FREE Home Depot Do-It-Herself Workshop

So a couple of days ago, I read a post on smithaeaster’s blog about a free diy workshop at Home Depot. She made an adorable shelf/coat rack… for FREE! Well, her time and some elbow grease. I thought… OMG. That sounds like fun!

I immediately looked up future classes and found out the next one would be on the 17th. They call these classes “Do-It-Herself”, which I find sort of offensive. I’m not a total crazy feminist but seriously, I can figure my way through Home Depot without assistance and probably own more tools than my husband (sorry Erin). We don’t need pink power tools. We can do more than pick out pretty wallpaper. Change the name. The regular DIY workshops are things you would do around your house like tile work or things like that. These DIH classes are a little more crafty.


Annnyyyway, the next class was focused on making a Rustic Pumpkin Stand with a little box in front for flowers or candy. Um… awesome. I have a friend who is super great at woodwork but not a fan of crafting so I thought this might be the perfect fit for a little “Moms Night Out”. I’m not really experienced in power tools and things that can cut off your hand so I was a little nervous. I registered us for the class and I was super looking forward to making this adorable little stand to incorporate into P’s birthday party.

When we arrived, we checked in to figure out where we were supposed to go and it became very clear that they were not prepared for this class. We stood while the store manager tried to create some class out of thin air by gathering random associates. Another registered guest arrived and we made our way back to stand some more in the lumber area. I’m serious… they didn’t know what to do with us. The guy that was supposed to teach the class stood there and said, Ummm and what are we supposed to make? IMG_5949

While they sorted out that business, I decided to try and pick up a couple of things I needed from the store for another project. When I returned, they were basically finishing up cutting the wood they needed. That was definitely supposed to be a prep work task. Not a well, let’s look at the instructions and oh, it looks like we need to break down some fence posts.

The class was supposed to offer attendees the opportunity to build their own pumpkin stand using the tools provided. Given the fact that we were tucked back in a corner with 2 chairs and a random Home Depot flat cart as a work bench, this was not happening. So we watched at they put it together. Boy was it rough. They hadn’t practiced this so we were seeing all the trial and error process. Staples weren’t going through the boards all the way, customers kept interrupting the workshop with questions, and I’m pretty sure they were close to shooting staples into each other’s heads… it wasn’t a clean demo. And then the best part… as it’s constructed, one of the guys goes to lift it up and the entire thing falls apart. They skipped the wood glue part as “it wasn’t neccessary”. Clearly it was necessary.

the aftermath of the great pumpkin explosion

the aftermath of the great pumpkin explosion

I had lost it at this point. It took every fiber of my being to remain nice while the instructors sheepishly picked up the pieces of the pumpkin stand. It was too much and I was over it. I literally couldn’t. Literally. Next, we watched as the guys tried to save the workshop by doing it the right way. They pulled out all the staples, remeasured items that were off and USED WOOD GLUE.


As hard as I’m being about the guys, it really wasn’t their fault. They were very sweet and really tried to show us a good time. They just weren’t prepared and didn’t know how to handle the class. Ultimately it was the management’s responsibility to make sure that their team is prepared. That did not happen. It was rough watching it all unfold. This was supposed to be a fun, relaxing evening from home and instead it was frustrating and exhausting.

Luckily, Chelsey has all the tools at her house so we just had them cut the materials and we plan to do the stands tomorrow. He gave us the wood materials for free since the class was such a shit show. Hopefully we learned a lot of what NOT to do so I can share the finished product soon!

ETA: this amazing picture showing how much fun we were having! 



11 thoughts on “FREE Home Depot Do-It-Herself Workshop

    • justaudrey says:

      I usually always have a great experience at HD. Sometimes they can be a little disorganized though.

