Keep at it: craft disaster turned win

This year Miss Rebecca had one wish: a fun Pusheen inspired cake.

Now… I’m a person who can not decorate a cake to save her life! Me & frosting? piping? forget it! Ah but to make a layered cake would save SO much over buying one. I would have had to pay someone a ridiculous amount for a themed cake so… I went for it. And I failed. But I kept at it. I fixed it. Making frosted cakes look good? Difficult! It reminds me that in crafting I have a few rules: 

  • Creativity is a muscle best exercised regularly
  • You can’t just expect to try something and be an expert right away
  • Work through the ugly phase. Many of my projects go through them!
  • When in doubt: keep it simple

And above all – I learn more from craft fails than anything else! It’s ok! So I was SO super careful making level cake and frosting and all this… and when I stepped back:

You know how you’re in something and thinking oh this is brilliant… step back and it’s a mess? I made jokes this was Sleeping Beauty’s sliding mess of a cake. This was… well it was a disaster. I was seriously considering pretending to fall and whoops drop it. Alas – there’s no budget or time for a re-do so I stuck to the plan and sketch I had made despite how ugly and messy this sucker looked.

The plan had been to put 1/2 donuts around the base… I decided for height and also to help cover up the ugly to keep them whole. Then I stuck with the mini marshmallow plan and used a bit of white frosting to place and glue each one. Not bad…

Sticking to the plan I crafted a few banners and stuck them into the cake with lollipop sticks. Just basic craft supplies here – paper, twine, and alphabet stickers. The final touch were a pair of Pusheen (her favorite cat/character) party stuffed animals. Because I had coated the top layer of cake in pink candy coating there was no stickiness, no mess on them! Now it also helped make the cake seem tilted and messy – so not great in that regard.

side note: covering oreos & strawberries (pretzels, etc) in candy coating is my favorite way to look themed/coordinated and create EASY additions

The girls all went wild for this cake, and my daughter informed them that I’m the best. That I can do anything. One girl even asked if I could decorate her a cake for her birthday because she’s never seen anything like this.

It was all so amazing to hear, and truly so uplifting on a hard week that had me feeling extra beat down and “fail” in general. It also reminded me that it doesn’t matter if yours is “best” or if you are #1 in skills. Play, explore, create, and just don’t worry!!! The joy is in the process and you won’t know if something could work out or not until you really try!

As I work towards embracing creativity throughout my life – well I just thought this was one story and experience I wanted to document with you here. I would love to hear what you’ve been working on lately.

8 thoughts on “Keep at it: craft disaster turned win”

  1. May it is an awesome cake. I thought when I first saw it that you had someone make it for you!! So glad the girls loved it!! Your the best mama!!

  2. They will remember that you did this and not whether it was “perfect” — good job, May! The first version looked really pretty from here. You’re brave — I’ve never made a cake that wasn’t a single sheet in a 9 x 13 pan. 🙂

  3. For someone who is not a cake decorator, you did okay! The truth is that the kids are going to think you’re a genius, even if you think it’s not great. All that really matters is that it tastes good (although I think it looks pretty cute, too).

  4. I LOVE this and my daughter would too. I just ordered her a Stormy plush for part of her CHristmas present. I have made all of my daughter’s cakes (she is 10) and there is only one that I would have said was “good” but she has loved every one. Like the previous commenter said – your daughter will always remember that you did that for her and as you can see, from the feedback her and her friends gave you, you are a rockstar to her.

  5. I don’t think it looked bad in the before pics – but it certainly looks amazing now! I bet it was a big hit!

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