CraftFail Where Crafters Go to Fail Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bucket Fail Wins Cake Bake Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Read More »]]> Dad's Birthday Cake

This amazing food feat is titled Dad’s Birthday Cake, and it is indeed a real cake by ROUVELEE ILAGAN on Flickr, made to look like an ice-cold bucket of refreshing brews.

CraftFail reader Shelley saw a photo of this beauty on Pinterest, and immediately volunteered her husband to recreate it with their son for Cub Scouts. Here’s what happened.

We make a cake every year for the annual Cub Scout Cake Bake.  We have come up with some unusual and complicated designs in the past and my husband is always able to pull them off.  This year he asked for an easier cake.  So we searched Pinterest and cake up with the perfect design.  My son cut the top half off some plastic coke bottles and spray painted the inside black so we could stick those in the top of the cake.  We bought some rock candy to use for the ice and some rolled out fondant icing to wrap around the cake as the bucket.  We didn’t even get that far.  Just as we were about to do the fondant icing around it, the cake completely collapsed, frosting and all.

ice bucket cake failIt was not salvageable, so they took it to the contest anyway and titled it “Epic Fail”.  They won 3rd for Yummiest Cake and 2nd for People’s Choice.  Ha!

Don’t you love it when failure has a happy ending?

bucket cake - nailed itFor more funny that you just couldn’t make up (Scout’s honor!), join Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures.

]]> 0 How Jabba the Lamb Saved Facebook Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:00:57 +0000 Read More »]]> lamb cake

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that, occasionally, I want to burn Facebook to the ground and salt the earth where it stood.

Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh, but sometimes it does seem like a huge time suck with very little payoff. I scroll, and scroll, and scroll, and instead of seeing updates from the pages I’ve “liked” or funny jokes or news from my friends, I get eleven jillion ads, followed by three humble-brags, a photo of someone’s kitchen that’s way cleaner than mine will ever be, and a workout update from someone I haven’t seen since third grade.

But then, something comes along that completely redeems Facebook.

For me, that something was cake. Specifically, a cake made by my newest Facebook BFF – let’s call her Flannery. Because that’s her name. Or at least, that’s what she tells me.

See, she was the friend of a friend on Facebook (now just a friend, because you know I’ll e-stalk anyone who has a sense of humor about their terrifyingly horrible baking, until they finally relent and acknowledge my existence by accepting my friend request and then, probably, immediately blocking me) who posted that she borrowed a lamb cake mold from a buddy. Her buddy, Lizbeth, had used a similar mold to make the cake pictured above.


Of course it is. So Flannery decided to make one, too. Except, instead of a sweet, peaceful lamb, hers turned out like this.

lamb cake failWhat’s my favorite part? Is it the vacant M&M eyes? Is it the the hope that maybe this purple Jabba the Lamb lump finally killed and devoured Barney? Is it the fact that the whole cake appears to be oozing, slug-like, backwards out of the pan? Is it the uncanny resemblance to a Peep that’s been left on a hot dashboard for several hours?

No, my favorite part has to be the way Flannery tells the story of this unfortunate-looking cake’s birth in It Puts The Frosting on the Lamb on her site, The Connor Chronicles. So. Funny.

And, of course, my second favorite part is having my faith restored in Facebook by finding a funny new friend (WHETHER SHE LIKES IT OR NOT) and a funny failed cake. I knew there was awesome stuff on there, somewhere. I just knew it.*

*I didn’t really know it.

lamb cake nailed itFor more funny join Robyn of Hollow Tree Ventures, who’d like to leave you with a final image of what you’ll never be able to un-see if you Google “purple lamb” and forget to add the all-important word, “cake.”

purple lambYou’re welcome.



]]> 4
Easter Egg Stampers Stumper Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:00:17 +0000 Read More »]]> Paas egg stampersPretty much everyone who loves Easter loves decorating Easter eggs, and pretty much anyone who loves crafts appreciates the convenience of pre-made, everything-you-need-is-included-in-this-box kits. Egg Stampers from Paas are a particularly well-known and trusted brand this time of year – I’ll bet you remember the Paas Easter bunny distinctly from your own childhood nightmares, amiright? Or maybe that was the Easter bunny from the mall. Or maybe that was just me. Whatever.

