Earlier this week I shared a DIY I did in collaboration with four other bloggers called #5WaystoDIY. In cased you missed it, I thought I’d round up all the projects here for you today! We each took a basic wooden tray and put our own crafty spin on it. If you’re looking for a weekend project, hopefully these projects will get those creative wheels turning!
After sharing the sneak peek of this project on Instagram, I couldn’t hardly wait to share this DIY with you! As much as I love spring, it always feels like I track more moisture and dirt into my home than I’d like to admit. So instead of having to mop constantly, I made this geometric welcome mat!
I came across the lovely and ever so sweet Teresa on Instagram and was immediately taken with her work and her mission. If you’ve read the other Meet the Maker features, you are probably noticing a trend when it comes to finding shops via Instagram. It’s amazing. When it comes to doing business, this lady is doing it right. Here’s her story:
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! My name is Teresa, but I answer to all things T. I’m the maker behind the Etsy Shop, DeBrosse, which features a handcrafted collection of scarves and beanies that benefit orphaned children in Haiti. I work and play in New York, NY, and can attest to the fact that the city truly never sleeps.
2. What made you decide to start selling your work?
Well, I first learned to crochet so that I could make blankets for children growing up in the orphanages of Haiti. With the help of family and friends, we were able to make and distribute over 150. One of the first blankets went to a went to a bright-eyed five-year old boy named Israel DeBrosse. He had such a huge personality coming out of such a tiny frame, and he really captured my heart.
I wanted to help Israel and his friends beyond blankets, and that became the heartbeat of my Etsy shop. I set aside 15% of the shop’s proceeds to purchase school supplies, clothes, and medicine for the little ones who call one of our two partner orphanages home. Now, we’re eagerly planning to pack suitcases to the brim for trips four and five.
3. What would you say is the greatest challenge you face as a shop owner?
There are so many challenges…some exciting, some just…well, challenging. I think the one that trips me up the most is the idea that my work will never be finished. There’s always a newer idea, a brighter fabric, a softer yarn, a stronger photo. Striking the balance between innovation and contentment is a season I have not yet met, but I’m hopeful that with time, I’ll find it.
The thing that still gets me every time is when a piece of my work is invited into a memorable moment of a customer’s life. It’s when a soon-to-be bride requests a custom shawl for her Iceland wedding, or the birthday girl picks out a scarf for her epic London getaway, or the soon-to-be mom says she’s found the perfect beanie to wear in her baby announcement. I have to pinch myself in those moments!
I have a newfound love with my Instagram community, both within my space and those far from it. Paper, chalk, wood, yarn, glitter…I just swoon over the way each of these makers breathes life into raw materials.
6. Any advice for people looking to open their own shop?
Do it! And don’t be intimidated if your hand-dyed-paisley-coral-bird-mug is going to be one of 2,756 other hand-dyed-paisley-coral-bird-mugs. There’s this beautiful thing about Etsy where thoughtful work always wins.
7. What’s one fun fact about you that others may not know?
I’ve recently noticed that I get more done when I play rap music in the background. You may not know me, but take a moment to imagine a tiny blonde girl knitting at 6am to Biggie Smalls, and see if you don’t laugh a little.
In my previous post, I showed a bit of the behind the scenes and how I used my Intel Tablet to help plan this project. I was a bit nervous that the measurement feature would lead me astray, but I’m happy to report that everything turned out perfectly! It also helped to have the tablet nearby when I was prepping so that I could consult the original tutorial before beginning.
One of the main tips I can give is that you need to protect your wood, especially if this is a piece you want to keep in your house for a while. Wood cracks, and bugs like wood, so it could be problematic later on if left untreated. I used a polyurethane interior sealer, which is why this project takes so long (just dry time).
Apply one coat and let dry for 2 hours. Come back and then do 2-3 additional coats. When dry, you’ll also want to coat the other side as well as the sides.
Another thing that needs to be stressed is that while a self driving screw is handy, you need to pre-drill your holes beforehand. You do so with a drill bit that’s roughly the same side as your screw. If you don’t do this, your screw won’t really go anywhere and there’s a chance it will break.
Once your legs are screwed into place, your table is ready for use!
While the project wasn’t that difficult, it still feels like I accomplished something pretty amazing. What do you think? Would you ever take on a project like this?