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DIY to your door

From Habitat magazine - issue 25

Julie Stuart's clever kits give our DIY aspirations a nudge.

Julie Stuart
Julie Stuart

There are plenty of clever people using Resene paints to decorate and enhance their products. And then there's the Julie Stuart way of doing things. Instead of making the finished product, she encourages others to exercise their creative muscles by selling DIY kits and projects for a range of stunning pieces.

Striped painted baskets, patterned placemats, wood bead wall hangings – Julie is always coming up with new DIY ideas for her Clever Poppy brand.

As a self-confessed décor, trend and DIY junkie, Julie started Clever Poppy as a way to build a career doing something she loves. With her days of practicing law behind her, it's also a great way for her to strike a work-life balance and be a mum to new baby Piper and toddler Harvey.

Triangle placemat
Striped basket
Some of Julie's popular DIY ideas: striped baskets, triangle placemats and decorative beads.

Including Resene testpots in the DIY kits was a no-brainer. Says Julie: "The testpots are the perfect option because they are small for one-off projects, easy to send and fantastic quality for home décor projects. I just love how many options there are colour-wise. I can think up pretty much any colour palette I want, and I'll be able to find Resene paints to suit." The colours Julie loves working with at the moment are soft pastels mixed in with moody shades like grey, mustard and purple. Some of Julie's favourite colours are Resene Lola, Resene Hawkes Blue and Resene Half Silver Chalice.

It can take months for Julie to develop ideas for the DIY kits. The biggest time investment is the testing stage, making sure that concept and instructions are as fool-proof as possible, so that everyone who makes the kit has a great experience. She's obviously doing it right, receiving many messages from happy customers showing her what they've made. "A lot of my audience also love the concept of doing a project together with their kids."

The most popular Clever Poppy items have been the downloadable DIY Woven Wall Hanging, the DIY Watercolour Art Kit and DIY Copper Magazine Rack Kit.

Not one to stop still, the ming year will see Julie launch more downloadable tutorials. "I think this will be a great option for people who would love some direction but want a bit of freedom in terms of which supplies to use." She will also be sharing décor and styling ideas from her recent nursery makeover, and will launch more DIY kits.

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