How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood

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How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood by Pretty Handy Girl

Have you seen the beautiful custom range hoods on my Pinterest board? From the beginning of our kitchen planning sessions, I knew I wanted to put in a custom wood range hood. But, finding a tutorial to build one was tough. The one that helped me the most was Cristina’s how to build a range hood tutorial.

How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood by Pretty Handy Girl

I knew when I built our hood that I’d need to take detailed notes and photos to help you accomplish your own project. I hope this tutorial helps you build your own range hood!

Materials: [Read more...]

What are Your Best {Before & After} DIY Projects?

Hear ye’, hear ye’, gather round for the official rules of the Best DIY Before & After Project contest organized by One Project Closer’s The Better Half.

PHG Judge of Best DIY Projects

Yes, it’s time once again for me to pull on my judging wig and decide once and for all who has the best before and after project this coming week. Luckily it’s not too hot this week, so this wig’s not as itchy. But, I want to get out of these robes as soon as possible, so let’s get on with it. [Read more...]

Hang Wall Decor Straight Every Time with a Simple Laser Level

Hang Wall Decor Straight

Hang Wall Decor Straight

Have you ever had the frustrating experience of hanging something on the wall only to notice afterward that it wasn’t straight? Yah, this happens to me all the time.

Recently my wife wanted to hang a cork/dry erase board in our laundry room so that we can keep track of the kid’s activities. When tackling small projects like this one I always think, “How can I make this easier than it looks?”.

Well, fortunately my memory isn’t shot yet. I remembered that I received a pen laser level for my birthday and it would be perfect for getting the cork/dry erase board straight and level. If you’re going to hang a heavy mirror, tons of pictures, or several pieces of wall art I highly suggest getting something like this level because you’ll save precious time, countless re-hangings and eliminate the agony most of us experience during this process.

The Bosch pen laser level I have costs $35 on Amazon but any similar product will suffice.

Here are the additional supplies you need for this 20 minute project: [Read more...]

The Painted Distressed Wood Panel Tutorial

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I can tell you are excited about this tutorial! I’ve had more comments and compliments on the side panel on my kitchen desk and on the range hood.

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They are definitely the details in our kitchen that make it personal. I got the idea after seeing Sarah Richardson’s kitchen, where she actually used reclaimed lumber on the side of her cabinets.

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But, I knew finding the right distressed wood would be tricky. Plus, I always worry about the presence of lead paint. Instead, I decided to make it and fake it. As promised, I’m sharing the tutorial with you. [Read more...]

25 Dreamy Blue Paint Color Choices

The Lettered Cottage

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It’s no secret that one of the quickest and least expensive ways to transform a room is with paint. Choosing the right color, however, can be tricky. It’s always recommended to paint some sample colors in the room you’ll be painting. Both natural and artificial lighting play huge roles in how the hues appear at different times of the day. After you’ve painted samples, see how they look in the morning light, afternoon and with ambient lighting in the evenings.

Many people lean towards neutrals for wall colors, but light blues and aquas bring in the airy tranquil feelings of the sky or surf. Be lulled into a peaceful tranquility by these 25 dreamy blue rooms. You’ll soon discover that these colors do anything but give you the ‘blues’.

Bedroom Beauties:

Young House Love

1. Valspar’s Carolina Inn Club Aqua at Young House Love
John and Sherry balanced the softness of the wall color with rich wood accents.

 

MosaicWorks.ca

2. Benjamin Moore Tranquil Blue at  MosaicWorks.ca
In contrast to natural wood tones, this room simply uses white accessories to create a lovely retreat.

 

Kelly Moore Blue Green Gem

3. Kelly Moore Blue Green Gem at Centsational Girl
Gray and silver accents echo the wall color in a welcoming guest room.

 

[Read more...]

Why My Grandmother Would Love that I Wrote All Over Her Coffee Table

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My grandmother wouldn’t mind that I painted and then wrote all over her coffee table. She was one of the most giving people you’ve ever met. She truly was the type of person that would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. I strive to live up to her legacy every day of my life.

