101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for Friends

free printable blog hop

I’m excited to share 101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for your Friends. I am joining creative forces with Kristen Duke in her Birthday Celebration Week along with over 100 talented bloggers sharing lots of inexpensive ideas and free printables! The collection is live now, so be sure to jump out of bed and find a fabulous gift idea for that special person in your life.  A lot of these gifts are versatile for any occasion, and can be a gift to your friends, family, or even that gal that you’d like to get to know better. Even more fabulous—most gifts are under $5, and have coordinating printables to make it super simple!

101 Birthday Ideas for Friends

{Blog Hop Birthday designs by C {dot} love}
 

I’m sharing a recipe for DIY Lemonade Lip Balm because I know a little handmade gift of lemony goodness will brighten anyone’s day and let them know that you care enough to pamper them on their birthday (or any day.)

DIY Lemonade Lip Balm | Pretty Handy Girl

Are you ready for some inspiration? Join in on the BLOG HOP! Click on each of the links below each collage to see the instructions on how to make them and their free printable. I like to open a bunch of new tabs and Pin my favorites for later. Don’t forget to follow the Gift Ideas Pinterest Board as well, to save future great ideas. [Read more...]

Why I’m NOT going to participate in Teacher Appreciation Week anymore!

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Two weeks ago was Teacher Appreciation Week at my son’s school. Every year I have a bit of a knee jerk reaction to this week. Is it because I don’t appreciate my sons’ teachers and administrators? Definitely not true! I appreciate them more than I can ever show. It’s a joke in our house that if I homeschooled, we probably wouldn’t have children. We all need that time away. And, my kids are so head strong, that they learn much better from talented educators that don’t tuck them in bed at night.

So, why you ask do I have a knee jerk reaction? Let me explain. [Read more...]

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

As part of the makeover of my son’s bedroom, I wanted to create a fun chalkboard desk surface for him to write and build legos on. The idea of a chalkboard coated surface came to me when I remembered how much he liked the mini-chalkboard decals that used to be on his room wall.

Creating a chalkboard surface on any desk or flat surface couldn’t be easier with the right tools. Here’s how you can create your own chalkboard desk!

Materials:

  • 3M fine grit sanding block
  • Valspar High-Hiding Primer tinted gray
  • Rustoleum chalkboard paint
  • 2″ paint brush
  • Foam brush
  • Small craft paintbrush
  • Desk surface (I used pre-cut finish grade plywood)
  • ScotchBlue painter’s Tape
  • General Finishes Water-based sealer (or satin Minwax Polycrylic)

Instructions:

Begin by lightly sanding your desktop with the sanding block. Wipe any dust off with a damp rag.

Paint one coat of primer on your desktop surface. (A little note about my primer: I asked the Lowe’s paint department to tint it as dark as they could with black colorant. This helps when you are painting over the primer with a dark color.)

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

After the primer has dried, create a border on your desktop with painter’s tape. Press the edges down firmly with your fingers. Paint one coat of chalkboard paint with the paint brush. Brush the paint in one direction. Let that layer dry. Repeat with a second coat brushing across the original strokes (i.e. vertical then horizontal.) [Read more...]

Best of #PrettyWaterlogueApril Week 4

#PrettyWaterlogueApril Best of Week 4 | PrettyHandyGirl

Best of #PrettyWaterlogueApril Week 4

I have to send everyone who participated in #PrettyWaterlogueApril a big thank you! Thanks for participating because you blew up my Instagram feed with gorgeous images everyday! I truly couldn’t wait to check the hashtag feed to see all the beautiful creations. I hope you will consider continuing the challenge in May and beyond. I won’t be able to officially showcase my favorites, but please know that I’ll be following along. In order to create a more “lasting” hashtag, I’ve decided to change the hashtag to #PrettyWaterlogueGallery. Feel free to post your favorite Waterlogue creations using that hashtag to share and continue to gain new followers! I can’t wait to see your newest artistic creations!

Once again, this week was truly a challenge. I had over 100 favorites and had to narrow it down to 20.

Here is my week four showcase: [Read more...]

