How to Install a Brick Wallpaper Mural + Giveaway

Installling Brick Mural Wallpaper | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips for Installing Brick Wallpaper Mural | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I can’t wait to show you how to easily add dimensional interest to a focal wall in your home. Installing a Brick Wall Mural is definitely a DIY project you can tackle if you have a friend or two to help you. When Wallpaper Direct contacted me to offer to let me try some of their products, I was still a bit wary (having stripped my fair share of wallpaper.) But, then I stumbled upon the white brick wallpaper and saw how cool it looked. I decided to give it a try and let them send me a wallpaper mural specifically for my son’s bedroom. But, let’s back up. Remember last week when I admitted to being a procrastinator? Well, this is what I started with:

Back Camera Back Camera

After staring at Nickelodeon green for 6 years, my son and I decided it would be calming to paint the walls a soothing gray. And, I thought it would be really cool to create a loft look by installing a giant wall mural of white brick. (Note: The large mural panels has since been discontinued, but you can purchase white brick wallpaper that looks very similar and may actually be easier to install by yourself.)

I ordered the mural and it arrived safely to our house in a few days. I quickly organized a few friends who had installed wallpaper to help me.

Installling Brick Mural Wallpaper | Pretty Handy Girl

To install a wallpaper mural, you’ll need a few tools.

Materials:

  • Wallpaper application brush
  • Squeegee
  • Platforms or step ladders
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Wallpaper mural
  • Wet rag
  • X-acto knife
  • Two DIY friends who are also wallpaper experts

Prep Work:

Before wallpapering your wall, clean it with a mild cleanser (diluted TSP is wonderful, but you can use regular multi-purpose spray cleaner.) Patch any holes or imperfections with spackle (joint compound). After the compound has dried, lightly sand the wall. [Read more...]

Best of #PrettyWaterlogueApril Week 3

#PrettyWaterlogueApril Prize Pack | Pretty Handy Girl

#PrettyWaterlogueApril Best of Week 3

Happy Easter!

Once again, you amazing Waterlogue artists have amazed me. And again, I was tasked with narrowing down my 100+ favorites this week to 20. Perhaps it is from Spring in the air or Easter, but I was definitely drawn to some seasonal beauties.

barbaracarrollaz_eggs

*Like these colored eggs by BarbaraCarollaz

Before we get to the showcase this week, I wanted to give you the details on the giveaway I have for you at the end of this month. Anyone who has participated in the challenge (whether you’ve been featured or not) will be eligible. I will chose one winner at random who will get to take home this fabulous prize pack:

#PrettyWaterlogueApril Prize Pack | Pretty Handy Girl

PictureFrames.com – $300 Gift Certificate

Picture frames galore! This one stop online framing shop has it all. Preview your image in their Personal Frame Shop so you can test drive the mat and frame of your choice. Or create your own framed chalkboard, bulletin board or mirror from their wall décor optionPictureFrames.com was generous enough to donate a $300 gift certificate so you can have your PrettyWaterlogueApril masterpiece(s) showcased in your home. Don’t feel obligated to choose one of your Waterlogue images, you could use the gift certificate however you want.  Why not frame that painting that you’ve wanted to frame but for whatever reason you never got around to it. I’ve used PictureFrames.com for many years and know you’re going to love their styles, service and products!

PersnicketyPrints – $50 Gift Certifcate

Persnickety Prints is your destination for printing your masterpieces! You can select your own digital paintings or photos to be printed for scrapbook prints, calendars, cards, photo booksgifts and much more. The print selections are amazing. From photographic prints, cardstock printing on up to artist quality giclée prints! Plus, you can import your entire Instagram gallery with the click of a button!  Founded by Chari Pack, this small business encompasses the customer friendly and attention to detail that you want when you upload your favorite images.  Persnickety Prints has graciously offered a $50 gift certificate to use at their online store. You’ll have so much fun browsing the options. Be sure to check out their easy Instagram printing for starters and then discover all the other ways you can bring your online Waterlogue masterpieces to life!

