31 Days of Handy Home Fixes – Day 1 – Protect from Water Leaks

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 1 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. I am always amazed at how a great house can fall into disrepair. This doesn’t have to happen. Each day you can learn a quick fix for your home. For the entire month of October I’ll be bringing you tips and fixes you can do to protect your home, save money and save time. Follow along to learn a new tip each day. Also check out other participants in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge.

31 Day Writing Challenge

Day 1. Protect Your Home from Water Leaks

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably read about the great leak of 2012. We ended up having to gut our kitchen and rebuild it. Unless you want to rebuild your kitchen from scratch, there’s a simple device you can use to protect your home from a costly leaks.

Simply purchase a few of these Water Sensor and Alarms:

Water alarm

They cost $10 each, but they can save you thousands of dollars! Add batteries and put one underneath every sink. Place one behind the clothes washer and your fridge too!  Speaking of your fridge, here’s how to prevent an ice maker leak.

protect_from_ice_maker_line_leaks

Stick around to learn more tips tomorrow. Sign up to get all the tips in your email:


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Birch Tree Pillows

Birch Tree Pillow

One thing that gets me ready for the fall season is to bring natural elements into my home. Although, they don’t actually have to be real, you can create them with some fabric and a little sewing. I’ve wanted to change up the pillows in our living room for a while, and these birch tree pillows are the perfect touch for fall. They are super easy to make, without any special tools!

I made these with fabric I had on hand and 20″ pillow forms, however you can adjust the size based on pillow forms you have. I also made them with a 1″ “trim” around the edges as an envelope cover (meaning the pillow form slips inside the cover without the use of a zipper.)

Materials

  • Fabric in your choice of color for the pillow base
  • White felt for the trees
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Fabric glue, optional
  • Sewing machine
  • 20″ pillow form

Instructions

1. Prepare the fabric to sew it into a pillow cover by cutting a piece that is 21 1/2″ x 45″ long. This shape will make up the front of the pillow and overlap in the back to form the envelope. Iron the cut piece to remove any wrinkles.

Birch Tree Pillow

2. Sew a hem on both of the shortest 21 1/2″ ends so you have a nice finished seam on each. You will see one of these from the back of the pillow.  Set this piece aside for the moment.

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Folding Laptop / Writing Table Tutorial #DremelMaker

Folding Laptop Writing Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

My favorite place to write my tutorials is outside on our screen porch when the weather is pleasant. I love listening to the birds and feeling the breeze blow through the screens. Up until this weekend, I was using an old card table as a desk. But, it was heavy, large and awkward. I wanted a table that was the perfect height and that I could fold and store away when I wasn’t using it.

Folding Laptop Writing Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

As a brand ambassador for Dremel, I enjoyed the challenge of designing plans for this simple farmhouse style folding laptop/writing table. The materials are simple 2 x 4′s and 3/4 inch plywood. The majority of the steps can be done using simple handheld tools like a drill, Dremel Multi-Max and the Dremel Ultra-Saw. (Feel free to use other tools or alter the plans to fit your size preferences.)

Be sure to read to the end of this tutorial to enter to win a Dremel Multi-Max MM30! It’s one of my favorite tools!

Materials:
(contains some affiliate links)

Cut list:

Folding Laptop Writing Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

Top:

  • 3/4″ finish grade plywood cut to 18″ x 36″

Apron (use 1×3 boards or you can rip excess plywood):

  • 2 – 1″ x 3″ cut to 14 1/2″
  • 2 – 1″ x 3″ cut to 34″

Legs:

  • 2 – 2″ x 4″ cut to 28 1/4″
  • 2 – 2″ x 4″ cut to 26 3/4″
  • 1 – 2″ x 2″ cut to 14 1/2″ (if ripping a 2″ x 2″ yourself, remember actual size is 1.5″ x 1.5″)
  • 2 – 1″ x 4″ cut to 14 3/8″

Hardware:

Tools:

Additional materials:

Instructions:

Cut your lumber to the size specified above in the cut list. [Continue reading...]

Announcing Pretty Handy Girl Shirts & Gifts – How to Set Up a Zazzle Store

mug-back

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so excited to be launching my own line of graphic t-shirts, clothing and gifts. I’ve dreamed of having a line of DIY themed shirts and clothing that would allow those of us Handy Girls and Handy Guys to show off our DIY muscle. One of the main obstacles was my lack of […]

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Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dip Recipe

peanut butter pumpkin dip recipe

Hey there, it’s Melissa from The Happier Homemaker back again and I have something I think you’re going to love this month. I love to cook and I especially love creating fun new recipes in the fall-everything about autumn is so inspiring! It seems that when September rolls around I start trying to add pumpkin […]

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Good Day Sunshine – Yellow Painted Doors

Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter Painted Interior Doors | Pretty Handy Girl

I painted my interior front doors Benjamin Moore’s Yellow Highlighter. It’s my way to start my day off on the right foot. When I get up in the morning and head downstairs, I see my front doors and immediately Good Day Sunshine starts to play in my head! Let me tell you how this happened. Remember […]

