Topsail Beach Condo Renovation

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Topsail-condo-before-after

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.)

caitlin-brittany

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!

before-after-door

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.

Queensgrant-118E-door

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...]

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 Create a Rustic Wood King Headboard

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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...]

Mudroom Tour – 2013

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We made some serious progress this past week. Not only did we make a big dent in the “to do” list in the kitchen, but we also finished painting and installing the trim in the mudroom. It’s really nice walking past this little paper flower spring wreath and into a finished room!

Our mudroom is looking so nice that I decided to invite you over for a little tour. [Read more...]

Rustic Red Pie Safe Painted with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

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Over the holidays, I had the good fortune to attend one of Miss Mustard Seed’s painting demos here in Raleigh. Marian is such a joy to watch. She’s so laid back about her painting techniques, that you want to jump up there with her and start painting. Of course, I resisted the urge that day. But, I did have a little time to experiment with some Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint over the break. I know, I must be one of the last people to give it a whirl, but you know this handy girl has been a little busy ;-). [Read more...]

Make a Rustic Farm Crate Sign

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Last month, I was a little nervous to try a new power tool. I know…I know…shock and disbelief! But, y’all came to my rescue and helped share all your tutorials for using the Silhouette and other craft cutters. You really have to see all the wonderful projects that were linked up, like Atta Girl’s Tricycle Chair:

And Vintage Revival’s Wood Grain Lamp:

and I yelled “Stick a Fork in Me I’m Done Procrastinating!” when I laid eyes on All Things Thrifty’s Knife and Fork curtains:

After reading all your project tutorials, I was able to get a handle on my fear of the unknown and try out the Silhouette. [Read more...]

How to Install a Scrap Wood Wall

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I’m so thrilled to be healthy again, that I’m doing a happy dance (see the video below if you want to witness it.) The pneumonia is gone and my boys are back in school. Can I get a “Woot Woot!”?

The bonus room/art studio renovation is rockin’ and rollin’ again and I have some progress to show you: [Read more...]

Fabric Backed Open Kitchen Cabinets – DIY on a Dime the Tutorial

I’m back to show you the updates I made to my kitchen. Remember the plans I shared with you?

Well, they have been implemented and I LOVE the results! Best of all, the materials I bought cost me under $25 and that included the white dish set. But, the cherry on top is that I can easily reverse the changes if we move (or get sick of the look.)

And now, I present to you:
Fabric Backed Open Shelving for the Kitchen

When we first met these sad cabinets, they were dark, dreary and had an eclectic collection of mugs:

Within only a few hours (minus drying times), I had a stylish new look that is bright and cheery!

Follow along for the tutorial and the 50 cent tour (please deposit your pocket change on the way out.) Just kidding. I’ll let you in for free.

Materials:

  • Drill or screwdriver
  • Small plastic baggie
  • Foam board
  • Fabric
  • Packing tape or Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Metal edged ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Iron
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Rag
  • Sand paper
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife

Optional: 

  • Primer
  • Paint brush
  • Small paint roller
  • Paint
  • Shelf Paper

Difficulty: Easy

Step 1: Empty your cabinets.

Clean the insides with an all purpose kitchen cleaner.

Step 2. Starting from the bottom, remove the screws from the cabinet door hinges. The last screw should be the very top hinge (to keep the weight of the door from wrenching the screw out of the wood.)

Put screws into a ziplock bag and label your cabinet doors in order so that you can return them to the appropriate cabinet opening at a later date.

Now you should have a clean slate like this:

Step 3. If your cabinets are dark inside, you may or may not decide to paint the insides. (Be sure to check with your landlord if you are renting.) I chose to paint mine because the interiors were so dark. If you want to skip this step, fast forward to the next step.

Prime the insides by rolling on primer over the flat surfaces. Use a brush to get into the corners and crevices.

Once the primer has dried, get out the wood putty and putty knife.

Step 4. Using the putty knife, spread a small amount of putty over the holes where the hinges were. Push the putty into the holes, then scrape the excess off. Allow the putty to dry completely.

Step 5. Sand the puttied holes until smooth.

Step 6. Touch up the putty holes with paint or stain. Add caulk to any cracks or seams at the back of your cabinet. Allow the caulk to dry thoroughly.

If you are painting the inside of the cabinets, roll on paint with the small roller and use the brush to smooth out the paint and get into the grooves.

Step 7. Measure the dimensions of the back of your cabinets. Make sure your measurements are precise (measure twice, cut once is a good adage.)

Cut a piece of foam board using the measurements you just took.

Test fit the foam board into the back of the cabinet. If your cabinet’s face frame is smaller than the cabinet back, you will probably have to bend the foam board to get it in.

Step 8. Iron your fabric. Make sure to iron all the wrinkles out.

Cut the fabric 3 inches wider than the foam board. Lay the foam board on top of the fabric (wrong side facing up.)

Step 9. Tape the edges of the fabric onto the back of the foam board. Be sure to pull the fabric taut.

Fold the edges of the fabric as you would on a gift. Tape the ends to the back of the foam board.

Step 10. Insert the foam board into the cabinet.

