Ribbon + Rubber Band Headbands

I made this project forever ago, but I wanted to go back and take some pictures of the rubber bands and show you how to make the knot before I posted this because that's basically the only even remotely difficult part of this... and I think "difficult" is stretching it! But I LOVE these headbands - they were basically free (all stuff I had on hand and none of it expensive), they fit me perfectly, they took about 5 minutes to make, I got to use some of my favorite ribbons, and I can wear them with everything!

Also, I still really can't sew AT ALL and so if I can do this, anyone can... I thought about having Bella try it just to prove it, but she wanted to eat the thread whenever a scrap hit the floor, so I decided not to go that route... : )

  • Ribbon (I prefer grosgrain)
  • Candle + lighter (or something to singe your ribbon)
  • Needle and thread (and scissors)
  • 2 hair rubber bands/ponytail holders
  • Measuring tape (a ruler will work too - you can just cut a long strip of ribbon, measure it around your head and cut to size)

I first made my little knot of rubber bands because I needed to know how long that was in order to measure the ribbon. The rubber band is this part of the headband:

So you want to grab two rubber bands (for the headbands I wear, I used two black ones, but wanted different colors to show you how to make the knot... thus the different colors) and pull one sort of under and through the other one. It's super-simple, but sounds complicated... so I recommend looking at these pictures! (And if anyone knows what this knot is called... I feel like I've heard it called something, but can't figure it out now... please let us all know!)

Basically, the blue is under the yellow and then you pull the blue up through the yellow...

Then, just pull both ends tight...

The whole process just looks like this:

Now that you have that knot done, you'll want to measure your head around where you want to wear the headband. Don't try to measure too tightly so that you can't open your eyes or have a headache later, but you do want it to be fairly tight. Use that total and subtract the length of your rubber band from your head size. Then add about two inches to that and that is how long you cut your ribbon. This is sort of a trial and error thing - I have one headband that I think is too small, but I'm sure I'll figure out something to do with it! I STRONGLY recommend you put some straight pins in there to hold it before you sew and then try it on to figure out the right length for you. 

After you cut your ribbon, singe the ends. I used a mistletoe candle (because I did this close to Christmas time, haha)...

Then you just wrap one end of your ribbon through one end of your rubber band knot and sew it in place! You could use hot glue, but I wanted to make sure mine would stay put because you obviously have to pull this thing wider to get it on your head, so it has to be pretty durable... because I was worried I also sewed this thing like crazy... probably far more than any normal person would or should....

Luckily, no one will ever really see this, so if you can't sew and make it all pretty, it doesn't matter (which is the only way I'll ever attempt to sew anything)! Repeat that for the other side of the rubber band knot with the other end of the ribbon...

And ta da! You have a ribbon headband made with scraps and done in five minutes!

I liked it so much, I made two more...

In case you were worried that they didn't look pretty on, I modeled it for you... in other news, it's exceedingly difficult to try to take pictures of the top of your head, so excuse how oddly angled they are... these were the best of quite an embarrassing number of tries!

I'll be linking up to a few of my favorite conferences!

A Button!

I decided that my little blog was growing enough to warrant the creation of something new and the expansion of my (vey limited) tech skills... so now there is a Crafty Scientist button! At least I hope so...

I made it using a combination of tutorials because the first one I tried didn't work for me. But I think this final (for now) version will work out nicely. It's going to live on the sidebar and I'm posting it here if you want one! I'm moving towards possibly featuring some projects I really like and then having a button for projects I feature! Just some thoughts I'm kicking around for now, but let me know if you have problems with the button! Enjoy! : )

{Preppy} Pyxis Argyle Wreath

I saw something like this on Etsy a million years ago (okay, a few months - obviously it's been sold, but you can still see it here) and couldn't find a tutorial for how to make one myself... but I loved it and I'm poor, so I decided I'd sacrifice myself and some of my materials to trying to create a tutorial for one and if I was lucky, I'd end up with something pretty cool at the end. And the I'm VERY excited to tell you that it didn't take me long or too many trials (and errors) in order to create something that I really REALLY like. I'm sure there are easier ways to do this and I know that the original used more diamond shapes rather than my felt squares, but I'm pretty thrilled with it...

