Make Your Own Clock Sign

Make Your Own Clock Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Make Your Own Clock Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Making a clock is an easy project. All you need is a flat surface that you can drill a hole into and BOOM, you can make a clock. Let’s get started and I’ll show you How to Make Your Own Clock Sign.

Materials:

Make Your Own Clock Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Chalkboard sign (I purchased this chalkboard sign at Tuesday Morning.)
  • Clock mechanism
  • Ruler
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Chalk
  • Damp rag
  • Vinyl lettering and numbers
  • Plate or circle template

Instructions:

Use a ruler to mark the center of your chalkboard sign near the top. (Center from the sides and use the same measurement down from the top for a balanced look.)

Make Your Own Clock Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a plate or circle template to trace a circle for the clock face.

Make Your Own Clock Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Disassemble the clock hands and parts. Lay them out in the order you removed them.

Make Your Own Clock Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Insert the clock mechanism through the back of the hole. [Read more…]

Faux Aged Metal Pulley

Faux Aged Metal Pulley | Pretty Handy Girl

Faux Aged Metal Pulley | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you love rustic metal pulleys, but don’t like the hefty price tag? Wouldn’t you rather have a rustic metal pulley for less than $5? Ah, I have a secret. That beautiful rustic metal pulley above is actually:

Faux Metal Pulley | Pretty Handy Girl

Plastic! Ready to see how I secretly transformed that black plastic pulley into a gorgeous faux aged metal pulley?

Faux Aged Metal Pulley | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Faux Metal Pulley | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Plastic Pulley
  • Metal Effects Primer
  • Metal Effects Copper Paint
  • Metal Effects Green Patina Solution
  • Sea Sponge
  • Foam Brush
  • Spray bottle

Instructions:

Paint Metal Primer onto the plastic pulley. [Read more…]

Home is Where the Heart Is – Door Decor

house shape door decor 1

house shape door decor collage

How about an unusual front door decor idea today?  Jaime from That’s My Letter here to share this house shape door decor project with free plans to make your own.

house shape door decor title

A little play on “home is where the heart is,” this door decor is definitely different and not your typical wreath.  I used 1×3 pine boards to make the house shape then added the cut out hearts to hang in the middle. (Yes the house shape does look like an arrow. If you want to make an arrow shape, those plans are below as well.)

house shape door decor 1

This would also make great indoor wall art. Imagine all the paint color possibilities!

house shape door decor hearts

Supplies:

  • 1 – 1″ x 3″ x 6′ pine board
  • 1/4″ plywood scraps
  • miter saw
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • wood glue
  • finish nailer
  • 1 1/4″ finish nails
  • 3/4″ finish nails
  • scroll saw or jigsaw
  • sandpaper
  • wire hanger
  • drill
  • 1/8″ drill bit
  • wood putty
  • white spray paint
  • red acrylic craft paint
  • paintbrush
  • clear exterior grade polyurethane spray

Below are the step-by-step instructions to make your own wood house shape door decor. Always follow all precautions and safety rules when using power tools.

house shape door decor dimensions

 

Cut List:

  • 1 – 1×3 @ 12 3/4″, one end 45 degree miter (roof)
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 12″, one end 45 degree miter (roof)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 2 1/2″, one end 45 degree miter (roof overhang)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 13″ (sides)
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 9 1/2″ (base)

 

Step 1: Assemble roof.  Attach long side to short side using glue and 1 1/4″ finish nails.
house shape door decor step 1

Step 2: Add roof overhang pieces to mitered ends of roof.  Use glue and 3/4″ finish nails here.  Below demonstrates how to cut these super short mitered pieces. [Read more…]

DIY Feather Art

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

When I needed an extra piece of art for our living room gallery wall I created DIY Feather Art. You can create your own, but please purchase craft feathers, use fake feathers or paper feathers. (Per the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to collect feathers, nests and other anatomical parts of certain migratory birds.)

Materials:

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Rustic 1×4″ boards (I used pallet wood)
  • Wood yardstick or lattice boards
  • Watered down white paint
  • Paint brush
  • Clamp
  • Scissors
  • Kreg Jig
  • Pocket hole screws (1.25″)
  • Nylon line
  • Small drill bit
  • Drill
  • Staple gun
  • 1″ finish nails
  • Hammer or nailgun
  • Wood glue
  • Feathers
  • Pencil
  • D-ring picture hangers

Instructions:

Cut your 1×4″ boards to size (or select one board the size you want for your art background.) To connect the two boards, mark the location to drill pocket holes.

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes into the back of both boards.

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Clamp the boards together and join them with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the board over and paint it with watered down white paint for a white-washed look.

