Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Don't Buy - DIY

I am a couponer – that is no surprise to a lot of you by now.  I am sometimes excessive at it…again no surprise.  But what some of you might not know is that I have serious issues spending money on anything.  Like I have panic attacks when I need to buy shoes.  So when we bought the house we are in now back in 2009 – it was cosmetically a disaster.  However, once you saw past the green linoleum, white walls, horrible tile, and over growth of a backyard it had good bones.  So, slowly we have redone just about everything…and when I say we, I literally mean my hubs and I, well mostly the hubs.  Everything from our kitchen (which we have redone – 3 times yes…) to your bathroom, to our floors, to our chair railing…everything that we have renovated we have done ourselves. 
I can’t tell you enough about the benefit of DIY.  The motto that I live by is DON’T BUY – DIY!  It is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. 

One site that is an awesome tool for me personally is  She is basically the most awesome DIY’er ever.  She lives in rural Alaska and has basically knocked-off major furniture plans for even the novelist of do-it-yourselfers.  The first plan I ever used from her site was the Farmhouse Bed.  I had been eyeing this bed for probably 3 years over at Pottery Barn – I even used to visit it, because to me it was the epitome of beds.  But realistically – this thing was never in our budget…and even if I diligently saved the $1500 for it – I would never be able to justify spending that kind of money on wood.  So, when I found Ana’s site, it was like angel’s singing, no lie – I must have printed 25 different plans that I wanted to do right then and there…but baby steps is the way to go when building furniture.   

But the whole point of this long post is – things are attainable – just maybe a different avenue than what you normally would expect.  Now, that we are on this building furniture kick – I am in love with it.  I love the idea of sustainable furniture – made of products I have specifically picked out – that are way better quality than what would be bought in the store (typically made of particle board).  I especially love the idea that this is the kind of furniture we could pass down.  And in 100 years my great grandkids will be telling their kids that these were built by hand by their great-great grandparents. (tear…)

So far we have built our king size bed (roughly $150 including all hardware and stain), built the vanity in our bathroom ($125), entry way table and dining buffet ($100 for both), 2 full floor to ceiling bookshelves approximately 6” wide ($200), a bar for the hub’s man room ($125), and a daybed with storage for the guest room ($125).   That means we spent around $825 on 8 pieces of furniture that easily could have cost 10 times that amount had we purchased from a large name store/catalog (I have a crazy goal that eventually I want every piece of furniture in our house (excluding couches) to be handmade. 

Now, I know building furniture isn’t everyone’s forte; however, you should take the time to look at your budget and find areas where you can improve. 
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