On Not Being Crafty

I’m not crafty (in the “arts-and-crafty” sense of the word, not in the “cunning” sense of the word.  Very much so cunning, not very crafty.)  My sister, my mother, and my aunts are very crafty, but somehow I didn’t inherit the trait.  I tend to fail at anything that requires manual dexterity.

I rarely feel insecure about my lack of craftiness.  With the exception of Christmas day, when my female relatives reveal handmade masterpieces that cost them less than the fortune I’ve managed to spend on presents most likely made by Asian children, I’ve always felt pretty neutral about my craft skills.   Who cares if I can’t cut a straight line, much less a scalloped edge?

This has all changed because of the wonderful, evil site, Pinterest.

Pinterest is a website, inspired by social media faves Facebook and Twitter, that allows users to share “beautiful things”– art, photography, home design, clothes, and crafts.  Anything you find on the internet can be pinned and saved to Pinterest.

Although Pinterest can be used to share images of clothes, books, and even celebrities, do-it-yourself crafts occupy the majority of Pinterest space.

Because of crafts’ dominance on Pinterest, it has become, for me, a craft-bully, constantly reminding me how inadequate I am for being unable to do-it-myself.  Why is Pinterest so effective at  instilling shame in the non-crafty?

1. It’s social.  When you join Pinterest, you can import and follow your Facebook and Twitter friends as well as your contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, etc.  This means that the homemade items you see on Pinterest aren’t just display items at Michael’s, they are projects that your friends and family have actually completed and will be shoving into your stocking with a handmade card.  Not to mention that your friends and family can follow you and see what you’ve pinned, ie what you (I) will eventually fail at creating.

2. It’s never-ending.  The landing page of Pinterest, once you’re a member, is a stream of your friends’ pins.  This page literally never ends.  I’ve tried to reach the end of Pinterest, unsuccessfully, by dragging the scroll bar to the conclusion of the page, only to see it rise again, as if by magic, while Pinterest informs me that it is “loading more Pins.”   There’s no natural pause point for viewing craft after craft, which leads un-crafty people, like me, into a bottomless shame spiral.

3. It capitalizes on the home decorating craze.  I’ve only recently weened myself off of House Hunters, Income Property,  Color Splash, Holmes on Homes, and Property Virgins.  I’m now down to only 2 marathon DVR sessions per week.  Pinterest has leveraged the home decor madness that has allowed TLC and HGTV (previously deemed  “Hey Grandma TV” by one of my uncles) to become hip and mainstream.

3. Therefore, it’s addictive.  Because it combines the time-sucking powers of social media and the home decor craze, and because it is designed to be a bottomless pit of impossible (for me) crafts, Pinterest is like craft crack.

In order to improve my poor do-it-yourself-esteem, I’m going to tackle some “beginner” crafts between now and the holidays.  To give you an idea of how it’s going so far: The first craft I began, which required only three items (buttons, straight pins, foam) ended a in complete and total failure,  inducing my husband (who was trying to make me feel better) to exclaim,  “But you’re crafty with words!”