July 3rd, 2012
04:14 PM ET
Like any "lifelong crafter," Tori Spelling can rattle off her favorite handmade jewelry and greeting cards ... as well as a longer list of creations that might be stuck in the "do" phase of DIY for good.
“I started making a baby blanket for Liam when I was four months pregnant, and it’s still not finished. He's 5," said Spelling, who is pregnant with baby No. 4, and, despite all motherly urges, still hasn't learned to knit.
But "not finished" just isn't an option for contestants on the new TLC competition show, “Craft Wars." Spelling hosts the show, which airs at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.
It fits the reality contest pattern, but with a bit more glitter: Three contestants cut and construct a craft in a speed round, then two survivors sew, decoupage and trim projects in a few hours.
The winner - selected by judges Erica Domesek, author of “P.S. - I Made This”; Stephen Brown, founder of Glitterville Studios; and Jo Pearson, creative expert for the craft chain Michaels - gets to take home $10,000.
The debut episode saw contestants crafting (and barely finishing) duffel bags made of sports equipment, then building kid-sized playhouses from school supplies. The biggest on-set surprise, Spelling said, was that they saw plenty of crafty male competitors but noticed a difference in how they tackled projects.
“Men would totally attack the big picture. They’d want to build, construct,” Spelling said. “The women are like, ‘What are the details?’ They start with the pillows. That’s totally me, too … My friends are like, ‘If you have a priority list of one to 10, you tackle 11 first.’”
Every crafter on the show has help from assistants, power tools and a giant, dreamy craft closet.
Let's linger at the closet: It’s like a craft store - all buttons, chalkboard paint and tacky glue - but curated to make contestants’ eyes go googly when it opens. It’s a Pinterest daydream brought to life, nary a spilled paint bottle, yarn remnant or stray watchband. (You'll find a project for them, someday! DIY dog collar, maybe?) Even the crafting celebs get caught ogling.
“We’re just standing there in awe, bowing to the craft closet,” Spelling said of the judges. “It’s anything and everything you could ever want or need.”
Her crafting essential: “I always have twine in my purse. Most people have lip balm. I have twine. I use twine on wrapping gifts, tags. I feel like it’s so multipurpose.”
So, could Spelling compete in "Craft Wars"?
She likes to think so – certainly, she said, the judges all piece together their own creations backstage. But the art of war-crafting isn’t for everybody, she said. With so little time and so many buttons and bows, she suspects she’d freeze up.
“It’s different, crafting under pressure,” she said. “There’s nothing therapeutic about it.”
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