06 November 2014

CraftFail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong


Whether you want to admit it or not, we’ve all been there. We’ve all seen a cute little craft project on Pinterest or a crafter’s blog and thought, “I can do that!” – only to find out 4 frustrating hours later (not that I was counting) that no you cannot.

I used to hide these craftfails deep, deep, deeeep in my trashcan. Away from myself. Away from my husband. Away from my son, who for some reason still thinks I’m pretty awesome. I also hid them from my mind. That yarn-wrapped balloon ball thing? Never happened. That yarn-wrap wire ornament? I have no idea what you’re talking about.

But somewhere along the way, I stumbled across CraftFail.com. It was like the angels were singing to me. Or the craft fairies. Someone was definitely singing.

Now that I think about it, I think it was me. I don’t suck! I’m not alone. Those directions were for sh*t.

The woman behind CraftFail.com, Heather Mann, just released an awesome collection of some of the best (worst?) craftfails known to crafterkind. Now available at your local bookstore, CraftFail: When HandmadeGoes Horribly Wrong is definitely worth a read.

Besides the failed yarn balls, I related to several of the other projects in the book, and I’m sure you will, too. But what scared me the most was the projects in the book that I have pinned to do! Craftfails just waiting to happen! Do I even bother trying them now? Knowing me, probably not. No microwaved soap fluff. No hula hoop-woven rug.

After reading the intro to Heather’s book and asking her a few questions, I think she’d be very disappointed in me. After all, she becomes excited when she fails. No, really. It’s true.

“I used to avoid trying anything that I thought I might not do well,” Heather said. “Since starting CraftFail, not only have I been more likely to try crafts that I might botch horribly, but I’ve become excited whenever I fail, or event when I see other people fail. I’m not excited because of someone’s misfortune, but more because of the opportunity for growth and learning.”

Oh. That makes a lot of sense.

Heather says in her book that unrealistic expectations are a major contributing factor in craftfails. In addition, being unprepared, including missing or wrong supplies, can be to blame.

After reading CraftFail: When Handmade Goes Horribly Wrong, I realized that, man, am I uptight. I’m supposed to be doing something I love, crafting, and instead I’m beating myself up because I’m not Martha Stewart. Heather said she got catharsis from sharing her failures, something I’m slowly starting to understand.

As I come to terms with the fact that craftfails are, sadly, a part of crafting, I take comfort in some advice Heather shared with me:

“Baby steps! You don’t have to be thrilled next time you fail, but give yourself a little bit more room to breathe. YOU aren’t a failure; you just made something that didn’t work. If it makes it easier, think of it as a prototype or a first draft.”

Good advice from the self-described “failure enthusiast”.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review; all opinions are my own.

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