Since moving back to New Jersey, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a couple of press events with some of my favorite brands. I visited the Nod Family Home in the fall, and earlier this year, I went to a Minted Makers gathering to check out Minted’s new fabric.
Interestingly, both events had a DIY component: I stenciled with Lotta Jansdotter and The Land of Nod and made DIY envelope iPad covers (and laptop covers) out of Minted fabric with Jenni Radosevich of I Spy DIY. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling intimidated by the crafting component at each event. I joked with the other attendees about my so-called DIY black thumb, which I realize was my attempt to lower everyone’s expectation of the quality of my work — including my own.
At The Land of Nod event, I sat across from Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swissmiss, who started drawing and cutting her own Batman stencil while Lotta was still explaining the process. As the rest of the table got to work stenciling, I sat dumbfounded, unsure what to print on my little fabric bags.
After what felt like forever, I decided to make Levi a bag to hold some of his tools. I searched Google Images for pictures of a hammer and a screwdriver and tried my best tracing the graphics onto the stencil paper. Then I used an X-ACTO knife (for the first time ever?) to cut them out.
Were my lines straight? Nope. Did they have some jagged edges? You bet. But I cut those suckers out.
As I got to work stenciling my hammer and screwdriver onto the fabric bag, a funny feeling came over me. I felt proud of my work. It wasn’t perfect, but it was mine.
And then other people began noticing my work…and complimenting me on it. Even Michelle from Nod gave me her approval! (Naturally, I joked that Nod could license my pattern for a line of products. The offer’s still on the table, Michelle!)
That validation from my peers gave me the confidence to attempt cutting another stencil, although I ended up needed a bit of help from Lotta on that one. Making circles with an X-ACTO is no joke!
I had a similar experience making my DIY envelope iPad case at the Minted Makers event. I joked with the other participants (most of them Minted community designers!) about my lack of crafting abilities, secretly worrying that I’d somehow mess up Jenni’s pattern.
I can’t cut in a straight line. Haha!
My edges don’t line up. Haha!
I should have done this step before that one. Haha!
But you know what? At the end of the night, my iPad case looked just as good as the lot of them. Did some of them have straighter edges and more thoughtful details like a full interior lining? Sure. But mine turned out just fine.
And I had fun. So much fun that I even brought home extra fabric and supplies to make another DIY envelope case — or rather, to remake my iPad case with a few less errors.
What can I say? I’m a perfectionist.
Does this mean I’m going to start posting DIY projects on the blog? Probably not. I’ll leave those to the professionals like my friends Sarah Hearts, Oleander and Palm, The Crafted Life, and Pars Caeli.
However, now I can’t tell people that I don’t have a crafty bone in my body. I’m actually quite creative (at least my husband and mom say I am), and while I may not initiate a DIY project on my own, I’m certainly able to follow instructions. I don’t give myself enough credit at times, and I wonder if you can relate.
If you want to try your hand at crafting, you should give I Spy DIY’s envelope laptop case a shot. I made mine slightly smaller to fit an iPad instead of a computer. Then full instructions and template are on her blog (and a video tutorial is here), but you’ll need:
- Crafting slide buckle
- Fabric glue
- Paint brush
How do you feel about DIY projects? Do you enjoy working on them or would you rather buy what you need instead of making it? And what are some of your favorite DIY blogs?
(photos from the Minted Makers event)