Friday, March 8, 2013

DIY Diary // 03

DIY Brides, this one's for you.

I LOVE finding inspiration for DIY projects. Reading magazines, books, browsing Pinterest and blogs - I could literally do it all day and be perfectly content (well, that is, until I find a project that just screams DO IT NOW…and then I get a little distracted). But when you have a specific idea in mind, it can be overwhelming to sort through all of that content to find what you're looking for…especially when there a deadline approaches and you don't need one more thing to take one second longer than absolutely necessary.

When we were planning our wedding, a new site emerged around the same time called I was insistent that I had to make EVERYTHING for our wedding (a case of bride brain, I'm sure), and while I had a full Pinterest board of ideas, there were a few details that I hadn't thought to pin, like boutonnieres for the boys. In a frantic rush, I wanted to find something that I could whip together that didn't involve flowers. My first instinct was to return to Pinterest, however a search for something so specific (and hard to spell) did not turn up much in the way of inspiration. That's when I decided to check out, and low and behold, I found a great idea within a few minutes.

Here's the thing - I really couldn't have planned our wedding without using both. Working through an entire internet of inspiration is not an easy thing, which is why sites like Pinterest and exist in the first place. And with the explosion of wedding blogs and social media, I'm sure it seems like there's always a new site to jump on, learn, and then forget about. But in this case, I truly think that these two sites offer two experiences that, although different, can be incredibly useful when used together.

Pros: Almost everyone is on it. Social sharing is one of the best ways to find things you like or that inspire you, because they're coming from your friends, who generally like the same things you do. Which also makes it infinitely more fun. A wide variety of categories means that you can keep all of your inspiration in one place - whether it be for your house, your wedding, your office, your future snuggly puppy…and you can organize your ideas onto a board for each category. Once you've pinned a number of things to each board, you can start to see overall trends in what you like, which is wonderful for big-picture or mood planning.

Cons: The search feature. Pinterest has grown organically and is a very visual platform. The text feature below each photo is great for explaining why that picture is worth repinning, or what is cool about the article that the pin links to, but most people don't bother to make it searchable. In many cases, the text is left blank or is very general. I'm totally guilty of this. That's part of what makes the site so great, that I can put whatever text I want with the photo so that I know why I pinned it, even if it is a very small detail in the photo. However, the search function on the site pulls directly from the inputted text, and because that text is nonexistent, vague, and/or very subjective, finding specific things through a text search is quite difficult. A category search can sometimes be faster, but most of the categories are broad, which means going through LOADS of pins before you find the one you are looking for.

Pros: The search features. is set up to pull from blogs. Most blogs that feature weddings also provide links to the creative team that put together the wedding. Each photo includes vendor information, as well as a link back to the original post that it came from. Additionally, a category search can help you narrow down the large number of images to just what you are looking for. The color search function and the theme search are also incredibly useful to help you find details that will fit with a specific color scheme or style. Basically, this awesome combination of search features allows you to find details and vendors who can best help you paint that picture in your head.

Cons: While allows you to create an account to save favorite images, it's just not quite as fun as Pinterest. It is one more site that you have to remember to check, and the social element is not quite as exciting. Although, if you don't want to share your wedding inspiration on Pinterest, like if you want to keep everything a surprise or don't like to pin wedding related things, the heart feature on would probably be really useful. Because it is only wedding focused (at this point), it doesn't have a lot of use to people who aren't into weddings (although finding a DIY project that could be adapted for the home is possible). 

So to get the best of both worlds, just search for what you need on, then pin the source on Pinterest. It might seem round-about, but in the end, you'll save yourself time spending hours searching on Pinterest or looking up your password for (or maybe I'm the only one who loses passwords? I hear they have apps for that…).

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