been holding on to this amazing shoot we did last year with SMP Living for what feels like forever. I’ve been sitting on pins and needles waiting for the perfect time to share it and I’m thinking that today’s the day. Because, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to ring in my favourite season than with a day filled with baking. And who needs traditional pie crusts when you can get creative? Not me. Not when we have THESE guys to chose from! I am now, more than ever, ready to get my bake on. 


Herringbone Plaid Ruffled
For details & step by step guide, click here. 

line Design & Styling: SMP Living | Photography: White Loft Studio


CATEGORIES | DIY, Holidays, Recipes

The Best DIY’s Ever

I have a lot of skills when it comes to decor, but coming up with brilliant DIY projects is simply not one of them. Instead of beating myself up about the fact that I lack in this regard, I’ve decided to turn focus on the others that excel at it. The following projects are a few that I’ve come across through my internet travels, and are well worth a peek. I’m fairly confident that a number of these will be making their way into my home in the not too distant future. 



DIY Zig Zag Tray | DIY Golden Ikea Hack | DIY Hanging Planters
DIY Shopping Tote | DIY Invitations | DIY Confetti Tumblers 
DIY Candle Holders


Tutorial: Editing Your Photos

Bar none, the number one question I get asked around here is “why are you so pretty?” No. Terrible joke (I know). It’s “how do you edit your photos?” This question pops up in my inbox, on Facebook and even, on occasion, over Twitter almost every other day. I’ve always been slightly reluctant to share my steps because it’s honestly so ridiculously easy, and I’m a part-photo editing thief (I’ll get to that part later!) I’ve come a long way since my last photo tutorial (I cringe at the yellow undertones of those photos) and thought it was high time for an update. It should be noted that I am definitely (emphasis on definitely) no expert, and I’ll claim to be one as such. BUT I am quite happy with how my photos have been turning out as of late, so here goes!

So I use Photoshop CS5 for all of my photo editing. If you don’t have Photoshop, I highly recommend you get it. It’s well worth the investment if you’re hoping to get serious about blogging (that isn’t to say that there aren’t other fab programs out there, I just don’t really have a ton of knowledge on them at this point!) So here’s a solid before picture from my recent trip to the Amalfi Coast. Pretty (I mean, it always helps to have a good subject matter), but kind of flat and sad.

::STEP No. 1::

With your image open in Photoshop, click image > auto-tone. The results should look something like the above. It doesn’t ALWAYS work – sometimes it makes the colours look all wonky, but for the most part this is my first step. If auto-tone doesn’t look right, I usually head into image > adjustments > brightness/contrast and play around until the photo gets a little more, um, “poppy” (for lack of a better word – it should be noted that I am sick to death of such a word).

3-wish-wish-wish::STEP No. 2::

This is the step in which I become a photo-editing thief. I downloaded Wish Wish Wish’s photoshop actions (right here) some time ago and have used it a million and a half times since. I’m totally obsessed.

Once you’ve downloaded it, click window > actions > wishwishone (the only one out of the three that I use) > and then push the little play (triangle) at the bottom right of the actions pop-up. The results should look like they do above – crazy vivid, saturated and vibrant.

4-pink::STEP No. 3::

I’m really into “soft and pretty” type photos these days (I happily blame my exposure to them at SMP Living). So I like to take it up a notch and add a pretty pink filter. To do that:

:: Create a new layer (make sure the layer is at the very top of your layer palette like so)
:: Using the bucket tool, colour the entirety of your photo in solid pink (I use #fee5f3)
:: Change the opacity of the pink layer to 50%
:: In the drop-down menu in your layers palette, click on the “soft light” overlay

::STEP No. 4::

Lastly, I add a soft grey layer to tone everything down just a touch. To do so:

:: Add another layer on top of your pink layer
:: Using the bucket tool, colour the layer entirely in the light grey of your choice (I use #e4e4e4)
:: Change the opacity of the layer to 35%
:: Using the drop down menu in your layers palette, select the “soft light” overlay

Let me know if you have any questions at all in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer them! And if I don’t know, I’ll try my darndest to figure it out for you ;)
All images original to lark & linen


DIY: pompoms

Final Result_Lark Linen copy
I’ve mentioned in the past that when it comes to wrapping presents I do not mess around. People have since come to expect their Christmas gift to be clad in something crafty (the pressure!) After scouring multiple paper stores around Toronto I’ve come up with a theme: winter mint with a twist (indulge me, won’t you?) The combination of red, white & mint keeps things feeling festive while straying from the a-typical.