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Mark the width of the white-washed board onto the yardstick. Cut two pieces the same length. [Read more…]

12 Tips to Create a Perfect Gallery Wall

12 Tips to Create the Perfect Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

12 Tips to Create the Perfect Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

When you Don’t Love It, a room in your home can become a place to avoid. Last week I hung our TV on the wall in our living room, but was cringing because that big fat TV was screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” It was killing the cozy vibe I wanted to create in our room. This is the place that my family likes to chillax. It’s the room where wrestling matches happen and the room where we curl up by the fire. We watch movies and sports in this spot.  But, frankly, I didn’t love it. When I looked in the living room all I could see was a giant black elephant in the room.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

I agreed to let Pretty Handsome Guy pick out a big flat screen TV. But, I secretly devised a plan to keep me happy and let Handsome Guy have his big honkin’ TV.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

I Created a Perfect Gallery Wall around the TV to de-emphasize its size and dominance in the room.

{This post is sponsored by Build.com and will help you create your own perfect gallery wall that will result in your own #LoveItMoment, too!
Be sure to scroll to the end to learn how to enter to win a $1,000 Shopping Spree from Build.com!}

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15 Tips for Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall:

#1 Start with a Level Line

Determine the area you want to install your gallery wall. Measure down from your crown molding or ceiling to the top of the gallery area.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Insert a thumbtack or pin at that height. Run a piece of string from the thumbtack along the width of your gallery wall space. (It helps to have a friend hold the free end of the string, but you can use a piece of painter’s tape to hold it temporarily.)

Level the string and secure the opposite end with a thumbtack.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

 

#2 Create Paper Templates

Pull together all your frames and art. Create a paper template for each object. (Craft paper, butcher block paper or old dot matrix printer paper works perfect for this task.)

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Use painter’s tape to secure the templates to the wall. Step back and look at the wall from across the room. Take a picture of the wall with your mobile device and look at the picture to see if you see any issues. Or face away from the wall and look at it in the mirror to look at the arrangement from another angle. Play with the templates until you Love It! I will be honest with you, this process takes a while. In the long run, you’ll love your gallery wall if you live with the arrangement for a few days before the final installation.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

 

#3 Pick a Color Palette

Choosing a color palette of 2-3 colors will help you create a cohesive look and make it easy to create a visually pleasing gallery wall. The easiest palette to work with is black and white, because you can use black, white and a variety of grays.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

You can also add a bold color to the mix and know that everything works with black and white!

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

 

#4 Use a Variety of Shapes and Sizes

For more visual interest, use a variety of shapes and sizes. Gallery walls that use the same frame for the entire collection can look stunning and orderly. But, for a more organic and eclectic gallery wall, feel free to play with many shapes and sizes. Your color palette of 2-3 colors will keep it looking unified.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

 

#5 Balance Larger and Smaller Objects

When working with several shapes and sizes, it’s important to balance your arrangement. Space larger items away from each other and preferably on opposite sides. Pay attention to collections of smaller objects as well. Your wall would look unbalanced if all the large objects were on one side and all the small art on the other.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

While spacing the object templates, use the trick in #2 by taking a photo or using a mirror while playing with placement.

 

#6 Use Consistent Spacing and Align Edges

Use consistent spacing between your art. Smaller collections can visually work as one large object if you space them closer together. But, use a larger space outside the collection that equal to the rest. Try to align horizontal or vertical edges with adjacent art. They don’t have to be hung in a uniform grid, but creating a shared horizontal or vertical line can help create a pleasing installation.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

 

#7 Group Like Objects

As mentioned in #6, you can group smaller objects together to fill a larger space. Use objects of the same color, material or shape together as a collection.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

 

#8 Mix Textures

For lots of visual interest, introduce several different materials and textures into your gallery wall. Break up black frames with wooden art, metal signs and even natural elements like feathers, branches, found objects, etc. The sky wall is the limit (ha, ha). Have fun using your imagination.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

 

#9 Use Good Wall Anchors, Hangers, and Bumpers

While hanging artwork, be sure to use picture hangers or anchors strong enough to hold your artwork. Build.com has a fantastic video showing different anchors and how much weight they each hold. It’s so important to use a hanging hook or anchor that is designed to hold more than your art weighs. Watch the video on “Testing Drywall Anchors” to see why this is so important:

video-screen-shot-buildcom

Way to go Build.com for performing this test!

 

#10 Mark Hanging Hardware on Templates

This trick will save you time and save your walls from turning into swiss cheese! Set your template on the back of your art (the back side should be up) and poke a hole with a pencil where the hanging hooks, holes or wires are. Hang your template back on the wall.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

 

#11 Hanging Your Art Perfectly

Ready to hang your art perfectly the first time? Grab your picture hanging hardware, nails and a hammer.

