Etsy is full of beautiful things—for everything else, there’s Regretsy

For every gem found on Etsy, a fast-growing community of DIY merchants offering handmade crafts, there are more than a few duds. Regretsy makes loving fun of the weird, the tacky and the totally uncomprehensible.


Grant Robertson

Internet Culture

Published Jun 6, 2011   Updated Jun 3, 2021, 4:23 am CDT

Imagine meets the world’s largest arts and crafts fair, and you’ve got Etsy.

And, much like the crafts fair you’re picturing, for every cute gem on offer, there are several not-so-cute duds. That’s where Regretsy enters, making endless fun of the weird, the tacky and the totally incomprehensible.

Sure, it’s snark-loaded criticism on the surface, takes aim at DIY culture in a way only lovers of DIY could manage. For example, of a CD of original music, the site’s author, April Winchell, writes:

“Oh, it leaves a lasting impression all right. And no matter how much Febreze you use, you never quite get it out of the curtains.”

See? That kind of ego-puncturing bile requires the same risk-taking creativity displayed by Etsy’s sellers.

Etsy’s megagrowth — it reported year-over-year sales growth of 78 percent in April 2010 — leaves no shortage of targets for Winchell. (The schadenfreude-soaked insult-slinger behind Regretsy publishes the site under her pseudonym, Helen Killer.)

Winchell, a popular voice actress long before her Regretsy fame, gave up her anonymous double identity when she signed with Random House to publish a book version of the site, “Regretsy – Where DIY Meets WTF?

Like the detail-obsessed site it chronicles, Regretsy is incredibly organized, with categories listed alongside the main page in a veritable craft cozy of lovingly handmade archetypes representing nearly any Etsy-fail you might imagine. From the broad “Accessories” to the extremely specific “Not remotely Steampunk,”if you’ve ever laughed at a handmade craft in your life, be warned, Regretsy can easily swallow your entire afternoon with page after page of lovingly handcrafted laughs.

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*First Published: Jun 6, 2011, 12:13 pm CDT