+ Continue to bring color into your life with a new Canon PIXMA MG3520 color printer and photo paper. This printer is perfect for your home and is easy to connect with wifi.

And now, the paintings I’ve chosen this week: [Read more...]

Get Your Own Kick in the Pants – Duluth Trading Company contest

duluth_outfit

PHG_kick-in-pants_duluth

People often ask me how I do it all. How do I find the time to DIY, blog, parent, and keep up with housework. I am here to tell you that I don’t do it all! I don’t usually cook amazing meals for the family. In fact, we’ve had nachos or chicken nuggets more than I’d like to admit. Laundry does pile up, but somehow I get it shoved in the washer and dryer twice a week. Folding it is a different story, because Pretty Handsome Guy folds all the laundry. Yup, I won the lottery on that one. He sits in front of Monday night football, golf or whatever sport is on TV and FOLDS IT ALL. Cleaning? I keep the bathrooms somewhat sanitized, but normally things aren’t picked up and put away until the day before the sweet housecleaners come.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I pay someone to clean my house, but honestly I came to the realization a while ago that I just can’t do it all.

Regarding DIY projects, I have to admit to you that I’ve recently been procrastinating. My poor younger son had been hounding me for months to give his room a makeover. After all, his big brother got his own fabulous woodland themed room. I was just about to start working on his room when the whole kitchen debacle happened. My youngest was remarkably understanding for a 6 year old. He patiently waited over a year as I finished the kitchen. But, after that last shelf was hung, he began his pressure again. Frankly after 13 months of hard core renovation, I wanted to just relax, daydream and smell the roses (so to speak.)

Installling Brick Mural Wallpaper | Pretty Handy Girl

That’s when my friends at Duluth Trading Company must have gotten a call from my youngest. [Read more...]

Our Cork Floors – One Year Report

Update: Our Cork Floors One Year Later | Pretty Handy Girl

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

A year has flown by since I laid our Globus Cork glue down tiles in our kitchen. I wanted to check back in and let you know how they are holding up.  I must say this is one of my favorite (if not THE favorite) fixture in our kitchen. I had some minor doubts because some people feared that dogs and cork floors don’t go well together. Or that rambunctious boys would ruin them. Well, I’m here to report that after a year they still look the same as when they were installed!

Update: Our Cork Floors One Year Later | Pretty Handy Girl

I can tell you that there has been lots of chair scraping. Lots of matchbox car races. Lots of wrestling and plenty of Buddy sliding on them as he runs to retrieve balls.

Update: Our Cork Floors One Year Later | Pretty Handy Girl

I have yet to see a scratch anywhere! The only mark that I did manage to make was a small dent when I dropped one of the heavy corbels and it hit the floor right at the pointy edge. But, I can’t even find that dent to be able to check on it.

There is also one dip where I must not have filled a knot hole in the underlayment. But, it is barely noticeable unless the light hits it just right: [Read more...]

Tips for Better Waterlogue Pictures + Best of #PrettyWaterlogueApril Week 2

Best of #PrettyWaterlogueApril 2 | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips for Better Waterlogue Images | Pretty Handy Girl

Everyone participating in the #PrettyWaterlogueApril challenge are amazing artists! I had chosen 80 favorite Waterlogue images this week, but force myself to narrow it down to just twenty images. This has been torturous! If you don’t see your image below, please know that it’s not because I didn’t absolutely love your painting. I just had to limit my weekly showcase.

Before we get to this week’s 20 favorites, I wanted to share a few tips for getting better Waterlogue pictures. Besides good composition, I use the photo editing app, SnapSeed to clean up and edit my images.

This is the photo right out of my phone after I snapped the picture:

Tips for Better Waterlogue Images | Pretty Handy Girl

I used SnapSeed to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and a few more settings. I find using SnapSeed really helps my phone images look a lot better.

