- Thou shalt envision thy project.
How do you want it to look: do you want it to look as homemade as a 3rd grade Girl Scout project or do you want it to look rustic yet sophisticated? How will it coordinate with the rest of your decor and space? Is it attainable or will it take years of solitary confinement to complete?
- Thou shalt keep thy mind on thy money and thy money on thy mind. Unless you’ve got so much money you can make it rain more than the climate in Seattle, you need to plan your DIY expenses. This includes supplies, tools, gas, shipping and handling, or the interesting trade you make to get that farmhouse table transported across state lines.
- Thou shalt have a Plan B. Any DIY’er worth his or her salt will tell you DIY fails are part of the process. Anyone who denies this not be trusted. Always prepare for setbacks whether it’s extra supplies, an extra trip to the store, or deciding to chuck it all to instead buy your intended DIY item.
- Thou shalt consider thy materials. I was raised that you can use duct tape or electrical tape to fix anything. I once thought the same was true for hot glue (hint: it’s not). Things to consider with your materials are toxicity, durability, and practicality. You don’t want to be that mom who inadvertently poisoned her family with her DIY spray-painted dishes, do you?
- Thou shalt carveth time out. This is pretty self-explanatory, until you find yourself knee-deep in sandpaper, primer, and a tanker desk minutes before your hot date with your ol’ man. Estimate how long your project will take, when the best time to dive in would be (i.e., when the kiddos are paralyzed with slumber), etc. and set an appointment for your DIY project.
- Thou shalt light fire under thy butt. This commandment also falls into the “well, duh!” category…unless you have oodles of projects and supplies waiting to emerge from your DIY arsenal. This may or not be true for me. Like commandment #5, set an appointment to start your project. Chop, chop!
- Thou shalt arrange thy materials. Consider this the mise en place commandment for DIY’ing. Gather your tools and accessories, charge up the cordless drill, cover your surface, etc.
- Thou shalt measure once and _______ twice. Trust me, size matters when you’re cutting, drilling, sewing, etc. One eighth of an inch shorter than needed can result in another trip to the store, more colorful language than a scene from Goodfellas, or having to scrap your project entirely.
- Thou shalt enjoyeth the process. That may seem like an oxymoron after all these commandments, but creating something yourself is very empowering! Plus, you’ll have a piece that’s truly unique.
- Thou shalt pat thyself on thy back. After all the blood, sweat, tears, and wine you just went through for your project, you should feel pretty accomplished. Even if your project doesn’t quite end up as you hoped, you still took a risk. Creativity takes courage, so congratulate yourself and move on to the next project!
Do you have any personal commandments you follow before starting DIY project? Do you prefer to DIY or buy? Have you experienced the beauty of a DIY fail?