It can be really difficult to come up with a project that is new and fresh. There is a ton of inspiration on the internet–just search anything and thousands of ideas are at your fingertips! I often see projects that I would love to incorporate in my home or make as a gift, but I don’t always remember where I saw it. That usually leaves me trying to figure out the “how to” part of projects for myself and that’s NOT always a good thing!
Sometimes things just don’t go the way I hoped or expected. You may have had a similar experience! You start something with high hopes and expectations and suddenly find yourself in the middle of a mess! I can tell you, I have had my share of craft fails! They’re annoying, disappointing, and frustrating.
You see lots of projects here on the blog–pretty projects that I’m usually proud of and that came out well! Like these:
But every so often I have a disaster. A project that just doesn’t come out the way I planned. Here are a few of my most recent disasters! Yes, two in a row–I’m hoping this isn’t a trend!
I saw an adorable project when I was planning my office redo last year. It involved gluing wrapping paper over plain cardboard magazine files in order to coordinate them with the decor in your office. I came across plain cardboard magazine files on clearance at Target–it was meant to be! How cute would they look on the shelf in my office/craft room filled with cardstock and other officey things! All I needed was coordinating wrapping paper! After months (and I seriously mean months) of looking for just the right wrapping paper I found an adorable navy and white chevron print and finally had everything I needed to do this project.
Piece of cake! Can do this with my eyes closed! It’s decoupage! Done that a million times!
I was totally confident that this was a no-brainer, quick project that I could knock out in an hour and rave about in a blog post! Everyone would be inspired to make their own, I would share them on Pinterest and Facebook and Twitter and they would go viral and I would get millions of page views on my blog. Because mine were so much cuter and trendier than any that had been done before and oh so simple to make!
Only when I removed the cellophane wrap, what I thought was wrapping paper turned out to be more like a super thin vinyl coated paper. I never saw anything like it! When I tried to glue it the paper actually stretched and bubbled and creased. I googled a few similar projects and all the articles said “don’t worry about bubbles, they will flatten as the glue dries”. So I waited, and then waited some more, and they didn’t go away–probably because the paper wasn’t really paper!
Nope. Not only did the bubbles and creases not disappear but they actually looked worse. I couldn’t even tear the paper off to try again! It was a mess and wound up in the trash.
So now I have some really cute chevron wrapping paper if anybody needs some because it was sooo cute and I had so many boxes I could cover that I bought 4 rolls! Yeah! That’s how I roll, if one is good, 4 would be better!
Then there was the wreath.
I had seen a really pretty wreath with little clay pots in alternating sizes attached to it. Each clay pot had moss cascading out of it. The base was a grapevine wreath and there were little flowers here and there. It was so pretty and Mossy! I’ve made at least a zillion wreaths in my crafting lifetime and this would be yet another project that would go together like peanut butter and jelly, with minimal effort and look like a million bucks–just like all my wreaths do!
Everyone would ooooooh and aaaaaaah over it and it would become the most famous wreath ever! People would call me and ask me to make them by the hundreds and I would have so many orders I would need to open a shop and hire people to help make these adorable wreaths. Every house in America would have one of these wreaths on their front door–even The White House!
I gathered my supplies and photographed each step of preparation and assembly for a killer blog post that was going to be a very professional “How To” tutorial. People would flock to my blog to see the wreath and read my tutorial! And that written tutorial would lead to awesome video tutorials on how to make stuff and I would become famous and have to come up with a slogan to say at the end of every video like Martha Stewart’s “It’s a Good Thing”!
Now just so you know, there is a point in every single flower arrangement or wreath that I make where the project looks like a blob of leaves and flowers to me. Like my brain has mushed all the elements together! Really, not kidding! This is when I have to walk away for a good 15 minutes or more and then come back with fresh eyes and take another look.
When I come back, nine out of ten times I love what I see!
This wreath was the tenth time!
I finished the wreath and hung it on the front of the house and stepped back and looked . . . . and stepped back a little more . . . . and then a few steps more . . . and I took photos from every angle . . . . and finally acknowledged that the wreath was ugly. Purple and yellow faux flowers??? What was I thinking? (Actually I was thinking how pretty the real flowers looked in the trellis flower box post above that I did in the backyard). There had to be a way to save this project, I’d invested an entire day in the assembly and photography.
I grabbed the wreath, convinced myself that it was the color of the clay pots that was throwing things off and brought it inside. I painted all the clay pots, right where they were glued and wired to the wreath, with white and gray paint to age them a little. Then I blew them dry with my hair dryer (time saver)! Surely that would fix it!
I hung the new and improved wreath outside and stepped back . . . . . and stepped back a little more. . . . and then a few steps more . . . . . and I took a ton more photos of the improved wreath and finally came to the realization that it looked just as horrid as it did before I painted it! Only now it looked a little older because I aged the pots! Maybe it was just me. I would edit the photos and adjust the colors and it would be fine.
I was mildly hopeful and wildly delusional! And you know why?
Because you can’t edit ugly!
And I walked away and left that wreath in all it’s ugliness right there on the front of my house.
Here it is in all it’s glory! The ugliest wreath I have ever made!
My best craft fail to date!
Annnnnd After Painting the Pots:
I’ve had a lot more craft projects that have gone bad, but I never took photos before. I just quietly hid them away and pretend they never existed.
I’ve decided to do like that saying “We don’t hide our crazy, we sit it on the porch with a glass of sweet tea!” I’m not going to hide my crafts fails (or crazy) any more! I’m going to sit them on the porch with a glass of sweet tea and share them with all of you! Just so you know that things don’t always come out the way I plan.
And the moral of this story is—don’t feel bad if things don’t always work out the way you planned. It happens–more than you think! Just embrace the ugly and try again! (I think the problem is the purple flowers–)
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If you want to see projects that actually came out rather nice, you may enjoy these!
The post Crafts Gone Bad was written by Karen Ploransky and is the property of The Decorated Nest blog