#DIYCourage Twitter Chat is Back

#DIYCourage Twitter Chat Every First Monday of the Month

#DIYCourage Twitter Chat Every First Monday of the Month

The #DIYCourage Twitter Chats are Back!

Remember when Sara Bendrick and I hosted a Twitter chat last year? Were you able to attend? If not, I have great news! We’re bringing the #DIYCourage empowerment back. The first Monday of every month, we’ll be chatting about your DIY projects that you completed or DIY projects that you want to complete. We’ll discuss ways you can accomplish your DIY Goals. And most importantly we’ll be talking about how you can get a big fat dose of courage when it comes to DIY projects.

Sara and I want to help you learn a new skill. We also want to meet other DIYers like yourselves. This is a great opportunity to make new friends (and gain a few more Twitter followers.)

Come on out and join us for the next #DIYCourage twitter chat on Monday, April 6th at 8:30pm EST/ 5:30pm EST. Did I mention that Duluth Trading Company is giving away a $100 gift card during the chat? If you aren’t familiar with Duluth Trading Company, they make rough and tough clothing strong enough to stand up to hard working (and playing) women and men.

Mark your calendars and don’t miss it. We hope you’ll walk away with a big fat dose of #DIYCourage and maybe some new DIY gear from Duluthtrading.com!

Get ready for the Twitter chat by following DIYCouragePretty Handy Girl,  Sara Bendrick and Duluth Trading Co. on Twitter. Then tune in every month and follow the #DIYCourage hashtag.

PHGFancySign

Hang Art Without a Frame

Hang Art Without a Frame

Hang Art Without a Frame

One way to change the look of a space is to hang up new art. With so many attractive options for your walls, it’s easy to do. Posters, photos, wallpaper and other memorable art can look great, even without a frame. Having art framed professionally can get expensive. Even store bought frames can break your budget. But I have an easier way to hang art without a frame, and it will cost you less than $10.

These maps of Paris and Rome came from a local art supply store for only $5 each. Since they had been sitting in my closet for a while, I thought they would be perfect for this project and give new life to the living room. Each poster will have two pieces of trim, one along the top and one along the bottom.

Hang Art Without a Frame

Materials:

Art Supplies

  • Poster
  • 3/4″ wood
  • Drill and 1/16 drill bit
  • Small cup hooks
  • Small loop chain
  • Wire cutters
  • Gorilla tape
  • Paint and paint brush (optional)

[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…]

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding

$3 off Coupon for Bona Products | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

I love our antique heart pine floors! They are beautifully distressed. The round pegs and square nails securing them in place add loads of character. However, the square nails sit flush with the surface preventing us from ever being able to refinish them with a sander. The nails would tear up the sandpaper in no time. But, that’s no problem because I know a way to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding!

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***Psst, you’ll want to read to the end of this post to enter for the chance to win a year of cleaning services for your home and the Grand Prize: a trip for 4 to Hawaii!***

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How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

From time to time, our floors start to look dull…

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

…and the scratches are more noticeable. This is when I know it’s time to refinish them.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

The first time I refinished our floors, it was several years ago when we were painting the office and dining room. I decided to try to refinish the floors because the rooms were already devoid of furniture. Several neighbors had recommended Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish. I was skeptical, but the results were beautiful floors that had luster, but still showed their beautiful age.

Before and After Finishing Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

The Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner did a fabulous job of cleaning the floor without damaging them. And, the Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish provided a strong finish without any waxy build up. The high gloss protective layer adds some shine, but isn’t overly shiny. The polish also fills micro-scratches, evening out the appearance of the floor.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

Fast forward to this past week when Bona asked me to write a sponsored post for them, I jumped for joy because I already use and love the Bona® Hardwood Floor Products! (Here’s my full disclosure: Yes, this is a sponsored post. No, I was not told what to write. And yes, I probably would have blogged about my experiences using Bona® Hardwood Floor Products at some point anyway. Win-win.)

I highly recommend trying the combo of the Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and the Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish before spending huge amounts of money to have your floors refinished. And to sweeten the deal, here’s the link to save $3 off your purchase of a Bona product(Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner & Polish will not work on floors that have an oil or wax coating. Test in an inconspicuous area to be sure it will work for your floors.)

Here’s how to Refinish Your Wood Floors without Sanding:

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

Instructions for Cleaning the Wood Floors:

Remove all rugs and furniture from the room. If you have heavy furniture pieces that are never moved, you can leave them in place.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

Vacuum or sweep the floors to remove all dirt and debris.

