November – Dejá Vu a Month in Review

As a courtesy to any of you busy people out there (What?! There are busy people at this time of year? REALLY?!), I have a wrap up of all the posts here at Pretty Handy Girl for this month.

Create Your Own Storage Bin

That pretty much wraps up all of November. I’m looking forward to December and all the projects I have to share with you. I hope you will join me.

Rustic Christmas Decorating

“SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN!” Cover your ears because a very tone deaf woman (myself) was belting out the Christmas songs this weekend. With Thanksgiving behind us, I released the restraints and broke out the Christmas décor. The kids are loving it and counting down the days until old St. Nick comes down our chimney!
Christmas Morning 2009 – Magic North Pole Snow Footprints (Baking Soda y’all!)
As I told you the other day, I wanted to create a rustic country theme this year in our living room. So, without anymore restraints….here it is!
I spy with my own two eyes, a Pottery Barn Inspired Lantern from the Habitat ReStore!
I told you I had a plan for those old pool balls!
Do you think I achieved my goal? Rustic? Country?
Goal or not, I think I like it.
Although it took me four days of noodling to decide I have to let it be.
I can’t tell you how long I’ve been looking for an affordable cake stand.
Thieve’s market in Raleigh had THREE! Count them…1…2…3!
Of course I only bought one, so if you need one, head on over there.
Yeah, Baby! You know I couldn’t pass up those rusty sleigh bells at SuzAnna’s!
An old cheese grater (you can’t see it but it has a candle inside.)
An old sports stop clock and one of two large acorn decorations.
I couldn’t resist them, after all Raleigh IS the City of Oaks.
Another PB Inspired Lantern. Love these $5 finds!
Each year I try to think of a new and creative way to display all our holiday cards.
This year I put together two shutters to make a screen.
The tutorial is HERE!

That concludes the living room tour. If you aren’t bored to death,
I’ll show you a small vignette I have in our kitchen on top of the pie safe.
Isn’t she adorable? That little angel found her way into my shopping bag at SuzAnna’s.
I hope you all have a fabulous holiday season!

Now cover your ears again as I sing to Santa Baby (because I’m no Eartha Kitt!)



Making a Decorative Barn Door

When Miss Mustard Seed and I were junkin’ on Black Friday, she asked what I was looking for. I immediately answered rustic, rusty, and anything that looks aged and has a story to tell. I am so wacky like that, I could care less how well something is made or if it is an expensive antique. When I die, my kids are going to be sadly disappointed that all these antiques I’ve collected over the years aren’t worth a dime. C’est la vie, right?

So, this year for our Christmas décor, I decided to create a natural rustic country inspired theme. What better way to invoke that spirit than with an old barn door. The only problem was that I didn’t own one. No problem, I’d just make one!

Plywood board – painted or stained red
3 – 1″ x 4″ boards – painted or stained red
Nails or screws
Wood glue
D-ring picture hangers
Picture Wire
optional: Rusty door parts

In my “I can’t throw anything away scrap pile” I took some old plywood scraps that had been stained with red stain.

You will need to measured the space above your mantle, subtract a few inches from the top and bottom, then cut the plywood down to size (using a circular saw or table saw.)

Lay two 1″ x 4″ strips of plywood as cross pieces.

And one 1″ x 4″ piece at an angle. Draw a line where the horizontal pieces intersected with the diagonal piece.

Use a miter saw, circular saw or jig saw* to cut the angled cuts.

Liberally appy glue to the back of the 1″x4″ strips to secure them to the plywood base and then nail some finish nails into the strips to secure them. You can use a pneumatic nailer* if you have one, but screws or regular nails hammered in will work just as well! No need to buy any new tools for this project.

Hopefully you have a nail or hook already installed on your fireplace. Luckily I did, but in the past I have also just leaned artwork against the brick. So, if you choose to lean, ignore the next few steps.

Measure the location of the hook on your mantle. For example, if the hook is 20 inches from the ceiling, and you want your barn door’s top to hang 12 inches from the ceiling, then you will need to install the hooks 9 inches down from the top of the barn door. This will allow an inch for the wire to slack. Get out your D shaped picture hooks and screw them to the back of your barn door using a cordless drill* or just a screw driver and some muscles. Repeat on the opposite side.

