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

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

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

Installling Brick Mural Wallpaper | Pretty Handy Girl

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

10 Non-Toxic Dust Mite Remedies for Your Home

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10 Non-toxic Dust Mite Remedies | Pretty Handy Girl

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

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

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

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

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

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

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

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

Let’s get this chair party started!

Materials:

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

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

Instructions:

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

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

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

How to Clean INSIDE Your Oven Door

How to Clean Inside Your Oven Door | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Clean Inside Your Oven Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Okay, it’s a New Year and many of us are cleaning up after the holidays and the baking frenzy. Do you have some random drips that somehow made their way inside your oven door?

How to Clean Inside Your Oven Door | Pretty Handy Girl

That impossible to reach location sandwiched between the glass. How does that happen?! Well, I’m going to show you how to access inside your oven door and clean that sneaky drip.

Tools:

  • Screwdriver
  • Towel
  • Rags
  • Window cleaner
  • Razor blade

Optional: Scour Off or non-toxic oven cleaner

 

Instructions:

First remove the bottom drawer of your oven. [Read more...]

Laundry Fun Gift Basket + How to Sew a Basket Liner

DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe | Pretty Handy Girl

Laundry Fun Gift Basket | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I have a bit of an unconventional gift idea. But, frankly it is a gift that is sure to bring some fun and enjoyment to anyone who is tasked with the domestic chore of doing laundry. I think this Laundry Fun Gift Basket would be a wonderful gift for a new homeowner. Or a college student who finally moved out of the dorm into their own apartment. Heck, even Grandma would surely love this gift.

If you don’t have anyone on your list that would enjoy a laundry themed gift basket, I’ll show you how to sew a custom liner for an oval basket! You can use the same instructions to sew a liner for almost any shaped container and turn it into a beautiful gift basket with your own theme.

Laundry Fun Gift Basket | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Laundry Fun Gift Basket | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: Pin on flower

Ideas to put into the Gift Basket:

  • Lavendar scented clothes pins
  • Bottle filled with DIY liquid laundry detergent
  • Dryer balls (Check out these West Elm Hedgehog Dryer Balls)
  • Lavendar dryer bags from Trader Joes
  • Fels Naptha Soap (available at any supermarket in the laundry aisle)
  • Linen scented hand soap from Trader Joes
  • Fresh towels
  • Bar soap
  • “Laundry Loads & Loads of Fun” Artwork

Directions for sewing a basket liner:  [Read more...]

Krud Kutter Exterior Clean Up without a Pressure Washer or Ladder

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How to Clean Your House Exterior without a Pressure Washer or Ladder

Is your home ready for Halloween? I don’t mean decorating. I mean is it so grimy and dirty that you don’t need to decorate to scare off the trick or treaters?

How to Clean Your House Exterior without a Pressure Washer or Ladder

Umm, yup, that was my house. But, a few weeks ago I was introduced to my new CBFF (Cleaning Best Friend Forever.)

Krud Kutter Original - My Cleaning BFF

Seriously, you can ask my sister and stepmom! I was toting around a bottle of Krud Kutter this past weekend while working on renovating a VERY dated beach condo. What? You didn’t know I was doing that?!

Pretty Handy Girl Instagrams from Topsail

Well, you NEED to follow me on Instagram to get the latest deets of my DIY life!

Anyway, back to Krud Kutter. The folks at Krud Kutter couldn’t believe I’d never used their products before. So, they offered to send me some to try. But, before I agreed, I checked with a few DIY friends like Holly.  And, they all agreed, “Oh yeah, that stuff ROCKS!” Holly says she uses it to clean grimy furniture before painting it. I figured if she likes it, I might.

Within a few days, a box containing some Krud Kutter Original and Krud Kutter House Wash showed up on my VERY dirty doorstep. I’m sure my UPS driver thinks our stoop is a disgrace. I had contemplated buying a pressure washer to clean it.

How to Clean Your House Exterior without a Pressure Washer or Ladder(That white grout you see at the top of the picture was protected under the door mat for years.)

You can imagine my skepticism that a little plastic bottle could do the same job as a pressure washer.  But, I was shocked at what happened next.

[Read more...]