As you look through this tutorial, there's more than one wreath starring in it... that's because I practiced with one and then I went back and took pictures the next time because I couldn't figure out how to photograph it all at first and then I did things slightly differently. I try to tell you if there are 2 good ways to do something or what I learned at each step though so you benefit from my trials and errors!

I named this one Pyxis because I liked the name and it made some alliteration as long as I called it a preppy wreath... and because Pyxis is actually a mariner's compass and somehow, I just thought that kind of fit. You can read about that constellation here (but promise you'll come back)!

  • Yarn-wrapped wreath (I recommend a straw wreath form one...)
  • Felt in your choice of coordinating colors (I've used 2 and 3 colors, it's up to you)
  • Straight pins
  • Some leftover yarn (from your wreath or in a coordinating color)
  • Scissors, ruler
I'm assuming you all know how to wrap a wreath in yarn (if not, there are about a billion tutorials out there including this one, but it's incredibly simple - you tie the yarn around the wreath and then wrap until you finally tie it at the end... takes a little while, but VERYYYYY easy), so I'm starting with a yarn-wrapped wreath. I used the straw wreath form and recommend that because I was able to stick the straight pins into it without too much effort and they held for as long as I needed them to and while I flipped the thing around and tried to figure out what I was doing...

Then, you want to grab one of your pieces of felt and cut a few squares. I had a 12-inch wreath and liked the way that 2" x 2" squares looked on it, so that's what I used.

But you can experiment with that sizing. And this is where you could make yours more diamond-shaped if you want. I started laying them out and for this wreath I originally wanted it to be yellow and gray because I'm kind of obsessed with that color combo recently (remember the old blog design?!), but as I laid it out, I wasn't crazy about it...

So I decided to go with a pale green felt instead (one of my other fave colors these days). I ended up with about 15 squares on this wreath (that I'm using for most of these pictures - and only 14 squares on the camo wreath that sneaks in a bit and only has 2 colors of felt... it was the learning wreath that I made first).

However, on both wreaths, I had to trim the squares down to make it fit (you can see in the pic above that the squares are overlapping and I didn't like that, thus the effort to make it fit) and not break the pattern anywhere. I'm sure there's a better way to do this, but since my squares weren't perfect anyways, I wasn't particularly worried... a little off the top, a little off the sides, and it works...

Then you want to grab your straight pins and start pinning the squares into place the way you laid them out and with the corners pointing towards the inside and outside of the wreath. I just used one straight pin at the top of the square and that was enough for me and for all of them to hold (the pins are located where the green arrows are pointing). I didn't push them all the way down because you'll take them out later.

Do this for all of your little felt squares...

Now you want to grab your yarn. I used leftovers from wrapping the wreath, but you can obviously use a coordinating color. I basically wrapped it through once and tied it, just like I was starting to wrap yarn on top of it again. I tucked that one piece under the felt (because it was only pinned in one place, it wasn't hard to do) and then I started wrapping diagonally (where the little green arrows are).

Basically, make one part of the "X" in the same direction across all of your squares so they look like the picture below (and ignore that I accidentally crossed the first "X" before taking this picture).

Then, when I got to the top of the wreath (or the first "X" I had made), I literally just wrapped the other way. I think that on one wreath, I tied the yarn around again and tucked it behind the felt like when I started, but on the one in the picture I didn't and it hasn't fallen apart, so I think you don't have to...

After you finish admiring the fact that I was talented enough to hold the wreath with my legs, take the picture with one hand, and hold the yarn with the other, you want to finish crossing your "X"s all the way around your wreath (like the green arrow shows you above).

Once you wrap and cross all the "X"s, you have the pretty argyle pattern shown above. Tie the yarn the way you'd finish wrapping a regular wreath.

On the camo wreath that I made first, I didn't remove the pins and was worried about what would happen if I did... but on the second gray one here, I figured I was taking a risk for the good of the craft community and so I'd take a leap and see what happened... and so I removed ALL the straight pins (gasp)... and...

The wreath didn't fall apart! If you want to remove your pins, I'd make sure the yarn is wrapped pretty tightly and tie it before removing any pins, but you can also just leave the pins in... they're still in my camo wreath!
I think it looks pretty good! Not sure where they're going to be displayed, but I'm pretty much thrilled that I was able to make it!

