DIY Votive Jars: Recycled Simplicity

There's nothing like a quick and easy craft project to get your art enthused guests talking. I was putting away dipped silverware and old candelabras when the concept of revamping some of my glass candle holders came to me. 

It was for a more casual setting and I was trying to think of what I could use the glass votive holders for, other than beauty storage or odd sewing notions. 

If you're not entirely sure of painting your glass holders, then this tricksy DIY is exactly for you! To create a faux gilded art piece, I used gold foiled washi tape to adorn each votive holder. Then, I used the containers to store cutlery for my tablescape. This version will not ruin the glass at all! Instead, this quick project will add an abstract touch to your table crafted with artifice and elegance. The best part is that you can reuse your glass votives for plenty of other ideas in the future.

Stay tuned, this DIY will make a proper debut in an upcoming post! This is such a small detail but you will see how large of an impact it can make in the complete styling soon. Here's how to make them: 



  1. Faux gold leafing: Cut off two pieces of gold tape in your preferred length (Mine were roughly 3 cm-5 cm). For an abstract and brushstroke aesthetic, I used my fingers to cut the Washi tape, however, scissors were used for other styles, which works well for creating curved lines or any clean edge.
  2. Adhere the gold tape to the front of the glass votive candle holder.
  3. Napkin: Using a square napkin, fold the napkin in half diagonally. You should now have a napkin in the form of a triangle.
  4. Make sure the napkin top is pointing away from you (see diagram below), and the bottom is straight with diagonal sides on your left and right. Then, from left to right, fold the bottom left side of the napkin inward to the centre. Now, fold the bottom right side of the napkin inward to the centre. Press sides flat with fingers.
  5. Turn the napkin over and place the folded napkin inside the glass votive with the pointed top edge facing upward (fitting it carefully inside the glass votive holder and adjusting accordingly). Repeat steps 1-5 for each votive holder. Now, you've got a rather artful than tawdry style votive holder. There's room for creativity, you can also try using cut outs or scrapbook hole-punches!

What do you think about this unique and artful detail? Do you reuse votive candle jars?

See it here first! // This is an original DIY by Madison, FASHION TALES. 


Creative Packaging: iCustomLabel

iCustomLabel makes it hassle-free to create your own labelling for events, business, or personal use. There are a plethora of options to use including, ready-made templates or to produce personalised pieces. I recently had the pleasure of using iCustomLabel's services for a couple of upcoming dinner parties and fun events that I am hosting, one which you'll be able to view very soon on the blog.   

The process was simple and I enjoyed making new labels. Fortunately, since these are stickers, it definitely took the work out of having to line up or cut each label. Wedding table numbers, baby showers, cigar labels, wine labels, or even water bottles are just a handful of ideas to use their services for. I wish I had remembered to make my New Year's labels during the holiday season, as I designed a fun "Cheers" label that I could have used (seen below). But, those will not be wasted and are also viable options for engagement parties or a hen night as well.  

I created some of my own custom pieces, and modified a few of their labels to suit my needs—it's quite easy to manipulate the templates and all of my prints were of great quality and came exactly as I viewed the proofs beforehand. In the past, I have just designed my own labels with an Avery template or printed out labels and stickers on my photo printer, however, this was fast and uncomplicated.  

In the end, I decided to make a few extra labels for my gourmet treats such as energy bars, biscuits and wrapped candies to give homemade food a professional touch. If you have a unique birthday party, bridal shower or baby shower to prepare for this would actually be ideal in my opinion, because I am a tad obsessed with dainty décor and miniature custom details (*think, little gift bags, wedding favours, or custom beer bottles for game day)  
These labels add a playful touch to any party or fun night in! 

FASHION TALES BLOG original designed labels
I created these adorable sticker labels for candies that I put in little gift bags.

What do you think of the prints that I created? Have you used iCustomLabel?  

 Perfect for upcoming St. Paddy's Day!

