Archives for June 2012

One Project Closer – Before & After Weekly Winner

There was some tough competition in this week’s One Project Closer Before & After competition. I read through every single entry and tried to leave a comment on as many as I could. (Psssst: Several of you still had word verification turned on. This made it harder for me to get through the security codes. If you are on blogger, this setting is defaulted to ON. Please double check your settings. I promise you’ll get more comments and won’t get more spam.)

It was such a bummer that I had to choose just one winner, but I promised to be a fair judge and stick to the rules (picking half a dozen winners was not in the Tightly Wound White Wig rule book.)

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No Sew Patio Tablecloth with Umbrella Hole

This is one of the easiest tutorials I’ve every written. As a bonus, it is a no sew table cloth perfect for updating your outdoor table that has an umbrella.

While shopping at Target I stumbled across beautiful green link patterned table cloths. But, the sizes wouldn’t fit our square patio table. I was hanging my head in clear disappointment when I walked through the bath aisle and spotted the same pattern on a shower curtain! After using a shower curtain for a tablecloth on our screen porch, I knew this would be a great option for the patio table. I grabbed the shower curtain, did a fist pump, and sprinted to the register. As I neared the cashier, I wondered if I would finally beat the impossible game of “Can you buy less than $100 at Target?” (coming to a store near you.) [Read more…]

Haven 2012 and my trip to Atlanta

Top Row left to right: Kate, Diane, Erin, Rhoda, Sandra, Carrie, Jessica and Me
Second Row: Sherry & John from Young House Love, Ana White 

Remember when I told you how much I liked the SNAP Conference because it was more intimate and I felt like I belonged? Well, the same can be said for Haven! At just over 250 attendees it was easy to network and not feel frantic trying to find bloggers in your niche. I was overwhelmed by how many bloggers I knew once we did actually meet (Twitter and Instagram are great for pre-conference networking.) It truly is nice to finally put a real face with a blog.

Not only were the bloggers all in the same niche, but the sponsors were tailored to DIY blogs as well. No more walking around searching for a sponsor that I think I could work with. The sponsors at Haven were so generous for helping make the conference happen and for providing some really fabulous swag! A BIG thank you to: [Read more…]

Link Up Your Best Before & After Projects to One Project Closer

Jolly good day to you. This week I will be judging the One Project Closer Before & After series. (I’m not sure why I’ve adopted the British accent and the wig.  Maybe to make me look more honorable?) Anyway, consider this your official reminder to link up your best before and after projects to One Project Closer before Friday!!!

You could win a $50 gift card to Lowe’s, Home Depot or Amazon. Plus, a $100 donation will be made to Habitat for Humanity in your honor from One Project Closer.

AND, if that wasn’t fabulous enough, I’m going to match OPC’s donation to Habitat for Humanity. So, if you are chosen as the winner THIS week, $200 will be donated in your name to Habitat! As of Monday afternoon there were less than 50 entries, so your chances of winning are really good.

I’m encouraging you to limber up your mouse and head over to One Project Closer to link up your greatest transformations!

 Last Week’s Winner:

A big “Hip Hip Hooray” to Kelly at View Along the Way who won last week’s Before & After series! Kelly shared her beautiful nursery makeover. You have to see the nursery transformation for yourself! I had the privilege of meeting Kelly at Haven. I wish we had more time to talk, but it was a frantic two days.

I can’t wait to see your transformations! Until then, I’m off to grab a spot of tea.

(aka Pretty Goofy Girl)

Outdoor Patio Table Planter, Vase and Serving Station – a #LowesCreator Idea


three in one patio table centerpiece vase and planter


Wanted: A better name for this invention I created!

What is it? I consider it a multi-purpose centerpiece for your umbrella-shaded patio table. But, it can also be a serving station for utensils and napkins. Add some water and it becomes a vase for the table. When the flowers wilt, plant some shade loving flowers into it and you have a living centerpiece! So, my working title was: Plant-a-ma-bo-a-ma-holdey-flowers-n-stuffin-vase. But, I don’t think that anyone would be able to pronounce that. (Nor would that be very SEO friendly.)

Whatever the name, I’d love to share how easy it is to make this outdoor living table centerpiece. [Read more…]

Are You Woman Enough to Handle My Power Tools? – Plywood Sign Tutorial

There is a joke on our street that Pretty Handsome Guy isn’t allowed to touch my power tools. Okay, it isn’t really a joke, it’s a fact. He knows he is not allowed to use them without me around (smart guy.) 😉

Before the Woman’s Day shoot I decided at the last minute that I wanted a sign that really labelled the workshop as a “Woman’s” workshop. In an instant I had a creative spark and came up with this question, “Are You Woman Enough to Handle My Power Tools?”  Then I called my good friend Leen the Graphics Queen and asked her to make a wall decal for me. (Did you know she can create custom wall vinyl for you too?! And you don’t even have to be a close friend! But, I’m sure she’d be your friend immediately if you met her because she’s a sweetheart like that.)

