DIY & Crafts

Tiffany Pratt's best tips for a great DIY project

By: Linda Cotrina

Courtesy of HGTV Canada Author: Canadian Living Credits: Courtesy of HGTV Canada

DIY & Crafts

Tiffany Pratt's best tips for a great DIY project

By: Linda Cotrina

Want to create a unique item for your home but not sure where to start? Tiffany Pratt, DIY project guru and co-host of HGTV's 'Buy It! Fix It! Sell It!,' gets you started with these tips.

Tiffany Pratt knows a thing or two about DIY projects. In fact, as the eclectic and colourful co-host of HGTV's Buy It! Fix It! Sell It!, her mission is to battle the other co-hosts to get the best treasures at auction and transform them into one-of-a-kind pieces. The goal? To sell the finished product to interested clients for the highest profit.

When approaching a project, Pratt looks for pieces that have good bones and envisions how she can transform them in ways that have never been done before. For her, the item's contours are also key in determining what she can do with a piece. "I look at things more as shapes and less as what they actually are," she says. "If something holds a shape really well, then that's all I'm looking for because then I can do whatever I want with it."

Looking for the best DIY advice? Pratt has these tips.

Start with what you have
If you're not an experienced do-it-yourselfer, then sourcing items from your home (even from your recycling bin) can be a great place to start. Have some old newspapers lying around? They can make great wallpaper for your bathroom!

"Some of the best upcycling projects are easily achieved with things you have around your house," says Pratt.

Consider scale and size from the start
If you're looking for a piece you can make over and incorporate into a space in your home, make sure you know the dimensions of the space before you allow yourself to fall in love with anything, warns Pratt. Once you have the measurements in hand, you can allow yourself to fall head over heels and "take it home, work on it and use it."

Search out inexpensive pieces
Avoid purchasing items that will break your wallet. "Don't buy something that is extremely expensive that you're going to be afraid to work on and enhance," says Pratt. Remember, a key component of a DIY project is to create, redo, remake and upcycle for the least amount of money possible.

Look for easy fixes
Don't complicate things for yourself, especially if you're a DIY beginner. Pratt suggests looking for easy fixes such as painting an item, or wrapping/covering a piece in fabric and reupholstering.

You can also save yourself a lot of time and headaches by steering clear of these basic DIY warning signs: The item is falling apart at the seams, the piece is structurally unsound, or your pick contains hazards such as protruding nails or bug infestations.

Stay within your skillset
It's great to be ambitious with a DIY project, but it's also important to tackle things you know you will be capable of doing and completing successfully, says Pratt.

"If this is a real DIY, make sure it's something that's in your wheelhouse of skills: painting, sanding, hammering.… If it is, then go for it."

All you need is love
The most important tip of all? No matter what, do and make things that you love and make you happy, regardless of what people may think of the end result.

"That's the whole point of DIYing: to use our two hands, and to engage our minds, our spirits and our creativity doing something we love," says Pratt.

Learn how to hang your own wallpaper with our helpful guide!

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DIY & Crafts

Tiffany Pratt's best tips for a great DIY project