Best of Pretty Handy Girl 2011

It’s the end of the year and I know y’all have been busy. So, I thought I’d give you the cliff notes version of Pretty Handy Girl in 2011.

Gift Bucket Liner from Goodwill Pants

How to Paint a Dandelion Wall Mural

Fork Photo and Note Holder

Spring Paper and Button Flowers

How to Paint Doors the Professional Way

 

How to Paint Like a Pro Series:

 

Build Your Own Ladder Display Shelves

Photography Secrets for Shooting Indoors

 

Toilet Repairs Series:

 

Dream Big Butterfly Window

Backlit Cut Out Bookcase

Rustic Wine Crate

How to Replace an Ugly Hollywood Strip Light

Board and Batter Tutorial

How to Make a Branch Towel Bar

Light Bulb Comparison

How to Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Ombré Paint Chip Lampshade

 

Cabinet Door Revamped to Chalkboard Message Board

Kitchen Cabinet Turned into Shoe Storage Bench

 

Dollar Tree Placemat Garden Flag

 

Beveled Glass Light Fixture Ornaments

DIY Matchbox Car Race Track

 

And Finally, A Whole Slew of Power Tool Tutorials:

Compound Miter Saw

Jig Saw

Finish Nailer and Compressor

Cordless Drill

Circular Saw

Table Saw

Band Saw

I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited for 2012! I hope you’ll stick around for some more DIY tutorials and empowerment!

Did you have a favorite post of mine this year that I forgot to mention? Do tell! Chosing from almost 200 posts makes for some tough decisions.

Easy Decoupage Citrus Glass Plates

Today I want to share with you an easy craft tutorial. I call these my citrus themed glass plates.

Before my 4oth birthday party, I had been scouring the stores for some pretty citrus colored plates to serve sweets on. I was coming up empty-handed, was running out of time, and was concerned about my budget.

I happened to stumble upon some glass plates I bought at Goodwill awhile ago. And then the idea hit me! Why not make my own decorative plates!

Materials:


  • Mod Podge Glossy
  • Paint Brush
  • Jar of Water
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Paper Towels
  • Scrapbook Paper (thin works better)
  • Glass Plates
  • Recycled Jar or Cans to Dry Plates on
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Instructions:

1. Clean the bottom of the glass plates with glass cleaner.

2. Trace around the plate on the scrapbook paper.

3. Cut out the circle.

4. Snip four slits into the circle but NOT all the way to the center.

5. Snip four more slits centered between the first set of slits. You should end up with eight cuts equally spaced.

6. Cover the bottom of your glass plate with mod podge.

7. Center the cutout circle onto the bottom of the plate, pattern side down. Gently press the paper onto the plate allowing the paper to overlap slightly at each slit.

8. Liberally apply mod podge over the scrapbook paper.

9. Use your finger to smooth out the wrinkles in the paper. But, be gentle or the paper will tear.

10. Lay the plates upside down on the jars and cans until dry. Add more mod podge if needed to seal the scrapbook paper and glue it down.

Turn them over and enjoy your unique decorative plates.

Note: Do not fully submerse the plates in water, wipe them off and wash the tops so as not to mess up the paper side. Stack them with a paper towel in between so they don’t stick together.

Load them up with some light citrus sweets and they will be the hit of the party!


The possibilities are endless with these plates. Think about personalizing them with photos or monograms. What are your ideas for making your own plates?


 

DIY Wooden Hot Wheels Car Racing Ramp

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Do you have a little free time over the Christmas break? How about taking some time to make a wooden racing track with your kiddos!

If you have boys, I’m sure you have Hot Wheels cars in your home. They go hand-in-hand. My boys play with their race cars for hours!

They have several of the plastic tracks. And even a curly-Q racing ramp. But, honestly they seem to play with my scrap pieces of wood more than the plastic tracks. Chances are, if you or your spouse build things, you will have all the scraps of wood on hand to make this racing ramp.

My 7 year old and I worked together on this project. (He was my design consultant and he also helped with some of the assembly.) But, imagine the surprise on a child’s face if you made this ramp as a holiday or birthday gift!

Materials:


  • 2 – 1 x 4 x 13″ boards (tower sides)
  • 1- 1 x 4 x 9″ board (tower roof)
  • 2 – 1 x 8 x 33″ boards (ramp sides)
  • 1 – 1 x 6 x 33″ board (ramp)
  • 1 – 3/4″ dowel rod (cut to 12″)
  • 1 – 1/8″ dowel rods
  • 1 – thin rectangular strip for a divider 33″ long
  • 1 5/8″ screws
  • 1″ finish nails
  • 2″  finish nails
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Spray paint
  • ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape
  • X-acto knife
  • Clamps
  • Cordless drill
  • Handsaw or miter saw
  • 3/4″ spade bit
  • 1/8″ drill bit

Start by cutting all your boards to length. Grab the ramp board (1 x 6 x 33″) and cut one end of the ramp at a 30˚ angle.

Glue the narrow strip onto the center of your ramp using a small amount of Gorilla Glue.

Clamp the strip and add a few 1″ finish nails to secure the strip.

Set up your boards as shown. Tilt the ramp up at the back, the angled cut will rest on the floor (not shown.)

Drive a few screws through the side walls and into the ramp with your drill.

Line up the tower sides approximately 2″ from the back edge of the ramp walls. Then secure them in place with a few more screws.

Drill a hole into each tower side large enough for the 3/4″ dowel rod to fit through.

Slide the dowel rod through and center it on the ramp.

Mark the location of the center of the left and right tracks onto the dowel rod. Measure the distance between the dowel rod and the ramp. Use this measurement to cut 2 pieces of 1/8″ dowel rod 1/2″ longer than that measurement.

Remove the 3/4″ dowel rod. Drill holes 1/8″ wide halfway through the big dowel rod at the locations you marked for the centers of the tracks.) Wrap a piece of painter’s tape around the drill to indicate a depth 2/3 of the way through the 3/4″ dowel rod. Then don’t let the bit go further than the tape into the rod.

Mark the location where the dowel meets the outside of the tower wall.

Drill a hole all the way through the large dowel rod. Insert the 3/4″ dowel rod through the holes in the tower walls. Glue the 1/8″ cut dowels into the halfway holes. Then cut and glue two more 1/8″ dowels to go through the 3/4″ dowel on the ouside of the tower walls. These will anchor the large dowel rod and keep it from slipping out of alignment.

Nail finish nails through the tower roof and into the walls of the tower.


That completes the building portion of this tutorial. Hopefully your ramp resembles this one:


Now it is time to add some pizzazz! Ka-chow!

My design consultant demanded fiery red flames and black on his ramp. (And what he wants, he gets!)

I lightly sanded the wood race track. Added a coat of primer and some red and yellow spray paint.

Then I cut out a flame design using ScotchBlue painter’s tape (4 pieces overlapping) and an x-acto knife on a cutting board.

I gently lifted the tape and adhered it to the side walls.

After a coat of metallic hammered metal spray paint, I removed the tape to reveal:

What do you think? Do I have a shot at a job on Orange County Choppers??!! The “logo” on the top was made by pressing letter stickers over the primer, then I taped off around the words and sprayed some red and yellow spray paint. The lines are made with black graphic adhesive lines.

On your marks…get set…

and GO!


Nice two wheel stunt!

I hope you will make one of these for your little stunt driver.

Creative Gift Wrapping Day #5 – Polar Bear, Dove, Holly and a Sleigh

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This is it, the last day of the Creative Gift Wrapping tutorials. I hope you have had fun with some of these creative gift wrap ideas. In case you missed any, here are the previous days of gift wrapping:

Day #1 – Monogram & Name Plaque

Day #2 – Frosty & Rudolph gifts

Day #3 – Butterflies & 3-D Tree 

Day #4 – Chalkboard Tags

Today I have my favorite gift wrap! I have to admit that the polar bear is my favorite animal, so I might be biased. But, it is a really easy look to re-create.


Materials:

  • Wrapping paper
  • White card stock paper
  • Snowflake hole puncher
  • Key tag
  • Satin ribbon
  • Jingle bell
  • Black & white pom poms (nose & tail)
  • Small black button
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Hot glue gun

Wrap a present with gift wrap.

Using the template below (click on the photo for a larger version and then print it out), cut out the polar bear shape on white card stock. Better yet, if your printer can handle it, print it out on card stock and then flip the bear over to the white side.

Glue the bear onto the gift package.

Punch out some snowflakes. (I used some white and some light blue that would show up better on top of the white bear.)

Cut one piece of red ribbon for the bears collar. Glue the collar and snowflakes onto the package using Elmer’s glue. Use hot glue to attach a button and pom pom for the eye and nose.

Thread a jingle bell onto some satin ribbon, then tie a bow onto a key tag.


Hot glue the bow/jingle bell onto the bear’s collar.


Factoid: Did you know that a polar bear’s skin is actually black? And the bear’s hair is actually transparent hollow tubes. This serves three purposes:

  1. The tubes are hollow so they store air in them. This acts as an insulator.
  2. Plus, it helps the polar bears buoyancy while swimming.
  3. Remember how I said their skins is black? Well, because the fur is actually transparent, it allows the sun to reach the bear’s skin and help warm them. Cool, huh?!

Materials:

  • Wrapping paper
  • White card stock paper
  • Satin ribbon
  • Sprig of rosemary or other evergreen twig
  • Hot glue gun

Wrap a present with gift wrap.

Add a ribbon on the diagonal corners.

Click on the dove silhouette below to see the full size image. Print it out on the cardstock paper and cut out the shape to use as a template, or use the reverse white side of the shape.

Use a hole punch to cut out the eye. Hot glue the dove to the package and hot glue the rosemary underneath the dove’s beak.

Have fun with this creative package. Add the words PEACE, or bend the wings up to make them three dimensional.

This dove will work on a variety of sized gifts. Try one on a vertical present.


“Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men”

Bonus: Here are two more creative gift wrappings to try. The holly leaves are simply pieces of scrapbook paper folded and glued onto the package.

The sleigh was so much fun to create! I wrapped pieces of foam board and cut out a scrapbook paper sleigh.

Glued cotton balls for snow and some buttons and buckles make this a gift the recipient will want to stare at instead of open.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas day, a Happy Holiday and a terrific New Year!

Creative Gift Wrapping Day #4 – Chalkboard Tags

What is better than a creative gift wrapped package? A creative gift wrapping that can be re-used again and again and again! Chalkboard tags made from foam board are adorable and can be used after the gift has been opened.


Materials:

  • Chalkboard paint
  • Foam board
  • Chalk or chalkboard pen
  • Wrapping paper
  • Ribbon
  • Hole Punch
  • X-acto knife
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

Measure and cut out a 4″ x 6″ rectangle of foam board. The trick to clean cuts in foam board is to use a brand new x-acto blade! It is that simple.


To make perfect diagonal corners, measure 1″ from the corner (across and down) and make  marks. Then draw a diagonal line connecting the two points. Cut off the triangle.

Use the hole punch to put a hole in the middle of the top edge.

Spray paint or paint chalkboard paint onto the foam board. Let it dry.

Season the chalkboard rectangle by rubbing chalk all over the board. Then wipe it off. This will eliminate the chalk message “burning” into the chalkboard and will allow the recipient to re-use the board.


Write a message on the chalkboard tag.


Wrap the present with wrapping paper and a big bow. Attach the tag to the bow.


Now your gift recipient has a cute little re-useable chalkboard tag.


 Merry Christmas, Renee!


Materials:

  • Chalkboard paint
  • Foam core
  • Chalk or chalkboard pen
  • Wrapping paper
  • Ribbon
  • Hole punch
  • X-acto knife
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Clothespin
  • Silver or Gold acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Hot glue gun (or Elmer’s glue spots)

Follow the instructions above for making a foam core chalkboard. Eliminate the steps on cutting diagonal corners and adding a hole for this one.

Take apart a clothespin and paint both sides using the silver or gold acrylic paint.

Wrap the present with wrapping paper.

Wrap ribbon around the present, but don’t tie a bow. Just make a knot.


Make a separate bow out of the same ribbon and use hot glue (or Elmer’s glue spots) to attach it to the clothespin.


Clip the clothespin over the knotted bow on your package and slide your chalkboard into the clothespin.


“Merry Christmas, Baby!”

Only one more day until Christmas! Better get wrapping people! I’ll have a final wrapping paper tutorial for you tomorrow, I bet you can’t wait!

Creative Gift Wrapping Day #3 – Clustered Butterflies and 3-D Tree

supplies

Last night I invited two of my girl friends to wrap our Christmas presents together. We decided it was waaaaayyyyy more fun to wrap together than by ourselves Christmas Eve. We chatted and talked for hours! Before we knew it the clock had struck midnight and the cell phones began to ring as husbands wondered “What the heck are you doing?! Why does it take so long to wrap presents?”

Here are just a few of the reasons why it takes a little longer:

Making a gift look extra special for the recipient takes time and care. Pretty Handsome Guy would poo poo our efforts, but so be it. We had fun and that is all that matters!

Using Martha Stewart craft paint and holiday stencils on plain brown craft paper.

I set out some supplies, some water — and most importantly — Renee brought some Trader Joe’s Holiday Joe Joe’s! Mmmmm!

We had fun wrapping and crafting and creating!

I encourage you to invite a friend or two over to wrap with you this year. Enjoy some “down time” with some special friends. Or just pull up a chair in my dining room as I create a few more creative gift wrappings!



Materials:

  • Wrapping Paper
  • Wire Ribbon
  • Butterfly hole puncher (or other hole punch shape)
  • Colored scrapbook paper or other colored paper
  • Snowflake embellishment sticker
  • Elmer’s glue

Start by using the butterfly hole puncher and punch out oodles of little butterflies.

Crease and fold the butterflies in half to give them some dimension. It is okay to leave a few butterflies flat.


Gift wrap your present as you normally would. And add your ribbon and bow on diagonal corners.

Use Elmer’s glue to place random dots onto your package.

Lay your butterflies on top of the glue. Keep adding butterflies until your cluster is done.


Add a snowflake embellishment and one butterfly on the bow.

Think how adorable snowflakes or stars would look on dark blue wrapping paper!

“These are a few of my favorite things (butterflies in December!)”



Materials:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Curly ribbon
  • 1 – 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper
  • Shiny embellishment dots or stickers
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Optional: Green construction paper or scrapbook paper for fringe grass at the bottom


Wrap your gift in wrapping paper.


Cut a small square out of craft paper for the trunk. Fold your scrapbook paper into quarters…


…and cut along the fold(s) using the template below.
When you are done you should have two identical trees.

Glue the tree trunk down using Elmer’s glue. Run a bead along the spine of the tree and glue the first tree down on top of the trunk. Run a second bead of glue along the spine of the first tree and lay the second tree on top but slightly lower than the first.

Fold the left and right sides of the tree up to give them some dimension.

Add some embellishments or stickers to decorate your tree.

Optional: Adding Fringe Grass

Cut out a strip of green construction paper or scrapbook paper for your grass line. Tape two pieces together if you need to make it longer.

Cut fringes into the top edge of the green strip.

Using a pencil, roll the fringes over the pencil. I found this worked best on my thigh.

Glue your strip of fringed grass onto the package using Elmer’s glue.

Use your finger to push some fringes up and others down until you like the look.

Finish off your package by tying some curly ribbon onto it.

“Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree”


Please join me tomorrow for some more creative gift wrapping ideas!

Creative Gift Wrapping Day #2 – Frosty and Rudolph Gift Wrap

Are you ready to have some fun today?! Making recognizable holiday characters is sure to be enjoyable. It brought me back to some preschool craft projects we used to do in school.

Materials:

  • Black felt or black construction paper
  • Cake size paper plate
  • Buttons (2 eyes, 1 nose, 5-6 mouth)
  • Red Ribbon
  • Snowflake stickers, snowflake paper punch, and/or other embellishments
  • Wrapping paper in a plain color
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Hot Glue Gun

Preheat your hot glue gun. Wrap your present with the plain wrapping paper.

Cut out a hat shape using the black felt or construction paper. Feel free to use this template or make your own.

Cut a piece of red ribbon for the brim of your snowman’s hat. Then gather your snowman pieces and lay them on the package.

Use the hot glue gun to glue the cake plate upside down to the package. Glue the ribbon onto the hat. Attach the hat on the package letting the brim overlap the cake plate.
Cut another piece of ribbon (12″ or more) for the snowman’s scarf and fold it in half. From the fold, pinch and fold about 2 inches back on itself. This will be the snowman’s scarf knot. Play with the scarf and “knot” until you like how it looks, then use the hot glue to affix it to the gift box.
Use hot glue to adhere the buttons to the cake plate in the shape of a face.


Embellish your package with snowflake stickers and/or paper snowflake hole punches. Glue the hole punches with a small dot of Elmer’s glue.

Well look at that! You just brought Frosty the Snowman to life!



Materials:

  • 2 twigs
  • Brown craft paper or paper bag
  • Wrapping paper (preferably a plain color)
  • 2 buttons for eyes
  • 1 Red pom pom
  • Red Ribbon
  • Snowflake stickers or hole punches
  • Jingle bell
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Hot glue gun

Preheat your hot glue gun. Wrap your present with the wrapping paper.


Cut out a reindeer head from the craft paper or a paper bag. Feel free to use this template or make your own.

Lay out the head, sticks, buttons and pom pom nose on the package .

Coat the back of the reindeer head with Elmer’s glue and attach it to the gift. Run a thick line of hot glue onto the back of the twigs and attach them over the reindeer head. Attach the eyes and nose with hot glue.


Tie a bow with the red ribbon. Attach a gift tag and jingle bell to the bow and then hot glue it to the package.

Add paper punch snowflakes using Elmer’s glue and/or snowflake stickers.


I think Rudolph is pretty cute, don’t you?

Stick around, I’ll have some more creative gift wrappings for you tomorrow!

 

Creative Gift Wrapping Day #1 – Using Elmer’s Holiday #GlueNGlitter Supplies

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Every year I try to come up with new and creative ways to wrap Christmas gifts for my friends and family. For me, making beautiful packages is almost as fun as opening the gifts Christmas morning. In fact, I usually invite a few friends over to wrap presents with me. We spend a few hours chatting, cutting paper and creating little present masterpieces.

After last year’s get together, I needed to stock up on more gift wrap supplies. A quick trip to Walmart provided plenty of embellishments, paper, and exciting new crafting supplies.

I was especially excited about trying the X-ACTO template, decorative edge scissors and the swivel knife. I’ve never seen these products before. Fun, fun, fun!

Want to join me for a little gift wrappity wrap party? Go ahead and grab these supplies and I’ll show you how I created my scrapbook inspired presents.

Materials:

Let’s start with this red and white graphic shape gift.

Begin by wrapping the present with a solid color gift wrap.

Use the Elmer’s double stick tape underneath the edges of the paper for a hidden (no tape lines) closure.

Cut a piece of the Colorbok decorative scrapbook pages (die cut lattice page) to the same height of the package and about 2/3 the width of the gift. Trim along the edges of the design using the X-ACTO swivel knife.

Rub the Elmer’s glue stick onto the back of the lattice pattern. Then flip it over and press it onto the gift.

Fold a letter size sheet of paper into quarters. Draw one quarter of a decorative shape onto the paper (I tried to emulate the lattice hole design.) Make sure that your paper folds are in the center of the shape.

Cut out the shape you drew on the paper. Open the paper up and use it as a template to trace and cut the design out of black foam board.

Use the regular X-ACTO knife (and a brand new blade) to cut around the template. (Take your time with this task. You can make multiple cuts from different angles if you need to.)

