Brooklyn Craft Camp & Ticket Giveaway

by Grace Bonney

Brett Bara has been sharing fun sewing projects with us at D*S for two years now, and she never ceases to amaze me with her enthusiasm and energy for crafting. So I was excited to hear that she’s throwing a gigantic Brooklyn Craft Camp next month! This massive one-day crafting event is taking place in our D*S home turf — Greenpoint, Brooklyn — on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Brett has planned a jam-packed day of DIY fun, including classes with some of NYC’s best craft authors, designers and bloggers (including Jay McCarroll from Project Runway!). You’ll get to meet new crafty friends, learn new skills, eat delicious food, drink cocktails and basically enjoy a DIY party all day long. To celebrate the camp, Brett offered to give away one free ticket to a D*S reader! All you have to do is share your biggest crafting disaster (here’s mine from yesterday) in the comment section below by the end of this week (Friday, February 15th at 10pm EST). Brett will choose her favorite, and the winner will get a full day of crafting (four classes, meals, etc.) for free! To kick things off, Brett is sharing her biggest crafting disaster. xo, grace

When I think of crafting disasters, I immediately flash back to 1985. It was a few weeks after Valentine’s Day, and mysteriously, ants started appearing in my little pink bedroom. Just a few at first, then more and more every day. There were no ants anywhere else in the house, so it was clear SOMETHING was going on in my room. Finally my brave mom investigated, and to our horror she found the source of the problem under my bed. It was the Valentine’s box I had made for my school party, meticulously crafted with dozens of candy hearts glued on the outside. Candy hearts that were apparently very, very delicious to ants. I loved that project so much that I wanted to save it forever, but unfortunately the ants liked it even more. Lesson learned: When crafting with candy, never store the finished project under your bed! — Brett

Leave your comment and check out details about Brooklyn Craft Camp (and pictures of the crafts you’ll learn/make) after the jump . . .

Brooklyn Craft Camp will include four 90-minute craft classes (with all the materials and tools you’ll need to complete your projects), a keynote chat by Jay McCarroll (winner of Project Runway, Season 1), a donut breakfast, a locally made lunch, a cocktail hour, a photobooth, DJs and the sparkling company of cool, crafty people! Choose from classes on knitting, crochet, terrariums, embroidery, jewelry, crepe paper flowers, papercutting and printmaking, and enjoy the DIY nail-art bar and quickie craft station.

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  • I love that story, but I’ve had no crafting disasters yet…maybe because I’ve only recently started doing things here and there, but I think sometimes those disasters are great because that’s how you learn.

  • Okay, here’s my crafting disaster:
    One time I decided to paint a dresser this hunter green and pink after something I saw in Real Simple. So I bought the paint, take it home and decide to shake it up, holding onto the sides. I pick it up WAY over my head and as I’m bringing it down, the paper around the can slips off. The can slams into the floor and an entire gallon of paint splashes all over my bed, my ceiling, my floor and my hair. I still have sheets with green paint on them.

  • Wow this looks like a ton of fun!
    In high school, I knit a hat for my friend that had a big fro. I told him I’d make it big enough to fit over his hair but it ended up looking like a giant mushroom. I asked him about it recently and THANK GOD he’s destroyed the evidence of its existence.

  • This looks amazing! I would say that my biggest crafting disaster happened when I was in high school. I had made a wooden lantern in shop class and was finishing it by putting pieces of sandblasted plexiglass in each side. I decided it would be cool if the light had a blue cast to it, so, instead of just finding a blue light bulb, I thought I could dye the plexiglass. I spent an afternoon soaking it in a tub of blue dye, only to find that the dye did not affect the glass, but did turn my hands a lovely purplish color. On the day of my piano recital.
    Yes, I played in the recital with purple hands. No, I do not think my teacher ever forgave me.

  • my biggest craft fail was tiny terrariums i made for my family for christmas a couple years ago. i spent a lot of time finding antique jars and the perfect figurines to place inside but gave little thought to the actual plants. i stole dirt, rock and moss from my mother’s garden on christmas eve and threw them all together. needless to say they died in a couple days. my father still has a dead terrarium on his desk – either he is completely clueless or too sweet to get rid of it.

  • One craft disaster in particular that I will never forget is the time I was getting items ready to sell items at a local farmer’s market. The goal was to get to bed at a decent hour, but instead I stayed up till 5 am. That is the first mistake, the second mistake was using hot glue gun on my lap. The hot glue oozed it’s way out of the gun on to my arm. I so desperately tried to pull it away but I couldn’t do it fast enough. That night was also filled with trying to wash paint off my hands -that wouldn’t come off, trying to get a knob on to a piece of wood-that would not budge and trying to get my college apartment clean before my roommates woke up the next morning. Shortly after that episode my roommate decide to make candles a week later. I was woken up to the word “FIRE”! As I frantically jumped out of bed my roommate had started a fire in the kitchen while melting hot wax over the oven. I hurried and grabbed the fire extinguisher and we had our place covered with whitish green powder on ever kitchen appliance, the walls and the floors. The moral of the story, craft while it is still daylight not when you are half a sleep. I still have a hot glue gun scar to prove my mistake I made staying up too late.