Once I wrapped my first present I took a step back and decided that something was missing. The washi tape, twine and polka-dotted gift tags were all well and good, but it needed a bit of pizzazz. After all, I had to compete with that year I swapped wrapping paper for tin foil (some ideas are better than others by the way). So in came the pompom! Once the template was created and cut out the process went pretty quickly (and the template lasted for the 15 others I’ve since made). I’m beyond thrilled with how the entire ensemble came together and cant wait to distribute my gifts come Christmas morning.
pom pom_step 1_lark linen copy
Step 1: Trace two small circles onto thick cardstock (or cardboard). As a rule – the smaller your circle, the smaller your pompom. I used a shot glass for this step (keepin’ it classy)

Step 2: Place a smaller template (in my case, a nickel) in the center of your first circle and trace around it

pom pom_step 2_lark linen copy

Step 3: Carefully cut your circle templates out (this does not need to be perfect)

pom pom_step 3_lark linen copy

Step 4: Place both circle templates together and tie a long length of wool around them

Step 5: Wrap the wool around the templates

Step 6: Keep wrapping…

Step 7: … until it looks something like this. If your length of wool runs out, not to worry, simply tie a new length  on and keep going – nobody will know. (Note: the more times you wrap the string, the denser your pompom will become. This pompom ended up being QUITE full)

pom pom_step 4_lark linen copy

Step 8: Holding the wrapped templates between your index finger and thumb, carefully cut the wool using thin, sharp scissors…

Step 9: … until it starts to look something like this

pom pom_step 5_lark linen copy

Step 10: Once you’ve cut all around the template, spread the two cardstock pieces apart

Step 11: Thread a short length of wool in between the two cardstock templates and tie it in a tight knot. Then, carefully pull the cardstock templates off at either side. (note: your pompom may need a bit of a trim if he’s looking a little uneven)

pom pom_step 6_lark linen copy

Ta da!! Now tie it on to your gift using a ribbon (or twine in my case!)


PS – there’s still a few days to enter the Illume giveaway (a $100 value!) if you havent yet


DIY: a rustic candle holder

I can’t take full credit for this DIY as I’ve seen it floating around the interwebs in the past, but it’s a goodie and one that I’ve long wanted to duplicate myself. If I must admit, I had originally planned this post last fall but I just never got around to it. The sticks were gathered (this is no easy task when you live in a condo downtown Toronto), the glass votives were purchased and they’ve hung around all lonely-like ever since.

When I woke up last Saturday morning, I felt the urge to get crafty so that’s just what I did. It was so simple that I almost feel silly writing out the steps, but what kind of “DIY’er” would I be then? So here it goes:
What you’ll need:
-a hot glue gun
-some twine
-a sharp exacto knife
-a handful of (straight) sticks
-glass votives (I picked mine up at Ikea for $2.99/pack of 12)

Step 1:
using the exacto knife, carefully cut the stick to your desired length (mine were approximately 3″ long)
Step 2:
repeat with remaining sticks until they’re all similar in length
Step 3:
add a dollop of hot glue to the bottom of the stick
Step 4:
hold it firmly against the votive until the glue dries
Step 5:
repeat until the entire votive is covered
Step 6:
wrap twine around the base, using hot glue to secure it in place, for a more “finished” look.


DIY: necklace tree

I’m thrilled to share my contribution to this months Xquisit magazine. For this issue, I’ve put together a wonderfully simple tutorial that takes you through the steps necessary for creating your own necklace tree, for just a few dollars. If you have a second, pop over and check it out (it can be found on page 87 here)!


condo life: $3 nightstands

 When Justin and I first moved into our condo we picked up a few discarded wine boxes at the LCBO for a dollar a piece, unsure of what exactly we’d do with them. For the last year they’ve sat stacked next to our bed as a nightstand placeholder until we could afford those we really wanted. Though they were unfinished, their rough and tumbleness began to grow on me. When operation get-bedroom-finished came into full swing not long ago, I decided they could stick around (dang budget) but they needed to step it up. Enter: stain. After two quick coats (and three days of air drying on the balcony), I brought them in and couldn’t believe the immediate difference. The result feels rustic and well-loved, bringing about an immediate sense of warmth. Extra bonus: you would never even guess that the entire project cost a mere three dollars (plus a can of stain, which I happened to have on hand). I think I’ll keep them around, for a while at least.

