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CraftFail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong

Jan 8, 2015

by Karen Brown handmade and vintage goods

How does a professional craft designer become a “failure enthusiast” who promotes bad craft to the world? For Heather Mann, it all started with a botched crocheted collar — which she shared, along with other project disasters, on the blog Readers responded, and the sad, scary, and hilarious results are now available in CraftFail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong. (Heather’s craft successes can be found on the budget-crafts-gone-right site, which she also founded.) In celebration of the book’s release, we spoke with Heather about the unexpected upsides of blowing it, the baffling virality of certain bad-idea crafts, and how to spot an Epic Fail in the making (hint: anything involving rainbows is pretty much doomed).


When people craft, they usually hope to make things that are beautiful — or even perfect. How did you get the idea for a book on crafts that fail?

First, I want to say that the book isn’t about finding ugly crafts and calling them out, or about making fun of anyone. My partners and I consider ourselves to be completely failure-friendly, and we only share things people have sent to us to be shared. In my own crafting, I’ve had a whole string of failures. The CraftFail blog started because I tried to make a crocheted collar for a t-shirt. I made it with yarn instead of the recommended thread — substituting materials is a really common way to get into trouble — and it came out looking like a bright green clown collar. I didn’t want to just throw it away, so I gave it to my mom and she laughed right in my face when she opened the package. Because I’m in the habit of documenting and sharing things on social media, I shared it, and that’s how this all started.

A refined version of a faux stag head…


…and its misshapen paper-maché offspring.

What was the response?

Immediately, people responded positively. They really wanted to share their own Fails and almost every post that came in was from a new person. There is a big, friendly audience out there for things that go horribly wrong.

Did that surprise you?

Personally, I am interested in authenticity and I shy away from fake, so the reactions didn’t surprise me — but the reach was bigger than I expected. There’s this obsession with perfection, especially on Pinterest, so seeing gorgeous aspirational images side-by-side with the reality of people’s skills was a winning combination.


Behold: the oft-imitated marbled manicure.


A marbled mess.

Some of the results are categorized as Fails and some are Epic Fails. What’s the difference?

When we see a single example, it’s a Fail, but when we see the same craft project time after time from different people, we consider it to be an Epic Fail. There’s a Rainbow Cake that has gone wrong again and again. One contributor described it as looking like unicorn puke. Rainbow anything, really — with lots of colors and layers, it’s a perfect storm for failure.

Like the Rainbow Cake, a lot of the Fails in the book are food.

I think maybe 50% of what we get are food Fails. It’s a popular category because even if you’re not a crafter, everybody eats. The best thing about food Fails is that you can eat the evidence.


Elegant ombré candles…


…and the smeared, clumpy copies.

I have to admit, some crafts in the book were new to me, like hula hoop weaving or marbling your own fingernails. Are we suffering from craft inflation, a constant upping of the bar?

Yeah, a lot of people are putting things out there, hoping something will go viral. Just recently I was looking around and someone had an idea for making hot cocoa in a glass ornament — which I think is a really bad idea, just horrifying — but I kept looking and there were about 25 versions of it, iterated over and over.

What are some typical reasons crafts go awry?

Number one, jumping in without reading the instructions can lead to bad results. Substituting materials, especially in cooking and baking, creates problems. Not measuring (or measuring wrong) and not having the materials assembled before you start also get people into trouble.


A melted-crayon canvas rainbow…


…that also happens to be a fire hazard.

How do you look at failure today?

I used to have a lot of anxiety about failure, but then I really started to enjoy it. Partly, it’s fun to make fun of yourself, but failure is also a really important part of learning, and ultimately is more valuable than success. If you tried something new and succeeded on your first try, you wouldn’t know why. It’s through failure that we learn how to do something right and develop a deep relationship with techniques and materials. There’s a lot of perfectionism in craft right now — especially with so many perfect, beautiful images online — but I think eventually the pendulum will swing back the other way to something more realistic. Not everyone can be successful at everything, but we all can relate to failure. And embracing failure can help us learn in all areas of life, not just crafts.

If I failed at a craft, how can I share it with you?

The best way is to email me at


A Downton Abbey-inspired doily necklace...

A Downton Abbey–inspired doily necklace…

...and its stiff, straight-edged imitation.

…and its stiff, straight-edged imitation.

What’s the most memorable craft fail you’ve experienced? Tell us in the comments!

All photographs courtesy of CraftFail by Heather Mann, published by Workman Publishing, 2014.

2 Featured Comments

  • ArtyDidact

    Sharon Parker from ArtyDidact said 6 years ago Featured

    I think failure is popular because we all can relate! I consider myself something of an expert at failing, because my husband and I started a business several years ago that failed spectacularly and took the house and car with it, landing us in bankruptcy court. But if we hadn't failed at that, he wouldn't have the terrific job he has today (and only working 40 hours a week!) and I wouldn't have the time to do the things I do, and open an Etsy shop. Sometimes a good epic failure is just what we need to put us on the right path! (And what a great learning experience it was for our then teenage children.)

  • KnotChaCha

    Sharon from KnotChaCha said 6 years ago Featured

    Great article! It brings to mind one of my own epic craft fails: I spent a whole year, 30+ years ago, knitting a baby-cable v-neck sweater for a boyfriend out of what I thought was easy care fiber. Just before wrapping it as a gift the day before Christmas I decided it needed a little fluff in the dryer for a couple minutes. Turned out that the expensive cone of synthetic but beautiful yarn, which the yarn store owner told me the BF could easily put in washer and dryer, was sincerely affected by heat. That sweater, in just a couple minutes, grew by 80% of its size. I wore it as a winter nightgown for years - and he got a sweater from Macy's for Christmas.


  • PastelFeatherStudio

    Monika Dudikeni from PastelFeatherStudio said 6 years ago

    Hilarious and interesting post! :)

  • helenharwood

    Helen Harwood from FatBerry said 6 years ago

    Unusual view of things, cute fails) Thank you for sharing!

  • chellecarmody1

    michelle from chellechet said 6 years ago

    I have had many fails as well!

  • martingallagher

    Martin Gallagher from MartinGallagher said 6 years ago

    LOL! very funny.....&very true!

  • MissCAlexandria

    Cire' from MissCAlexandria said 6 years ago

    Great article, I think we have all been there with our own work, failure is a part of learning, it is invaluable. Once I was next to a booth selling cinder block lamps horribly painted with sports logos.. but to my surprise people were buying them! Me, I sold nothing. I don't think it was my crowd. Live and learn!

  • thisthatandchristmas

    Shelley Robillard from ThisThatAndChristmas said 6 years ago

    Fun idea for a book. I love seeing craft fails. Not because people failed, but because misery loves company. Craft on!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 6 years ago

    Love this post...Before the holiday rush, I started attempting some of the tutorials on Pinterest just to see if they really work, and how hard they were...Very interesting...Often things are made to look so easy, and maybe they are for the one initially doing the craft, but often they aren't as easy as they look!!

  • WildRoseAndSparrow

    Liana from WildRoseAndSparrow said 6 years ago

    As decorations for New Year's Eve, I once tried to make spheres of ice with cranberries suspended in them, as table decor and into a wreath as a window decoration outside. Unfortunately they didn't freeze in the middle, so they ended up breaking in the middle of the party. :(

  • dorothydomingo

    Dorothy Domingo from dorothydomingo said 6 years ago

    This looks like a kinder, gentler version of Regretsy, which I miss. We need to laugh at our craft mistakes because we've all made them.

