The greatest perk of DIY projects is definitely the impressive, one-of-a-kind end result. It’s even better when you can create exquisite masterpieces without having to break the bank. Gail Griffin of Purple Hues and Me is the perfect example of a DIYer that creates wow-worthy projects without spending a great deal on materials. If you take a look at her Hometalk page, you will see that she also does a phenomenal job repurposing materials that were already on hand.

One thing Gail’s 1.3K+ followers on Hometalk appreciate about her projects is the fact that they are extremely easy to replicate. So we decided to interview Gail, to learn more about her, and her DIY preferences.


How long have you been DIYing? What inspired you to start? Is there a cool backstory to why purple is your favorite color?

I really got into crafting shortly after down-sizing and moving into an active adult community a little over five years ago. I was online and came across a blog that challenged readers to make knock-offs from stores the blogger visited. I enjoyed reading what people created and then one day decided I could make a knock-off of whatever they were featuring too! So I joined in the fun and created something to submit –  and the rest is history. But I must say that years ago, when I was a stay at home mom, my mother-in-law would craft, paint, make wreaths, crochet, knit, etc.,  making all sorts of things. She was so talented. Since I had a marketing background, I coaxed her into selling her things at craft fairs and other places I found. We had lots of fun! So I would say she inspired me to craft.

I discovered my love of purple indirectly. My husband’s favorite color is green and in trying to please him, I hung a green pattern of wallpaper on a huge plain wall in our first apartment. I got tired of all that green so I put a purple stripe design that had different shades of purple in our bathroom. I loved the look of that bathroom. The purple colors made me feel really good. It was so calming and peaceful being in there. That’s when I knew purple was my color! But, I only use it as an accent in my home. I don’t have any purple walls or solid purple furniture. Ha!

Do you typically DIY on your own, or with the help of others? 

I craft on my own, although I do have a monthly, Let’s Get Crafty session in our community club house.

What do you typically do with your crafts once they’re done? Keep them? Give them away?

I usually keep them if I made them for my home, but I will give them away to friends and anyone who expresses how much they love what I made. I’ve mailed out a few to blogging friends.

Is there any type of criteria that must be met by potential projects before you start them? 

Yes. I don’t like to make anything where the materials or supplies are expensive or special equipment or machines are needed to make. If it can be made from scratch or recycles, I’m all in!

Please tell us your general approach on DIY projects. (Maybe make mention about how you select projects that would be easy for your audience to follow.)

I guess I’m what’s called a knock-off crafter. I’m constantly looking at home decor items in online retail stores and catalogs for ideas. If I find something I like, I think about how I can make it using simple inexpensive items. For instance, my first really successful project on Hometalk was about bleaching pinecones. I got the idea from the knock-off blog challenge I spoke about where light colored decorative pinecones where featured in a picture from the Z-Gallerie. A light bulb went off and I decided to bleach pinecones and go from there.

What are your most favorite types of DIY projects, both for the home and garden?

I like to do projects that will be easy, inexpensive and unique for anyone to make and still give off a WOW factor! I don’t like jumping on the bandwagon of what’s really trendy or popular. If it is trendy, I want it to be different and unique from the usual. And I love sharing how I made something, so all of my projects are tutorials.

What would be your dream DIY project, if time and cost weren’t an issue?

That’s a difficult question. I don’t think it’s time or cost. There are so many talented and creative people who are really skilled at what they do. They know how to actually build and create amazing things. That would be my wish.

Is it easier for you to create a project from scratch, or to draw inspiration and recreate?

I think there are very few projects that are actually new or never have been created before. You hear the same comments so many times, ‘oh, I made this years ago or we did this as a child.’ What we are creating now is just a variation or re-creation of what was done before. We have new or different materials to use, but the concepts are somewhat the same.

What are some basic materials you always keep on hand for your projects?

Hot glue gun with lots of glue sticks, Mod Podge, Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue and Fabri-Tac Fabric Glue – can’t be without them!

Please offer us some pearls of wisdom you would like to share with novice DIYers?

Become online friends with fellow bloggers and followers. The DIY community is awesome! Join sites like Hometalk for exposure. It’s the best thing I ever did!


Feel free to connect with Gail on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.