Why DIY?- Getting Started with 5 Must-Have DIY Craft Materials

Welcome to what will hopefully be a new series here on Fuzzable, called “Why DIY?”. DIY (the arts and crafts variety, I can’t help you much with home improvement) is often dismissed as unnecessary or a hobby for people with too much time on their hands. In this series, I’ll try my best to show just how untrue that is, and how anyone is capable of making something by themselves with minimal time and costs. I’ll talk about why I enjoy DIY in another post, but for now, let me discuss why I think changing up your environment is essential, through DIY or otherwise.

It’s easy to get bored of a room you spend a lot of time in, especially as a teenager when your interests and tastes tend to change quickly. It’s important for any room you spend a significant amount of time in to not only be clean and organized but also to have a bit of personal flair. This may sound cheesy, but the atmosphere and energy of a room can genuinely affect your mood, behaviour, and productivity.

It’s proven that changing your environment while you’re working can spark new ideas and inspiration. If you’re feeling stuck somehow, (in my case, it’s usually writer’s block) even the tiniest change could work. Your setting has a direct impact on your creativity, inspiration, and productivity.

A few years ago I was obsessed with adding tons of little decorations and DIYs to my room, usually curated from Pinterest. But now that I’m a little older, I realize that less can sometimes be more when it comes to decorations. But I never lost my gravitation towards cute, customizable DIY projects. I saw that with just a few basic materials and a little creativity, there are tons of possibilities for mini room makeovers.

So, here are a few cheap materials you can use for multiple room DIY projects. These are all easy to use and relatively cheap, so they’re perfect for a beginning DIY-er. Enjoy!

1. Washi Tape

In my Pinterest days, I discovered the wonderful material that is washi tape. It is similar to masking tape, but it’s thinner, easy to peel off, and usually semi-transparent. Its best trait, however, is the thousands of colours, patterns, and textures it comes in. Your local craft store will probably have an entire aisle dedicated to washi tape, but I was able to find a decent selection at the dollar store as well. You can put washi tape pretty much anywhere, as it won’t damage furniture or paint. I’ve used it on many surfaces in my room before, but currently I have some metallic blue tape on a few of my pencil jars and a black and white checkered pattern on the edge of my bookshelf (the two on the left in the picture). Slapping on (or artistically placing) a bit of washi tape is probably the fastest way you can spruce up almost anything.

2. Lights

This is my most recent discovery, and I’m completely obsessed. I’d seen fairy lights all over the Internet, specifically Tumblr, and I really liked their aesthetic. So, I got my hands on a couple of strings at my local craft store. There are plenty of options in terms of colour, size, and style of the lights. They’re probably the most expensive item on this list, but they are still relatively cheap. I currently have one string of star-shaped lights on my desk and one string of dots on my wall, both with warm white light. They can be taken down and moved quite easily, and they can be stretched or coiled to fit around certain objects. I just really love the way they look, especially in the dark!

3. Chalkboard


So this one might not be considered a DIY, but it is a material that helps you change up your room very easily and helps you express creativity, so I thought I’d include it. I bought a pre-made chalkboard, but if you’re feeling particularly crafty you can make your own chalkboard paint and use any surface you’d like as a chalkboard! I acquired a bunch of different colours of chalk, and just hung the board up on a free spot on my wall. I usually customize it for the current season, or for something I’m excited about. As soon as I want to change up the design, I just wipe it with a damp paper towel, let it dry, and the surface is clean again. A whiteboard with dry erase markers works just as well too!

4. Jars and Bowls

Using jars or bowls to store various knickknacks keeps clutter to a minimum and provides a perfect opportunity for a quick DIY. Mason jars won’t be difficult to find at a craft store. You can also wash out empty food jars and reuse them! A simple mason jar is classy and foolproof, but it doesn’t hurt to jazz it up a little. Washi tape works well if you want to change it up often, but there are also some cute permanent options. There are plenty of tutorials on how to bake Sharpie designs onto mugs or bowls. For my jar, I used an even easier process. I used paper reinforcements (like the pink one shown above) and various shades of nail polish to paint dots on the outside of this jar. Then, I filled the bottom with some clear pebbles I got from the dollar store. You can store anything from pens to hair ties in here!

5. Ribbon


Like washi tape, ribbon is available in just about every colour, pattern, and texture imaginable. Find a few spools that match the colours of your room, and you’re pretty much set. I’ve used ribbon everywhere, and the best thing about it is that it requires even less commitment than washi tape! I’ve tied ribbon to the coils of my notebooks, glued it to the border of my corkboard, and even used it to make a DIY quote wall! (Look out for a how-to guide for that soon). When you get to the end of a spool of ribbon, don’t throw away the leftovers. You never know when you need just a little bit of ribbon to add some flair to something, like I did with my desk lamp.

That’s about it! Those are 5 DIY materials that give you countless possibilities for DIY projects. The best part? Most of them won’t break the bank and will only take a few minutes to do! I have plenty more to share when it comes to DIY, so look out for more “Why DIY?” posts, especially how-to guides for some specific DIY projects!

Have you tried a DIY project with one of these materials? Let us know on Twitter @Fuzzable.

Written by Annemarie

Canadian arts & culture writer and journalism student.

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