Play with the layout of the graphic shape on your package. Mentally note where the graphic shape will go, then lift the black foam board shape off of the present.

Wrap ribbon around the present forming a cross shape. The center of the cross should line up with the center of your graphic shape. Tape the ribbon to the back of the package.

Adhere the black foam board shape to the center of the ribbons. (I find the CraftBond medium glue dots are super strong and perfect for the task of gluing the foam board shape.)

Dress up the black foam board graphic by outlining the shape with Elmer’s sparkle glue.

After the glitter glue has dried, write the recipient’s name using the silver Painters opaque paint marker.

Add  a ribbon to the top using another glue dot to hold it in place. You can learn how to make professional bows from Mural Maker & More.

And you are finished! Isn’t that beautiful? I really like the graphic shapes and the layers of textures.

Let’s try another gift wrap design! This green and red gift with a monogram letter is just as easy to create.

Begin by cutting out a piece of scrapbook paper. Lay the X-ACTO decorative shapes template on top of the paper and carefully run the X-ACTO swivel knife around the edges. Be careful not to cut or chip the template edges. Because they are plastic, they can break. I “tiled” the template to create an elongated shape.

Lay the cut out scrapbook paper on top of another piece of coordinating scrapbook paper. For this 2nd sheet, I decided to use the decorative scalloped edge scissors to compliment the X-ACTO decorative shapes curved template. Cut out the second sheet about 1/2″ wider than the first one.

Remove the scrapbook papers and tape a ribbon around the present. By using the Elmer’s removable double stick tape you can hide how the ribbons are secured. Be sure to have the ribbons cross high up on the gift to allow room for the monogram.

Add some more double stick tape to the backs of the scrapbook paper. Center the smaller piece on the larger one. Then, adhere the papers on top of the ribbon using the double stick tape.

Print out a large letter from your printer. Trim some of the excess paper from around the letter. Lightly tape the letter printout on top of a piece of black foam board.

Using a fresh X-ACTO blade and knife, carefully cut out around the outline of the letter.


Use some Elmer’s Craft Bond Medium Glue Spots on the back of the foam board “A” and adhere it to the present.

Write the gift recipient’s name onto the letter using the silver Painters opaque paint marker. Tie a separate bow and then adhere it with more glue spots.

You now have an adorable monogrammed present for someone special.


These two Christmas presents are too beautiful to open. But, if you put them in front of five and seven year old brothers, they won’t hesitate for a second to rip into the frilly bows and lines of these presents. So, save these for someone special! ;-)

How did you like this tutorial? Want to learn more ways to spruce up the presents under the tree? Check back everyday this week to see some more creative gift wrappings.

 

 

 

Disclosure: This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #Elmersholiday #GlueNGlitter #collectivebias and #CBias. I was paid a small fee to shop at Walmart and use a selection of X-acto and Elmer’s brand products. The ideas, tutorial and opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.

 

Tree Branch Ornaments by Laura Makes

Laura_makes

Today I have a special guest with a special holiday project. Laura is going to show you how to make those adorable tree branch ornaments! But, first, let me tell you a little about Laura.

This is Laura with one of her four fur babies!

Laura writes about making on her blog Laura Makes. She writes about a variety of projects including crafts from knitting to making mosaics (and everything in between), food & drinks (mainly vegetarian), baking, and home improvement projects with a focus on healthy living and environmentally friendly projects. She even faux tiled the concrete floors in her home using soy based concrete stain. The results are nothing short of amazing!

Laura's Stained Concrete Floors

Will you all please give Laura from Laura Makes a warm welcome!

Every year, I make some percentage of my gifts rather than buy them. At first I started out with grand ambitions and would pick one or two recipients to get a labor-intensive gift like a crocheted afghan. In the last few years, I’ve scaled my efforts back and now make small gifts for multiple recipients. I typically will make a handful of one style of gift to boost my holiday time efficiency.

This year I started thinking about what type of ornament I could make from materials I had lying around. I settled on ornaments made from branches we cut off our trees a few years back. Basically, I cut thin slices of the branches, added a painted Christmas design and a ribbon for hanging and they are ready to go!

So you’re probably wondering how you can do this too… Well, you’re in luck because I’m ready to share!

Step 1: Cut your wood slices

Find a branch with a diameter of 2 – 3 inches (or large enough to fit your design) and cut thin slices. I used a reciprocating saw with a 9” wood blade on it to cut slices about an inch thick.  I just have a photo of the saw, but remember to securely clamp your branch before starting to saw it and to wear safety glasses while operating the saw.

Step 2: Sand your wood slices

The reciprocating saw left a rough finish so I used sanding blocks to create a smooth surface. I first used a very coarse grain sandpaper to get the surface level and then a fine grain sandpaper to create a nice finish. The sanding blocks were very handy – I held the block still while moving the wood slice to sand the surface.

Step 3: Drill holes for small eyelets

This is as easy as it sounds. Use a small drill bit to drill a hole in the top of your wood sliced and then screw in a small eyelet. This will allow your gift recipients to hang your ornaments. You can pick up small eyelets at any home improvement store.

Step 4: Create your designs

I like to create my own linocuts (a print-making method) so I decided to create reproducible designs by basically making holiday stamps for my wood slices. You could also simply buy stamps or paint a design if cutting your own stamps isn’t your thing.

I started by drawing my designs on paper – a snowflake, a Christmas light bulb, and a Christmas tree. I traced the outline of my wood slices so that I would be sure to create designs that fit on the slices.

After that, I transferred the design onto my carving blocks.

And then I used my speedball cutter to carve out my designs.

Step 5: Get that design onto your wood slice!

Whether you make your own stamp, buy a stamp, or paint your design free hand, it’s now time to get the design on to your wood slice. Because two of my designs were meant to have two colors, I used a paintbrush to apply my paint to the stamp before stamping the wood slice. Of course, before doing any stamping I first tested my carved stamps to make sure they looked how I expected and also tested the amount of paint that need to be applied.

The snowflake design only used a single color so I used a small brayer instead of a paintbrush to apply the paint.

I found that it worked best to lay the stamp on the table, place the wood slice on top of it, and press down with firm (but not hard) pressure. This helped transfer the paint to the wood even if some small ridges remained after the sanding step.

The trick is getting the right amount of paint on the stamp so I recommend practicing on paper for a while before moving on to the wood slices. If I painted the paint on too thick, I would first lightly place the stamp on paper to absorb some of the extra paint. Of course if you are just painting directly on the slices you can just jump to that step! I made one freehanded design of a snowman for a particular snowman lover in my life.

Step 6: Embellish your designs

Because I felt that my Christmas bulbs and trees turned out a bit plain, I broke out some leftover red glitter glue to embellish them. For the red bulbs, I painted on the red glitter glue. For the trees, I added little dots to signify tree decorations.

Step 7: Seal your ornaments

I wanted to add some sort of sealant coat to my ornaments for protection. I settled on Mod Podge because I had some at home. Experimentation taught me that I couldn’t use a sponge applicator to brush on the Mod Podge or it would smear the paint even though it was dry. Instead, it seemed that using a paint bush to dab the Mod Podge on top of the paint worked the best.  When first applied, it looks somewhat white but it does dry clear.

Before drying:

After drying:

Step 8: Add a way to hang those ornaments

I used ribbon to create a small bow at the top of the ornaments and also to create a loop so that the ornaments can be hung. Hooray! They are complete and ready to be gifted!

Don’t you just love her ornament idea?! I was watching Celebrity Holiday Homes on HGTV last night. And one of the designers who was decorating Jo Dee Messina’s home, glued her family photos to the center of a wood cut out and turned them into ornaments. I bet Laura inspired him!

Thanks for sharing your tutorial with my readers Laura!

Do you want to be a guest on Pretty Handy Girl? Go ahead and submit your idea! I love having people over.

Tool Tutorial Friday – Vacuum Cleaner and Holiday House Tour

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Welcome back to another Tool Tutorial Friday! Before we begin I want to congratulate Wendy, who won the Tomboy Tools Magnetic Hammer! Wendy said, “Thank you for continuing your education for women on power tools! I learn so much from your posts. I’m also glad to know that my son wasn’t the only one with multiple arm casts! Pink hammer – cool.”  You are very welcome!!!

Now, on to the tutorial. Today I have a very important power tool that is a very neglected tool in my home. In fact, it is so infrequently used that I need some help from a more experienced handy girl. Anyone want to volunteer to write a guest tutorial on using a power vacuum cleaner? I could really use your expertise.

Or this equally valuable tool:

I have forgotten how to use it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Anyone?

Well, I hope you don’t mind that instead of the usual tool tutorial friday, I’m going to give you a Holiday Home Tour instead. Get ready for this amazing tour of my utterly beautiful home! All decked out and ready for the holidays!

Welcome to my mudroom. I spent a lot of time decorating this room. You can see the holiday decor is so abundant it is essentially overflowing!

My dining room is decked out for the season with ribbons, glitter and glue. Even the advent presents are beautifully laid out (in the tote bag.) And I spared no expense when it came to decorating the walls. I used a unique combination of paper bags, boxes and ribbon to adorn them.

Follow me, right this way. Aren’t the garlands of fabric simply beautiful on our stairway? I just love the simplicity of the swags. Pink and silver running shoes add the perfect punch of color.

The kitchen has a child decor theme. Complete with reindeer food and some presents displayed on the counter. Rudolf would be thrilled to eat here.

The living room is decorated from floor to ceiling. I decided to go with a casual and convenient theme this year. When the holidays are over, all I have to do is open the blue bins (which double as a festive ottoman) and drop the decorations inside. Simply genius, don’t you think?!

I saved the best for last! This year I’ve decided to adorn the office with a new color theme. The browns and teals really bring out the holiday spirit! As do the loosely placed papers and items. Careful thought was taken into the placement and juxtaposition of each object on the desk. I think I really nailed this design.

