When NOT to DIY


I truly and unironically adore the DIY craze, so much so that I have a Pinterest board dedicated to it.

Making your own stuff is fun and creative. I personally find it really satisfying and empowering to do projects around my home. In a world of “buy, buy, buy!”, it feels good to actually make instead. I think the rise in urban gardening is a great example of this. I love that I can live in an apartment in the city but easily grow my own greens and herbs for abundant salads and smoothies.

There are a number of good reasons to DIY. It can be more cost efficient and more environmentally-friendly sometimes. It’s also a nice way to personalize something in your home/life.

Here are a few of my most successful and favorite recent DIY projects:

– Painting and distressing unfinished furniture in our home. We used leftover paint from our walls and sandpaper to give an antique look to basic plain wood chairs, barstools and a table.

– Making my own granola. This way I get all the stuff I love in it! My recipe involves oats, almond meal, hazelnuts, cashews, raisins, figs, hemp nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, maple syrup, coconut oil and spices. Yum!

– Making my own shampoo and conditioner. One of my yoga teachers turned me on to this very simple idea of using a touch of borax mixed with water to wash my hair and then follow with diluted vitamin C granules for a moisturizing and detangling rinse. It works so well!

– Making my own skincare products. I love making cleansing masks with cinnamon and honey, or scrubs with brown sugar and olive oil. I make my own personal perfume blend out of essential oils like jasmine, neroli, mandarin and petitgrain. I also use essential oils mixed in almond and jojoba oil for a healing, skin-regenerative, natural moisturizer for my face and body.

– Making my own house cleaning products. I’ve found that with combinations of vinegar, baking soda, water and essential oils like lemongrass, tea tree and lemon, it’s easy, safe and natural to clean just about anything in my home.

– For my wedding I used black tea to stain white paper tags to give them an antique look. I also made our Save the Date cards using an old puzzle and stamps. These are just a few of the fun DIY projects I did for our big day.


So there you have some good examples of DIYing.

Now I would like to share with you a story of when DIY turns into disaster…..


Yesterday, in an attempt to save some money, I used a no-strip hot wax kit to wax my own bikini line and legs. Well, that was the plan. Very little actually got waxed except for my bathtub. It’s a big ol’ mess.

I like to think of myself as tough. I’ve gotten tattoos and piercings, laser hair removal and had many waxing visits to the salon. I practice Ashtanga and you gotta be tough for that!

But my perceptions of my badass self were seriously shaken when I had to peel this hard brittle wax from my nether regions all by my lonesome. Oh the pain! I failed miserably. Epic fail.

Somethings are worth shelling out for, and I now know, hair removal is one of those. 😉

To all you ladies out there who wax your own crotch, my hat goes off to you! Cheers!


What’s your favorite DIY project? Do you have any DIY disaster stories?

Happy Wednesday!

Love Frances





13 thoughts on “When NOT to DIY

  1. Would love to see a post dedicated to your hair care routine. I’ve not heard of that method before!

  2. Oh, I love this and can relate about the bikini waxing. It’s worth every penny for someone else to deal with the mess, and do it right. (Plus, I found the best and fastest waxer ever right in Cville.) Another things worth paying for is for someone else to help you move if you can afford it!

    • I had a great waxer in Cville – Sarah B at Oasis. I did trades with her for massage, which was an awesome deal. I gotta find the hookup here in Denver. I’m totally with you on the moving. We did all our own packing and moving and it was so exhausting!

  3. Awww, I tried self-waxing my bikini line and it was a fail for me, too. 😦 I do make all of my beauty and personal care products, cleaning products, meals (most of the time), and I used to make greeting cards, too, but got too busy for that. I do not – and have no desire to – make my own clothes, bedding, etc. I did take home economics in jr. high and I know how to sew, made a couple of things, but time commitment is serious for sewing garments. I weigh time and cost before DIY projects and leave certain things to the stores and handmade crafters. Great post!

    • Thanks! I appreciate your comment. I’m not really that interested in sewing my own clothes either.
      Just like you said, I think that the trick with enjoying and being successful at DIY is really being honest about what’s worth it to you in terms of time and cost.

  4. Re: clothing-It takes a lot of time and talent to be able to sew your own clothing. I am a handwork assistant at a Waldorf school, and the teacher I work with is amazing. She can sew so quickly and her work is amazing, but as she points out, she has been doing it for 30 years.

    I also knit, but that is purely for enjoyment. It actually costs far more in terms of material and time to knit things. I laugh when people assume it is cheaper for me to knit my own sweaters, scarves, etc. when the truth is, it usually costs 5 times more to make a sweater than it does to buy one. Still, I LOVE knitting so much. It’s an addiction!

    • I love to knit too, though I’m terrible at it…such a novice. I only ever knit on car trips and it’s a great way to entertain myself on long drives. But, like you said, I’m always kind of shocked by how much the yarn I choose actually costs! I guess I tend to pick the priciest stuff, but I can definitely see how actually knitting your own sweaters wouldn’t exactly be “cost-effective”.

  5. OHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh wanna hear a DIY fail? Lets talk hair removal. I used to have millipede eyebrows- literally. With age, the errant areas have thinned, gotten finer, and much lighter, so I can go closer to 2 months between eyebrow waxes now. Why not pluck, you ask? It’s on the list of those weirdo things that just freak me out- I HAVE NO IDEA WHY, IT JUST DOES. Anyways. I needed to deal with my crazy eyebrows super fast before a wedding I was in. My waxer went into labor. Everywhere else was booked.

    So, I went to Walgreens and grabbed the Nair for the face…………….or so I thought. I slathered it on when I got home and had washed my face. Within 30 seconds, it started burning, so I figured, “Oh, Ive got kind of sensitive skin- I’ll leave it on for only a minute and a half, as suggested.” By then I wanted to cry, I thought my face was melting off. I wiped it off, and tried to soothe my skin with some witch hazel and aloe and then . . . . I looked at two things. My face, where my eyebrows were completely gone and the skin there was rapidly swelling as if 1000 bees stung me there. Then the box, which was Nair for LEGS. Accidentally in the face area.

    I felt very pretty at that wedding. Yes indeedy.

    Has anyone tried the sugar waxing method that is DIY? I heard it works fairly well.

    • Oh jeez! That sounds awful! Yikes.
      I want to try the sugar method at home but I never have. I once had my legs waxed in Thailand and the woman there used sugar and lemon juice and it was the most pain free waxing experience I’ve ever had.

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