Feed some metal picture wire through one D ring. Twist once…

…then feed the wire back through the D ring and twist the rest of the wire tightly against itself.

Pull the wire taught and repeat on the opposite side.

This is the best way to attach picture wire so it doesn’t slip. If you are hanging something super heavy, you might need to loop the wire back through the D rings a few more times.

If you have some old gate handles, hinges, or latches, attach them to your door. I screwed this old RUSTY gate lock to the top of my barn door. It makes a convenient hanger for…

…my Christmas wreath!
That’s all I’m going to show you of our mantle today.

Did you like this post? Want to be notified when there are more fantastic tutorials by Pretty Handy Girl? Sign up to receive emails in your inbox:

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Or follow me on Twitter or Facebook so you can be the first to know!


I Spent Black Friday with Miss Mustard Seed

What better way to spend Black Friday than with a kindred spirit? This creative genius; thrift and antique loving blogger was so much fun to hang out with today.
Her name is Marian, but you may know her as the fabulous Miss Mustard Seed. If you haven’t been to her blog, you have been deprived! She has the best tutorials for furniture refinishing and her photos are pure mouth-watering candy for the eyes.
When I heard she was in Raleigh for Thanksgiving I asked her if she would like to meet. Little did I know that we would spend the day together along with her sweet mother and mother-in-law.
We had a fun morning wandering through SuzAnna’s Antiques in north Raleigh. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve lived here for 10 years and never knew about this spot. The owner, Jenny assured me that they’ve only been open a few years, but I will be sure to stop back by her place someday soon.
So, here is what we enjoyed feasting our eyes on:
Can’t you just see a family of bluebirds moving into this bird hotel?
John Deer Birdhouse
You could definitely re-create this by using Mod Podge and some color copies.
Then be sure to charge $39!
His and Hers Birdhouses
Okay, I admit it, I have a serious addiction to birdhouses, but you already knew that, right?
Chippy Green Porch Swing
Old Stove
This trough full of rusty treasures made me think of Donna at Funky Junk Interiors.
Loads of Shabby Chic Beauties
Crisp clean white plates on a white washed wall.
This is so easy to achieve, and yet the impact of all these white buttons in a jar is stunning.
If kisses were snowflakes, I’d send you a blizzard.
I am such a snow-lovin’ southerner (yes, I realize that I’m in the minority!)
You see that cute little angel? Well, she’s not there anymore, she’s in my home now!
While we’re at it, don’t even drool over those Christmas colored pool balls,
because, they are MINE!
I bought them and am trying to incorporate them into my Christmas mantle décor.
I’ll give you just a quickie sneak peek at it.
I built a mini barn door out of wood scraps I had lying around. As usual, the tutorial will come shortly. And then made this wreath using paper stars that I learned how to make here.

Today was a real treat for me, I don’t normally get to hang around with famous bloggers.

A few things I learned about Marian (aka Miss Mustard Seed):

  1. She likes Panera’s home style macaroni and cheese.
  2. She IS as sweet as she seems on her blog.
  3. If she has any spare time (which she rarely does) she will veg out in front of Survivor.
  4. Show her some vintage scales or ironstone and she is sure to buy them.
  5. She has no problem parting with the furniture and treasures she finds. I, on the other hand, can’t bear part with mine.
  6. She will be attending Blissdom 2011 in Nashville, TN (which makes me happy – because, so am I and I can’t wait to see her again!)
One more visual from SuzAnna’s before signing off.

Thankful for…

I am thankful for a warm bed to sleep in…
…and a roof over our heads.
I am thankful for the food that we put on our table, to sustain our bodies.
I am thankful for mother nature, who reminds me that we are not alone on this planet.
I am thankful for this earth, which provides for us a home filled with beauty.
I am thankful for my family, who remind me that life is good.
And my sisters, who understand me to my core.
I am thankful for my spouse, my best friend and better half.
I am thankful for the time I’d been given…
to spend with loved ones before they left our world.
Most of all, I am thankful for my children…
who humble me and remind me what life is like through a child’s eyes.
Thanksgiving Prayer
 Iroquois Prayer, adapted 

We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
which sustains us.

We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.

We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.

We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.

