DIY Interior Cedar Shutters

interior cedar shutters closed 1

interior cedar shutters

Hello Pretty Handy friends, Jaime from That’s My Letter here today to share how to build functional interior cedar shutters using inexpensive AND readily available hardware.

I have been itching to build some cedar shutters for our living room for quite some time now.  I had two requirements: 1) they had to be completely functional to block out the hot summer sun (which also makes them great for privacy) and 2) use no fancy hardware.  I didn’t want to special order any shutter hardware and I like to build using readily available supplies.

interior cedar shutters partial open

You can find the cedar planks and hardware at your local home improvement store.  Ready to learn how to build the shutters and install these beauties?

interior cedar shutters closed 1

You can see just how much light the shutters will block out once closed.  I plan to keep the shutters open except during the extremely hot summer days.

interior cedar shutters front view

Interior cedar shutters make a great alternative window treatment if you’re not into fabric panels.  They truly are a statement piece (and hopefully distract from the fact that my windows don’t match!).  I also built the sliding door console last Spring, a link to all the details on that piece is in this post.

Materials:

  • cedar boards (1×6 and 1×4)
  • saw
  • nail gun
  • 1 1/4″ finish nails
  • 1×2 pine board
  • 2″ wood screws
  • drill & bits
  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • wood putty
  • sandpaper
  • paint
  • hinges (pictured below) & screws

interior cedar shutters hardware

Hardware: (for one pair of shutters)

  • 2 – 2 1/2″ hinge (spray painted oil rubbed bronze) & 12 screws
  • 2 – 4″ decorative tee hinge & 12 screws

Instructions:

MEASURE YOUR INTERIOR WINDOW SPACE.  MEASURE IT AGAIN.  MEASURE IT AGAIN. The top of the window may vary from the bottom. [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...]

DIY Built In Shoe Shelves

Built In Shoe Shelves

Built In Shoe Shelves

Hello, it’s Jessica from Decor Adventures and I’m back this month to show you an easy project to bring some organization to your home. Now that fall is approaching, you might be thinking about getting your closets, foyers and mudrooms in shape for the changing weather. One project that can make your space nice and tidy is adding built in shoe shelves. Today I’m going to show you how to easily build shelves to keep those sneakers, sandals and boots neat and tidy. Plus, it will save you some space too.

Materials:

  • Miter saw
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Level
  • 1″ x 2″ wood, for supports
  • 12″ deep MDF or pine boards
  • Cordless drill with drill bits
  • 2.5″ Wood screws
  • Primer
  • Paint

Optional:

  • Wall anchors
  • Paintable caulk

Instructions:

In our side entry to our house we have a small landing at the stairs leading up to the kitchen. It’s a perfect place for shoes, coats and accessories. Unfortunately, our method of lining up our shoes wasn’t working. I thought built in shelves would be a great solution. The shelves ended up saving us space and giving us more room.

Before Building Shelves

Sometimes those awkward spaces can be a blessing in disguise.

Instructions:

1. First, prep the area by removing anything you were storing and sweeping it out. If you want to add a fresh coat of paint to the walls, now is a great time to do that.

Preparing to Build Shelves

2. Measure how wide and deep you want the shelves to be. (Most shoes fit on 12″ deep shelves, unless you are Big Foot.) Mark the walls at the height of each shelf. (We made the lowest shelf tall enough to fit boots underneath on the floor and the highest shelf about half that height for items like sneakers and shorter shoes.) [Read more...]

DIY Block Print Stamped Tea Towel

diy block print tea towel

how to stamp with potatoes

Hey there! It’s Melissa from The Happier Homemaker back again with a fun and easy DIY tutorial you can even get the kiddos involved with! I’ve been noticing block printing coming up a lot in my home decor magazines and catalogs lately. Last week when I was prepping a little rainy day potato stamping activity for my 3 boys, I decided it may be time to try a little block printing DIY of my own.

Supplies:

  • Flour Sack Tea Towels
  • Large Raw Baking Potato
  • Knife
  • Craft Paint
  • Fabric Medium
  • Iron and Ironing Board

Instructions:

Cut your potato in half and use your knife to {carefully} cut your design.  Simple shapes work best for this type of stamping.

diy potato stamped towel

On a paper plate, or paint palette, mix your craft paint with fabric medium in a 2:1 ratio (or according to fabric medium instructions.) [Read more...]

