Skip to main content


I’m seeing all these “Top 10 projects of 2015”  articles from so many talented bloggers right now and I’m all over here like….. well, I think I DID make a few pretty things last year.  Lol.

Without a doubt, 2015 was an amazing year for The Magic Brush and I.  I got to travel to Belize to bid a painting job that I will be painting this fall.  I got to speak at the Kansas City Home Show and see Chip and Joanna Gaines twice this year.  I became a brand ambassador for both StitchFix clothing and Heirloom Traditions paint.  I had a Facebook post go viral being seen by over 28 MILLION people and I am almoooooooooooooooooooost ready to send the rough draft of my first book to my publisher.  I hosted 3 webinars and opening up my coaching program!!! I’m pretty stoked about all the great things that happened in 2015.

But, I also had many things that DIDN’T go the way I wanted.  Projects I that I didn’t get done. Goals that I didn’t achieve.  And DIY projects that quite frankly, stunk a little.

So, in an effort to help all of YOU feel more productive and proud of YOUR OWN projects this year, I felt it was my moral obligation to show you some of my behind the scenes blunders of the year — my DIY project fails. Because in addition to all my super fun stuff that happened in 2015, there was plenty of things that were anti-climactic.  I have my own little #hotmess going on up in here half of the time.

I hope you know that my goal is always to encourage YOU to feel a little more normal in your home and in your projects because life is too short to feel lesser than in a world full of perfect Instagram photos and Pinterest pages. I can assure you….. most of us “professionals” have our share of flops and diy project fails.  So….. let me introduce you to a few of mine!


diy project fails stenciling oops

DIY Project Fails #1

For those of you who may not know, I live in Kansas City….. home of the 2015 World Series champions y’all!!!!  And in support of their amazing year, I put together a fun Royal’s themed front porch.  The local Fox 4 News station came out to run a news segment on it and everything.  Well, half way thru the project, I realized I had put an extra “s” on the end of Royal.  What the heck?  Who does that?  It’s not Be RoyalS….. It’s Be Royal.  Like the song from Lorde.  Jeesh.   But, it was easily fixable and the news station was none the wiser.  See, this is real life diy folks.



diy project fails curtains office hem while hanging

DIY Project Fails #2

I made my own no sew office curtains!  I was so stinking excited. Until I ran out of out of Peel and Stick at 10 o’clock at night (the time when all the best projects happen).  So I decided to go ahead and hang the curtains and “hem” them while they were hung the next day.  It’s all good, right?


diy project fails falling medallion

DIY Project Fails #3

So I dreamed up using an old Pottery Barn wall hanging for a repurposed ceiling medallion.  It was a fun family project and by fun family project I mean “we forced our oldest son to help us”.

This turned out super cool. It was featured on Hometalk.  It looks great on my office ceiling.  I blogged about it. Was feeling all fancy.  Until….. the first time my boys wrestled in the room right above my office (our teen boy’s bedroom).  And until the first time #ohAva jumped off her big brother’s bed.  Then that medallion scared the living bejesus out of me because it clings and clangs and sounds like my ceiling will cave in.

This is one of those projects that looks pretty, but it’s now that it’s done I’m kind of like “blech”. We need to shimmy some rubber or silicone or something between the ceiling and the medallion and yet, I’m 44 and the idea of a nap sounds more enticing that making this thing quit making noise.  So in the words of the famous Shrek, “that’ll do donkey.  That’ll do.”


diy project fails legs to furniture

DIY Project Fails #4)

We had 222 people go thru my first B.Y.O.B. class. It was my 4 week long online painting program that will begin again at the end of January (sign up HERE you all!) .  Basically I, the self proclaimed expert, show 222 people how to paint 3 different furniture pieces and in 4 weeks time I teach them tons of my tips and tricks.  Well, this piece was an old provincial piece of furniture.  It was ugly, so I painted it, glazed it, decoupaged it, etc. Then I decided that it really was too short for average sized human beings.  It was ok for a toddler, but not for a grown up. So I told my class of 222 students that I was going to ADD LEGS to this furniture piece and show them how to do it.

So I began looking for furniture legs to add to this piece. We looked at every home improvement store in Kansas City.  We looked online. I found some on Ebay for like $50 for 4 legs plus $27 in shipping and thought jeesh, I love my students, but I do want to send my kids to college.  So I didn’t buy them.

Then I realized I had just recently painted a piece of furniture that was super cute and supposed to be going in my office and it had PERFECT legs to make this nightstand taller. So Mr Magic whacked the legs off it for me.  Ruined that furniture piece just so I could have the legs for this one.

And then the legs didn’t work.  It was a big fat furniture fail that I used as a lesson to my online group.  You can see the video I gave them explaining my faux pas HERE.  Seriously, it’s good to make project plans but the truth is, sometimes they fail.

