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Last Updated on August 23, 2018

30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of

30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of

Do you know what’s great about DIY projects? Everything. When you make items yourself, you can choose projects that suit your tastes, create them in your choice of colours/textures, and then use them to your heart’s content.

Whether you’re aiming for efficiency, decoration, fun, or self-sufficiency, there’s a list of 30 awesome DIY projects just waiting for you. Pick a few that you might like to try out:

1. Bird Feeder Wreath

Bundt Bird Feeder

    A circular mold, wide ribbon, some birdseed, and some melted suet are all you need to help feed our feathery friends over the winter months.

    Find out how to make it here!

    2. Upside-Down Tomato Planter

    Upside Down Planter

      Just save your plastic soda bottles, cut the bottoms off, ease in a tomato plant seedling, and pour in some earth. Then hang it up, water it regularly, and watch your tomatoes grow! This also works well for herbs and peppers.)

      Find out how to make it here!

      3. Yogurt Cheese

      Yogurt Cheese

        Place a few layers of cheesecloth in a colander, pour in plain yogurt, and let it drain overnight: you’ll have a creamy cheese when you wake up the next day.

        Find out how to make it here!

        4. Yarn-Wrapped Painted Jars

        Yarn-Wrapped Jars

          Wrap some yarn or twine around a jar, paint it, and peel the yarn away once it’s dry: you’ll be left with a gorgeous luminary for tea lights or candles.

          Find out how to make it here!

          5. Baked Salt Dough Tags

          Salt Dough Tags

            Perfect for Valentine’s gifts, baby/bridal showers, or any other occasion.

            Find out how to make it here!

            6. Leafy Stepping-Stones

            Stepping Stones

              It’s easy to make beautiful stepping-stones for your garden with large leaves (like rhubarb), cement, and a trowel.

              Find out how to make it here!

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              7. Shoe Holder Planter

              Shoe Holder Planter

                Use an old over-the-door shoe holder to grow all kinds of plants. This is great for growing herbs outside your kitchen, or on a balcony wall.

                Find out how to make it here!

                8. Tea or Coffee Cup with a Message

                Sharpie Tea Cups

                  Grab a teacup and a Sharpie marker, write a message on the inside bottom of a cup (or on the side of it), and bake for 30 min at 350 F to make the writing permanent. Great for bridal party gifts!

                  Find out how to make it here!

                  9. Pebble Placemat

                  Pebble Placemat

                    Use a hot glue gun to glue flat beach pebbles to circles of felt or wood. These placemats are perfect to use beneath teapots and warm serving bowls, and they look great at garden parties.

                    Find out how to make it here!

                    10. Needle-Felted Toys

                    Felted Gnome

                      Use a barbed needle and some wool roving to make Waldorf-style toys for kids of all ages.

                      Find out how to make it here!

                      11. Water-less Snow Globe

                      Waterless Snow Globe

                        Grab an empty jar, a dollhouse miniature, some glue, and fake snow, and you’ll have a water-free snow globe decoration.

                        Find out how to make it here!

                        12. Hanging Garden Basket

                        Hanging Lettuce Basket

                          A wire basket, some moss, and some seedlings are all that’s needed to create a gorgeous hanging basket of edibles. Try a mix of lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, or even strawberries!

                          Find out how to make it here!

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                          13. Reusable “Swiffer” Pads

                          DIY Swiffer Cover

                            If you know the basics of knitting or crocheting, you can create your own reusable pad covers for your sweeper.

                            Find out how to make it here!

                            14. Lip Balm

                            Lip Balms

                              Make your own amazing lip balms with carnauba or bee’s wax, a carrier oil (olive, almond, etc.) and your favourite scent/flavour.

                              Find out how to make it here!

                              15. Floor Stencils

                              Stencilled Floor

                                Instead of throw rugs, consider dressing up old wooden or concrete floors with painted stencil designs.

                                Find out how to make it here!

                                16. Laundry Detergent

                                Laundry Detergent

                                  Just in case you run out of laundry soap (or want to make a cost-effective detergent in the scent you like best), make your own with a few household ingredients.

                                  Find out how to make it here!

                                  17. Cake Stands

                                  Cake Stand

                                    Use industrial-strength adhesive to glue thrift shop glassware together to make cake stands and pedestal bowls.