  • So many to choose from, but one of my most memorable craft fails was more of a DIY fail…when we were younger, my best friend and I decided to set up a “beauty parlor” in my mom’s bathroom to treat our sisters to a day at the spa. We spent the morning concocting different home beauty treatments that included an egg white face mask. When we were done, we decided the face mask would be much prettier if it was pink SO WE ADDED RED FOOD COLORING. By the end of the day, we had turned our sisters’ faces a lovely shade of pink that lasted for quite some time. Needless to say, that day is still held against us…

  • I love to craft and have always been wanting to learn how to knit. My mom is creates wonderful projects for everyone in the family. A few summers ago we spent the week together at the beach and she brought materials to teach me how to knit a winter scarf. I was hooked! I worked on the scarf the entire week and then on the three our drive home. Later that afternoon my three girls wanted to go to the pool in the neighborhood…so I took them, scarf in hand. I was determined to finish my project! I took a seat in a low pool chair and knitted away while the girls enjoyed the pool to themselves. After a period of time everyone was ready to go. When I got up from the pool chair I discovered that I had knitted myself into the chair! I could not get out. The lifeguards saved the day with a pair of scissors and had to cut me out of the chair! The next day at the pool the pair of high school lifeguards could not wait to hear how the scarf had turned out. We still laugh about it today whenever the subject of knitting comes up and I have not knitted since!

  • This looks amazing! I’d love to go!

    My biggest craft disaster was when I, inspired by Camomille Hixon’s amazing glitter art, decided to make my own glitter canvas. At first, I was just going to glitter select areas of the canvas, but somehow I got carried away and the entire canvas became coated in glitter.
    Not only did the canvas look less than great, it almost immediately begin to shed glitter. And as glitter is wont to do, it got everywhere. On my boyfriend’s suits, on the couch, in the tile grout. No matter how much I vaccuum, I still find bits of blue glitter everytime I clean. The canvas? It had to be thrown away and is now probably shedding glitter all over the eastern seaboard.

  • I have had many crafting disasters, but the one that comes to mind is the most recent disaster I’ve had even though the story is not as entertaining as yours. I am a new sewer and I decided to take on the task of sewing myself a vintage inspired spring floral dress inspired by an old fashioned sheet I had picked up at a thrift store. I had all of the pieces cut out from the sheet and had been tirelessly working on putting together the bodice for weeks. Finally, when it came time to sewing together the skirt I discovered that I had failed to cut out one piece of the pattern for the skirt! I didn’t have enough fabric of the sheet left to cut out the missing piece, but if I had planned better from the beginning with all of the necessary pieces in mind, I would have had enough. I will probably never find the same sheet fabric again to finish the skirt. The bodice remains unfinished in my closet to this day!

  • I am a long-time knitter, but have never committed to making a sweater. Only scarves, hats, blankets, etc. Everytime my husband saw me knitting, he’d ask in a joking way, “Is that for me?” and usually it wasn’t. So I decided to make him a sweater. I found this cute design called “Smokin'”, in a Stitch N Bitch book. It was a gorgeous tweed smoking jacket with leather buttons. It was designed by Jared Flood, who wasn’t as well-known as he was now. Well, this was some project. It had saddle shoulders and added on button bands and and a fussy collar. I had never been more confused with a project, ever. I kept writing to Jared for help and he and his assistants talked me through it. When I finally finished it, it was so huge, it looked like it was more for Herman Munster! Blocking seemed to make it even bigger! My husb has longer arms and I measured him and a sweater he had and I thought for sure my mods would work. They didn’t! It took me a few years to finish this project, too. Recently I met Jared and told him about it and he laughed! He said it was his first published pattern and there were so many problems with it! It made me feel much better. Still, if anyone knows any giants who need a cherry tweed handknit smoking jacket, send me an email!

  • my crafting disaster was funny for me, not so much for my landlord. After painting awesome neon pink chevron onto my coffee table I made the mistake of turning my back on the drying piece for a few minutes to grab some dinner. I returned to find kitty footprints all along the table…and the couch…and the carpet. oops!

  • This looks amazing! I learned to knit last year and I decided to knit a Fair Isle sweater vest for my little nephew. It was knit from the bottom up and I worked so hard to get it done in time. It wasn’t perfect, but it was passable, and then I get to the neck, where the pattern said to bind off and then pick up stitches and knit a 1×1 rib for the neck. The hole ended up being so small,it barely fit it over my small dog’s head: http://instagram.com/p/TT-L9LpBDO/
    I cried and cried!

  • I want to go to this SO bad but! my budget! So HAPPY to have a chance to win a spot. My biggest crafting disaster was when I tried to make the crochet-version of the Sexy Turkey Hat. I SWEAR I was following the instructions to the stitch, but after days and hours and skeins I ended up with a blob of crazy brown, sparkly orange mess, seen here: http://glassposse.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/vote-4/ My daughter turned it upside down and fashioned a gaudy 70’s ish pioneer poncho out of it, but in the end, I couldn’t even bring myself to frog it–I actually THREW IT IN THE TRASH CAN! I invented my own replacement version and was very happy with the results. Here is the hat in action: http://glassposse.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/crochet-and-a-little-knit-turkey-hat/ Oh please pick me! : )

  • My crafting disaster is one of humiliation and disappointment. Two years ago I started to make a dress for my daughter, but only got as far as the bodice. (I had to rip out the neckline for being too tight.) Every month or so my daughter asks if I’m ever going to finish it. She would like to wear it for her 5th grade graduation. And a couple of months ago I agreed to work on it again, but…The truth is without help, I really have no idea what I’m doing. I have many of these half-done or never done projects for my daughter. Lots of bought fabric for grand ideas never made. I’m becoming one of those parents “promises, promises..” I can already see her future therapy sessions .

