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12 Do-It-Yourself Projects I Plan to Attempt in 2012

As I mentioned yesterday, I committed to try 12 Do-It-Yourself Experiments in 2011. Choosing 12 projects, writing them down, and publicly posting about it turned out to be excellent for me as it motivated me to actually follow through with trying new things instead of just intending to try something and never getting around to it.

I decided to challenge myself to try 12 new things again in 2012. However, this time, I mostly picked things that were a little more “in my comfort zone”. I figured I didn’t need to repeat the frustrating rag-quilt saga again. 🙂

So, after lots of debating, here’s my list:

12 Do-It-Yourself Projects I Plan to Attempt in 2012

January: Homemade Hair Detangler

February: Homemade Naan

March: Homemade Facewash

April: Homemade Pop-Tarts

May: Homemade English Muffins

June: Homemade Wheat Thins

July: Homemade Bagels in the Bread Machine

August: Homemade Moisturizing Kitchen Hand Scrub

September: Homemade Whole-Wheat Pretzel Bites

October: Homemade Hand Lotion

November: Homemade Vick’s Vapor Rub

December: Homemade Bubble Bath

As I did last year, I’ll be blogging about how each DIY experiment goes so you can follow along with my successes and flops.

Have you set any goals for new things you want to try in 2012? I’d love to hear about it!

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  • Karen Johnson says:

    I made homemade English muffins a few months ago and they were a lot of fun to make! They also freeze really well.

  • Katie W. says:

    Great list! Can’t wait to see how they go! I am tempted to try alot of these!

  • Theresa says:

    I want to try to plan out my meals for 2 weeks and then when go to the store stick to a list and coordinate with available coupons.
    Start walking every day.

  • Stephanie says:

    I love seeing your lists and reading your DIY project posts! I decided that I’m going to be doing the same thing this year, and even have a few of the same items on my list (hand lotion & kitchen hand scrub). I look forward to your posts!

  • AnneJisca says:

    I think it’s a great idea to make a list like this! I might do that without committing to which month I’ll do it in. 🙂

    BTW, a while back I submitted a testimony about how we were working towards paying off our student loan by the time my husband graduates (in June). Well, guess what?? We paid it off this month!!!!!! In half the time planned! Very exciting. 😀

  • Candy says:

    I love it. I’ve done a few of them, and found one I’ve wanted for a while. It’s not on your list, but I found it via the hand cream link. lol

  • Naomi says:

    Thank you!!! I am looking forward to trying some of your things!! You really inspire me!

  • AbbyWarm says:

    I’ve made the homemade lotion {as well as the chapstick on her site} and LOVE it!!

  • Marcin says:

    I want to try that Naan recipe. At store two Naan’s cost $3.49 – $3.99 in a pack. I don’t have a stone to bake it on. But it seems interesting. Where do you get a baking stone? Hmmm …

  • Diane says:

    I make homemade pop tarts and wheat thins! They are not difficult and if you have a pizza stone or whatever stoneware to use it, especially for the wheat thins to make them nice and crispy. The other projects look great, too.

  • K Quinn says:

    Great list!In 2012 we’ll be upping the anty on homemade pasta. We have an older KitchenAid pasta attachment that doesn’t work quite right (too fat) so we’ve got an Imperia on back order that should come in March. Homemade pasta is so yummy!

    We will also work at using those little bits of soap that get left over. We tried making some bars with the chips but have to perfect the grinding method. I suppose I’ll be blogging about that soon since we took pics. I’ve been meaning to do that for ages.

  • Carrie says:

    Now I had to go check out all those recipes for toiletries. Since our soap making was a success, I’m hungry for more! I’m especially fascinated by washing my face with oil, because my sensitive skin always reacts badly to facial cleansers, especially in winter.

  • Heather says:

    Wow! Vicks, too? I can’t wait to try these along with you! Cheers!

  • Tamara Dillon says:

    All look lige great ideas! I look forwaard to seeing how they all turn out! I plan on trying them right along with you.

  • Kim says:

    Where do you come up with these ideas from? We love the bagels and english muffins (albeit different recipes). has a recipe for English Muffin Bread that you freeze and take out by the slice as you need it. I’m going to try that this year. Seems even easier.

  • Vicky says:

    Great list! I will be happily following along. I have made nearly all of these myself (maybe not the same recipe) and I am anxious to see how you like them. We use the hair detangler daily since my daughter also has naturally curly hair, and it’s great! I wish I had discovered that a few years ago. 🙂 We love to make the bagels, too. They make a great weekend treat! Good luck!

  • Amy says:

    I tried out the homemade poptart thing this month. A couple tips: I got lazy and started just making a circle putting filling in the middle and folding them over. Don’t do that, too much crust almost no filling. Also, I made some Apple and white cheddar by adapting an Emril recipe, they were delicious!!

  • dani says:

    Ohhhhh, going to have to try doing this too!

  • Heather says:

    We made the wheat thins you are going to do and they are better than the ones you get in the store. The first time I made them we had to do a triple batch because my kids ate them so quick. We make homemade farmers cheese to go with and it is so good.