How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding | Pretty Handy Girl

Assemble your Bona® Hardwood Floor Spray Mop as shown here: [Read more…]

How to Install a Towel Bar Securely

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever reached for a towel and realized that the towel bar was barely secured to the wall? Installing a New Towel Bar Securely is a fairly simple DIY task if you know how to anchor the brackets.

As part of my little laundry room refresh, I decided to replace the dated brass towel bar that had started to come loose.

Materials:
(Contains some affiliate links)

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional:

Preparation:

Begin by removing the old towel bar if you have one already installed. Look underneath for a tiny set screw. Usually you will need a small flat head screwdriver or allen wrench to remove it.

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Once the mounting bracket is removed, you will see the mounting plate which can be removed by unscrewing the screws. Patch any holes in the wall and touch up the paint before installing the new towel bar.

Mounting Instructions:

Find the template that came with your new towel bar. Sometimes it is on the instruction sheet, and sometimes you have to cut it off the product box.

Hold the template up and line up the bracket locations with studs. If  you can’t line it up with two studs, you can use a good wall anchor. Don’t use the anchors that came with the towel bar. (Here’s why you should never use those freebie wall anchors.)

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Tape the template in place and level it. Make any adjustments necessary to get the template perfectly level. [Read more…]

How to Mount Antlers

How ot Mount Antlers

How to Mount Antlers

Hello! It’s Jessica from Decor Adventures.  One very popular home decor item that we are going to get pretty handy with this month is antlers. If you love rustic or outdoor style, this project is perfect for you. You’ll see all kinds of animal antlers on walls or holding jewelry or scarves. They can be both functional and practical. Antlers can be found at flea markets or second hand stores if you are lucky. They come in all sizes and shapes, plus you can paint them any color to match your style.

It’s much easier than you think to mount antlers on your own. You don’t need a degree in Taxidermy or any special tools, a drill will do!

Materials

  • Antlers
  • Long bolts
  • Nuts to fit bolts
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Hanging hardware
  • Paint (optional)
  • MDF or wooden board

Instructions

I mounted two sets of antlers that I got at a yard sale. One was a one-piece set and the others were two separate pieces. Most antlers you get will have some of the bone attached to the end of the antler. This is the part you will attach to a board to mount them. If you find them second hand they may already have holes drilled in them from when they were previously mounted.

One set I painted white and the other gold. It’s easy to spray paint antlers, so pick your favorite color or leave them natural if you like.

How ot Mount Antlers1. First, prepare the board you’ll mount the antlers on. These can be found at craft stores or you can cut your own from MDF. It should be slightly larger than the base of the antlers you’ll mount. You can paint the board if you would like. The silver one below already had the mounting holes drilled in it when I took this picture, but you can get an idea of the size board you need.

[Read more…]

12 DIY Storage Projects to Organize Your Home

WholeStorageUnit

12 DIY Home Storage Tutorials | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s January and you know what that means! Time to clean and purge the house of all the excess stuff. Last year I was too busy with projects to purge, so this year I’m taking advantage of some warmer days to clean out our home. I hope you’ll excuse me while I’m in clutter busting HELL mode. In the meantime you might enjoy these 12 DIY Storage Projects to help you organize your home (and hide clutter.)

mudroom_shoe_storage_bench
Make a Coat Rack from an Old Door
 and Make a Shoe Storage Bench with Kitchen Cabinets

full_flow_wall_above_washerLaundry Room Storage using Flow Wall [Read more…]

Hang Stockings Without a Mantel

Hang Stockings Without a Mantel

Hang Stockings Without a Mantel

Hello, it’s Jessica here from Decor Adventures, back this month with a simple solution for holiday decorating. These days we see all kinds of lovely homes with Christmas stockings hung beautifully from the mantel or staircase. But what if you don’t have either in your home? I’ve come up with an easy way to display stockings that you can put together in less than an hour. Here is how to hang stockings without a mantel – frame them!

Materials:

Hang Stockings Without a Mantel

  • Large empty picture frame
  • Foam board
  • Fabric
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire snips or sharp scissors
  • Gloves
  • Paint (optional)
  • S-hooks
  • Glazier’s points and tool (or a wide flat head screwdriver)
  • S hooks
  • Stockings

Instructions:

1. For this project you’ll use a large empty picture frame that doesn’t have glass. You can find them at thrift stores, craft stores, or just reuse one of your own. You can paint or stain the frame to your liking, but that is optional depending on your style.

