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Not Good at Crafts

I'm Not a Crafty Mom, and That's OK

It's time to accept the cold, hard truth.

I'm not a crafty mom. I'll never be a crafty mom.

One of my goals last year was to actually try some of my pins on Pinterest. I love looking through what other people have pinned, I love seeing good ideas, and I love pinning things of my own. However, I'm not great when it comes to following through and actually putting some of these great ideas into practice.

Therefore, I gave myself a goal. One pin per week.

At first, I was flying. I found several recipes that were hits with my family, from the 10-month-old to the picky 2-and-a-half-year-old to the 30-something husband. I tried a couple of cleaning tips (apparently blue Dawn plus warm vinegar is the cleaning elixir!). I wasn't just meeting my challenge — I was exceeding my challenge.

Then I realized that I had two boards I was great about adding pins to, but those boards remained untried: Crafts I Can Handle and Crafts For the Kids. Hmm . . .

If Pinterest, Facebook, and many, many blogs written by moms are any indication, doing amazing crafts both with and for your kids is the new benchmark. Why spend your money on a bin from the store when you can cover an old diaper box? Why put hair bows in a drawer when you can work together and create a gorgeous hanger? A good mom is a crafty mom. She creates amazing products and engages her children in a wonderful way. They aren't just crafting — they are making wholesome, quality memories.

My toddler is part of an art playgroup. One of my friends has really embraced her inner preschool teacher and wholesome-crafty-mom persona. She gathers a group of 2-year-olds together, and every week we do something different. We paint with pine branches, we experiment with homemade puffy paint, we stamp with muffin tins, and we marble-paint with shaving cream. The kids adore it.

I can do that . . . right?

One of the things I realized about myself last year was that stepping out of my comfort zone brings me unexpected joy and pride. Crafts are definitely out of my comfort zone, so it was time to try.

My Big Mess

My older daughter adores art, crafts, and anything where she can get her hands dirty. It's not fair to deprive her just because it's not my strength. Therefore, in the past few days we've made . . . a big mess! Paint, glue, flour, food coloring, you name it, I've scrubbed it off my floor.

I even tried some projects on my own, just to get my footing. I covered an old Clorox wipes bottle with nice paper to make a plastic bag holder for my car. I tried to cover some old shoeboxes with scrap paper to make some toy storage boxes. I worked for hours on my computer, trying to design some logos and personalize some printables.

Finally, when I stopped and looked at my shoeboxes, with paper not quite lining up and definitely not adhered to the box, a plastic bag receptacle with bubbling paper hanging off both ends and crumpled at the join, and a logo with uneven coloring and text not quite lining up, I realized . . .

I'm not a crafty person.

More importantly, I don't think I want to be. Sure, I like ideas, and in the right hands, they'd be amazing. But I wasn't loving the time I spent on these projects. I felt as if I was trying to fit into a box that just doesn't work. I was focused on the end result, which wasn't working out, and the effort wasn't fun for me.

I was disappointed at first. I won't be the mom who has her hot glue gun at the ready. We won't have a commemorative salt dough ornament with each child's handprint painted in a clever design. If I want a decorative box or other storage container, I'll be buying it.

But I'm musical. My girls know songs and fingerplays and bounces and games. I'll dive into a game of pretend and be just as dramatic as my toddler. I'll pour water and scoop beans in the sensory box. I'll read story after story with character voices and dramatic pauses.

I'll still get out the paint and flour and salt and food coloring. We won't worry about the product, but we'll have a great time in the process. We'll color rice and make Play-Doh and paint with colored condensed milk. If they're having a great time, we'll do it. If they lose interest, we'll do something else.

And I'll teach my daughters that it doesn't matter how the craft turns out. We don't need a perfect product.

I'm not a crafty mom.

And that's OK.

