Confessions from a craft blog: Craft fails and a front cover (And a giveaway!)

I’m sharing a few craft fails today, but first I’ll start with the big news – my Silk Sari Pumpkins are on the front cover of Craft Ideas magazine! If you page through the issue, you’ll also see my Cowhide Pumpkins on page 47. This is a happy ending to a story that wasn’t always so pretty, and today I’ll let you in on the back story for both of these pumpkin crafts. To kick off the season for all things pumpkin, there’s a giveaway, too.

This is the best Craft magazine out there! Check out all of the fun projects in the fall issue.

My Silk Sari Pumpkins made the cover of Craft Ideas magazine! It’s on newsstands now!

Fall is my favorite season, and you may know that I love pumpkins crafts. Last year, I decided to make tapestry pumpkins – they were going to be so elegant! And then I shopped for the fabric and what — $40 – $80 a yard? I don’t think so. While searching for fabric on etsy, I saw that I could buy beautiful pieces of silk saris for just $5 – $6. I realized that these gorgeous silk brocades were the answer.

Beautiful silk sari fabric -- perfect for fall crafts!

Aren’t these beautiful silk brocades?

And then the fabrics started to arrive. Each one was beautiful, and most were shot through with gold. But there was one problem, some of the fabrics were sheer and fragile and I didn’t think they could be used for Patchwork Pumpkins. But I experimented a little, found a new technique, painted my pumpkin stems gold, and voila, a front cover!

Gorgeous Silk Sari Pumpkins! Find the DIY in Craft Ideas magazine.

These pumpkins are in the fall issue of Craft Ideas magazine.

At about the same time, I had another idea – Leather Pumpkins. Wouldn’t those be chic? Of course, leather is expensive, so I found faux leather (vinyl) and went to work. Argh! The vinyl was too thick and stiff to neatly tuck into the balls of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. I had to make my grooves wide and deep, and then the faux leather still bunched up – totally not chic! I tried adding cord in the crevices, thinking that might help, but I still didn’t like the look.

UGH! Craft Fail -- my "leather" pumpkins didn't work out as planned.

I really struggled with the thick, stiff vinyl, and I didn’t like the way it looked.

"Leather" pumpkin craft fail!

Nope, I don’t like these pumpkins with the trim, either.

So, I tried again and while this sort of works, I’m not thrilled with the finished project. I’m sure that real leather would have been more supple, and had the required drape, but I’m not paying real leather prices. So, I believe these are bound for the “not such a good idea bin.”

DIY Leather Pumpkins, made with faux leather. I'd call them a "craft fail."

I still don’t like these, and the one on the right reminds me of a basketball!

On the other hand, because I was surrounded with a lot of faux leather, I decided to DIY Faux Leather Deco Spheres. The vinyl worked great for this project, and I really like these Deco Spheres. Score!

I want to make these! They look like leather but they're super easy and super cheap to DIY.

Faux Leather Deco Spheres

The failed, faux leather pumpkins also led me to the Cowhide Pumpkins in Craft Ideas. I was mulling over the failed leather pumpkins during an evening walk, and the Cowhide Pumpkins popped into my head! (Where do these ideas come from?) I love how the Cowhide Pumpkins turned out.

Love these Cowhide Pumpkins from Craft Ideas magazine.

Cowhide Pumpkins — you’ll find the tutorial in the fall issue of Craft Ideas magazine.

So, there you have it. When you have a craft fail, try, try again. Sometimes your best ideas can come from a craft fail.

I want to give a big shout out to Craft Ideas magazine, and “thank you” so much for including my pumpkins in the fall issue. Go on over and say “hello” to Molly, the editor, on the Craft Ideas Facebook page, and give them a “like”, too. If you don’t subscribe, you should – each issue is jam-packed with ideas to keep you crafting till the next issue arrives at your doorstep. The fall issue is on newsstands right now, so be sure to check it out.

Fall Crafting Giveaway on includes Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Lattes!!

You might win this!

