Doing it themselves

Dave & Tracy Nyberg

Dave & Tracy Nyberg

article and photos by Lucy Hough

Do-it-yourself projects are more than just a trend. They’re a way to add character to one’s home and create meaningful furniture or decorations. People in the Upper Peninsula are creating DIY projects from objects in

nature, from their past or even from the trash. These are stories of people in Marquette County who are using DIY projects to complete their homes.

The Nybergs’ house is full of DIY projects in every room from the kitchen to their daughters’ bedrooms. Even their 2-week-old daughter is benefiting from the per- sonal touches that Dave and Tracy are putting in her life. The rocking chair, changing table and lamp all have DIY touches to make the room personal to their daughter.

“I like making things for the girls’ rooms and making it have some sort of meaning behind it. I can tell them, ‘You were in my belly when I did this or painted that,’ so that’s my favorite part of doing stuff around the house,” Tracy said.

A major DIY piece in the Nyberg house is the sink and vanity in the downstairs bathroom. From an old dresser saved from being trash, Dave reconfigured the drawers to fit the plumbing system for the sink. They painted the drawers and found the farm sink that now sits on top. This was a favorite project of Dave’s because he learned the plumbing necessary.

“I’m not a super handy guy, but the fun part for me with that was my dad teaching me to do things and seeing the finished product. We didn’t have to hire a plumber. I like the way it works and the way it functions, but I also like the way it was a teaching moment too,” Dave said.

Derek Hall knew what type of furniture he wanted for the deck behind his house but couldn’t find the right piece at a store, so he looked in his own backyard to create a long table that

 

1606 A&H5 Derek

Derek Hall

would fit his son’s Boy Scout troop or a work party. A downed tree on his five acres of land was the perfect size. Hall used that to create the top of the table that now seats over 10 people. When he needed to createthe legs on the table, he looked around
him and decided to use a birch tree on his property. He made them so that if they rot, he can take them off and replace them easily.

For Hall, creating this table was an opportunity to embrace living in the woods and use the tools he’s recently purchased like chainsaws and a chain saw mill.

“I’ve never had property like this before,” he said. “I think it’s fun to take something I own and use it like this.”

The website www.landofnod.com sells children’s playhouses in shapes such as a giant whale, a mushroom or an ice cream truck. One of its most popular playhouses is a teepee, and it’s sold in multiple colors and styles. Marina Dupler liked the idea of the playhouse for her daughter but didn’t want to pay over $135 for it. She saw an opportunity to create her own. Using PVC pipe, fabric from Ben Franklin and a grom- met kit, she created a teepee playhouse for less than $40.

 

1606 A&H6 Duplers

“To me, a room isn’t complete without something homemade,” Dupler said.

Dupler’s next DIY projects will focus on her daughter Ruby’s “big-girl” room and her backyard.

The website www.landofnod.com sells children’s playhouses in shapes such as a giant whale, a mushroom or an ice cream truck. One of its most popular playhouses is a teepee, and it’s sold in multiple colors and styles. Marina Dupler liked the idea of the playhouse for her daughter but didn’t want to pay over $135 for it. She saw an opportunity to create her own. Using PVC pipe, fabric from Ben Franklin and a grom- met kit, she created a teepee playhouse for less than $40.

“To me, a room isn’t complete without something homemade,” Dupler said.

Dupler’s next DIY projects will focus on her daughter Ruby’s “big-girl” room and her backyard.

When she moved into her house, Kate Havel’s fireplace wasn’t her style. To make the centerpiece of
her living room feel like a better fit, but not pay
a fortune to redo the fireplace, Havel created a facade to go
over it. Favoring clean lines and the bright look of white, she created a mantel that hides the cords from her wall-mounted television and also matches Havel’s style throughout the rest of her house.

Kate also updated the mudroom space where people first enter her home. There was room behind the front door to put coats and shoes, but it wasn’t being used effectively. Similar to the fireplace, Kate used the space she had to build from to create a cubby area for shoes, hats and winter gear as well as a row of hangers for coats, and now she’s able to use the mudroom as she would like.

1606 A&H10 HavelHeadshot

“You have to love the space you’re in otherwise you’ll never be happy,” Havel said. “I have a lot of pride that I did so much of this work myself.”

The DIY projects in Cindi Carlson’s house are very personal. She saves important objects from her past, or those that have meaning to her mother or kids, and then uses them to create new pieces in her home. The curtain over her front door window is made of photo slides from when she and her mother were young. When sunlight comes in, it shines on the photos so that they’re easy to see and tell a story.

1606 A&H1 Cindi

“I really hate waste and throwing things away,” Carlson said. “I keep things until I can find a use for them.”

The curtain was challenging to make. Using customized
wire hoops to connect each slide, Carlson had to ensure that all
of the holes in the slides were the same size. She made the curtain two
years ago and said she gets compliments on it often, especially from the UPS delivery per- son. Her next projects include making bangles out of film.

“I think anyone can do DIY. Start small. If you don’t think you can do it, you should still try,” Carlson said.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.