Wednesday, December 21, 2016

12 Months of DIY - A Year in Review & My Fave Project

12 months of easy and fun diy craft project ideas

This year I embarked on a #12monthsofdiy challenge with 11 other Canadian bloggers. The premise was this: each month we created our own diy projects around a given material. Unlike many of the other participants, prior to 2016 my diy experience was somewhat limited. This fact made the challenge a little bit intimidating and also a lot of fun.

I found some of the materials easier to work with, and knew pretty much right away what I wanted to create with them. Other craft materials had me scratching my head. Those were the really good ones, because they forced me to kick the old brain into action. It might seem like I'm exaggerating when I say that this experience was life-changing, but I really feel that it was. Not life-changing like getting married or having a baby, but life-changing as in pushing me in new directions and in search of more varied pursuits.

Over the course of the year, I played with materials I hadn't used before, such as Mod Podge and adhesive vinyl. I stapled, painted, glued, sewed, cut, drilled and knitted. Each new month sent me in search of materials and made me more familiar with the nooks and crannies of stores like Michaels and Canadian Tire.

Most of all I benefited from the kindness and inspiration provided by my fellow bloggers. I truly could not have asked for a better group of women to work with. It was because of these lovely souls that I decided to go to Blogpodium, a conference for design and lifestyle bloggers. Many of the members of our little diy gang (from across Canada) were there and it was so great to spend time with them in person.

I walked away from Blogpodium with a Cricut cutting machine, which opened up many new crafting possibilities. And I met with representatives from home decor companies looking to interact with lifestyle and decor bloggers. Out of this came my dramatic foyer makeover, which has me enthusiastic about tackling more rooms in our house, starting soon with our powder room.

My 12 13 DIY Projects

I actually did 13 projects because the group was short a project in June when our material of the month was spray paint. And I had spray painted a whole load of stuff! Looking at the photos as a group, there is one obvious thing that unifies them - colour. I almost always wear black or dark clothing, but clearly I like a little colour in my home. All the projects are relatively simple too, partly because that's where I'm at skills-wise and partly because I hope to provide some small inspiration for people who want manageable crafts to enjoy alone or with their families.

Here are the projects I created this year (pictured above, from the top, left to right):

January: Mason Jars - Snow Globes Made With Old Toys
February: Fabric - Reupholstered Antique Chair
March: Mineral Paint - Easy Wooden Table Makeover
April: Thrifted Finds - Pottery Barn Inspired Burlap Lamp Shade & Owl Bookends
May: Mod Podge - Filing Cabinet Transformation
June: Spray Paint - Hot Pink Side Table & Spray-Painted Terra Cotta Planter
July: Felt - Felt Fruit Mobile
August: Vinyl - Memory Box With Hand-Cut Decals
September: Faux Florals - Log Centrepiece with Tea Light Candles and Florals
October: Ribbon - Gift Tag Ribbon Garland
November: Paper - Hand-Printed Kraft Paper Gift Wrap
December: Yarn - Chain Yarn Garland

My Favourite #12monthsofdiy Project

It was somewhat difficult to choose a favourite project from the year. There were a few crafts that I really enjoyed making. Ultimately I chose my Pottery Barn Inspired Burlap Lamp Shade & Owl Bookends. For one thing, I really like the way they look. But most of all, I love that our challenge involved finding treasures at the thrift store to overhaul.

It was so much fun to head to Value Village with the idea of searching for unique old pieces to diy into something extraordinary. With the help of my husband, I took a lamp that was already pretty okay and added burlap fabric around the shade for an updated look. Then we pieced together a couple of finds, including a lovely, wise owl, to make bookends for my vintage books. A little bit of glue and spray paint and we made old pieces new again. Like all of the other projects, completion of this diy brought with it a sense of satisfaction for a challenge completed.

Thank you to my peeps!

My heartfelt thanks to the kind-hearted Christina of The DIY Mommy, who put many, many hours into organizing our monthly challenges and creating collages of all our projects. She was so generous with her time and talents. And thank you to the other members of the group for your kindness, ideas and support.

Check Out The Fave Projects of The Other Bloggers

Now it's time to see which projects were my blogging friends' favourites, and what they thought of our challenge. Click on the project name to visit their project post, and their blog name to visit
their blog and see their last #12MonthsofDIY post.

DIY Vintage Succulent Centerpiece from Vin'yet Etc.

DIY Daisy Frame Art from Lifeovereasy

Pottery Barn Inspired Burlap Lamp Shade & Owl Bookends from Woman In Real Life

Vintage Inspired DIY Vinyl Office Sign from Heather in Heels

How to Make an Infinity Scarf from Fresh Crush

Mason Jar Oil Lamps from Life Is A Party

Upcycling a Coat into a DIY Leather Bag from Sustain My Craft Habit

Thrift Store Patio Table Tray Makeover from Time With Thea

Felt Wall Organizer from Love Create Celebrate

Vinyl Otomi Chargers from PMQ for Two

Make a Giant Reclaimed Wood Clock from an Electrical Reel from The DIY Mommy

Gold Straw Himelli Plant Holders from Brooklyn Berry Designs

Did you create any memorable diys this year? Are you looking to do more crafting in 2017?


  1. It's just so amazing how each of us grew, not only in skills but in finding ourselves a bit too. I have to say that it's been an extreme pleasure working with you, connecting as a friend. I hope we will work together in the coming year, I am blessed to call you friend. xo

    1. I feel the same way Laurie! It has been great getting to know you (and shopping for treasures with you). Let's plan to work together again for sure! You are a beautiful friend. xo Jo

  2. Love hearing how you were stretched, and discovered new areas of craft stores, haha. And how you grew as a person too. It was lovely working with you, and getting to know you better.

    1. Stretched is a great word for it Dannyelle! It has been awesome working with you and your crafts have really inspired me. I hope we'll keep in touch.

  3. Your projects were always so fun! I love the way you approached all the materials, and we definitely had a few :great minds think alike" moments. Meeting you IRL at Blogpodium this fall after months of snapchatting- was the cherry on top!

    1. Thanks so much Ariel! I think your projects are so fun too, and I agree on the "great minds think alike" moments! :) It was so lovely to have the dinner out with you and the gang and chat at Blogpodium. I hope we can collaborate again.

  4. I love all your projects and totally love the colour!:) it was such a pleasure to meet you IRL at Blog Podium and I love following all your adventures on snapchat:) wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas:)

    1. Hi Heather, Thank you. Definitely a colourful group of projects. I so enjoyed meeting you too and following your adventures with your gang. Hope to meet again IRL. Happy New Year! Jo