Make sure that each template is level. For art that has visible holes, line up the art on top of the template. Hammer the nail or hook through the hole.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Then simply pull and rip the template off the wall from beneath the art.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

For hanging hardware that is hidden. Hammer your picture hardware through the template lining up the hook or nail with the hole you poked through in tip #10.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Tear the template off after you have your hangers installed. Hang your art on the hooks perfectly the first time!

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

 

#12 Make it Personal

Make your gallery wall a reflection of you! Use vacation photos, messages and art that has meaning to you and your family.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Have a lack of wall decor? Need some good filler art items for your gallery wall? Build.com is sure to have what you need! I’ve created a gallery collage for you to get started:

Build.com Wall Decor | Pretty Handy Girl
Click here to view these gorgeous home decor finds.

I’m still basking in my #LoveItMoment every time I walk into our living room.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Enter to Win a Build.com Shopping Spree:

You have a chance to win a $1000 shopping spree on Build.com! Simply submit your “Love It” Moment photos. Look around your home, yard, or anywhere that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Snap a picture and post it on Twitter or Instagram and use the #LoveItMoment hashtag to be entered to win. That’s it!

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What’s my next project you ask? I found two perfect semi-flush lights in the Build.com Lighting collection to replace the last of the boob lights in our home. I spotted them on the Deals of the Day section (under the savings tab.) Be sure to look for more great deals everyday.

New Hall Lighting | Pretty Handy Girl

I’ll be back soon with that tutorial on replacing your ceiling light fixtures!  In the meantime, want some help with your next DIY project? Visit the Build.com Learning Center, check out their helpful YouTube videos, or speak to an expert that can help you get started on a project you may be too nervous to begin or to help you finish a project you are currently working on.

Looking for more products for your home? Shop Build.com for

Build.com sells exclusively online, but with free shipping and free returns on all purchases over $49, you can rest assured that if the product doesn’t suit your needs, you can easily return it for a full refund!

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Disclosure: Thank you to Build.com for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to discover my #LoveItMoment 

Lowe’s Spring Makeover Tour

beneath-my-heart-reveal

Lowe's Spring Makeover Reveal Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you been following all the Lowe’s Spring Makeovers? There were 10 in all, and each one is truly a miraculous transformation. If you remember, there were 10 bloggers who were sent to 10 different areas that were hardest hit by this past winter. We all combed through hundreds of applications to select 10 homeowners who deserved a fantastic makeover. There were challenges; there were lots of Lowe’s heroes who stepped up to help with those challenges; and there were lots of happy tears in the end. You’ll definitely enjoy reading each story and seeing the reveal!

If you’re ready to start the tour, grab a cold drink and head this way—>>> [Read more…]

Housewarming Gift Caddy {Mystery Thrift Off}

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a new neighbor or know someone who just moved? It’s time to celebrate with them by giving them a housewarming gift caddy! This is an easy gift tote that you can customize to any size you like. Plus, the recipient can use the caddy for storage or display after the gift has been enjoyed.

Before we begin, I need to back up and tell you that this project is part of The Mystery Thrift Off.

#TheMysteryThriftOff is the brainchild of Lindsey from Better After. She chose a handful of people to take part in this challenge. After scouring her local thrift shops for ugly and hopeless items, she shipped off the chosen items to those of us in the challenge. I signed up—because frankly—I love a challenge. And, I love saving ugly items from the landfill. Be sure to see some of the other Mystery Thrift Off transformations at Better After and vote for your favorite.

But, when the box arrived from Lindsey, I was terrified to open it up! I mean what if she had sent me a ceramic scabies bear!  Yikes. You can imagine my relief when I opened the box to reveal this dated Christmas village.

Chalkboard Arrow Sign (Mystery Thrift Off) | Pretty Handy Girl

Not too bad looking is it.? Truth be told, it was falling apart and the colors were hunter green, colonial blue, mauve and fleshy tan.

Chalkboard Arrow Sign (Mystery Thrift Off) | Pretty Handy Girl

I quickly pulled the three houses apart and began to transform them into A Chalkboard Arrow Sign, a Little Playhouse and the Housewarming Gift Caddy I’m going to show you today.

Before I got started, I removed some nails from the house on the right. And then I was ready to get building.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Ready to create your own caddy? Let’s get to it.