Easy DIY Yardstick Star

kona stain yardstick star

easy diy yardstick star

Hi there! It’s Melissa from The Happier Homemaker again and I’m excited to share a super easy little DIY decor project with you today!  A few weeks back I was at Lowe’s on a Saturday morning (isn’t that where we all are on the weekends?) While shopping around I saw a bucket of yardsticks in the paint section and had a stroke of inspiration to create this adorable little yardstick star for my mantel! This was one of my favorite types of projects (simple and inexpensive) and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Materials

  • 3 wood yardsticks
  • Saw (I used a circular saw but almost any type will work)
  • Wood Glue
  • Stain

Instructions:

materials yardstick star

Use a saw to cut each of your yardsticks in half at the 18″ line. Set one segment aside so you have 5 total pieces to work with. [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...]

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...]

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...]

Jute Wrapped Eggs

Jute Wrapped Eggs

Jute Wrapped Eggs

Hello! It’s Jessica here from Decor Adventures. I’m so happy to be back again with a creative and easy project for you to do this spring season. I’m usually a fall person, but find myself very excited for spring this year. It’s nature at its best and so I thought some natural texture would be a perfect connection to the warm days ahead. Jute wrapped eggs are a twist on the traditional dyed eggs and can decorate your home well past the Easter season.

Materials

  • Jute – Some people say you can find this at the dollar store, but you can get it at a craft or home improvement store too.
  • Plastic eggs – I got mine at the thrift store for only $1.00. Now is a perfect time of year to find spring craft materials.
  • Glue gun and glue sticks

Materials for Jute Wrapped Eggs

Instructions

First, you’ll hot glue the two sides of the eggs together, assuming you have the plastic ones that come in two parts. This is to keep the egg together so after you’ve done all that work to wrap it, it doesn’t break open. Put a bead of glue around the one edge, then close the two sides together. [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!

 

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 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...]

Valentine’s Day Garden Flag from a Placemat

materials

I love making unique garden flags. My go-to material for these outdoor accessories are Dollar Tree placemats! You read that right. $1 fabric placemats! But, if you don’t live near a Dollar Tree and you have old placemats, you could upcycle them into a Valentine’s Day garden flag!

A few years ago, I made this Let it Snow flag:

Although it doesn’t seam to convince Mother Nature to bring us some white powder, it has held up nicely in the cold and rain. I’ve since set out to create a garden flag for each season. I have a Fall themed flag and a Summer flag. So, why not a Valentine’s Day flag?!

Start by collecting some supplies. Feel free to substitute what you have on hand.

Materials:

  • Dollar Store placemat
  • Ruler
  • Soap sliver (pencil or disappearing fabric marker)
  • Letter stencils (I chose a set by Martha Stewart Plaid)
  • Round paint brush
  • Tulip Fabric paint (white and black)
  • Tulip glitter fabric paint
  • Tulip glitter transfer sheets
  • Fabric scraps (red, pink and white)
  • Polyester stuffing
  • Scrap fabric, towel or rag (for ironing the glitter iron-ons)
  • White thread
  • Scissors

Begin by ironing the fabric you will be using (including the placemat). Use caution when ironing the placemat, the DollarTree ones I bought are polyester and needed a cooler iron. [Read more...]

DIY Wooden Arrows

DIY Wooden Arrows

DIY Wooden Arrows

Although I don’t typically decorate for Valentine’s Day, this year I couldn’t resist a little craft project to celebrate the holiday. After all, it is about love and chocolate and who can resist love and chocolate? Instead of the usual craft creating something heart shaped, I decided to pay a little attention to Cupid and his arrows. I put together these easy DIY wooden arrows and now I’m going to show you how you can make one too!

This project is really easy, and totally customizable so you don’t have to be exact with your measurements. Feel free to be a little more free style. You can paint it {or not}, just about any color you’d like.

Materials

  • Wooden Shims
  • Wood Glue
  • Miter Saw (or a hand saw and miter box)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Spray paint, craft or wall paint or wood stain {optional if you will paint/stain it}
  • Frame for framing {optional}

Instructions

1. First select some nice wood shims to use. Make a rough representation of what you’d like your arrow to look like.

This was a rough image of what I came up with. Two shims for the point and a few more for the tail. Wooden Shims

2. Start cutting your arrow and tail parts. You can cut the pieces like the arrow on the right or left, shown below. Either way you’ll need some pieces with a 45 degree angle. That’s where your miter saw comes in. See Brittany’s post about how to use a miter saw here. It’s one of the first power tools I learned to use and is very easy to handle and work with.

Wooden Arrows3. To cut the 45 degree angles, first set your saw at the 45 degree mark. Then cut one end of the wooden shim to 45 degrees.

[Read more...]

