Hello there! Welcome back to Flawed yet Functional! After a much-needed break to work on some back-end things for the blog, I’m back with another DIY week! (Check out more DIY week projects!) After the completion of the door-to-desk project, I was pondering the value of all that work. Why DIY? Not just specifically turning a door into a desk but are there larger, more important reasons to learn to create things yourself? You might have guessed it, but I believe there is! Click through to find out!
What are the advantages of DIY versus just buying new things from the store? Why DIY and build my home through my sweat and tears instead of purchasing (the much easier route)?
Everything in my life flows from my worldview of loving our Creator, and I think being a creator (little “c”) in DIY projects is, bottom line, pleasing to God. Our creativity comes from Him as we are made in His image, and we are flexing those God-given creative muscles when we DIY which must make Him happy as we imitate His glorious creative genius. But that’s not all! I think the advantages of DIY go deeper than the project itself. It teaches us news skills, stretches the brain, and even helps our budget along the way. Let’s dive a little deeper into those…
Learn a New Skill
I pride myself on being open to learning new things, and I think it’s a great skill to develop the ability to seek out and welcome new learning opportunities. As we grow older, it is important to keep challenging our brain (and bodies) to learn new/harder/different things. Learning a new skill keeps us sharp, occupied, and physically and mentally challenged.
So if you are in a place where you cannot just walk into a store to buy home decor items you want, choose to embrace the process of learning to DIY furniture or home decor. The new skills that accompany it will be useful beyond the project right before you.
Learning a new skill will come with challenges. So from the get-go, expect that you will make mistakes. You will have to buy multiple pieces of wood for the same project, and a seemingly easy project will take no less than 10 trips to the hardware store. However, you are learning! This is good for your brain, good for your body, and ultimately, good for your house as you worked to make it a functional, beautiful home for your family!
Create Unique Pieces
Confession time, I used to want a house where everything matched. If I could have afforded it, I would have filled my house with contemporary, clean-lined dark brown wood furniture. I truly believed that looked the most refined and beautiful.
I have grown dramatically since then! A house that is perfectly matched, is on the one hand not realistic, and on the other hand, boring to the eye. Now, I prefer to mix pieces and styles to create a home that has form and function, yet it is still tied together by colors or textiles making it beautiful to look at. Incorporating pieces that are old, new, and refreshed by a DIY project are the foundation of a beautiful house.
Why DIY? The main reason I hear and see is to save money. That’s why the HGTV shows and bloggers took off during the recession! We all want to have a beautiful house, and yet most of us cannot afford it. Enter DIY, the solution to a reasonably-priced, beautiful home that provides many more benefits than just beauty.
Initially, DIY can be expensive. You have to accumulate tools and materials that are reusable (yay!) but cost a lot of money (doh!). Those initial projects that you do will cost more than the future ones. Once you invest in the basics (drill, air compressor, saws, etc.) the cost of your DIY projects will reduce dramatically.
So once the cost of tools has leveled out, you will find that it is dramatically cheaper to paint a room, build furniture, sew pillow covers or really anything that you can hire out or buy from a store. If you do it yourself, you will save dramatic amounts of money.
The ability to work with our hands is becoming an antiquated skill. In America, we usually have the money or save up the money to be able to hire a skilled worker to fix, build, or repair as we see needed in our house. However, there was a day when most homeowners could do minor repairs or basic builds on their own. Craftsmanship is a skill that I think will be worthwhile to keep pursuing.
You may just find as you work on your first DIY project that you love creating things with wood. Painting a wall may become a therapeutic, thoroughly enjoyable process. Sewing homemade curtains will improve not only the function of your home but become a source of pride and joy in your house. Give it a try and see if you enjoy it! You might be surprised.
Improve Repair and Problem-Solving Skills
Similar to developing craftsmanship, the importance of DIY is more than just the project you are working on. The more you work with your hands the more you will understand how things are made. When you understand how things are made, you will be able to troubleshoot and repair items you know little about. Repairing leaky faucets or loose hinges suddenly become doable tasks, not frantic calls to a handyman.
Also, learning how to do one type of DIY project will lead to better results in others. For example, watching my husband create a straight line for various woodworking projects helped me to be able to make a straight line when making my window treatments. Once you see a skill, you will remember it when presented with a problem that could be solved similarly.
Another example of problem-solving skills: when gluing the sides to our new desk we quickly realize we did not have enough clamps. The flimsy side pieces needed to be clamped every 6 or 8 inches. I have seen Dan, or even my father, create clamps in different ways. So we were able to brainstorm several ways to fill in the gaps between the clamps. Our suggestions range from tying ropes around the door to using tape to even strips of cloth secured with smaller clamps. Once you get used to problem-solving, you will be amazed at the solutions your brain can come up with!
You are grateful for the things that you focus on with time, thought, and attention. No one’s house is perfect, and all of us can think of things that are wrong with our house. However, if we are actively putting effort into making our house the best home for us, our gratefulness and love for our home will skyrocket.
Give it a try! If you want to be content where you live, then work on your house as though you love it. Soon enough, you will love it.
Need More Encouragement to DIY? Check Out These Articles!
In summary, why DIY? Because it is a useful activity not only for the maintenance of your home and the beauty of it, it is good for your hand skills, brain, and overall appreciation of where you live. DIY is so much more than a fun painting project! It begins with making your home more beautiful and ends with giving you valuable life skills that will carry over to other areas of your life. Go out and create!