I'm linking up to some of my favorite conferences!

Fleur-de-Lis Wall Art

I have a slight obsession with fleur-de-lis... it has a lot to do with the fact that I absolutely LOVE the city of New Orleans. The people, the music, the sights, the river, the landmarks, the food(!!), the French, the Cajun... everything is just absolutely wonderful! I went there a lot in college and so I like to keep little reminders of it around, I suppose...

I have also long-admired this recycling project from A Little Hut - which is an amazingly gorgeous blog with fabulous inspiring projects - it's the first recycling project and Patricia Zapata actually used junk mail. I used one of my old Sports Illustrateds and a little bit of scrapbook paper (the white and olive green strips are the scrapbook paper). I love how hers turned out, but I'm pretty fond of my version too... though I think I'm going to attempt something like this agin and try to make it more three dimensional like Zapata's. But this is what I made and how to do it!

  • Junk mail, magazines, scrapbook paper if you want it... 
  • Paper cutter
  • One piece of nice cardstock for the top, one to serve as a base for your art
  • Picture frame (mine is from the Dollar Store!)
  • Glue Stick
  • Mod Podge
  • Shape/stencil and X-acto knife
I knew I wanted a fleur-de-lis, so I found one online and printed it out. Then I cut it out and traced the outline of the shape onto some white cardstock.

Then it was time to slice and dice some magazine pages. I made my strips about as wide as a pencil - though some were even more narrow. Unfortunately, some of the thinnest ones actually tore, but a fair amount survived! I threw in a couple scrapbook paper strips too - those are the olive green and white strips you see later on. 

I traced the fleur-de-lis pattern onto the white cardstock (see the green arrows below) and then started gluing the strips of magazines onto the white cardstock.

I didn't pay too much attention to the fleur-de-lis on the white cardstock, but I didn't want to have to cover the entire 8.5 x 11" paper with the strips. I used a regular Elmer's gluestick to adhere the strips to the cardstock.

Then I used Mod Podge over the fleur-de-lis pattern/magazine strips. (I only later thought to capture the moment, so I just have the bottles of glue, not the actual process - sorry! But I bet you can figure it out!)

Then it was time to let that dry and cut the fleur-de-lis pattern out of the cardstock I wanted to be on top of the paper. I traced and cut the fleur-de-lis pattern out of some olive green textured cardstock - possibly my new favorite color - while the magazine strips were drying.

Once everything was dry (I left it overnight), I glued the green cardstock on top of the magazine strips... and here's a close up of the result...

Ta da!

I popped it into a frame from the dollar store! Customized art for almost nothing and now I get to look at my favorite colors and textures and pattern!

I'm linking up to some of my favorite conferences...

P.S. What do you think of the "watermark"/logo? I just added it because all the other crafty bloggers use them, but I'm not sure what I think... I think I like it...

Versatile Blogger Award

The fabulous Ani of Ani's Favorite Things awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award! I don't know too much about how these things work, so I'm looking at and sticking to the rules... 

Here's how to play along:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award, and 
let the giver know you accept the award!
Seven things about me... 
1. I've always doodled, but never really let myself spend any time or money (or space) on artsy-craftsy pursuits until very recently. I think it has to do with finishing up grad school classes and doing some consulting work that brought in some more money meant I had a bit more money and more time to do stuff like this and I LOVE it!

2. I teach a course for upper-level undergraduates that I never actually took myself - as an undergrad or a grad student (though I never tell my students that)!

3. I am SOOOO not a girly-girl. I think most people in my life would be/are surprised to find out I like the crafty stuff because they know me as a beer-drinking, sports fanatic. I've won my super-serious fantasy football league and I absolutely love playing! And I love beer. I just LOVE it. And I still read the instructions on make up because I just don't get it most of the time... oh, and I can't cook. The boyfriend handles the cooking and domestic stuff because I have no talent in those areas.

4. I've known the boyfriend (who would like another nickname, but I just can't come up with one that I like and doesn't sound kind of creepy) for about 4 years and we've been dating for a little more than a year. He has his MBA and his family has tons of super-adorable animals (seriously, there are baby chicks in an incubator sometimes)! The boyfriend will be sharing recipes on here soon (he's already taken some pictures), and I want to share more about him, but I think he's probably already blushing and wishing I'd move on...

