DIY Lollipop Stand

lollipop stand 1

lollipop stand

Happy Spring folks!  Jaime here from That’s My Letter back to share a fun DIY party decor idea: make your own lollipop stand.  I promise it’s fast and easy and adds tons of charm and sweetness to any party.

lollipop stand 2

This lollipop stand holds a ton of lollipops – 52 to be exact!  You could probably even use this stand for cake pops.  (The tutorial for the ‘celebrate’ script sign can be found here.)

lollipop stand 3

 

Materials:

lollipop stand supplies

  • 1 – 1 1/4″ wood dowel x 11″ long
  • 1 – 1×5  cut to 4 1/2″ (or any scrap wood 4 1/2″ square x 3/4″thick)
  • white gloss spray paint
  • sandpaper
  • 1 – 2″ wood screw
  • countersink bit
  • 5/32 drill bit
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • drill
  • glue
  • scotch tape

Instructions:

Step 1: Mark the center point on the 4 1/2″ square wood base. [Read more...]

DIY Colorful Coffee Stirrer Keychain

coffee stirrer keychain

coffee stirrer keychain

Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers, Jaime from That’s My Letter back again to share a fun craft project.  Today we’re making DIY wood keychains using coffee stirrer sticks.

If you love coffee just as much as I do, what could be better than a nifty craft made from coffee stirrers!

coffee stirrer keychains 1

The pattern possibilites are endless, stripes, diagonal, rainbow, chevron and on and on.  And what a great gift or favor idea for a party – you could paint them to match the party color scheme.

coffee stirrer keychain sticks

I may or may not have borrowed a few wood coffee stirrer sticks from my local coffee shop with a green and white logo.  Of course, I let my daughter do the dirty work but you only need about 5 sticks for one keychain.  Or more appropriately you can purchase coffee stirrer sticks or thin wood craft sticks from most craft and hobby shops.

coffee stirrer keychains 3

The painted coffee stirrer sticks are sealed with clear gloss varnish which gives a super hard finish that will hold up to everyday wear and tear while protecting the wood and paint.

Try one and I guarantee you’ll be hooked — then you’ll be making different styles and versions for everyone you know in a school or team color scheme ;-).

coffee stirrer keychain 4Materials:

coffee stirrer keychain supplies

  • 5 wood coffee stirrer sticks
  • acrylic craft paint
  • small paint brush
  • basswood (purchase one stick at 36″ l x 3/32″ thick x 2″w)
  • super glue (gel version is best)
  • scissors
  • rubber bands
  • clear gloss varnish (Americana DuraClear or similar)
  • sandpaper
  • clear gloss polyurethane spray (optional)
  • drill & small drill bit
  • keychain hardware

 

Instructions:

coffee stirrer keychain step 1

Step 1: Paint wood coffee stirrer sticks desired colors using acrylic craft paint.  Paint the edges too but not the back. [Read more...]

How to: Build a Wall Chalkboard with a Chalk Ledge

wall chalkboard

wall chalkboard

Chalkboards are popping up everywhere (like Brittany’s DIY chalkboard calendar from last week) and you can easily make one, but how about upping the usefulness by making a chalkboard WITH a chalk ledge?  Jaime here from That’s My Letter to show you how easy it is to add a chalk ledge to your chalkboard.

chalkboard with ledge

You definitely need a place to put all that chalk (or chalk markers like we prefer).  This chalk ledge protudes a minimal  1 3/4″ from the wall but still has space enough to hold lots of chalk.

chalkboard with ledge 5

I also attached a galvanized pail for more chalk markers.

chalkboard with ledge 1

wall chalkboard 1

I installed this chalkboard near our back door mudroom area.  Unfortunately the key pad for our alarm system is nearly smack in the middle of that wall.  I simply cut out a square in my plywood using a jig saw to accommodate the key pad.  My kids love their new chalkboard and somehow the key pad isn’t quite so obvious once they start drawing around it.

chalkboard with ledge 2

Supplies:

  • 1/2″ plywood (cut to desired size)
  • 1×2 pine board (cut to length of plywood)
  • 1 3/8″ x 1/4″ thick flat trim moulding (cut to length of plywood)
  • black chalkboard paint
  • blue painters tape
  • stain
  • polyurethane
  • foam brushes
  • drill
  • Kreg pocket hole jig (not necessary but definitely easier if you have one)
  • 1″ pocket hole screws
  • wood glue
  • 3/4″ trim nails
  • countersink bit
  • 2 1/2″ toggle bolts
  • 5/8″ spade bit (check toggle bolt requirements)
  • pencil
  • level

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut your plywood to size, using your Kreg pocket hole jig make pocket holes every 8″ along bottom edge of plywood (on back side). (I used the portable base with automaxx clamp here, much easier that slipping a large piece of plywood into the jig.) [Read more...]

