The Truth About Craft Blogging

Before you get discouraged because your craft projects don't measure up to Pinterest, you need to know the truth about craft blogging. via littlegirldesigns.com

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This morning as I was talking to my husband, I reached over to pick up a small craft I had been working on for the past few days. I wanted to know the truth—whether I should feature it on the blog or not—so I picked it up to show him and ask. The second I picked it up, I started laughing because part of it fell apart in my hands. I showed it to him and asked if it was weird to have mossy sticks form the base of a small basket meant for Easter candy, and his face gave me the answer I knew was coming. I knew he was right but was kind of bummed. That silly craft had taken me days to put together. Days. (I know, for those who make crafts that take months, you’re rolling your eyes.)

My husband and I went on to have a conversation about how you never see (or at least I haven’t) the many failed attempts at making craft projects. You only see the beautiful and carefully lit finished piece. Now, I am not against wonderful craft projects, and I most likely would not be interested in a blog that only showed messes all the time and didn’t show me how to make fun stuff. But the truth about craft blogging is this: it isn’t always pretty.

I’ll get a great idea on a mini-retreat, come home, and start working on it just to realize it’s a really bad idea. Or I’ll run across some craft supplies in our office and think, “I’ve got to make something with this!” and an hour later, I’m frustrated and the only thing I have to show for my effort is a mess.

These little beauties are all projects I’ve recently tried . . . and I thought I’d share them with you before they go to craft heaven so you can see the truth in full color. This first one was an attempt to use up some of the craft wood we own. (My husband went to art/graphic design school so we have a lot of random art supplies.) I thought I could make tiny boxes and fill them with Easter candy. They were going to be soooo cute! But yeah, not so much. I learned that hot glue actually kind of warps the wood and that it was surprisingly difficult for me to get the silly measurements correct for a simple box. (And yes, I was measuring!) Nice, huh?

Before you get discouraged because your craft projects don't measure up to Pinterest, you need to know the truth about craft blogging. @littlegirldesigns.com

Next was a mini Easter basket. I decided to collect twigs while we were out on walks and glue them together (this was clearly the week I went through a lot of hot glue.) I imagined how easy it would be. Make a square and 4 rectangles (for the sides), glue them all together and tada! I would have a cute basket. I have some leftover miniature silk roses from my wedding that I was going to stick in around the edges and of course, then I would fill that little basket up with Easter candy. (I’m obviously desperate to make some Easter projects for you all!) So I gathered twigs and nearly broke my hand trying to cut them. (Lesson learned: don’t use scissors to cut twigs . . . ow.) I made what looked like a raft and then ran out of twigs. I looked at my twig raft and was not really feeling it, so it was abandoned.

Then I saw this adorable wreath made entirely of cardboard and was so inspired, I used an entire nap time painting and cutting cardboard. I made the wreath and had enough cardboard eggs left over to make sides for my twig raft, I mean, basket. So I pulled out the hot glue gun again and well, it just didn’t work. This is the sad craft that fell apart in my hands as I asked my husband whether I should use it for the blog.

Before you get discouraged because your craft projects don't measure up to Pinterest, you need to know the truth about craft blogging. @littlegirldesigns.com

On a completely different crafting note, I was making a tutorial on book page art and after coloring, painting, and cutting out a flower, I realized that the page I had cut it from was talking about a crime and so the words, “murder” and “revenge” are front and center on the flower. Not exactly the words I want for an art piece for my kid’s room. Ah, me. I use discarded books from the library for book art projects and so had never bothered to read it. Next time, I’ll at least read the page I’m using for my craft!

Before you get discouraged because your craft projects don't measure up to Pinterest, you need to know the truth about craft blogging. @littlegirldesigns.com

These kinds of things just make me laugh because we all know that no one gets everything perfect all the time, but blog world can sometimes make it seem so. And if you’re rolling your eyes because these crafts don’t look THAT bad, believe me, there have been many that have been pitched right into the trash and never had a chance to be photographed.

