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Part II of our three-part Top 20 list series is all about DIY. Fashion, home, kids, design, crafts - it’s all here! So kick back in your favorite reading chair, grab a cold drink, and read on as we feature our Top 20 DIY blogs of 2012!
1. Elise Blaha is a great place to read about DIY craft projects. Here’s a short list of all of the things Elise loves to write about: DIY décor, paper projects, backyard gardening, minibooks, food and recipes, arts and crafts, etc. Elise can’t get enough of DIY projects, and absolutely loves to share them with her. One of her best DIY series is 27 Materials. Elise took it upon herself to complete 27 craft projects, using 27 different materials, all before her 28th birthday – her materials cover glue, paint, cork feathers, wax, and everything in between! Great stuff!
2. Say Yes to Hoboken started as a spare-time hobby for Liz Stanley, but since the birth of her son, it’s become her full time job. Liz centers her blog around inspiring others to take on projects for more “stylish and crafty living.” Liz shares her tutorials and style ideas that she’s developed for other young moms. From quick Mother’s Day DIY gift projects, to handmade clay pots, to DIY handmade 4th of July napkins – Liz has a crafts project for everyone and for every occasion!
3. My Old Country House details the life of Lesli DeVito, her art, her family, and her projects. Old hampers transformed into a new front hall shoe closet, unused house paint turned art supplies, boring-old cabinet becomes a pink shelved sensation! Lesli writes most of her posts about projects and updates to her older country house where she lives with her husband and three children. All of her projects are whimsical, but our favorite is the $12 makeover of her old cabinet – Lesli got the itch one day to do a makeover, and she ended up painting the inside of her cabinet pink! The post was such a sensation, that it became not just our favorite, but Lesli’s too!
4. Stripes + Sequins is a fashion lover’s DIY paradise. The author absolutely loves fashion, loves to write about fashion, and loves to create fashion. When she can’t find a piece that she wants (or one she wants at a reasonable price), she makes it – and she’ll tell you how to make it, too. She loves shoes, but when she finds a pair she feels like she can’t justify splurging on, she makes it. Like jewelry and crafts? So does Stripes & Sequins, she has all kinds of DIY jewelry projects, take your pick and off you go!
5. Sawdust & Paper Scraps is written by a self-taught DIYer, and covers everything from crafts to building your own executive master closet. A self described “builder of stuff” Sandra has spent the last 10 years fixing up the houses she and her family have moved into. Sandra’s blog is full of do-it-yourself home renovation projects that she’s completed herself, with step-by-step instructions for her readers. One of her best posts – DIY distressed wood countertops - follows along from purchasing materials all the way to that last coat of finish!
6. Hannah Kate Flora specializes in what she calls “Street Merch” – left behind furniture that she finds on the streets of New York. Hannah finds furniture with potential, and takes a fresh new look at the pieces to brighten her home, and teaches her readers to do the same. Follow along as Hannah learns to adapt her southern upbringing to the streets of New York, and in the process, discover her secrets to successful DIY from all of her many project posts.
7. I Spy DIY is another fantastic fashion DIY blog. Jenni Radosevich works for a fashion magazine in New York City and is surrounded everyday by amazing fashion but found that some of those fashions come at way too high a cost. Enter I Spy. Jenni created this blog as a way for her to show all of her readers how to emulate the latest trends in fashion, while adding their personal touch, all without going broke in the process.
8. Dismount Creative is a great craft, fashion, style, and design DIY blog. Created by Alicia DiRago as a way for her to connect with other craft and fashion DIY lovers, Dismount is her way of helping others step away from their busy lives “and experience the joy of making something.” Aside from running this blog, Alicia also runs her own company, teaching craft, fashion and design classes. We haven’t taken one of her courses, but if they’re anything like the information she posts on her blog, they can’t be beat!
9. Vintage Revivals, home of “Thrift Shop Glam," this blog is all about how to take neat, maybe beat up pieces found at any thrift store, and turning them into great, inspired works perfect for your home! Mandi Grubler started her blog in 2010 and has already generated a great following. No surprise, when on Monday you can read a post on how to rework an old stereo cabinet into a great entry table, and Tuesday you can find out how to create fantastic wall treatments for your front hall.
10. Thanks, I Made It, by Erin Pruckno, is a great read for anyone who loves, or wants to learn, to make their own fashion. Erin’s philosophy is that anything you can make yourself is much more rewarding and enjoyable than if you bought it instead. Safety pin necklaces, customizable jeans, and high-low skirts are but a few of Erin’s creations.
