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...]

The Kitchen Renovation of 2013 – 1 Leak. 1 Year. 1 Woman.

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How I Re-Built My Own Kitchen (after a leak) | Pretty Handy Girl

2013 Could be called the year of the kitchen renovation in our house. Or the year that nearly killed me. Or the luckiest year of our lives. I’m still debating the title. What I do know is that, I decided to take on my biggest DIY project to date. I re-built my own kitchen from bare studs and subfloor.

It started one morning as I was confronted with a foul odor. It’s only describable as that odor that usually lives in the high school gym locker room. I thought my 9 year old son’s feet were starting to stink. Unfortunately a stinky pair of shoes wasn’t the culprit, it turned out to be a very minor leak that turned into a very big kitchen renovation. We persevered through 45 days without a washer and dryer and many months without a kitchen. But, it was like being a contestant in Survivor. I lasted the year of construction; the set backs and sore muscles; and in the end I was rewarded with a brand new kitchen!

Today, I walk into our beautiful kitchen and I know it was all worth it! It was worth all the sweat equity, the daily Advil doses, and the tree falling on the house. If you want to reminisce with me as I recap my kitchen renovation of 2013, here’s your ticket to all the tutorials and posts: [Read more...]

DIY Cable Installation

Cutting Drywall With a Keyhole Saw

It would seem that every time I’ve considered moving my TV to a new spot in the house, that there’s never a cable outlet where I need one. I recently remedied this issue and wanted to share with  you how to tackle your own DIY Cable Installation!

DIY Cable Outlet Installation

This tutorial is specific to installing “through the wall” cable lines in houses with a crawl space.  Since many cable customers have HD receivers, I think it’s important to install a home run aka an uninterrupted run of cable.  Doing so will result in a higher signal and better quality picture.  With that being said, let’s take a look at what you’ll need.

Materials List

  • Low Voltage Electrical Box
  • Keyhole Saw
  • RG6 Cable
  • 3/8″ x 54″ Auger Drill Bit
  • 3/8″ x 12″ Drill Bit
  • Drill
  • Cable Clips
  • Hammer
  • Coax Cable Receptacle Wall Plate
  • Coax Cable Stripper
  • Compression Tool w/ F-Connectors
  • Pencil
  • String
  • Fish Pole or Straightened Coat Hanger

Instructions for Installing Your Own Cable Outlet:

When you’ve decided where to install the new cable outlet, measure up 15″ and mark an area 1-1/2″ x 3-3/4″ .

Marking for Cable Installation

Using a keyhole saw, cut through the drywall to create the opening for the installation of a low voltage electrical box.

Cutting Drywall With a Keyhole Saw

Before you complete the next step, make sure that the area you plan on drilling into, doesn’t contain any hazards (i.e. electrical cable, duct work, gas lines, etc.) With open access into the wall, place the tip of the auger bit into the cutout and drill into the bottom of the stud wall to gain access into the crawlspace below. [Read more...]

How to Install a Lutron Maestro Occupancy Sensor on a 3-way Switch

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Teaching kids to turn off the lights in a room they are no longer in is a tough job. No matter how many times I try to explain that leaving the lights on wastes electricity, it just doesn’t seem to sink in. In their defense, they are like little wind up tops flitting from room to room playing with trains in one; reading in another and barely stopping to use the toilet in the bathroom (putting the lid down is a whole other issue! Ugh.)

When Lutron approached me about giving my kids a helping hand with the lights, I was immediately intrigued. It turns out that Lutron has just introduced the Maestro occupancy sensor dimmer that can be easily installed in place of an existing light switch. (Single pole switches are easiest. Dual or Multi-location switches may require a little more wiring and programming to work properly.) After some thought, I decided to try the Maestro in our art & craft studio. This is the room that we least notice when the bulbs are burning (it is over the garage and is separated by our guest room from the rest of the house.)

Follow along to see how to install your own. Your attentive nature may be rewarded at the end. ;-) [Read more...]

How to Install a Hard-Wired Pendant Light {and $200 Giveaway}

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You may have noticed that pretty little seedy glass pendant light over our sink from my video the other day. It was a breeze to install, so I want to share with you the tutorial. BUT…before we get down to the step-by-step, I have some awesome news for you. GoldenageUSA.com has offered to give one of you lucky ducks a $200 Shopping Spree on their website! GoldenageUSA gave me the seedy glass pendant light in exchange for mentioning them on the blog. If you haven’t heard of them, they have an online store FULL of the most amazing light fixtures. They work with a lot of high end stores and even custom design light fixtures for clients upon request.