So for all of you who read blogs like these and think, “All of my crafts turn out terribly—it’s not fair!” or whatever you might think, please know that half (or more than half) of our crafts don’t look so great either. The key is to keep at it and have fun. I love making things so I just keep moving along. If one craft and I don’t get along, I move on to the next one. No hard feelings. :)

Whatever you do, do it with joy! That’s the true key to success whether you’re a blogger or not. Keep trying new things and experimenting, and one of these days you’ll hit the mark. Enjoy this life that you’ve been given . . . and have a wonderful and creative day!

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112 thoughts on “The Truth About Craft Blogging

  1. Oh, my Goodness, I had to giggle at your words in this post. You sound alot like me when it comes to crafting. I have posted some pretty bad crafts and pics. Then the lighting is not at all good for taking pics in this dark apartment. Another problem is my hands shake really bad when taking a photo so I am learning to use a tripod. Sometimes my sweet hubby will take them for me.

    Right now, I have signed up for a Free Hand-lettering Class on FB by Dawn Nichole but I have not done anything other than commenting on others work. But I am giving myself grace as I have been very very ill due to multiple things happening to my poor body all at once and my insurance holding up my testing referrals. but I do hope to get back to crafting and posting on my blog. I want to Relaunch my Blog but I have to wait until I am able to sit at my desk which,by the way, I actually bought a new one that is more my size.

    I learned a few hard lessons from a new friend the other day, but I know it was done in love and came from God so after she left I spent the rest of the day just thinking about what she had said and Praying for God to help me. Others had told me before but it was always in a Critical way which only made me angry and I would spout right back at them. But this time it was Love that made all the difference!

    I am trying honestly to change my perspective from always Negative to more Positive (This one is really hard! I just do not know how to do it but I am trying), stopping feeling sorry for myself and to do what I can do instead of always focusing on what I cannot do or will ever be able to do again. As well as getting back into Church, Exercising ( I sought out a Personal Trainer and am going to exchange services with him so it will not cost me anything and he gets more free advertising ;o) ) and eating healthier (giving up pop-I have cut down from 10 cans a day to 3-4 at the most on a bad day and I am drinking 4 x32 ounce mugs of water a day) . Taking better care of my health by scheduling all the tests and appointments I need to help me get better. Making sure I am taking my medicines correctly. I did not get my Flu shot this year and I ended up so very ill so from now on I will make sure I get the thing! Getting my Finances in order and to cut down on my Spending on Wants and to focus on the Needs. But that is hard to do sometimes as I have physical needs that the family just does not understand as they do not feel my physical pain or have been through the traumas I have been through that have affected my mind, body, emotions, and Spirit. I am in treatment though which is helping me get better.

    I know I have a long road ahead of me but if I keep my eyes on the Cross, ” I know I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. Also, I have the hope of a brighter future without tears, pain, and heartache one day. What a Glorious Day That will be!!!!

  2. I pinned this post a while back and decided to give it a read as I am working on getting my first very own blog together and absolutely love crafting! I loved your great and honest take on blogging and crafting -not every craft is a winner that’s for sure !It gave me a good laugh and more courage and reassurance about creating my own posts and projects even if they don’t always turn out as we hope. Great post ! Love your blog!

    1. Congrats on your new blog, Chantal! Yes, creating doesn’t always mean everything is perfect, but it’s still worth it. I wish you all the best! :)

  3. I just found your blog today and I loved reading this. I am very new to the blogging world but I love crafting. I am putting together my first blog and hope to have it launched this weekend. I was getting very overwhelmed and worried that I was going to fail miserably at this because so often my projects completely fail but reading this made me laugh and remember that of course we only show what works on our blogs.

    I especially loved the book art project, that made my day :)

    1. Oh, you’re going to do a great job, Chauntel! Email me and let me know when your site goes live; I’d love to come over and visit! (My email is jennie (at) littlegirldesigns.com :)

      And p.s. I’m glad you liked the book art project; that completely cracked me up.

