Thursday, November 6, 2014

Craft Fail


Disclaimer : I received this book as a free copy from BluePrint Social. I am not obligated to write a review for any of the books I receive, but it is an encouraged practice. I choose which books I review on my blog and on my Goodreads profile. My reviews are always honest...I never lie about books. My opinions are my own and may be positive or negative depending on my feelings about a specific piece. Keep in mind, just because I may like or not like a book may not mean that you will feel the same way.

Author : Heather Mann
Series : N/A, Standalone
Genre : Humor, Crafts
Number of Pages : 176
Publication Date : October 21, 2014
Publisher : Workman Publishing Company

Rating :

Poor Bridgit--her homemade frilly shower cap came down to her chin. Or Lindsey, who thought "glitter shoes" sounded cool, until they dissolved into a puddle of sparkling glop. And really, whoever posted Spaghetti Baked in Garlic Bread on Pinterest should be sued. Summer couldn't have been the only crafter who ended up with a "hot mess of intestines streaming out of doughy flesh."

From the Melted Crayon Canvas Inferno to Microwave Soap Sludge, CraftFail celebrates the underbelly of the creative process--the "A for effort" stuff that inspires platitudes about the hidden benefits of failure. The benefit here? Hilarity.
-From CraftFail

I'm a crafter. I'm a crafter whose projects don't always turn out exactly the way I plan. It's hard not to be disappointed when that happens. But...from now on, when I feel bad about the way something has turned out, I'm picking up this book. It was hilarious.

I sat in bed and read this from cover to cover, completely losing myself in the pages. I laughed out loud several times -- more than once uncontrollably, until I was near crying. 

Heather Mann is the creator of the blog where their mission is to "feature crafts that have been deemed fails by their own creators". They call themselves a "friendly fail site" meant to "celebrate the creative process, showing the stages of crafting that don't quite turn out." 

I think I have found my people.

Over the years, Heather has gathered up the best of the best fails from the blog and is now showcasing them (in all their hilarious horror) in a book. Best. Idea. Ever.

I have to say, Heather reminds me an awful lot of myself. She wants the perfect outcome, but has little patience to get there. Too little time, substitution of materials, thinking you know what you're doing without really reading the instructions, I've done it all and so have the crafters in these pages. And it's wonderful.

This is the perfect coffee table book. Pictures of the intended projects accompany the fails, as do funny quips from Heather and occasional comments from the original blog posts. 

"OMG I cannot stop laughing out loud. My dogs are barking at me and my husband just told me to stop because I am scaring the kids!"

Not only a comment, but quite possibly an accurate description of me while reading this book.

My only complaint? I would like more. Seriously. I think the crafter curiosity got to me. I wanted the tutorials. I wanted all of the specifics where they had gone wrong. While it served as a good reminder that things can easily go awry, I wanted specific warnings about what not to do. Yes, I may or may not be an obsessive crafter with a craftfail complex.

Sequels to this book should be published annually based on the best messes from her blog. If nothing else, CraftFail serves as a solid form of encouragement for crafters. The basic law of crafting: never take yourself too seriously. Don't assume a craftfail will never happen to you. If it hasn't, you just haven't been crafting long enough. 

If you're a crafter, this book is for you. Everyone needs to know they're not alone when their glue doesn't glue, their yarn becomes a complete ball of tangle, or they have a spelling error that isn't recognized until the project is completed and ready to display, hang, or gift. Especially in this age of Pinterest, you need to know that the projects aren't always as easy as they seem. And no, it isn't just you who can't get those beautifully marbled nails or decorative string spheres.

I'm even going to take this one step further. Not only did this book serve to make me feel better about the times my own projects have turned out less than perfect, it's given me ideas for more crafts to try. What's the worst that could happen? I'll know before I start, because it will be right there on the adjacent page in all it's CraftFail glory.


  1. Thank you so much for taking time to write such a thoughtful review, and I LOVE your suggestions! The next book should definitely include tutorials and tips!

    1. You bet Heather! I passed it off to my sister-in-law yesterday and had her dying of laughter in my foyer. Looking forward to a sequel!!


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