Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF

Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF

by April Winchell




A chicken poncho. A painting of a corn dog. A clock made out of an old “mostly clean” cheese grater. All this and more await you in the pages of Regretsy, a veritable sideshow of handcrafts gone wrong. Based on the eponymous hit blog and arranged in categories such as Décor, Pet Humiliation, and Christmas, Regretsy showcases the best of the worst, ranging from the hilariously absurd to the purely horrifying. Each page of this jaw-dropping volume features the actual seller’s online listing with a light coat of snarky commentary to give it a good shellacking. So join us as we descend into handmade hell and gawk, gasp, and marvel at the disturbingly odd artifacts that Regretsy has collected for your viewing pleasure, proving that you can never have too much of a bad thing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345523181
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/06/2010
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

April Winchell has enjoyed a multi-faceted career in the entertainment industry, working as an advertising executive, a radio show host, a comedy writer, and a voice actress. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Read an Excerpt


Where DIY Meets WTF
By April Winchell


Copyright © 2010 April Winchell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780345523181

Chapter One

I'll admit it: I'm not as whimsical as I used to be.

And I used to be plenty whimsical, believe me. I had a messenger bag made out of a welcome mat. I had two pairs of the same pumps in different colors, and often wore one of each. I wore a hat made out of a paper bag. Really, I was one step away from clown college.

These days, I just don't have the energy for that kind of shit. Maybe it's a function of aging, but I find myself much less willing to tie birds to my head or wear giant felt pins that look like breakfast foods. So it's kind of a shame that Etsy came into existence as I was already growing out of that stuff, because it truly is the clearinghouse for whimsical fuckery.

As of this writing, a search of Etsy's handmade category brings up more than 33,000 items tagged "whimsical." That's an assload of whimsy. Parenthetically, there are more than 100 items tagged "whimsicle," but that's more sad than funny.

Whimsy, insofar as jewelry and accessories are concerned, seems to mean one of two things: either the proportions are wrong, or the object is made with unexpected materials. Proportional whimsy could mean a twelve-foot scarf or a cowl that obscures your entire head, or, conversely, it could mean an extremely tiny hat. Whimsical materials could mean a necklace of teddy bear heads or a trench coat made of attic insulation. It is important to note, however, that whimsy is not the same as upcycling, which is basically taking garbage and making something useless out of it.

It might seem like a lot now, but at one point in my life, 1,600 pages of whimsy would have been a tease. I couldn't get enough of that smirking, winking fabulousness. I loved the theatricality of it all: necklaces made from Formica samples, vintage men's pajamas as outerwear, piles of costume jewelry from obsessive thrift store scavenging. I adored my rhinestone-studded cigarette holder, my fingerless gloves, my neon socks, my Mary Janes with kitten faces on them. I basked in the wholly unwarranted confidence that anything looked great if you meant it.

And it's true that attitude does go a long way. But as with any road trip, there are markers in the road that keep you from drifting out of your lane and into oblivion. And I distinctly recall a moment in my mid-twenties when I first heard the sound of driving over them.

I was working as a receptionist in a law firm, and I had become friendly with the office manager. Beth was an older woman with a son in high school, and he had developed an interest in acting. While I wasn't pursuing it at the time, it was common knowledge that my mother and father were in the business, and that I had worked as a child actress for a number of years.

Beth came by my desk one morning and asked what I was doing that weekend. For reasons I still don't understand, I said, "Nothing," then watched in abject horror as she dropped two tickets to her son's high school production of The Crucible on my desk. I started to demur, but she quickly said, "Oh, they're free." And, leaning closer, she whispered, "Industry comps."

I quickly called my friend Debi, who, like me, heard "industry comps" first, "Crucible" second, and "high school" not at all. We arranged to meet at her house several hours before the show, so we'd have enough time to get ready.

It was late October, so this event called for a fall wardrobe. I packed up all my sweaters and leggings-despite the fact that it was in the mid-seventies in the valley-and drove to her house with the air-conditioning on full blast.

Anticipating my arrival, Debi had already laid out her entire wardrobe on the bed and stolen a pack of her mother's Parliaments. We began the arduous task of making it work, and if this had been a John Hughes movie, this is where the montage would have gone.

Debi settled on a green wraparound Danskin dress and an enormous antebellum hat, which is always a good choice for theater-going. I chose a knee-length zebra sweater with purple spandex leggings and bright orange platforms. And as we left the house, lingering in the mirrored foyer of her mother's condo, we felt every bit as fabulous as we were convinced we looked.

