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...]

3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Container gardening is easy and great for instant color gratification. But, it’s especially fun to find “unconventional” objects to use as a planter. You may have noticed my little red wagon planter in the Landscaping 101 post. My 3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter is sure to bring color to your landscaping while also providing some fun and whimsy. Plus, it’s easily rolled to a new spot if you want to change your view. But, the best part is, you can make this planter in 3 steps!

Materials:

  • Drill
  • Large drill bit
  • Little wagon or other container
  • Rocks
  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Hand trowel

Instructions: [Read more...]

How to Install Shelves (using Corbels) on a Tile Wall

How to Install Shelves on a Tile Wall (using Corbels) | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Install Shelves on a Tile Wall (using Corbels) | Pretty Handy Girl

After painstakingly tiling my backsplash, I was more than a bit hesitant to drill holes into the tiles to hang the corbels and open shelving. But, I convinced myself to stop being a wussy procrastinating and just do it.

I’m so pleased with how they turned out and I didn’t chip or crack a single tile. In hindsight I really didn’t need to stress this project. It was less nerve-wracking than I had anticipated.

Here’s the full tutorial so you can install your own open shelving on a tile wall!

Materials:

  • Diamond drill bit (the same diameter as the screws you are using)
  • Wood screws to attach anchor board (must be long enough to go through board, tile, drywall and at least an inch into a stud)
  • Drill
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Level (long and a small one if you have one)
  • Pencil
  • 2 regular drill bits (1 the same diameter as the screw + 1 large enough to create a countersink for the screw head)
  • Shelf brackets (I used corbels and a 1″x6″ pine board as an anchor)
  • Kreg jig
  • Pocket hole screws (long enough to attach corbel to anchor board without going through the board)
  • Joint compound or wood putty

Instructions:

Start by determining the height you want your shelves to hang. [Read more...]

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench with Furry Upholstered Lid {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Every month Lowe’s challenges me to create another unique project to share with you. This month’s challenge was creative storage ideas. Have kids? This is a unique storage solution using a galvanized tub and a furry upholstered lid. It’s the perfect place to store and corral all that kid clutter in your child’s bedroom. The storage tub doubles as a bench and a step stool. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have children, the storage bench could be used for magazine storage and much more!

Grab these materials and tools and follow along with me (and my 13 year old assistant.)

Creating the Galvanized Storage Bench and Lid

Materials for the Galvanized Storage Tub and Lid:

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Instructions:

Turn the galvanized tub upside down on the plywood. Use the sharpie to mark approximately 1/2 – 1″ out from the edge of the tub. [Read more...]

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign {Countdown to Christmas Idea}

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you keep scraps of wood and say to yourself, “I might need that for something someday.” Well, today is your someday! Grab a scrap (or ask Lowe’s for their scraps) and create this super easy wooden chalkboard sign.

When you’re done, you can turn it into a sign that displays your favorite quote; a plaque welcoming friends; or you could create a fun Christmas Countdown sign!

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Scrap wood (3/4″ thickness works the best)
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Red paint (I used Miss Mustard Seed Tricycle Milk Paint)
  • White paint pen
  • Chalk
  • Pencil
  • Eye hooks
  • Drill
  • Drill bit slightly smaller than the eye bolts
  • Ribbon
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses

 

Instructions: [Read more...]

DIY Stamped Spoon Necklace from Thistlewood Farms

Silver-stamping-block

Stamped Spoon Necklace

Today I have the honor of introducing the extremely creative KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms. She’s showing us one of my favorite gift ideas from her idea farm ;-). DIY Stamped Spoon Necklaces!

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Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers! My name is KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms and I am so excited to be here today! In our family….every year is a handmade Christmas and I just love getting handmade gifts from family and friends.

Today, I want to show you how to make a simple gift for someone special this Christmas by transforming a vintage silverplate spoon into a necklace. You can personalize it with a date or names or a quote or an anniversary. Just be sure and stamp it from the heart.

How to Make a Spoon Necklace

Spoon-Necklace

Supplies:

Silver-stamps

  • spoon (at the risk of stating the obvious)
  • steel stamping block
  • hammer
  • silver stamps
  • jump ring
  • chain

Instructions: [Read more...]

