A Crafty Mix


Dirty Little Secrets – Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of all the beautiful blogs out there? Me too 😉 So along with a few awesomely talented bloggers we thought it would be fun (and useful) to share some of our dirty little secrets and the behind the scenes of a DIY blog.

Dirty Little Secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Warning – this post involves ass creeping pajamas and doggy doo-doo that may not be safe for sensitive viewers 😉

Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Okay now that the disclaimers and wot nots are out of the way. I’m passionate about creating things and inspiring others to try do it yourself. But I always go into a flat spin when it comes to taking those beauty shots that will either make or break the whole post. Those ones where everyone goes WOW, I want to try that so I’m gonna pin it for later. Yeah those ones. UGH. If you don’t have pretty doctored photos, pinning is so not going to happen. The competition is brutal.

In the days before the internet we were perfectly okay just competing with the Joneses or the Smiths. You know, the family next door who drove a swanky red car and held loud parties every weekend that you never got invited to. And if you wanted to feel really crap about your house you just had to subscribe to a glossy magazine. How I miss those days. Now all you need to do is surf the net to find out that you live in a hovel with mismatching tiles and that your super comfy couch is as out as Justin Beiber’s hairstyle. Does he still have hair? I haven’t checked in a while. Anyways this blog hop is all about going behind the scenes and seeing how the Joneses really live, dirty little secrets and all.

To set the scene (no pun intended it just helps my SEO if I use my chosen keyword lots – google likes that apparently), here’s an after photo of a little Steampunk Balloon we made.

Dirty little secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Cute hey? We hung the balloon inside the house but the lighting is really yucky. We don’t have any fancy equipment to take a good indoor shots. Yet 😉 Plus I’m not a big one for dusting and most of the time our house looks like a crafty bomb went off inside.

My lack of dusting skills will finally pay off when it's Halloween Click to Tweet

I’m not going to bore you with how we made it, that’s a post for another day. Let me rather bore entertain you with what normally happens behind the scenes to get a photo like this.

Because of the bad lighting situation inside the house most of our craft and DIY photos are taken outside. We live in a sunshine filled country and the harsh African sun doesn’t only play havoc with our skins, it can ruin a photo too. The magic hour is usually early in the morning or just before sunset but we’ve learnt that sunset doesn’t really work for us. That’s beer time you guys and no one messes with our beer time.

When life gets blurry, adjust your focusClick to Tweet

So early morning it is, which means there’s no time to get dressed or pick up the doggy doo-doo. Most weekends you’ll find me wandering aimlessly around in the garden like a banshee on a mission, still in my PJ’s, trying to find the perfect spot to take a photo.

Dirty little secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

There she goes

Either my ass has gone AWOL in the last few years or those PJ’s have become crack fillers while I wasn’t looking. Did you see my slippers?

Dirty little secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Poo control

Those are my hubby’s anti doggy doo-doo weapons 😉 Are you wondering why the aimless banshee has a rake in her hand in the previous photo? We needed a way to suspend the balloon in thin air so I could take photos from different angles. The rake was the best plan we could come up with.

Dirty little secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Still at it

See the fishing gut? We often use fishing gut and double sided tape to make things work. I had visions in my head of creating a photo where the balloon seems to be drifting through the air. A little bit of fishing gut tied to a rake worked perfectly.

Dirty little secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

The tools

A rake is an awesome photography tool. You can swing that baby around until you get the best lighting and angle without trying to PhotoShop out an arm that’s lost the war against gravity. Talking about Photoshop, we can’t afford it. Sad I know, but beer money is way more important 😉 The only editing software we use is Paint.Net. It’s free and there are loads of people developing little plugins that will mimic about 87.639124% of what PhotoShop does. The other thing we can’t afford is a REAL camera. All the photos on the blog are taken with my Samsung Galaxy S something or other.

Dirty little secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

The camera

Except for this one. Hubby used his LG something or other to take this one. I love using our mobiles to take photos. Mobiles are just easier. They’re always there. All we need to worry about is the green and red button and how many Mega Pixels the camera has. Once we’ve taken a gazillion photos from all angles and the banshee has calmed down to a slight panic, hubby is there clearing up the destruction left in my wake. Love you baby, thank you.