Tips for Better Waterlogue Images | Pretty Handy Girl

Once I bring that edited image into Waterlogue, I play with several of the settings in the Waterlogue app. I’ve found that if you are using an image of animals or people, it really helps to increase the amount of detail shown by choosing Large or Giant (only available for newer iPhones) image size. The larger the size, the more detail Waterlogue retains. You can see in the example below, that Buddy’s eyes are lost in the medium setting. It isn’t until the Giant setting that you see the highlight in his eye, which makes his face more recognizable.

Tips for Better Waterlogue Images | Pretty Handy Girl

I used the giant setting for my final image because it helped retain the definition in Buddy’s face.

Tips for Better Waterlogue Images | Pretty Handy Girl

However, there are times that I like a looser painting. For example, landscapes look great when broken down to blocks of color with less definition.

Now, onto my Top 20 #PrettyWaterlogueApril images for Week #2! [Read more...]

16 Things to Do with Kids While in London

crypt_st-martins-in-the-field

16 Activities to do with Kids While in London

Last year while Pretty Handsome Guy was in London for business, we decided this was a perfect opportunity to turn his business trip into a pleasure trip for myself and the boys. Being in London for a month was wonderful because we had time to truly experience the city. But, we also had to get the kids out each day to wear them out. We went out everyday and explored much of London’s tourist attractions and then some. On average we walked about 15,000 steps per day, so if you go, bring good walking shoes (and an umbrella or rain coat. London is known for their dreary weather.)

I’ve put together a list of sixteen of our favorite activities to do with kids while in London.

16. Glass Elevator at SouthBank Center – This new art and restaurant center has a clear elevator in the center that is sure to amuse the old and young alike. I won’t give it away, but if you are nearby, stop in and take the glass elevator from the bottom to the top floor. You might just kill half an hour riding it up and down.

15. Science Museum:

astronaut_gloves

Allow a day for the Science Museum. There was so much to see and do here and many interactive activities. If you have less than a day, go to the lab on the fourth floor where all the fun and interactive games are. There’s also a great space exhibit where your little one can put on real astronaut gloves and try to assemble a bolt. In the basement is a  younger child play area and Google exhibit.

14. Regent’s Park – A traditional English garden with beautiful flowers and an entire garden dedicated to roses. The park has two playgrounds and is home of the London Zoo. We didn’t go to the Zoo so I can’t tell you if it was good or not. If you’ve been leave a comment below.

13. Tower of London: [Read more...]

Best of #PrettyWaterlogueApril Week 1

Flying Scared

Pretty Waterlogue April Best of Week 1

I am absolutely blown away by all the Waterlogue artists that are partipating in #PrettyWaterlogueApril on Instagram. There are so many beautiful images. Some would make beautiful greeting cards or garden flags. Others need to be framed and hung up to enjoy immediately! Scroll down to see my top picks this week!

I’m still working on that amazing giveaway prize, but I can tell you so far I have some great sponsors! Check back soon to learn more. In the meantime, I thought you might get a kick out of some photos from our Spring Break trip to Beaver Creek, Co.

Pretty Handsome Guy, myself and the two Handy Boys enjoyed some fresh powder and beautiful vistas.

PrettyHandyBoy #1 and I taking a rest at the top of the mountain:

phg-handy-boy1

This is my favorite picture that was taken of me. I don’t think anyone could miss me in that bright coat. LOL.

#PrettyWaterlogueApril Best of Week 1 | Pretty Handy Girl

The boys truly wowed me as they carved turns down some intermediate trails at the end of the week. Considering this was their first time skiing beyond the North Carolina mountains, that’s saying a lot!

#PrettyWaterlogueApril Best of Week 1 | Pretty Handy Girl

You know this chocoholic chick was on the slopes everyday at 3pm when the Cookie Ambassadors passed out fresh chocolate chip cookies!

cookie-time

Beaver Creek also had loads of fun things for the kids to do. Pretty Handy Boy #2 was thrilled to do backflips on the bungee trampolines:

handy-boy-flying

Somehow I was talked into trying it out. At first I was enjoying it…

bouncing  

…but after I was pressured into doing a backflip…I began to regret eating the cookie right before jumping.