If you haven’t guessed by now, today’s post is a “Keeping It Real” style post.

I’ve been so insanely busy with craft tutorials, Habitat ReStore lectures, broken arms, holiday preparation, gift purchases, and… oh, did I mention that Pretty Handsome Guy is away on business this week? So, you can imagine my life (and home for that matter) are in a state of disarray. So, I hope you’ll excuse me for the next few days as I take a little time to pull my home and life back in order and enjoy the holidays with the people that matter most to me (not that you don’t matter to me!)

In all seriousness, I have accomplished one decorating feat: the tree! I think it looks pretty good if I do say so myself…except…what is that thing lying on the floor to the left of the tree?

Oh, why it is my wreath that has been hung with care!

I’ll be back on Monday with a very important guest. And then check in every day next week for my creative gift wrapping series. You won’t want to miss it!

In the meantime, Happy Holidays! And feel free to see how I decorated last year, aka Rustic Christmas Decor!

Sharing my eclectic decorating style with: Positively Splendid’s Saturday Seven and Funky Junk Interiors SNS

In other news, I have a big announcement to make: The first set of speakers have been announced for the SNAP 2012 conference! I am really excited to be working with such a fabulous group of women bloggers!

If you haven’t heard of it, SNAP is a big creative blog conference from April 19th – 21st near Salt Lake City, UT. I am truly honored to be asked to speak at SNAP and I can’t wait to share some motivational empowerment words with the attendees.

If you would like to enter to win a ticket to SNAP, there is a big ticket giveaway happening right now! From now until Christmas, SNAP will be giving away one ticket a day. So, head over to enter to win your ticket.

Feel free to read a little more about the SNAP conference. It is going to be phenomenal!

 

Dollar Tree Placemat Turned into a Snowman Flag with Tulip Shimmer

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Brrrr! Anyone else experiencing the dipping temperatures? I really don’t like the cold unless it is going to snow. If it snows, I’ll put up with the sub-zero artic blast because I know we couldn’t have snow without the cold. But, if it isn’t going to snow, you can take your cold temperatures and get the heck out of here!

For this reason, I thought we needed to give Mother Nature a little hint, hint, nudge, nudge, and then a boldly displayed sign:

Cute garden flag, don’t you think?! Would you believe me if I told you that the flag is made from Dollar Tree placemats? Yup, I wouldn’t lie to you. I bought two because I wanted to decorate both sides and only one side of the placemat has a sheen to it. But, for $1 each, who can complain.

Stick around and I’ll show you how I made the flag. But, first, I have a confession to make…

…Do you secretly loathe glitter? Me, too!

When Pretty Handsome Guy sweeps up errant glitter from the kitchen floor, he’ll say, “The person who invented glitter never had children.” Then we both laugh. We were both in the camp of Glitter Haters Anonymous and detested any bedazzled art projects that came home from school. But, this week I snuck out of the camp under the radar and tried out a new product: Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Transfer Sheets and  Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Fabric Paint. Pretty Handsome Guy doesn’t know yet, but I think I’m changing my tune about glitter thanks to Tulip Shimmer products.

Why you ask? It is elementary, my dear Watson. The glitter stays put on the transfer sheets and in the fabric paint! No more sweeping up underneath the glittered project. No more random speck of glitter on the tip of my nose like a Rudolf wanna be. The shimmer products hold their glitter!

Materials:

Instructions:

Mark  a line 2″ from the top of the “flag” placemat using the chalk (this will be your stitching line for the rod pocket. Then draw your design below the pocket line.

Punch out snowflakes from the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer transfer sheet. Because the sheets are thick, it is easier if you peel up the top sheet and only punch through the transfer sheet.

Cut out the rest of your design (you can leave the top sheet on if you are cutting with scissors.) After the designs are cut out, remove the top sheets.

It can be confusing to determine which pieces you removed the top sheet from, so look at the pieces from an angle and look for any reflection or shine on the top sheet of plastic.

If you pull the top sheet off too quickly, it can pull the glitter with it (see below.) Go slow, and if it does happen — don’t stress it — just cut a new one.

Position all the snowflakes and any other transfer sheet pieces on top of the flag. Pay attention to make sure the glitter side is up and the glue transfer side is down. 

Lay a clean rag on top of the pieces and iron the design onto the placemats according to the directions. (The placemats I used are polyester, so I used that setting on my iron. And it took about 30 – 40 seconds to get the transfer sheet glue to heat up enough to stick to the placemats.)

Remove the cloth and check to make sure that the design is adhered to the flag/placemat.

Before painting my snowman, I did a little test on the backside of my placemat to determine if the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer fabric paint was transparent or opaque. It is transparent, so I chose the Tulip Soft fabric paint to fill in the snowman.

Paint your snowman, arms, hat, eyes and mouth using the Tulip Soft fabric paint. Using the smaller brush, paint the words too.

After the fabric paint has dried, dampen a clean cloth and gently wipe off the chalk.

Now is the time to add the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Fabric Paint magical glitter dust! I call it that because it really looks magical and the gel slowly disappears as it dries and leaves the glitter trail behind. Tinkerbell would be proud. Brush on curves and curly-q’s. You can brush on top of the words and the snowman because it will dry transparent.

Look at that beautiful magic glitter dust!

When the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Fabric Paint…ahem…I mean magical glitter dust has dried, pin your two placemats together rights sides facing out.

Stitch one line across the top. Stitch a second line across the marked pole pocket.

Leave the two sides of the pocket open and stitch down the sides and across the bottom (as shown.)

Thread the flag onto a standard sized decorative flag bracket.

And then challenge Mother Nature to “Bring it on!” (Be prepared, you might have to do a snow dance too. But that is a whole other tutorial!)

I have to tell you that the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer products really surprised me. I truly loathe loose glitter, but these products really held the glitter in place. There might be a few pieces of glitter that are dislodged when you peel the transfer paper top sheet off, but honestly I didn’t notice and I never found any on me. I highly recommend these products. Especially if you have kids that love glitter!

You can find the Tulip product line at these retailers. Selections may vary per store.

  • A.C. Moore
  • Ceramic Arts Ltd.
  • Crafties Hobby Craft Ltd, Nigeria
  • Hancock Fabrics
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
  • Meijer
  • Michaels
  • Tall Mouse
  • Wal-Mart
  • Wal-Mart Canada
  • Sharing this project with: Funky Junk Interiors SNS

     

     

     

    Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Tulip Products,  iLoveToCreate®, a Duncan Enterprises Company. I was sent some samples of the Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Transfer Sheets and Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Fabric Paint. I already owned the Tulip Soft Fabric paint. I was also paid a small fee in return for writing a post about my experience using the products. The ideas and opinions are strictly my own. I will never let any compensation (monetary or free product) keep me from giving you (the reader) a straight up and honest review.

    Garage/Workshop Makeover Final Reveal – Thanks to the Bagster Bag

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    When last we left our gal, Pretty Messy Girl was embarking on a journey into the bowels of her garage. There were crevices and corners that hadn’t seen a shop-vac in years. Dead spiders and centipedes lurked in their dark and dusty hideaways. Fearlessly, she dove head first into the task at hand and with her hero, the Bagster at her side, she overcame the clutter despite the odds!

    How did she do it you ask? Well, come with me (if you dare) to see how she took a cluttered disaster of a garage and made it into a serene DIY work haven (okay, that might be stretching it a bit.)

    Here is how she shoe-horned lawn equipment, garden tools, four bikes, two scooters, safety gear, sports equipment, balls galore, games, swim and outdoor activities, beach things, shoes, food storage, paint, paint and more paint …(deep breath)…AND an entire power tool laden workshop into this small space.

    First she cleared out the entire garage. What was left was a dusty, dirty, and dark cave. All the ”crapola” was placed into the Bagster. A little comment from Pretty Messy Girl:

    I must say that I really didn’t mind having Mr. Bagster hanging out next to our driveway for a few months. It weathered the rain and wind. And gladly accepted anything I put into it (with the exception of certain items that you can’t dispose of: paint, appliances, and a few other hazardous waste materials.) Now, if I had a big dumpster blocking the view and creating an eyesore for the neighbors, that would be a different story!

    The bag was super easy to set up and it held the items inside. Occasionally a side would flop over, but if I put big and ridgid items inside the edges, the sides would stand up better.

    A few trips were made to Goodwill and a few more trips into the attic (don’t ask what lurks up there. Gulp!) Once the garage was cleared, she gave it a good cleaning with the shop-vac.

    Then she decided that she MUST paint the walls of the garage. Pretty Handsome Guy thought she’d fallen off her workbench. I mean, why paint the inside of a garage? Well, let’s just say that you can thank her later. The results speak for themselves. The amount of light in the garage now makes it a lot easier to photograph tutorials.

    Next came the quest to squeeze a gallon worth of stuff into a quart sized container. Pretty Messy Girl uncovered several nooks and crannies that were not being utilized in the garage. And she built several custom shelving units to take advantage of the wasted space. One for the bikes and safety equipment:

    A shelf for the beach umbrellas and folding chairs (did you see that empty space above the beach chairs! That was a crime! Wasted space has no business in this garage.

    She also designed a yard-a-sport-o-ball collector. But, it is easier to just say the corral.

    The corral was created to maximize storage for those items that are always grabbed for on a regular basis. The rakes and yard tools used to each have separate hooks on the peg board, but that took up a whole wall worth of space! Now, they take up a small 4′ x 2′ space.

    To hold the tools upright, she bought the cheapest and widest piece of PVC pipe she could find. Then cut the drainage pipe into 4 equal lengths. After bolting them together at the top and bottom, screwed them to a 2″x4″ that was attached to the wall. Voila! Perfectly upright storage for yard tools!

