An Epic Light Fail

Yup – I’m here to share another big fat failure. Corey and I have been lucky enough to be successful in the majority of our DIY endeavors so far, but this time was definitely an exception to that rule.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.

Corey and I have been on a mission in the last 9 months that we’ve lived in this home to get rid of all the awful light fixtures in it. There isn’t a single one worth saving in the whole house (they’re all awful!) and we’re big lighting people so it’s important to us that we get rid of all the ugly ones. We’ve succeeded in our bedroom and the guest room and made the awful dining room light something we could live with until we’re able to replace it. We also put in some temporary lighting in the kitchen right after we moved in (and gave one of the lights a quick makeover a few weeks ago) – a couple of the worst offenders were in the kitchen and breakfast nook, so the weekend we moved in we ran to Ikea to grab a couple of cheap-o lights until we found something we really loved.

We finally struck inspiration for what we wanted over the tulip table in the breakfast nook recently when we decided on a big, orb-shaped light that would make a big statement. We didn’t have anything specific in mind, but we knew we wanted something large and with a ton of texture. A bit of research landed us on this awesome DIY project:

(Via The Design Pages)

It’s gorgeous, has some fun texture, and is supposedly super cheap and easy to make yourself. We were totally sold – we knew this would work perfectly in our breakfast nook. All we needed was some twine, a beach ball, and some Mod Podge. Easy, right?

We decided we wanted to make ours larger than most of the ones we’d seen. After all, the goal was a giant, statement-making light fixture, so we grabbed the biggest beach ball we could find and decided to give it a go.

For perspective, allow me to remind you that is a 68 pound dog sitting next to the beach ball.

It was messy, frustrating, and incredibly tedious to wrap the entire beach ball with twine and get it to actually stay on the ball without sliding right off (especially since we had rubbed the whole ball down with Vaseline to prevent it from sticking once it was dry), but with some team work and quite a bit of patience we managed to get it done over a couple of nights. We had to break it up into two nights because if we tried to wrap the bottom of the ball there was no way it would stay on – so we did the top half, let it dry, and then came back the night night to flip it over and do the other side. It all seemed to be working really well and we got really excited about how amazing our light was going to look.

Getting ready to do the second half of the ball

Once we finished up, we let it dry for several nights (we wanted to make sure it was good and dry!) and then we excitedly pulled it out of the garage where it was drying to remove the beach ball. I poked a hole in the ball and we watched as it deflated, gently pulling the twine away from the ball to make sure it didn’t stick.

Only, about halfway through, we realized something was very, very wrong.

Yeeeeeeeeeeah. The twine didn’t stay in its form at all and completely collapsed in on itself as the air went out of the ball. We think that our problem was that we chose a ball that was entirely too large for the twine to be able to hold itself up, and we also didn’t use nearly enough twine to make it sturdy – but at the point where we stopped wrapping we had run out of twine and patience, so there was no way we were getting any more on there!

We briefly considered trying again with a smaller ball (and more twine), but we decided it had been entirely too much work (and way more frustrating than we thought it would be) so we let our dream of a giant twine light fixture go.

Luckily, we ended up finding a pretty good replacement that was way easier (and didn’t involve much effort on our part) that I’ll be sharing with y’all later this week. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!

Tell me about your last epic DIY failure!

Pssssst – I’m over at Married Up With Wine today talking about vacation styles. If you wanna read about mine and Corey’s vacation of choice, pop on over to check it out!

14 comments

  1. Lauren says:

    Sorry it didn’t work out, but I can’t wait to see the replacement! I came close to a failure on my last project and am sure there will be more in the future.

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  2. Ashley says:

    I’m sorry this didn’t work, but OH MY GOSH this is so Craft Fail worthy!

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    Amanda Reply:

    I totally submitted it! We’ll see if it’s really worthy. :)

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  3. Lisa says:

    OMG – I totally spit cookie all over my desk when I got to the “nailed it” pic! I’m sorry you went through all that frustration but you so have to look back on it and laugh. Can’t wait to see the replacement!

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    Amanda Reply:

    Haha, yes, we’re already laughing at it. It’s pretty pathetic, but at least it’s funny! :)

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  4. Jamie says:

    Wow, I made a TON of smaller balls for my wedding. I totally feel your fustration!!!!! We used equal parts white glue, cornstarch and water. It worked really well, as long as the yarn / twin was totally dried and solid! I’m looking foward to seeing your replacement!

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  5. Sarah says:

    This reminds me of paper mache` projects. Isnt that the flour water mixture paste stuff? kind of like for casts? Oh man, it looked SO COOL! I wish it worked. I KNOW you will find a better compouind to use.

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