Welcome to Pinterest. Don’t try this at home.

Well this is embarrassing: Crayola issued a statement this week explaining why people shouldn’t use their colored pencils as eyeliner.

You may ask, where would someone even get an idea like that? Without a doubt: Pinterest, the website dedicated to proving that anything is possible, even if it is in no way practical.

I’m here to tell you not to get involved in their delusions. Nothing is as simple as they make it seem – like this bathmat, which I got one-eighth of the way through making before I realized that I was investing an inordinate amount of time into something that I would, at best, wipe my feet on.

beerI also tried to make this set of drinking glasses out of old beer bottles. My boyfriend at the time walked in halfway through that project – just as I was getting to the step about setting a piece of yarn soaked in nail polish remover on fire – and he was understandably concerned.

“I just want to know one thing,” he said. “What happened to your sock?”

He was right. I was only wearing one sock at that moment.

“I spilled some nail polish remover on the floor and mopped it up with my foot,” I explained. “And then I took it off because I thought I might ruin my pedicure.”

“Yeah, or God forbid, you drop the match and set your foot on fire,” he added.

“Like that would ever happen,” I replied – but we both knew that it could and we’re blessed that it didn’t. (Yet.)

Needless to say, the drinking glasses didn’t go as planned. I went through three trays of ice cubes, set the smoke detector off twice and ruined a perfectly good dish towel before abandoning the project in favor of Netflix.

“Listen to me,” my boyfriend said. “I think you should stay off that site.”

I did, eventually, get on board with that sentiment. But not before concocting a homemade foot scrub from Listerine and shaving cream. For those of you who are interested, that pin actually worked – but somewhere in between wrapping my feet in mouthwash-soaked towels and then placing them in plastic bags, I had to ask myself, “Is this how far you’re willing to go to save $5 at a salon?”

Evidently, it was. And it was shameful.

spoonI haven’t browsed since. That framed mirror that I was going to try to make out of plastic spoons? Dead to me. The hair mask made from a mixture of bananas, honey and yogurt? Sounds sticky.

No thank you, Pinterest. I’ve moved on. Not even after I accumulated a hundred spent wine corks did I bother poking around your site to find some sort of trivet or bulletin board that I fashion them into. They’re doing just fine in a vase.

But I won’t take Pinterest away from all of us. My friend’s girlfriend – for instance – she’s more than welcome to keep at it. I was at their apartment earlier this month and saw a shelf she made out of piping and plywood that looks like something Crate & Barrel would call “rustic” sell for $950 plus delivery.

It was fantastic – and I knew she had skills when I went to take a closer look and neither she nor my friend seemed nervous that the whole thing would fall apart if I touched it.

pipe“It wasn’t that hard to make,” she said. “I’m sure you could do it.”

I almost believed her  and was halfway imaging where I would put it in my house before realizing that her idea of  “doable” was vastly different from mine. Hers might be making a variation of this shelf, while mine was baking a fruit tart with a frozen puff pastry.

And that’s my problem with Pinterest. You can never really tell how difficult a project will be. My friend’s girlfirend could probably fill a lightbulb with concrete to make a curtain rod and add drawer pulls to spaghetti sauce jars to make fancy bottles, but the rest of us probably cannot. At the very least, we should start smaller – say with something like a jigsaw puzzle – and see how that goes before committing to anything that involves electricity, corrosive chemicals or an open flame.

Just my two cents. But if you’re not going to follow that advice, then do me one favor: don’t put anything near your eyes.


  1. I’m pretty sure we’re kindred pinterest spirits. But I long ago lost the desire to even try some of these “crafty” concoctions. I have zero patience and anything tried pretty much comes out looking like something from one of those funny “pinterest fails” Facebook slideshows I’ve seen (and laughed hysterically at). :-)

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