- Arts and Design
A Tribute To Regretsy
Regretsy is a blog displaying craft disasters and awful handmade items found on Etsy. April Winchell, the founder of the blog and the Regretsy concept (“where DIY meets WTF”), amused millions with her hilarious satire on items that could only be described as plain weird, badly made or disgustingly freaky.
On Etsy, users are only permitted to make nice comments on each other’s artwork, which makes for a very polite website – but Winchell wanted to unleash free speech on some of the weirder works, such as felted placentas, corn poo soaps, bad bubble gum paintings and merged animal taxidermies, for the world’s amusement. In 2009, Regretsy became a sensational internet phenomenon for crafters, with 96 million people visiting the blog within 72 hours of its origination.
Many of the creators of the spotlighted items suddenly received lots of extra traffic and international attention and even today, Regretsy items can be bought on Etsy and Ebay as replicated craftworks or original Regretsy items at phenomenal prices. Unfortunately, in February 2013, the Regretsy blog stopped publishing new finds due Winchell’s increased workload and an issue with Paypal.
This hub is a tribute to April Winchell’s Regretsy and its readers, who have created a truly marvellous achievement in creative web entertainment, while underlining the importance of free speech in internet commentary.
Angry Vagina Oil Painting
Next time you have an STD or a vaginal infection, why not paint a picture of it to hang on the lounge room wall? It would make a good feminist statement – if you want to offend everyone in the vicinity.
Apparently it is an “amazing original piece” created as part of a Vagina series. The only other one in the series I could find was a Vagina On Acid. Maybe it would be easier to create the artwork by sitting on a palette and transferring the paint to the canvas for a more realistic effect.
Bloody Not-So-Eerie Fingers Guest Soap
Just in case your guests were scared by the sight of real blood, you can use these fake bloodied finger soaps to give them a little tiny weeny scare.
Perfect for hiding in your bathroom on Halloween, because let’s face it, they just aren’t that scary. Apparently they are handmade from pure vegetable glycerine soap and you can get them in a range of colours.
Flattened Barbie Head Brooches
These brooches are good examples of downcycling – where you take something that functions OK and make it worse than the original. At first I thought the Barbie face was meant to be “artistically” stretched, but it turns out it is just a side effect from inserting a pinback button in the back of poor Barbie’s head.
According to the seller “the hair is cut and acrylic varnish [is] applied to the skin to protect from smudging”. I’m just glad the seller isn’t my hair stylist!
Adjustable Leg Ring
Supposedly shaped like legs, this ring is sure to impress – when you are not wearing it.
Shine a torch behind it to make shadows, and you'll see some unusual, alien things.
On the finger, it just looks a bit silly, like a wonky inner bike tube with a nail in the end, made in silver.
The seller went to a lot of trouble creating the concept, based on the fact that she was a rhythmic gymnast as a child and “this piece is a result of years of pointed dancer toes”.
But she needn't have bothered - it's better off as a spidery sculpture. Or maybe a Halloween napkin ring.
Whatsit Wall Art
It has charm, in it’s own, minimalist way. But is it a man with his nose sticking out and holes in his head?
Or is it a game where you break off the nose bit and try to feed it through the holes?
Apparently, it is supposed to be a “strange plant”, maybe a cactus.
Made of wood and acrylic paint in the seller’s favourite colours, it would be an addition that never quite fits in to any home.
Crocheted Cat Toy Penis
The idea for this handcraft defies description here, but firmly belongs in the nasty category of animal humiliation.
Why anyone would want to watch their cute moggy playing with personal human body parts, poo and body liquids is beyond comprehension.
You can’t help but feel very sorry for the poor cat in the photo, being forced to use the “wiener cat toy” which is “made with certified 100% organic catnip”.
The seller also creates crocheted cat toy bloodied tampons, cat toy sperm, cat toy poo, dog toy poo, crocheted Christmas penises and other disgusting items that are probably best remaining in the seller's mind.
Taxidermy Oddity Mink Bones & Moss Home Décor Vase Candle Holder
If you don’t have enough candle holders in your home, you could always buy this one at $28.65 in a desperate attempt to establish your bad taste.
A nod to the taxidermy category of Regretsy, this useless looking glass cylinder vase apparently comes with “real mink bones inside, along with 5 different varieties of moss”.
Lauded by the seller as being “one of a kind”, it probably is due to the fact that no one would want to buy it.
As a special bonus, the seller includes a candle for illumination.
Would you consider this giraffe to be "art"?
A “decorative figure” the Giraffe Green is hand painted in colours guaranteed to make your eyes hurt and your house uglier. A note from the seller says “these figurines are not meant to be used as toys” and that’s a relief, because who would want to fork out $137.54 for a child’s toy, even if it is hand painted?
Octopus Eyeball Creature Business Card Case / Wallet / Ipod Nano / Cigarette Case / Earbuds Case
Wow, just look at all the uses this thing has! It’s almost like a metal case you can buy and decorate yourself! And add extra exclamation marks to prove it!!!
