DIY Cupcake Tray Carrier

cupcake carrier hole back

cupcake tray carrier collage

Jaime here from That’s My Letter today sharing a DIY cupcake tray carrier.  It’s summer and that means lots of friends getting together for BBQ’s and outdoor parties.  You can’t show up empty-handed to party, so why not take along this cupcake carrier?  It makes the perfect display tray and portable carrier all-in-one, plus a very useful hostess gift too!

I filled this tray with 24 regular size cupcakes, chocolate on chocolate is the favorite around these parts.

cupcake carrier 2

The tray is a fairly simple build, the trick is to create space between the top board (with all the cupcake holes) and the base so the cupcakes have a spot to sit down into.

cupcake tray carrier detail

Keep reading and I’ll show you how to make these holes as smooth as possible without tearing up the plywood.

cupcake carrier 1

Materials:                                                    

  • 1- 1x2x8 pine board
  • ¼” plywood handy panel
  • ¾” circular wood dowel
  • ¾” square dowel (6′ total)
  • wood glue
  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • 1 ¼” & 3/4″ finish nails
  • 2 1/8” hole saw
  • ¾” spade bit
  • circular saw, chop saw
  • finish nailer

cupcake tray carrier

 

Cut List:

  • 2 – 1×2 @ 17 3/4” (long sides)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 14” (short sides)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 8 ½” (handle supports)
  • 2 – ¾” square dowel @ 17 3/4” (long spacers)
  • 2 – ¾” square dowel @ 12 1/2” (short spacers)
  • 2 – ¼” ply @ 17 ¾” x 12 1/2” (top & base)
  • 1 – ¾” round dowel @ 17 ¼” (handle)

cupcake tray carrier step one

Step 1: Sketch grid as shown above onto one piece of ¼” plywood. The orange portion indicates where to drill 2 1/8” holes using a hole saw.

cupcake carrier draw grid

Step 2: Drill holes using 2 1/8” hole saw.  To make the holes as smooth as possible without much tear out begin drilling on the grid side about 1/8″ down.

cupcake carrier start hole

cupcake tray carrier step two

 

Flip the board over and find the center hole.  *Be sure board is hovering over edge of table.  Place hole saw bit into the center hole and finish drilling the hole.

cupcake carrier hole back

 

cupcake carrier hole complete

The circular plywood piece should pop through to the ground.   Repeat this process for all 24 holes.

cupcake carrier all holes

Sand the edges of the holes smooth.

Step 3: Attach long spacers to long side of top using glue and ¾” finish nails down through top.

cupcake tray carrier step three

 

Step 4: Attach short spacers to short ends using glue and ¾” finish nails.

cupcake tray carrier step four

Then attach base from underside using glue and ¾” finish nails.

cupcake tray carrier base1Step 5: Attach long sides using glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

cupcake tray carrier step five

Step 6: Attach short sides using glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

cupcake tray carrier step six

Step 7: Predrill ¾” holes into handle supports near top end, drill only about ½” deep into 1×2. Attach handle supports to tray using glue and 1 ¼” finish nails.

cupcake tray carrier step seven

Step 8: Insert handle in between supports. Glue and attach using 1 ¼” finish nails through ends.

cupcake tray carrier step eight

Fill all holes with wood putty then sand smooth.  Paint your cupcake tray carrier with semi-gloss or gloss finish for easy clean up of any messy frosting!

cupcake carrier 3

Hope you enjoy this fun small build project.

cupcake carrier title

This cupcake holder makes a great party accessory or gift idea too!

Jaime signature~learn more about Jaime~

20 Boredom Buster DIY Projects for Kids

Sunprints | Pretty Handy Girl

20 Summer Boredom Busters for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

The end of the school year has come and the quest to keep the kids entertained has started. With that in mind, I have 20 Boredom Buster DIY summer craft projects for you and your kids that will keep you busy this summer.

side_view_calendars

Summer Calendar & Bucket List

 

Thumbprint Pillow | Pretty Handy Girl

Kids’ Thumbprint Envelope Pillows

 

cooling_crayon_hearts

Melted Heart Crayons

 

Sunprints | Pretty Handy Girl

Sunprints (frame-worthy art)

 

DIY Magnets Noggin Characters | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Character Magnets

 

Placemat_summer_garden_flag_pin

Summer Garden Flag

 

Planning a beach vacation? Why not bring a few craft supplies to create some beach-themed crafts!

