Mini Monets and Mommies: Keeping Up with Pinterest: Arts and Crafts Fails

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Keeping Up with Pinterest: Arts and Crafts Fails

Oh, Pinterest! What the …? Why do you make me feel like a bad mom, totally uncreative and the world’s worst cook? Ok, so that last one might be true. A few weeks ago a friend from high school was visiting. She started talking about how she felt completely inadequate as a mother and could never do those beautifully amazing crafts that the pics on the Pins show.
Kids' Crafts

Our conversation went something like:

Friend:  “I loooooooove Pinterest! You teach kids’ art, you blog about kids’ art. Do all of your projects look like the pretty perfect Pins I see?

Me: “Oh, no. Not really. More like, not at all.”

Friend: “It seems like every other mom is making these amazing crafts with her kids. And I’m just not artistic.”

Me: “Believe me, I have lots of fails. Sometimes a project comes out great from the start. But, I have plenty of ideas that are total flops.”

Friend: “That’s good to know. And why do so many people pin pictures of pies in mason jars?”

Me: “I was kind of wondering that too. Hmmm.”

While I can’t speak to pies made in mason jars (again, I am the world’s worst cook – but I’m completely up for eating a pie in any form), I can talk about kids’ arts and crafts activities.

A few weeks ago I posted a Fall Leaf Water Color paint activity. It did not in any way come out as I had originally conceived. The idea was that I would use non-colorfast tissue paper to dye fall leaves. Not the vibrant orange, red and yellow ones, but the icky brown leaves. The color would not take. I moved on to food coloring. The leaves looked nice in the color bath (take a look):

Food Coloring
But, they were still brown. In the end, I used the amazing ability that the leaves had to repel color to my advantage and came up with a less-mess finger painting project.

I did somewhat chronicle my artsy fail in the post. To my surprise, a few people commented on how they liked that I actually showed the bad along with the good. That completely reminded me of the conversation that I had with my friend. Pinterest, Facebook, blogs and just about any other web source of kids’ stuff tend to show the best of the best. Understandably so. I always showed my flubs, no one would want to read (much less do) the activities. That said, it is nice to know that everyone makes mistakes some of the times. For every one activity that I post, I might have a few that aren’t worthy of anyone ever seeing.

Aside from the leaf coloring fail. Here are a few (just a few) of my other personal art flubs:

·        Raspberry-scented play dough. It smelled great and even my 13-year-old had fun playing with it. But, it looked (in the words of my son) like brain dough.

Kids' Clay
·        Glow in the dark glitter ghosts. I thought that adding tonic water (which does glow under a black light) to school glue would cut it. It didn’t. I had to re-do it with real glow in the dark paint.

Glow paint
·        Paper mache. Honestly, I usually use Elmer’s paper mache paste mix. But, there are times when I don’t have any on hand. So, I’ll whip up a batch of my own using flour and white. Sometimes it’s good, but sometimes it’s bad. Really, really lumpy and bad.

·        Glitter paint that isn’t really paint. I made this one accidentally the first time. I over-smoothed very fine glitter and modeling clay and it a cool metallic “paint”. I tried it again with course glitter and it just didn’t happen.

·        Balloon paint. In the end this one worked, but when I popped the balloon I neglected to think about what I was actually doing. My dining room (and the white skirt that I was wearing – yes, I know it was not a genius idea to wear a white skirt while painting) looked like a Jackson Pollock painting. There are still tiny bits of tempera on the windows.

Craft fails

What’s the take away from this? Don’t hold yourself up to a standard that’s too high. So, you aren’t artsy. Does that really matter? Your 4-year-old thinks that awkward stick-like portrait drawing that you made with her crayons is a masterpiece. Don’t get stuck on the idea that you have to craft, cook, bake or do anything as good as anyone else. Go ahead and give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? It doesn’t look professionally made? Your child’s art projects should look like a child’s art project, and not like a professionally made craft.

Kids' crafts
It comes down to this: Don’t let fear or self-consciousness stand in the way of letting your child explore her own creativity. Just like you praise your child’s effort, give yourself a pat on the back for trying!

Now that you’re ready to get crafting, are you in need of a few ideas to get started? Are you ready to o back to the Pins with a new frame of mind? Follow my Pinterest board for crafts and art activities. Don’t worry, these are crafts that anyone can do! Let your child create on her own level, and don’t measure either one of your talents against pretty Pin pics.
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Creative Kids Crafts on Pinterest.


  1. Oh I completely agree, art isn't always pretty and crafts on pinterest are soooooo much harder than they look. I'm not crafty at all. I don't think I'll be doing many crafts with kiddos because I might scar them for life on how awful my attempts will turn out hehe.

    Julie @

    1. You won't. Sometimes when it comes out bad, it's even more creative. Or at least everyone has a nice family bonding moment, getting a laugh together.

  2. So true! It may not make for pretty pins, but I love that my daughter takes things and goes her one way with it. ("Yes, that 7th googly eye looks lovely" lol) And it's so true about kids loving doing art - no matter how unartistic you are. I can pretty much only draw stick people, but my 5 year old is pretty impressed with that. :)

    1. I've talked to so many parents (and preschool teachers) who are scared to make art with their children because they can only draw stick people. I agree that young children are truly impressed by even that!

  3. I totally agree! I love doing pinterest projects, but they don't always come out the way I expect. In fact, yesterday we had two simple science activities fail epically. But my kids still liked it and asked to do more science stuff. Hanging out with the kids, getting them interested and letting them know things don't always go the way we expect, all good things from two pinterest fails :-)

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