Build a Fireplace Insert Draft Stopper {a Lowe’s Creator Idea}

living-room-fireplace

Build a Fireplace Insert Draft Stopper with Reclaimed Lumber | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m a little bit of a fanatic when it comes to drafts. (Remember the time I weather stripped my garage doors?) Over time I’ve addressed most of the pesky cracks and crevices that invite cold air into our home. But, there was one draft that I’ve been meaning to serve an eviction notice to since the first winter we lived in our house.

Build a Fireplace Insert Draft Stopper with Reclaimed Lumber | Pretty Handy Girl

The source of this cold air is our fireplace. Even with the damper closed, there is a draft that escapes into the room. You can’t weatherstrip the damper (that would be a fire hazard), so I decided to build a rustic reclaimed wood fireplace insert to stop the draft.

Want to build your own fireplace insert draft stopper? It’s not hard and you can complete it in an afternoon!

Materials: [Read more...]

Autumn Mantel Décor & Fall Vignettes with Chippmunk

Autumn Mantle Décor and Vignettes | Pretty Handy Girl

Autumn Mantel Décor and Vignettes | Pretty Handy Girl

Fall is here! Hip Hip Hooray! I’m not exactly a summer gal (although I was born in June.) I prefer the cooler temperatures, the colorful landscape and jean weather! When the first cool day rolled into North Carolina, I was ready and waiting! But, my living room was still stuck on 4th of July (you know I’m a procrastinating decorator, right?!) I trudged up to the attic to pull down some fall décor. But, frankly, I wasn’t excited about putting the same stuff out again. I wanted a new look, something with bright colors and BLING!

That’s where my pals at Chippmunk.com come in. They gave me an advance to try out their site for scoping deals and coupon codes for your favorite online retailers. It took me less than 30 seconds to search for one of my favorite home decorating sites (ahem…Pottery Barn I’m talking about you!)

Chippmunk Savings Site

Up popped up a discount for $10 off when you sign up to receive emails from them. But, while browsing Chippmunk, I found loads of other stores that had special discounts like Williams-Sonoma, QVC, Fab, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and many more. It was amazing how many discounts and coupon codes were right there in one spot!

Because I’m a frugal gal, I decided to scour the SALE section of Pottery Barn first to pull some accessories that I could use for my decorating. Then I rounded out my selection with some Autumn décor and classic pieces that could be used no matter the season.

Pottery Barn order

My total was $151.49. I saved $43.51 (2 sale items, plus a $10 credit for a future order.) PLUS, FREE SHIPPING on my order!

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How would you like to win some cash to spend via Chippmunk?* Ummm, who wouldn’t?
Check out Chippmunk’s Expert Shopper contest:

How to Win:

1. Share a photo showcasing your great deal and you could be one of 5 winners of a $100 gift card to the Chippmunk store of your choice! Upload via Chippmunk or share on Instagram or Twitter with hashtags #ChippmunkExpertShopper and #FallDecor (please include both for us to find you).

2. Pin your favorite steals to Pinterest with the hashtag #FallDecor#ChippmunkExpertShopper and you could be one of 2 winners of a $50 gift card to the Chippmunk store of your choice!

If sharing via Instagram or Twitter, please include: Why your steal is so great, how much you saved and the best advice you would give to others shopping at the store you purchased it at.

*The uploaded steal prizes will be awarded as following:

  • One of those winners will be chosen by myself
  • One will be chosen at random
  • Three will be determined by “love it” clicks (your friends can vote once a day), indicating that they’re our community’s most loved steals.
  • And, the Pinterest prizes will be editorially chosen.

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And now, here’s your invitation to view my Fall mantel and living room vignettes. Come on in and cozy up near the hearth.

Autumn Mantel Décor and Vignettes | Pretty Handy Girl

I knew up front that I wanted to use an aqua and vermillion color scheme. I really love the bold contrast of colors.

Autumn Mantel Décor and Vignettes | Pretty Handy Girl

While patiently awaiting my Pottern Barn shipment, I spent an hour building a giant canvas with scrap 2″ x 2″ pieces of lumber and cheap fabric. [Read more...]

Make an Autumn Book Page Leaf Garland

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Two years ago, I saw this beautiful wreath in a magazine. I snapped a picture with my phone and figured I’d try to DIY my own version. Then I forgot about it until I stumbled upon the picture recently. After a little research, I found that the wreath was a Martha Stewart contest winner by Emily Morris.

I loved the leaf shape and the simplicity of the project. So, I decided to alter it slightly to work as a garland for our mantle. [Read more...]

How to Make a Fire Pit in an Afternoon

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With the arrival of Autumn, I am looking forward to some fires in our fire pit and — of course — some S’mores! I made a fire pit in an afternoon last year after we had 14 trees taken down (boo hoo!) Sadly, they were dying or diseased. But, I was able to turn a negative into a positive by using some of the stumps for seating and the spot where two trees used to be as my fire circle.

If you want the details about how I built (or rather dug) the fire pit, head over to Parentables to find out. I guarantee you don’t need any special skills to create your own!

Also, just a gentle reminder that TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!! You do want to meet a DIY Hunk don’t you? Or at least win an iPad2, right?