Dirty little secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

The hubby

Doesn’t he look like a grown up Tom Sawyer? Wanna see some real destruction? This is our workshop area and there’s just no ways hubby will ever be able to tidy this up.

Dirty little secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

It’s a chaotic, messy, DIY heaven. Our creative zone. Everything is in it’s place waiting to be turned into something. It’s full of useless crap awesome stuff that may or may not become a new thing.

Want a Quick Recap of Our Dirty Little Secrets?

  • The best lighting is natural lighting. So if the lighting inside sucks take it outside
  • If you have big dogs, always exercise caution when taking photos in the garden and remember to wear your anti doo-doo weapons
  • Find a way to shoot from different angles to see what works best. This may involve using a rake or other garden implements
  • Always have some fishing gut and double sided tape ready. When you can’t make holes in walls, double sided tape and fishing gut are your go to tools.
  • Free editing software works almost as well as the top of the range stuff. And if it works for you, please remember to give the authors a good rating
  • Most mobiles have great cameras. Use what you’ve got
  • Behind the scenes helpers deserve a medal and lots of loving
  • Chaos and madness are okay. We’re not all meant to be a Jones or a Smith. We are unique and I never wanted to go to their silly parties anyway. I still want that red swanky car though 😉

Are you keen to see more behind the scenes stuff? Oh good, then hop on over to these amazing blogs to get the low down of what really happens in their creative world. Just click on the photo. Trust me it’s worth it.

Dirty Little Secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Foodie Blogger’s Dirty Little Secrets

Dirty Little Secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Another DIY Blogger’s Dirty Little Secrets

Dirty Little Secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Dirty Little Secrets of a Repurposing Blog

Dirty Little Secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

A Furniture Flipper’s Dirty Little Secrets

Dirty Little Secrets - Behind the Scenes of a DIY Blog

Another DIY Blogging Couples’ Dirty Little Secrets

And if you enjoyed seeing what happens behind the scenes of a DIY Blog don’t forget to pin.

6 international bloggers share their dirty little secrets on what what really happens behind the scenes #DIYBlogging #DIY #BehindTheScenes

Do you have any little secrets you want to share? I love to hear about them and if you’ve got some tips on how we can improve our photography, that would be awesome. We’ve still got so much to learn.

BTW, I thought I’d include my wish list of stuff I’d love to get for the blog. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and maybe I’ll be able to afford a real camera one day 😉

LimoStudio Photography Photo Portrait Studio 660W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit, LMS103
Sale Fujifilm X100F 24.3 MP APS-C Digital Camera-Silver
YINGGG Unisex Cute Poop Emoji Slippers Plush Fluffy Comfortable House Shoes for Kids Women Men

And as always, here’s wishing you all a blessed and creative week.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

Categories:   DIY Tutorials


  • Posted: January 4, 2018 14:24

    Nicole Flint

    This was so funny! It's cool that you showed the behind the scenes because it's a lot of work that bloggers put in to creating content!
    • Posted: January 5, 2018 15:03


      😀 I'm glad you enjoyed it Nicole, thank you
  • Posted: January 4, 2018 05:11

    Ellie Plummer

    This is such a fun post, I love reading how people work and even how you take photos is so creative.
    • Posted: January 5, 2018 15:07


      Thank you Ellie 😊
  • Posted: January 3, 2018 22:43


    I love all of this post, it’s defintely very creative and fun. I do agree about the lighting. If you have bad lighting our vision isn’t the best!
    • Posted: January 5, 2018 15:06


      You're so right Ariel. The right lighting makes such a big difference
  • Posted: January 3, 2018 17:41


    lol I love how honest you are! Natural lighting is my life, it was actually one of my stipulations when I was moving!
    • Posted: January 4, 2018 04:17


      It makes such a big difference. We love our home but with all the big trees in the garden natural light inside is a huge problem
  • Posted: January 3, 2018 09:54


    Wow this was an amazing post, one of the best I ever read... really loved reading it .. must say you're so creative.. I loved reading your posts and visiting your blog, keep up the good work.
    • Posted: January 5, 2018 15:08