How to Make a Mason Jar Foaming Soap Dispenser

materials_for_diy_soap_pump

diy_mason_jar_foaming_soap_dispenser

My sweet little sister, Caitlin, sent me vintage blue Ball Mason jars for my birthday. I had resisted buying them because I might have a bit of a jar hoarding problem. (If you’re in my home, don’t open the cabinet in the laundry room. You might be horrified or shocked by all the jars I’ve rescued from the recycling.)

When I opened the package of six brand new blue jars, I knew I had to keep them and find some ways to display these beauties. Caitlin suggested I should turn one into a soap pump. I agreed, but decided to make it a foaming soap dispenser. Any one else addicted to bubbly foamy soap like I am? Raise your hand and be proud. We can start a foaming soap addicts group (right after the recycled jar addicts group meeting.)

Here’s my tutorial for turning a blue mason jar into a foaming soap dispenser.

materials_for_diy_soap_pump [Read more...]

Creating Open Frame Radiator Screen Cabinet Doors

Doors_closing_animation


A few months ago when I got the call that Woman’s Day wanted to send a photographer to photograph me and my garage, I kind of freaked a little. I mean, it was my garage, the least attractive room in our house! Part of the unattractiveness stemmed from my workbench with a huge gaping hole in it.

It was suggested that I could just cover the hole with some fabric (which, yes, I could have done.) But, being that it is my workshop and a sawdust producing place, I felt I could do a little a little better than just some fabric. I decided to build custom doors for the opening. Luckily they turned out to be less of an involved project than I originally anticipated. (I love when that happens.)

Come on in the workshop and I’ll show you how I built these open frame cabinet doors. [Read more...]

Rustic Wooden Caddy with a Branch Handle

insert_branch_into_caddy

You know when you are browsing through a yard sale and you spot a sad little box that is just begging for you to buy it and give it a new life?

No, okay I might be alone on this, but it happens to me all the time!

A while ago I spotted this little box for $3 at a yard sale. I couldn’t just leave it there in it’s sad burgundy dust-covered state. So, I brought it home and it sat in my garage collecting more dust. (This happens more often than I’d like to admit. It’s a sickness I have.) [Read more...]

Mailbox Post Requirements and Mounting Your Mailbox

mailbox_post_height_depth_regulations

When I took my custom mailbox to the postal service for approval, the postmaster handed me a form that details how a mailbox should be installed. Believe it or not, there are more requirements for the placement of the mailbox than the mailbox itself. [Read more...]

How to Remove a Stuck, Stripped or Painted Screw

unscrewing_screw

Isn’t it frustrating when you are trying to unscrew a screw and the head is stripped? Or some moron painted the screw and now you can’t get your screwdriver into the slots. (I might have been the painting fool mentioned.) Luckily there are two ways to solve this problem. [Read more...]

Demolition Day

going_gray_hair


This past weekend I was able to make some serious progress on our laundry room. Yeehaw! Sometimes in order to make a room pretty, you have to make it uglier first. That was certainly the case with this project. If  you are just joining me, a few weeks ago the nice folks at Flow Wall sent me a custom wall system to install in the laundry room. The FlowWall system of storage will look something like this: [Read more...]

Industrial Work Table with Vintage Dictionary Top – Guest Post by Hammer Like a Girl

Hammer_like_a_girl_3_ladies

Y’all are gonna love today’s guest post! Hammer Like a Girl is in the HOWZZ! Check out that industrial book page topped table that they created.

Today’s guest post is brought to you by THREE handy gals! I’m seriously thinking about moving to Seattle just so I can be one of their friends and share in the DIY project co-ops. Heidi, Monica and Mary Jean make up the power trio at Hammer Like a Girl.

These ladies get together once a week to tackle a DIY project together. They rotate which house they will work in next. Check out some of their transformations like this oval to rectangle table transformation, rustic wood bathtub surround, or tile backsplash.

[Read more...]

White-washed Window Box from a Wine Crate

corner_view_after_window_box

The other day I was wandering aimlessly shopping at Costco and spied an empty wooden wine crate. The angel stamped on the side was beaconing me to take her home. Actually, I read Funky Junk Interiors’s post about making tool boxes last year and have been looking for just the right wood to make one. The angel may not have beaconed me, but I wasn’t about to leave the store without her.

I thought about tucking it under my coat and making a break for the front door, as I was sure there were other crafty ladies eyeing up the lonely wine crate. But, I resisted the urge and asked the manager if I could have it, and he graciously let me take it home. I was exuberant because I’ve been missing my rustic wine crate that Cherie won. [Read more...]

