5 Tips for Deciding When to Buy or DIY

We love to shop just as much as we love to make things, which makes drawing the line of when to buy and when to DIY a tough one to define. These are a few things to consider when making the decision:


1. Consider the cost-to-quality ratio.


Just because you can make something for cheaper doesn’t mean you should. Some pieces have a higher price tag because they come with a quality guarantee. Homemade pieces don’t. If the piece you want to make will get a lot of wear-and-tear, the purchased and perfected version is often the way to go.



2. Remember your DIY track record.


Craft projects tend to take much, much longer than we factor in for them. From finding inspiration to hunting down all the necessary materials to assembling it, it’s a big time commitment for even the smallest projects. If your reputation involves a lot of starting projects and not a lot of finishing them, take that into account when deciding to buy or DIY.



3. Be aware of what’s in your craft cart or toolbox.


Bigger DIY projects, like woodworking, require more tools than are found in the average toolbox. Unless you plan on making this project multiple times or finding a way to use the needed materials again, it’s going to be cheaper to buy the item than spend money on some very specific tools you won’t use again. Smaller projects, like tile coasters, won’t require as many additional purchases.



4. Don’t overlook the size of your workspace.


If you live in a small apartment in the city, building your own dining room table is going to be a challenge. You’ll either have to live with the mess that comes with a monumental DIY project or find a studio space to create it, neither of which is ideal. Smaller spaces are fine for smaller projects but you really need more space to create something bigger.


Workspace Size

Surround Yourself Magazine


5. Mull over the total risk.


A high cost craft or project is always going to be riskier than smaller, cheaper, and less complicated DIYs since you’ll have more time, money, and stress involved. If a project brings more stress than excitement, for any reason, it’s not worth making it. DIY crafts and projects are supposed to be fun and rewarding, not give you a headache.