  • LennyMud

    Lenny Mud from LennyMud said 6 years ago

    They say that within every single failure is an opportunity for huge just need to know how to find it. Looks like she did and then some! Awesome read as always.

  • Marumadrid

    Maru from Marumadrid said 6 years ago

    I LOVE MAKING MISTAKES. No, really. Mistakes are OK just if you keep on trying =D

  • aostudio9

    Adrienne from DabAndDabble said 6 years ago

    I ♥ this! Never happened to me though ; )

  • ArtyDidact

    Sharon Parker from ArtyDidact said 6 years ago Featured

    I think failure is popular because we all can relate! I consider myself something of an expert at failing, because my husband and I started a business several years ago that failed spectacularly and took the house and car with it, landing us in bankruptcy court. But if we hadn't failed at that, he wouldn't have the terrific job he has today (and only working 40 hours a week!) and I wouldn't have the time to do the things I do, and open an Etsy shop. Sometimes a good epic failure is just what we need to put us on the right path! (And what a great learning experience it was for our then teenage children.)

  • indigocanyonsoaps

    Indigo Canyon Soap Co. from INDIGOCANYONSOAPCO said 6 years ago

    This was so funny. With soaps, normally a mistake just means it did not come out the way YOU expected, but it is still usable. I've found that if you can name it something that sort of goes with the look, it changes your whole perspective. So if your lime soap comes out blotchy, maybe it becomes camo soap. *wink Of course, I don't speak from experience...ahem. :)

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 6 years ago

    Great. Perfection isn't everything. In knitting we call a mistake a design feature.

  • DeEscalaArt

    BEATRIZ DE ESCALA from DeEscalaArt said 6 years ago

    I did a few "experiments" my self. LOL

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 6 years ago

    Great post. I believe that failure is the part of the creating process. Failures can be very often stimulating and inspiring!

  • PoppysPaperShop

    Josh from PoppysPaperShop said 6 years ago

    This is great, we've all been there, usually more than twice. :)

  • muchandquick

    Kalisa L. from MuchandQuick said 6 years ago

    Admitting our failures lets everyone see that they aren't the only person that makes mistakes. It is a great way to bond, and a good story to encourage newbie crafters that are working their way through lots of errors as they master a new skill. "Oh kiddo, let me tell you how I set my oven on fire the FIRST time..."

  • melodieperfumes

    melodieperfumes from melodieperfumes said 6 years ago

    How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. Good products are made by those willing to invest the time into research and development.

  • Nikifashion

    Natalia from Nikifashion said 6 years ago

    Cool and fun post :O)

  • hodgepodgeia

    Sheila Alfonso from HodgePodgeia said 6 years ago

    I have a drawer full of fails. I keep them around to remind me what doesn't work.

  • UptownGirlSoap

    Janice Cordeiro from UptownGirlSoap said 6 years ago

    I have a soap of mine for sale (moved it to my third shop). Seemed wise to do so. Lol. I named it "Oh, Crumbs" in honor of Etsy! The title tells the story. Anyone, who attempts anything, has one of those along the way.

  • rope

    Anna from rope said 6 years ago

    So so funny. We've all been there. I love it when people document and share them!!

  • AllUsedUp

    Cindy Carrillo from SimpleChaosLab said 6 years ago

    Oh my gosh, this is me and a drawer full of terrible misdeeds in my craft room. What a hesterical article. I am still laughing, I love your honest look at real life for us artists, its not all good! A lot of crap has to be made to get to beauty!! Thank you I can't wait to get the book and share it.

  • LightOutOfDarkness

    Melissa Ann from LymansLonging said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the encouragement. WIth basically no sales I keep picking myself up and trying again and again hoping something will achieve success. Thanks and please keep the wisdom coming!

  • Circa810

    Thom Aten from Circa810 said 6 years ago

    this is the best thing I have seen on Etsy in a long time.... makes me realize that I am not the only one that has had mishaps that are embarrassing and not spoken of.

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    Hahaha...well at least we learn from our mistakes!

  • KnotChaCha

    Sharon from KnotChaCha said 6 years ago Featured

    Great article! It brings to mind one of my own epic craft fails: I spent a whole year, 30+ years ago, knitting a baby-cable v-neck sweater for a boyfriend out of what I thought was easy care fiber. Just before wrapping it as a gift the day before Christmas I decided it needed a little fluff in the dryer for a couple minutes. Turned out that the expensive cone of synthetic but beautiful yarn, which the yarn store owner told me the BF could easily put in washer and dryer, was sincerely affected by heat. That sweater, in just a couple minutes, grew by 80% of its size. I wore it as a winter nightgown for years - and he got a sweater from Macy's for Christmas.

  • 2Renew

    Carol Kohn from 2Renew said 6 years ago

    We've all been there. But I've learned to hold judgment until the project/process is complete. Sometimes what looks like a mistake in the creation process can be unique and beautiful if you see it through to the end. I was once weaving cloth on my loom and hated the pattern so I cut it off. When I turned the fabric over (to the side I couldn't see while it was attached to the loom) I had in fact created a beautiful blend of color and texture. After that experience, I never call a project a success or a failure until it's completed and I can judge it on its own merit.

  • KnotChaCha

    Sharon from KnotChaCha said 6 years ago

    Oh, and I should add, for you knitters out there, The hard was fingering weight, I used size 2 needles, and had over 80 hours into knitting it.

  • vildankursun1

    Vildan Samay from VilyShop said 6 years ago

    I am new here. ı have seen on Etsy in a new time. I love it when people document and share them!!

  • KnotChaCha

    Sharon from KnotChaCha said 6 years ago

    I mean, the YARN was fingering weight. See what can happen!

  • lovemyskinsoaps

    Tagetes from lovemyskinsoaps said 6 years ago

    Yep... thing not always come out perfect... As a friend of mine says " do it ten more times, it will come out better"

  • purepoetry

    Lyn Patricia from PurePoetry said 6 years ago

    This was cute, I kind of like that second stag ;). My biggest error is overworking an experiment that seems to be going well and complete, then revisiting it a day or so later and thinking maybe I can make it even better.

  • TheBeadedIris

    Kelsey from TheBeadedIris said 6 years ago

    Another artist friend of mine always says (in the most bright cheerful voice), "It isn't art until you make a mistake." By-the-way she is exceptionally talented and the single most prolific artist I have ever met. Her attitude is incredibly freeing and I share it with as many of my students as are open to it.

  • meghandjulie

    Lisa from MeghanandJulie said 6 years ago

    Always so nervous when I receive for fear that someone received a "failed piece". This was a great article!

  • PaintBoxWearables

    Tempy Osborne from PaintBoxStudios said 6 years ago

    This is so brilliant, have to go look up this blog...

  • ArtisanSoapInVegas

    Cristy Ramos from ArtisanBathandBody said 6 years ago

    I really like this part from the article, "It’s fun to make fun of yourself, but failure is also a really important part of learning, and ultimately is more valuable than success." Very well said! Errors are your best teachers, learn from them. The most memorable craft fail out of all I have experienced was when the color in a soap turned out BROWN instead of PINK. I was really upset about the color but I turned out mixing it with another one to make it work.

  • minipotterybyanita from potterybyAnita said 6 years ago

    Seems like we learn our best lessons (and patience) from our mistakes! My first try at knitting resulted in large stitches with gaping holes, then too-tight, humpy, lumps! Enough to scare me off trying to teach myself to knit! But, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I tried crocheting. Bought a cute pink, white, and blue yarn kit. And even though my stitches were large, then tighter, repeat, repeat, I was determined to make her a "crib blanket.." Well, it ended up being not quite as long as she was, but not bad for a beginner! And I have it to this day! And the patience I learned to go with it! ♥♥♥

  • JeanieBeanHandknits

    Jeanie B from JeanieBeanHandKnits said 6 years ago

    We need to learn to laugh at our mistakes. It's all a learning experience and I'd rather have a good laugh than a pitiful crying fest any day!

