5 DIY Fixes Every Girl Should Know How to Do {guest post}

5 DIY Fixes Every Girl Should Know How to Do


I had three older brothers who wouldn’t touch a clogged drain if their lives depended on it—which meant that I was always the one who got roped into my dad’s Mr-Fix-It projects. I wasn’t crazy about it at first, but since I moved out (and especially after we bought our first home), I’ve been continually surprised at how much money and headache we’ve saved by maintaining our home ourselves. So here’s the short list of essential DIY projects that I want my girls to learn. Tell me your best handywoman stories in the comments!

1. Paint a wall
This one might seem simple, but a bad paint job can be a costly, time-consuming catastrophe that will haunt you until you fix it. Color is the most important choice you can make. Go with warm colors (red, orange, yellow) for a high-energy room like a gym; but choose cool colors for rooms where you want to reduce stress (your office, your bedroom, etc.) Take it slow, be sure to sand away scuff marks, and carefully tape off your runners and carpet so you don’t have any collateral damage. Check out this paint guide for more detailed tips.
2. Remove a stain
This isn’t as “macho” as the other items on this list, but if you’ve ever had a formal dress catch a rogue mustard stain, you know how much grief a stubborn stain can put you through. A few tips:
Especially for oily stains or blood, blot (don’t scrub) the excess away; then combine 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts hot water in a spray bottle, and spray liberally over spot. Blot with clean paper towels, changing every time paper towel becomes saturated. Spray it with clean water, cover with towels, and place heavy object on towels. Now is a good time to make sure you have white vinegar in your home; it’s great to use on just about anything.
3. Patch a wall
Especially if you bought a fixer-upper, you might find that flimsy drywall was one of many “cost-cutting” measures that you’ll have to contend with. If you’re not a homeowner, you should at least fill in the nail holes from your picture frames, wall mounts, etc. when you move out—it’ll give your landlord one less reason to pocket your deposit.
Small holes require nothing more than some spackle and a putty knife (spread on thin, let dry, coat with same color paint as rest of wall). Larger fist sized holes your problem? Hole repair kits are easy to find at any hardware store, or you can just pick up some self-adhesive aluminum mesh, spackle, and a putty knife.
4. Fix a toilet
A lot of things can go wrong with a toilet. Most common are clogs and running tanks. Both are usually an easy fix, but what you’ll need first are some plumbing supplies. Pick some up on the cheap, and whenever you need to tighten a nut, or shove a snake down the pipe to clear it out, you’ll be ready to do it. With the internet, some wrenches, pipe snakes, and some intestinal fortitude, you should be able to fix just about any issue.
5. Swap out a light fixture
New light fixtures are a great way to spruce up a dated living environment, and they are really easy to install—but because you’re dealing with electrical wires, it’s sure to impress anyone watching. If you get a new fixture from the store, it’ll come with instructions. Just flip the breaker to whatever room you’re working in (safety first).
Obviously these are basic projects, but if you’re the type who calls a professional when your light bulbs burn out, these are a great place to start. Check us out below for more in-depth tips on home improvement!

Katie White is a writer and handywoman from DIY Mother who is passionate about self-reliance and conservation. She takes pride in making her home a more sustainable and comfortable place for her husband and two kids. She lives in Dallas.


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