How to Install a Wall Sconce Light Fixture

How to Install a Wall Sconce | Pretty Handy Girl

Do your wall sconces annoy you? Are they stuck in the 90’s, 80’s, or worse yet the 70’s? When I picked out these sconces several years ago, they were the only ones I could find that I thought were okay. But, with a living room makeover in the works, I decided to upgrade them for a more modern pair.

How to Install a Wall Sconce | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s time to learn how to install a wall sconce. Of if you are like Pretty Handsome Guy, I’m going to teach you how to install new “light fixtures that hang on the walls” (lest you think I was talking about a breakfast treat.)


Whatever you call it, you can definitely do this. Ready?


  • Screwdrivers (flat head and phillips head)
  • Light fixture

Optional: wire cutters/wire strippers


Turn on the lights you will be working on. Shut off the power to your light(s) at your circuit breaker. Check the lights to verify that the power has been turned off.

How to Install a Wall Sconce | Pretty Handy Girl

Removing the Current Light Fixture:

Remove the light bulb and glass shade. Unscrew the mounting nuts from the face of your light fixture.

How to Install a Wall Sconce | Pretty Handy Girl

Lift the light fixture off the mounting bracket and let it hang (or get a friend to help hold the fixture if it’s heavy.) [Continue reading…]

Wood Cut Out Tray

cut out tray title

Happy Wednesday Pretty Handy readers.  Jaime here from That’s My Letter to share a DIY project that makes a great anytime gift or (an even better idea) for Mother’s Day.  I’ll show you how to make this wood cut out tray which you can personalize with any name or shape.

The wood cut out makes for an unexpected design element.  I painted bright blue behind the cut out, but any contrasting color will look great.

cut out tray 3

Plexiglass installed over the wood cut out provides a solid flat surface.  The plexiglass also adds a bit of shine and fancy!

cut out tray 2

Below are the step-by-step instructions to make this tray.


cut out tray supplies

  • 1/2″ plywood 18″ x 12″
  • 1/4″ plywood 18″ x 12″
  • 1 sheet plexiglass (18″ x 24″ –  makes 2 trays)
  • 1 – 1″ x 2″ x 6′ pine board (cut 2 @ 18″ length and 2 @ 13 1/2″ length)
  • white paint
  • blue paint
  • stain
  • 2 handles
  • 1/2″ wood screws
  • 1/2″ lath screws
  • plexi/glass cutter
  • jig saw
  • sandpaper
  • ballpoint pen
  • measuring tape & pencil
  • drill, bits & 1/2″ spade bit


cut out tray step 1

Step 1: Print out your name or word.  (I used Sign Painter – housescript font at 475 point.  Any font will do as long as it’s thick enough to cut out.)

cut out tray step 2

Step 2: Center the printout on the 1/2″ plywood and trace around letters with a ballpoint pen.  Use heavy pressure to create an indent in the wood. [Continue reading…]

Lowe’s to the Rescue for a Spring Makeover – Apply Here!


Can we all agree that Winter was a big fat bully this year? He stayed around longer than he was welcome and wreaked havoc on our homes and yards.

According to the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI)* the following cities were declared the “10 Bleakest Cities of 2015″ after suffering through the harshest winter conditions.:

  • Boston, MA
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • New York City
  • Portland, Maine
  • Providence, Rhode Island

Lowe’s and I want to come to the rescue of a few homeowners in those cities. We want to swoop in and discover creative solutions to spruce up and/or improve their homes and communities. We want to bring a Spring Makeover to a deserving homeowner. Do you live in one of the “10 Bleakest Cities of 2015?” Or do you know someone who does? Keep reading!

11 bloggers and Lowe’s volunteers will fly in and complete makeover projects that have been neglected or delayed because of extreme winter conditions.

Did your landscape plants die under the harsh winter conditions?

Landscaping 101: Tools, Planting, and Adding Color to your Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

Maybe your front door took a hit from old man Winter. Tell us all about it and maybe we will come give it a facelift.


Or maybe you spent so much time shoveling snow outside that you didn’t get to finish those indoor projects.


Hey, maybe you just need some beautiful curtains put up so you can conjure up warm sunny days when the weather outside is frightful.