She was also a very lucky lady. I mean lucky as in she could spot a four-leafed clover in a field of them. She was constantly finding money on the ground.

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When I was living with her my freshman year in college, she made me do a U-turn on a street because she saw a five dollar bill in the middle of the road! She was a hoot and loved to make people laugh with her jokes or just dressing up as a bunny every Easter.

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(That’s my sisters and me in the floral skirt.)

She also won several contests in her life. But, she rarely kept her winnings. One of the things she won was a solid construction coffee table. When I was moving into my first apartment, she gave it to me. We used it for years until my design tastes changed and I bought a new one. Grandma’s coffee table moved into our attic. It sat there for years, buried under bags and suitcases.

When the big tree fell on our house, we did some serious purging in the attic. I should have taken the coffee table to Goodwill or sold it at our yard sale. But, something made me keep it a little longer. [Read more...]

DIY Kids Cloth Napkins Tutorial

kids cloth napkins

kids cloth napkins

Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers, contributor Jaime back again to share an earth-friendly, fun and very useful tutorial as we begin to think about back to school!

Let’s make personalized cloth napkins for kids, I promise they will be the talk of the lunch table at school this year!kids cloth napkins1

I was sending my kids to school nearly every day with a large paper towel to place on the lunch table, gosh knows I don’t want my kids eating directly off the school lunch table!  Then it occurred to me that using all those paper towels was extremely wasteful.

The solution: make them personalized cloth napkins which can be washed and reused AND makes for most stylish lunch spot at the table! [Read more...]

How to Install a Lutron Maestro Occupancy Sensor on a 3-way Switch

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Teaching kids to turn off the lights in a room they are no longer in is a tough job. No matter how many times I try to explain that leaving the lights on wastes electricity, it just doesn’t seem to sink in. In their defense, they are like little wind up tops flitting from room to room playing with trains in one; reading in another and barely stopping to use the toilet in the bathroom (putting the lid down is a whole other issue! Ugh.)

When Lutron approached me about giving my kids a helping hand with the lights, I was immediately intrigued. It turns out that Lutron has just introduced the Maestro occupancy sensor dimmer that can be easily installed in place of an existing light switch. (Single pole switches are easiest. Dual or Multi-location switches may require a little more wiring and programming to work properly.) After some thought, I decided to try the Maestro in our art & craft studio. This is the room that we least notice when the bulbs are burning (it is over the garage and is separated by our guest room from the rest of the house.)

Follow along to see how to install your own. Your attentive nature may be rewarded at the end. ;-) [Read more...]

25 Ideas for Tabletop Gardens and Terrariums

Faux Terrarium

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As the weather changes and the flowers start to wane outside, it’s a great time to focus on bringing natural beauty indoors. I’ve gathered some beautiful and unique ideas for creating your own tabletop gardens. For those with less time to water, may I suggest trying one of the succulent or cacti gardens. Regardless of the plants you use, I love the wide variety of creative containers used for these mini-environments.

Let’s get started with some beautiful tutorials for planting a tabletop garden:

1. Easy Terrarium in Minutes! [Read more...]

Welcome to Our Newest Contributing Writer – Colleen

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I have some exciting news! I’ve convinced another talented writer and empowering creative force to join the Pretty Handy Girl ranks! This gal has a real “Can Do!” attitude that she imparts on everyone she meets. She has successful taught people who didn’t think they could draw a straight line how to paint flowers, faux finishes and much more!

She’s an extremely talented artist:

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Commissioned Pet Portrait [Read more...]

How to Cut and Finish an Old Tabletop to Create a Wood Desk Top

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Have you seen my command center in the kitchen? It’s a beauty to look at, don’t you think? Especially that gorgeous wood desk top.

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Well, I have a secret! It’s actually an old kitchen table top that was given to me for FREE! Yup, zero dollars, no moolah, nothing! And this is what the table top looks like:

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I actually flipped it upside down to refinish it. But, I’m jumping ahead of myself. Here are the details: [Read more...]

