5 Simple Steps: A Beginner’s Guide to DIY

You can do it! DIY, that is. If you’ve got a Pinterest board full of crafts to make and projects to do but don’t know where to begin, follow these tips below to set yourself up for DIY success.


1. Pick a project that plays up a skill you already have.
Do you have awesome handwriting? Try a DIY that involves some hand lettering. Are you really good with a needle and thread? Tackle a project involving some sewing. When you pick a project that primarily involves something you already do well, it’ll help the outcome be more successful. The more projects you do, the more handy you’ll become and can start taking on projects that you never would dream of doing now.




2. Go with a low cost DIY.
The only thing more disappointing than having a DIY-fail is having an expensive DIY-fail. When you’re just starting out as a future DIY maven, stick with low cost projects. If you mess up, you’ll only be short of an afternoon and not on your rent.




3. Prepare for the mess.
If I could go back in time and give my beginner DIY self a piece of advice, it’d be this: PUT A TARP DOWN. Whether you’re working with glue, paint, dirt, pens, markers, or scissors and paper, there will always be something to clean up. Instead of just hoping the paint stays off your work surface, put something down — a tarp, a plastic bag, newspaper — to ensure everything stays as it should. It’ll make the worst part of DIYing, the cleanup, much easier.




4. If you’re upcycling something, make sure it has no value to you in its current state.
Upcycling is a pretty cool way to use something you’d otherwise toss. But before you grab anything and set to work, make sure what you’re working with is something you’d be okay to toss out if the project goes awry. In other words, don’t go getting experimental on grandma’s antique dresser. It will not end well.




5. Learn from your mistakes.
Rise from the DIY ashes of your last Pinterest-fail and find something else to create. The craftiest people only became crafty by learning from their past mistakes and continuing to DIY anyway. Think about crafting and DIY the way you approach cooking (unless you never cook, then ignore this piece of advice)— one bad meal won’t make you swear off the kitchen forever. And one bad DIY shouldn’t make you toss away your scissors, glue, and determination.




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