  • I’ve set goals to get my financial files organized, do random acts of kindness with my kids, pray more for my hubby, make container garden, eat out less… Good luck with your endeavors…Can’t wait to try the hand lotion and the pretzels!

  • I’m planning 12 creative projects this year, to be finished by the 25th of each month and in line with my goal to handmake as many Christmas gifts as possible for 2012. I’ll be hosting a linky on the 25th of each month to hold myself accountable more than anything!

  • I’ve made homemade naan many times! I just dump all the ingredient into my bread machine on the dough cycle, break off pieces and flatten by hand and then cook it on my electric griddle. It’s not the same as cooking it on the stoneware, but still delicious!

  • Courtney says:

    I love this idea!! You have inspired me to make a list of some of those things I have always said I would like to make someday.

  • Lisette says:

    The leave in spray conditioner will change your little curly’s life. I spray it on my daughter’s hair in the morning when I comb it, and it really helps with the frizz factor. It’s great and so affordable!

  • Kassi says:

    I love doing these with you! I wish you would add home-made Graham Crackers.

  • Challice says:

    awwww fun lists!

    In no particular month order (it’ll be whatever we can afford)

    1. make Sushi

    2. Make a Plarn re-usable bag -

    3. Make Gluten-free noodles (I want to make my own noodles just once. My mother-in-law does the whole wheat ones and lawd have mercy they are so delicious in chicken soup. YUMMM) since we’re gluten free I thought it might be a fun experiment to make them.

    4. Make dishcloths or something out of old tshirts. I think you had a link on this at one time.

    5. Knit a scarf using Alpaca wool. (I’ve started it and believe me, it’ll be an accomplishment if I finish this!)

    6. Make re-usable snack bags

    7. Build a chicken coop. Have yet to find plans I like though.

    8. Sew my children’s stockings this year.

    9. I wanna learn to make cute kids bows

    10. Zip it up coin purse.

    11. Make plastic scrubbies using the sacks from avacados, onions, etc.

    12. Make crocheted ornaments for ornament exchange this year.

  • Fun! Thanks for including a couple of my links! 🙂

    • kadee says:

      Your poptarts are delicious and so easy to make!

      • Laura Miller says:

        I agree! Love your poptarts Laura. Another one of my family’s favorites is your cream cheese chicken. I have tried your homemade liquid hand soap and it was so easy. I am going to try the bubble bath that Crystal posted this year.

  • amber says:

    Great list. I make homemade hair detangler for my girls here. Look forward to seeing home the breadmachine bagels turn out. I have been wanting to try that.

  • I can’t wait to try some of these…especially the Vick’s Vapor Rub.

  • Mary says:

    I enjoyed last year’s list. I love the idea of learning to make our own soap. Our first daughter makes wonderful soap and it’s a huge money saver. Nothing beats the quality and it lasts forever.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’ve made the same English muffin recipe you linked to… they came out great! I need to do it again.

  • Julie says:

    what a fun list!! i can’t wait to hear how they all turn out.

  • Karen says:

    I tried homemade detangler and it was not good. It left my daughters hair too greasy. It was water with a little conditioner mixed in. I’ll be interested to see if you have better luck.

  • Betsy Madison says:

    Homemade naan is easy and oh so good!

  • lisa says:

    This is one of my favorite things about your blog, you set out to do certain things and stick with the plan. I look forward to reading about all that you have planned in 2012, thanks for the inspiration!

  • Hannah says:

    I did homemade bagels and they were a disaster. Hope yours are better.

  • Angie D says:

    You should put homemade pasta on 2012’s list. 😉

  • ashlee says:

    I would be happy to send you the essential oils to try your Vicks Rub. You will want to only use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils if you want medicinal benefits. I do this for my children and it works great. They have not gone to the Dr. since I started using oils, saving me two co-pays and Rx costs!!

  • This is a great list!

    I’ve made English muffins a few times and was surprised at how easy it was. They taste really good, too!

    Thanks for including my link. I hope you like the homemade vapo rub. It’s quick. So, come November, you’ll only need a few minutes for the DIY project 🙂

    I’m inspired to make a list now. . .

  • Kim says:

    I am very excited about this list! Several items on here are really appealing to me and the list doesn’t seem to be overwhelming.

    Thanks for sharing and for the encouragement to try new recipes and other ideas for the home.

  • Anna says:

    Oh there are so many more new DIY projects I want to try. Maybe I should get started making a list……

  • Audy says:

    These are great. I noticed this in the sidebar of one of the links. Fruit Roll Ups. Yummy.

  • Sandra Lee says:

    I haven’t yet decided what my 2012 DIY projects will be but, I did accomplish a few in 2011, thanks to you, Crystal! You are so motivational!!! I have a suggestion for you. Homemade applesauce. I make it every year and it’s one of the simple pleasures I enjoy. My Great Aunt Margaret taught me a secret…use only MacIntosh apples. Definitely wise advice. Good luck on ascertaining all of your goals! Now, off to make my book list and my DIY project list. Have a great day!

