Do It for Yourself


141 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-458-99710-2





Reviewed by Karen Towle

Karen Towle was a novice at home repairs and lived in Shawville, Quebec.


Mary Bellows hosts the CBC television show “Do It for Yourself.” After three years of practical experience on the set, Mary has followed up the program with a manual dealing with home repair projects. Mary enthusiastically handles the many minor and not-so-minor situations that can go wrong in a household. Before becoming involved in book writing and television, Mary worked in the theatrical world and also did commercials. She can certainly claim the title “working mother,” since she has a family of four children.

The first part of the manual deals with electrical repairs and easy-to-install items. The book moves on to painting hints and then tells how to replace window panes and screens. There is a small section on working with window shades or blinds. The plumbing problems covered range from clearing clogged drains to tiling a bathroom with ceramic tiles. Other topics covered include wall-papering, the repair of vinyl flooring, and how to fix lawn chairs and those favourite kitchen chairs.

Do It for Yourself isa simple, sometimes confusing, but funny manual that offers helpful hints to anyone taking on home repairs for the first time. The instructions are fairly clear and Mary’s comments make light of what could otherwise be a chore. Each topic has been well covered, and usually a few extra hints are thrown in that a textbook type of manual might tend to leave out.

The illustrations lend lots of humour and poke fun at mistakes that will probably be made in the course of home repairs. A more specific table of contents, however, giving the exact page numbers for repair problems, is definitely needed. Other than that, a great little book!



Bellows, Mary, “Do It for Yourself,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 21, 2024,