  • BlueSeaPaintShop

    ACR from IntoTheBluePaintShop said 6 years ago

    Great post ! I definitely have what I consider my off days, when things just don't turn out !!

  • WoodsyWools

    ACR from WoodsyWools said 6 years ago

    Great article :-)

  • lepr

    laura from RitaAndRio said 6 years ago

    Glad to know I am not the only one who doesn´t always get it right! Thank you!

  • thewildplum

    Christina from TheWildPlum said 6 years ago

    Thank you! GREAT article! Great responses! I especially relate to what Sharon Parker said. I also believe that in every failure is a seed of knowledge. It is up to me whether I allow the tiny (sometimes covered in poop....usually covered in poop) gift to enlarge/enlighten or shrivel/darken my understandings, abilities, humanity and ego. I do not look for failures, nor do I attempt to fail, BUT as it has been said before, in other words: the greatest failures in Life are not trying and failing, rather failing to try at all. We learn by mindfully doing and getting back up, with purpose, when we fall. Doing usually brings with it flops (in my life at least!). Fabulous life-changing flops. It is not our failures that define us; rather it is how we deal them that does. So. (Be kinder to yourself, everyone else around and don't forget to joyfully laugh - not cruelly mock). (BREATHE) Try, try, try. (BREATHE) Fail, fail, fail. (BREATHE) Learn, learn, learn. (BREATHE) Embrace, embrace, embrace. (BREATHE) Grow, grow, grow. (BREATHE) Succeed, succeed, succeed. (BREATHE) Rinse and repeat for the rest of your life.

  • SimoneSutcliffe

    SimoneSutcliffe from SimoneSutcliffe said 6 years ago

    Haha! I tried the marbled nails when I was 10 (that was over 20 years ago!), lets just call it an epic fail+a waste of good nail polish. Lesson learned: don't waste good nail polish by dumping it into a cup of water then dipping your fingers into it!

  • TDNCreations

    Trang Dai from TDNCreations said 6 years ago

    Great article! I think we can all relate! lol!

  • AuburnFair

    Samra Beechler from DesignsBySamra said 6 years ago

    I don't perceive my mistakes as failures...just mistakes. Something that didn't turn out the way I expected it to. When I was just a girl, my father used to say, "time changes everything". Those few words have helped me through every disappointing venture I have experienced. From childhood, through divorce, remarriage and step children. How can one know what the outcome will truly be unless you try? Disappointing, yes...but not a failure. Tomorrow is another day. :)

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 6 years ago

    Hahahaha..... Familiar to many of us... :)

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares said 6 years ago

    Though I sell vintage, I have tried my hand at some crafts and had a few fails myself. It is nice to hear that others do as well. Some make me laugh and some make me cry, especially if I have spent a lot of time and money on a project.

  • thedelhistore

    thedelhistore from theDelhiStore said 6 years ago

    Just now my 11 year old is trying out nail art in fake nails set using all the tools and nail paints! at first 2 were really bad but gradually she painted few more and I could see how she has improved.

  • BlackberryDesigns

    Dea Shelton from BlackberryDesigns said 6 years ago

    I spent over 80 hours creating a hand painted 50's levi jacket for my mother in law, only to discover I spelled the word fabulous wrong, can't change hand painting once it is on fabric!

  • mytreasury

    Mia Blaz from MiaBlazdesign said 6 years ago

    LOL! so funny! its true!!!

  • TRowanDesign

    TRowanDesign from TRowanDesign said 6 years ago

    I really enjoyed this article! Thanks!

  • LynnyA

    Lynn Heigh from VineAndBranchStudio said 6 years ago

    In a dark corner of my sewing room there is an "oops" pile of purses gone wrong. If they had worked they would have been called "prototypes!" Gone wrong--they are an education!

  • mytreasury

    Mia Blaz from MiaBlazdesign said 6 years ago

    here! here I have one! hahahahaha!!!

  • ButterflyFeetShop

    Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital said 6 years ago

    Cute! Funny, too! I guess we can laugh because we are laughing at ourselves. Anyone who has ever tried to make things has failed a time or twenty.

  • gardenwhimsies

    gardenwhimsies from gardenwhimsies said 6 years ago

    Fun article (and my library has 4 copies of your book, yay!)!! I've always been a crafter at heart but learned over the years to not take for granted the technical details... what you see versus how it works speaks millions! At the tender age of 13, I made a swimming suit out of bandana-style hankerchiefs (those red or blue ones with white decor) and some cotton braided rope. Cute idea but... when I went into the public pool the cotton soaked up the water, expanded and went limp. To get out the pool, I did ALL I could to keep the fabric around my body (remember 13 is those bashful, formative years). That taught me to not over-estimate how easy something was to make. Failing is also a great way to step out of my comfort zone. I was painting a project and figured the color sucked so I put another color on it - still sucked. Then put another color on it and realized that's not too bad... I'd accidentally figured out a technique I wouldn't have otherwise used or even sought out. The same has happened with products. Product A isn't compatible with Product B so I messed something up but... I realized in the process how I COULD use them together. Failing on an aesthetic level is the BEST way to learn. I believe, it's easier to love something we've created ourselves and the error (and recognition) becomes an innate part of us in the process. I believe it is the constant overcoming of errors that makes us "makers" not the perfection - otherwise we'd be bored and give up our crafts!

  • NeatoKeen

    NeatoKeen from NeatoKeen said 6 years ago

    I've had countless craft fails which is why I sell vintage. GREAT article - thanks for the chuckles! :D

  • justbuyin

    Michelle said 6 years ago

    Loved this post! In the little sewing group I head up, one of the first things I tell newbies is "At some point, you will fail. And it will be ok." (I call it 'the most counterintuitve pep talk') I don't want them to be afraid of failure. I think of all the time I wasted not trying new things because I was afraid I wouldn't be good at it. But you know what? Some of my favorite things to do are things that I'm not so good at. Like singing...and writing.

  • Goodmoodwoods

    Kristina from GoodMoodWoods said 6 years ago

    :) :) :) Cool and fun article!

  • lunacattu

    lunacattu from LunaCattu said 6 years ago

    We all fail some time or another. This is realistic, and human.

  • handpaintedbyarlene

    Arlene from arlenescornershop said 6 years ago

    This was great. I have had many failures in crafting also. What a great article and great sense of humor. I enjoyed the read. Thanks.

  • buysomelove

    Kristina R. from buysomelove said 6 years ago

    LOL Loved this!!!!!

  • bigbloomingbeads

    Carlos Ruiz from Bigbloomingbeads said 6 years ago

    The wonderful world of handmade some times works, sometimes doesn't. Great article!!!

  • mandergray

    Amanda Bullerwell from CrafterForHire said 6 years ago

    Helping people avoid the dreaded 'DIY nightmare' is exactly why I opened my shop, Crafter for Hire, and focus so much on custom work. I'm an engineer by trade, so helping people translate their vision into a physical, tangible thing is right up my alley. I've definitely had my fair share of "well that didn't work, start over" events, but if you're not failing, you're not learning.

