Do You Follow Pretty Handy Girl in Google Reader?

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Over a year ago I started delivering my blog posts via Mail Chimp. I was tired of the antics of Google Reader and their mischief with dropping subscribers and threatening to stop providing their service. Well, apparently Google Reader has packed their bags and their ship sets sail tomorrow, July 1st.

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If you wish to continue reading Pretty Handy Girl on a regular basis, I welcome you with open arms to either sign up to receive my tutorials via email with Mail Chimp. Enter your email address below. No spam, I promise.

Or you can subscribe via BlogLovin‘!

Of course, we can always stay socially connected: Or follow me on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest so you can be the first to know what I’m working on next!

I hope you’ll stick around for more DIY fun and tutorials. I have a lot of plans to share with you in the coming months.

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Easy DIY Patriotic Star Pillows

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As Independence Day nears, why not dress up your home with these easy to sew star pillows?

Materials:

  • White felt
  • Blue fabric
  • Red Fabric
  • Blue thread
  • Red Thread
  • Square Pillow Form
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins

Instructions:

Start by printing out a large star onto a piece of paper (you can use the Zapf Dingbats font or google “star” to get your image.)

Lay the print out on top of the white felt and cut out the star shape slightly larger than the image. [Read more...]

White-Washed Patriotic Flag Sign Tutorial

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White-Washed Patriotic Sign

Hi every one! I’m glad to be back here today sharing this project with you all.

The other day I was at the fabric store but after not finding that perfect fabric for one of my projects,  I went to the other section of the store to take a break from it all.  While there I saw a little sign that read:

“This Is A Place We Gladly Call Home…

and for that we are truly thankful”

Those words totally spoke to me!  I didn’t buy the little sign but I came home thinking about how to create my own version.  The sign was more expensive than the materials to make my own sign ten times bigger!

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I wanted the look of the American flag on the background, so this is how it was created: [Read more...]

15 Painted Floors You’re Gonna Love

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Hey everyone, I have a very special guest for you today! Her name is Caitlin and she is a fabulous interior designer. She lives in the San Jose, CA area with her wonderful husband and their two adorable daughters.
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She and I share a similar design style and I use her as my sounding board. (Maybe more often than she would like.) She’s arguably one of my best friends, but she and I have been known to fight on occasion too. I also know a lot of embarrassing things about her, but she’d kill me if I told you them like she used to be able to belch like a full grown man when she was TWO!
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Why am I embarrassing this poor gal? Because that’s what sisters do! It’s true, she’s my littlest sister and Caitlin has agreed to fill in for me on occasion when I need a break.) Please welcome her with open arms (or I’ll have to beat you up…that’s sister talk for you better not mess with my baby sis.)
Hi everyone, this is Caitlin, a loyal admirer of Pretty Handy Girl from the start.  One might argue that I am one of her biggest fans.  Thank you Brittany for allowing me to pop on over and visit you and your Pretty Loyal followers.  As an interior designer, I am a sucker for all things home design and today I wanted to give overdue attention to the workhorse of our homes.  Day in and day out the floors we walk all over don’t get enough love. Sure, the walls are the first place we typically think of dressing up with paint, wallpaper, artwork and stencils.  But many times our poor floors get covered up and forgotten about. Not anymore! Today we are celebrating those hardworking horizontal surfaces we couldn’t do without.  Here are my top fifteen picks for hand painted floor treatments and even one for those of you afraid to commit.  But be warned, you’ll love these floors so much you might want to get rid of all your furniture just so you can appreciate them even more. [Read more...]

How to Trim a Sticking Door with a Power Planer

How to Trim a Door with a Hand Planer

Trim a door with a power planer

Doors that rub the floor or jamb are flat out annoying. This problem is typically fixed by tightening or shimming hinges. But sometimes the door just needs to be shaved down a tiny bit and this can be accomplished by using a power planer. The Ryobi planer used in this tutorial is cheaper than pair of Nikes. You can find a factory reconditioned one on Amazon for $35 (buying factory reconditioned tools is a great way to save a ton of money :-)).

