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January 22, 2024

Craft some shit with the Shitty Craft Club

Does fear of crafting something less-than-perfect keep you from crafting?  Don’t let it, says Sam Reece, founder of the Shitty Craft Club and author of a new book titled, you guessed it, Shitty Craft Club: A Club for Gluing Beads to Trash, Talking about Our Feelings, and Making Silly Things.

Reece originally began the Shitty Craft Club as creative get-togethers with friends, then she expanded to offer public crafting events. When the pandemic hit she shifted to TikTok, where she amassed a huge following with her craft instructions and advice. Reece encourages her followers to make fun, silly, tacky crafts while bingeing their favorite shows and drinking lots of water. A key message in the book: Stay hydrated!

woman holding a cake wearing a strawberry print dress
I’m in love with Reece’s strawberry dress.

Shitty Craft Club is kind of an anti-craft book. Instead of being primarily an instructional guide, it’s part memoir, part self-help, with only about a dozen projects. Reece connects with her reader by getting vulnerable about her childhood, coming out at 30, and even sexual assault, yet she writes with a humor that’s fun and uplifting. It’s a book that will boost your mood while it it makes you want to craft.

cover of Shitty Craft Club
Shitty Craft Club is available at an indie bookstore or library (hopefully) near you.

Projects

I love the randomness of the projects in Shitty Craft Club. Here are some highlights:

Pompoms

While her teen aspirations to become a cheerleader didn’t work out, Reece still champions making pom poms (and being your own cheerleader). She offers a walkthrough on using a pompom maker, plus two ways to make pompoms without one. Her fork-made pom poms are surprisingly good.

4 pompom makers of various sizes
I own pompom makers like this, although if you asked me to find them in my craft stash, I would laugh and laugh that you think I’m that organized.

Rhinestone Wall Shrimp

Reece’s wall shrimp emerged from the trauma of a shrimp-related tweet that went embarrassingly viral. From the wreckage, she created a shrimp made from tin foil and decorated it with rhinestones. “There’s something about holding a self-made rhinestone shrimp in your hands that I’m willing to bet feels incredibly similar to holding a newborn. Against all reason, I would put the rhinestone shrimp’s oxygen mask on before my own.” With good reason; her rhinestone shrimp is gorgeous.

woman with brown hair wearing glasses and holding a rhinestone decorated shrimp
Who doesnt need a giant rhinestone shrimp in their lives

Hydrated-Bitch-Day Menorah

In her chapter on holiday crafts which are not really holiday crafts, Reese has a project for making a menorah out of clay to celebrate your water intake. I love menorahs, but I would not create a menorah craft since I’m not Jewish and wouldn’t want to culturally appropriate. But, since a Jewish person is giving permission, maybe it’s ok? If you have an opinion on this, sound off in the comments.

Corndle

Reece has an obsession with objects that are food shaped. Corn is a particular love of hers; she includes three corn projects, including the corndle, a glass candle holder that you decorate with yellow beads to look like a corn cob. 

My turn: The Shitty Trophy

Reece proposes awarding yourself homemade trophies to celebrate your everyday triumphs, whether it’s taking your vitamins, going for a walk, or doing laundry “after agonizing over it for a week.” (That’s me. I hate walking down two flights of stairs to my laundry room. And it’s not just once: you have to put the load in the washer, go back to put it in the dryer, and then go back to get it. It’s too much!) 

To make your trophy, first, determine your base. In the interest of reuse/recycle, you might use an old box or a empty bottle of dishwashing soap. I chose an old beer glass that had a trophy-like shape.

beer glass against a leopard pillow background
My trophy base is a beer glass I got from Goodwill

Next, figure out your handles. I went with Reece’s suggestion of shaping them out of tin foil. Other options include pipe cleaners, drawer handles, and paper cutouts. 

tinfoil handles
A little tin foil is all you need to make some trophy handles

I have a lot of craft supplies. Like a ridiculous amount. I also rarely can find what I need when I need it, although I take solace in the fact that I share this problem with many crafters. I was tempted to buy blingy items to decorate my trophy with, but I stood firm and committed only to using what I have / could find.

I started with some Ice Resin Glitter Glass. (Note, I no longer purchase glitter unless it’s biodegradable because of its detrimental impact on the environment, but I think it’s ok to use what I already have sparingly. Also, did you know that conventional glitter is not vegetarian? I just found that out.) I smeared some clear adhesive on the glass and dabbed on the glitter in a ring around the top. 

close up of glass with chunky glitter on it
Ice resin makes for very sparkly decoration

I tend to hoard my favorite supplies for the Very Special Project I’ll find someday, like you might save a bottle of champagne for the ultimate special occasion. I even do this with supplies that I could easily replace. I think Reece would be the first one to say you should use something special without needing a special occasion for it. So, fighting my demons, I chose for my trophy a piece of beautiful iridescent lace ribbon that’s been tangled in my ribbon drawer for years.

strip of iridescent white ribbon
My ribbon is a thing of beauty that needs to be displayed not hidden away for a special occasion

I wanted to wrap the ribbon around the glass, but it was too wide. I settled for rolling the ribbon up and sticking it inside the glass.

Affixing the ribbon to the glass wasnt going to work so I settled for placing it inside

Since Reece has an affinity for rhinestones, I was inspired to continue decorating with a rhinestone pattern sticker from Daiso. I was hoping they were individual rhinestones I could apply separately, but it turned out they were actually stuck together, so I had to rip them apart in little clumps. They look strange, not really like I was hoping, but the result is probably the universe wanting me to create in the Shitty-Craft spirit of non-perfectionism.

Glass with pink and red rhinestones glued to it
My shitty clumpy rhinestones look a bit like flowers

Since I’d hit on the idea of stuffing items in the glass to decorate it, I chose some tissue paper next. I squished it together and stuffed it in above the ribbon.

glass stuffed with hot pink tissue paper
Stuffing tissue paper inside your trophy adds tons of color without requiring paint

Then, I adhered the tinfoil handles to the sides, and finally, I stuck my “plaque,” a post-it note, on the base. I awarded my trophy to myself for going grocery shopping. (I hate grocery shopping possibly even more than I hate doing laundry.)

finished trophy
My trophy sits in triumph for now in my photo box

And there it is, my first Shitty Craft Trophy. I think I will give it a place of honor on my altar.

What do you deserve a trophy for?

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