CraftFail reader Tracey thought this would be a fun way to celebrate Easter with her husband, but… Well, I’ll let her tell the story in her own words.

Last year, my husband and I were spending our first Easter together as a married couple. To make it festive, I decided I would dye some eggs and hide them around the apartment. I found the Paas “Egg Stampers” kit that included dye AND stamps: a butterfly, a bee, and a sun. I remembered dyeing eggs as a kid, and thought that it would be easy. And I distinctly remember using the “Paas” products.
Egg Stampers
First of all, I forgot that I’d need to buy white eggs, and I only had brown ones in the refrigerator. So even after soaking them for several hours, they were still a sort of weak, murky color. I had to keep them submerged overnight and even then, the darker colors (green and blue) didn’t turn out right.
Since that didn’t seem to be working, I tried using the “coloring alternatives.” This means adding vinegar or extra water to make them “ultra vibrant” or pastel, respectively. The vinegar eggs got bubbly on the outside, and the dye didn’t want to adhere, leading to patchy, speckled color that slid and scraped off when I tried to use the scoop to remove them from the soaking liquid.
dyed eggs
EDITOR’S NOTE: Okay Tracey, these better be getting ugly soon, because so far they’re about 40,000% percent more gorgeous than any eggs I’ve ever dyed. Well, except maybe for that orange one up front that looks like it’s sprouting hair.
Finally, the stamps were cheap as heck. They’d come off of their handles, falling to the counter and leaving dye everywhere. (Note the paper towels in the final picture; too little too late.) In some cases I managed to get pretty clear designs. But for the most part, the dye would glob into the grooves of the stamp rather than just to the outlines, leaving undistinguishable blobs and blotches of color running the sides of the eggs.
stamped Easter egg fail
I still hid them around the apartment for my husband to find, though, and he had fun finding them. So…nailed it?

Hey, fun is fun, no matter how they turned out! But why is it that it seems the older we get, the fewer crafts from our childhood we can still manage to do successfully? I would assume maybe our standards have just gotten higher, except I know for a fact that’s not true in my case. The older I get, the lower my standards get. It’s a craft mystery!

Dyed Easter Eggs - nailed itFor more laughs head to Hollow Tree Ventures, where Robyn’s pretty sure all her Easter decorations are going to end up as egg salad.



]]> 0
Rainbow Pinwheel Cookie – BEAT IT! Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:00:31 +0000 Read More »]]> rainbow swirl cookiesThese rainbow pinwheel cookies (original recipe by Shelly Ruybalid on Souders Studios) look super-complicated, but the recipe is surprisingly simple. All you have to do is tint sugar cookie dough different colors, and roll it up according to the easy instructions. The hardest part sounds like not eating all the cookie dough before you’ve baked it!

Except for in the case of CraftFail reader Katherine, whose mistake was… not following the easy instructions. The recipe she used called for mixing the various colors of dough together with a spoon. Here’s what happens if you use a beater instead.

rainbow swirl cookies failBoy, that is really swirled together. Like, REALLY swirled – instead of looking like a pinwheel, it looks kinda like I feel after getting off the Tilt-o-Whirl.

rainbow swirl cookies nailed itFor more mixed up funny business, find Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures!


]]> 1
Martha’s Matzoh Mansion Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:00:44 +0000 Read More »]]> matzo houseIf you’ve spent any time on Planet Earth, you won’t be surprised to hear that the matzoh house (excuuuuuse me, the “wonderful addition to any Seder table”) pictured above is by none other than Martha Stewart. Generally speaking, any table decor that’s more architecturally ornate and more beautifully landscaped than my own actual house MUST be the work of Martha.

What might surprise you, however, are the instructions. Creating this kosher castle, according to the website, can be accomplished in FOUR STEPS.