Today you’ll learn how to trim the bottom or top of your door. It’s simple, straight forward, and will save you at least $50-$75 (the cost a carpenter or handyman would probably charge).

Here are the supplies you’ll need to trim any wood door (hollow or solid core): [Read more...]

Patriotic Denim Bunting Tutorial

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Summer is unofficially here and I’m back to share a patriotic sewing project that uses denim! Yes, another way to repurpose those old holey (or should we say too tight?) blue jeans.

Nothing says 4th of July better than red, white and blue and this denim bunting is just that.  Blue denim combined with red and white gingham ruffle trim makes the perfect pairing and a great project to repurpose those worn out jeans.

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I think you might just be able to use this idea at your next backyard party regardless of the holiday, it’s chic, a little bit country, a little bit western and everyone loves denim.

I started with a pair of holey jeans that had seen the dryer one too many times and quickly made them into the cutest bunting decoration anyone with a little sewing skills could tackle. [Read more...]

Red, White & Blueberry Fruit Pops

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Summertime is here and cool popsicles are a must on a hot day. Sure you can buy a pack of popsicles at the grocery store, but this mama is trying to eliminate food dyes and increase the healthy desserts. With that goal I set forth to create festive fruit popsicles using a few ingredients I had on hand. And I used my newest kitchen appliance, the Ninja (which I absolutely LOVE! And am not paid to say that.)

Ingredients: [Read more...]

Matching the DIY Project Winners

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did_you_match_the_projectsBig HUGE Happy Father’s Day to you, your daddy, your husband, grandpa, brother… ETC! These men deserve to be celebrated!!

And that brings me to the fact that today is THE BIG DAY that we announce the winner of our Massive RYOBI Power Tool Giveaway! Luckily, our little Rafflecopter form did the dirty work for us and pulled up our winner in the most random of fashion! Congrats to (drumroll please!)…

Hilarie Sullivan!

Check your inbox asap!

We were so honored that so many of you participated in the ‘Blog Hop’, and were surprised by how quickly we had our winner (Congrats Stephanie Richardson for winning the matching contest!). We got tons of positive feedback and are so glad that everyone enjoyed surfing around each blog! We just might make it harder next time!!!

In case you missed it, the premise of the contest was to match each blogger with a popular project of theirs. Here are the correct answers!

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Interiors by Kenz ~ Painted Faux Moulding & Headboard

Twist Me Pretty ~ Pink Room Reveal

Vintage Revivals ~ Swig Sugar Cookies

East Coast Creative ~ Large Photo Frame

Whatever Blog ~ Melted Crayon Artwork

Domestic Imperfection ~ Paisley Stencil Table

Home Stories A to Z ~ Tiered Garden Planter

Sarah Dorsey Designs ~ Painted Rug

Pretty Handy Girl ~ Backlight Bookshelf

Sawdust and Embryos ~ Shading with Stain Technique

The Idea Room ~ Lemon Sugar Scrub

Kara Paslay Designs ~ Mason Jar Chandelier

All Things Thrifty ~ Everything I know about Spray Paint

DIY Village ~ Dog Bowl Chairs

One Good Thing By Jillee ~ Yogurt Dots

Nine Red ~ Striped Painted Table

There’s an overwhelming amount of creativity and talent in this group, you should definitely hop on board and keep up with each one! You’re sure to be inspired to the fullest.

A HUMONGOUS thank you to RYOBI Nation for supplying our giveaway prize! For even more inspiration, check out these great projects!

