Do it yourself: Q&A with Joline Zhong



March was National Craft Month. However, Spring lives on for another month or two. This is a great time to bring out old fabric from your closet and cut it up to make a new product. Click here to watch a DIY guide by Joline Zhong, president of DIY Club, on how craft a bow.


What does DIY stand for?

DIY stands for doing it yourself, which means it is a hands-on experience on projects.

As President of the DIY Club, what is DIY to you?
To me, DIY is like my kind of art. It is an art that is one of a kind because it is made by me and I find it versatile because DIY projects can be used in many ways.

How did you get into DIY?
DIY grabbed a hold of me when I was shopping one day in Goodwill, and that was where the “juices” of my DIY creativity came from.

What compelled you to make the DIY Club at Carmel?
After creating DIY projects at home for two months over the last summer and posting my projects on Instagram and Facebook under my page, “DIY with Joline,” I received lot of wonderful comments on them and likes. I decided, “Why not start a DIY club at school and teach others to make DIY projects?”

What can you tell me about Carmel’s DIY Club?
This club lets anyone teach each other how to create the DIY they make. DIY can be anywhere from crafts to food, from clothing to shoes, and from rocks to tires. It can be anything you can make. You don’t have to have experience in this field before coming in. Anyone is welcome to stop by and see what’s happening every meeting. We do lots of fundraising activities and donate money to hospitals and shelters.

What do you do in the club as a member?
In the club, we have made decorated pumpkins for Halloween, Christmas ornaments, wreaths, and Sharpie arts onto bags. We’ve also melted crayons in the shape of heart and made teacups, plate jewelry stands, and DIY hair bows.

We also have raised money for Riley’s Children Hospital through Carmel Dance Marathon  through our Valentine’s Day sale at lunch this year. For that, we made our own DIY-style pillow hearts, crayons in the shape of heart, scented soap, cards, origami wishing stars in handmade boxes to go, along with, and flower pens and hair bows!

Why is DIY important to you?
DIY projects are like a part of me that will grow with me from childhood to adulthood. I think it’s essential to have the creativity and express it in a form of art that intrigues me. That to me is DIY. I love looking back at all the DIY projects I’ve made in the past in my room and seeing that they all have versatile uses. An example would be my teacup and plate jewelry stand. It holds my jewelry and teacups, but it could also be used as a cupcake stand.

What would you say to convince someone to start DIY projects of his or her own?
People should do DIY projects because DIY can teach them to think differently about things. It teaches you to recycle your old things. A DIY project is a good hands-on art that can be used to make gifts for the family and friends. So people should get on the DIY bandwagon and get started! If you’re concerned about money, DIY projects are not expensive to make. Most of my materials are either from Goodwill or other thrift stores. I use old vintage items and recreate into new useful items. So you see you don’t have to go buy new materials to start on DIY projects. Use what you have and recreate it.

What was your reaction when you found out that March was National Craft month?
I was very excited no doubt.  I didn’t even know about it until you mentioned that it was DIY month. To me, every month is like a DIY month. I do it so often that it’s a like a third nature to me.  I don’t have to think a lot for DIY; it just comes to me daily.

How often you DIY?
About twice a week. It depends on my time.

Is it hard to come up with new ideas?
Not at all, I get lots of inspirations from Goodwill honestly. It’s a cheap place to buy materials and I go every first Saturday of the month. I’ll see things I’ve wanted to use for DIY every time I’m there. Creativity does not have to be so important. We make lots of things by learning from each other and taking ideas from each other to create new ideas. That’s how DIY works, we see things on Pinterest, Tumblr or Youtube videos, and take their ideas and mold it some way into our ideas. We add our own style to the original DIY.