We return thanks to the sun,
that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.

Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in Whom is embodied all goodness, 

and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.

Fall Leaves Hurricane Centerpiece

Every year, my wonderful mother-in-law hosts Thanksgiving. My contribution is usually to provide the centerpiece. (Yes, I got out of cooking the turkey all these years?! Suh-weet!)
This year, I’ve been captivated by the beautiful fall leaf colors that are swirling around us here in North Carolina. Apparently there is an extraordinary display of colors this year due to the perfectly coordinated weather conditions this summer. (Don’t ask me what those are because I heard it on the news and promptly forgot!)
Today on the way home from picking up my youngest from preschool, I pulled over to the side of the road and stole scooped up some gorgeous crimson red leaves from a japanese maple tree.
Then a mile later I did a quick u-turn after spying these bold yellow leaves from a Gingko tree.
I filled two grocery bags and brought them home (hoping upon hoping that I hadn’t scooped up anything gross in my haste to grab the leaves before the homeowners ran out of their homes.) Okay, seriously, is stealing leaves a punishable crime?
To make the hurricane centerpiece, I took one large vase and then placed a smaller jar inside it. I added the foil to the bottom of the smaller vase so it wouldn’t wobble on the curved bottom of the large cylinder.
I gently stuffed half the space between the hurricane vase and the smaller vase with red maple leaves.
Then I added the yellow gingko leaves to the other side of the vase.
You can see that I created a diagonal line where the two colors met.
I did this to add visual interest. Next I inserted some red leaves on top of the yellow area, and vice versa. I played with the arrangement of the leaves until I was happy with the results. Then I cleared any stray leaves out of the middle jar and added a candle.
And that’s it. I’m done – it’s beautiful – and I’m thankful I didn’t have to spend hours cooking!
I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Oh, did you see those cute sweater vases? They are all the rage in Bloggerville. Stephanie Lynn at Under The Table and Dreaming has a great tutorial here if you would like to make your own.

Adding Roof and Perch to a Birdhouse

I hope you didn’t think I’d leave you hanging. Here is the tutorial for the decorative birdhouse I auctioned off for our preschool’s silent auction (just in case you want to make your own birdhouse for Christmas!)

By the way, the winning bidder paid $25 for the birdhouse. Not bad considering the house only cost me $3.

First you should know that I sawed off the perch that came with the birdhouse. And filled the hole with wood putty. Then after a light sanding and a coat of primer, I painted the whole birdhouse.
Here is what the house looked like after painting:
I used a pair of needle-nosed pliers to carefully de-scale several pinecones.

Hopefully you don’t need a bandaid like I did. Ouch, those scales are sharp!

If you have ever watched a roof being tiled, they always start from the bottom and overlap shingles as they go up. This little birdie abode is no different. I started by running a line of E-6000 (super strong glue) on the bottom of the roof. Then laid the first row of scales.
Once the first row was complete, I overlapped a second row on top of the first. Here is a peek at the roof after three rows had been laid.
Once I reached the top, I moved to the other side. I did go back and adjust any scales that moved slightly during the roofing process. And this is what the house looked like when I was done with the roof.
As the roof dried, I searched my yard for a stick to use as a perch. It took a while, but I found one that had a “T” shape so I could insert one end into the house.
I chose a drill bit that was the same size as my stick and then drilled a hole into the front of my birdhouse.
I used some more E-6000 to line the hole, then slid the stick into the house. I also put a small dollop of glue behind where the stick touched the house near the top left of the stick just to hold it secure.
I needed to add a screw eye to allow someone to hang the birdhouse if they wanted to. I simply measuring the center of the roof and then I used a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw eye to drill the pilot hole. Screw eyes can pretty much be twisted in by hand, or you can use your pliers if you need a better grip.
Now it is time to give the birdhouse some snow! First I taped off the painted sides of the birdhouse with ScotchBlue painter’s tape to protect them from the spray.
I admit it, I’m cheap. I didn’t feel like buying some fake snow, so I chose to use white spray paint and glitter spray instead.
I pulled the can pretty far away, and actually the white paint was near empty so it spattered out. Which ended up being one of those happy accidents because I liked the splotchiness. I also gave the house a light dusting of glitter spray. To protect the house, I coated it with 3 coats of clear spray.
And here she is in her snow dappled glory!

