Looking for Community and Connection this Fall Season? Book a Sign Painting Party with Homeworks Etc.


Is it just me or does September hit like a whirlwind that seems to last until oh, let’s say, February? I think it’s all of the changes we experience during the next few months that can make us feel slightly off-kilter. Just when you think you have found your new normal, something else hits like daylight savings and once again, you’re readjusting. It might be tempting to put your head down and just try to push through until you find yourself on the other side of Christmas. Or, you can embrace the season by focusing on the positives in your life, the things that make everything worth it. 

With our next holiday being Thanksgiving, I’m going to give you a little challenge. What are you thankful for? What brings you joy and purpose? Can you name 5 things? Go!


I’m thankful for…






If we compared lists, my guess is that we would have at least one thing in common- we are grateful for our friends and family. The people we live life alongside with, and experience both the chaos and the peace with. And so here is my next challenge- show your loved ones how thankful you are for them! Take time to pause and share moments together, even in the craziness. And if you are not sure just how to do that, we’ve got a great suggestion- book a Private Party with Homeworks Etc! 

What does a private booking with Homeworks look like? First you get to choose between our two store locations in Surrey or Langley. Prefer to stay home? We now offer home parties too! Next, select your DIY project; we have many options to choose from including our Signature Signs, Table Centerpieces, Pillows, and more! On your event date, we reserve the space for your group so that you can walk in, and immediately be surrounded by your favourite faces. There is a table reserved for your go-to appetizers and desserts, because we all know how important food is. Our work tables are already set-up with the materials for your pre-selected DIY project, which our workshop leader will guide you through. So what is there left to do? Place a big PAUSE on all of life’s “to-dos”, and enjoy. We want to create a place where you can relax, laugh, eat, share, support, and create beautiful memories with the people you are grateful for. We want to help remind you of the fantastic community you have, and how important it is to nurture those relationships. We strive to offer an environment where connection can happen organically, and being engaged creatively together certainly lends to that. AND you get to leave with a lovely piece of home decor! The memories of your private party as well as of your individual relationships will be embedded in your project, serving as an on-going reminder of those you are thankful and grateful for.


If you are looking for a little extra incentive, we currently have an offer on-hand for the organizer of a Private Party. If you are able to gather 8 people to register for a Private Party, we will give you 50% of the value of your chosen DIY project on a Homeworks Etc gift card. For each additional person that registers above the 8-person minimum, we will give an additional 10% of your project’s value on the gift card (up to a maximum of 100%). So that you can keep coming back to create, and to connect. 

Ready to find out more? Click below!


To get the FREE Printable for the project in the first photo (don’t you adore those white pumpkins?). Click HERE.

Happy Fall Y'all [DIY Projects]

Happy Fall, Y’All

It’s usually around the start of the blackberry season that I start to look ahead to fall. Just a little bit. I haven’t turned my back on summer yet, but there is a kind of anticipation that is growing. The brisk evening air, the perfect crunch of an autumn leaf, the permission to wear scarves again… these are a few of the things I look forward to. Perhaps you are a parent, and you have your own reasons to cheer for September. That’s the beauty of the different seasons, isn’t it? We can look forward to what each time of the year has to offer, and how it shapes our habits and routines. For me, the fall is a time of gathering.

Wood Word Cut-Outs

wood cutouts.JPG

We do a lot of gathering in autumn. We gather school supplies. We gather the local harvest. We gather our thanksgivings. We gather candy. We gather warmer layers. Can you think of a few more? Perhaps like me, you can’t resist gathering bouquets of leaves to press in your books. Or maybe your leaf-gathering is more of the rake-and-bag variety. Regardless, I think you are catching on. Gathering is inherent to the autumnal season.


I have to say, collecting things that belong together feels rather comforting. That may be why thoughts of fall make me feel warm and fuzzy. I also find it to be an inspiring time of the year. Whereas summer is busy and active, autumn makes me want to slow down, drink some tea, and be crafty. I find fresh motivation in the dusky evenings to pull out my half-finished projects, and get back to it. And that is a type of gathering too. A gathering of ideas, materials, and maybe of a few friends to create with… yep, I’m getting excited!

I don’t think I’m alone in this sentiment; I have a feeling some of you can relate. You are still appreciating the summer vibes, but your fingers are itching to get crafty. Here at Homeworks Etc, we have the perfect project to welcome the official fall crafting season with. We did our own kind of gathering to combine our rustic pallet boards with a wreath, burlap ribbon, twine and an adorable mini-sign. As with all of our projects, paint and stain colours are completely customizable and we also have a selection of sign quotes for you to choose from.  We chose to stain ours with Saman’s Dark Walnut Stain which really exudes a feeling of warmth, and “Happy Fall Y’all” is the perfect quote to greet the autumn with a big cozy hug.

DIY Fall Pallet Wreath Sign

wreath pallet happy fall y'all.jpg

We will be holding our very first workshop for the DIY Fall Pallet Wreath Sign on Thursday, September 19th- just in time for the autumnal equinox. So gather your friends and your chai lattes, and come welcome fall with us at Homeworks Etc!