                                    Find out how to make it here!

                                    18. Nail Polish Key Identification

                                    Nailpolish Keys

                                      Use different colours of nail polish on your keys so you can easily tell them apart. Just remember which colour you used for each door!

                                      Find out how to make it here!

                                      19. Cassette Tape Wallet

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                                      Cassette Wallet

                                        You might have never played a cassette tape, but chances are you’ve seen them lying around. Transform one into a wallet for a bit of retro fabulousness.

                                        Find out how to make it here!

                                        20. Painted Garden Stones

                                        Painted Garden Stones

                                          Keep track of what you’ve planted where by painting large stones for your garden.

                                          Find out how to make it here!

                                          21. Wood-Burning Camp Stove

                                          Camp Stove

                                            All you need is a large tin can, a few metal tent pegs/stakes, and a drill to make this camp stove.

                                            Find out how to make it here!

                                            22. “Fairy” Garden

                                            Fairy Garden

                                              Great for small spaces or as a project with your kids: grab an old bucket, drawer, or bowl, add some earth and small plants. Then tuck in some miniatures, and you have a tiny, perfect garden.

                                              Find out how to make it here!

                                              23. String Lanterns

                                              DIY String Lanterns

                                                It’s amazing how easy it is to make these elegant string-globe lanterns! All you need is twine, corn starch, glue, balloons, and spray paint. Easy peasy.

                                                Find out how to make it here!

                                                24. Suitcase Dog Bed

                                                Suitcase Dog Bed

                                                  A vintage suitcase transforms into a dog bed with a little TLC and some fluffy pillows.

                                                  Find out how to make it here!

                                                  25. Jar Garden Mini Terrarium

                                                  Jar Garden

                                                    Fill empty jars with pebbles, soil, moss, and small plants for mini gardens you can place around your home. Feel free to add in some miniatures for extra impact!

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                                                    Find out how to make it here!

                                                    26. Wallpaper Dresser

                                                    Wallpaper Dresser

                                                      Furniture gets an updated look with a fresh coat of paint and some strips of wallpaper in complementary hues.

                                                      Find out how to make it here!

                                                      27. Clothes Hanger Jewellery Storage

                                                      Jewellery Hanger

                                                        Add a few eyelet screws to a wooden coat hanger and voila: instant jewellery organization.

                                                        Find out how to make it here!

                                                        28. Bath Salts

                                                        Bath Salts

                                                          Epsom salts or coarse sea salt is mixed with your favourite essential oils and a few drops of food colouring to make luxurious bath treats.

                                                          Find out how to make it here!

                                                          29. Paint Swatch Wall

                                                          Paint Swatch Wall

                                                            Can’t decide what colour to paint your wall? Why not choose “all of them”? This decor was created from free paint colour swatches (available at any home reno store), pinned to the wall with straight pins.

                                                            Find out how to make it here!

                                                            30. Recycled Leather and Wood Shelves

                                                            Wood and Leather Shelves

                                                              We could all do with more storage space, and you can create some pretty fabulous shelves with some recycled wood, a couple of thrift shop belts, and a few nails.

                                                              Find out how to make it here!

                                                              Hopefully some of these will inspire some creativity at your end, and if you find yourself in a hardcore DIY headspace, a great place to find more projects is on Pinterest: either do a search for your craft of choice, or just type DIY into the search field to see what piques your interest.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                                                              Last Updated on November 20, 2018

                                                              10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

                                                              10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

                                                              A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

                                                              Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

                                                              1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

                                                              Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

                                                              If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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                                                              2. You put the cart before the horse.

                                                              “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

                                                              3. You don’t believe in yourself.

                                                              A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

                                                              4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

                                                              The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

                                                              5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

                                                              If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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                                                              6. You don’t enjoy the process.

                                                              Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

                                                              The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

                                                              7. You’re trying too hard.

                                                              Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

                                                              8. You don’t track your progress.

                                                              Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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                                                              9. You have no social support.

                                                              It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

                                                              10. You know your what but not your why.

                                                              The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

                                                              Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

                                                              Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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                                                              Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

                                                              Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

                                                              Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

                                                              • The more specific you can make your goal,
                                                              • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
                                                              • The more encouraged you’ll be,
                                                              • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

                                                              I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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