8 articles Articles posted in Contributors

What I Keep in My Instagram Prop Box

In case you weren’t aware, Gilit has been sharing some pretty amazing and super helpful Instagram tips, so if you’re not following her Instagram  account (@thebannerie), you need to! Like, right now. (Editor’s note: you see why I love Bethany, right? I don’t force her to shamelessly promote me but she does it anyway.)

Speaking of Instagram, one of my favorite “tools” for when I’m taking flatlays is painter’s tape. So much so, that I keep a roll in my Instagram prop box.

Yes, I keep a box of props for photos that has everything from mini disco balls to washi tape!

Instagram Props

Here are some ideas of things you can keep in yours:

Mini Honeycomb Balls

Mini Honeycomb BallsI like them because they are inexpensive, cute and tiny! You can get a pack of 10 for only $7 from the Oh Happy Day Shop!


My personal favorite confetti comes from The Confetti Bar. It’s even customizable!

Fun Shaped Candles
Fun Shaped Candles

Chances are you’ve already met Lola the flamingo, but did you know that Lola is a candle?! The Bannerie has them for $10 less than the ones at Nordstrom!

Boss Banners
Boss Banner

You can use The Bannerie’s banners to share phrases like Gilit does. Thanks to her I’m obsessed with punching today in the face.

Personal Items
Personal Items

While I wouldn’t recommend keeping your phone in your prop box (you might need it for Instagram photos and the occasional phone call), I encourage you to think outside of the box! You can always use what you have on hand!

Do you have an Insta prop box? What do you keep in it?



What's in my Instagram prop box

Watermelon Favor Bags

DIY watermelon party favor bags

I am bound to run out of ways to incorporate watermelons into DIY projects, but today is not that day! When I was browsing the dollar store a few weeks ago I spotted these vibrant paper bags in pink, orange and lime green. I knew they had to be mine because they would be perfect to hand out party favors in, but the plain bags were a bit boring. So when I started on my watermelon crafting kick I just knew I had to turn those pink bags into fabulous Watermelon Favor Bags!

150 SUPPLY LISTPink Paper Bag
Lime Green Tape, 0.75 inches wide
Dark Green Tape, 1.5 inches wide
Black Vinyl
Treats, Candy and Prizes

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!


  1. Cut a long piece of dark green tape and adhere it to the paper bag, lining up the edge of the tape with the bottom of the bag, wrap the tape around the entire base of the bag. Repeat this process with the lime green tape just above the dark green tape.
  2. Using scissors cut your black vinyl into small squares, these will be the seeds of the watermelon. Adhere the black vinyl squares randomly to the pink area of the paper bag.
  3. Fill your bag full of treats, candy and prizes!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

Make a Watermelon Favor Bag!

This project is also a perfect party/craft activity for little ones and might I suggest making a super-sized version of my Mini Watermelon Piñata, then the kids could use the Watermelon Favor Bags they crafted to collect the piñata loot in!


*See more of Sarah’s glitter and talent on her blog Weekend Pursuits and Instagram @sadiutori

5 Ways to Hack a Store Bought Cake

I’m no Martha so when I need a cake, I run to the nearest grocery store. It saves me the effort of making a cake myself and costs a heck of a lot less than a gourmet bakery cake, but store bought cakes look kind of …boring. Luckily, there are a bunch of easy ways you can upgrade a basic store bought cake. Here are five of our faves.

1. Wallpaper it: This is so genius and the outcome is so gorgeous, I’m having a hard time containing myself. You can buy a plain white frosted cake and do THIS tutorial via Alana Jones-Mann, a freaking cake genius.

Wallpaper Tropical Print Cake

2. A Cake Topper: Cake toppers are an easy way to really step up your cake game and you can buy it or DIY it. We love this cool looking cake topper from The Roc Shop. (Psst she just came out with the cutest new line full of tropical vibes!)


This is such a good example of how a DIY cake topper can bring your store bought cake to a whole other level. These Mini Mylar Letter Balloons from A Joyful Riot are hands down more effort than buying a topper, but SO very amazing.


3. Write your own message: Coco Cake Land shows you how to make simple writing look pretty, even if your handwriting sucks.