See some of our other Fall Inspiration on Pinterest.


Create Everyday : Creative Apparel for the DIY'er

I’ve got a favourite shirt. There are many factors that go into making this specific shirt so beloved. My best friend gave it to me. It’s grey. It’s super soft and worn-in. It continues to fit perfectly over the years. It’s from a concert of my favourite band. In short, this shirt represents many things I care about, and I feel connected to it. Sometimes, a shirt isn’t just a shirt. Sometimes, a piece of clothing can be a statement about who you are, and what you are passionate about. 

We’ve recently launched two new tanks that reflect some of our values here at Homeworks Etc. Not only are these Racer-Back Tanks relaxed and comfy, they boast messages that empower us as DIY’ers. 

What I also love about these shirts is that they serve as a great reminder to make my interests a priority. It is so easy to fill up my summer schedule with things that need doing that I often forget to make time for life-giving things. For me, being creative brings me joy, peace and fulfillment. I need to tap into my creativity regularly to keep life balanced, and getting lost in a project is my favourite way to spend an evening. I see the positive effects that come from engaging in creative activities, and I can honestly say that to “Create Everyday” is a slogan I strive to live by. And what’s wonderful about creativity is that it can take so many shapes and forms. My passion is home decor, but maybe you like gardening, embroidery, cooking, or playing with power tools in the garage, or even stopping by the store for a DIY project (link to pick your own project?)! Whatever your thing is, we want to help you celebrate and embrace it with these awesome shirts. 

If you also feel that drive and need to create, adding one of these new tanks to your wardrobe will provide at least two great benefits: 

1. You will feel proud to wear something that boldly proclaims your passion. 

2. You will be gently reminded to take time to engage in your passion every time you wear it. 

Are you ready to meet your new favourite shirt? Rumour has it you might find a coupon code for a special deal if you hurry! 

Mother's Day Fiesta and DIY

Mother’s Day Fiesta and DIY

This styling for a Fiesta had us inspired to host a fiesta for Mother’s Day. Cause we are all about DIY - our Mason Jar Cactus is the perfect centrepiece accessory and project to tackle with Mom.

If you are planning to make something for Mom, perhaps share the experience of a DIY. Join us at Homeworks Etc, May 11th to paint this project with Mom.

Then cook her a Fiesta Feast….. Taco, Quesadilla or a Burrito! All easy to make and so tasty. A margarita might need to be on hand for this special day!

To give the celebration an elegant touch, Paper and Parties styled it with a variety of fresh flowers in bright hues. Also included are our DIY Project with rustic cactus and handmade wooden tray from Homeworks Etc.

Paper & Parties styled this unique party idea with tons of partyware from their shop.. They included Cactus Plates,  Fiesta Fringe Party HornsLove Cake TopperPaper StrawsFiesta Neon Tassel Garland and more!

As favors for the guests, they included some personalized Swarovski wine charms from Plum Polka Dot. A lovely take home with a personal touch.

For balloons they created a custom arrangement with tassels and a large Cactus Balloon and Ring BalloonCustomized Balloons are a fantastic way to dress up an celebration.

I hope this gave you a few ideas to celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day!

DIY Painted Mason Jar and Cactus
Fiesta for Mom this Mother's Day
Easy Food for Mother's Day
Fiesta with Tacos
DIY Paint Workshop with Mom
Wine Glass Charms
Fiesta Party for Mom

DIY String Art Pattern {Printable}

DIY String Art Pattern {Printable}

Have you ever tried String Art?

Widely popular as a decorative craft in the 1970’s, string art is actually rooted in the late 1800’s, where it was first used as a tool for teaching children algebra. Imagine that – a math gizmo! History shows that using nails and thread was a perfect means for demonstrating how to design a curve from a straight line, using four points (this became known as the ‘Bezier Curve’).

Since then, this innovative visual art form has evolved into a creative DIY pastime for young and old alike. While there are inspiring artists who have taken string art to ingenuous levels with complex designs, it is really very accessible to all of us. We, too, can make beautiful string art creations - with just a little direction!

Turning a plank of wood into a piece of art – with thread!

Homeworks Etc has a fun beginners String Art DIY project just for you! We’re sharing 1 fun heart pattern –right on time for Valentine’s Day! – as a great opportunity for you and your kids to try this creative craft at home.

You’ll use embroidery thread to follow the pattern and bring the design to life. The thread will criss-cross and wrap around the nails to fill in the blank space, resulting in a seemingly complex creation. Its detailed nature may lead one to believe that string art is exclusive to experienced artists with extensive knowledge. This is not the case. We’ve made it so that everyone can make their own string art creation!

heart string art pattern

You will need just a few simple tools and materials:

·        pine wood (5.5 x 5.5 inches)

·        finishing nails

·        hammer

·        paint

·        paint brush

·        embroidery thread (multiple colours)

·        tape


Are you ready to create your string art masterpiece?
Here are the steps to follow (children 5-9 will need assistance):

1. Print template and cut out shape of choice

2. Cut wood to size.

3. Paint sides and top of the wood piece.

4. Roll tape and secure to back of the cut-out paper.

5. Tape to wood in centre.

6. Hammer finishing nails on the outside perimeter of the shape (not on the paper)

7. Remove the paper.

8. Tie a double knot at the bottom point of your shape.

9. Go around each nail with the string to create an outline of your design.

10. Criss-cross, go on diagonal, go vertical within your shape until your design is filled with your string.
TIP: hold the string around the previous nail wrapped so that it stays secure as you move on to the next nail to keep in place to prevent unravelling.