Sculptural Branch Jewelry Display Holder

dressing_table_2

Okay, I admit it. I’m a little infatuated with branches lately. Maybe it is because winter is here and all those bare skeletons of trees have me fascinated. Or maybe it is because my neighbor has been taking down a lot of trees — which really baffles me, but I digress — and the perfect branch was beaconing me from the curb.

As I walked home with the branch held high like a trophy, my neighbors surely figured out what I would make! A branch jewelry holder to hold ALL my jewelry.

Sure I had a jewelry holder already, but it was sagging under the weight and was begging for some relief. One of the fish line strings snapped a few months ago and I started hanging necklaces on the back of the door hook. This makes for some eye opening sounds when the dog pushes his way into the room at 3am. Not good. It was high time I found a solution!

That is when I saw, Shannon Eileen has a really great tutorial for building a wall mounted branch jewelry holder. Isn’t it beautiful in its simplicity?! I love the look.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I have a lot more jewelry and didn’t want to mount mine to the wall. So, I thought a sculptural twig jewelry holder that sits on my dressing table would be more fitting for my needs.

Finding the perfect branch turned out to be easier than finding the perfect base. I thought about making a cross to support the bottom. Then, I thought about drilling a hole into a plate. But, the solution was cemented once I saw this bamboo bowl at Target on clearance.

And that is the end of the story. My jewelry lived happily ever after on my dressing table. The End!

What?! You want the tutorial? Oh right, I forgot for a minute this was a tutorial blog. I started daydreaming while looking at all that shiny jewelry.

Materials:

  • Freshly cut hardwood branch
  • Freshly cut log (preferably hard wood tree)
  • Gorilla glue
  • Saw
  • Plyers or pruners
  • Drill with several sized bits
  • 2″ wood screw
  • Clothes pin
  • Baby wipes
  • Bowl for base
  • Screw
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Clamp

Instructions:

Cut, a 1.5″ disk from a newly cut log. (I used a miter saw, but you could use a handsaw just as easily.)

The disk will become a support for the branch to give it more stability when it is loaded with jewelry.

Cut the large branch down with a handsaw or limb pruner. (I chose a 22″ tall section with a thick base.)

Select a drill bit that is the same diameter as the base of the branch.

Clamp the log disk onto a scrap piece of wood and drill a hole the width of the branch about 2/3 of the way through the disk. The point of the spade bit will hopefully poke through the bottom, but not the rest of the bit.

Test fit the branch. Make sure it can be seated far enough into the wood disk for stability.

Turn the branch and disk over to view the bottom of the disk. If you used a spade drill bit, hopefully that point came through slightly so you can find the center of your disk. Insert a small drill bit (slightly smaller than the width of the 2″ screw) into the hole. Drill a small hole through the bottom of the log disk and into the branch about 1/2 – 3/4″ (keep the branch inserted into the disk until you finish drilling.)

Use the same small drill bit to drill through the center of the base of the bamboo bowl (turn it upside down on your work surface.) Next choose a drill bit large enough to create a countersink hole for your screw head. I put a piece of tape to mark how deep I needed the countersink hole to go. Not too deep, you don’t want to go through the bowl, just deep enough for the head of the screw to sit inside.

Squeeze a small dollop of Gorilla Glue into the large hole in the disk and then insert the base of the branch. Let the glue harden for an hour.

Once the branch is firmly glued into the disk, turn it over and put some Gorilla Glue around the base of the disk and the center.

Set the disk and the branch into the bottom of the bowl.

Thread the 2 inch wood screw through the bottom of the bowl, through the disk and into the branch via the predrilled hole you made earlier. Gently tighten the screw until it fits snugly inside the countersink hole and the branch is secure.


If Mother Nature has not provided enough smaller branches on your holder (or you have way too much jewelry I do), you’ll want to add more branches to the holder. Cut some small branches off the unused tree limbs. Use a saw, pruners, or wire pliers (use whatcha got!)

Then match up a drill bit with the width of the littler branch. Drill a hole into a sturdy section of your branch. Add a small amount of Gorilla Glue and then press the small branch into the hole. Instant graft! (I have to admit, I felt like I was tampering with God’s creations here. Forgive me if I’ve committed a sin.)