  • TheYoungDesigners

    Anita Young from TheYoungDesigners said 6 years ago

    LOL ! Reminded me of the time I carefully knitted an Aran Jersey for my brother only to find it was too small. My mother knitted two plain panels which she inserted in the side seams so he could wear it BUT it got nicknamed the BOA CONSTRICTOR !!!!

  • WillOaksStudio

    WillOaksStudio from WillOaksStudio said 6 years ago

    I guess there wouldn't be "failures" if we didn't "try" new things? I'm infamous for some of my "chemistry experiments" but so far, never was too dangerous =D

  • art4ear

    Deborah from art4ear said 6 years ago

    I really enjoyed this article. I've always looked at a " failure " as part of the creative process. Learning how to make something better is a great result!

  • earsplugs

    Cashy Lin from EarsPlugs said 6 years ago

    Great :-)

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 6 years ago

    There are so many achievement-oriented books with titles that promise 7 Ways to Excel at this, or the Top 10 Ways to Win at that –– finally, somebody had the guts and the sense of humor to take on failure. What a welcome topic. When I told my sister about CraftFail over the phone she was laughing so hard we had to stop. I gave her a copy for Christmas. Heather was great to talk to for this piece –– really warm and real –– and I wish her every failure, uh, success, in the future.

  • tinascott4

    Tina Scott from TinasTreasureIsland said 6 years ago

    Funny article, and I have had my share of learning experiences! But remember, I've heard that nestle tollhouse cookies started out as a mistake!

  • freshpastrystand

    Deva America from freshpastrystand said 6 years ago

    This is so awesome! I recently had a mega crafting fail. For the holidays, I gifted myself gorgeous gorgeous wool from FeltedSky and this past weekend, finally got around to working with it. I googled a tutorial for making a little felt pod, gathered my materials and got felting! Did I mention that instead of tulle, I used stockings. Red flag numero uno: not the right equipment. My kids were very intrigued by the whole process of wet felting. However, I sensed early on that I wasn't doing it right. My layers were not felting completely together so there were bits falling away. Oh well, I thought. First try. When I cut the hole to remove the relief and to start shaping my bowl, I came to terms with the fact that my project was less of a bowl and more of a free form expression of try and fail :( I set the wool to dry and in the morning, my kids and I just looked at it. Me with disappointment in my eye. My kids, on the other hand, had the glimmer of repurposing in their eye. They each claimed a portion (remember, I wasn't totally effective in felting the wool together). My daughter made a beret of sorts for her 4 year old sister and my son wrapped and wetted his wool felt until he had a very 80's looking fingerless glove. My failure was my kids' achievement. So much is about our expectations :)

  • swaggjewelry

    April McGee-Riess from RawLuxGems said 6 years ago

    I have some jewelry mishaps if you need any. Thanks for sharing these :-D

  • melanieawu

    Melanie Wu from shopkokoro said 6 years ago

    Funny post! I love all the "fail" pictures, but to be quite honest, they look a lot like when I craft :P

  • FreshFromtheFlame

    FreshFromtheFlame from FreshFromtheFlame said 6 years ago

    I admit it is really hard for me when I have a craft fail. It drives me crazy because I hate to see my supplies used for a fail. But it is interesting to look back at some of the fails and see how I have grown as an artist.

  • creatingfromtheheart

    Renata C from creatingfromtheheart said 6 years ago

    Great post. Made me laugh so hard as I have had my share of craft failures, but have learned so much from them. I have found in life and in my job as a teacher that when we admit we are not perfect and own our failures, we make ourselves more endearing to others. In my class, I tell my students that mistakes are a must. You will learn more from your mistakes.

  • Pennyann

    Penny Benavides from Pennyann said 6 years ago

    Love this article! I have had many craft failures in my life time. Used to be, my failures ended up in a box never again to see the light of day. As I got older I learned patience. Now its "OH DARN" and I start all over.

  • KhatsVintageJewels

    KhatsVintageJewels from KhatsVintageJewels said 6 years ago

    OMG! This is WONDERFUL!!! I've been really down, and needed a good laugh. I absolutely fell out of my chair at the crayon melting project!! :oD I've certainly had my own share of fails - crafting and otherwise - and it's too easy to get down on yourself for not achieving the perfection that seems to be everywhere around us. (Except it probably really isn't, LOL.) And I agree with another poster - best article on Etsy in a LONG time! Etsy, too, is soaked in the pursuit of perfection. ;o)

  • rshelly

    Rebecca Shelly from RebeccaShellyArt said 6 years ago

    I have learned that mistakes are great. You can go down a rabbit hole that you never would have thought of. Amazing things can happen from this.

  • opendoorstudio

    Martha Layton Smith from opendoorstudio said 6 years ago

    fun read! probably when I attempted to make a faux " hudsons bay blanket" brilliant idea to take rit dye to an off white blanket. worked great until my husband decided to move it about 5 hours after the initial stripe dying process... and it was not dry by any means... so it dripped color all over the rest of the blanket...i now have a pseudo hudsons bay... tie died drip died blanket... FAIL... but i was able to salvage a piece and worked it in to a pillow...! lemonade out of lemons!

  • DrChameleon

    DrChameleon from SpiderStitchesParlor said 6 years ago

    FUN STUFF!!!!

  • StillVintage

    StillVintage from StillVintage said 6 years ago

    Fun to read this

  • ClosetGothic

    Janne Perry from ClosetGothic said 6 years ago

    Brilliant! All part of the process - mistakes can turn into happy accidents too :)

  • valezhki

    V from valezhki said 6 years ago

    Such a fun post! Sometimes my mistakes went directly in garbage bin. Sometimes I took my lessons and got more experienced. Sometimes my mistakes turned in bestsellers :)))

  • Jtatter

    Yulia from JTatter said 6 years ago

    I'd add one more reason for failure: wrong instructions. The one who's made it for the first time could forget to mention some important tips.

  • partsbync

    Amy D from PartsbyNC said 6 years ago

    No comment...

  • Kashuen

    Kashuen Collectibles from Kashuen said 6 years ago

    It took me a long time to understand that failure or mistake is actually a good thing. I learn from all the things that go wrong and it prevent me from making the same mistake and actually improve. So... I start to embrace bad things that happen in my life.

  • bedouin

    Nicole from KarmaCodeOne said 6 years ago

    viva la wabi sabi

  • mommysewawesome

    Heather from MommySewAwesome said 6 years ago

    Oh my gosh, this made me laugh so much! I am so relieved to know that everyone experiences fails. I am so intimidated by other shops sometimes. This is comforting!

  • maggielopez411

    maggielopez411 from MaggieReneeandCo said 6 years ago

    Those fail pictures are funny and is a reminder of my own. But, I think we all have had our moments and how can we learn if not from our mistakes..

  • bradford924

    Mandy Bradford from AnUnexpectedJourney said 6 years ago

    My dad was a master furniture maker. He always told me that a master craftsman learns how to hide his mistakes. He would say, "Only God is perfect, we as humans shouldn't try to be." Good advice. He has taught me how to turn a flaw into a design element on more than one occasion.

  • cooljewelrydesign

    Pam Robinson from cooljewelrydesign said 6 years ago

    Oh gosh, that was a fun read and only serves to emphasize the human element in the making of any craft. I have a bracelet here next to the computer which, in my mind's eye, was to look so rad and cool ... EEEEK! What was I *thinking?* But it makes me laugh and keep on trying.