Materials:

  • 1″ x 6″ board
  • Wood glue
  • Finish nails
  • 1″ x 1″ square dowel
  • 1/2″ lattice trim (or other decorative trim)
  • 2″ screws
  • Spray primer
  • Paint (used Botanical Home Decor Paint)
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Patch-plus-primer
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper

Instructions:

Cut the 1″ x 6″ into 5 pieces:

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 2 – 6″ x 15″sides
  • 1 – 6″ x 15″ base
  • 2 – 6″ x 11″ front & back pieces with a 45 degree corners cut into the tops

Add a line of glue along the bottom of the front and back of the caddy.  Attach them to the base with finish nails.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Add a line of glue to cut ends of the sides and add a line of glue to the bottom of the sides.  Attach the front to the sides with finish nails. Repeat for the back piece.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the sides by nailing through the bottom and into the sides.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill a hole into each end of the 1″ x 1″ square dowel. Attach the square dowel to the top of the front and back pieces with the 2″ screws.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

The completely assembled crate should look like this:

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Spray the caddy with spray primer inside and out.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint caddy with a solid color first. (I used a new paint and love the texture and coverage. Botanicals Home Decor Paint in Peony went on smoothly like chalky paints.)

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the craft paints to paint details like windows, shutters and a door onto the front of the caddy. If you’re feeling truly artistic, you can paint the back too.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Nail the lattice trim pieces to the sides of the caddy for a little decoration.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Putty all nail holes.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand the putty smooth after it has dried. Touch up paint the putty holes.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Fill your caddy with wine, flowers, food or other goodies to celebrate the new homeowners.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

The recipient will be tickled pink. Haha, get it, a little pink house?

PHGFancySign

DIY Painted Pool Sign

DIY-Painted-Pool-Sign

DIY-Painted-Pool-Sign

Hey everyone!  Katie again from Addicted 2 DIY.  It’s hard to believe, but it’s been two months now since we finished building our dream pool.  If you’ve ever wondered what you can learn (and save) by contracting your pool out yourself, I’ve got all of the handy details on my blog.  Now that we have our own pool to make fun family memories in, I thought a fun sign would be a great addition.  I designed this sign based off of one we had by our pool when I was a kid.  According to my mom, this one looks way nicer.  She wouldn’t lie to me, right?

To help you make your own sign, I’m also including the free SVG file I created for you to download.  Please use it for personal use only.

Here’s what you’ll need for your own sign:

  •  1×2 plywood project board (2’x4′)
  • 3 – 3/4″ x 3′ square poplar dowels
  • 1 1/2″ brad nails
  • brad nailer
  • wood glue
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • orbital sander
  • 24″ clamps
  • wood filler
  • paint colors of your choice
  • paint roller and/or paintbrush
  • adhesive vinyl
  • transfer paper
  • electronic cutting machine (I have a Silhouette CAMEO)
  • Welcome to Our OOL SVG file

Start by cutting your plywood down to 12″ x 20″.  If you don’t have the ability to do this, you can always ask the helpful employees at the home improvement store.  Cut the square dowels on a 45 degree angle to frame the plywood.  The inside measurements should be 12″ and 20″.

supplies-for-wood-sign

Frame the plywood with the dowels using wood glue.

add-trim-to-sign

Clamp the edges…

build-wood-sign clamp-trim-to-plywood

…and nail them to the plywood with your brad nailer.

nail-trim-to-plywood

Since the plywood is only 1/2″ thick, you’ll have to be careful not to nail the trim too high.  I had one nail go astray, but I was able to get it out with needle-nose pliers.  It’s nothing a little wood filler can’t fix later on.

remove-nail-from-wood-trim

When your entire piece is assembled, sand it with 220 grit sandpaper to get rid of any rough spots.  Paint the entire sign, front and back, with your base color.  I love using sample size jars of paint for projects like this.

painting-wood-sign

Cut your message out on an electronic cutting machine.  Weed out the vinyl design and cover it with transfer tape.

vinyl-for-wood-sign

Peel the backing off of the vinyl and carefully center it over the plywood face.  Smooth it with a scraping tool (or credit card.) Carefully peel off the transfer paper.

put-vinyl-on-wood-signGrab your second paint color and stencil the design with a paint brush or roller.  You can mask off the frame of the sign with painter’s tape or paper to protect it from any paint mishaps.  I opted to go slow and carefully paint inside the frame.

paint-for-wood-sign

Once your design is completely stenciled, carefully peel the vinyl off of the face of the sign.

stencil-swimming-pool-sign

You can leave your sign as it, or distress it a bit.  Whatever you like!  I love distressing things, but I decided that I really liked a cleaner look for this sign.

sign-for-pool

swimming-pool-sign

I’m so happy with how it turned out!  I’m no graphic designer, so I spent several hours coming up with a design that was just right, but it was well worth it.  My kids think it’s hilarious!  Let’s just hope everyone that comes and visits us will follow the rules!  I’m thinking it will look great somewhere near our grotto/water slide.  Once we get that area landscaped, I’ll give it a more permanent location.  Now that this sign is done, I kind of want to make another one for the waterfall that says “Mt. Wannahockaloogie” from Finding Nemo.  We have a “Nemo” mosaic inside the grotto, so it would tie in perfectly.  I may be the only one that gets it, but that’s okay.