Yup, that’s right, just four steps – which is ridiculous, even by Martha standards. I mean, this thing has topiaries in the yard. It has shingles and a cobblestone path and a pediment over the door. There’s a BIRD perched on the chimney, for crying out loud! Four steps, my a$$.

Nevertheless, my good friend Anna from Random Handprints went temporarily insane and decided to construct one of these things.

It’s important to note here that you might remember Anna from such craftfails as her mangled matzoh manicure, or her dreidel cookie disaster, or perhaps her infamous glitter pumpkins. To say she’s had experience with less-than-perfect crafts and recipes is like saying that I get a little chuckle out of her less-than-perfect crafts and recipes. Huge understatement.

For this project she started with the cardboard infrastructure, which her mother took two days to measure and assemble, ensuring it was exactly the size of a sheet of matzoh since you can’t break them (Martha failed to mention that small obstacle in her tutorial).

Then, per Martha’s instructions, Anna slathered the cardboard house in melted chocolate and stuck the matzoh on.

Except, it didn’t stick. Because matzoh is, you know, bumpy, and wasn’t made to stick to vertical surfaces. (Martha didn’t mention that, either.)

matzoh house phase 1

At this point Anna probably started wondering if Martha had ever even seen matzoh before, let alone crafted with it, but she forged ahead and decorated the house/ramshackle crap heap anyway. She started with frosting to make the candy stick, but she only had one kind in her pantry.

funfettiOh good, Christmas funfetti frosting? That should be perfectly appropriate for a Jewish holiday craft! I bet you can imagine how awesome it looked, too. But, at least the kids seemed to be having fun.

matzoh house in process

That’s practically exactly like Martha’s version, right? Oh well – HOORAY! for crafting with the kids, but BOOO! for dealing with kids that are high on sugary candy that wouldn’t stick to the frosting (which, for the record, they also ate). Hopefully they’ll calm down by next Passover.

matzo house nailed it

For more funny and more failing, follow Robyn over to Hollow Tree Ventures!

]]> 3
Swirly Easter Bark – blech! Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:00:18 +0000 Read More »]]> Easter barkWhat you see here is some delicious Easter bark by The Browy Blog, made by melting chocolate of different colors (oh yes, chocolate does come in different colors, though I’m usually eating it too fast to notice) and tossing in some “Smarties,” which are like the M&Ms we have in ‘Merica, but we can’t have them here because we jumped the gun and already named some other candy Smarties.

CraftFail reader Chelsey had the ingenious idea of using this recipe and adding a dash of love – by making a Valentine’s Day version! Pink and red and chocolate all swirled around together should look pretty appetizing, right?

easter bark fail

Sure, if you like sheets of chocolate bark that look like internal organs, this looks delish! Here’s what Chelsey had to say about it:

I had just become a new mom. I was a great baker. Well things change when you have a kid and you are rushed to do anything at all times. So this was my attempt with a 5 week old son. What a mess!

Oh, you had a 5-week-old baby hanging off you while you were making it? Then never mind – the fact that you were alert and mobile enough to even find the kitchen is a win in this mom’s book!

easter bark nailed it

For more funny, find Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures – where she’ll happily eat whatever kind of Smarties or busted up chocolate bark you wanna share.

]]> 0
Mint Chocolate Chip Cake Mess Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:00:35 +0000 Read More »]]> mint-chocolate-chip-cakeThis chocolate cake with mint chocolate chip frosting by Shugary Sweets has some secrets. For example, it contains no ice cream, even though it looks like a solid hunk of chunky mint chip. Also, this cake has coffee in it, which I’m pretty sure qualifies it as a breakfast food.

I think I had a third thing for this list of secrets, but now I’m distracted by the thought of breakfast cake…

Anyway, CraftFail reader Jordan and her friend found the cake on Pinterest and made the classic Pinterest mistake – assuming it would turn out anything like the original.

mint cake failMmm, an oozing pile of… lumpy toothpaste? Yum! I’m not picky about my breakfast chocolate – bring me a fork!

mint chocolate cake nailed itFor more laughs, check out Hollow Tree Ventures – where Robyn is currently researching the effectiveness of brushing your teeth with minty cake.