To celebrate pumpkin crafting season, I have two, Fall Craft Giveaways today, and each prize package includes:

  • $30 gift card to your choice of Jo-Anns, Michaels or Hobby Lobby
  • Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Via Packets
  • Crafts ‘n Coffee coffee mug (these are new, and I’ve not yet seen them!)

For your chance to win, share your craft fail below. Be sure to enter by midnight on Monday, August 29. I’ll announce the two winners on Tuesday, August 30.

** Please Note: This Giveaway is Over**

Happy pumpkin crafting!

leftover-fabricP.S. I’ll share on Friday what I did with the leftover silk sari fabrics . . .

P.P.S. This is not a sponsored post for Craft Ideas magazine. I just think you’ll really enjoy the magazine.


This entry was posted in Fabric Craft, Fall Crafts, Giveaways, Thanksgiving Crafts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Confessions from a craft blog: Craft fails and a front cover (And a giveaway!)

  1. Firstly … Many Congratulations on being the front cover of a magazine! It must feel wonderful to be featured INSIDE a craft magazine, but to be the FRONT COVER! Aww .. I’d be beside myself with excitement and disbelief!

    I found your blog by accident but thrilled that I have. You’re writing is filled with smiles and fun, and, of course, crafts! Couldn’t ask for a better mix.
    I have become one of your new followers and thrilled to be so.
    Regards and … have a blessed rest of your day! ~ Cobs. x

    • Sharon says:

      You are so sweet! Thank you so much for your kind comments. I’m so glad you found us, too, and I look forward to seeing you here! Happy crafting! Sharon

  2. Ginger says:

    I attempted to sew myself a skirt a few years back… I forgot to insert a zipper so I could not put it on without major alterations lol!

  3. Ms. Christian H says:

    A few Christmases ago, my son and I thought it would be nice to make his class Santa ornaments — I found a seemingly easy salt dough ornament on Pinterest and we decided we’d go that route. I’m not sure what went wrong, but after they came out of the oven, it looked like the Santas had been involved in a nuclear accident. Suffice it to say, we DID NOT give them to his classmates, although we did throw a few on our tree. The mangled Santas got quite a few laughs on our tree that year!

    • Sharon says:

      Eek! Poor Santa! However, you are going to cherish those ornaments in the years to come, and you’ll laugh every Christmas when you hang them on the tree! Craft fails like that make the best stories (and memories). Thanks so much for sharing. Sharon

  4. Michelle J. says:

    I tried to make cake balls (easy, right?) and they wouldn’t stick together, and then I burned the chocolate. It wasn’t great.

  5. First of all – I don’t think the leather pumpkins are a fail – they look very masculine. My craft fail was the result of water damage – I had made a box-card quite an intricate one – and it was supposed to be given to a friend of my sisters….but she got water all over it. the colors stayed intact but the box portion lost it’s integrity. So I took the flowers – the top portion and repurposed them into another item – a bouquet. My point is this – I think the craft fails are merely waiting to be repurposed (isn’t that what our colonial seamstresses were doing, taking old garments and reusing them as quilts).

    • Sharon says:

      I’m so glad you like the leather pumpkins! I think my view of them is partially colored by the challenge of working with that vinyl — very frustrating! I’m so glad your “fail” had a happy ending! That is what crafting and creating is all about, right? Happy crafting! Sharon

  6. Blowing White says:

    I saw all the beautiful wood transfer decorations on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a try. It looked and sounded simple enough. I had just got married that year so I wanted some tree decorations to commemorate the life event. Well, I wasn’t patient enough when waiting for the images to stick to the glue and ended up rubbing off our faces!

    They were pretty scary looking, so I gave up and started over and… Made the same mistake again!

