Read of the Week


A Do-It-Yourself Any-Year Diary

Suzelle DIY


Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

Some of my colleagues laughed at me when they saw that I had taken this book from the review pile but I was glad I could snatch it. My daughters and I love DIY projects and the simple ideas and tips in this book are right up our alley.

The word-sparse book (much like Suzelle’s best friend Marianne on the YouTube channel) relies heavily on graphics. It contains loads of templates so the diary can be personalised as much as possible.

What I liked about the diary is that once all the trinkets are used up, the diary itself can be re-used. If you pencil in your appointments you can use the diary again the following year. Voila – a recyclable diary.

What is a bit off-putting is that it is a lot of work. The dates and days have to be plotted manually (and rubbed out again if you want to use the template again) which means the diary must be used with a calendar and there are no calendars included in the accessories.

The accessories do include cut-out paper crafts, such as Suzelle’s version of “origami” – a spherical hanging decoration, gift tags with drawings of tools on them, DIY washi tape with drawings of tools on them, colourful glossy paper with drawings of tools on them, branded stickers with drawings of tools on them and mini gift boxes and envelopes, mercifully without any drawings of tools on them.

Being so completely DIY, one also runs the risk of incorrect date plotting, which means appointments can be missed or perhaps one might even show up a year late.

The DIYary, which was launched just before Christmas, could make a good gift for a crafty teen or tween. It retails at R180 and can be purchased on Suzelle DIY’s website.

A word of caution though: non-fans of what is fast becoming the Suzelle DIY brand beware, the DIYary is merchandising at its best (or worst – depending on which side of the fan-fence you’re on). If you cannot stomach lots of pictures of Suzelle and Marianne (and a few of Bakkies the dog), don’t quite fancy the channel’s brand of humour, aren’t tempted to pay R180 for a mostly blank book or know where to find the same hacks and DIYs on the internet for free, then don’t buy this book.

On the other hand, if you like quick-and-easy craft projects and recipes (especially ones that are simple enough to do with children), putting stickers everywhere, highly personalising your items, enjoy scrap-booking or want to save a bit of money (and paper) by not buying a new diary every year, then this is the book for you.