Most BRILLIANT Craft Fail

Most Brilliant Craft in the History of All Crafts -- but then something goes TERRIBLY awry... #FUNNY #playdate #party #kids #paint #arts&crafts #DIY #humor

So then…I dart around the craft table, setting out supplies in a wild-eyed frenzy.

It’s Group Playdate Prep Time — and I’m a whirling dervish setting up the kids’ activity for the 12 excitable 4-year-olds about to come crashing onto my patio for festive frolicking!

Sweat forms on my upper lip as I ensure I’ve thought of EVERYTHING.

I shall not be like my sweet friend Kim — who innocently packed her son’s adorable cow piñata with those individually-wrapped miniature chocolate bites — then hung the piñata on a backyard tree – 6 hours before the party — on a 102 degree day.

She unknowingly created a veritable cow “crockpot” where those little chocolates simmered and boiled and broiled. By the time the kids had all whacked and thwacked that poor cow, it burst open, spewing melted chocolate all over the place. It was HILARIOUS – to us, of course — but not so much to Kim – especially when her son gleefully yelled, “My piñata’s POOPING!”

And I shall not be like me — when I provided darling little treasure chest craft kits to the kids at the group playdate I hosted last summer. How was I to know the jewels intended for decorating the chests looked like delicious little candies, causing all the moms to hover nervously to ensure no one ingested a ruby or sapphire? A swallowed gem would mean a mom’s on poop patrol to reclaim that little “treasure.”

Nope, this time, I shall prevail. No Poop Patrols. No Pooping Piñatas!

I’ve cleverly purchased white t-shirts (in a variety of sizes!),

NON-toxic fabric paints (in a variety of colors!),

and brushes (in plentiful supply!)

plus stencils of amazing shapes and designs –

and plastic aprons for everyone!


My sweet 4 year old Chloe and her pals have a blast decorating the white t-shirts.

Moms ooh and ahh over the stenciled hearts, flowers, and moons.

Kids painstakingly create intricate designs with many colors.

Moms and kids make adorable HANDPRINTS and stencil their NAMES on their shirts.

This craft is going over fabulously!

I take a moment to bask in my brilliance.

After snacks and games, my playdate guests make their way home, excitedly holding their personalized crafts aloft so the shirts can dry.

A spectacular success!

The next week, Chloe asks, “Can I wear my painted shirt tomorrow?” Sure!

I toss it in the washer, then when the cycle’s done, I pull it out – and the shirt’s completely WHITE.

WHERE THE HELL did the paint go? Where’s the butterfly – the rainbow – the lopsided flowers – the stenciled “Chloe?”

I look in the washing machine. No paint.

So now I have a frikkin’ plain white t-shirt.

I’m holding the thing in complete shock, wondering what I’m gonna tell Chloe.

And then I gasp because I realize that if this happened to OUR shirt – it probably happened to the shirts of our 12 playdate guests!


Did I buy the wrong paint? The wrong shirts?

I Google “fabric paint washed off shirts WTF!” — and see directions about PRE-washing the shirts – ensuring they’re 100% cotton – IRONING the painted designs with wax paper to SET the paint before washing it – and all SORTS of other things that might’ve prevented my DISAPPEARING DESIGN FIASCO.

I explain it all to Chloe and throw myself on the mercy of the court. She’s quickly mollified by a rousing game of hide and seek and 3 Oreos, so the UN-painted shirt is quickly forgotten.

But here’s the odd thing. I don’t receive one phone call or text about the disappearing paint from ANY of the moms who attended the playdate!

So help me solve the mystery:

a) They’ve never WASHED the shirts – they just let their tykes re-wear the painted shirts over and over without cleaning them!

b) Their kid hasn’t WORN the shirt yet, so it’s a little surprise time bomb just waiting to go off as soon as they try to wash it.

c) The moms have ALREADY washed the shirts, discovered the paint disappeared, and are much too polite to ever mention it to me.

c) Mine’s the ONLY shirt that turned white.  (IhopeIhopeIhope)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any similar disasters at your parties or playdates? Can you solve the mystery of the silent moms?  Give me your best conspiracy theories!)

