Or at least the blame shall fall to Chelsea Zalopany, who wrote the Dec. 30 article “Feathered Friends / D.I.Y. Headbands.”
Oh, New York Times. I appreciate your efforts to make DIY more accessible to everyone, I truly do. But you’re approaching it wrong.
To make DIY appeal to a large audience, you need to showcase something that’s easy and that anyone can do (at least to start off with; though you can totally go off on a tangent into cray-cray complicated projects once you’ve whet the appetite).
The opening paragraph is almost a contradiction in terms. How many of you spend the time between Christmas and New Year’s “just sitting around?” Me, I spend it with family, running to New Year’s get-togethers, send out thank-you cards for Christmas presents, exchanging gifts that were the wrong size or broken when I opened the box, cleaning out my email inbox, taking down the decorations, throwing out all the extra Christmas cookies…and that’s just for starters. But even in the spare time I do have…if I’m considering a DIY project, well…
It takes Behr three hours to create each spring 2011 twig headpiece, and she’s broken it down into four easy steps. Now that’s time well spent.
Now there’s one sentence guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of anyone even dabbling in DIY…and enough to send me back to my Christmas cookies.
Why spend 3 hours on a single hand-dyed, hand-shaped, hand-wrapped feather headpiece? (Unless you enjoy the process that much.) I’d rather use those 3 hours to make:
*2 Polka-Dot Shoe-Clips*1 Magazine Clutch*1 Cage Cuff*2 Scroll Earrings*and a Woven Ribbon Bow Tunic
Kind of like the 12 Days of Christmas. You can even set it to music (start with the tune from the “5 Golden rings” part), if you like.;-) [And all these quick-and-easy projects are coming up here on Chic Steals…stay tuned!]
And all that will probably only take an hour and a half, so you can also make a feathered headband using my tutorial here, just for good measure.:-) [Use a “hat pad” instead of hand-gluing all the feathers like I did; there’s some great choices here.)
So leave the involved, 4-step process using unbleached coq feathers, setting with vinegar, drying with a hair-dryer, steaming over a kitchen teakettle, hand-stripping, and hand-wrapping painstakingly in wire…to the experts. That’s what you pay $148 for. (But if you ever wanted to attempt it, now you know how the designer actually does it.)
The NYTimes also needs to interview someone who actually understands how to translate a hand-crafted, couture piece into something satisfyingly simple (and cheap!) to replicate. (Probably not the original designer of the piece, unless they can design for the budget market. It’s a different skill-set to address the questions of “how can we imitate the luxe look and where can we cut corners? How can someone make this at home easily, with readily-available materials?” These aren’t usually questions up-market designers are asking themselves as they design, which makes someone like this probably not the best source when it comes to a post-holiday DIY.)
And for the love of Mike, have someone modeling the finished product. A designer (and writer!) should know that the hesitant reader (and DIY’er looking for her next project to tempt her away from those cookies) can be swayed by a well-executed $$$money shot.
What do you guys think? Are you DYING to try this 3-hour DIY? Or does it negate the meaning of D.I.Y….a veritable contradiction-in-terms, if you will?
P.S. Thank you all for your kind words and well-wishes to my mother during this difficult time for her and our family. Regularly-scheduled blog content will return tomorrow. Thank you.
Truth! I hate when they call something a DIY that the average person couldn't do. Just because someone, hypothetically, can make something, doesn't mean that most people have the skills to do so.
The New York Times DIY reminds me of my own feather necklace DIY that I called “tassel hassle”. LOL! It really was a hassle and I am sure warned my readers about it. I love the end result though.
your DIY's are perfect. Easy and beautiful with clear instructions.
I've actually decided to start trying some DIY stuff this year…but I'm with you, I don't have three hours at a time to do ONE SINGLE DIY item!
I've done DIYs that take more than three hours before (knitting projects, home improvement projects, etc.) but I like to know ahead of time what I'm in for, and it has to be something I will get a LOT of use out of to commit that much time to. Or something I can do while watching TV without putting a lot of thought into it. Simpler is usually better in my opinion, and the times fails pretty epically in this instance.
I have to agree, why would anyone want to put even of a fraction of effort into something that they don't know how the end result will look.
It sounds like they are intentionally trying to make it too hard so hard to try to justify the high price tag on the finished product that you can purchase, when in reality, you could find and a much easier and cheaper way.
so true …and good post!