      THank you soooo very much Helene 😊
  • Posted: January 3, 2018 03:50


    Ha ha ha ! love it! That is one creative post and I loved the spirit of collaboration! Looking forward to more out of the box thinking!
    • Posted: January 3, 2018 08:50


      😀 Glad you enjoyed it Aditi
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 20:23


    I agree that natural lighting is the best lighting although it does depend on what you are photographing. Love the idea for BTS post, you are so amazing and real. I am going to check some free photo editing apps, my photoshop trial is getting over this week.
    • Posted: January 3, 2018 08:56


      Thanks so much Preet and I hope you find an app that works for you and suits your budget
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 18:12


    This is a hilarious post. Love the idea and the way you wrote it. It's a wonderful way to tell the readers about the hustle bustle we go through for the perfect shot.
    • Posted: January 3, 2018 09:31


      Thanks so much Surekha. I have to be honest it was a little scary at first exposing all our dirty secrets but it was a lot of fun
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 15:53


    The secrets have been revealed lol. DIY's requires a lot of work and its normal that your workplace gets messier than ever but from your photos it looked like being resourceful is the key to hide all of those secrets.
    • Posted: January 16, 2018 14:54


      Ahhh yes, those behind the scene secrets that all bloggers have. Thanks so much MJ
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 13:50

    Jodi Major

    Oh I just love this post. Your realness is so refreshing. I lol'd several times. It's a great way to show viewers that everything isn't what it appears and people really need to work to get that "money shot"
    • Posted: January 2, 2018 15:34


      Geez, right!!!? I have soooo much to learn Jodi. Love your portrait shots BTW 🙂
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 09:08

    Jasmine Eclipse

    I love the behind the scenes looks at your craftiness! I hope to become much more crafty in this New Year!
    • Posted: January 8, 2018 13:50


      Thanks you so much Jasmine, it was fun putting the post together
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 05:46


    Michelle, I love the idea for this post! It’s such a cool perspective. A lot of my photos are taken indoors because so many are food related. Avoiding glares and shadows are the bane of my existence some days. 😐 I also move background stuff out of the way or crouch in different ways to get shots. Sometimes I involve my mom or sister. 😆 I use my iPhone 7 and filters either on my phone, laptop, or There’s a lot of effort gong into photos, even if it doesn’t always look like it! 🤣
    • Posted: January 2, 2018 10:07


      LOL Sam, I've never even tried taking photos of food. That would drive me nuts 😆
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 04:01


    This post certainly had me laughing. Then I thought of what my own "behind the scenes" would look like and shuddered a bit. The addition of humor and reality to a how-to post is such a great idea and made the whole thing that much more relatable. I'm not sure what you're currently using, as I see this post is a bit old, but I highly recommend Gimp, Pixlr, and Inkscapes. All are free and great for various forms of editing and tweaking!
    • Posted: January 2, 2018 10:09


      Someone else mention GIMP. I really have to make a plan to play around. Thanks for that Jill and I've haven't heard of Pixlr and Inkscapes either. So much to learn, so little time 😐
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 02:31

    Shadlyn Jay

    Lol! I am over here laughing. I love how you put a little personality in your blog posts. I rarely see that. By the way your garden is absolutely beautiful!
    • Posted: January 2, 2018 10:10


      Thanks so much Shadlyn. Our garden is our little refuge from the world and we're very lucky that she's completely self sufficient now
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 01:19


    I love how real you are. You hold nothing back and your personality shines through in this blog. Your images are great as well. I love Photoshop but I am also using Canva.
    • Posted: January 2, 2018 10:11


      Thanks so much Kesha. I've played with Canva but not Photoshop. I wish we could afford it. Maybe one day 😉
  • Posted: January 2, 2018 00:00

    Ana De- Jesus

    I agree that natural lighting is the best lighting although it does depend what you are photographing . I liked the idea of using a rake as a photography tool but I think that your camera has a great image resolution!
    • Posted: January 2, 2018 10:12


      Those Samsungs are such amazing little phones. I don't what I'd do without mine
  • Posted: January 1, 2018 23:04

