Boy’s Bathroom Refresh {#LowesCreator Project}

Seaside Theme Bathroom Refresh #LowesCreator | Pretty Handy Girl

Seaside Theme Bathroom Refresh #LowesCreator | Pretty Handy Girl

You know those projects that you complete 80% of the room and think to yourself, “This is good for now. I’ll do the rest in a day or two.” Yup, the boy’s bathroom was one such 80 percenter. I finally took the time to finish the last 20 percent of this bathroom makeover by giving it a refresh with some paint and new knobs.

The bathroom used to look like this:

Seaside Theme Bathroom Refresh #LowesCreator | Pretty Handy Girl

But, before that, it looked like this:

I find it comical that I took an underwater themed bathroom and gave it a seaside retreat feel. I guess you could say I pulled this big whopper from within the ocean and laid it out on the beach. LOL.

Let’s break it down now. Here’s how to paint a bathroom vanity so it will withstand the abuse of two young boys: [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.


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...]

How to Add Molding Panels to a Flat Door

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

When my sister brought me on to the Topsail Beach condo renovation, she had a laundry list of DIY projects she wanted me to complete. One of them was dressing up the hollow flat doors with moulding panels. She showed me a pin that led to One Life to Love’s DIY beadboard panel doors. After seeing the photo, I knew it would be a great DIY upgrade to make. But, we decided to use real beadboard (instead of beadboard wallpaper) because it had to hold up to the stress of being a rental.

To begin, start by measuring and marking the doors to determine the size of your panels.

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Draw lines 5″ in from the top and two sides of your door.  Draw the bottom line  6″ up from the bottom. Finally, leave 5″ between the top and bottom panels.

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

When marking your doors, use a pencil and level to draw your lines.

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

After we had our panel measurements, Caitlin and I headed to Lowe’s. But, she refused to push me in the cart (party pooper!)


We pulled some 4′ x 8′ beadboard panels and took them to the lumber cutting area. We gave the Lowe’s employer our measurements and asked him to cut the boards for us. While he cut our beadboard, Caitlin and I gathered the rest of our supplies.

Materials: [Read more...]

Topsail Beach Condo Renovation



My stepmom, Diane Chamberlain (the famous author), purchased a fixer-upper beach condo in Topsail Beach last year. She hired my sister, Caitlin, to work her interior designer magic on the place. My sister then convinced me to come put in some manual labor. (Please excuse our sweaty appearance. This was midway through one hot and sweaty day.)


But, it’s all good because you know I love doing this stuff. And my stepmom gave me permission to stay in the condo anytime it isn’t rented! That’s a deal I definitely couldn’t turn down!

Without further adieu, I’m giving you an all access view of the renovation with before and after images.

Welcome to 118!


I sanded the door down, fixed some of the chipping veneer, painted it and added new numbers and a door knocker.

My sister and Diane picked out the knocker. Sea turtles are strongly linked with Topsail because of the sea turtle rehab and rescue facility on the island.


When you enter the condo, the kitchen is on your right. The old kitchen had dated formica doors and countertops. None of the cabinet doors were hung straight. And the sink was too shallow. [Read more...]

Beach Themed Succulent Garden

Beach-themed Succulent Garden | Pretty Handy Girl

Beach-themed Succulent Garden | Pretty Handy Girl

You like the beach right? Who doesn’t?! Come December I long for the feeling of burying my toes in the warm sand. Bring back those memories by having a Beach-Themed Desktop Succulent Garden nearby. The idea for this garden came as I sat looking at all the shells I’ve collected that were hidden away in the attic. I chose a big conch shell that had few holes and decided it would make a great little planter.


  • Succulents
  • Conch shell
  • Smaller shells, beach glass or colored glass filler
  • Play sand
  • Potting soil
  • Plant tray

Optional: Hot glue gun, hot glue sticks, felt pads

Instructions: [Read more...]

How to Create a Rustic Wood King Headboard


How to Create a Rustic Wood Headboard for $80 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m back with more progress on the beach condo. I am really excited to share this tutorial on how to create a rustic wood headboard with you because it caused quite the buzz on Facebook and Instagram. This has to be one of my favorite projects that I completed in my stepmom’s beach condo. (You can see more pictures of the condo renovation on my sister’s interior design business page. Be sure to like her page, she has some great renovations to share.)