Writing Name in Sand Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Writing in the Sand Art

 

Sea Shell Memory Game | Pretty Handy Girl

Sea Shell Memory Game

 

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Dragonfly from a Whisk and Skewer

 

block print tea towel

Potato Block Print Tea Towels

 

Easy_washi_tape_vases

Easy Washi Tape Vases

 

how to make a yardstick star

DIY Yardstick Star

 

Spray-Dyed T-shirts | Pretty Handy Girl

Spray-dyed Shirts

 

Easy Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards | Pretty Handy Girl

Decorative Chalkboard Clipboards

 

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Kid Designed Monster Dolls

 

boy_playing_indoor_hopscotch

Indoor Hopscotch with Painter’s Tape

 

wine_cork_reindeer

Wine Cork Animals

 

finished_shirt_first_image

Doodle Shirts

 

PrettyHandyGirl_music_Votives_on_shelf

Decorated Glass Jar Votives

 

Magnetic Mailbox Cover | Pretty Handy Girl

Custom Painted Magnetic Mailbox Covers 

Those ought to keep your kids busy for a little while and let you make summer memories that last forever. Happy Summer!

PHGFancySign

Housewarming Gift Caddy {Mystery Thrift Off}

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a new neighbor or know someone who just moved? It’s time to celebrate with them by giving them a housewarming gift caddy! This is an easy gift tote that you can customize to any size you like. Plus, the recipient can use the caddy for storage or display after the gift has been enjoyed.

Before we begin, I need to back up and tell you that this project is part of The Mystery Thrift Off.

#TheMysteryThriftOff is the brainchild of Lindsey from Better After. She chose a handful of people to take part in this challenge. After scouring her local thrift shops for ugly and hopeless items, she shipped off the chosen items to those of us in the challenge. I signed up—because frankly—I love a challenge. And, I love saving ugly items from the landfill. Be sure to see some of the other Mystery Thrift Off transformations at Better After and vote for your favorite.

But, when the box arrived from Lindsey, I was terrified to open it up! I mean what if she had sent me a ceramic scabies bear!  Yikes. You can imagine my relief when I opened the box to reveal this dated Christmas village.

Chalkboard Arrow Sign (Mystery Thrift Off) | Pretty Handy Girl

Not too bad looking is it.? Truth be told, it was falling apart and the colors were hunter green, colonial blue, mauve and fleshy tan.

Chalkboard Arrow Sign (Mystery Thrift Off) | Pretty Handy Girl

I quickly pulled the three houses apart and began to transform them into A Chalkboard Arrow Sign, a Little Playhouse and the Housewarming Gift Caddy I’m going to show you today.

Before I got started, I removed some nails from the house on the right. And then I was ready to get building.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Ready to create your own caddy? Let’s get to it.

Materials:

  • 1″ x 6″ board
  • Wood glue
  • Finish nails
  • 1″ x 1″ square dowel
  • 1/2″ lattice trim (or other decorative trim)
  • 2″ screws
  • Spray primer
  • Paint (used Botanical Home Decor Paint)
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Patch-plus-primer
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper

Instructions:

Cut the 1″ x 6″ into 5 pieces:

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 2 – 6″ x 15″sides
  • 1 – 6″ x 15″ base
  • 2 – 6″ x 11″ front & back pieces with a 45 degree corners cut into the tops

Add a line of glue along the bottom of the front and back of the caddy.  Attach them to the base with finish nails.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Add a line of glue to cut ends of the sides and add a line of glue to the bottom of the sides.  Attach the front to the sides with finish nails. Repeat for the back piece.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the sides by nailing through the bottom and into the sides.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill a hole into each end of the 1″ x 1″ square dowel. Attach the square dowel to the top of the front and back pieces with the 2″ screws.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

The completely assembled crate should look like this:

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Spray the caddy with spray primer inside and out.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint caddy with a solid color first. (I used a new paint and love the texture and coverage. Botanicals Home Decor Paint in Peony went on smoothly like chalky paints.)

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the craft paints to paint details like windows, shutters and a door onto the front of the caddy. If you’re feeling truly artistic, you can paint the back too.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Nail the lattice trim pieces to the sides of the caddy for a little decoration.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Putty all nail holes.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand the putty smooth after it has dried. Touch up paint the putty holes.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Fill your caddy with wine, flowers, food or other goodies to celebrate the new homeowners.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

The recipient will be tickled pink. Haha, get it, a little pink house?

