Why I Fail as an Arts and Crafts Mum

Bank Holiday Monday. The weather wasn’t great and as The Husband was playing golf I decided to do some arts and crafts with the girls. Alice had been saving up a lot of cardboard boxes and bits and pieces with the idea that we would at some point “make something.”

I always get mixed feelings about starting on arts and crafts that stretches beyond the realms of just colouring. I see the look of utter excitement in my eldest daughter’s eyes and think to myself “Come On! You Can Do This!” Which is mixed with a feeling of dread about “Doing It Right,” and “Not Failing.”

Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts flowers from egg boxes. So far, so good

I scoured You Tube for some easy to follow ideas for absolute dummies and found one tutorial that looked fairly simple – turning egg boxes into flowers. I cut up the egg boxes, and let the kids paint an individual egg holder cup thing. This all worked out rather well despite Eva getting bored after a few minutes and deciding to paint her arms instead. I should have got a photo of this but I was too busy trying to stop her touching the walls, chairs, tables, cupboards, EVERYTHING!

Making A Castle

Feeling a bit more confident, I agreed to Alice’s request to then go on to make a castle. Again I found another tutorial on YouTube and tried my best to follow it. The thing is, and my husband will absolutely agree with this particular personality trait, is that I get a bit impatient with things like this. I just want to get it done. So instead of measuring out to the exact centimetre the spacing of those little window type spaces on the castle walls (not sure of the exact terminology here, could it be battlements?) I instead just ploughed ahead Gung-Ho and hoped for the best. The obvious result, a wobbly and uneven castle wall.

I set the paints up again for us to start painting the shoe box and tea box that would form the main part of the castle. We were all having a lovely bonding time over this until I looked round and saw this:

Arts and Crafts Eva
This one can’t be left alone for even a few minutes

After clearing up this mess, I realised that despite our best efforts, the paint was never really going to completely cover the branding on the shiny cardboard boxes. So the logos of PG Tips Tea Bags and Puma Trainers were clearly visible on the castle. Is this so bad I thought to myself? My daughter doesn’t seem to mind that there’s a Puma leaping across one part of the castle and a weird looking monkey sitting on the another. And maybe, I could even make this work in my favour, perhaps there might be some brands out there that would want to work with me – I could make this a regular thing to do poor arts and crafts sessions over the boxes of brands I’d like to work with.

Castle Junk Modelling
Sponsored by PG Tips and Puma? No we’re just rubbish at arts and crafts

At about 3pm, I’d just about had enough of arts and crafts. I’d precariously managed to balance some dodgy looking turrets made from painted loo rolls on top of the boxes and crowned them with some poorly rolled up cones of paper. Minutes after this photo was taken two of the towers collapsed. I was keen to bring an end to this art session and move on to reading a story, playing a game of Frozen, watching some TV or anything else.  But Alice was having none of it. “Let’s add a drawbridge,” she said.

We ploughed on with bits and pieces falling off and me trying to stick them back on as we went along and still Alice insisted on adding more “features.”

Finally, when it looked like the end was in sight and I thought that the castle made from recycled rubbish might well end up back in the rubbish bin, Alice decided she wanted to keep it for her dolls to play in. I’m not sure what size doll would ever fit or want to be part of such monstrosity.

Arts and Crafts Fail
Looking pretty pleased with herself!

After almost an entire day of fiddling about with pieces of cardboard, we’d succeeded in making a dodgy looking castle, some passable flowers and a great big mess which took forever to clear up.

Arts and Crafts Fail? In my eyes, pretty much, yes.

But at the ages of 2 and 4, minor details such as obtaining perfection are, luckily for me not really the main concern. It’s more about the actual MAKING. (And in Eva’s case, decorating herself). Long may this continue. I dread the day that will surely come when they turn round and say “Mum that looks rubbish!”

 

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0 thoughts on “Why I Fail as an Arts and Crafts Mum

  1. I like to think of myself as an arts and crafts mum/blogger but realistically, I have the same struggles as you, only my four year old is like your two year old, in the sense that instead of decorating the project, she decorates herself and everything else.
    I for one avoid these types of crafts because I can’t bare the look of the logos showing through lol! If there’s one bit of advice I would offer though, for the future of you decided to craft again, I’d invest in a glue gun, you can slam it all together and it dries real quick meaning you can let them loose with the paintbrush and not have to worry so much about it falling apart lol!
    #coolmumclub

  2. I have a confession to make… We have never done a craft project. Ever. In fact, I don’t think I even have any paints in the house. The boys go to my parents-in-law every Saturday and they do painting and making stuff there. In fact, now that I think about it, I only ever did crafty stuff when I was with my grandparents and I turned out okay. So I would like to salute you for even trying! #coolmumclub

  3. I f*ing hate arts and crafts. I wrote a whole post on how much I hate it. I think your castle looks pretty great. 1000 times better than what I could do. Here we stick to paints, crayons and playdoh and sometimes even that all ends in tears. Usually mine.

    #coolmumclub

  4. Sellotape. That’s the answer to everything! It doesn’t look pretty, but it holds everything together. I have been known to call myself the Sellotape Queen when making things for the grandkids out of their comics. They don’t look too impressed with the results but I think they probably feel sorry for me! Your castle looks great by comparison!

  5. This made me laugh! Our eldest always loved (loves) arts and crafts – last week her little sister had more fun colouring in the white dining table chair with her crayons…that’ll teach me to think she’s playing nicely!
    Thanks for linking up with #coolmumclub, we love a bit of crap craft!

  6. Ha. Brilliant. Apparently mixing glue with paint helps to cover up the shiny boxes, but then I guess the big brands won’t want to work with you 😉 LOVE that idea. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a Kellogg’s box here if you want to tap them up as a potential sponsor?! x

  7. You spent a whole day stuck inside without the kids driving you crazy. Sounds like a win to me. We’ve attempted a few projects with very similar results, but in the end if they spent their time doing something at least somewhat productive, I’ll take it #KCACOLS

  8. These turned out so well! You should be proud of them! I agree it’s about making the things, it’s a great bonding time with the kids – although someone always tends to get covered in the paint! #BigPinkLink x

  9. Hahaha I keep thinking I am looking forward to doing this like this with the kids but I know artistic limits and I am sure I will be a disappointment to them! For what it’s worth I thought your efforts were inspired! I didn’t actually notice the branding on the boxes…until I read on bit did make me chuckle (sorry). Who needs perfection anyway?! Thanks so much for linking at #KCACOLS. Hope you can come back again next Sunday xx

  10. I think that looks really good!!! It’s much better than our efforts to make stuff!! I’d actually really like to be good at crafts…! I’m hoping that mine are just too little at the moment to be any good at it, and nothing to do with my total craft failure and wannabe craft mum failure! I love the picture of your daughter covered in pen, and I really chuckled at her getting bored and painting her arms!!!! I’m like you though in that I just want to see the end result, and often rush the process, instead of just letting them make a big old mess and do whatever the heck they want!!
    Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

    1. Thank you! I think I just have high expectations about this sort of thing. My kids would probably be just as happy with something far less superior to this as long as they are making a mess they don’t care! X

  11. Ha ha love her face – and I think I would be pretty pleased with the castle efforts myself. My boy would have been bored two minutes after starting so to get a whole day of interest is quite impressive! #KCACOLS

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