Why I DIY….

For those of you who are big DIYers or into making handmade items you may have experienced people asking you why you bother to make something when you could just buy it. Or why you don’t just pay someone to do something instead of figuring it out yourself. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and thought it would be fun to discuss.

Here are MY reasons in no particular order……

* It is FUN. I like it.

I get a rush, a thrill when I am creating something. It is a natural high (who is singing Safety Kids right now???). I think if I didn’t like it so much I wouldn’t do it as often. Even with the other reasons. It is also a stress reliever.

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*It saves us money.

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More often than not when I build, refinish, or fix something it is a lot cheaper than hiring it out or buying it. And in the 12 years of marriage there has never been a time when money wasn’t tight. I am so glad I didn’t wait until we had the money to hire it all out. I am so glad we plugged along doing a little project here and there when our budget allowed. I wish I would have kept track of how much everything was so I could figure out what it would have cost to have paid someone. Wouldn’t that be cool to see the savings in black and white?

*I get a HUGE sense of satisfaction when I complete something, especially if it was hard or my first time doing it.

I like to challenge myself. I like learning new things. I think when you make something and have put yourself into it you love it more than if you had bought it. And I know that my kids take better care of the things they have helped with because of their sense of pride.

*I am teaching my kids to be self sufficient and handy.

 I love that when something breaks (even something as simple as a toy) my boys assume that we will fix it. I like that they see us problem solving and working around the house. They have started helping more and more now that they are getting a little older. I don’t care if they grow up and decided they don’t want to build furniture. I want them to have the confidence that if they want to, they can. I want them to have basic knowledge in how to fix things so that one day they can help save their family money and feel pride in doing things for themselves.

*I get joy out of helping others

This is the whole reason I started my blog. I wanted to share my ideas with others and have them share theirs with me. My goal is that every single on of the people that read my blog will learn how to use power tools. My other goal is to inspire you to get outside your comfort zones. And for some of you those two things go hand in hand :)

*I have no fashion sense

If I am going to be wearing grubby out of date clothes I might as well be painting, staining, and sawing something…. right?

*I love having unique one of a kind items.

I love that our little quirky house doesn’t look like any other house around. And I love that the things I build and make are also one of a kind. I don’t know why, but I have always been that way.


I am sure there are a million reason why we all do what we do. I would love to hear some of YOUR reason why you do-it-yourself rather than hire it out or buy. Please leave a comment and share :)

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  1. says

    So true! I DIY for all the same reasons except for the kids – since my dog is my kid-replacement right now *g* and she rather have us lazily lounging on the couch instead of creating all that ruckus while she’s trying to sleep ;-) Most of the time I feel like the things I could buy wouldn’t be more perfect that what I create myself. Not saying my stuff is perfect, but the stuff in the shops isn’t always exactly my taste – I always say: “Oh, I’d love that if only it hadn’t this little stripe here or if only it were blue instead of green or if…”
    Plus, DIY is cheaper than therapy! Taking my anger out on an old table after a stressful day at work is the best release!

  2. says

    Well, I’m kind of new to the DIY party. But I have a goal for our new home that any piece of furniture we bring in will be either an upcycle or hand built (by my husband of course, as I am TERRIBLE with power tools). I love it because it saves money, but it also gives our home a one of a kind look that I can display knowing that I worked for what it looks like.

  3. Melissa says

    I agree! It is so fun to create something all on my own and then get to stare at it everyday and know that I made it :)!

  4. says

    I agree with all the reasons you listed! I think it’s fun and a lot of times when I have the money to spend on something I think “Why?” If I know I can make something for cheaper then why not do it? It’s just more money for me to splurge on something that I cannot make in the future!

  5. Lisa Conforto says

    I love anything repurposed or homemade therefore I do everything myself. I wouldn’t think of buying a new modern piece of furniture, i’d rather thrift and find that special piece that I can either paint or repurpose. I recently got a new cherry wood foe fireplace for my birthday. , never liked cherry so I made my own chalkpaint and gave it that vintage look it was longing for and I do agree it is tharapy I need , I have 6 children of all ages. We never eat any “frozen or prefab” I call it , we eat fresh made things and that saves money as well. I am the author ‘ illustrator of The Very Compromising Adventures Of Thumby Blackstone, a series of family stories that encourages families to use the resources available at home. Happy repurposing, crafting and decorating!

  6. says

    My hubby and I enjoy working on projects together :) Like you we also do things ourselves because it saves us money… we are in the middle of making our basement deeper so we can finish it and while some days we think it would have been worth it to pay someone to do the project (or easier to just move to another house!) we know it will be worth it in the long run. We are working on an investment :)

  7. says

    I agree with this the most, : “If I am going to be wearing grubby out of date clothes I might as well be painting, staining, and sawing something…. right?” I’d add drilling and planting, too!

