Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with DIYZ. All opinions of apps and companies that help me complete DIY projects are my own.
When we moved to Raleigh in 2012, we bought a dining room table which came with a bench. But, the only bench the store had available was the display model. It wasn’t without some wear and tear, but we needed it. Obviously, a mere year and a half later, when we got back to Brooklyn, it broke.
The wood splintered on one of the legs and it was no longer stable enough to use. It seemed fixable, at least for someone who can fix things (read: not me), so we kept it in storage for when Mom and Buried got remarried.
To her chagrin, we’re still together, and the bench is still broken.
I won’t lie, home improvement projects intimidate me; this bench was my white whale. For Mother’s Day, I decided to take it down. But first I had to call in some reinforcements. (And I don’t mean my useless kids!) I mean some help from the DIYZ Mobile App!
Again, I am a joke at this kind of thing. Even the basic stuff that can hardly be called “DIY” or “a project” escapes me. If I’m putting something together out of a box – not even something from IKEA, for which you need to speak Swedish and be an engineer – I somehow manage to connect a piece backwards or leave a piece out, and then right before I think I’m finished, I need to undo it all and start over. You’ve never met anyone who’s worse at this stuff.
For Mother’s Day, though, I wasn’t merely attempting to repair the fixable bench that has been sitting in limbo for 18 months. No, I wanted to add a cushion to it too, because there’s nothing wives love more than useless pillows!
This was a tall task. So I downloaded the DIYZ app (available for free in the Apple App Store or Google Play) and got to work. By which I mean, I followed their directions to a T and still kind of screwed it up. To be fair, there were two parts to this project. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to use the DIYZ app, including an e-commerce partnership with Amazon that makes purchasing any necessary tools and supplies easy as pie. Pie made by someone besides me because I can’t bake either!
I knew stabilizing the bench would be simple, in theory, but to make sure I didn’t screw up by winging it, I used DIYZ’s “Pro Advisor” feature. This feature lets you have a video call with a true home improvement expert, show him your project and get their advice. It’s perfect for a dope like me, because I much prefer asking a stranger for this kind of help.
If I’d asked my Dad, he’d have given me up for adoption! If I’d asked a friend, he would have laughed in my face. So instead I called the Pro Advisor and he kindly didn’t laugh at me, at least not until after we hung up! The best part about the Pro Advice feature, (as if it could get better,) is that it’s FREE! And that DIYZ Pro Advisors are available from 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM ET Monday through Friday and on weekends from 8:00 AM – 1:00 AM ET.
I did it! I fixed the bench. Huzzah! But now I needed to handle the cushion. I was worried if I called my friend he’d still be laughing, so instead I opened the app and looked up “cushion” and found a listing within DIYZ’s large collection of projects. It wasn’t an exact fit – the instructions were specifically for adding a pillow to a window seat – but the concept was the same, and since each project in the app includes a step-by-step guide and segmented videos, I was able to work around the parts that weren’t relevant.
Thankfully, I was able to cut out (pun intended) the part which required a circular saw. Which is better for everyone, especially my kids, who didn’t have to worry about Daddy losing a limb.
Long story short, and I actually mean that, because thanks to DIYZ this is one of the few projects I didn’t have to restart after screwing it up, I managed to fix the bench and make a pillow for it. Now that there are enough seats, we can enjoy Mother’s Day at the same table, and I don’t have to sit in the living room and eat off the coffee table while watching TV.
Oh no. What have I done?!