All You Need Is…Valentine String Art & Engraving

All You Need is...Valentine String Art | Pretty Handy Girl

All You Need is...Valentine String Art | Pretty Handy Girl

All you need is some scrap wood, and maybe a little string. And a few nails. And how about a gum wrapper? If you had all those you could be like MacGyver and build some kind of cool device that would catch fire. But, since I had everything except the gum wrapper, I decided to make a Valentine art project. Follow along and I’ll show you how easy it is to make your own heart string art and engraving art for Valentine’s Day. If you need any of the materials, you can pick up most of them at your local Lowe’s Home Improvement store (probably the same place MacGyver shops because they have gum at the registers.)

Materials:

Instructions:

Start by painting your wood red.

All You Need is...Valentine String Art | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried, draw a heart with chalk. [Read more...]

Double Ribbon Valentine Wreath

2 ribbon spool

double ribbon heart wreath on door 1-l

Hi, this is Cristina from Remodelando la Casa, I’m so glad to be here once again, sharing with you a cute and easy project just in time for Valentine’s day.

While walking through Costco (it always happens there, you go for groceries but come back home with so many things that weren’t on your list!), I spotted some gigantic spools of ribbon that for only 8 bucks, so I grabbed one and my project began taking shape inspired by a wreath created by Jessica.

2 ribbon spool

Materials:

  • One wire hanger
  • 15 yd. wired edge ribbon (1.5″ wide)
  • 15 yd. wired edge ribbon (.62″ wide,  a contrasting color from the previous one)
  • Pliers
  • Awl
  • Small decoration to hang in the center of wreath
  • 2 yd. decorative ribbon to hang the wreath in place
  • Scotch tape or glue gun

Instructions:

Using pliers, unravel the coil on the hanger.  Make a heart shape out of the hanger. [Read more...]

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

This is another one of those tutorials that I’ve been dying to share with you! Like sitting on my hands and anxiously waiting to type it out. But after taking 2 weeks off from blogging, I’m back and ready to give you this fabulous tutorial for achieving the aged chippy paint look on your next project.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Before I give you the chippy gritty, I want to give you the background story on those gorgeous corbels.

If you’ve been following along, I finally completed my 13 month kitchen renovation. The last task was installing two open shelves on the full tile wall. Finding the perfect corbels to use as shelf brackets was not an easy task. I scoured eBay, Craig’s List and salvage shops. I was really getting discouraged. That was when I met Garlan from Southern Accents Architectural Antiques at Haven. We talked for a few minutes and he showed me some of the corbels he had in his store. There were some wonderful old ones, but I felt a bit like Goldilocks. One was too tall. The other not big enough, but the biggest problem was that I needed four of them. Garlan showed me some new corbels that he had. He told me he has a guy that can duplicate any corbel design and can customize them to meet any size requirements. It was as if the heavens parted and angels sang! I was elated and couldn’t wait to find an image of a design I liked. But, again, the Goldilocks in me couldn’t find the “perfect” corbels. So, I opened up Adobe Illustrator and started to design my own unique corbels.

PHG Corbel Design for Sa1969.com

 

I designed a scroll pattern based off of one corbel I saw, but also added some relief portions inside the corbel. I sent the image to Garlan and a week later he sent me a picture of one of the corbels. It was love at first sight! I quickly approved the initial one and waited anxiously for the corbels to arrive. When I opened the box, they were beautiful and exactly as I had pictured them in my head.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques corbels

I set forth to give them an appropriate aged chippy paint look to fool people into thinking they were actually antique salvage. Here’s how I did it. [Read more...]

How to Decorate a Candle with Tissue Paper

how to decorate candles with tissue paper

how to decorate a candle with tissue paper

One of my favorite and most versatile DIY gifts to make are decorated candles: they are inexpensive and easy to personalize! Today I’m going to share a basic tutorial for how you can use tissue paper to decorate a candle for your home or as a DIY gift.

supplies custom candle decorating

Supplies:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Plain Candle
  • Scotch tape
  • Heat Gun
  • Wax Paper

Instructions:

decorating candle tissue paper

Cut three strips of gold tissue paper long enough to wrap around your candle with a slight overlap.  Vary the thickness of the three strips for added interest. For a 3″ pillar candle the strips were approximately 10″ long and widths were one quarter inch, three quarter inch, and 1 and 1/4 inches wide.

attaching tissue paper to candle

Wrap the strips of tissue paper tightly around your candle and secure with a small piece of tape.  It is very important that the tissue paper be in contact with the candle with no wrinkles or space between the wax and tissue paper.

how to decorate candle

Cut a piece of wax paper wide enough to wrap over the entire candle-approximately 8″ wide for a 3″ pillar candle.  Wrap the paper tightly and secure with tape or hold with your hands.

using heat gun on candle

Use the heat gun to slowly begin melting the wax on the wax paper into the tissue paper.  You will see the change as the wax paper melts and begins to soak into the tissue paper.  Don’t stay in one spot for too long, once you see the wax melt move on slowly and steadily.  Don’t forget to watch your fingers, heat guns are capable of causing burns if not handled properly!

