Adena Leigh

Guest Blogger

Adena Leigh

Adena Leigh is a lifestyle writer and DIY expert for She loves unexpected colour, antique tableware, and believes in the transformative power of fresh cut flowers in any room. To learn more about her, visit

8 Tips for Avoiding a DIY Fail

Posted by Adena Leigh Tuesday, May 27, 2014 3:06 PM EST



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Fess up: are you a scaredy-cat when it comes to crafts? Many people feel intimidated by DIY projects, but I’m here to tell you there’s nothing to be afraid of. For starters, there’s very little skill required in completing DIY—just an open mind and the urge to create. The best part? There’s so much pride in completing a beautiful project from start to finish.


As one of’s resident DIYers, I know a thing or two about how to create a successful craft. Follow my must-read tips and tricks to make your first foray into crafting nothing less than fabulous.


Tip #1: Read the Instructions

Just like you would read the directions before attempting a new recipe, it’s important to read the entire DIY instructions from start to finish before you attempt a project. This will give you an idea of what to expect, so there are no surprises along the way.


Tip #2: Take Time into Account

A project may seem like it takes very little time to do, but there might be wait times in between the steps that you need to take into account. For example, a project that involves painting will require time to dry. Note that depending on the drying time, you may not be able to complete the project in one sitting, so plan accordingly.


Tip #3: Have a Good Workspace

Make sure the environment you’re crafting in has everything you need. Firstly, a large table with a protected surface is key. Depending on the project, you may also need access to running water, a printer or even an open outdoor area for spray painting. You’ll be able to tell what the project requires by following the first tip and reading the instructions from start to finish before you begin.


Tip #4: Don’t Make Substitutions

Stick to the supply list as closely as possible. Usually, it’s not as simple as swapping brown sugar for white sugar like you would in a recipe. The supplies are relatively specific and failing to have the recommended supplies will usually result in a DIY fail!


Tip #5: Scout Supplies Before You Commit

Here’s something I’ve learned the hard way: not all supplies are readily available to everyone. Once I set out to do a project I found on a California-based blog that required Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint. I must have called every craft and hardware store in the Toronto area to no avail! Turns out, it’s not even available in Canada. Moral of the story? Scout out your supplies before you commit to a project.


Tip #6: Use Sharp Scissors

This one is simple but effective. Sharp scissors will make your project easy and enjoyable, while dull scissors will only cause frustration and sore hands.


Tip #7: Know Your Level

While many DIY projects are relatively simple, there are some tricky ones out there. Don’t attempt a project on your first go that involves something you’re not good at, like drawing or sewing. Here are three beginner projects that you might want to consider trying:


DIY Upcycled Desk Organizer

DIY Rope-Wrapped Planters

DIY Marshmallow Wreath


Tip #8: Have Fun!

Crafting should be fun and relaxing, so don’t take the project too seriously. Perfection isn’t the goal—the goal is to have fun and create something you’re proud of. I hope you enjoy your first project!

Topics: DIY, DIY Decor, Checklists


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