Once the vinyl arrived, I set about creating a fancy and feminine sign with some scrap plywood. Here’s how to create your own custom wooden sign. [Read more…]

Pallet Love – Guest Post by East Coast Creative


Today I have a special guest. Well, make that two special guests: Monica and Jess, the fabulous gals of East Coast Creative! But, before I let them take the reins I want to let you know that I’m secretly jealous that these two DIY gals live close to each other and team up to tackle some amazing DIY projects! Unfortunately, my ultimate dynamic duo partner lives on the other side of the US! Drat.

Hey, maybe I can convince Monica and Jess to move down to Raleigh, NC?! They could keep the same blog name (since they recently had to change it. I’ll let them explain the sticky torrid name-changing details.) I think we’d make the perfect trio because we have similar tastes in painted door colors: [Read more…]

Install Your Own Magnetic Metallic Backsplash a #LowesCreator Idea

Last week I shared with you some of the changes I made when Woman’s Day announced they were sending a photographer to shoot my garage. The back wall of my workbench was rough plywood, which results in sawdust particles attaching to it like velcro. I needed a sleeker and more industrial solution. But, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money (because this is the garage after all!) [Read more…]

Things I learned from my Dad – A Father’s Day Tribute

Dad, letting his daughters put barrettes and ribbons in his hair

Happy Father’s Day to the best Dad in the world…Pretty Handy Dad! That’s him above, sitting patiently while my sisters and I braided and ponytailed his hair.

My Dad is a pretty amazing guy. I met him in the delivery room the day I was born. For those of you that were born in the early 70’s, having the father in the delivery room was pretty rare. Normally they stood guard by the waiting room door waiting for news of the birth of their child. But, not my Dad, he was there for every one of his daughter’s births.

Dad welcoming me into the world

The best advice my dad ever gave me was not necessarily in spoken words. It was more of a belief he had that was evident while I was growing up.

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Habitat for Humanity ReStore Talk in Atlanta, GA – Sat. June 23rd

We interrupt this fabulous weekend to bring you an important announcement:

I’m headed to Hotlanta! Woo hoo!

I’m headed south this coming week to attend the Haven Home Conference. While I’m in Atlanta I couldn’t miss the opportunity to check out the local Habitat ReStore. I hear they have some fabulous furniture right now. And you can bet I’ll be checking out some of the light fixtures they have in stock.

Won’t you come join me and hear my empowerment talk? I’ll share with you why I think everyone is handy but may not know it yet. Plus, I’ll be giving tips on how to decorate on a frugal budget using common ReStore finds!

So hop on over to the Atlanta ReStore on Saturday, June 23rd at 2pm. The store is located at 519 Memorial Dr., Atlanta, GA.

View Larger Map

I’d love to meet you and give you a squeeze ;-)!

If you think you would like to go, please email: Put “Brittany RSVP” in the subject line so they can be sure to set up enough chairs. Hope you can make it!


Make Your Own Customized File Bin with Mod Podge

I’m just curious if I’m the only person who loses sight of her desk every week? I spend Monday mornings clearing the clutter and figuring out my plan of attack for the week. I could really save that 30 minutes each week by corralling my clutter in one place! On a recent excursion to Walmart, I found the perfect storage solution!

I also found lots of other goodies at Walmart. My friend Su and I had a blast shopping together. Su is the stay-at-home mom of five. She has a wonderful vivacious personality and is loads of fun to be around. If you haven’t met Su yet, head over to her blog The Intentional Home.

Being crafty gals, we set out to find some inspiration for a new craft project using the Plaid products that were sent to us.

(The Plaid paint selection is just like the candy aisle for me. Drooool!) In the past I have ordered aprons and canvas tote bags for teacher gifts, but now I know that I can pick them up at Walmart!