11. When you are complete, tie a double knot to tie off and cut any remaining string.


Enjoy your project!

DIY Furniture Refinishing

DIY Furniture Refinishing

“It’s a good thing until you discover a better thing.” Martha Stewart

Are you familiar with the term ‘upcycling?’ Upcycling – or creative reuse - is basically about finding innovative ways to use or showcase an object. It’s about finding an inspired way to convert old stuff into refreshing and beautiful new stuff. It’s all about transformation.

Upcycling is not the same as recycling. Recycling is about discarding things – sending them away to be safely converted into reusable forms. Upcycling, however, is about keeping things and transforming them into something novel and pleasing. It’s all about The Revamp.

DIY furniture refinishing colour trends with Fusion Mineral Paint

The benefits of upcycling

Upcycling is fun. It’s creative and it’s without rules. On a grander scale, upcycling:

·       Minimizes the volume of discarded materials sent to landfills

·       Is a cost-effective way to redecorate

·       Allows you to adapt your furniture to suit your evolving home décor style

·       Brings joy through transforming personal items with your unique touch

·       Keeps family treasures with much-loved history where they belong - in your home!

Out with the old and in with the new…with paint

Bringing new life to cherished objects in your home can be just the thing to give your home décor a much-needed boost. A mini-makeover of well-loved furniture, for example, can add instant oomph to a room!

And it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, upcycling beloved treasures around the house can be easy, enjoyable and rewarding. Paint, for example, can be extraordinarily transformative. Upcycling is a great way to breathe new life into good furniture – and it’s amazing how a simple lick of paint can completely transform an old chair, chest or table.

What timeworn treasures do you see in your home that could use a loving lift? A small side-table? A stool? A bench? An old wooden box?

Put your upcycling creativity to work

Grab your small piece of furniture in need of a pick-me-up and come join us at Homeworks Etc. We want to inspire you to learn new skills and create beautiful items - it doesn’t get better than that!

Register now in our next upcycling DIY furniture painting workshop:

DIY Furniture 101 | January 26 | $95

Interested in refinishing an old piece of furniture?
Want the feeling of NEW by adding a new pop of colour?

Bring a small piece of furniture to practice learning these techniques.  Please sand and clean in advance.  This class includes use of our paint, tools and supplies to complete your project.

Join us to learn the basic techniques and tools to tackling this project successfully from start to finish including: 

  • prepping your project

  • choosing your paint 

  • paint techniques so that you can find the one that suits your style including: basic brush strokes, antiquing and two-tone finishes

  • finishing touches

Take a sneak peak at the FUSION Mineral Paint product line. You are gonna love this paint!

You get to practice your techniques on a wood panel door.

Register now!

DIY Furniture 101

Date: Saturday, January 26th

Time: 10:30am – 12:30pm

Location: #102 – 16793 60th Avenue

Cost: $95

Check out other DIY Furniture workshop refinishing dates here.

 Happy Painting,

Jacqueline DIY

Fusion Mineral Paint - Paint it beautiful

Fusion Mineral Paint - Paint it beautiful

A professional paint for the everyday DIY’er.” fusionmineralpaint.com

Homeworks Etc believes that you deserve the best when it comes to DIY home décor products. Fusion Mineral Paint offers an acrylic, water-based paint (not chalk-like) that delivers an exceptional matte finish with a built-in top coat and is the perfect choice for the DIY projects offered at Homeworks Etc and the many décor projects you have waiting at home.

Not only is Fusion Mineral Paint a high-quality product available in practical sizes and a fantastic array of colours, but it also has a low environmental impact – specifically, this paint has zero VOCs! It is non-toxic, odourless, has no ammonia or formaldehyde, and won’t separate or harden for 7 years. And the bottom line is sweet, too – prices are fair-market reasonable.

Paint it beautiful.

Fusion is truly one-of-a-kind. The unique ‘family recipe’ has been cultivated from the bottom-up – there is no duplication on the market that compares! A unique formulation allows it to adhere to almost any surface, from wood to metal to glass – even to lacquered surfaces. Once cured, this paint is highly durable, washable, water- and stain-resistant, and has an almost zero reflectance value (most desirable for the smoothest of finishes). You can also easily work with FusionTM for distressing, another beautiful technique to complete a treasured home décor project. 

It’s a colour sensation!

Homeworks Etc. is delighted to stock, sell, and use FusionTM paints in our DIY workshops. The colours are stunning – there is a magnificent collection of over 50 hues!

