Welcome to DIY! You’re here for different reasons.....flavor bans, money saving, curiosity, the need for creativity.....whatever the reason, welcome! This is not gonna be a step by step how to. It’s going to be tips collected from various threads by various mixers. We’ve screwed up in every way possible and have learned from said mistakes! If I miss something(and I know I have), pile on! I want everyone just starting out to learn from our mistakes and hopefully avoid them. So, here goes! 1. Get a scale Trust me. Get a scale. It will make everything soooooo much easier. I know it seems cheaper to buy syringes and go by volume and people do it this way. But for me, once I switched to scales/weight, my mixing got infinitely easier. Clean up is almost non-existent. 2. Buy 100mg nicotine Wear gloves if you feel like you need to. Yes, you can get nic sick if you spill it on yourself, but if you wash it off right away, you’ll be fine. The 100mg is just easier to measure with and most mixers use it. Buy some, transfer it to glass bottles with minimal air in the bottle.....date and freeze most of it and keep one bottle out for use. 3. Buy the smallest bottle of flavoring Do not buy a huge bottle of anything until you know you like it! It’s tragic to have a 4oz bottle of something you hate..... 4. The easy way to start There are two simple ways to start diy....one shots and mixing someone else’s recipes. One shots are an entire recipe in a bottle. You mix it at the stated percentage with pg/vg and nicotine. Shake it and go! Mixing someone else’s recipes is slightly more complicated, but gets you comfortable mixing. Look up a highly rated recipe on ELR or ATF(e-liquid recipes/all the flavors) and buy those flavors. Follow the recipe and you should be good to go. Bull City has flavor packs. Buy the pack and you get all the flavors that you need along with the recipe. Don’t go blindly buying flavors that you have no idea how to use. I know.....I did that. 5. Open an ELR or ATF account This is super helpful. Having an account can help you keep track of your flavors so you don’t double order. ELR also has a feature that helps you find recipes you can mix with your stash! You customize how much pg/vg/nic you use when you start and it saves it for future use. 6. Single flavor testing This is key, especially if you intend to develop your own recipes. It’s time consuming and a pita, but you need to know your flavors! Say you want to make a strawberry cheesecake with a syrupy top. What strawberry are you gonna use? What strawberry(or combo) will give you what you need? Unless you’ve done single flavor testing, you just don’t know. And people’s tastebuds are different. You may taste something completely differently than I do. If you do intend to start development, start SFT as soon as you can....it sucks to have 100 flavors that you have to test because you slacked off(like me.....sob!). 7. Head on over to YouTube There are many channels that cater to DIY. Fresh03, DIYorDIE, DIY DownUnder, Mixing in the Kitchen, OHM Academy, Flavor Pro, Mixin Vixens are just a few that I watch religiously. Noted is a treasure trove for developers.....they pick a category and single flavor test as many as they can. There’s three mixers, so you get different takes on each flavor. 8. Ask for help There are no stupid questions. We have a lot of great mixers here! We can walk you through or send you to the right place for any question you have. Don’t be shy! 9. There is no wrong way to mix There is no wrong way to mix. Whether you use scales, syringes, drops or teaspoons, mix how you want to get the liquid that works for you. If you like 25% strawberry ripe and it’s keeping you off of cigarettes, then go for it! It’s all about what you need and like. That said, there is an industry standard of using percentages, which can be converted to drops/ml on the calculators I mentioned above. 10. Take notes! This is especially important for developers. I use paper and pen, but use whatever you want. What do you taste? Is it candyish? Thick? Thin? Vegetal? Grainy? Smooth? Acidic? Harsh? Write down whatever you taste at what percentage. Flavors can change depending on what percentage you use them at. And at what temperature! Case in point.....chocolates and coffees do better at lower temps. They can taste burnt if you crank them up. 11. Steeping Whatever you want to call it, steeping is crucial to some recipes. Fruits generally are shake and vape. Bakeries/creams/custards/tobaccos generally need 5-7 days. Some get better and better the longer you let them sit(Game Over Custard and Kreeds Kustard to name a couple). There are always outliers, but on the whole, it’s a good time frame to use. If you mix something and try it right away and it’s not quite right, let it sit for a few days before you start tweaking it. It might just need time to meld together. 12. Start out small When you make a recipe or single flavor test, start small.....like 10-15ml small. The main reason for this is that you don’t want to make a ton of something you don’t like. It’s frustrating and a waste of money. 10-15 ml is enough to try a recipe/SFT over a period of time. Try it right out of the gate....then after 5 days.....10 days....etc. A lot of change can happen in that time.(thanks, @Letitia9 13. Don’t give up! Please! I know it’s frustrating, especially when you’re a budding developer, to make a truly awful recipe. Believe me, we’ve all done it and continue to do it. Out of 10 recipes I make, half suck, a quarter can be saved and the other quarter are ok to good. Maybe one can be released to the public.....maybe. If you are having trouble, head over to the Daily Mixing Thread and post your recipe and ask for help. Someone will chime in! That’s it from me! Again, I’m 100% sure I’ve missed something or many somethings. Good luck, have fun and don’t give up!See ya down the rabbit hole!