10 Holiday Gift DIYs

As the colder, darker days set in, what better time to sit in the warm indoors, light a candle, put on some good music and get creative.

The holidays are a time to show the people that we love and care about how much they mean to us and what better way to do then a homemade gift.

I have complied a list of my top ten DIYs for to try out for gift-giving this holiday Season.

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1. Gift Tags

2. Gift Wrapping Ideas

3. Create your own Gift Basket

4. Cinnamon Scented Candles

5. Oil Diffuser

6. Beeswax Candles

7. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites

8. Caramels

9. Postcard Calendar

10. Terrarium

Are you planning on making any gifts this year? Do you find your self making one type of gift or several different types of gifts, each suitable to the different people in your lives?


Oh How I Love Oh She Glows

Image courtesy of Oh She Glows

Image courtesy of Oh She Glows

This past spring, I was introduced to Oh She Glows by one of my favourite local foodies, Erin Ireland’s, Instagram account. I kept scrolling through these mouth-watering vegan recipes (Did I mention that I am not even a vegan?) tagged with #osgcookbook. I asked myself, ‘what on earth does “osg” stand for?’ With some quick hashtagging research, I came across Oh She Glows, a blog and, most recently, a cookbook by the same name. Oh She Glows is a vegan recipe blog that encourages readers to embrace a plant-based diet that can satisfy their hunger and nutritional needs. Angela of Oh She Glows recognizes that being a vegan is not for everyone, but hopes to inspire meat-eaters, picky eaters and those with special dietary concerns.

Immediately I began to follow her Instagram account, which depicts photographs of the recipes she posts on her blog. There was not a post that went by that I was not tagging my vegan/vegetarian and foodie friends in, even going one step further and emailing them links to blog posts to accompany this stunning imagery. Before I knew it, I was trying out my first Oh She Glows recipe: Thai Peanut Noodle Bowl.  I stumbled upon this recipe through another vegan food blog, as this was a recipe from Angela’s cookbook and not her blog. All I can say is: WOW! It was delicious! The rich creaminess of the peanut dressing, the tanginess of the fresh squeezed lime, and the cold crunchy vegetables blended together in harmony! I made it 3 weeks in a row and brought it to two potluck dinners. It was a hit. Everyone, including my meat-loving friends, could not get enough of this dish. It was no surprise when a few weeks later I received the cookbook from my cousin for my birthday. However, this present came with a few conditions: to cook the recipes and invite my cousin over for dinner. With that, the recipe testing began. Not only did the food from the cookbook photograph beautifully, it all tasted just as good as it looked. I have not made one recipe that I have disliked. Did I mention that I have never tasted vegan food that was so filling and satisfying?

Oh She Glow’s Instagram account led me to become a bi-weekly visitor of the blog and purchase the cookbook. Through trying the recipes I have cooked and being tagged in several Instagram posts, several of my friends and family are now frequent visitors of the blog, own the cookbook and find that gift of Oh She Glows is a good one.

Hanging Wall Pockets

Image from blog.justinablakeney.com

Image from blog.justinablakeney.com

I spotted this diy on the newly discovered blog of designer Justina Blakeney, whose bohemian, eclectic style makes me want to paint my bare white walls varying shades of bright colours and turn my living room into a jungle of plants.

I knew these wall pockets would be perfect for the entry hall of my apartment, which is narrow and lacks and any storage space. I am constantly wanting a place to store those small things that take up unnecessary counter space: my mail, sunglasses, keys, etc.

photo 1

The Basics:

Round cork mats (mine are trivets from Ikea)
Leather scrap pieces large enough to use for pocket (found on sale at Dressew)
Small upholstery tacks in varying shapes and sizes (also found at Dressew)
1/2″ wide Leather strips (Dressew again!)
Hot glue and a hot glue gun


1. Cut the leather pieces smaller than the cork mat you will use. I traced my leather scrap around a plate to get the rough shape of a circle.
2. Cut the ‘top’ of the circle to create a ‘pocket’ shape.

photo 4

3. Line the perimeter of the leather piece with the hot glue gun and carefully glue it the cork mat on all sides but the top. I would suggest laying the leather scrap on the cork mat and lifting up a small section of leather at a time; otherwise the glue dries too quickly to stick fully to the cork.
4. Once dry (i left mine overnight, but if you are impatient wait at least 2 hours), hold corner tack down with one thumb and carefully stretch the leather to give it some room for the ‘stuff.’
5. Glue the leather strip to the perimeter of the cork, making sure the ends of the leather strips are glues together neatly at the bottom of the cork board.
6. Tie a knot in the top of the leather strip to create a loop to hang the cork mat from.

7. Hang the finished product off a nail in a wall (like I did) or off a shelf, corner, hook, whatever!

I have thrown my mail and wallet inside, hung sunglasses from the pocket and hung keys off the bottom of the corkboard from a thumb tac.

What are you/would you use a hanging wall pocket for?





About Sydney Yael


This blog is a creative outlet for me to share what is currently inspiring me. I am a design-loving, DIYer, shoe addict and self-proclaimed foodie. Born and raised in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, I am continually amazed by my surroundings and love to explore what this city has to offer. When I am not working at an architect firm, you can find me doing yoga, working on my next DIY project, cooking, hiking or planning a party.