When it comes to DIY, beginning a project is half the battle. It can take quite a bit of energy and focus to get started. After all, creativity tends to work in strange ways. A new project can also be intimidating and nerve-wracking, especially if it’s something you haven’t made before.
Fortunately, once you do get started, you’re already halfway there. The trick is to knowing how and where to begin. That’s where we come in. With both novices and experts in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ideas on where to begin with your DIY projects. Happy making!
1. A Source of Inspiration
Inspiration is an amazing thing. The Internet is a prime source for inspiration. A simple Google search can open up so many doors. Platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest also showcase unique and creative projects that you’ve never seen before. With so many makers and creators out there, it’s easy to come across interesting and unique DIY ideas.
Books and magazines are another great place to find inspiration. You’ll be amazed at what you can find by simply browsing through a library or your local book store. You can even combine ideas and concepts from multiple sources for an idea that is totally special. Try browsing through a catalog and find an item to DIY rather than buy.
Have you tried visiting workshops? Home Depot offers free demonstrations on how to build everything from wooden doormats to hanging gutter planters. Not only can this inspire you to make it at home, but it can inspire you to adapt those instructions and skills to create something completely different. For example, the components that go into building a simple vegetable stand can be converted into making a small bookshelf or expanded into a larger food storage shelf for your kitchen.
By scoping out some inspiration, you can get a feel for how to approach your project.
2. The Supply List
On a literal level, the supply list is an ideal place to begin a project. Before even touching a tool, read your tools and materials list thoroughly. If you’re creating something from scratch, make a supply list for yourself. This will serve as a guide for gathering everything you need from the beginning so that you aren't running around trying to grab stuff before the glue dries or the clay hardens.
Use this as an opportunity to ensure your creation will be able to function and operate in the way it is meant to. Going through your supplies will also help the construction process run smoothly and properly, as using the wrong tools or materials can be more problematic than you may realize.
3. Details About Materials or Techniques
Learning about the specific materials that you’re working with can do wonders for a successful project. The same goes for understanding certain techniques or methods. Before you even start a DIY project, search for some details about the materials, tools, and techniques that will go into it.
This proactive approach will help develop a well-rounded outlook on your project. It is a lot like connecting the dots. You’ll be able to figure out how one technique impacts the next.
To top it all off, you can also learn about certain exceptions, rules, or warnings. For example, a specific type of wood may be more ideal for a particular furniture project. Some fabrics may work best in one kind of room, but not in others. Guidelines for screws, specialty glues, and paint are also essential to pay attention to.
Additionally, some techniques may be appropriate (or not appropriate) for your skill level. By learning more about the project’s details, you can place extra focus as necessary.
4. Guidance from an Expert
Before you take on a project, take some time to research a couple of gurus. These can be individuals that are well-versed in the techniques or materials that you will be working with. Looking to them for guidance and tips can really help the outcome of your project.
Start by taking a look at the people you know. There is bound to be an expert or two floating in your friend circle or distant family. You never know what you could learn from someone you already know.
Of course, we can’t forget about the gurus floating around the web. Thanks to technology, interacting with expert bloggers and masterminds has never been easier. Reach out to someone via social media or email. DIY experts are all about spreading knowledge and information. Take advantage of this and soak it all in.
You can also consult employees at specialty stores or workshops. They’ll be more than happy to lend a helping hand or demonstrate a specific technique. They might even be able to offer unexpected guidance aside from your initial questions.
What's better than simply walking into a home improvement store and asking a question is being able to sign up for clinics that teach the skills needed to complete various projects. Home Depot's free workshops and clinics are a great way to get started and gain the confidence you need to tackle larger projects and can give you the inspiration to try something out-of-the-box. Every store offers classes lead by experts who can answer all your questions and help you perfect your technique with a certain tool or material.