September 30, 2022

On Tiktok, the DIY home improvement video is a genre unto itself. But, while some videos spark wild enthusiasm, others are met with bemusement. One recent example is a viral video from user @Delancey.diy, whose upload showing a recent bit of budget landscaping garnered as much hate as it did love.

The video, which was captioned “Budget Curb Appeal for $38.58. Next up is hanging patio lights on front walk. Follow for more budget friendly DIYs!” has attracted over 1.6 million views and more than 173,000 likes.

It begins with a clip of someone spraying a patch of mulch with what looks like black paint, while @Delancey.diy says: “Did you know you can dye your own mulch? Hold on… so our house looked like this when we bought it this summer.”

A couple doing some landscaping.
Two people engage in some DIY landscaping by planting a tree.
Aleksandr Golubev/Aleksandr Golubev/Getty

Through footage and @Delancey.diy’s voiceover, the video shows a house surrounded by large bushes, which are subsequently cut down to clear space in the front yard. @Delancey.diy then gathers all the old tired-looking red shutters from the outside of the house and lays them down on a tarp.

“We had a clean blank slate for a while. But then this week I was like let’s do a budget curb appeal update,” @Delancey.diy says. “So I spray-painted the mauve shutters, and then I got a delivery of free mulch, from chipdrop.com.”

Footage shows a dump truck unloading a huge pile of mulch, which is then spread to the areas where the bushes used to be. In a TikTok comment, @Delancey.diy explained that the company she uses pair arborists who want to dump fresh wood chips with people who could use them. The only problem was the color of the mulch.

“When I spread it out, I was like nope. It looks like sawdust,” @Delancey.diy says. “So I found this mulch dye on Amazon and you just mix it up with water and spray it with a pump sprayer. It’s the exact same mulch dye that the factories use to color the mulch that you buy in bags from home depot.”

Footage shows a time lapse of her moving around the garden spraying all the freshly laid beds. By the end of the video, the house is looking much smarter with black shutters and healthy-looking beds of mulch around the edge of the garden. @Delancey.diy goes on to note that just one container of the dye was enough to cover the whole yard and the whole process cost $38.58.

Many TikTokers were delighted with the tips in the video. @Nat simply wrote: “Great job!!” Likewise, @RyanFinance commented: “I’m definitely saving this video,” while @SidekickMom added: “That’s pretty badass.”

It’s little wonder that @Delancey.diy’s videos are finding such a large audience. During the pandemic, 81 percent of homeowners took up a DIY project, according to a survey conducted by Angi. After asking 1,000 homeowners about their DIY home improvements, researchers found that the single largest motivation to pursue a project was to “save money,” which 62 percent of respondents placed as their top reason for doing some DIY.

The survey also found that landscaping was the most affordable type of DIY project for homeowners, with 42 percent of respondents spending less than $1,000 (in comparison, kitchen and bathroom remodels were the priciest, with 31 percent spending more than $5,000).

Not all users, however, were entirely onboard with @Delancey.diy’s video. For example, @KayleighBoydston pointed out: “But what if it gets kicked around? Wouldn’t you be able to see the og color?”

Others appeared to take offense at the removal of the original bushes, with @8.8.18 writing: “Those boxwoods were beautiful. You killed your curb appeal.”

In response to @NinaA’s less aggressively toned question: “Why would you cut the bushes?” @Delancey.diy responded: “Because they hadn’t been cut back in decades and were blocking the front walk.”

But this, apparently, wasn’t a good enough reason for some users. @lylah commented: “immediately no.” While another user, @Hey, added: “I don’t think it looks better, but maybe with whatever other plans you have, it will come together.”

That said, for every doubting comment, there was another that heaped praise on @Delancey.diy. User @Matthew wrote, “You are awesome!! Thank you so much,” while @user2277042326393 commented: “very nice and affordable killed it.”

Newsweek reached out to @Delancey.diy for comment.