Top 11 Projects of 2011

All the cool bloggers are doing it, so I figured I'd join the crowd (apparently I am the ridiculous kid that would jump off the cliff too assuming there was ice cream or puppies at the bottom since everyone else was going)... these are the top 11 projects from 2011!

(These are a mix of my favorites and yours - as indicated by the number of comments and views!)

Definitely one of the most pinned projects I've created, the paint chip art was tons of fun for me too (or I wouldn't have made about 12 versions)!

Every time I look at the quote and the bright yellow chevron, it just makes me happy... apparently I was also a big fan of the yellow this year... but the yellow chevron frame and quote (with the free printable version) was also one of my faves and yours!

I almost didn't post a tutorial for the rubber band + ribbon headbands I made, but it seems that these were pretty popular (especially on Pinterest) and I love wearing them, so I'm definitely calling this project a success!

I absolutely loved creating these microbead pendants and think that each one is just so unique... I guess that's why I felt compelled to make about 15,000 of them!

I was so proud of myself for creating this argyle wreath and it actually got featured in a few places... it's definitely a favorite from this year!

The lemonhead wreath was a challenge - it took forever to make, tons of lemonheads, and then it was so heavy I didn't think I'd ever get it hung up, but I just love it. The ribbon and jute with the bright candy... so many textures and colors!

I made a lot of wreaths, but I'm so proud of all the different touches on this Halloween wreath made pretty much entirely from Dollar Tree materials!

Puppy chow or muddy buddies are absolutely one of my most favorite foods - SOOO yummy!

I thought this project was so simple that no one would even notice it, but lots of people have pinned this button initial project and talked about how awesome it is to do with and for kids! 

The Valentine's Day printables were simple to create and everyone seemed excited about them - they even got featured on One Pretty Thing!

Maybe it's just some kind of recency effect, but people seemed excited about this lemon hand scrub project - from the bow to the scrub to how easy it is to make with stuff you already had on hand. Plus, this was a hit with the people we gave it to as gifts!

Now that I've chosen between these projects - which felt like choosing between children - it's time to think about the awesome projects that 2012 has in store! If you want to see all the projects, including those that didn't make the cut, please check out the Past Research page here!

Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner!

I am so excited to announce that the winner of the Shabby Apple Spanish Steps dress giveaway is... 

Comment #44 (as selected by

Haley G.! 

Thanks to all of you who entered and remember that you can still use the coupon code to get 10% off Just visit  Shabby Apple, pick what you like and enter "craftyscientist10off" in the coupon code area! That will expire in 30 days (so it will end January 11, 2012).

(This is the Spanish Steps dress - the prize Haley G. won - and just one of the many awesome finds over at Shabby Apple!)

Your Experiments: Bethany's Scrubs

It's been a little while since I've posted a "science experiment" that one of you guys made, but I'm trying to do better and I'm so excited to show you this version of the Lemon Hand Scrub that Bethany at Pitter and Glink made. (And if you haven't already checked out her blog, I'm thrilled to be the first to tell you about it and send you over there to visit!)

Bethany took the Lemon Hand Scrub recipe that I shared as part of this post, which originally appeared as part of the 12 Days of Christmas series at Two Girls Being Crafty, and made her own super-cute jars of the scrub...

She included the popsicle stick so that people could mix up their scrubs AND she made these awesome little tags for them too!

Plus, Bethany is a genius and spray painted the lids yellow and put scrapbook paper on them - SOOO cute!

Awesome, right? Well, Bethany also made a peppermint scrub and a "manly" scrub tag/version of the lemon scrub for her dad - you can see them both here!

If you haven't already checked out Pitter & Glink, you should absolutely see the other awesome ideas she has (especially you other Clemson fans)!

Ribbon Loop Wreath

I'm sure you've all seen variations of this wreath before, but I've loved them for awhile now and had just been waiting for Hobby Lobby to put their ribbon on super-sale and then I had to pick a color and grab my supplies. Somehow that took a little while, but I'm thrilled with the result! I mostly used this tutorial from Jen at Tatertots and Jello (for her Halloween wreath), but since I don't sew or have a sewing machine, I made my own no-sew version!

Here's how you can make your own...

  • Lots of ribbon (I don't even know what I ended up using... definitely all of 3 or 4 rolls and then most of 4 or 5 more...)
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Wreath form
  • Ruler, scissors

Gather up all of your supplies... this is a sample of the ribbon I used. Note that I mixed together the 1-inch wide ribbon with a bit thinner and much wider ribbon. I just liked the look of it and since you need so much ribbon, if you use only one color, you probably need to get a variety of widths if you want lots of different patterns.