These little pots of inspiration offer the full spectrum of colour, from calming neutrals to rich, deep hues. There’s the Classic Collection (Tuscan Orange, anyone?), the iridescent shimmer of Metallics (a little Champagne, perhaps?), and the favourite fairy tales-inspired Tones for Tots (who wouldn’t love a colour dubbed Little Teapot?). A custom designer palette, Penney & Co Collection, boasts sumptuous shades like Lily Pond and Park Bench.

Are you ready to dip your brush into a pot of mineral inspiration? Join us for a DIY paint workshop now!

Homeworks Etc is proud to showcase the exemplary, one-of-a-kind, high-calibre Fusion Mineral Paint, a family-run Canadian business intent on supporting both the local economy and honouring the planet.

Located at #102- 16793 60th Ave, Surrey BC (Cloverdale)

Fusion Mineral Paint sold online at HomeworksEtc.ca

Eat, Drink and Be Merry, Wine Bottle Gift Tags Free Printable

Eat, Drink and Be Merry, Wine Bottle Gift Tags Free Printable {Holiday Hosting Gift}

Holiday Feasts

For many families, recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation are key to Christmas meals. Each family feast is unique, like the season’s snowflakes. Immigrants from all over the world have brought their own traditions and culture with them, and these extend to holiday meals.

And some families still serve dishes out of tradition and respect that no one really likes - like the much-maligned jellied aspic with fruit and marshmallows…oh dear!

The North American Christmas Dinner

Did you know that many of our North American gastronomical Christmas traditions come from Britain, despite immigrant traditions from other places? Roast turkey (which ‘replaced’ old English roast beef), fruit cake (whose ancestor is called Christmas pudding, a steamed cake with dried fruit), Christmas cookies, and eggnog are all rooted in British tradition.

Christmas Table Setting

The Christmas Cocktail

Here’s a little history on that either-hated-or-loved creamy holiday brew – eggnog! Eggnog can be traced back as far as 13th century Britain, where it had humble beginnings as posset, a warm ale punch with eggs and figs. Eggnog became a familiar fixture in the 1700 in the US colonies – with rum or whiskey as the added spirit of choice. Today, the basic recipe in North America has not changed much and remains a staple at holiday parties: eggs beaten with sugar, milk, cream, and a distilled spirit of choice.

Christmas Cocktail

The Dinner Table

Ah – the dinner table! Creating a tablescape to showcase your holiday feast for family and friends is just as important as the meal itself (well, almost). Gather your linens and plates and polish your flatware. Set the stage with a centerpiece.

Use this wonderful DIY free printable to fashion your very own festive hostess gifts, a lovely finishing touch for your holiday host!

Christmas Table

Happy DIY-ing…and happy feasting!



“Gratitude is the overflow of pleasure filling your soul.” Raheel Farooq

DIY Joy Christmas Sign

DIY Joy Christmas Sign

Do you prioritize joy in your life?

Joy feels good.

Sometimes the obvious must be pointed out! On an emotional level, we may feel joy in a variety of ways — tearfully, euphoric, with a deep sense of contentment. Scientifically, we experience joy through our neurotransmitters, and benefit in active physiological ways.

That is, joy:

  • boosts our immune system,

  • fights stress and pain, and

  • supports longevity

DIY Joy Christmas Sign

Joy motivates.

Christmas Stencils Homeworks Etc

It is a powerful opposition to fear. Joy is a sense of energy, excitement and certainty. It 

embraces and embodies love and peace. It is whole, comforting, and inspiring to do bigger and better, to see what possibilities lie beyond.

Joy creates connection.

People want to be with you and want to know what it is you have or are doing that makes you so wonderful to be around. Joy grounds you and gives you energy and awareness. Look for ways to add joy to your life and share your light of joy with others!

Joy DIY Sign DIY Workshop Homeworks Etc
Joy to the world wood sign

Choose joy.

One way is to give joy through special, hand-made, love-infused DIY treasures. A hand-made gift – even the smallest and simplest of gestures – brings a smile and makes a moment more meaningful. Any day, not just a holiday or special occasion, is an opportunity to create and give.

Make something. Give it to someone you love.

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” 

Norman Vincent Peale

Christmas waves a magic wand DIY TRIBE

Join a DIY Workshop at Homeworks Etc or buy DIY kits and Fusion Mineral Paint and Stencils online at www.homeoworksetc.ca

DIY Santa Sacks - Personalize for the kids in your life

DIY Santa Sacks - Paint and Personalize yours.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…and we have a wonderful opportunity for you to DIY something special for the FAVE KIDS in your life. A piece that will last for generations. An heirloom that kids will want as adults. Memories that will last for years, and you can say you played your part in creating them (no pun intended).

The true spirit of Christmas

Christmas is all about the spirit of giving to our circle of family and friends.

And specifically – children who are missing out on the comforts of home while under the expert care of staff at BC Children’s Hospital. A donation of $5 for every Santa Sack Purchase will go to BC Children’s Hospital.

Homeworks Etc wants to extend some heartfelt love and joy to children this holiday season. Come join us on Saturday, November 24th, to help paint your Special Delivery Christmas Santa Sack!

Personalized Santa Sack

Come alone or bring a friend. We’ve got plenty of supplies and we’re happy to show you a trick or two with paint. Drop in any time after 10:30am. By registering in advance we can have your custom name stencils printed and waiting for you.

