D.I.Y. Fails You Will Share

Excerpted from Craftfail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong. Workman Publishing, 2014.

Fact #1: Things look really good on Pinterest.

Fact #2: Things look really easy to recreate on Pinterest.

Fact #3: Easier said than done.

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Oh, if we had a dollar for all of the Ikea hacks, diaper cakes, and bedazzling gone wrong, we’d have a whole lot of supplemental income. Translation: It’s not just you.

Heather Mann, who calls herself a “failure enthusiast,” has definitely been there. The publisher ofCraftFail.com is no Martha, and inspired by her own not-so-rewarding experiences, she’s pulled together Craftfail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong.

“Unlike those perfect magazine shots and idealized inspiration boards, we showcase the gruesome underbelly of the creative process—the ‘try, try again,’ the ‘A for effort,’ that special moment when you take a step back… and hope nobody else is looking,” writes Mann. “I value my ability to fail—it’s the most important thing I’ve taken 30 years to learn.”

Here are the grimace-worthy things that happened along the way: 

Melted crayon canvas rainbow

“The melted candy crayon canvas is one of the most pinned and repined projects on Pinterest. The concept? Attach crayons to a black canvas, then melt the crayons with a hairdryer to create colorful one-of-a-kind melted-wax wall art. Courtney got too close with the heat source and the whole canvas went up in flames. Like I said, this project is super hot on Pinterest.”

Bunny cake

“The kids wanted to help, but I said, ‘No, no… this one if for mom to do so it turns out just right.’ When my friends asked, I told them the kids had a great time decorating the cake.”

Rainbow cake in a jar

“I love the smell of rainbow cake in a jar in the morning! Just beware of the toxic technicolor mushroom cloud shooting from the top.”

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Paper mâché animal bust

“When the trend of decorating with faux animal bursts was on the rise, Meg spent the whole day creating the most beautiful stag from paper mâché. There it hangs, caught, stuffed, and mounted.”

What does the fox say?

“When you meet a friendly fail, will you tell it to go to hay-hay-hay-hay-hell?”

Stained-glass-window cookies

“’Tis the season to make cookies, fa-la-la-la-laaaa, la-la-la-FAIL.”

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Glinda’s glitter heels

“Just click your heels together three times… to create an icky, goopy mess.”

14-layer crepe cake

“Like any good Pinterest addict, she got a Pinterest rush, a condition in which an Internet enthusiast feels suddenly as if she could do anything she puts her mind to. She baked the cakes, layer after layer, in individual foil pans, for her father’s birthday. And they looked like pancakes. Pancakes covered in chocolate goo.”

Plaster mask plaster task

“Instead of reading the directions, she added the plaster in a freefrom style. Her technique resulted in a planter that resembles the love child of Cookie Monster and cement mixer.”

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