The first half of the play was horrible though uneventful. No one even complained about Debi's hat (though I realize now that the people behind us were probably grateful for the distraction). As the lights came up for intermission, Debi and I went outside to smoke and look important.

We were standing in the courtyard, trying to figure out how we could leave early without Beth hearing about it, when I noticed two women staring at us. They weren't even talking, really, just staring. It suddenly occurred to me that they must have heard us pick up our "industry comps" at will-call and were trying to figure out who we were! I was about to share this theory with Debi when one of the ladies suddenly turned to her friend and said, "Oh that's right, it's tomorrow."

It took a second or two before I realized that it was October 30.

Aerial Photo

Mermaid Hair Clip



I never answer.

and she always wonder if that funny knot hurts.

so she sits,

especially in the evening

when cream and ribbons smells alike.

If I had to wear a Barbie doll and two pounds of broken jewelry on my head, I wouldn't be happy, either. But for God's sake, at least try to smile. This looks like a hostage photo at the Mattel plant.


Birch Bark Purse - very unique, one of a kind (OOAK) special occasion hand bag


"Special occasion"? What kind of special occasion? A lumberjack wedding? I don't know about you, but I don't have the coordination to hold a log and a drink at the same time. How about we just put this in the fireplace and call it Christmas?

Party Platter

RITZY in BLACK - cocktail ring - 2.75 inch CERAMIC



Make a huge statement with this bold ceramic cocktail ring. It has a diameter of 6.5 centimetres and is adorned with feathers and tiny beads which create an elegant cuff over the hand.

Be the envy of all.

It's called a "cocktail ring" because you can balance a twelve-ounce tumbler on it. And it's ceramic, so you're all set when the hot hors d'oeuvres come out.

Perfectly Charmin

Astrid Spats



Whether it be a wedding, a summer stroll, or even (yes!) to work, wherever you choose to wear these babies, you will be noticed.

If you really want to be noticed, try crapping your pants on the bus. It might not be ironic, but it's less embarrassing than wearing yellow spats to (yes!) work.


Brooch with Vintage Buttons



Two vintage celluloid buttons were stacked and adhered with epoxy to create this spiffy brooch. Two layers of black wool felt have been hand sewn to the back along with a silver plated brooch clasp. Pin them on a jacket, coat, hat or purse for a swell look!

Tell her you'd marry her all over again with a prolapsed anus.

Cereal Killer

Golden Cheerio

$ 5.25


Hand burnished with gold leaf then dipped in a bath of clear resin, strung on a gorgeous 18" sterling silver ball strand chain.

Please do not eat this cheerio.

Free first class shipping.

Stays elegant, even in milk!

Bird Brain

Crimson Bliss



black satin headband with a sheer burgundy bow, a vintage style gold and white charm and a 6" white dove

So, let's see. There's a black satin headband, and a burgundy bow, and a gold and white charm, and what else?.?.?.?what else?.?.?.?oh yeah, A GIANT FUCKING BIRD GLUED TO YOUR HEAD

Looking Sharp

Coca Cola Bottlecap Fun Earrings for women

by Justine Justine





whatever you call it, i love it! its eco-friendly and funky!

these bottlecap-earrings are made with love and dedication in Mexico

Tetanus shots not included.

Wing It




This little brooch wants to go have fun with you.

It also wants to look like a butterfly. But that isn't going to happen, either.

Cold Stone Fox

Ice cream headache headband



This Ice Cream Headache headband is surprisingly light on the head, as the creamy delicacies are purely paper pulp!

Hilarity ensues as people ask "what's that on your head?"

And you say, "It's a headband with a plastic dish full of fake paper ice cream glued to it!"

And they say, "Did you make that?"

And you say, "No, I bought it for twenty dollars."

And that's when everybody starts laughing.

Scum and Get It

Charming Pond Scum Amoeba Pendant



This charming pond scum green amoeba pendant features a beautiful clear contractile vacuole. This amoeba is voracious, as you can see by the six highly developed pseudopods. If you would like to purchase the matching earrings, just Convo me and I'll make a separate listing for two small amoeba, one large one and a dear little paramecium.

"Your pond scum is lovely!"

"Really? Do you think so?"

