DIY if you dare- but watch your fingers...

I've come to an important realization in  my life. I am a nester.

I'm not a crafter. I don't crochet, scrapbook, sew, knit, make jewelry, homemade cards, or anything else that would resemble crafting. In my mind, I confuse the words decoupage and macrame.  I only sew missing buttons...on occasion. Until recently, I didn't own a glue gun. But I do like to fix things up, paint furniture new colors, move pictures around, and decorate spaces in my house with things I find in my basement.

One day I stumbled on a project that would force me to cross from nester to crafter. Risky move, I know.

A few months back I started following The Nester and I dig her. I love her tag line....

It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful

and this...

Anyways, the Nester has a sister who also has a big-time blog (they must have some sort of genetic predisposition to successful blogging?). Her sister, Emily Freeman, writes a blog and recently published a book, Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life.

What does all this have to do with me? Hold your horses, I'm getting there. But I'll try to get there quickly.

The Nester threw a book release party for her sister. Just the pictures from this event changed my resolve from publishing a book into an ambition to have a party where I decorate with book pages. Oh, my, I fell hard, folks. I  swooned (and  as a rule, I don't really swoon ) over all the decor in general, but there was one thing that I kept seeing when I closed my eyes at night.

It was this.

OK, so I do see that at times when I close my eyes. But I was talking about this:

Photo taken from Nesting Place- 20 Ways to Decorate with Book Pages

I fell in love. I loved everything about it- from the shape to the color to the fact that it is made solely out of book pages. I could think of at least five places in my house where I would put it. I read the tutorial and began scheming for the day when I would attempt it.

And I have attempted it. And I am here to tell you what I learned.

So this is for you, non-crafters.

When attempting a DIY project, if there is any tool you do NOT ALREADY OWN, you need to quadruple the time the project will take. For example, the Nester said this lovely wreath took her an hour. I did not own a glue gun, so there is a level of glue gun expertise that is severely lacking. Therefore, I should have estimated my time at around 4 hours.

At just under an hour, my wreath looked like this:

After three hours it looked like this:

Progress was slow. It took me awhile to figure out what fold I liked. And I was stopping often to run to the sink to pour cold water on my burnt fingers.

This brings me to my next point.

Glue guns should come with the following warning:

Do not use this glue gun if you are sleep-deprived, cannot concentrate for long amounts of time, like to make things while watching TV, value your finger tips, or draw blood when trying to use safety pins. Do not drink alcohol while operating this machine.

(No- I did not consume alcohol while using the glue gun. I'm just imagining the devastating effects that may have transpired had I used alcohol and the glue gun. I would probably be bald.)

(I also think glue guns should come with neosporin. Just saying...)

(Which reminds me, I saw an episode of Burn Notice where Mike used a glue gun to remove the skin on the ends of his fingertips in order to infiltrate a bank without leaving fingerprints. Seriously- glue guns are no joke.)

(Ok- that is not actually true- about the Burn Notice- but I think it would work. In fact- I may be printless on one or two fingers.)

(Come to think of it, "Burn Notice" would have been a good title for me to use on a post that was about me attempting to use a glue gun.)

(Is it just me or are these parentheses getting out of hand?)

Ok...moving on.

If you have small children, plan to do  projects in phases because you can't just leave everything out while it is in the works.  Night one I was about half done. Night two my glue gun exploded and I ran out of glue- both serious road blocks. And that night I also watched a really bad movie- so the whole evening involved a seriously high level of frustration.  By the end of night three (by this point we are talking a total of six to seven hours of work) I had this:


It's a little quirky- sticks out in spots and is not evenly shaped- but I kind of dig that.

To say I am pleased is an understatement. I may toy with hanging it a bit higher but it is done and up! Woo-hoo! This is a great project- very cheap (total I spent $13- but I bought the glue gun for $7. So the actual project topped out at $6. Costs varies depending on the size of your wreath and how much Dr. Pepper you need to consume during the process.)

Here is a tutorial on making a similar book page wreath if you prefer the step-by-step info.

So there you have it. There is another wreath that I want to make- you can check it out here. But the time estimated is like ten hours. So if I convert that to "novice crafter time"- this is like a six month gig. We'll see about that.

What a great way to start the new year- with a bit of new life around here. And a lack of sleep. Welcome 2012!

*All references to DP 10 and its presence in pictures is just my own deal. I am not a paid advertiser for Dr. Pepper 10. But I think I should be.


The Weddles said...

funny! I am glad I checked your blog. I needed a laugh.

Looks awesome, btw.

Roy Wier said...

This is AWESOME and Hilarious! you're a very talented writer :) Emily W. - thanks for sharing the link on fb - I will be back for more :)

Daniel said...

I love it!

Love your style of writing, too. . . thanks for the fb link Em!

Hayley said...

Whoops, that was actually me, Hayley that said all that.

Nicole @ she-laughs said...

Ooh, I love it! Aaaaaand, I've decided that when you release your first book, I will throw YOU a party!!!! I'm super excited about this so I'm going to need you to get on this ASAP.

Tawnya said...

Lauging-out-loud here in Wisconsin! You are too funny Becky...loving the parenthetical conversation:) Way to stinkin' go on the wreath! It's beautiful and looks just perfect in your home! And I totally get irked about the "time estimation" on those crafty blog projects...mine ALWAYS take longer too!

Ruth said...

Hilarious! The wreath looks great on the wall! Yes, you should be a paid advertiser for DP. (I want to attend Nicole's party, too!!)

Teresa said...

Almost got a sideache from the continuous, unexpected bursts of laughter. Never knew glue guns could be so funny.

... still laughing ... can't stop ...

Christy said...

If it makes you feel any better...I've been using a glue gun for probably 2 decades, and I still burn my fingers EVERY TIME. You'd think I'd learn...

Alana said...

Honestly, I like yours better than the original! I'll have to give it a shot sometime; I love it!

Your friend Nicole sent me to your blog since I now live in Omaha. :)