My sister, Caitlin, wanted me to make a unique rustic wood headboard for the master bedroom. Her budget was running low so she turned to Pinterest for some ideas and showed me this picture as inspiration.

I followed the link to a retail site where you could purchase the headboard for $2,195! {Cough, choke, gag…this was well out of our budget!} When we tallied the receipts, the lumber and materials to build our own king-sized headboard came in around $90 from Lowe’s! Woot woot!

And best of all, it is a relatively easy project that anyone can do if they have the right power tools.

Materials: [Read more...]

How to Make New Wood Look Old, Weathered and Rustic



I have a confession to make. All the wood that you saw on my art studio wall is not exactly old and salvaged.

In order to have enough wood, I had to buy some new pine boards off the shelf at Lowe’s. I actually chose furring strip boards because they are already chewed up and imperfect.

But, I also grabbed a few other supplies: [Read more...]

Summer Calendar and Our Bucket List


I don’t know whether to be excited or dread that yesterday was the last day of school for my boys. I have some summer camps lined up for them, but frankly our summer schedule is all over the place. So much so that I need help remembering where the kids are going and when.

I thought it would be a good idea to display the schedule so the boys could see what was coming up (to avoid the inevitable anxiety from different camps for different weeks.) To give them a little control over the schedule, we sat down and brainstormed our bucket list for the summer. Ice cream, swimming, and Carowinds are only a few of their bucket list items. I thought it was especially sweet that they wanted to spend time with our longtime sitter one or two days ;-).

While I was contemplating this displayable schedule, I received a box of goodies from Plaid. The boys were home when it arrived, so naturally they hovered like eager vultures as I opened it. And of course they immediately wanted to make something with the supplies. Sometimes timing is a serendipitous thing.

I set up the kitchen table with all the supplies and a plastic cover over the table. When I looked up, my oldest son had disappeared! I found him like this:

[Read more...]

End of Summer Slideshow from Ocean Isle Beach


There is a little sliver of an island located just off the coast of North Carolina. It is only accessible by one bridge, and is a mere 3.4 square miles in size. I adoringly think of this island as our little slice of heaven.

Every year as the beginning of school looms, we make an annual trip to Ocean Isle Beach to close out the summer. If you are the party animal type, and want to compete with the shenanigans of Snooki and the Situation, this is NOT the beach for you. Ocean Isle has a strict no house parties policy. And is a sleepy family-friendly beach.

Ocean Isle Beach has the unique geographic situation of facing south.

Because of this early risers are treated to stunning sunrises.

While the lazy sleepers can catch the colorful sunsets.

Facing south also has an effect on the waves. They are usually much calmer as they meander onto shore from the south, instead of directly from the east. But, the surfers don’t seem to mind.

Another thing I like about Ocean Isle Beach is that you can bring your dog along. Dogs are allowed before 9am and after 6pm during peak season.

I don’t know if Buddy has ever seen the ocean. He was very inquisitive and chased a crab until it disappeared into the waves. Buddy didn’t want ANYTHING to do with the water!

I think he’s a land lubber!

One week at Ocean Isle is enough to wash your cares away. I hope you enjoy the rest of this pictorial tour of Ocean Isle Beach, NC.

If you are in the area, be sure to stop by Ocean Isle Inn and ask for Tracy. He’s a great guy with some cool history nuggets about Ocean Isle. Tell him I sent you ;0).

The evening that we walked to the pier was truly beautiful. The clouds were pink and purple and blue After the sun set, as I sat by the water a mother and her children walked by. I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of their silhouettes against the golden waves. I love this picture!

But, I love this picture even more because all the wonderful things in my life are here. All four of my boys!

That’s it. I gotta run now. I hope everyone in Hurricane Irene’s path stays safe tonight and tomorrow.

Saying Goodbye to Summer with a Giveaway

Am I the only one who is hanging onto summer with a death grip? Can you tell that I’m not quite ready to embrace Fall? It isn’t like my last post was about using sea shells to make a matching game or something beach themed! 
Dark sky and light ocean at Topsail Island.