Push the foam board firmly against the back of the cabinet. The tension of the fabric and the board against the edges of the cabinet should hold it in place, no need to tape or glue anything!

It is a good idea to try to line up your pattern if you have multiple shelves. (Do as I say, not as I do.)

Start putting your coordinated dishes back into the cabinet. Think about displaying them as you might see in a store.

For visual interest and extra storage, I hung some mugs from the top of the cabinet.

It was as simple as pre-drilling some holes and screwing in white cup hooks. (I did measure the same distance back from the face frame and spaced the hooks evenly. But, I’m a perfectionist like that.)

I am in love with my new kitchen! And all it took was less than $25 in supplies and a few hours.

What do you think?

The best part about this project is that I can easily remove the foam boards…

…or tape new fabric onto the back when I want to update the look!

Can you imagine a cheaper, easier or more glamourous update to your kitchen?

Are you an apartment dweller that is restricted from making permanent changes to your home? Or does your budget limit the renovations you’d really like to make? Why not make a few frugal changes that reflect your own style.

Apartment Guide has changes you can make that won’t break the bank:

Want to find even more design tips for your home? Apartment Guide has budget friendly ideas and DIY how-tos for people in any sized home on http://www.movingtoday.com and http://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/

Disclosure Statement:

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger program.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what project to create or what to purchase. Nor did they influence my opinions! We believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Slipcover for Bistro Table – Going Undercover

Our office renovation is nearing completion. We’ve been working on the room for two plus months now. The majority of the work is complete, but we are waiting for two desk cabinets to come in to the Office Depot warehouse so we can actually order them. At this point I’m wondering if I should just build my own! <<Sigh>>

After searching for over a month on Craig’s List, I finally broke down and bought a small counter height bistro set from Big Lots for the corner of our office. We thought it would be a great place for the kids to sit and do homework. Or better yet, for Pretty Handsome Guy and I to talk and have our morning coffee!

The height and footprint is perfect, however, the dark wood (in addition to the other furniture in the room) made the room too dark for my taste. Okay – and I’m a sucker for hidden storage (need to hide that stop sign red box!) So, I came up with the idea to slipcover the table.

Unfortunately I didn’t have enough fabric left over from my yard sale re-upholstered chair and the back of the bookcase project. But, I did have enough to cover just the top of the table.

Then I bought two small 4′ x 5′ painter’s drop cloths for $5 each. I am seriously addicted to these must have fabrics! I already used a pair for our laundry room curtains and I bleached another one to make grain sack valances for our dining room at a later date.

So, anyone remember their geometry class? I barely remembered enough to figure out that the circumference of my 3′ diameter table is 9.42 (π x diameter or 3.14 x 3= 9.42). Therefore, two 5′ wide cloths would just cover my table!

The first thing I did was trim the fabric around the tabletop allowing a 1″ overage for seam allowance.

Then I ironed the drop cloths, and decorative table top fabric. I hate ironing  – I hardly ever iron. Usually I’ll just spritz water on my shirts or pants in the morning and they dry wrinkle free. Or if it is really wrinkled, I will dampen my clothing and toss them in the dryer for a few minutes.

Sometimes, I just have to break out the iron. But, I found a way to make ironing enjoyable. I set up my ironing board and watched a little HGTV or DIY Network while I de-wrinkle. Nothing like a hot DIY hunk to make me all steamy. Hee, hee.

I folded the top of the drop cloths so they just meet the table top and the bottom brushes the floor (this way I won’t have to hem the bottom.) Next I pinned the 2 drop cloth pieces around the table. Being sure to use lots of pins, since sewing around a curve can have a tendency to make the fabric pucker.

Then I stitched on top of the drop cloth, as close to the edge as I could. Being careful to avoid letting the fabric pucker.

After a few trial and errors, I got a smooth line and the drop cloth edges overlapped slightly.

Next the fun part! Digging in my grandmother’s button tin! She passed this down to my mother and somehow it ended up in my possession. (Shhhh, don’t tell my sisters!) I love this tin. The smell I encounter when I open the tin is part metal, part perfume, and 100% nostalgia.

I remember the feeling of running my fingers through the buttons. Isn’t this the prettiest eye candy? All those colors and textures.

<<snap of the fingers>> Okay, back to the project at hand. I chose four large brown buttons. Then eye-balled them on my slipcover and put a pin where each one would be attached.

I used a disappearing pen to mark the size of the button on the side that overlaps the other.

 
This is the first time I’ve used the buttonhole foot on my Brother CS-6000i sewing machine. (No, I’m not paid to endorse this sewing machine. I just can’t believe all the features it has for the $125 price!) I was impressed by the button holder that automatically tells the machine how big to make the hole.

The machine also has a feature where it can stitch your buttons on, but I knew it would take me longer to read and measure how to tell my machine where the holes in the buttons were. So, I sewed them on by hand.

And presto, I have a pretty bistro table with storage underneath!

And, a place to have morning coffee with Pretty Handsome Guy.
And, somewhere for the kids to do homework (or brush up on reading at Starfall.com.)

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