  4. Once, years ago, as a young mother, I made a beautiful GingerBread House for my family, I worked on it for days and days, only to have it fall completely apart when I tried to move it, that fail brought me to tears, yes, I was actually crying :). Now that I’m older and wiser, I’m more of a “stuff happens” kinda girl and I try not to sweat the small stuff. It made me smile to read this post because I have SOOOO been there. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh my goodness, I would have cried too if my homemade gingerbread house fell apart–those are not that easy to whip up! It’s funny how we can all relate to a craft or creative fail; we’ve all been there. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. Have a great day! :)

  5. Fantastic blog! I have been here so many times. When I first started my blog I found it so frustrating that some of my crafts weren’t working… or did work and just looked a bit ‘off’ or unusable at the end! It’s also made me far more wary reading craft blogs that claim certain techniques work when I know they just don’t last (ever tried the sharpie mug one? Porcelain pens work… sharpie just don’t seem to!). I think every craft blog should post a few craft fails now and again just to remind us that we’re all experimenting and that’s part of the fun!
    Hannah x
    http://crafternooncabaretclub.com

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Hannah. :) I’ve made so many things that seemed so amazing in my head and were disasters in real life, haha. Oh well, I guess it’s just part of the creative process. And yes! Your mention about porcelain pens vs. Sharpies is so true! I LOVE porcelain pens and have had no luck with sharpies though at first, the end result looks very similar. Guess looks are deceiving. :) Hope you have a lovely day! :)

  6. Oh dear Jennie! I laughed and laughed because I’ve made that many horrible, horrible things! Easter felt baskets earlier this year were memorable – they worked in my head, but in practice they were sad and floppy and … just wrong.

    And you know it’s the same for cooking – some things taste amazing, but look so appalling there’s no way you could publish them – a cous cous salad I made recently tasted amazing, but in the photos all I could think about were those round rubber fake vomit gags you buy from joke shops. That one never made it to the blog either lol :)

    Anyway, loved the post, and you’ve made my day, thankyou!

    Eliza

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Eliza–I’m glad this post made your day! :) I’ve so been there in making things that taste great but look bad. I’ve definitely said to my family, “Just try it–it tastes amazing, I promise!” more than once. Ah me…thanks for stopping by!

  7. Yes. Yes. Yes. I’m a knitter and I’m SLOW, so when I’m designing my latest, greatest new project only to get a few days in and realize that it looks awful or doesn’t fit… that comedown is not always very fun. I tend to post “slow” crafts on my blog too, so when I feel the pressure of not having a new tutorial it makes it worse.

    I just have to step back and breathe and realize that I really do blog for fun. It might not always be pretty, but it is rewarding.

    1. You’re so right. We’re doing this for fun! I have to tell myself that it won’t kill me to start over (well, it might kill me a little, but you know what I mean ;)) Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

  8. This made me chuckle, and I completely understand. Can’t tell you how many times I thought, “This is the coolest idea!” only to have it completely flop. The worst that happened recently was my burnt chocolate Valentine lego candies (ick). Thanks for sharing some of your flops :-)

    1. You’re welcome, Ellen! Were the candies supposed to be shaped like legos? That would have been so fun! I hear you, though. Some of my biggest flops have been things I had the greatest confidence in, haha. Glad you understand. :) Have a great week!

  9. I loved this post. It is so true. I find that with almost every failed project, I at least learn something. It can be so frustrating though. I love the flower. You could submit it to Hallmark. I’m sure they don’t have a flower card for revenge or murder. lol
    ~Bonnie

    1. haha, you’re right–they probably don’t have a flower card with those ‘sentiments’! :) Thanks for stopping by. :)

  10. I have a whole series called Pinterest in Real Life where I blog about the projects the kids and I have done that are inspired by Pinterest. Some turn out great, some are awful! That’s reality and people love to see that. Thank you for sharing your fails :-)

  11. I love this. Most of my crafts are kid’s crafts, so they often don’t turn out as expected. When I have a great idea & they come out great I am excited, but then discouraged again when I don’t get a ton of shares. Great post. Thanks for linking up with Sunday’s Best.

    1. Goodness, I hear you. Keep up your great work! You never know what craft project will resonate with people!

  12. Oh this is so true Jennie and it happens to me all the time! Once I had a brilliant idea for oversized macrame with rope… looked like I’d tried to strangle someone with it. Funnily enough that project didn’t make it onto my blog either!