2. Cut a piece of chicken wire one inch larger on all sides than the inside of your frame where the glass would rest. Make sure to wear gloves for this part as the wire can be sharp. Most chicken wire comes with natural lines where the wire is twisted. You can use those as your edges. If you want to spray paint the wire to blend in, that would create a nice look too.

Hang Stockings Without a Mantel

3. Place the frame front side face down on a table and insert the wire into the back of the frame. Set that aside for the moment. [Read more…]

Sports Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Sport Gear Storage in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

My home is protected by ninjas! Well, actually Tae Kwon Do athletes, but they are ninjas in training. So, don’t even think about breaking into our house or they will open up a can of whoop ass on you! ;-)

Unfortunately, where my boys are plentiful in kicking and punching skills they lack in the picking up your stuff department. Which means that the bottom of the stairway to our bonus room is usually the dumping ground for their gear bags, clothing and gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

I knew I could “up” the amount of storage we had in this small unused space by going vertical. I designed and created Sports Gear Storage Shelves in the small space at the base of our bonus room stairs. Adding mesh siding gives the storage system a locker vibe and allowed for better air flow around stinky sports gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to know how to build your own Sport Gear Storage Shelves? Hang out for a while and I’ll walk you through the step-by-step tutorial.

Materials:

  • 6 – 1 x 3 x 8′ poplar boards
  • 1 – 4′ x 4′ x 3/4″ finish grade plywood
  • 2 1/2″ wood screws
  • 1 1/2″ cabinet screws
  • 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • Wood shims
  • Wire mesh
  • Stain (or paint)
  • Wood glue
  • Finish nails
  • Wood putty
  • Putty Knife
  • Kreg Jig
  • Hand saw or coping saw
  • Power sander and sandpaper
  • Nailgun
  • 1 1/4″ finish nails
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Painter’s tape
  • GRR-RIPPER 3D Pushblocks

Cut List:

  • 5 – 15″ x 24″ plywood (shelves)*
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 15″ (shelf cleats)
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 23″ (shelf cleats)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 88″ (sides of support frame)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 4.5″ (top & bottom of support frame)
  • 1 – 5.5″ x 84″ piece of wire mesh
  • Rip edge banding 1/4″ thickness from one 1 x 3″ board

* You should be able to get a sixth shelf cut from your plywood if you wish to use it for a base.

Instructions:

Before beginning to build, sketch out your design with painter’s tape. Take note of the height of any baskets or gear bags you will store on the shelves. This should give you the ability to visualize the storage shelves and make any alterations to your design before you build. Once you are happy with the layout, write down your shelf heights.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

You may wish to clad the walls in wood planks like I did before you build the shelving. If you decide to add the planks, here’s the tutorial for planking your walls.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the heights of your shelves.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Using a level, draw a pencil line where the shelves will rest.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Secure the 1×3″ cleats below the pencil line using 2 1/2″ wood screws into studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue securing shelf cleats to the wall with screws into available studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint or stain the cleats to match the wall color.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Building Curved Shelves with Edge Banding: [Read more…]

#DIYCourage Twitter Chat

#DIYCourage Twitter Chat

#DIYCourage Twitter Chat

You know when you meet someone who likes to get her hands dirty. And she’s not afraid to pick up a power tool. And, there’s not a DIY project that scares her. You know this person is just like you and you want to reach for the stars and give her a super pumped high five because you know she’s got #DIYCourage!  I’m talking about the DIY power house Sara Bendrick!

That’s how I felt when I met Sara Bendrick. Well, truth be told, we met online, not in person. Sara is the host of DIY Network’s “I Hate My Yard.” She’s also a woman on a mission to change a few lives. Wait, let’s make that “we” are on a mission to change a few lives. We want to give you the #DIYCourage to take on that next DIY project.

sara-in-arch

We want more people to take a leap off that fence that they never would have dreamed of building themselves? We want to empower someone who is new to DIY to learn a new skill? We want to give you the power to DIY!

Sara and I are also thrilled to have Duluth Trading Company as a sponsor for this chat. The folks at Duluth Trading Co know how to make rough and tough clothing strong enough to stand up to the work of DIY Women (or men!)

I hope you’ll join us for one of these first two Twitter chats:

  • Thursday, November 13th 1pm EST / 10am PST
  • Wednesday, November 19th 8:30pm EST / 5:30pm PST

Mark your calendars and don’t miss it! We’ll be giving away a $100 Gift Card to DuluthTrading.com during each chat. And we hope you’ll walk away with a big fat dose of #DIYCourage!

Get ready for the Twitter chat by following Pretty Handy Girl,  Sara Bendrick and Duluth Trading Co. on Twitter.