Continue to check on your grafted branch to make sure it stays seated into the hole until the glue hardens.

Support your grafted branch onto other branches or prop it up to help keep it in position as it dries.

Continue to graft branches on as needed. I added about four new branches to mine. Can you see the fake ones?

Once the glue has dried, clean off any wood shavings and dirt.

Store your bangles and bracelets in the bowl.

Earrings hang nicely on the small branches like little ornaments.

Then hang your necklaces on display! I’m really enjoying seeing these beauties in the morning.

Much better than the cramped and sagging heating grate:

One more after shot. A beautiful branch jewelry tree. Are your eyes starting to get dreamy too?

Best of Pretty Handy Girl 2011

It’s the end of the year and I know y’all have been busy. So, I thought I’d give you the cliff notes version of Pretty Handy Girl in 2011.

Gift Bucket Liner from Goodwill Pants

How to Paint a Dandelion Wall Mural

Fork Photo and Note Holder

Spring Paper and Button Flowers

How to Paint Doors the Professional Way

 

How to Paint Like a Pro Series:

 

Build Your Own Ladder Display Shelves

Photography Secrets for Shooting Indoors

 

Toilet Repairs Series:

 

Dream Big Butterfly Window

Backlit Cut Out Bookcase

Rustic Wine Crate

How to Replace an Ugly Hollywood Strip Light

Board and Batter Tutorial

How to Make a Branch Towel Bar

Light Bulb Comparison

How to Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Ombré Paint Chip Lampshade

 

Cabinet Door Revamped to Chalkboard Message Board

Kitchen Cabinet Turned into Shoe Storage Bench

 

Dollar Tree Placemat Garden Flag

 

Beveled Glass Light Fixture Ornaments

DIY Matchbox Car Race Track

 

And Finally, A Whole Slew of Power Tool Tutorials:

Compound Miter Saw

Jig Saw

Finish Nailer and Compressor

Cordless Drill

Circular Saw

Table Saw

Band Saw

I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited for 2012! I hope you’ll stick around for some more DIY tutorials and empowerment!

Did you have a favorite post of mine this year that I forgot to mention? Do tell! Chosing from almost 200 posts makes for some tough decisions.

Elmer’s #Look4Less Challenge – PB Rustic Chalkboard Wall Organizer Copy Cat

Animated_chalkboard_box

I love a challenge. If you hold an object up to me and ask me how it can be transformed, I can usually name a few different things. So, when the Elmer’s #Look4Less Challenge was introduced, I jumped at the opportunity!

For this challenge I chose to recreate Pottery Barn’s Sliding Chalkboard Wall Organizer. I loved the idea of a sliding board and a bulletin board in the back. But, I especially loved the rustic wood look.

However, I wasn’t crazy about the price. (Obviously that didn’t stop the item from selling out!) So, if you want one for yourself, I’ll save you $100 and show you how to make your own!

My version cost approximately $30 (cost estimate based on materials used. If I used a 1/2 can of spray paint I calculated half the cost.) Personally, I spent about $10 out of pocket on this project because I had a lot of the supplies already. Plus, Elmer’s was kind enough to sent me some of the materials to make the project (shown as links below.)

Be sure to read the end of this post to learn how you can win your own Elmer’s materials!

In addition to the new art supplies, I bought an old drawer to use for the structure of my organization unit. I paid — are you ready for this — two dollars at our local Habitat ReStore! Seriously, only $2 for the main component of my wall organizer unit.

Here is a list of the rest of the supplies I used:


  • Krylon chalkboard spray paint
  • Drawer
  • Damp rag
  • Painter’s drop cloth
  • Batting
  • Wooden ruler
  • 1 Knob
  • Washers
  • Rustoleum brown spray primer
  • Behr glazing liquid
  • Valspar mocha glaze
  • Acrylic or latex paint (dark brown tester sample)
  • Acrylic or latex paint (light tan tester sample)
  • Wood putty
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Handsaw
  • Brad nails
  • Finish Nail
  • Construction glue
  • Clamps
  • Pencil
  • Trim molding
  • 1″ x 1″ wood strips (or square dowels)
  • Duct tape

Prepping the drawer:

Remove any hardware from the drawer. Use a handsaw to trim off the sides of the face of the drawer. You want the sides to be flush with the sides of the drawer. The top and bottom of the face can extend beyond the drawer.