I’m curious, how much would you have bid up to on this cute little one-of-a-kind bird house?




Did you like this post? Want to be notified when there are more fantastic tutorials by Pretty Handy Girl? Sign up to receive emails in your inbox:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Or follow me on Twitter or Facebook so you can be the first to know!

Birdhouses with Style

Our preschool silent auction is today. Every year I donate a one-of-a-kind birdhouse to be auctioned off. I never spend more than $3 on the birdhouse and usually buy the unpainted versions at Michael’s or ACMoore. Then I get creative by hand-painting a scene and add unexpected touches to the house.

2008 – Jardin da Girasoli de Vendere “Vendor of Sunflowers”
Painting sunny sunflowers and some green grass gave this birdhouse a sunny garden look. I added a gold spigot for the new perch. Using a spade bit in my drill, I cut a hole slightly smaller than the spigot, then simply screwed the spigot in place. For added stength I coated the threads with some E-6000. Can anyone guess what the roof tiles are made from? They are canvas shims! Those are the freebie scraps if wood that come with a painter’s canvas! Painting them bright red took the little birdhouse from cute to bidding war worthy!

2009 – Red & White Bird Silhouette Round House
I apologize right now for the condition of this picture! Obviously this is the only picture I took of this cute little abode. The birdhouse was a $2 find at my local Goodwill. The roof was detaching and it was painted an ugly 90′s hunter green and burgundy. I gave the house a good cleaning, then glued and nailed the roof back on. After a fresh coat of primer and white paint, I hand-painted the bird motif and the roof and base. The perch is a curtain rod screw (that holds the rod in the curtain rod bracket). Then she received a little green ribbon and a silver bell on the top. So simple, but one of my favorites!

2010 – Christmas Time, Snow and a Pinecone Roof
Another unpainted house picked up at Michael’s. This house got some serious head turning attention with a pinecone plank roof, white snow, glitter, and a stick for a perch. The tutorial to make this birdhouse can be found here.

The back has a large Christmas tree decorated for the holidays. I hope the birds appreciate it.

To protect all my birdhouses from the elements (should they really be “for the birds”), I coated them with a few coats of polyurethane.

I know that some of you might be thinking you can’t do this, but let me float some ideas for you. Instead of decorative painting try:
  • Mod Podge Wallpaper on the sides
  • Mod Podge Fabric to the sides
  • Use a stencil
  • Search the web for picture inspiration and trace it onto your birdhouse.
  • Use painters tape to create stripes
  • Let your little ones decorate the house with paint

    So, how much do you think my pinecone roof birdhouse will fetch today? I hope more than $3!

    Feathers in my Wreath

    I bought this basic white base wreath at Target a few months ago. I knew it would take me through several seasons.
    Case in point, my magnolia-fied wreath from September.
    Well, I stripped out all the dried magnolia leaves and was determined to give it a new look for Thanksgiving. When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of turkey! So, turkey, pheasant, and peacock feathers seemed like an ideal filler for my plain wreath. I also threw in some other feathers I had in my décor stash.
    All I did was tuck some feathers into the wreath. Played with the placement of the feathers until I liked the look.
    Then I added a dark teal satin ribbon.
    Not bad, but not very exciting. I wanted to add some color, so I grabbed some green potpourri nuts and gave them a fresh coat of spray paint (Rustoleum Apple Green) to freshen them up.
    Then, I put a small dollop of hot glue on the backs and pressed them onto my wreath. My goal is to continue to re-use the wreath, so I used the glue sparingly.
    Now, that looks much better.
    Then I hung my feather wreath up and my door is festively decorated for Thanksgiving.
    After Thanksgiving, I’ll be haulin’ down the Christmas decorations. I’m trying so hard to keep the kids from dictating our decorating with inflatable santas, elves and more. Personally, I prefer the classic white lights, some greenery and a red bow to top it off.

    Creating a Mulch and Stone Path

    Did you know that a new heat pump, wood rot repair, and yard drainage issues will put a hefty dent in your bank account? Apparently it will also wreck your yard after all those contractors have been traipsing through it on a rainy Saturday!
    That is 100% authentic Carolina red clay! Yummy! It will stain everything you own and make housekeeping a nightmare. With this mess, I had to come up with a fast and frugal solution to our mud problem. 