  • I’ve been knitting a blue scarf for over four years!!! I tried to teach myself from a book, but it’s been an unsuccessful feat. Each summer, I gear up to make a scarf for myself and so many others. Fall. Winter. Spring. HELLO SUMMER…year after year. Here’s a photo of my four year old scarf: http://instagram.com/p/RxPX_nkOvK/


  • My biggest disasters always involve my lack of patience. Like not checking the gauge on a crochet pattern ignoring the yarn recommendation and jumping in. Or really wanting to spray paint something and not waiting for warmer temperatures or paint to dry etc etc

  • I believe my best crafting disaster story was using super glue to attach glitter to some cards when I was definitely too young to be using super glue (thanks, Mom?). Cue not only the herpes of craft supplies being found everywhere for weeks on end, but also some stuck fingers that needed quite a bit of TLC after the tears to be “un-stuck!”

    Oh, and I’m happy to report that 20+ years later, my fingers are doing just fine & my glittering and paper crafting skills have vastly improved…now it’s my knitting/crocheting skills that need work! ;)

  • This wasn’t a “crafting” disaster, per se, but never, ever give 7th graders glitter. Seriously, trust me on this.

    I realize this is the second glitter post, but there is something that makes you doubt every life choice, all your expensive student loans to learn to educate a seething mass that thinks Valentines are MOST inspiring when they are syrupy with Elmer’s glue and bleeding arterial streaks of PERMANENT ink onto their industrial grey desks. And this aortic splatter on their uniforms, and glitter in their hair and St. John the Evangelist polo shirts that are brand new because the school JUST switched suppliers and we have new colors now…

    Oh, and it’s my first year here.

    Also, on Monday I tried to have them make magazine paper beads for Mardi Gras necklaces… and I spent the morning tying the embroidery floss I gave them into neat slipknots because none of them seemed to know how. Of course, one of them had had the great idea to suck on the end of said floss to make it easier to string their beads, so each knot I tied with damp with the saliva of my darling little incubators.

    And, at 13, they are SO self-conscious I couldn’t say, “Darling beloved, this is covered in your spit. You need to learn to tie a knot someday.”

  • This looks like such a fun event! My crafting disaster- a year ago my niece was born. While everyone else in my family bought cute toys, blankets, outfits, etc, I decided to make something crafty. I decided to make a huge mobile with her name to hang up in her room. I cut each letter out of cardboard and glued on hundreds of tiny, bright colored pieces of paper to create a rainbow mosaic. I then strung each letter up using string and buttons for a playful look. My brother and sister in law loved it, but there was one small problem. I spelled out her name “Z-O-E” but their spelling was “Z-O-E-Y”. After hours of work I was so frustrated and disappointed but I changed the mobile and it is hanging in her room now.

  • I’d be so excited to attend the Craft Camp! I live in NYC and am constantly on the hunt for new crafty things to do in the area.

    My biggest crafting disaster to date was when I tried to make dried fruit for my brother as a Christmas present. I was on a homemade-only kick last Christmas and was going all out. I researched what I needed to do and set aside a Saturday for the project, as I had read it would take an entire day without a dehydrator. I put the sliced fruit in the oven on low heat, and checked on it every hour. As the day went on, I would adjust the heat and move the fruit around to dehydrate evenly. At the end of the day, all I had was soggy, dense fruit! Maybe it needed longer in the oven, but after that, I just went to the store and bought a dried fruit mix for less than $5. :)

  • I have a lot of knitting fails. One of them is not checking gauge (I have a terrible habit of not doing so) and knitting a too-small pair of socks out of really expensive yarn…

  • This day of Craft Camp looks like a DREAM!
    One of my most embarrassing craft failures was when I made a birthday cake with fancy tubed icing for a friend who has the same name as me (Catherine). I made it the summer I was studying lobster mating habits in a tiny town in Cape Cod called Woods Hole. Much of my research involved catheterizing little lobsters to catch their urine, so the proteins could be analyzed… anyway, back to the cake. Upon serving up my baked, creation, little did I see that I had piped in onto the cake as “C-A-T-H-E-T-E-R-I-N-E” – I spelled my own name wrong! Of course it was well-received with laughter, but it was still hugely embarrassing!

  • My worst crafting disaster would have to be my Thanksgiving sweater. I was knitting cotton sweater to wear for Thanksgiving, ran out of yarn a week and a half before, got the yarn [different lot number], and realized that the front of the sweater was knit too wide and I had no time to redo it before Thanksgiving. My entire handmade outfit hinged on this sweater being done. Needless to say I had to postpone wearing the sweater and had to figure out a new outfit to wear that wouldn’t embarrass my mother-in-law at her potluck Thanksgiving dinner.

