On the DIY & Craft page in particular, I think I ran into a snag that a lot of people have. This is finding a "pin" they think is cool with a link to nothing, no instructions, or not the original blog post. But worst of all is when you have discovered the craft Holy Grail, so to speak, and you give it a whirl and it fails miserably. There are sites devoted to the Pinterest Fail, and they are hilarious. I can't speak for their content but from what I've gathered if you think that you have discovered a DIY that is too good to be true, it probably is and you might be able to fact check on one of these "fail" sites. Some of them include revised instructions that give people like you and me a chance to get it right.
I few other aspects of the DIY category that were a let down went as follows:
- Not as many original "Pins"as I had hoped - Often the "Pins" are just repeats of what you've seen just a day ago.
- Not actually a DIY or a Craft - For example, a "pin" for DIY sugar cookies is just a misuse of the term DIY. It is called BAKING people and it belongs in the Food and Drink category not DIY. It wasn't long ago that people cringed at the thought of store bought baked goods, because they had made their grandmother's coveted recipe and it was darn good. DIY food - HA!
- I think the biggest let down for me is seeing what most people see as or consider Crafting to be. According to my computer's dictionary Crafting is defined as - an activity involving skill in making things by hand. - a skilled activity or profession - or the members of a skilled profession. I agree with this definition. I am not skilled at the craft of quilt making, I stand back in awe of those who do posses this craft. I understand the work involved even though I can't do it and because of this understanding I respect the price tag that goes along with a well made quilt. I will not grab a rotary cutter and a glue gun and create a "Faux Quilt Wall Hanging" with said tools. I am disappointed in those who promote these sorts of short cuts and "crafts". It truly undermines our community.
- An awesome DIY rug or mat is this one on a blog titled Sara Wandering. I like that she includes clear instructions and materials, as well as an update on how well the mats have held up, something I really like. The last thing I want to do is go through the creative process only to have it fall apart quickly.
- One of my favorites is a cute package for a small gift or treat. It is paper strung together so that when tied up it makes a pear. It took some time to find a blog post in English but I found one and here it is, a Favor Floret.
- Everyone on Pinterest seems to be gluing candlesticks and plates together for various uses. I like this particular use I found to brighten up the kitchen sink. Most of the "pins" look a bit cheap and thrown together. But this one at JoshuaTrent.com looks sturdy and intentional, and in my opinion the best DIY cake stand yet. I can't wait to make one for my kitchen
- The last one I want to include is a tutorial for "shrinkies". I think they are a really fun activity for kids but I realize the store kits probably get pricey. This tutorial by rustsunshine is awesome. It is a recycled material and has great pics. If the drawings stay on and don't scratch off then I'm sold.
- Find the original post if you can. Just like a game of "telephone" key components can get lost when a tutorial is posted and reposed again.
- Evaluate the materials list. Consider what you have used in the past and ask yourself if the material will actually perform like the blogger claims. Maybe you have more experience with it than they do and know that their craft will fail in "10, 9, 8, 7 ............" You get the idea.
- Photos, my husband loves to say "look at the picture! No Close ups!" A smart blogger is going to take the best photo they can. It is a lot of work to craft for a blog. So if it doesn't come out exactly as planned they might dig deep in their bag of tricks for a great photo that hides some flaws. I don't necessarily agree with this but I can see why they might do it. Trust me if I screw it up, I'll let you know.
- I guess my last tip is Think Long Term. Ask yourself if it can be washed, played with by a two year old, and used again and again. If it can't then maybe you want to move on to a different tutorial. Use your first discovery as inspiration to find the best out there. Don't waste time and materials on something that won't last more than a minute.