Install Security Film to a Glass Door and Protect Your Home

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

The folks at Allstate Insurance have graciously sponsored this post, which will help you learn how to install security film to safeguard your doors (or windows) from a potential break-in! It’s a simply DIY solution that could potentially save you the heartache of having your home burglarized.

I’ve noticed an unsettling trend in our area. There are more thefts popping up around our neighborhood. Luckily the majority of them are burglaries with no violence. But, it’s still unsettling. If you want the latest on crimes around you, sign up for SpotCrime.com. Simply enter your address and you’ll get emails when crimes are reported around you. Then again, this could lead to a bit of paranoia {raising hand.}

SpotCrime.com map

Regardless, there are two doors in our home that have always caused me some concern. We have two half window doors that needed some added security measures. The first one is the entrance to our mudroom. The second one is the back door to our garage (and you know I’d be heartbroken if anyone stole my power tools!)

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

If you have a door like this, a burglar can simply break the pane of glass closest to the knob, reach in and turn the deadbolt and handle. One option is to install a two-sided keyed entry deadbolt lock. Because we have little children, I worried about them not being able to find the key and get out of the house in the event of a fire.

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors &  Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

This past week I happened to hear about security film and did a little research. I was skeptical until I tested the material myself. The results seriously amazed me! You can watch my test in the video later in this post.

In the meantime, here are the supplies you’ll need and the very simply installation instructions!

Materials:
(contains Amazon Affiliate Links)
  • 8 Mil Security Window Film
  • Spray bottle with water and a few drops of dish soap (or baby shampoo)
  • 4 inch Squeegee
  • Paper towels
  • Razor blade
  • X-acto knife (or scissors)
  • Metal Ruler
  • Ball point pen or fine-tipped sharpie
  • Cutting surface

 Instructions:

1. Begin by removing the grill if you have one solid piece of glass with faux dividers (see my video below for more details on removing the grill.) If you have true divided light, move on to the next step.

2. Measure your windows. Reduce the size by 1/8″ to leave space at the edges for the water to escape. Transfer the measurements onto the film with pen. Cut the window film with the x-acto knife and ruler. (You could use scissors in a pinch.)

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors &  Windows | Pretty Handy Girl [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...]

Beef Up Door and Window Casing with Back Band

Beef Up Door and Window Casing with Back Band | Pretty Handy Girl

Beef Up Door and Window Casing with Back Band | Pretty Handy Girl

Want an easy way to add more architectural interest to your standard colonial door and window framing? Adding an extra piece of moulding, called back band, can add that extra boost of architectural interest.

Add Architectural Interest to Casing | Pretty Handy Girl

And the good news is that you can do this to your existing trim moulding. No need to remove or start fresh! The only thing you will need is paint on hand to paint the moulding after you BEEF it UP! In essence, We’re gonna PUMP it UP!

Materials:

  • Back band moulding
  • Finish nailer
  • 2″ finish nails
  • Caulk
  • Paint
  • Miter saw or  hand saw with miter box

Instructions:

There’s really not much to this tutorial. Line up the back band against your existing door or window frame. Measure or mark the back band where you need to cut your miter. [Read more...]

DIY “Eat Your Veggies” Cloth Napkin Gift Set

hostess gift idea sq

DIY Message Cloth Napkin Gift Idea

Bringing a hostess gift to someone whose home you are staying in is apparently a pretty universal thing.  I had never heard of such a thing until I was in my late 20′s.  It’s not a mind blowing concept but I have come to appreciate the simplicity of the thoughtful gesture.  Granted, if you are a “Real Housewife”, then I’m pretty sure if you don’t show up with a bottle of Cristal you get the stink eye.  Hostess gifts don’t have to be spendy, they just need to be thoughtful.  Today I am going to show you how to create an inexpensive gift for the hostess with a sense of humor. Gather around and learn how to make these “Eat Your Veggies” cloth napkins.

Materials:

  • Silhouette Cutter
  • Computer
  • Iron on Heat Transfer material
  • Napkins
  • Iron
  • Ironing Board
  • Towel
  • Tape Measure

Instructions:

Start by pre-washing the napkins.  Measure how big the lettering should be by folding the napkin (half fold or quarter fold napkins) and measure the printable area.

hostess gift idea

Arrange the words as you would like them to appear on the napkins.  Watch your dimensions!  Duplicate the image as many times as you have napkins.

hostess gift idea

Right click on the image and flip the image horizontally.  This will be the mirror image allowing the words to be read once they are applied to the napkin.

hostess gift idea

Send the wording or images to the Silhouette or other craft cutter.

hostess gift idea

Once the image is cut,  weed out the negative spaces. [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...]