The seller goes to great pains to point out that it is “handmade by me and brand new – you won’t find this design anywhere but here because this is a SHS original!” They then go on to detail exactly which piece of ID or coins or cash or how many smokes etc that can fit into this marvellous artwork. Just say no.
Vintage Retro Bright Soft Yellow Crazy Fun Cluster & Antique Gold Tone Vintage Clip On Earrings Set
If the name doesn’t confuse you, then these earrings sure will! The artist has managed to get a vat of spongy yellow fries and merge them with eyes and make earrings with them. Actually, that’s what they should be called – “Fries With Eyes Earrings”.
But nevermind, I digress. This “fun” cluster apparently was not created by the seller, but was possibly made in the early 1950s-60s by an unknown craftsperson. The backs of the earrings are heavily aged and tarnished. Next!
Cat With Missing Face
A very exciting development in the world of cats is this painting – where viewers can attempt to find the cat’s face.
Just hang it in your house and watch the fun begin.
The seller was so excited about this work, that they remarked “Oil on canvas, 39 x 48cm” and priced it for $188.98 which seems somewhat extravagant.
One is left wondering “but you don’t get a face with that!”
Twisted Antiqued Copper & Aluminium Wire Cuff
From the sound of the seller’s description, he’s obviously put a lot of work into this one, what with all the dipping, hammering, tumbling, writing, finishing, waxing, beading and other methods.
However, I am disappointed to report that while it is the seller’s favourite piece, it looks like something an eight year old crafter attempted before they figured out they’d never wear it.
The seller mentions that “copper cuffs and rings have been said to help some individuals suffering from arthritis feel better after only a few weeks of wearing them”, which adds up to an attempt to sell you an ugly bracelet for $51.58.
Twisted Ted Zombie Teddy Bear
You have to be a certain kind of person to be attracted to this bear. Maybe you watched a massacre once, or visited a Hostel.
Either way, this Zombie Teddy is sure to shock others, though no doubt you can cuddle up to it for comfort late at night after a good horror movie or breakup.
I’m glad to see the seller says “this is a piece of art not suitable for children” and even gladder that it “comes with its own certificate of authenticity” just in case they start pumping them out in China for everyone.
If you have a kid who likes dinosaurs, you can either spend $51.58 to get one of these (with the live Kentucky moss inside), or just simply cut open a $2 toy dinosaur and put in a jar. Then fill the jar with garden bits.
Going to hold up a petrol station or McDonalds but don’t have the requisite balaclava or fake beard on hand?
Well now you can buy the pattern and knit it yourself in preparation for the raid.
Never mind that it is more time consuming and expensive than the real deal – this way you’ll look as fake as they come and security cameras will be able to see most of your face if you’re silly enough to buy and make this.
Paper Collage Postcard – Surreal Mystery Man Eyes
Part of a Postcards From The Edge series, this “collage” does not seem arty enough for its price tag.
Sure, the artist went to an immense amount of trouble of cutting out a strip of eyes and gluing it onto a postcard, but there could have been more thought put in.
Apparently it’s “a fun work of art” and “bits of ephemera [are added] to vintage postcards”. What a load of codswallop.
Here's a tip - give any kid two postcards and ask them to make one. They'll do something more interesting...
Very Strange Flower Brooch
Now, I don’t want to pick on kids in Nagano, Japan, but this brooch is a little bit weird.
Its eyes are not colour co-ordinated properly and it doesn’t grab me as something I’d want to pin to my cardigan.
I agree with the seller that it is a “one of a kind, handmade, unique plush brooch”, but that’s about where it ends, because I don’t think it would make a “great present for someone”.
Mummified Fetal Pig
If you’re a collector of animal foeti or simply bored with filling your house with nice Etsy things, why not check out this “awesome little guy with no odour”.
Makes a great ornament on the coffee table and a novelty screaming point for guests.
The good news is that the seller is recycling waste from the farm fishing and science industries. So instead of being put on the garden, Fetal Pig is now treasured forever.
Kawaii Poo Moustache Charm Necklace
A “hand sculpted” polymer clay necklace charm that will add “the perfect touch of whimsy to any outfit”.
I mean, poo just isn’t the same without a moustache on it for that extra kick. Pair with khaki pants and a colostomy bag for maximum impact.
If you are a crafter and have not read Regretsy, you’re missing out on a hilarious read!
I bought the book in 2010 and it’s the most amusing craft related book I own. It’s also one that’s fun to re-read occasionally – and to inspire yourself in avoiding creating bad handcrafts.
All crafters have a collection of items that didn’t turn out quite right – but the ones in Regretsy are so bad, you’ll wonder why they were created at all - and why the creators thought they could actually sell these things online.
There's also an insightful and witty section at the back where the sellers comment on being chosen for Regretsy, as well as describing their weird items in more detail. This book is a fantastic gift idea for any type of crafter, and will keep them amused for years to come.
© 2014 Suzanne Day