Well, be sure to enter your trade secret at the GMC Let’s Trade Secrets contest by October 25th.

You can enter one secret per category, which would give you three chances to win! I’ve already uploaded mine in Home Décor and Home Improvement. It was relatively easy, you just need to submit some photos or a video and a description of your trade secret.

Now, go forth and seek out a DIY Hunk!

Fall Mantle Decor and Vignettes

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Fall is here, fall is here! Finally the cooler temps are near!

I’m not sure about your area of the world, but this summer seemed a little too hot for my liking. My husband told me about the term “Global Weirding“. It seems fitting for all this nonsense Mother Nature is throwing at us lately.

Luckily fall seems to have come just on time. Fall is my favorite time of year. Maybe it is the painter in me that loves all the colors. Or maybe it is the nature lover in me that longs to be outdoors in the fresh crisp air. Whatever it is, I love FALL!

I spent some time this past week putting out some autumn inspired décor. Although I’m definitely self conscious about my decorating skills, I tried to abide by my words from last year about not striving for perfection. So, now I’m taking a big breath and pressing the publish button to share my home looking warm and cozy (in my opinion.)

Antique books are my go-t0 decorating objects. I love books and I love those old linen covers. Even a torn and tattered book looks nice lassoed together with some friends.

Sometimes, even an open book can look warm and inviting.

I was so happy to bring my Ballard knock off painted pear out of storage. He really looks handsome with the autumn colors.

I love all the colors in this photo! I can’t imagine having a monotone autumn mantle.

Of course, Mr. Gourd looks handsome too. (Shhh. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I do love the pear more.)

Yes, I’m still switching things in and out like a high school football coach. I actually like the gourd, so he’s back in but the chicken wire basket is out. However, I wanted to show you the vintage map lampshade I made. The tutorial will be served up before you know it! Hopefully I’ll have a new lamp by then. This one is just a substitute for one on injured reserve.

You may have noticed this little terrarium on the side table. I was inspired by some insanely expensive versions here. Never fear, I will have a tutorial so you can make your own soon!

A full view of the mantle decorated. It is hard to believe that in a few months the stockings will need to be hung.

I had fun with this little vignette. A crow in an antique corn grinder? Now that is pretty silly. And another terrarium that makes me smile.

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

The acorn jar was an afterthought. It was just a quick little hot glue craft. Speaking of which, if you haven’t read my post about hot glue gun safety, it is a must! Your fingers will thank me.

It is fun having another surface to decorate. The top of our armoire (also known as the family command center) has some pretty purples and greens.

My Pottery Barn knockoff lantern makes a re-appearance.

Beautyberry and Orange Peel Cestrum from our yard.

The dining room has a simple centerpiece made with corn kernels and a candle.

But, I might be switching it out once I get this beauty back from my friends at the Habitat ReStore. Can you guess what it used to be? I’ll give you a hint: Hollywood glam never looked so good.

Fireplace Makeovers – Readers’ Spotlight

Up on the rooftop click click click, down through the chimney with Good St. Nick!
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I think about this song when I gaze at my beautifully painted fireplace. That’s right, I said painted! Those bricks you see – well – they are bricks, but that isn’t their real color. It is faux painted!

Last year this is what my fireplace looked like:
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If you want to see how I did it, hop on over to Remodelaholic on Friday for the tutorial.

In the meantime, I want to share with you some other fabulously faux painted fireplaces. These three readers each contacted me after reading my post on faux painting brick and sent me photos of their fireplaces!

I think you will agree that they all did a fabulous job. Way to go gals!

“I came across your website looking for ideas on what to do with my painted white fireplace. After a year of living in the house, I couldn’t take it anymore. The layers of paint were too thick to strip and refinishing would have cost too much right now. So I gave your helpful hints a try. I am amazed how great it turned out. Next, get rid of the awful tiles and put in wood flooring. Thank you so much for posting your refinished fireplace and how-to.”

Thank you.
Pam Blackburn
Levittown, PA

Pam’s Fireplace Before:
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Pam’s Fireplace After:
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“Thought you’d be interested in seeing how your idea worked for me. Attached are before and after pictures. Thanks for your help – my fireplace looks awesome now – just have to buy a mantel.”

Louise Russell

Louise’s Fireplace Before:
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Louise’s Fireplace After:
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And finally, Megan took her fireplace in a different direction. She had an ugly red brick fireplace and turned it into a light taupe beauty.

“I found your great blog on the internet a few weeks ago and just wanted to thank you for giving my husband and I the courage to paint the fireplace in our new house! You really gave us the confidence we needed to try and brighten up our fireplace on our own! Thank you so much!! We had been quoted $1200 to have the bricks refinished, and I ended up spending about $30 with your method! The attached “after” shot was taken before I was completely finished, but it’ll still give you an understanding of where everything was headed and how much of an impact your tutorial made on us! Thank you!!”

Megan Cahill

Megan’s Fireplace Before:
Living Room Before.jpg

Megan’s Fireplace After:
Living Room After.jpg

So what do you think? Are those amazing transformations or what? I think all three are definitely Santa-worthy now.