The DIY trend has been growing for a few years now, and it's not going to stop growing any time soon. Much more than a fashion statement, for many it is a passion,a way of life. And for good reason: the more time you spend on it, the more you appreciate the creative effort involved and the result. So here's our DIY guide so that you have all the information you need to get started too, or to expand your knowledge.
What is DIY?
Let's start with the basics. D.I.Y. stands for " Do It Yourself " and literally means "do it yourself". A word that may come close in meaning, but should not be confused despite its misuse by some, is "craft". Technically, "craft" means "handicraft" or "artisanal"; and indeed, we can see the link between the two.
However, there is an important element to DIY that makes it fundamentally different from the world of craftsmanship: it includes a tutorial and explanatory aspect that helps you to put your creativity into practice with the given technique. While these methods can be extremely simple and accessible to all, so that everyone can express themselves according to their inspiration, in some areas the techniques can be very varied and complex.
Take knitting, for example, which has been on the rise in recent years. Learning to knit a simple purl or purl stitch takes just a few minutes on a YouTube tutorial of your choice, and you're all set. But if you want to knit yourself a whole jumper, with different coloured patterns, it's not the same story... You'll have to learn several knot and stitch techniques to accomplish each task and each step of your jumper making.
In this example, it is not enough to give you a few balls of wool, two needles and wish you good luck. You need a book, a teacher, or an instructional video to guide you and teach you the techniques to create on your own . Do it "yourself", of course, but not necessarily "on your own", or without help or advice. At the crossroads between art, craft and DIY, the huge variety of DIY offers you possibilities from the simplest to the most complex.
The different forms and trends of DIY
If we go back in time, we realise that most of the objects of everyday life (clothes, crockery, tools, decoration, etc.) could be included in the - rather loose - definition of DIY that we have today. Because before the industrialisation of the production of each object in question, a large majority of the population spent time making these objects themselves: you didn't need to be a seamstress or an embroidery enthusiast, at the time, to make a small doily or a poncho. You didn't have to be a professional woodworker to make a wooden tool or a shelf.
Today, several trends are intersecting to give DIY an unprecedented boost. On the one hand, ecological awareness is pushing many people to take the time to make things themselves. A good example of this is cosmetics: in addition to being more ecological (saving disposable plastic), making your own beauty products has the advantage of being better for your health (by avoiding all the unnecessary chemicals) and extremely satisfying as an activity. Who hasn't wanted to become a witch or a wizard for an afternoon to make potions?
The same is true for clothes: the return in force of thrift shops opens the doors to a whole world of possibilities for recovering and reworking clothes to adapt them to one's taste. And this doesn't just apply to clothes: more and more individuals, associations and even companies are starting to do all sorts of DIY recycling. And this trend has a name:upcycling.
A combination of' recycling' and 'up', which means to recover objects to make something new and 'better', of greater value (economic or aesthetic). And DIY has a huge part to play in this new eco-responsible wave. It is safe to say that DIY is the technical part of this sustainable approach to consumption.
Each technique requires learning first, then practice. And the more you practice, the more you improve and enjoy doing it: a virtuous circle in every way! Which brings us to the next point:
Why go DIY?
In case you are not yet fully convinced, here is a non-exhaustive list of good reasons to start DIYing now:
Because it's ecological, responsible and sustainable: Instead of continuing to be fooled by the frenzy of over-consumption, you can spend a little more time designing, creating, improving, and reworking the objects of your daily life, from recycled objects which, by definition, require no (or few) additional resources, and therefore do not impact (or much less) the environment. In these times... it is time.
Because it is accessible to everyone: Maybe you're not into knitting, but you like to tinker. Maybe you're not into either, but painting and collage is your thing. It doesn't matter what you like to do, whether you're a very 'hands-on' person or not : you'll always find something to do in DIY. From the simplest(like our DIY statuettes) to the most complex (like building your own tree house), there is something for every taste and every age!
Because it's satisfying, gratifying, and so much fun that it quickly becomes addictive: Yes, whether it's a small piece of furniture found at a flea market, or a handmade object with an artistic approach, having an object with a story is really more pleasant than something mass-produced in some other place. But to be able to add your own personal touch to it, and to adapt it completely to your taste, it's a pleasure. It's so nice to be able to look at an item in your home and say "I made that"!
Because it's a skill, and it's rejuvenating: At a time when the whole frantic system we live in is being questioned, DIY offers you an escape, an opportunity to refocus on the essentials, to get back to basics. And in doing so, you learn new things every time you practice; which gives you autonomy in more and more tasks, confidence, and knowledge. And that is the greatest of all riches.
Because there are no limits to your creativity: don't stay locked in the frustration of everyday life. Everyone needs to release certain emotions, to express certain ideas, and to do so in their own way. You don't have to consider yourself an "artist" to do this: everyone has their own sensibility, and their own creativity. DIY is a constructive and playful way to give shape and life to your inspirations.