How to Sew a Custom Canvas Tote

canvas tote 1

Pretty Handy readers it’s Jaime again from That’s My Letter here today to share useful sewing project.  How to sew a custom canvas tote complete with painted monogram:

canvas tote

This tote makes a great everyday bag or purse, just big enough for all the important stuff but not too bulky.  The finished size is 16″w x 9″h x 8″ square at the base, and the handles extend about 6″ in height.

canvas tote 13

The tote is fully lined and includes an interior zippered pocket.  The zipper is easy as pie I promise!  I’ll show you how down below.

You can add any monogram or name to personalize the tote.  Then you’ll be making canvas totes as gifts for all your friends.

canvas tote 3

The square base makes for a nice wide tote and the canvas is super durable:

canvas tote 2

Materials:

  • drop cloth canvas (1 yard)
  • blue canvas (1/2 yard outdoor patio fabric Sunbrella or the like)
  • lining (1 yard)
  • medium weight fusible interfacing (1 yard)
  • firm interfacing – 9″ x 9″
  • 1 1/2″w cotton webbing (1 yard)
  • 9″ zipper
  • lightbox
  • small paintbrush
  • acrylic paint
  • sewing machine, thread to match, iron, seam ripper

Materials Cut List:

Base:

  • 1 – blue canvas 9″ x 9″
  • 1 – lining 9″ x 9″
  • 1 – drop cloth canvas 9″ x 9″
  • 1 – firm interfacing 9″ x 9″

Body:

  • 2 – drop cloth canvas 10″h x 17″l
  • 2 – med. fusible interfacing 10″ x 17″
  • 2 – lining 10″ x 17″
  • 2 – blue canvas 4″h x 17″w

Handles: 2 – 1 1/2″w cotton webbing @ 17″l

Instructions:

canvas tote fabric cuts

Step 1: Cut materials (see cut list above).

canvas tote base

Step 2: Prepare base.  Sandwich drop cloth, firm interfacing then blue canvas. [Read more...]

DIY Christmas Journal

Christmas journal 2

Christmas journal

Need an easy DIY gift idea that any kid will love?  Jaime from That’s My Letter here to share DIY Christmas journals made from inexpensive kids composition books.

There’s still time to make this Christmas journal gift for all those kids on your list who love to write and draw, it makes a great small gift or a nice add on to a larger gift.

Christmas journal 1

Take a peek inside and you’ll see the kids composition books are printed with lines just their size and bonus!  a place to draw pictures above the writing:

Christmas journal 3

Kids can use the journal to keep track of gifts received for thank you cards, adventures and travels during the school break, all the exciting events surrounding the holiday and on and on.

Wrap your  journal with a fun holiday pencil and printed ribbon:

Christmas journal 4

Supplies required:

Christmas journal 5

Instructions:

Step 1: Give the exterior cover (front and back) a quick sanding to rough up the ‘shiny’ surface – this will help the kraft paper adhere better. [Read more...]

How to: Hand Painted Monogrammed Ornaments

circel ornaments 3

Jaime from That’s My Letter here to share a handmade ornament as part of the Très Frugal gift ideas series running all through November.

circle ornaments

Today I’m sharing how to make a simple circular handpainted monogrammed ornament with a metal frame.

circle ornaments 5

You can choose nearly any font for the monogram, the thicker the letters the easier it is to paint.  You’ll get the best results if you use a small, fine brush, go slow, and have a steady hand.  Then you’ll be making monogrammed ornaments for all your friends and family this holiday season:

circle ornaments 7

The circular wood discs are readily available at most craft stores and the stainless steel metal hose clamp adds the perfect frame and weight to the ornament.  It’s the perfect combination of wood, metal and fabric with the added ribbon:

circle ornaments 6

Supplies: [Read more...]