    While searching Lowe’s for some solutions, I stumbled across this landscape edging. I was very excited to see that I wouldn’t have to dig a trench to bury half of it! Instead, it comes with pegs that you nail into the ground. Suh-weet!
    Flat stones or stepping stones (cost will vary)
    2 Garden Plus 20′ No Dig Landscape Edging Kits – $16 ea.
    2 Extra bags of Garden Plus Edging Pegs – $4
    Two different colors of mulch (I used 20 bags -10 for each color) $3 each
    3′ or 4′ stick or yardstick for your width template – free
    Garden Rake
    Gather all your materials near your path site. Layout all your stones and walk on them to make sure they are spaced for a comfortable gait. Do you see that stick in the above picture? That was my path width template. 

    Use your path width template (aka stick) to keep your edging equal distance apart the entire length of your path. (You may need to put a weight on your edging or set a peg in halfway to hold the edging in place.)
    After you have your path and the edging laid out, step away from it and take a look. Make any tweaks in the layout now.
    To set the path, start from one end and hold the peg at an angle.
    Then hammer the peg into the ground…
    …until it is flush with the earth. 

    Set a peg every 4-6 feet and especially at the peak of any curves.
    Repeat for the other side of your path.
    Open a bag of mulch and spread the mulch to the top of your stones and the edging. Use the back side of your garden rake to smooth the mulch and eliminate any high or low spots.
    Repeat until you have filled your entire path.
    Then spread the second color mulch on the outside of your path. Don’t you just love the contrast between these two? The lighter color mulch is cypress mulch and the darker is hardwood mulch.
    Walk on your stones and put some mulch, dirt or sand underneath any that wobble.
    Now stand back and admire your finished path! I think my favorite stepping stone is the broken heart stone I made with two rocks.
    The entire path took me just over two hours. Not bad and the bonus is that I didn’t need to go to the gym to workout that day!

    Sharing this post with Centsational Girl’s Garden Link Party.

    I have a dirty little secret….my master bathroom is UGLY!

    I can’t believe I’m about to show you my dirty little secret. But, I feel bad for my friend Sandra from Sawdust and Paper Scraps. She has some work to be finished in her master bathroom. So, I hope she’ll feel better after I share my awfully tiny and incredibly outdated bathroom.

    I’m warning you now, what you are about to see is disturbing. If you have children, please escort them from the room.

    Exhibit A. Harvest Gold Tile
     Exhibit B. Jackson Pollock sponge paint and stamping
    Exhibit C: Ugly Wall Cabinet on the Wall
    Exhibit D. Outdated Oak Cabinet and Light Fixture
    Exhibit E. Coffin-like shower.
     I know, SCARY, right?!

    Pretty Handsome Guy and I knew that one day we would be gutting this bathroom. Therefore, we decided not to do anything to the bathroom knowing that it was going to be euthanized renovated at some point.

    Well, after about a year, I couldn’t stand it anymore. As a surprise for Pretty Handsome Guy, I gave our teeny 1970′s bathroom a minor face lift while he was away on business. I spent about $100 to give us a calmer start to our morning.

    First I took down that ugly wall cabinet. Then patched all the holes in the wall. I sanded the walls to remove some of the bumps from all the random paint. I painted all the trim a glossy white. And the walls got a fresh coat of Ralph Lauren Durango Blue. I chose a deep color to draw attention away from the harvest gold tiles.

    Then I hung some pictures…
    …and a new mirror (bought on clearance at Target).

    I ditched the Hollywood strip lights and replaced them with this very affordable Craig’s List find.

    I really did not want to spend a lot of time on the vanity (stripping and sanding), so I roughed it up a little and put some Brazillian Rosewood gel stain on it. And left it for 24 hours to dry. Yup, that’s right, I didn’t wipe off the stain.

    You know what else I didn’t do? I didn’t put a protective coating of polyurethane either!
    I also didn’t bother staining the inside of the cabinet. This is so opposite to my DIY code of conduct! I’m usually a perfectionist and I do it right the first time or I don’t do it at all. But, as I said, this bathroom is slated for demolition one day, so why put a lot of time or money into it.
    Finally I installed some new towel bars and put new knobs on the cabinet. 
    Okay, sure the ugly tile is still there. And the shower still looks like this.