  • tvojasabina

    tvojasabina from etsyTVOJA said 6 years ago

    Good article. We all learn from mistakes. Just.. this results are not good enough to show them around or even trying to sell them... Huh! But this post reminded me of something related. I was creative as a child and since than only growing through study and experiments and lots of work, work work my skills came to the point I am not afraid to do almost anything. Ok, but then I meet people that watch me work... and they get an impression this must be very easy... I will do it myself... why paying her.. I was lucky enough to have seen few homemade results in person. This photos remind me... and to be honest..It feels good when you are aware of your skills and you begin to appreciate yourself. It means - all beginnings are hard and with love and determination you eventually conquer the field :)

  • blissfulthinkin

    Sister Butterfly from MyButterflySister said 6 years ago

    Live and learn! Been there!!

  • TheCrystalHabitGems

    Frank Frisch from TheCrystalHabitGems said 6 years ago

    I love craft fails so much! When we did gem shows it was always the cabochons I thought were wonky in some way that people were the most drawn to. Imperfection can be beautiful too!

  • GrandmaDede

    GrandmaDede from GrandmaDede said 6 years ago

    That was cute and entertaining! Thank you for sharing!

  • cristalcrisis

    Cristal Wind from Vientoafavor said 6 years ago

    The mistake is a lesson.We don't fail, just we know how we shouldn't make it. Good article and entertaining.

  • ThomasHouhaDesigns
  • MustardCityVintage

    Marie Allen from MustardCityVintage said 6 years ago

    Ha Ha - looks like everyone shares my experiences of craft failures!

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX said 6 years ago

    great article, thanks for sharing the links, im gonna check them out :)

  • beadloverskorner

    Gari Anne from beadloverskorner said 6 years ago

    Great article! I make mistakes all the time, so don't have anything epic to tell. However there have been lots of times where I made something, realized there was an error, laughed and said "I meant to do that!" It's all about perspective!

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from FireHorseVintageHQ said 6 years ago

    haha - great idea for a site. I will have to save some images of my epic failures rather than throwing the offending article straight in the bin.

  • pipdesigns

    pipdesigns from pipdesigns said 6 years ago

    ´*•.¸(´*•.¸♥¸.•*´)¸.•*´´*•.¸(´*•.¸♥¸.•*´)¸.•*´ ♥•..MISTAKES CAN BE BEAUTIFUL ..•♥ ¸.•*´(¸.•*´♥´*•.¸)´*•.¸´*•.¸(´*•.¸♥¸.•*´)¸.•*´

  • pipdesigns

    pipdesigns from pipdesigns said 6 years ago

    Ha Ha - That wasn't supposed to look like that! V Funny eh?

  • pipdesigns

    pipdesigns from pipdesigns said 6 years ago

    Ha Ha - that wasn't even supposed to look wrong - v funny eh? !!

  • metalicious

    Stephanie Maslow Blackman from metalicious said 6 years ago

    This is brilliant!! I needed this, thank you!

  • AprelskayDesign

    Tanya from TanyaToys said 6 years ago

    . ....Great article!!!

  • maggiesjewelry

    Maggie S. from maggiesjewelry said 6 years ago

    This is just so perfect. I was trying over the weekend to have some fun with wire shaped ear wires -- one set which was supposed to be infinity ear wires ended up looking a bit like boobs. Ah ha, so that's why this is not really tired! Lol

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    No one is born with the skills to make things, it's something that has to be learned & then practiced. Most first attempts are pretty dire if you look at them honestly. However, I have no idea what it is that makes you look at a complete failure & think "I'm never doing that again" as opposed to ""Next time it'll be better". Is it an enjoyment of the process, a vague hope that you can't be completely rubbish at something, or an intuition that eventually you'll actually get good at this? I, too, miss Regretsy. It does us all good not to take ourselves too seriously.

  • fifitsil

    Ifigeneia tsiltikli from fifirixtra said 6 years ago

    haha! great idea and very funny stories opnly if the dont happen to you ..

  • paperArt4you

    olga petrenco from PaperArt4you said 6 years ago

    Thank for the article! Cool!

  • dstancel

    David Stancel from GoodSpiritWolf said 6 years ago

    Thank you, made me LOL. Reminded me of all of the trial and error that has gone into making my jewelry designs into finished works that I'm proud to share with the world. I can't count the number of times I've glued myself to a piece and lost skin removing it - guess that counts toward having skin in the game - ha! The thing about creativity is that many people are prepared to give up at the first sign of failure. They forget that all achievements involve much trial and error. I do give up on something occasionally, but often revisit it and discover like magic my unconscious mind has come up with a solution. I think more than anything you have to trust in your vision - and then change it as reality dictates.

  • Salzanos

    Brenda Salzano from Salzanos said 6 years ago

    After a life time of creating and doing my art, crafts and DIY's I am very good at turning mistakes into success. Sometimes the very failure is a new idea if you just have eyes to see. Improvisation! Some of my best designs come from not getting it right and seeing that materials just want to be something else. LOL And some have been destined to be thrown away. I do feel we need to embrace the imperfections in ourselves as well. Doing this has really set me free to be me!

  • brianamagnussen

    Saundra Clare from GlassSlippersCC said 6 years ago

    Would agree that rainbows are doomed... Funny post and sounds like interesting book read...good luck and thx for sharing!

  • Jewelrybynala

    NaLa from jewelrybyNaLa said 6 years ago

    Ahhhhh yes, the human side of crafters. There probably isn't one of us without our own personal "blooper" anecdote--or two, or three ... ;)

  • BinduDesigns

    Bindhurani Saju from BinduDesigns said 6 years ago

    Most crafts are not perfect. That is the magic of it. Some people have the midas touch with everything. People like me take a long time to master things. What a fun way to look on mistakes!

  • SteVieSeGel

    Stephanie Segel said 6 years ago

    Hmmmm......this reminds me of a website I used to love..... Oh well, no regrets :)

  • danicoffee

    dani from Pausacaffe said 6 years ago

    Great ! I love Etsyan people!

  • carolwagner1

    Carol Wagner from VintageBettyLuke said 6 years ago

    thanks for the smile

  • lilyandlacevintage

    Leanne from lilyandlacevintage said 6 years ago

    Cute post :) x

  • traciking

    Harriet from SecondImpulse said 6 years ago

    I have had lots of jewelry fails, but at least I can recycle the silver and not lose all my money. These really make me smile.

  • nan20092

    Nan Bennett from LeBuaJewelry said 6 years ago

    Fun to read and interesting to know!

  • charlenesbags

    Charlene Owens from charlenesembroidery said 6 years ago

    I have a few tea towels where I started the design sideways or the bobbin thread comes up and ruins the design. I have learned a lot from those errors. However, they still happen on a imperfect day. Thank you for making me feel okay about it.

  • ginnypenny

    Susie Lee from GinnyPenny said 6 years ago

    Looks like I need to be photographing my fails instead of being embarrassed and pretending they didn't happen.

  • misumy

    Mike from antlerimperfections said 6 years ago

    I think we've all been here!

  • CityCottage

    CityCottage from CityCottage said 6 years ago

    Several years ago I found a sweater pattern that was easy enough to make. Yup, I used a different yarn and it turned out to be a sweater for a giant. I wore it anyway because I was so proud of myself. After two or three wearings, though, I donated it. Looking back, I could have ripped it out and reused the yarn for something I else. If you ended up with my grey and white striped boatneck sweater, let me know what you did with the yarn (I'm can't imagine anyone wearing it!)

  • candyshopprims

    Diane Koller from candyshopprims said 6 years ago

    Just this past Christmas I thought I would make my grown daughter a little last minute gift...a little felt Christmas dog using red, white and green. I almost didn't give it to turned out to look like a red tomato with eyes and two little green leaves on its head! She loved it and we had a good laugh...another great Christmas memory made.