  7. LisaM6 says:

    I guess I will need to post comments on my laptop not my phone. They don’t seem to post. Crazy.
    Congrats on being on the cover. Love the pumpkins….time to start baking pumpkin bars. 🙂
    My lastest fail was helping the neighbor girl mat a photo for her 4H project. I got it all cut and ready to frame it….I used the wrong measurements for the length….It was 5 inches to short. So today I went and found a frame we could make do. I got to cut and put the picture in and gads I put the photo in crocked. She said it look fine so I hope she does well with the crocked photo. lol

    • Sharon says:

      Thank you for taking the time to post a second time! Why is it that sometimes it’s the same project that keeps going awry?? Ack! Fingers crossed that a ribbon comes her way! Thanks for your sweet note, too. Sharon

  8. Another fairly recent craft fail is the crepe paper flower cake! I bought the crepe paper in the colors I wanted (white, ivory, silver, gold) and gathered the rest of the items I needed to make them. I tried for hours to make my flowers look pretty but failed miserably. I have set this project aside till the day that I get that “AHA”n moment and things are clear to me on how to go about making pretty flowers instead of droopy globs of ick! I don’t believe in throwing away any fails until I have exhausted all efforts to save it! LOL

    • Sharon says:

      Ack! That’s such a pretty project, and well worth trying again! Did you look on YouTube to see if there are any videos? Maybe that’s the answer? Let me know when you’ve nailed it, Barb — I know it will be gorgeous! Sharon

  9. Love those cowhide pumpkins. Have to keep that in mind next time I’m making pumpkins.
    Well my latest craft fail was a wreath made out of painted water bottles. I have seen them on pinterest and thought I could try my hand at them. OMG! What a mess. I had a heck of a time attaching the bottles to the metal frame with pipe cleaners and wire and I needed way too many to fill the form. I’m still not done with it! Thinking about just making a turkey wreath out of it by using a circle of Styrofoam for the body and felt for the rest of it. The bottles would be the tail feathers. But right now I’m just going to stare at it until another idea comes to mind! HAHA

    • Sharon says:

      Oh dear, that one sounds complicated, but I bet it looked beautifully simple on Pinterest, right? I love how you’re working it through and I bet you’ll create something beautiful. Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, only this time, it will be a turkey! You’ll find a few DIY turkeys here — maybe something that will work for you? Let us know how it turns out! Thanks so much for stopping in. Happy crafting! Sharon

  10. Anne Haun says:

    Congrats – so exciting to see your projects published. My biggest craft fail happened many years ago when I first started using styrofoam balls I did not realize hot glue and styrofoam do not mix. I was attempting to put three various sized balls together to make a snowman. The hot glue caused the styrofoam to melt. My snowman collapsed before I even finished the project. I am wondering if newer styrofoam products are more heat resistant??? I have never tried to mix the two again.

    • Sharon says:

      Oh, ouch! I’m sorry you had trouble with hot glue! You are right, a hot glue gun will melt a small portion of the foam. I use either a low-temp glue gun or thick, white craft glue (like Aleene’s), and those both work great. Do you have a low-temp glue gun? Here are a few more tips for you, too: I hope you try again! Thanks so much for stopping by and chiming in! Sharon

  11. Angie Dyer says:

    Sharon, congratulations of having your creations on the front cover! Wow! You should be so proud of yourself and your abilities.

    We have all had our share of failures with crafts. I fell in love with an Amish Quilt in a Weekend quilt. I bought expensive fabrics that were adorable. That weekend craft took me an entire year to create just the quilt top. My aunt was kind enough to fix one square that would not cooperate. Finally, my mom’s quilting ladies at her church put the layers together and hand sewed all the quilting. It took them about 4 months to complete. When I got it back, it was the most beautiful quilt I had ever seen. It was because the church quliting ladies knew how to create something not so perfect and turned it into perfection. I enjoyed reading all the crafting stories gone astray.

    These pumpkins are fun!

    • Sharon says:

      Your quilt sounds beautiful, and I’m sure you treasure it! It takes a village sometimes, right? I have an Amish-style quilt top I started about 20 years ago, and it’s still nowhere near being finished . . . Fortunately, some projects, like these pumpkins, are whipped up in an hour or two, start to finish. I can handle that! Thank you for sharing, for your comments, and for your support, Angie! Craft on! Sharon

