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The Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day
The Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day
The Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day
Ebook812 pages15 hours

The Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



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About this ebook

Get the know-how to do it yourself: “This lifestyle manual will come in handy when you need anything from a headache remedy to a dirt-cheap wedding.” —Entertainment Weekly
The modern appeal of “do-it-yourself” projects has a broader reach than ever. And who better to teach us how to DIY our lives than the über-crafty editors of BUST, the quirky, raw, and real magazine “for women who have something to get off their chests”? In The BUST DIY Guide to Life, magazine founders Debbie Stoller (of Stitch ’n Bitch fame) and Laurie Henzel have culled more than 250 of the best DIY and craft projects from its 15-year history. Organized by category—beauty and health, fashion, food and entertaining, career, finance, travel, and sex—and written in BUST’s trademark brazen and witty style, this quintessential DIY encyclopedia from the quintessential DIY magazine is eclectic, empowering, hilarious, and downright practical, truly capturing the spirit of women today.
Release dateJun 10, 2014
The Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day
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Laurie Henzel

Debbie Stoller and Laurie Henzel are the founders and publishers of BUST magazine—Stoller is the editor in chief and Henzel is the creative director. Stoller is also the co-author of the BUST Guide to the New Girl Order and the Stitch ’n Bitch knitting book series. Stoller and Henzel both live in New York City.

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Good stuff, got it for daughter... may have to get one for me too.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Thus is wow asweome so much
    Like I'm so happy
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Very good and easy to use

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The Bust DIY Guide to Life - Laurie Henzel


When we first started BUST magazine back in 1993, we never would have predicted that some day we’d be putting together a book about DIY. In fact, crafting wasn’t on our minds at all back then. In those days, our main goal was to create a magazine that would be different than any other women’s magazine on the newsstand. Instead of making our readers feel inadequate, we would celebrate them—and ourselves—just as we are. We would print the stories no other magazine would dare: about our confusion and at times ambivalence about relationships, careers, motherhood, and what our lives—we, the first generation of women to be raised on feminism—would or should be like. While other women’s magazines ran stories about how to please your man, we’d encourage our readers to learn how to please themselves; instead of schooling women on how to climb the corporate ladder, we’d advise on how to fulfill oneself creatively; where other magazines told women how to lose weight, we’d emphasize that all sizes are beautiful.

But maybe the fact that we’ve become so involved with DIY shouldn’t come as such a surprise. After all, BUST itself was an entirely DIY endeavor. When we came up with the idea for the magazine, we were three girls—myself, Laurie Henzel, and Marcelle Karp—working at low-level jobs at a children’s TV network. We didn’t know anything about business plans, investors, profit margins, or other things that most entrepreneurs would consider when starting a new business venture. That’s because we considered BUST to be more of a cause than a commodity. This was long before blogs, so our only option for getting our voice out there was to create a printed magazine, and we set out in search of a way to get that first issue made without any money at all. We began by asking our writerly friends and colleagues if they had stories about their lives that they felt weren’t being told by the mainstream media, and if so, if they would like to contribute. Most of the people we approached were so excited about finally getting a forum where their voices could be heard that they were more than happy to oblige. Then we asked our graphic designer colleagues at the TV network if they’d be willing to help lay out the magazine during their off-hours. They too, were excited about the project, and got right to work, cutting and pasting the designs for each story by hand.

Within a few months we had our first issue, printed out on regular old copier paper, filled with first-person stories, artwork, fiction, and more. We stayed late at the office to surreptitiously make copies and got sore wrists from stapling them all together. But finally, there they were: 500 copies of our little magazine, or ’zine, as this kind of homemade publication is called. Back in the early ’90s, thanks to the newly accessible desktop publishing tools, there were so many of these ’zines that there were entire stores devoted to them, and independent bookstores and record stores usually had a few shelves reserved for their display. We sent BUST out to all these places, asking them to sell the mag for us, and it quickly sold out. We had to create another 500 copies—once again, late at night at our day-job office—to meet the demand. Soon we even began to receive fan mail—letters from folks who told us how much they enjoyed the magazine, how much it meant to them, how it made them feel so much less alone.

That bit of encouragement was all we needed to keep going. We started working on a second issue, and pooled our money together to get it printed. And then a third issue. And with each new issue, we improved the magazine just a little bit. We went from photocopies to newsprint, and then eventually from newsprint to glossy paper. We didn’t give up our day jobs, but BUST kept us excited and fulfilled as we grew our circulation bit by bit. In 2000, we partnered with a dot-com company that gave us a budget and some office space, and allowed us to finally quit our day jobs and work on BUST full-time. But when the dot-com bubble burst one short year later, so did our partnership. It was tough to lose our backing, but we pulled ourselves up by our bra straps. At this point there were just two of us running the mag—myself on the editorial side of things and Laurie heading up design. We set up shop at Laurie’s house and started the magazine again, and that’s how we’ve carried on for the past ten years (although we now have an actual office and a full-fledged staff). Today, BUST continues to be a completely woman-owned, woman-run independent operation, with no owners or investors to tell us what we can and can’t publish. And how did we get here? Yup; we did it ourselves.

In the early years of the magazine our stories were mostly first-person narratives (our contributors were so anxious to get these untold women’s stories out there), but as we grew, and our audience grew, we began publishing more reported stories, more interviews with women we admired (Björk, Tina Fey, Amy Sedaris, Amy Poehler, Yoko Ono, Gloria Steinem, Missy Elliott, Kathleen Hanna, Kim Gordon, Chloë Sevigny, Miranda July, Rosario Dawson—to name but a few), and more service-type pieces—advice columns and so on. Then, in 1997, we introduced a new crafting column, She’s Crafty, in which we planned to start publishing all kinds of DIY ideas. At that time, no one could imagine a magazine aimed at young women that would encourage such old-fashioned activities as soap-making, knitting your own clothes, or learning to make dinner from scratch. And in particular, what would a magazine that considered itself feminist be doing publishing such things? Cooking? Crocheting? These were exactly the types of things our feminist mothers had tried so hard to free us from; why would we voluntarily decide to go back?

But for us, there were plenty of reasons to promote DIY in our magazine, and the first and foremost of these was directly