8 Simple Rules to Avoid DIY Disasters
(+ Wedding DIYs to Try!)

Hello, hello! Happy Friday! If you’re planning to tackle DIY projects for your wedding, home, or just because, don’t miss this list! Even the most professional crafter will tell you that any project can be a hit or a miss and it’s common to dabble in a few DIY disasters along the way. Today we’re sharing a list to help you avoid common DIY disasters in the hopes that your project goes off without a hitch, guests are WOWed, and the project turns out even better than you imagined. (Wouldn’t that be nice!) With a long four-day weekend upon us, now is a great time to roll up your sleeves and tackle a few projects… read on to find out more PLUS check out 10 hand-picked DIY projects to try!

how to avoid diy disasters

How to Avoid DIY Disasters

1. Start with a plan.

Most DIY disasters occur because there’s no plan in place (or instructions aren’t followed). Print your instructions and supply list and make sure you have the patience to tackle said project. If you are crafting an original idea, make a rough draft of instructions and supplies to get you started. (Your instruction list will likely change as you work – and re-work – your project, but at least you’ll have a general idea of how to make it happen.)

2. Allow plenty of time.

Don’t rush! The only way to stay sane when completing a wedding DIY is to allow yourself plenty of time. A rushed project never seems to come out right… and usually isn’t much fun, either. ALSO, if you’re crafting DIYs for your wedding, tackle them as early as possible and keep it simple. Don’t try to DIY every single detail… a tired bride is not a happy one.

3. Create a defined workspace.

Create a well-defined workspace to (temporarily) call your own such as a spare bedroom, clean basement area, or sectioned off portion of a room. Whenever I work on a project, my rule of thumb is to keep at it until ready for a break. No sane person can continue crafting after reaching that point of irritation or lack of interest. Have a space where you can put your work down, shut the door, and come back to work some more later. If you can’t shut a door, buy those giant Tupperware bins with lids so you can store your supplies and completed projects. This is particularly helpful if you have two nosy, incredibly adorable cats (like I do) who like to steal craft supplies and drag them throughout the house. This idea of a defined workspace also helps with the whole ‘out of sight, out of mind’ idea and, heck, sometimes you just need a break!

4. Ask Questions.

Craft stores are a terrific place to go if you’re looking to be inspired and ask questions. If you have a DIY idea in mind but you’re not sure where to start, visit a craft store. Get an idea for the materials you have to work with, check prices to ensure it fits into your budget, and ask questions. The staff at most craft stores are knowledgeable of which materials are best for particular jobs – don’t be afraid to ask! Selecting the proper glue, for instance, can make the world of a difference (and keep you from having the entire project literally fall apart in your hands).

5. Design a sample first.

Once you’re ready to shop, buy enough supplies to make just a few prototypes. Then, move on to step six…

6. Practice ’til it’s perfect.

Practice! In fifth grade, my teacher had a poster in her room that read, “Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best.” I recall this every time I tackle a project. Lately I’ve been working on home projects and I can’t tell you how many times I’ll do something and then think, hmm, could I have done it better this way? And, my new answer is YES, and I tell myself that any project worth doing is worth doing right. Time consuming, maybe, but if you’re following rule #2 (above) you’ve already allowed for such things. ;) Practice the project until you love it… then, get ready to buy.

7. Buy in Bulk.

Once you’re ready to buy your supplies, buy them in bulk whenever possible either from a store (many stores offer a bulk discount) or online. Buying in bulk means you save money AND you’ll have enough supplies to complete your project, without running the risk of leaving supplies up to chance. (If you’ve planned a bridal shower or bachelorette party in the past, you may or may not have run through Michaels with eighteen items, driven to the next location and picked up eighteen more, hoping someone else isn’t eying up the same project idea.) Also, if buying online, look for discount or promo codes first – like free shipping. Hey, even the smallest discount can make a dent in your bottom line.

8. Enlist help!

Last but not least, ask for help if you need it! Trying to tackle a huge DIY endeavor is always more doable (+ fun!) with a little assistance.

*Rule of Thumb:

As a general rule of thumb… don’t be afraid to fail. DIY disasters are bound to happen and sometimes projects just don’t work out! Throw an idea that doesn’t work out the window and wait for new inspiration to strike; there’s likely a better idea on the horizon anyway.

* * *

10 DIYs to Try!

As promised, here’s a list of a few hot DIYs to try: which inspires you most?

12 DIY Mason Jar Ideas

DIY Wedding Handkerchief

DIY Jeweled Heels

DIY Chalkboard Flower Pots

How to Paint a Mason Jar

How to Make DIY Seed Favors

DIY Brooch Bouquet

DIY Mason Jar Centerpieces: Floating Candles

DIY Succulent Centerpieces

DIY Jeweled Heels

– – –

Happy Planning!

-E.

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Emma Arendoski

CEO/Editor at Emmaline Bride
Blogger, author, wife + mother. I love coffee, DIY, handmade + all things wedding. Check out my books: "The Handcrafted Wedding" (2012) and "The Inspired Wedding" (2014). You can also find me blogging at Emmaline Baby.
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  • Becky

    I’m getting ready to start on some DIY projects for my wedding. Thanks for the motivation and inspiration!