Stitch-n-BOTCH: A thread for our crafty cautionary tales and fails

Pulling this idea from the old site.
Here’s a thread for what didn’t work, including mistakes experiments that can’t be salvaged (but still learned from), crafting injuries, things that looked way easier on Pinterest, drunk crafting, gross miscalculations, and projects destroyed by pets.

Any “Don’t do what I did” wisdom may help someone else, and maybe that will be the silver living!

It can be any kind of art/craft, I just figured this category was the broadest.

Be mindful that one person’s “fail” may be another person’s best effort: please post things that went truly awry, not just less-than-perfect. As always, post only your own, but links to crafters talking about their own fails are probably fine.

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It was time to start this thread because I just had a botch of my own.
I was excited for paint pouring outdoors in the beautiful weather, with an unwanted gallon of house paint in a nice seafoam green (nice in art experiments but not on my walls). I’ve read that house paint isn’t good to use for most art things, but I knew it would be fine for my purposes – and, sure enough, the fail isn’t about that. I did find that applying gesso on top of the latex paint created a crackle effect, fyi.

In a rush to find surfaces that would hold paint, I spotted one of my hardcover reconstructed book projects, basically done but the covers needed something more creative. Perfect non-plan!
I started pouring away with reckless abandon. Great fun, and lovely results on the first side I worked on. I left it sitting out to dry overnight. Then, this morning, I saw my error: the pages are soaked with paint, warped, stuck together, and still soggy, 24 hours later (creating a mildew hazard). Most tore while I tried separating them. Ugh.

So! Lesson learned: Do paint pours on book covers BEFORE adding the pages! Yes, that would be common sense, if pouring paint onto books were something I or most people had ever given any thought to previously. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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oh no…is none of it salvageable? It is a lovely color…can you save the cover at least?

I loved this thread over on the dead place because some of the lessons learned were quite hilarious and we could all relate!

I kind of like how the wavy textured pages turned out :slight_smile:

Thanks for reviving this thread @calluna!!

I agree, we at least need to have a good chuckle when things don’t go as planned. Or, in my case, when we barrel into something without thinking at all!
Yes, thank goodness there was success in the cover itself! The pages aren’t sewn to the cover, so it will be easy enough to replace them with another set of paper. And I may be able to save the inner portion of the pages, closer to the spine, so that it’s a tall, skinny book in the end.

@LeapFeetFirst, it looks and feels a lot nastier in person! the outer third of the papers, at least, are beyond what could pass as distressed. :laughing: Though I will try to salvage parts!

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Aw, I’m sorry the pages got ruined! But looking forward to seeing how the cover turned out… Thanks for reviving this craft-fail thread. Unfortunately, I’m sure I will be posting here, too!

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Ugh! I wonder if there could be any way of masking the pages with plastic, or if there would be seepage no matter what. Good luck with the salvaging!

That totally would have worked, wax paper could be helpful too (though there would probably still be warping).

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What a crushing disappointment. Would you be able to iron the pages that are stuck together and get them more flatterish? Could be transformed into a board book, might still be pretty cool.

@calluna It’s always so disappointing when a quick fun project fails unexpectedly. I’m really curious about the outside. Did it turn out the way you wanted?

Here are some fails from my latest project.

Those boards were supposed to be the same length:


So I had to turn to drill, wood glue and dowels:

I also managed to cut one corner in the wrong direction:

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Even working through your “mistakes” your raised garden beds look great!

Thank you so much!

I have a close friend with whom I discuss most of my woodworking projects. And he’s mostly of the opinion
“Just throw it away and cut a new one”

My general reaction to this is
“I bought exactly what I needed and I want to finish it now without going to the store again”

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