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As I’ve said before, 2013 will be the year I catch up on the things I let slip through the cracks in 2012. In 2012 I got through a glorious, yet tiring pregnancy, had a baby, threw 2 huge birthday parties, lived through a partial remodel, and shot over 50 DIY’s if you count the ones I contributed for other sites. So this year I plan to do less DIY tutorials here on the blog, so that I can work on creating the home and life I feel content and happy living in. All this to say that the weather this past weekend was far too glorious to spend inside shooting the Valentine’s Day DIY I intended to shoot, so for today’s post I’ll share with you the 20 things I learned last year by being a DIY blogger (both from a blogging and practical point of view). Hopefully for you the weather will turn crappy today or tomorrow so I can shoot it, because it’s gonna be darn cute! So here goes…
1. Never sacrifice good weather for shooting a DIY. I don’t care how brilliant the idea is, and how it’s gonna shoot you to rock star status, go outside. Enjoy time with friends and family, live YO life! Take it from me, who has a pool in her backyard, I spent far too many weekends inside last summer watching the familia do cannonballs, while I was playing with glitter and neon paint.
2. Not every trip to Michael’s has to cost $50. Control yourself, do you really need that 67th bottle of fabric paint? And think about it, do you really want them discovering all those beads stashed away after you die? Do you want to be known as the bead lady, or the Mod Podge lady, or the glitter lady, after you go? I’d rather be known as the cat lady, because at least cats are living things. Crafts rock my socks off, but there does come a point where it gets a lil ridiculous, says the lady who had AN ENTIRE CRAFT CABINET BUILT (ahem).
3. Not every holiday has to turn into a drawn out exhaustive series. Your readers will forgive you if you only do one day of Valentine’s crafts instead of entire month of spectacularness! Series are fun and dynamite for pageviews and attracting new readers, and are awesome to do every now and then (take a look at my Neon Week as evidence), but they are also exhausting and draining, so give yourself some grace and go easy on them.
4. A dusting of corn starch helps prevent glitter from sticking all over your paper.
5. Do not attempt an outdoor photo shoot when wind is involved. Far too many curse words will be involved.
6. Don’t leave the windows open when working with tissue paper.
7. Binder clips make excellent pins when working with thick leather.
8. The Photoshop blur brush works wonders at magically healing callouses and hang nails on the hand, when shooting an up-close tutorial involving fingers.
9. Try to avoid shooting a tutorial in the dark, use natural light when at all possible.
10. Always lay down a LARGE tarp when spray painting, especially using neon spray paint. Trust me, it will save your marriage.
11. Spray paint does in fact kill your grass. Trust me.
12. Do not attempt to make your own Mod Podge, just spring for the real thing, it will save you frustration down the road.
13. Measure twice, cut once.
14. One really great and unique DIY will replace five in terms of page views, so go for quality versus quantity, always.
15. Like writers block, DIY block is a real thing, so don’t force an idea. Let them come to you, and when you least expect it they will.
16. Follow your gut; if you love it then do it, regardless if you think anyone else will love it. Chances are, your gut is usually right.
17. Be prepared to not receive a ton of comments in comparison to pins and page views. My tutorials are always the least commented posts.
18. Not every DIY needs a full tutorial, sometimes just a couple of well planned out pictures are enough to do the trick when posting a simple DIY.
19. Never start a DIY when you have company coming over that day (famous last words). You will want to shoot yourself. Trust me.
20. DIY for yourself first and the blog second. You will end up with projects you love and use more and waste less time and money.
And finally this is a bonus thing I’ve learned: Don’t spend more money in supplies than the item would have actually cost you to purchase.
The #52weekstocreatejan feed continues to fill up with awesome and inspiring projects on Instagram. Would love for you to join in and remember that 1 winner will be chosen to win a $30 shop credit to The Container Store!
So what have you learned by DIY’ing yourself into oblivion?