DIY Clock

DIY Clock

DIY Clock

August means getting ready for the upcoming fall season, back to school, sports season and the holidays. Hi everyone, it’s Jessica at Decor Adventures and I have an easy project to keep you on time for all the activities you and your family have planned these next months, a DIY clock. Did you know you could make your own clock? It’s super easy to put together and you can paint or decorate it to perfectly match your home’s decor. Let’s get started.

Materials

  • Clock kit
  • Double sided tape
  • Wooden tray to make your clock
  • Paint (optional)
  • Decorative paper
  • Spray adhesive (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Hanging hardware

Instructions:

1. To make this clock, I found a 99 cent tray at the thrift store. I knew it would be great for this project because it can hang on the wall and will conceal the clock kit inside the tray. You could also use a picture frame without glass or even some other creative object you’d like to use for your clock face. Make sure it’s something flat so your clock kit will fit into it.

Thrifted Tray

2. The back of the tray will actually become the face of my clock. To prepare it, prime your tray.

Make Your Own Clock

Decide where you would like to put the hands of your clock. It can be in the exact center of the tray or off center for a different look. Mark where the center of the clock will be placed. [Read more...]

Aqua Dresser Makeover – What’s Knot to Love?

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

You know you’ve seen those knotty pine dressers from yesteryear. Their spotlight has faded and they are finding themselves at thrift shops, ReStores or worse yet…at the curb.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m begging you to let this knotty eyesore back into your home. It doesn’t have to be banished. It’s KNOT her fault she was built from cheap pine. All this dresser needs is a new coat of paint and some beautiful brass knobs and all her flaws and knots will be forgotten.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Extra observant points to anyone who realized that this blogger forgot to take a good before picture! She looked very similar to the knotty pine dresser shown above, except she had wooden circle knobs and an unfortunate set of bun feet. I did remove the bun feet from the dresser when I first brought it home. Mama ain’t got no need for buns in this oven (or on my dresser.)

Here are the details on how to refinish a knotty pine dresser and give it a complete makeover!

Materials:

  • Sandpaper
  • BIN primer
  • Damp rag
  • Paint brush
  • Foam paint roller
  • Quart of Benjamin Moore Advance paint (Deep Ocean)
  • Valspar asphaltum glaze
  • Brass hardware (I bought mine from House of Antique Hardware)
  • Drill with bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Level

Instructions:

This tutorial will be fairly brief, if you need more photos and explanation, you can view my previous dresser painting adventure.

Begin by removing all the drawers and knobs. Lightly sand the dresser and drawer fronts. Wipe off any sanding dust. [Read more...]

DIY Striped Euro Shams

striped euro shams 1

striped euro shams

Every DIYer loves a little drop cloth project right?  Jaime from That’s My Letter here to share how to make striped euro shams.

Using drop cloth and acrylic craft paint, I made these grain sack inspired shams to finish off our new poster bed.

striped euro shams 1

I added piping to finish the edges. It wasn’t too hard, and it was worth the extra effort.  Brittany has a great piping tutorial here or you could always leave off the piping if you choose.

05-CLX-digging-deep-striped-duvet-cover-0613-xln 1

I found my inspiration for these shams from a Country Living article in the June 2013 issue.  The master bedroom in the featured home had the perfect striped lumbar pillow and I knew I just had to have my own!

striped euro shams 3

Similar but different, these striped shams coordinate well with my Joseph’s Coat quilt.  Check out how easy it is to make your own shams:

Materials:

striped euro shams supplies

  • drop cloth (2 – 26″ x 26″ square piece per sham)
  • cotton cording (2 yards per sham)
  • 22″ zipper
  • painter’s tape
  • stencil paintbrush or stiff bristle brush
  • acrylic paint
  • pencil
  • clear quilting ruler
  • rotary cutter
  • self healing cutting mat
  • scissors
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • iron & ironing board

Instructions:

striped euro shams step 1

Step 1: Measure your sham inserts and add 1″ to each side.  (My inserts measured 25″ x 25″ therefore I cut the drop cloth at 26″ x 26″.)  Tape the corners of the drop cloth to a hard surface.  Slide a piece of cardboard under the drop cloth to protect your surface. Mark a 1/2″ wide stripe at the center and secure painter’s tape down either side of gap. [Read more...]

