Confessions of a Non-Crafty Mom

I do not craft.

This is difficult to admit, as a parent, or at least as a mother. Because mothers are supposed to be crafty. We are supposed to sit down with our kids, making masterpieces out of colorful pipe cleaners and glitter glue and beans in stapled-together paper plates.

Have you seen some of the amazing work our Iowa City Moms writers can do? Cookies, and candy, and soaps? Wow.

metals tins with colored pencils and paintbrushes
I really wish I knew how to use these things

I have never been that kind of mother. Not because I am against the idea of creativity, of course. I like to think that, at the very least, I can write a decent post.

No, it’s because I simply lack the talent.

I cannot draw a three dimensional figure that looks in any way close to what it’s supposed to represent, no matter how hard I try. I cannot sew. My pipe cleaner projects never go in the way nature intends. I am not lying to you when I say that I have met first graders who have far more crafting talent and skill than I have. Their flower pictures look like actual flowers, not just round things with random ovals sticking out and maybe a green stick coming out of the bottom.

I come from a line of crafters.

My mother sews. She made wedding dresses for me and for my sister. She made nearly all of my kids’ Halloween costumes—she even made their dolls costumes to match. It’s a shame that my own grandkids won’t have a grandma who sews, but I have neither the patience nor the skill to operate machinery or to hand stitch.

Woman and daughters in matching dresses
My mom made these. We are camouflaged.

I made a cross stitch apple once. It was tiny. It took me months to complete.

You, dear reader, might think that perhaps I just haven’t tried to the right craft. That there must be something out there that even I, with my poor fine motor skills and lack of intrinsic artistic talent, can do. I used to think that, too.

Rubber stamp art? Sure! It’s just painting marker on the stamps and then stamping it on things! Well, not when the marker dries before you get everything the way you want it.

What about those paint your own ceramics places? Yes, I’ve tried that. The vision in my head does not translate to the finished product.

I did make a duffel bag in home economics in eighth grade. It was the worst duffel bag ever made. I don’t know what became of it; I suspect it died of shame.

My children, although they enjoy drawing and painting, may have inherited my lack of craftiness. My oldest daughter took a pottery class to fulfill a fine arts requirement; she shudders at the memory of clay on her hands. My middle child is taking “Exploring Color Through Drawing” next trimester (no idea how that’s going to work in online school).

I am a patron of the arts, if not a creator.

I would love to see your websites and Facebook pages, you talented designers. Thank you for what you do; you illustrate the world for people like me to enjoy.


Sharon Falduto is a Central Iowa native who came to University of Iowa in 1991 and essentially never left the area. She is involved in local community theater, notably as one of the co-founders of Iowa City's Dreamwell Theatre. She has also directed children's plays with the Young Footliters group. Sharon works in with English Language Learners in a support position at Kirkwood Community College.. She lives in Coralville with her husband, Matt, and three daughters Rachel, Samantha, and Piper.


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