CATEGORIES | DIY, Interior Design

celebrate: valentines day.

I am far from what you would call a Valentines day enthusiast, but I do appreciate any reason to do something special for those whom I love. While I don’t partake in lavish gifts and over-the-top celebrations, I like to recognize the event in little ways. Whether it’s for your significant other, your best friend or that neighbour who simply needs a pick-me-up, here are a few great ways to celebrate in a simple fashion. Besides, everyone could use some additional love now and again:

one:: heart-shaped egg in a hole
two:: paint edible hearts and messages on your dishes at brunch
three:: heart-shaped sugar cookies
four:: diy sugar cube hearts (for their morning coffee)
five:: cupid’s arrow red velvet cupcakes
six:: diy glitter cards


diy: sparkly gift tags.

Considering the notion of a well plated dish tasting better than one that was just haphazardly thrown together, I believe the same is to be true for the presentation of ones Christmas gift. The packaging surrounding it always seems to make the contents that much more appealing (obviously there are exceptions: hi aunt Betty and your hand knitted kitten sweater! I’m not sure a pretty package could save this one.) With that in mind, each year I try to take that bit of extra time to assemble my gifts. While not all of my ideas end up being well thought out*, I am pleased with how my gift tags fared this year. They’re simple, inexpensive and add a little bit of sparkle to the organic vibe of my wrapping.

*One year I wrapped all of my gifts in tinfoil thinking they would look sparkly and glamorous. They didn’t. People still bring it up. 

here’s what you’ll need:
a scrap piece of cardboard
a sharp exacto knife
blank gift tags
spray adhesive
colourful glitter

and here’s what you’ll do:

step 1: cut desired shape out of cardboard using a sharp exacto knifestep 2: place your template overtop your gift tag
and spray a thin, even coat of spray adhesivestep 3: sprinkle glitterstep 4: brush away excess glitter. Yes, it’s that simple!


condo life: inexpensive art.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that our apartment is more or less complete in the decor department. Apart from the bedroom, which always seems to be the last place to receive that special touch (why is that?), everything else has fallen into place.

Most recently, we’ve added art to our otherwise naked foyer. After a recent stint at an antique store in Prince Edward County, I stumbled upon this beautiful burlap flour sack. For a mere $10 I decided that it needed to come home with me, not yet sure where it would end up. In the end, we framed it in a $34.99 Ikea frame, resulting in a huge, 28″ x 40″ piece of art for just a few dollars. It instantly warms up the empty wall in our entryway and I could not be more pleased with the results.

When we first moved in to our condo I was concerned how we would fill up our many, many blank walls on a quite limited budget. But with a little patience, and a touch of creativity it’s all coming together.


tutorial: enhancing your photos.

I’ve been getting a number of questions regarding how I edit my pictures (specifically these ones), so I thought I’d take a moment to show you how I do it. Before I begin, I should probably tell you that when I began editing them, I originally used Sydney‘s photoshop tutorial (and if you don’t read her blog, you’re missing out on some ridiculous awesomeness). I’ve adapted it slightly along the way to suit my needs (and it often gets adapted even more depending on the image), but this is a great starting off point for those of you who want to be in the know. Unfortunately, in order to edit them with this method, you’ll need access to photoshop (a small amount of knowledge of the program would also help – I’ve tried to be as clear as possible but if you’re new to photoshop and need additional help feel free to shoot me an e-mail, or leave a comment). So here it goes!

Step 1:: Import your image into photoshop and open the layers palette. Right click on the background layer and select “duplicate background” so that you aren’t working on the original file (in case you would like to keep it in it’s original state for future use.) This is the image I’m going to be working with:
Step 2:: Look at the top left bar. You see where is says “Layer”? Click on it. And then click on the following: new fill layer, solid colour, and select a navy blue (I chose #070144). Next, change it’s opacity to 75%. It should look something like this: pretty, right?

