A Book of Joy, Day 12: Crafting Gone Awry, by Jen N.

Crafting gone wrong: a cautionary tale.  It may happen to you one day. I never thought it would turn out like this. (Actually, when I craft there is a pretty good chance of it turning out like this.) I started out full of confidence.  I had all the supplies needed as well as willing participants.

We planned to complete what I thought were two easy crafts. One was a kit; the other only involved scissors and coffee filters. What could go wrong? (insert spooky music here)

I put out a plate of cookies and set out the three ornament kits.

Upon opening them,  I realized that although the three ornaments were different they all contained the same colors. Red, Green, Black. Hmmm…. We had a Santa, a reindeer, and a snowman that looked more like a penguin. Internally I thought, “Well, what did you expect for two dollars? We’ll just work with what we have. It’ll be fine.”

Right away I noticed that my paint brush was really frayed and had trouble with the detailed painting involved in Santa’s belt. I looked over, and Mary seemed to be doing fine, so I kept going.


Pretty soon I realized that Declan’s ornament was looking somewhat like mine. Our snowman and Santa were looking rather zombie-ish.


In our defense, the brushes were terrible and the colors didn’t work well together. They didn’t look too bad from the back. Of course, that isn’t a good defense when you see how great Mary made hers look under the same circumstances.


I rallied, and we pulled out the coffee filters and scissors. I had already simplified this craft from the original plan which included wax paper and food coloring. My thought process involved the fact that we had already painted and that two messy crafts in one day were not needed. This would be quick and easy.

Opening the filters  I saw the problem right away. Further proving that I am craft-challenged and have close to zero attention to detail, I hadn’t looked closely when I bought them. Picture me happily crossing filters off my list, feeling smug in the fact that I was buying groceries and craft items. We did try them anyway, and if you don’t mind long skinny snowflakes they turned out fine.


We were giggling as we cleaned up, and you’ll be happy to hear we all had fun. Memory making isn’t always a photo-worthy experience, but it is always worth spending time together creating things. No matter how badly they turn out.





Jen N.Jen has spent her time homeschooling her five children since 2001. She has read over 5,000 books aloud. A fan of all things geeky, she calls her children her horcruxes — each one has a talent for something she might have pursued herself. Jen and her husband have created a family of quirky, creative people that they are thrilled to launch out into the world. With the three oldest graduated, Jen now has time on her hands and has started a blog: www.recreationalscholar.wordpress.com

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