DIY Industrial Cupcake Stands

cupcake stand 1

cupcake stand

Make these cupcake stands now and you’ll be ready for all the upcoming holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching!  The cool black steel plumbing parts base combined with the natural wood slice platform lends itself to an unexpected industrial feel.

Each cupcake stand costs $5.50 in parts (not including the birch log), very reasonable for a unique, DIY project that could easily lend itself to become a favor or small gift.

cupcake stand 3

Supplies required (for one cupcake stand):

  • 1/2″ black steel floor flange
  • 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ black steel nipple
  • birch log (approx. 5″ in diameter)
  • hand saw or circular saw
  • palm sander or sandpaper
  • drill
  • 3/4″ circular drill bit
  • E-6000 glue

Instructions:

cupcake stand 4

Step 1: Using a handsaw or circular saw slice off 3/4″ thick disc of wood from the birch log. (If you’re concerned about bugs, you can bake them as shown here.)

Step 2: Sand wood slices smooth.

Step 3: Using a drill with a 3/4″ circular bit drill out a small hole for the nipple piece, only about 1/4″ deep, be careful not to let the tip of the bit pierce through to the other side of the wood slice.

cupcake stands 5

Step 4: Apply E-6000 glue to one end of nipple and screw it into flange.

Step 5: Apply E-6000 glue to circular hole in wood slice.

Step 6: Gently ‘screw’ other end of nipple into wood slice.

cupcake stand 6

Let the glue dry while the cupcake stands are upside down.

When dry, flip the stands over and load them up!  They are perfect not only for cupcakes but candles too:

cupcake stand 2

Cupcakes, candles and individual pies too!  Mini pumpkin and pecan pies are on definitely my Thanksgiving menu this year:

cupcake stand 1

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How to Build a Rolling Storage Seat

rolling storage stool

Everyone can always use more hidden storage! What’s better than getting organized with more storage? How about combining it with additional seating!  Jaime here from That’s My Letter sharing with you this easy tutorial for how to build a rolling storage seat.

rolling storage stool final

Of course I couldn’t stop myself at just one seat, I had to make three – they’re just that fast and easy!  The finished size is a generous stool at 19″w x 18″ d x 20″h.

rolling storage stools 2

Lift up that cushioned top and you’ve got tons of storage space:
rolling storage stools 3

To make the rolling storage stool you’ll need the following supplies: [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 landscape bed black edging

edging 6

Jaime here from That’s My Letter to share an easy project that will make your landscaping look clean and neat.

edging3-1

We just moved into a new home with tons of landscaping, it’s full and lush and mature AND lacks definition from the grassy yard.

edging 6

With help from the folks at True Temper® I installed landscape edging using the round point shovel and black plastic edging to create that defining line between grass and plantings: [Read more...]

Patriotic Denim Bunting Tutorial

denim bunting

denim bunting

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.

denim bunting2

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...]

How to Cut Bar Stools Down to Counter Height Stools

counter stools

counter stools

Yes you can make those wood bar stools fit your counter.  Here’s an easy DIY fix to make bar stools into counter stools (and a quick makeover too!).

Bar stools typically sit at 30″ high, this is fine and dandy if you have a proper bar where the countertop is elevated higher than the working countertop space.  Kitchen designs are trending now away from the proper bar towards one even countertop surface.  No worries, you can still use those bar stools for your counter by easily cutting off the bottom 4″ to reduce the stools to a counter height of 26″:

counter stools1

(The white stools above are counter height and in the picture for comparison purposes.)

In addition to fixing the height of your stools give them a fresh look with a quick paint job and a new design: [Read more...]

Kids Bookend Kit: Build your own bookend

bookend

bookend3

Do your kids want to build and paint just like you?  This project a great beginner build for young ones who want to get in there and make something to call their own. And once they’re done building they can paint it too!

bookend9

Or give the build as a unique personalized gift for that artsy friend who loves to paint:

bookend4

Attach a cute gift tag (download my tag free from here) and include some fun acrylic paint colors and brushes:

bookend11

This project is super kid friendly, I tested it at my 6 year old daughter’s birthday party and all the girls absolutely loved building their own project .  We used kid sized drills (like these kid sized drills) and they truly enjoyed painting their bookends: [Read more...]