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Monthly Archives: July 2012

To DIY or just buy? 5 questions

Being of the penny-pinching variety I’ve always had a love of DIY. Sites like Pinterest and Etsy have now made DIY “hip” and made being crafty a skill often sought after. However, I’ve found that sometimes Diy is not the way to go. I’m not the only one whose discovered this as we can see by the “nailed it” meme surfacing around the web. I myself have pinned hundreds of projects that I want to do, but it is best to consider what should be done and what should be bought. To help me limit my projects I’ve come up with some basic guidelines.

1) Will it cost more to make this item than to buy it?

There have been a few projects I’ve wanted to do (such as homemade Christmas cards) that would’ve costed more to make than to simply buy. The other downside for this was that I could buy Christmas cards that I would like just as much which made the project totally pointless. This is fairly unreasonable unless the answer to question 2 is yes.

2) Is it unique?

Sometimes objects that are DIY will cost more than one that can just be bought, but the one that is created at home is perfectly unique or simply more fitting than the one that’s bought. For instance, once I get shoes it will work with I will be glittering the soles. I’ve never seen any that I could buy so I know I will have to make them and I think the money and time spent doing it will be well worth it when people notice the small but impacting detail.

3) Will it take you 2,000 years to make it?

Time is money and going with the same principle as question 1 we would never make anything unless it is unique. The key is to add money and time together. So if a lot of money is saved, but it takes a decent amount of time it may still be worth it to go through with the craft. Many place holders and napkin rings can be made for less than you would buy them for even if it takes a little longer to make. So those two items are ones I would almost never buy even if it does take some time. This is also largely based off of how much time you, personally, have to spare.

4) How much will you enjoy or hate this project?

As far as Diy goes I know there are some things I never want to do it again (I took up and put down the carpet in my bedroom all by myself last year and I can assure you I will NEVER do that again). We all have different dislikes and likes, so while I now hate carpet someone else may have had a much better experience with this. Have you ever seen a floor made with pennies? I love painting particularly when it’s small repetitive details, but I have friends that would have to be taken to an asylum if they attempted a task that had a lot of that. So before deciding on the project think about what it entails and if you will get joy out of it or be foaming at the mouth afterward.

5) Will it make a big difference?

This is sort of a difficult question because little things can make a big difference (i.e. candy serving trays, a spray painted soap dispenser, or doilies tied to glasses). It is more about deciding what is the MOST important and prioritizing before you start the projects. Which is going to make more of an impact at your barn party – a hula-hoop chandelier or farm animal placeholders? For me it would be the placeholders because I am known for being very young at heart and I would like the sort of childishness it would add to the party. I know that for a friend of mine the hula-hoop chandelier would be more important because she’s more about the glitz and glamour.

In the end it’s all about what you feel is important and what you can accomplish.