Flying Scared

I had a chance to see my Aunt Bonnie who lives in Denver. We had fun shopping, eating and catching up.

aunt-bonnie   

I also enjoyed snapping a few pictures of the landscape and turning them into beautiful Waterlogue paintings for the #PrettyWaterlogueApril challenge (you can see the rest of my pictures on Instagram):

#PrettyWaterlogueApril Best of Week 1 | Pretty Handy Girl

It was extremely tough choosing my favorite paintings this week. In no particular order, these were the chosen images. If you are on Instagram, be sure to click on the links to follow these talented artists: [Read more...]

How to Faux Finish Weathered Wood Grain {Lowe’s Creative Idea}

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you love the Restoration Hardware tables that have that beautiful gray (driftwood-like) weathered wood? Me too. But, I can’t justify spending thousands of dollars on their furniture. Instead, I found a Craig’s List pedestal table that had the right shape and size for our kitchen. It was a cherry veneer finish, but after some paint you’d never know!

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

And then, I created my own Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain top. All you need are some Valspar paint samples, some wood grain tools and a dry brush to achieve this look.

Ready to get started?

Materials:

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Base Coat and Glazes:

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Before you begin creating your wood grain, you should paint your surface with Valspar Woodrow Wilson Putty and allow it to dry.

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are painting furniture, lightly sand the piece. And be sure to use Valspar Paint + Primer in one. This will allow you to paint directly onto the furniture and skip the primer. [Read more...]

Upcycled Plant Cart Saved from “Above the Rim”

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

This past summer I spied a metal cart in a dumpster. To be frank, I have never truly actually participated in dumpster diving. The thought of actually climbing inside a dumpster has never been on my acceptable things to do list. But, this metal bar cart was floating on top of the trash pile. It was (to quote a Seinfeld episode) above the rim! And it was begging to be upcycled into a beautiful plant cart.

So, I convinced myself it was okay and wasn’t officially dumpster diving. Feel free to debate this fact in the comment section.

I brought it home and knew I could do a quick makeover with some spray paint. But, first it needed a good cleaning and some prep work. The tops of the shelves were very rusty:

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

And the undersides were filthy. But, the end product was worth it! Here is how to upcycle your own little metal rusty bar cart into a beautiful plant stand!

Materials:

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 1 Discarded rusty bar cart (rescued from above the rim)
  • Socket set
  • Hammer for coaxing rusty bolts loose
  • Can of Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint
  • Can of Krylon Copper Spray paint
  • Sander/sanding block
  • Fine grit sand paper
  • Wire brush
  • Rag and/or damp wipes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Scraps of wood to elevate while painting
  • Optional: Drill

Instructions:

Loosen corner bolts with a socket wrench or drill and socket bit. Hammer out any that are too rusty to budge. [Read more...]

Pretty Waterlogue April – Photo a Day Challenge

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

Hey y’all, I’m in the mood for Spring and beautiful things around my home. How about you? Let’s have a little fun together this April, okay?! In the process, it will help you brighten up your home with some beautiful original art. Are you in? Here’s the scoop: Starting April 1st, I would love to inspire you to join me in a Pretty Waterlogue April challenge!

If you recall, I turned some vacation photos into beautiful watercolor paintings for my sons’ bathroom using Waterlogue. And I know that you can also have beautiful paintings for you home just as easily!

How to Mat a Picture Like a Pro | Pretty Handy Girl

The concept is simple, if you use an iPhone, download the Waterlogue app (it costs $2.99, but is well worth it).

Then follow these simple directions:

1. Starting April 1st, snap one photo daily (or email a photo to yourself from your photo library) and turn it into a Waterlogue masterpiece.

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

2. Share your photo with me by following me on Instagram and tagging me (@PrettyHandyGirl) in your photo description. Also, use the hashtag #PrettyWaterlogueApril so you can share, follow and see other participants photos.

Once a week, I’ll pick my favorites and share them on the blog.

