Are you a crafty and DIY kind of spouse living in military housing or a rental? Then you’ll probably recognize yourself in this list.
10 Things Every MilSpouse Crafter Thinks
1. I sure wish I had a crafting room.
Finding a space of your own to work and be creative in is tricky at best, let alone in a small old house. Unless you’ve got an extra bedroom or space in the basement you’ll probably be crafting on your living room floor, in your kitchen or in the hallway.
2. I wonder when they’ll re-paint this place?
If you’re working with paint or a stain, once you look up from your project you may notice that even though you put down a drop-cloth and used tape, that your craft of choice is actually all over the room. It’s as if the dog took a bath in it and then shook himself dry.
After a mad dash to the basement to figure out exactly how much paint thinner you have, you look into the housing regulations to see if you’ll have to re-paint before you get PCSed again, or if you can leave your house with mystery paint and dabs of colour.
3. I totally have enough room to do this here. Oh wait, no I don’t.
At one point or another in your DIY career you’ve flung open the door to a room and moved the furniture to the walls in anticipation of a big, life changing and earth shattering project. Whether you’ve put life on pause in your small and cramped kitchen, or requisitioned the biggest hallway, you mean business and nobody better get in your way.
You’re thinking “hey, I totally have enough space to re-upholster a couch/paint a chalk-board/make a head-board/ and and stain this dresser/string over 60 feet of garlands for my party” and then you get to it and you start on your project only to realize that you didn’t know they made matchboxes this big.
4. When will he be back? I need help moving all the furniture and it needs to happen yesterday!
That laundry list of crafts and projects that will keep you busy while he’s away will most likely require him to help you move something big and heavy without scratching the floor or denting the walls. You could always recruit the kids but results may vary.
5. Why do all my lights flicker when I use the hot glue gun?
Sometimes military housing is so old that the electrical seems like it predates the light bulb or even fire. The most dangerous way to figure it out is by plugging three hot glue guns into various outlets in a room and turning the lights on. No friends — that’s not a ghost, that’s the sound of your electrical grid becoming overcharged.
6. I hope the ventilation in this room is good!
When it comes to solvents, paints and the many chemicals needed in crafting and DIY-ing, you want good ventilation – especially during the winter if you can’t work outside.
After applying the first layer of stain/paint/spray you realize that the smallest room in your house – where you’re working – is actually really poorly ventilated, so you grab all available fans and jam them into the open window in a vain attempt to clear the room of the haze inducing fumes. Don’t leave a cat or pet in the room.
7. Now that I’ve assembled it, can I get it down the stairs in one piece?
This is a common problem in military housing that was built when furniture was much smaller. I can get the big box my piece of furniture came in, up the stairs, but can I get the finished piece back down the stairs later? Short answer: I’d say your chances are as good as an ice-cube on a hot summer day.
8. What were they thinking when they …?!
Depending on where you live and when things were built, you could have any number of quirks in your housing situation. You could be living in a recently combined duplex with two front doors and two back doors. You could have a door that leads nowhere. You could have an eating nook so small that you can’t fit a table in it. Whatever the issue, I’m sure it has made your crafting or decor choices near impossible.
As with many design elements, I think we all ask — at one point or another — what were they thinking?
9. This looks great here, but will it work in our next place?
This is an item often featured on “you know you’re an Army spouse when…” lists. You store/hide furniture that fit perfectly in your last place, but doesn’t fit in your current space, in the hopes that it will complete your next place. As if juggling PCSing wasn’t enough, now you have to play the furniture game.
10. Throws up hands in desperation. Whatever, I’ll fix it/do it/make it after our next PCS
Because guess what? Whatever the problems with your current space, you’re moving soon anyways.
Ariel Garneau is a home decor and DIY blogger for military families and those living in base housing. She enjoys the thrill of the hunt when thrifting and has never passed-up a good build project or furniture overhaul. Her eclectic style and love of bold colors used simply makes for compelling decor. She currently lives in Québec, Canada with her husband – a member of the Canadian Armed Forces – and their three pets. Come see what she’s all about at www.pmqfortwo.com