3 Easy, 5-Minute InstaCrafts with Alison Caporimo

by Melissa Massello
November 6, 2013 - 1:57pm

Now that Halloween has come and gone, I'm starting to get really excited about the holidays — and freaking out about getting a jump on DIY holiday gifts, especially things like infused liqueurs and other projects that need to be made more than a month ahead.

Which is why interviewing Brooklyn-based author Alison Caporimo this week and reviewing her new book, InstaCraft: Fun and Simple Projects for Adorable Gifts, Decor, and More, was the perfect antidote. Using no fancy tools or techniques, Alison offers up more than 50 ideas for super cute (and surprisingly easy) DIY gifts and projects — and for just a few bucks apiece. Ahhh...serenity now.

Head over to DIY Boston to read my full Q&A with Alison for our Maker Moment series, or try making three of my favorite crafts from the book using these step-by-step project instructions:


Books hide out like dust bunnies in my apartment. Whenever I think they're all on the bookshelf, I find one under the bed and another in a forgotten tote bag — I swear they have minds of their own. To group your precious reads together, camouflage old bricks and use them as sneaky props to keep wild reads from getting away from you.


  • Two bricks
  • Acrylic paints
  • Fine-point paint pens

Wash the bricks with water. Once dry, coat one edge with acrylic paint. Use paint pen to write out book title. Let dry.

Pro Tip:
The more battered the brick, the better! Nicks and bumps supply a great textured canvas for the paint and make for vintage-looking spines.


Rather than tucking decorations into a box and stashing them in the closet, I found a fun way to display holiday shimmer all year long. Stow gold décor this way, and when the holidays come back around, take decorations out to hang.


  • Extra deep frame (1-inch or more)
  • Garland or tinsel
  • Fine-point paint pen

Write a message on the front of the frame glass with the paint pen. Open the frame and pile in garland, tinsel, or both. Close frame and hang.

Pro Tip:
Got small Christmas ornaments? Use double-sided tape to secure glass baubles to a piece of white paper and place in a frame for year-round glittery globes.


Instead of tossing torn or ripped tights, try this two-second technique to give small pots some texture.


  • Scissors
  • Tights
  • Flowerpot

Cut the foot plus some extra off of a pair of tights. Pull the foot onto flowerpot.

Pro Tip:
To water the thick-leaved echeveria succulent seen here, fill a spray bottle with water and spritz the soil.

For 50+ more easy, 5-minute project ideas, pick up a copy of InstaCraft on Amazon.com ($16.95 paperback, $9.99 Kindle) — and don't forget to read my full Q&A with Alison over on Boston.com!

Photos & project instructions: Courtesy of Alison Caporimo, Meera Lee Patel & Ulysses Press, 2013. All rights reserved.

About The Author Related Articles
Photo of Melissa Massello
Melissa Massello is an editor, start-up junkie, entrepreneur, Swapaholic, and lifelong New England girl. As a sustainable style expert, Melissa has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX news station affiliates around the country and in US News & World Report, USA Today, The Boston Globe, The New York Post, The Denver Post, The LA Times, The Dallas Morning News, MSN Money, and WalletPop, among other fine media outlets. Melissa currently lives with her husband and their Whippet mix in Somerville, Mass. -- "the Brooklyn of Boston" -- where they strive each day to save money, save the planet, and live the dream for less.
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