DIY: Do-It-Yourself has become my Nike slogan: ‘Just Do It,’ to build, make, learn or create for what I would have purchased or hired someone else to complete. Not only am I an avid or some might say addicted DIY’er, but an advocate for saving dollars where possible. Like Facebook and Twitter addicts, DIY’er’s are taking over!! A simple google search can lead you to projects of all kinds on YouTube, Pinterest, Instructables, BHG, Home Depot, Lowes to DIY TV, HGTV, Martha Stewart shows & magazines, blogs, and local businesses and classes – We are everywhere! For those who have not been tempted, I am probably sounding crazy, but I hope I can convince even the most craft-incompetent person to read my escapades with an open mind.

The “DIY/Do-It-Yourself” phenomena is one facet of our economic Renaissance coming out of the Dark Ages. Although we are still in the toughest job market/economy, there are countless communities (locally, nationally, and globally) cropping up (pun totally intended), of people sharing their knowledge and experience not only creating their own food, but growing gardens, building furniture, houses, creating businesses, and most importantly sharing their life lessons and fruits of their labor with us FOR FREE!! Many of my fellow DIYer’s found their true calling by sharing their projects and tutorials’.

Warning… not all my projects or ideas have 1) come to a happy fruition or 2) upon completion even remotely resembled what I hoped to accomplish, but I can say I learned a lot, made some things I love, and I hope I can impart some of my inspiration.

DIY Lesson #1

To be fair, I have always wanted to be artistic, however, my aspirations don’t equate to actual skill or talent. Many an intended ‘homemade’ gift project resulted in scarves or mittens that don’t actually end or resemble the how-to picture. I have a box of un-givable gifts that ended up sacrificing my penny-pinching and costing me the materials, time, and in the end having to purchase a present. I have learned from my mistakes how to pick my how-to projects to match my skill set and patience.

I will say that my successful DIY’s started in the areas that suite my expertise. Last year I discovered my hard work is best applied to projects with less detailed finesse. Project numero uno was the patio. Living in the city and on a semi-busy street, I realized the patio needed some serious curb appeal and privacy added to it. I envisioned a greener space, blooming flowers, butterflies, and even though I had only 3 houseplants at the time that I had managed not to kill, I enlisted some help from my family and friends… (*DIY Tip: always utilize those you know with power tools or construction. Trading info or bartering is a helpful way to maximize your budget and minimize costly mistake)

The Final Product!










For some exchanged babysitting, I had some real DIYer’s construct me some patio container boxes to house my vision.As long as the project isn’t too dangerous, any volunteer help is essential. Here we have my little helpers making sure the structures are sound to house my new plants.

Brendan & AJ were also superstars when it came to keeping our spirits up while we worked.


  The  author of this inspiring  DIY story is Hayla DeLano,  Marketing and Events Manager @ the Columbus INN by day and die-hard DIY-er by night.  Hayla turned her lifeless front lawn into a beautiful garden…another DIY project gone right!