To DIY or buy, that is the question. It seems so easy to get sucked into one way of thinking. Some people never DIY a thing in their lives, while others will only DIY. It’s so easy to get caught up in our habits and routines that we sometimes forget to even take into account whether it’s worth it to DIY, or if it would be better to just buy. There’s a fine line when it comes to DIYing and buying!
While I’m definitely an avid crafter and there’s nothing I love more than creating and DIYing, there have been times when, I must admit, the means don’t justify the end. Have you ever had one of those moments? That’s why it’s important to take everything into consideration and decide if it’s worth it to DIY or buy beforehand!
When to DIY
- When you want to save money. Often times, DIYing is a fabulous way to save money. You can create things for a fraction of what it would cost to buy them in a store. It’s amazing how much money you can save by just spending a little time to make something yourself.
- When you want to customize and personalize something. One of the best things about DIYing is that you can make something completely original and unique. You can use whatever colors, patterns, shapes, styles, and supplies you want to make a one-of-a-kind creation that you won’t find anywhere else.
- When you want something that can’t be bought in a store. Have you ever come across something in the store and said, “That would be perfect for my house, but it’s the wrong size… or not the right color… or there’s something that’s just off about it.” Or maybe there’s something you want but it doesn’t seem to even exist in any stores. Whatever the issue is, when you DIY, you can create any item you like and make it look however you want.
- When you want to give a special gift. DIY gifts are truly unique and really show someone you care. While gifts that come from a department store are always appreciated, DIY gifts that come from the heart become treasured keepsakes that the recipient will use and cherish for years.
- When DIYing is a hobby you enjoy. If DIYing and creating is your happy place, then it’s probably a no-brainer that the majority of your projects will be DIYed. DIYing can help relieve stress and give you a break from the world for a bit while you craft and create. Making things with your hands is a wonderful hobby that can be quite rewarding!
When to Buy
- When the item costs less money than the supplies you’d need to make it. Spending $75 in supplies to create a $50 item probably isn’t the best use of your money. Add into that the fact that you’ll have to spend time crafting it, and the cost for the item will be more than double what it would cost to buy it. Unless you have a really good reason for wanting to DIY the item, this is one of those times when it’s probably better to just buy it.
- When the time it will take to create the item outweighs the money you’d save DIYing. What is your time worth? Is it really worth it to spend hours DIYing an item just to save a dollar or two? We all have a limited amount of hours in our day, so if you’re going to DIY, make it something that will be worth your while and something you’ll save a decent amount of money by creating.
- When your skills aren’t the right level for the project. I am a firm believer that anyone can learn anything if they put their mind to it. That being said, we all have to start somewhere, and I wouldn’t recommend someone who has never handled a hammer try to DIY an entire furniture set overnight. (Taking on too much at once can lead to overwhelm, burn out, and even injuries, which is never a good thing!) We all have to start somewhere, and if you’re not quite at the level you need to be and you don’t want to wait until you learn the skills, it’s probably better to buy!
- When your knowledge is lacking. Though some DIY projects only require basic know-how to create, others are more involved and require knowledge that you might not have right now. Attempting a project without proper know-how can lead to serious injuries, in addition to the fact that the project might not turn out right. (For example, I stay far away from any projects that involve rewiring or electricity, because that is SO not my area of expertise, and definitely not worth the risk, in my opinion!) In that case, it’s typically better to buy than DIY.
- When you don’t enjoy DIYing. Not everyone loves to DIY, and that’s totally fine. If it’s not something you enjoy doing, then it’s not worth your time to DIY. If DIY projects cause you stress and frustration, it’s much better to buy! Save yourself the hassle upfront and do yourself a favor by heading to the store.
Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer as to whether you buy or DIY. It’s up to you to decide where your time and money is best spent. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to figure out where your strengths lie, and if you’re the type of person who is better off buying or DIYing. Every project is different, so try to remember to do a quick mental breakdown of the pros and cons before you begin a new project.
Personally, I love to DIY! Bet you never guessed that one, right? 😉 The majority of the time, I end up saving a lot of money, and it’s something that I thoroughly enjoy doing, so I DIY almost every chance I get. I do have to reign myself in a bit, because the second I see something my instant reaction is to DIY it. I sometimes forget to ask myself if it’s even worth it to DIY. Such is the life of a crafter!
So tell me, do you typically DIY or buy? What’s your initial reaction when it comes to buying vs DIYing? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter below for more crafty fun delivered to your inbox every week!
Haha! That first one where we spend a ton of money to make a 5 dollar project… That is the one. Of course, I have never done that! 😉 And if I have then it would be a “Designer Boondocks” project! Great post Celeste.
Lol, I’ve definitely never done that either, Mary. I’ll deny all knowledge! 😉 I like “Designer Boondocks projects!” Could be a fun series! 😉
I try to follow that rules, especially the time one. I discovered it the hard way making things that were time-consuming and they left me no profit.
Thank you for sharing at Sweet Inspiration party, I hope you have a wonderful week!
Very true, Pili! It’s easy to overlook the time factor when planning a DIY, but it’s really one of the most important things to consider so you don’t end up spending a bunch of time just to save a dollar or two!
I am a crafter and I love to DIY. I am guilty of DIYing a project that I could have bought cheaper; however DIYing is a creative outlet and a soother for me. Found you on R&R and I am pinning it. Great article.
Thanks, Clearissa! I think everyone who loves to craft has been guilty of DIYing a project they could have bought for less at some point in their lives! But like you said, it’s a hobby and stress release, so if you look at it that way, it’s cheaper than therapy, lol!