Which brings me to my related fail…….


diy project fails stool leg fix

DIY Project Fails #5

Remember the freshly painted furniture piece that I was referring to in #4.  Well, it was previously this great project…. that I ruined just to later fail at making a nightstand taller.  And I did it in front of 222 students in my group. You’re welcome. xoxo


diy project fails banner sign

DIY Project Fails #6

Remember when my friend Samantha and I threw a Decor Swap this summer?  Well I needed to bring some decorations and was cutting it down to the wire finishing a painted, glittered banner the DAY OF our party.  Hey, some of us work great under pressure. On this project alone, I had to use my hair straight iron to get wrinkles out of the burlap.  My paint bled thru the burlap onto my farm table.  And I had to hang it like this outside to dry quickly before the party.  It was a calamity of errors.


diy project fails viral barnwood harvest sign

DIY Project Fails #7

Shortly after the Decor Swap fiasco, it was time to start decorating for fall. I went to dig out the above Harvest sign that I made out of barnwood. It’s my favorite sign ever.  And I couldn’t find it????  I was sure it must be stuffed in a corner somewhere?  Did I repurpose it and paint something on the other side and I just wasn’t recognizing it?  After weeks of looking, I mentioned it to my angel of an assistant Vicki and she reminded me that I gave my beloved Harvest sign away at a speaking event last fall. My favorite fall piece….. I GAVE IT AWAY and then forgot all about it. For the love.

As if that wasn’t a bummer enough. You’ll never believe what else happened related to that project.

The Pinterest pin for my missing Harvest sign has always been my most popular.  This past summer it hit over 1 million impressions and was HUGE for my Pinterest traffic. I talked about it in my Pinterest training and loved using it as a good example of “what to do” in my class.

So, it upset me when my Facebook fans would let me know that they had seen my Harvest sign picture…. watermark and all, get stolen.  The few times I had to reach out to people, they were kind and did credit me back or remove my photo from their marketing materials.  But I had one company on Pinterest that would not respond to my emails and comments. They were using my pin, with my name on it to send people to THEIR website. That’s stealing y’all. So, I reported it on Pinterest.

If you’ve never gone thru the process of reporting a pin before in Pinterest, let me give you a tip.  When you get to the part where it says “do you want to delete ALL copies of this pin”….. YOU SAY NO.  Because if you say yes, it’ll delete YOUR ORIGINAL pin also. And your follow up correspondence to Pinterest will NOT be able to bring it back.  When it’s gone, it’s gone.  Yes, my viral pin was deleted. The pin that was my absolute most popular….. gone.  And it was totally my fault (insert crying right here).  We’ve made another pin and believe it will get just as much traction one day.  You can find that pin HERE.



diy project fails spit on cabinet handles

DIY Project Fails #8

We painted our kitchen cabinets last year. And I also painted some of my cabinet handles.   I also did a short video for you on YouTube to show you how I painted the handles. In the video I also tell you how I didn’t know what calcium carbonate is (those are big words and I’m a simple girl).  And I also show you how I tested the durability of the calcium carbonate with my saliva you guys.  A very wise decorator told me once that if something can hold up to your spit, well then, it’s just durable enough.  I have no other words to add to this.


diy project fails rotting pumpkin candle tablescape

DIY Project Fails #9

I had this beautiful display for our Thanksgiving table this year.  It was lovely. Lovely I tell you.  Until one day I saw fruit flies around it. And by “around it”… I mean they were swarming.  After further inspection, my hubby and I found that one of the horseapples in this arrangement was rotten.  And leaking rotten horseapple juice.  And attracting every fruit fly this side of the Missouri river.  I’m not lying you guys. I dumped this entire arrangement straight in to the trash and we were still trying to kill fruit flies a week later.  Note to self… don’t use rotten horseapples.  Ever. Like ever, ever.


diy project fails boxwood wreath breaks


DIY Project Fails #10

Remember the awesome boxwood wreath that I made?  Remember how it fell off my door and crashed because of a windstorm after hanging for all of about 11 minutes?  You can read about it HERE and don’t forget to notice……the pallet outside fell right over on my front porch too.  #forthelove  I eventually fixed the wreath but not until I had thrown my little internal crafting fit.  Crafting fits often help to make projects better! And help you get over DIY project fails.

So there you are.  10 DIY Project fails and flops for you. I hope you feel better.

And I hope you know that in ALL areas of your life, truth and transparency will always set you free.

Here’s to a great 2016 you all. I’m rooting for you!



If you like reading about my DIY Projects, I have plenty more fun DIY Project ideas and didn’t flop! Here’s how you can make a gorgeous vintage book wreath with GLITTER and another of my favorite projects is making an old framed print into a chalkboard message board.


Pin it: Top DIY Project Fails




















  • Sherry Fram says:

    Love this post!! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in the flops department! The latest here involved two three year olds, a six year old, clear glass ornaments, ultra fine glitter & pledge floor cleaner!! Never, ever, ever let three year olds do glitter!! Holy cow what a mess!! That was the first week of December & we are still vacuuming glitter!! All I could do was laugh hysterically!! The grandkids are convinced I lost my mind!! I’m not so sure I didn’t! lol

  • Val Vierling says:

    I must re-do more projects than I actually start. Sometimes it’s just moving thing around. Sometimes I paint, and like you, sometimes I just plain fail. But,it’s so much FUN! At least for me. Maybe not so much for the Old Marine.

  • Sher says:

    So happy to know that even professionals have flubs! I have been laboring under the impression that any mistake I make should be fixable..I can enjoy my projects more now knowing that it ain’t reasonable to expect that to always be the case! Thanks for the reality check

  • Gail D. says:

    OMG! You must have taken some pages out of my book, Jennifer! All I can say is you are a real character to roll with the punches like you do. But what else can you do, really? I would estimate that full 30% of my projects blow up on me. But I just laugh and go on…LOL

    By the way, somehow I receive 2 notes from you every time you send…perhaps you could cut it back to just one? Thx.

Leave a Reply