Maker Movement: When it comes to DIY, just do it

A few weeks back I came home with a nice stack of pre-loved vinyl and decided it was time to finally set up our record player.

We’ve been in our house for nearly four years, working on renovations and fresh paint, while smaller tasks continued to find themselves relegated to the bottom of the to-do list.

article continues below

When you can connect wirelessly to a bluetooth speaker and access any song with a tap on your cellphone screen, setting up a stereo system never really reaches priority status, until you find Bread’s Guitar Man on vinyl and want to give it a listen.

As I was chaotically stripping a piece of speaker wire, impatiently wanting the system set up right now, I realized I had no idea what I was doing. I’d never stripped wire before and it had been years since I’d last set everything up.

Needing a little guidance, I grabbed my phone and watched a two-minute video on YouTube. I still struggled, if I’m honest, but I muddled through and now I can throw on a record whenever the mood hits.

What I took away from this is the impatient part of me in the process. I’ve never been particularly good at waiting and if I had a motto it would be “get it done.”

I feel better when I’m doing something, making progress and checking things off my to-do list. Yet so often when I’m working in the shop I overhear ladies say they’re waiting on a partner, friend, or spouse to put something up at home.

“I need my husband to install those shelves before I buy more plants…”

I’ve been there and I’ve had enough of waiting, so I’m making an effort to tackle more new DIY projects outside my comfort zone.

As for putting up shelves, after a couple mishaps I’m now the proud owner of a stud finder and level which have really improved my shelf-hanging game.

One of the most fascinating things about living in this era of technology is the amount of information we have at our fingertips. Whatever you want to learn — from how to prune rose bushes to how to make chimichurri (or how to strip a speaker wire) — the directions are online.

In the past week alone I’ve looked up all these things and more, and while some are easier to master on the first try than others (chimichurri turned out great), trying new things always feels good.

Summer is a great time to try something you’ve never done before or acquire a new skill. Whether you just want to get creative in your spare time or get some major projects tackled around the house, I guarantee you’ll feel empowered after, and likely extremely frustrated right before that.

Myself, I’m planning to tackle a few new projects this summer that I’ve never done before, including painting the exterior of our house, replacing my dining room light fixture (with guidance this first time) and testing as many recipes from Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat as I can.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign to wade into the shallow end of DIY, or are growing impatient waiting for something to be done around the house, let this be your call to action.

Start small, do your research, don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help if you hit a snag and keep safety in mind.

If you find yourself out and about, pop into the shop and let us know what you’re up to. We love chatting about DIY, seeing your progress, and cheering you on. You’ve got this.

Calli Duncan is co-owner of Makeshift Kamloops and Far and Wide. For more, go online to

© Kamloops This Week


KTW Daily News Alerts

Question of the Week POLL

Would you be opposed if a cannabis production facility was set up near your home?

or  view results

Popular Kamloops This Week

Events Calendar