We never imagined how hard it’d be to pick a winner of the DIY contest! Oh my. So many amazing entries…. so many thrifty, hands-on bitches. From appliance installation to jewelry making to curtain design to furniture refinishing to one vodka recipe that got us licking our lips….

After much debate we selected a winner, but we think other entries need to be highlighted too, so check back regularly for more about the “runner-ups”!

Without further ado. Our winner is Kim of Atlanta, Georgia. Here’s how she describes herself:

“I’m a mid-to-late 20’s modern Southern lady living in Atlanta, Georgia where I work in the field of international sports journalism for a big ol’ cable network. I’m a natural DIY-er; when I was little I liked to salvage mundane things and try to make them more interesting (yes, a lot of glitter and glue was involved). I also loved to thrift shop for the clothes and objects I wanted- because it would stretch my allowance money!  These days, I make a little more than that five bucks a week- but it’s still fun and important to figure out ways to be financially conscientious (without skimping on life’s luxuries) and to recognize I have the power to do many things for myself.”

Here’s her DIY entry:

I haven’t been to a hair salon in about two years and my hair looks better than ever. I discovered forum.blackhairmedia.com where professional stylists mingle with do it yourselfer’s, and I’ve now learned how to do my own relaxers, promote healthy hair growth (my natural hair is midback length now), and install my own sew-in weaves. You can also learn these techniques by watching videos on youtube. I’ve saved HUNDREDS of dollars a year by avoiding expensive hair salons. Black women, we do NOT have to be a slave to bad stylists who take our money and hours of our time (however, if you do find a good, conscientious stylist, hold onto them!!).

I recently set up a home spa of sorts, consisting of a foot bath and paraffin wax station ($6.50 from Walmart), and treat myself to a relaxing bubble bath/pamper session weekly. It keeps me sane, and costs practically nothing.

Also, I make my own custom bubble bath solutions and creamy soaps by getting unscented shampoo from the dollar store and adding in lovely smelling essential oils. I make the bars of soap by visiting the craft store and getting glycerin, pouring it into molds with essential/fragrant oils, and letting it sit. It’s also a really cool gift for friends!

Finally- I do my own at home microdermabrasion facial treatments using a little bit of baking soda combined with warm water. It clears the skin, it’s safe, and when you follow the treatment with some vitamin E oil on the face, it’s the best way I’ve found to combat acne.

Here’s why we picked her:

This girl has a hands-on, upbeat DIY spirit when it comes to all aspects of grooming. She uses the web to empower herself, learn new techniques, and save money. Kim’s message rings with confidence: she likes her hair! (Yes, bitches, it is possible!!! See page 43 in our book for our lecture on loving the locks you’ve got.)

Also, Kim’s ideas about affordable home spa materials remind us that you can pamper yourself without spending a fortune, and that a DIY approach is often healthier and more fun.

We discovered that Kim is really capitalizing on her DIY spirit, selling her amazing handmade wares on Etsy. Check her out! About Etsy, Kim says:

“I have several friends who are also sellers on the site, and I’m constantly amazed by the things people can create with their own creativity and talent.  You don’t HAVE to go to the mall to buy good gifts. You don’t HAVE to attend another slightly scary craft fair at the local elementary school gym. I’m a big fan of buying well-made, handmade items… also, without Etsy.com there would be no Regretsy.com… and I don’t want to live in a world without that site again. It’s consistently hilarious (and helps get many sellers lots of exposure)!”

We can’t keep out eyes off Etsy (or Regretsy!) either, Kim—and, from the looks of it, lots of bitches are going to have a hard time keeping our hands off your terrific jewelry and knits.

Thanks for sharing!