    But, we now have a bathroom that we can enter without the risk of leaving with a migraine.

    I am able to live with the bathroom as it is, until the happy day when I can knock down some walls, haul out some outdated tile and build my dream master bathroom.

    Here are my plans for this dream:

    Existing Floor Plan: Luckily an old washer and dryer closet backs up to the other side of this bathroom. This will give us another 3′ of space along one wall!

    Renovation Floor Plan:

    And this is what I envision our bathroom will look like one day!

    Thanks to Lori Gilder of Interior Makeovers, Inc., who somehow has a window into my mind to see what I want our master bathroom to took like. She posted these photos from her portfolio on She’s a fabulous interior designer who lives in Beverly Hills. Check out her blog and portfolio.

    Sooooo, do you have a room or a space that is hideous? But, you don’t have the time, money, or effort to give it a full renovation? Why not make a few frugal changes so you can live with it until you can DESTROY IT (and then rebuild it of course.) It is amazing what some paint, new towels, pillows and/or a few fixtures can do.

    Guest Blogger – Michelle from Dream Home DIY

    Hey guys, I’m a blog hoppin’ today. Michelle from Dream Home DIY and I are trading places.
    Without further ado, take it away Michelle! 

    Hello fellow Pretty Handy Girl followers!
    I’m Michelle dropping by from over at Dream Home DIY where my sweet, southern beau and I chronicle life’s unexpected (but all together charming) surprises as first time homeowners.

    Between leaky master bathrooms on move in day…

    …a complete remodel of our living room floor plan just weeks later
    (to include a still-in-progress archway)…
    …and a front porch revamp with no shortage of new paint and stain…
    It is safe to say that we hit the ground at a dead sprint!
    “Date night” now consists of us, plus that nice gentleman behind the paint counter at Lowes, hashing out the pros and cons of semi-gloss vs. flat or the perfect shade of teal. And a romantic evening at home involves snuggling up on the couch, dreaming of all the ways we’ll transform this quaint starter home into our Forever Home…the place our future children will take their first steps and where a lifetime of memories will be made.
    Together, two novice DIYers fumble, laugh, struggle, and triumph as we take this stark builder basic house and fill her with love…oh, and lots of paint, new fixtures, revamped floors, remodels, craft projects, furniture makeovers and more. And on a budget that might make a poor church mouse cry.
    On the horizon?
    A fabulous kitchen remodel, master bedroom and bath reconfiguration, new decks, landscaping, painting, furniture construction and re-facing, future additions, garages and so much more!!
    One project that holds a very special place in my heart, is the makeover a very special mirror, gifted by my dear mother almost 10 years ago. Each year, around my birthday, my mother would pull out the largest JC Penny catalog I had ever laid my eyes upon and thumb through the pages stopping in the home décor section. Flipping the book so that I was now in control, she would simply ask, “What would you like your room to look like this year dear?” 

    Through the years my tastes evolved from pretty princess to bold neon polka dots, but on my 15th birthday I was ready for a “grown up room” and my sweet mother gifted me this mirror.

    When we purchased our new home, I wanted that mirror to hold a place of honor and the newly painted hallway seemed up for the task. But it no longer fit into my décor sense. Nothing a bit of spray paint can’t fix, right?
    With a coat of paint and bit of glaze, this special mirror was ready to hang.


    Incorporating personal treasures is an amazing and important way to make an empty house your memory filled home. We instantly feel cozy and are constantly reminded of those that we hold dear to our heart.

    Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner

    The other day I started to show you some of the DIY projects we worked on at my sister, Alana’s house. I mentioned the touch up painting we had to do in her kitchen.
    So, I figured I’d show you our tried and true paint tray liner. Easy clean up and finally a use for those plastic bags (although I advocate using reusable bags, I still somehow end up with a plethora of these plastic grocery bags.)
    Let me call my assistant to show you how to do this. While we’re waiting for her, grab your paint tray, two plastic grocery bags and some painter’s tape.
    And here she is, my lovely assistant and Pretty Handy Sister, Caitlin
    1. Take your plastic bag and turn it inside out so the ink is on the inside. If you don’t do this the ink will run into your paint. Not a pretty sight.
    2. Slip the bag over the top of your tray and secure it with a piece of painter’s tape.
    3. Take your second bag and flip it inside out. Then slide it over the bottom half of your tray. Make sure the bags aren’t too tight around the tray. They should conform to your trays sides and bottom. 
    Now, put a piece of tape at the top of the bag. 
    4. Then turn your tray over and affix one more piece of tape to the back side.
    5. Pour your paint in the tray and start rockin’ and rollin’!
    The lengths I’ll go to for my sister!
    6. When you are done, salvage any paint you can and put it back in your paint container. Then carefully peel the tape off the back of the tray and fold both bags in and around the paint. Then you can pick up the bag and dump it in the trash. Be sure to clean your brushes well. See this post for tips on cleaning and your paint brushes.

    Touch Up Painting Done – CHECK!
     Here is my sister’s kitchen, all touched up.
    I love the glass tiles and the granite is gorgeous. It has cobalt blue flecks in it.

    Installing Cabinet Knobs

    I spent the weekend in Norfolk, VA with my two wonderful sisters (Alana and Caitlin) and Alana’s boyfriend, Eddie. We had fun kicking some DIY butt! 

    Most of the projects were centered around Alana’s kitchen. The kitchen was remodeled a few years ago, but it was never really finished. Our mission this weekend was try to complete some of those unfinished projects.

    One of the tasks we accomplished was installing knobs on the kitchen cabinets. Another was touching up paint on the walls (but that is another post for another day.)


    Caitlin made a template out of cardboard that made it a snap to install the knobs.

    First she measured the corner square on the cabinets. It was 1.5″ square.

    Then she made a hole in a piece of cardboard 3/4″ from two edges of the template. This way we knew our hole would be centered in the square every time! And she marked the outside corner with a little arrow.

    I lined up the template at the corner of the cabinet, making sure the arrow was pointed at the outside corner. (We used the edge of the raised panel, instead of the actual corner of the cabinet.)

    I used my drill to make a mark where the hole would go.

    Then I removed the template and slipped a piece of scrap wood behind where the hole was being drilled.

    Then I drilled into the cabinet until I felt it enter the scrap wood.

    Can you name my facial expression? a) I just got a whiff of old yeasty bread. b) I’m really concentration on my drilling. c) I’m trying not to laugh at my sister taking my picture.

    Then Caitlin threaded the bolt through and screwed on the knobs. Perfectly beautiful and those of us with fat fingers and short fingernails can get into the cupboards now.

    For your viewing pleasure, I thought you might get a laugh out of one of the outtakes of our  Charlie’s Angels inspired picture. We were doing our best at making a sexy face. Caitlin said  “sexy facial expressions” must not run in the family. Not sure what’s with that fish face I’m sporting. So much for my sexy look.

    A New/Old Foyer Light

    I have been looking for the perfect foyer light about three years now. In the search, I removed an ugly dated hanging light and replaced it with this:

    Okay, it is a little better, but I still wasn’t in love! And that is the key to the right lighting, you have to LOVE it EVERYTIME you see it.

    So, when I saw this Pottery Barn fixture, I knew I loved it!

    Amanda at The Hand Me Down House made one that looks very similar. I always thought I might copy her design, until I found a hanging light that had similar lines at our local Habitat ReStore.

    See that brass beauty in the front? Well, ignore the brass because I had plans to paint it. By the way, the iron chandelier went in my friend’s hallway.

    And that cute little fixture hiding in shame at the back was turned into another Pottery Barn knockoff lantern.

    But, on to the star of this post. My new foyer light! I disassembled the foyer light and set the glass globe aside. Then I attacked her with a one two punch using my new dynamic duo of spray paints.

    Automotive primer first and then two coats of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze!

    After putting the glass globe back on the fixure, I installed the light fixture (you can follow the same instructions as I showed in this post.)


    Check out that beautiful new/old light fixture! I know it isn’t exactly like Pottery Barn’s but I love it none-the-less. How about you?

    Create Your Own Decorative Bin

    Do you remember that cute little blue striped bin in Renee’s storage unit? The one that she uses for junk mail and recycling.

