We live in a DIY culture. Just the other day my mom explained to me what was causing our toilet to leak. She went into very specific detail on what was causing it and how to fix it (oh the new joys of home ownership), of course surprising me seeing as how she is not a plumber. How did she know all that, I asked? Her answer: by watching HGTV. And I’m pretty sure she was right with her assessment.
You can sure learn a lot from all those DIY shows nowadays. And youtube. Do you know that I learned how to fix and replace those blinds that always seem to stop being able to turn all the way–I don’t even know what they’re called–just by watching videos on it on youtube? I was so very proud of myself. Seriously, I am as un-handy as anyone can be.
And then there’s good old Pinterest. You can learn to do absolutely anything you could ever imagine by simply typing it into the search field on Pinterest. DIY paper. DIY glass bean candle holder. DIY hammock. DIY lip balm. DIY deodertant (ok that one’s mine).
After moving into our first ever purchased home a couple months ago, I jumped right on that DIY bandwagon and had quite an extensive list going of all the project I intended to DIY. Some things I did, like the really easy DIY curtain tie backs and making another set of DIY nursery letters.
One of the things on my list was to convert an old coffee table into a bench and create an entry way bench seat/coat rack similar to the hundreds of benches and coat racks I saw on Pinterest.
And I was going to do this with all my vast (nonexistent) wood/paint skills.
Oh, and I also thought maybe I could do it before the baby was set to arrive, which was about 6 weeks after moving in (so while 9 months pregnant).
The bummer about this whole situation was that the layout of our house meant I walked by this entry way (void of bench and coat rack) about 50 times per day. So I thought to myself I really need to do this project! about 50 times per day.
It didn’t happen before baby arrived. Much to my dismay, I still wasn’t getting it done during the first few weeks of having a newborn either.
Finally my husband brought me back to reality when he told me he really didn’t think I should DIY, but rather just buy something for that space.
BUY SOMETHING? When I have a perfectly good piece of furniture that I can convert–even though I’ve never done anything like that before and it would probably end up being just as pricey with all the stuff I’d need to purchase for it to look the way I want?
Then a couple days after that I searched online and found a coat rack (this is not an affiliate link).
And less than $100 (and a whole lots of what was SURE to be blood, sweat, and tears) later, here is our entry way bench and coat rack.
I still have aspirations to turn this table and chairs into a chalkboard table for the kids (of course turning to youtube and Pinterest for my guides), but I think I learned a valuable lesson here–one that needs to shared in the DIY world we live in.
First, DIY is not always cheaper
I had a very detailed list of all the supplied I’d need for my bench project, and it came to roughly $60. That wasn’t even including any sort of coat rack. I ended up paying less than $100 for everything.
Second, DIY usually takes a lot more time
Maybe this is just me, but I know it would have taken me a long, long time. Yes, it would have had my creative stamp on it, but I think the final product looks just fine how it is.
Third, DIY doesn’t make you a better person
I know I can’t be alone in feeling the pressure to create-awe-inspire. Part of why I wanted to make the bench was to be able to tell people I made this bench! Just being honest here. For me, I had to just let it go. My friends will love me just the same whether my entryway is homemade or store-bought. Right? 🙂
There will still be DIY in my future. But I’m learning to let go a little easier when DIY is too much–and not to feel bad about it.
Do you ever feel pressure to DIY? Have you ever opted to go the “easier” route and ended up loving it?