Cotton Fall Wreath and Décor for the Entryway

Fall Décor for Home Entrance | Pretty Handy Girl

Fall Décor for Home Entrance | Pretty Handy Girl

Hooray! Fall is around the corner!

If you signed up to receive my emails, you may have read that I created a new wreath this year. It was so incredibly easy that I didn’t even photograph the steps. Are you ready?

First, I bought this real cotton wreath online:

Then I tucked preserved leaves into it. Yup, just tucked, no glue or anything! (You can usually find preserved leave at your florist or local grocery store in the floral department.)

Fall Décor for Home Entrance | Pretty Handy Girl

Next, I looped a strip of burlap through the top and pinned it using a flat thumbtack to the top of the door. [Read more...]

DIY Industrial USB Charging Station

Handy-Box-Knockouts

DIY Industrial Charging Station

Have you ever been in need of an electrical outlet only to find that they’re hidden by furniture or in a hard to reach place?  How about that elusive time of day when you’re cell phone’s down to 1% and you have a handful of charging cables, but nothing to plug it into?  This seems to be a regular occurrence at The DIY Village, so we’ve finally solved these problems!  We created a DIY industrial USB charging station that has an accessible outlet; 2 usb ports capable of charging all of your devices; and even has a built-in accent light!  We think it would be the perfect addition to an office, your teenagers room, or even a college dorm room!  

Materials List:
(Contains some affiliate links)

Tool List

Instructions:

In order to make room for connectors and fittings that you’ll be using to build your Industrial Charging Station, you’ll need to remove (2) 1/2-inch and (1) 3/4-inch knockouts from the handy box.  (Set the handy box aside)

Handy-Box-Knockouts

The hardwired emergency light has screw-out plugs that give you installation options.

Emergency-Light-Base

Remove one of the side plugs from the light base and re-route the wiring through the opening. [Read more...]

How to Build Custom Rustic Wooden Box Crates

How to Build It Gallery

How to Build Custom Rustic Box Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Making custom rustic wooden box crates is super easy. You can build your crates to fit in a book case or use them as drawers in a cabinet. When I was giving my IKEA cabinet a makeover, I chose to remove a door and build custom box drawers instead.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Here’s the super easy tutorial so you can build your own:

Materials:
(some links are affiliate links)

Tools:

Instructions:

Begin by cutting the 1/2″ plywood into four pieces the size you want for your crate sides.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Test fit the sides together. Add a line of glue to the ends of the plywood. [Read more...]

Rustic IKEA Hacked Cabinet

Rustic IKEA Hack Cabinet Transformation | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic IKEA Hack Cabinet Transformation | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic is not usually a word used to describe IKEA. IKEA is better know for their modern furniture, simple lines, meatballs and funny Swedish words. Today I’m going to change how you perceive IKEA furniture forever! Are you ready for this? Well, hang onto your hästes (Swedish for horses) because you’re going to see a transformation nothing short of amazing! You too can customize your plain jane furniture by adding legs and cladding the exterior with reclaimed picket fence wood.

This tale starts with a hunter green stained IKEA storage chest that I bought for our first apartment and stained myself (can you tell what decade it was? Hint: hunter green, honey pine, throw some burgundy in there and I’m sure you’ll be guessing no more.) It moved from room to room each time we settled into a new home. But, it never really fit in.

ikea chest in guest room

The cabinet was short and not very deep. Plus, it bore the mark of the popular 90′s hunter green. It was ugly. Why didn’t I get rid of it years ago? Maybe I was attached to it because it was the first piece of furniture I ever stained myself. And it brought back fond memories of calling the fire department because I smelled gas. Turns out you aren’t supposed to use an oil-based stain indoors, especially if you have a gas stove. Lesson learned.

Rustic IKEA Hack Cabinet Transformation | Pretty Handy Girl

Fast forward two decades and it’s still hanging around. The other day as I was lamented the fact that our foyer is too small to fit a cute dresser, I found myself looking at this sad little IKEA chest. I picked it up and put it in our foyer. The fit was perfect in the small space behind the front door! But, it was short and let’s not mention the hunter green again. Plus, it just wasn’t cute. And it doesn’t reflect my warm and weathered style. But, you know me, I wasn’t deterred.

I did some mental gymnastics and began to hatch a plan to create a marriage that would last longer than two decades.

Old picket fence pieces

It began with some pieces of old picket fence that I found by a dumpster. They were perfectly chippy and rustic! Luckily the 3M Lead Check results were perfectly negative. I carefully took the fence apart and removed all the nails.

