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Use a Powertool (or at least try a DIY)

I've known a Phillips-head screwdriver from a flathead since I've known language. My dad was always repairing or building something, and since no one else was interested in helping him, I was always his assistant. As a 4-year old, I helped him fix up an old Volkswagon that was found at the bottom of a lake. Later, we built a Barbie Dreamhouse (to my architectural drawings, of course) and a shed in the backyard for all of his tools. Add to that the sundry repairs around the house, and I considered myself an expert by the time I left for college.

Living in an apartment in New York, I dream of owning more power tools someday. But having only a drill, jig saw, hand sander, staple/nail gun, and other hand tools, hasn't stopped me from tackling home improvement projects time and time again. These projects don't always turn out perfectly, and they cause a giant mess in the process (usually in the living room), but I find it deeply satisfying to build or fix something that becomes an integral part of my home.

In the last year, I built and upholstered a tufted headboard, converted a full-size wooden bed frame to a queen-size, refinished a dresser and a buffet, built a "faux-denza" from Ikea kitchen cabinets and a wooden frame, dyed a rug, and fitted shoe shelves into a narrow hall closet. Some of these projects look a bit more "hand-made" than others -- e.g., the refinished items need some additional finishing and some of the tufts are more tufted than others -- but I'm proud of them.

If you're thinking about a home-improvement or DIY project, I'd love to hear from you. I may have already attempted it or it may be the next thing on my list!

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