To diy or not to diy

DIY Wood Shelf

I read quite a few blogs and there are a lot of DIY tutorials and how to's out there people. Looking at some of the blogs I was starting to get seriously overwhelmed by the need to DIY. Heck, even here on this blog we talk a lot about doing it yourself and I wanted to take a step back and talk about why I DIY and why I sometimes choose not to do it. 

Here are my 'heck yeah let's DIY this thing' rules:
  • The materials are upcycled, found, vintage or already on hand. This is partly because I am all about eco conscious living, but also as a cost saving measure. Unless I have 90% of the materials on hand, or know where I can get them relatively inexpensively I am not tackling the DIY option.
  • It is a small and succint list of materials. When the list of materials to buy has me running all over town. I'm just not going to do it. My time is too valuable and I abhor running errands. 
  • If I own most of the tools then I'll attempt making it myself. When I do not have the majority of the tools to make it myself then I'm stepping away from the glue gun (yes, I own a glue gun). Here is a great post about the basics to keep in your tool box. I am willing to go and get new tools, but not if I have to go and buy a whole new tool box worth of tools. 
  • If my response to seeing the DIY is 'hell yeah I can make that'. If I'm not excited to make it then chances are I am going to start it and never finish. 
  • If it is something I want for my home that will be stylish and I will want it around for years then I will tackle the DIY. I see a lot of DIY's that are very trendy and let's just say a couple of years down the road I can point to that one thing and be like that is so 2014. 
What makes me call in the professional or purchase it ready made:
  • If it involves electricity or plumbing. The caveat to this is if you feel ready to tackle it then please do, but run it by someone who knows what they are doing. I was going to rewire something and the how to I read was going to ensure that I burned down my house. Thankfully I ran it past a friend who had the expertise and she said don't do it!
  • If the item makes my heart go pitter pat, it's original, handmade and locally made I am going to buy it instead of DIY. As a maker I want to support the people in my community who are making. Plus, while I do draw inspiration from the things around me I highly object to copying somebody elses work. 
  • If buying the item or hiring someone will free up my time to do something I love. For example, I finally broke down and I have someone else clean my apartment once a month. Can I clean? Yes, in fact I used to do it professionally, but hiring someone to do it frees up so much of my time and takes a couple of things off my mental to do list. 
My DIY list has gotten a little bit long and so I'm thinking of calling in reinforcements- the DIY queen, my mom. 
Photo Credit Kandy M. Christensen

Originally published 5/18/14 

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