Expletive DIY

I love DIY blogs. They’re totally one if my favorite ways to kill half an hour day. They’re as bad as Pinterest.


So, so much to love. The impeccably photographed eye candy. The inspiration to change your own space for the better. The Wonder Woman “we can do it” attitudes (because, let’s face it, 95% of DIY bloggers are chicks…maybe 99%). The fierce full steam ahead perfectionism.

Okay, that last one is a generalization, and while I prefer the usual eye candy “you can do it, stick the landing!” posts, I’m relieved when a DIY fail is shared.

‘Cuz dat be me.

Small 2-step projects turn lengthy and take 70 roundabout troubleshooting steps. More intensive projects take months (or years) and downright threaten relationships. A house of 90 years seems to deeply enjoy throwing constant curveballs, making the simplest task turn into HELL. 

We recently learned a tip after years if “doing it the hard way” (this is easier but not perfect) — drywall screws. The hardware that accompanies, well, most items is often cheap. Namely, all the screws we have ever used to hang curtains or a picture anything decorative, really.

This is what happens, particularly in our old, walls-and-woodwork-as-hard-as-cement house, with those crappy screws —

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That’s our most recent DIY fix-up. I had found some inexpensive blinds at Lowe’s to help with our privacy issues in our front room/sun room. They’re not perfect, but since this isn’t our forever home and they’re going to stay with the house, it’s all good. I much prefer darker bamboo blinds, for the record. 😉

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This is what we were dealing with. The sheers are window-length (vs. floor-length) and came with the house. A previous owner splattered a tiny bit of paint on them, but I just haven’t had it in me to replace them. So, this has been our view:

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 I’ve grown to dislike the metal white curtain rods like these. So, I also grabbed four oil-rubbed bronze (almost black) curtain rods to switch the sheers onto. That said, this whole project (which should’ve taken 2 hours, tops) took half a day…plus.
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First things first. Take down these annoying things. (And, yes. This is currently our cat room. When we stage it one day, the cat pans will hit the basement and kitty towers will say buy-bye. Until then, we are slaves to our cats.
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Thanks, hon. Oh, and I have a spot I just patched near the roofline that needs painting. Just waiting for one of those afternoon energy surges to hit to get those small but annoying projects done. 😉

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While we were at it, we took out any and all extemporaneous hardware — some from the 80s, some from the 40s, and these…original brass screws. God knows what these blocks of wood were actually for.

Next up, measuring, marking, drilling, screwing in brackets, and hanging the blinds. I hemmed and hawed over whether to get white or this tone (again, a deeper I would’ve liked more) and I’m still iffy on these. Eh, they’ll do.

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We have two double-width windows on each end of the room, and three windows in the middle (long) wall. So, no matter what, I couldn’t get the correct size (even putting two together wouldn’t work). But, since I knew we’d have the curtains up over the blinds, it didn’t matter! Whew.
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The other thing that actually worked out well (aside from broken drill bits and a handful of other headaches) was that I was able to use two curtain rods to create one full-width one for the large window. I just used the smaller “insert” one, took off the finial on the end, and inserted it into a second rod. Plus, we got an extra rod out of the deal, so that made my day.

This story told, we still keep at it. While I thought the whole thing was frustrating and upsetting both of us by the end of the process, Dave ended up glowing over how “well” it went, and how he really enjoys fixing up the house together. So, maybe he won’t roll his eyes the next time I discover a project I want to try… 

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