**I know many will ask if a hair dryer will work for this project and in my experience it does not get hot enough.**

After you have melted the wax into all of the tissue paper, gently peel the wax paper off of candle and discard.

how to decorate candles with tissue paper

This easy DIY can be changed to create any number of decorated candles.  Try stamping designs on tissue paper the same color as your candle for another easy way to decorate.  I even had my boys draw pictures on tissue paper to attach to a candle for their Dad when he was deployed-the possibilities are endless!

MelissaSignature~Learn more about Melissa~

How to Make Giant Lighted Ornament Balls

Giant Lighted Christmas Ball Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Giant Lighted Christmas Ball Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

A few years ago we discovered a street in our city that is lit with giant hanging lighted ornament balls. We drove down the street with our low beams on and were truly speechless. It was magical, ethereal and beautiful seeing giant orbs of light suspended in mid-air. Since then I’ve scoured store shelves to find these beautiful lighted spheres. Little did I know that they were truly a DIY project.

This year, our neighborhood decided to hold a workshop to teach anyone who was interested how to make giant lighted ornament balls. You know I was there with bells on ;-). Here’s how to create your own hanging lighted Christmas ornament balls complete with hanging suggestions!

Materials Cost breakdown:

  • Chicken Wire: 3′ x 50′ roll (yields about 12 balls) – $24
  • 3 – 100 light strings of outdoor Christmas lights (green wire is best) – $10
  • Twisty tie from the light strands
  • Poly-braided rope or clothes line rope – $10 per 100 ft.
  • Extension cord: $15
  • Small water bottle
  • Gloves
  • Aircraft sheers for cutting wire

Cost: approximately $37 per ball with extension cords and hanging supplies (not including gloves and shears)

Optional: 

  • Three way plug in adapter $5 (to add more balls to one cord),
  • Extra extension cords
  • Timer

 

Instructions:

Cut a section of chicken wire 42″ long (using a 36″ width roll). Shape the section into a cylinder.

Giant Lighted Christmas Ball Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Secure the ends of the chicken wire by folding the ends over and securing to the opposing side. Stop about 8″ from each end. [Read more...]

Hanging Ornaments Table Runner by At the Picket Fence

How to make a hanging ornaments table runner | Pretty Handy Girl

I have half of the dynamic duo from At the Picket Fence today and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Heather and Vanessa are the sibling duo who create and blog about their beautiful homes and share scrumptuous recipes! I’m honored to have Vanessa here today to share this brilliant Ballard Designs knock off project.

How to make a hanging ornaments table runner | Pretty Handy Girl

page_break_2

Hi there! I’m Vanessa from the blog At the Picket Fence and I’m so thrilled to be visiting here today! Brittany’s kinda my hero and is helping me find the courage to tackle more DIY projects. Come 2014 my house isn’t gonna know what hit it! At this time of the year more than ever, being frugal is the name of the game and I love to try and come up with creative gift giving ideas for friends and family. Today I’m sharing with you a so simple, no-sew project!

I just love me some Ballard Designs. Don’t you? But, their prices don’t love me back. So, I have to resort to knocking them off. That always sounds so wrong doesn’t it? Kinda has a Bonnie and Clyde ring to it. I’m just going to think of it as imitation being the sincerest form of flattery! This is my version of their hanging ornament table runner from last year and just to prove how very très frugal this really is, here’s the cost difference:

Theirs ~$79.00 …….. Mine ~ $15.00

How to make a hanging ornaments table runner | Pretty Handy Girl

Supplies Needed:

  • Drop cloth cut to size of runner you want (don’t wash the drop cloth first!)
  • Fabric squares or remnants in color/patterns of choice
  • Twine
  • Ribbon in coordinating color
  • Glitter Paint writer in color of your choice

Instructions: [Read more...]