5. I've lived in Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, London, Washington DC (for about two seconds), and now I'm in South Carolina. I would love to live in Charleston and/or Austin because those two, along with New Orleans, are some of my favorite places!

6. I love my dog. And she loves clothes. People make fun of me (and her) and think I'm being mean by "making" her wear clothes, but she has a little basket of them and pulls them and rolls around on them when she wants to change her shirt/sweater/whatever. Usually one thing is picked out so I know which one she wants. And most of her clothes actually come from family.

7.  I love edamame in the pod. If I had to eat only one thing forever, it would, without a doubt, be edamame in the pod, with salt. I can eat buckets and bowls full and I consider a big bowl full to be dinner on occasion. It's just so yummy!

Phew! On to the fabulous 15!
1. Craft Snob - I visited her blog first because of the gorgeous fabric flowers, but I love everything she makes! She manages to add just the right amount of delicate sparkle and shine to things...
2. A Glimpse Inside - she hosts a blog party each week that's pretty awesome AND she manages to comment on entries AND put together some really cute stuff! I'm crazy-impressed with her blogging skills!
3. Life at 2222 - her blog design is gorgeous and so is everything she makes! She claims to have no design experience, but a recent Save the Date she made says otherwise... love it!
4. Going Home to Roost - another blog with insanely gorgeous blog design! I love that she has projects and recipes and organic gardening info!
5. Half of VAMH - more pretty blog design and lots of drool-worthy travel photos! I love how she explains her blog name too (you have to visit her blog to see it though). 
6. Madigan Made - I want to do all of her projects! I've pinned them all over my pinterest boards and I'm collecting all my sporting event tickets (and the boyfriend's) so that we can make some sports ticket art!
7. Make It, Love It - her projects are also all over my pinterest boards and I really, really want to make some 3-D flowers for my wall! And her pillows make me wish I could sew...
8. maya*made - she has so many pretty projects and she's one of those very resourceful people that can turn something like security envelopes into napkin rings... seriously, she did it and they're gorgeous!
9. Mrs. Priss - one of my favorite bloggers ever! I've been reading her blog before I became a blogger and I just absolutely love all of her projects and think she has an absolutely hysterical sense of humor!
10. Eye Spy DIY - I can't believe this is a new blog because there are so many amazing AMAZING projects that I want to try... and have tried - the magazine bowls I have yet to post about, but LOVE!
11. Smart-Bottom Enterprises - I love her projects - so quick and clever! I wish I had a basement where I could make a scrapbook paper wall... just looks so fun!
12. V and Co. - another blog I read regularly before I was a blogger, I love all the ideas here and many make me wish I could sew! But I've made several of her projects and been really pleased with how they turned out!
13. Caits Creates - I discovered her blog recently and knew we had to be blog friends because I not only love her stuff, but she's a grad student in her twenties too! I hope it's not cheating, but she actually was nice enough to give me this award too, but I was planning on awarding it to her... so I'm calling it serendipity and giving it back to her! : )
14. The Scrappe Shoppe - I'm incredibly excited to try her photo lightbox tutorial because I think it will seriously help my blog pics, among the other great projects here. I also think she's pretty cool because she emailed me and told me how to fix commenting so that other people could see my blog and email address and leave comments back to me, which is pretty freakin' awesome of her!
15. Felt So Cute - she loves felt and wreaths... what more could I ask for in a blog?! 

Ta-da! Feel free to play along... if not, no worries! Congrats and yay for blog awards!

St. Paddy's Day Printables

Obviously most people have already done these and sent them out into blog world, but because I was updating the blog design and trying to just play around more with graphic design-y type things, I put together this little St. Patrick's Day printable - available in color (all green!) and black and white text.

Then, just for fun, I made another Tagxedo-style, infographic shamrock one... or three. I was going to print this out, but realized that that's what's delaying me in posting and I should just post them now! But if you print this out and display it, please post a picture and let me know! I'd love to see what people do with it (if anyone hasn't yet decorated for St. Paddy's Day like me)!

You can download any and all of them from Scribd here. Enjoy and have a happy St. Paddy's!

I'm linking up to some of my favorite conferences!

09 10