Old to new does not have to be perfect

I tend to be a slight perfectionist when it comes to certain things — the alignment on a resume, the phrasing of a sentence, or how I like my coffee — but when it comes to upcycling furniture for personal use, I’m learning to be okay with things being a little less perfect.


It wasn’t always this easy to simply be okay with a napkin stitch that wasn’t quite straight or a bookcase shelf that I failed to cover with a second coat of paint. Making mistakes like that once made me feel like a failure. I’d get frustrated and either need to redo the project or quit entirely.


Now, however, I’m learning to cut myself a little slack. I’m realizing that things don’t need to be perfect.


It would be a different story if I were trying to sell these upcycled items. I’d want to provide my customers with something I would want to buy, and I wouldn’t buy something that was comprised of shoddy work and a slap-dash coat of paint.


But I’m not creating these things for others. I’m creating them for me. And, as it turns out, I don’t live in the pages of an HGTV magazine.

Major projects don’t have to be completed in a day, nor do they have to be perfect. If I wanted to have a perfect product, I should just go buy that item. Instead, I’m upcycling furniture and other items because I enjoy the process. If they turn out well, then that’s great! But if they aren’t exactly perfect, then that’s okay, too.

Jennifer Jelliff-Russell

About Jennifer Jelliff-Russell

Jennifer is an employment specialist and writer with novels in women’s fiction and science fiction. She and her husband, Jason, decided to move from Tennessee to Maine and homestead using the most environmentally sound farming practices possible such as organic farming and permaculture. At the same time, they will also be slowly renovating their 1900s Maine farmhouse in order to make it more self-sufficient with the eventual goal of going off grid. Let the homesteading (mis)adventures begin!