PHGFancySign

12 Father’s Day Gift Ideas – Way Cooler than a Tie

12 Father's Day Gifts - Way Cooler than a Tie | Pretty Handy Girl

12 Father's Day Gifts - Way Cooler than a Tie | Pretty Handy Girl

Father’s Day is coming up next week. The conundrum of what to get your Dad or your spouse is waging war in your mind. I scouted far and wide on the interwebs to come up with 12 Father’s Day Gift Ideas that are Way Cooler than a Tie! (contains some affiliate links)

 For the Music Lover:

10 Father's Day Gifts - Way Cooler than a Tie | Pretty Handy Girl

Upcycled Vinyl Record Notebooks

What to get the music fan that has everything? How about an upcycled vinyl record notebook. Real records were harmed (some scratched too much to listen to anymore) to make this one-of-a-kind spiral bound notebook.

 

10 Father's Day Gifts - Way Cooler than a Tie | Pretty Handy Girl

Cassette Tape Mobile Phone Case

Remember the old days with this fun cassette mix tape mobile phone case. You can customize the words to add your guy’s name or his favorite album.

 

10 Father's Day Gifts - Way Cooler than a Tie | Pretty Handy Girl

Outdoor Water-Resistant Blue Tooth Wi-Fi Speaker

Need tunes while washing the car; camping; lounging by the pool; at the beach or outside playing basketball? The number of places you can play music are now infinite. This water-resistant speaker can also be used in the shower or on your back deck during your next BBQ.

 

For the Tech Geek: [Read more…]

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Wire Whisk + Skewer

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Summertime is coming and I’m enjoying spending more time in our garden. I’m always looking for cute craft ideas that I can do with the kids while school is out. When I saw this great idea for making a wire whisk dragonfly on Morena’s Corner, I knew I had to try it. I altered Morena’s plans slightly using plastic beads and used a skewer for the plant stake. The cost and materials are minimal to make this Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Wire Whisk and Skewer. This craft can be done with the kids, but you’ll need to be the one to cut and bend the wires and watch out for the pokey edges with real little kids.

Materials:

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Wire whisk
  • Wire skewer
  • Beads
  • Needle-nosed pliers

Instructions:

Begin by bending the first wire loop out to the side to create a wing.

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Repeat with three more loops (2 on each side).

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the needle-nosed pliers to cut one wire loop into two short pieces as shown below. (You might need to twist the pliers back and forth to cut the wires.) [Read more…]

Wood Cut Out Tray

cut out tray 1

cut out tray title

Happy Wednesday Pretty Handy readers.  Jaime here from That’s My Letter to share a DIY project that makes a great anytime gift or (an even better idea) for Mother’s Day.  I’ll show you how to make this wood cut out tray which you can personalize with any name or shape.

The wood cut out makes for an unexpected design element.  I painted bright blue behind the cut out, but any contrasting color will look great.

cut out tray 3

Plexiglass installed over the wood cut out provides a solid flat surface.  The plexiglass also adds a bit of shine and fancy!

cut out tray 2

Below are the step-by-step instructions to make this tray.

Materials:

cut out tray supplies

  • 1/2″ plywood 18″ x 12″
  • 1/4″ plywood 18″ x 12″
  • 1 sheet plexiglass (18″ x 24″ –  makes 2 trays)
  • 1 – 1″ x 2″ x 6′ pine board (cut 2 @ 18″ length and 2 @ 13 1/2″ length)
  • white paint
  • blue paint
  • stain
  • 2 handles
  • 1/2″ wood screws
  • 1/2″ lath screws
  • plexi/glass cutter
  • jig saw
  • sandpaper
  • ballpoint pen
  • measuring tape & pencil
  • drill, bits & 1/2″ spade bit

Instructions:

cut out tray step 1

Step 1: Print out your name or word.  (I used Sign Painter – housescript font at 475 point.  Any font will do as long as it’s thick enough to cut out.)

cut out tray step 2

Step 2: Center the printout on the 1/2″ plywood and trace around letters with a ballpoint pen.  Use heavy pressure to create an indent in the wood. [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…]

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m in Dallas for a few days with my sister, working on creating a Bali-themed dream deck for Thompson’s WaterSeal. We shopped for a lot of the accessories ahead of time, but had a hard time putting our hands on a perfect Bali-esque tray. Sometimes, you just have to DIY it! This Rustic Pallet Serving Tray was the brainchild of my sister, Caitlin, but I took her idea and ran with it.