    If I can do a few things a week to make things just a little nicer, everything will be better by the end of the year :) It feels great to be getting projects done and making home sweet home without paying someone else to do it.

    ps. Your Secret Garden is an inspiration for those 1 of a kind things, too, love that!

  8. says

    I get so much satisfaction from DIYing. There is just something empowering about completing a project you didn’t think you could….or taking some ugly piece of furniture or ‘thing’ and making it look pretty again. Oh, and because I’m poor too. But honestly, I think if I had all the money in the world, I’d still be out there hunting for old dressers and frames to paint. :)

  9. says

    uhm Hello?! of course you have a sense of fashion! a pretty awesome one too, if you ask me! interior design is extremely fashionable, especially if your not limited to picking something out from the store which is where you only have X amount of options. with diy, possibilities are endless which means you have a knack for knowing what looks good with what! so there! lol!

  10. Jusa says

    This really hits home with me. I’m with you all the way. My current goal is to replace most of the windows in our house (really old things that rattle terribly) . I bought one from HD. One I special ordered (old house, odd window sizes). Had to pay extra for that, though I saved a lot by installing it myself. I also started scouring ReStore when I learned about it. I have scored several gently used windows from them. Two were $12.50 each. One was $18.75, for a fancy Anderson window, wooden frame, not painted, original stickers still on window even though it had been installed!? I may not be an expert at installing windows, but I’ve managed to install six so far, all by myself. OK, DH helps carry them for me because they’re heavy, but I did the rest on my own. By starting with a couple of new windows I learned how to do it, and was able to wing it on the used ones with no instructions, including some creative fixes for windows that were not quite the right size. I also learned that a window meant as a full frame window as opposed to a replacement window will not fit in our windows because of the built in storm windows. But…..they have these extra parts all around that are just glued on and can be ripped off and voila, after a little tweaking, fit beautifully. If we were to pay someone to install the windows, it would cost $400 to $500 EACH. We paid less than $20 each for our used ones. Hello, we could go on a nice vacation with what we’ll save on just new windows. And, yes, I get a big kick out of figuring out how to do this myself, and all the little workarounds. And, yes, my sister-in-law said she was talking to another relative and they just could not understand why I got so excited about finding and installing my $18.75 window. I don’t care about fashion or fingernails either. I totally understand where you’re coming from with this post. Thanks! I was feeling kinda low after my SIL sniggered at me. One last thing, you should be keeping track of what you spend on repairs on your house (although not cosmetic things) because you might be able to deduct it when (if) you sell your house.

  11. Amy H. says

    I DIY for the same reasons! I was brought up that way too, that there was always a new use for something if it broke or was no longer useful for its intended use – or someone else might need it. Todays society has gotten so wacked out in everything being expendable that it just makes me crazy, and that much more adamant to re-use everything that I can (sometimes going overboard, but lets not talk about that). And I was DIY when it DIY wasn’t cool, you too?

  12. Ann says

    I think about this when I’m perusing Pinterest. When I see thinks like DIY Oreos or DIY Twinkies I think “why bother?”. You can essentially get them dirt cheap at the store with sales and coupons and they already taste amazing. I don’t think there’s any way you can improve on the original for any cheaper, plus you just wasted a lot of time. But…..that’s because I’m not a cooker. I don’t factor in the fact that people who enjoy cooking find a lot of enjoyment in the process.
    Being a DIY decorator, I mainly DIY for the money savings. I have BIG ideas and limited funds. :) Although I’m technically a MYHDIH….make your husband do it himself. I’m married to a general contractor. He does the heavy stuff and I make the pretty stuff. If I found something at a great price I would buy it instead of making it.

  13. Stephanie says

    I love it, because to me, new stuff either looks cheap or too cookie cutter. I want my things to be unique and sturdy. It also keeps me out of trouble. :)

  14. Katie says

    Hey I thought that Aggie sweatshirt was quite fashionable! Thanks for your blog Stacy, it’s definately one of my favorites and gives me tons of inspiration!

  15. says

    Love the fashion one :) There is really something cool about wearing grubby clothes, being covered with paint, and running out to get that one last supply you forgot- it makes me feel important :)

  16. says

    Oh Stacy, you are such an inspiration! I am glad you mentioned power tools. I see so many projects where the blogger says “we did…” and it is photos of hubby doing the entire project. But you don’t do that! You really do do it yourself! I am a bit klutzy so I have stayed away from power tools. But you inspire me! Thank you for doing what you do! That’s why I love reading you blog :)

  17. says

    …because I get to get all of my creative juices flowing and I get to make one of a kind things for my family (that last one was borrowed from you-it was a good one!)

    Love this post!

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