Installing Blinds and Window Treatments | Pretty Handy Girl

These are the bloggers heroes that will be coming to your rescue:

All Things G&D | Beneath My Heart | Brooklyn Limestone | City Farmhouse | DIY Playbook | The Golden Sycamore | Home Stories A to Z  |Just A GirlLiz Marie Blog | Our Fifth House | Pretty Handy Girl  and Lowe’s Home Improvement Volunteers!

Although I wish we could bring on a big fat extreme renovation project at your home, we’ll have to dial it down to a project that can be accomplished in two days (allowing for time to eat and sleep.) Selected projects should be easy refresh projects such as: landscaping, outdoor rooms, painting,  and easy interior updates.

**If you live in one of the “10 Bleakest Cities of 2015″ please submit a deserving makeover project between Monday, April 13 and Friday, April 17th.

You will be asked to:

  • To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:
    • Be looking to fix up a space within their residence
    • Makeover project should be able to be completed within 24 hours
    • Must live in: Boston, MA | Buffalo, New York | Detroit, Michigan | Hartford, Connecticut | Louisville, Kentucky | Nashville, Tennessee | Newark, New Jersey | New York City | Portland, Maine | Providence, Rhode Island (or surrounding suburbs of those cities)
    • Must be the owner of your home.
    • Be outgoing, energetic, and fun with unique stories to tell.
    • Be comfortable being on camera and/or interviewed by local media
    • Be in need of expert design help from one participating blogger.
    • Be able to make quick decisions in order to keep tight timelines.
    • Be available for a 2 day period to complete the makeover (between April 20-May 22).
    • Allow photos of your home to be shared online
    • Must be 21 years of age or older to apply
    • Complete the online application form and agree to the terms.
    • To apply visit:
    • We will only contact eligible participants

Important: To Submit your Home, Please apply using this survey form!


If you don’t live in one of the “10 Bleakest Cities of 2015″ you can still get inspired to improve your home at

Get plans and directions to create many projects including this painted trellis planter:


Or discover 8 Great Ways to Update Your Deck:


With Spring finally here, Lowe’s is looking to help people move past winter by giving you ideas for a quick makeover!


As always, you can also visit the Lowe’s Creative Ideas website for more DIY Project Ideas!


*The winter severity index analyzes the intensity and persistence of cold weather, the frequency and amount of snow, and the amount and persistence of snow on the ground based on historical context.

**Applicants will be selected after consulting with Lowe’s and all 10 bloggers. 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lowe’s. I was compensated for my time. All opinions expressed are 100% mine.

The Reality Is…

The reality's not real | Pretty Handy Girl

The reality is that what you see on TV and magazines isn’t real life. We all know this, but do we tend to forget after a while? I was watching one of those popular HGTV reality shows the other day. This one happened to be filmed in our neighborhood, so I was very familiar with […]

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How to Refinish Scratched & Rusted Appliances

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have an appliance that has scratches and/or rust spots? Unfortunately over time the rust will get worse if you don’t deal with it. Today I want to show you how to refinish scratched and rusted appliances so you can extend the life of your appliances and make them look almost like new again. […]

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How to Easily Clean Mildew Off Windows

Easy Clean Your Storm Windows with Steam | Pretty Handy Girl

Winter is tough on everyone, but it’s especially tough on your home.  The temperature difference between the outside and inside your home can leave a thick layer of mildew on your windows. Aluminum storm windows are especially prone to this condition. Before you open the windows and let in the warm breeze of Spring, you’ll want […]

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#DIYCourage Twitter Chat is Back

#DIYCourage Twitter Chat Every First Monday of the Month

The #DIYCourage Twitter Chats are Back! Remember when Sara Bendrick and I hosted a Twitter chat last year? Were you able to attend? If not, I have great news! We’re bringing the #DIYCourage empowerment back. The first Monday of every month, we’ll be chatting about your DIY projects that you completed or DIY projects that […]

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Hang Art Without a Frame

Hang Art Without a Frame

One way to change the look of a space is to hang up new art. With so many attractive options for your walls, it’s easy to do. Posters, photos, wallpaper and other memorable art can look great, even without a frame. Having art framed professionally can get expensive. Even store bought frames can break your budget. […]

