Opinion: Holiday DIY Disasters

Emily Cowart

Managing Editor

Christmas is obviously quickly approaching. Mentally preparing yourself for the creative Elf on the Shelf moms, flea market flips décor and homemade gifts on steroids can be challenging. As your social media newsfeed fills with images of seemingly easy “step-by-step” instructions of how you, too, can create your very own festive mason jar snow globe, try not to get discouraged. Sit back, relax and listen to the mishaps of my attempts of holiday season crafts.

I am certainly no Martha Stewart. When it comes to artistic abilities, it seems I have always opted out in that department. Nevertheless, I figured I could still try my hand at a few Pinterest crafts this year to see if any thing had changed. Spoiler alert: it hasn’t.

Photo by Justin Pack

Photo by Justin Pack

My roommate and I spent some time online searching for the perfect seasonal crafts to make together. After securing a few apparently easy items, we ventured out to the local Walmart to gather supplies. A few packages of ornaments, glitter, twine and a hot glue gun later, we were ready to absolutely trash our coffee table.

The first project actually turned out fairly nice. A simple ornament wreath proved to be as straightforward as advertised. Although time consuming, the final product is hanging on our front door to greet our guests with homemade festivity. The wreath does, however, serve as a constant reminder of the multitude of times I burned my fingers with the hot glue gun. Should I ever decide to recreate this craft, my fingertips will thank me if I invest in protective gloves.

Our next project should be inducted to the Pinterest-Fail Hall of Fame. We have three dogs in our home, and sometimes the air smells stale. We have our fair share of candles scattered throughout living room, as well as a graveyard of assorted scented wax cubes conveniently located on the end table. When we saw that you could make your own “holiday-fragranced” mason jar candle, we jumped at the opportunity. However, the final product could not be lit, nor did it look anything like the ones we saw online.

Lastly, we decided to make a festive centerpiece for our dining room table. There were a few examples online with references to how you could fashion one of your own, but we chose to use what we had on hand to make ours. Our supplies consisted of a few glass vases, leftover ornaments, colored metallic garland and some pinecones from around the yard. This DIY was the most fun to complete, not to mention the least expensive. A few trials and errors later, and we finally made an arrangement worthy enough to put on display—at least in our home. I’m not too sure how it would fare with Martha, but it was good enough for us.

Overall, this experience only confirmed what I already knew to be true. I am not, nor will I ever be, someone with exceptional crafting abilities. Aside from that, I did have a lot of fun at my attempts to create homemade holiday décor. Even though the number of attempts it took me might have been unmentionably high, the final products of the ones that turned out decently were well worth it. If you chose to make something yourself this holiday season, I would recommend playing some good Christmas music, especially if you’re short-tempered. Trust me, it helps.


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