Blame Pinterest if you must, but do it yourself home projects, more commonly referred to as DIY projects, are taking America by storm. There are zillions of fun projects to do at home featured on blogs and sites around the web, each adding a little charm or even totally changing the look of a home. I’ve seen how to projects as simple as painting kitchen cupboards with chalkboard paint and as complicated as sanding down a popcorn ceiling and covering it with white planks. There are certainly DIY home decorating projects for every level and interest, but there’s something about them that blogs and Pinterest users don’t tell you.
Google “Pinterest fail” and you’ll get a good idea of what I’m talking about. I’ve legitimately wondered from time to time if the engineers behind some of the pins I see are even human, because quite honestly, their projects are often too perfect to be real. The internet has a way of doing that. On Facebook, we post only the best things from our lives and the most slimming photos of ourselves to make our lives look perfect. On Twitter, we only share our wittiest 160 character thoughts. On Pinterest, however, there’s an added element of chicanery. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a Pinterest fiend myself and love great how to projects as much as the next girl. But you’ve got to take a project with a grain of salt.
The people sharing projects on their blogs and on Pinterest usually have the highly specialized equipment to make the project come out perfectly, but in truth, they don’t get it perfect on the first try, either. The perfect project only comes after hours of tweaking that isn’t shared on the blog. You know all those beautiful “process photos” with the excessive bokeh that depict what your work station should look like at every stage? Totally staged. Their actual experience probably more closely resembled your chaotic work station, especially since they didn’t even have directions.
This honestly wasn’t designed to be a censure of Pinterest. The goal here is to provide you with a few tips for staying sane during how to projects. So here’s the list:
- Read all of the directions, from beginning to end, before you start.
- Ignore the process photos. The point is getting to the end result, and there shouldn’t be any pressure for your workstation to look perfect.
- Take those little annotations very seriously. “This took me a few tries, and I ended up switching to a different screwdriver that gave me better torque,” is probably something you would benefit from knowing.
- Don’t get hung up on the final result. The charm of how to projects lie in the fact that you made them yourself, and it would be a real shame if your project looked exactly like someone else’s. A few tweaks aren’t just okay, they’re desirable.
- Remember to enjoy the process. Recruit your kids or a friend or your spouse to help you out on the project. That will help you remember that the real goal is to create together and not to put together an audition tape for the DIY Network.
Social media has a way of making us feel bad about ourselves, but you can’t let Pinterest have that kind of power. Remember to know your limits and stop taking yourself so seriously. How to projects are a lot more fun when you let them be diversions instead of obsessions.