The Ugly Side of Crafting
Crafting can be great. But beware: crafting can also go spectacularly wrong. Fortunately for the benefit of those of us who might become so proud of having made something, anything, all by ourselves, that we are oblivious that the result is an aesthetic travesty, there are websites making a valiant attempt to document the legion of ways in which crafting can get totally out of hand. Before you pick up those needles or scissors or fire up the kiln or soldering iron, check out: Glitter Gone Bad; Handmade Gone Wrong; What Not To Craft, Homemade Hilarity; and Kraftomatic. The sturdy souls at CraftFail deserve special credit for documenting their own crafting mishaps, and Regretsy and Etsy WTF will help you choose wisely from among Etsy’s hand-crafted wares.
I can’t begin to warn you about all crafting’s pitfalls, but I will give you a few pointers. Knitting your own toilet paper is extremely time-intensive and hard on your plumbing and municipal sewage system, so I recommend you don’t do it. For that matter, it’s probably best to avoid all toilet-related crafts, even the commemorative “I just potty trained my kid” craft. Think twice before you choose to let Edward Cullen leer at you while you’re peeing. And TMI is always TMI, no matter what the medium or how painstaking the needlework.
Much as I respect the skill and ingenuity that goes into food-related crafts, I’m always struck by their sheer pointlessness. But hey, not here to judge. If it makes you happy to dress up like a burger, go for it.
Do use consideration when making gifts for others. If you can kick your substance abuse problems through crafts, great, but I strongly advise against slyly replacing your loved ones’ drugs or cigarettes with homemade substitutes, however lovingly made or well intended.
And please do be extra careful about what crafts you inflict upon your children. This yarmulke will not make your son’s bar mitzvah “fun” and “edgy”, regardless of how good-humoured your Egyptian friends are. And if your child is used as billboard, expected to play with a Knitler, or an anthropomorphized vibrator, or even simply subjected to a sewing project gone wrong, the long-term consequences may be serious.
In general, the results of all your hard work may not be what you envisioned: your plastic bag jewelry may be less than elegant; your attempt to hide the cigarette burn in your scarf may make the scarf look worse; your significant other may never wear the sweater you made him or her; and your clown paintings may give people clown phobias. None of this is meant to discourage anyone from crafting, of course! It’s just a word to the wise, etc.