Katies-sign

~learn more about Katie~

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Wire Whisk + Skewer

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Summertime is coming and I’m enjoying spending more time in our garden. I’m always looking for cute craft ideas that I can do with the kids while school is out. When I saw this great idea for making a wire whisk dragonfly on Morena’s Corner, I knew I had to try it. I altered Morena’s plans slightly using plastic beads and used a skewer for the plant stake. The cost and materials are minimal to make this Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Wire Whisk and Skewer. This craft can be done with the kids, but you’ll need to be the one to cut and bend the wires and watch out for the pokey edges with real little kids.

Materials:

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Wire whisk
  • Wire skewer
  • Beads
  • Needle-nosed pliers

Instructions:

Begin by bending the first wire loop out to the side to create a wing.

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Repeat with three more loops (2 on each side).

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the needle-nosed pliers to cut one wire loop into two short pieces as shown below. (You might need to twist the pliers back and forth to cut the wires.) [Read more…]

DIY Decorative Ammo Box

wooden ammo box lid

how to build a wood ammo box

I’m super excited to have Pauline from My Altered State joining us today! It’s been a while since we’ve had a guest on Pretty Handy Girl, and this guest was certainly worth the wait! She’s joining us today to show you How to Build a DIY Decorative Ammo Box! This gorgeous crate may be for decorative purposes, but Pauline studied the construction of real ammo boxes to build it the same way the real ones are built. She’s amazing, and I know you’ll understand why in a minute.

I met Pauline at Haven last year, but I’ve been a fan of her blog way before we met. She is an avid upcycler and loves to use salvage materials in her projects.

She has so many fabulous projects, I had a hard time picking a few to show you. Like this fabulous Map Decoupaged Desk/Chair!

Map Decoupaged Desk Chair

Or these beautiful Reclaimed Wood Snowflakes!

Reclaimed Wood Snowflakes

But, by far my favorite DIY project Pauline has completed so far is this desk and art installation in her kitchen!

Kitchen Nook Art Installation

Be sure to head over to her blog to see all the other amazing creations she has designed!

And now, Pauline has an easy and unique tutorial for us today! Please clap, cheer and get on your feet for the amazing Pauline from My Altered State!

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When I started blogging, I never dreamed that I would one day meet THE Pretty Handy Girl in person, let alone find myself writing a guest post for her.  So having said that, imagine how excited I am right now as I write my first guest post on Pretty Handy Girl!  Now it’s time to get started.  I hope you enjoy my DIY Decorative Ammo Box project.

ammo box diy

Wooden military ammunition boxes have been a staple in the vintage repurposing and upcycling world for a while. They are a versatile storage item with an industrial flavor, but sometimes they are hard to find. That’s when I get the urge to build.

In an effort to keep this tutorial from being too lengthy, the info on finishing and aging the ammo box’s finish is found on My Altered State today. Now let’s get building.

Materials:

To create a box with the dimensions of 27″ wide x 7″ tall x 10″ deep, purchase the following:

  • (2) 1″ x 6″ x 6′
  • (2) 1″ x 2″ x 6′
  • (1) 1″ x 4″ x 6′
  • Rope
  • Gorilla tape
  • Wood glue
  • 2 Hinges
  • Drill
  • Drill bit same thickness of rope
  • Clamp
  • Pencil
  • 2″ nails
  • Nailgun (or hammer)
  • Miter saw

Cut List:

cut list wood ammo box

  • 2 – 1″ x 2″ cut to 10 1/4″ (cut ends at 30 degree bevel as shown above)
  • 4 – 1″ x 2″ cut to 5 3/4″
  • 2 – 1″ x 2″ cut to 25 1/2″
  • 2 – 1″ x 4″ cut to 25 1/2″
  • 2 – 1″ x 6″ cut to 8 3/4″
  • 2 – 1″ x 6″ cut to 25 1/2″
  • 2 – 1″ x 6″ cut to 27 1/4″

Instructions:

By copying the design of an authentic ammo box, I will show you how to build this DIY Decorative Ammo Box clear down to the way the handles are attached.