Sorry if I digressed a little, but that happens to me in those big super stores. Back to my storage solution. I found the perfect sized file bin at Walmart, but the design wasn’t cute enough for me. While browsing the aisles, I also picked up some cute pillow cases, and soon a plan was hatched to give my storage bin some personality. Here’s how I did it: [Read more…]

Old Paintbrush Cabinet Door Handles

Happy Wednesday! Something kind of exciting happened to me yesterday. Woman’s Day sent a photographer, an assistant and a stylist to photograph me and my garage. They worked together like a well-oiled machine and made my garage more beautiful than I could ever imagine! If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (@PrettyHandyGirl), I snapped a few photos with my cell phone. I am still in the “I’ll believe it when I see it mindset.” But, this was for a small feature on organization for the September issue. Honestly, I’m a little concerned that the editor will take one look at the photos and drop them in the garbage. After all, it is the LEAST attractive room in my house! But, the editor assured me that they really want to show an organized garage space. So, I’ll be sitting on pins and needles until the issue comes out.

Two weeks ago I got an email from someone at Woman’s Day expressing interest in my garage. She politely asked if I could make a few changes to complete my workbench. They were all changes that I had wanted to do eventually. But, that date suddenly became last week. So, I put my tail in high gear and added those finishing touches to my workshop.

This was the workbench area of our garage before: [Read more…]

10 Cool Gifts that Every Handy Guy (or Gal) Would Love


As an avid DIYer, I know that Father’s Day is a great time to pick up great bargins on DIY tools and more. But, sometimes picking out the right gift for that handy person in your life can be a little daunting.

I decided to create a list of cool products that I know I’d want in my workshop and I think your “handy” person would too. And hey, if this list is great for the handy gal or yourself instead, then so be it!

There are a variety of gifts to fit every budget (and all under $60!) [Read more…]

Summer Calendar and Our Bucket List

I don’t know whether to be excited or dread that yesterday was the last day of school for my boys. I have some summer camps lined up for them, but frankly our summer schedule is all over the place. So much so that I need help remembering where the kids are going and when.

I thought it would be a good idea to display the schedule so the boys could see what was coming up (to avoid the inevitable anxiety from different camps for different weeks.) To give them a little control over the schedule, we sat down and brainstormed our bucket list for the summer. Ice cream, swimming, and Carowinds are only a few of their bucket list items. I thought it was especially sweet that they wanted to spend time with our longtime sitter one or two days ;-).

While I was contemplating this displayable schedule, I received a box of goodies from Plaid. The boys were home when it arrived, so naturally they hovered like eager vultures as I opened it. And of course they immediately wanted to make something with the supplies. Sometimes timing is a serendipitous thing.

I set up the kitchen table with all the supplies and a plastic cover over the table. When I looked up, my oldest son had disappeared! I found him like this:

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Rockin’ Out with Safety Gear – 3M Tekk Digital Work Tunes Review

I feel like I’m constantly shouting safety messages at you. But, I can’t stress enough how important it is to wear hearing protection when you are exposed to loud noises. But, did you know that the noise doesn’t even have to be super loud? Exposure to higher levels for an extended period of time can also cause hearing loss.

Here is an infographic from 3M that shows common household noises that may be harming your hearing:

I have a pair of 3M Tekk ear muffs that I use when sawing wood and using my power tools. But, Pretty Handsome Guy doesn’t have a pair. He isn’t allowed doesn’t use my tools very much, but he does do most of the yard work. When he cuts the lawn he uses ear plugs. I decided it was time to upgrade his little foamies to some rockin’ headphones! Last week, I gave him a pair of Digital WorkTunes™ HearingProtector and AM/FM Stereo Radio ear muffs. He was thrilled to try out something that allowed him to rock out while he was chopping blades.

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Father’s Day Gift Idea – Golf Gift Basket

June is upon us, and that means that Father’s Day is just around the corner! Do you want to be the “birdie” of your hubby’s eye? Or maybe you want to give Dad a present that is above “par”! Well, I have a gift basket idea that is sure to be a “hole-in-one”!

Instead of just presenting him with a gift certificate, why not have some fun and make him a golf themed basket as well. [Read more…]

One Project Closer’s Before and After Competition

Summer, summer, summertime! Summer is my favorite time for home improvement projects. I’m not sure exactly why I prefer sweating it out in the summer. Maybe it is because I’m a summer baby. Who knows, but what I do know is that once the thermometer starts to climb I become a DIY busy beaver.

Last year, I shed some pounds while giving our screened porch a big “botox-worthy” facelift. I saved oodles of money by building some furniture and upcycling others. The makeover was definitely a labor of love and an exercise in frugality. [Read more…]

Mailbox Post Requirements and Mounting Your Mailbox

When I took my custom mailbox to the postal service for approval, the postmaster handed me a form that details how a mailbox should be installed. Believe it or not, there are more requirements for the placement of the mailbox than the mailbox itself. [Read more…]