Saturday, May 30, 2009

DIY despair

Have you ever started a do-it-yourself project only to get down on your knees a few weeks later to give thanks for the industrial revolution?

I started off in March with big plans to make my own shag rug for the foyer. It would be six feet long and about three feet wide. Total cost: $15.

However, the rug is made from approximately four million tiny strips of fabric. I have been working on it for two months and have calculated that it is 1/12 of the way complete. Also, it sheds.

I have a rule that I don't start a new DIY project until I've finished the old one. But, at the rate I'm going, this rug will be done in two years.

On the plus side, it's an excellent way to pass the time if you have a migraine. Those of you who've had migraines know that you can't read, watch TV, listen to music or even talk while you've got one, which leaves staring off into the gloom and contemplating your own mortality. The rug is simple enough to do even when sick but distracting enough to make you think you can live another day.

At least I'm not the only one with big DIY catastrophes. Love this flopped project from Sherry at This Young House. Those things in her hands that look like tumbleweed were supposed to be some kind of twine mobile.

Christina at Down and Out Chic had nightmares about her chair project, but it turned out great.

In the meantime, I'm shelving the rug until the next time I get sick and I'm moving on to my next project - a Moroccan pouf made from a party dress that I calculate will be complete some time in 2010.

How about you? Any do-it-yourself failures? Come on, make me feel better.


  1. oh no! my goodness i don't think i could tackle a rug so kudos you for trying! most of my diy projects have been incredibly flawed, but they're special in their (sometimes obscene) imperfection. i'm glad i'm not the only one who isn't struggling with the diy projects.

  2. oh god. too many. bottle cutting disaster. zipper flowers (only jess could make them, the rest were stupid looking), tons of really bad furniture paint jobs. i just keep painting again, and again, and again. good luck on the pouf. eek.

  3. Kudos to you for your "finish one project before starting another" rule! That is, by far, my greatest DIY failure. Right now, I have a stack of paintings, 2 quilts, a knit blanket, 5 chairs, and probably several other projects that I'm "working on." I have a major case of DIY ADD that I need to get overcome!

    You have to actually finish a project for it to be successful, so I'd say that you're doing pretty darn well!

  4. well, I knitted a sweater two winters ago, it turned out kind of bulky, so I offered it to my mom, but I still haven't actually sewed in a zipper and given it to her. What's worse is she bought me lots of luscious yarn in exchange, which I've been too ashamed to do anything with. I think it's all in garment storage now...

  5. I'm so glad you confessed this, as I was having grand delusions of creating the exact same type of rug in the near future. I will learn from your example and save myself the heartache of failure.

  6. Thanks, guys. I feel better. You all are really bad.

  7. Christmas ornaments. Little wooden shapes and an assortment of balls that I imagined myself painting then embellishing with rhinestones, embroidery floss tassels and glittery beads.

    No one (I) had the patience to wait for one side of the ornament to dry before painting the other. The glue melted the rhinestone backing, the beads got scattered all over the house- I had a pack of 1000. Then the kids and cats got into the embroidery floss.