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

At the end of the month not only will you have 30 original art pieces to choose from, but you might also be chosen to win a fabulous prize pack from me! I’m still working out the details, but it will be awesome, it will encourage you to create more art, and you will love it…I promise!

Who’s up for the #PrettyWaterlogueApril challenge? Share this idea with your friends by spreading this graphic on Instagram:

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

There should be no excuse for anyone to not have beautiful personal art in their own home!

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

See you in April!

PHGFancySign

Disclaimer: I have no connection with Waterlogue. They have no idea I am holding this challenge. I just thought this would be a fun way to get creative, follow more of you on Instagram and build up your art collection!

 

10 Non-Toxic Dust Mite Remedies for Your Home

filtrete-brand-ambassador-Badge_sm

10 Non-toxic Dust Mite Remedies | Pretty Handy Girl

As a Filtrete Brand Ambassador, I’m back to give you more ammunition for fighting allergies! As a lifelong dust mite allergy sufferer, I’ve spent more than my share of times being congested and even suffered asthma attacks from a robust dust mite population. Over the years I’ve learned several non-toxic ways to remedy a burgeoning dust mite population. Controlling dust might seem like the obvious solution to dust mites, but actually there are several specific things you need to do to control the actual mites.

First, let me tell you a little bit more about my nemesis. Dust mites are almost microscopic (you can see them with a 10x magifying glass) and tend to live among the dust in your home. Upholstered furniture, pillows and mattresses are the most desirable environments for their populations. They feed off of skin cells shed from our body. Dust mites like warm (room temperature) and humid environments.

You can never completely eliminate a dust mite population, but you can reduce the population to ease the suffering of those that are allergic to dust mites. You also don’t need to resort to chemicals or drastic measures. You can actually wage war against dust mites with some very simple tricks and tools.

Ten Non-Toxic Dust Mite Remedies [Read more...]

How to Easily Install a New Shower Head

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Raise your hand if you have a sad excuse for a shower head! Is it drippy, rusty or clogged? If you answered yes to any of those questions, I’m about to show you why there is no excuse for you being able to install a new shower head yourself! It’s super easy.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

  • New shower head
  • Vise Grip Pliers (or other wide mouth pliers)
  • Plumber’s tape

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Optional: Shower arm & flange, rag to protect new shower arm

Instructions:

1. Remove the old shower head by unscrewing it from the pipe arm. Use pliers to help get it started.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

2. Unscrew the old shower arm if it is rusty or won’t match the new shower head. Remove that rusty flange (now is the time to do it! Don’t put it off any longer.)

unscreEasy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girlw-old-shower-arm

3. Replace the old shower arm with new one by screwing it into the plumbing pipe in the wall. Then slide the new flange over the arm.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Wrap the end of the shower arm with plumber’s tape (wrap it clockwise to keep it from bunching up when you attach the new shower head.)

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

4. Screw the new shower head onto the end of the shower arm. Hand tighten the head. Then put the rag over the spot base of the shower head and use the pliers to tighten it 1/4 turn.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

5. If your shower head has an extension hose, attach that at this time by screwing it onto the shower head and attaching the other end to the body sprayer.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn on the water and test the spray! Beautiful! No drips or clogs? If you have some leaks anywhere, give an extra 1/4 to 1/2 turn to tighten it the shower head or hose.

I installed the Delta In2ition shower head in the Topsail Beach Condo we renovated. I’ve been intrigued by this shower head and after trying it out, I love it!!!

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Because who wouldn’t love a shower head that sprays from the top even when you want a body spray too?

The interior head is fully removable and nests back into the outer ring when done body spraying.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl        

The only initial drawback I found was getting used to setting the body sprayer back into the ring. Once I realized you have to push it in and down firmly, there was no problem.

Wasn’t that easy? Go on and replace your shower head today if you’ve been putting it off!

***Don’t forget to enter the Savvy Rest Latex Pillow Giveaway! It ends tonight, so hop on over.***

PHGFancySign

Disclosure: No disclosure necessary. I wasn’t paid or provided with the Delta In2ition shower head. My stepmom paid for it to be installed in the beach condo. I chose this shower head because I wanted to try it out.  