]]> 4
Crooked Chinese Coconut Cookie Chicks Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:00:18 +0000 Read More »]]> Easter cookies

Leave it to Chocolate-Covered Katie to make healthy macaroons, and then turn them into super cute coconut cookie chicks for Easter. Yummy, adorable and (my favorite) EASY – just a few ingredients, hardly any cooking whatsoever, then some simple decorations to turn cookie lumps into sweet little bite-sized birdie treats.

One of my favorite things about Katie’s recipe is that she encourages you to “get creative with whatever ingredients you have on hand” when decorating your cookies. She used all kinds of healthy mumbo-jumbo, most of which I’d never even heard of, but notes that she saw similar cookies with faces made of chocolate chips and jellybeans.

CraftFail reader Anita really took that advice to heart when she created her chicks.

coconut cookie fail

Okay, let’s overlook the fact that they’re a little lumpy and some of the faces are… sideways. Crooked cookies are charming! My question is, are those chow mein noodles sticking out of their heads?!? I bet even Katie hadn’t thought of adding Chinese food to her cookies!

easter cookies nailed it

Come to Hollow Tree Ventures for more giggles, where Robyn’s improvisation results in questionable dinners… and questionable parenting.

]]> 1
Cherpumple? Piecaken? Delicious. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Read More »]]> piecaken

I’ve learned about a lot of new desserts here at CraftFail, but this one takes the cake. And the pie.

It’s a cherpumple – cherry, pumpkin and apple pies, encased in three different kinds of cake. Yes, you heard that correctly – three pies, stacked up, inside three cakes. It also goes by the name piecaken, which I thought was a typo at first but actually is a reference to the turducken, a savory meat dish consisting of a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. Both the turducken and piecaken are increasingly common sights at Thanksgiving, a time when people are encouraged to eat so much food that apparently we can’t even eat things one at a time anymore (also known as “every single day” at my house).

The invention of this dessert-stuffed dessert is credited to Charles Phoenix, a humorist, test kitchen food inventor, and (I’m guessing) the patron saint of elastic-waist pants. He encourages visitors to his site to bake this towering stack of sugary treats and send in photos, one of which is featured above.

Isn’t it glorious?

CraftFail reader Anita must’ve thought so, because she couldn’t resist giving it a shot.

piecaken fail

She got one layer in, and just couldn’t get more desserts to pile on. It still appears to be one dessert inside another dessert, though, which I wouldn’t really call a fail – I’d just call it a deliciously good start!

piecaken nailed it

For more funny visit Hollow Tree Ventures, where Robyn really piles on the laughs (and the calories, too).

]]> 0
Ice Cream Cone Cupcake-alanche Wed, 02 Apr 2014 15:00:35 +0000 Read More »]]> ice cream cone cupcakes

Ice cream cone cupcakes are one of the few things I’ve seen on Pinterest, attempted, and actually made successfully.

Okay, full disclosure: I could never make these successfully. But my mom did, and I was nearby when it happened. So… close enough.

What’s especially impressive is that my mom didn’t even have the benefit of the clever DIY cupcake cone pan that Allison of House of Hepworths invented (without knowing that something similar had already been invented) to hold the cones upright in the oven, which helped create the frosted cupcake beauties you see above.

CraftFail reader Amanda used a different DIY solution while baking her cones – a cardboard egg carton! So clever! How did that work out?

ice cream cone cupcakes failUmm, I think that one on the left is going to come out a little lopsided. And probably the ones on the right, too. And in the middle… umm… Maybe we can just change the party theme to “drunk ice cream cones”? Pepto Bismol eruptions? Melting cupcake-alanches?

Luckily, cake is delicious – no matter what shape it is!

ice cream cone cupcakes nailed itFor more giggles, and maybe even some drunk cupcake cones, visit Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures!



]]> 0