In a whirlwind of the past year, more women are using DIY plans to create room for restoration.
The pandemic has given multi-purpose spaces in your home an entirely new meaning. In honor of Mother’s Day, we talked with Jen Underwood, a stay-at-home mom and SheShed owner (@thejuniperseed) on how her SheShed has been a solace the past year and how you can find some comfort and relaxation in the midst of being a full time mom.
Jen has been a stay at home mom for six years now, and when school went virtual this past year with two kids, a seven-year-old 2nd grader and a six year old Kindergartener, she admits it was difficult to adjust. “I had a full house of me and my husband, my two kids and my parents who ended up stuck with us from not being able to travel back to the Philippines at the start of the pandemic”. Stressed about where to put everyone with home-schooling and all the activities that now needed to be done at home, her and her husband decided it was time to finally get around to building the SheShed she always talked about.
We met up with Jen to ask her some questions about her SheShed and tips on how to stay sane as a mom/teacher/principal/chef and the countless other roles moms have had to take on over the past year:
Tell us more about your SheShed journey! How did you start?
I do a lot of crafting and my bedroom was starting to become craft room. Without a separate space to dedicate to this, I talked to my husband about how cool it would be to have a SheShed! My husband is very handy and always loves to have something to work on. Shortly after the pandemic started, it had been weeks since he had built something. So I said, “Let’s build a SheShed!” and we started building that same week.
It took two weeks to do the framing, but we ended up having to stop because needed more funds to complete the project. After about seven months we were able to start back up again and finished the SheShed in another month. My husband designed the architecture of the house, but I did all the painting and sanding, as well as the design and look of the inside and outside of the SheShed.
I also requested a herringbone wood floor- which ended up looking amazing but was quite the project for my husband! Haha
Have you noticed more people building SheSheds or getaways from their houses since the pandemic?
Definitely! A lot of friends and family always want to hang out in the SheShed. I’m in there almost every day!
What impact has having a SheShed had on your life?
While my kids are in the SheShed doing schoolwork, I’m usually crafting things at the same time and I also spend time in there by myself.
Having this space, I finally found a creative outlet and am actually making something out of it. Before when it was just a space in my bedroom, crafting was just a hobby. But now being able to utilize the completely separate and dedicated space, the SheShed has become my office and I earn money from crafting. Even with the short “commute”, it’s kind of like going to work. Being a stay-at-home mom, I’m in the house all the time and it’s nice to have this space away from the house.
Any tips for moms struggling with all the new responsibilities the pandemic has brought?
If you have little ones or babies, to stay positive and drink lots of coffee! Try to find a creative outlet that can be “you” time. If you have an iPad, download the Procreate app. You can make fun stickers and drawings, which is something I actually started doing. Also make sure to get outside every once in a while, even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood or your backyard!
Where can someone start who’s interested in building a SheShed? Or are there any alternatives for people who aren’t ready to take on DIY?
I’m fortunate enough to have husband that is handy. But if he didn’t help me, I was going to actually build a SheShed myself. Check out places like OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace, where you try to find an already built shed to turn into the space you want. If you really want a SheShed that’s brand-new and ready to go, you can find already built sheds at Home Depot, but it’s a lot more costly than trying to source or build on your own.
If the cost is intimidating, budget and save up for it or take your time in building as you have the funds to keep going. If you have friends or family that are handy, ask them to help you out!
Any tips for those building their own SheShed?
If you do decide to build one, make sure to cover the wood with sealant to protect from sun damage! I’m learning that the hard way right now, with some cracking happening on my porch!
Ready to take the leap? Check out our top women’s work boot recommendations to help you tackle your own SheShed build.