DIY projects are doomed for failure
By Natalie Serafini, Assistant Editor
I’m a bit of a DIY fiend. It’s been a theme throughout my life: DIY haircuts, clothing, decorations, and accessories of every sort. Although I’ve ventured into each experiment with absolute confidence in my inevitable success, those projects have inevitably failed. Every time. All of my DIY projects have emerged into the world, doomed for the bottom of a garbage bin.
So basically, I’ve experimented with and uncovered some surefire ways to ruin my personal effects over the years. I’ve finally come to the conclusion, almost 20 years in, that unless you’re genetically at least 1/4 Martha Stewart, most DIY projects are destined to disappoint.
I say you have to be genetically at least 1/4 Martha Stewart, because there are people who thrive on the sort of fiddly work that most DIYs require—they do exist, I’ve seen them, but they’re a minority.
Most people don’t have the time or patience to ombré all of their possessions. Balloons, when combined with modge podge and confetti, do not make for fetching bowls. Tie-dying your comforter would just produce a really ugly comforter. These are all projects that I’ve encountered in the DIY section of Pinterest, and damn if my attempts at recreating them wouldn’t turn out horribly.
It probably sounds like I’m just bitter at my own inability to produce a cute crop top. Not so. I know I’m joined by sisters and brothers in modge podge-caked arms who have also failed in their endeavours. Those life hacks, meant to produce supposedly pricy items for little to no money (“Did you get that purse from Marc Jacobs?” “No. I made it.”) end up costing more than they’re worth—if we put a value on time, energy, wasted materials, and sanity.
When you try out a DIY and find that you are incapable of producing a simple bejeweled collar, a part of your self-esteem dies. The instructions looked so easy! They said the collar would be the crowning glory of my wardrobe! It’s never as easy as they say it will be, and never turns out as well as they say it will. You know why? In the instructions, they only show the pictures of the products that turned out perfectly. That, or my supposition is correct and the people peddling these projects are all at minimum 1/4 Martha Stewart.
This is why I’ve started leaving it to the professionals. Pants need to be hemmed? There’s a seamstress down the street. Want a new bowl? Don’t use a balloon when there’s a fantastic selection of bowls to be found at a dollar store. Looking to add a cheap-but-chic shirt to your wardrobe? That’s what second hand stores are for. Why take jobs away from people who actually know what they’re doing? Or rather, why go to the effort of doing it yourself, only to admit defeat and slink to a professional?
If you possess the talent to go the homemade way, do it. You’re an inspiration to the rest of us, and you keep the dream alive. Personally, I’ve given up on attacking my possessions, only to end up with a lot of shirts that look like they were lovingly adjusted by a kindergartener.