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If you have a Pinterest, YouTube or probably any social media account, you have probably come across a DIY project or two. And until recently, DIY was likely a hobby you shared with a friend or your children. But with the recent economic conditions, repainting that old cupboard, sewing a dress out of an old t-shirt, or simply making a detergent out of baking soda has become more of a necessity than a hobby. Rest assured: there is probably a DIY version for most of the things you can think of.
DIY is all about creativity and style, so do not be afraid to add your own personality to any project you come across.
DIY resources on social media
One of the best tools to get creative is to follow DIY tutorials on YouTube, which has a pool of instructional videos to create or revamp anything from distressing your old jeans to give it a new look to making chandeliers out of old bottles. Almost every YouTube user has made a DIY video to hop on the trend train, but these we recommend: LaurDIY, SaraBeautyCorner, JENerationDIY, Gillen Bower, Nicole Skyes, Rclbeauty01, AlishaMarie, IdunnGoddess and MyLifeAsEva. These channels are dedicated to DIY, and you will definitely find a use to just about anything around the house on them.
Not new, but a trove of DIY ideas is Pinterest—download the application as it is easier to navigate than the desktop version. The catalog of ideas includes paint color palettes for living rooms all the way to natural shampoo recipes. From fashion, accessories and food to décor and gardening, Pinterest has got it all on an easy-to-follow poster. Our favorite DIY pinners and boards to follow are New Uses for Old Things (by Real Simple, DIY Network, Studio DIY, D.I.Y Home Décor (by A Beautiful Mess), Inspiring DIY (by Centsational Grl), P.S. I Made this DIYs (by P.S. – I Made This), DIY Crafts + Tutorials (by Follow Charlotte), To Make (by Brit + Co), Easy DIY Projects (by Joann Stores), DIY it (by LearnVest), Create (by A Subtle Revelry), Inspiring Things (by Young House Love), Cleaning Tips (by The 36th Avenue), DIY/Crafts/Cleaning (by Savings Mania), POPSUGAR Smart Living
Where to shop for DIY
There are quite a few places in Cairo where you can buy inexpensive DIY material like fabrics, beads, decorative paper, wires, glue guns or anything you need.
The Attaba area
Attaba is one of the most, if not the most, crowded areas in Cairo since it is home to many wholesalers and supply stores. Located in the center of Cairo, Attaba is divided into subsections depending on what you need. The most convenient way to get there is by metro through Line 2 and 3 at Al Attaba Station, but there is a six-storey garage called the Opera Garage where you could park your car. Every alley in Attaba sells different products.
Darb El Barabra is a narrow alley that is devoted to lighting, like chandeliers, lamps and other lighting fixtures. They are sold at reasonable prices and you can always bargain your way to a cheaper price.
Sour El Azbakia is another market in Al Attaba that hosts the largest book collection in Cairo with over 100 bookstores.
Al Mouski is one of the destinations where you could find all kinds of fabrics, textiles and sewing accessories at very good prices.
Abdel Aziz street is the holy grail for all tech-geeks. This street has all the hardware tools and electronic parts you can think of.
El Manasra is a market for wood products: tables, chairs, cabins, any other furniture or just wooden pieces for a DIY project.
Hamam El Talat is the go-to place for many future brides because it has a wide range of kitchen utensils and culinary kits.
El Rewaie is a market dedicated for bathroom and kitchen utensils as well as plumbing tools.
The Alley of Watches is a market for watch-lovers and collectors. It has spare parts, batteries and vintage watches.
Wekalat El Balah
Wekalat el Balah is considered a haven on earth for textile fanatics. There, you will find all kinds of fabrics, patterns, textures, colors, and sizes. Again, it is a very crowded area that might overwhelm you with various resellers shoving their products in your face.
However, if you are looking for good quality, inexpensive fabric or just enjoy bargaining in general, you might want to pay Wekalat El Balah a visit. The easiest way to get there is through the metro. You can take Line 1 or 2 and get off at Sadat Station in Tahrir Square. Then, you can either take a taxi or a microbus straight to Wekalat El Balah. If you have a car, and patience, you can drive. Parking might be a little bit of a hassle, but you will be able to find a place to park in the Wekala with the help of a sayes (parking attendant). At the center of the Wekala, there is a parking lot as well.
Any stationery store you go to would probably have glue guns, scissors, paint and decorative paper. However, Alwan is a second home for many artists and crafters because it offers a selection of craft utensils like different kinds of paint from acrylics to gouache, brushes of all shapes and sizes and abstract decorative paper. You can save the trip of going to the store and order your necessities online or call their hotline 19275. Alwan has nine branches across the capital in the Fifth Settlement, Sixth of October, Fagala, Haram, Heliopolis, Nasr City, Zamalek, and Downtown Cairo.
Located in Shehab street in Mohandiseen, Taha Hussein street in Zamalek, Midan El Game’ in Heliopolis and Abu Al Atiha Street in Nasr City, Nomrosy stores took the DIY game to a whole new level. Nomrosy is a haberdashery that sells everything from lace and satin ribbons to embroidered patches and buttons. If you need bridal veils, beads for DIY accessories or rhinestones to bedazzle a purse or heels, Nomrosy’s got your back.
Al Arabi is a large home accessories and hardware store where you could buy things like hinges, pliers, toolkits, bathroom accessories, baskets and much more. It is has several branches in Downtown Cairo, Heliopolis, Roxy, Mohandiseen and New Cairo. They also have a hotline, 16336, and a website where you can easily access their current collection.
Guide to DIY courses
If the Internet has not taught you enough, or you would like to learn further about DIYs, there is a more professional way to learn fashion DIYs and that is through various sewing classes. Many institutes offer courses with professional instructors who will guide you to make accessories, clothes and even pottery to flaunt some DIY clay vases and statues around the house.
Kemet Art and Design is a certified institute that focuses on various art practices. Kemet holds a jewelry design and making principles course where you learn basic jewelry making techniques. It is six-day workshop for four hours each. The course costs LE 1,750 or LE 1,560 for early-bird registration.
Art Café is another institute that teaches various crafts like jewelry making, textile, patchwork, sewing and pottery. Their jewelry making workshop is composed of four classes, held once a week for three hours and costs LE 950. Their sewing course is conducted over six, two-hour long classes held once a week and costing LE 1,050. The patchwork course is five classes, lasting for two hours and conducted once a week. The course costs LE 950. The pottery workshop is a four, two-hour class that runs once weekly, costing LE 600.
Gozoor Project focuses on cultural development, teaching you how to mix and match patterns and textiles. They hold a sewing course, teaching the basics of fashion design over two months, held twice a week and costs LE 2,000.
Darb 1718 is the hub of everything related to arts and culture in Egypt, and hosts month-long pottery and ceramic workshops for LE 1,350 twice a week. et