A Bit of DIY

I’ll just whip you up and Easter Hat shall I?

I love a bit of DIY. It my surprise people after confessing to being a pram enthusiast, but I really am a very thrifty person! (How else do you think I’m able to fund my prams, got to save every penny!) More honestly though I dislike spending money on myself, and on things that are frivolous, when it comes to the kids clothes, I buy functional practical clothes – if I like the style that’s a bonus, but I’m looking for wearability, not details and frills. But, I can sew. And I love sewing things with frills and ruffles, bright colours and embellishments. I can also knit, my little boy has been watching me knit his whole life, so his expectation is that anything he can request I should be able to just whip up for him. “Mummy I want a rainbow beanie” – no worries. “Mummy, can you make me an Angry Birds hat?” – sure thing. “Mummy, I want a scarf”…. Sorry…. Mummy doesn’t like knitting scarves… ask grandma…

So purty!

Though the great thing about this is that items like beautifully detailed, unique, pinafores for my daughter, I’d expect to pay easily $50+ for a handmade item, which I wouldn’t buy, so she’d never have unless it was bought for her by someone else, so I make them myself for about $10 in materials and a couple of hours of lovingly sewing. It helps that sewing is a relaxing pastime, not a chore.

I go through phases of making all our food from scratch – then usually burn myself out and start buying premade products, it’s not the making, it’s the clean-up, that I get bored of. I’ll made everything from baking cakes and biscuits to grinding and soaking almonds to make almond meal and almond milk. If I had a green thumb I’d love to also grow our own food as much as possible but it never works out as I’d planned – I can’t even successfully grow herbs!

Next year I’m just buying a cake from Woolies!

Making the kids Birthday Cakes has been a bit of a love/hate type activity. I have enjoyed pouring my heart into a cake for my child, but the pressure to perform does stress me out! Jasper’s 2nd birthday I made a healthy banana, carrot, apple, dried fruit and oat cake. For his 3rd birthday I made a train cake – which was dropped on the floor and I nearly cried. His 4th birthday I made a rocket ship, though for some reason the first cake crumbled resulting in me being up until 1:30 am the day before his party making a SECOND cake from scratch. His 5th birthday his daddy delicately suggested just buying a cake, but I went ahead and made an amazing (if I don’t say so myself) Angry Birds cake, with cake pops; this cake nearly broke me, at one point I was laughing hysterically from stress, sleep deprivation and excitement.

Totes cut and coloured my own hair!

The day I discovered that I could actually pluck my own eyebrows was a bit of a revelation for me. Before having children I was getting regular waxes at the salon, as well as haircut, colour and blow dried fairly regularly. That’s not exactly a cheap upkeep, especially when we were living in a swanky Sydney suburb at the time – oh the joys of being DINKs (double income, no kids)! These days I just don’t get anything done. But over the weekend I watched half a dozen YouTube clips and managed to cut my own hair. Yup. Cut my own hair. It was a bit liberating. And it wasn’t too bad. I was prepared if I stuffed it up to go to a salon with my tail between my legs and go “oops… please fix it…”


She loved it – my shoulder does not.

There’s some things I’ve attempted to DIY that haven’t worked out so well. I’ve made more than my fair share of Pinterest fails. I also had a great Idea that I’d save some money on a DIY ring sling, while Katelyn loved it, the fabric wasn’t cushy enough – I used some random fabric my grandma had given me – so it was very painful across my shoulders after walking half a block. So I’m planning on buying a short woven wrap when I get some funds and attempt another, although I’m thinking it might be more sensible to just buy a ring sling. KateSurfs has made DIY ring-slings though and assures me it’s not that hard (check out her tutorial).

There’s so many cool things we can make at home, like play dough, rainbow cupcakes and fabric memory cards  to keep the kids entertained.

So I love DIYing, it’s a good way to save some money, get exactly what I want, it’s a fun pastime and is also often more environmentally friendly and ethical option.

What things do you make yourself? Or would you like to learn how to make? 

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Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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