Not all of my projects go well. There was the time that I mis-wired a lamp and exploded its on-off switch. There were sparks and everything. There was the time that tried to add a fancy border to my fireplace surround and it looked like a child’s drawing. And then there were these. Some little projects that almost were, but never actually saw the light of the blog until now because they started out so terribly that I never bothered to finish them. Blogger friends, we’ve all done it. What are your #megafail tales?
1. White on White
Something that started innocently as an effort to upcycle some leftover plywood and replicate something that I saw so craftily made in Anthropologie bombed big time (and I’m still getting over it). The plywood itself I’ve been saving and moving around from apartment to apartment to apartment to house since 2006. Painted by my long-time friend Katie for her then-roommate, it served as a one-of-a-kind desktop. When it came time to trash or save it when she moved out of the apartment we shared, I saved it. I still think it’ll be a pretty accent somewhere, someday, even if it does say “JESS” up the right corner.
To get it out of the garage during our recent spring cleanout, I moved it into the sunroom and sawed 15″ off the end evenly so that it would hang easily on the largest open wall without windows. I didn’t lose the cursive-written name, just the star at the end, really.
Because the whole sunroom is still white (and actually the only room with walls that I have not yet painted), I wanted to create a little low-profile, low-focal point piece of art to add a little texture. I slathered some white primer along the unfinished backside of the art, and then set out to mimic a layered tissue-paper design that I had seen in Anthropologie.
The tissue paper itself, I painted using a very light gray, almost white, paint that I had in my leftover paint stash. To create some visual interest, I painted a stripe on each piece of tissue paper and then let it dry.
To create the layered effect, I used polyurethane like one might use mod podge, and painted it beneath and on top of each piece of tissue paper to create a mixed media collage type of effect.
It was pretty evident early on that this was going to be a bust. The paper wasn’t laying smooth, I couldn’t brush the ripples out.
And even after it dried, the white paint beneath the clear coat of poly was barely visible because the transparency of the tissue paper made it blend in too closely with the primed plywood. I finished over half of it, called it a night to see how it would look in the morning, and then scrapped it.
On to another plan. Will keep you attuned.
2. The Paper Lampshade
Meet the old cute lamp that belongs to Pete, and a Walmart lampshade that I befriended during college. Neither still in use, I decided to use the lampshade structure to frame out a new shade for the green light.
It started out something like this, wherein I demolished the lampshade with my teeth and left it’s skin for dead. What I hoped would be salvable, besides the welded metal that allows you to screw the new shade onto the existing light, was that plastic framing that gave the shade its structure. In reality, it ended up being weird and fuzzy without its fur attached.
Maybe I could cover up the lampshade plastic with a cute ruffly paper design though. No? This attempt looks taped together and assembled as well as the paper princess crowns that the kids make a the Museum of Play. Am I right, or am I right?
And that’s a #megafail.
3. Don’t even bother with the faux-milk glass thing, OK?
It’s enough that I tried it and put it through its rigors. Not worth it.
I still see tutorials for DIY milk glass all over the pinterest-vere but from experience, three things happened:
- The paint took about 6-months to dry. I’m not exaggerating; there wasn’t enough circulation, particularly in the more funnel-shaped IKEA vase, to cure the paint sufficiently.
- When it did dry, it was streaky. I was careful to have clean glasses, and I was careful to rotate them while they were dripping and curing for the first day, but the paint still slid down the edges giving the dried pieces a runny-looking effect.
- They’re not good for anything; not real flowers, which appeared paint-poisoned within a day of sitting in the jar, and not fake stems or branches, because they scratch it up from the inside so much that it destroys whatever not-streaky finish remains.
Live and learn, but that’s a #megafail. Just avoid it. Save your paint and time and pretty containers.