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have a butterfly chair that is sun-faded or has hideous fabric on it? I bet you thought it was a lost cause, right? Nope! With a sewing machine, some new fabric and a little spare time you can recover that ugly butterfly chair and have a new one. Okay, so I didn’t recover it with green fabric in honor of St. Patrick, but what could be greener than a good old upcycling project! Believe it or not, this was a much easier project than I had anticipated, so don’t get scared by the curves. You can “sew” do this! ;-)

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

I stumbled upon this chair at Goodwill for $9.99. Normally I wouldn’t spend this much for a sun-faded chair, but because I was working on the school library makeover project — and we needed more comfortable seating — I bought it.  After all, we would have had to pay at least double for another comfy chair.

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I had some soft leftover fleece fabric that I could use to recover the chair. I wish I had measured how much I used, I think it was a little less than 2 yards.

Materials:

  • 2 yards of fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Old butterfly chair + old cover

Instructions:

1. Remove the old cover from the butterfly chair frame. Lay it on top of your fabric (both right sides up.) [Read more...]

Our DIY Latex Mattress: the Savvy Rest Serenity {+ Giveaway}

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

Disclosure: Here’s the disclosure before you start reading. I was sent this mattress in exchange for a post. BUT, here’s the whole truth (and nothing but the truth.): I chose to approach Savvy Rest because I REALLY wanted to share their product with you. Once you learn a little more about latex mattresses, it is going to be a sleep changer for a lot of you! Savvy Rest was nice enough to consider my proposal and agreed to send me the mattress in exchange for the promotion on my blog. Just so you know, I choose the brands I want to work with because I love the products. If I don’t like a product, I don’t blog about it. This is one of those products that I have recommended to my friends, family and anyone who will listen to my ravings. I wasn’t told what to say or write. This is my opinion and my story: 

When I shared our master bedroom plans, I told you that it all started with getting a new mattress. And, I have been dying to share the information about that mattress with you! I literally have to control myself from stopping random strangers on the street to tell them about this amazing latex mattress that I discovered. In fact, as I sit here typing this post I’m worried that it’s going to sound too much like an infomercial because of how much I love our Savvy Rest Serenity latex mattress.  In a nutshell, here are the main reasons I have fallen head over heels in love with it:

  • It is amazingly comfortable and supportive. We’ve been sleeping on it for a month now and my back aches are GONE!
  • Organic! No chemicals, no off-gassing, no bleaching! The cover is made with natural cotton and wool. The interior layers are natural latex.
  • Eco-friendly because not only are the materials natural, but this mattress will last you at least 20 years (often times latex mattresses can last 30 – 40 years or more!) This means less waste going to the landfill! And you know how passionate I am about keeping things out of the landfill.
  • It is completely customizable to your comfort and support needs. (As well as separate customization for your partner.)

Sounds good right? But, this isn’t your average mattress. I like to call this a DIY mattress because you literally pick three distinct latex foam layers to customize to your comfort needs. First, you choose either talalay or dunlop latex or a combination. Then you can choose between soft, medium and firm. This offers you more options than you can count sheep!

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s not forget about your spouse who likely has completely different comfort needs. He or she can chose their own comfort layers when you select the Savvy Rest Serenity split queen or split king mattress. This is the key to a happy marriage, is it not?!

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

But, I want to back up and discuss a little more about how I realized we needed a new mattress and how I decided on a Savvy Rest mattress.

Do you need a new mattress, too? [Read more...]

How to Cut an Art Mat Like a Pro

How to Cut an Art Mat Like a Pro | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Cut an Art Mat Like a Pro | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to save some money and mat your own prints and artwork? It’s not hard, but having the right tools will really help you cut a straight, clean and beveled mat.

I’ve been giving the boys’ bathroom a little updating and one of the things that I wanted to do was add some artwork. Because the bathroom has predominantly blues and whites, I’ve been sticking with a coastal theme. I decided to create my own art using photos of the ocean.