Lead check picket fence paint

Ready to see how I convinced the two polar opposites that they belonged together — rustic and modern — to create a match made in heaven? Let’s explore this couples’ counseling further:

[Read more...]

Easy and Inexpensive Romantic Curtains

Easy and Inexpensive Romantic Curtains | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy and Inexpensive Romantic Curtains | Pretty Handy Girl

Are your windows naked? What’s holding you back? Don’t have the funds to buy some? Don’t have the time to sew some? I have the instant cure for your naked windows. Get ready to make your own easy and inexpensive romantic curtains! Best of all, you don’t have to sew a thing!

Materials:

  • 2 Flat twin sheets from Walmart ($4.97 ea.)
  • 10 Curtain ring clips

Instructions:

Fold your bed sheet in half lengthwise at the top edge. Pleat the left corner and clip a ring over the pleats approximately 2-3 inches below the top edge.

Easy & Cheap Curtains | Pretty Handy Girl

Pleat and add another clip at the fold. Gather another pleat halfway between your two clips and add a third clip. [Read more...]

DIY Personalized Wall Shelf

personalized wall shelf 1

personalized wall shelf

Happy Wednesday Pretty Handy Readers!  Today’s project is a DIY personalized wall shelf and I’ll show you how to make it.  I’m Jaime from That’s My Letter, a fellow DIY blogger who builds, paints and sews.  I made this wall shelf as a gift for Bryce’s birthday, it makes a great statement AND it’s useful too!

personalized wall shelf 1

Just a bit of painting and assembly to make this awesome, personalized wall shelf.  And of course you can adjust the paint colors to fit your scheme.  Bryce happens to have navy painted walls in his bedroom so I know this wall shelf will really pop once hung in his space.

personalized wall shelf 2

The stained wood shelf adds just a touch of warmth and coordinates well with the hardwood floors.  For a deeper shelf, use a wider board. I used a 1×3 but you could use a 1×4 or larger.

Materials:
(Amazon affiliate links included)

personalized wall shelf supplies

  • 1/2″ or 3/4″ plywood cut to desired size (approx. 2′ x 4′)
  • scrap piece of 1/2″ plywood approx. 4″ x 36″
  • 1×3 pine board cut to width of plywood
  • 9″ MDF Pre-cut letters
  • Single robe hooks
  • French cleat kit
  • paint, roller & brush
  • stain & foam brush
  • sandpaper
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • wood glue
  • 2″ wood screws
  • 3/4″ wood screws
  • drill & bits
  • nailer & finish nails

Instructions:

Before beginning, layout your letters onto plywood and cut the plywood to size based on the length of the name.

Step 1: Apply stain to the 1×3 shelf piece on all sides using a foam brush. Wipe off the excess.  Set the shelf aside and let it dry.

personalized wall shelf step 1

Step 2: Paint your letters.  Paint your plywood back (not shown).

personalized wall shelf step 2

Step 3: Distress the edges of the letters using sandpaper. [Read more...]

Handy Dog News and Pet Portraits by Colleen of Just Paint It Blog

Buddy Handy Dog | Pretty Handy Girl

Buddy Handy Dog  | English Shepherd Portrait

Hey y’all. Did you miss me on Friday? I missed you! It’s been quite a week, so I hope you don’t mind if I step away from the DIY tutorials today to share a little news from my personal life.

Buddy Handy Dog  | English Shepherd Portrait

About two months ago, I received a sweet gift from a good friend. Colleen from Just Paint It created this beautiful custom portrait of Buddy aka Handy Dog for me. At the time, I was ecstatic, but little did I know that in less than a month this would be the only image I had of a smiling Buddy. Keep reading, this story does have a happy ending…I promise.

Buddy Handy Dog  | English Shepherd Portrait

Buddy had been dealing with GI issues since the spring and our vet wasn’t sure what was causing them. He had been on a few meds (for an intestinal worm and for swallowing creek water) that we suspected threw his stomach into a tail spin (no pun intended.) As time progressed, he went from bad to worse. I knew he didn’t feel well and I could tell he was in pain. In an effort to keep from giving you TMI “to much information…thank you very much.” He ended up pushing his insides out. My sweet happy boy had slowly deteriorated and he was less and less of the happy dog we used to know. He also began losing weight.

[Read more...]