  • I would love to go to craft camp and I also love hearing all these real-life crafting anecdotes! One of my failed crafting attempts has become an excellent resource for years of later crafts. In high school, I loved everything hemp, and decided to crochet a tote bag of hemp. I spent a few months working on it, periodically returning to Crafts&Creations to purchase another two rolls of hemp string. The project just kept getting larger! By the end, I discovered that crocheting with hemp, using a pattern designed for stretchy plastic string, would not yield the product I thought it would. In the end, it weighed probably 5 pounds, and was unrecognizable as a bag. Was it a lumpy rug? A massive hat? Something the cat left behind? Over the years, the hemp has been harvested from the bag to become a belt, several banners, ties for countless gifts, photo hangers, and many other projects!

  • OK -this really was a crafting disaster…I asked my boyfriend to drill some holes in a piece of wood for a project I was doing with christmas lights. I drew out a design and he was going to drill the holes then i would pop the lights through the holes and voila! an awesome piece of light art … He decided to do the drilling first thing in the morning. He was still wearing his pajamas when the wood he was drilling cracked in two and the drill was sent back towards him and his not so protective PJ’s. Its hard to even relive this but the drill got him right in his family jewels! I was in the other room when I heard the drill drop and a loud Oh My God! A quick, anxiety filled trip to the hospital and 13 stitches later all was well…ish. Pretty sure he will never forget it/forgive me for that craft project. MAN did I feel guilty about that one.

  • When I was growing up, we had a lot of cats. They pretty much ruled the house.

    In the 5th grade, I was working on a poster project on my living room floor. It was for a school report, and I had worked very, very hard on it – looking up information, printing and cutting out photos, glueing them on colored backgrounds, using permanent markers – The works!

    As I was sitting there, on the floor, gluing the very last thing onto my poster, my favorite cat walks up. I pet him a bit, then try to shoo him away. His response? He craws onto the middle of my poster and before I can move him he throws up. Directly in the middle of my poster. But not just a large pile of vomit, oh no. He projectile vomited, managing somehow to cover the entire surface of my poster with green slime and partially-digested kibble.

    I ran around the house balling, demanding that my mother get rid of the cats. She tried to clean it, but really there was nothing she could do.

    One good thing came about though: The next day I was able to truthfully – backed up by a note signed by my mother – tell my teacher that my cat ruined my homework.

  • THE CRAFTASTROPHE, 20 years in the making: Does anyone else have parents who hold on to their childhood crafting projects way past their expiration? I’m sure the cardboard/ paint pen gingerbread man I made in preschool was cute at the time, but he’s in his twenties now, and terrifying to behold. The years sitting in our attic until Christmas each year have not been kind to him. His paint-splattered frame has crusted over with what I can only describe as an oatmeal-like sawdust coating. Gross. And yet there he is on the tree every year without fail. I always smile a strained smile and tell my mom, “No, really, you don’t have to keep holding on to that thing…” But I guess the fact that she does makes him my own crusty version of the holiday spirit. Cheers to the parents who find beauty in every homemade abomination.

  • Those cute string/glue lanterns (w. a balloon as a base) that are sooo easy to make? Not easy in my apt! Total failure, and I ended up covered in glue.

  • I was babysitting and decided a perfect project would be to make crowns for my dog with my young charges. About 3 minutes — and a trashed apartment — later, the children were done with crafting and on to forcing my dog to wear uncomfortable crowns. Needless to say — I decided it was a once in a lifetime sort of project. (Though some of the crowns were kind of cute.)

  • I used to wake up early Sunday AM, way before my parents and would use the time as an opportunity to make presents for my mother. One Sunday I took a sheet out of the rag bag. With the help of a 64 box of Crayola’s I turned it into a “spectacular” tablecloth. I proudly presented it it when my parents got up. I don’t remember my mother’s reaction but do remember mine when the following Sunday I went back to the rag bag for supplies and found my “beautiful tablecloth.”

  • What a great idea! Craft camp is so much better than gymnastics camp. My craft disaster? Definitely super-gluing my fingers together. Who ya gonna call? Glue-busters.

  • In high school I started making these plasticine portraits of musicians. For example I did one of Gram Parsons in his Nudie Brothers suit. These portraits were often mounted on a piece of cardboard covered in glitter. At the time I was making these I was living with my dad, who had decided to leave his job and make a career change. One afternoon he returned from a job interview and I politely asked him how it went. His response, “I thought it went really well, but after the interview I went to the washroom and when I looked in the mirror, I noticed my moustache was full of glitter, so you know now I’m not feeling all that confident about
    it. ” He didn’t get the job.

  • I am primarily a crocheter but have dabbled in other crafts as well. When it comes to crochet, I always think that I can match gauge without a problem and neglect to make a gauge swatch. 9 times out of 10 my gauge is off as I tend to crochet tightly. I made this lovely lace sweater/cardigan for my mom for her birthday. I measured the stitch pattern repeat near the beginning of the top down sweater and it looked “OK”. Well, I neglected to continue checking gauge as I stitched along, but finished this beautiful sweater. Come Mom’s birthday, the sweater didn’t fit! It seems to have shrunk from when I first measured a few rows into stitching. Well, the sweater now sits on my dress form, named Ethel, and keeps her warm. I have started another sweater for mom that she will probably get on this year’s birthday!

