You know you’re Dutch when you have a pair of wooden shoes, you know that Gouda is the best cheese ever, you have cousins who wear size 14 shoes and are over 6’4″, and you have an illustration of a windmill on at least one surface in your house (extra points if it’s in Delft blue). The most prominent indicator that you’re Dutch…everything is Do-It-Yourself – it’s cheaper than hiring someone!
I’m a Dutchie through and through. Both my grandparents on my Mom’s side and my great-grandparents on my Dad’s side were straight from Holland. I eat things with weird names like boorenkool, dropjes, boeterkook, hagelslag, and poffertjes, all in embarrassing amounts (we Dutch love our food!). I really do have a cousin who is 6’ 11”. When I’m shopping with my mom, I have the tendency to lean over and whisper in her ear “I could make that”. I don’t want to come right out and say I’m cheap, but I often find myself picking items up and studying them to find out how easily I could make them myself! Not only does it save money in the long run, but there is such a sense of pride and accomplishment when you create something amazing with your own two hands. It probably helps that I’ve got the crafty gene…I grew up making whole towns out of Lego and entire fort cities out of whatever I could find in the yard (sorry mom and dad for all those missing garden shears – those branches wouldn’t cut themselves!)
Much to my Dutch heart’s excitement, the DIY community online has exploded. People are now more than ever interested in upcycling, trying to create luxe looks for less, and challenging themselves with new ideas. There are DIY tutorials for every demographic and every interest, from fashion and interiors all the way to technological gadgets and home repairs. Why pay someone else when you can do it yourself? Here are some of my favorite websites that are chalk full of DIY ideas I’m itching to try:
Curbly is a Web community for people who love where they live. It’s the best place to share pictures of your home, find design ideas, and get expert home-improvement advice. There’s a sweet waterfall sprinkler for the few and far between hot summer days we’re getting here in Sherwood Park, and an awesome outdoor pallet table that I want to try and make SO BAD!! Those tables are thousands of dollars brand new! For wooden PALLETS!! Ridiculous – I can do it for a couple hundred, I think 🙂
Instructables is a place where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. This site has tutorials on everything from reusing old electronics to build your own robots to constructing your own mason jar chandeliers which would be great for an outdoor summer soiree. The only thing with this site – some tutorials cut you off halfway through requiring a monthly fee to use the site before letting you see the rest of the steps!
Ikea Hackers is a site about the modification and repurposing of Ikea products. Hacks, as they are called here, may be as simple as adding an embellishment, some others may require power tools and lots of ingenuity. Check out this beautiful kitchen island turned bathroom vanity and this ultra chic room divider using PAX wardrobe doors.
P.S. – I Made This founder Erica Domesek has a motto: “I see it. I like it. I make it.” The goal? To take iconic fashion looks and runway trends and recreate them using everyday materials and objects. I love this beachy beaded necklace and these chain earrings. I’m all about the shiny accessories!
Design*Sponge, an all around fabulous website for inspiration, has a great section on DIY projects. I’m wanting to learn how to play the Swedish lawn game Kubb just so I can make myself this beautiful set (and so I can throw things at other things, I’m not gonna lie!), I love this cute little camping stool, and I think this vintage trophy coat rack is hilarious and quirky.
You can ask anyone, I always have a project on the go. Next up on the list is a $50 credenza (in layman’s terms – sideboard or buffet table) that I found on Kijiji that is currently looking right out of the 70’s with wood veneer and cane inserts on the doors that I’m going to paint in a bright color to make it look brand new! Once I’m done I’ll have a new place to display my wooden shoes and windmills 🙂