What’s Holding Us Back

she-believed

fear-itself

I’ve been putting off this post for a long time. I probably should have written it three years ago. But, each time, I thought to myself, “I don’t want to write about negativity on my blog. I want this to be a positive and empowering space for people (especially women) to be inspired to pick up a power tool and/or complete that DIY project they’ve been putting off.”

hammer_pry_bar_under_crown_mold

This past week I witnessed and endured something that made my blood boil. Supposed DIY experts belittling women. Most of the behavior wasn’t blatant, it was subtle. Some of it was body language (crossed arms, wide leg stance and a scowl while being asked a question.) And some of it was not so subtle with a condescending comment or tone. And this behavior made me mad. No—take that back—it burned me up inside!

Why? Because I have a dream that one day when any woman walks into a hardware store or a home improvement store it will NOT BE ASSUMED that she isn’t handy or that she is incapable of completing a major home renovation or repair. I dream that there will be a day that the stereotypes about women and men will cease to exist. And I know that any woman that is belittled or turned away from DIY is one less step toward my dream.

lumber_in_acadiaSandra of SawdustGirl.com and myself

Therefore, I think it’s time to address that big fat wall that’s holding us back. What is it that scares you about DIY? Is it the fear of a power tool? The fear of screwing something up?  Of injuring yourself? Of breaking something?

Well, it’s time to break down that wall!

First, you need to peel back those layers and really address why you don’t think you can. Did you get messages from others that became part of your beliefs about your own abilities?

How was that wall built? Did it start when you were a child? Did your Dad or Mom tell you not to touch a tool for fear you might hurt yourself? Did your Uncle or neighbor laugh at you when they saw you trying to fix something? What was it? Usually that wall is a culmination of years of messages that get embedded into your brain, until you are stripped of the self confidence necessary to try something new.

Do any of these messages sound familiar:

  • “That’s a man’s job. Let a man do it.”
  • “You might break it.”
  • “You’re not strong enough.”
  • “Why don’t you hire a professional?”
  • “Here, let me help you with that.”
  • “Stand back, I’ll take care of it.”
  • “Don’t hurt yourself.”

Or was it a more subtle message from a professional or someone more experienced who threw a bunch of technical jargon at you making you feel confused or inferior.

I want to share with you some of the nasty comments I receive (especially on YouTube.) The comments are direct assaults on my self esteem and confidence. After reading them, I often begin to doubt my own abilities. Here are just a few of those nasty comments:

  • You really should remove your power tool tutorials. Some idiot is going to seriously hurt themselves.
  • What she is saying is completely wrong esp the part about wetting the caulk but at least she is trying.
  • Woman, you do it wrong
  • Get back in the kitchen where you belong.
  • Women shouldn’t use MAN tools. There is a reason god made you bare children and born with a frying pan in your hand.. This is the same as being a lesbian in my book seeing a woman pick up a tool!

AND then this person left a reply to that last degrading comment:

“Hey dude with the negative comments toward women… disrespectful !  Why can’t a women use power tools?  She can do whatever she likes.  I think you are old school curmudgeon that is afraid of women, and in controlling what they do, that keeps you feeling like KING SHIT ON TURD ISLAND.  Newsflash – we’re in 2014 – get used to it loser!  I hope you are man enough to apologize to Brittany for your loser comments.”

I wanted to high five that commenter! He had it right. There are a lot of people who are threatened by women who can DIY. They view it as a threat to their masculinity. Heaven forbid a woman realize that using a power tool or fixing something isn’t rocket science.

