Craft Fails: Nailed it!

You’ve been sucked into Pinterest for hours. Just like a trip to Ikea, you only meant to get one thing, but find yourself looking at stuff you really don’t need, but are successfully convincing yourself that you do (more cushions anyone?).

You’ve pinned a couple of tutorials and decided: ‘Yeah, dip dying looks easy. I’m doing that! I could sell the things! It would be amazing! That’s it. I’m quitting my job on Monday and I’m setting up a dip dye business.’ Or something like that. Not speaking from personal experience of course… Anyway, you get round to buying all the stuff you need. Spend a significant amount time following all the instructions and ta da! It looks absolutely nothing like it was supposed to. In fact, the chances of you being able to sell it are nil. Even the charity shop would reject it.

If this is you, do not fear. You are not alone.  In fact it would appear that the Internet is awash with craft fails. But rather than be despondent, let’s celebrate those great triers of the craft world.

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ImageI have discovered several blogs that list either their own, or the best fails they’ve found and there are some absolute corkers. Here are five of my favourites (from epic failure blog Craft Fail)…

 In at number 5… Crayon candles

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Number 4… Chocolate kiwi lollipops

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Number 3… String balloons

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Number 2 … Marbled nail varnish

ImageAnd smashing it at failing, in at number 1 is…

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You can submit your own fails to Craft Fail here, and there’s also sites like Pintrosity and Pintester who do the fail so you don’t have to. Obviously having never having had a craft disaster myself, ahem, then I cannot submit. However, I have made a Pinterest board of some of my favourite Craft Fails and it only sucked away about an hour of my life making it. Winning! 

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Throwing shapes – Tutorial

There have been some fantastic collaborations over the years. Aerosmith and Run DMC, Kate Moss and Topshop, Alexander McQueen and Damien Hirst, Timmy Mallet and Bombalurina (OK, maybe not such a great example).

Last week we (I have my Creative Biscuit hat on today, and a fine hat it is too even if I do say so myself) took part in a collaboration with the fantastic Craft Guerrilla to create some geometric printed tiles and we were pretty pleased with the results!

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Hand printing on ceramics can be a tricky business because the type of paint we use (Gare Fun Strokes , fact fans) doesn’t particularly like staying on most surfaces without a slightly messy fight. However, we believe Ms Craft Guerrilla AKA Debbie Daniel has found a nifty way of defeating the Gare, with this handy little tutorial, which is also available on the East London Craft Guerrilla Blog where I am this week’s honoured guest blogger. Consider it double the fun!

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Rather than using lino the key seems to be printing with craft foam, which not only holds the paint better, but is a darn sight cheaper. You can get it from Hobby Craft – although always remember other smaller independent craft foam suppliers are available!

So how do you do it? Here goes…

  • Cut your craft foam into the shape you would like – we went for a simple triangle shape as you can see above.
  • Cut two or even three of the same shape so you can build it up to a good thickness.
  • Get a small square of wood (we got ours free from a local timber yard who were happy to give it away rather than stick it on the rubbish pile) and take your chosen foam shape and draw a pencil outline around it in the middle of the wood – This will help you know exactly where you are printing on the ceramic and help you line up your next shape.
  • Then, on the other side of the wood, use a strong adhesive to glue your foam to the wood.

You are now ready to print. Exciting!

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Apply a thin layer of paint to the stamp with a sponge – not a brush as it’s tricky to get it as even and thin enough – and get stamping on your unglazed bisque. There are no rules. Do it as few or as many times as you like, change colours. Go crazy. Well, as crazy as you can with a delicate ceramic.

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When you are done marvel at your handiwork and get it glazed and in the kiln. Wait 72 hours and then impress your friends with your super modern and funky geometric tile.

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Admittedly this can’t be done at home, unless you have a kiln of course, but then I don’t imagine you have a double coffee machine at home and quick access to Tim’s brownie, so it’s probably best to come to Creative Biscuit to give it a go. You could also use the same technique with different paint to print on all kinds of things.

We also highly suggest that you keep an eye out for other activities the talented Craft Guerrilla has going on – or even book her for a workshop!

Fantastic Mr Fox

I am very excited. I’m going to be selling my wares at the next Crafty Fox Market in Brixton and it’s an absolute corker

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If you don’t know about Crafty Fox markets I can only assume you have been hiding under a stone, or in prison, or Hull. Either way, they are one of the best markets in London, nay the world. So I suggest you get yourselves down there to buy some beautiful presents for friends or yourself (let’s be honest the ones for yourself are the best ones, yeah?)

Check some of the gorgeous treats from some of the super talented makers (and me)…

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Want more? Of course you do, here are some of the other makers on Sunday 6th October (the day I’m there) and see what treats are in store including the fantastic Mr Wingate teaching screen printing. He taught me so I know first hand that he’s ace. 

I am about to enter crazy making time to try and make sure I have enough stock together. Wish me luck!