Shur-Line Touch Up Painter Product Review

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I’m picky about my painting products. In fact I rarely stray from the same brushes, edgers and paints that I’ve used for over 10 years. As a DIY blogger, I will receive “new” painting gadgets to try from time-to-time. It is rare that I end up liking or using them after initially trying it (consequently I won’t blog about them.) The Shur-Line Touch Up painter, although “new”, actually proved to be a product that I do like! I was skeptical when I first received it two months ago. The concept is that you can store a small amount of your leftover room paint and have it available for touch ups. (Anyone who has kids and pets knows that keeping your walls fresh is a challenge. I’ve used the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser with good results, but sometimes it scrubs away too much paint.)

After filling the Touch Up Painter over a month ago, I set it aside in our garage until this week.

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I had 10 minutes before my girlfriends were coming over for coffee. In one of those last minute scrutinies of my home, I noticed the scrapes on the wall! Eeek.

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It was the perfect time to try out this new gadget and quickly touch up the scuffs from the crown molding installation.

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When I first opened the Touch Up Painter, I was dismayed to find a big blob of dried paint on the roller. [Read more...]

How to Recover Outdoor Pillows and a Mini Patio Makeover #LowesCreator

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When Lowe’s challenged me to give an outdoor spot a mini-makeover, I knew exactly where to turn my attention.

Our small paver patio is where we sit on warm spring days to eat lunch, take a break or sip wine after dark. The winter months wreak havoc on the furniture and the pillows I neglected to bring inside.

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Cleaning the furniture was as easy as a quick sponging with a Mr. Clean magic eraser.

cleaning_patio_furniture_Mr_clean_magic_eraser

Then I hosed them down and was done in less than 10 minutes. The pillows weren’t as easily cleaned. I tried to wash them, but they were still a little dingy. So, I headed to Lowe’s to look for new ones.

As I entered Lowe’s with my complimentary gift card in hand, I found myself wandering down the curtain aisle again. (Do you gravitate to this aisle too? With all those colors, patterns, and textures it’s hard for me to stay focused on my shopping list.) [Read more...]

Kitchen Progress Update + Filtrete Healthy Home Remodel Contest

FiltreteHealthyHomeClubBadge

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I can honestly say that this is the first week that I’ve felt the progress on our kitchen (besides just feeling it in my sore muscles.) And, it FEELS GOOD! No more road bumps like termites or asbestos.  I’m sure from this picture you are thinking, “What progress? When the heck is she going to put her kitchen back together?” Well, come on in and I’ll show you some of the forward movement that’s been made! [Read more...]

How to Keep Your HE Front Load Washer Clean and Smelling Fresh

keep HE Clothes Washer CLean

HE (High Efficiency) washers possess the technology to use a lot less water than the old top load washers. Plus, they cut down on dryer times with an amazing spin cycle that leaves clothes damp not sopping wet. We love our HE washer, but I have several friends who hate theirs. Why? The biggest complaint about the front loading HE washers is that they get mildew in the gaskets and start to stink. We have owned our front loading HE Washer for six years, and this month was the first time I’ve ever had to clean it. Pick your jaw up off the floor and I’ll explain. [Read more...]

Faux Zinc and Chalkboard File Cabinet – Lowe’s Creative Idea

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This summer I was out thrifting with a few friends for I Heart Thrifting Day. At the Goodwill I grabbed a metal chest that had extra wide and deep storage! That was about the only thing that it had going for it. The hot pink and mint green were disguising the true potential of the chest, but like a color-blind dog, I was able to see beyond its garish appearance.

And then the poor chest sat in our garage for months and months until I had a chance to work a little spray paint magic and turned it into….ta da: [Read more...]

Grilled Corn Pesto Pizza

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grilled pesto corn and tomato pizza recipe

I have been pinning lots of grilled pizza recipes, but honestly I’ve never grilled a pizza before. Frankly, I was grossed out by the fact that Pretty Handsome Guy has been grilling salmon, burgers and hot dogs on the grill. (Not grossed out by the food, just the accumulation of oils and grease.) Our grill has not been cleaned in five years. I didn’t want my fancy gourmet pizza to be contaminated by those greasy meats and their cooties. (Call me a grease-a-phob. Go ahead.)

Procter & Gamble sent myself and the other Lowe’s Creators a nice gift basket of products for cleaning my grill.

