I am going to say it. I hate the craft store. Ok, maybe hate is a strong word, but I really get overwhelmed by all the aisles and options, so it’s kind of been my arch nemesis for a long time now.
It all started a few years ago when my oldest son needed a Saint Costume for his Pre-K class. Naturally, I could have ordered one on Amazon for about 30 or so dollars, but all the other moms were making these awesome homemade costumes so my working mommy guilt set in and I stopped by a craft store on the way home one day. I found myself in unfamiliar territory very quickly. Growing up, my mom had made a lot of costumes and outfits for us and she was pretty savvy with the sewing machine, but this was a trait that I neither picked up on nor inherited from her. I do NOT consider myself a crafty person. Creative, yes. Resourceful, you bet ya. But naturally crafty, no. Ok, back to this craft store trip. Entering the front doors of this place filled my head with a million questions. Why are there so many aisles of fabric? How are these supplies categorized? Is there like a concierge service in here that will help me select what I need for this said project? Do I even own a hot glue gun? Where do I start.
I really admire the people that can walk into a craft store with an idea and walk out with exactly what they need and in the right quantities at that. This is not me. While I am wandering the aisles looking like a lost sheep (I am sure), I grab a couple of things that would somehow resemble a Saint costume. Some brown fabric, a rope looking thing, a hot glue gun, and some safety pins. Remember, I do not actually know at this point if I even own a hot glue gun. When describing to the lady at the fabric counter what I was planning to make, she asked me how many yards I needed of the fabric. I replied with, “I don’t actually know. I am not very crafty, but my son is 4 so whatever amount would cover him.” I think she giggled and maybe even rolled her eyes a bit and proceeded to cut a couple of yards for me. For this, I was thankful, although it wasn’t the costume or craft concierge service that I was looking for. Spoiler alert, that doesn’t exist. A future business idea? I digress. Ok, with my bag in hand, I actually kinda felt in control of this costume project and to be honest a little bit like a badass mom. I mean, I finally owned a glue gun, so I could officially be accepted into the crafty moms club, right?
Now the costume making was a different story. I was quickly deflated when I realized that I would be taking on the task of a no-sew costume that would eventually have to resemble a Saint. Saint Lawrence to be exact, because that is what my then 4-year-old picked. I laid everything out on the table and took a moment to stare at it and visualize what I wanted. I could have and should have looked at Pinterest for some inspiration and help, but you live and you learn. I was determined to figure this out. I got to cutting, tying and wrapping and before long it kind of looked halfway decent. I will tell you that I actually didn’t even use the hot glue gun, but I still felt like a badass for just having it. This would come in handy in the future. I wish I could explain to you exactly how hardly together this costume was. In fact, since Saint Lawrence is the Patron Saint of Cooks, I added an apron and some drawn on kitchen utensils to the costume and covered up the hack job that I had done to the poor fabric. Here’s a picture of the final product. You can see the leftover fabric that little brother got to wear. Pretty cute after all of that drama.
Little did I know, I was entering into the world of school plays, crafty posters, and projects and this was just my first taste. Fast forward to when the previously mentioned 4-year-old is now 7. He’s my oldest so we tend to experience everything with him first. Cue the school play where he is to be a spider. I had spent the last 3 years somewhat avoiding the craft store unless I needed something easy like a picture frame. I don’t know how I did it, but I knew that I would need to go again once we got the email on spider costume inspiration. This time I was smarter. I researched, pinned and read all about how to make the easiest no-sew spider costume. I searched on Amazon for some parts that I needed, but to my demise, I would still need to grab a few essential items from the dreaded craft store.
I walk through those doors again and even though I have my list, I’m overwhelmed with all of the aisles and options. I start out by heading to the fabric section. This seems like a safe place to start. All I need from this section is a piece of black felt and maybe I can find the black elastic here as well. I wander aimlessly through the sea of fabric. I mean, really aimlessly. Why are there so many options for black fabric?! Someone help me. I catch the attention of the lady who was working at this station, so I ask her for help. She points me in the direction of the black elastic and tells me that I need to go to the craft section for the felt. Oh…I thought this whole store was a craft section, so I was a little confused. I snatched up the elastic, which by the way was one of the many options of black elastic so we will see how it all works out.
Now onto the craft section. Ok, so in hindsight I probably should have just grabbed a helper or brought a crafty friend and told them exactly what I wanted to make so that they could seamlessly help me get everything, but I think I secretly like the challenge and just want to be able to do it myself for some sick and twisted reason. I am again wandering through one whole side of the store, now searching for a black felt piece, fuzzy stems and googly eyes. Can we talk about the organization of the craft store for a minute? I am sure that it makes perfect sense to most people, but if I ruled the world and had to come up with the design and layout of a craft store it would be something like this: Aisle 1- Costume Supplies (It would be arranged by type of costume with an easy to use guide at the end of the aisle). Aisle 2- Paint and Supplies (Want to paint, go here). Aisle 3- Googly Eyes and Glue (You are going to need these for everything). Aisle 4-6- Everything ELSE (You don’t have to come to a craft store to get these things, so just go to target). Hahahaha. All joking aside, I eventually found what I was looking for, so I felt like I had conquered it. Then, I get the register. The lady tallies up my purchase and I reach into my bag. Oh, snap. I don’t have my wallet. I left it in my other bag when I switched purses. It was a rare moment that I was somewhere without my kids and of course, I forgot my wallet. This was embarrassing. I ask her if she could hold the purchase for me and she politely agreed. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t make it back to the craft store before they closed that night due to #life and everything else I had to go to that day, but I would return again to buy what I needed and actually find the items quickly this time. Victory!
Moral of the story, I hate the craft store. But more or less, I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and learning to love it little by little, one day and one homemade costume at a time. And maybe next time I won’t be too proud to invite along a crafty friend. I am looking at you, April. Stay tuned for an update after my 2nd attempt at a homemade costume for the school play is completed. Wish me luck! Hopefully I will be posting a Pinterest worthy costume this time.