Image Source: Getty
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lorihoman40165 lorihoman40165 3 years
Honestly you young moms put too much pressure on yourselves. Maybe its a result of growing with the "everyone gets a prize, even just for showing up" mentality, or setting goals that are unrealistic at best. Your kids WONT remember if you did crafts with them at age 2, what they need is positive attention, love & discipline. (that last word is for all you moms that think everything your child does is cute, even tho they're being an obnoxious brat in public) Do yourselves a favor & stop worrying about Pintrist & pay attention to your kids. You dont need to do crafts to justify giving them attention. Read a book to them, they may appreciate that more than 'painting with shaving cream'
Josie14557473 Josie14557473 3 years
Awesome! I love your complete honesty here, and I would have to completely agree, too! I thought I was the only mom in the world who felt this way! I've tried and tried but I always felt it more difficult than fun!!
AllisonBaxter AllisonBaxter 3 years
Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Made me smile. Love your honesty and genuine approach.
RandeThorman RandeThorman 3 years
I'm somewhat crafty. I enjoy doing some/certain crafts. I'm going to encourage to not give up on crafting. Crafting is above and beyond just 'crafting'. Its about being imaginative, artistic, etc. I can tell you have TONS of crafts pinned I haven't tried a lot of them. Yes they look 'easy' they look 'cute' and all of that. But that doesn't mean that its in my realm of creativity, if that makes sense. I'm good at making those grapevine door wreaths and swags, been doing them forever, I enjoy doing them. Doesn't mean that it comes easy for someone else. Are mine perfect, no not always, but I don't give up. I know how to make some jewelry, doesn't mean that everyone can, just because someone showed pictures of how easy it 'looks'. Jewelry making can be hard. And I've noticed that not all people post all the parts you need for that endevour. I can make some Native American things like dream catchers, medallions, Doesn't mean everyone can its not in their knitch. I've made my daughter hairbows, I cant make all those cute puffy designs, but I can make a few. I cant sew, but my husband can. I guess what I'm saying is just because a few people can do it and it look so perfect doesn't mean everyone can. And they don't say 'oh this was my 10th try at doing this'. Of course they're NOT going to tell you that. I will venture to say that these other crafty moms have had some epic fails along their roads to these picture perfect posts and blogs. I can bake my butt off, but do you think it EVER turns out looking like the picture? LOL NO, but I tried, in the end it tasted great and my family loved it and appreciated I tried my best. I see it this way, you made recipes you found and they went off without a hitch. If you can cook or bake, you can make homemade play dough, finger paints, etc. All it is is following a recipe. Believe it or not cooking and baking are a form of being crafty. Like I tell my kids, where in the rule book does it say it has to be 100% perfect? Don't give up on being creative!!!! Not only is it a positive outlet for our children but it is for us too. ...And oh, I'll tell you right now, I love to garden its a big stress reliever for me and my kids love to play in the dirt with me. My flower beds do NOT look anything like they do on those posts. But I did learn to create something that was something pretty, my kids got to design flower beds around our house that they take major pride in and hopefully in the end I taught my kids do NOT give up and they know what to plant with what. My 5 yr old daughter is learning to prune herbs, roses and other plants. And you know what she's getting good at it, but my 7 yr old son cant do it at all. My 19 yr old son SUCKS at colors matching, lining things up and a few other things. But he has become great at following a recipe and cooking his butt off. He can sew, I cant sew. And OMG if you hand him glue, he thinks you need to use half the bottle on one project. He cant line things up and too much glue, talk about a hot mess. But he tried, he had fun and its something he put forth the effort to do. And do NOT hand the boy a pipping bag full of buttercream because those cupcakes will be over loaded with buttercream sliding off the side. But he doesn't give up. My 7 yr old son has Aspergers and he has shown us never give up. That little guy will try his best to make it look perfect in his mind and he does his best effort. I couldn't be more proud of his projects. Even my husband gets on Pinterest for those DIY projects. I have a ton of wood in my shed just waiting for his projects to happen. Practice Practice Practice. Never give up. I hope by showing my failures and my successes that I can encourage a few moms and dads to never give up on being creative.
PennyNaruta PennyNaruta 3 years
Oh the relief of realising you're not the only one!!
JareenSherman JareenSherman 3 years
It's not about you being crafty, it's about the quality time that you have spent with your children, I pray that they look back on these years to see the dedication and love that you put into their lives and not forget them. They are truly blessed, there are some kids out there that was not blessed to have a Mom like you, and there are some kids that are blessed to have a Mom like you, and when they become an adult they simply forget the love and time that their Mom had dedicated her life and time to them. As a Mom it's a true calling of unselfish love that they put into their children and it's truly from their heart, it is not because they have to it's simply because they want to.
SueCoyle44582 SueCoyle44582 3 years
Sounds like your an awesome Mom! I was the same way with my kids. Nothing has to be perfect, just enjoy what you're doing. I'm not crafty either although I wish I was. I sell mohair doll hair to doll artists and other people that are crafty. I just enjoy seeing their end result. It gives me all the pleasure I need knowing that I help someone else with their projects.Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
MarilynDenny MarilynDenny 3 years
I think you read my mind. I am not a crafty person.
TammyBastian TammyBastian 3 years