11. Chic Steals is where Carly J. Cais features all of her guides and inspiration for her DIY projects, styling tips, and “get-the-look-for-less” ideas. Carly has been involved in the fashion world for a long time, and for a while, even had her own clothing line, Riveted. Carly frequently posts on how to create your own fashion based on what’s flowing down the runway, but she loves to take requests. Many of her posts have been on how to recreate outfits that her readers want to know how to make. She has great passion for her work and loves to share all the tips and tricks that she’s picked up along the way.
12. The Inspired Room is all about stress-free, budget-conscious DIY home decoration and interior design. Melissa Michaels created her blog in 2007 with one goal in mind “to inspire women to create an authentic home they love and for their home to inspire their life.” Melissa takes this mantra to heart, and it’s reflected in her posts. A great example of how she has created an authentic home is in a post detailing “outdoor rooms," and how to make them as much a part of your house as your dining room. Melissa’s blog is choc full of amazing ideas, and most of them doable even for the DIY novice.
13. Infarrantly Creative is written by Beckie Farrant, and features a “think-outside-the-box” take on DIY home décor projects. Some of the best posts that Beckie writes are her Roadkill Rescue projects, where she finds someone’s discarded items and turns them into fantastic decorations. One of our favorites is her Old Crutches Floor Lamp where she was challenged by an Indianapolis TV show host to makeover some crutches she found in a dumpster. A few hours later and Bam! Beckie made a fantastic floor lamp!
14. The Art of Doing Stuff is DIY. Everything about Karen’s site is DIY, and not just one genre, it’s DIY everything. Karen loves to figure out how the world works, and how to do it herself. Karen shares her thoughts on doing just about everything, and if it’s not coming from her, it comes from her readers. They submit their questions, and Karen features her answers in posts. She's covered it all from how to build basement bookshelves and how to use a pressure canner to building a water bottle missile and making homemade yogurt. The list goes on and on. If you love DIY projects, finding out how things work, or just great writing, The Art of Doing Stuff can’t be beat.
15. One Project Closer is a blog for DIY home remodeling, featuring complete, step-by-step guides to help homeowners take on their most daunting projects. Since most projects take multiple days to complete – the authors of OPC feature detailed day-by-day posts of their projects, where readers can delve into the project and ask questions. Then at the end, Ethan, Jocie, Kim and Fred post a complete How-To guide detailing every step in the process. For everything home improvement, OPC can’t be beat.
16. The Gold Jellybean is the place to go for all parents with creative kids – which is to say that this blog is one of the best reads out there for all parents! Written by Shaleah, her blog was originally created as a place where she and her daughter could share all of their crafts. The blog has grown into a fantastic place for any parent to come to find excellent kid-centered DIY projects.
17. Dream Book Design by Adri and Jeremy Lentine, the “2 budgeteers," is all about how they renovate their new home, based on the ideas that they’ve added to their Dream Book. Full of great DIY ideas and instructions on crafts and sewing, home improvement and design projects, Dream Book is an exceptional read for any DIYer. Thermostats, and homemade lights; new kitchen cabinets and recipes; crib skirts and bookshelves – Dream Book Design has something for everyone!
18. Just Something I Made is where Cathe Holden shares her craft, design, and creative DIY projects as well as her own original artwork and artistic inspiration. Cathe has been involved in arts and crafts (and making money doing it) since she was 17, and she shares her immense amount of experience with all of her readers, including faux wax seals from glue and spay paint, vintage framework labels, organizing with tool trugs, washi tape flowers, recipe card wreaths, and tissue paper flower broaches. Cathe is full of crafts projects and ideas, each with great explanations.
19. Southern Hospitality is all about making a house a home. A lover of old, vintage and worn objects, Rhoda loves to write about home decoration, home improvement, and her blog centers around her love of inspiring others to find their inner creativity. Full of DIY projects for everyone looking to save a few dollars, Southern Hospitality teaches its readers that “with a little creative thinking, and a thrifty shopping, anyone can have a pretty home without breaking the bank.”
20. Pretty Handy Girl, written by Brittany, focuses on helping those new to the DIY world get their feet wet. The oldest of three girls, Brittany’s parents taught her at a young age that she could do anything a boy could do. While “helping” her parents build additions to their home, she developed her “handy-girl” skills. Years later, Brittany is proud to boast that the power tools in her house aren’t her husband’s, but hers, and she puts them to great use as she gives her readers step by step tutorials on home improvement and repair, décor, crafts, and even sewing!