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45 replies on “Most BRILLIANT Craft Fail

  1. Amanda said:

    Baaahhhhaaaa! Oh I was so rooting for you in this story! Way to Go! Great Job! Mom of the year! Best playdate Ever! Sorry that I laughed out loud at the white shirt…. My guess is you bought those paints that clean right off. Like the markers that you can buy and if the kids draw on the walls or table, it wipes right off? I’ve never heard of ironing paint or “setting” the paint. But I’m not a mom, or crafty. Maybe the other moms are just being polite. Who knows! Great story though! Keep em coming!!

    • Thanks, Amanda! I was definitely feeling all cocky about my spectacular crafting skills…and then…not so much. Ha!

  2. Oh, God. I can’t even imagine. Not that I would ever a) invite that many kids to my house to b) do anything potentially messy. I’m just not that good a mom.

    I’m going with D, too polite. But they’re probably talking about it amongst themselves.
    Cassandra recently posted..Perils of a Liberal Male: The Jennifer Lawence EditionMy Profile

    • Exactly! I’d HOPED they’d all be whispering about what a FABULOUS playdate-hoster I am — and instead they’re probably whispering, “Did we really just spend 90 minutes decorating shirts with non-stick paint? That Darcy is such a wackadoodle!”

  3. April said:

    I’m saying they didn’t call to tell you. I would NEVER think to “set” frickin’ paint. Why is it, the stuff that is supposed to stay forever, washes out, but Kool-Aid lasts a life time?

    • Oh my Lord – YES — the frickin’ Kool-Aid is a thousand times more permanent than permanent paint! I’d take 12 tipsy adults, each holding a glass of red wine to the brim, salsa dancing in my living room before I’d take ONE kid with ONE cup of cherry Kool-Aid!!!

  4. Arionis said:

    It’s probably option D, but with all the hilarious experiences you’ve had with other Moms, you’d think at least one of them would have said something by now. I wanted to come up with another funny option but I couldn’t think of anything. So I am going with secret option F) BECAUSE JUSTIN BIEBER.

    • Bwahaha! I love you for remembering our catch-all excuse for ANYTHING that goes wrong: “Because Justin Bieber!” YES!

      • Arionis said:

        You know you could make Justin a T-shirt that says you’re his #1 Fan and then when he washes it and it disapears you could be like, “HA! Just kidding!”

        • That is actually GENIUS!! I sense a whole new line of “ironic” celebrity merchandise — now you see their undying devotion — now you don’t! All thanks to Darcy’s Wonder Paint!

          • Arionis said:

            Awesome! Think of how much money you could make on the Kardasians alone? Don’t forget my cut. :)

          • Ha! Got ya covered!

  5. Julie said:


    I am glad I am old, and poor, I just had kids over and let them play. Whatever floated their boats. Summertime? fill the kiddie pool and here’s some squirt guns! Winter? pull out all the beanie babies! PB&J’s for everyone! (I can only imagine the pinata!)

    My guess is they either hadn’t washed them yet or they have and maybe think they did something wrong and are afraid to tell anyone. Like they are the lone idiot. That’s probably how I would react. Then I would work feverishly to recreate the design before anyone noticed.

    Sounds like everyone had fun T-D, so I would call it a success!

    • You’re a spin-master, Julie! You’re right — I should be bragging, “Hey Moms, wasn’t that a cool magic trick how that paint disappeared in your washing machine? Now the painted design will RE-APPEAR on that shirt exactly 20 years from today. Yes, definitely keep me posted.” HA!

    • THANK YOU, Kristine, now I don’t feel like such a knucklehead! Glad I’m in good company! We mean well…but sometimes it just doesn’t quite work out the way we intended! Ha!

