The DIY FYI {for your inspiration} – 10/23/14

Welcome to a new Hometown Press column dedicated to all things crafty.

Ideas for DIY (do-it-yourself) projects – from house renovations to children’s arts and crafts – seem to be everywhere. But why do so many people (young, old, guys, gals) choose DIY over buying a finished product from a store?

I believe it’s the gratification felt after creating a one-of-a-kind piece, saving a few dollars here and there, and making a new purpose for an old item.

DIY projects are the perfect pastime for those who thrive on creativity, or, like me, just enjoy a hands-on project every once in a while. I’ll be honest, I’m new to the DIY world. But, someone had to be brave enough to share the first project for this column, so I was volunteered for the job.

The finished product.

The finished product.

My recent project was decorating an old window. But it isn’t just any old window; it is a keepsake from the place I grew up in northwest Iowa.

Two years ago, my parents tore down the house where I grew up (it was the only place I’d ever lived until I went to college) and moved in a prefab house. Mom had the great idea to pull off the windows from the old 1890s farmhouse before the excavator tore it down. Between the windows she pulled from the house and other windows she’d found propped against a wall in one of our barns, she was able to give several windows to my sister-in-law and me, as well as keep some for herself.

My mom and sister-in-law were much faster at repurposing their windows than I was. The difficult part for me was figuring out the “look” I wanted each window to have. A long trip to Hobby Lobby, consisting mostly of me wandering through the aisles looking for something to grab my attention, gave me some supplies to work with. After months of stashing a few window frames in a closet, I had the inspiration I needed, so I picked one of the windows and got started.

  1. I cleaned up the window and reattached the top piece of wood, which had fallen off (I have no idea how old this window actually is, but it has the “character” I like).
  2. I measured and cut decorative paper to slide behind each windowpane. The paper fit in very snug, so I didn’t have to use anything to attach it to the window.
    Decorative paper I found at Hobby Lobby.

    Decorative paper I found at Hobby Lobby.

  3. To make the letters L, V, and E for the word LOVE, I found a font I liked on my computer and hand-sketched the font onto thick black paper using a pencil. I then cut out the letters.
  4. Using a hot glue gun, I glued the letters and the cute bow I’d found for the letter “O” to the windowpanes.
  5. The last step was to nail self-leveling picture hangers to the back of the window and then hang the window on the wall in our bedroom. I plan to use this keepsake from back home for years to come and might switch out the paper in the back to give it a new look every once in a while.

So, how about you? If you’ve found yourself up to your elbows in glue, glitter, paint, and pins, we’d love to hear about it and see pictures. Is there a story behind your latest project? We want to hear that, too. If you’d like to share your latest DIY project with the “Hometown Press” readers, please call 641-594-3200 or email me at

There are numerous places to find inspiration for your next project: Pinterest, HGTV, the DIY Network, blogs, your nearest second-hand furniture store…and now the “Hometown Press.”


Comments are closed.