This past weekend we made one more trip to the coast. We stayed with my stepmom (aka the famous author) Diane Chamberlain and her significant other, the very talented photographer, John Pagliuca. They own a great condo at Topsail Island. The view is stunning since the ocean is right off their deck.
Diane and Jet (one of her two shelties)
One of John’s many beautiful photos, for sale HERE.

We had a fabulous time, but my favorite part of the weekend was sleeping on the deck at the foot of the ocean with Pretty Handsome Guy. Nothing can compare to being lulled to sleep by the ocean!

That’s me asleep on the condo deck.

Some of you noticed that I have a new profile picture. I am forever indebted to John for taking several pictures of me specifically for my blog. (Being the photographer in our house means that I have very few photos of myself.)

So, since I still have summer on the brain, I wanted to go ahead and introduce you to these beauties that hold bottled up beachy goodness in them.

Bottles filled with shells and sand.
Teeny tiny shells circle the nautilus and starfish stoppers.

If you have been one of my readers for a month, you may recognize these from the tour I gave of the Painted Cottage in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Leigh is the owner, and she was so sweet to offer something to give away to my readers. That’s right, these two beautiful glass bottles could be yours. And, because I REALLY want to thank my followers, I’m giving you five chances to enter the giveaway.

It is pretty simple. Here are the ways that you can win these two adorable beach in a bottle accessories:

  1. Become a follower of Pretty Handy Girl (Subscribe via email on the sidebar or follow with Google friend connect which can also be found on the sidebar). Then leave me one comment letting me know that you are (or already were) a follower.
  2. Become a follower of The Painted Cottage blog HERE. Then leave me a comment on this post letting me know that you are now following The Painted Cottage.
  3. Become a fan of The Painted Cottage on Facebook HERE. Then leave me a comment letting me know you are now a fan. (Not sure how you become a fan of a facebook page? It is easy, simply click the thumbs up “Like”icon at the top of the page.)
  4. Do you tweet? Did you know that Pretty Handy Girl tweets? Become a Twitter follower of PrettyHandyGirl and comment back here to let me know you are now following on Twitter.
  5. Finally, if you like this giveaway, share it with your friends. Tweet (using #PrettyHandyGirl), let your friends know on Facebook or blog about this giveaway and leave me a comment letting me know where you shared the giveaway love.

Be sure that if your comment profile is “anonymous” that you leave me your name and email address in your comment, so I can contact you if you win ;-).

Wow, you have up to five chances to win! On October 1st, I will pick a winner using I’m looking forward to sending some summer beach love to one of my readers. Good luck!

Okay, now I need to try to get in synch with the autumn spirit. How about if I just stare at John’s beautiful “Fall Colors” photograph!

Fall Colors by John Pagliuca

Writing in the Sand Picture

This is a fun project to do with your kids (or by yourself) while you are at the beach.

Collect some cool shells, beach glass or driftwood. Use a broken shell with a sharp edge to write your name or message in the sand. Decorate your scene with the shells, etc. Take oodles of pictures. Try different angles and different distances.

When you get home pick out your favorite. And then you can use your favorite photo editing software or one of these great free websites Picnik or Sumo Paint- to make color corrections, cropping, etc.

Print your picture out and put it in a cute frame.

I debated whether or not to add shells and sea glass to the outside of the frame. The kids voted and we decided to add them with hot glue (or you could use E-6000) to the frame.

Then hang your sign on a door or set it up on your desk. You be the boss!

Enjoying Summertime – OIB, NC

Meeting of the gulls

As we near the end of summer (at what seems like break neck speed), I wanted to stop and remember the lazy days of sleeping in; playing on the beach; napping after an afternoon in the sun; and heading out to the pier for ice cream, glow sticks and picturesque sunsets.

I hope these pictures from our trip to Ocean Isle Beach, NC stir some memories for you.

Crazy clouds
Sun setting on the sound
Dock time
Just out of reach
Don’t pinch me

Playing chase
Pier lights beginning to glow
Dusk at the pier