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...]

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...]

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!)

in-lowes-shopping-cart

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...]

The Kitchen Renovation of 2013 – 1 Leak. 1 Year. 1 Woman.

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How I Re-Built My Own Kitchen (after a leak) | Pretty Handy Girl

2013 Could be called the year of the kitchen renovation in our house. Or the year that nearly killed me. Or the luckiest year of our lives. I’m still debating the title. What I do know is that, I decided to take on my biggest DIY project to date. I re-built my own kitchen from bare studs and subfloor.

It started one morning as I was confronted with a foul odor. It’s only describable as that odor that usually lives in the high school gym locker room. I thought my 9 year old son’s feet were starting to stink. Unfortunately a stinky pair of shoes wasn’t the culprit, it turned out to be a very minor leak that turned into a very big kitchen renovation. We persevered through 45 days without a washer and dryer and many months without a kitchen. But, it was like being a contestant in Survivor. I lasted the year of construction; the set backs and sore muscles; and in the end I was rewarded with a brand new kitchen!

Today, I walk into our beautiful kitchen and I know it was all worth it! It was worth all the sweat equity, the daily Advil doses, and the tree falling on the house. If you want to reminisce with me as I recap my kitchen renovation of 2013, here’s your ticket to all the tutorials and posts: [Read more...]

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench with Furry Upholstered Lid {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Every month Lowe’s challenges me to create another unique project to share with you. This month’s challenge was creative storage ideas. Have kids? This is a unique storage solution using a galvanized tub and a furry upholstered lid. It’s the perfect place to store and corral all that kid clutter in your child’s bedroom. The storage tub doubles as a bench and a step stool. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have children, the storage bench could be used for magazine storage and much more!

Grab these materials and tools and follow along with me (and my 13 year old assistant.)

Creating the Galvanized Storage Bench and Lid

Materials for the Galvanized Storage Tub and Lid:

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Instructions:

Turn the galvanized tub upside down on the plywood. Use the sharpie to mark approximately 1/2 – 1″ out from the edge of the tub. [Read more...]

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

One of my favorite places to thrift shop is the Habitat ReStore. I mean, where else can you find cool $2 cabinet doors?

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

This fine cast off door is just screaming to be upcycled into a beautiful tray. Especially when the same thrifting adventure yielded VERY COOL door hardware! Simply combine the two and you have yourself a unique serving tray to give as a gift (or keep for yourself.)

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Cabinet door
  • Door handle or cabinet handle
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Rubber bumpers

Optional: Rub n’ Buff Gold Leaf

The steps are super simple. [Read more...]

DIY Rustic Cake Stand Tutorial

Rustic Wood Cake Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic Wood Cake Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

Day two has arrived and I have ANOTHER fabulous Très Frugal DIY gift idea for you. Honestly, this is one of my favorites. And I owe it all to this little picture from my Instagram friend, Kennesha. She blogs over at Restoration House and has an amazing sense of style!

After seeing her rustic cake stand that she wanted to DIY, my creative wheels began to burn rubber.

I simply picked up a few wood discs and a furniture leg to create a unique cake stand. Here’s the tutorial:

Rustic Wood Cake Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • 15″ Wood Disc from Lowe’s
  • 5″ and 7″ Wood plaques (from Michaels)
  • Turned furniture leg (from Lowe’s)
  • E-6000 glue (or wood glue)
  • 1 – 2.5″ wood screw
  • 3M Sandpaper block
  • Drill
  • Drill bit slightly smaller than the screw
  • Drill bit slightly smaller than the furniture leg bolt
  • Philips head screwdriver bit
  • Food safe sealer (Behandla cutting board sealer found at IKEA)

Optional: Paint & Glazes (all available at Lowe’s):

  • Valspar 6006-1A Woodrow Wilson Putty
  • Valspar 6007-2A Arid Plains
  • Valspar 6005-1A Asiago
  • Valspar clear mixing glaze
  • Dry brush paint brush
  • Paint brush

Not optional: Cake or Cupcakes!!!! (kidding of course) [Read more...]

How to Create a Rustic Wood King Headboard

layout-boards-for-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...]

DIY Jewelry Organizer

diy jewelry organzier tutorial

DIY jewelry organizer | Pretty Handy Girl

Hey there! I’m so excited to be here today and share with you a super easy way to keep your jewelry organized.  I have three little boys, the youngest of which is two and he thinks it’s great fun to ransack my jewelry box now that he’s tall enough to reach it.  I realized I needed to move my storage up onto the wall pronto! I’d love to show you how to make this super easy rustic wood organizer!