Then I began cutting my ribbon into 4.5" strips (at the recommendation of Jen from TT&J). I used a ruler because I was a little paranoid about making this work - I didn't want to screw it up because it was one of my more expensive projects with all this ribbon!

Then, instead of sewing the strips together to make loops, I grabbed my hot glue gun and started gluing the ends together to make the individual loops...

I wasn't sure how much ribbon I'd need, so I started out with a big pile of ribbon, turned it all into loops, and saw how far that got me and then went back and made more ribbon loops rather than trying to guess how many I'd need right away.

After you have a decent amount of your loops created, just start gluing to your wreath... I used a straw wreath form still in the package and didn't paint it or wrap it in fabric or anything. If I was doing this again, I might have at least wrapped it in fabric so that no straw showed through, but it's not really a big deal and I think I covered it enough that it doesn't really matter what's underneath!

I didn't really have any rhyme or reason with the gluing... I just started sticking them on there and trying to alternate the patterns around as best I could.

At some point I tied a ribbon around the wreath form so that I could use it as a loop to hang up the finished wreath, but you can do that before or after you finish gluing your loops on or you could probably thread the ribbon through some of your loops.

Just keep going and making loops and gluing those on until you cover the wreath! Also, I didn't completely cover all sides of the wreath - the back of my wreath is still straw, but no one sees it so I wasn't concerned!

Once the loops cover up the wreath form, you can hang it up however you want and admire your work!
I'm not thrilled with how I ended up hanging it, but I'll figure something out at some point when I've got more red ribbon! And for now, I just love the wreath with all of its cheery red and polka dots!

I'll be linking up to some of my favorite parties!


For the first time, I had both a Christmas tree and a DSLR to set up some pretty bokeh shots... or at least try! In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a big fan of Kevin & Amanda and the tutorials from their site and I was mostly inspired by this wonderful tutorial Amanda posted for creating your own bokeh lenses/filters/shapes here and that's what I used to try to get some good shots.

I should probably be a lot more embarrassed to share these, but I'm more proud of myself and fascinated by the combinations and changes and results and so I thought I'd share some of my shots... (though again, I am clearly a beginner at all of this)!

Regular-ish bokeh - as in, before any filters or shapes here...

Star-shaped bokeh (from a star-shaped paper punch to create a filter)...

Some little flower shaped paper punch filters...

A slightly different flower punch...

I love how disco-y they look!

I tried the paw print too, but it just looked kind of weird...

I also tried a snowflake punch, but I think it was a little big... no matter how I messed with the focus, it just looked like I was looking through a snowflake at Christmas lights...

You can see that issue even more here...

But still kind of cool... at least I think so! Anyone have a "real" bokeh kit? Or have better luck/know what I'm doing wrong that I'm not getting the clear awesome shapes other people have gotten? (I used a tripod and I swear I matched settings that Amanda had in her shots though I don't have the same lens or camera...)

A Chrismukkah Wish from Bella

Nothing but class here, right?! I got Bella to wear the antlers for about .0002 seconds at Christmas last year and voila - an official Chrisumkkah wish/greeting/message from the Crafty Scientist, boyfriend, and puppies!

(We celebrate Chrismukkah here, but hope you have fun celebrating whatever you choose - even if it's just time off work or football on Saturday, which both qualify as reasons to be excited in my book!)

Hope you all are having wonderful holidays with your friends, families, and fur-babies!

Homemade Ornaments

Since this was the first year the boyfriend and I had our own tree, there was lots of ornament making around here. I've already shared a couple I've made, but here are a few more I've made... (and I made all of them very quickly and with supplies I already had)!

Poinsettia felt flower ornament - I made this using the template from Kaboose that I found here. (And the free template is still up so you can get your own!)

Candy Cane felt ornament (sewed up with embroidery floss) - I made this using the free template/pattern from Bugs and Fishes here. I like all the floss and I had the ombre kind - the dark to light red one here - and so I made all my stitches obvious and on the front. 

It's all purple and orange around here! I made this one (and the next two felt ones - the blue and the pink) using the free templates from Bugs and Fishes here. I like her versions better, but I was going for quick and easy and I think mine are still fairly pretty! 

I put some Mod Podge on this one and then covered it in glitter! (It's the same blank glass ornament underneath that I used to make these red ornaments.)

I put Mod Podge on this one and added the white and clear glitter... I probably should have kept adding, but again, I was impatient... 

I finally finished the sequin ornaments with the puppy names on them - this is Bella's!

And this is the rest of the ornament/the other side of it.

And this is Max's ornament - the "A" and "X" anyways!

Hope you enjoyed the little tour of handmade ornaments I made recently... hopefully I'll get more patience and make more ornate ornaments for next year's tree!

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