      I just shared the process with the directions. It was super easy to make. πŸ™‚

  1. Smitha Easter says:

    Ohhh my gosh Audrey I’m just seeing this now! I’m so sorry you had such a rough experience, but I’m glad you are so smart to improvise and complete the project despite their lack of preparation for the class. A few days after I wrote my post that you mentioned above, I went to a Saturday class at a Home Depot across town- and they COMPLETELY forgot about it. No literally, the person at the front door said, “No we don’t have a class today” with such confidence that I thought I mixed up the days. As I walked back to my car with a friend, I pulled up the email that confirmed my registration for the class on the same morning. I turned around and walked back in and politely showed the person who told me they didn’t have a class that, indeed, my email says they did. Immediately they began walkie-talkying each other in the whole store trying to figure out what the heck was supposed to be going on. They were all absolutely clueless. Finally two women walked up to us from the back of the store and admitted that they totally forgot they were supposed to be hosting the class that morning. Then the lady who originally told me there was no class laughed and said, “well at least we solved that mystery for you!” As if there was supposed to be some sort of consolation in that. My friend and I looked at each other, and we were really trying to be nice because honestly, that’s just unacceptable. I just smiled at the woman and said “Oh okay well thanks anyways”, as we walked away.
    Two days later (Monday) I called the manager of the store! I very politely told her that I had a wonderful experience at the first workshop I went to, but I explained exactly what happened on the second time, two days before. She apologized profusely, saying her store dropped the ball and that it would never happen again. I told her that I wasn’t angry but if I’m getting other people to come into their store for a workshop they say they’re having, it would be nice to make sure that the class is actually going on. She was really nice and said she would see to it that the next class would be going on for sure. I appreciated her helpfulness.
    Even with her reassurance, I still called the store the morning of the Thursday workshop, when we were supposed to make those wooden pumpkins. Not something that should be my responsibility, but on behalf of the six other ladies I was bringing to the class, I wanted to make sure they weren’t wasting their time. The person I talked to said they were indeed having a class that evening, and that made me feel better. I plan on doing this every time I attend a workshop there, because I don’t want to drive across town for nothing, and especially if I am bringing other people, I will look like an idiot! Our pumpkin workshop ended up going great, and was hosted by some wonderful and helpful female instructors. They taught the class in a training room in the back of the store (like the first one I attended), and all of the supplies were neatly laid out for us in the middle of the table when we walked in. I was satisfied with the class and the 6 ladies I brought had a great time.
    Anyways your pumpkin turned out great! I’m so glad you decided to finish it, regardless of that weird experience at the store. Our experiences were very similar, but very different. Do you think you’ll ever go back again? Calling the store in advance might help (even though that certainly shouldn’t be your job!) it really did the trick in my case. I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pumpkin!

    • justaudrey says:

      That’s terrible but it seems similar to my experience (only we basically forced them to host something for us). I was not going to reschedule something when I had arranged for my husband to come home early to watch our LO.

      I would love to go back again for another class but I’d be weary of what to expect. I might go to another location. Did you make your pumpkins on-site? If so, what was the cost? It was just so unprofessional to me.

      • Smitha Easter says:

        I completely agree Audrey- absolutely unprofessional! The class they were unprepared for was for a plant stand that I didn’t even really want, so I wasn’t too upset. And I don’t need to arrange for childcare or anything so it’s easier for me than my mom friends, but STILL!
        For the pumpkin workshop (that I called ahead for to make sure they didn’t eff up again) everything was free since we just used wood pieces, a saw and a staple gun. Like I mentioned in my previous comment, this class was a pleasant surprise, they were prepared and the instructors were great. My finished piece I jazzed up at home & display in my last post: Honestly, the experience for that one was really good, and all my friends had a great time. I think I’m just going to call in advance from now on. Not sure if you’d want to do that, but it led to a great time for us.
        ❀ Smitha

      • justaudrey says:

        Hmm… it just seems so weird that it’s so varied between locations. Like he made it seem like he was doing us a favor by giving us the wood pieces for free, when it seemed like it was included. I might just contact the store. I know it’s been a little bit of time but it’s probably worth the call if I plan on attending one in the future.

        PS – Love the little banner. Great idea!

      • Smitha Easter says:

        Thanks girl! Yeah, isn’t that odd how it’s so different at each store? Make me think it might be a “manager’s call” depending on the store and project. I remember we had to pay for the hooks when I built the shelf at my first class… so I always walk in not really know what to expect!

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