In Which I Was Unable to Produce the Vision in my Head.


It doesn’t happen too often, but every now and then I have complete craft failure. Luckily it’s not as heart breaking when you use mostly recycled materials/things that can be used again- again/ supplies that cost 80 cents.

It started off so promising.

I attempted to make some backdrop panels for my Expedit bookshelf (that graduation present to myself back in May) using the giant cardboard boxes the parts came in, because my office is small, and kind of dark. I was hoping to brighten the place up a bit, since I can’t really paint the rental. Well, not any color worth painting unless I then also want to paint it back to white before we move out. Which I don’t. Obviously.

Just so we’re clear, this is sort of along the lines of the end result I envisioned: [except not at ALL retro, and more of an antiques in a funky color kind of feel].

All gungo ho like I picked out a really cool, bright teal color. Then I decided maybe yellow for an accent would be even better. Coincidentally, over the last several months I’ve been collecting stamps at the craft stores when they’re on sale for $1. I had a particular one in mind.

So last weekend I painted the whole slab of cardboard I had (after my husband “encouraged” me to get rid of the cardboard box collection taking over our kitchen table, I only had one big panel left). It took two coats (and two 2oz bottles of craft paint).

Painting is fun at first. Also, sorry if things seem blurry. I really broke my camera and it's hanging on to functionality by a thread.

Then I attempted to use my stamp with lime green paint on said cardboard. Unfortunately, my sneaking suspicion that the paint might be too thick for the stamp to print clearly turned out to be true. The first stamp was awful. I promptly wiped it off and tried again—still not awesome looking. But still I persevered through two rows of this stamp. I decided I hate it. Then I tried one of my yellow inkpads (…the kind meant for stamping. Duh) and decided since it would show up on the background color I would try it. Unfortunately, it was just too… delicate looking? Whatever the word I’m looking for is, I still hated it.

Hate! The top row is when I switched to real stamp ink. It improved it, but not much.

Then I was annoyed, but didn’t want to wash up all my paint supplies having come this far only to have no finished product to show for it. So I did what I do when I’m frustrated and pushed on in an annoyed way to get it over with. Which, I should know better than to do by now. I watered down the green and the yellow a bit and just splat it on there.

BAM! Take that, you unruly craft project. Quit going awry.

I still hate it. I think I dislike it even more than if I had persevered with the stamp.

Ugh. Did I mention I hate it?

Even MORE unfortunately, now all it makes me think of is those ugly photo backdrops at Sears that were all the rage in the 80s/very early 90s.

Thank you, Bible College Dropout (, for knowing EXACTLY what I was talking about and providing a visual example for those who were in the dark

Damnit. I guess I’ll somehow turn this into a box the next time I have to mail someone a birthday gift? I’m open to other suggestions aside from tossing it.


4 responses »

    • Well, there’s no back to the shelf- you can see through them to the wall. Plus, because of the material Ikea uses to make their furniture, it’s like laminate, you can’t really paint it without sanding it all down first or it will just chip off super easily. If Kassi’s suggestion doesn’t work out, I might end up getting some fabric to hang behind it instead. we’ll see!

  1. get some tissue paper with a pattern you like and mod-podge-it on there (the paper will become translucent and wrinkle a bit- keep that in mind when choosing a pattern). then paint over it with some paint mixed with gelmedium/glue/something clear; you can use a darker color to antique it or a lighter color to obscure the pattern. just keep layering til it looks cool 🙂

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