    Tanvi Rastogi

    I have actually wondered about the BTS especially after visiting your blog for this past year. It sure looks like hard work and lot of 'interesting' efforts involved ahah ... Interesting blog post idea too!
    • Posted: January 2, 2018 10:14


      Ahhhh Tanvi, the struggle is real. I was a little scared at first to expose all our little secrets, especially the messy ones, but I'm real glad we did it. No one's perfect and we all just try do the best we can. Hope you have a really beautiful 2018 my friend
  • Posted: January 1, 2018 23:02

    Talina Roma

    This post seriously made me giggle! Sometimes the behind the scenes isn't as fabulous as the end results! ;) Happy New Year!
    • Posted: January 2, 2018 10:15


      🙂 Happy New Year to you too Talina
  • Posted: January 1, 2018 17:52


    Oh I love this, Michelle, its always fun to see the crazy extremes it takes for a blogger to produce their amazing art. I love your little hacks - I've no judgement when it comes to how things are produced, if it works for that person then that is great! My light box for my nail is is constructed out of a cardboard box ^^' That thing has more tape than anything I've ever seen!! Inspiring post and I love your beautiful creation as always.
    • Posted: January 2, 2018 10:16


      I would love to see your light box Ithi. Your photos always look so beautiful, especially since they're close ups of your gorgeous nail art
  • Posted: January 1, 2018 15:54

    corinne & kirsty

    ahah loved this post! so relatable! there is so much behind a picture! you should see the mess in my flat after just one flatlay!
    • Posted: January 6, 2018 07:41


      I know right!!!? It always looks like a bomb went off 😀
  • Posted: January 1, 2018 15:45

    Precious @ Lovenancials

    Interesting read** Michelle this post got me laughing Aaaand hey! I'm happy you shared this dirty secrets.
    • Posted: January 8, 2018 13:52


      Glad you enjoyed it Precious 😉
  • Posted: December 28, 2017 18:48

    Tsu Dho Nimh

    I just found this set of blogs, via the Navage Patch. It's like watching sausage made. I love it! And for your photo editing work, I definitely second the GIMP (www.gimp.org) because not only it it free, it's really powerful with all the plugins that have been developed for it. I've been using the GIMP since version 0.2 in the late 1990s, and in a direct comparison with PhotoShop, using the same image as input and with the same goal, which was to remove the guy in the plaid shirt who had photobombed our product shot, no one could tell which software had done what.
    • Posted: December 30, 2017 07:05


      OMW - I'll have to try GIMP. Thanks so much for that Tsu. I really appreciate it
  • Posted: May 3, 2017 00:03


    Loved this post!! Thanks so much for stopping by!! I am feeling better now and thank you for your well wishes!! Hugs, Deb
    • Posted: May 3, 2017 12:54


      I'm so glad your feeling better Debbie. I'll check in again on the weekend xoxoxoxoxox
  • Posted: May 1, 2017 13:15


    I love how candid you are about all the dirty little secrets of getting a good shot for your blog. I have been known to roam around my property in my pj's as well. I am sure I am legendary in my neighborhood as a crazy lady. Your steampunk balloon is super cool!
    • Posted: May 1, 2017 13:32


      Thanks so much Lisa but they made me do it :-) Us crazy ladies need to stick together
  • Posted: April 25, 2017 23:45


    Ohhhh I love that little balloon! So many great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!
    • Posted: April 26, 2017 08:03


      Thanks so much Carolann. I'll have to put the tutorial up sometime soon
  • Posted: April 24, 2017 22:54


    Laughter is the best therapy and you made me laugh so hard!! I am sure there is a global PJ's revolution because mine do the same... maybe because they are angry for being full of paint? Love the creative use of the rake and I tell you your hubby is an angel! Mine doesn't clean all my destruction so happily. By the way, I fell in love with your garden
    • Posted: April 25, 2017 10:44


      LOL, thank you Pili, I'll tell him ;-)
  • Posted: April 24, 2017 19:56

    Michelle - Happy Heart Made

    You are so funny Michelle...love the behind the scenes look and all the dirt, grit and poo of capturing the right shot!! What an awesome project t