Orient the drawer so the face is now the bottom of the wall organizational unit. The rear panel of the drawer is now the top of the unit.

Add decorative trim molding to the top as shown:

  1. Cut decorative trim molding to the width of the top of the unit/drawer. (Check with your local Habitat Restore for inexpensive trim.)
  2. Choose a finish nail that is long enough to go through the molding and into the drawer. Drill a few pilot holes into the molding (to avoid splitting the wood when you hammer a nail into it.)
  3. Run a bead of construction glue on the top of the drawer. Lay the molding on top of the glue.
  4. Use finish nails to hammer through the pilot holes and attach the molding to the drawer.

Wipe off the drawer/unit with a wet rag.

 

Faux painting the unit:

If you are dealing with a mixture of wood finishes (some paint, some stain), you will want to prime and paint your unit. I decided to give mine a faux rustic wood treatment (because I love that rustic wood look!) Here are the basic steps:

  1. Use wood putty to fill any holes or cracks. After the putty has dried, sand it smooth. Wipe off any dust from the wood using a damp rag.
  2. Prime the entire box (minus the back) with Rustoleum brown primer.
  3. Mix 1 part glaze to 2 parts light tan paint.
  4. Brush the mixture onto the unit using a tattered paint brush. Keep the strokes in long lines to mimic wood grain.
  5. Let that layer dry. Mix 1 part glaze to 2 parts dark brown paint.
  6. Brush it on the unit using the same technique as step 4.
  7. Finish up by brushing a coat of Vaspar Mocha glaze over the entire unit.

 

Creating the bulletin board:

After the glaze has dried, cut a piece of Elmer’s White Foam Board the dimensions of the inside of the drawer/unit.

Cut a piece of batting the same size as the foam board.

Cut a piece of painters’ drop cloth 2-3″ wider (on all sides) than the foam board.

Layer the drop cloth, then the batting and top it with the foam board.

Wrap the edges of the drop cloth around the foam board and secure it with duct tape.

Add a few Elmer’s CraftBond Glue Spots Pop-up Medium to the back side of the foam board and press the board into the back of the unit. Instant bulletin board!

 

Adding a graphic letter to the bulletin board:

Print out a large letter, number or symbol. Cut out around the shape using an x-acto knife.

Position the cut out onto the bulletin board and trace around the edges lightly with pencil.Use an Elmer’s Painters gold paint marker to color inside the pencil tracing.

 

Creating the sliding chalkboard:

Cut the Elmer’s Black Foam Board the height of the interior of the drawer/unit and about 1/3 the width.

Spray the black foam board with the chalk paint. Add 1-2 more light coats per the directions on the can.

Measure the interior width at the top and bottom of the organizational unit. Cut two 1″ x 1″ strips of wood (or square dowels) for the top and 2 strips for the bottom. Drill a hole in each end of the strips.

Measure out 1″ from the bulletin board, on the bottom of the unit. Mark this location. Repeat for the top . Run a bead of construction glue onto the bottom of the wood strip and then adhere it to the bottom of the unit at the 1″ measurement mark.

Hammer brad nails into the predrilled holes. Repeat for the top of the cubby. (Two 1″ square strips are shown, but only install the back ones at this time.)

If the chalkboard paint has dried, rub a piece of chalk all over the board to season it. Wipe it clean with a dry cloth.

Drill a hole into the chalkboard where you want the handle. Feed the handle through. Add washers to the backside of the chalkboard if you need to take up some of the slack on the screw.

Insert the chalkboard into the wall unit and rest it against the first strip. Add the second strip in front of the chalkboard and attach it the same way you did above.

Be sure that the wood strips are not too snug against the chalkboard. The board should have enough freedom to slide back and forth freely.

 

Finishing touches:

If you want to give your ruler some age, rub a walnut stain onto the wood. Let it dry. Glue the wooden ruler to the front of the wood strip on the bottom using construction glue.

Clamp the ruler in place and let it dry overnight.

Add your pushpins and a message to the chalkboard and enjoy your efforts! You just saved yourself $100!!! Woot!

If you want instructions for hanging the unit, check out this post on hanging objects on the wall (the right way) the first time.

I’m pretty pleased with my Pottery Barn copy cat. Not to be mean or anything, but I like mine better because of the ruler,

the decorative crown molding,

and most of all for the price!!!


