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DIY Projects Bring Joy, Positivity Amid the Pandemic

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D.C.-area DIY blogger Rashida Banks says the pandemic has prompted a lot of people to jump on the bandwagon.

"DIYs have been helping people even close the gap between time," Banks says.

DIY can be a great way to fill the "void" that would otherwise be spent traveling or meeting with friends and family, according to Banks.

News4's Tracee Wilkins can attest to that.

During the day, she's the Prince George's County Bureau Chief for News4, but when she's home, she's all in on DIY projects, something she says is a learned hobby.

Here's a young Tracee working on her first project – a barn with her dad.

News4's Tracee Wilkins working on her father's barn.

"It was really important to him that we understand how everything worked," she says. "I think it just got in my head that I can do these kinds of things and I'm teaching the same thing to my daughter."

Tracee has a done a bit of everything in her house.

Tracee Wilkins' DIY desk, before (left) and after (right).

"This desk behind me I painted and transformed to kind of, you know, fit into the room a little bit better," Tracee says. "If I've got paint, I can do anything."

She's also painted patio furniture, stenciled a floor and fireplace, and most recently she renovated her powder bath with a faux marble finish – and it wasn’t even expensive.

"I would say with the new fixtures and the paint and what I've done, it probably cost me $150," she says.

"I will say every time I do a DIY, at some point, like halfway through the project or just starting, I get this feeling of, 'Why am i doing this? I'm about to ruin this,'" Tracee says.

But by the end of the project, she always comes out feeling proud of her work, she says.

before_after_powderroom
Tracee Wilkins
News4's Tracee Wilkins' DIYed powder room. Before (left) and after (right).

Banks recommends considering both time and money before you start a project. If you're not sure where to start, turn to things like YouTube and Pinterest for inspiration. 

Also, use what you have. 

"More than likely, we have things within our house that we can use for free; we don’t have to buy anything extra to make our house look better with DIYs," Banks says. "Often times we have it down in our basement somewhere."

Whether your DIY is meant to pass the time or save some cash, it could have a really positive effect on your wellbeing right now and that's really important. 

"It feels soothing," Banks says.

"It feels like you're accomplished, especially if you don't maybe feel accomplished in another area," she says. "This is one of those things where you're like, you know what, I did something for myself, I did something for my household – a hand literally in doing this."

Banks' latest DIY, large scale art, is also her favorite she says. It looks like it came from a gallery, but it only cost $10.

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