Lay out all your pieces for a “dry run” of the design:

  • Bottom of box: (1″ x 6″ x 25 1/2″) + (1″ x 2″ x 25 1/2″) + (1″ x 4″ x 25 1/2″) boards.
  • Front and Back of box: 1″ x 6″ x 27 1/4″ boards
  • Sides of box (with rope handle): 1″ x 6″ x 8 3/4″ boards

Mark the location for your rope handles (approximately 2″ down from the top of the box.)

assemble wood ammo box

During the dry run, notice that the front and back pieces are an inch longer on each side. The stabilizing 1″ x 2″ pieces will rest on the ground, while the four sides of the box rest on the base.

diy ammo box design

After all the ammo box collecting I’ve done over the years, you’d think I would have noticed how the handles were installed on the real thing. Nope. Never paid attention until now. Here’s a close up of the real thing: [Read more…]

How to Install a Birdhouse on a Post #DIYCourage

Install a Post Mounted Birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Install a Post Mounted Birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Hey y’all! I’m back with another easy tutorial. This is another #DIYCourage project sponsored by Duluth Trading Co. Do you love birds? Want to add some birdhouses to your property without attaching them to trees? Today I’m going to share a super simply DIY project that will make the birds happy and make you smile. Learn how to install a birdhouse on a post within an hour.

Install a Post Mounted Birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

My sons and I love watching the birds come to our kitchen window feeder. We want to make our yard a welcome place for all birds. We wanted to add more birdhouses to the yard by adding a two-story birdhouse. We already have two birdhouses (one that is a little wacky and made with knives), but I’ve always admired the two story birdhouse condos that house eight nests. When I saw one at the Southern Ideal Home Show (with a discounted price tag) I snatched it up.

Materials:
(contains some affiliate links)

Install a Post Mounted Birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

Select a location to install your birdhouse. Try to find a spot that will get a decent amount of shade during the day (to keep the birdies from getting too hot.)

Install a Post Mounted Birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Twist the post anchor into the ground. When it becomes difficult to turn, insert the pry bar for added leverage.

Install a Post Mounted Birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Set your 4×4 post into the anchor.

[Read more…]

The Reality Is…

The reality is...it's not real | Pretty Handy Girl

The reality is...it's not real | Pretty Handy Girl

The reality is that what you see on TV and magazines isn’t real life. We all know this, but do we tend to forget after a while?

I was watching one of those popular HGTV reality shows the other day. This one happened to be filmed in our neighborhood, so I was very familiar with the home that was being renovated. I drove by the house several times while the work was being done and I only saw the show hosts there three times. Those were the few days that filming was being done. The rest of the time (many months of renovating) I never saw the hosts. But, I’m sure you probably already realized this fact. It’s understandable, the celebrity hosts have to record other shows. And there’s no reason for them to stick around and watch joint compound or paint dry.

As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to see the episode. Before the show aired I ran into the homeowners while walking our dogs. We chatted for a while and I thought they were a super delightful couple. Both polite, kind and fun to talk to. They both shared my love for our neighborhood. When the show finally aired last month, I was dismayed to see this young couple turned into picky, hard-to-please homeowners that fit into the “script” of the show. But, what surprised me most was the final reveal of the “new” value of the improved house. The home was valued above homes almost 1,000 sq feet larger in similar condition in our neighborhood. I shouldn’t have cared much. But, I did.

I’m not sure why I was feeling anger. I’ve known for a long time that reality tv isn’t really reality. Maybe I was angry because I see too many photos and TV shows that portray “real” people living in perfect homes. I think I was angered because the more we watch, the more we read and the more we pin — we begin to forget that what we see isn’t reality. I think we all need a reminder about how unreal “reality” is. [Read more…]

Love Your Home Challenge

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

My blogging friend Melissa Michaels just published a wonderful new book to help you “Love the Home You Have.” She focuses on simple things you can do to embrace the home you live in. With easy suggestions and achievable goals, she breaks down all the barriers you have when it comes to truly loving your home.

Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels

To help Melissa promote the book, I agreed to take on a quick little Love Your Home Challenge. Her book has 31 Small Challenges to help you love your home again. Each one is simple, quick and easy.

Love Your Home Challenge | Pretty Handy Girl

I decided to focus my efforts on our foyer. I still loved the little rustic IKEA hack chest, but the mirror was a little to drab. I’d been staring at the pussy willows all winter and needed an infusion of color.

foyer-before

Originally, I chose to work with the Day 30 suggestion to Paint Something. I removed the mirror and within 30 minutes I painted the wood slats with white chalk paint. Then I used some patina Rub ‘n Buff to give the edges an aged metal look.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

Much better.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

To continue adding some cheer to the foyer, I incorporated the Day 11 Challenge by Adding Fresh Flowers.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

I didn’t spend a dime on my flowers or vase. The red bud branches were clipped from our tree. And I slipped a mason jar into the boot for a fun and quirky vase. I think it’s a nod to the saying, “April Showers Bring May Flowers.”