    How much do you think she paid for that? Would you believe nothing?! I made it for her out of a cardboard box and art supplies I had on hand.

    Cardboard Box
    Black Spray Paint (or other color)
    Spray Mount (Spray Adhesive)
    Elmer’s Glue
    4 sheets of scrapbook paper (wrapping paper, fabric or wallpaper)


    1. I started with a square Huggies Pull Ups box. I knew you wouldn’t believe me, so here is the picture to prove it.


    2. Spray paint the inside of your box (be sure to wear gloves because the spray will coat your hand since it swirls around inside the box.)

    3. Spray adhesive on the back of 2 sheets of scrapbook paper.

    4. Attach them to opposing sides of the box.

    5. If your scrapbook paper wraps around the sides, that is good. Be sure to snip the top of the paper at the corners of the box so it can fold over inside the box.

    6. Cut your other two sheets of scrapbook paper to the exact width of the uncovered box sides. Spray adhesive on those two sides and attached them to the box. Then fold over the top edges of the paper.

    7. If the folded top edges don’t stay glued, put a little elmer’s glue underneath and then use a book, clothespins, or binder clips to hold it down while it dries.

    And you are done! Cute, easy and cheap! That’s how I like my men projects.

    Guest Post on Remodelaholic

    Hello. You have reached the home of Pretty Handy Girl. We’re not home right now, but you can reach us over at Remodelaholic today! Or feel free to leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you shortly. Beeeeeeep.

    It’s true, I’m not here today. Instead I’ll be over at Remodelaholic sharing our Antique Heart Pine flooring in our living room. I hope you’ll swing by to see how we installed them and all the hurdles we jumped over to get them to a finished product.

    If you haven’t been to Remodelaholic, you are really missing out. I showed you a few of Cassity’s projects in this post.

    She designed and built her own carriage style garage doors!

    What I like most about Remodelaholic is that every day around 4pm EST I get a triple dose of DIY projects. It is like my daily injection of inspiration.

    What? You’d like a dose too?! All you have to do is go to Remodelaholic and on the side bar where it says, You’ve Got Mail”, simply enter your email address. You can also receive Pretty Handy Girl posts in your email inbox everytime I publish a new post. Go ahead and enter your email address here:

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    I’ll be sure to email you whenever I have something new to show you!

    I should have another post (or hopefully two) for you this week and then I’m headed out for a special weekend with two very special women in my life!

    My sisters: The Architect, The Interior Designer and Me

    We’ll be donning our safety goggles, aprons and gloves while we get busy kicking some serious DIY butt for my sister’s birthday present.

    Happy Birthday, Alana! 

    She’s the architect and today is her birthday! So, wish her a Happy Day.

    And the Winning Follower is….

    I had my oldest Pretty Handsome Boy choose a reader tonight. Call me old fashioned, but I decided it was more fun to have a traditional pull a name from a hat drawing instead of using I planned on cutting up all the followers’ names and putting them in a hat. Well, then I discovered that there are almost 800 followers now! So, in the interest of choosing a name tonight (instead of some time next week), I asked my son to pick a number between 1 and 788. He chose 530. Then I matched that number to my compiled follower list in Excel (okay, maybe not old fashioned after all.)

    And, the lucky #530 follower is…


    Come on down girl and collect your prize.

    You are the winner of a fabulous CD/DVD Car Visor Wallet – but wait, there is more – it comes fully loaded with $25 to spend on

    Okay, okay, calm down, I know you are excited. Let me tell my readers a little bit about you.

    Nancy lives in Northern New York and has a blog called Flatrock Cabin. Recently she and her husband renovated her craft room. You can see the details of this multi-tasking crafter’s dream here.

    And she has a sweet little companion that keeps her company when she’s crafting.

    Congratulations Nancy, I hope you put that gift certificate to good use.

    Everyone else, I hope you had a fantastically Happy Halloween. I know our boys had a fun time. Pretty Handsome Guy and I slaved on some very lavish costumes.

    We were black eyed peas. Ha, ha! It took us all of about 5 minutes to pull these outfits together.

    Now that November has arrived, I’m excited because I have a lot of new projects to show you. Stay tuned…