I love to do DIY projects that allow me to experiment with new techniques.  For these types of projects I have high hopes, but try to keep my expectations low.  With DIY experiments I try not get disappointed if they don’t work out.

There are three types of DIY experiments I do; proven technique, transferable technique, and new technique.

Proven Technique

This type of project might be new to me, but many others have done it before me.  These experiments have a high rate of success.  An example is my DIY canvas art makeover.  Many before me have masked off areas of a canvas or wall to create a pattern with paint.  I was certain the technique would work for me.  Most of the experimentation came through creating my design and figuring out I could use contact paper to mask off a larger star-shaped area.

Canvas Art Paint Makeover

Transferable Technique

In this type of DIY experiment, I am trying a proven technique in a new way.  I am fairly confident it will work, but I have never seen anyone use the method that way.  A great example of this is my quatrefoil  drum shade.  Plenty before me have appliquéd fabric with fusible web, but I have never seen it done on a lampshade.  With a few careful tests, I determined a small craft iron could be used to fuse fabric directly onto a lampshade.  By keeping the iron moving I avoided melting or burning the shade.  The end result was a custom one-of-akind quatrefoil shade.

Preparing to applique a lampshade

New Technique

In this type of DIY I am trying something completely new or something that has had mixed results.  I have the lowest expectations for these projects.  I also try to do research beforehand to see why others failed.  I try to learn from their mistakes.  When I shared my DIY mercury glass vases, I had seen several tutorials online with mixed results.  By combining advice from a few sources, I tried my hand at creating realistic looking mercury glass.  My vessels must have turned out pretty well because they has been one of the all time favorite projects on Teal & Lime.  My $30 experiment has turned into two mercury glass vases I treasure in my home decor.

Mercury Glass Centerpiece

I think DIY experimentation is important for keeping inspiration alive (remember we talked about how inspiration is part of the DIY formula).  If you use the same techniques over and over, you will get tired of them and your projects will start to feel flat and boring.  Trying new things will keep DIY interesting and keep variety in your DIY home decor.

Check out the rest of the posts in the DIY or Buy series here.

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