Gilbert resident Rebecca Propes calls herself a “DIY extraordinaire” and gets the chance to prove it on NBC’s “Making It.”
Propes is featured in the second season of the competition reality show featuring hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, which kicks off Dec. 2. The eight episodes will run through Dec. 11.
“I can say working alongside Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman was probably the coolest experience I ever had,” said Propes, who can’t disclose any information on the handmade projects the contestants tackled or how well she fared.
Propes goes head-to-head against nine other elite crafters vying for the “Master Maker” title and the $100,000 cash prize. Khiem Nguyen, a woodworker, was the first season’s winner.
Each episode consists of two projects for makers to demonstrate their specialized talent while sharing skilled insights and touching personal stories, according to Making It.
The first is a “faster-craft” round, a timed challenge testing each contestant’s ability to work quickly and imaginatively.
Next, they move to the “master craft collection,” a one-of-a-kind themed challenge where participants use their expertise, getting inventive to assemble a winning craft fitting the weekly theme to impress the expert judges, Simon Doonan and Dayna Isom Johnson.
Season 2 makers include woodworkers, balloon artists, calligraphists and costume makers crafting creations in mediums ranging from food to felt, according to a news release.
Although Propes’ background is as an interior designer, she considers herself a generalist.
“Anything you put in front of me, I’d be happy to take on and tackle,” she said. “What this does is it pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to try new things you never tried before.”
Prope’s crafty side developed early.
“Ever since I can remember I had an interest in the arts,” she said. “One of my earliest memories was in preschool where I remember drawing with a marker and watching the ink lay down on the paper and how the color deposited on the paper.”
Prope said she wanted to take the bright-pink marker home and investigate it more. Over the years, she’s tried her hands at anything related to art – wood-burning, calligraphy, finger-painting, ceramics…
Propes said earning an interior design degree tied all her creativity together and things expanded from there.
The married mom of three sons, 11, 9 and 8, went back to school at 30 to earn her degree and is the owner of Make & Do Studio.
She freelances her skills as a design expert for Project Nursery, Dominos and Joann Fabrics and Crafts as well as major brands, such as Home Depot, Land of Nod, Spoonflower and Rugs USA.
The show caught Propes’ eye when she saw a casting call for Making It’s first season and applied but didn’t get a response.
She applied again and sent in pictures of lot of her work and “crossed my fingers and toes” and got in.
“I was a little nervous at first,” Propes said. “But watching season 1, I knew it was a good-spirited show and really the only drama I feel is between the maker and their own project and not against any other contestant.
“It’s like you are up against a clock and limited supplies and what can you do in this time. The pressure you put on yourself is where the internal drama was. All the contestants were amazing.”
Propes said she gets her inspiration through everyday interactions.
“I’m inspired by the entire world around me,” she said.
Propes, who has lived in Gilbert since 2003, said she wanted to go on Making It for a number of reasons, including showing her children if they have a dream, to keep pushing for it.
“There are no limits,” she said. “The only limits you have are the roadblocks you put in front of yourself and to keep taking chances and keep dreaming big”
And, she learned something about herself, as well.
“I’m part of the social media world and there’s lot of younger individuals coming into the scene in ways I felt I was aging out,” the 44-year-old said. “But I quickly realized I am still in it.”