I love the fact that you came to terms with your "uncraftyness". I think people spend much too much time trying to be something they are not instead of enjoying who they are. Trying new things is great, if you thrive at it, even better. But if you don't, that is completely ok too. Coming to terms with who you are and liking yourself just as you are will bring much joy to you and to your family. Keep up the good work mom!
KaldaMcCray KaldaMcCray 3 years
You no its not about how good you are but the time spent with my daughter yea ill make a mess it may not come out like the picture but you have fun with it!!!!!! Pinterest is addicting and no you will never run out of ideas but at least you try and have fun who cares your kids will love you for it!!!!
KerriKemp KerriKemp 3 years
I feel the same way, I want to do all the gules and papers and boxes, then it's a big sticky mess. I get so upset I'd it don't turn out right
AngyPetersen AngyPetersen 3 years
I'm not a crafty mom, but I can be when I need to. It's this weird situation that HAS to be present. I had no money to buy corkboard to hang up my 2 year olds paintings, so I strung string across the room. There were already a couple of nails sticking out of the walls and the end product is awesome. His paintings from school and home are hanging on paper clips and the heavier ones go up on a clip and a shower hook. I'm really a better baker and love trying to make weird and new cakes or cookies. My husband likes most of what i make and i've even tried making a butterfly cake recently. The only problem is that my cakes melt after they are cooled. Eh, can't have any perfect stuff with kids anyways. I love it!
NicoleOsbourneJames NicoleOsbourneJames 3 years
I'm not crafty either but I'm imaginative! I never tell my kids what we are making. I just go through the process and name it whatever it looks like when we're done. Same thing with baking. My stuff never comes out looking like the picture. "Mama, what are you making?" I say it's a surprise. When the cake is too wet, it's pudding cake. When it's too dry, it's chocolate crumble!
AmyFlory AmyFlory 3 years
There are countless crafts on Pinterest that I'll never do, but I still love pinning ideas. Pinterest HAS made me a better baker and a skilled stain remover!
NicoleWinter11247 NicoleWinter11247 3 years
This is fantastic. I applaud you for not only moving outside of your comfort zone, but realizing once there, (and not really enjoying it,) that it's OK to try, to fail and to move on. I think there's a lot of pressure on mom's these days to be the entertainment director, the earth goddess, the seamstress, perfect cookie baking, craft creating, all-natural, homemade, self-created, recycled, reused, wonder-mum. You've a daughter who loves crafts, as she gets older perhaps that is a place she and her younger sibling(s) can explore together, she can become the teacher: in that there is no greater pride for both her, (how important!,) and you, (how endearing!,) to explore.
MichelleStephenCourville MichelleStephenCourville 3 years
Had to share this fun site: http://www.pinterestfail.com/ (enough said).
BrandyScoggins BrandyScoggins 3 years
Great story! I'm the same exact way as you are about crafts!
ElenaSullivan ElenaSullivan 3 years
I think you've hit the nail on the head here with the idea that *it's OK*. If attempting the crafts on Pinterest is making you miserable then it's time to stop, lol! I actually write a craft blog but I also recognize that there are some things I am never.going.to.do. For example, I will never refinish a piece of furniture. Ever. But that's okay, because the things I have done are pretty nifty. I also feel like a great secret in life is to "hire your weaknesses." i.e., If you're not good at making your own containers, go out and buy one, because the person who made that one that you love on Pinterest probably didn't make her own cleaning elixir, and that's okay too. --Elena acasarella.net
CandaceTowner CandaceTowner 3 years
Good for you! I bet your kiddos are loving it. One tip - DAWN is toxic. (Don't just take my word for it. Do some research, but don't use DAWN! Dr. Bonner's is a much better choice for your family, but there are a ton of others that are non-toxic as well.. Great post - You go CRAFTY MOM!
RheaMansibang RheaMansibang 3 years
I totally know how you feel :) eversince a friend of mine introduced me to Pinterest I have became a Pinning addict. Out of the20 things i have pinned i have done at least 1! But the great thing about it is that you'll never ran out of ideas to make with the kids and foods to try. If one doesn't work, try the next. But in my case, i only try those that are usually "free" :)
CoMMember13631163164718 CoMMember13631163164718 3 years
I agree whole heartedly with you! An idea crossed my mind, though, as I was reading this. You said your daughter likes doing crafts but you do not. You know another mother that does. Why not, once a week or twice a week, get together with another mom and her children? One time she can work with all of the children with crafts, and you can help. Another time you can wotk with the children doing songs, or whatever you want to do, and she can help? This way all of the children learn skills they might enjoy, even if Mom is not very good at it!
MareshBrenda MareshBrenda 3 years
Good for you!
RachelHeng63810 RachelHeng63810 3 years
way to go dear. not everyone is good at everything. you may not be a crafty person but you are good with music! the most impt thing is that you enjoy the process. nevermind the end product. we are not in a competition. it's the enjoyment and memory that counts. =)
Laurie3730041 Laurie3730041 3 years
As a MomMom and preschool teacher, I applaud you for not stressing over something that isn't as much 'your thing' as it is others'. Every mom is the very best Mom for the kiddos they have, and sharing things that come from the uniqueness of YoU is what it's all about:)
AnnaCoxGerlofs AnnaCoxGerlofs 3 years
You don't have to be a crafty mom.. I have learned a number of great dishes to cook, some amazing decorating ideas, as well as some wonderful style suggestions from amazing women like you...Be proud of who you are..your craft is just a little different from others..I am a crafty person, however color coordination is not my fortee
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