DIY: An Old or New Idea?


Today, we live in a world where it is a fad to “Do-it-Yourself.” This craze most likely was started by sites such as Pinterest or Etsy. There are countless numbers of people creating crafts, décor, clothes and many other items that they can enjoy themselves or sell for business purposes. In the fall, on any given Saturday you can find craft shows lining the streets full of people selling their DIY items. It is a craze I am very pleased to see making a comeback. Despite what you may think this isn’t the first time the DIY trend is coming back in fashion.

Like I had explained in my piece “Selfies Do Not Make Memories,” I have been using the magazine “Friends” from the 1950’s as inspiration for Vintage Feminist and this is where I learned that ‘doing-it-yourself’ was not such a new idea after all. It made me realize the phrase DIY itself is maybe a newer concept, but throughout history before there were superstores we could walk into and buy almost anything at the drop of the hat, people did everything for themselves. Think, using every part of the buffalo, is the perfect example of this. They made their own dishes, housing, clothes, silverware, tools…. there’s far too many to list. Even in the 1950’s the writers of my magazine companion realized this was something that seemed to be disappearing, but were happy to see becoming the norm once again.

Particularly, in the fifties they obviously did not have the internet to inspire their DIY projects, but fashion forward teenage girls were making their own comeback in sewing their own clothes. In the article, “It’s a Teen-Age Fashion to Sew-it-Yourself,” it explains how there has been a revival of an ‘old-time’ art of making your own clothes. Even in the fifties women were realizing we are already becoming less self-efficient and they were enjoying trying to change this. Girls would go to local department stores and buy patterns, fabric and make dresses that were completely their own. They wanted to be unique, but have the pride of saying “I made this!” when someone would ask.  Just like many of the people today, making something on Esty or pinning something to Pinterest, it gives us satisfaction trying something new.

Again, this is something that seems to be a fad now, but I would love to see young woman take hold of this and run with it. Make it a habit. Wouldn’t it be great for one day to have your daughters be more self-sufficient and have a skill that could better their lives forever? Whether that is making your own clothes or say making homemade bread for example, it will benefit their futures greatly.


Is there anything you ‘do yourself?’ Share in the comments of anything you have always done or recently learned to do yourself that you may be passing on to your children or use to save money. I would love to hear your ideas.


10 thoughts on “DIY: An Old or New Idea?

  1. Suze says:

    I have made my own clothing since I was about ten years old. I also can my own veggies, make pickles, jams, jellies, bread. I refurbish things to use for a different purpose. I have an old dresser that I turned into a bath vanity with sink. I have an old tv cabinet that I turned into a craft center for my husband. old crates became a porch swing..old curtains became swing cushions and pillows. Old dresser drawers refurbished as under-the-bed storage centers. I have a thousand old bricks in the back yard about to become a patio and outdoor kitchen. A few old over the toilet racks became tool holders and shelves in our storage building out back. I also make pottery. Let’s face it, I am cheap. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joyce Langley Gardner says:

    I garden and can most of what we grow. Raise most of the meat we consume. Biggest regret, I do not sew. Wish I had paid attention when I had my mom around, she was the best. Sewed with a pattern, but really didn’t need it. If she saw it once, she could make it. I have her sewing machine, but it sets in a cabinette. Sad really.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thewallflowerwife says:

    This is awesome! I love hearing about the stories of DIY that actually work and that actually save money. So many don’t and so many are flops. For my family, we make our own laundry detergent. It has been really nice and it costs us about $10 every 6 months. Usually, laundry detergent would cost us about $10 or so a month…. if not more… Now, I understand some people have allergies and irritations, but if you are someone that doesn’t then try this out! It takes about 20 minutes to put together and then it lasts FOREVER. 🙂


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