Most of us DIYers can trace our hands-on roots back to a parent or two. While dads are typically the ones wielding hammers and constructing playhouses, moms deserve no short shrift. As seen by our staff's DIY memories of their moms, the female leaders in our lives can teach a lesson or two about patience, determination, creativity, and independence, whether it's through painting a bedroom or fixing a troubled sink.
"My mother and I painted all of my bedroom furniture. I was in middle school and felt that my pink bedroom set was for little kids. I wanted something more grown-up. But we couldn't afford new furniture, so my mother and I dragged all the old stuff outside and she showed me how to sand it and paint it a moss green instead." - Rachel Klein
"Mom always let our creativity flow freely. I grew up with three brothers and three sisters and somehow mom always allowed us to experiment with creativity. Whether we were deciding on our room colors, painting in pajamas or rearranging furniture, mom made sure we could make our own decisions. They may not have been the most fashionable, but they were ours. Thank you mom for helping us become the confident decision makers we are today." - Laurie Bloomfield
Creating a Home
"My mom created her own curtains/drapes, painted ceramic pottery, did rather intricate wallpaper designs (where crown molding and chair rails would go on a wall), and she made the best spaghetti in history." - Josh Aaron
Lessons in Patience
"I was about 8 years old, and my mom wanted to teach me how to sew. It was a warm summer afternoon and I really wanted to go play outside. She wouldn't have it. She said, 'You need to have skills, and this is a good one.' So I knuckled down and thought I could make myself a dress in one day. Well after about an hour, I realized it wasn't going to happen in one day. Being 8 years old, I was whining about it not going fast enough. She responded by saying, 'To learn how to do anything yourself, you need to have patience.' I still don't have much patience, but I know how to sew! -Sandra Karnes
"My favorite DIY project with my mom was painting my bedroom when I was 5. My mom has always been a DIYer and she let me pick out a pattern for her to stencil my bedroom. I picked light blue walls with a teddy bear border, made all the more special because she let me help." - Suzy Kerr
Introduction to Tools
"Mom learned to drive a truck as soon as she could reach the pedals. She bought me my first framing hammer." - Justin DiPego
As a single mom of two, my mom was always a do-it-yourself person to the extreme. We learned from her how to repair our own sinks, toilets, floors, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Although those are all wonderful things to learn to do, it was the fun DIY projects we most looked forward to.
My most enjoyable memory was the summer that I turned 16. My mom is a spectacular artist, and this particular summer she decided to put her creativity to work within our house. It was her first home that she owned and so she really went to work that year making it her own with inspiration from some art history courses she had recently attended. We could tell that the stone and marble buildings and statues in history had made an impact because she soon began creating her own faux marble and stone objects. With her super skills with paint she began transforming all sorts of everyday things into items that indeed looked like they'd been made from real stone.
Thanks mom for all the things you taught me growing up and enabling me to take care of myself. -Kimberly Carver
Leading by Example
"My mom was always very hands-on and always on the move. My dad came from a carpentry and engineering background, but my mom never was one to wait for others to fix things for her -- she'd jump right in, do the research, and get it done. She always encouraged me to have a strong sense of determination in everything I did, but I still know she'll be there in a heartbeat if I ever need a little help."
- Kimberly Keller