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

A small collected birds nest and feathers add an additional nod to springtime.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

I also painted an old frame with blue chalk paint and popped a piece of scrapbook paper into the frame for instant art.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

My total cost was $0! I can honestly say that seeing this springtime foyer vignette has made me happy.

Spring Foyer Vignette | Pretty Handy Girl

Within an hour, I was able to love this corner again. What can you do for $0 in your home? [Read more…]

How to Build a Temporary Pergola

Build a Temporary Pergola with Trellises | Pretty Handy Girl

Build a Temporary Pergola with Trellises | Pretty Handy Girl

This tutorial to build a temporary pergola is perfect for a wedding, photo shoot, for some shade, or for your garden if you are okay with it not lasting forever.

My sister and I constructed it for our Thompson’s WaterSeal Bali Dream Deck to provide some romance and shade from the hot Bali sun.

Bali Dream Deck for Thompsons Water Seal | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Build a Temporary Pergola with Trellises | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 2 Trellises (with double vertical construction)
  • 1 Trellis
  • 4 – 2 1/2″ wood screws
  • Drill bit
  • Drill
  • Clamps

Optional:

Instructions: 

Dry fit your trellis pieces together to create the pergola shape. Make note of where the top trellis intersects with the two side pieces.

Build a Temporary Pergola with Trellises | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill holes through the top trellis piece at the four intersecting points.

Build a Temporary Pergola with Trellises | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill holes into the top outer pieces of the vertical side trellises (where they meet the top trellis.) [Read more…]

Faux Blue Bird Eggs and Nest

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

YES!!! Spring has arrived in North Carolina and I want to dance and sing as I tiptoe through the tulips. Some of our bushes are blooming and I’ve been bringing cuttings inside. Now is the perfect time to start decorating for Easter! A nest of Blue Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece! Here’s how to make your own eggs and nest.

Materials:

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Eggs (5-6)
  • Egg Carton
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Bowl
  • Paint Brush
  • Old Toothbrush
  • Acrylic Paint: White, Black and Robin’s Egg Blue
  • Paper Bag
  • Pasta Maker, Paper Shredder or Scissors
  • Drop Cloth
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Gloves

Instructions:

Put down a drop cloth or tarp to cover your work area (and beyond.)

Rest an egg inside the empty carton. Gently tap the nail into the top of your egg.

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl [Read more…]

Build a Vintage Produce Crate Centerpiece – No Power Tools!

How to Build a Rustic Crate Centerpiece (No Power Tools Needed!) #DIYCourage | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Rustic Crate Centerpiece (No Power Tools Needed!) #DIYCourage | Pretty Handy Girl

It occurred to me the other day that many woodworking projects may deter people simply because they don’t have power tools or they don’t know how to use them yet. As a continuation of my goal to spread some #DIYCourage, Duluth Trading Company and I have teamed up to give you an easy tutorial to Build a Vintage Produce Crate Centerpiece using no power tools whatsoever!

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

How to Build a Rustic Crate Centerpiece (No Power Tools Needed!) #DIYCourage | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: 

Instructions:

I happen to stumble across this vintage produce crate and vintage bottles that a neighbor was giving away. If you don’t have a neighbor who periodically gives away vintage produce crates, you can ask your local grocery store for produce crates you can salvage. Or you can purchase a produce crate on Amazon.

How to Build a Rustic Crate Centerpiece (No Power Tools Needed!) #DIYCourage | Pretty Handy Girl

The crate I had was very rustic. So rustic, that I was able to pull the bottom slats off the crate with my bare hands. (In hindsight, I should have been wearing my gloves to avoid splinters.)

How to Build a Rustic Crate Centerpiece (No Power Tools Needed!) #DIYCourage | Pretty Handy Girl

You can also use a handsaw to remove the slats. Set them aside for use later.

How to Build a Rustic Crate Centerpiece (No Power Tools Needed!) #DIYCourage | Pretty Handy Girl

After removing the slats, pry up the nails with a prybar. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands. You can try wiggling stubborn nails out with the needle-nosed pliers. [Read more…]

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m in Dallas for a few days with my sister, working on creating a Bali-themed dream deck for Thompson’s WaterSeal. We shopped for a lot of the accessories ahead of time, but had a hard time putting our hands on a perfect Bali-esque tray. Sometimes, you just have to DIY it! This Rustic Pallet Serving Tray was the brainchild of my sister, Caitlin, but I took her idea and ran with it.

