My first mistake was buying into those DIY You Tube videos. I can’t even fold construction paper without severing a finger. I openly admit I'm not a crafty person.
Still, my husband got all snooty when I glued the water bill to the dining room table.
I just don’t do the hands-on part. I’m more of a…designer. I craft absolute masterpieces--in my imagination.
For my art to reach full potential however, it just requires someone talented to do the work.
So in the back of my mind I knew it was risky to plan a spooky dinner party for Halloween that involved handmade props. But the DIY videos made it look so easy. The people in those videos demonstrating almost look high they're so excited and they insist it's so simple to make "antique, blackened apothecary jars" and "Authentic Harry Potter floating candles." They claimed, “Anyone can make these in just twenty minutes!”
My old grandmother could spot insincerity in a flash, and had the wisdom of a sage. She would’ve said, “Shit fire!”
(That’s “OMG!” in rural, southern language) “That stuff on TV ain’t real.”
Grandma would’ve have been right. Those videos took hours to record and edit, not to mention the umpteen years for the crafters to bumble through their own mistakes until they’ve perfected it. Why can’t they just admit that?
With just hours heft before my party, I sat surrounded by glass jars, toilet paper tubes, spray paint, fishing line, battery-operated candles and a hot glue gun.
None of the videos tell you to practice using the glue gun first either.
You can guess how it turned out. I bought the wrong kind of gold paint to go with my black apothecary jars. In my over-confident preparation however, I made my labels saying gross stuff like “ground cockroaches” and “rat brains,” But when I finished they looked like really moldy food jars.
Then the Harry Potter candles started dropping. From the ceiling one by one, they detached themselves from the push pins, and leapt to their deaths like passengers escaping the Titanic.
In the end, the one decent, and semi-spooky prop was something I found at a second hand store. ("Cheating" my grandma would call it) I took a rag doll trimmed with straw, and hung it by a noose in our laundry room. To use our bathroom, guests would have to walk past the laundry room. They’d catch a glimpse something terrifying which looked like handiwork of some deeply disturbed child. Spooky as all get out.
During the entire night, not one person asked to use the bathroom.