Materials

  • scrap wood (I used a 30″ long piece of 1 by 3 board leftover from a previous project)
  • circular saw
  • safety glasses
  • wood glue
  • finishing nails
  • hammer
  • medium grit sandpaper
  • wood conditioner
  • wood stain/polyurethane
  • drill
  • knobs of your choosing with coordinating washer and nut (3)
  • drill bit (width depends on the width of your knob screws)
  • small glass kitchen bowls (I purchased a 4 pack at the dollar store)
  • white spray paint/primer
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • large D-Ring hangars (1-2)

Instructions

Cut your wood into two 15″ long pieces using a circular saw (be sure to wear your protective glasses!)

jewelry organizer wood

Apply wood glue to the long edge of one of your pieces-be sure to apply it towards the back edge and use only a thin line as it expands as it dries. [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

Jaime signatureLearn more about Jaime ~

DIY a GIANT Artist Canvas

How to DIY a GIANT Artist Canvas

How to DIY a GIANT artist canvas | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever yearned to own a giant piece of artwork but the cost was prohibitive? Or you knew you could create some awesome abstract paintings, but buying large canvases would cost too much. Well, for those hesitant artists, I have this quick tutorial for building your own GIANT canvas!

Materials:

How to DIY a GIANT Artist Canvas

  • 2×2″ boards for frame supports (two sides, top, bottom and center support)
  • Kreg Jig and pocket hole screws
  • Drill
  • White fabric (canvas material would be best, but use what you have)
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Paint brush
  • Gesso (if you don’t have gesso, primer would probably work fine)

Instructions:

Cut your 2×2″ lumber down to size. Cut your top and bottom the full widths. Cut the two sides and the center support 3″ shorter to accommodate the height of the added top and bottom pieces. Note, if your canvas is portrait (instead of landscape), your support will be a center horizontal brace instead of vertical as shown. [Read more...]

Très Frugal – A Month Worth of DIY Gift Ideas

Tres-frugal_diy-gifts4

Tres-frugal-party

At the end of every year I’m struck by how much money is spent on holiday gift giving. There are so many people to buy for! As an answer to the age old question, “What should I get _______?” I’m teaming up with several bloggers to bring you Trés Frugal in November.

We’ll have 30 beautiful, useful, inspirational, and fabulous DIY gift ideas complete with the tutorials to make your own. I hope you’ll join us, get creative and save a little cash to spend on yourself this holiday season!

I know November seems to be such a long time away, so I decided to give you a little taste to whet your appetite. I’ve given Tidy Mom a new tutorial to make this Vintage Coat Hook Wall Vase, which would make a nice gift for anyone who loses their keys or the dog leash from time to time (totally guilty of that myself!)

Vintage Coat Hook Wall Vase | Pretty Handy Girl Guest Post

Head over to Tidy Mom to read the full tutorial. And remember to follow along in November for more DIY Gift Ideas!

PHGFancySign

A list of all the Très Frugal DIY Gift Tutorials that have been posted:

You may also want to check out my 15 Minute DIY Gift Ideas from last year!

10 Days of 15 Minute DIY Gift Ideas

 

Upcycled FREE Room Divider becomes a King Size Headboard

cutting out circle on header of headboard

DIY Room Divider King Headboard

I’m still working on my bedroom re-do, it’s been a long process but it is slowly coming to an end with the decorative part.

After painting the room, my big question was how to make the bed or that whole wall where my bed is going to be located, the focal point in the room.  At first I was thinking about installing wall paper with a nice design, then I thought about using a stencil since its a more economical choice. A painted stencil would also be easier to change later on.  Then, I received a stroke of luck! I scored a cabinet in the FREE section of Craiglist! When picking it up, the owner asked me if I also wanted this room divider:

DIY Room Divider King Headboard

“Of course!” I said and run out of there before he had time to change his mind!  That thing is super heavy! It looked really nice after a good cleaning, up close not that much, something was sprayed on it :( there were lots of spots all around.

DIY Room Divider King Headboard

That’s why I decided to paint it and use it as my bedroom’s headboard.

The materials and tools you will need: [Read more...]

North Carolina State Capital Rustic Tray

clamp_box_frame

coffee_serving_tray_map

Are you proud of your hometown? Want to let everyone know where you reside? Browse 30 fabulous ideas for decorating or celebrating your home state (or town!) Start the cross-continental tour in Indiana at Infarrantly Creative and let each blogger guide you along the route. Best of all, you fly FREE! ;-)

If you’ve made your way around the US and came over from The Graphics Fairy in Maryland, Welcome! (East Coast represent!)

Here is today’s State Pride Week line up in case you missed anyone:

  • Maryland – Karen @ The Graphics Fairy
  • North Carolina – Brittany @ Pretty Handy Girl – You’ve Arrived!!!
  • Kentucky – Traci @Beneath my Heart
  • Tennessee – Gina @ Shabby Creek Cottage
  • Michigan – Chris @ Just a Girl
  • Illinois – Jennifer @ Jennifer Rizzo
  • Wisconsin – Amanda @ Crafts By Amanda

And you can always check out the full line up. Today, I’ll be showing you how to make a rustic tray (or shadow box art) with your favorite city, state or map inside!

City_map_shadow_box

Materials: [Read more...]

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...]

How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood

range_hood_distressed_wood_3.4view

How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood by Pretty Handy Girl

Have you seen the beautiful custom range hoods on my Pinterest board? From the beginning of our kitchen planning sessions, I knew I wanted to put in a custom wood range hood. But, finding a tutorial to build one was tough. The one that helped me the most was Cristina’s how to build a range hood tutorial.

