The flatpack furniture producers of the world would have you believe that you can add a beautiful piece of affordable furniture to your home simply by following a few simple instructions. They think that you will be so pleased by the saving produced by not having to pay a factory to assemble your new bed, that you will be happy to give up an entire weekend, several fingernails and possibly even your marriage for the sake of saving a few pounds.
But they don’t realise that building that bookcase, assembling that bed, or constructing the new baby’s cot can be a source of frustration, negativity and, well, screaming arguments that have a lot more to do with the time your mother-in-law ate the last mince pie and polished off the gin than the actual assembly involved.
If sounds familiar then help is at hand. Recently I came across The Missing Pages of the flatpack instructions and here, to celebrate the season of goodwill and all things self-assembly, I am sharing them with you today. The guide was created by the design agency Special Projects and brought to you by Zetteler. it might just help you out this December.
After all it’s that time of year when there is inevitably some self-assembly involved. It might be the overly-complicated Lego set that Father Christmas is planning on bringing one of the children (I remember you 2005 and the Bionicles set that took three days, THREE DAYS), or the sofabed that needs putting up before the in-laws arrive.
Ever since the husband and I attempted to paper a single (very square) wall some ten years ago – a feat which nearly involved lawyers – we have been firm believers in the school of paying other people to do these things. It’s cheaper than couple’s therapy as the logic goes.
Anyway, sometimes needs must. And if I’m honest we have done flatpack furniture together. When I say together, he assembles the furniture in one room and I drink gin in the other. Then I listen to his post-assembly talk of how unbelievably difficult it was while he searches for the rest of the tonic. That also works for us as a system.
The Missing Pages were created because, as the creators say: “They never put these details in the manual. When every bookcase holds the memory of a different argument and every wardrobe reminds you of your busted back.”
So now there are three extra manuals you can download consisting of Sleepï, Stretchï and Düo. The first is for after the stress of building the cot – assuming that hasn’t brought on early labour and single parenthood – to help you calm down by creating a sweet mobile to hang over said cot.
Stretchï is the antidote to the backache and muscle strain resulting from manoeuvring heavy bits of wood or too long breaking your fingers (and nails) cranking that Allen key. The manual gives you a series of simple 30-second yoga poses that can help ease both the physical and mental pains of an intense DIY session using the box as a mat.
Finally, Duö is perhaps the most important of the three and is designed to alleviate any relationship tensions that may have sprung up during the last few hours of assembling the bed. You know the bit where one of you is yelling that the instructions are missing or wrong and the other is fantasising about dropping the sodding panel on his head… just me? Surely not.
This is a little craft-based couple’s therapy exercise designed to diffuse any arguments that are brewing while you mix the restorative alcoholic drinks afterwards.
And there you have it. I hope you thought that was fun. Now, to really cheer us all up why don’t you share your stories of DIY and self-assembly in the comments below?
Find out more about the duo behind Special Projects here sadly it doesn’t tell you about their own DIY experiences.