Craft and DIY projects are plentiful around my house, but I have to be honest, it's not always because I am so in love with making things. When it comes to decor, I'm pretty lazy. I am a product oriented girl and while I do enjoy some processes, most of them time, I'd rather just skip straight to the pretty.
Unfortunately, it's not always that easy. There's often quite a bit to consider.
So, just how do I decide if it's better to buy what I want or DIY?
It's actually very simple. I just ask myself a few questions.
Is it a want or a need? A need will solve a problem, a want is something I just think is cute. Therefore, the budget for a need will always be larger. Buying is preferred, but I tend to be more motivated to DIY if necessary. Need always trumps lazy.
Can I make it for less? Now this seems like an easy question to answer, but it's not always that straightforward. I may have the supplies in the house to make something fabulous for free, but it may take me several hours or be extremely labor intensive...or annoying. If I can buy it for a decent price and it fits the other criteria, then I usually cough up the cash.
Is this item exactly what I want? This is usually the biggest determining factor. I can often find things that come close, but are short of perfection in my eyes, and therefore no price is worth paying. Clearly a DIY. I'm kind of stubborn about getting what I want, so this is the question that usually gets my unmotivated crafty self in trouble.
Will I enjoy doing this? The answer to this one in generally no. However, there are some projects I see that I think, "Hmmm, I really would like to paint, crochet, knit or sew, this." It is a very rare occurrence, but when it does happen, I go for it and craft away.
Will it look like crap? I hate to be vulgar about it, but those are the actual words that go through my head when I'm in the final stages of evaluating a potential DIY. Let's face it, not all homemade items look great and I never want to compromise when it comes to presentation. I want elegant pieces that look like they were made with love, but could've been purchased in a sweet boutique. If a project is beyond me or not up to par...BUY.
Here are a few real life examples of my decision making process that ended with DIYs.
This chair was torn and tattered and it needed to be repaired or it would be garbage in short order, so I was willing to be a bit more generous with my spending. Unfortunately, after many, many hours of searching, the proper slipcover could not be found. The shape is odd and I wanted a patchwork look. A custom fix was going to be very expensive, probably the same as buying a new chair. I could make it for less. This was a clear DIY.
By the way, this was easier than I thought, but I would not classify it as fun.
This need process is also the reason I found myself lining my daughter's roman shades and sewing virtually everything I have ever run a thread through. If you haven't guessed, sewing is not my strong suit. And my machine hates me. It's definitely a need.
I'm a little more patient with the wants, I am also more of miser when it comes to them.
I love wooden signs, but no doubt, they are pricey. I often see sentiments I would love to have hanging on my wall, but I am not paying custom prices, because I am fickle and change my mind easily. So I make sticker signs. I get exactly what I want and I can make it for significantly less than what I would pay, even in discount stores. DIY. That is a no brainer.
Holiday items generally fall into the want category and I have to say, I especially love crafting for Christmas, fun, so they are almost always DIY over b-u-y.
They are usually less expensive, too. These yarn trees, for example, cost me a few dollars to make and were done in one evening. In Etsy shops or local stores, I couldn't find them for less than twenty bucks ~ each! No way.
Of course, I don't make everything around here and there are plenty of times when buying is the smarter choice.
The time I would have to dedicate to them alone would make it a poor decision. No doubt. Buy.
For years, I tried tons of different DIYs to organize my magazines next to my kitchen desk. I was determined to make what I needed. Unfortunately, nothing ever really worked out well. I could never get the desired look. Everything looked like...well...you know. Finally, I found a distressed metal unit for $24.99 and it's been true love ever since.
My last example of a buy, rather than DIY is this pretty wreath. I do make a ton of wreaths, some from scratch, others are repurposed, but can you imagine the labor involved to make this beauty? I really wanted it, the roses are wood, I could've recreated it with paper, but um, no way. Not worth the time, definitely worth the money!
So there you have it, the whole Exquisitely Unremarkable process behind my buys versus my super simple (and always inexpensive) DIYs.
I told you I was a reluctant crafter.
And you just thought I was lazy.
Well. That too.
How do you decide if it's worth it?
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