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I put together the graphic above with just a small sampling of some of their products. They sell every type of light imaginable. Plus, they have ceiling fans, rugs, mirrors and much more. If I won the $200 I’d have a very hard time deciding what I’d like to buy with the winnings. If you think you can chose, be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post. [Read more...]

Drywall Installation Tips and Kitchen Progress Update

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I’d rather not say that I’m seeing the light at the end of this long renovation tunnel (for fear of jinxing myself.) But, I definitely have caught a glimpse of the finish line. Last week my kitchen designer emailed me to let me know that my cabinets will be arriving soon and could she schedule us for installation on March 25th? I seriously might have let a four letter word escape my lips as I read her email. I mean, yes I’m happy, but there is no way I feel ready! There’s still so much to get done before the cabinet installation.

[Read more...]

How to Install Recessed Lights

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Kitchen progress is definitely moving along (hooray!!!) We now have recessed lighting in our ceiling and it really helps even out the lighting in the kitchen. Plus getting rid of the semi-flush light fixtures makes the ceiling feel taller.

We debated about installing new construction recessed lighting:

or remodel type recessed lights:

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We could have installed either because our ceiling was already full of holes. Ultimately, we decided to install the old work (or remodeling type) lights because they clamp tightly to the sheet rock for less vibration. They also have a built in junction box with easy to wire connectors. (Did I mention that my son’s bedroom is right over the kitchen and there is a lot of jumping and bouncing that goes on up there!)

 

My electrician let me pal around and help him install the recessed cans after he ran the wiring. You know I took careful notes so I could share with you how to install your own recessed lighting fixtures. [Read more...]

When and Why You Should Get a Permit – Interview with a Chief Code Official for Wake County

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Have you heard the horror stories about filing for a permit and the subsequent inspections? Did you hear the tale about the inspector that made the electrician pull everything out and start over? Have you been warned not to file a permit because you might “open a can of worms”? What exactly is a rough-in? And why do people say “pull a permit” instead of file for a permit? Don’t let misinformation put you and your family at risk. I have the answers to these questions and why you would want to file for a permit before starting your next home improvement project.

Last week I drove downtown to file for a building and electrical permit with Wake County, NC, but found out we are in the Raleigh City Jurisdiction for building permits (but that’s another story for another day.) Before I went to the permit office, I asked Barry Mooneyham, Chief Code Official of Wake County if I could have a little of his time to ask him some questions. It was a very informative 3o minutes, which completely changed my perspective on permits. I left his office with a new found appreciation and understanding of permits and inspectors.

Before I get to Mr. Mooneyham’s answers, I want to answer a recent question that some of my readers posted on Facebook:

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Laura, Alyssa & Holly, thanks for asking. I was unsure of the origin on the term “pulling a permit” myself, so I did a little research.

Why do people call it “pulling a permit” instead of filing for a permit?

  • The joke answer: Ever try getting a building permit? It is like trying to pull a tooth!
  • The possible real answer:  It’s called “pulling” a permit because the people in the office have to “pull” the paper work out of a filing cabinet.

Having “pulled a permit” last week I can tell you that it really wasn’t hard. I did print out the paperwork online before heading downtown. This was invaluable because I was able to answer all the questions ahead of time. Some of the information that was required for the permit is: [Read more...]

How to Install Radiant Floor Heat using WarmlyYours

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Are you ready to get toasty today? Today is the day that I’ll be showing you how to install the WarmlyYours TempZone radiant floor heat. Can I tell you a little secret? I was terrified! I was so fearful of breaking the heating wire, that I handled this roll with kid gloves. And I yelled at ANYONE who dared step on the mats in shoes. I realize now that I may have been paranoid and overreacted a little. I was just so anxious to have warm floors that I protected our radiant floor elements like a Mama bear of her cubs.

Remember on Wednesday how I told you how I had chosen WarmlyYours radiant heating systems because of their awesome warranty? Well, I also read feedback about their customer service and it ROCKS as well! That service starts with the ordering process.  I was in contact with a representative from WarmlyYours who helped answer ALL of my questions (of which I had many.) She reviewed my room layout and suggested the TempZone Cut & Turn Rolls which is one long mesh roll with the heating element woven and evenly spaced throughout the roll. I was doubtful and wasn’t sure how the roll would fit through the doorway and “roll” around our laundry room. But, she reassured me that they would send me detailed plans for installation. And that a DIYer like myself should have no problem with the installation.