We welcome your generosity!

Together, let’s bring some Christmas magic!
See you on November 24th!

Date:  Saturday, November 24th
Time:   starts at 10:30am – 4pm
Location:  #102 -16793 60th Ave, Surrey BC

Register today!

“Kindness in giving creates love.” Lao Tzu


Can’t wait to share this fun experience with you!

Happy DIY’ing,


Embracing the Danish Way to Live Well – Through Hygge

Embracing the Danish Way to Live Well – Through Hygge

“Hygge is about the now, and how to enjoy it and make the best of it.” Meike Wiking, The Little Book of Hygge

Have you heard about hygge? (pronounced ‘hoogah’)

Perhaps you’ve already savoured the sweet little read by Meike Wiking about this soul-satisfying characteristic of Danish living. Or perhaps you’re a little late to the library – the book was published in 2016 – but sometimes, the book comes to you. At the right time.

Like now.

The art of cozy

What do atmosphere, togetherness, comfort food, hot drinks, wine, woolen socks, blankets, fireplaces and soft lighting have in common?

They can all be components of the experience of hygge – which is a feeling of intimacy, coziness, and pleasure. Hygge has been described as ‘cocoa by candlelight.’ Don’t you love that?! Hygge moments aren’t fancy or expensive, but rather, humble and slow. Hygge can be nestling on the sofa in your pyjamas, watching movies with a loved on a snowy afternoon. It can be playing board games with the aroma of Sunday dinner wafting in through the kitchen door. It’s a glass of wine by a crackling fire, or a cuddle with your dog while reading a favourite book.

Driftwood All In One Stain and Finishing Oil Fusion Mineral Paint

The most important ingredient to happiness

Wiking, who is a bona fide happiness researcher, states that “there is broad agreement among happiness researchers and scientists that social relations are essential for people’s happiness.”

And when togetherness is part of hygge, there’s never any competition. There’s no room for braggarts or one-uppers. Hygge gives space for gentle conversation, good laughs, and liking one another just as we are. There’s no need to impress. Forget the up-do and make-up – it’s big sweaters and leggings and chunky socks.

The physiology of hygge

And there’s science here, too! Our amazing bodies release the neurohormone oxytocin when we are in soothing hygge moments. Oxytocin makes us happy and reduces stress, fear and pain. 

DIY-ing to make your home more hygellig

The hygge wish-list includes creating a hyggekrog in your home – a comfy space, or nook, where you can sit and relax after a long day. Think about the things you can create to make this space special – inviting pillows, gorgeous candle pillars, and a rustic tray to hold a steaming tea pot and mugs. How about a blanket ladder in the corner to hold your favourite throws? Did you know that things made out of wood are on the hygge wish-list? Paint a few wood signs with peaceful words to soothe your soul.

The simple act of DIY-ing is considered a hyggelig activity! Come join us for a DIY workshop where you can find hygge in a togetherness experience and create beautiful home décor for your cozy corner – your hyggekrog! Bring your friends!

let's get cozy DIY Workshop at Homeworks Etc

BOOK a DIY Night with friends

Are you interested in booking a DIY Night with friends? Have you ever tried DIY’ing with your bestie? Or your office colleagues?

Crafting and conversation. What a lovely combination. Keeping your hands in creation mode while you share space with others doing the same activity is such a wonderfully bonding experience! The focus may be on the craft at hand but creating in company brings that activity to new heights. It’s an amazing feeling to do something you love with a group of people you love!

Find your DIY project

As we hunker down for fall and winter, we spend more time indoors socializing. Outdoor events are put on hold, and it’s time to make use of our indoor space - for dinner dates and board games and…DIYing with friends! 

Homeworks Etc can help customize a DIY workshop with your friends, work team, or fellow volunteers.  Whether it’s a fun night out with friends or a team-building activity with colleagues, we can bring your special DIY event to light. And by the way, you don’t have to be an experienced DIYer – we have terrific workshop leaders who will take the most novice DIYer through the step-by-step process of creating beautiful handmade décor that they will feel proud to showcase in their home. 

For starters, have a peek at our Look Book for DIY project ideas. What catches your eye? We love to work with wood and paint.

DIY Workshop at Homeworks Etc

Location, location, location

While we can’t come to your home, we can go to your business location or you can come to our Homeworks Etc shop in Cloverdale (Surrey, Langley, Fraser Valley Area). And if you’re adventurous (and perhaps wanting a tipple!), we are happy to arrange a special DIY workshop event at one of our off-site partner establishments: Township 7 Vineyards and Winery in Langley, or Clayton Public House in Cloverdale. 

Find out more

Have a peek at our Q + As for more information on Private DIY Workshops. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 778-571-2400. We are happy to help set you up for your special DIY workshop!

Are you ready to DIY With Friends?!

DIY Workshop Pillow Painting at Homeworks Etc

DIY Halloween Crafts

DIY Halloween Crafts are a ton of fun to make with kids.
Who doesn’t love a good ole pumpkin parked on the front stoop at Halloween?