"I do! Normally I don't go in for unicellular ciliate protozoa, but that's just got Eukaryota written all over it."

"What a relief! I thought it might be clashing with my blepharisma!"

I'd Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me

Glow in the dark zombie brain cameo



Glow in the dark brain on a brass cameo. Cameo comes on an 18 inch brass colored necklace with lobster claw clasp. Cameo measures 1 inch high and .75 inches wide.

It glows in the dark to remind you how stupid it is.

Beaded Seat Cover

Still Life Panties



These are upcycled panties painted with a still life of flowers in a vase on my kitchen table. they are intended to be displayed clothes pined to a clothing line. ill include some twine and two clothes pins and you do the rest. they are double sided so if you want to change things up simply flip them over!

I bought a pair of these once. Oh, they were pretty, but I don't recommend wearing them to spin class.

Lunatic Fringe

Tassel and Studs Chic Shades



These are lots of fun. I added tassels and studs to the frame of this cool shades. The lens measures 2 inches. The glasses have UV protection. Maximum coverage. Never been worn. Or (Give a gift from the heart)

Oh, these are useful. Glasses you can't see through. Now all I need are a pair of lace spats and a sweater with no neck hole.

Lame Chop

Lamb Chop Headband



This is a wide band covered in a red/ multi colored dot satin and adorned with a plastic lamb chop, and floral brussel sprout, mushroom, pepper, and garnish leaf.

Finish your headband! There are children in China with no bobby pins!

Sticks and Stones

Tiny tree earring ladder



This sweet little twig ladder is perfect for displaying 3 pair of earrings or any other small dangling items. The twigs are bound with leather and securely mounted on wood.

Perfect for the Eskimo woman with an earring collection, or for drying small strips of rabbit meat.

I've had dogs my whole life. I grew up with German shepherds, Chihuahuas, Dalmatians, and a rotating cast of unplanned litters that my sisters and I would bring home to Mom, leaving her to find permanent homes for them.

As the years went on, my family adopted collies, Great Danes, Irish setters, and Westies. I've fostered Samoyeds and retrievers. And in the last twenty years, I've personally owned three pit bulls, a wire fox terrier, and a Boston.

I've discovered that even with so many different breeds and disparate temperaments, all dogs can be neatly divided into two categories: dogs who will let you put clothes on them, and dogs who will not.

Dogs who allow it do so for one reason only: to make you happy. That's it. Fans of dressing animals often insist that the pet "enjoys it," but this is, in fact, a terrible lie. Dogs do not appreciate having to take a crap in harem pants. They don't have favorite football teams or political leanings. And if left to their own devices, dogs almost never wear vests, unless you're talking about cartoons, in which case they still don't wear pants.

No, this kind of thing is all about you. Your dog doesn't care about being hot. She doesn't need fragrance to feel more feminine and she doesn't want to look like Lil' Kim. It's also unnecessary to dress her in a bridal gown when you breed her. Your dog is not a whore, and she's not a bride. She's a dog, and she'd rather eat her own shit than get her nails painted.

Oh, I suppose you might have an argument when it comes to weather- related garments, but even that's somewhat suspect. If your dog is going to be so cold that he needs a Russian Cossack hat and fur-lined waders, maybe you should bring him in the damn house.

At this point, you might be wondering what gives me the right to speak with such authority on this subject. Who the hell am I, anyway? Well, I'll tell you who I am. I am someone who has looked into the face of pet humiliation and seen my own reflection in its cold, wet nose.

I have a wire fox terrier named Mac. Wires have strange, coarse coats that don't shed. Breeders recommended that you "strip" them, meaning you have to actually pluck out the dead hair with your fingers.


When I first read this in a wire fox terrier book, I was horrified. I couldn't imagine pulling all of her hair out. But the book stressed that this isn't painful for the dog, and, in fact, they can grow to like it. The author related her experience of sitting in front of the TV with her dog on her lap, pulling little tufts of hair out while the dog slept comfortably. So I thought I would give it a try.

It wasn't good. It probably wasn't painful, but Mac was not enjoying it. After every little pull, she would crane her head around and stare at me with wet eyes, imploring me to take up needlepoint.

I thought about doing this to her entire body, between her little toes and around her mouth and eyes, and finally I just said, Fuck it- if shaving is good enough for me, it's good enough for her.

