As I see it DIY projects have two goals in mind. The first of course is to save money and the second is a feeling of pride.
I'll start with the first goal - saving money. Yes, you can paint your own interior walls, make minor plumbing repairs, hang a shelf or picture and so on. The basics are usually easy enough to accomplish and leave you feeling pretty good about your accomplishment. There are some tasks which are usually best left to the experts or professionals (i.e., wiring, plumbing back ups, hanging dry wall, etc.), and then there are those tasks that simply should be left (depending on your skill sets) as something you purchase from a professional or the store. ( http://craftfail.com/)
We have all had those epic fails when we were attempting to create a project we thought would save money and give us satisfaction.
Thanks to craftfail.com for the pics!
DIY can save you money if you carefully consider what your time, materials and end product costs are. However, there are projects that will not save you any money and in fact will cost you more in the long run. Many clothing items will cost less if you sew them (children's clothing) and, if you prefer designer clothing, Vogue Patterns has outstanding lines you can sew or have sewn for much less than what you would pay at a high end store. Generally speaking, DIY has been trending in recent years to home decor, repairs and organization. DIY has found its way into repurposing clothing and manufactured items in efforts to reduce waste (Green Crafting). Saving money through DIY can be achieved, but do your research first before you embark on that project you have been itching to tackle.
Keep this in mind: Not everything you can make should be made. Cats and dogs are not fans of sweaters and you may want to rethink all the lampshade and cell phone decorations.
It is natural for all of us to have pride in making things and in fact, the trend for handmade gifts is stronger than ever today. You should feel good about wanting to make something and even better when it's finished and presented! What I am aiming for is to help you discover when to DIY and when to call on the professionals or buy an item from the store. Try this short self test to see if you are on DIY overload or headed there:
1) Does your Partner, Spouse or Significant other moan when you announce you are making (fill in the blank)?
2) Do you have multiple projects started and unfinished?
3) Have you used or displayed (with pride) the items you have made in the last month?
4) Have you started a scrap box for those items you have made and rejected?
5) When you see a new product or craft item, do your thoughts immediately turn to, "I can make that!"
6) Are you always making something and never have time for family or a other social interaction?
7) Do you have more materials (yarn, fabric, craft supplies) left over after a project than what you really need?
Depending on your answers to the questions, particularly #4 & #5, you may want to evaluate where you stand with DIY. Some helpful and inexpensive DIY items for your house are found in the links below.
www.diynetwork.com The DIY Network
www.bhg.com/decorating/do-it-yourself/ Better Homes & Gardens
For now, I'm off to tackle the DIY project of making my laundry room into my permanent work station. I'll keep you posted on the Before and After progress. A fun little quote to leave you with: It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project. ~ Napolean Hill