How to Succeed at Messing Up a Project Without Really Trying

Once upon a time there was a totally fictional blogger named Luula.

She loved to give sad things makeovers to make them happy, and she shared this on her blog for all the world to see.

One day she found a very sad looking vintage jewelry box that she thought really needed her, and she brought it home to give it a new life.

“Don’t worry ugly jewelry box, I’ll save you.” she said so proud of herself.


decoupaged vintage jewelry box makeover

But once she got it home she struggled and struggled about what to do with it. Her brain was just spinning with so many ideas.

She really wanted to save this very unhappy jewelry box from continuing to suffer a life of boring blah beigedom.


decoupaged vintage jewelry box makeover

The problem was she didn’t like any of her ideas, so she prayed for a good one.

She knew that one good idea was worth more than a million bad ones, but she couldn’t stop the bad ideas from coming. They kept popping into her mind like a crappy song that you can’t get out from under your skin.

Then one day, long after she had given up and put the jewelry box away, the magic happened.

She had an idea… and she thought it was a good one.


decoupaged sheet music jewelry box makeover

She carefully gave the outside a makeover…


decoupaged jewelry box makeover

and then she painstakingly gave the inside a makeover.

The jewelry box was very happy so she posted her jewelry box makeover on her blog.

She even shared it at a few link parties that she loved to join.

Then a few days later the unthinkable happened.


decoupaged vintage jewelry box makeover

She was putting away the supplies that she used for the makeover and she saw the cover of the sheet music book… and for a second she froze.

“No,” she said to herself. “I couldn’t have done that…. could I?”

She ran to see the jewelry box and sure enough there it was.

How could she not have seen it?


decoupaged music sheet vintage jewelry box makeover

The words should read The World Famous Waltz Album, but instead they read The World Waltz Famous Album.


Well, for a moment she was absolutely dumbfounded… and then she laughed.

She seriously couldn’t help herself.

The words were the very last things she added and she couldn’t believe that she hadn’t seen it, but there it was… in vintage black and white… staring her in the face with a wink and a nod.

So, what to do now?

She thought about fixing it, but no… somehow that just didn’t feel right. Since the sweet jewelry box didn’t know any better it was still much happier than it was before.


decoupaged music sheet vintage jewelry box makeover

So, Luula decided to keep it real. Why?

Because it makes her chuckle… every time she sees it, and that’s worth more than anything that perfection could ever give her.

In her neck of the woods laughter makes the world go round.

That’s funny! It’s the same in my neck of the woods where our mottos are ‘Laugh and Learn’ and ‘Almost Perfect is Perfect Enough For Me’.

Any other resemblance between Luula and myself is purely coincidental. 😉 haha!

I’m laughing and learning friends. Laughing and learning.

I hope you are too. Life’s just too short to sweat the small stuff.

Oh and just  in case you were wondering, Luula and her almost perfect jewelry box lived happily ever after. 🙂

The. End.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!



I sometimes share my projects and posts at these fabulous parties listed here.


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  1. Girl, if you hadn’t mentioned it, I would have never noticed! But I feel your laughter. A few years ago I was taking care of an almost 2 year old adorable boy and decided to do one of those cement stepping stones for his dad for Father’s day. I got him to put his foot prints in it…..actually, I couldn’t stop him from putting his footprints in it! Then with the letter patterns wrote on it….”Following in your footsteps”. Except I forgot the ‘ow’. So it came out “Folling in your footsteps”. Yes, I chuckle as I write this……………..Dona

    1. I feel your laughter too Dona. That stepping stone sounds adorable. I can just see those little feet wanting in that cement. 🙂 I still don’t know how I didn’t see those words. I must have looked at them dozens of times before publishing the post. It’s so funny how my eyes play tricks on me sometimes. Or maybe it’s my brain. lol.

  2. Lol!! Great story… Luula is a trooper and she sounds very talented… even the most talented of people mess up now and then ;o)


    1. Thanks so much Tania! I’ll make sure to pass your kind words on to Luula. 😉

  3. HAHAHAHAHA! A great way to start my day! How funny – and how many of us saw that make over and didn’t catch that!? I love it and I’m glad you kept it that way and shared it with us. I worked on a project for over an hour yesterday before throwing in the towel and deciding to ‘sleep’ on it and see if I can ‘fix’ or revise it. Can you believe I woke up several times last night thinking about this stupid bird feeder that I’m trying to turn into a planter???

    1. Thanks Lauren! I think it’s important to be able to laugh at ourselves. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been where you are with your project. Sometimes I just have to put it away for awhile and then the answer comes to me. Unfortunately this time when the answer came to me I still managed to mess it up lol. For me the most fun part about repurposing is the actual figuring out of how to do something… even when it’s a struggle. When an idea comes to me it’s almost like a riddle that I need to find the answer to. Sometimes the riddles I give myself are very hard. lol. And they’ve kept me up at night too. When that happens I stop myself and do a little more thinking. After all this creative repurposing thing should be fun. Right? I know you’ll figure it out. 🙂

  4. Haha, I love it. I just made a blooper while making pillows…didn’t learn on the first one and repeated said mistake on the second. Fortunately it’s on the back so it’s good enough! Yay for not sweating the small stuff!

