I admit something; sometimes my lack of interest in arts and crafts bothers me as a mother. Not because of anything I do but because of Pinterest. It’s there, it mocks me. It lays out a beautiful lifestyle that I could have and all it will cost me is several mason jars, a soft focus filter on Instagram and a tiny part of my soul.
So I decided to give it a try. How hard can it be? After an hour of looking through more and more elaborate homemade play equipment for the kids I finally steered myself away from the car wash made with several thousand pool noodles and settled on a simple little sprinkler made with pipes and glue. Here is the 10 step guide to achieve the Pinterest lifestyle, starter edition.
Choose your pin.
Ok, I just said up there this was achieved. All it took was an hour (2hours) of my time and a small seed of hatred for my non Pinterest home to be planted in to my brain. Step 1 was easy. I totally have this. Although now I look at my stairs I really think they could use a few mason jars filed with meadow flowers. I don’t know why I haven’t thought about this before.
Gather your supplies.
Easy, make your list. Pipes, corner pieces, PVC glue, a pipe cutter, a hacksaw, drill bits, a drill, and a hose connector.
Visions of floating around the craft store will start to fade around this point in step 2 and you will come to realise this is a hardware
store issue. My husband, who was totally indifferent to the whole project has perked up at the mention of a hardware store visit and new drill bits and is now totally onboard. So load up the kids and off you go.
First off you will have to stop the kids from swinging on the wonderfully placed garden furniture display right by the front entrance, remove the footballs from the youngest who found them in a giant container and is now kicking them against the plant display and then you can go inside. Perhaps you will start to feel a small vein starting to mildly throb with stress right your my temple but it will soon pass and you can carry on. The husband is in his element and you will quickly have more PVC piping, joints and plastic sheets than even Christian Grey would know what to build with and you will have to put a few things back. You are building a sprinkler not a ‘special’ room.
Everything gathered, children removed from the display hammock and the fake bathroom set ups, tantrums ignored due to demands for the chocolate that stores like to keep at the cash point just to put a final bullet point of stress on a parents shopping trip and we have successfully navigated Step 2. On we go!
Lay everything out and read the instructions.
Easiest part yet! Take everything you just purchased, lay it out in pieces on the floor and check it against the list you just took to the store with you. Simple!
Ok, at this point you will probably realise that with all the stress and chasing of the kids around the store you probably forgot the PVC glue which is kind of vital but that’s ok. Your husband can pop back to the store quickly and grab it and everything is fine.
Then once he gets back and you quickly double check you might realise that when you weren’t looking the 2 youngest kids took the pipes and used them as light sabers and now one is cracked and one is quite possibly over the neighbours fence when the 5yr old swore blind he saw a spider and threw it in a blind panic.
But again, that’s OK. Pipe is cheap and you’re committed now and that little vein in your head is starting to hurt a little, so it won’t be such a bad thing to head back to the store yourself and soak up the peace and maybe grab one of those chocolate bars you saw after all. This is going to be the best homemade sprinkler ever damn it.
A repeat of step 3 after a few more trips to the hardware store.
Lay everything out, you have it all! That’s it, step 4 is done, it’s done! Ah ha ha! You may notice yourself leaning towards a slightly manic laugh here and a predilection for exclamation points but it’s ok. You are a Pinterest queen after all.
Measure and cut.
Using the instructions on your phone as a guide you need to start to measure the PVC pipes to the exact specifications printed on the tiny screen in front of you. As you do this all your equipment will be laid out around you and tiny fingers are going to be very interested.
Measure that first piece. You will most likely forget the measurement and go back to double check it, by which time your phone screen will have timed out and you have to open it up and put in the password again to see it, but that’s ok. You will remember it next time.
Once you have done that you are going to need those pipe cutters we mentioned. They are probably gone, it’s ok, it is all part of step 5. Have a look to your left, the side that throbby vein in your head is and you will see that your 5yr old has them and is looking contemplative.
Simply answer his question with a positive yes, his penis probably could fit in the hole there but NO this is most assuredly a bad idea and to never ever try it, remove the pipe cutters placing them firmly and forever in your line of sight and continue with step 5.
You’ve forgotten that measurement by now so you will need your phone, would you look at that, it timed out again. Let’s just get this restarted and add in that password, again, that password you are really starting to hate and then get this pipe cut.
Step 5 is going great. All four pieces of pipe are cut although you are sure there should be 5 pieces, the picture looked like it had 5 pieces.
Better check the phone, the timed out phone, the phone with the password that right now can go take a running jump. You will no longer care if the youngest can get hold of it and download 3 versions of Crossyroads and Salad shark or erase every single picture replacing them with selfies of his nostrils, that damn password is coming off.
