Stick it, Poke it, DIY it

DIY art is back, and th­ese artists, ei­ther on so­cial me­dia or YouTube are us­ing ba­sic sta­tion­ary and dis­cards to make greet­ing cards, lamps and even a vac­uum cleaner

Mid Day - - FEATURE - AASTHA ATRAY BANAN aastha.banan@mid-day.com

THIRTY-year-old engi­neer­ing pro­fes­sor Navin Khamb­hala, aka #crazyNK has 1.2 mil­lion fol­low­ers on YouTube. His re­cent videos on “how to make a Go-Kart” and “how to make a vac­uum have got around 16 mil­lion and 25 mil­lion views re­spec­tively. Look­ing at the fig­ures, you would be then sur­prised to know that th­ese are all DIY projects Khamb­hala con­ducts at his home in Palam­pur in Hi­machal Pradesh. He used to teach at a city col­lege but now is a full­time YouTu­ber. “Grow­ing up I al­ways had a keeda in me to make toys and such. My fa­ther also was a be­liever of do­ing things your­self. We have never called an elec­tri­cian over,” says the son of a school uni­form shop owner.

When he started out in 2015, he’d up­load al­most a video a week, which vary from mak­ing toy ver­sions of the Mars Rover and Hover Boards. His vac­uum cleaner is made up of a plas­tic bot­tle, a noz­zle and tape and such items you can get at a sta­tion­ary and hard­ware shop. “Along with the toys, it’s all about real-life ap­pli­ca­tion as well. I have stopped count­ing the com­ments I get. Many stu­dents fol­low me and recre­ate my stuff at col­lege and school com­pe­ti­tions,” he laughs. Th­ese days, he only makes a video if he feels the cre­ative urge, and it’s al­ways about up­grad­ing a pre­vi­ous project. “Peo­ple are ex­cited about DIY videos only be­cause they re­alise that even com­pli­cated de­vices ac­tu­ally have a sim­ple and easy ex­pla­na­tion be­hind them. And it’s all in their hands.”

DIY in­flu­encers are eas­ily the next big ris­ing niche on so­cial me­dia. Be it home im­prove­ment at the end of a glue gun, or mak­ing cute gifts for friends, or slimey, gross slime to win that tween trade off — there is some­body do­ing all of that on the in­ter­net now. Khamb­hala may be at the ex­treme end of the spec­trum with his sci­ence-in­flu­enced DIY projects but there are enough artists who are giv­ing you sim­pli­fied DIY so­lu­tions that you don’t even need to leave your house for. For ex­am­ple, Shub­hangi Sa­hal of Card­khana re­minds us of the time we made ev­ery card ever, at home, with sketch pens and chart pa­per. The 26-year-old NIFT stu­dent had been mak­ing cards ever since she was a child, and never knew any­body would ever want to buy them. “But as I started putting stuff up on Face­book, I re­alised there was a de­mand for this,” she tells us. All of her cards are per­son­alised and unique. “I ask them about spe­cific likes/ dis­likes, hob­bies, and spend a lot of time know­ing ex­actly what they want. I buy raw ma­te­rial from ev­ery­where — even or­der­ing it from China. I am go­ing to be hold­ing work­shops soon as many peo­ple have asked me how to make their own cards,” says Sa­hal, adding, “I think it’s the ef­fort that goes into DIY items is mak­ing it a wanted com­mod­ity th­ese days.”

That would be the rea­son why Nikita Rak­she of Junk Drawer, who lives in Bori­vali, and her DIY photo bot­tles and mes­sage bot­tles are find­ing more tak­ers. “The mes­sage bot­tles are in test tubes with cute in­spi­ra­tional mes­sages; then there are jars of suc­cess, where I fill jars with quotes and book­marks; then photo bot­tles, where I put pho­to­graphs and light them up with fairy lights. Right now, no­body has the time to make all this, so they want some­one else to make the same for them,” says the 22-year-old Bach­e­lor of Man­age­ment Stud­ies stu­dent, who works in so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing.

But some­times DIY projects are most im­por­tant be­cause they keep you off your phone and in the real world, feels Shreya Naik Kapoor of La­bel Masala. Naik, who started the brand as a sta­tion­ary and re­tail brand, is now giv­ing work­shops that deal with slime mak­ing, up­cy­cling your old den­ims, and drum work­shops that use buck­ets in­stead of ac­tual drums. “I dis­cov­ered slime mak­ing as I was suf­fer­ing from anx­i­ety and it was ther­a­peu­tic and kept me oc­cu­pied. Then I re­alised so many kids and adults want to make th­ese. There are slime trade-offs, kids sell slime to other kids — it’s a whole world out there!” says the 29-year-old, whose next work­shop is go­ing to be about mak­ing a glazy in a bot­tle,

Along with the toys, it’s all about real-life ap­pli­ca­tion as well. Many stu­dents fol­low me and recre­ate my stuff at col­lege and school com­pe­ti­tions

“all you will need is coloured liq­uid and cotton.” Naik, in her real life as well, is one who uses every­thing in her Ban­dra house, even if its falling apart. “I don’t throw any­thing till I have sucked the last use out of it. For ex­am­ple, if you have an empty glue bot­tle, you can make it hor­i­zon­tal, cut a fine gap through its belly, put mud in it, paint it, and use it as a plant holder. It re­ally doesn’t more DIY than that.”

Right now, no­body has the time to make all this, so they want some­one else to make the same for them’

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