Chalkboard Memo Board – The Time I Made a 4th Grade Teacher Use a Power Tool

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

Before the end of the school year a REALLY GOOD friend of mine asked if I would give a talk in her daughter’s class about what I do for a living. I hemmed and hawed because I rarely have the free time. But, the main reason I was hesitant was because I didn’t know how to talk to 4th graders about what I do. Saying I’m a blogger is something that is hard for me to vocalize. “I write a blog” sounds simple and easy. But, in actuality, I do so many other things to make this blog a reality. Just a few of my job descriptions are: writer, photographer, builder, crafter, teacher, photo editor, business woman, manager, social media coordinator, graphic designer, web designer and all around handy girl! How could I explain all of that to the students?

Suddenly, an idea hit me! I would waltz into that classroom and use my platform to break down the stereotypes about women and handy people within 30 minutes (or less!) Then I’d empower the 4th grade students by letting them build their own chalkboard memo board AND use a power tool! Lofty goals, but I felt sure I could do it. Little did I know that the students wouldn’t be the only one empowered.

The quiz:

I started out by talking to the kids about what a handy person is. They shared terms that fit the definition of a handy person: fixes things, builder, carpenter, plumber, woodworker, and home improvement specialist. Then I showed them a slide presentation and gave the kids a quiz asking them to tell me which of these people are handy:

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

I showed them one picture at a time and as expected, they got all of the answers wrong.

The answers: [Read more...]

Painted Vanity Nightstand

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

In the quest to makeover our master bedroom and save money, I’ve been painting several pieces of furniture to coordinate with the new bed I built.

One of the pieces I painted was this small desk that doubles as a nightstand. Our bedroom isn’t very large and our master bathroom is even smaller than what can be described as a “master” anything! Doing my hair and makeup in our bathroom isn’t a viable option, especially when both Pretty Handsome Guy and I wake up at the same time. When I saw this little desk at a local thrift store, I grabbed it. Especially because she was only $20!

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

She had lots of age, but not much character.

top-of-wood-vanity

However, she was the perfect size and had just enough storage for a makeup vanity.

With a light sanding, primer and a coat of Benjamin Moore Advance paint, she is now showing her more glamorous side. [Read more...]

How to Decorate Series: Color Harmony in Decorating

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl

Decorating with Color Harmonies | Pretty Handy Girl

One of the most frequent complaints from homeowners is struggling to choose colors for their home. When you walk into the paint store, the color selection can seem overwhelming. Choosing a rug or furniture can be equally daunting. Today I’ll give you some tips and tricks for creating color harmony in home decorating. You’ll learn a little knowledge about color theory, compliments and harmonies that make choosing colors much easier. Plus, you can use the same theories in almost any visual field. From  graphic design and web design to choosing your outfit for a big event. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to put together pleasing color palettes with ease.

Today’s post is part of Home Stories A to Z’s: How to Decorate Series. If you are just arriving to the series, be sure to go to Beth’s introduction to follow all the other posts in the series. If you’ve been following along, welcome from At The Picket Fence! Vanessa & Heather put together a great post about Blue Home Decor Ideas!

How to Decorate Button

I’m sure you’ve stumbled across art, paintings or photos that use visually stunning color palettes. Chances are that the artist or designer put thought into each color and how they work together. Let me introduce you to color relationships and harmonies!

You’ve heard the term complimentary colors, but do you know what defines a compliment? Here are the definitions of the various color relationships or harmonies and some great sample palettes you can use in your home!

Complimentary Colors:

One of my favorite color combinations are the gorgeous pinks in a bouquet of peonies paired with an aquamarine ball jar.  Something about this palette stops me in my tracks every time! The reason this pair grabs my attention is that those two colors are complimentary.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Two Twenty One

Red/orange and blue/green are directly across from each other on the color wheel which makes them complimentary or a perfect pair. (Kind of like wine and chocolate…right?!)

Complimentary Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Here is another example of a complimentary color palette. Blue and orange are stunning together. All the blues are balanced by a few pieces of fiery orange that demand attention in Sarah Richardson’s nursery below.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Sarah Richardson via HGTV.ca

Complimentary Colors | | Pretty Handy Girl

 Split Complimentary Colors: [Read more...]

A Joss & Main Curated Collection of Indoor/Outdoor Ease (wish list)

Joss-main-porch-ideas2

Joss-main-porch-ideas2

Pssst! It’s my birthday tomorrow! Do you remember when you were a kid and used to get very excited before your birthday? Maybe you were like me and compiled a big wish list of anything and everything you saw at the mall that you liked. Those were the days.