  6. Somewhere in LA, a Goodwill Store has 11 painted tee shirts in a bin waiting to be put out for sale. Kudos to you though going above and beyond the call of duty for a 4 year old’s play date. Lol, duty.
    Don recently posted..A shooting a mother and her baby…My Profile

  7. Ha! I can picture the whole thing.
    With any luck the other moms think it’s their fault that the paint disappeared. They are just hoping and praying that the topic never comes up. If I were you I would do them a favor and leave it alone : )

    • Ooooo, I like the way you think, Millie! That would be hysterical is ALL 13 of us thought we were individually to blame — and too chicken to admit it! Ha!

  8. Judy P said:

    I vote paint eating alien life form.

    • That would certainly be the most interesting! And maybe they’d make a Lifetime movie about us!

  9. Had this been a poll, I would have been upset that “All of the above” was not one of the options.

    And at great risk of life and limb, I will quote something my ex-wife used to say to me on a regular basis . . .

    “Why didn’t you just read the instructions”?

    Yeah, I know. Sorry. It used to piss me off too.

    • Instructions? We don’t need no stinkin’ instructions!
      Oh wait, maybe we do…

  10. If it were me, I probably wouldn’t have washed the shirt yet. But then, I’m incredibly lazy, so that’s probably not very helpful to you!!
    Roshni recently old couples fight!My Profile

    • So THAT’S where I went wrong! Just don’t wash the clothes! I like it! It’s a real time saver!

  11. F.) the t-shirts were mysteriously lost on the way home from the party. Because aliens. For the record, I don’t know, but I would like the name of your detergent.

    • HA! Because Aliens. Exactly.
      Ha! that’s some damn fine detergent, right? TIDE!

    • Hope springs eternal! But in my case, my adventures usually include bodacious blunders and hilarious humiliations! But life’s more fun that way! :o)

  12. Given the flawless manner in which the playdate went off, the moms probably left with a massive sense of inferiority and so when they went home, washed the t-shirts and realised all the paint had come off, they probably put it down to a lack of being awesome.
    Or they’re so angry they told their children who will take it out on your children and then there will be an all out Lord of the Flies-esque war, which will require some war paint I imagine. It’ll be messy, but hey, at least you know it’ll wash out.

    • HA! Lord of the Flies-esque War! That would be hilarious!

    • You should’ve seen the look on my face — I was gobsmacked!

  13. Well if it were me and I was one of the parents I would have figured that I had done something wrong and sworn my kid to secrecy! I’m sure it would have cost me something though.
    Rena McDaniel recently posted..ABOUT “AROUND CHARLESTON”My Profile

    • It would be so funny if EACH of us thought we were the only one who messed it up! Ha!

  14. Paul said:

    That was hilarious Darcy! I really thought you had it nailed – which you did. Good work. I loved the story of the chocolate pinata. Sort of seen that done before. We had a choclate buyer where I worked before who bought 20 pallets of Zero Bars real cheap in February. He ordered them stored in the long term part of the warehouse, hoping to resell them quickly for a profit or put them on sale at a later time. He forgot them (even though he got an itemized inventory of his department storage monthly) unil July. Normally they were stored in a refrigerated room but there was no space and so they were in the warehouse on a top rack at his orders. $80,000 of melted Zero Bars – he almost got canned for that one. Ha!

    Anyway, we (my ex and I) had a party for our 10 year old daughter one birthday and she and her friends wanted a boy included, who hung with them regularly. After the activities, they retired to her room (all of them) to giggle. My ex and I relaxed and they came down about 1/2 hour later with the boy’s hair tinted pink from Kool aid. Apparently his Mother had agreed, so what can you do?

    • Paul said:

      Sorry, I forgot to mention, I’m sure all the other Moms thought they had done something wrong when the T-shirts came out blank – just don’t mention it and no one else will either. Ha! Too funny.

    • Oh, man, $80,000 in melted chocolate bars! OUCH!
      And pink KoolAid tinted hair? Hilarious! Cool Mom to go along with that one!

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