Do you like my Pottery Barn knock off? Or does it still look like an old discarded drawer to you? Want to create your own #Look4Less rustic chalkboard wall organizer knock off? Elmers.com is giving away a prize pack to two of my readers!

The prize packs include:
• Black 20×30 Foam Board
• White 20×30 Foam Board
• CraftBond All-Purpose Glue Stick
• CraftBond Repositionable Glue Stick
• CraftBond Extra-Strength Glue Stick
• X-ACTO Designer Series Gripster Knife
• Painters Assorted Colors Set

The x-acto knife has to be my favorite item in this giveaway! It is a soft handle and easy to grip. And if you already have an x-acto knife, it is like shoes, you can never have enough!

Please do any or all of the following to be entered to win (one comment per entry. Three total chances to win.)

  • Leave me a comment letting me know what you think about this project, or if you have any questions.
  • Sign up to receive my posts via Google Friend or Feedburner. Both widgets can be found on my sidebar over there –>
  • Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway: Look what @PrettyHandyGirl made out of an old drawer! Win @Elmers products to make  http://ow.ly/7L0m4 #Looks4Less #Cbias

A winner will be chosen at Random Wednesday, December 7th! Good luck.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer’s #gluenglitter #collectivebias #CBias. I was paid a small fee and sent some Elmer’s products. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in this post are solely mine.

 

Sharing with Sawdust and Paper Scraps – Build{hers} Link Party

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Tool Tutorial Friday – How to Use a Cordless Drill

battery_bit

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know how I feel about my cordless drill. Yes, I really do love it.

He’s my right hand man. I can’t think of a project that I have completed that I haven’t used my drill.

A cordless drill is an essential tool for any homeowner. If you don’t have one, stop reading this and go buy one! Seriously, they are that important to the DIYer!

Cordless drills can range in price from $30 – $200. The Ryobi 12 volt Lithium Ion cordless drill I use costs $79. The drill came with two batteries, a charger, a fabric case, the drill and a screwdriver bit. That should be the bare minimum that any cordless drill kit includes.

You may be curious what the volts mean. In short, the volts equals the power of the drill. The higher the voltage the stronger the drill. In all honesty, I think I need to upgrade to an 18 volt drill this year. The 12 volt has been good for 90% of the projects I complete. But, I want the 18 volt to help me drill and drive screws through harder wood.

If you are in the market for a new drill, I highly recommend a lithium-ion drill. Lithium-ion is the newest in battery technology. It lasts much longer than a traditional battery.  And, they don’t lose power as the battery runs low. It will just stop when the battery runs out.

Most drills have a torque adjustment. I rarely take mine off the high setting (because my drill isn’t super strong to begin with.) But, basically the torque is the setting where the drill disengages so that it won’t burn out the motor. If you need more torque, use a higher number. But, if you are just starting out, try it on a lower setting. Some drills have an adjustable speed setting. This is a nice feature and really helps when you need to switch from drilling through soft wood to a harder surface.

 

There is a button on each side that is used to change the drill rotation direction. Clockwise to drill and drive screws. Counter-clockwise to remove screws and bolts.

The chuck is the part of the drill that accepts your bits. Keyless chucks are pretty much the norm right now unless you have an older drill. Back in the day, drills came with a key to loosen the chuck. If you lost the key you were out of luck. Thank goodness for innovation!

Besides the obvious uses for a cordless drill (hole drilling, driving screws and bolts), I also use my drill to mix paint!

I bought this paint mixer attachment and use it all the time to mix new colors or just to mix paint that has separated. There is also an attachment for your drill that will dig holes in the ground when planting bulbs. I tried this attachment, but I couldn’t keep the chuck tight enough on the attachment to bore through our southern red clay ;-(.

Okay, let’s get this video started!

DISCLAIMER

The viewer assumes all responsibility and liability associated with the hazards of woodworking. Pretty Handy Girl is not responsible for any errors or omissions that may be present in this tutorial. She also assumes no liability for any action or inaction of a viewer.

Please use extreme caution when using power tools. Read your tool manual thoroughly and wear protective safety gear. Take your time familiarizing yourself with a tool before using it. (If you are missing the manual, you can easily find it online by going to the manufacturer’s website or google your saw’s make and model + manual.)

Please recognize that I have tried to put together a basic cordless drill tutorial to get you started. I have tried my best to show the safest way to use them. That being said, I am not a professional (I only play one on this blog ;-) .)