    Two more compartments were created in the corral by nailing small scraps of 1×4″ boards and then cutting a piece of plywood to slide between the scraps and create a separate compartment for sports “sticks”. And another compartment for all the balls that come standard with two small boys! What is it with boys and their balls? (Wait, don’t answer that!) I don’t think I owned more than two balls as a child. (Now I’m getting myself into innuendo-trouble.)

    Attached to the corral are two built in shelves specifically sized for all the paint. Yes, she has an ever growing paint collection! (An artist has to have options, ya know!) And plastic milk crates below store water toys and games.

    Do you remember the paint storage before? She’s extremely lucky no one called the Shelf Protective Services Division. That is just cruel and unusual punishment!

    The plastic storage shelves have been sent out to pasture to retire in a life of ease (holding empty plant pots under the deck.)

    Where the paint used to be, she pulled  a plastic storage chest from the attic (Yes, there is an entire store to shop from up there.)

    The plastic drawers are perfect for housing tape, caulk, glue, gloves, etc. And in a stroke of genius — not really, but why she didn’t think of this before, we’ll never know — she added a binder on a hook to hold all the home improvement receipts. AND this is also where all the items to be returned wait (for the one day that they will be reunited with their family on the store shelves.) When that day arrives, and months have past, she can store all the merchandise credit cards in the little wire shelf. (She does a little jump kick every time she raids that stash of pre-paid cards.)

    Moving right along, this was definitely the most disorganized section of the garage. The tool storage near the work bench. What a crying shame. What DIY woman could live with that? (Obviously Pretty Messy Girl, that’s who.) Well, it is a mess no more. With some new tool storage and some thought put into tool useage, she tamed the tool clutter.

    And a special spot was chosen for all the safety gear (to be a constant reminder of how important it is to wear them)! Right Meri-K?

    We come now to the dust protection area. With the miter saw being Pretty Messy Girl’s right hand man, this area had seen mountains of sawdust. Cans of paint, and anything that was on the open shelving always had a 1/4 – 1/2 inch of accumulation. But, not anymore! Two cabinets were purchased from the Habitat ReStore and hung on the wall. (The price was a real steal! $50 for both.) A fresh coat of paint gave them new life. Someday she hopes to paint the wall and workbench to match. Some day (a girl can dream can’t she?) In addition to sawdust, paint dust can become a real problem in her lair. One time she and a friend spray-painted some chairs and the entire garage and everything in it looked like a coal mine. A spray tent was added to the underside of some rafters. Plastic sheeting simply tacked up with 1×2″ boards and the sides are rolled up and secured in place with extra large clamps. (PVC pipes inside the plastic help make rolling up neat.)

    The rolling tool caddy is tucked away on the right side of the workbench. Moveable storage for all the power tools.

    An annex was built onto some IKEA shelving for shoes and boots. (And excess food storage.)

    And that brings us back to the beginning.

    This is one useful garage once again.

    And Pretty Messy Girl has now reclaimed her title of Pretty Handy Girl! Woot!

    What do you think? Did you get any ideas for storage solutions? Is there anything that could work for your garage or workshop? If you need to clean out some serious “junk”, think about buying the Bagster. It is like a dumpster in a bag! For $29.95 you can purchase it at your local hardware or home improvement store. Pick up charges vary from about $79 – $159 depending on your location. It was really nice to be able to just toss the stuff inside and call a handsome young man to come haul it away!

    And the bonus comes when the truck arrives to provide entertainment for mom your children. Watching the crane arm pick up the Bagster is really really cool!

    And now the moment y’all (well at least me) have been waiting for: a video of the Bagster Bag being lifted up and taken away by crane. Pretty Handy Girl says,

    I am seriously such a geek, I was über excited to watch this. I even told Waste Management to have the driver call my cell phone so I could be there to watch. My 5 year old son had to hold my hand and keep me from jumping up and down. Eeeeeekkkk!

    I almost forgot the best part: There is now room for Pretty Messy Mobile! I don’t think there is any hope for the car. Any mom knows that there is no such thing as a clean car when you have kids. Old cheerios and raisins have a final resting place in between the seats of this carpool vehicle.


    The End!

    Here is a little more information about our superhero, The Bagster:

    While households look for ways to save money, more homeowners are tackling projects themselves from bathroom remodels to flooring projects to spring cleaning. The Bagster® bag is an innovative, convenient and affordable solution for smaller home improvement projects.

    The Bagster® bag is a highly durable, woven bag designed for disposing as much as 3,300 pounds of debris and is big enough to hold full sheets of plywood, doors and even a bathtub.

    The Bagster® bag is a convenient choice for any home improvement project.

    • - Often times construction debris can’t be picked up from the curbside, so consumer now have a great solution when a dumpster is too large for the project.
    • - The Bagster® bag is ready when you are – great for last-minute projects or ones that need an extended period of time to complete.
    • - Consumers can use the bag for as long as they like, then schedule a collection when the bag is full or their project is finished. The bag and collection service are always ready, putting consumers in control of their projects.
    • - Collection can be scheduled online at www.thebagster.com or by calling 1-877-789-2247, and Waste Management will collect the bag within three business days.

    The Bagster® bag is an affordable solution for homeowners and a great way to save money on do-it-yourself projects.

    • - Bagster® bags cost just $29.95 and the flat rate collection fee ranges from $79 to $159 per bag, depending on your area – 50 to 70 percent less than a dumpster rental.

    Waste Management has made the Bagster® bag a simple solution for waste and debris removal.

    • - Consumers can purchase the lightweight bag at more than 2,000 locations across the country, use it for as long as they like, then schedule a collection online or over the phone whenever they are ready.
    • - The Bagster® bag is sold at local home improvement and hardware stores, including participating The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and True Value. To find a local retailer near you, visit www.thebagster.com.

    * For more information, visit www.thebagster.com.

     

     

     

    Disclosure: Waste Management partnered with bloggers such as myself to participate in its The Bagster® Bag Blogger Challenge. As part of the program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the The Bagster® Bag Blogger Challenge. Waste Management believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Waste Management’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. You should know by now, that I will never write about a product that I didn’t like.

    Beveled Glass Ornaments from an Old Brass Light

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    I had so much fun at the Habitat ReStore talk this past weekend. My favorite holiday decorations were these adorable beveled glass ornaments. Would you believe me if I told you that they began life as a dated octagon brass light fixture?

    Well, they did! And here is the best part, for $5 you can score one of these fixtures at your local Habitat ReStore and make 16 ornaments from the one light!

    Materials:

    • Beveled glass octagonal light fixture (the flimsier the brass the better)
    • Needle-nosed pliers
    • Wire cutters
    • Small flat head screwdriver
    • Gloves
    • Glass cleaner
    • Soft cloth
    • Scrapbook paper
    • Printed photos
    • Mod podge
    • Paint brush
    • Screw eyes
    • E-6000
    • Wax paper to protect work surface
    • Ribbon
    • Scissors

     

    Instructions:

    Put on your gloves for this first task! To free the beveled glass, you’ll need to poke, prod and cut at the brass surrounding the glass. Inserting a flat screwdriver will help to pry up the edges. As the edges come loose, cut into the metal with wire cutters, and pull it apart using needle-nosed pliers. All the while, use caution so as not to break the glass pieces.

    After all the glass is free, clean both sides of the glass with windex and a soft cloth. Scratch off any dirt with your fingernail (or a razor blade).

    Cut photos to fit inside the middle of the beveled glass piece.

    Trace around the glass and cut a piece of scrapbook paper the same size as the glass.

    Coat the back of the photo with mod podge and center it on the scrapbook paper.

    Gently coat the front of the scrapbook paper border with mod podge (do not paint mod podge onto the photo or streaking can occur.)

    Press the flat side of the beveled glass on top of the scrapbook paper/photo.

    Flip the glass over and put a dollop of E-6000 at the top center of the scrapbook paper. Lay one screw eye into the glue, then cover the screw with a small dollop of E-6000 glue to secure the screw eye.

    After the mod podge and E-6000 has dried, cut some pieces of ribbon and thread them through the screw eye. Make a loop with the ribbon and hang it on your tree!

    Or give them as gifts to the Grandparents!

    I made another ornament using scrapbook paper and stuck a monogram letter sticker on top of the glass. I also added a small quote on another ornament. The possibilities for this project are numerous!

    I had to share with you a few other transformations that I showcased during the talk at the Habitat ReStore:

    I took an old chandelier and flipped her over, coated her with primer, heirloom white spray paint and then added some distressing and finished with some antique gold Rub n’ Buff.

    Now she’s a beautiful candelabra for our dining room table!

    I used the canopy (round flat disk that attaches to the ceiling) as the base for the candelabra. When you take apart a light fixture, you can get creative by flipping and switching around parts and pieces.

    Old lightbulbs became adorable little ornaments with a few stickers and a coat of spray paint. My favorite is this clear bulb that I added a heart sticker to. When I peeled off the sticker a little heart shaped window remained. Peek inside to see the filament.

    If you’ve ever wrapped an easter egg with rubber bands before dying it, you’ll recognize this pattern.

    A $2 cabinet door and some chunky cabinet handles partnered to form a holiday serving tray. The handles also got a little Rub ‘n Buff for shine.

    I’m sorry I don’t have the tutorials for you right now. Most likely at a later date, I’ll post them for y’all.

    I have two announcements:

    #1 – The winner of the RIT dye giveaway is: Judi! She said,  ”Dye WOOD –really !!!! Can’t wait to see what all else you (and I) can dye !! Loving it !!”

    RIT Dye

    #2 – My son let me paint his cast like a candy cane! I used KILZ Clean Start (zero VOC) primer and a flat brush to give his cast the stripes. One of my facebook fans had the genius idea of asking Santa to sign it!


    Let’s just hope that he can keep this cast for more than a week!