Here’s how to make one for yourself.

Materials:
(contains some affiliate links)

Instructions:

Fold a piece of paper into eights. Cut a design along the edge. (I used a simple scallop shape like this “}”.)

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

When you unfold the paper, you should have a paper template to use for tracing.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Trace the template onto a piece of thin plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a jigsaw or band saw to cut out the shape. You might find this tutorial helpful for cutting out intricate shapes.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay your plywood shape on top of the rustic boards. Move the boards around until you like the sections that will make up the tray. Mark a square around the shape with a ruler.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the boards down to size using the pencil mark as a guide.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Dry fit the boards together on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Wet both the plywood shape and the boards with a damp rag.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Apply Gorilla Glue to the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the rustic boards into the glue on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Weigh the boards down with weights or heavy books.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Allow to dry for at least an hour. Remove the weights and clamp the boards on a work surface or Rockwell JawStand. Make sure there is clearance for the jig saw blade. You’ll need to cut half the boards and then turn and re-clamp to cut the entire circumference.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Draw a pencil line 1 inch out from the plywood shape. Cut around the pencil line with a jig saw.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand edges and grooves with sandpaper or Dremel Multi-Max.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the location of the handles on the tray.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill holes using a bit that is the same size as the handle screws.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the tray over and drill countersink holes with a larger drill bit.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the handles with the screws. The screw heads should sink into the plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you want a truly rustic look, lightly sand your handles.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are going to use your tray for food, use a plate or doily under the food.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you think? Do you like this beautiful rustic tray? Think you could make one? I bet you could!

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Follow us as we design our Bali-themed deck for Thompson’s WaterSeal by following the #ThompsonsDreamDeck hashtag on Instagram.

PHGFancySign

 

Sharing with Home Stories A to Z’s Tutorials and Tips Link Party

 

Heart Shaped Topiary

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

The season of love is upon us. Have you embraced it? Or are you struggling to find something cute but not cutesy. Or something non-red or pink? Today I have a tutorial to show  you how easy it is to create a heart shaped topiary. Keep it for yourself or give it to the one you love. As the vine continues to grow, the heart will be embraced by the leaves and fill out.

In late Autumn, we had a final blue bloom on our hydrangea bush. I clipped it and brought it inside before the impending cold snap arrived. To keep the hydrangea company, I put a few snips of variegated ivy into the vase too.

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

Over the winter, the ivy grew a healthy root system. Ivy is an easy plant to root. Simply put some clippings in water and keep it watered. After the ivy has rooted, you can create a beautiful topiary plant for a kitchen window sill.

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

Begin by collecting your materials.

Materials:

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Ivy with roots
  • Copper water line or thick wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Pot
  • Rocks
  • Sand
  • Potting Soil
  • Trowel
  • Water

Optional: string, floral wire or a twisty tie

Instructions:  [Read more…]

20 Creative Gift Wrap Ideas

Polar Bear Gift Wrap

20 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas  | Pretty Handy Girl

Hi there! I’m Colleen from Just Paint It and I’m excited to share some of Pretty Handy Girl’s great creative gift wrapping ideas.

We’re reaching the home stretch before the big day and I know things can get crazy. But something I really enjoy is taking a little extra time to creatively wrap Christmas presents. It not only lets the recipient know you’ve put a little extra effort into their gift, but it’s also a great way to sneak some relaxation time in for yourself!

Let’s start with some basic boxes and add some cute embellishments.

Chalkboard Gift TagsChalkboard Gift Tag Signs

Polar Bear Gift WrapPolar Bear Gift Wrap

Snowman Gift WrapFrosty the Snowman Gift Wrap

3D Tree Gift Wrap3D Tree Gift Wrap

Dove Gift WrapDove Gift Wrap

Sleigh Gift WrapSleigh Gift Wrap [Read more…]

Floating Wood Block Picture Frames {Lowe’s Creative Idea}

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

We are days away from Christmas and I’m sure there is someone on your list that you just can’t figure out what to get for them. I have the perfect solution! Make them a wood block floating picture frame using scrap 2×4″ lumber and plexiglass.

If you don’t have scrap 2×4’s lying around, you can purchase a 2x4x8 foot stud for less than $4! You could make 16 photo frames out of that one board! (Granted, you’ll need to buy the plexiglass for each.)