  • Jeanine says:

    I just found a recipe for homemade natural mosquito spray. Here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, mosquito spray is a must have. Especially when you live only a few blocks from one of the lakes. 🙂

  • Mona says:

    I make english muffins all the time – hubby and I have them for breakfast amost every morning. I use a slightly different recipe and usually double or triple it so I can freeze them. I would love to make bagels…I’ll wait to see how yours turn out. 🙂

  • rachael spurgeon says:

    I plan on making some maternity/nursing shirts this year! Either style is expensive in the store and I would love to get more than a few months use out of one shirt!

  • This is a great list. I have to buy hair detangler for my 1 yo this week — maybe I’ll try the recipe you linked to first.

    I want to try:
    making shampoo
    sewing bean bag chairs
    making cheese

    And now I think I’ll add homemade face wash. That method sounds very soothing.

  • I can’t wait to hear how it goes ! I just might have to join you in making the pretzel bites and wheat thins. My kiddos would love those !

  • The homemade face wash works so well. 🙂 This list looks fun!

  • Analisa Lopez says:

    The homemade whole wheat pretzel bites are fantastic!!! I made them for a party and now everytime I see someone they ask me to make them again!!

  • Florence says:

    I am making a different soup each month;
    January Chickpea Soup a la Provencal
    February Bouillabaise
    March St. Patrick’s Irish Cheddar
    April Italian White Bean & Spinach
    May Chicken Soup with Rice
    June Pasta e Fagioli
    July Shrimp & Con Chowder
    August Gazpacho
    September Swiss Chard & Lentil Soup
    October Veggie Soup
    November Potato Leek Soup
    December Yellow Pea Soup

    Other than the Potato Soup and Veggie Soup, these are all new to me.

  • Emmie says:

    This sounds like good fun these goals! I think homemade is just really awesome! Since I got a new processor I am going to do the same on a different level though methinks! Good luck Crystal!

  • Billene says:

    All these sound like great ideas and would be fun to attempt. But due my work scheduled and the cost involved it would probably be less expensive to buy readymade.

  • Hi Crystal, What a great list! It’s inspiring me to make a list of 12 things to accomplish next year. Thank you for including my lotion recipe. October will be a great month to try it as the weather dries up! Best wishes to you and your beautiful family for 2012!

  • Katie says:

    I have been making the homemade facewash recipe from for a few months now and I love it. It’s MUCH cheaper and works great. You’ll probably have to tweak the ratio of castor oil to sunflower oil according to your skin type. Too much castor oil will make your skin too dry. Good luck!

    • Debbie says:

      I started oil cleansing last summer and love it. I ended up having to ditch castor oil all together. Turns out I’m sensitive to it and it was causing more acne for me. I just use straight jojoba oil now and my skin has never been more clear.

  • Riann says:

    I have been using the oil cleansing method since Feb and I love it! I used my old face wash a few times and it made my face feel so tight and dry. I think the homemade hand lotion looks great!

  • KimH says:

    Those all look like fun inspiring projects. I enjoyed doing a few of the ones you did last year and routinely make a few on your list this year.. Also enjoying the comments & links from your readers..

  • Katja says:

    You don’t need a baking stone to make naan. I do it all the time, in a skillet!! Look up the Cooks Illustrated recipe for flatbread, it’s ridiculously easy. Ridiculously.

  • Robyn says:

    I’ve been making naan for a while now and we love it. I make the dough in the bread machine and bake it on my pizza stone. If you have an Indian grocery store near you they’ll sell maida flour, which seems to be more finely ground than my all-purpose flour. Either works just fine, but results are slightly different — just in case you feel adventurous!

  • Jodie says:

    Thanks for all of the helpful recipes and links! I can’t wait to try some of these. This year I am really going to focus on finding tasty ways to eat the “food” that is growing naturally around me. I live in a semi-rural area on the west coast of British Columbia and berries, greens, and mushrooms are not hard to find once you know what you are looking for. Last year I tried digging up dandelion roots for dandelion coffee, which was definitely too much work, but I have been using the tops for dandelion tea to detoxify my body. Now my next project is tapping the maple trees in my yard!!

  • Beth says:

    Have been doing the oil cleansing method for over a year now and love it! Instead of hand lotion though I do half unsweetened coconut flakes and half sugar and massage after I wash my hands (not every time but at least 1x/day) and then rinse and pat dry after. Works great and doesn’t leave my hands oily after. Love your list and b/c of your’s from last year and this year, now have my own! Thank you!

  • Shaina says:

    What a great list, Crystal! I love the idea of trying one new thing a month and being deliberate about it, and your choices are fantastic. I hadn’t seen the lotion one yet. Definitely need to check that one out.

  • I think it is so awesome how you do all these new projects to try and save money and that you share them with us. I have decided to put together my own list of things to try this year. You have helped me find new was to save money. Thank you!!

  • Nikki K says:

    I’ll admit it. When I read this post I got really excited. I’ve already skipped ahead and made the Hair Detangler and Facewash. Both are great! Can’t wait to try the rest.

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