     

     

     

    Linking up to Home Stories A2Z Tutorials & Tips TuesdaysCentational Girl’s Holiday Home Craft Link PartyNot Just a Housewife’s Show Me What Ya GotFunky Junk Interiors SNS

    Tool Tutorial Friday – Circular Saw Tutorial

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    Today is Friday! And you know what that means…it’s time for another Tool Tutorial Friday! Today I’ll be introducing you to the circular saw.

     

    But first, how are you? I don’t know about your week, but I’ve had a busy one. If you follow me on Twitter (I’m not sure why anyone would), you would have been privy to the rainbow of color casts my son has been collecting. He received his 4th cast yesterday. But, who’s counting, right?! Anyway, I learned two things about casts in the process.

    1. Little boy arms will swell to adult proportions post surgery, but will eventually return to normal size…eventually. At that point, a new cast is desired to keep the arm from finding a way to wiggle out.
    2. If you put two brothers in the bathtub and leave the room for one nano-second they will find a way to water log a tightly plastic bagged and saran-wrapped cast that is merely 5 days old!

    Mr. Green up there, he only lasted a mere 5 days! You could probably tell by the one signature on it. My mom is trying to convince us to paint white stripes around his current red cast to make it into a candy cane. Hee, hee.

    And now let’s plug in some power and start this tutorial!

    A circular saw is essentially a portable power saw that can make easy cross cuts like a miter saw. But, it can also rip long boards like a table saw. This little hand held bad boy is a necessity if you are working on an exterior project like a deck or a fence, or anything that is too big to put on the miter saw or table saw work surface. Trimming the varied lengths off newly laid deck boards would be near impossible without a circular saw.

    Before I owned either a table or miter saw, this was my power saw. And this baby has cut a lot of wood in its life.

    If you are familiar with circular saws, this particular model may look a little bit backwards to you. That is because this is a left-sighted circular saw. I think Porter Cable is one of the few companies (if not the only one) to make one. I am right handed, but for some reason, this saw seemed more comfortable to me. When I was shopping for my circular saw, I spent about an hour or so picking up, holding and imagining using the saw. What I liked about the Porter-Cable is that it had a smaller grip and I was able to span my hand width between the hand hole and the guard lever while cutting.

    If you go shopping for a circular saw, spend some time holding them and see what feels most comfortable to you.

    Circular saws range in price from as low as $30 up to $300 or more. They come in a variety of  sizes (5 3/4″ – 9″) which refers to the blade size. The most common size people buy is a 7 1/4″.

    Before you make any cuts with a circular saw, you must set your depth of cut. If cutting through a board, set the blade about 1/8″ – 1/4″ lower than your lumber. Support your lumber on saw horses or a raised surface (4″ x 4″ posts on the ground work well.) It is imperative that you think through your cut before you actually saw a board. Make sure that your waste end will fall away from the saw after it is cut. Otherwise, the blade will get pinched between the boards and can kickback (see the example in the video.)

    You can also change the bevel angle of your cut by adjusting the base of the saw after loosening the bevel adjustment knob.

    As with any other power tool. Take the time to familiarize yourself with your power tool. Read the manual and only use a power tool when you are alert and not distracted.

    DISCLAIMER

    The viewer assumes all responsibility and liability associated with the hazards of woodworking. Pretty Handy Girl is not responsible for any errors or omissions that may be present in this tutorial. She also assumes no liability for any action or inaction of a viewer.

    Please use extreme caution when using power tools. Read your tool manual thoroughly and wear protective safety gear. Take your time familiarizing yourself with a tool before using it. (If you are missing the manual, you can easily find it online by going to the manufacturer’s website or google your saw’s make and model + manual.)

    Please recognize that I have tried to put together a basic circular saw usage tutorial to get you started. I have tried my best to show the safest way to use a circular saw. That being said, I am not a professional (I only play one on this blog ;-) .)

     

    Video Tutorial for using Simply Screen – Free Printable

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    The holidays are at full throttle speed and my boys couldn’t be more excited. Myself? I still haven’t decorated the house — in fact — truth be told I let Pretty Handsome Guy and the boys bring in the tree and decorate it. But, I did want to get into the holiday spirit so I poured a little eggnog into my coffee (Dee-lish-ious!!!) and sat down to make a humorous holiday shirt for my eager little ones.

    If you’ve ever used silk screens before you know how wonderful they are for making duplicates. Team t-shirts, family reunion shirts, signs, banners, gift bags, pillows and linens are only a few things that you could silk screen. But, getting fine details and creating a screen that has text on it was usually reserved for the professionals who had the proper equipment. Well, those days are gone! Plaid has developed a DIY silk screen kit that allows you to create a screen using any black and white design printed on your home computer using regular printer paper. No transparencies and no need to reverse your image! Plus, for those of us eco-conscious crafters, the simply screen inks are acrylic and non-toxic! The  Simply Screen kit retails for $39.99 and you can purchase the refill screen pack for $19.99. The kit can be found at Hobby Lobby or online at shop.plaidonline.com.

    Plaid was kind enough to send me a kit to try. And thankfully, several bloggers (especially Crafts by Amanda and Mrs.Greene), worked out the kinks and shared their knowledge. Gotta love that creative blogger network ;-).

    This video will give you all the tips and tricks you need to know to get a perfect screen exposure when creating a Simply Screen silk screen:

    If you have trouble viewing the video, here are the steps to create the screen:

    1. Print out your black and white design on regular printer/copier paper. Touch up any white spots with a sharpie marker.
    2. Remove one screen from the black plastic envelope. Cut the screen down to size (leave at least 2″ on all sides of the design.) Put the unused screen back into the black plastic bag.
    3. Peel the backing off the screen.
    4. Flip it over and lay the sticky side onto your image.
    5. Use the squeegee to firmly press down on the screen and to affix it to the design.
    6. Turn the image and screen over so the screen is on the bottom. Lay it onto the bottom of the Simply Screen box.
    7. Lay a piece of plexiglass or glass on top of the screen and printout.
    8. Close the lid, turn on the light, and set your timer for approximately 25 minutes.
    9. Turn off the light, remove the screen and immerse it in tepid water for 30 seconds. Gently rub the design with a sponge.
    10. Continue rubbing both sides of the design until there is no blue emulsion in the graphic areas. The graphic should be a clean see-through image.
    11. Dry your screen and follow the directions below to make your screen prints.

     

    Printing Using your Silk Screen:

    Now that you have learned how to create the screen, printing with it couldn’t be easier! This is truly the fun part.

    Start by taping your fabric to a piece of cardboard or foam board. If you are printing shirts, pillow cases, or anything that is double thickness, put the cardboard directly behind the layer you are printing on to protect from any ink bleeding through.

    Position the screen where you would like the image to appear.

    Tape the screen down with masking or painter’s tape.

    Run a thick line of Simply Screen silk screen ink at the top of your image.

    Hold the squeegee at a 45° angle against the screen.

    Press down firmly and pull the squeegee towards you. Focus on pressing the ink through the screen and scraping it off the screen at the same time.

    Immediately remove your screen being careful not to get any ink on anything when you lift. Lay it down on the next item  you want to silk screen. (It is a good idea to clean the screen after every third impression, as the ink starts to stick around the edges and the image quality will decline.)

    Let the ink dry.

    Heat set the image with a hot iron. Wash on cold and air dry to protect your image.

    I think this is the perfect kit for making holiday gifts! I’m on a big sew your own gift bag kick and I think I’ll make some more bags and screen print a graphic on it for gifts.

    If you like my “Happy Holly Dave” design, feel free to download the printable pdf file and use it for your own personal use.

    Or you could also download an earlier incarnation of the design with three reindeer!

    Hope you all have a Happy Holly Dave! LOL!

     

     

    Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Plaid Simply Screen. I was sent a Simply Screen Kit and paid a small fee in return for writing a post about my experience using their product. The ideas and opinions are strictly my own. I will never let any compensation (monetary or free product) keep me from giving you (the reader) a straight up and honest review.

    Scrap Wood Christmas Tree using RIT Dye

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    Holiday decorating is in full swing in my house. We bought our tree today and Pretty Handsome Guy and the boys decorated it today while I worked on the cute little scrap wood Christmas tree above.

    When I saw the scrap wood DIY Christmas Tree made by Creative Chaos, I fell in love and knew I had to make one too.

    Having an ever growing scrap wood pile also helped convince me to make it.

    I decided to try dyeing the wood scraps! You read that correctly, dye the wood. Did you know that you can use RIT dye to color more than just fabric?! Check out the RIT Dye website to learn more about all the techniques and materials you can dye. You will be amazed! Plus, RIT created a RIT Formula Guide that will give you 500 formulas to mix your own custom colors!

    Seriously, that is an amazing array of colors!

    Building the scrap wood tree is a super easy project that doesn’t take much skill. There is a fair amount of waiting time (waiting for the wood to soak up the dye and waiting for concrete to harden) but I’m sure you can find something more productive to do than watching cement dry.

    Materials:


    • Wood scraps
    • Saw
    • RIT Dye: Teal, Dark Green, Apple Green
    • Plastic sheet or shower curtain
    • Rubber gloves
    • Salt or vinegar
    • Measuring cup
    • Mixing stick
    • Hot water
    • 3 – 5 gallon buckets
    • Minwax Early American
    • Paper towels
    • Box of stepping stones mix or cement
    • Round plastic container for base
    • Level
    • Brad nails
    • Hammer
    • Clamps
    • Sheet metal
    • Tin snips
    • Scissors
    • 3/4 yd. red fabric
    • Ribbon
    • Christmas lights

    Cut your wood scraps to create a triangular form when stacked on top of one another. Cut one long strip to use as the tree trunk.

    Dyeing the Wood:

    Lay out three 5 gallon buckets (or mix the colors one at a time and use the same bucket.) Set out the dye colors (dark green, apple green & teal) and salt or vinegar onto a plastic sheet. RIT Dye works best when mixed with hot water. Our water heater is set on a safe hot temperature so as not to burn our boys’ hands. Therefore, I decided to add a little bit of boiling water to my mixture to increase the temperature.

