Lately, we’ve been a bit DIY-obsessed on the fourth floor, so decided to channel that energy into a whole new blog category. We’ll be sharing our favourite do it yourself projects with you, as well as tips on fun projects to try yourself. If there’s anything you’d like to see us tackle, let us know! 

For those of us who eschew the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in favour of a more personalized approach to holiday gifts, then DIY is the only way to go. Forget about generic mall gifts and give a gift that’s from the heart (mixed in with a little elbow grease). Plus, the chillier weather just begs for nights spent indoors with your glue gun, sewing machine and a little glitter. Maybe a glass of wine, too. 

For the cook

Even if you couldn’t cook your way out of a paper bag, you’ll be guaranteed to wow the home chef in your life with this gift. Preserved lemons are used in many Moroccan and Middle Eastern recipes, and are great in a salad. These are a cinch to make, but always cost a lot at a specialty food store. 

MJ’s Kitchen has an awesome how-to blog post (with video) that outlines two easy ways to make preserved lemons. Once you have them sealed in a jar, create a homemade label and wrap the jar in a ribbon. To take it one step further and write out a few recipes they can use the lemons in, such as this and this

For the tea lover

Loose leaf tea can make for a lovely gift. If you’re reluctant to buy just one type of tea or are looking to broaden one’s herbal horizons, then a personalized tea collection is a great idea. We loved how Broken Heel Diaries used test tubes to create a personalized tea collection. You can view their tutorial here

We suggest stopping by Tealish to pick up a selection of teas (our personal favourite is the Coconut Bongo). If you’re at a loss as to where to find test tubes, we stumbled across Efston Science a science “superstore” near Yorkdale, which should get you sorted out.

For the dapper gent

Ties have a bad reputation of being a cop-out present, something you picked up at the last minute because you couldn’t think of anything else. But we think there is something sweet about a necktie sewn by hand. Haven’t used a sewing machine since Home Ec? Fear not, the lovely ladies of The Workroom have got you covered. They offer a range of sewing classes, including (you guessed it) “Sewn Men’s Tie.” Visit their website for more details.

If you’ve already finished all your holiday shopping but are just looking for some fun crafting activities, then check out Eat.Live.Shop’s list of holiday DIY workshops. We love the embossed gift tags (pictured above) and think they’d make the ideal topper for your presents.