PHGFancySign

Announcing Pretty Handy Girl Shirts & Gifts – How to Set Up a Zazzle Store

mug-back

Pretty Handy Girl DIY Gifts & Apparel

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so excited to be launching my own line of graphic t-shirts, clothing and gifts. I’ve dreamed of having a line of DIY themed shirts and clothing that would allow those of us Handy Girls and Handy Guys to show off our DIY muscle. One of the main obstacles was my lack of desire to purchase shirts in bulk and hope that I wouldn’t be stuck with leftover inventory. Plus, I used to run a baby carrier business and knew how time consuming it was to ship out multiple packages every day. I vowed to never run a shipping type busines again.

A few months ago, Zazzle contacted me about working with them to launch my own product line. They were the answer to my hesitations! It was so easy to create my own designs and set up the shop in an afternoon. (Granted, I spent several more days enjoying the creative process of designing new graphics and products for the store.) Zazzle takes care of all the details. You can upload your own graphics, photos, and designs. Or you can create your own custom graphic text designs with their “customize it” tools. Then they print and ship the orders! You don’t have to lift a finger. Plus, you earn a commission on each item purchased from your shop! AND, to sweeten the deal, you can sign up to become an associate and earn more.

If you think you don’t have the time to figure out how to set up products, you are in luck. I took a bunch of screenshots to show you EXACTLY how to list your products step-by-step.

But before I get to the tutorial, I want to share some of my favorite products from my Zazzle store! I ordered two shirts and this one gets the most comments:

I Saw Enough funny DIY shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

“I Saw Enough” Shirt

I Saw Too Much funny DIY shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

“I Saw Too Much” You have to giggle at the double meanings. This shirt is the perfect shirt for any gal or guy who likes to build and use the power tools.

Power tools are for chicks shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

In my house my husband knows he’s not allowed to touch my power tools. This “Power Tools are for Chicks” is a funny reminder that power tools aren’t just for the boys!

Here’s the coolest part (in my opinion) about the Zazzle shop. If you see a design you like, but would prefer a different color or a completely different shirt style, you can customize it on your choice of clothing or products!

Pretty Handy Girl Shirt Options on Zazzle | Pretty Handy Girl

Zazzle has more products than I can name! But, to give you a little taste: pillows, phone cases, office products, art prints, cards, accessories, t-shirts and much much more! You’ll have to peek for yourself!

Zazzle Customized Products You Design!

The last item I purchased for myself was a custom coffee mug. I thought an empowering message was a great way to start each day. This famous quote is printed on a blackboard texture background and imprinted on a stylish mug that has a variety of interior colors you can choose from. [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…]

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 “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…]

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…]

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…]

How to Stain a Basket

stained thrifted basket

how to stain an old basket

I admit it, I’m a basket addict!

Baskets are one of the best ways to organize and accessorize your home but they can be very expensive when purchased new. Thrift stores are a great source of affordable baskets but they are often out-of-fashion colors and can have missing or broken pieces. Today I’m going to show you how to take those old, thrift store baskets and make them a beautiful accent piece for your home.

Materials:

  • super glue
  • hand broom
  • stain
  • paintbrush

Instructions:

The first step in fixing up an old basket is to clean out any dirt or debris using a hand broom. Be thorough on both the interior and exterior.

before old thrifted basket staining

Next inspect your basket for any broken pieces. Use super glue to repair any areas that may need it. [Read more…]

Our DIY Latex Mattress: the Savvy Rest Serenity {+ Giveaway}

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

Disclosure: Here’s the disclosure before you start reading. I was sent this mattress in exchange for a post. BUT, here’s the whole truth (and nothing but the truth.): I chose to approach Savvy Rest because I REALLY wanted to share their product with you. Once you learn a little more about latex mattresses, it is going to be a sleep changer for a lot of you! Savvy Rest was nice enough to consider my proposal and agreed to send me the mattress in exchange for the promotion on my blog. Just so you know, I choose the brands I want to work with because I love the products. If I don’t like a product, I don’t blog about it. This is one of those products that I have recommended to my friends, family and anyone who will listen to my ravings. I wasn’t told what to say or write. This is my opinion and my story: 

When I shared our master bedroom plans, I told you that it all started with getting a new mattress. And, I have been dying to share the information about that mattress with you! I literally have to control myself from stopping random strangers on the street to tell them about this amazing latex mattress that I discovered. In fact, as I sit here typing this post I’m worried that it’s going to sound too much like an infomercial because of how much I love our Savvy Rest Serenity latex mattress.  In a nutshell, here are the main reasons I have fallen head over heels in love with it:

  • It is amazingly comfortable and supportive. We’ve been sleeping on it for a month now and my back aches are GONE!
  • Organic! No chemicals, no off-gassing, no bleaching! The cover is made with natural cotton and wool. The interior layers are natural latex.
  • Eco-friendly because not only are the materials natural, but this mattress will last you at least 20 years (often times latex mattresses can last 30 – 40 years or more!) This means less waste going to the landfill! And you know how passionate I am about keeping things out of the landfill.
  • It is completely customizable to your comfort and support needs. (As well as separate customization for your partner.)