Here’s how to make one for yourself.

Materials:
(contains some affiliate links)

Instructions:

Fold a piece of paper into eights. Cut a design along the edge. (I used a simple scallop shape like this “}”.)

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

When you unfold the paper, you should have a paper template to use for tracing.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Trace the template onto a piece of thin plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a jigsaw or band saw to cut out the shape. You might find this tutorial helpful for cutting out intricate shapes.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay your plywood shape on top of the rustic boards. Move the boards around until you like the sections that will make up the tray. Mark a square around the shape with a ruler.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the boards down to size using the pencil mark as a guide.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Dry fit the boards together on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Wet both the plywood shape and the boards with a damp rag.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Apply Gorilla Glue to the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the rustic boards into the glue on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Weigh the boards down with weights or heavy books.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Allow to dry for at least an hour. Remove the weights and clamp the boards on a work surface or Rockwell JawStand. Make sure there is clearance for the jig saw blade. You’ll need to cut half the boards and then turn and re-clamp to cut the entire circumference.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Draw a pencil line 1 inch out from the plywood shape. Cut around the pencil line with a jig saw.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand edges and grooves with sandpaper or Dremel Multi-Max.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the location of the handles on the tray.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill holes using a bit that is the same size as the handle screws.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the tray over and drill countersink holes with a larger drill bit.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the handles with the screws. The screw heads should sink into the plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you want a truly rustic look, lightly sand your handles.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are going to use your tray for food, use a plate or doily under the food.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you think? Do you like this beautiful rustic tray? Think you could make one? I bet you could!

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Follow us as we design our Bali-themed deck for Thompson’s WaterSeal by following the #ThompsonsDreamDeck hashtag on Instagram.

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Sharing with Home Stories A to Z’s Tutorials and Tips Link Party

 

Painted Chandelier Sleeves

Painted Chandelier Sleeves | Pretty Handy Girl

Painted Chandelier Sleeves | Pretty Handy Girl

When you were perusing my holiday tablescape post did you see my fancy copper chandelier sleeves? My chandelier was looking a bit dingy with the aged yellowing sleeves. I decided to spray paint them copper for a new look.

To update chandelier sleeves, you can paint them any color you like.

Simply remove the light bulbs.

Painted Chandelier Sleeves | Pretty Handy Girl

Lift the sleeves off.

Painted Chandelier Sleeves | Pretty Handy Girl

Wash the sleeves off and dry them.

Painted Chandelier Sleeves | Pretty Handy Girl

Then pick your favorite spray paint color and spray paint them. I used Rust-Oleum High Heat Ultra Enamel Spray – Aged Copper to paint mine.

Painted Chandelier Sleeves | Pretty Handy Girl

That update was so easy, I might spray paint them again in a year. I’m thinking light blue or silver next time. What do you think?

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Creative UnBlocks at TidyMom

create_art_block_holders_sm

Hey, y’all! I don’t usually pop in on Tuesdays, but if you want a little extra bonus tutorial, I’m sharing an easy DIY project that makes a great gift or a way to organize your pencils, pens and art materials. I call them “Creative Blocks.” (Or maybe they should be Creative Unblocks because they may unblock your creativity!) This is a great little DIY project that will introduce you to using power tools if you are just getting up your #DIYCourage.

They were easy and fun to make and certainly a project that you can customize to meet your needs. Best of all, the kiddies can help with the painting step!

Ready to see the tutorial? Follow me on over to TidyMom where I’m sharing the step-by-step tutorial with Cheryl and her readers.

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DIY Metallic Color Blocked Canisters

Metallic Color Block Canisters | Pretty Handy Girl

Metallic Color Block Canisters | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m back with another easy Lowe’s Creative Idea this month. When you get tired of your cobalt blue canisters you can easily spray paint them with a metallic color block pattern. That’s exactly what I decided to do with my thrift store canisters.

I’ve been on a major mission to purge things I no longer use or love from my house. I have almost completely filled our dining room with things to donate. I had contemplated donating my cobalt kitchen canisters because the color wasn’t making me happy anymore. But, then I realized that I could give them an entirely new look with some spray paint.

Materials:

Instructions:

Remove the lids, the metal ring, and spoons from your canisters.

Metallic Color Block Canisters | Pretty Handy Girl
(Wood plank photo backdrop courtesy of Leen the Graphics Queen.)

Use a sanding block to lightly rough up the surface of the canisters. Wipe all the sanding dust off with a damp rag.

Metallic Color Block Canisters | Pretty Handy Girl

Spray the outside and base of the canisters with Valspar Premium Primer. [Read more…]