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10 fun and easy DIY ideas...because you'd rather not be Cyber Monday shopping

Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Enough already! Take a break from shopping and make something.

Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Enough already! Take a break from shopping and make something

If anyone asks if you did anything for Cyber Monday, show them this. (CBC Arts)

Hello! You're reading the CBC Arts newsletter, and if you like what you see, stick around! Sign up here, and every Sunday we'll send you a fresh email packed with art, culture and a metric truckload of eye candy, hand-picked by our small and mighty team. Here's what we've been talking about this week.

Hi, art lovers!

Buy! Buy! Buy! All week we've been spammed with Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, and if you forgot to block, block, block every store newsletter you've ever signed up for, we're guessing the same thing's happening to your inbox right now.

Personally, we could use a break from it all, which is where this email comes in.

Let's make some stuff!

Maybe the antidote to mindless consumption is mindless creation! Or mindful creation. (Your call, really.) Either way, let's get this link dump started, and here's hoping a run to the craft store does way less damage to your credit card than a weekend of non-stop shopping.

First, some projects for the newbs.

Our own team rolled out a whole video series of simple DIY projects a while back — ideas you could file under "home decor" and "so easy a baby goat could nail them."

Here are a few starter options.

Marbled wall art

(CBC Arts)

Painted planters

(CBC Arts)

Printed throw pillows

(CBC Arts)

Animal magnets

(CBC Arts)

Plus, for the slightly more ambitious crowd, there's a video from the same series that'll show you how to make a chandelier out of old Christmas ornaments. It's unusually elegant and modern — for something made of old Christmas ornaments.

(CBC Arts)

Another thought: Take inspiration from some of the artists we've featured on CBC Arts.

We've Googled a few cute DIYs that involve fun techniques or motifs that our favourite artists put to use.

No paintbrush? No problem. Inspired by Callen Schaub, you could try...

Balloon painting (Fair warning: you're going to need a ton of space, and maybe a hazmat suit, before attempting this CBC Life tutorial.)

(CBC Life)

For those who don't want to risk turning their entire living room into a Jackson Pollock, these painted plates are made inside a salad spinner. Splash zone: minimal.


Amanda McCavour enchanted us with these floating installations made entirely of thread. Feeling the floral fantasy? Here's a DIY wall hanging to keep you busy.


This story about molo design showed that you can build whole rooms out of cardboard, but it's great for little DIY furnishings, too. If you've got boxes and packing tubes, you can craft your own desk organizer — plus the shelf to put it on.


And if you're not the kind of person who follows the rules — craft instructions, included — there are plenty of tools to jumpstart your creativity.

Here are 50+ creative prompts c/o My Modern Met, for starters — plus seven drawing games you can play with friends. And if you really can't resist the urge to buy, buy, buy this weekend, here are seven things that some of the world's most respected artists can't live without.

You've got to see this

(CBC Arts)

There's a cougar stalking the Fredericton forest...because art - Is it nature? Is it art? Is it neither? Or both? If you're asking any of those questions after seeing Janice Wright Cheney's work, then she's done her job. Janice loves exploring the forest, and she took us on a walk through the woods (with a life-sized cougar sculpture) to show us how her photography and installation work is tapping into a world of environmental themes.

(Courtesy of David Street)

Meet Craig Russell, Canada's first drag superstar - We gave a shoutout to From the Vaults last week, a new show that's mining all the best stuff from CBC's music archives, and the latest episode features a performer who became the country's drag ambassador more than 40 years ago. Go inside his incredible story.

(Courtesy of Wallace R. Gillard)

Death, the final frontier - Is there life after death? This Sudbury artist is imagining an answer to that impossible question. He gave us a look at a science fiction project where the dying embark on one last adventure — a joyride through outer space.

Follow this artist

(Courtesy of Emily Lawrence)

Emily Lawrence (@emilylawrencechicken)If only there were an Instagram for smells... This picture is from the Halifax artist's "Scratch & Sniff Menu," a series we wrote about this week. To research the project, Lawrence had conversations with Alzheimer's patients about their favourite foods. As she explains in the article: "Losing your sense of smell is one of the first indicators of dementia — but at the same time, smell is a strong way to have someone recall their memories."

Got questions? Typo catches? Questions?

Or did you attempt any of the crafts in this email?

You've got to send us a picture. We're just an email away, as always. We'll do our best to get back to you.

And if someone forwarded you this message and you like what you've read, here's where to subscribe for more.

Until then!


About the Author

Leah Collins is the Senior Writer at CBC Arts.


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