You know, for someone who claims to be creative and artistic, I cannot DIY to save my life. I just don’t have the eye for it. I see Ikea furniture, and I think to myself, “does this malm line make me look frat*?” not “wow, if I just shiplap the side of it and add gold contact paper it’ll look like something out of a West Elm catalog.” I think the furthest I’ve ever come to a DIY was when I see certain pieces of art and think “oh I could do that,” but on rare occasion do I actually follow through.
*For those of you who are questioning my choice of words, what that sentence means is “does this affordable furniture make my house look like a fraternity or a 20-something bachelor’s apartment, and not the loving, nurturing, and educational home of a young family raising a toddler?”
I want to know how people come up with this vision. How do you look at something and think that if you added a splash of paint and hung it upside down on your wall it would make the perfect spice rack? How is your brain wired so that it comes up with some wonderful new piece? Is it a skill that can be taught? If so, are there any tutorials online that are require less than 5 minutes of my attention? Because whenever I see a youtube tutorial that’s over 5 minutes, I lose patience. Also, if there are more than 10 steps on a written tutorial, I probably won’t do it. I’m realizing that my inability to DIY may stem from pure, unadulterated laziness.
Starting at the ripe old age of 3, my parents sent me to art school every Saturday. [Read: Tiger Mother.] I think it was about 2-3 hours and the first half of the time we would paint, color, or draw. Then we would have a 15-20 minute break where we were given snacks and could watch a movie (most of the time it was the Brave Little Toaster), and then the last half of the time was spent doing a craft. I was always so much better with the painting and coloring than crafting. I should have realized then that I had a spacial ability problem, but for me I just didn’t understand how things fit together.
Fast forward 20+ years and I still suffer from a spacial ability problem which interferes with, but is not limited to the following:
- Fitting things into a suitcase
- Accurately predicting the size of furniture
- Thinking my car is smaller than it is and consistently trying to squeeze into spaces that will definitely not fit my car (See above)
- Bumping into people while walking on the street because I think there’s more space than there is between us
- Literally biting off more than I can chew and trying to hide the fact that I’m trying to not gag
- Basically everything in this list can be boiled down to thinking, “yep that should fit” and then being genuinely surprised every.single.time. that it doesn’t [applies to everything from food storage to clothes]
However, I don’t suffer from normal spacial ability problems like when people are writing on a poster board and they don’t space out their letters so they end up with the last 3 or 4 letters looking really squished. That I have no problem with – I will make signs for you since I’m really good at that. I can paint things for you too if you just tell me what you want it to look like. But holy crap when I had to graph things in high school that required the x,y, AND z axis? I was toast.
Whenever I go on Pinterest, or scroll through Instagram, I usually stumble upon a few before and after pics of great DIY projects superhumans have completed. I’m usually left in awe, which slowly turns into bewilderment, and then sometimes envy and depression. Do you want to feel really bad about yourself? Just google “Ikea hacks” and at least 10-15 buzzfeed articles pop up reiterating your DIY inefficiencies. Here’s a link to a few below:
Are these people magicians? Also, are you honestly saving that much money that it’s worth it? Because some of these projects seem a bit excessive with the additional costs you tack. Also, how much time do these people have? How are they finding enough time in their day to be doing this? Wait, is this their actual day job? If so, how did they interview for it? Were they given a hot glue gun, 6 sticks of glue, 30 yards of fabric, a block of wood, and 45 minutes and asked to create something? Because that’s an interview tactic I can get behind.
Since we’re now 3 months into 2017, I suppose it’s time to finally write out some New Year Resolutions. Therefore, I’m going to make it a goal to try and do more DIY projects this year so I can learn this potentially incredibly useful craft. Not because I think it’s going to save me any money, but more because I want to be prepared for the night when MC comes bursting into my bedroom at 9:30pm suddenly remembering she has a science fair project due tomorrow.
I’ll keep you all updated of my progress, and we can laugh, cry, and stomp our feet in frustration about it together. Happy DIY-ing!