Picks of the Patch 2019

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Buckle your brassieres and grab hold of your britches, madam, because we’re about to embark on another self-congratulatory windfest more popularly known as a “Best of” post!

Oh, the insufferability!

If the holidays weren’t gluttonous enough, you now have to endure post after post after post of saccharine-laced superlatives from every Tool-totin’ Tina, Debbie DIY and “HEY Y’ALL” Hillary.

2019 won’t be escorted out with dignity and solemnity.

It will be carried out on a roiling tide of “Most” and “Best” and “Super,” as bloggers far and near tell you in their loudest and shrillest voices just how AMAZEBALLS the last year has been.

You may even get covered in someone’s AWESOMESAUCE.

It is also the time of year I slowly slink towards the nearest exit, hoping I don’t attract the attention of The Commandant.

But surely and inevitably, before I make it out of the general area and out of range, the question issues from her lips. “So my babes. Have you written this year’s Picks of the Patch yet?”




I stop mid-slink. No point slinking, now that I’ve been caught.

“Funny you should ask,” I say, “I was just about to write it.”

So here I sit, preparing to tell you about how AWESOME!!!!! 2019 was.

And it was, don’t get me wrong.

But all that AWESOME!!!!! did not come easy.

It never does.

Between Handan’s hospital, doctor and specialist visits, Barish’s SAT prep and college search plus the gains we made with the blog, this entire year at The Navage Patch was a whirlwind of worry and wonder, of stress and satisfaction.

I’m happy to report that Handan is again in tip-top health and ready to tackle 2020 with vigor.

I’m also happy to report that Barish’s College Admission Adventure is off to a promising start.

As we put a wrap on this year and look towards 2020, we all feel tremendous satisfaction at what we’ve accomplished, both for the blog and in our personal lives.

Let’s take a little peek at what worked for The Navage Patch in 2019.

Our top post of the year – the one with the most pageviews overall – was our DIY Winter Loop Yarn Wreath, published in late November of 2018. In 2019, from January 1 to December 25, this post was viewed 670,000 times , and since it was published last November, it’s been viewed 1,013,000 times.

Wow! This is our first post in the Million Pageview Club!



How ’bout an AMAZEBALLS?



Is this thing on?

And to think, Handan came up with this post last-minute as a space-filler because we couldn’t think of anything else to do!

DIY Winter Loop Yarn Wreath

Our number 2 performer of the year was Handan’s DIY Chalk Paint Recipe. Though we first published it a few years ago, it just keeps doing well, thanks not only to Pinterest but to Google. This is one of our best search engine posts. If you haven’t tried her chalk paint recipe yet, now’s the time to see what all the buzz is about!

Our number 3 post of the year was a big shocker to me. We’d lived with huge gaps in our engineered hardwood floors for years, and I had no idea they could even be fixed. Then one day, I decided to Google the problem, and I discovered that not only were floor gaps easy to fix, but there was a product made for just that purpose. The problem was that it cost $60. One glance at the thing, and I knew I could make it for just a few bucks.

Thus, my DIY Floor Gap Fixer was born.

DIY Floor Gap Fixer

It seems we weren’t the only one suffering from floor gaps, as this post has been a consistent performer all year!


Okay, those were the three most viewed posts of 2019, regardless of when they were published.

But what about posts we published in 2019? How did they do?

Now understand that this list is not totally accurate, because a post published in December only has one month of pageviews compared to a post published in January.

That said, our DIY Christmas Gnomes – a post we published just 11 days ago – is our number 6 post of the year!

DIY Christmas Gnomes

Coming in at number 2 is our DIY Iron-In Mugs. This post did way better than we expected. Seems like everyone has been searching for an easy way to get some good DIY personalized coffee mugs (and some funny SVGs as well)!

DIY Iron-On Mugs

Our number 3 post of the year was probably the one I was most excited for at the time. I thought they looked fantastic after we made them, but when I saw the pictures I took, I knew this post would do well. Truth be told, I thought these DIY Dollar Store Blue & White Porcelain Pumpkins would do even better than they did, but hey, number 3 ain’t bad!

DIY Dollar Store Blue and White Porcelain Pumpkins

It was a good year for “How-To” posts, and coming in at number 4 is our post on how to paint French doors the easy way with one simple trick.

how to paint french doors the easy way with one simple trick

Number 5 took me by surprise.

Seriously, sometimes you guys just throw me a curve ball.

One of the final projects of our Craft Room Makeover was a little storage solution Handan came up with using old coffee cans.

I don’t know if it was the coffee can repurpose that you guys liked so much or the incredible tip on how to paint bendable plastic without cracking or peeling, but you got this post up to the 5th spot!

coffee can repurpose

It’s well known that our readers are women and men of impeccable taste.

Duh. You’re here reading this post, aren’t you?


But seriously, you guys love our printables, and that makes us feel great, because Handan puts a ton of effort into each and every one.

And your favorite of the year? Well, the one that got the most pageviews so far, anyway…

Our Vintage Botanical Prints! Yep, you guys went bananas for these botanicals!

free vintage botanical printables

Not only do you guys love printables, but you’re also nuts about good SVG cut files. And we gave you some great ones for pillows with our DIY Iron-On Pillow post!

diy iron-on pillow svg cut files

One of the many projects that Barish’s Teen Bedroom Makeover spawned was our DIY Fired Alcohol Ink Art. This was one of the most fun projects we’ve ever done, and from it came the tagline that I now end our videos with. Watch the video in the post to hear it!

diy fired alcohol ink art

Rounding out the Top 10 of 2019 is our post on how to paint IKEA furniture. In this post, I gave a makeover to an IKEA KALLAX for Barish’s bedroom. One of the biggest issues with painting IKEA furniture is that their super-smooth finishing process makes it nearly impossible to paint.