Within a week, I received my custom TempZone roll with a layout just for MY space.

Not just a standard layout, but a custom plan for my exact room dimensions and usage. I was extremely impressed to say the least, because the plan was very detailed showing the exact location of the cuts I needed to make in the mesh mat (not the wire.) Having this map saved me hours of brain-twisting planning at the least.

Before installation, I read the instruction manual in its entirety (highly recommended.) Remember, I was a little nervous and didn’t want to do anything to damage the heating mat. I even made sure I was hopped up on caffeine so I could absorb every nugget of the lesson.

I also prepared the floors by installing cork underlayment (as detailed in this tutorial.) Are you ready for the tutorial to install radiant mats? It wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated and this part went fairly quickly. Let’s roll! [Read more...]

Habitat ReStore Talk on Saturday, November 17th in Cary, NC

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Things have been hoppin’ around Pretty Handyville, so forgive this late notice:

It’s been a while, but I’m excited to be giving another talk at one of our local Habitat ReStores.

I’ll be sharing some amazing lighting transformations that you can create for less than $10. I hope you can make it to the Cary ReStore, 181 High House Road, Cary, NC 27511. The talk will start at 1pm. Get there early because there will be some great lighting deals and steals ;-).

 

5 Minute Light Upgrade – Converting a Recessed Light to a Pendant

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This post really should be titled: How to convert a can light in 5 minutes or less (if you aren’t shooting tutorial photos every 30 seconds), and why did it take me 6 months to do this?! But, that would be a looooonnggggg title. I’ll spare you the extra word count and just get right down to it.

Do you have can (or recessed) lights in your ceiling? Do you have enough to have a full line up of gals doing the can can?

Yup, that’s what we have, a full half dozen cans in the bonus room ceiling. I decided to break up the monotony with a little lighting rebel: meet my new bronze sphere cage pendant light. [Read more...]

How to Solder Metals Together – Tool Tutorial Friday

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Wheee, it’s another episode of Tool Tutorial Friday! Do y’all miss TTF? I do too, but this handy gal only has so many tools in her toolbox. I added a new one a few weeks ago, a soldering iron.

When I was in college, I took a stained glass elective (one of the benefits of going to art school.) I really enjoyed the course, but once the semester was over I didn’t pick up a soldering iron again. That was 20 years ago. Just this month, someone in our neighborhood posted online that they were selling a soldering iron. I immediately jumped on the chance. But, this time I didn’t have stained glass in mind, I had these DIY farmhouse lights on the brain!

As promised, here is the tutorial on how to solder. [Read more...]

Circle Diamond Pattern Light Fixture – Updating a Brass Light Fixture

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I have been dying to share this tutorial with you! This project was inexpensive and it made such a big impact in our mudroom. It started with a few Habitat ReStore light fixtures and some NEW! Martha Stewart glass paint and ended up adding some major “WOW Factor” to our entry.

[Read more...]

Update Your Ceiling Fan with Paint

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I’m back, but only for a minute  because I’m working hard on transforming our pinky-beige bonus room into an art and craft studio fit for an art show! This is compounded by the fact that the room has many angles and dormers. Who knew that such a small room would take FOREVER to paint! Gah.

Do you have a brass ceiling fan cluttering the view on your ceiling? It is hard to imagine getting rid of a perfectly good ceiling fan. Especially if you live in a hot climate like we do. Ceiling fans are our salvation in the heat of the summer. But, they aren’t always the most attractive things.

I encourage you not to rid your home of a perfectly good fan if it still works. Instead, why not paint it? AND, even if your blades are white, I’m going to show you a trick that will help make that fan almost disappear on the ceiling. ;-)

[Read more...]

How to Make Farmhouse Style Metal Pendant Light

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I admit it, I believe in UFOs. I’ve seen them, honestly! I even captured a picture of two of them, see:

Yup, we have two UFOs that are frequently seen in our kitchen. Why did I purchase and install them when we first moved in? I’ll never know. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t horrible, but they just don’t go with the casual country vibe I want in my kitchen. [Read more...]

Anthropology Inspired Pendant Light – DIY Talent Shabby Creek Cottage

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industrial style light DIY

TGIF, TGIF, TGIF!  Can you hear the crowd chanting? Yup, it’s Friday and today we have a real powerhouse of a DIYer in the Talent Parade. Here comes Gina with her baton in hand, she has the crowds on their feet and they are ready for a super transformation.

