CraftFail: When Handmade Goes Horribly Wrong | Interview + Giveaway!!



 We’ve probably all seen the “Nailed It!” meme online with a gorgeous cupcake on the left,
and a sad, dismembered baked item, the “after” on the right.  

We all have them, like adult acne or spinach in our teeth, a failure in the creative world is bound to happen.
In her new book “CraftFail: When Handmade Goes Horribly Wrong”  Heather Mann gives us a peek into what
has kept her crafting, writing and making her way to a successful, enjoyable career.


“Throughout the years, I have posted craftfails of my own and those shared by other crafters, and I have
become a full-on failure enthusiast.  If finally learned what never got through to me as a failure-phobic kid:
We learn a heck of a lot more by failing than we ever will by succeeding on the first try.”

Heather’s words really ring true with me.  I started creating and making probably 35+ years ago (holy crap
that’s makes me sound old.) And as many successes as I have had, there have been a multitude of failures
and setbacks.  Frustrations, and discouragement are part of the process of learning.  

{interview with Heather Mann}

I had a chance to pick Heather’s creative brain a bit and ask her some questions recently about
her creative process…

Heather, you wear many hats and are a busy lady, what keeps you inspired and helps you stay focused on the creative process?

The creative process is the part I like the most, so I tend to focus on that instead of other things I should do, like the laundry! So my tip is, skip the laundry and get crafty.

When that doesn’t work, I buckle down and make a to do list. It’s amazing how many creative things you can do even when you’re working from something as black and white as a to do list!

It seems like most of us have had twists and turns on the creative/artistic journey, did you always see yourself doing this professionally?

I always thought I would be a writer, since I set up my first office in my bedroom closet when I was eight. I had no idea I would be a craft writer! It’s such a fun thrill to see my writing transformed into a real paper and ink book. And to be able to make crafts and THEN write about them? The best. I could never have predicted this.

What’s something you dream of trying/doing?

I want to write a TV series. Craft-wise, I would love to create a line of craft supplies.

If an aspiring crafter, who would like to make it a career could get some advice on getting started from you, what would you tell them?

Take every opportunity to write, and don’t wait for people to hand you opportunities. Create your own. These days, it’s easier than ever to get published – you can do it yourself online (through a website/blog/social media). The more practice you get, the closer you will get to achieving your dream, and the more life experience you will have (so you know what to do once you reach your goal!)

{thank you SO much Heather, you continue to inspire us!!}


It’s pretty hard to narrow down my favorite fails from the book, but here are just a few that I must
describe for you:

It’s pee your pants funny, not kidding.

If you have ever seen the darling Milano Sheep Cookies online, you will surely enjoy the batch of
Mutant Milano Sheep in the book.  They are probably not something you will want to count in order
to fall asleep.  Or perhaps a light, beautiful French Macaron (spelled correctly, they are sans coconut
so they are different.  And French, so they are fancy) the fail version is  “Crap-a-roon.”


This makes me feel better about my giant cookie idea that ended up all over the bottom of my oven.
Burn it did, and became part of the oven FOREVER.

One reader shared her Bathtub Crayon Soap, the idea was fabulous, that is until she decided to
speed up the drying process in the oven.

Um…let’s just say that they look more like a phallic reference than something you want the kiddies
to be playing with.

Oh well, and you know what? We all keep going, clean up the mess, and just keep trying.
Because it’s fun to try, and sometimes it turns out amazing.

And other times, well, we probably could have made it into the book as well.

Heather is the founder of and, and crafting most of her life.
She is also the co-founder of Blueprint Social, a social media consulting company and network of
influential bloggers.  If that didn’t keep this creative lady busy, she is also cohost of the web show
Get a Little Creative! Heather lives and crafts in Oregon.  

SO, are you ready to enter to win this awesome new book by Heather?

Cool, just leave a comment below telling me what one of your favorite fails has been.  

I will announce the winner a week from today! 

Please note this giveaway has closed, our winner was Crystal, entry #1 !!!


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  1. I’ve had quite a few craft fails in my day. Many long before I started the craft blog. I think one of my favorites though was this amazing bleach-penned tshirt I’d seen all over pinterest. I planned to make it as a gift for my sister.

    I bought a beautiful dark purple shirt, and painstakingly bleach penned the intricate design. The tutorials said the bleach wouldn’t work right away, so it was like invisible ink. I couldn’t see what I’d drawn but I worked to follow my design.

    Turns out the shirt was color fast. I spent hours with that bleach pen and still, 2 years of “soaking in” later, you can’t tell. :/

  2. Auntiepatch says

    My husband said the only thing I’ve failed at is cat training. Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  3. i have many others as well, from melted items and burns from hot glue, to crooked cakes, over cooked clays and salt/bread dough to beautiful creations not being dried enough and sealed good enough, and they just fell apart in the humid FL weather (and it was a gift for my bro & wife), glueing in wrong place/direction, and so on and so on!! been crafting 47 years so there are many! I am a perfectionist, (which always got to me, until a very wise Native American crafter/artist said that they intentionally make or leave a mistake in their work to show we are not perfect, that only the Great Spirit/God is perfect!-I was making dream catchers at the time and was frustrated because the beads/stones kept flying away! very frustrating) but I never forgot that statement and always incorporate it somewhere in my crafts! 🙂

  4. Jeri Niksich says

    A Candy Cane craft with my Grandson, he hot glued the wrapped canes onto a paper plate & we were finding different items to add to make it look like a wreath. So much stuff was added than when he picked up the paper plate it broke in half & there was broken canes, glitter, pipe cleaners, button & glue everywhere.

  5. Once I baked a ham with the plastic still on it…for my first dinner with my inlaws….still hear about it to this day!

  6. I tried to sand & stain my daughter’s headboard and matching dresser. She didn’t want the cute flower pattern any more since she was in junior high. Unfortunately, I guess I put too much stain and didn’t wipe off enough. It was a sticky mess in which everything stuck to it. It was horrible! We ended up going to buy her a new set. To this day, I’ve never attempted to stain anything.

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Thank you so much for reading, and as always, may your heart and home be full of everything you love! xo, Tanya         linking up to: And these awesome parties: