The problem with crafts is that I’m not nearly as crafty as I think I am. Oh, I have tons of ideas, but I don’t have the skills to back them up. Since I was a child I’ve always ‘made stuff’ and still, I am not proficient at anything. You’d think I’d give up, right? If I had any sense I would, but I still approach craft projects with the same tenacity I have when I explore other areas of my life.
Over the weekend, I bought black out curtains for my three bedroom windows. My husband installed the decorative curtain rods, which I proudly told him I got on clearance for $9.97 each. (When asked how much the drapes cost, I dodged the question by telling him about how the sales person gave me an extra 15% off).
The ‘crafty’ part came when I needed something to (cheaply) block sunlight coming through two half-moon arch windows. My first thought was “tin foil” but my husband asked me not line the drip pans of the stove with foil…I doubt he’d approve of covering a window with it.
Then I got an idea that I thought might actually work: I could cut the arch out of cardboard or foam board and then hot glue fabric over it. The idea had two red flags: cut and hot glue. But I forged ahead anyway.
Surprisingly, I managed to use a box cutter without maiming myself or destroying any property. As I cut the cardboard arch and trimmed it to fit in the window, my new glue gun was warming up. I have an older, larger glue gun, but I thught the smaller one might be easier to handle for this project.
Note: When I bought this glue gun a few weeks ago, I noticed the package stated it was a “high temp” glue gun. Duh, I thought, how else would the glue melt? I didn’t think much about it. When I got home, I checked my larger glue gun – it was a “low temp” gun and could get plenty hot. (Here is where a prudent person would reconsider the purchase and return it, for safety’s sake.)
Apparently, I’m not that type of person.
While gluing the fabric to the cardboard, I discovered that the difference between a “low temp” glue gun and a “high temp” glue gun is a first degree vs. second degree burn. Some glue dropped on the top of my left hand, just above my thumb. It quickly began to harden, so I pulled the glob off, not realizing that it would take several layers of skin with it.
At this point, I finally did what any reasonable person would do: I mumbled some angry curse words and went to get a Band-Aid before I bled on my project. I wished I could lie and tell people the injury occurred from something exciting, like wrestling a swordfish. I didn’t want to admit that a glue gun nearly took me down.
I soldiered on and finished the second arch, all the while wondering if the glue bonded the materials together, or if they simply melted into one another. I thought they looked pretty good….from a distance.
The next day, I noticed light came through under our bathroom door and above our vertical blinds on the window with the arch above it. I had the perfect idea to fix it: I would buy a couple of draft stoppers.
I searched the internet, but the reviews weren’t encouraging. One product review stated: “Don’t buy. It is junk.” Another review for a different product read, “It was a disappointment. Save your money for better things.” I discovered that I could spend anywhere from $8 to $19 for products that had more negative reviews than positive.
Then another thought came to me: I bet I could make something just as useless for a lot less money.
And that became my challenge. And another chance to ruin create a craft project.
Due to the high cost of pinto beans and poly-fill, I instead opted to use tube socks, plastic bags, and glass marbles from an old floral arrangement to fill the snake-like stoppers. Since I just learned to sew a few months ago (when I had to sew badges on scout shirts), I decided making these out of fabric, where I had to measure and sew all the sides, might be too difficult. At last, I seemed to recognize my limitations.
I bought a couple pairs of knee-high holiday socks for $1.48 a pair. I figured this should be easy: fill the socks and then sew them together. Well…yes and no…..
They aren’t perfect, but they get the job done. So for now, craft projects everywhere can heave a sigh of relief because I’m not looking for anything else to make. I’m ready to switch back to writing. At least with writing, my characters are the only ones who get injured!