Sounds good right? But, this isn’t your average mattress. I like to call this a DIY mattress because you literally pick three distinct latex foam layers to customize to your comfort needs. First, you choose either talalay or dunlop latex or a combination. Then you can choose between soft, medium and firm. This offers you more options than you can count sheep!

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s not forget about your spouse who likely has completely different comfort needs. He or she can chose their own comfort layers when you select the Savvy Rest Serenity split queen or split king mattress. This is the key to a happy marriage, is it not?!

A DIY Mattress?! How I Chose a Savvy Rest Mattress | Pretty Handy Girl

But, I want to back up and discuss a little more about how I realized we needed a new mattress and how I decided on a Savvy Rest mattress.

Do you need a new mattress, too? [Read more…]

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

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

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

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

Let’s get this chair party started!

Materials:

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

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

Instructions:

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

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

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

Desk Makeover {Paint Stripping with Citristrip & Painting with Latex Enamel}

desk painted with Latex enamel

desk makeover sitristrip latex enamel

One of the unique features of our home’s floor plan is a “tech room” with built in desks just off of our mud room.  When we first built our house I thought they would make the perfect place for our older boys to do their homework.

PicMonkey Collage

The builders painted the desks with latex paint and unfortunately it showed evey little mark and scratch almost immediately after we moved in.  Within a few months I had already given the tops of the desks a coat of black chalk paint in the hopes of giving it a more durable surface.  I was again disappointed within a couple of weeks.

chalk paint on desk

In a last ditch effort to make the space look nice I did a total overhall last summer and redecorated the entire room.

TechRoom-Makeover2

It looked fantastic at first but again, it held up horribly.  I knew I needed to come up with a solution that would make the desks both functional and durable.

At this point the desks had multiple coats of paint and my husband and I decided to strip them bare and start over.  We opted to use Citristrip to strip the paint after much research.  We have three small children and the lack of toxicity was a big plus for us.

how to use citristripMaterials:

  • Citristrip Stripping Gel
  • Paint brushes
  • Scraper/Joint knife
  • Sanding block
  • Latex Enamel Paint
  • Safety Gloves
  • Protective Eyewear

Instructions:

Clean your surface of dust and debris. (You can see how horribly my latex painted desk held up to three little boys!)

painted desk stained

Apply a generous coat of Citristrip to the painted surface using a paint brush, you’ll notice the Citristrip has a thick, gel-like consistency and does not have the strong odor of other paint strippers.  It is important to use a thick coat (if your Citristrip begins to dry out, it was not thick enough.)

You should wear gloves and protective eyewear when working with Citristrip. (I didn’t realize until later that my husband didn’t have his gloves on in many of these pictures.  He has been sufficiently reprimanded!)

stripping paint citristrip

Allow the Citristrip to sit on the project for 30 minutes and test a small area with your scraper.  You can leave the Citristrip on the project for up to 24 hours before scraping.

Scrape the Citristrip and paint off the surface, scraping in the direction of the wood grain. The paint should be removed easily.

scraping paint citristrip

Remove paint debris and thoroughly clean the bare surface.  Sand surface lightly to remove any residual paint if necessary.

desk after stripping citristrip

When our desk was stripped we were left with a large piece of MDF.  We originally thought it would be regular wood so I attempted to see how stain would look on the MDF but the results were not good so that plan was quickly abandoned.

stain on mdf

After much research into durability we decided to use a latex enamel paint to finish the desks.  We chose latex enamel because it is a harder, more durable finish than traditional latex paint.

latex enamel

Apply one layer of latex enamel paint with a paintbrush and allow to dry fully.  Do not place anything heavy or damp on the painted surface for 7 days to allow the paint to totally harden.

desk painted with Latex enamel

I’m happy to say it has been three months so far and the latex enamel is holding up perfectly! It’s durable enough to scrub and I love the deep, velvety appearance of the paint!

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