Jack-o’-lantern History

Did you know that there are all kinds of theories out there regarding the origin of the jack-o’-lantern? Some folks believe the term jack-o’-lantern originated in 17th century Britain, when it was used to refer to a man (the common name for unknown/unfamiliar men was ‘Jack’) with a lantern, or a night watchman.

Another theory purports that the custom of making jack-o’-lanterns goes back to 19th century Ireland. It is said that at this time, the lanterns were used to ward off evil spirits – especially vampires!

Pumpkin crafting

Today, carving pumpkins for Halloween has become a fun family activity. We can make our pumpkin faces cheerful, scary or comical. Or go all artsy with figures, logos, and symbols.

A printed stencil can be used as a guide for you and your child to carve out the family pumpkin. Why not try your hand at our free printable stencil:

10 Crafts to make with our FREE Printable

1.  pumpkins of course!  Miniature pumpkins are cute to decorate, easy for kids to manage and great for decorating indoors.

2.  brown paper bags – use for loot bags,  treats, or to illuminate steps.  I like the idea of adding stickers to the paper bag and add an LED light inside but here’s how Martha does it…  Halloween Lanterns

3. soap dispenser – buy a plastic soap dispenser (Dollars & Cents for $1.25), add refillable white liquid hand soap, and choose a ribbon for fun. Tie a knot and done!

4.  windows and mirrors- can’t go wrong!

5.  glass candy jars or candles

6. gift tags or cards

7. milk containers – recycle your milk jugs, cut a hole in the back and add orange lights. Perfect for the front porch!

8.  photo frames

9.  wood – Have extra wood from left over projects.  Paint them orange, sand to distress  and add add a pumpkin face!  A rustic touch to any mantel.  Here are some ideas from Pinterest

10. Last but not least – a bat wreath!  All Made out of paper.  Add glitter to the FREE Printable cut outs and voila!

Print your FREE Printable 

Enjoy crafting for Halloween!

halloween diy crafts.JPG


Here’s a little pumpkin trivia to get you in the carving mood:

In 2005, the world’s largest pumpkin weighed in at 1469 pounds – from Pennsylvania!

In 2013, Keene, New Hampshire reclaimed the world record for most lit jack-o’-lanterns on display: 30, 581!

 “There is magic in the night when pumpkins glow by moonlight.” Unknown

Benefits of Play

Benefits of Play

Play at home and in a work environment can be experiences in various forms.

Do you like to hang out and have fun with family or friends? When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? Are you spontaneous – finding little moments to dance with wild abandon, or calling up friends for a last-minute games night?  Do you chase your dog around the living room and gleefully snap the dish towel at your husband’s legs?

Or do you view playtime as a guilty pleasure and simply impossible to fit into a day filled with Adult Responsibilities?

Play is just as pivotal for adults as it is for kids

It really is!

We don’t lose the need for novelty and pleasure as we grow up. Play brings joy. And it’s vital for problem-solving, creativity and relationships.

Psychiatrist, author and Play Expert Stuart Brown, MD, compares play to oxygen. He says, “It’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing.” Many experiences constitute play. Play is art, books, movies, music, comedy, flirting, daydreaming, dancing, laughing, jumping in puddles, doing jigsaw puzzles.

(And DIYing with friends. Just sayin’.)

Play is empowering

Play can even facilitate deep connections between strangers and cultivate healing. Have you heard of Patch Adams? He is a renowned physician and a clown! who helps people heal through humour. Now that’s an inspiring use of play!

Play is a moving target, and so rather difficult to nail down with an exact definition. That said, it should begin in anticipation and hopefully end with some degree of fulfillment.  And in between, you find treasures like surprise, pleasure, understanding, skill, empathy — and strength of mind, body, and spirit.

Play boosts our productivity and happiness

It’s important to add play to your life – give yourself permission to play every day! Find what brings you joy. Surround yourself with playful people. Your play is a state of being – it can be whatever you want it to be.

Will you make time for play today?

Want to experience playing with paint in one of our DIY Workshops? Call to book your own Private Party with friends! It’s time we make play a priority.

It’s a happy talent to know how to play - Ralph Waldo Emerson


DIY Trick or Treat Bag Ideas

DIY Trick or Treat Bag?

"Sticky fingers, tired feet; one last house, trick or treat!"

Rusty Fischer


Did you know that the word Halloween literally means ‘hallowed evening,’ and was known to early European celebrators as All Hallows' Eve? All Hallows' Eve (October 31) and All Saints' Day (November 1) both paid homage to saints (hallows = saints). The name was eventually shortened to Halloween.

Halloween falls on October 31 because the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain, considered the earliest known root of Halloween, occurred on this day. It marked a pivotal time of year when seasons changed, but more importantly, observers also believed the boundary between this world and the next became especially thin at this time, enabling them to connect with the dead.

Ooooh! Spooky!

Modern-day Halloween

Fast forward to today. Halloween almost didn’t make it across the Atlantic. The Puritans were disapproving of the holiday's pagan roots, so they didn't take part in the celebrations. But once Irish and Scottish immigrants began to arrive in North America in greater numbers, the holiday made its way into our culture. By the early 20th century, Halloween was celebrated across North America by candy-loving, costume-wearing people in all kinds of neighbourhoods.