  • Dawn Grill Cleaner
  • Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

(All of them are available exclusively at Lowe’s, so grab them next time you’re DIY shopping.)

It didn’t take much to persuade me to tackle that big greasy beast. I confronted the challenge full force with gloves, an entire roll of paper towels and a garbage bag. I was determined to slay that nasty oily grill. [Read more...]

Time to Clean Your Dryer Ducts – Prevent Fires

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Once the weather turns cold and the heat kicks on, your home starts to get dry and static electricity arrives once again. This minor nuisance that causes siblings to shock each other for fun can actually be dangerous if it ignites lint that has built up in or around your dryer.

Why you should clean out your dryer ductwork:

According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission, ( CPSC ), annually there are 15,500 Dryer Fires, Up To 30 Deaths and over 310 injuries, due to dryer exhaust duct fires. You should clean your dryer hose and around it once a year, and inspect the vent and hose for any blockages at least every 6 months.

You could pay a professional to clean your dryer ductwork, but the price could be anywhere from $65.00 to $150.00! Ummm — no thanks — I’ll keep my money and do this myself. It only takes about 15 – 20 minutes to do and it is easy! As long as your ductwork is fairly accessible, you can handle this!

If your dryer exhaust hose tube is longer than 10′ this may be a bit more difficult. And if it is longer than 10′, did you know that your dryer may be working extra hard to dry your clothes? Worse yet is if you have a long tube that goes up into the attic (or the eaves) and then out the roof. The warm moist air from the dryer enters the cold attic, and condensation forms in the exhaust tube. Do you know where this little story is going? Well, at first your dryer can’t dry as quickly because the tube is blocked by water. Eventually it will fill with enough water to cause the exhaust tube to split and guess where all that water goes? Through your ceiling, that is where! Trust me on this one, it happened to us in our old house.

So, why don’t you sit back down and let me give you a little tutorial on cleaning out your dryer exhaust ductwork.

Instructions:

Start by unplugging your dryer and turn off the gas if you have a gas dryer.

Remove your lint trap and remove any lint from the screen.

Using a brush (designed for cleaning out the coils under your fridge) bend the brush and run it inside the lint trap. Then follow up by using a shop vac or vacuum to suck up any lint and dirt loosened by the brush.

Pull the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the exhaust duct tube from the wall and the dryer. There are normally two kinds of hose clamps holding the tube to the dryer and wall port. The first is a ring with two prongs. Simply squeeze the prongs toward one another to loosen the clamp.

The second type of hose clamp requires a screwdriver to loosen the bolt attached to the clamp.

Slide the exhaust tube off the dryer and the port (hole in the wall.)

Use your vacuum to clean out both the dryer and wall ports.

Then use the vacuum to clean out the dryer exhaust tube.

If you have an older style vinyl tube, it is important that you replace it with a foil style one. The vinyl ones are fire hazards. Also, if you can’t get your tube clean, go ahead and replace it. They are inexpensive, normally it costs just under $10 for a new foil flexible duct tube.

If your tube is long or difficult to clean out, you may want to purchase a hose brush like this one:

Brushtech B68C 10-Feet Long Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning BrushAmazon.com: Brushtech B68C 10-Feet Long Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning Brush: Home & Garden.

While you have the dryer pulled out, vacuum off the back of the dryer, the washer, and the wall behind both. Eliminate as much lint as possible. A clean laundry room is safer than a lint covered one.

Re-attach the dryer tube to the wall and the dryer.

Gently push the dryer back towards the wall being careful not to crush the tube.

Locate your exterior dryer vent.

If you can reach the exterior vent, go ahead and clean it out also. Make sure the vent closes properly when the dryer isn’t running.Otherwise you may get birds, rodents or bugs in your vent. I don’t think I need to tell you that they won’t be helping your dryer’s efficiency!

And that is it?! That was easy wasn’t it. Be sure to keep your home and family safe by cleaning your dryer exhaust ductwork yearly.

Update: I wanted to let y’all know that the flex foil pipe shown in this tutorial is FLAMMABLE! Luckily I found this out before we had a fire.

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Read about installing semi-rigid non-combustible duct in this easy tutorial!

 

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keep HE Clothes Washer CLean

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