How to Build a Custom Wood Range Hood by Pretty Handy Girl

I knew when I built our hood that I’d need to take detailed notes and photos to help you accomplish your own project. I hope this tutorial helps you build your own range hood!

Materials: [Read more...]

White-Washed Patriotic Flag Sign Tutorial

adding star stickers to sign

White-Washed Patriotic Sign

Hi every one! I’m glad to be back here today sharing this project with you all.

The other day I was at the fabric store but after not finding that perfect fabric for one of my projects,  I went to the other section of the store to take a break from it all.  While there I saw a little sign that read:

“This Is A Place We Gladly Call Home…

and for that we are truly thankful”

Those words totally spoke to me!  I didn’t buy the little sign but I came home thinking about how to create my own version.  The sign was more expensive than the materials to make my own sign ten times bigger!

Patriotic sign final2

I wanted the look of the American flag on the background, so this is how it was created: [Read more...]

Wall-Mounted Kitchen Hutch Tutorial

level_and_secure_both_corbels

wall_mounted_hutch_tutorial

Have you heard the term sandbox when talking about software development? It’s the term used for the testing area where the engineers can “play” with their ideas before they go live to the public. Well, this little kitchen desk and hutch (kitchen command center) was my sandbox before I ordered our kitchen cabinets. It was my place to play with colors and style before making the very big step of ordering all the kitchen cabinets. When I had finished with the desk and hutch I was so thoroughly smitten with the colors that I had no problem ordering most of my kitchen cabinets in the same Sherwin Williams Copen Blue color!

Last week I showed you how I raised and transformed the Habitat ReStore desk into a counter-height desk. At the same time I bought the desk, I found a sheet of finish grade plywood that was an old folding table top. At $25 for the sheet, I brought it home and used it to create a wall-mounted hutch. After mounting it on the wall, I worked with my electrician to wire a lamp in the hutch. (Exterior wall mounted light from Lowe’s.) The result is a charming cottage style desk and hutch where I keep our lives organized!

full_kitchen_desk_command_center_subfloor

Are you ready to build your own wall-mounted hutch? Grab your tape measure and saw and let’s get busy! [Read more...]

Building a Kitchen Counter Height Desk {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

pretty-handy-girl-kitchen-desk-tutorial

counter-height-kitchen-desk-tutorial

Where do you drop all your mail, papers, reminder notes, kid’s school notes, business cards, etcetera, etcetera…etcetera? If you answered the kitchen counter, I’m sure you are among many including myself who dropped everything on the counter. And then it piled up there until someone filed the papers and threw away the reminders of events past.

(As a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blogger I was tasked with creating a “drop zone” for my June project. And I was provided with a gift card to purchase the supplies.)

I was determined to keep our countertops clean in our new kitchen. Which meant I had to create a space that would hold it all and act as our drop zone! The idea of a kitchen desk seemed like the perfect spot. However, I didn’t want a regular height desk. I wanted a desk that was counter height so I could stand and write a note, file papers, put away the mail then dash off to complete my next DIY project. This handy girl really doesn’t have the time to sit still ;-).

When I stumbled across a desk marked down to $35 at our local Habitat ReStore, it seemed like it had potential. A quick check of the drawers proved that the desk was still in perfect working order.

desk_table_top_legs_materials

I was talking to my friend Holly about my idea of the countertop height desk and she pulled four table legs out of her garage and gifted them to me! And, I had a heavily loved craft table that a neighbor gave away. I thought it would make the perfect top for the desk.

Here’s how I put them all together to make a cottage-style counter-height kitchen desk: [Read more...]

Building a Window Seat with Storage in a Bay Window

window_seat_in_bay_window

built_in_bay_window_seat_with_storage_tutorial

You know when you dream about the finished product on something that you’ve been planning for a long time? And then you finish and your dream becomes a reality? And you think to yourself, am I still dreaming? All those sentiments and more have been going through my head since I finished the built-in window seat in our bay window. This seat is devine! In fact, I’ve begun calling it the Queen’s seat in the hopes that it will deter any male folks from claiming it in our household.

window_seat_in_bay_window

Several of you have asked for the tutorial to build the window seat. I have that for you, but I want to mention that this is a slightly more advanced project. Halfway into writing this tutorial, I realized there was no way I could show you each and every cut, step, and trick without this being the world’s longest blog post/tutorial. If you have some basic carpentry skills (you know how to hammer, nail, use some power tools and you know how to attach a 2×4″ securely to a wall), you should be able to handle this. With that being said, I do want to offer any help if you should have any questions during the process of building this bench, please feel free to email me and I will do my best to help you.

I also want to mention that I did have to move the HVAC vent forward so it came out the front of the window seat. Here’s the tutorial to move a floor vent. I do want to caution you against building over a vent. We have a bookcase that was built over the register and the wood inside grew mold because there wasn’t enough force to blow the air and moisture out the front of the bookcase. Just a warning, don’t take the easy way out.

Basics for Building a Built-in Window Seat in a Bay Window: [Read more...]