This year, I had the pleasure of hosting a monthly challenge called #12MonthsofDIY. Each month, our group of 12 Canadian bloggers each made something out of the same type of material. It was such a wonderful challenge, and not only did it spark my creativity, but it made me realize how important it is to collaborate with my blogging friends. Today, let me share with you a recap of our #12MonthsofDIY challenge, what my favourite project was, and what I’ve learned about collaboration. Also, make sure to scroll down to the end of this post to see all of our favourite projects from the year!

At the end of 2015, I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be fun to challenge a group of bloggers to create a new DIY every month of 2016? If we all used a similar material, it would be exciting to see what we each made and how creative we could be! This is how #12MonthsofDIY was born. Each month of 2016, we had a specific material we had to work with to create something unique to share on our blogs.

Here’s what I made during our challenge this year (click to visit the posts):

How to make DIY hanging mason jar craft supply storage #12MonthsofDIY  How to make a covered bulletin board with paint, fabric and brass upholstery tacks.  How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel  Thrifted Shabby Chic Gallery Wall and Ruffled Lamp in Blush Pink, White and Gold #12MonthsofDIY

Embellish garden planters and watering cans with lace and Mod Podge  Spray painting kitchen knobs is an inexpensive update  DIY Felt Flower Tic-Tac-Toe Game Busy Bag  Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe with Free Printable Vinyl Labels

DIY Faux Floral and Leaf Garland for a Fall Tablescape  Shabby Chic Christmas Present Wrapping Ideas - Vintage inspired, pink, kraft, white linen, sparkly DIY gifts  DIY silver leaf paper cone trees for Christmas tabletop decor  How to make a DIY arm knit blanket with a fringe - video tutorial

I’m proud of all of these projects, and looking back at them makes me smile, but my favourite one has to by my wooden spool clock from our “wood” month in March.

How to make a large DIY reclaimed wood clock from an electrical reel

I adore how this clock turned out, and I haven’t taken it off my mantel since. I’m sure it will be a fixture in our living room for years to come!

For me, learning how to be creative with a variety of mediums was fantastic, but  learning how important it is to collaborate with fellow bloggers was even more rewarding. This group of ladies are genuinely wonderful beings, and I felt so supported and encouraged throughout this year as we worked alongside each other. We shared each other’s work, we vented to each other, we helped each other… our relationship was invaluable.

I think that it’s easy for a creative sort of person to get caught up in competition. We think that if we share too much with our fellow creatives, we’ll somehow lose. What I’ve learned – especially this year while doing #12MonthsofDIY – is that working with other creators is a huge WIN. If you love to make things, stay authentic to your own voice, and constantly think up new ideas, you’ll never run out of creative juices and your brand will keep on growing. Lighting someone else’s creative flame, supporting their creative journey, and sharing your own journey with them will not make your own light dimmer, but it will help brighten BOTH of your journeys!

Rustic Christmas mantel with DIY wooden spool clock

(See more of this year’s Christmas home tour right here.)

I know that there are instances where bloggers and other creators can get burned (think: intellectual property theft), but if you can find a trustworthy group of like-minded friends in your field to collaborate with, there are SO many benefits. I’m getting better and better at turning off the “compete! compete! compete!” voices in my head, and turning on the “let’s build each other’s blogs TOGETHER!” voices. It’s so much better.

Thanks for doing this challenge with me, my friends. I’ve been so amazed by your creativity and encouraged by your support.

What do YOU think: do you like to collaborate with fellow bloggers, or creatives in your current field of work?

Now it’s time to see which projects were my blogging friends’ favourites, and what they thought of our yearly challenge. Click on the project name to visit their project post, and their blog name to visit their blog and see their last #12MonthsofDIY post.

DIY Vintage Succulent Centerpiece from Vin’yet Etc.

DIY Daisy Frame Art from Lifeovereasy

Pottery Barn Inspired Burlap Lamp Shade & Owl Bookends from Woman In Real Life

Vintage Inspired DIY Vinyl Office Sign from Heather in Heels

How to Make an Infinity Scarf from Fresh Crush

Mason Jar Oil Lamps from Life Is A Party

Upcycling a Coat into a DIY Leather Bag from Sustain My Craft Habit

Thrift Store Patio Table Tray Makeover from Time With Thea

Felt Wall Organizer from Love Create Celebrate

Vinyl Otomi Chargers from PMQ for Two

Make a Giant Reclaimed Wood Clock from an Electrical Reel from The DIY Mommy

Gold Straw Himelli Plant Holders from Brooklyn Berry Designs