Raise your hand if you love a beautiful home.
Raise your hand if you can afford give a designer free rein to create it all for you.
Now, raise your hand if you know how to create a home that is full of all of the beautiful things that make a home “Pinterest Worthy” all by yourself, whatever that means to you.
If you didn’t raise your hand on the last one, you should because you absolutely can do it!
With a little faith and fearlessness, you can create a home you love on whatever budget you have. Ever wonder how to get started in DIY?
These are my top 5 DIY questions I get asked all the time.
- Where did I learn to do the things that I do?
- How do I get the courage to take on such large projects?
- Does your husband let you use his power tools and help you?
- Wouldn’t it be easier to just hire someone?
- Where do I even start?
The only tools in my house growing up were a hammer, a couple of screw drivers and an assorted jar of nails.
We had white walls, white baseboards and white doors in every house we ever lived in. As a teenager I was always rearranging my room trying my creative hand at the only space I had any say in. Did you do that, too?
As an adult, I knew that I wanted a beautiful home and I had a vision in my head of what that would look like. There is a difference, however, between knowing what you want and having what you want.
When I got married and we moved into our first home, I didn’t know how to do anything.
To get my perfect home was going to take more than a hammer and a jar of nails. There was no internet or YouTube tutorials or blogs (gasp), no Pinterest to be inspired by, I didn’t own a sewing machine and had never picked up a hammer in my life.
How did I get the courage to do these things? My love for DIY was born out of necessity. Most DIYers can agree.
Necessity because we are limited financially, limited by accessibility, limited by lack of help, limited by circumstances. It looks different for all of us. With a new baby, a new home and being a SAHM I had to stay within a budget. That meant that I had to be creative about getting what I wanted. This is where April and DIY meet.
What I wanted exceeded the fear of doing it.
So you know what I did? I just did it!
I will always figure out a way to get what I want. Even if it means that I have to build it, sew it or craft it myself.
How it all began.
It all began with a simple thing I wanted that didn’t exist on the market so I had to make it myself. What I wanted exceeded the fear of doing it so I JUST DID IT. And that is what I would encourage you to do. DO IT ANYWAY.
What was my first DIY project? My very first DIY project was making
an amazing room full of cabinets a shower curtain. Yep, a shower curtain. I knew what I wanted and couldn’t find it anywhere so I borrowed my mom’s avocado green 1960’s sewing machine and taught myself how to use it. 7th grade home economics finally came into play.
For me it was the beginning of a whole life full of DIYs. The thrill that little shower curtain gave me sparked something inside and unleashed the dormant creative inside of me.
When I finished and hung that darn curtain and I was SO proud!
Looking back now I know I made mistakes, but that was the beginning of making my home dreams come to life. We all start somewhere.
Where did I learn to do the things I do? By just doing! I did hire a mentor many, many years ago. We met once a week for 12 weeks on skype (remember skype?) and she helped me by talking me through my amazing craft room.
Power tools? They are all mine and sometimes my husband borrows them. As my projects began have become bigger I have added the tools I need. But I didn’t always have them or know how to use them.
Does my husband help me? NO! He can do anything but he has not interest in DIY and we are no Joanna and Chip. I will ask him to help me problem solve, but only if I can’t figure something out.
Wouldn’t it be easier to hire someone? Yes and no. It is easier…if you have the budget to pay for it. The cost of materials is only a small portion of the cost of customization and you are mostly paying for the labor. Then you have to be on their schedule and timeline.
A lot of projects can be done by YOU!
What’s the easiest DIY? Wherever you start, just start and start small to build your courage. (Remember my shower curtain?) Try something and become comfortable with it then move on to a bigger project.
NO power tools needed.
- Paint a piece of furniture (see my painted hutch here)
- Sew a simple item
- Hem a curtain that is too long
- Add simple moulding to a wall like a chair rail – one straight line (you can do this with a hammer and nails)
- Replace a showerhead
- Paint a room
- Switch out a light switch or electrical outlet to match your decor
How can I teach myself DIY? Research how to do something. Ask for advice from your favorite blogger (I’m shameless), read blogs and watch YouTube for tips on how to do things, ask someone at the hardware store for help and to point you in the right direction or hire a mentor.
I am afraid to mess it up!
When I surveyed my community, this was the thing that holds most people back. My advice?
Just start. Be determined. Be intentional. Follow through.
Give yourself grace. Wait to amaze yourself.