Mary and I enjoy shopping together because we love finding inspiration for new projects. And because it means we’re together.
Where We Shop
Our favorite place for inspiration is IKEA. We love IKEA for a lot of reasons, lunch hardly least among them. Use of color, simplicity of line, and functionality all spring to mind, not to mention those amazing flat packed boxes.
Have you ever opened an IKEA box and just marveled at the engineering behind that package design? That’s my kind of attention to detail.
Our favorite place in our favorite store, other than the cafeteria, is the As-Is section. There is nothing like a treasure hunt through a pile of boards. What seems random at first can be transformed by your imagination. With a sprinkling of good luck and an eye for potential, we’ve claimed some real treasures from the trash.
I made a headboard with Mary’s help from an As-Is table top. We put masking tape over the board where we wanted to make the cut, to keep the laminate edge from fraying, and cut the table top with the laminate side up to keep the laminate edge clean. We made 2 careful cuts, the first to size the board, and the second right at the edge of the table so I could attach that laminate edging to the raw, sized edge to “finish” it. Using scrap wood from my basement, I attached legs. Ta da: $10 headboard.
When she was putting together her basement craft space, Mary realized she would need some kind of facing to put on the back of a cabinet that would be exposed. She searched As-Is and found a finish piece to attach to the back, making the end product look professional and intentional.
You'll find us most often in second-hand shops these days. Second Chance Baltimore, Planet Aid, and Salvation Army have all been visited by Maker Practice in the past two weeks. At Planet Aid, we bought 18 shirts, a mix of long sleeve, short sleeve, button down, v-neck, you name it. We’re painting them with our logo, which is a great way for us to live up to both our environmental and budgetary commitments. We’re making you amazing custom, upcycle shirts, too, which will be for sale in the Studio.
We’re trying our hand at glass etching, using another Planet Aid find. We bought 8 heavy-bottomed drinking glasses, which we will have on our Maker tables for pencils, scissors, Sharpies, and other tools our Makers will need all the time. They’re getting a custom Maker Practice logo upgrade.
Home Depot is our preferred big box hardware, though we also shop at our local Ace Hardware—it’s just a bit of a haul for us when we’re right in the middle of a project. Mary shops at Laun Brothers for lumber, and I’m looking forward to my first trip there soon.
We’ve made countless trips to Home Depot and if there is one thing we’ve learned, The Patriarchy hangs out there. It can be all the eye-rolling and face-palming we can handle to deal with the doubt thrown at our ability and skill—not by HD employees, but by dudes who shop there. We take it in stride: yes, we do our own drywall, and yes, it’s spectacular.
Wherever we’re shopping, we’re doing so confident in the knowledge of our Maker skills: if we don’t know how yet, we’ll figure it out. After all, practice makes proficiency. And when we’re done with these projects, we’ll move on to the next challenge.