Behind the Scenes: Overcoming a Bump in the Road aka the Ugliest DIY Donut Ever Created

Behind the Scenes: Overcoming a Bump in the Road aka the Ugliest DIY Donut Ever Created

Today I wanted to talk about the strange way that things seem to always go as planned in blogland.

That cool DIY project you saw on so-and-so’s blog, an amazing fashion post, or drool-worthy recipe – that all came together without a hitch, right?

Hell. to. the. no.

At least not for me. True, sometimes everything goes according to plan. But for all of those other times, when things are going less than stellar, you have to know how to overcome it and get back on track.

I don’t want to speak for everyone on this subject, so I’m just going to share my experience. And say that I frequently encounter little bumps in the road and/or larger annoying hurdles. Which may or may not be accompanied by miniature breakdowns and frequent cussing. Once I blow off a little steam, though, I put my head down and get back to work. Whether I feel like I know what I’m doing or not.

So, today, I wanted to share one of my experiences in dealing with bumps in the road, for Behind the Scenes. And I thought my watermelon donut project would be a good place to start.


Oh, no reason, really. Just this…

Behind the Scenes: Anatomy of a DIY Project

Sooo….I never post complete and utter fail photos, but in this case, I thought it was necessary. Clearly, my first attempt at these watermelon donuts didn’t go very well. Can you tell?

But I was pretty sure that I would eventually get it right, so I kept going.

Let’s back up this train a little bit though and start with my initial thought process… I had never tried to make edible paint before and I’m not exactly a whiz in the kitchen (though I am getting better). So I thought it was a smart move to mix food coloring gel and water to create an edible wash. That’s what I do when I want to thin out regular paints, so that should work, right? Nope! Didn’t work at all.

I had somehow made donuts look inedible. How was that even possible?

So, after that first (completely failed) attempt, I did some research, switched to vodka instead of water for the edible paint, and tried again. My second attempt ended up being leaps and bounds better than the first. And I learned something in the process, which I’ll use for future DIYs that require painting food. Kind of a super specific thing to have learned, but hey, it’s something. And I won’t make that mistake again.

In that first attempt, I also painted the seeds, which I decided to skip for round two, and opted for chocolate sprinkles as seeds instead. I don’t have a photo, but I actually tried three different types of spinkles before settling on the ones in the photos. So experimenting is definitely a good thing.

Lesson #1: Learn from your mistakes. And experiment, experiment, experiment.

Choosing the Right Background + Props for a Project

Behind the Scenes / finished watermelon donut DIY

Once I had all the donuts looking good, I encountered another problem though. And that was in the styling.

In the final photos for this project, I used a graphic fabric, overtop a corner of a marble slab for the background. But that’s not what I had originally planned. Initially, I thought a simple tea towel would be a good option, but after trying it out, I realized it wasn’t going to work. I was kind of hating it, actually, and was getting pretty frustrated. So, I decided a change of scenery was a good idea.

And since I don’t have a studio outside of my house, I moved my trusty marble slab into our bedroom, scooted our nightstand next to the window, and brought in my ladder. Change of scenery complete. But I still needed something for that top corner, to balance things out. I tried the donuts on the marble without any textiles, but it just didn’t work. Looked a little too plain. So, I tried a tea towel, but the red stripe clashed and didn’t have the right feel. I was going for fun and playful.

So, I fished around my fabric drawer again and found a black and white polka dot scrap that conveniently mimicked watermelon seeds and tried that. It worked. And I was able to finish arranging the donuts, along with a couple of props, to get the photos I was imagining. Project complete.

Lesson #2: Failure makes you better…As long as you keep going.

Behind the Scenes: Overcoming a Bump in the Road

And there’s my (not so short) story of how I turned a pretty hideous first attempt into a successful project.

How do you overcome issues, when you’re working on a project? Feel free to share your story and/or tips and tricks in the comments below.

And if youre looking for more ways to create beautifully styled, share-worthy tutorials, check out my Skillshare class, The How To on How Tos: Creating Compelling Tutorials for your Blog.

21 comments | Click here to reply

Wow, these are incredible!! I love that you showed us the whole process. Makes it feel like these DIY posts are actualy doable! 😉

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