DIY Star Wars Birthday Party

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I have a special guest for you today. Jenelle is a woman who shares my passion for upcycling and creating treasures from trash. She creates at TrashN2Tees. When I say creates, I should say works amazing transformative magic on old shirts and clothing. She turns them into the most adorable shirts and accessories! Like this Fox Applique Geeky Kids shirt:

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And this too cute for words Hungry Bear Shirt:

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But, kids’ clothing is just the beginning. She also sells jewelry made from shirts! Like these funky chunky bracelets:

Upcycled T-shirt Funky Chunky Bracelets

You won’t believe all the cool things she has in her Trash N2 Tees Etsy Shop (First time buyers receive 10% off with coupon code FTB10Off):

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She also launched a clothing recycling program for used, stained or out of style clothing! She’s like the Upcycling Wonder Woman! And, she has a son who LOVES Star Wars. All you mamas of boys know how obsessive our little Jedis can be for Star Wars, right?!

Jenelle knew that her little guy deserved a fantastic Star Wars themed party that wouldn’t break the budget. She did a fabulous job creating a memorable Star Wars Party for very little money. I leave you in Jenelle’s capable hands: [Read more...]

How to Grow an Incredible Crop of Tomatoes

How to grow Happy Tomatoes

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Last spring we completed my raised bed stack stone garden.  It served as an incredible place for me to try my hand at growing vegetables.  I planted green peppers, strawberries, onions, basil, oregano, jalapeños, and 9 tomato plants. Yup, you read that right N-I-N-E tomato plants in three different varieties.  To be fair, most of the plants looked very sad and I really thought half of them would die.  Much to my surprise they not only lived but they thrived to insane proportions and produced over 2 bushel, which is equivalent to over 100 lbs of tomatoes.  That’s a whole lot more than I expected!  I was knee deep in tomatoes and quickly taught myself how to can tomato sauce.

Last year I chose to stake the tomatoes using 5′ plastic garden stakes and garden support tape.  It worked great for a little while but when the tomatoes got to a certain size, the stakes started to bend from the weight of the plants.

This year I am doing things differently to make sure my plants get the full support they need for their growing bodies ;-).

Planting and Staking Your Tomatoes [Read more...]

Match that BLOGGER! {a contest and RYOBI Father’s Day Giveaway!}

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Gooooood MORNING Bloggyland!

I have a special surprise for you today. It involves a little friendly competition and a BIG GIVEAWAY!

The premise of this competition stems from the fact that ALL OF US are guilty of pinning an idea on Pinterest without ever checking the source (guilty as charged!) But there are likely pins on your boards that are from your favorite bloggers, and you don’t even KNOW it! (Right? Raising my hand.)

And that’s where this contest comes into play: [Read more...]

Wall-Mounted Kitchen Hutch Tutorial

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Have you heard the term sandbox when talking about software development? It’s the term used for the testing area where the engineers can “play” with their ideas before they go live to the public. Well, this little kitchen desk and hutch (kitchen command center) was my sandbox before I ordered our kitchen cabinets. It was my place to play with colors and style before making the very big step of ordering all the kitchen cabinets. When I had finished with the desk and hutch I was so thoroughly smitten with the colors that I had no problem ordering most of my kitchen cabinets in the same Sherwin Williams Copen Blue color!

Last week I showed you how I raised and transformed the Habitat ReStore desk into a counter-height desk. At the same time I bought the desk, I found a sheet of finish grade plywood that was an old folding table top. At $25 for the sheet, I brought it home and used it to create a wall-mounted hutch. After mounting it on the wall, I worked with my electrician to wire a lamp in the hutch. (Exterior wall mounted light from Lowe’s.) The result is a charming cottage style desk and hutch where I keep our lives organized!

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Are you ready to build your own wall-mounted hutch? Grab your tape measure and saw and let’s get busy! [Read more...]

Building a Kitchen Counter Height Desk {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

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Where do you drop all your mail, papers, reminder notes, kid’s school notes, business cards, etcetera, etcetera…etcetera? If you answered the kitchen counter, I’m sure you are among many including myself who dropped everything on the counter. And then it piled up there until someone filed the papers and threw away the reminders of events past.

(As a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blogger I was tasked with creating a “drop zone” for my June project. And I was provided with a gift card to purchase the supplies.)