4. Flowers: Sometimes the simplest ideas are really the most genius, replace the frosting flowers with real ones. A Practical Wedding knows the deal.

APW store bought wedding cake hack

5. Cand-ify it: Use gumballs or lollipops to decorate your basic cake in cool patterns. Check out the how-to and other easy store bought cake upgrades on the Minted blog

store bought cake lollipop upgrade

Do you have ideas on how to decorate a plain sheet cake and make it look fabulous? We really like it when you share!


Psst. remember these alternative cake toppers?

Mini Pallet DIY

Everywhere I turn, I am seeing really cool creations made from wood pallets. Everything from bookshelves, outdoor furniture, coffee tables and even wall art. I am really digging all of these reclaimed wood deco-ideas.

My issue is finding space for such large endeavors. We are pretty maxed out in our house, and if I came home with a giant wood pallet, my husband might disown me. Or at the very least roll his eyes.

This brings me to this project; a scaled-down version of the pallet DIY craze. You’ll be amazed at not only how inexpensive this project is, but also how simple.

Mini Pallet DIY

What you will need:

Wood shims
Hot glue gun
Paint / Chalkboard paint
Masking tape
Sand Paper

1. Start with Wood Shims

I found a package of 42 wood shims (1.25″ x 11.75″), at my local Lowe’s for $4.47. They look like this in their package:

Mini Pallet DIY

And this, out of their package:

Mini Pallet DIY

2. Arrange Shims

Arrange shims to create a square, using 2 shims as backing. Once you like your spacing, hot glue the pieces to the backing:

Mini Pallet DIY

Mini Pallet DIY

3. Sand, Mask & Paint

Sand your shims (or only partially sand, if you like the more rugged look). You can leave the bare wood, or paint a base coat. Then mask your pattern out with the tape. Paint the exposed wood, allow to dry and remove tape:

Mini Pallet DIY

Mini Pallet DIY

4. Chalk Board Sign

If masking is too abstract for you, you can also paint the whole pallet with chalkboard paint, and write a quote on it with chalk pen. (I distressed my chalk sign by scribbling on the dry chalk paint with actual chalk, and erasing it with a rag.)

Mini Pallet DIY

Mini Pallet DIY

You can use your mini pallets as wall art or even as a tray or trivet. There are a gazillion possibilities, and I would love to see what you come up with! Let me know what you thought of this DIY in the comments below.

Mini Pallet DIYMini Pallet DIY Mini Pallet DIY Mini Pallet DIY Mini Pallet DIY Mini Pallet DIYSee more of my easy DIY projects here!

xo, Em

DIY Photo Backdrops Perfect for Spring

Aside from the occasional snow flurry here or there, spring is in the air. Spring means more sunlight and that we’ll be seeing tons of flowers and pastel everything, how great is that?!

Why not use all of those things to your advantage? Need a photo booth for your next spring event? (Mother’s Day is just around the corner…) Try one of these spring inspired photo backdrops, because they are perfection!

Spring Backdrops Collage

The obsession with finding creative ways to use fresh flowers is beyond real. So, almost needless to say Green Wedding Shoes nailed it! This flower wall is simple, easy and unbelievably pretty.


If you loved Gilit’s DIY Drop Cloth Rug, then brace yourself. The No-Sew Wedding Backdrop Michelle Edgemont did for A Practical Wedding is great for not only weddings, but so much more!


Fringe is in, and not just when it comes to clothes. The colors, the creativity, Oh Happy Day knows what’s up.


I’ve decided that Lovely Indeed has the cutest collection of photo backdrops, this Ombre Tissue Paper one is simply the bee’s knees.


You can use leftover supplies to recreate this Kathryn Godwin for Ruffled Blog Paper Punch Backdrop. How much do you want to just hang it up and leave it there forever? Light and airy, it really sums up the feeling of spring.



DIY Painted Pots for Spring

*Today’s post is from our newest contributor and my late night text buddy, Emily McAllister the funny, talented woman behind the blog Chasing Ayden and store Ayden’s Rose.*

Love is in the air, and so is Spring time! When I think of Spring I think of flowers, bright colors, warm weather, the smell of fresh-cut grass, sunshine days and all-around cheeriness. Did you just have a moment? Me too.