  • At summer camp, I always registered for art as my elective. I was a pretty stubborn 12 year old, though, and sometimes had no interest in following the project guidelines. One project we were supposed to make ritual spice boxes out of clay, meant to be used to commemorate the end of the Jewish sabbath but I had it set in my head that I wanted to make a mug. Being the obstinate kid I was, I made a mug, with a dinosaur etched into the clay, and a spiky tail as the handle. And then I added a puny little lid, to make it into ‘a box.’ To this day my whole family mocks my ‘spice box.’

  • my biggest crafting disaster happened a few years ago. i was making a braided necklace with seed beads, and i was almost finished stringing all of the beads (which i spent 2 hours doing). as i was attaching the individual strands to the bead tips, i sneezed, and all of my beads fell off the string! 2 hours of meticulous beading gone to waste. i was so bummed, but i really wanted to finish the necklace, so i put in another two hours of stringing beads. in the end, it was worth it to finish the necklace, and actually still wear it all the time!

  • In high school I was the proud owner of a “Got π? Need Milk” T-shirt. I decided one day that even though this shirt was supremely cool, I could elevate it a little more by slicing it up both sides, cutting the sides into thin strips, and then tying the side strips back together. That was the day I became an exotic mathematical bird.

  • Haha, my biggest crafting disaster was when I was in ninth grade, my english class was reading ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. Our assignment was to do a skit of one of the scenes, my group decided to do the scene where Scout dresses up as a ham for the school Thanksgiving play. Long story short, we made a ham costume out of chicken wire and papermache, however when we went to get flour from the kitchen we accidentally grabbed icing sugar. If you have ever tried to papermache with sugar instead of flour (don’t try), you will know that it is very very messy and hard to clean off of my parent’s floor. It ended up being a “glazed ham.”

  • My most mortifying craftcident: I purchased a very special lobster-shaped cake pan. I used it to create a cherry garcia ice-cream mold for a dear friend’s housewarming cookout party. When I unveiled the dessert, all the party guests immediately saw what I couldn’t– my lobster pan was much too reminiscent of another, very unintended shape: http://instagram.com/p/VsUvJwrQG6/

  • My worst craft disaster – As a children’s librarian in a public library, I often conduct drop-in craft programs. This past October, my library offered a Halloween craft program. We usually get approximately 25 children over a 2-hour program, so I need to be very prepared. For this Halloween program, I had 4-5 crafts planned, which requires a lot of preparation. I usually do the preparation at home, and bring in all of the supplies on the day of the program. On this day, as I was doing final preparations at home, I kept looking at the clock, planning when I needed to be at the library. I usually give myself one hour of set-up time to prepare the room and craft tables. The program started at 2pm, which meant I had to leave for the library by 12:45pm. Well, for some reason, probably stress, I made a mistake about the time. Instead of leaving for work at 12:45, I planned on leaving at 1:45pm. As I was loading all my supplies in my car, I received a call from the library, asking where I was. I then realized that I was so late. The program was about to begin, and I hadn’t even gotten there to set up. I jumped in car, and sped to the library. Of course, I was stopped by a cop, and I hysterically explained why I was speeding to the library. He let me go, but I wished I had asked for a police escort, as I would have arrived even earlier. The Head Children’s Librarian was waiting for me in the parking lot, to help me bring the supplies in. Already, there was a large group of children waiting. I quickly set up the first craft, let the crowd in, and hurriedly set up the other crafts. Of course, we had the largest crowd ever that day, and I even ran out of some crafts. My heart was racing the entire time. Now, I give myself more time to set up, and hope I never make that mistake again. This disaster was much worse than the time I spilled white glue all over my shirt, or simply the time we ran out of crafts, but fortunately had a second craft prepared. Thanks to the cop who did not issue me a ticket!

  • OMG! Fingers crossed. I would fly to NYC just for this if I win. My favorite crafting fail story would be from late last year when I was attempting to create this cute mason jar key holder. It started promising after I found all my materials for just a couple of bucks at the hardware store and best of all, was gifted the scrap of wood I needed from the nice fella working the wood station. I went home all excited, sanded the wood and then primed it with some leftover primer I had. Left it outside in the balcony to dry overnight (since we live in an apartment). The next morning I woke up to a ruined “free” piece of wood thanks to the lovely rain. It’s L.A, it never rains here!! Only when I leave my nice half-way done project outside. I have yet to go back and find another piece of wood to start over. I also ended up using my mason jar for a snow globe Xmas present. I guess after typing this I might start over this weekend. HAHA Thanks for the inspiration! Hope to see you in Brooklyn ;)

  • Not entirely sure of my biggest crafting disaster… but my least favorite project so far has been a diy teepee that I made for my cat. Making the base stay straight and open was very difficult, and the sticks ended up breaking. The fabric I used for the cover was also really light and sort of washed out. Good idea, just needs a better execution.

  • I think my biggest fail was my first attempt at plaster sculpture. I started with a large rectangular block, so I was getting really interested in curving out the corners and making it as smooth as possible…what I didn’t realize, but others that saw it quickly did, was that I had created a large, smooth, white butt.

    • d2m

      all of those classes on their own, added up, would cost WAY more than that ticket price. believe me, i read press releases about these sorts of events on a weekly basis and this is a really reasonable rate for including 4 classes, food and drinks.