I soon discovered that while shaving is easier, it presents a whole new problem: the dog slowly loses its color. Stripping is the only method that allows them to keep their distinctive brown heads.

I was in denial. I checked her after every shaving, and comforted myself that the color was still there. This may happen to other dogs, but not Mac, I told myself.


Excerpted from Regretsy by April Winchell Copyright © 2010 by April Winchell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is one of those light bulb moments you wish you thought of yourself. the wit, cleverness and sense of humor in Ms. Winchell's commentary is outstanding. really, you can't top her. so if her intention in life was to "make people laugh" then I think she is very successful and shouldn't stop. I will admit that I keep up with the Regretsy website, so I am familiar with most of the items featured in this book. what I was surprised by was the writing/story-telling (?) April Winchell does to preface each section in the book. honestly, these were my favorite parts and I found myself jumping over the pictures and looking for the next blurb written by her. all that said, I was able to get the cashier to read a few of the captions that accompanied the "art" and he was in stitches at the front counter! I think that says a lot for the book, considering he was not familiar with the site. all in all, if you want a funny read, or you enjoy looking at pictures of... things, or you like pointing your finger and laughing, then I think this book is for you!
scoutsmom More than 1 year ago
Those who enjoy April Winchell's sharp and snarky humor will revel in her treatment of the subjects in this book. As the brilliant mind behind, Winchell mines comedic jewels from the current DIY movement, bringing select listings from (hence the name 'Regretsy') into scintillating comedic focus. Introducing each section with personal narrative, Winchell reveals her inspiration for Regretsy, as well as her particular approach to the topics of creative expression and handmade crafts. As always, her stories are enlivened with the wit readers of have appreciated for years. I would have relished this book in one sitting, if it were not necessary to take occasional breaks to weep with laughter. Accompanying a photograph of each crafty item is the artist's title and description of the piece, followed by Winchell's trademark bite of sarcasm or even outright indignation at the piece's existence. While her pointed critiques are delightfully bitter, it is clear from her narratives and the inclusion of the artists' bios and commentaries that Winchell has respect and perhaps even admiration for her source materials. As one who has taken her own foray into crafting, Winchell's abiding passion for the absurd and overwrought is clearly apparent. If you're up for a brisk trip through the underbrush of the independent crafts movement, an immersion in this entertainer's trademark intelligent wise-crackery, or simply a read like no other, I wholeheartedly recommend Regretsy. It's on the cutting edge of crafty humor.
Katie_Nebr More than 1 year ago
There are much worse webbie books (my term meaning books from blogs) and there are tons! Most use "bad" words, one of the most popular uses a 'bad' word in the title and is now a t.v. show. These are simply post from April Winchell's very funny blog Regretsy. What makes it so funny? The Etsy Sellers, most of whom are fans or at least don't take their crafting so seriously as to think their work is beyond reproach. I think my favorite quote is by Etsy seller MyCrafts R 4U "I couldn't help but wonder why Regretsy had chosen me. After giving the whole thing some very careful thought I asked myself, "could it possibly be because you're peddling alien dolls using walnuts for their head?" Come on! That's funny I don't care who you are. I gave this review to counter all of the sour seller reviews like that of AvrilPinchell (obviously made up just to lower the rating), but really webbie books are 3 possibly 4 stars at the most of what you find in them are available on the website for free. So why did I buy this one? Because the money goes to charity. So far Regretsy has raised more than $40,000 in one way or another and I support that.
Altruism More than 1 year ago
This book far surpassed my expectations, and I expected quite a lot. I believed it would be funny, and it was hysterical. I assumed it would be interesting, and in fact I could not put it down. What I had not anticipated was the extent to which this book would be moving. And -- in all actuality -- inspirational. What makes the Regretsy site consistently laugh-out-loud funny, the brazen humor and bold perspective of author April Winchell, is present in full force. Also delightfully represented are the mind-boggling DIY arts and crafts that serve as fodder for conversation and amusement. But I believe that the best part of the Regretsy book lies in the poignant, insightful and absolutely riotous personal essays that introduce each chapter. The author's unique insight and candid commentary are hysterically funny and surprisingly poignant. But they don't go on long enough! Leaves me hoping the next book will be coming out very soon. I also truly enjoyed the Epilogue, and reading from the featured sellers themselves. It was very interesting to get the full picture of the Regretsy experience. I seriously doubt anyone could read this book without guffawing. It's that funny. Whether you're familiar with or passionate about Etsy, DIY, arts and crafts, or Regretsy, this book stands on its own and keeps you laughing. And, by the time you get through the Epilogue, chances are you'll be passionate about it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Regretsy has discovered and exposed an element in the "business of art" that needs to be examined closer. As you flip through the pages you discover that the business of "modern art" and crafting have collided in historically startling ways. It will be hard to contain your laughter and shock as you examine the photos of a veritable freak show that celebrates the more iconoclastic artists thriving on the fringes of the art world. If you wish to see things that you NEVER thought you would ever see, this is the book for you. Guaranteed to fill you with wonder about the state of modern art and humanity. You will ask yourself repeatedly "what were they thinking?"
