I’m one of those people who LOVES DIY and crafting. I love taking something and making it fresh and new again, or building something from the ground up. The problem is, I don’t have a crafty bone in my body.
It took me a long time to realise that even though I just didn’t have natural skill with craft or DIY, that my passion could be enough to make it happen – I just had to do it. Here is how I made the change and learned to craft it up with the best of them.
Step 1: You need to do the thing.
Yes, you there, reading this. Do the crafting thing, okay?!
For us un-crafty craft loving girls, sometimes the hardest step is pushing past the self doubt and getting started! Try to set aside a little time to sit down with your project and just do it. I find it easiest to tackle small, simple projects that I can get done in a half an hour or so, that way I don’t have to worry about coming back to it or about losing faith in my abilities. If I have something to work on that is going to take a little longer, I make sure to keep my craft project somewhere it’s easily accessible so that I don’t have excuses as to why I can’t work on it or finish it.
Step 2: Shop your home for something you really don’t like, then find a way to make it better.
Look around your house, find something you can’t stand and make it better. Seriously, you can’t lose! Either you turn the awful into awesome, or you have an excuse to recycle it. Consider just about anything. An ugly utensil holder, hideous picture frame, chipped old side table, revolting brown vases your mother in law bought you last Christmas, stained dining chair seat, fake oak laminate bedside table, etc. You get the idea. It’s amazing how a quick coat of paint or some washi tape or contact paper can make the foul into fabulous.
Step 3: Stock up on cheap supplies, particularly if you plan on painting things.
Paint is your friend! Forget the expensive stuff to start with. Grab some fun contact paper from your local dollar shop, head over to your neighbourhood hardware store, Bunnings (for my Australian peeps), or Home Depot and check in the paint section for “Mistints”. These are essentially cans or tubs of paint that have been tinted at the Paint desk in store and for whatever reason weren’t purchased. I often pick up jars of quality paint in acceptable colours for $2 a tub. While you’re there, pick up a decent quality paintbrush and a few cheapies as well. You’ll also want to grab a spongey sandpapery wedge to rub down your projects to give the paint something to cling to. A sheet of high grit sandpaper or 0000 steel wool to create that shabby chic distressed look can also work wonders on your projects – and for less than $1. If you have the money, get some primer too – preferably in a spray can. This will hold you in good stead when working on non-paint friendly surfaces like laminate.
Fabric can be found dirt cheap at thrift stores, including surprisingly large amounts of upholstery fabric cut offs, ideal if you want to recover your dining chairs. Dress making fabric, yarn and knitting needles are usually also easy to find for a couple of dollars. While you’re learning, it makes sense to recycle.
4. Start with crafts that don’t require a great deal of skill. Ease into it, people!
Paint is my favourite crafty thing. Can you tell? You can make a huge difference to your space and fulfill that crafty desire by changing things up with a couple of coats of paint. Basic painting skills are easy to acquire and as long as you’re not expecting to recreate the the Sistine Chapel ceilings, it’s pretty hard to really mess up. Accidents can be painted over too.
Chalk board paint can work on just about anything. It’s lovely and matte and tends to bond to most surfaces without too many complaints.
Washi tape is removable sticky paper and can jazz up just about anything – including your rental house. It’s great for semi permanent updates, or bringing some colour to your home in general. Try sticking it around that ugly utensil holder to bring a pop of colour, or even washi taping your walls. I have seen entire kitchens transformed with a few rolls of washi tape and some dollar store contact paper.
If your deepest crafty desire is to crochet a christening gown then all I can say is hats off and good luck to you. I believe in you! I am the lest fabric-yarn-crafty person I know, but would love to learn one day. For those of you who aspire to sew, again, keep it simple at first. Learn to sew aprons in beautiful fabrics, or adapt existing clothing. Once you have a few completed projects up your sleeve, your confidence and your skills will grow exponentially.
4. Choose what works for your style and your skill.
Think Hamptons style crossed with shabby chic and you can’t really go wrong. Boho or bohemian design works well too and can hide a multitude of crafting sins. Did your DIY miss the mark? Poorly covered or scratched? Scratch it up some more in “strategic places” and you’ve got shabby chic. That hideous fake oak laminate bedside table? I’m certain that whatever you’ve done to it it looks 100x better already.
If your art project isn’t working quite the way you would like, don’t be afraid to start again. The beauty of small projects is that the time investment isn’t huge, making do-overs much less frustrating and demoralising.
5. Have fun and be crafty for the sake of being crafty.
Believe in yourself, but don’t get yourself down if your projects don’t turn out quite like you planned. And if all else fails? You can craft your own Pinterest board, because in the magical world of Pinterest, even us crafting-challenged ladies can channel our inner Martha Stewart.
You can see the full post on my DIY Candle Makeover Here