We have all been there: excitedly take on a project and dive in head first, only to get frustrated that it does not turn out the way we wanted or imagined it, and end up feeling defeated and deflated. Nobody’s perfect! And despite what Pinterest or Instagram would have you believe, not all craft projects turn out perfectly picture worthy the first time, or at all!
Being a life-long crafter, I have known my fair share of disappointing crafts, and have had a good portion of what I make end up in the garbage. Here are some examples:
Topiary Tragedy: A few years ago I took a floral arranging class, and as it was around the holiday season, we made mini Christmas tree topiaries. Sounds cute, right? Mine was coming together nicely, having a rustic vibe going with red ribbons and gold bell ornaments. That was when I discovered a can of gold spray paint in a forgotten corner of the craft room, and decided to mist my topiary for a “golden glow”. I got carried away. Like, AWAY away. My cute little topiary ended up completely gilded, looking more like a trophy, or award for “worst Christmas topiary ever”. I was crushed, after so much work to have completely ruined it. Everyone else seemed to really like it though, and kept complimenting it, but in my mind it was all out of pity. Needless to say, the evidence has since been destroyed! 😛
Coaster Calamity: My brother is an engineer, and has a mind built for figuring out how things work, and understanding materials. We sometimes bounce ideas for projects off each other, as we both love making things. He was over for dinner and saw a box of a puzzle we had under our coffee table, alongside magazines and board games. He said: ” Wouldn’t it be cool to build the puzzle, and then cut it into squares to use as coasters? You will have to back it with some cork or felt, and coat it with some kind of lacquer to water proof and heat proof it…”. We discussed this concept in depth for a while, going over different options. After he left I decided to attempt it, and spent the next 2 weeks putting together this 1500 piece puzzle. I coated it with lacquer, and got to cutting. It turned out choppy and messy, and there was no way I could make the ragged edges look polished. After a lot of hot gluing, some felt, and ribbon to cover the edges, it looked like a miserable children’s craft gone wrong. I stopped after the first coaster and threw the rest of the puzzle in the garbage.
Bracelet Bonanza: We all had that one childhood friend who would spend recess and lunch time hunched in a quiet corner cranking out incredibly intricate colorful friendship bracelets, for those lucky chosen ones. I have mastered the braided, and wrapped style, but not much more. I was persuaded by a Pinterest project to attempt this craft again, this time adding beads and metallic bits to glam it up. In my head, I pictured it as a cool boho chic festival-style accessory. In reality, it turned out looking childish and gaudy, and none of the new knot and braid styles I was attempting to learn turned out like the picture. I was so convinced this would turn out great, that I forgot I don’t even like wearing bracelets! Needless to say, another waste of materials and time.
So how do you overcome these crafting disasters? Do you throw in the towel and exclaim “I give up!” or do you try again? Personally, I have a certain threshold for failure, and after a while I just need to step away and take a break to re-assess the situation. We can get so caught up in the idea of something turning out a certain way, or a beautifully photoshopped picture of a perfect looking craft, that we forget our own abilities and limitations. It doesn’t always turn out right! And that’s OK! you learn and you move on, but don’t let those little disasters deter you from continuing your craft journey! Just maybe in a different direction… 🙂