Photos: Tara Bellucci.
All DIY projects are a journey, an adventure, teaching the maker as much about themselves as they do about a certain skill or technique. And though some are never truly complete, they do reach a point where you can step back with pride and say, "My work is done here."
Almost two years to the day since I first pitched DIY Boston to Boston.com, as a way to shine a spotlight on all the amazing makers and growing number of manufacturers right here in The Hub, our blog here is coming to an end tomorrow. So I decided to turn the mic on Tara Bellucci, my glue-gun-toting partner in crafts, for a chance to tell her own inspiring story as a big-time doer, maker, designer, writer & cook.
Read on to hear behind-the-scenes stories from some of Tara's most popular posts, as well as where to follow her maker adventures and DIY projects elsewhere in the future.
What's the first project you remember making/crafting?
I loved art class as a kid, and would try anything at home, though I was over specific things pretty quickly. I did yarn crafts, was particularly skilled at friendship bracelets, had a woodburning kit. I made a LOT of collages as a kid. I still do — now I just call them vision boards.
Most successful project? Biggest fail?
My most successful is definitely transforming a spare room into my "Jewel Box." It was a room makeover I did as part of Apartment Therapy's Style Cure, and it's totally over the top with color, patterns, and textures, but it's so me. Biggest fail? Probably being the laziest painter to ever exist. I'm not particularly good, and I'm not motivated to get it done in a timely manner. I've had paint swatches up on walls in three of my rooms for over a year!
What do you DIY the most?
Food. With monthly food swaps to host, I'm always trying something new in the kitchen. Plus, now that I've gone mostly vegan, that leads to a whole new set of experimenting that's been really fun.
Favorite/least favorite tools/materials?
I love pegboard! It's surprisingly versatile, and a lifesaver for small space storage. Least favorite is paint, for the reasons mentioned above!
Has a project outcome ever surprised you?
Most of the time. I'm not one to plan ahead much, and I don't really follow instructions to the letter (oops!). I'm a trial-by-error DIYer, whether it's crafts or in the kitchen, so most things are either surprisingly good or surprisingly bad.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
Don't cut ANYTHING ELSE with your fabric scissors. One of these days, I'll follow that advice!
What's your top tip for first-timers?
If you're inspired to try something new, try it now, today, this minute! Seek out a class, a talented friend, an online tutorial. Don't put it on the "someday" list, because most likely, someday never comes.
Anything you DIY now that you never thought you would?
Based on my supremely awful sewing skills in the 7th grade, I would not believe you if you told me I sewed all the curtains for the Jewel Box. I actually enjoy it these days!
What won't you ever DIY/when do you call in the experts?
I'm generally wary of things that require precision (see above), and I'm about ready to only hire housepainters in the future.
"When I'm not making stuff, I'm..."
At yoga, cuddling with my cats, or traveling.
What did you love most about contributing to DIY Boston for Boston.com?
Boston is such a creative city, I really loved sharing the stories of our awesome local makers.
How do you think the Maker Movement has changed in the last two years?
It's definitely more prevalent. You can find instructions to DIY almost anything online, and with the exploding popularity of Pinterest, more people are. And it's not just a money saving thing, either; it's about knowing what's in your food or choosing materials that fit in with your values, and of course, having fun!
How has your DIY mindset / have your DIY projects changed in these two years?
Well, I've gotten a lot better at the one-handed in-process action photo! I've expanded beyond food and home, and with my newfound love of sewing, I'm considering more fashion projects for the future.
What were your favorite projects/posts ever?
There are so many! But if I had to choose, it would be tied between the super simple, cool results projects like creating a stovetop smoker and 1-minute napkin folding, and the fun stuff we've gotten to do, like host an Oscar party and design an 80s party-themed shop window.
Any projects you're working on that you would have liked to feature?
I started making a DIY tufted headboard during Apartment Therapy's January Cure, but never quite got around to finishing it (it's a lot of work!).
Where can people find you & what can they expect from you in the future?
Gosh, I'm so many places, you might just get sick of me! I'm still over at Apartment Therapy, and that will be where I share DIY projects that would've gone here. I'll be cooking and swapping each month with the Boston Food Swap, contributing recipes to Eat Boutique, and blogging about whole health and wellness at Mind Mouth Mantra. I'm available for writing, social media & marketing consulting through my BOOST programs. If I'm not on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, I'm probably head-first in a bin at Goodwill Boston. That's a lie. I'd totally be Instagramming from inside the bin. I'm also looking at a few additional contributing opportunities, contemplating a lifestyle brand, brainstorming book ideas, and renovating a cabin...so it should be an interesting year!
The author is solely responsible for the content.
About the Authors
Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out
|Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »|