Well hello there.
Today while thinking about some upcoming projects, a couple of things came to mind when going through the whole DIY process for each project. I slowly realized that I was keeping the same things in mind with each project I undertook. Our life in a PMQ shapes our decor and crafting more than we’d think!
I’ve racked my brain to bring you a list (yes, I know, lists.) 10 things common DIY problems.
Mind the memes, I think they’re a hilarious choice for expressing the frustrations of the following points.
1. I totally have enough room to do this here. Oh wait, no I don’t.
At one point or another in your DIY career you’ve flung open the door and moved the furniture to one end of the room, put life on pause in your kitchen, or requisitioned a hallway to clear space for a craft.
You’re thinking “hey, I totally have enough space to re-upholster a couch / paint a chalk-board / make a head-board / sand and stain this dresser / string over 60 feet of garlands for my party” and then you get to it and you start on your project only to realize that you didn’t know they made matchboxes this big.
Jeez louise! Suddenly your oodles of space are being occupied by the house pet(s) who want to get involved and sniff your hands as you start hammering, your husband/wife needs to use the exact same space at the same time as you (even though you called dibs and warned him), and you realize that you actually need to have your project oriented the other way. Damn.
2. I wonder when they’ll re-paint this place?
If you’re working with paint or a stain, once you look up from your project you may notice that even though you put down a drop-cloth and used tape, that your substance of choice is actually all over the room. It’s as if the dog took a bath in it and then shook themselves dry.
After a mad dash to the basement to figure out exactly how much paint thinner you have, you look into the housing regulations to see if you’ll have to re-paint before you get posted, or if you can leave your house as the Jackson Pollock it has become.
Hmmm, you should probably re-paint the room just in case.
3. Why do all my lights flicker when I use the hot glue gun?
I recently hosted a crafting party, and once we had 3 hot glue guns going one of them sparked and then the lights flickered. Either the poltergeist was back (un-likely) or the wiring in this place is faulty as heck.
4. I hope the ventilation in this room is good!
When it comes to solvents, paints and the many chemicals needed in crafting and DIYing, you’ll want good ventilation, especially during the winter when you can’t just work outside.
After applying the first layer of stain/paint/spray you start to realize that the smallest room in your house – where you’re working- is actually really poorly ventilated, so you grab all available fans and jam them into the open window in a vain attempt to clear the room of the brain-cell killing fumes.
Just make sure you don’t leave a cat in there or they’ll be a little loopy when you finally open the door to get check on the status of your item.
5. Is all the hammering really annoying for my neighbours?
We used to live in a row house (we shared walls on two sides of our house), and some neighbours had a huge problem with me hanging a picture on the wall. It is my right to hang a picture or hammer away. I do it during the middle of the day, well within the noise hours. It’s not like I’m hammering nails all day, every day, for weeks on end. Hammering for 30mins on a saturday around noon is perfectly legit, right?
I’d say so, and I will. If you too move things around on a rotating basis, I recommend you keep all the hammering to day time hours, and avoid early mornings. If you have a bunch of projects that require hammering, maybe save ’em up for a good 30mins and then it’s done with! Would you want your neighbours to be hammering away indoors all day? probably not.
6. Why are my ceilings so low? I need them be higher! so much higher!
Whether it’s for our magnificent christmas tree that clearly needs to be 8 feet tall, or for some magnificent floor to ceiling bookshelves that we want to custom make, we could always use some extra height.
Ceiling height is something we cannot control in our PMQ. We can always paint the walls, change the curtains, and add some furniture, but sometimes all you need is some extra ceiling height. Luckily there are a few things you can do aesthetically to make the ceilings look higher, but they won’t replace 12 foot vaulted ceilings. Maybe one day!
7. Now that I’ve assembled it, can I get it down the stairs in one piece?
This is a common problem in PMQs or houses that were built when furniture was much smaller. I can get the big box my piece of furniture came in, up the stairs, but can I get the finished piece back down the stairs later? Not an ice-cube’s chance in hell.
Sure it fit on the way up (but it was in a box). In the interim I’ve put things on the wall and I can’t get it back down the stairs without gouging a hole in the wall, and now I have to take the bannisters down to make it out alive.
8. How many more holes can I put in this wall before it’s super obvious?
As DH likes to remind me with a joke “how many months until this decor expires?”. He thinks he’s soooo smart.
The truth is, as our style evolves and grows I need to change everything around. Kidding! But not really. What if I make a totally killer piece that needs to be hung in a certain spot on the wall?Well then I have to move everything around.
I’ve actually moved pieces accordingly to hide nail holes from previous gallery walls. It’s all fine and dandy until you have to move and plaster the walls before re-painting. When the walls looks like they’re covered in nail holes, it’s time to re-think your decor choices and re-finish the walls.
9.What was CFHA thinking when they ……. ?!
If you live in an un-renovated PMQ, you may have peeling paint. In fact, I’m willing to bet you do! As you hang things you may come away with a nice paint scab which could show you the colour history of the Q.
This begs the question, why on earth was the kitchen white, then pink, then brown, then blue, and now white again?! What about the miss-matched light fixtures in our current place? The ceiling hung lamps aren’t actually wired-in, rather plugged into a socket on the wall at the height of the ceiling. Okay then.
As with many design elements in many PMQs, I think we all ask at one point or another – what was CFHA thinking?
10. This looks great here, but will it work in our next place?
This is an item often featured on “you know you’re an army spouse when…” lists. You store/hide furniture that fit your last place, but doesn’t fit your current space, in the hopes that it will complete your next one. As if juggling moves wasn’t enough on it’s own, now you have to play the furniture game.
If you fall in love with a beautiful chaise, before purchasing to re-upholstering it, take a minute to think about if it will fit into your next 6 places. If not, consider an exit plan for the piece before your next place.
What are some recurring, nagging questions you get before embarking on a craft?