Make home décor items out of waste materials
Darcel Wanjiru Maina is a Do-It-Yourself designer and the brains behind @dee_eye_why_diy online shop that sells home decorations.
Njeri Maina @njerimainar
Why did you start making your own home crafts?
Well, I have always been into crafts since I was young. I just never got the time to do them as much as I would have loved to before.
So when the pandemic hit, I found myself with a lot of free time after losing my job as a copywriter.
I wanted to channel my creativity onto something I loved doing, so I turned to creating crafts.
What do you currently have in stock?
I am stocking flower vases that I make from recycling used bottles. I am also creating faux flowers and pampas grass in different colours.
I keep creating every day whenever inspiration hits so there is definitely more in stock.
I really love working with recycled items as it is one way to be environmentally sustainable.
I can create a beautiful thing from what someone thought was trash. You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, my craft pays credence to that saying.
So, how did you end up turning your craft into a business?
At first I was just making the crafts for me. I would make great Do-It-Yourself (DIY) items and use them to decorate my house.
People would then visit and fall in love with my work. They would ask if I could sell the items to them and make new ones for myself.
That is how I started putting price-tags on items I make. I then launched an Instagram shop, @dee_eye_why_diy where I sell ready-made pieces, as well as personalised pieces made according to clients requests. I wanted to make the name different and also personal.
The “dee” in the beginning stands for my name, the “eye” was for the ability to see and create new pieces, while the “why” stands for my passion for creating things. I am really grateful for social media as it has made it easier to establish and run a business.
Have you always had an eye for beautiful things? What drew you to this?
I would say I have always had the urge to create beautiful things. Any skill that I can learn that involves using my hands, I am always open to learning it.
You can never go wrong with learning a skill, because once you learn it, nobody can take it away from you.
What is your creative process?
I like to look at other people’s work, see what I can recreate and then work on making it better.
Creating crafts is also a form of therapy for me, so when I am stressed out, it calms me down to spray paint items and just create beautiful things with my hands.
Once I hold a spray, I never put it down until it runs out, it is so therapeutic.
When things do not turn out the way you want, what do you do?
The great thing is that most of my creative projects never turn out too bad or horrendous.
But when it happens, I put them aside and work on them again later. If they are completely messed up, I toss them away and live to create another day. There is always a chance to create afresh next time.