I found two photos that I took of the boys from past vacations and emailed them to myself. Then I saved them to my phone and ran them through the Waterlogue app (only available for iPhone right now.) The app turns any photo into a beautiful watercolor painting. I’m seriously addicted to this app right now.

g-in-surf_photo

After running the photo through the app, I emailed myself the new photo. Then all I had to do was open it on my computer and print it onto Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper. The paper has a watercolor paper texture and produces beautiful images.

Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper | Pretty Handy Girl

And viola! Instant meaningful art!

How to Mat a Picture Like a Pro | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily I already had frames on hand to use for this project.

How to Mat a Picture Like a Pro | Pretty Handy Girl

Before cutting the mats, I painted the frames with Annie Sloan Paris Grey and finished them off with Miss Mustard Seed’s Linen. Then I distressed the edges of the frames.

Now, about matting that artwork…

How to Cut an Art Mat Like a Professional:

First, choose a firm and flat surface to work on. Hopefully you have a self-healing cutting mat to cut on top of. If not, you can use thick chipboard or scraps of linoleum, but be careful that you can’t cut through to your work surface.

Materials:

A Note about Cutting Blades:

When cutting mats it is imperative that you have a fresh blade. I sometimes have to use 2 blades per mat. So, don’t be shy about swapping that blade out. If a tip breaks off, it’s going to drag on the mat and won’t give you a clean cut. (Discard old blades by wrapping them in tape to avoid personal injury.)

How to Mat a Picture Like a Pro | Pretty Handy Girl

If you don’t own a mat cutter, you can cut your mat window with an x-acto knife, but you won’t achieve a good clean bevel. Typically, if you cut 2-3 of your own mats, your tools will pay for themselves! The Logan mat cutter I use runs about $50 for the guide and cutting handle.

Instructions:

[Read more...]

Plans for a Master Bedroom Makeover

dark-bedroom

Give_a-blogger_a-cookie

Do you know that book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Yeah? I feel like I’m literally living inside that book, only the title is, If You Give a Blogger a King-sized Bed. It was inevitable. We finally made the switch to a king size mattress. Without getting into too much information (because I will be sharing with you in the near future, the mattress we chose and why it is the LAST mattress we will ever have to buy), we decided to upgrade to a king size mattress. When we brought the mattress in, we found out we needed to rearrange our room. And when we rearranged the room, we realized that our new arrangement would cover up the dandelion wall mural that I painted. And, since we were covering up the dandelion, we might as well paint the walls. And if we were painting the wall, wouldn’t it be cool to have dark walls with a white bed? And if I wanted a white bed, I needed to build a new bed. (Because, you know me…I have to build my own bed, instead of buying one.) And after I built the bed and put it in the room, I’d realize that we needed new curtains, new bedding, new….well, you get the picture right?! If you give a mouse a cookie…and on and on. Who understands these trickle down DIY projects?

I began pinning some inspirations for our bedroom.

PHG_bedroom_pin-board

Some of my favorites are: [Read more...]

Video Tutorial: How to Reupholster Dining Chairs and Protect the Fabric

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

In the very beginning of this blog I showed you how to reupholser a yard sale chair. Almost four years has passed and I learned a lot since then. I hope this tutorial will be more helpful to anyone who wants to reupholster a simple dining chair. But, most of all, I want to show you how to protect your fabric seat after you put in the effort to recover them.

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s get this chair party started!

Materials:

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Drill with screwdriver bits
  • Pliers
  • 5-in-1 Painter’s tool (or thin pry bar)
  • Fabric (upholstery fabric will hold up better than thin fabric)
  • Staple gun
  • 3/8″ staples
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses

Instructions:

Turn your chair upside down and locate the seat mounting screws. Unscrew them all to release the chair seat.

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the chair cushion onto a flat surface. Pry up the staples with the 5-in-1 tool and/or the pliers. [Read more...]

