Creative Genius: Meg Allan Cole

Since I started working at DIY Network about three years ago, I’ve had two real squeal-worthy moments: meeting Vern Yip (because OMG “Trading Spaces,” right?) and meeting master craftstress extraordinaire Meg Allan Cole. I fell in love with Meg watching her videos on ThreadBanger and just knew we would be the best of friends. Today, Meg is one of the five talented ladies that make up HGTV Handmade, a YouTube channel full of crafty goodness, and yes, she is every bit as charming in real life as I’d hoped.

Tell us a little bit about your background…

I went to school for theater and film. I love to communicate with people–that’s where my passion is. But I’ve always been very interested in design. I started a home blog called Nest, which I still have, and I also had one of the first Etsy shops. It’s been cool to watch Etsy grow and change and what that means for our country–where our priorities are. I started making things on a small, professional scale and my stuff stood out on MySpace because I was one of the first “green” shops.

This Atomic Age Clock was the first craft of Meg’s I ever saw. Don’t you just adore it?

How did you start making videos? 

Rob and Corinne of ThreadBanger were coming to New York to do a “green, earth-friendly” episode, and they interviewed me. It went great so they asked me to combine my two passions: being on-camera and home decor. ThreadBanger grew quickly because the spoke to people like us. Then, I started making videos with other people: Etsy, Make, Craft…

What’s your first memory of making stuff?

I don’t remember a time not making stuff. I come from a family of 4 parents and 3 out of the 4 of them are educators. To be an educator you have to be really hands-on. So beginning really young, both my mom and my step-mom would have craft projects set up, and we would just be encouraged to go at it.

I remember once my step-mom gave my sister and me some sand and little jars. We made the sand different colors and made layers with the colors to make a cool, Santa Fe-looking, ombre sand thing for our room. I remember thinking, “We are amazing.”

On kids crafts…

It does empower and encourage kids to be creative. I was not an athlete. My dad was a football coach, and I am so far from being athletic it’s not even funny. So it’s great for us weird, nerdy, awkward kids who can make something. Then, you see yourself making something and you feel like, “Alright, I have a place in this world! It’s just with people with glue guns.”

You’re trapped on a dessert island. What 3 crafty things would you take with you? (plugs allowed)

  1. my glue gun
  2. a pair of Fiskars scissors
  3. my sewing machine (to make a badass hammock out of some palm leaves)

What are some trends you’re really excited about?

I love that hand-dyeing has caught on and that people are drifting to that because there is nothing prettier than the organic look that dye creeping up an organic fabric produces–so pretty! It’s a little intimidating, but I’m glad to see it across the web and that people are trying their hand at that!

I’m loving the citrus moment that’s happening–pineapples and watermelons, Oh Joy! for Target… It’s everywhere. It’s refreshing, and it’s so summer!

I’m also really into the “Golden Girls”/Miami color palette that’s happening. Mints & coral–those colors are just so refreshing! Basically anything with the “Golden Girls” aesthetic is a good thing in my book. I love a modern “Golden Girls” moment–that’s what I need more of! Caftans for everyone!

What do you do when you’re stuck in a creative rut?

When you get stuck it’s important to get out of your comfort zone. Go to the museum, check out an artist you’ve never seen before, listen to an album you’ve never heard before, and you never know, it might just strike something.

Everyone who knows you, knows that animal rescue is important to you. When did that start?

When I was 24, I was working towards being able to work from home and having making stuff be my living. We adopted this dog and, knowing that he was older, I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. So I kicked it into high gear and made it happen. In some ways, my dogs are responsible for my entire career!

What are your favorite HGTV Handmade projects that aren’t yours?

Marianne’s DIY Geometric Pendant Lamp
Julia’s DIY Painted Wooden Utensils
Ann’s DIY Heart Tote Bags
Karen’s DIY Summer Activity Sticks
Marianne’s Sharpie Tie-Dyed Pillowcase 

Where to Find Meg: 

Meg on HGTV Handmade
Meg on Design Happens
Meg on Twitter
Meg on Instagram
Meg on Pinterest
Meg’s How-To for a Geo Garland

 The Creative Genius series on Made + Remade features fabulous DIYers and makers who inspire us. Meet more Creative Geniuses and help us share the spirit of DIY!

17 Responses

  1. BigWill says:

    Meg is cute!

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About Hannah B. Slaughter 

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I’m a graphic designer for HGTV and DIY who loves taking something old, making it new and then adding sparkle. Weekend activities include thrifting with my handsome husband, writing for ...

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