How Do it Yourself (DIY) Projects Strengthen My Marriage


DIY projects, or, for the uninitiated, do-it-yourself projects, are my current addiction, and I don’t see them going away anytime soon.

I don’t know if it’s my age or my way of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, but I can’t stop coming up with DIY projects for my husband and me to work on in our home. If we are not taping, tacking, measuring, or swearing at some inanimate object or other, apparently, we don’t feel fulfilled.

My husband and I both prefer DIY projects as opposed to hiring help, whenever possible. Part of this is the big cost savings for sure, but another part is our sense of accomplishment and pride in our work. Walking into our home knowing that we put in the work to make it look gorgeous instantly puts a smile on our face. Not for nothing, these projects we do together also remind us that not only are we married, we are also building a life together. See what I did there?

However, there are absolutely times during a small project or remodel when a professional is needed. My husband leaves plumbing and electrical work to those who have made that their profession. It’s just smart.

These DIY projects are actually quite symbolic of our marriage.

We do everything together, with each other’s support, and with very little outside help. There is something about working a full day to come home and rip out some random cabinets that remind us of how well we work together. Especially when we work in the same office all day!

That is exactly how our last 7 weeks have been.

In the last 55 days we have:

Painted the kitchen.

This may not seem huge, but really this was an ENORMOUS DIY project for us. Not large in effort, but enormous in terms of results. It was incredible how a simple can of paint had a huge impact on the appearance of our kitchen.

Picture this: red walls, with white green laminate countertops. Our kitchen looked like it was celebrating Christmas year-round.

kitchen paint DIY

I’m not really opposed to red, but the shade of red in our kitchen combined with the green counters was awful. We found the perfect gray shade, and it brightened and opened up our kitchen. I still don’t know why we waited for 3 years to do a project that we completed in an evening.

Painted an accent wall in our bedroom.

We’ve had three test squares on our bedroom wall where our headboard is for 8 months now. These last weeks gave us the time to finally paint the accent wall and even film the entire process. I’m extremely happy with how it turned out, and it’s the perfect decorative feature in our room.

Painted our son’s room.

Well, we didn’t paint the entire room. Just like in our bedroom, our son picked out a paint sample that he wanted for a single wall in his room, and we finally painted it. He went back and forth about what wall to paint but we let it ultimately be his choice.

It turned out to be the easiest wall to paint and will look great against the wood feature he wants to do on another wall.

Dec Painting

Trimmed in a window.

In June 2019, I arrived home from work to discover a giant hole in my house. My husband had ripped out one of our awful casement windows and was ready to replace it with a double-hung window. The only problem… we didn’t have a window to actually replace it with.

With rain on the way that night, we made the 40 minute trip to the closest place to purchase a window, and thankfully, they had one in stock. We’ve been living with that window installed but untrimmed since then. I’m so happy to finally have a trimmed window with the window sill of my dreams.

Painted our daughter’s room (Including taping a pattern)

Our daughter’s bedroom was the most fun for me to help pull together. She and I found all sorts of patterns on Pinterest and she decided on white and gray stripes. This went beautifully with her white and black bedroom that also has pops of gold and pink.

Her wall was the first time any of us had attempted to paint multiple colors on a wall, so it was a great opportunity to learn how to mark even spacing.

This is math, moms, and totally counts as school work!

This was the last of our paint projects (until we get the paint to repaint the interior of the entire house) and we were happy about having fun with it.

Emmas DIY wall

Bathroom Shelves.

We’ve had these shelves that the previous owner made since we moved in. They are fine, but the way they were constructed in the closet left no possible way to put in a door without buying an expensive custom-made door. Our options were to A. build a door, B. have a custom door built (too expensive), or C. fix the shelves ourselves.

We went with option C, and while the layout didn’t entirely need fixing, the appearance did. The shelves were originally made with textured wood. That textured wood is IMPOSSIBLE to clean, and when you do lint or debris always gets stuck. Since we are working to update the bathroom, it was the perfect time to create the shelving that matched the room’s color scheme.

Installed new light fixtures.

We finally replaced 4 light fixtures in our home that I’ve disliked since we purchased the place. Three of those replacements were pretty standard changes, but the fourth involved replacing a ceiling fan with a fun chandelier in our daughter’s room.

Built a nesting box.

Most of these DIY projects have involved the kids in some capacity. So, my husband decided to start a weekly shop class of sorts with them. Our favorite so far has been the bird nesting box that my daughter sketched out, created, built, and installed with him.

DIY nesting box

Our son has plans completed for another project but we are waiting for things to be a bit safer to complete it since it will be for our entire community to use.

Built an outdoor bike trail.

I won’t take credit for this one at all, because this DIY project was all my husband. He spent an entire Saturday cleaning out a corner of our property to make a mountain bike trail for the kids. Including a berm, bridge, and soon-to-be jumps.

Built a plan to redo our kitchen. 

We recently got an estimate to redo our kitchen. My husband guessed the quote within $500 dollars, but I was sticker shocked!

While he would have been the one installing the cabinets and countertops, we decided to do even more on this project. We’ve begun plans for him to construct our cabinets or at least new doors and drawers for our existing cabinets. I’m even considering butcher block countertops that he can do rather than marble for the sake of cost. We’ll see where this DIY ends up though. I think eventually we will run out of patience, and we will certainly run out of time and money.

Refinishing our bathroom vanity.

Similar to the kitchen, we aren’t able to find a vanity that we like that is both affordable and well-constructed. Even spending $500+ on a vanity gets you a subpar product now. I know this after tons of research.

We have decided instead to use the vanity base we have, but my husband is building new doors and drawers. The top and hardware will be replaced, and I will repaint everything.

And don’t even get me started on my Pinterest board with additional projects like an entryway half wall and bench, new flooring, planking popcorn ceiling, new baseboards, and so much more.

Ok, it may not seem like we actually accomplished a lot on the DIY project front but I promise you in the past 2 months, we have accomplished more than we have done in the 3 years we’ve lived here.

The funny part is my husband does most of the work. So I’m a DIY project addict that makes a to-do list for my husband instead of actually doing all the do-it-yourself work. He’s the handy one. He wants to buy all the tools, so it’s only fair that he pulls his weight in the projects, right?

Ultimately we work well together, and these DIY projects are proof of that. They also give us the opportunity to bond and grow together in the comfort of our own home.

So yes, I’m addicted to all things DIY, but I absolutely need help completing the projects and I’m not afraid to ask.

How Do it Yourself (DIY) Projects Strengthen My Marriage

Previous articleAn Empowered Woman: It Means More than What You Do for a Living
Next articleMother’s Day, My Hurt Feelings, and Pulling On My Big Girl Pants
Halie Manley
Halie is a Vermonter born and raised, with a passion for travel, beauty, style, and life. She currently resides on the eastern side of the state with her husband and two kids (a hockey-focused son and a ballet-loving daughter.) She attended Colby-Sawyer College and Philadelphia University, then returned to Colby-Sawyer where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Her family has a running joke that Halie was on her own version of Amazing Race (selecting a college edition.) While she loves to visit cities, she discovered that she can’t live in one! She best describes herself as quirky and sometimes awkward, constantly looking to learn, a makeup and skincare enthusiast, and also an avid lover of coffee, tea, local craft beers, ice cream, HGTV, and basically anything that sparks joy! She is ridiculously comfortable in her own shoes (probably because she ditched heels!) You can find more about her on her blog, Our Small Life Home.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here