I can make that

I can make that. That’s usually the response I have before I start considering a new DIY project.

I love to make things. We love to make things. KT and I. Sometimes it is just for the sense of accomplishment. Other times, it’s a great creative outlet. And often time, it is making something we have never made before.

The questions I ask myself in no particular order before I start any DIY project are: Can I make it? Can I buy it instead? Is it exactly what I wanted? Would I enjoy making it myself? Is it worth my time making it myself? What is the cost of making it vs. the cost of buying it? Do I want to buy the item or the brand?

Can I make it? Can I do it myself?
That’s almost always the first question my inner maker ask myself when I look around our house for the next home improvement project. When I’m window shopping and see something I like. When I see someone else making something I like.

We were shopping for a patio table about two summers ago. We saw a basic white patio table at World Market that we really liked. And we decided we can build something similar.  I wrote about that here.

Can we buy it? Is it exactly what we want? Do we love it?

For the patio table, that’s a yes and a no. We like the style. It was affordable. But it was not big enough. We want a table where we can easily sit six people and comfortably fit eight people. We have a big extended family. You can read the posts about how I made the patio table here and here.

Would I enjoy making it myself? Is it worth my time? Is it cost effective?

A few years ago, KT and I excitedly decided to build some guitar replicas of famous ones he likes. (We have yet to finish – we got side track with planning a wedding, renovating our home, and raising a family). It is expensive to build a good quality guitar but it is totally worth it, especially since guitars like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Lenny were last auctioned off for a six digit figure. Also, I don’t mind putting a few months worth of time into making a piece that KT will use and treasure, whereas I would NEVER want to spend a few months retiling our roof even IF I thought I can do it. Just imagine KT practicing on guitars I made!

Do I want to buy the item or the brand?
Recently, I found myself asking this question. I’ve been into ampersands for a while now. When we were window shopping on our babymoon, KT pointed out this giant ampersand he could make for me. I was totally on board. But when I recently saw that Elise Joy was releasing a limited edition of a wooden ampersand, I wanted to buy it. (Unfortunately it was sold out by the time I got Logan up, changed, and fed, only two hours after it was released!). It was the brand that sold the product for me. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I love the ampersand too.

So next time if you’re wondering why I decided to make something myself instead of buying it, you know the answer. I couldn’t find the exact item I wanted. It’s fulfilling. I like to make things.

Next week, I’m going to share the mobile I made Logan. Anyone else making anything lately?

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