BY COURTNEY PADDOCK
Ah, budgets. They stink. The only reason anyone would ever DIY is to save money, right? Unless you have a burning desire to “craft”. Which can be fun, but let’s be realistic…who has time for crafts, in our fast-paced world of kids’ activities, social media, work, social calendars, friends, family, etc. I honestly can’t wait to be a grandma, so I can craft and fuss around with my herbs. Life will be so relaxing, I’ll craft all night and day!
I grew up in a DIY family. My mom, affectionately known to my inner circle as “Mad Alice”, partly because of her inability to stop crafting when she got rolling, was the Queen of Michael’s in the 1980s. My sister, Caroline, and I spent countless hours painting wooden shelves with heart shaped cutouts (in mauve, no less) and vintage Santas for the holidays, dipping candles and stirring soaps on the kitchen stove, all in the DIY spirit. We were never as meticulous as Mom was, that’s for sure and we most definitely would have been able to take a trip to Paris with all of that DIY money that was wasted, but we wouldn’t have had near the fun or memories if we hadn’t tried. Look at me, I am actually blogging about it!
Last month, I thought I would save myself about $150 if I painted my own dessert banner for my daughter’s fifth birthday. I patched it on the back with tape to create the height that I needed, as I had seen my calligrapher do. It was “good enough” but not what I wanted to see. I tried again. Strike two. I finally decided that I needed to get some foam core board from Texas Art Supply and try a third time. My sweet husband had taken our Suburban with the three kids and when I tried to fit the board in his sedan, it was too big no matter which angle I shoved. My last-ditch effort was to hold it out of the sunroof and drive SLOWLY home. One whip of the wind and the dang thing nearly broke my wrist trying to fly away. For all of this fun and excitement, I think in hindsight, I’d just pay the $150 and call it a day! #wasteoftime
My sister, however, is our mother’s daughter. She refuses to pay top dollar to have someone do what she knows she can do herself. To use my friend, Megan-from-Charleston’s words, “bless it!”. Seriously, the girl has painted stripes on her concrete patio, tacked wood vinyl on her bedroom ceiling, drilled holes in her cabinets to affix brass handles and laid a flagstone path to her swimming pool. The woman is a force! You gotta commit some serious skills, that which I do not have much left after dealing with all the balls that I have in the air.
To me, the answer lies in your satisfaction at the end of the day. Surely, no one would notice my “I WANT CANDY” banner at a 5-year-olds birthday party, however it meant something to me that it look perfect. I think my friends and family would have me certified, however, none of those fools are making a living in the events industry. I say, give it a try if you have the luxury of time and want to stay in budget. If you have the resources to let the “pros” tackle the job, by all means, go for it! Send me a pic if it turns out, or even better, if it doesn’t!