    Follow the directions on the RIT container. I added 1/2  bottle of RIT Dye to 3 gallons of water (1/2 gallon of which was the boiling water.) Then mix in 1 cup of vinegar (or salt) in each bucket. (I tried both and didn’t notice any major differences between using salt or vinegar, so you can use either for dyeing wood.)

    Put on rubber gloves. Stir until the dye is well mixed.

    Split up your wood and dip each into the desired color. Because the wood will float, you may need to clamp a piece of wood to hold your larger scraps below the liquid. Then flip the wood to dye both ends of the scrap. The smaller pieces can be floated right side down for color absorption on the side you’ll see.

    After 30 minutes remove the wood and let it dry. (Look at that scrumptious color! And the cool thing is that the grain still shows through.)

    While you are waiting for the dye to dry. Stain the tree trunk strip by dipping a paper towel into Minwax Early American stain and rubbing it on the wood. Alternatively, you could stain the trunk with RIT Dye in a brown color.

    *A note about pre-painted or sealed scraps. The wood needs to be unpainted, unsealed, or unstained in order to accept the RIT dye color. I tried dyeing these two strips and obviously it didn’t work too well.

    No worries though, I mixed up some green acrylic paint and some water and then painted them separately.


    Building the Tree:

    Position the scraps in the desired location on the trunk.

    Gently hammer the scraps to the trunk strip with brad nails. Make sure the nails will go through the scrap and about halfway through the trunk.


    Making the Cement Base:

    *If you want to stake your tree in the ground, feel free to skip this step.

    Wash out the plastic container. Fill the container with cement mixture from the stepping stones kit. Follow the directions on the package. (I ended up using only half the kit, so I halved the directions.) Slowly add water and stir the cement mixture until it is thick and heavy, but not crumbly.

    When you have the right consistency, gently bang the container on the ground to get some of the air bubbles out and to level the top. Slide the tree trunk stake into the cement.

    Level the tree from side to side and front to back. Then secure the tree with clamps (or other props) while it dries overnight.

    In the morning, squeeze the sides of the container to release the cement base. Remove the container and brush off any cement crumbs from the base.

    Cut a piece of fabric in a circle large enough to cover the base.

    Gather the fabric up and tie it with a ribbon to secure it in place.

     

    Adding the Star:

    Trace a star shape onto a scrap of sheet metal (duct material) or a metal can. Cut out the shape using tin snips. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the sharp edges.

    Position the star so it overlaps the top piece of scrap wood on the tree. Hammer two brad nails through the star and into the wood.

    Decorate your tree with some holiday lights. (I found a set of battery powered LED lights at Target. They aren’t as bright, but it eliminates having to plug in a light cord and having a tripping hazard.)

    I like the variety in color I got from using the three different colors of RIT dye. I am really loving my little table top tree. He kind of reminds me of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but I’m not sure why.


    I have to tell you that I was so excited when I saw the color of the Teal RIT Dye, that I couldn’t resist throwing some old scarves into the bucket with the wood.

    I had two scarves, one was light green and the other light blue. The green one never accepted the dye even after an hour of soaking. Obviously, the scarf was made of polyester, which will not accept dye. The light blue one came out beautifully. I attempted to recreate an ombré technique as described on the RIT Dye website, but didn’t read the directions until after the scarf had been sitting still in the dye for about 10 minutes. This gave me a sharp dye line, but it isn’t really noticeable when wearing it.  Next time I’ll know to keep dipping and moving the fabric.

    This forgotten scarf has now been relegated to my wear almost everyday scarves!

     

     

     

    Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by RIT Dye. I was sent several bottles of RIT Dye and paid a small fee in return for writing a post about my experience using their product. The ideas and opinions are strictly my own. I will never let any compensation (monetary or free product) keep me from giving you (the reader) a straight up and honest review.

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    Holiday Decor from ReStore Finds – Saturday, December 10th – 1pm

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    I just got back from Pretty Handsome Guy’s office party. We had a blast, and the evening was defined by a surprise entertainer: Doug E. Fresh who showed up to work the crowd. I have to tell you that I wasn’t too familiar with him. So when we saw him before entering the party, I was introduced to him as Doug E. Fresh. I ALMOST said, “Uh, so should I call you Dougie or Mr. Fresh?” Thank goodness I said neither and just stuck with the polite, “Hi, nice to meet you.” Within minutes of entering the room, he had the crowd moving and groovin’!

    I truly enjoyed the party because I got to chat with two other “Handy Girls”. One of them reminded me that I haven’t publicized the date for my next ReStore talk! (Thanks Heath for jogging my frazzled brain!)

    So, consider this your official invitation! Saturday, December 10th at 1pm, I will be speaking at the NEW Cary ReStore located at 181 High House Rd. Cary, NC 27511.  I can’t promise that Doug E. Fresh will be there, but I can tell you that it will be a fun talk with lots of cool idea for ornaments, a wreath, an advent calendar and other holiday decor. If you come, I hope you’ll stay a little afterwards so I can meet you. ;-)

    Want to give the grandparents something special from your son or daughter? But, you cringe at the thought of them throwing away another construction paper ornament? I guarantee, these  are 10 of the most special gifts that your children (all age range) can make for that someone special in their lives!

     

    Tool Tutorial Friday – How to Use a Band Saw

    table_adjustment

    Welcome back to another Tool Tutorial Friday! I hope you enjoyed some time off last week. Today I want to share with you a power tool that can cut long straight lines and it can cut curved lines with ease. This tool is also my “go to” tool when I need to cut plexiglass. I’m introducing you to a band saw.

    Although the band saw is big and may seem intimidating, it actually isn’t very scary. The blade is usually a mere 1/4″ wide and the cutting action is not super loud and it doesn’t usually throw wood back at you. So, cutting with this power saw really gives you a lot of control and can help eliminate the intimidation factor.

    The band saw I have it old, but it still gets the job done. If you were to buy a new band saw, the mechanics are basically the same and not much has changed over the years. The size of the band saw (usually 9″, 10″, 12″ or 14″) refers to the distance between the blade and the neck or side column of the saw. Prices for a new band saw vary from about $125 – $600. I would definitely recommend buying a band saw used unless you are running a business that puts out tons of wood projects. Also, make sure that your band saw comes with a detachable rip fence or you will need to purchase one to fit your saw. This is important for making straight cuts.

    A band saw has a circular one piece band shaped blade. The blade rotates around the two wheels at a high speed and allows for precise cuts.

    There are several blades available for a bandsaw. In addition you could buy a sanding band for sanding intricate cuts. Band saw blades have a TPI (teeth per inch) number. In general, the more teeth per inch the tighter the cuts and more intricate details it can handle. However, that blade will flex more and cannot cut harder stock wood as efficiently. For straight cuts and thicker stock, a lower TPI number is desired. For a more detailed explanation of band saw parts and blades, check out WoodworkingHistory.com’s bandsaw syllabus.

    The ONLY saw that I know of that will make more precise cuts than a band saw is a scroll saw. And when I talk precise, I mean making doll furniture type precise. A band saw is used for ripping, cross cutting, curved cuts, circles, you name it! So, why would you need anything else if this saw does it all? Well, sometimes speed is a factor, the band saw is not super fast when ripping a piece of plywood. Plus, you are limited by the width of your bandsaw. You have to work with a board that will fit in between the blade and the neck of the saw (this is specific inch size of your saw.)

    Personally, I prefer using the band saw for smaller projects and cutting plexiglass, thin metal, or intricate shapes. It is a staple for anyone who wants to cut letters out of wood! When making intricate cuts, you will need to plan your cutting paths. In other words, you can’t put your wood in and cut around like you would scissors in a piece of paper. Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

    To cut the letter “T” out of a piece of wood, you’ll likely have to make several cuts into the wood, making your cuts meet at tight angles or corners.

    Before making any cut using a band saw, you need to make sure that your guide is set for the proper depth. You want the guide to ride just above your board. There should be approximately a 1/16″ space between the wood and the guide so the board doesn’t get pinched between the guide and the work table. On my band saw the adjustment is made by loosening a screw at the back of the machine, raising the guide, and re-tightening the screw.

    My band saw also has a work table tilt lever for making bevel cuts. Honestly I’ve only used this feature once, but it is nice to have. Simply turn the lever to loosen the bolt holding the table in place. Then tilt the table to the desired angle and re-tighten the bolt.


    That’s basically it for setting up the band saw. Before cutting be sure to wear safety glasses. Ear protection is a good idea, but I’ve been known to skip it since this saw doesn’t bust my ear drums as much as some of my other power tools.

    As I’ve said before, keep in mind your safety is in your own hands:

    DISCLAIMER

    The viewer assumes all responsibility and liability associated with the hazards of woodworking. Pretty Handy Girl is not responsible for any errors or omissions that may be present in this tutorial. She also assumes no liability for any action or inaction of a viewer.

    Please use extreme caution when using power tools. Read your tool manual thoroughly and wear protective safety gear. Take your time familiarizing yourself with a tool before using it. (If you are missing the manual, you can easily find it online by going to the manufacturer’s website or google your saw’s make and model + manual.)

    Please recognize that I have tried to put together a basic band saw usage tutorial to get you started. I have tried my best to show the safest way to use a band saw. That being said, I am not a professional (I only play one on this blog ;-) .)

    And here is the video tutorial:

    Okay, time once again to let me know what you think about this tutorial; ask any questions; or simply beg to win. When you do so, you will be entered to win this cutie!

    Don’t let her pink attire fool you. This lovely lady packs a punch that will knock out any “boy’s” hammer! So limber up those fingers and leave me a note. Your comment will automatically enter you into the 13 oz. Tomboy Tools magnetic hammer giveaway. Good luck!