Simple Vases using Radiant Orchid {Lowe’s Creative Idea}

Radiant Orchid Vases from Recycled Cans & Jars | #upcycling | Pretty Handy Girl

Radiant Orchid Vases from Recycled Cans & Jars | #upcycling | Pretty Handy Girl

There I was digging things out of the recycling bin again. Pretty Handsome Guy gave me a raised eyebrow, but he knew better than to question my motives. I had that idea bulb flashing over my head, and I was ready to transform some jars and tins. With Springtime just around the corner, it was time to force a little vibrant color into our home. I introduce to you the cheapest way to bring Radiant Orchid color into your décor! If you have recycled jars and tins, you are set!

Materials: 

Radiant Orchid Vases from Recycled Cans & Jars | #upcycling | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: Gold vinyl stripes or washi tape

Instructions:

Clean out your jars, bottles or tins.

Coat the exterior of your recycled vessel with primer. Allow to dry.

Radiant Orchid Vases from Recycled Cans & Jars | #upcycling | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint each bottle and tin with radiant orchid paint. Allow to dry. You might need two coats depending on the coverage. [Read more...]

Tybee Whitecaps Tour

White Caps Tybee Island House Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

Whitecaps Tybee Island Home Tour | pretty handy girl

First let me say, I truly saved the best for last on this Tybee Mermaid Cottage house tour. Whitecaps is one of the old Officer’s homes and it is dripping with details. From ornate coffered ceilings to gorgeous furniture and antiques.

White Caps Tybee Island House Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

And with a front porch that looks out over the sea, you can not find a more relaxing place to sit and sip coffee.

White Caps Tybee Island House Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

Before we begin the tour, I have to share some exciting news with you. Mermaid Cottages has offered to let me giveaway a two night stay in one of the Mermaid Cottages on Tybee Island, GA. I can’t even begin to tell you what a sweet little vacation this would be for the winner! Be sure to read to the end of this post to learn how you can enter to win!

The tour of Whitecaps begins…now!

When you walk up to this beautiful house, it’s impossible to overlook the gorgeous original brick sidewalk leading to the front entrance.

White Caps Tybee Island House Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

Old Reynolds Block bricks pave the path. Each brick is glazed and some are stamped. Beautiful colors make up the varied color palette. A quick internet search led me to the origin of Reynolds Block. They were made by the Tennessee Paving Brick Company of Robbins, Tennessee.

White Caps Tybee Island House Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

Whitecaps was built circa 1897 for the officers during the Spanish-American war.

White Caps Tybee Island House Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

It is situated on the Northern end of Tybee Island in the old Ft. Screven community.

whitecaps-map

The front door opens into the most amazing and breath taking foyer! [Read more...]

Tybee Island – Breeze Inn Cottage Tour

Breeze Inn Cottage - Tybee Island | Pretty Handy Girl

Breeze Inn Cottage - Tybee Island | Pretty Handy Girl

I can’t wait to invite you in to tour this adorable Mermaid Cottage on Tybee Island, GA. Breeze Inn is full of charm, color and antiques. This beach cottage is owned by the fabulous fiction author, Mary Kay Andrews. Decorating and furnishing this cottage was a labor of love for Mary Kay. In fact, she told me that many of the things that you see in the cottage were collected for years before she owned Breeze Inn!

Mary Kay was sweet enough to let me tour and photograph her cottage. Won’t you come on in and join me?!

Right inside the door is a one-of-a-kind decoupaged dresser with fun fish decorating the drawers! And I am crushing on the amazing shell framed mirror over it. The plank walls add that perfect relaxed coastal feel to this little house.

Breeze Inn Cottage - Tybee Island | Pretty Handy Girl

You enter directly into the cozy and comfortable living room. The dining room is part of the open front room of the cottage. I can imagine playing games at the table with the kids, while keeping up with conversations happening on the couch.

Breeze Inn Cottage - Tybee Island | Pretty Handy Girl

Just off the dining room is the kitchen. The sherbet green walls are fun and funky… [Read more...]