The goods: Services and printing-c/o iCustomLabel. *As always, all opinions are my own and honestly expressed. You may shop and view iCustomLabel's range of offerings here  


Framed: DIY Decorating

I have put together a few crafts for the not-so-typical DIY enthusiast. These DIYs are all quite affordable and easy to modify to suit any stylish space. All you'll need at the most is scissors and glue with a few notions. I hope that you are inspired to create your own and if you do, don't forget to share what you create!  

1. DIY Embellishments
Picture frames (2)
Text Art or printables on card stock 
Sequins and/or marble beads
E6000 or craft glue

  1. Find printables that you love or create your own text to print out. 
  2. Buy affordable frames or use old frames that will fit the scale of your print(s). (I bought a wholesale bundle of frames and shadow boxes from a design store because I used some for a styling event).
  3. Take measurements from the frames and your card stock, then cut any excess off the edges of card stock so that your paper will fit inside the framing. Test the fit and remove the paper to a flat working surface. 
  4. Use beads, or sequins to design your artwork. Next, adhere and secure the beads and sequins with glue or E6000. Set aside to dry according to the glue/E6000 directions.
  5. Carefully place the finished artwork inside the frame and enclose. Repeat steps 1-5 for your next art piece.

Notes and gift ideas: 
  • These are easy and stylish ways to dress up your vanity area, any décor space or with special frames, this makes a lovely personalised gift. 
  • I made small wedding gift baskets for a client and put Mr. & Mrs. custom frames in rose gold. The options are endless and with a good embellishing eye, you can make these budget-friendly accents look like elegant art pieces, gift favours, and wall décor.

2. Mini Floral Wreath
There are numerous ways make a traditional wreath but what better way to welcome the season of newness and being a tad unconventional than a miniature wreath? Not to mention, I am not using this wreath for its main functionality for the final result, instead, I created this velvet rose wreath to be used as a centrepiece for an upcoming gathering (more to come on that project later, so stay tuned).

Floral foam ring (small: approx. 
Velvet or silk roses (9-12 pcs.)
Floral accents (pine cones, dried berries, or baby's breath, etc.) 
Jute twine
Wire cutter
Glue stick with glue gun (Optional)

  1. On a flat working surface, use a wire cutter to separate all of the roses, 
  2. Arrange the roses on the floral foam in your preferred design by piercing the ends each rose and floral accent into the foam. (Check that the edges are not sticking out on the bottom of the foam, if they are, use the wire cutter to cut excess off or stick the edge into the foam by curving the ends).
  3. Take yardage of the jute twine and wrap it around the entire side of the foam ring, forming layers on top of each other with every interval until there is no visible green shown of the foam (At this point, you can use the hot glue gun to securely adhere the twine to the foam, otherwise just tie a knot at the end of the last wrapped layer, then cut off the excess with scissors.
  4. If you want to hang this on the wall or door, then add a loop of jute twine to the back of the wreath with hot glue. Set aside to dry.

What do you think of these small décor accents?

See it here first! // This is an original DIY by Madison, FASHION TALES. 


All About Peas!

As a veggie lover, I can always seem to find a way to incorporate root vegetables, legumes, and fresh garden herbs into any dish. Finally, I've returned from holidays (which was wonderfully relaxing) and one of the first gatherings that we had was more of an impromptu get-together—a farewell for a couple of our friends commenced as they are relocating to a new area for a big move to Turkey  

The new year is ideal for embracing changes so I decided to make a plant-based meal (which is typical for us, however not the norm for others) to give a few veggies that often get a bad reputation the spotlight. Peas were one of them and I made a split pea hummus to go along with our homemade meze feast. Meze is traditionally (Middle Eastern and East Mediterranean) similar to tapas, it's several small one dish servings. 
This light meal is enjoyed with great conversation and of course, our mezes also generally involve laughter and contentment in abundance.  
Over my holiday, I went through the blog and e-mails collected from FT readers and I noticed many questions about how I know about different traditions, cultures and one was even about how I celebrate certain holidays. Although some of these questions have already been answered if you've followed my blog at least in the past 5 years, this year I plan to provide more inspiration and cuisines from places where I grew up and from my cultures. My parents together are of several cultures and since food (both traditional and gourmet) is just as important and much apart of how we express ourselves as my love for fashion, home décor and entertaining want to show more of that.  

