By Kaitlin Marie
When you’re living the secretary lifestyle, you can’t decorate on a high-roller’s budget. I’ve always loved interior design, and I take pride in the way I represent my apartment–it’s my way of expressing myself. But when you’re low on funds, it’s tough to let your style shine through.
That’s when Pinterest comes in handy. If you’ve read the little bio underneath my other columns, you’d know I am OBSESSED with Pinterest. Unhealthily so. The home decor section is practically like porn for me. I literally drool over the massive kitchens, perfectly organized pantries, daintily decorated vanity tables. Unfortunately, the only way I’m going to get anything like that stuff is if I make it myself.
Still, a little inspiration goes a long way. I was never a big do-it-yourselfer in the past. I wasn’t even that interested in crafts. But when you’re bound and determined to let your personal space shine, it’s amazing what you can create.
1. The “Hello” welcome mat
For starters, I fell in love with this “Hello” welcome mat. All I needed to to make something similar was yellow fabric, scissors, and a pencil. I freehand drew the lettering for my version below, and I took it in a different language direction, choosing “Hola” over “Hello.”
Sorry for the terrible picture quality. I busted my camera recently, so I’ve been reduced to photographs taken via my crappy cell phone. The next piece of decoration is the one I’ve definitely used the most, and it’s also the biggest DIY I’ve attempted to date.
2. The pallet table
You can’t really see the plexiglass top on the table on the right, which is obviously my less polished representation.
I got the pallet for free from my office, and I did a faint white-washing on the wood with paint. I’m still not completely happy with this project. I’ve toyed with the idea of painting the whole table turquoise or orange, but I’m still undecided. My amazing boyfriend taught me to use a power drill while we screwed the table legs in, which was a great learning experience. I hope to employ my new power drill knowledge on new projects in the future.
3. The “I love you” art
Of all the DIY projects I’ve done so far, this is the one I’m least proud of. I saw the picture on the left and was completely inspired by how simple and gorgeous that “I love you” art was. Unfortunately, I feel like my version leaves a lot to be desired. For starters, I added a line of “Te amo” in between each line of “I love you”, and I kind of wish I had committed to just one of those phrases. Also, the sides of the canvas look very bare to me, and once the weather gets warmer, I may paint the edges of the canvas a copper color to give it a more finished look. If you’re looking for a super easy DIY project to get your feet wet with, you can’t go wrong with this one! All I needed was a blank canvas and a sharpee. I wrote the words lightly in pencil, and then traced over in black marker, but I’m sure other colors would look just as awesome (if not better!).
4. The burlap rosette wreath
To date, this awesome burlap rose wreath is my most “professional” looking creation. It took 2 days, a million hot glue sticks, and two burnt fingers to complete it, but I’m so happy with the finished product. Plus, I bought a massive amount of burlap, and I’ve already got more burlap DIY projects in the works. The materials for this project were pretty simple: burlap, hot glue, and a wreath form. It definitely took a few tries to roll the burlap into the little roses, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze.
I’ve found Pinterest to be an excellent source of design inspiration, and the DIY possibilities are endless. Other perks: delicious recipes, housecleaning tips, life hacks, funny cat pictures, gorgeous clothing–you name it, Pinterest probably has it. The only true downside to DIYing, in my humble opinion, is that I tend to focus on the flaws of my projects after they’re done. Even though I’m immensely proud of them, I’m always wondering if I should change them in small ways. Sometimes the mantra “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” is worth repeating in these cases.
In the end, I think making your own household decorations gives your space more style and personality than any store-bought items could bring. So if you’re looking for more DIY inspiration, our very own Fabri-Kate author, Kathleen Neafsey, has some incredible “How To” projects available on her column.
My CompliKAITed Life is a column by Kaitlin Marie running on Kate-book.com every other Wednesday at noon. You can read all about Kaitlin’s Zombie Apocalypse plans on her blog Zombies4breakfast.com. Oh, and follow her on Twitter here or on Pinterest here. She pins obsessively.