5 Lessons To Master for DIY Success

Hey hey!!  First things first.  I am DYING over Scandal.  What is happening!?!  Jake?!  Rowan?!  That guy that Olivia is dating?!  Ahhh! Tell me I am not alone in this!

Now onto the important stuff. While I was pulling together all of the projects for my Top 10 Worst Project list it was hilarious, embarrassing and eye opening all at the same time.  (Go with me on this tangent) Some of you may know that Court and I are heavily involved in the LDS 12 Step program so that is sort of the way that my brain processes information, filtered through a step or 2.  Looking through all of the VR archives was like doing an inventory and noticing patterns, for the good and for the bad. 

The following 5 patterns stood out to me the most so I thought I would pass the knowledge along! Because secondhand knowledge is better than secondhand embarrassment (which I know some of you felt for me reading that post yesterday…)

Lesson #1:  Find Something Practice Worthy.

Tips for getting started with DIY

I am all about fearlessness when it comes to projects, but for the love, do not attempt a completely new skill (like spray painting) on your grandmothers cherished armoire.  Head your motivated little self over to the thrift store and find something ok-ish to try first.  There are lots of tricks and techniques that you’ll develop with a little practice, so do that!


Lesson #2: Find a Tutorial You Can Trust.

Find A Tutorial You Trust  (and other get started tips for painting furniture!)

You may remember a few years ago when Martha Stewart said that having a blog does not an expert make.  I have to agree a little.  Just because someone on the internet says something will work (I’m looking at you homemade baking soda balloon tank) does not mean that its right.  There are approximately 50 million blogs out there that can tell you how to paint a dresser.  My advice is to find information that feels right.  How clearly are the steps outlined?  Does the tutorial cover not only things that go right, but mistakes that were made (so you don’t have to make them too?)  Is the finished result on the site the look that you are going for?  How creditable is the sharer?  Do they teach in a way that you can understand?  One of my favorite things to think of when I am writing a tutorial, especially a confusing one is “I can teach it to you but I cant understand it for you.”  It gives me perspective on how the reader is feeling going into it.  So I try my best to make things as clear as possible.  Especially when projects are simple but seem hard like the Geometric Himmeli Wreaths.


Lesson #3:  Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Give Yourself Plenty of Time (and other tips to mastering DIY projects)

One of the biggest downfalls that I have as a creative is that I underestimate the time that a project will take.  Its really easy for me to look at the big unknown projects with a little clarity, but then I brush over things like, oh say,  painting a wall.  Just because I’ve done it a million times and its on the list of stuff to, I just sort of look at it as a small element in the grand scheme, like framing art.  But hello.  Its painting.  It’s going to take hours.  There is edging and baseboards and finish work. Thus I shoot myself in the foot…every time.  Creativity is a process, its not a cut and dried science.  Giving ourselves time to let the process happen is so so important because (let’s be honest) how often does a new project idea turn out perfectly?  I know for me its maybe 10% of the time.  Some of the most well known Vintage Revivals projects would look completely different if I didn’t force past the creative failures.

This was the original way that Dylan’s room turned out:



Before it became this:



I swear every project in The Nugget was a failure, but how sad if it had stayed like this:


Instead of turning into this:



Lesson #4:  Don’t Freak If Its Not Perfect

Don't Freak If It's Not Perfect (and other DIY tips!)

You guys, perfection is overrated.  Not only is it not attainable, but its not maintainable.  I mean, you should absolutely try your best, but if your paint job is not absolute perfection, dude. its fine.  Chances are your kid/cat/husband/self is going to leave their mark on it anyway. 😉


Lesson #5:  Strut Your Stuff

Strut Your Stuff (and other tips for DIY success!)


Ok so this one might seem a little strange but we all like to feel like we’re getting a little pat on the back for our heard work right?  All I know is that it was a great thing that I had my MIL cheering me on when I painted a bunch of thrift store furniture yellow. Because Court?  Not so excited. The reality of the situation is that we all have different tastes and styles and no only does that not matter, but its a GOOD THING!

My friends over at Cents of Style just launched these Tribe bracelets.  The whole meaning behind them is to find  the one that speaks to you and find that other people in your life that it speaks to as well.  Thus creating a tribe. And wouldn’t you know, they had the perfect one for all of us. 

Fearless Bracelet

Right?!  Perfection!!

Whether you have a DIY cheerleader in your life doesn’t actually matter, because you have me.  Even if your style is the opposite of mine (i.e.. chevron and distressed furniture) we are partners in crime.  Cause I am cheering for you.  Not your projects, not your style, YOU and your fantastic creativity that might be wild and reckless, or just starting to bud and is a little shy.

I wish I had a million dollars so that I could buy everyone of you amazing friends one, but alas all I have to offer is a coupon code for a hefty discount (thank the Cents of Style girls for that).  I believe in this movement so much that my commission of the sale ($1.00 from every bracelet) will be donated to a charity of my choice. 

Every time you feel nervous about a project or idea, all you have to do is feel the fear and hear me cheering you on to try new things, learn from your failures, and happy dancing your successes!!  

So here is the deal, you can get your bracelet here for $9.99 when you use the code TRIBE <—-make sure to use the code and save $15!  They have so many different styles, you’ve got to pop over and check it out!  The coupon code is good through April 30th so get on it!!

Mostly I just want you guys to know that I love you, and your guts.  That’s all!  And I’m dying to know, what tips would you add to my list?



The Top 10 Worst Projects on Vintage Revivals

I have been getting a ton of emails lately from readers about to embark on their first DIY project.  It must be the nice weather that brings out the painter in us all!  I always end the email with the simple fact that their project cant be worse than my first (hundred) DIYs.  So in the spirit of full disclosure (and to make you feel a little bit better about your project fails) I would like to submit for your enjoyment the Top 10 WORST projects on Vintage Revivals.

Top 10 Worst Projects on Vintage Revivals (oh these are hilarious!!)

Oh my gads, I cant believe I am doing this.

#10  Roy the Rhino.  I feel like Roy always had a little bit of an inbred look about him…




#9 Toddler Proof Toothbrush Holder.  Because hello, drilling a hole at the end of a new toothbrush every time you need a new one (which was frequently) is the easiest and most practical solution to this problem.  And that paper!  Oh my gosh. Someone hold my hair.




#8 Roman Numeral Wall Art Ok so this idea wasn’t the worst thing ever.  But the execution of the green one?  Why.

ERM 4 141[3]



#7 Junkins

junkins 3



#6 Tin Foil Nightstand.  This was quite the controversial post, there was a lot of haters…clearly for good reason.




#5  Street Lamp.  Because a giant glass globe balancing on a floor lamp is always a good idea.




#4 The Nugget Cabinets (round 1)  Man these things just weren’t working, no matter what I did.  Glad that I fixed them and didn’t just live with it.




#3 That time I thought it was a good idea to spray paint my backsplash orange




#2 Vicki.  What in the actual hell was I thinking!?. Luckily I came to my senses.  But still. Tragic.

vicki 1[38]



#1 My first project ever.  The yellow end table.  Painting in 100 degree heat is never a good idea, especially when it’s your first time trying it.

IMG_6807 (2)


And just for fun, a bonus entry.  Gumdrop art.  At least I recognized it for what it was at the time.

Gumdrop Art 040[3]


So there you have it.  The worst things that have come out of Vintage Revivals.  Man I am glad to have moved past that yellow, gray, glaze everything phase. I hope you had a good laugh and understand the absolute truth that there is NOTHING that you can do that would be worse than these.