Let me be the first to tell you. You CAN do it! That wall of negative and self-deprecating messages is going to come down NOW! No offense to anyone who is a plumber or knows a plumber, but I sincerely doubt that you have any less brain cells than that guy who’s mooning you while trying to fix your leaky sink. He just has a little more knowledge and experience at tightening slip nuts and p-traps (sorry, I didn’t mean to throw out the technical jargon.) However, when that plumber started, he had no more expertise than you do. He may have been trained in an apprenticeship or trade school But, lucky for you, today there is a wealth of resources to teach you how to fix anything! YouTube, Google, FamilyHandyman.com and many many many blogs that will help you complete a DIY project using step-by-step tutorials!

plumbers_butt

Still fearful of using a power tool? Well, here are the facts. If you are safety conscious, you will take the time to read the manual and go slow when learning how to use a new power tool. You will have less of a risk of injuring yourself than a seasoned pro. Why is that? I call it the healthy fear factor. If you respect the tool and have a healthy fear of it, you will double-check that you are keeping your hands and body away from the tool. You will be sure that your hair is tied back and you have removed any jewelry or loose clothing. You will not rush through a cut or task. You will give that tool your full attention and make sure that you are staying safe.

A few years ago one of my favorite contractors told me he had to retire. He had accidentally cut off one of his fingers. This is a man who had been building and fixing for decades! And he cut his finger off. How? He told me, “Brittany, I was stupid. I did not respect that tool and it bit me. I was rushing through a job and cut my finger off with an angle grinder. I’ve used that tool hundreds of times and was complacent and didn’t give it my full attention.” And that is why it is important to ALWAYS respect the tool. It’s okay to have a healthy fear of power tools! In fact, it is what will keep you safe.

I encourage you to take a hard look at that wall of negative attitudes about DIY.

Don’t let someone rob you of your self confidence. If you are reading this post, know that you are an intelligent human being who is capable of much more than you give yourself credit for. Grab that wall and pull it down. Believe in yourself and tackle that DIY project. I’m here if you have questions. I’m here to give you positive encouragement. Just think to yourself, “What Would Pretty Handy Girl say?” and build up a platform of positive thoughts and messages so you can dive off the top of that wall of crap!

What’s the worst that can happen if you do try to fix or build something? If you screw it up, so what! Call in that professional. But, stick right by his or her side and watch how they fix it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. AND hopefully they will keep their butt crack inside their pants. Should you succeed at the project, rejoice! Celebrate and share with your girlfriends. Let’s break down the stereotype wall together.

she-believed

Feel free to leave a comment below about that time you were talked down to or someone made a condescending remark. Let’s all lift each other up and reassure one another that we can do it! High fives all around!

PHGFancySign

P.s. This post is dedicated to my blogging friend and fellow power tool wielding DIY Rock Star! You go girl! 

101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for Friends

free printable blog hop

I’m excited to share 101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for your Friends. I am joining creative forces with Kristen Duke in her Birthday Celebration Week along with over 100 talented bloggers sharing lots of inexpensive ideas and free printables! The collection is live now, so be sure to jump out of bed and find a fabulous gift idea for that special person in your life.  A lot of these gifts are versatile for any occasion, and can be a gift to your friends, family, or even that gal that you’d like to get to know better. Even more fabulous—most gifts are under $5, and have coordinating printables to make it super simple!

101 Birthday Ideas for Friends

{Blog Hop Birthday designs by C {dot} love}
 

I’m sharing a recipe for DIY Lemonade Lip Balm because I know a little handmade gift of lemony goodness will brighten anyone’s day and let them know that you care enough to pamper them on their birthday (or any day.)

DIY Lemonade Lip Balm | Pretty Handy Girl

Are you ready for some inspiration? Join in on the BLOG HOP! Click on each of the links below each collage to see the instructions on how to make them and their free printable. I like to open a bunch of new tabs and Pin my favorites for later. Don’t forget to follow the Gift Ideas Pinterest Board as well, to save future great ideas. [Read more...]

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Technique

master_bedroom_photo

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

Ombré painting is EVERYWHERE. Clothing, home décor and even wall paint techniques. An ombré wall is the paint technique I chose to create a misty and ethereal look in our master bedroom. It started when I fell in love with Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore but didn’t want to make our entire bedroom too dark (I have a hard enough time waking up in the morning.) I decided a good solution was to use the dark charcoal gray color on a focal wall behind the headboard. But, I didn’t want to stop the color in the corners and create a sharp line.

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

Instead, I wanted a softer edge that would make us feel like we were being hugged by the room.

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

I used Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore to paint the other three walls in the bedroom, but created a random ragged edge where the two colors meet.

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

This is how the side walls look in preparation for the ombré wall technique.