Painted Pot DIY for Spring

These DIY flower pots are the perfect way to welcome Spring, and they’re not only fun and easy, but super cost-effective (my favorite). If you have little ones, buy a few extra pots so they can play too.

What you will need:
-Clay flower pots in varying sizes, (I found mine at Lowes, but check your local dollar store)
-Paints (I used Martha Stewart craft paint)
-Gold leaf paint
-Potting soil
-Washi tape (optional)

Painted Pots DIY. Perfect burst of color for Spring. http://chasingayden.com/painted-pot-DIY

1. Paint  yo’ pots
Having an extra pot for my daughter Ayden to paint, proved to be a genius move. She loved crafting with me, and I was able to paint my own pots without her trying to ‘help’.

Painted Pots DIY. Perfect burst of color for Spring. http://chasingayden.com/painted-pot-DIY

Painted Pots DIY. Perfect burst of color for Spring. http://chasingayden.com/painted-pot-DIY

OR dip yo’ pots

I have been wanting to try this method for a while, and I love the water-color look that it produced. Fill a container with watered down paint of choice and dip pot in sections, starting from the bottom up. It will create a light-to-dark ombre effect.

Painted Pots DIY. Perfect burst of color for Spring. http://chasingayden.com/painted-pot-DIY

Painted Pots DIY. Perfect burst of color for Spring. http://chasingayden.com/painted-pot-DIY

2. Fill ‘em up

I have a secret. I found these succulents growing in my neighborhood. There is an abundance of them in Southern California, and thy grow back fast and easily. They also take to soil easily. I say no harm, no foul. (My husband keeps calling me a succulent thief.) :-/

Painted Pots DIY. Perfect burst of color for Spring. http://chasingayden.com/painted-pot-DIY

3. Enjoy!

I am super happy with how these turned out! I love the bright colors, and they make me smile, (that’s the point, right?) I hope you have fun making your Spring painted pots! (I used washi tape to accent the top of my ‘dipped’ pot. The possibilities are truly endless).

xo, Em

Thanks so much, Em! Don’t forget you can find Emily on her blog, shop, or IG

How to Throw a St. Patrick’s Day Party (and free printables!)

Want to throw a top o’ the charts party for St. Patrick’s Day? Well you’re in luck!

Here’s some great ideas for what to buy, eat, or make for a fab and shenanigan-filled St. Patty’s Day party (PLUS free printables!):

How to Throw a St. Patrick's Day Party


Start by setting the mood with a wisteria and clover scented Candle from Holly Beeez.


No party is complete without a photo booth, and what does every photo booth need? Props! The Prop Shop has a fun and festive set of St. Patrick’s Day Photobooth Props. I mean, check out the bling on the sunnies!


Can you think of a better way to display all your rainbow colored drinks than with these French Square Plastic Bottles from The TomKat Studio? Nope, I can’t either.



Now, I’m not irish, but I’ll pretend to be for a smooch…especially in cake form! This Studio DIY Kiss Me I’m Irish Cake is great way to show spirit without having to go all out green.


Pizzazzerie shows you have to give your guests the gift of gold with these St. Patrick’s Day Hidden Pot of Gold Brownies.


And I just can’t get over these St. Patrick’s Day Phyllo Eclairs from Best Friends for Frosting!



A Subtle Revelry Shamrock Paper Fans Photograph by Jocelyn Noel Photography for A Subtle Revelry.


Love balloons, hate helium tanks? Oh Happy Day’s St. Patrick’s Day Mini Rainbow Balloon Arch DIY is a perfect, helium-free way to do a balloon display!


I can’t be the only one with a jar of pennies collecting nothing but dust. Put them to good use like Made by Marzipan!



These awesome free printables from Leah Conis will MAKE your party. Download here and here and check out more of her goodies in her shop Purple Chloe! I’ve already started my St. Patrick’s Day prep. Not only does Leah’s DIY Kiss Me banner look cute, it was really easy to put together!

Kiss Me Banner

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