Sure enough, one of the pipes needs to be cut in half again, remember the measurement and cut. You will probably forget it as you cut but the phone can go to hell if it thinks you are checking it again. Besides, the kid has it and is currently trying to photograph the inside of his ear and frankly you don’t care.
Step 5 is done.
Admit it; step 6 is kind of why you got in to this. You get to play with the power tools. Your kids are probably going to back away a little as you heft the drill and push the button to make it make that wooooshing noise, but let them. They are wimps who can’t handle the power and you don’t need that kind of negativity. Step 6 is your time.
You don’t need to check the phone, you clearly remember this bit, a 1/6 drill bit and lots of little holes. Easy.
Your husband will try to get involved here as he watches you with the drill. He will ask you if you are quite sure that is the right drill bit? It’s rather large he will say, the water will pour out.
At this point I find it best to get really defensive and reiterate that you read the instructions, you saw the phone (that’s gone now, it’s full of Bejewelled Blitz and Sonic the Hedgehog, it was a noble sacrifice) the instructions clearly said 1/6 bit and you know what you are doing. You own Step 6.
Self-righteous indignation is your friend here and he will back away.
Part of step 6 is this though, find the phone, wrestle it away from tiny hands, ignore the sticky screen and try not to worry about the fact it is now all in Spanish and check that Pinterest page.
You are probably going to notice that under drill bit it says 1/16 not 1/6 and you need to switch that over before the husband realises.
That vein is coming along nicely now.
Take all those stupid pieces of stupid pipe and glue them together, whatever.
Step 7 is tricky, it’s hard to see past that vein now, your phone is long gone, the husband knows you were wrong about the drill bit and is NOT SAYING ANYTHING, the kids are asking if you are finished yet and frankly if you never see another piece of fucking pvc pipe it will be too soon.
So whatever, stick them together any way. It’s not hard, it a square. You can manage a square.
Step back and admire it, it’s actually quite pretty. You know what though, maybe you should check it?
You will probably realise around now that the bits you drilled are meant to be on the top and they
are all on the bottom. You will panic and start trying to pull pieces out to spin them around but PVC glue is pretty strong and has stuck quite hard so you won’t be able to. It’s ok to have a little cry here. You need it.
Sit back a minute and stare at it, really stare at it.
Step 7 needs you to take a moment to stare at this upside down abomination…….upside down…….all the holes on the bottom…..upside……… lean forward and turn it over.
There you go.
Take it outside and attach the pipe.
So easy! Take it outside, fit the coupler you bought at the store so many days ago (ok, this morning but damn it feels like a lifetime) and attach the pipe.
You remember the little gold coupler right? The one with the screw bit at the end, no wait, you didn’t buy it did you? The kids were trying to get in to a fake bath and you got distracted by one of them pretending to have boobies and had to pull them out and you forgot that little gold coupler and now your hose pipe doesn’t actually screw on and that vein hurts and the kids are bored and frankly you hate the whole damn thing and oh god oh god oh god why are YOU EVEN BOTHERING!!!
At this point in step 8 it’s best to take a ‘moment’ to yourself. The husband may well approach you and offer to go and get you that little coupler, it is vital to stage 8 that rather than accept graciously you mutter under your breath about what exactly is the fucking point and kick the pvc pipes at your feet.
One of the corners will come unstuck as you do this but it coincides perfectly with your whole brain coming unstuck and the symmetry is pretty perfect. Go upstairs, lay in the dark and let the vein in your head breath.
When you come back down that little gold coupler will be sat waiting for you and it will NEVER be discussed again.
Step 8 was easy.
THE SET UP AND PLAY.
It’s done! It is beautiful! All you have to do is put the hosepipe on and it is ready. Lay the pipe down on the grass, the kids will try to jump in already, it’s ok, just scream like a banshee that it is not ready and they will run in fear from the scary lady who used to be their mother.
Turn the hose on gently, a small flicker of water will come through the holes you drilled and you will feel a surge of pleasure. Turn it up a little more and it is glorious, water is jetting in to the air.
Your 5yr old will probably approach you with caution but it is ok to give him the nod now. This is his time in your creation and as you watch him run and play in this toy that you made with your own fair hands it is one of the proudest moments of your life.
He is having a great time, it is beautiful,
It is magnificent
It is impressive,
It has exploded.
The whole damn thing has come apart, the water pressure has blown the corners off and there are pieces of PVC pipes all over the grass.
It’s ok, glue them back together, wait 15 minutes and try again.
It’s exploded again.
It can go fuck itself.
Take all those pieces of pipe, throw them. Just throw them. Wherever you like, that gold coupler? Who cares, not you. That’s the glory of step 10.
Throw everything and go to the store and buy a sprinkler.
Then drink wine.
From a mason jar.
That my friends, is how you Pinterest.