The best treat bag ever!

On October 31, we'll all be enjoying our favorite treats and admiring decorated homes on our streets. Pumpkins – check. Treats to hand out – check. Costumes for the kids – check. Tote bag to carry treats – coming right up!

We’ve got you covered with a DIY project that takes Halloween treat carryalls to another level. This tote bag is durable and will hold up well for the next few years. Pick your stencils and paint your canvas.

Come join in on the fun and create a Halloween tote bag your child will treasure! Register now for this drop-in workshop:

Date:  Saturday, October 27th
Time:   10:30am
Location:  #102 -16793 60th Ave, Surrey BC

Cost: $25
Register: https://homeworksetc.ca/products/diy-canvas-trick-or-treat-bag


Free {Hello Fall} Printable DIY Project + Recipe

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”
Emily Bronte

Ah, October.

There’s a chill in the air, the days are noticeably shorter, the trees are nearly bare, and tantalizing aromas of simmering soups and stews escape kitchen windows cracked open. And brisk morning or evening walks sometimes call for – gasp – scarves and gloves!

It’s happening. The Change of Seasons. Are you ready for it?

There’s so much to love about October!

There’s Thanksgiving – a welcome start to the rounds of holiday merry-making. We gather with family and friends and heaps of food, like turkey, ham, roasts and all the sides. We take a moment to express our gratitude for lives will-lived…and food and drink well-shared.

And of course, October goes out on a high note for all kids, big and small – Hallowe’en! Goblins and witches and black cats abound! Candies and pumpkins and Boos! are all around.

Fall also means a Homeworks Etc freebie printable!

 We want you to launch into October with a fun printable that welcomes the new season – Hello Fall! Use your creativity to make these words shine as a new addition of Fall décor in your home!

hello fall DIY Free Printable.jpeg

How about a little toast to celebrate Fall? A pumpkin spice latte is just the hot elixir to warm the soul!

Try out this delicious, homemade and healthy version of the much-loved pumpkin spice latte. It’s way lower in calories than store-bought varieties, has little sugar, zero artificial flavourings, and offers up heart- and gut-healthy fiber. It is divine!

Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

(courtesy www.eatingbirdfood.com)


8 oz hot brewed coffee

½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or preferred milk of choice)

3 T canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp vanilla

2 tsp maple syrup

Sprinkle of cinnamon


In saucepan over medium heat, add milk and pumpkin puree, whisking to combine until comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and maple syrup (to taste). Place in blender or use hand-held frother to bring to a foamy consistency. Pour into a large mug of steaming, freshly-brewed coffee. Dust with cinnamon. Enjoy!




Sign Painting…and a Beer at Clayton Public House!

A DIY Wood Sign…and a Beer!

"Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."
William Cullent Bryant

Are you excited about Fall?

Yes, the days are shorter and cooler, and the leaves are falling fast, but it’s not all doom and gloom! In fact, many of us feel a very positive energetic shift. We welcome the newness of a changing season with open arms, adapting to it in our tried-and-true ways that bring us the most comfort.

Fall is a familiar friend, reminding us to ready our nests for the next, oft-less-appreciated seasonal visitor – Old Man Winter. We shake out our boots and blankets and toss on our sweaters.

And of course, we pull out the crockpots and soup tureens. Fall brings us back to the magic of slow food – the stuff of comfort that cooks long and fills our hearts (and bellies) with joy. Stews, soups, chilis, and pies! Thanksgiving feasts and Hallowe’en treats!

Let’s usher in Fall with a cozy DIY sign painting project

Join us for a home décor leg-up on Fall with a new addition to your nest – a rustic wood sign that embraces autumn! We’ve made this DIY workshop extra-special by partnering with one of Cloverdale’s favourite pubs, Clayton Public House. Bring a friend, grab a beverage (a craft beer on tap, perhaps?), and put your hands to work with a guided, step-by-step workshop that will leave you delighted with your handmade take-away farmhouse sign.

We’ve got some new designs to choose from – each bringing a cheery welcome to this awesome season. Pick one, and we will lead you through the process, an easy-to-follow combination of paint and wood.

Register now for this signature workshop at Clayton Public House in Cloverdale!

When: Wednesday, October 10
Where: Clayton Public House - 5640 188 St, Surrey, BC V3S 7Y1
Cost: $45

sign painting at Clayton Pub with Homeworks Etc
sign painting Cloverdale with Homeworks Etc

3 Benefits of Unleashing Your Creativity

“If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.” Elizabeth Gilbert

We are all creative souls. Really. You may think to yourself, “Oh no – I don’t have a speck of creativity in me!” But wait a second. You surely do have capacities, aspirations, longings, and well, secret talents. You may think you aren’t creative.

But you are.

And having a creative outlet may, in fact, be an essential ingredient to a happy and healthy life. According to clinical neuropsychologist Catherine Carey Levisay: “There’s promising evidence coming out to support what a lot of crafters have known anecdotally for quite some time, and that’s that creating—whether it be through art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography, cake decorating—is beneficial to us in a number of important ways.”

