Get back up when you fail


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diy high heel planters succulents
Fabulous High Heel Planter!


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When I started writing this post, it was called “Get Back Up On Your Sawhorse When Your DIY Fails.” But after a few minutes of writing, I decided to change it to “…When You Fail.” You may be wondering what that has to do with anything DIY. Well, I started out writing about the DIY fail I had earlier today, which I’ll show you in a minute, but then I started to think that getting back on that horse is a lesson that is far more reaching than one’s home improvement skills. It particularly makes me think of a member of my family who tends to always give up at the first road block. Instead of saying: “okay, I see what happened, I see the lesson from the experience and moving forward I’m going to integrate that lesson in my strategy so I can do better next time,” she simply says, “I can’t do it” or “I can’t do it because nobody every showed me how.” I don’t know why she gives up so easily. Nobody ever showed most of us “how” for a lot of things in life. We simply learned by trial and error and by always getting back up on that [saw]horse when things don’t go as planned. Anyway, I suppose my point from all this is to not let set backs stop you from trying something new. Instead, learn from your experiences, especially the ones that don’t go as planned. And always get back up on that [saw]horse. Okay, enough lecturing from me. Onto the DIY that didn’t…

Remember the DIY Concrete Planter Hands tutorial from a few weeks ago? I totally love them and ever since making them, I’ve been wanting to try another concrete project.


concrete hand planter -watermark
Concrete Hand Planter


This morning I had a “brilliant” idea for my next concrete project and couldn’t wait to get to it. (Notice the quotes around “brilliant.”) I had seen something on pinterest a while back of a piece of textured art where the canvas was folded onto itself giving it a look of fluidity. So I thought I’d try something like that. I could use some sort of fabric to create the look. I found some scraps of a heavy lace material in my mom’s sewing stuff which I thought would be a perfect medium to hold the concrete.


Lace scraps
Lace scraps


So I mixed up a small batch of cement, dipped the lace in, mixing it around to make sure it was completely covered in the cement. Then I draped the cement covered lace over a small cardboard box and covered it with plastic wrap to keep moist while it dried. I thought perhaps it would make an interesting planter.




This is my dried concrete and lace “planter.”




I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but it just looked to me like a sloppy mess. I definitely didn’t like it for a planter. So I looked at it for a little while trying to figure out if there was something else I could do with it. I thought perhaps a lamp shade??

I ran down to the hardware store and picked up one of those little lantern kits for $12.00, drilled a hole in the top and hung the thing up.




Nope. Still not doing it for me. It just looked like a dirty rag covered in caked on dried up mud… the way my old Subaru used to get all covered in mud after a weekend of mountain biking and camping in the desserts of Southern Utah.

I tried turning the room light off and turning the lamp light on. It was slightly better, but the dirty caked-on mud covered rag was still sticking with me.


Still a mud covered rag


So I think I’m going to have to let this one go. This is the part where I say, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” or “when you fall, get right back up on that [saw]horse.” I am still intrigued with the possibilities for using fabric and concrete to create something unique, but I’ll have to continue thinking about how to best use the technique so that it doesn’t look like a muddy rag. In the meantime, there are some other concrete ideas that I have in mind, so stay tuned for those. And I really do mean it when I say: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again because if you quit, well then there is no possibility of success, is there?

Cheers my friends,


This post linked to some of these wonderful blogs and here.



  1. I have had plenty of projects not turn out how I envisioned. Would you like the lace concrete better if it was painted white? You might not think it looks muddy if you paint it. Whatever you decide, you are very talented and I’m impressed with your work!

    • Thank you Virginia. That’s a really good idea. I have a can of white spray paint so I think I’ll give it a shot and see what it looks like.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Melinda and I had a fail on a project we were working on last week. Just just laughed it off, chucked it in the trash and moved on. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t…never hurts to try…well, it hurt our pride a little, lol.

  3. Hi Jenise,

    Just stopping by from Monday Funday. How true this is. I lost count of my project “fails” a long time ago, but somehow it hasn’t stopped my from forging ahead to yet another great idea! Thanks for this post.


    • Thanks Val. Yes, one must never give up the pursuit of another fabulous DIY! …Or anything else that’s important to them. :-)

  4. The idea was good though. How about if you used fabric stiffener instead of concrete? That keeps the color and the lace would still look delicate, but you could still get it what ever shape you wanted to. The light would pass through it really well too.

    • Kim, You are brilliant!!!! And you’ve just inspired me to try again. I’m definitely going to try the fabric stiffener. I can’t wait to give it a shot!

  5. Amen Sista! Love the message in this post…every successful person has stories about their failures and how they learned from them.

    Personally I kinda like your “project fail” but I’d paint it a white linen and use it outdoors with a glass candle holder inserted inside, a plant pot filled with beautiful annuals or succulents, or a vase filled with hydreanga blossoms. I think it’s cool!

    • Awe, thank you Marie. The outdoor plant pot in the garden might work. And yes, I’ve got plenty of failure stories that I’ve learned from. :-)

    • Thank you Melissa. Yes, I’m gonna give the white paint a try. Who knows, maybe it won’t be so bad after all. :-)

  6. Love the metaphor for living life. Thanks for sharing! I’m amazed at all of your crafty talent. I missed that line in heaven! Thanks for linking up to the Be.YOU.Tiful link party!

    • Awe, thank you so much Jenny. And thank you for hosting every week! It’s a lot of work and it’s much appreciated.

  7. Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream’s City of Links on Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week :)

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