  • KillinMeSoftly

    Andrea Gilletti from KillinMeSoftly said 6 years ago

    amazing... I've had more than one "craft fail" in my day.

  • ssguzart

    Savannah Schroll Guz from SavannahGuzArt said 6 years ago

    Sometimes those failures are the best way to realize new ways of doing things...but the ol' fire hazard there is pretty scary though! :-)

  • Cscraftedcreations

    Cynthia Weaver from 3Csshop said 6 years ago

    Some "failures" can be re-created into something not intended at the outset. Sometimes the piece has to sit awhile before that can happen. I love that; but those candles, no way. Nice read.

  • GiselleNo5

    Giselle from GiselleNo5 said 6 years ago

    I'm a recovering perfectionist. I have found to my great surprise since starting my own business that failure is more valuable than success; you learn more, very quickly, and don't forget the lessons gained that way. When you do everything right the first time you tend to be cocky and unappreciative.

  • sustainablygrateful

    Anthony and Sunkiss from sustainablygrateful said 6 years ago

    Mistakes...the beautiful human error, and an integral part of the creative process. As artists, my partner and I definitely strive for the moment that a creation truly sings of perfection. It is equally important to honor our mistakes. They happen, they are divine. We grow and create ever higher levels of beauty. Heather's platform for mistakes is definitely a great way to support the learning experience and strengthening the creativity network of crafters and DIYers. How could we ever grow and flourish without having a healthy relationship with the mess-ups? This article brought some reflections on recent creation blunders. One lesson learned is: it is better to work with just one sample when trying a brand new material or tool. Don't imagine that you will bang out a huge order for a show in just two days with unfamiliar techniques! Go mindfully, you will be greatly rewarded :)

  • susannahleepk Admin

    Susannah Lee from likeanemerald said 6 years ago

    I think the "failed" Downtown Abbey inspired lace necklace is beautiful!

  • bycristinamurray

    Cristina Murray-Ortiz from ByCMO said 6 years ago

    Great article! It's like I tell my's is a learning experience"

  • river2see2c2sea

    river2see2c2sea said 6 years ago

    Oh golly, laughed til I cried & spit tea all over the monitor! What a GLORIOUS way to lighten up a dreary, gnarly winter day. I thought I was the Queen of truly epic craft fails, but I see there's some competition : ) Thanks so much for this gorgeously heartening post!! xo

  • princessdoodlebeans

    Kristin from princessdoodlebeans said 6 years ago

    HA! Thanks for lightening the mood.

  • rainbowtribe

    Nedra Foster from Rainbowtribe said 6 years ago

    great post

  • rollieepolliee

    Rollie from RollieePollieeStudio said 6 years ago

    Fails so frustrating but we laugh about them later. Funny post.

  • EbonyRoux

    Leita Champion from RabbitRunRoad said 6 years ago

    My favorite fails come from custom orders gone awry. I call them "Ed," named after a simple request to have a wine glass engraved with the name Ed. That's all. Just Ed. Well, poor Ed didn't make it the first time around and the result was so awful I took a photo and sent it to the customer who laughed along with me. Today, Ed is the centerpiece of my Wall of Shame and a fun reminder to never be afraid of saying, "I screwed it up."

  • chayahemant

    Chaya Mallavaram from ChayaArtStudio said 6 years ago

    Failure has been a great teacher to me! The more mistakes I make, the more I learn! Great post!

  • happycat2

    Carol and Carrissa from happycat2 said 6 years ago

    So true! We have all been there - thanks for sharing the fun :)

  • InMaterial

    Peggy McCallum from InMaterial said 6 years ago

    Nice to know I'm not the only one.

  • MainelyNaturals

    Kris Chapman from MainelyNaturals said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the laugh! I am now following your board on Pinterest. Love the DIY bath fizzies- been there, done that!

  • fullquiverdesigns

    Becky Schenewark from FullQuiverDesigns said 6 years ago

    Oh my. Thanks for the pictures. These are hilarious!

  • Butterflysue

    Susan from Butterflysue said 6 years ago

    Great had my share of fails over 40 years! nice to know we are all human.

  • ShannonLuke

    Shannon Brennan from ShannonBrennanetc said 6 years ago

    There are so many failures..many more than the successes...I wouldn't now which to pick. I do know that I broke so much glass as I was trying to cut it for stained glass patterns that I started a box and wrote "Box of Failure" in my own blood to label it. Hey, my fingers were cut to shreds and a pen wasn't handy. Plus, I apparently have a flair for the dramatic.

  • ShannonLuke

    Shannon Brennan from ShannonBrennanetc said 6 years ago

    p.s. My brother works at a lab that makes eyeglasses. He gives me bags and bags of round plastic lenses. I asked why these were being thrown out. They are "lenses gone bad" their failures are my treasures.

  • UniquesewingBoutique

    Elly Sterlacci from UniquesewingBoutique said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing, we can all relate.

  • dsoliz123

    deb soliz from DebsFramesandMore said 6 years ago

    I made a hockey picture frame and put "I love Soccer" on it. That's what I get for not being more of a sports person!

  • runawaywombat

    runawaywombat from runawaywombat said 6 years ago

    Sounds funny, made me laugh, but it does happen. It seems so simple, but crafting has its challenges. Funny post. Loved it.

  • michellequarterschap

    Michelle Quarters Chapman from RetroModHome said 6 years ago

    So thankful for this article. I've been working on making some coasters and every step has been a fail. I was getting super frustrated and ready to chuck them.. But after reading this article, I can now laugh about them and maybe even give it another go. Thank you!!

  • atomicblue

    Sayra from atomicfiberco said 6 years ago

    Major rainbow dis!! Really? There's amazing stuff with rainbows out there, including yarn I just spun with my uber geeky chic spinning wheel. Pinterest fail has been around for awhile...guys get on trend with stories!

  • EmiciLivet

    Marie Conrad from EmiciLivet said 6 years ago

    Fail more. Learn more. Create more. You can't really lose.

  • RetroSewCo

    Jill Perkins from RetroSewCo said 6 years ago

    OMG! I really didn't have time to read this article because I am in the middle of and was taking a break from a fraught project involving, incredibly, you guessed it: RAINBOWS....I'm really anxious and rattled now....hope this post is not a bad omen....? I love the up beat attitude from everyone. I get very distressed when something is not turning out perfectly, mostly when it is a commissioned project! I wish I could learn to lighten up.

  • MGAshe

    MGAshe from SydneyAshe said 6 years ago

    It took me a long time to figure out that some things take practice and other things may take a lot more practice. Failures can be frustrating, but I try to remind myself that they are lessons, sometimes opening the door to something even better!

  • ajbcreations

    AmyJo from AJBcreations said 6 years ago

    I love it! You cannot be afraid to fail! :)

  • FunDeco

    Heather Stearns from FunDeco said 6 years ago

    I found this book in a Books-a-Million. I laughed out loud! It's great--and oddly encouraging. I'm not the only failure! :)

  • CapeCats

    Donna from CapeCats said 6 years ago

    Love the paper-mache stag head! LOL! Looks like something I would make! What a fun article! I can definitely relate! If you fall, you just have to get right back on that horse (or stag in this instance)!

  • UnexpectedTreasure

    UnexpectedTreasure from UnexpectedTreasure said 6 years ago

    To me failure sets us up for bigger successes! Lord knows many of my projects have failed or had some imperfections in them but I keep right on plugging along until I get it right.

