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DIY at CHM

Easi-Bild* build-it-yourself* full size pattern books, 7.5” x 10.5” – 3 pieces in envelope, The Easi-Bild Pattern Company, Pleasantville, NY

Easi-Bild* build-it-yourself* full size pattern books, 7.5” x 10.5” - 3 pieces in envelope, The Easi-Bild Pattern Company, Pleasantville, NY

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

“skilled, as well as unskilled persons find in this method a time, labor and material saving way to build garages, houses and other large projects. Full-Size Paper Patterns take the mystery out of building with wood, metal, panel-board or plastics.”

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

4 Comments

  1. Edmund Smith

    How do I acquire a manual for the Folding Bench Picnic Table (6 ft.) Pattern no. 323 from the Easi-Bild Pattern Co. of Pleasantville, NY

  2. DIY is the most easy ways nowadays , no need to pay carpenter or what ever person , even
    woodworking plans also been sold over internet , with blueprints , all you need is DIY , do it your self ,

    Edmund, i think a manual for the Folding Bench Picnic Table , you can find it here , Thanks .

  3. I love articles about do-it-yourself things. Almost everything at my living room is done by me and my husband. I think that in that way the room gets more character. It will be very interested to read articles like these from the 40s. Regards!

  4. Bradley Michaels

    Hello,
    Are the Easi-build pattern books viewable on line?
    My grandfather build a few of their chairs in the late 1940s and I would like to find a particular pattern so I can build it myself.
    Brad

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