I am going back to work on Monday after three years at home with my kids. Three years that corresponded with my discovery (and the popular explosion) of Pinterest. It was a serendipitous collision of 10 years worth of deferred organizing, cooking, cleaning, crafting, and homemaking energy and a new source of endless inspiration and information.
I sometimes see people write that Pinterest makes people feel stressed or bad or inadequate somehow. I don’t get it. I’m never, ever going to paint chevrons on my nails, make anything out of plastic spoons, or heaven help me, crochet, but that doesn’t make me stressed out. I use it to find cool ideas or how-tos for the things I like and ignore the rest.
As I mopped the kitchen floor with Pinterest-suggested vinegar, baking soda, Dawn, and water yesterday, I was thinking of all the things Pinterest made me do — like scrub my bathroom grout with a toothbrush and slather my face with gelatin mixed with milk. Some are worth keeping, some were fun — once — and some should be laughed off and forgotten forever.
So in the spirit of “pinned it and actually did it” (a very small percentage of the things I’ve pinned), here are some of the pins that worked — and didn’t — for me.
Pins that totally worked
In the Garden
- Homemade cleaning stuff, lots of it. These are keepers. Not hard to make, actually work, last forever.
- Mop your floor with this. Easy, nearly free, no extra work, no chemicals.
- Gift wrap on the closet door (my version here)
- Organizing kids schools stuff (here’s my version of that project too)
- Kids room art out of t-shirts (what it looks like in my house)
- Pumpkin mummies (more photos of cute kids making these!)
- Mummy jar tea lights (googly eyes!)
- Mummy juice boxes (more googly eyes!)
- Button snowman tags
- Candy canes in the window (pretty in my kitchen last year)
- Paper heart garland (one of many sewing-on-paper projects, here’s my version)
- Put money in a tissue box so it pulls out in one long string (did this for nephews at Christmas- a big hit!)
- Inspired by this pin, my crafting friend Kristen and I made these candles prettied up with paper.
- I made this adorable fabric matching game set. Once. And I never will again. So cute, so much work.
- Soft blocks for babies. I’ve made several sets of these. Love.
- Spice sets — my idea, but inspired by pins for spice mixes and homemade ranch and taco seasoning.
- Quilted notecards (sewing on paper is fun!)
- Pretty up pens with paper (I endured mocking for this one and later, admission that they were pretty and fun.)
Fun with Kids
- Nature scavenger hunt
- Button rings (made with my nieces)
- Star Wars matching game
- Make your own snow globe (did this with the nieces and nephews at Christmas)
- Christmas trees out of paper strips (really fun, relaxing craft project to do with kids, and adults like it too)
- This green smoothie formula
- Coconut oil for everything
- Whiten your teeth (and gums, but don’t be alarmed, it wears off)
Pins that Failed Me (or I them)
- Gutter gardens (see my fail here)
- Make your own mercury glass (ha ha ha ha ha!)
- Donut holes that are supposed to look like acorns (or messy blobs)
- Making liquid hand soap (more like making boogers)
- Sharpie mugs (Surely everyone has tried this, right? It washes off.)
- Clean up gunky cookie sheets (it works, but it is not true that there’s no scrubbing)
- Tub and shower magic (if by magic you mean scrub your tiles with a toothbrush for 3 hours then yes, it is magic)
- Stovetop yummy home scent (smells heavenly until you forget about it and it boils down then burns black. Then it stinks.)
- Pore strip DIY (gross, gross, and gross)
- And the best fail of all – wire Christmas trees! As if. (Also note super-ugly candles over my shoulder. We got better at that.)
What are your favorite worth-repeating pins, or your best Pinterest fails?