  • msimmar

    eMDesign from eMDdesign said 6 years ago

    Great and fun post

  • CatladyDane

    CatladyDane Kitch from CatsAndButterflies said 6 years ago

    A teacher of long ago once said that all a mistake is, is an unexpected result. Learning to crochet, as with practicing many other things, I find myself frequently undoing and redoing, redesigning, and sometimes just designing as I go. ...and that rainbow "cat mat", of which I've made many, has asked to be translated into a purse...we'll see how that works out! Many thanks to the local shelter cats who have no complaints about imperfections as I try new ideas in crochet.

  • KrissWool

    Cristina from KrissWool said 6 years ago

    I feel less alone and imperfect in this big world! Thank you for this blog!!!

  • PaulaArt

    paula from PaulaArt said 6 years ago

    fun article...great reminder that no one usually does something right the first time :)

  • DawnsDesignBoutique

    Dawn Oesterreicher from DawnsDesignBoutique said 6 years ago

    Great to know there's others out there. I love it!

  • crowworks1

    Lisa Crow from CrowColors said 6 years ago

    Most of us were taught as children to *fear* failure, but that's really the wrong attitude to have toward it. After all, how do we learn, but through practice? And what is created during practice? Large amounts of "failed" things or ideas. Yet it is only after much practice that a person can create something wonderful and new. Every artist or craftsman you look up to has failed - over and over and over...and persevered. Every wonderful and "perfect" item you see (not just here on Etsy, but everywhere) is backed by innumerable failures. I look forward to the day when failure becomes more socially acceptable, not a source of shame! A world without failure is a world without growth.

  • stonz

    Susan from SToNZ said 6 years ago

    I agree. A we must learn to laugh at ourselves. Every time we make a mistake we learn.

  • stonz

    Susan from SToNZ said 6 years ago

    * "AND" we must learn...

  • stonz

    Susan from SToNZ said 6 years ago

    See? A mistake! :D

  • jessyrez

    Soap Grove from SoapGrove said 6 years ago

    Fun article. Happens to the best of us :) All you can do is laugh it off and try again.

  • RetroSewCo

    Jill Perkins from RetroSewCo said 6 years ago

    I started out my career making theater costumes; these were always made under deadlines, by amateur stitchers, and were poorly finished on the inside....I always loved fine hand sewing and minute detail but these are not optimal skills for costuming. I remember constantly being told "Jill, no one will see those beads past the first row" Now, sewing for clients, not actors, I can't get away with the old costume shop mantra: " Hey, it's only a school play!" lol I never think my standards or skills are good enough and have lost perspective. I'm critical of everything i make and always think I could have done better if I had better eyesight, better machines, took more care, read the directions, had better coordination.....

  • jbecker5

    RedPoppySoapCo from RedPoppySoapCo said 6 years ago

    Fun to read. Many similar experiences. :-)

  • rickrackshack

    Vanessa Ryerse from TheMosaicButterfly said 6 years ago

    This is so awesome on so many levels. Years ago, I followed the instructions online to make a mosaic table. Put the pieces of a plate in a pillowcase, smash with hammer, glue and grout....the results made me so mad, I sold it in a garage sale for 5 dollars. Fast forward a few years when hubby got me tile nippers so I could cut up the vintage plates I kept finding and couldn't sell in my vintage shop....bam! I could control the design and a whole new business was born. So maybe those fails are just a gateway to the next big thing after you clearly establish "Well, that DIDN'T work."

  • RetroSewCo

    Jill Perkins from RetroSewCo said 6 years ago

    I know what you mean! Sometimes having better tools or professional materials makes all the difference between masterpiece and failure. I try to explain to customers that labor costs are the same whether cheap fabrics or fine silks are used; but the end results are worlds apart! Years ago I received a serger as a gift--- back in the day when they were just becoming available to the home sewer...sort of like Vanessa's tile! Technology has really changed the accessibility and raised the standards of crafting.

  • HeadCaseHC

    HeadCaseHC from HeadCaseHC said 6 years ago

    Awesome, so glad to know I'm not alone! I ♥ this!!

  • marcellamoda

    Marcella from marcellamoda said 6 years ago

    So funny!!! We design on a daily basis and the failures tend to be almost as many as the successes, but it makes the final results so worth it! :) Thank you for the great article!

  • pinksnakejewelry

    kim rhodes-thomas from pinksnakejewelry said 6 years ago

    Funny Post!! Have had fails and epic fails too- Its good to laugh.....sometimes things just don't come together the way we expected much to our dismay- LOL!!

  • BritmericaLane

    Gailc from BritmericaLane said 6 years ago

    Funny read :) Personally, I knit and end up ripping out more than I knit. I remember my Mother telling me about the time she washed my younger sister's pink mohair pullover - in hot water! When she took it out, it was half the original size. She said "I don't what she is going to say when I tell her".

  • BritmericaLane

    Gailc from BritmericaLane said 6 years ago

    ps - I wish there was a 'like' button, like there is on FB.

  • naturali4color

    Emily from naturali4color said 6 years ago

    Very funny read. I understand. As a child and teenager I was a perfectionist. Now as a grown-up 'kid' that notion gently sailed off into the horizon. Not enough time in the day to worry. Just have fun with projects. If they turn out, great, if not, eat a bowl of ice-cream or munch on your favorite treat, then try again, with a smile and a giggle.

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets said 6 years ago

    We often wish we could use the inevitable and relatable failures that happen around our parts to reach customers in a less than starch-collared way. But it doesn't go over as well in the food industry. :) Great article, Karen and Heather!

  • ras98651

    Ruth from BloomsburyCrafts said 6 years ago

    Good article! I find that though some of my "first failures" get abandoned, the original idea plus what was learned in the process often re-emerge positively in future projects.

  • lisaparfitt1

    Lisa Smith from GiveLoveTokens said 6 years ago

    I get really bummed when I sew something and it does not fit.

  • alexandrarosa2

    Alexandra Rosa from MissDisasters said 6 years ago

    Love this one! I tried to make an ice cream cake once and it is now infamous in my household as a "sad cake" for how pathetic it was.

  • GoneToTheBeach

    robin from GoneToTheBeach said 6 years ago

    Not exactly a *craft* fail but when I was a garment designer in NYC I received a batch of tops from my contractor, to check the fit specs for catalog sales. And one of the shirts had three sleeves!!! One extra sleeve was proudly sewed into the neck opening. I thought it was hilarious and kept it pinned up on my office wall forever.

  • bbryner

    Brigit Bryner from BrigitsKnits said 6 years ago

    Reminds me of the time I made a blanket with a completely uneven side. I just gave the whole thing up about half way through. I still need to figure out what to do with the part I finished. But I learned my lesson. Always use the same kind of yarn in all places for such a big project.

  • 2ndHandMade

    Serena Lee from 2ndHandMade said 6 years ago

    Thanks for giving me a good laugh, Heather! One of the worst fails I ever had was when I placed two apple pies that I had labored over into my parents' electric oven. It wasn't as if it was the very first time I had made an apple pie, but when I went to switch the pies around part way through baking, a bit of the crust fell off and landed on the heating element on the floor of the oven, which caused a fire, which led to my dad grabbing the fire extinguisher, and POOF! my pies were ruined. Should have probably just kept the oven door shut!

  • hellome

    April from hellome said 6 years ago

    If at first you don't succeed!

  • earjeans

    Tasha LaRae from earjeans said 6 years ago

    I enjoyed everything about this. I think the crayon art hit home the most for me though, lol! I tried making one of those and it was a definite fail. I so should have taken a picture :) Thanks for sharing this!