Before she gets to the grandstand, let me tell you about Gina and her blog: The Shabby Creek Cottage. Gina has single-handedly transformed her mobile into a beautiful cottage space for her family to live in. Seriously, you would never guess that this was a mobile home would you?

Gina’s home is one of my favorite online homes. She uses aquas and whites to create stunning magazine worthy rooms. She is ultra creative and always amazes me with her ability to design unique decor and furnishings.

But here comes that Queen of Transformations herself, so direct your attention to the parade route.

Hi! I’m Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage – my blog where I share the adventures of transforming our shabby little cottage by the creek. I’m so excited to be hanging out with Brittany today – in real life (at SNAP) and here on Pretty Handy Girl – it’s truly an honor!

lighting before photoThis little light over our kitchen sink was a case of budget over beauty. I dreamt of one of those delicious Anthropologie lights, oozing with quirky style. However we had about $20 instead of $200, so we bought a Home Depot pendant and put a bucket on it – cute, but not quirky.

Anthropologie inspired light fixture I channeled my inner Pooh Bear, and did a little thinking. What did I have that would be me? Quirky, farmhouse, vintage inspired me? Then I remembered the roll of chicken wire I bought for $1 at my local Habitat Restore. Jackpot. The only tool I used was a pair of side cutters.

Chicken Wire Pendant Light Tutorial I cut a piece of the wire off the roll, about 10 inches by 12 inches. Cutting on the lines, I tried to keep the long twisty parts between the “combs” as long as I could to make the next step easier. I cut from the finished outer edge, so it could be the bottom of my shade.

how to make a chicken wire light I lined up the full first full roll of combs on each side to make a cylinder. I took the long twisty pieces where I cut, and wrapped them around the ones on the other side.

chicken wire light tutorial Once my cylinder was secure, I carefully started making a dome by pushing the unfinished edges towards the center. Kinda smush it with your hands to get the shape better.

industrial style light DIY You’ll need to make the hole in the middle work around the sleeve for the light bulb, which is kind of trial and error. Just take the coupler off that holds on the shade, then slide on the chicken wire and replace the coupler.

IMG_3304 You can make it look like a cloche, or smush it all wonky and make it more distorted – totally up to you.

chicken wire pendant light

A 10 minute DIY makes my Anthropologie lovin’ heart flutter…

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It might not be so cute anymore, but it sure is a bucket load of quirky.
Thanks, Brittany, for letting me share my tutorial today!

Seriously, that pendant light is adorable and Gina makes it so easy to replicate! I’m off to reclaim some wire from the chickens. Wait, I don’t have chickens, guess I’ll be heading over to Home Depot.

How are you enjoying the parade this week? Are you ready for more DIY Talent next week? Come back on Monday to see who’s marching down the street. And don’t forget to join the parade with your own talent on Friday with a special DIY Talent Link Party.

How to Fix a Broken Lamp – DIY Talent Condo Blues

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Can you hear the bass drum and the band playing? The DIY Talent Parade is in full swing now. Lisa from Condo Blues is striding this way and ready to show off her mad electrical skills.

[Read more...]

How to Spray Paint Brass Light Fixtures

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The other day I showed you how to swag a chandelier. I think many of you fell in love with my sunny yellow light fixture (painted Summer Squash by Rustoleum.) Admit it, you fell for her!

I will tell you how you can get your own! It shouldn’t cost you more than $20 with materials!

Jump on over to Parentables to see how you can easily transform a brass chandelier (or any metal light fixture for that matter.) Beware, you may be spraying all of your home’s light fixtures after you see how easy it is.

If you haven’t entered, today is the last day to enter to win the Flow Wall Giveaway. Be sure to go through the Rafflecopter widget at the end of my laundry room reveal post.

How to Swag a Light Fixture

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Do you have a chandelier that is a little “off” in your dining room? Do you curse the electrician that didn’t bother to think about centering a hanging light fixture? Yeah, me too! I  had this problem in our laundry room.

Granted, “most people” don’t hang chandeliers in their laundry room, but I wanted to do it. Except there was one problem. The confounded light fixture box was no where near centered on the room or the washer and dryer. Grrrr. [Read more...]

How to Add an Outlet Extender

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On Monday I showed you how easy it is to install the Flow Wall panels. The only thing that will slow you down is if  you run into a light switch or an outlet. But, that’s easily remedied by cutting a hole in the material.

Materials:

  • Outlet extender box
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Drill
  • 1/2″ spade bit
  • Jigsaw or a hand saw
  • Clamp
  • Work surface
Difficulty: Easy, but will require using some power tools and turning off the electricity.

[Read more...]