There sure has been a rise in DIY or do-it-yourself crafts (see samples made by mothers here: mom 365 and the bump) and projects these past years. I think a part of its popularity is because do-it-yourself supplies are readily available now in stores or even online. Printers are becoming quite affordable, too, so, when someone wants to cut letters or print his wall décor, he can quickly search online [because the internet is so accessible nowadays], get the design he wants, tweak it a little with the use of Photoshop, print it and…voila! All he needs is a frame [bought or DIY-ed] and his décor’s set.
But what if these weren’t the case? Would people still prefer to DIY or just opt for the more natural choice – buy ready-made decors, furniture and the like? After all, isn’t doing that a lot easier?
My DIY Story
I started DIY-ing when I was ten years old.
I was a fidgety child, restless and full of daydreams. Looking back, I believe I had a mild form of ADHD. Art was my escape, my outlet. I made hand-drawn cards [the drawings I copied from magazines and children’s books] with my original poems inside. I dabbled with paper cutting when I got tired of drawing and coloring pictures. I even went on to make my own designed paper alphabets which I still do whenever the need for cut letters arise.
Through DIY-ing, I learned right color combinations, achieving the ombre look on paper for letter cutting [I do this by cutting strips of various colors belonging to the same shade – let’s say shades of blue – then gluing them on top of one another the lightest color at the topmost and the darkest at the bottom], color layering, painting and even beautifying my handwriting [put merely, handwritten calligraphy].
These things helped me a lot, especially in school. We didn’t have a computer back then, and printing bulk projects and pictures were quite expensive. So, I improvised. I wrote my plans, cut pictures from old magazines and newspapers for visuals and those I couldn’t find, I drew. I even went on to earn money designing and cutting letters for school programs.
It was a lot of work, but I loved it.
Why I DIY
A decade or so and three kids later, I still DIY. You may think “Oh because she has a lot of time in her hands that’s why she’s able to do these things.” I don’t. I have to find time for my do-it-yourself projects in between work and taking care of an energetic two-year-old, a chatty seven-year-old and a nine-year-old who’s starting to get addicted to computer games.
I could just give up this hobby. I don’t get paid for it, anyway. However, I couldn’t go for these reasons:
- I feel fulfillment every time I get to complete a DIY project and see the end product.
- I get to be as wildly creative as I can be when I DIY.
- I get the results I want. Example, I want to find a particular kind of décor but scouring through shops end up negative. So, I make one.
- I may get all out of the effort, but I get to save up on everything else, money being at the top of these.
My seven-year-old is starting to get interested in my DIYs, and I hope she’ll take up the hobby. More than that, I’m hoping that my DIY-ing is teaching my kids the lessons I want them to learn – beautiful things don’t have to be expensive, that being creative is fantastic and that not everything is meant to be bought, some have to be made.