How to DIY in Confidence

By Jessica Barr

If spending my last semester confined to the home I grew up in has taught me anything about myself, it’s how desperately structured of a person I am. Laziness tempts me just as much as the next person; but with an internship, job and physical classes to attend, well, there were too many forces acting on my productivity to slack off.

Truthfully, I still find myself with a plethora of work to do. This is truly an unprecedented time, especially for a young journalist looking to build their portfolio. As you or anyone else can guess, working entirely from home is just about the hardest position to be in while searching for motivation. So yes, I am sort of building my portfolio! But, I am also “upcycling” clothes! Bleach has been my best friend lately and books have been my social interaction. With the two kept in mind and boredom peaking around every corner,  I’m happy to share some do’s and don’ts for your potential DIY day.

  1. Watch videos! I tend to rush everything I do which is a perpetual recipe for disaster. I recently tried to bleach one leg of burnt orange Wrangler jeans and ended up with a pair of half bleached and partially splattered pants that I may or may not ever wear again.
  1. Do go crazy with the bleach! It can be really easy to spice up an old article of clothing without spending money. Chances are you have bleach somewhere in your house and a little goes a long way. It’s best to call on our dear friend Google when understanding how bleach will react with a certain color and fabric. For example, synthetic fabrics are much harder to bleach than a natural fiber like cotton. You want to make sure what you’re doing will actually work.
  1. Try to imagine what you’re going for beforehand, but don’t be scared to just spray or splatter the bleach. I’m a strong proponent for the idea that things often look better when they can’t easily be redone or copied. What you’re working with could end up being one of your favorite staple pieces!
  1. Elastic is our friend, not foe. While it can be frustrating to work with, you likely have items in your house to make it easier. One or two safety pins, elastic and a sewing machine or kit are all you’ll need. I cropped an old sweater by cutting, folding and sewing the end under. I then used elastic as an insert to give the sweater a scrunchie effect. If this sounds confusing, I promise Youtube will give you a fool proof method of success.
  1. Donate the clothes you don’t see a potential in! Now is a great time to do some spring cleaning and get creative, but it’s also an incredible time to ruminate and help out where you can.

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