To Buy or DIY: The Battle Rages On In Our Home!

To Buy or DIY: The Battle Rages On In Our Home!

Sarah Rae Smith
Nov 4, 2010

Some of us are amazing at repurposing items that come in and out of our daily lives. I do it because there's no reason not to, and I'm usually the first one to raise my hand and say, "Why would I buy that when I can make it?" The question is this: does your love of DIY get in the way of actually putting items in your home, or do you find yourself with less satisfactory temporary items until that DIY project gets crossed off your to-do list?

I'll be the first person to say out loud that I fully support and enjoy the works from other artists and craftsman. I love purchasing items for my home that make it feel warm and enjoyable, especially when they're handmade or produced from sustainable materials.

That said, it can be difficult at times to just walk into a store and purchase something. Often times I see something and think I could make it and then the project gets added to the mile long list of things to make and do. (And if your list looks anything like mine, then I wish you good luck with that.)

For example, the rug above. It's a designer piece that is stunning in its own right, but I immediately thought of scouring through Craigslist to find rugs with stains that I could cut up. I could make that. I could stitch together pieces of old (or even new) rugs and make the look you see above. I could make it the size I want in the colors I want... I could make that.

My sofa requires a large rug to anchor it, and since we've moved into our new place with large open floor plan, the only rugs we've found that are the right size run in the several thousand dollar range. Personally, I can't fathom spending that much money on something that will take abuse from shoes and my dogs puking on it, so I naturally turn to less expensive options, but am unwilling to sacrifice design and quality.

So I think to myself that I can make the rug above. It seems like the best of both worlds, right? But it would roughly take me past the upcoming holiday season to track down enough rugs from thrift stores, antiques and Craigslist to make it work. It would require hand-stitching it all together and making a giant mess with all the scraps. It would consume me. I might save money in the process, but it would overtake all my brain power and free time. And although I enjoy a good hunt, is it really what's best for me and my family?

It's a back and forth game that's easy to struggle with when you're like me and repurpose what you can while still having designer tastes in home decor. How do you deal with the internal struggle? Sound off in the comments below!

(Image: Lo Bjurulf via Plastolux)

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