Erin François is a Maker and DIY blogger who loves incorporating beautiful handmade pieces into interior design.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get involved in Maker/DIY culture?
I'm Erin François, and I run the home DIY blog, François et Moi, a creative online space dedicated to helping others love their homes through DIY. I'm an interior styling nut and DIY’er to the absolute core, and I use my background in interior design to create handmade pieces for the home that work to add originality, beauty and functionality.
I've been making things for as long as I can remember, and I started my blog almost 3 years ago as a creative outlet. In the beginning I covered a huge range of topics: everything from newlywed adventures to my favorite recipes and DIY projects, but it was the handmade projects that readers really responded to. So, I began to shift my focus to more home-focused DIY projects, and about 6 months in, I landed my first sponsorship. It was the first time I realized that my little blog could possibly be more than just a fun hobby! Two and a half years later, I'm still DIY-ing and blogging up a storm, only now it’s my full-time job. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do!
You've really mastered the art of creating beautiful contemporary designs while remaining frugal. What are some of the challenges you encounter when you're trying to create something stunning on a tight budget?
I think the hardest part about creating on a budget is finding the right materials to bring the idea in your head to life. So that's why doing lots of research and thinking outside the box is key! For example, with this Modern Key Holder project (that I created using my Dremel Micro), I couldn't find the right object for the end of the keychains, so I modified a necklace pendant that I found in the jewelry section of the craft store to create the right look.
Do you have any tips or tricks for other makers who are interested in pursuing DIY design?
Find your niche! In terms of DIY blogging, one thing I wish I'd known when I started was the importance of finding a niche. Once I narrowed my blog's focus, it was much easier to attract readers and connect with other bloggers and brands with similar a focus. I'd recommend taking time to explore lots of different areas of DIY, from fashion to crafting to interiors, to really figure out what you're most passionate about and also where your strengths lie. I can't tell you how helpful it's been for me in the long run!
How do you incorporate Dremel tools into your projects?
Truth be told, they come to my rescue all the time! I'll come up with a crazy idea for a project with only a vague idea on how to actually execute it. After a little bit of experimentation with my tools, I can usually count on Dremel's unique tool capabilities to help me make any project happen.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I love scouring Scandinavian design blogs for simplistic furniture and accessories that aren't available in the United States, and putting my personal spin on a handmade version for my own home.
I also find inspiration from vintage, thrift and antique shops. They hold so many fantastic ideas for surface pattern, furniture lines, color palettes, construction methods, etc. that I always leave feeling energized and full of inspiration!
What's your favorite project that you've completed? Do you have any upcoming projects that you're really looking forward to?
Most recently we built a live edge walnut bench from a slab of reclaimed walnut wood and modern steel legs. What I loved about this project was that it looked and sounded complicated, but was surprisingly simple to make. What simplified the process was using materials that were already cool on their own, so all we really had to do was pair them together and…magic!
As far as upcoming projects, my husband and I are expecting for the first time, so we'll be tackling a nursery this Fall!
To see more of Erin's work, check out her blog.