How to Complete DIY Projects With Your Spouse


Somewhere in my 30-something years of life, I was never warned about the fascinating experience of completing a DIY project with your spouse and just how fun (using this term loosely here) it could be. If you are like me and unaware of the steps it takes to make a Pinterest dream come to life, let me enlighten you.

First, there are hours of mindless internet scrolling until you see gorgeous patio furniture that probably cost someone their next born child or at least a second mortgage. You concoct this flawless plan to make a similar version yourself because going to work, school, raising kids, and just trying to cook dinner before bedtime isn’t enough to fill your day.

Next, you will discuss this plan with your husband, who internally rolls his eyes and reluctantly obliges because he knows you will either make him build it for $300 or eventually buy it for around $1,200. (Ladies for the most effective spousal participation, find the most expensive comparison product and continue to show it to him so he thinks you’re dangerously close to hitting that “Buy Now” button.)

Soon after that you will have to explain how you want this project to look in its completion. He will say that it’s not possible, but don’t you dare give up that easily! Keep on him, and he will find a way to build it just the way you want it. There is always a way. I promise.

After the plans are made, you will argue about where the project will end up, dimensions, color, wood choice, stain choice, cushions, why you need that $150 outdoor area rug, and more.

Now, if he lets you go shopping for material at the hardware store, don’t buy the wood he asked you to. Buy the next cheaper version. Why do that, you may ask? Well, I will let you in on my little secret: if he asks you to buy something at the hardware store and you mess it up, he won’t likely ask you again. You just saved yourself from a trip to the hardware store. You’re welcome, ladies.

Okay, so the (wrong) materials have been purchased, and you both have silently agreed to disagree on how this plan is going to pan out. Let him get started cutting some wood, then inform him he cut it incorrectly. Argue a bit, even though you know you’re right (you’re probably not, but you can win this argument). He will eventually say some non-kid-friendly words about wasting a 2’ piece of wood that cost approximately $1.25. This will hurt his ego a bit, so you’ll now want to back off for a few hours and let him figure it out himself.

He will ask for your opinion once in a while, so this is where you gently charm him into believing your idea all along was his idea to begin with. This is fine. This is what we want. He will then be more motivated to complete more projects.

Once completed, stand in awe of all of this hard work and repeat for the next DIY project. (Or maybe finish that project that is still only halfway done from before.)