    Thanks for sharing

    Claire
    Craft Schmaft

    1. You just made me laugh out loud, Claire! :) I’ve had many projects like that too…my favorite is when I go to photograph it and realize no one is going to even know what it IS. ;/ Oh well…keep on crafting and have fun with it! :)

  13. My blog didn’t take off until I decided I had to share the fails too. I like reading others fails because it saves me from trying it out. There should be more ’10 craft things not to waste trying’ posts IMHO :D Nothing warms my heart more then reading about someone elses fails, it makes me feel better about my own.
    I’d love it if you would link up your pinterest pin for this post at our party! http://purfylle.blogspot.com/2015/03/our-favorite-things-pinterest-pin-party.html

    1. You’re so right–there should be a list of crafts NOT to try. :) Thanks for the invite to your Pinterest party–heading over now! :)

  14. I share my craft fails just as I share my regular craft posts. I just label it as a craft fail. That way if anyone else has a similar idea or tries to attempt something that looked easy that I didn’t find so, or if anyone just needs a good laugh – ha! My experiences are posted.
    Love this post though. Brings things to light because sometimes I feel like I am the only one failing at certain things.

    1. I love that you share your fails as well as your successes, Alexandra! And no, you’re not the only one. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  15. lol It’s true it’s not all pretty or perfect behind the scenes and there are plenty of craft fails. I agree to have a great time trying and cheer when it works out but, never give up on those creative ideas. Thanks for sharing your post at the party! Hope to see you again soon.

    1. I figure I’ve got to make things whether or not I fail–it’s in my blood! :) Thanks so much for stopping by–have a lovely day! :)

  16. Great information Jennie! Thank you for joining us at #purebloglove. We enjoying having you every Thursday at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

  17. Ha ha…I so hear you. I have screamed more than once whilst trying to get something together for a post…only to give up as it falls in a heap!

    But that’s the fun of crafting and blogging :-)

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  18. I’m so glad you shared this. There aren’t many bloggers who share their fails, and we only see the beautiful finished projects. But no-one is perfect, we are human!
    I had a laugh at the words on the flower :) Thanks for sharing, Jennie!

  19. At first, I got a kick out reading your story on the truth about craft blogging, but then I got a little sad. I am a craft blogger who tries to post a new craft once a week. I’ve discovered that you do make mistakes, no matter what, and you just have to learn from the mistakes, fix them, and keep going. Then tell your readers what not to do from your mistakes. In posting most of my crafts, I give a very detailed tutorial. That’s the best way for me. I look at your fails and simply think you can “recover” from them. I look at the box and cardboard eggs and just think using hot glue, and especially too much, for everything just doesn’t work. They are great ideas that need do overs. I also teach a crafting class in a +55 community and believe me what I think is so easy and simple to make, these ladies can turn into epic fails.

  20. Oh my yes! And the worst is when you’ve procrastinated and have to have something ready for the week. Then you’re left wondering if you should abandon pitiful little craft and try something new, or just make it the best you can, or …. pawn it off as a kids craft with pics of your kids. Ok, I haven’t actually blamed my kids for failed crafts, but I sure have thought about it. “This would be cute if my 5 year old did it” Thanks for linking to Show Me Saturday.

    1. Oh Ginger, I hear you, though my daughter is too young to blame for my failed crafts…yet. haha Just kidding. Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!

  21. Oh, isn’t this the truth! We all like seeing that it happens to others too! But when it all comes together–what a glorious day!

  22. I am just giggling! This is so true! I only have a handful of my projects turn out, but it’s OK we’re all on the same craft raft together! :D I feel like sometimes the projects I work on the longest tend to be the ones that don’t turn out, but the ones I whip up turn out nicely…weird. LOL Awesome post Jennie!

  23. The “Revenge” and “murder” flower made me laugh out loud. My craft of choice is sewing, and there are plenty of sewing projects I could list out which experienced failure to thrive. :P

  24. This is so right on point. I’ve had some really bad crafts and baked goods that were a hot mess! Happy to know I’m not alone.

