Do it yourself (DIY) is a term used to describe building, modifying, or repairing of something without the aid of experts or professionals. The phrase “do it yourself” came into common usage in the 1950s in reference to home improvement projects which people might choose to complete independently.
In recent years, the term DIY has taken on a broader meaning that covers a wide range of skill sets. DIY is associated with the international alternative rock, punk rock, and indie rock music scenes; indymedia networks,pirate radio stations, and the zine community. In this context, DIY is related to the Arts and Crafts movement, in that it offers an alternative to modern consumer culture‘s emphasis on relying on others to satisfy needs.
The DIY movement is a re-introduction (often to urban and suburban dwellers) of the old pattern of personal involvement and use of skills in upkeep of a house or apartment, making clothes; maintenance of cars, computers, websites; or any material aspect of living.
Our educational system, in its entirety, does nothing to give us any kind of material competence. In other words, we don’t learn how to cook, how to make clothes, how to build houses, how to make love, or to do any of the absolutely fundamental things of life. The whole education that we get for our children in school is entirely in terms of abstractions. It trains you to be an insurance salesman or a bureaucrat, or some kind of cerebral character.
In the 1970s, DIY spread through the North American population of college- and recent-college-graduate age groups. In part, this movement involved the renovation of affordable, rundown older homes. But it also related to various projects expressing the social and environmental vision of the 1960s and early 1970s. The young visionary Stewart Brand, working with friends and family, and initially using the most basic of typesetting and page-layout tools, published the first edition of The Whole Earth Catalog (subtitled Access to Tools) in late 1968.
The first Catalog, and its successors, used a broad definition of the term “tools”. There were informational tools, such as books (often technical in nature), professional journals, courses, classes, and the like. There were specialized, designed items, such as carpenters’ and masons’ tools, garden tools, welding equipment, chainsaws, fiberglass materials and so on; even early personal computers. The designer J. Baldwin acted as editor to include such items, writing many of the reviews. The Catalog’s publication both emerged from and spurred the great wave of experimentalism, convention-breaking, and do-it-yourself attitude of the late 1960s. Often copied, theCatalog appealed to a wide cross-section of people in North America and had a broad influence.
For decades, magazines such as Popular Mechanics and Mechanix Illustrated offered a way for readers to keep current on useful practical skills and techniques. DIY home improvement books began to flourish in the 1970s, first created as collections of magazine articles. An early, extensive line of DIY how-to books was created bySunset Books, based upon previously published articles from their magazine, Sunset, based in California. Time-Life, Better Homes & Gardens, and other publishers soon followed suit.
In the mid-1990s, DIY home-improvement content began to find its way onto the World Wide Web. HouseNet was the earliest bulletin-board style site where users could share information. HomeTips.com, established in early 1995, was among the first Web-based sites to deliver free extensive DIY home-improvement content created by expert authors. Since the late 1990s, DIY has exploded on the Web through thousands of sites.
In the 1970s, when home video (VCRs) came along, DIY instructors quickly grasped its potential for demonstrating processes by audio-visual means. In 1979, This Old House, starring Bob Vila, premiered on PBS and started the DIY television revolution. The show was immensely popular, educating people on how to improve their living conditions (and the value of their house) without the expense of paying someone to do it. In 1994, the HGTV Network cable television channel was launched in the United States and Canada, followed in 1999 by the DIY Network cable television channel. Both were launched to appeal to the growing percentage of North Americans interested in DIY topics, from home improvement to knitting. Such channels have multiple shows showing how to stretch one’s budget to achieve professional-looking results (Design Cents, Design on a Dime, etc.) while doing the work yourself. Toolbelt Diva specifically caters to female DIYers.
Beyond magazines and television, the scope of home improvement DIY continues to grow online where most mainstream media outlets now have extensive DIY-focused informational websites such as This Old House, Martha Stewart, and the DIY Network. These are often extensions of their magazine or television brand. The growth of independent online DIY resources is also spiking. The number of homeowners who blog about their experiences continues to grow, along with DIY websites from smaller organisations.