  12. Katiria says:

    I was nonchalantly looking through my issue for some inspiration and I was absolutely delighted to see your pumpkins featured. They are beautiful. Creating is definitely a process that takes patience. I have had so many fails. Needle felt= bleeding fingers. Homemade Transformers birthday cake = rectangular blob. My biggest fail was a Halloween costume I tried to make for my son back when Thor was a big hit. He wanted to be The Destroyer from the movie. It was this silver giant musclebound mechanical monster that shot a beam of fire from his visor. I made the head out of paper mache and I used orange cellophane for the visor so he could see through it and it looked like fire (the head was perfect). For the body I decided to buy a muscled batman costume and paint it silver with fabric paint but it didn’t cover everything and it looked gray not silver. So I thought I will wrap the whole thing in shiny aluminum tape from the hardware store. HA! that made the costume stiff and my son couldn’t get into it so I had to cut the back so he could step in and I would tape him up then he couldn’t move around or get out again. OMG I was beyond frustrated and that was the only costume I never completed. It’s my Waterloo.

    • Sharon says:

      OH NO! I bet your son still thought it was pretty cool! And you have made some awesome costumes, so you get a pass on that one. Thanks for your sweet comments about the pumpkins, too. They were a lot of fun to make, and wow, I was so happy that Molly at Craft Ideas liked them, too. Thank you for sharing your crafty fails, Katiria. xo, Sharon

  13. Dawn Jones says:

    The Pumpkins are gorgeous, congrats. I recently did my first quilt (mini), it wasn’t awful…..but the binding, oh the binding….total fail. I had batting sticking out. It’s a technique I definetely need to work on. Have a great day!

    • Sharon says:

      Congratulations on completing your first quilt! That’s awesome! Binding scares me — I’ve pieced a few quilt tops, but I’ve not gotten past that to the actual quilting and binding. So in my book, you’re awesome! Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing. Sharon

  14. CraftyB says:

    Those sari pumpkins are the bomb!! Gorgeous fabrics, so elegant. Perfect for the Thanksgiving table or the cover of a magazine!

  15. Nancy D says:

    Oh my, I’ve had more craft fails then I like to think about! The one that comes to mind using styrofoam is when I was trying to needle felt and the styrofoam was just crumbling and getting holes. Apparently I’m a little heavy handed and need to learn GENTLE! 🙂 But, I have bought more white wool because I’m determined to make some of those cute snowmen! Congratulations on making the cover! Love the pumpkins!

    • Sharon says:

      Thank you for your sweet comments, and for sharing your “craft fail.” I am sorry that the needle felting didn’t work out for you — the first time, at least. I’m so glad you’re going to give it another go, and I want to know how your felted snowmen turn out. Do share a photo, because I know the next time will be a smashing success! Craft on!

  16. Your pumpkins are absolutely amazing! Being East Indian, the sari fabrics naturally appeal to me and are just stunning! I think I’m definitely going to have to give those a try! Totally love all of your textured pumpkins with the different materials! As far as craft fails, I think any idea I try to steal from Pinterest is definitely a craft fail, not sure how to make my stuff look like Pinterest stuff. But you have to live and learn from those experiences!

    • Sharon says:

      Yes! I think we’ve all been there with Pinterest inspiration! And don’t start me on the recipes I’ve tried because the food photos look so mouthwatering, and the reality was anything but! Yuck! Thank you so much for your comments about the Sari Pumpkins, too, and I’m so glad you like them! The fabrics are beautiful, and I imagine anything made from the silks would be beautiful, too. Do you use the sari silk in your own crafts? What have you made with the sari fabrics? Sharon

      • I have yet to incorporate sari and other silks into my crafts. They are soooo expensive and I have only outfits created from the materials. I am really inspired to use some of the left over materials in my crafts. I also sent you an email to you today! Thanks so much!

      • Sharon says:

        Let us know if you do make something crafty from your gorgeous fabrics. It will be beautiful, whatever you make! I’ve found that this etsy shop has a lovely collection of reasonably priced silk sari fabrics and ribbons: Thank you so much for following along! Sharon

  17. Diane W says:

    I just saw your pumpkins in the new Craft Ideas magazine last week at the library! They look great, and congratulations on having them featured in the magazine. I would love to be entered into your give away. I have had many failed craft attempts….but continue on to try, try again. When I first tried to make a wreath with burlap, I had never worked with burlap other than wrapping a wreath form with it. For this project, I needed to also make the burlap puff out from the wreath form. Working with the burlap over and over trying to make it puff without flopping down was difficult. I have the first one that I tried to work with on a straw base, but that didn’t work. A smaller foam wreath base worked the best and I was very happy with the final result. The three I made sold at the church auction!