Unless you know the trick…

how to paint IKEA furniture and a kallax makeover

Now, in a perfect world, we’d be able to know which posts of ours will go viral and which will  just fizzle and pop.

That sure would be helpful, so we could allocate our resources accordingly!

Here are some of our favorite posts of the year that didn’t make the Top 10 according to pageviews but we love nonetheless.

We had really high hopes for our DIY Epoxy Wood Shim Trees.

diy epoxy wood shim trees

I thought these were a guaranteed viral hit.

But what do I know?

Yep. I know nuthin.’

I wouldn’t go so far as to call the post a flop, but it didn’t do nearly as well as we were hoping. In the end, I guess it was just too complicated for many people. Contrast it with the winter loop yarn wreath. That was simple!

Two other simple projects that we (and you!) love are our DIY Mambo Yarn Trees and our DIY Faux Fur Trees.

mambo trees and faux fur trees
mambo trees and faux fur trees

Since they were published in November, they didn’t have enough time to make the Top 10, but I’m hopeful they both will next year!

Keeping on the “easy” track, another simple favorite was our Easy Lighted Hanging Ghosts.

easy diy lighted hanging ghosts

With just Dollar Store supplies, we made these funny little guys, and they survived torrential rains and howling winds!

When I showed you guys a simple way to antique Dollar Store mirrors, I told you that Handan had a plan in mind for them.

She wanted a focal point for all of our seasonal displays and a place to hang banners and garlands. She wanted a DIY Antiqued Panel Mirror based on one she saw at Pottery Barn.

Hey, if my babes wanted an antiqued panel mirror, my babes was gonna get an antiqued panel mirror!

antiqued panel mirror

Sometimes a furniture build turns out better than expected. Now, I don’t remember exactly what I was expecting when I built two DIY Rustic Console Tables for our gerbil cages, but I certainly wasn’t expecting them to look as good as they did – especially considering they’re made entirely from framing lumber!

diy rustic console table

Another favorite that’s been in constant use on our dining room table is the DIY Centerpiece Tray I made last winter.

diy centerpiece tray

Handan loves it and changes out the decor each season.

How could this list of favorites be complete without our Craft Room Makeover? It’s now the room I spend more time in than any other room in the house – my little home-within-a-home!

craft room makeover

And in that picture above, you can see the last on our list of favorites this year – our Antique Sewing Machine Drawer Upcycle.

antique sewing machine drawer upcycle

This project struck a chord with many of you as well. Though it didn’t make it into the Top 10, you guys gave some great comments on that post.


Well, that’s another year in the books.

2019 was our biggest year yet, and we thank you all for sticking with us on our journey.

We’re not done yet – not by a long shot! Handan and I hope that all of you will stick with us as we muddle along this winding path of DIY and Crafts. There will always be fun projects and plenty to laugh about.

We’ll keep doing what we love as long as you’re there to read my scribblings and comment on our projects.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – There is no Navage Patch without each and every one of you!

Handan and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts and the deepest depths of our souls.

We wish you a happy and healthy and prosperous 2020 – not just for you, but for your loved ones as well.

Stay warm. Stay safe. Stay tuned!


Greg and Handan

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  1. I just found you but I must say I am looking forward to hearing more. Mostly I miss my husband and really need him to come home. And that you call your beautiful wife babes.

  2. I found some posts I’d missed and some I’d forgotten; great review. I love your projects, your presentation, and your sense of humor. Keep up the good work. Happy New Year!

  3. Brand new to the blog, but keep coming back for your manly wit and sense of humor. You crack me up. Plus I love to design, decorate and craft. My husband gets a kick out of it when I read it to him because he can so relate. He wants to know if you also have 9 fancy pillows on the bed, that are never for your head?

  4. Greg & Handan
    You definitely can be proud of your accomplishments in 2019! So many great DIY’s! Even though I’m not very crafty, you make me believe I can do it. I really enjoy reading all your posts! Have a happy New Year!

  5. Always interesting what gets the high numbers and what doesn’t. I loved your shim trees, but they were hard to do and really took a lot of time with drying all the layers. Easy and fast are definitely what many are looking for. I like that you do a bit of both! I want to learn how to do an acrylic river in the top of a big wooden table top! One of these years!!!

  6. Greg and Handan
    I am so happy I stumbled upon your site this fall! I now look forward to so many more recipes , stories and craft projects!
    All the best to you and yours in 2020!

  7. Always enjoy your posts! I especially enjoyed the hummingbird rescue! Thank you for sharing your adventures with us all.

  8. That white yarn wreath is one of my favorite things I’ve made, I leave it out all year! In February I put little red and pink hearts in it after putting the trees away. Throughout the year I’m going to get creative on what else I can cram in there to be festive. My MIL is visiting and she asked me about it and commented on how cute it is, I might even make her one. πŸ™‚ Happy New Year to y’all!

  9. I’ve been following your blog for a good while – 2 yrs? – and find it admirable that a husband and wife can work together and praise each other and appreciate each one’s talents. I use your patent art all the time, and love many of your ideas. I find it surprising at times, Greg, that it is you and not Handan whose project I’m admiring. I love the DT mirrors project, the porcerlain pumpkins (!), the shim Christmas trees, and the upgrade on the Ikea cabinet. You two are very talented and preceptive. Keep up the good work!

    1. Well thank you so much, Barbara! Handan and I complement each other very well – our strengths and weaknesses rarely overlap, so we make a great team! Happy New Year to you and your family, and we wish you a wonderful 2020!