  • FilthyRichDesigns

    Erica from FilthyRichDesigns said 6 years ago

    Edison 'failed" thousands of times when inventing the light bulb but he didn't perceive it that way. He said I haven't failed I've found thousands of ways that don't work.

  • margarettroyer

    Margaret Troyer said 6 years ago

    What do they say in sports? You miss 100% of the shots you never take. Sometimes creativity requires failure and resiliency to bounce back and try again. This is why innovation is so hard for many people--too many people are afraid of failure, even if it is trying to do something for the first time.

  • cocoandli

    Liana from COCOandLI said 6 years ago

    Ha! These are hilarious. What an awesome idea to document them.

  • yhtanaff

    Eugene Tan from yhtanaff said 6 years ago


  • UrbananaShop from UrbananaShop said 6 years ago

    Nice article! I always get mad when I fail, but I must admit that they also bring some nice laughs.

  • RetroSewCo

    Jill Perkins from RetroSewCo said 6 years ago

    I have what my husband calls Project Completion Avoidance Disorder...this is because I procrastinate finishing things. I pathologically wait and think and study on a problem until the last minute because I always believe the results will be astounding if I can just sleep on it one more night or WAIT for the light-bulb moment! These moments are about as frequent as winning the lottery, but when they do happen it's so sweet...also I hate wasting fabric or materials on mistakes or experiments. Much of the time my customer has supplied the material and there is NO room for error or oops. After reading this blog I am determined to make my rainbow cape project a success in spite of the high rainbow fail rate. Extra labor expended but hopefully a thrilled customer. Pictures posted soon so all can see perhaps that not all rainbow projects are inevitably doomed lol

  • SwiezaKoszula

    Ewa Choruża from SwiezaKoszula said 6 years ago

    cool :)))

  • bellissimiornamenti

    Andrea Walser from BellissimiOrnamenti said 6 years ago

    I've had failures. Some I've kept to inspire me to do better. Failures are learning experiences. If we don't fail we can never succeed.

  • Saitaina

    Saitaina Malfoy from VintageBitsandBobble said 6 years ago

    My biggest 'failure' was the Scarf That Never Ends. I was going to do an epic leaving of crafting by crocheting all my spare yarn into a scarf... ...unfortunately, I had more scrap yarn then I thought and by the time I stopped, the scarf could wrap around me three times (and I'm a large sized woman). It was either call an end to it or keep going and try to reach the world record. Sadly I have no pictures and it's since been cannibalized for other projects.

  • chiarasole2002

    Chiarasole from Chiarasole said 6 years ago

    Hahahahahah! So funny!

  • hollyoconnor

    Holly OConnor from HollyODesigns said 6 years ago

    Lol!! So true!!

  • seashell2007

    Rachel Fitzgerald from ArtMode1 said 6 years ago

    It is good to learn from what we fail at. Thank you.

  • Lilyb444

    Lily Bhattacharya (Indigo/Crystal) from Lilyb444 said 6 years ago

    i suck at iron transfer. I love Mary englebreit,but cant iron them on for beans.

  • hemlockleatherco

    Christiaan Sidell from HemlockLeatherCo said 6 years ago

    I can totally relate! Cost me a broken hand but worth it.

  • sharondisanto

    Sharon DiSanto from GreenValleyDesign said 6 years ago

    All my fails will go into an "OOPS!" basket at my next yard sale

  • negmainthesky

    Be Zaperfect said 6 years ago

    I Think Failure Is The Greatest Engine To Success As Long As It Motivates You To Try Harder & Keep Evolving, Its A Great Article Cause It Shows The Flaws That People Are Willingly Share, So Thoughtful Of You And Them To Motivate Others To Participate In Such Awesome Move, I Think It Will Make It Easier For Other People Who Can't Accept Their Failures, It Will Make Them Move Forward, Cause They'll See That Others Are Failing As Well And It Is Just A Step, A Phase To A Better Knowledge/Experience. And The Awesome Message From Your Awesome Article Is "We All Mess Up, So, Move On & Do Better Guys" .

  • orangenails

    Olga from EmeraldDream1 said 6 years ago

    Fun article. I can relate

  • BeadingTimes

    Zeynep from ZeyJewel said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing!

  • BlackberryPrairie

    Meg Perry from BlackberryPrairie said 6 years ago

    the good side of failure is that it is always a learning experience, so glad to see failure celebrated in a humorous way

  • MBorklu

    Mrc Brkl from Decormart said 6 years ago

    failure is not always bad. I think it is necessary from time to time . because it allows us to experience. experience is very important and be motivated in the other major . I congratulate you.and thank you for sharing .

  • ozlmbrkl

    Ozlem Borklu from Trinketmart said 6 years ago

    friendly and impressive share.I read all the pleasure.I wish you continuous success. good luck !!

  • GOrsiniArt

    Guido E. Orsini from GuidoOrsiniGallery said 6 years ago

    Really good read. As an artist I've experienced many epic fails. Thanks for sharing.

  • NecessiTees

    NecessiTees from NecessiTees said 6 years ago

    Brilliant post:) It got my Monday off to a great start! And it's all oh soooo true!

  • nanette763925

    Cindy Outland from cindyscraftshoppe said 6 years ago

    I was at a craft show setting up my projects and wasn't sure what to do with my finished projects with mistakes. So, I labeled them "Not Perfects" and put them on the table. My "Not perfects sold better than my perfect items.

  • stickstaffcane

    Hal Papan from stickstaffcane said 6 years ago

    Failure is guaranteed when carving wood. But, now is the season that my failures get put to good use. .... FIREWOOD

  • JKTrends

    Mandy Peel from JKTrends said 6 years ago

    lol, oh i've had my fare share of these!!!

  • ChloeLulu

    Joy from CLulusLittleLovelies said 6 years ago

    Love this. Reminds me of Pinterest before and afters! I recently painted pegboard for my craft room from an idea on Pinterest and it actually turned out better! However a pumpkin recipe I tried failed miserably ;)

  • zenophobe

    Tina Giuntini from BeaEvie said 6 years ago

    Besides being a maker I also teach so I am at one with 'failures as lessons', which is more and more difficult to get across to my students in an environment of picture perfect. I don't think of many of my 'episodes' as failures because I always saw a learning point. I'm sure I had moments that made me cry but I've erased them from memory!

  • irisherron

    Iris from VintageofTN said 6 years ago

    Very positive & fun article. We can always learn from our mistakes. Great comments also.

  • HelloShoes

    HelloShoes from HelloShoes said 6 years ago

    Oh, I love this and have made many mistakes myself. Luckily, they have not been pricey mistakes.

  • devmuktijewels

    Devmukti jewels from DevmuktiJewels said 6 years ago

    LOL! very funny.....&very true! This is great, we've all been there, usually more than twice. :)

  • crackerneckquilts

    Vanessa Flynn from Crackerneckquilts said 6 years ago

    I don't consider these "boo-boos" failures. I just look at them as the way Not to do it next time. I consider them learning experiences. Every time I make something I find a way that I could have saved myself some time or done the work more efficiently. It's a part of the learning process and I try to take a lesson from each thing that I craft.

  • marianastara

    mariana stara from kukunadoll said 5 years ago

    hahaha very great article!

  • rubysroo

    rubysroo from DustysFool said 1 year ago

    MaryAnn from Ravenswedge Thank you all! Wish I'd read this years ago but my sister still uses her lopsided dish cloths. Good to know that my early work would not stand alone.

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