Curbside Vintage Step Stool Makeover

Curbside Vintage Step Stool Makeover

Curbside Vintage Step Stool Makeover

A few years ago, while driving back to work from my lunch break, I spied a very cool but sad looking vintage step stool sitting at the end of someone’s driveway next to their trash.  I passed by, but it didn’t take me long to circle around the block and come back to pick up the stool.  Unfortunately the step stool stayed untouched for at least 4 years.  This time it wasn’t in my garage, I left the sad step stool in the back room of my office. Good thing I’m the only one who goes back there!  I finally decided it was time to show this little vintage step stool some love.

Curbside Step Stool MakeoverThe structure of the step stool was in fairly good condition, but COVERED in rust.  In some areas thicker than others.  I thought about using the old school method and hand sanding the stool like Jeff talked about a few weeks ago (Painting Metal Patio Chairs ) but decided if I tried this avenue I would be sanding for a few months.  I also considered using a sand blaster to remove the rust.  And while it is a fast effective method, it is not practical for everyone.  After much thought I finally decided on a 3M sanding disk that attaches to any drill. Let’s get to it shall we? [Read more...]

Save Money while Reducing Fall Allergens

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{Ahhhhhhcchoooooo!} If you hang around me in the Autumn months you hear a lot of that. My seasonal allergies seem to peak in the Fall. Most people think springtime is the peak for allergens. But, nearly 3/4 of springtime allergy sufferers also suffer from ragweed pollen allergies which peak August – October.  In addition to pollen, mold and dust mites are also contenders for the worst irritants as the weather turns cooler. Therefore, if you think your school age child has a never-ending cold after being back in the classroom, you might want to investigate possible allergies.

In the meantime, there are some very simple cost-saving things you can do to help remove allergens and lessen symptoms this Fall.

  • Dust more often with a damp washcloth to collect (not spread around) dirt and dust. Save money by using rags or washcloths that can be washed and re-used.
  • Use a Hepa filter vacuum to clean floors and carpets. Buy your vacuum bags in bulk and price shop on Amazon.com to save money.
  • Keep doors and windows closed. And adjust your thermostat one or two degrees cooler to save on heating costs.
  • Make your own natural cleaners using products already found in your home:
    • Baking soda and natural dish soap is a great tub, tile and toilet cleaner.
    • Two parts water to one part white distilled vinegar is an excellent window and glass cleaner.
  • Change your air filters at least once every three months and use a 1000 MPR or higher filter.

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When it comes to filters, do not cheap out on your home’s air filters.

The Filtrete® Micro Allergen Reduction Filter attracts and captures microscopic particles like smoke and smog and large allergens like mold spores and pollen from the air passing through the filter. Outperforms fiberglass, washable and non-electrostatic pleated 1″ filters.

  • Outperforms fiberglass, washable and non-electrostatic pleated 1″ filters
  • Carries a 1000/1085 Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR)
  • Attracts and captures microscopic particles like smoke, smog and large allergens like mold spores and pollen from the air passing through the filter
  • Lasts up to 3 months
  • Price $10.97
  • Where to buy: Lowe’s, Target, Walmart or your local hardware store. Find a location near you by visiting: FindMyFiltreteFilter.com

Filters are an investment in a healthy home and the extended life of your HVAC system. If you want to save some money, Filtrete is offering several rebates for you to chose from:

Get a rebate of $6 when purchasing 2 filter with an MPR rating of 1000 or greater.

Get a rebate of $3 when you purchase 1 filter with an MPR rating of 1000 or greater.

AND, did you know that if purchase 4 or more filters at Lowe’s, you get the contractor discount price? More ways to save! Finally, if that’s not reason enough to buy Filtrete brand filters, how about saving on heating and cooling costs. Changing your filters regularly will also keep your heating and cooling system running more efficiently.