    • Sharon says:

      Try, try again, right? Congratulations on working through your frustration — and then selling three of the wreaths! That is awesome!! Thank you for your sweet comments about the Sari Pumpkins, too. I’m glad you enjoyed them! Happy crafting! Sharon

  18. Amy Pinion says:

    My craft fail was trying to use a tea ball to make a Christmas ornament. You were supposed to paint the ball and use fishing line to sew on sequins and beads. It was going to look elegant – mine looked pitiful! I couldn’t keep the string tight enough so the sequins and beads kept coming loose.

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks for sharing your craft fail, and how frustrating! That sounds like a craft you’d see on Pinterest that looks so easy . . . hah! I’ve seen beautiful ornaments made by pinning beads and sequins onto balls of STYROFOAM Brand Foam — no stringing required! If you give it a whirl, let me know how they turn out! Happy crafting! Sharon

  19. Lora Cotton says:

    My greatest craft fail ever stemmed from attempting to make Christmas ornaments by melting starburst mints. I’m sure ya’ll’ve seen them; Christmas ornaments, cake/goodie plates, Christmas trees, etc. Well none of the tutes I’ve seen share any disclaimers about doing this craft in high humidity areas. Come on, who’s thinking “humidity” in December, right?? Well, let me tell you…THIS ISNT A CRAFT TO ATTEMPT IN HIGH HUMIDITY AREAS – in my case, SE TX!! Don’t get me wrong, you can do them; they come out darling, but withing few hours they will be so tacky that EVERYTHING will stick to them! Tinsel, garlands, tree needles, dust, other ornaments, ribbons, etc. OHHHHH, so you think your smarter than all that??? You’ll just shellac them!!! WRONG!!! No matter how “lightly” you attempt to spray them (cause brushing it on only results in a smeared mess) you get “run!”. Of course, that’s only the beginning of this part of the fail, cause EVEN IF YOU CAN CONVINCE YOURSELF THAT YOU “COULD” STILL USE THEM, ten mins later when you go to check on them, you will find that the “shellac” has EATEN THRU candy!!! SMH!! Finally just gave up and scraped it all! Don’t think I’ll ever try that one again! LOL!

    • Sharon says:

      Been there, done that! I tried a candy craft in high humidity and ended up with a nasty puddle of frosting and candy as it all slid right off my cone! What a sticky mess! So sorry for your frustration, and thank you for sharing your craft fail! Craft on! Sharon

  20. KD May says:

    A few months ago made a bag. I had the idea in my head, I had it sketched out, I drafted the pattern. Usually I make measurements and very detailed patterns, but for some reason this did not come out anything like I had wanted. All the angles were wrong. It is the wrong size. The handles just look weird. It still functions, but it’s not what I wanted. And of course, I’m all out of that fabric and can’t get my hands on it again! UGH!

    • Sharon says:

      ARGH! I feel your pain! Have you searched online for the fabric? It’s amazing what you can find online, and when in a similar pinch, I often find what I’m looking for. Here’s to the next bag! Thanks for stopping in. Sharon

  21. Hollie McNeely says:

    Oh my heavens the cow hide pumpkins and the deco balls. Love love.