This year, I spent some time virtual window shopping last week. The awesome folks at Joss & Main let me create a “wishlist” of some beautiful pieces of furniture and home décor items in their collection. Have you visited Joss & Main? They are an online marketplace for  home furnishing and home décor. However, unlike a certain mega-online-retailer (named after a river in South America) having an overwhelming amount of products to wade through, Joss & Main set up their online store in curated collections. It is like walking along a small downtown street of boutique type shops. Each one has a theme and a small collection of quality products that you’re sure to love. And most of the items are on sale! Woot.

joss_main-screen-shot

I had so much fun putting together my collection for you. While I was window shopping, I envisioned inviting you over to sit on my screen porch and sipping lemonade while we talked about upcoming house plans. The theme of the collection is Indoor/Outdoor Ease. I chose several blue & white items to invoke a cool breeze blowing through the porch screens. If I were to start from scratch, I’d love to decorate our porch with some of these beautiful and comfortable pieces. And for some extra glam, I threw in the antique brass reading light. I’m really hoping one of my family members sees it on my “wish list”. Hint, hint.

joss-main-lemonade-setting

The curated collection I compiled will launch on 6/24/2014 at 9pm EST, and last until 7/1 at 9pm EST. If you want to view my “birthday wish list,” sign up for a Joss & Main account (it is FREE and no purchases necessary).

Bonus: If you check out my collection once it goes live, you’ll see some top secret insider photos of my home! It’s a sneak preview of the upcoming tutorials! Just look for the “Look Book” at the top of the collection.

joss-main-phg-look-book-pages

Be sure to head over on Tuesday. I’ll have my feet kicked up sipping on some fresh lemonade. Won’t you join me?

PHGFancySign

5 Minute Update for Your Ceiling Fan

5 Minute Ceiling Fan upgrade | Pretty Handy Girl

5 Minute Ceiling Fan Update | Pretty Handy Girl

When I was updating my son’s bedroom, I gave the ceiling fan a 5 minute update! You can easily change the look of a ceiling fan by quickly swapped out the light shades. I removed the scalloped edged glass shades and replaced them with square ones for a more “gender neutral” look.

5 Minute Ceiling Fan upgrade | Pretty Handy Girl

New glass shades cost anywhere from $3 – $10 each at Lowe’s or other home improvement stores. The shade size is pretty much universal, but make sure you are buying the smaller shades versus larger ones that are sold for pendant lights. To be sure, bring one of the old shades with you or measure the diameter of the mouth on the existing shades.

Here’s the quick 5 minute how to swap out your ceiling fan light shades: [Read more...]

How to Tile a Small Table Top

How to Tile a Small Table Top

How to Tile a Small Table Top

Hello and happy summer pretty handy readers. It’s Jessica from Decor Adventures. With the weather getting warmer, I’m completing lots of outdoor projects these days. One DIY adventure I’ve never actually tackled is tiling, but I’ve always wanted to. Today I’m going to show you how to tile a small table top. It’s easier than you think and is perfect for the outdoors too.

Materials:

How to Tile a Small Table Top

  • Small table
  • Tile adhesive (also called mortar or thinset)
  • Tile (enough to cover the top of the table)
  • Notched trowel
  • Rubber float
  • Grout
  • Grout sponge
  • Tile cutters
  • A bucket
  • Paint for the table (optional)
  • Water
  • Plastic gloves
  • Eye protection

 

Instructions

First, prepare your table. The small table I’m using was the one we used for my pet parrot when I was little! His name was Woodstock, and no he didn’t talk. I guess my mom taught me and my sister to talk instead :-). The table had sentimental value, so I knew I wanted to create something special with it.

[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...]

DIY Pom Pom Placemat Pillows

pom pom pillow 1

pom pom pillows

Hi Pretty Handy Readers, Jaime here from That’s My Letter  sharing another fun DIY project.  Today it’s pom pom placemat pillows. Yes, please!

pom pom pillow 5

We just amped up the fun factor with these cute pom pom placemat pillows and they are a cinch to make.

pom pom pillow 6

You make a placemat sandwich with pom pom trim in between and no turning right side out!  Simply fill with stuffing and sew shut.

The red and white is classic and bold. But, I loved this simple sewing project so much that I made another set of pom pom pillows for my girls summer bedding.

pom pom pillows 4

A pretty set of yellow placemats with light pink pom pom trim will be the perfect accent pillow on their beds.

Materials: [Read more...]

Ceiling Mounted Art – How to Hang Spheres & Lanterns

Hanging Ceiling Art | Spheres & Lanterns | Pretty Handy Girl

Hanging Ceiling Art | Spheres & Lanterns | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s Monday, and I have a cure for the Monday doldrums! Let’s hang some fun colorful spheres and lanterns to lift your spirits!