  25. I feel this way about cooking sometimes. I have an idea that feels like a,stroke of brilliance, then it just doesn’t work in practice. With pie, I do a lot of “screw it, it’s a crumble now”

  26. Popping over from Turn It Up Tuesday =) That was hilarious and I understand! I had a goal of posting a new craft every week. Well any failed attempts and crafters block later, I have maybe a craft a month. Great post!

  27. Oh this is so true! My mother is a retired artist and recently helped me salvage a craft project gone wrong. It seems all mine go wrong so I’m never surprised but still bummed nevertheless. She was just trying to encourage me so I’ll have to send this post to her.

    1. Thanks for passing this post to your mom, Kemi! My mom has helped me salvage many a project too. :)

  28. All of my crafts come out the way you described in this blog. I’m not fine-motor skills artistic. Still, this post gave me hope! So I am thankful for all your ideas, as I follow I will attempt some with my daughter who loves doing crafts. It just reminds me that we’re all human and its ok to have fun!

  29. Haha makes me feel better about my utterly failed ‘Half Birthday Cake’ sitting in my freezer right now ‘resting’… until I find the courage to try to find a creative fix! lol Thanks for sharing! :D

  30. Wonderful post about the trials of creating ~ it is always a ‘process’ I think and good for you for posting about the process of creating!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  31. Hahaha! Thank you for sharing this! Years ago, I was crafting and blogging and made one mess after another, until I started thinking I may be the most untalented craft blogger wannabe ever (with a different blog then that eventually died). This post just sent me back to reality – that I’m not the only one failing on crafts every now and then…and that makes me feel better. LOL!

    1. :) Oh believe me, we all have our failures! One of my readers commented (below) that even Martha (Stewart) edits. Too true! :)

    1. Thanks, Renee! Don’t you hate it when something tastes so delicious but looks scary on the camera?! p.s. I stopped by your blog and your photography is wonderful! :)

  32. I think I love you! Everyone has brilliant ideas that turn out to be terrible ideas, the trick is to bin them as quickly as possible and never mention them again! I would recommend NOT showing them to anyone else especially not teenage children or they will become those family jokes that they never EVER let you forget!
    The worst thing is when you persist with a bad idea even when it becomes obvious it’s really not going to work, somehow you feel you can salvage something from all that time and effort, NO…bin it, forget it and then spend 15 minutes on pinterest to get ideas for the next project!!!!

    1. I love this! I’ve totally been there–trying to make a project work when it needed to go to craft heaven. ;) Have a great day, Julie! :)

  33. The pile of rejects on the corner of my craft table is currently taller than the pile of successful projects. I so needed to hear this today!

    1. So glad this post encouraged you! Believe me, I have weeks where everything I make fails. So frustrating! But I still love making things. :) Hope you have a great day!

  34. Pinterest recommended your article to me. Thanks for sharing. It’s so funny about your book art. Whoops! I thought this article was going to be about how to make a perfect craft blog or something, but I enjoyed it so much more than what I thought I might have read. I’ve been thinking about starting to blog again and have been scratching out thoughts and ideas all over, but have yet to print anything. , ( I tried to blog for almost a year, but quit, for many reasons). Your post gives me an idea to post my first draft pics at the end of my blog posts so that people will know that my pieces do not always turn out great the first time, as a way to encourage them to keep trying. Thanks again.

  35. Ah, the many attempts we’ve had at crafts that we thought would turn out great, but did not! :)

    I love the idea of using discarded books and incorporating the book pages into art pieces. Definitely sharing this with my 7yo who’s knee-deep into everything about art these days.

  36. Love this! I am new to blogging and I am finding out that that some ideas I think will turn out amazing are complete fails. It’s good to know that fails happen to everyone during the creative process.

    1. They totally do! Keep working on your projects and have fun with them! Have a great week! :) :)

  37. Wonderful article! Thank you for sharing! Yes, I share my beginner projects with flaws, yet on a creative journey!

  38. Bless your heart!!!! Thank you for sharing this!!!!!! I am in the process of trying to start a cooking blog. The things I cook taste FANTASTIC. They look a bit less than fantastic most of the time. It is such a blessing to know that someone else has things that just are not ready for prime time. You have given me hope.

