Monday, January 11th, 2010

Inspiration Monday: The Worst D.I.Y.-er in the Universe


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
6 Comments » | Published in DIY  |  6 Comments

You know all those fabulous design blogs that show their super-clever D.I.Y. projects and they make them look so easy? Those kinds of posts are the reason I have such a hard time letting go of all stuff from around my house. I think “oh, I can refinish this and put new hardware on it and air it out and it will be brand new again.” I subscribe to ReadyMade and get inspired by all those folks that can make a beautiful chandelier out of paper clips and old keys. Now, this kind of thinking really works for clever people like Thomas Wold, to name one. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people and I need to counter my packrat false ambitions by watching Hoarders. This is how the world’s simplest and easiest project took me three days to complete.

So, first I asked you all for advice. I received great tips, and basically picked the one with the shortest drive to go get materials. The winner, thus, was foam core from Utrecht.


I then went through the piles and piles of Marimekko fabric I have around my house, but nothing was really calling my name. So I gave up and got busy doing other things.


I worked out for the first time since my gym went out of business on December 3 and way overdid the lunges. It was also freezing outside, but looking at my ugly map wall, blank foam core and thus total lack of inspiration, I remembered I could walk to Paper Source and get something to cover the foam core. It was VERY cold outside, so hobbling with my aches and pains to Paper Source took a lot of determination.

I looked through all of their beautiful Japanese papers for what seems like an hour and finally decided on this gorge blue dotted one. Now, I knew I needed to cover a 30″x 40″piece of foamcore. Let me say, I don’t understand how I broke 700 on my math SAT, because what I am about to tell you is so stupid it’s ridiculous. I had the saleswoman measure the paper for me. It was 19″ x 25″. We both agreed this would cover something 38″ x 50″, even though I said “I know something is off here but I cannot figure out what.” It was this:

Um, yeah, you only get to double ONE of the dimensions! Duh!

At this point it was 6:45, the store closed at 7:00, I could not find my big cutting board or fresh Exactos to trim the foam core. I was thawing out and my thighs were screaming. DAY 2 was dunzo as far as this project was concerned.


It’s a new day for DIY. I took down my maps and discovered why I didn’t like my map wall anymore – the ones at the bottom showed me the beautiful blue that background used to be had faded to a dingy awful gray in the sunlight. This is probably going to happen to my new inspiration board, but if I worry about that now, this is never going to happen. Check out the difference – it’s so weird!:

So I returned to Paper Source (dang it – I wish I could get out of that store for under $70, but the metal robot ornaments were 50% off!) and bought the two remaining pieces:

I trimmed it, glued it, and covered the ugly sides of the foam core with black tape:

Now that it had been THREE DAYS, I was determined to complete what should have taken about a total of an hour, including shopping! I wasn’t going to let the fact that there was no way to hang it stop me. Has anyone EVER made any sense of this picture hanging crap from IKEA? Some of their stuff is just so ridiculous, but you get what you pay for, right?

I turned to my favorite secret weapon: Binder Clips. They always come through in a jam:

Now finally, I can get some inspiration up in here! This is just some random stuff that was cluttering my desk, but I hope to layer all the things that inspire me over time! Is it the prettiest DIY? The most complicated? Um, no, pretty much the opposite, but I just wanted to let those of you who suck at DIY projects know that you are not alone! Now, if I could just get the room painted, I’d be a happy camper!

About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!


Filed under DIY  |  6 Comments


  1. Tasha says:

    January 11th, 2010 at 5:44 am (#)

    The white hanging ones (long) – you hammer it in with the nails. It allows you to hang the piece that has wire on the back of the “artwork.” Instead of perfectly measuring if you are putting up multiple pieces you can hook it onto whatever “hook” makes it level with another piece. Hope that made sense.

    The short white ones – hammer a nail in the center.

    As for the brass ones – they’re the standard ones. So just hammer a nail into the hole.

  2. visualingual says:

    January 11th, 2010 at 11:24 am (#)

    Hilarious! Becky, this has made my day.

  3. melissa @ the inspired room says:

    January 11th, 2010 at 3:36 pm (#)

    I’m with you on this. LOL.

  4. Becky says:

    January 12th, 2010 at 1:25 pm (#)

    Melissa, I’m so glad I’m not alone! I almost picked up a copy of Fresh Home at Target today and then said “Forget it! The projects are way too advanced for you sister!”

    Maya, always glad to make someone laugh at my expense 😉

    Tasha, NOW I GET THE LONG ONES! That is actually a really good invention, though the nails are so short it seems like it would crash right off the wall. I’ll hang on to my RUGA set for awhile longer. I think it’s my goal in life to try to use it!

  5. paola says:

    February 4th, 2010 at 1:54 pm (#)

    The white stubby ones are ‘hard wall’ picture hooks, for when you have bricks and things. That way you get to use lots of short stubby nails instead of one giant long one

    And with that I have exhausted all the DIY advice I possess…

  6. Organization Tuesday, Oops, Thursday… :: Hatch: The Design Public® Blog says:

    May 27th, 2010 at 12:10 pm (#)

    […] sun had faded the once-lovely blue to a depressing gray. Yuck. Actually, it had been replaced by my horrible D.I.Y. disaster inspiration board, but that thing has bitten the dust as well. I cannot seem to find a good inspiration board […]

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