48 In DIY projects

3 easy DIYs and 2 sweet giveaways

You guys, this past weekend Dan and I had our first overnight weekend date since Maya was born, and oh my goodness – it was heaven. Lounging over a lovely meal for a few hours, hitting up the spa, and getting to sleep in (until 8:10am !! haha). It was serious luxury. We went to Perth, which is about an hour west of Ottawa, and is such a sweet little town. Fun little shops to stroll around to, gorgeous old buildings, and a pretty nice flea market (you know that scores high in my books!). And when we went to pick Maya up the next day at my parents’ place, she had clearly had such a good time – total center of attention!

In other news, recently I was gifted a couple of really sweet books. The first is called Instacraft, which has 50 simple and cute crafty projects. The tutorials are short, the materials are often things you just have lying around the house, and I would say they all rate as “beginner” on a craft skills scale. My kind of projects.


Here are a couple of my faves from the book. The first up are these lockets. Aren’t they lovely?


And who would’ve guessed that it was nail polish making those pretty laquered colours?!


-Coloured nail polish

-An old locket


Apply a layer of nail polish to the face of an old locket and let dry

If you want, add some small stones and beads to personalize your pendant.


I told you – so easy, right? Next up are these old world bookends.



-Two bricks

-Acrylic paints

-Fine-point paint pens


-Wash bricks with water

-Once dry, coat one edge with acrylic paint

-Use paint pen to write out book title

-Let dry


The more battered the brick, the better! Nicks and bumps supply a great textured canvas for the paint and make for vintage-looking spines.


And who isn’t charmed by a snow globe? Make a customized one for somewhere that is special to you, or for a kiddo with a favourite animal inside.



-Jar (I used an old mustard jar, but mason and jam jars work, too!)

-Travel figurine

-Strong glue



-Remove lid from jar

-Glue base of figurine to inside of lid

-Once glue is dry, fill jar to the brim with water and shake in glitter

-Screw lid back onto jar

-Shake and enjoy


If glitter looks clumpy at first, don’t fret. Give the sparkles a day or two to settle in the globe.


Now for giveaway time. Want to win a copy of InstaCraft for yourself and get all the tutorials for the other sweet projects? Just enter below using RaffleCopter. Giveaway open to residents of Canada and the United States.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The next book I read through is called ‘Small Apartment Hacks’ and is full of clever ideas for making the most out of your space, re-purposing items, shopping for second hand furniture, and ultimately creating a stylish little pad. It would be a perfect gift for someone who is off to University, or about to move out from home for the first time. 9781612432311.02 Want to win a copy? Enter below using Rafflecopter. Open to residents of Canada and the United States.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Any DIY or design books you’ve been reading lately? What about magazines? Did you see that Domino is back in print? I picked up a copy of the Spring issue the other day. SO many beautiful photos and amazing inspiration. Love, love, love.

*Thank you to the publishers for providing these books for review and giveaway!

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  • Congrats on your weekend away! And I think that second book is right up my alley!!

  • I love the ‘city snow globe’… I’ve been dying to try something like that!

  • Ginny

    I want to read small apartment hacks! Love the locket idea.

  • Oh, our next house is a giant DIY project. That’s what we’ll be working on. :)

  • And for the second book – we did live in a small apartment. I remember thinkging, “this is HUGE” when we moved in (I was coming from sharing a townhouse with three other people), but we had to push our table up against the wall, and there was only room for a couch, coffee table and a t.v. in the living room. Teensy!

  • Sarah

    I love the nailpolish lockets!
    Where in Perth did you go? I’m getting married there this September!!

    • gemma

      We stayed at the Best Western, and went to the Parkside Spa (in the same building). Dinner at the Stone Cellar. All so lovely! Are you getting married at Code’s Mill? It’s a gorgeous building.


  • I saw a really cute idea for instagram photos – I got them printed out and am going to string them on wire with cute mini clothespins inside a large frame I found at a thrift store and painted a moody blue!

    I lived in a small 1 bedroom apartment (it was HUGE after moving out of the dorms!) and now live in a cape cod. While our house isn’t tiny, it’s not huge so we’re always trying to make the most of the space!

  • Rachel

    Next up on the DIY list – Alphabet bunting for our nursery!

  • That necklace idea is so simple and brilliant! I foresee some thrifting/crafting in my future… I’m definitely going to look into a sealer too though, given how long nail polish lasts on my nails, I’m thinking a necklace might need a bit of extra protection :-)

  • Daniela

    The apartment hacks book would be awesome – I live with my husband in 585 square feet of space. I am in a constant state of putting things away (or hiding them, as husband likes to say.)

  • Next up on my DIY list is finishing off some little touches in my laundry room.

  • Yup, when I in college and when I was first married.

  • Wendy Arnott

    My next/current diy project is a hanging jewelry holder for all my necklace and earring sets. Thinking a tea box, paint, hooks or nails and wire.. Necklaces and pendants on outside and earring hanging behind door. Just finding stuff now.

  • Wendy Arnott

    Yup, my one apt. closet was everything from a pantry to craft storage.. made use of bins and boxes and labelled everything. Still buy two purpose furniture like a sofa that lays down flat and has storage underneath to a bench with storage as well. Its a must for clutter free life.

  • Diana

    My next DIY project is transforming some yard sale lamps .

  • Diana

    when we got married we lived in a tiny basement apartment

  • Love an easy DIY!
    Sounds like you had a lovely weekend getaway

  • Jen

    you’ve just reminded me that our own overnight date is long overdue… we are trying to stick close to town, and perth might just be the kick in the pants we need to actually BOOK something and get out of dodge!

    • gemma

      Oooh you should! It’s so pretty and sweet there. We absolutely loved it – so relaxing!


  • I have a few crochet mandalas on my crafty to-do list!

  • Ashley F

    I love the lockets!

  • Catherine

    Yay for sleepovers!!! I miss those.. hahaha! ok its only been about 3 months since we got to sleep in… I shouldn’t complain.. Clara is growing so fast, it will happen again way too soon! ;)

    Those are lovely books!

  • Lindsay

    I live in a small apartment and it could use some help :)

  • sheila

    love your blog

  • Jess

    Love the nailpolish locket! Such an easy DIY and great gift idea!

  • That locket is gorgeous. I want to dig more into that Instacraft Book. hope I’ll win

    • and for my next project. i am planning of revamping wine bottles

      • I used to live in an approximately 1 meter room. Yup it’s a room when I was in college.

  • Natasha

    Those lockets are gorgeous and I can always use more small space organizing tips! Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Danielle

    Next on our DIY list: floors! We’re tearing out our old hardwoods and laying new ones in the entire house. Feels like we’ll be DIY’ing until the end of time.

  • Nicole

    I’m planning on down-sizing to a small apartment in the future. Looking for great ideas to store everything and reduce what I own.

  • Oh these look goo. I.mm going to do the brick bookends – s soon as the bricks get dry.

  • I don’t live in an apartment but I have some small spaces that these ideas will help me spruce up

  • I am glad I found you!