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Dark latex paint color (Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore)
  • Lighter latex paint color (Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore)
  • A small container with a mixture of the two colors to create an in between gray
  • Paint brush
  • Dry brush
  • Water-filled spray bottle
  • ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape
  • Damp car wash sponge
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wet wipes or wet rag

Instructions: [Read more...]

Decorative Metal Flashing Orbs

Metal-Flashing-Orbs

Metal-Flashing-Orbs

Happy July friends! It’s Jessica from Decor Adventures. I hope you are enjoying all things summer and have a close friend or relative with a pool, if you don’t have one yourself. It is super hot here and I’m glad my sister finally opened hers. Otherwise, to stay cool I hang out in our basement where my craft area is set up. I have an easy project for you this month, it’s how to make metal flashing orbs for your home.

I’ve seen these orbs used in all types of home decor items: from pendant lights to garden decorations. I always thought it would be easy to DIY your own. Here is how to make decorative orbs from metal flashing in five easy steps.

Materials:

Metal-Flashing-Orbs

  • Metal flashing
  • Tin snips
  • Rivet gun
  • Rivets
  • Ruler
  • Gloves
  • Pencil
  • Safety eye glasses
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Clamp
  • Clothespins
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Optional – Spray paint and respirator if you will be painting your metal

 

Instructions: [Read more...]

DIY Button Pendant Light {#LowesCreator Idea}

DIY Button Pendant Light | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Button Pendant Light |Pretty Handy Girl

While I was house touring on Tybee Island and having  fun antique and salvage shopping in Savannah, I spied some bare lamp shade frame hanging lights. They immediately inspired me to design a DIY Button Pendant Light for over my bedside table in our master bedroom. Part of the desire was born out of the necessity to have more space on my bedside because the table actually doubles as my makeup vanity.

DIY Button Pendant Light | Pretty Handy Girl

Making a Button Pendant Light is an easy DIY project, but you’ll need some patience while threading the buttons. I’ll also show you how to wire a lamp socket and lamp plug! Ready to get started?

Materials:

DIY Button Pendant Light |Pretty Handy Girl

Optional:

Instructions: [Read more...]

Repurposed Vintage Milk Jug Side Tables

milk jug side table 2

milk jug side table

Jaime here from That’s My Letter sharing a DIY repurpose project that works great outside or inside.

Take a vintage milk jug, add a precut circular wood top and you have a functional and stylish side table.  If you want to get fancy I’ll show you how to add the personalization too!

milk jug side table before after

I started this project with some crusty old milk jugs that really serve no purpose these days and after a little paint and adding a wood top we have a beautiful and useful piece of furniture.

milk jug side tables 1

Together the two milk jugs make a great pair on either side of our diy outdoor sofa but ‘S’ is not my last name, these milk jugs will be going to a friend’s home.

milk jug side table 3

The personalization is icing on the cake, if you have a steady hand you can add any letter in nearly any font you desire. Ready to get started? [Read more...]

How to Strip…Paint Off a Door

How to Strip Paint Off a Door | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Strip Paint off a Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever had to strip… paint off a door? (You must leave a dramatic pause after strip for the full effect! LOL. If you haven’t had to strip…paint off a door, consider yourself lucky. If you need to strip… paint, I have some tips and a tutorial for you!

Purple Honor 8906N by Duron

Here’s the back story: My home’s doors have been purple for over 7 years. I was over the dark and wanted some vibrancy. It was supposed to be a simple project. Just paint the front doors a beautiful green (Benjamin Moore Perennial Green.) I had tested the color on my custom house mailbox. That was TWO YEARS ago! (Life’s been a little busy, okay. Forgive me, I’ve been wrapped up in a major kitchen renovation.) All I had to do was get the paint mixed and get painting. Instead, I was caught in the middle of the DIY project from HELL!

How to Strip Paint Off a Door | Pretty Handy Girl

I had five doors to paint (front two doors, one side door and two wooden storm doors.) But, this DIY project was doomed from the start. My friend Holly was sweet enough to offer to help me paint. The week we were supposed to start on the doors her son came down with scarlet fever. A few days later as I was getting ready to paint them myself, MY SON got scarlet fever.

I finally got around to sanding and priming the front door. I was elated as I finally began to brush the paint onto the doors. Ahhhh. Beautiful green. I finished the first coat on the front doors. Then proceeded to the side door. When I went back to give the front doors a second coat…a problem exposed itself. Nooooooo!

[Read more...]