I have been vegetarian/pescatarian now for about 13 years yet it doesn’t deter me from cooking various cuisines for others. It also helps that I have plenty of people around that don't mind being tasters when it comes to commentary or just filling their bellies. 

As a child, I grew up eating mashed peas but I only liked the way that my mum made mushy peas because it was slightly different and more flavourful than most. Peas are starchy and easy to alter just as potatoes, therefore you can make a multitude of recipes with this vegetable. I used my childhood memory as inspiration to create a split-pea hummus, which not only provides a plentiful amount of nutrients and antioxidants for your body externally and internally, however it's also a delicious side. View the recipe here.
FASHION TALES BLOG-food blogger - pea mash dip recipe

Hopefully this will give you inspiration to add more peas to your life or at the very least more vegetables 
Eating your vegetables, namely peas will also give you iron, fibre and keeps your heart healthy due to the high percentage of lutein, non-provitamin A carotenoid, this means that it's an antioxidant that protects your cells from oxidation. 

Do you eat peas? What is your favourite vegetable? 


Countryside Cooking

I have been sitting on creating this post because I wanted to try a handful of recipes ahead of time. Then, I forgot about posting and I came across Mimi Thorisson's French Country Cooking (a storytelling recipe book) again over the holidays and decided to write this post.  

From succulent poultry to seafood, you will find fantastic regional food to indulge in and learn about the author as well as the French in the process. Even though I am very keen on French cooking since my mum cooked it occasionally but to be honest, I have not cooked much French cuisine myself really at all. Only in the past two years have I prepared the most French style cooking in my kitchen, beyond homemade macarons. I was only partial to French style baking, more for technique, that is until I read this book.
This was one of the loveliest French country style cookery books I've seen in a long while with very approachable recipes. Ingredients range from everyday items to speciality grocer listed items. The recipes are simple and inviting, many dishes reminded me of sitting at the long family table when my parents would entertain, even on weeknights with their friends. There could be a simple homemade bread but there was something so special about everyone being around the table conversing and eating together. Thorisson's book brings fond memories of her childhood to life and interesting people crossing her path with inspiration through her cooking. The book brings a certain 'je ne sais quoi' to the kitchen that naturally the French can do so well. 

"This book is the book that wrote itself." Mimi Thorisson 

I really enjoy books that express an author's personality, and it's even better when there's such a fine story of history with beautiful details unfolding with every page turned. This book does just that and begins with a lovely tale of how Thorisson and her husband came upon the place they call home, it was mere fate, the author shares. 

The home is a generously spacious one in a little French village, St Yzans, a place that caters well beyond what you'd probably imagine a traditional home in the country to be. Did I mention that their wonderful grand old home, No 1 Rue De Loudenne also has a restaurant? The old house they bought used to be a restaurant long ago and she and her family decided to revive it once more in their own way. 

If you haven't figured it out by now, yes, I adored this book very muchit's certainly one to have in any Francophile's culinary arsenal. This is why this cookery book deserved its own post. 

Buy This ...  
If you enjoy being in the kitchen baking and cooking, period. 
If you are a seasoned cook, a home cook, or anyone who aspires to cook gourmet dishes that not only look incredible but are actually good, you will love this.  

Caution: If you don't know your way around the kitchen or if you don't have any ramekins, cast-iron skillet, deep baking dish, and a Dutch oven in your possession, then you might want to sit this one out. However, there's no time like the present to take on the challenge.  

 I was given an advanced copy of this book via the publisher. As always, all opinions are expressed honestly and my own.

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