I learned a small but hard DIY lesson when I moved into my apartment earlier this year. On a budget right after moving, I needed a quick curtain solution for privacy in my bedroom and grabbed a couple of packages of IKEA's popular DIGNITET hardware, which I had actually never used before, but that I'd seen hanging everything from curtains to art.
Going into the project with a lot of ego was my first big mistake. My second mistake was not even remotely checking (or, if we're being honest, caring) if I had the right tools. I was in that "just-moved-in-want-things-done" mode. And I was justified in my casual approach up until the very last moment, when I had to cut the hanging wire to the correct length and insert it back into the hardware hole.
I used the wrong kind of tool to (try to) cut that wire, creating an end so frayed it was impossible to insert into the hardware hole. And, because I had already cut it into the length I wanted, there wasn't any real wiggle room for re-cutting it.
It took me a really, really long time to finally hang those curtains, and the end result is uneven (don't anyone dare mention it). I also forgot to put the hardware cover back over the screws before everything got into place. I've kept it looking this way for the entire year, evidence of a hard lesson learned (and also because I've been too lazy to fix it): to always at least consider the right tools and think through a DIY project first, no matter how big or small, before jumping in.
What lessons have you learned the hard way, when it comes to DIY projects this year? What challenges threatened your projects, yet you persevered? What scars (small or noticeable) does your home sport from tough DIY lessons you've learned this year?