  • I had the brilliant idea of making my own, customized, very sparkly valentines last year. I had friends over and being a skilled (4 years of art school!) artist I should know materials…. 3 large containers of red glitter and a whole pint of red glitter paint (plus 2 hours for it all to dry) we pick up these gorgeous red sparkly sheets to cut into hearts and the like…. Only to have all of it NOT affixed to the paper and all over the floor! Two cats trampling through it and when I should have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day I was still vacuuming up red glitter from every crevice in the apartment.

  • I tend to make things last minute. Whenever I have an event coming up, I always think I should make a new outfit for it since I don’t want to wear what I already have in my wardrobe. The problem is that I always start so last minute (like the night before or the morning of – and I usually have a list of other things that need to get done as well), I never have time to finish. This pattern started in college.
    So, my friends and I were invited to a wedding. I decided I would sew a skirt! No biggie really. I picked out a great material (or so I thought at the time), drafted my own pattern, cut out everything, and had everything ready to sew …except I did not start the skirt until right before we had to leave. Thankfully we had a couple of hours in the car. Being completely confident that I could make a new skirt, I did not bring a back up outfit. I sat in the car during the whole car ride hand sewing the skirt. We had to keep stopping on the side of the road so that I could try it on and adjust the fit. I cannot get over how gracious my friends were. It was both extremely stressful and hilarious.
    Needless to say, I have never worn that skirt again (nor should I have ever worn it…I think all the pictures were taken waist up). I do still have it, though, in my pile of redos or never finished last minute projects.

  • I’ve had many crafting disasters over the years! My most annoying was on my wedding invitations. I used iron on transfers on vintage hankies to mail to my guests. I was trying to be frugal and I was printing the transfers out at work. After I ironed them on, I noticed that “families” was spelled “famles”…. I also made stains and burns on the table I was ironing on despite protection….

  • In my new home, my favorite room is most definitely the craft room. Who needs a dining room, right?! In it I keep my overwhelming collection of yarn, craft paper, stamps, paints, canvas, jewelry making supplies, fabric, buttons, ribbon – and the list goes on… Unfortunately I’m familiar with a couple of those “nailed it” photos often seen on Pinterest. A funny example was the yarn balls made by dipping yarn in glue mixture and wrapping around balloon to dry and then – ta da – something that looks like it was made by a 4 year old! I created a frame wall going up the stairs but first had to spray paint some old frames black. I put newspaper on the kitchen floor and got to it – I later realized that the spray paint left squares on the linoleum at my rental apartment (glad they didn’t notice that at move out!). Yesterday, I observed (from a distance) my boyfriend in my craft room making me a handmade valentine card. It warmed my heart to see the pile of crumbled paper (reject attempts at card-making), mod podge bottles, scissors, washi tape, stamps, buttons, yarn, cardstock and glue spread across the floor as he sat there diligently working on crafting the perfect sentiment. All who enter my house are required to make a stop in the craft room to create something. I would love love love the opportunity to attend the Brooklyn Craft Camp!

  • Why do I wait until the last hour to do things? I was crocheting (amigurumi style) a bear in a hot air balloon for a friend’s baby shower (Kristy – she posted above about her turkey hat disaster). I got everything finished, ready to stuff when I realized the stuffing I thought I had was quilt batting. OOPS! I didn’t have time to run to the store, so I unstuffed one of my daughter’s stuffed animals and filled the present. I never told her this happened, but I guess the secret is out now.

  • My crafting disaster began with the idea to hand make our wedding invitations (we had a small group of 12). We were inviting just parents & siblings, so accounting for folks that still lived at home, etc., we only had to make 6 invitations. My husband has access to a laser cutter so we took the opportunity to design a stamp that we would use to emboss all of the details. Our idea was to have a heart with Jose Luis Posada’s skeleton wedding couple embossed over the heart stamp, with the details below (we love skeletons and anatomy, what can we say?). We took to the laser cutter and spent an entire evening into the wee hours getting the burn just right, as the rubber we were using was repurposed from something else and was quite dense.

    Excited, I woke up the next morning ready to do my stamping, only to discover that we had mistakenly printed the stamp the RIGHT way so we could read it, but BACKWARDS when stamped. With no more rubber and no more patience to deal with the laser cutter, we improvised as we so often do with craft projects! I went out and bought clear vellum, printed the stamp on the vellum, planning to flip it and place it over the card stock that had the heart stamped on it. We were then going to adhere it to the card stock with a clear adhesive to make a smooth card. When I took to embossing the plastic sheet, it bubbled & bulged, and at this point I was convinced we were never going to make use of this crazy stamp. Improvising yet again, I hand folded photo corners from leftover stock and took my best & brightest embossing attempts (took about 20 tries to get the 6 flatter ones I needed) and attached it to the heart background with the photo corners. What began as a quick & simple stamping project turned into a snowball of accounting for little mistakes along the way! Everyone was so impressed at how elaborate the invitations were with the two layers, a 3D effect, and paper photo corners, so we kept our craft disaster to ourselves :)

  • A friend of mine was finishing her degree in Art Education. Her final project was a fired ceramic piece. I gave good input, but don’t have her skills. I went to the studio with her one day, monitoring her piece, and making an abstract flower wall hung plaque for me. I glazed it and when it was done, I didn’t like it. I took it home and decided to cover it in one color. It looks so nice. However, I used Rub-n-Buff and it does not dry over the glaze. Fortunately. I had put two holes near the top for hanging. I used silver ribbon to hang it. I made a wall grouping with other pieces,and no one is the wiser. I live in fear that someone will touch it and get smeared with the RnB. P.S. She got an A, and lots of accolades, and I have a paint disaster waiting to happen!