Here’s what science has to say about having a creative outlet. Creativity:

1.       Improves mental health – when you engage in an enjoyable pastime, the reward centre in your brain releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant. Here’s to improved mood and self-esteem!

2.       Boosts cognitive health – creative expression improves connectivity between the 2 hemispheres of your brain, which improves problem-solving, reasoning and the brain’s overall processing speed. That is, crafting, for example, can help slow down aging!

3.       Enhances physical health – getting creative lowers overall stress levels: your immune system is boosted, while blood pressure and the stress hormone called cortisol are lowered. Taking up a hobby can make your body feel better!

You can be creative on your own.  Or you can join a creative community – take a DIY workshop, for example – where you find kinship and support. And laughter. Lots of it!

So, if we can bring some balance to our mental and physical health by indulging our creativity, why not take advantage and welcome it into our lives? Grab a friend – or come solo – and join us at Homeworks Etc for a DIY workshop. Let your paint brush and creative flag fly!

DIY Fall Decor Workshops (Seasonal Bundle)

"I'm so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers." L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

While we are still enjoying the last vestiges of summer, subtle hints of Fall are everywhere. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler, and gold, brown and orange hues have made their annual return – on trees and in store windows. Without a doubt, we are on the cusp of pumpkin lattes!

For many, Fall is an inspiring time...

Crisper air lends a bounce to our step and means more comfortable sleeps. Sweaters and jeans and a pair of boots are welcome wardrobe swaps. Gourds, leaves, pumpkins and nuts abound!

Did you know the end of scorching summer temperatures may benefit your brain?

Studies show that your memory, temper, and ability to problem-solve all take a hit when the thermostat shoots above 80. Why? As the body works to cool itself, it draws energy away from the brain, thus undercutting its ability to operate optimally. Well, then. We’re all for a seasonal brain health boost, right?!

Let’s welcome this change of season!

Let’s face it: who doesn’t love a cup of hot apple cider, a turn in the corn maze, a slice of pumpkin pie, and a pair of cozy socks?

And how about a change of scenery at home? Better yet – how about creating some festive, seasonal décor to lift the mood on those darker days of Fall? And even better, how about joining a group (and bringing a friend or two) to DIY and spend time with each month this Fall?

We have 3 autumn DIY projects for you!

Homeworks Etc presents a 3-month series starting in September – DIY Seasonal Bundle Monthly Workshops - where you can join fellow DIYers to craft some beautifully festive décor for your home. Each third Wednesday in September, October, and November, we will gather to make gorgeous decorations for your home and holiday table. You will make it all yourself, with our guidance!

The 3 projects are:

Wednesday, September 19th
                       Monogrammed Table Runner and Tea Towel set

Wednesday, October 17th
                       Pallet Sign

Wednesday, November 21st
                     Centre Piece Trough and 3 Wood Candle Pillars

Come join us! Register here now:

DIY Seasonal Bundle Monthly Workshops - $225/3 workshops

TIME:  6:45pm-8:45pm
DATES: September 19th, October 17th & November 21st
Location:  102 - 16793 60th Ave, Surrey BC

We want you to be ready this season! Let’s have some fun!

Seasonal Budnle Home_Pallet_Sign2.jpg
Seasonal Bundle Candle_Pillars_160x.jpg
Seasonal Budle Table_Trough_160x.jpg

DIY Furniture Painting - The Painted Bench

“A throne is only a bench covered in velvet.” Napoleon Bonapart

Can you visualize a wooden bench in your foyer? At the end of your bed? As a coffee table? Or maybe on your front verandah as outdoor seating or a setting for vibrant flower pots?

The versatile, multi-functional wooden bench can work for your home in so many ways.

Let us count the ways!

  • A simple bench tucked against the wall in your front foyer is a warm welcome to family and friends. It’s a quick seat to slip off (or on!) a boot, wait for slowpokes or set down a package. You can arrange footwear below and hang jackets, hats and leashes above – great ideas for space savers.

  • Take your bench to the other side of the door – outside! Your covered front porch is the perfect setting for a decorative wooden bench. Display seasonal potted flowers or pumpkins or wreaths. Take advantage of its practicality and have a sit-down while you pull off mucky boots before entering the house.

  • Positioned at the end of your bed, a rustic bench gives you a place to prop a leg while tying a shoe or pulling on tights. It’s a lovely - and practical – backdrop for a favourite blanket and pillows, and acts as a visual anchor for your bedroom.

Create a breakfast nook banquette, a pit-stop in the upstairs hallway, a dreamy window seat. With a bench in your décor cache, you’ve got so many stylish options!

A wooden bench can last a lifetime – and become a loving feature in your home. Memories of family and friends welcomed into your home and seated on your handsome throne will live on forever!

Put your creativity to work and come join us to paint your very own wooden bench!

DIY Furniture 101 Bench Workshop

Date: Friday, September 14th

Time: 6:45 – 9:30pm

Location: #102 – 16793 60th Avenue

Cost: $225