Saturday, December 3, 2011

☠ DIY Danger ☠

I had a REALLY scary experience last night. I was attempting to DIY Sachin + Babi's Rorschach Collar necklace and had cut out a bunch of Sculpy rorschachs. I decided to use the toaster oven to bake them. I had neglected to clean out the olive oil that had dripped on the bottom the day before and while I was waiting for the timer to go off, the whole thing caught on fire. Putrid black smoke filled our apartment. I had to literally throw the toaster oven out the window (onto the fire escape). After almost a full day of airing out the apartment I can still taste the smoke in the air...or maybe it's just still in my mouth.

I have no idea what the long term effects of this will be and it scares me.

This got me thinking about something I have been meaning to post about for a long time:


As a DIYer and an avid reader of other DIY blogs I understand the convenience of spray paint. But as a former art student, I am so worried about my fellow DIYers because of the recklessness with which it is used. I've seen people spray it on their finger nails, on jewelry they wear next to their skin and I've even seen a tutorial on how to build a "spray room" out of a plastic ikea zip-up wardrobe. *

The thing that people need to know about spray paint is that it is EXTREMELY toxic. And the dangerous particles in spray paint are so tiny that they can be absorbed through your pores and your tear ducts, so even if you wear a mask, you are still putting yourself at risk.  

And the risk is not small. Were are talking LUNG CANCER and LIVER DAMAGE and spray paint isn't the only thing that can be dangerous. Cement and plaster dust, soldering flux, heating or melting any kind of plastic, casting in polyurethane and many more things can have serious long term side effects.

So finally, my plea:

While pushing the boundaries of who gets to create fashion and home decor please please please protect yourselves.

Always read warnings and follow directions for every material you work with. Wear latex gloves, eye protection, masks. Never use anything that lets off fumes in an enclosed space, always use it outside.

Take care and keep DIYing!


*a spray booth is a room with a powerful suction type ventilation system that constantly pulls the air out of the room while drawing in fresh air. Never trap yourself in a plastic box with a can of spray paint!


  1. OMG! Thank goodness you are ok and thanks for the info on spray paint. I haven't really worked with it but have contemplated it a couple of times.

  2. Thanks for the info/reminder...I actually know about this but maybe forgot or just "neglect" it everytime I use them =( just too excited for the DIY I guess,

    Thank God you're safe,


  3. I commend you for this post. There are a lot of DIY blogs that boast about how easy it is to turn cheap jewelry into a neon-hued "trend" piece. But in the end, it is still crappy (wasteful) jewelry, only now it is exceptionally toxic. I think you've done good by your readers here! DIY PSA!
    Much respect, Lucy


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