Not long ago, I overheard two women discussing Pinterest and its sudden, enormous popularity.
“Everybody pins all this crap,” one said, “but nobody ever makes any of that stuff.”
“And even if they did, it would be a complete disaster! None of those projects ever turn out like they’re supposed to!” the other one laughed.
I am so very sorry if you failed fifth-grade art class and the bulk of Pinterest projects far exceed your skill set, MA’AM, but some of us ARE ACTUALLY CAPABLE OF FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS and would have a much harder time cooking dinner, entertaining our children, thinking of birthday gifts, getting dressed in the morning and finding excuses to use glitter every day if it weren’t for Pinterest.
So there. NYUH.
(Yes, I realize it’s ridiculous to get this defensive about for-God’s-sake PINTEREST, but that’s the world I live in.)
It’s true, though. Crafting relaxes me, so I do Pinterest projects every chance I get. A good 85 percent of our current dinner menu rotation consists of recipes I’ve pinned, and everything from my friend Haley‘s last birthday gift to Harper’s baptism reception decor are complete Pinterest rip-offs.
If you’re unfamiliar with Pinterest, it’s pretty much like the bookmarks menu on your web browser. The difference is that instead of relying on an abbreviated text description to remind you why you saved this or that link, you have a photo from the website to jog your memory. Beyond that, a person’s various “boards” – the categories under which they file each “pin” – serve as virtual inspiration boards. That may not mean much to you, but for those of us accustomed to wasting copious amounts of color printer ink to print pictures to tack onto overcrowded cork boards that fall on the floor all the time, this is extremely helpful.
Below are some of my Pinterest projects and my assessment of each. In other words, I wasted my time so you don’t have to.
1. Gift card in a DIY snow globe
I did this with a World Market gift card for Haley’s birthday last summer. It was easy enough, but I ran into two problems. First, because it wasn’t Christmas, I obviously didn’t want to use ornaments, but it was difficult to find small, birthday-appropriate objects that floated (AND that looked good in a snow globe). Second, while hot glue is not water soluble, something about the water kept the glue from adhering well to the jar’s lid. It came loose once, so I glued it back, crossed my fingers and prayed that it would hold at least until Haley opened her gift.
2. Wedding card album
This called for a ridiculous number of supplies, so I didn’t follow the instructions to the letter, but it still came out extremely well, and it’s an excellent way to organize cards you want to keep besides just stuffing them in a shoe box that you’ll never look in again. And then your kids will curse your name after they have to move you to a nursing home and clean out 50,000 boxes of crap from your attic. At least this way, they’ll feel kind of bad for chucking it in the trash.
P.S. Unless you want the plain silver ones they sell at Office Max, binder rings are a pain in the ass to find.
3. Frame for bathroom mirror
We did this in Harper’s bathroom, and it was STUPID easy. The only (somewhat) tricky part was we had to use a Dremel to shave down an outlet cover.
4. Sock bun
I did this one this morning, as a matter of fact! Took less than 10 minutes. I like messy hair with a lot of texture, though – if you insist on smooth perfection, it’ll take considerably longer. While I’m still a huge fan of Beth Jones and her Carrie Bradshaw bun, this was WAY faster and much less damaging to my hair. A fantastic way to squeeze one more day out of my hair before I have to wash it.
P.S. If you’ve got the greasies, use a little spray-on dry shampoo – not only will it tame the oil slick, it makes your hair a bit sticky, so it’ll hold better!
P.P.S. Nothing against footwear as headwear, but skip the sock and get yourself one of these.
5. Emergency Preparedness Kit
I don’t know any Mormons, but if I did, I’m sure we’d get along famously. (Well, you know, except for that whole “devout Catholic” thing.) If you’ve ever had the displeasure of listening to Glenn Beck for more than three minutes, as I do each time I eat dinner at my parents’ house, then you know that emergency preparedness is a big part of Mormon culture. They believe that not only should you be prepared to sustain your own family, you should have enough to help your neighbor as well. I LOVE that! Especially given that I’m pretty obsessed with preparing for the zombie apocalypse and assessing my home in terms of its defensibility against velociraptors.
And no, I’m not a firearms-stockpiler who’s obsessed with The End Times (see above re: Catholic). But having evacuated New Orleans just in the nick of time before Hurricane Katrina hit, I am intimately familiar with what happens when one is ill-prepared for a disaster (see prior post re: anti-anxiety medication and enough money spent on therapy to send Harper to college four times in a row).
As it turns out, I was a little better prepared than I thought I was. Last Saturday, I set about assembling my kit, and here is just the stuff I already had on hand:
The idea is not to go and buy everything all at once (which would not only cost a fortune, it would also make you look like a paranoid lunatic to anyone observing you loading up your grocery cart), but to buy a little week by week. So our kit, while off to a good start, is far from finished. Here’s what we bought during Week 1:
If you promise to be nice to me and not make fun of my emergency preparedness kit, then when World War Z breaks out, I might give you some bottled water to stew your rat for dinner.
I know some people say the whole Pinterest thing is way too June Cleaver and exists solely to make people feel inadequate, but they can think whatever they want.
Ryan and I understand.