    • Sharon says:

      I admit that those cowhide pumpkins are a favorite of mine, too! And I like the deco balls a whole lot more than the pumpkins! Thanks so much — glad you stopped by! Sharon

  22. These are gorgeous!! My absolute favorite are the cowhide pumpkins!! Very rustic and country!
    My biggest craft fail so far is a hot air balloon made out of paper mache! I got the BIG 36″ balloons to use as the base for my Hot Air Balloon and casting material to cover it. I got it all covered (or so I thought) and let it dry. Then I popped the balloon and tried to start sanding the rough spots. As I sanded, I realized that some area were not evenly thick. I added more casting material and let it dry again. Same problem! Some areas just weren’t getting covered so I bought a bucket of plaster mix and slathered it on and let it dry AGAIN! Now it was TOO thick and was going to make a very uneven hot air balloon so I set it aside in my craft room along with other fails just in case I thought of a way to salvage it.
    A few months later a friend asked me if I could make her some pretty bowls for chips at her annual BBQ party and fireworks show! I tossed ideas around in my head for a few days and then as I was in my craft room the “hot air balloon” came tumbling down from it’s precarious perch! Light bulbs started going off and I knew what I needed to do!
    I got my saw out and cut the balloon in half, sanded the edges, painted both halves inside and out, sealed it with a glossy spray varnish, added lots of embellishments on the outside and glued a layer of plastic wrap so that the food was ok to eat! Viola! Two LARGE bowls ready for potato chips! She loved them so much that she wound up putting a large pasta salad in one of them and can’t wait for the next big get together so she can use them again!
    I am so glad that, as my hubby says, I hoard things instead of throwing them away. I am grateful that I was abnle to save my fail and not waste all those supplies! 🙂
    Sometimes the worst fail turns into the best evah!

    • Sharon says:

      Love this story, Barb, and what a fabulous, creative outcome for your “craft fail”. It sounds like it turned out to be an awesome success, and maybe now you’ll make even more bowls! Thanks so much for sharing your “craft fail” tale, and the happy ending. xo, Sharon

  23. Lynda says:

    I actually have a whole room full of craft fails. But, you asked for one, so…well, I’ve learned as you did, that the less expensive materials don’t always produce good results, so I think my biggest fail is a sweater I knitted for myself, but I bought less expensive yarn than the pattern called for, and I guess the weights and sizes were different enough, that even though, I swear I did a gauge swatch, it could fit two of me inside it. 😌

  24. Tonya K. says:

    I just found your blog and I love it. One of my craft fails was my first attempt at quilting a quilt on my sewing machine. I was sewing happily along and had done almost 1/4 to 1/2 of the quilt. I flipped it over and saw how everything was twisted and very very ugly. So, instead of give up (believe me, I wanted to!), I ripped everything out and did more research. To make a long story short, the end result was gorgeous! Bottom line is NEVER give up, EVER! Thanks for the give away! I am enjoying your blog so much!

    • Sharon says:

      Thank you!! And thank you for sharing your craft fail, and your words of encouragement. I also sew, and I hear you re: “the backside”. ARGH! Feeling your pain, and I’m so glad you found your way to a beautiful finish. Sharon

  25. My big craft fail was trying to use a butter knife only to cut into the Styrofoam and place precut 2 inch squares of fabric into the Styrofoam. It was a disaster! The knife would barely go in and then it would chip off big bits of the foam; yet when I tried to put the fabric in it was like the knife did not even make a cut at all. It was awful and about a fourth of the way through, which took hours I gave up! Later finding out the correct tools needed. LOL.

    Congratulations on the Front Cover! These pumpkins are gorgeous and deserve to be seen by everyone! Thank you for sharing and the chance to win the give away! Have a fantastic creative day!

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Brenda, Ah ha — I wonder if you were using STYROFOAM Brand Foam, sold under the “Make It: Fun Foam” label in stores? Genuine STYROFOAM Brand Foam has a rough texture and sparkles in the light, and you can easily insert a knife, even a butter knife, into it. The denser, molded white foam shapes are a generic foam (not STYROFOAM), and are very hard to cut. Do you think that’s what happened? So sorry for your craft fail!! Sharon

  26. Laurie says:

    Congratulations on getting in Craft Ideas!

    I think the fake leather pumpkins look good with the cording.

    I like them with the rumpled look, too.

    And, so cool about using sari fabric! What a great idea!

    • Sharon says:

      🙂 Thank you! I was pretty excited when I saw the front cover! O.K., a vote for the vinyl pumpkins! I guess I had a vision for them and the reality just didn’t match up! Sharon

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