I was determined to keep our countertops clean in our new kitchen. Which meant I had to create a space that would hold it all and act as our drop zone! The idea of a kitchen desk seemed like the perfect spot. However, I didn’t want a regular height desk. I wanted a desk that was counter height so I could stand and write a note, file papers, put away the mail then dash off to complete my next DIY project. This handy girl really doesn’t have the time to sit still ;-).

When I stumbled across a desk marked down to $35 at our local Habitat ReStore, it seemed like it had potential. A quick check of the drawers proved that the desk was still in perfect working order.

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I was talking to my friend Holly about my idea of the countertop height desk and she pulled four table legs out of her garage and gifted them to me! And, I had a heavily loved craft table that a neighbor gave away. I thought it would make the perfect top for the desk.

Here’s how I put them all together to make a cottage-style counter-height kitchen desk: [Read more...]

Helping Oklahoma Tornado Victims

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Being a part of the DIY blogging community is like being part of an extended family. Most of the DIY bloggers I know spend their time building or creating and then spending an equal amount of time creating a tutorial to help others make the same thing.

This sharing and giving spirit often extends beyond building and creating.  It extends to helping others in need.

My friend, Colleen, is one of those bloggers who has been driven to help the tornado victims in Oklahoma. She was moved to create the painting of the Two Cows above and is raffling it off to raise money for Oklahoma.

You might remember Colleen:

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I introduced her to you last year when she herself was in need after losing her husband. The blogging community and their readers rallied together to help her. Now Colleen is ‘paying it forward’ by raising money for the Red Cross to help in the Oklahoma relief efforts. You can read the full details about the fundraiser on Colleen’s blog, along with the story behind her painting above (it’s a moving tale.)

Raffle tickets for her painting are only $5. The winner will be chosen on June 30.You can also purchase prints and notecards of Two Cows (a portion of the proceeds also goes to the Red Cross.)

I love our blogging family and how they pull together, help others and give back. I hope you’ll join Colleen and either purchase a ticket or reprint or share the raffle with your friends.

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Summer Tour of Homes – Welcome to My Home

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Welcome, welcome! I’m so glad to see you made it. I hope you didn’t get lost.

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Did you just get here from Angie’s house at the Country Chic Cottage? Her home is so cozy and beautiful (so make sure you didn’t miss her stop on the tour!)

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I’m so glad to have you over for the 2013 Summer Tour of Homes.

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It’s hot outside for sure. These North Carolina summers are hot and humid.

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Here’s a glass of sweet tea for you to cool off. Come on in and take a load off in our mudroom.
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In fact, feel free to kick off your shoes and relax with me for the next few cyber minutes. I’m not going to talk much, instead I’ll let you soak up the sights. Feel free to ask your questions or leave a comment after you’re done. [Read more...]

Building a Window Seat with Storage in a Bay Window

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You know when you dream about the finished product on something that you’ve been planning for a long time? And then you finish and your dream becomes a reality? And you think to yourself, am I still dreaming? All those sentiments and more have been going through my head since I finished the built-in window seat in our bay window. This seat is devine! In fact, I’ve begun calling it the Queen’s seat in the hopes that it will deter any male folks from claiming it in our household.

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Several of you have asked for the tutorial to build the window seat. I have that for you, but I want to mention that this is a slightly more advanced project. Halfway into writing this tutorial, I realized there was no way I could show you each and every cut, step, and trick without this being the world’s longest blog post/tutorial. If you have some basic carpentry skills (you know how to hammer, nail, use some power tools and you know how to attach a 2×4″ securely to a wall), you should be able to handle this. With that being said, I do want to offer any help if you should have any questions during the process of building this bench, please feel free to email me and I will do my best to help you.

I also want to mention that I did have to move the HVAC vent forward so it came out the front of the window seat. Here’s the tutorial to move a floor vent. I do want to caution you against building over a vent. We have a bookcase that was built over the register and the wood inside grew mold because there wasn’t enough force to blow the air and moisture out the front of the bookcase. Just a warning, don’t take the easy way out.

Basics for Building a Built-in Window Seat in a Bay Window: [Read more...]