    1. Keep it up, LeAnne! I think we all go through this growing phase. :) At least you have delicious things to eat and share with your friends, right? :) :) Have a lovely day!

  39. Hi! I found your post through the Lou Lou Girls’ link party. I’ve just started blogging and I already know how you feel! Yesterday I was trying to do an Easter egg project that didn’t turn out quite right so I ended up painting the whole thing one solid color to hide my mistakes! I’m sorry, but your tidbit on the book page art was really funny to me. :D Have a great week!

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! :) Oh, the book page art made me laugh so hard. You should have seen me carefully arranging the many flowers I had cut out in a frame for my daughter’s room when my eye caught those words…good grief! :) Thanks for stopping by! :)

  40. This is SO true! I always see those “Pinterest fails” stories and I think that when you’re trying something completely new, it can’t turn out perfect the first time. Even Martha edits!

  41. This is the very reason I haven’t decided what to blog about yet or even posted any of my many failed craft ideas. Good job to you though for putting it out there so the rest of us don’t feel so bad by ourselves. lol

    1. :) Truthfully, some projects take a lot of tries to get correctly (this is true for those with cooking blogs for sure!) For me, I love making things so I figure it is just part of the process. :) Hope you have a great day!

  42. That’s probably why I’m not a craft blogger! I’m good at doing crafts with preschoolers but my own craft they’re a different story…. but I love to see other peoples it does inspire me to try!

    1. I think it is awesome that you do crafts with preschoolers–that takes some planning and a finesse of its own. But the kids have so much fun it is worth it. :) :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

  43. I loved this post! It was so nice to know that I’m not the only one that makes mistakes on projects and gives up on them. This post was recommended to me by Pinterest…usually they don’t really know what I’m interested in, but this time they got it right. I’ve had fun looking around your blog and will come back again!

  44. Love this, and often think the same thing about some of my cooking creations! I like the flower for the page! :-) I will try that one! Thanks so much for coming over to Making Memories Mondays, I am so glad that you came! :-)
    Cathy

    1. Thanks, Cathy! Glad you mentioned your link up on Google+…I just happened to see it and came over. Have a great week! :) :)

  45. Oh my gracious I loved this post! I have taken up the practice/art/spiritual discipline of Bible journaling recently. I have decided the term “Mixed Media” evolved from someone painting or writing, making a mistake, and then finding something to glue over the mistake! So happy when I always run into you around the web.

    1. Jenny, I love that definition! :) That made me laugh, and I think you’re onto something there. I love doing mixed media paintings and many, many of them have places where I ‘artfully’ put a scrap of something to cover something else up. Too funny. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

  46. There are so many blogs out there where everything seems perfect, but we know life’s not like that! I’ve had more than a few little craftastrophes myself :)

    1. I love that word, “craftastrophes”–I’m going to start using it for when crafts don’t go quite as planned. :) Have a great day!

  47. Oh yes, many the time it’s turns out to be a sad little mess and I tell myself it’s time to take a break and it helps. I’ve been trying to teach myself ribbon embroidery and funny I can’t seem to get it to work but it looks so easy LOL. Love your blog Jeannie :)

    1. Oh, I’ve always wanted to try ribbon embroidery! I hope you can make it work…sometimes I find that looking at another method/teacher helps me when I’m struggling with a new craft. You’re such a creative person–love that. :)

  48. Oh how funny! This actually made me laugh out loud because of the many times this has happened to me. You know, you live and learn and I know from myself, when I see my peers that I look up to not be “perfect” it makes them more admirable.

    Sharon
    Her Organized Chaos

  49. Thanks for the behind-the-scenes story! I love what I have seen of your crafts; it’s encouraging to know that not all attempts are triumphs though.

    1. You’re so welcome! And goodness, yes, there are many times when the cool idea in my mind translates to a complete mess! Oh well, you gotta try, right? Have a great day!

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