  • My first job in the garment center was for a belt manufacturer. Each week I would glide in with something I made. I was the only person there that sewed, and everyone would ooh and ahh over whatever I made. Unfortunatley I got rather big headed about this! Especially because the ownder said that it “looked soooo professionally done”.
    We were going to have a party because the owner was retiring…I decided to outdo myself..alas it was the first time I ever tried pleats and since I always overbought fabric I said to myself this time I have to be more accurate & bought exactly what was specified. Got it home and began to sew when I got to the skirt part it dawns on me I was going to be short fabric…I hurredly nipped back for more fabric…SOLD OUT! What to do!! Playing around w/the layout for ages I finally cut the back a little off grain. I cut it out and sew it….well it looked okay to me, it didn’t hang weirdly. Really I’m more concerned about what color belt, shoes and handbag I was going to wear. I put on the cutest little outfit I ever made the front looked smashing!! I take a few steps and the skirt creeps into my derriere cheeks….Now it’s too late to change and I didnt’ have anything to change into. That day will live in infamy for me. I would take few steps have to duck into a doorway and pull the dress from my backside…a perfectly awful day….I swear that day seemed like a week. Come to think of it I have never made a pleated garment again!

  • Sounds fun!
    I don’t have a huge disaster story, but several kind friends have spent time trying to teach me to knit, but it doesn’t stick! I do ok with supervision, but once I get home it leaves my brain…

  • I must’ve blocked out my real disasters, but this one i remember and it still stings years later: I made a sweater for my boyfriend out of gorgeous yarn i bought in Tasmania. it was a perfect fit, and i thought it looked good on him, but he never wore it and finally admitted he would never wear it. i don’t have the heart to frog it…maybe a son will wear it one day and be my valentine…this boyfriend eventually became my husband despite hating this perfect sweater, but I learned my lesson and he only gets knitted hats from me, once in a blue moon.

  • I’ve had a million crafting disasters – pretty much every time I pick up something new for the first time. I’ve set shrinky dinks ablaze. I’ve gotten VERY expensive organic yarn into a knot so bad that a lady literally “tsked” me. I’ve hot glued unused sticks of HOT GLUE to the floor.
    I am a librarian for teens and I host crafts all the time. I like to teach them to reuse and recycle and look at old materials with new eyes! I had the brilliant idea, four or five years ago, to have everyone participating bring in an old dark colored tshirt. I set up tuperware bins with cold water, and I picked out a bunch of small flat items (coins, washers, odd erasers, etc.). We also had sugar, to be able to sort of “drip” your designs. I filled spray bottles with a bleach/water solution and I thought we would do an awesome relief thing on these tshirts, placing down the objects, spraying the bleach solution and they could watch it turn colors. Then, quick as a wink, they would submerge the tshirts into cold water, which would stop the bleaching, and everyone would have an awesome new tshirt! YAHOO!
    Well, I underestimated the messiness of tweens/teens… bleach was everywhere (in the library! yowzas) Water was everywhere. tshirts were wet and everywhere. It took me a couple of hours to clean up, in my bare feet (because they had overturned a few of the tuperwares and soaked my shoes). Some of the teens loved their shirts, though, and wore them in to the library to show me…so I’d say it was worth it.

  • This isn’t my own story but that of my best friend’s aunt; a story I was told in my teens and has stuck* with me ever since! My friend’s aunt, let’s call her Jean, was laying a new kitchen floor with lino tiles. Jean decided to use super glue to do this job… A tube of super glue which she happened to leave lying on the floor before subsequently kneeling on and squirting glue into her eye. Panicked, she grabbed a towel to wipe the glue off, which is definitely not recommended. Needless to say, after a trip to A&E and time spent without eyelashes, her story has haunted me (and improved my safety awareness) ever since!

    *apologies for the punn… Couldn’t resist!

  • I’m an avid knitter. Once, I was knitting a cowichan sweater for a friend and was working on the sleeve, paying NO attention (I think I was probably watching Castle, because, honestly, what *else* would I be watching?!?). I knit this BEAUTIFUL sleeve with lovely colour work patterning…I soon realized, after about 3 hours, that I had forgotten to cast off and decrease for the underarm! I had to undo THREE HOURS of (not-s0) careful knitting and start again. I was heartbroken. But, these things happen!

  • Wow – it’s so good to see that everyone else has such epic crafting fails as well! I’m a big knitter and because I’m not that patient, I decided to splurge and buy a knitting machine to help me knit faster. I tried to master changing colors, but each time I would introduce a new color, inevitability my stitches would fall off and crash to the floor. This happened for about 3 months until I finally got the hang of it. I decided to make a tank top with wording on the front and after hours of counting and making sure the different colored stitches were just right, I bound off my work and looked at my creation. All of the wording was upside down.

