Sarah is the blogger behind Thrifty Décor Chick, a popular home and DIY blog where she regularly shares DIY projects and her tricks for decorating on the cheap.
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your work?
I started blogging nine years ago, and it was a way for me to communicate with friends and family about stuff I was doing. It turned into something I never would have imagined. Today I primarily blog about decorating, a lot of DIY stuff, and how to do things in a thrifty way. You can achieve a lovely home without spending a ton of money.
What sort of tools do you find yourself using the most?
I’m constantly using a saw for any kind of wood project. I also use a nail gun for a TON of what I do. Before I got comfortable with tools I used a miter saw and a hand saw; it might take a little bit longer and require more arm strength but that was what I was comfortable with.
What would you say to someone who’s just starting to tackle more DIY projects?
Do a lot of research. If you’re using a tool for the first time, I recommend watching YouTube videos, reading blogs and researching how to properly use the tool. 95 percent of the time, the thought of using it is worse than it really is. It’s not that scary and it’s easier to get comfortable with it. But know safety precautions and do your research before getting started.
You’ve progressed from interior decorating to getting hands on with tools; what was that evolution like for you?
I really started with a screwdriver and hanging things on the wall. I promise you can do it. I did some not so smart things; my first tool I bought was a power saw that was handheld, and I was using it to try to make clean cuts on wood, and it got the job done. But actually using a real saw was an easier way to do it. I learned by trial and error. Once I actually took the time to find out how the tool works and how to use it, it wasn’t nearly as challenging as I thought it would be.
No one starts out being an expert. Do trial and error to figure out what works best. I joke that it’s in my blood. We’ve got some talented woodworkers in the family. My dad didn’t teach me how to use tools when I was kid but he’s still one of the first people I call when I have a question.
How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your projects?
I first used a Dremel tool years back when I was working on our mudroom. I was cutting down baseboards, which were really difficult to remove. I used the Dremel tool on the baseboards; it saved time and made the job a lot easier. This month I’ll be creating a DIY wedding gift using the Dremel VersaTip butane soldering torch.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I do love social media. I love Instagram. There are times when I can’t get enough of it and scroll through the search feed looking at all kinds of different styles. If I have an idea in my head, I’ll go to Pinterest and search there. I’m notorious for taking a long time to plan out a project or a room. I need the full vision of what it’ll look like before I tackle anything.
What’s your favorite project of all time?
I’m super proud of our kitchen. I did the majority of the work myself. I took down upper cabinets, painted the cabinets and overhauled the kitchen island, and it looks like a completely different room.
I’m also partial to our refinished stairs. I pulled the carpet off our stairs and refinished with a stain. It was tedious work, pulling up all the carpet staples, but staining and painting was fairly easy. The end result makes it worth it.
Best tip you want our readers to know?
I tell people when they’re looking to do a major remodel, make sure you’ve lived in it long enough that you know how it should function. When people move into a new house, they’re eager to knock down walls and rethink layouts. Make sure you really know the space first.
If you enjoy decorating and want to update your house, try doing it yourself. You don’t have to have a super talent; just emulate what someone else has done. You don’t have to have all the knowledge of design and décor to come up with everything yourself. That’s why I share what I do. That’s why I blog – so I can inspire someone to pick up a tool and try new things. People would be so surprised at what they’re able to do. I talk to readers who have never picked up a tool before, and it’s so rewarding to hear what they’re learning. Choose a fairly easy project if you’re intimidated. Maybe it’s painting. That instant change and instant gratification spurs you on to keep going, keep making. And then slowly add in tools to the process as you get more comfortable.
Take inspiration, branch out and see what you’re capable of.
To snag some inspiration from Sarah today, visit her blog Thrifty Décor Chick.