DIY as a subculture could be said to have begun with the punk movement of the 1970s. Instead of traditional means of bands reaching their audiences through large music labels, bands began recording, manufacturing albums and merchandise, booking their own tours, and creating opportunities for smaller bands to get wider recognition and gain cult status through repetitive low-cost DIY touring. The burgeoning zine movement took up coverage of and promotion of the underground punk scenes, and significantly altered the way fans interacted with musicians. Zines quickly branched off from being hand-made music magazines to become more personal; they quickly became one of the youth culture’s gateways to DIY culture. This led to tutorial zines showing others how to make their own shirts, posters, zines, books, food, etc.
The following article was written by Keegan Baur
Fall is my favorite season. I love the cool, crisp air, the trendy sweaters, the seasonal baked goods, and the anticipation ofHalloween costumes and parties. But as summer comes to a close, many of us lament the shorter days and the end of beach season. Without the opportunity to lounge lakeside or poolside, our tans will begin to fade, and paleness will return. With skin as fair as mine, this happens quickly. Like, after a weeksans sun exposure. Sigh.
The only way to maintain that healthy, warm-weather glow is to hit the tanning salon or invest in expensive, high-end bronzers, right? Wrong. Just head to the kitchen pantry! Here’s a thrifty, cruelty-free beauty recipe that calls for only two ingredients and a container to store it in.
I would go with cocoa over cinnamon. I speak from experience when I say that cinnamon will burn on your skin as soon as you get oily or start to sweat.
- Cocoa or cinnamon powder
- Powdered sugar or baby powder
- An old mineral makeup sifter jar or an old compact
Mix the ingredients together until you’ve reached your desired shade for bronzing. Add more cocoa or cinnamon powder to darken, or add more sugar or baby powder to lighten. If you’re naturally fair-skinned like me, I suggest adding the cocoa or cinnamon powder sparingly, a little at a time. I mean, unless you want to achieve this kind of look… Pour the mixture into the sifter jar or compact, apply using a blush brush, and voilà—you have the look of sun-kissed skin!
Now you can easily maintain your summery, bronzed glow throughout the fall and winter. Bring on sweater weather, bonfires, and apple cider!
Rejuvenating Bath Salts
The following article was written by Ashley Palmer.
Sad, but true: Have you ever felt like the only time you have to yourself is when you’re in the bathroom? It can easily happen if school, work, or family has got you feeling stressed. Been there, done that. The best cure I’ve found for my rundown body (and mind) is taking some time just for me—and that usually includes a nice, long bath.
So, the next time your body is feeling overwhelmed or neglected, give yourself 30 minutes and run a warm bath filled with these detoxifying bath salts to help rejuvenate your body and mind.
The key ingredient in this mixture is Epsom salts. They are known to have many health benefits, and they ease various aches and pains. Also, the magnesium in the compound helps to release serotonin in the body, which leaves you feeling calm and relaxed. Be sure to purchase a cruelty-free baking soda as well as sea salt and an essential oil in your favorite scent.
DIY Rejuvenating Bath Salts
3/4 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup sea salt
1/4 cup cruelty-free baking soda
3-4 drops essential oil
- Combine all the ingredients together, and store in a jar with a lid.
Makes 1 1/2 cups bath salts
- ^ Wall Street Journal, September 2007
- ^ “DIY Network Craft Page”. Retrieved 2007-09-24.
- ^ “DIY guide to screen printing t-shirts for cheap”. Retrieved 2007-09-24. “”Ever wonder where bands get their T-shirts made? Some of them probably go to the local screen printers and pay a bunch of money to have their shirts made up, then they have to turn around and sell them to you for a high price. Others go the smart route, and do it themselves. Here’s a quick how-to on the cheap way to going about making T-shirts.””
- ^ “Oxford Journal of Design History Webpage”. Retrieved 2007-09-24. “”Yet, it remains within the subculture of punk music where the homemade, A4, stapled and photocopied fanzines of the late 1970s fostered the “do-it-yourself” (DIY) production techniques of cut-n-paste letterforms, photocopied and collaged images, hand-scrawled and typewritten texts, to create a recognizable graphic design aesthetic.”