The popularity of DIY “do-it –yourself” home improvement and decorating projects began in the early to mid 20th century, and especially after WWII. The housing boom and consumer demand for new home furnishings and interior decoration along with unprecedented amounts of leisure time sparked an interest in creating your own home woodworking shops. Homeowners became interested in making their own furniture, storage units, and other interior and exterior furnishings in modern styles.
The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum Library (CHM) recently acquired a selection of do-it-yourself manuals ranging from the 1940’s through the 1960’s published by the Easi-Bild Pattern Book Company. They advertised that
Patterns and instructions with the materials and equipment needed were all packaged in envelopes and available by mail order for handy and creative consumers. Structures and units were assembled at home, and then painted or finished according to the consumer’s preferences. Gift of Stephen van Dyk.—Elizabeth Broman