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Cotton Fall Wreath and Décor for the Entryway

Fall Décor for Home Entrance | Pretty Handy Girl

Hooray! Fall is around the corner! If you signed up to receive my emails, you may have read that I created a new wreath this year. It was so incredibly easy that I didn’t even photograph the steps. Are you ready? First, I bought this real cotton wreath online: Then I tucked preserved leaves into it. Yup, […]

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DIY Interior Cedar Shutters

interior cedar shutters closed 1

Hello Pretty Handy friends, Jaime from That’s My Letter here today to share how to build functional interior cedar shutters using inexpensive AND readily available hardware. I have been itching to build some cedar shutters for our living room for quite some time now.  I had two requirements: 1) they had to be completely functional […]

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Rock n’ Roll Birthday Party

Rock n' Roll Birthday Party | Pretty Handy Girl

My goodness, I have an eight year old! Time has flown by and my little baby is one handsome rocker wanna be. He loves anything rock n’ roll and can be found in his room with headphones on listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, The White Stripes and Weezer. For his birthday, he wanted to […]

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How to Install a Ceiling Fan

How to Install a Ceiling Fan | Pretty Handy Girl

I’ve installed probably a dozen ceiling fans in my life. Pretty Handsome Guy was remarking to me last night, “Wait, you mean you’ve never written a tutorial on how to install a ceiling fan on the blog?” It’s true, most of the installs were pre-blogging days. For this reason, I was truly excited when Casablanca […]

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DIY Industrial USB Charging Station

Handy-Box-Knockouts

Have you ever been in need of an electrical outlet only to find that they’re hidden by furniture or in a hard to reach place?  How about that elusive time of day when you’re cell phone’s down to 1% and you have a handful of charging cables, but nothing to plug it into?  This seems […]

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How to Build Custom Rustic Wooden Box Crates

How to Build It Gallery

Making custom rustic wooden box crates is super easy. You can build your crates to fit in a book case or use them as drawers in a cabinet. When I was giving my IKEA cabinet a makeover, I chose to remove a door and build custom box drawers instead. Here’s the super easy tutorial so […]

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Rustic IKEA Hacked Cabinet

Rustic IKEA Hack Cabinet Transformation | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic is not usually a word used to describe IKEA. IKEA is better know for their modern furniture, simple lines, meatballs and funny Swedish words. Today I’m going to change how you perceive IKEA furniture forever! Are you ready for this? Well, hang onto your hästes (Swedish for horses) because you’re going to see a transformation nothing short […]

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DIY Built In Shoe Shelves

Built In Shoe Shelves

Hello, it’s Jessica from Decor Adventures and I’m back this month to show you an easy project to bring some organization to your home. Now that fall is approaching, you might be thinking about getting your closets, foyers and mudrooms in shape for the changing weather. One project that can make your space nice and […]

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Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup (using Chicken Burgers)

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup | Pretty Handy Girl

Did you know that Costco has chicken burgers that taste really good in soup? You read that right! Amylu Chicken Burgers are sold in Costco and they are super yummy and easy to cut up and throw into this hearty and healthy soup. Last fall, I got a killer cold. When I’m sick I crave Chicken […]

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Easy and Inexpensive Romantic Curtains

Easy and Inexpensive Romantic Curtains | Pretty Handy Girl

Are your windows naked? What’s holding you back? Don’t have the funds to buy some? Don’t have the time to sew some? I have the instant cure for your naked windows. Get ready to make your own easy and inexpensive romantic curtains! Best of all, you don’t have to sew a thing! Materials: 2 Flat […]

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DIY Block Print Stamped Tea Towel

diy block print tea towel

Hey there! It’s Melissa from The Happier Homemaker back again with a fun and easy DIY tutorial you can even get the kiddos involved with! I’ve been noticing block printing coming up a lot in my home decor magazines and catalogs lately. Last week when I was prepping a little rainy day potato stamping activity […]

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Updating a Nightstand {Lowe’s Creative Idea}

Updating a Knotty Pine Nightstand | Pretty Handy Girl

The best way to give your room a makeover on a budget is if you can use your existing furniture. Notice that I didn’t say using it “as is”. Heck no! Update your solid furniture by adding moulding, paint and new feet! (Pretty Handy Dog is already staking his claim on his preferred spot on the new […]

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Install Security Film to a Glass Door and Protect Your Home

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

The folks at Allstate Insurance have graciously sponsored this post, which will help you learn how to install security film to safeguard your doors (or windows) from a potential break-in! It’s a simply DIY solution that could potentially save you the heartache of having your home burglarized. I’ve noticed an unsettling trend in our area. There are […]

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DIY Personalized Wall Shelf

personalized wall shelf 1

Happy Wednesday Pretty Handy Readers!  Today’s project is a DIY personalized wall shelf and I’ll show you how to make it.  I’m Jaime from That’s My Letter, a fellow DIY blogger who builds, paints and sews.  I made this wall shelf as a gift for Bryce’s birthday, it makes a great statement AND it’s useful […]

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