You Can Do It

Local schools and stores can teach you to be a designer or a contractor. Start here.

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Longwood Gardens offers instruction on a variety of topics, including botanical drawing.The best tools you’ll ever have are your own two hands. The trick is learning to use them.

Many of us are awestruck by the finish carpenter who measures and matches molding with superhuman precision. We salute the plumber who keeps our homes afloat after a pipe bursts. We toast the seamstress who stitches curtains with perfect goblet pleats. How, pray tell, do they do it?

The truth is those artisans weren’t born with their skills. They learned them, step by step, then practiced, practiced, practiced until they got really good at their jobs—just as you did when you mastered accounting or roasting a turkey or putting on eyeliner.

You can’t head back to shop class, but it’s never too late to learn the basics of maintaining, repairing and improving your homes and gardens. There are lots of hands-on places—some of them unexpected—where would-be do-it-yourselfers can cultivate their skills, as well as a sense of satisfaction. Here are a few places to help you get started:

Page 2: You Can Do It | Decorative Painting Apprenticeship Program