  • A couple of years I decided to dress up as Wonder Woman for a big annual Halloween party that my friends host. I have always admired WW but had never seen a costume out there that was exactly what I wanted or felt confident enough to pull off a body conscious outfit but recalling that the best costumes I had growing up were the ones I would brainstorm and sew with my very talented grandmother (err or rather watch her mostly sew for me) I decided I would go for it and make my own! I didn’t own a sewing machine and thought sewing all of the pieces from fabric would be too much for me but I spent several weeks finding basic articles of clothing (red tube top; blue shorts; blue leggings; gold bra; red socks) and random supplies (gold lamé belt; iron on stars; star buttons; duct tape) that I could put together with some basic sewing to make my dream costume. By Halloween I had the whole outfit put together and felt proud that I had thought of lots of details down to my blue nail polish as I tend to be more last minute and rushed with things….

    The night of the party I got dressed up and felt great! Just before leaving I noticed that some of the stars on my backside were sticking up a bit so I thought hey I’ll just do a quick touch up with the iron… The instant I set the hot iron down on the polyester poof! I had burned a big hole right where my left butt cheek would be. Oops I guess I forgot to check the iron setting — they are really serious about those! I had never seen that happen before!

    My husband got nervous about what my reaction would be but I had a WWWWD moment and just put the shorts back on (once cooled) over my blue leggings and headed out to the party hoping it would blend. My the end of the night I had gotten lots of compliments and had totally forgotten that my booty was hanging out of my short shorts. Actually, even with the scorched bottoms, I enjoyed making everything so much that I wasn’t deterred and made awesome costumes for myself and my husband too again this year — just nothing involving ironing polyester!

  • When I was about 9, I went through a cake decorating phase. My mom had this huge collection of different hued food coloring. This was not your standard red, blue, yellow, green assortment. There was fuschia, turquoise, even cyan. The colors were all so attractive, I couldn’t help but experiment with mixing them. One day I got so carried away with mixing that I suddenly realized with horror that my beautiful rainbow cake looks more like mud than the My Little Pony landscape I was shooting for. Unwilling to accept defeat, I decided to own my mistake and make the cake black. That’s right, I added every single color from the collection of about 20. The frosting looked like rich humus and made the cake the most depressing I have ever laid eyes on. My dad and oldest brother, always my cheerleaders, generously each ate a piece of my dismal cake after dinner. They were kind and praised it’s sweetness and, ehem, uniqueness. As they smiled in appreciation, the rest of us discovered the true horror of my failure, the heavy mixture of dyes had turned their teeth a deep shade of red!

  • The craft camp looks amazing! And the chance to meet a project runway winner is awesome!
    I have been crafting since I was a child. I love it. Crafting is not only a creative outlet, but a stress reliever as well. I hope all who attend the camp have a great time!

  • While not quite a crafting disaster but it does deal with crafting. I have recently moved and had a small craft room at my old house. I now have doubled my space and can’t believe how much items I has stuffed into that old room. It is now 7 months since I moved and I am still trying to sort my stash so I can really start working. I think crafting is a disease but I love it!

  • I love reading all of these! Katy’s lobster reminded me of a finger puppet Valentine I almost sent out to one of my nieces last year in my annual love packages to all the kids in my life. I made different animals with paper hearts from a kit but luckily my husband noticed something about this giraffe that I didn’t and stopped me from mailing it out — but I still think the critter is cute so he got it instead! http://instagram.com/p/Vz3WAPB-o7/

  • While painting a piece of furniture (with oil based paint) our cat escaped and got paint all over her little feet! Not wanting to use turpentine on her, I used eucalyptus oil to wipe it off her – but then read online that my “natural” alternative was actually quite poisonous to cats! My boyfriend then had to hold her down while I shampooed her paws until there was no more eucalyptus smell left… to this day she is nervous around running water (and now we only use water based paint!)

  • Probably my worst crafting disaster happened when I was six years old. My mother, an avid crafter, was teaching me how to sew. It was December, and we were making Christmas potholders for my first grade teacher. She was guiding my hands but she must have let go and… the machine sewed through my finger! It was my one and only trip to the ER, sewing needle all the way through my finger, green thread still attached. To this day, I am still deathly afraid of sewing machines.

  • When I was about ten, my cousin Lia came to visit me from Brooklyn. She always had amazing new toys and things to do when I went to her house, and so I wanted something really fun for us to do when she came to ours. I had just learned from a friend that Elmer’s glue was made from milk and flour, which Lia hadn’t known, so we decided to make some of our own together. We had the materials we needed and added glitter to the mixture to make glitter glue – a huge bowl full of the stuff! Somehow we got it in our heads that we had to share this amazing concoction with the rest of the world or else it would go to waste. We made signs and set up a table in front of the house, attempting to sell glitter glue in little paper cups on the side of the road like a lemonade stand. GLITTER GLUE! ONLY $1! Which eventually dwindled down to 25 cents, 10 cents, to giving it away for free. We even tried to add incentives like petting our black & white lab mix or being pulled around the yard on a wagon with each cup of glitter glue purchased. We had more hand-made signs littering our front lawn than we had cups of glitter glue, but no one took the bait. Only one man stopped, thinking we were a drink stand and wanting something for his thirst on a hot summer day. He was REALLY confused, our parents laughing hysterically in the background (they had been soooo supportive, so we didn’t think this was a strange thing to do AT ALL). Poor guy probably thought it was some kind of cruel joke. He ended up giving us a dollar anyway – without taking the glue with him. We called after him as he drove away – “hey, mister! You forgot your glitter glue!” I wonder if he ever stopped at a lemonade stand again.

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