Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cheap Thrills: DIY Design Inspiration

This post is dedicated to Todd Oldham and Amy Sedaris, my two biggest DIY design and craft inspirations. No doubt many of you have noticed the "Back to School" specials are going up in stores everywhere. It's time to squeeze the last bit of fun out of summer as we gear up to get back into the scholastic groove. Personally, I loved going back to school, mostly because of the shopping it entailed. I still run out to the store and load up on notebooks, pens, pencil cases, and colorful paperclips. I still scoff at wide-ruled paper, because really... we're better than that,  people. Beyond the regular back to school supplies, the college crowd has to contend with their housing situation - door room, sorority/fraternity house, new apartment, etc. Setting up a whole new space for yourself somewhere other than your family home can get expensive, but you still want to make it as comfortable as possible - what's a Whoreder to do?! Don't worry, I've got your inspiration springboard right here...

Yes, Ikea can be your friend in times like these,  but it doesn't have to be your only source! There are so many great DIY ideas out there now, take advantage of the magical internet and browse some of those before heading out to the store. If you're crafty/handy, or know someone who is and is willing to help you, you can create a truly original space for yourself while still saving a few bucks. Todd Oldham is still the first name that pops into my mind when I think of fun and creative DIY designs. I loved his appearances in Sassy and "Todd Time" on MTV's House of Style, which you can still see on MTV's website - click here for the goods. One of my favorite DIY projects is reupholstering chairs, you can really turn fug into fab, kids! Todd shared his floating bed platform design with domestic goddess Martha Stewart, so you know it's to die for. Click here to watch Todd make a Rock & Roll ottoman with Joan Jett, yeah, it's pretty awesome.

My love for Amy Sedaris knows no bounds, she rocks my world and is my crafty role model. Her books, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence and Simple Times: Crafts For Poor People, are hilarious and are my go-to housewarming gifts. I'll probably stop by on a rainy day to force you to craft with me, consider yourselves warned.

Fake cake play date, crafting with Esther.
The ideas inspired by Amy can make great decorative touches to your pad, plus you can have a lot of fun making them. LOTS... trust me. Watch Amy in action here and here, clearly this is not a woman afraid of anything. If you're not quite ready for a hot dogs on a rake or a donut bird feeder, you can take a cue from crafty poor person Sean Santiago's video, inspired by Amy.

What I love best about Amy and Todd is their creative/kooky/comic take on projects, don't take this stuff (or yourself) too seriously. If the project doesn't work out, you can scrap it and start over again, or change directions and come up with something totally different than what you were expecting. We've all been there, the ambitious homemade couture gown you were planning on making ends up being a bunch of headscarves... so what?! Pinterest is a good place to go for ideas, but don't think you have to recreate everything perfectly. Find some looks you like, then make them your own. Yes, you may have to tone them down to be realistic, but that also allows you to sprinkle your own little bit of magic on them. A few of my favorite ideas I've tried throughout the years: chalkboard paint (a small section of a wall or door), twinkle lights on anything that stands still, favorite photos/postcards on a clothesline, DIY curtains with whacky fabric, and turning anything into artwork simply by putting it in a gorgeous antique frame.

You can find inspiration everywhere, just like I did when I read this ode to the hardware store on Rookie, and decided to write this post. Whether you're moving into your first dorm room, a new apartment, or just want to make some changes to your existing maxi pad (thank you, Reality Bites) - the important thing to remember is that you want to make it your own space. Don't worry what other people are doing or will think of it, focus on what you like and want to wake up to every morning.

*Photo by Chronically Vintage

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