QSuzyQ More than 1 year ago
I'd give this 4.5 stars if I could. The only reason I would hold back a half of a star is because it should be longer. Bravo for saying things that most of us just think!!
CatupultJones More than 1 year ago
This book actually made me laugh til I cried.The "crafts" themselves are enough to send you over the edge, but April's razor sharp wit and commentary is what makes this book worthwhile. But on a deeper level, it highlights an undercurrent in American culture that I find problematic: the tendency to praise anything and everything lest anyone's fragile little ego is bruised. There is absolutely nothing wrong with separating crap from real art. While people have the "right" to make whatever they wish, pawning it off as "art" really sticks in my craw; real artists are already sorely underfunded, under appreciated, and disrespected in America- let's not tarnish their image any more by lumping hacks in with them, eh? Finally, the author raises lots of money for charity as a result of her site and this book- given this, the question isn't why would you buy this book, the question is why WOULDN'T you?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my 14 year old daughter after much nagging; when she was finished flipping through the book (giggling all the while) I decided to see what the fuss was about. I found that April Winchell's attempt at humor was painfully predictable with an air of desperation for success. This book is obviously targeted at teenagers but who wants their children reading mindless, negative drivel? If my children read trashy gossip filled with profanity I hope it will at least be original and less like a commercial for Axe cologne. I have replaced the April Winchell book with a Ralph Steadman book for my daughter which is filled with intelligent negative commentary on a flawed society.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First, I want to say that I didn't buy this book. It was given to me as a gag gift (my friend labeled it "gifts to give your worst enemy"). I didn't find it too funny. The author, April Winchell, obviously feels the only way she can make a point is with vulgarity and profanity. It's written like it's high school gym locker room talk. The book is about the online shopping website and shows some of the junk that is sold there. I didn't check out the website because nothing in the book appealed to me. If you want to look at pictures of some poorly made junk that's supposed to be for sale on, and read some profanity that I guess is supposed to add humor, then buy this book. Otherwise, save your money. About the only thing you might regret is reading this. As a disclosure, I am not affiliated in any way with, never heard of it until I got this book, and don't care if I ever hear of it again. It certainly doesn't sell anything I'd be interested in. Better stuff can be found along the roadside.
elleayess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Regretsy, you either love it or hate it! If you love it, you will love the book, especially Winchell's section introductions and comments on every piece. The book is basically a sampling of the things you find on Regretsy. Regretsy is a humorous website poking fun of weird handmade things you find on Etsy. Please don't be offended...I'm in the book!
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Illustrate More than 1 year ago
I recently saw a thread on the Etsy forums, where people were congratulating themselves on lowering the star rating on this book. Regretsy is controversial and makes some Etsy sellers very angry, so they do things like leave bad reviews for books they haven't read. That's why you see so many "ANONYMOUS" one star reviews here that all sound the same. Only B & N has bad reviews on this book. It has 5 stars on Amazon. but here, magically, it's a complete bomb! B&N is being exploited by a handfull of people who are conspiring torpedo a book that has been on Amazon's best seller list for months. Just do yourself a favor and take this with a grain of salt. Not one news outlet has had a bad review of this book. That doesn't mean you have to like it, but don't let a bunch of haters with an agenda let you decide what's worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is written very adolescently in a bullying style. It's an intended mockery of Etsy. April Winchell uses language throughout the book that you would hear from young teens. It's overkill and really spoils what might have been an ok book. Some of the pictures are funny but Winchell seems desperate to be humerous and fails miserably. Most of the featured crafts are terrible but there are a couple funny ones, like the hummingbird feeder hat featured on the cover. Most though, are pathetically bad. Save your money. Nothing to see here.
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