Step 3:: Once again, go up to the top left and click layer, new fill layer, solid colour and select a peach colour (I use #de9b82) to end up with this:

Step 4:: Annddd again, for good measure; click layer, new fill layer, solid colour and select a light pink (I use #fed1eb). Next, change it’s opacity to 50%. At this point your picture should look something like so:

Step 5::  For the last time I swear; click layer, new fill layer, solid colour and select navy blue again (#070144). Change the opacity to 18% to end up with this:

Step 6:: And once you’ve gotten this far, duplicate your background image once more, and drag it to the very top of your layers palette. Once it’s at the top, click on the drop menu at the top of your layers palette that says “normal” and change it to soft light for this lovely, vintage appeal.

And there you have it!

You can feel free to play around with the layers, the opacity, the fill colours, the brightness, the contrast… Heck, you may even like the image after the first step. Like most things in life (at least I like to believe so), there are no real rules.

And because I like a solid before and after, here you go:


diy: dye.

The idea of dying my own fabrics to create something unique and one of a kind has always been something that intrigued me. When I stumbled upon this do-it-yourself recipe in the latest Sweet Paul Mag for doing just that, I had to add it to my list of things to do in my lifetime. And the fact that you use produce from your local grocery store to achieve this beautiful look makes this process all the more appealing.

aaand here’s how it’s done:
all images found here

ps. if you have yet to peruse through that which is Sweet Paul‘s online mag, I highly recommend moseying over. It’s riddled with delicious recipes and lots of pretty things to feast your eyes on.


pretty things: diy business cards.

found here

How pretty are these tie-dyed business cards? So simple. So beautiful. So unique! Head over to Caro’s blog (here) for the step by step guide on how to make your own.


fabric flowers.

You may have noticed in my previous post, a fabric flower fastened to my hair (you can see it here too). I knew that I wanted a flower to adorn my head for my aunts wedding, but I could not for the life of me find the one that I was imagining (don’t you hate when this happens?). It seemed that every store I visited carried a selection of horrible plastic flowers trying to look as if they were the real thing. H&M even had one with a fake drop of water atop its petals. (Really, H&M, did you need to go there?) One of my pet peeves is objects that are not true to themselves. For that reason, I detest laminate flooring, faux finishes and, of course, plastic flowers. Quit trying to replicate something you are not! You are the only you! Be the best you that you can be! I don’t believe I’m alone in this, so quit giving me that look.

Back to the point: I marched on out of there (not really – I may have given a look of disgust, a small scowl, and a “did you SEE that thing?!” while meandering over to another section of the store), and decided to make my own.

Here’s how:

.1. go to the dollar store. Purchase a cotton t-shirt (mine was a whopping $1.25. I went for the good cotton – clearly). Or, use any fabric scraps (or old t-shirts) you have lying around the house.

.2. cut your fabric into various circles. The size of your circles will depend on how large you’d like your flower to be. Mine were approximately 3” in diameter, but honestly, anything goes here. They don’t need to be perfect. In fact, the more imperfect, the better! They should, however, get slightly larger as you go about your cutting. 

 .3. grab a hold of your first circle (the smallest one), and fold it in half

.4. fold it in half again!

.5. stitch the bottom of your flower together like so, and tie a small knot when you’re done. (I only used 2-3 stitches each time; and ideally, your thread should match the colour of your fabric)

.6. grab your second circle

.7. fold it in half overtop your first stitched circle

.8. fold it again!

.9. stitch the bottoms together

.10. and repeat steps 6 through 9 and again and again, until you run out of circles, or your flower is to the size you desire

.11. when you’re satisfied, hot glue a small clip or bobby pin to the base of the flower, ruffle or re-arrange your petals until they’re to your liking and enjoy! 

Additional note: you could also hot glue a safety-pin to the bum of your flower and wear it as a broach

And all of this for a grand total of… $1.25. (for the t-shirt). Take that all you “dewy” plastic flowers.


how to’s.

I’m sure you’ve seen these pendant lights around before. They’re kind of everywhere! (As an aside, I totally designed a wire one with semi-transluscent beads while I was in school, well before they became popular. I’m just putting that out there guys. Call me avant-garde. Trendsetter. A fool for not selling them to Ikea. Whatever. Mine had beads!)  I love the way they look and make a space feel, but I do not love their price tag upwards of $1000.00 a piece. Lucky for us, Pickles has put together a tutorial on how you can make your own! So nifty! I’m absolutely going to try this – and I’ll let you know how it goes.  

Click here for the step-by-step tutorial.


recycled chipmunk.

This made me smile this morning (click on it to see its full size).

found via 9Gag