 

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filtrete_brand_ambassadorDisclosure: This is a sponsored post for Filtrete. I have the honor of being an ambassador for them and will be sharing more information from 3M Filtrete in future posts. I was given key messages to share, but all the words and thoughts are my own.  I have been compensated for my time and for this post. I continue to work with certain companies like Filtrete that I believe in, because of their quality and because I feel they have helpful messages for my readers. I will always disclose to you if you are reading a sponsored post.

 

Hanging a Key Box from London

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how_to_securly_hang_a_keybox

One of the souvenirs I brought back from our London trip was this adorable little carved bird key box.

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The colors, the wood and the artistic way it was carved spoke to me and told me that I had to have it in my kitchen! Despite the lack of space in our suitcases, I was able to cram socks and underwear inside to make room for it.

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When we got home I found the perfect spot to hang my little key box. Although the box had hangers attached, I knew the daily pulling and key snatching would eventually prove too much for the dinky hooks. So, I simply removed the hangers with a screwdriver.

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Materials to hang a keybox: [Read more...]

Haven and the GMC Habitat House Makeover 2013

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My goodness, it has been a whirlwind week for me. I left on Wednesday to head down to Atlanta, GA with my good friend Holly (of Storywood Designs). We rode in the lap of luxury in a swanky new 2014 GMC Acadia Denali! (My boys were in love with the new SUV. Especially the bluetooth headphones that let them listen to another radio station as Mama belted out the lyrics to “Blurred Lines.” I can’t blame them, singing is the one skill I don’t have.)

I was sponsored by GMC at Haven and they let me borrow the vehicle for the week. It’s a good thing we had the Acadia with loads of cargo space, because neither of us travel light. We even brought our own furniture:

bellhopOur bellhop barely skipped a beat as he loaded furniture onto the cart with our luggage.
(photo courtesy of Holly)

Holly and I didn’t waste a moment. We checked into the Grande Hyatt in Atlanta, spread out our ScothBlue Heavy Duty Non-Slip drop cloths and started transforming furniture: [Read more...]

Easy Sofa Makeover and Living Room Mini-Makeover

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Have you ever been bored with the way a room looks?  For me, it was my living room. It houses the same sofa… The same lamps… The same golden frames surrounding the same prints we loved so much 13 years ago! I have a quick tutorial for giving your room a mini-makeover for not a lot of cash.

living room with sofa with nailhead trim2 [Read more...]

Keswick, England – A Tour of Lake Derwentwater

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I think I found Heaven on Earth. Keswick (pronounced Kes-ick) and its picturesque Lake Derwentwater currently have a pull on my heart. This small town in Northern England is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. My mom, the boys and I only had one day here, but I have vowed that I must return with Handsome Guy for a romantic time without the boys. I figured you might like to join us for the hike, so I took some photos for you ;-).

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The town is a great location for families (they have an awesome playground), romantic couples, and anyone who enjoys beautiful vibrant colored vistas and small town shops. The English style gardens are stunning in their organized structure.

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Of course, I also appreciate Mother Nature’s less defined edges and curving landscaping.

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Lake Derwentwater sits south of the quaint town of Keswick. It has a walking trail along the banks and is perfect for the adventurer who wants to hike the full 8 miles around it’s edge. If you prefer smaller hikes you can walk to one of the docks that surround the lake and catch the ferry boat back to town.

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The path that surrounds the lake detours up and into a field with grazing sheep.

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My mom and I enjoyed walking near the edge of the lake while the boys threw rocks and waded in the water.

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As we sat watching the boys entertain themselves, we suddenly saw a flurry of activity as two border collies began to round up the sheep in the field. It was amazing how quick and efficient those herding dogs were.

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I hope you enjoy the rest of the sights from my camera lens. [Read more...]

Desktop Terrarium {a Lowes Creator Idea}

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Hey all you black thumb peeps! I have a gardening tutorial for you. This desktop succulent terrarium is hard to kill. It requires very little water and loves to be neglected. Best of all, you can put it together in less than 20 minutes!

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Ready, set, go…..

Materials:

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[Read more...]