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Love Your Home Challenge

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

My blogging friend Melissa Michaels just published a wonderful new book to help you “Love the Home You Have.” She focuses on simple things you can do to embrace the home you live in. With easy suggestions and achievable goals, she breaks down all the barriers you have when it comes to truly loving your home. To […]

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How to Build a Temporary Pergola

Build a Temporary Pergola with Trellises | Pretty Handy Girl

This tutorial to build a temporary pergola is perfect for a wedding, photo shoot, for some shade, or for your garden if you are okay with it not lasting forever. My sister and I constructed it for our Thompson’s WaterSeal Bali Dream Deck to provide some romance and shade from the hot Bali sun. Materials: 2 […]

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How to Paint a Giant Mandala Deck Tattoo

How to Paint a Deck Mandala Tattoo | Pretty Handy Girl

As promised, I’m back today to show you how to paint a giant mandala tattoo on your deck. Painting a design on your deck can turn an ordinary deck into a beautiful retreat. Add a few colorful accessories and you’ll have a backyard Bali getaway! Creating the mandala is a lot easier than it looks. Ready […]

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Knockoff PB Personalized Pinboard

Knockoff Personalized Pinboard

Hey everyone!  If you remember, last month, I shared with you how I updated my boys’ desk in our den with a wood plank desktop.  The den is just about ready for the big reveal and now I’m just working on adding little details.  This includes these fun personalized bulletin boards I made for each of my […]

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Thompson’s WaterSeal Bali Dream Deck Reveal

Bali Dream Deck for Thompsons Water Seal | Pretty Handy Girl

Last month while most of the US was under heavy blankets of snow and ice, I flew to Dallas. I was hoping to find warm temperatures and lots of sun. And if I couldn’t find any, I’d create my own with my sister, Caitlin’s help. Thompson’s WaterSeal asked me to design a dream deck and […]

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Replacing a Sink Drain

How to Replace a Sink Drain | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever needed to know How to Replace a Sink Drain? Or maybe in the past you hired a plumber. Well, I’m here today to tell you that it’s not a hard project and I know you can do it! I think the plumbing Gods smiled down on me recently. After the little leak […]

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Egg Place Cards

egg placecard name slot

Finally Spring is on the way!  Hello Pretty Handy Readers, I’m Jaime from That’s My Letter here to share a simple DIY project for your Easter table: DIY Egg Place Cards. Or as my kids like to call these: eggs on a stick.  These egg place cards add a touch of Easter charm to your place settings […]

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Faux Blue Bird Eggs and Nest

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

YES!!! Spring has arrived in North Carolina and I want to dance and sing as I tiptoe through the tulips. Some of our bushes are blooming and I’ve been bringing cuttings inside. Now is the perfect time to start decorating for Easter! A nest of Blue Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece! Here’s how to […]

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New! Shur-line Pro Paint Edger Product Review

Shur-line Paint Edger Review | Pretty Handy Girl

Last month I received a little care package from Shur-line. I opened the kit and assessed the products with speculation. As you probably remember, I don’t generally like new painting gadgets. I have my tried and true painting tools that I use and I rarely find new ones that I like better. As I was getting ready […]

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Fool Proof Way to Update Furniture Like a Pro

Fool Proof Way to Update Furniture Like a Pro

Hello friends! It’s Jessica from Decor Adventures, back this month with tips on The Fool Proof Way to Update Furniture Like a Pro! I have some tips to make your furniture finishes look like they were professionally done. Help you pick the best paint, primer and tools for the job. And finally a few quick and easy ways […]

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Build a Vintage Produce Crate Centerpiece – No Power Tools!

How to Build a Rustic Crate Centerpiece (No Power Tools Needed!) #DIYCourage | Pretty Handy Girl

It occurred to me the other day that many woodworking projects may deter people simply because they don’t have power tools or they don’t know how to use them yet. As a continuation of my goal to spread some #DIYCourage, Duluth Trading Company and I have teamed up to give you an easy tutorial to […]

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How to Turn a Bunk Bed into a Loft Bed

How to Turn a Bunk Bed into a Loft Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember when I built a loft bed for my younger son? No sooner had I made his bed, when my oldest son was begging me to build him a loft bed too. Instead of starting from scratch, I was able to turn his bunk bed into a loft bed in a few simple steps. Materials: […]

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