    1. Thanks Cecilia! I love that you’re still using your pillows. I’m sure they’re imperfectly beautiful. 🙂

  5. I love people who can laugh about themselves, so Luula is definitely my kind of girl. 🙂 The box turned out very pretty and I’m sure she likes her new look too.
    Have a happy weekend, Tuula!
    xo Julia

    1. Thanks so much Julia! I think you and Luula have a lot in common. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

  6. I got a huge laugh out of your title . . .it runs true to many a project, LOL
    The good thing is we learn from your mistakes 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Connie! You’re so right about the any a project thing. I wish I could say this was my only blooper. I do try to learn from my mistakes, but I can’t make any promises. lol.

  7. Mary Boger says:

    Dear Luula, Don’t worry, your magically newly lovely
    jewel box is even more unique than intended! Perhaps this
    was Mlle Jewelry Boxes way of controlling her destiny.
    Still wonderful….don’t stress.

    1. Luula thanks you Mary. What a wonderful way of looking at it. 🙂

  8. Life is short – have a chuckle – keep the project – it is truly one of a kind!!

    1. Thanks Colleen! I couldn’t agree with you more. 🙂

  9. If you didn’t point it out, I wouldn’t have noticed! It is still a fabulous makeover and a cute story that makes good blog content. Win, Win!!

    1. Thanks AnnMarie! I’m still very happy with the jewelry box, but I also still can’t believe that I didn’t see those words. Through the photo taking, the photo editing, and the writing of the post. It’s really too funny to me. 🙂

  10. Hi Tuula and Luula, my name is Muula. My projects that have a mistake are my favorites. I have many…but my latest was an aqua glob glass yard art project. I did it one night when the lighting wasn’t the best. The next day when I saw the green mixed in by accident, I laughed out loud !

    1. haha! Hi Muula. I so agree with you about the mistakes thing. It does make those projects even more one of a kind, and a learning experience… which I tend to remember more. I’m so glad that you love your aqua/green glass globe. I’m sure it’s beautiful!

  11. I actually looked at the original all the way through and never noticed…and had to study this picture for a bit before “seeing” what Luula thought was a mistake…lol As Tim Holtz says ” Embrace the Imperfections” which makes life a lot easier and fun!!!!

    1. Absolutely Dixie! I couldn’t agree more. Life is a lot more fun when we allow ourselves to be imperfect. 🙂

  12. Never saw it! Haha! I thought you were going to say the waltz book really was world famous or something, and you cut it up….hahaha either way! Glad you can laugh about it….doesn’t matter anyway since you’re keeping it. If I was going to try to sell it, it might bother me b/c then I would be worried it would bother somebody else.

    1. Thanks Florence! If I did cut up a world famous book I’m not so sure I could laugh about it. Oh, on second thought, I probably could. lol.

  13. mary scott says:

    Let’s admit it. Perfect is boring! & I am personally familiar with “for a second she froze”. Thanks

    1. I absolutely agree with you Mary! If everything was perfect life would be boring. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s had that moment. 🙂

  14. I have down something similar – you’re just brave enough to mention it. The new title definitely makes you chuckle a bit.

    1. My jewelry box makes me chuckle. Still can’t believe I did that, but I guess it’s happened to all of us once or twice… or in my case more. lol.

  15. I’m not sure if I would have noticed it if you didn’t point it out! LOL! I love it and it makes me smile.

    xo Dianne

    1. Thanks so much Dianne! If a mistake makes me smile then I count it as a win. 🙂 This mistake is a keeper.

  16. ColleenB. says:

    No matter what; It’s Very unique and it’s one of a kind

    1. Thank very much Colleen! 🙂

  17. Don’t worry, I can relate. I have been misreading and mis-saying things for a while. It is fine as is.

    1. Thanks so much Ramona! Me too. lol.

  18. I thought it looked great before you announced the mistake, and I still do! Sometimes it’s easier said than done to not sweat the small stuff, but I’m right there with ya! xo Kathleen

    1. Thanks Kathleen! I hear you on that. I tell myself that mistakes are just learning experiences. I’ve learned a lot over the years. lol.

  19. Tuula, such a funny story–I guess your made-over jewelry box is more special than ever, now 🙂 I have about twenty projects with files on my computer that I’ve decided for one reason or another are basically duds. I’m not sure why I’m keeping the files, though. In case of emergency?!! Thanks for sharing your “mess up” with us all at Vintage Charm–

    1. Thanks Diana! Strangely enough it is more special. I sometimes think that one person’s dud is someone else’s awesome. I tell myself that anyway. lol.

  20. Love it…yes I posted my ” fail “on hometalk….just so we get the idea it’s ok to “fail”.. ..we all do sometimes. And even if it’s not a fail,sometimes it is just not a good or pretty result. But it is not a big deal. Just shows we are human. However ,just so you know,I didn’t notice it,or didn’t know the difference! I think it looks lovely.

    1. Thanks very much Bernice! It was a fail noticed after the fact. I still can’t believe I didn’t notice it. It makes me laugh at myself. 🙂