    Sharing with these link parties:

    Weekend Bloggy Reading

    Elmer’s #Look4Less Challenge – PB Rustic Chalkboard Wall Organizer Copy Cat

    Animated_chalkboard_box

    I love a challenge. If you hold an object up to me and ask me how it can be transformed, I can usually name a few different things. So, when the Elmer’s #Look4Less Challenge was introduced, I jumped at the opportunity!

    For this challenge I chose to recreate Pottery Barn’s Sliding Chalkboard Wall Organizer. I loved the idea of a sliding board and a bulletin board in the back. But, I especially loved the rustic wood look.

    However, I wasn’t crazy about the price. (Obviously that didn’t stop the item from selling out!) So, if you want one for yourself, I’ll save you $100 and show you how to make your own!

    My version cost approximately $30 (cost estimate based on materials used. If I used a 1/2 can of spray paint I calculated half the cost.) Personally, I spent about $10 out of pocket on this project because I had a lot of the supplies already. Plus, Elmer’s was kind enough to sent me some of the materials to make the project (shown as links below.)

    Be sure to read the end of this post to learn how you can win your own Elmer’s materials!

    In addition to the new art supplies, I bought an old drawer to use for the structure of my organization unit. I paid — are you ready for this — two dollars at our local Habitat ReStore! Seriously, only $2 for the main component of my wall organizer unit.

    Here is a list of the rest of the supplies I used:


    • Krylon chalkboard spray paint
    • Drawer
    • Damp rag
    • Painter’s drop cloth
    • Batting
    • Wooden ruler
    • 1 Knob
    • Washers
    • Rustoleum brown spray primer
    • Behr glazing liquid
    • Valspar mocha glaze
    • Acrylic or latex paint (dark brown tester sample)
    • Acrylic or latex paint (light tan tester sample)
    • Wood putty
    • Saw
    • Hammer
    • Drill and drill bits
    • Handsaw
    • Brad nails
    • Finish Nail
    • Construction glue
    • Clamps
    • Pencil
    • Trim molding
    • 1″ x 1″ wood strips (or square dowels)
    • Duct tape

    Prepping the drawer:

    Remove any hardware from the drawer. Use a handsaw to trim off the sides of the face of the drawer. You want the sides to be flush with the sides of the drawer. The top and bottom of the face can extend beyond the drawer.

    Orient the drawer so the face is now the bottom of the wall organizational unit. The rear panel of the drawer is now the top of the unit.

    Add decorative trim molding to the top as shown:

    1. Cut decorative trim molding to the width of the top of the unit/drawer. (Check with your local Habitat Restore for inexpensive trim.)
    2. Choose a finish nail that is long enough to go through the molding and into the drawer. Drill a few pilot holes into the molding (to avoid splitting the wood when you hammer a nail into it.)
    3. Run a bead of construction glue on the top of the drawer. Lay the molding on top of the glue.
    4. Use finish nails to hammer through the pilot holes and attach the molding to the drawer.

    Wipe off the drawer/unit with a wet rag.

     

    Faux painting the unit:

    If you are dealing with a mixture of wood finishes (some paint, some stain), you will want to prime and paint your unit. I decided to give mine a faux rustic wood treatment (because I love that rustic wood look!) Here are the basic steps:

    1. Use wood putty to fill any holes or cracks. After the putty has dried, sand it smooth. Wipe off any dust from the wood using a damp rag.
    2. Prime the entire box (minus the back) with Rustoleum brown primer.
    3. Mix 1 part glaze to 2 parts light tan paint.
    4. Brush the mixture onto the unit using a tattered paint brush. Keep the strokes in long lines to mimic wood grain.
    5. Let that layer dry. Mix 1 part glaze to 2 parts dark brown paint.
    6. Brush it on the unit using the same technique as step 4.
    7. Finish up by brushing a coat of Vaspar Mocha glaze over the entire unit.

     

    Creating the bulletin board:

    After the glaze has dried, cut a piece of Elmer’s White Foam Board the dimensions of the inside of the drawer/unit.

    Cut a piece of batting the same size as the foam board.

    Cut a piece of painters’ drop cloth 2-3″ wider (on all sides) than the foam board.

    Layer the drop cloth, then the batting and top it with the foam board.

    Wrap the edges of the drop cloth around the foam board and secure it with duct tape.

    Add a few Elmer’s CraftBond Glue Spots Pop-up Medium to the back side of the foam board and press the board into the back of the unit. Instant bulletin board!

     

    Adding a graphic letter to the bulletin board:

    Print out a large letter, number or symbol. Cut out around the shape using an x-acto knife.

    Position the cut out onto the bulletin board and trace around the edges lightly with pencil.Use an Elmer’s Painters gold paint marker to color inside the pencil tracing.

     

    Creating the sliding chalkboard:

    Cut the Elmer’s Black Foam Board the height of the interior of the drawer/unit and about 1/3 the width.

    Spray the black foam board with the chalk paint. Add 1-2 more light coats per the directions on the can.

    Measure the interior width at the top and bottom of the organizational unit. Cut two 1″ x 1″ strips of wood (or square dowels) for the top and 2 strips for the bottom. Drill a hole in each end of the strips.

    Measure out 1″ from the bulletin board, on the bottom of the unit. Mark this location. Repeat for the top . Run a bead of construction glue onto the bottom of the wood strip and then adhere it to the bottom of the unit at the 1″ measurement mark.

    Hammer brad nails into the predrilled holes. Repeat for the top of the cubby. (Two 1″ square strips are shown, but only install the back ones at this time.)

    If the chalkboard paint has dried, rub a piece of chalk all over the board to season it. Wipe it clean with a dry cloth.

    Drill a hole into the chalkboard where you want the handle. Feed the handle through. Add washers to the backside of the chalkboard if you need to take up some of the slack on the screw.

    Insert the chalkboard into the wall unit and rest it against the first strip. Add the second strip in front of the chalkboard and attach it the same way you did above.

    Be sure that the wood strips are not too snug against the chalkboard. The board should have enough freedom to slide back and forth freely.

     

    Finishing touches:

    If you want to give your ruler some age, rub a walnut stain onto the wood. Let it dry. Glue the wooden ruler to the front of the wood strip on the bottom using construction glue.

    Clamp the ruler in place and let it dry overnight.

    Add your pushpins and a message to the chalkboard and enjoy your efforts! You just saved yourself $100!!! Woot!

    If you want instructions for hanging the unit, check out this post on hanging objects on the wall (the right way) the first time.

    I’m pretty pleased with my Pottery Barn copy cat. Not to be mean or anything, but I like mine better because of the ruler,

    the decorative crown molding,

    and most of all for the price!!!


    Do you like my Pottery Barn knock off? Or does it still look like an old discarded drawer to you? Want to create your own #Look4Less rustic chalkboard wall organizer knock off? Elmers.com is giving away a prize pack to two of my readers!

    The prize packs include:
    • Black 20×30 Foam Board
    • White 20×30 Foam Board
    • CraftBond All-Purpose Glue Stick
    • CraftBond Repositionable Glue Stick
    • CraftBond Extra-Strength Glue Stick
    • X-ACTO Designer Series Gripster Knife
    • Painters Assorted Colors Set

    The x-acto knife has to be my favorite item in this giveaway! It is a soft handle and easy to grip. And if you already have an x-acto knife, it is like shoes, you can never have enough!

    Please do any or all of the following to be entered to win (one comment per entry. Three total chances to win.)

    • Leave me a comment letting me know what you think about this project, or if you have any questions.
    • Sign up to receive my posts via Google Friend or Feedburner. Both widgets can be found on my sidebar over there –>
    • Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway: Look what @PrettyHandyGirl made out of an old drawer! Win @Elmers products to make  http://ow.ly/7L0m4 #Looks4Less #Cbias

    A winner will be chosen at Random Wednesday, December 7th! Good luck.

     

     

     

    Disclaimer: This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer’s #gluenglitter #collectivebias #CBias. I was paid a small fee and sent some Elmer’s products. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in this post are solely mine.

     

    Sharing with Sawdust and Paper Scraps – Build{hers} Link Party

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    Dual Purpose Holiday Decor – A Guest Post from Final Clothes-Out

    Final_clothes_out_yellow_dress

    Today I have a special guest for you! Paige from Final Clothes-Out is visiting and she’s here to help us re-purpose ordinary items into festive holiday decor! Hooray for reusing!

    Nice to virtually meet you! I’m Paige from Final Clothes-Out, a blog focused on saving money while still finding (or making!) everything you need. A big thanks to Brittany for inviting me to post here today!

    My husband and I live in a tiny little condo–two people and a business in 840 square feet–which means we don’t have a ton of space for seasonal decorations. I use small-ish everyday items a lot when I pretty up the house for Christmas, and I’m here with a few ideas to help you do the same.

    Putting red and green items together brings out an understated holiday vibe, even if they’re just a teacup and a sugar bowl:

    Or a stack of books in my office:

    Another easy idea is to put Christmas-y things into functional items. This iron stand usually holds my longer necklaces, but right now it’s cradling some extra ornaments:

    And this is part of my mixing bowl set, but I think it looks pretty darn cute filled with pine cones on the end table:

    I do sprinkle in a few “real” decorations every year. My new babies for 2011 are some miniature picture frames (from the dollar section at Michael’s, if you’re interested) filled with reversible Christmas images. I put them together with stickers and leftover scrapbook paper:

    Once the holidays are over, I can use the frames with different art for little pops of year-round color.

    Are you a fan of re-working everyday stuff this time of year? Maybe you’re a fellow small house dweller with decorating tips of your own? Anybody else score those picture frames from Michael’s? (Love them.)

    Thanks Paige! If you have a chance, go check out Final Clothes-Out where you can learn all kinds of frugal tips:

    Like turning this Dynasty-esque dress into a cute summery wrap dress (without a sewing machine!)

    Or this DIY Kindle Sleeve.

    Do you want to be a guest on Pretty Handy Girl? Visit this page to learn about submitting a guest post idea.

    See y’all back here real soon!