Holiday crafting brings out the Grinch in me. It’s like normal crafting but on crack. You need your craftiness to be on perfect point because it’s what you are giving someone as a gift, instead of paying full price for something else. And we tell ourselves it’s cool because it’s handmade. But the truth is, it’s only cool if it comes out looking like the Pottery Barn version of “handmade.” Which is so not actually handmade.
In general I like to think that I have gotten better about knowing my limits and saying no to most crafts. In my experience they tend to cost more time, energy, and frustration, then they make up for in cost savings.
In fact, just last week I was on Pinterest and saw instructions for a Felt Christmas Tree for toddlers to decorate. It looked totally easy. All I needed was a bunch of colored felt, scissors, and a totally free Saturday to design all the little ornaments. I honestly considered it for like two hours.
Then I saw it on Amazon for twenty bucks with free shipping and I was quickly over crafting it. (Find the tree here, along with my children’s book, to keep your toddler busy for at least forty five minutes;).
So this year I told myself I was saying No to Christmas crafts, and the stress that comes along with them.
But then I went down a rabbit hole. I read a friend’s post called Thirty DIY Christmas Gifts, and fell in love with some adorable antique framed chalkboards. But alas, I had promised myself I wasn’t going to stress over Christmas crafts!
Fast forward two days and I’m standing in the aisle of a discount store, eyes locked on the perfect antique mirrors for only five bucks! All I needed was a little chalkboard paint (which I already had). It was meant to be. This was going to be SO EASY! Right there I abandoned all my rational thoughts and gleefully loaded up my cart with four mirrors.
This proceeded to kick off an If You Give a Mouse a Cookie scenario.
Turns out I didn’t like the finish on the chalkboard paint I had. Too glossy. Back to the store.
Then I didn’t like the texture that my paint brush was creating in the paint. What I obviously needed were those foam paint brushes. Back to the store.
I went to peel the painters tape off the first mirror and huge chunks of chalkboard paint came off with it. WTF. Now I need to return the extra mirrors, the cute red pompom chalk board erasers, and the decorative chalk bags I found, because I was furious and decided to abandon this horrible craft idea. Back to the store.
In the end I turned out ONE finished antique chalkboard. It’s sitting at my house, where it will remain, because I am too embarrassed to give it away to anyone because of all its crafting imperfections.
If time is money, this damn chalkboard cost me way more than any Pottery Barn version!
I will admit that I did have one craft success. It involved buying something that was already adorable and finished, and then personalizing it with a gold paint pen. Turns out, that I can handle.
Now excuse me while I head back to the store to find the actual gifts I will be giving this year.