I’m a DIY’er. It’s in my blood. It’s what I do. And although being a DIY’er usually comes in quite handy, sometimes that DIY gene can lead me very much astray. My most recent DIY disaster got me thinking about how utterly idiotic I sometimes act for the sake of a DIY project. Let me share my new found self-awareness and some observations about people like me.
Remember, sometimes, the truth hurts…kinda like it does when you hit yourself with one of those many tools you probably own.
Stupid Things DIY’ers say.
1. This will be easy.
There are at least 87 You Tube videos on the “how to”. All of them start with “SIMPLE” tutorial this and “EASY” how to that in their titles. HOW HARD CAN IT BE??!?! And this is the last question you will ask before you decide to either commit yourself, or DIY your own velcro padded cell where you will send yourself in your very own DIY velcro straight jacket. You will then adhere yourself inside said padded velcro room, thereby preventing yourself from future attempts at other “easy” DIY projects.
BTW, *this post contains affiliate links. Don’t use them because as soon as you buy something for any DIY mentioned today, you’ll be condemning yourself to the same fate we are currently discussing. But if you must, find our full disclosure policy HERE.*
“This will be easy” is EXACTLY what I said to myself when the need for some roman shades arose for our daughter’s pink bedroom makeover. “How hard can it possibly be?” I even bought myself a cute little “roman shade kit” online…convinced that it would make this easy project even easier.
And with a supply, or 17 of them purchased, your fate is now sealed. Another best of intentions DIY story is afoot. The subject matter could be just about anything. This time, it just so happens to be blasted roman shades.
2. I will save SO MUCH MONEY.
We DIY’ers tend to be a tightfisted, penny-pinching, cheapskate bunch. And I mean that in the BEST possible way. Often, our miserly powers can help us achieve those fairytale endings. But not always. These da$% roman shades, for instance.
Once upon a time, in my younger (and wiser) days, I purchased a custom shade from a vendor on Etsy. And it was a thing of beauty. I spent about $80-$100. A hassle-free 2 weeks elapsed, and then behold, a gorgeous, custom, functioning roman shade magically arrived at my doorstep, ready to go on my window. No labor, no mess, no tears. But I got the idea I could make one for less $$.
And the sad ending of this story is that after you add up the cost of my stupid shade kit that was supposed to make my easy project easier, the fabric, the ribbon and pom pom embellishments, the fabric glue, the co-pay for the therapy sessions I’m now going to have to go through in order to get over this ordeal…the reality is, I’ve spent AT LEAST 2/3 of the price I would have paid for these to be done for me on Etsy. And like sand through the hourglass, both my hubs and myself have lost days of our lives on this non-fun, non-sexy DIY project…was that $20 savings worth it?? Was it a savings?? I think probably, most definitively NOT.
3. Mine will be so much better than the store bought kind.
Here’s some math…be impressed:
Time Spent + $$ invested = Retail Value²
Explanation: You know how when you have a kid, you invest 9 months of pain and suffering in utero + 18 hours delivery room torture + 2x years of sleepless nights + 100000x dollars on diapers, clothing, orthodontia, college savings, auto insurance…..
Bottom line is that after ALLLLLLLLL that investment, your kid could turn out, objectively, to be a COMPLETE disaster. BUT, you’d still look at him like any day now, he’s gonna bring home the Nobel Prize for who knows what, but it’s gonna be something. Right? After all that we’ve invested, THERE CAN BE NO FAILURE. Same goes with DIY projects. Once you’ve committed $300 in supplies, plus 20 hours working on your DIY roman shade, I’m pretty confident you’ll be CONVINCED it’s the BESTEST roman shade you’ve EVER seen.
And this is how we become our own enablers. Dang it.
This blasted roman shade project literally took us a good 16-20 hours to complete. That is for a whopping TWO shades. Now, admittedly, I am NOT a great seamstress. I am also NOT good with precise measurements, following instructions line by line, and I tend to just wing my way through most things…which is why the hubs got called in on this one. He’s the math, measurement and directions guy. Typically, by the time the math and directions team gets called in to play, you can find me rocking myself in a corner somewhere. Either that, or I’ve completely bailed, and have already moved on to an entirely new project.
And NO, I do NOT call that “quitting”. I call it being collaborative, knowing your own limitations, and multi-tasking! Let the enabling continue!
4. Pay a professional? Pfffffttttt.
By the time this thought crosses the mind of a DIY’er, the ship has sailed. The writing is on the wall. The train wreck is coming, and there is no time to brake. This is the way we DIY’ers operate. This is no “maybe we shouldn’t try this” or “perhaps we don’t know enough to tackle this”. There is only doing. Doesn’t mean doing well, or even doing semi-averagely-passable-or-acceptable-per-any-standardized-scale. Is there an element of narcissism here? Possibly. Is this a God-complex? I dunno. It’s probably clinical, but self-evaluation won’t get this suckfest of a roman shade done, so let’s not even consider the P-word again. Until the job is done…
And THEN, and only then, will I reflect. And upon reflection, here’s what I can tell you.
I will never, ever, EVER DIY roman shades again.
Pinky swear, extra exclamation marks (!!!!!) and bold font for dramatic emphasis.
The GOOD news, on the other hand, is that we now have two gorgeous (of course), functional roman shades in our daughter’s pink-tastic bedroom. Which is great because we’re on week #4 of this “one room challenge” and we’ve only got two left to go! Here are some of the items going into the space:
Other tasks completed this week? Crown moulding (which is a CAKE WALK next to roman shades).
I re-painted some pint-sized chairs…
AND, I performed SPR on a lamp. Not to be confused with CPR, or cardi-pulmonary resuscitation, this is SPR…
Spray Paint Resuscitation
My Grandmother (who LOVED thrift stores) picked this lamp up at her local “Pink Elephant” shop. This little bunny had seen better days. Here’s the BEFORE:
Initially, I thought she was crazy and had no plans of using little bunny foo-foo anywhere near this forest. But when my Grandma died, I grew a new affection for this lamp. The other day, I got a wild hare 😉 and just spray painted her. She looks much more domesticated and respectable now. I’ll show you on reveal day. All in all, the room is coming together.
Did you see our bamboo desk makeover that we finished for this room??
Truth be told, I LOVED my daughter’s old room, but I think I’m gonna love this one EVEN MORE. Fingers crossed.
Chat soon. And in the meantime DIY’er friends…try not to say anything stupid. I do enough of that for both of us.