I came up with a great way to hang lanterns and spheres from the ceiling (regardless of where the studs were.) Plus, I reduced the holes from 7 down to 4 in the ceiling.

This is a simple project, here’s what you’ll need:

Materials:

materials

  • 1 – 8′ long slim piece of flat moulding painted with ceiling paint
  • Tape measure
  • Pin
  • Pencil
  • Drill with drill bits
  • 2″ wood screws
  • Cup hooks
  • Finishing line
  • Paper lanterns and a sphere (or other objects to hang)
  • Scissors
  • Touch up ceiling paint
  • Small paint brush

Instructions:

Start by determining where you want to hang your art. Begin by knocking on the ceiling (or use a stud finder) to determine where your first stud is. Gently insert the pin until it stops (indicating a stud there.) [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...]

How to Install a Brick Wallpaper Mural

Installling Brick Mural Wallpaper | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips for Installing Brick Wallpaper Mural | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I can’t wait to show you how to easily add dimensional interest to a focal wall in your home. Installing a Brick Wall Mural is definitely a DIY project you can tackle if you have a friend or two to help you. When Wallpaper Direct contacted me to offer to let me try some of their products, I was still a bit wary (having stripped my fair share of wallpaper.) But, then I stumbled upon the white brick wallpaper and saw how cool it looked. I decided to give it a try and let them send me a wallpaper mural specifically for my son’s bedroom. But, let’s back up. Remember last week when I admitted to being a procrastinator? Well, this is what I started with:

Back Camera Back Camera

After staring at Nickelodeon green for 6 years, my son and I decided it would be calming to paint the walls a soothing gray. And, I thought it would be really cool to create a loft look by installing a giant wall mural of white brick. (Note: The large mural panels has since been discontinued, but you can purchase white brick wallpaper that looks very similar and may actually be easier to install by yourself.)

I ordered the mural and it arrived safely to our house in a few days. I quickly organized a few friends who had installed wallpaper to help me.

Installling Brick Mural Wallpaper | Pretty Handy Girl

To install a wallpaper mural, you’ll need a few tools.

Materials:

  • Wallpaper application brush
  • Squeegee
  • Platforms or step ladders
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Wallpaper mural
  • Wet rag
  • X-acto knife
  • Two DIY friends who are also wallpaper experts

Prep Work:

Before wallpapering your wall, clean it with a mild cleanser (diluted TSP is wonderful, but you can use regular multi-purpose spray cleaner.) Patch any holes or imperfections with spackle (joint compound). After the compound has dried, lightly sand the wall. [Read more...]

DIY Lollipop Stand

lollipop stand 1

lollipop stand

Happy Spring folks!  Jaime here from That’s My Letter back to share a fun DIY party decor idea: make your own lollipop stand.  I promise it’s fast and easy and adds tons of charm and sweetness to any party.

lollipop stand 2

This lollipop stand holds a ton of lollipops – 52 to be exact!  You could probably even use this stand for cake pops.  (The tutorial for the ‘celebrate’ script sign can be found here.)

lollipop stand 3

 

Materials:

lollipop stand supplies

  • 1 – 1 1/4″ wood dowel x 11″ long
  • 1 – 1×5  cut to 4 1/2″ (or any scrap wood 4 1/2″ square x 3/4″thick)
  • white gloss spray paint
  • sandpaper
  • 1 – 2″ wood screw
  • countersink bit
  • 5/32 drill bit
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • drill
  • glue
  • scotch tape

Instructions:

Step 1: Mark the center point on the 4 1/2″ square wood base. [Read more...]

Knock off Garden Table

Knock off Partridge Garden Table Tutorial

Knock off Partridge Garden Table Tutorial

I often find myself searching online looking at furniture and decor on sites that I consider full of unique items.  I recently came across the Anthropologie Partridge Garden Table and fell in love.  The creative use of old mismatched legs was awesome.  Then I saw the price; a mere $ 148.00.  As cool as it is, spending that much for a plant stand is way more than I could ever justify.  I knew I could make it cheaper and am excited to show you how to make your own!

Materials

  • 3 different banister Spindles or table legs
  • 10″ clock face round
  • Wood Glue
  • Nail Gun
  • Wood Filler
  • Painters Tape
  • Three different colors of Paint
  • Sliding T-Bevel Square
  • Miter Saw
  • Spray Paint (Rust-Oleum Rustic Mist)
  • Spray Paint (High Gloss Sealer)

Round Legs

Instructions

1.  Lay  out the spindles and decide which sections will be used for the legs. [Read more...]