If you don’t own a cordless drill, I implore you to add this DIY essential to your holiday wishlist!

(I was not paid or compensated to write this post. This is my honest opinion and true feelings about my cordless drill!)

Winner announcements…

First, let me say, WOW! We had some interest in the Bogs Footwear giveaway. Rightfully so — those boots are super comfortable. I have to add a pair of McKenna’s to my Christmas wishlist this year ;-). If you didn’t win, you really need to add them to your list as well!

The winner of the Bogs Footwear gift certificate was: Jacque K. She said, “Oh wow these are GREAT! I love the McKenna and the Classic High Tuscany!”

AND, the winner of last week’s magnetic hammer was : Carla. She said, “Thank you so much!! I recently bought a compressor/finish nailer combo (awesome deal @ Home Depot!) and I hate to admit that it still scares the crap out of me. I have so many plans for it and now, thanks to your video, I’ll be much more confident about using it. Your video was my prize for the day, but if I should happen to get luckier, I’ve been wanting a smaller hammer for some of the projects I do (& I could use it for some of my sewing projects) – the 8 oz. pink magnetic hammer would be great!”

To be entered to win your own hammer from my sponsor, Tomboy Tools:

  1. Leave me a comment letting me know if you have any questions or comments on the Tool Tutorial Friday series.
  2. For a second chance to win, head over to Tomboy Tools and name one of the Tomboy tools that is available in blue (not pink!)

You really want to win one of these hammers. It is just as tough as any hammer I’ve owned. And the pink hammer insures that it will remain in YOUR toolbox, not your man’s ;-).

Have a great weekend y’all. I’ll be at the Raleigh Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Saturday for a demonstration. Hope to see some of you there!

 

 

Matchbox Cars Track — Guest Posting at Infarrantly Creative

Animated matchbox ramp

Matchbox racing ramp with flames

Hey y’all! I’ve been hopping all over town lately. Home Depot and Lowe’s have become my second home. So, if you see me in one of those stores will you send me home? I HAVE to finish my garage renovation sooner rather than later!

Today I have a tutorial for making a matchbox race track for those little car enthusiasts in your family! Now, don’t close this window because you think you couldn’t make it. I bet you can. There really aren’t any super complicated wood-working skills involved in this build. In fact, my 7 year old was responsible for the majority of the design.

I created this project and tutorial for my friend, Beckie at Infarrantly Creative. She is hosting a Pennywise Presents series full of inexpensive gifts you can make. Some fabulous bloggers have shared their amazing gift ideas!

So head over to Infarrantly Creative to learn how to make a Matchbox Cars Track.

See you tomorrow for another Tool Tutorial Friday!

Tool Tutorial Friday

Wheeee!

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Rustic Wine Crate with Rope Handles

mark_location_of_holes

A friend gave me some magazines the other day and she put them all in a new yellow pine wine crate. I was overjoyed when she said I could keep the crate. I immediately had visions of staining it to create a rustic display box for magazines or other décor items.

Materials:

  • Wine crate or wooden box
  • Dark brown stain
  • Paint Brush
  • Paper towels
  • Damp rag
  • Rubber gloves
  • Medium Grit (100 grit) sandpaper
  • Sisal Rope
  • Scissors
  • Drill w/ bits

Instructions:

1. Start by cleaning off your crate with a damp rag. Then brush the stain on and let it sit for a minute.

2. Wipe the stain off with paper towels.

Add a second coat if you want your crate darker. Allow it to dry thoroughly. It might take several hours or overnight.

3. Sand any words and printing on your crate until you start to see some of the wood coming through. Be careful not to sand too deep and expose the bare wood.

4. Wipe off the crate. Mark the location you want your handle to be on the sides of the crate. Be sure to measure the same distances from the top and edges on both sides.

5. Choose a drill bit slightly larger than your rope. Drill holes at your marks.

6. Insert one side of the rope through the hole.

7. Tie a double knot inside the crate to keep the rope from slipping back through.

8. Determine how long a rope handle you want and tie a single knot in the middle of the handle.

9. Feed the other end of your rope through the other hole and tie another double knot on the inside of the crate.

10. Fray the edges of your rope by untwisting them.

11. Fill your crate with magazines, blankets, or décor goodies and display it!

Easy tutorial right? How many of you are running to your local wine shop and begging for wine crates now?