Materials:

  • 2 – 2 x 4s (cut to 6″ lengths)
  • 4 – 6″ x 9″ pieces of plexiglass (3/32″ thickness)
  • Ipswich Pine Stain
  • gel stain or Minwax Express color
  • small detail paint brush
  • pencil or pen
  • photos
  • tape
  • rag
  • optional: scrapbook paper, double stick tape

Tools:

Instructions:

Set your table saw to a 10 degree bevel.

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the saw blade to a depth halfway through your block (about 7/8″ deep.) Set the fence to 2″ from the blade.

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

Use your GRR-RIPPER to safely guide the 2×4 over the saw blade. Check to see if two pieces of plexiglass will fit in the groove created by the saw blade.

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

If not, nudge the fence over slightly and make a second pass over the blade. Check to see if the plexiglass will fit now. If not, repeat the process until they fit snugly. [Read more…]

DIY Paper Bag Ornament

paper bag ornament 1

paper bag ornament

Looking for a fast and easy ornament or gift tag?  I’m Jaime from That’s My Letter here to share a diy ornament you can make from a readily available paper bag.  This project will have you looking at grocery and retail paper bags in a whole new light.

The graphics on retail paper bags make great ornaments and gift tags.  Look for fun and festive holiday graphics on paper bags everywhere you go then you can repurpose those paper bags into ornaments.

paper bag ornament 1

Supplies:

paper bag ornament supplies

  • paper bags (brown bags work best)
  • 1/4″ plywood cut to size to fit your graphics
  • mod podge
  • paint brush
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • sandpaper

Instructions:

paper bag ornament step 1

Step 1: Carefully cut out graphics from the paper bag and pry off handle pieces.  You will also need small 1/2″ x 1″ pieces of paper bag to cover the cut ends of the handle hanger.

paper bag ornament step 2

Step 2: Apply a generous layer of mod podge to plywood.

paper bag ornament step 3

Step 3: Apply paper bag piece to wet mod podge.  Be sure to center paper onto wood then press smooth with fingers and press excess paper over edges down slightly.  Let dry and preferably stack heavy books on top to ensure good seal.

paper bag ornaments step 4

Step 4: Once completely dry use sandpaper to remove excess paper hanging over edge.  At the same time this will smooth the rough plywood edge too.

paper bag ornaments step 5

Step 5: Cut handle to desired length.  Secure to back of plywood using hot glue then cover cut end with small piece of paper bag just to keep things neat.  Repeat for other end of handle.

paper bag ornaments back

paper bag ornament 2

Repurpose paper bags into beautiful handmade ornaments or attach them to gifts as a gift tag.  This is a great craft to do with the kids. Have a holly jolly holiday!

Jaime signature

What I’d Ask Santa for (if I were you)…

august-blossom-camera-strap

santa-wishlist

It’s the final days before the big guy packs up his sleigh and starts delivering presents to all the good little girls and boys. You’ve been good this year, right? This year I’m asking Pretty Handsome Guy Santa for a few things, but these are the gifts that I’ve received in the past that are my absolute favorites. Feel free to share them with the “Santa” in your life. You can send him or her a link to this post and let them know which number(s) you want. We’ll just pretend it was their idea ;-).

For the Workshop:

1. The Makita 10-Inch Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw with Laser was my Mother’s Day gift one year and by far this is my baby in the workshop. After 5+ years it still cuts like butter and is the one tool I’d cry over if it was stolen.

2. A PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig Saw – years ago, I was given a jigsaw for Christmas that just didn’t cut it. Literally, the blade would bend and refuse to cut through most wood. It felt like a toy tool compared to this MacDaddy. This jigsaw can cut through just about anything I put in its way!

3. The Black & Decker Folding Portable Work Bench was a gift from my father decades ago! It sat in a box waiting for me to open it for 3 years. When we finally moved into a home that had a workshop I opened it up and it has been my BFF ever since. It’s the perfect clamping station and is a portable spot to work on projects. I like to set it up in our driveway for sanding. It’s also the perfect height to help guide long lumber through the table saw.

4. Speaking of Table saws, if you own one, the GRR-RIPPER 3D Pushblocks are absolutely the safest way to push your wood through the saw. Hands down (pun intended) the GRR-RIPPERs have changed how I use my table saw for the better.

5. Dremel MM30 Multi-Max Oscillating Tool This little powerhouse is my desert island tool (well assuming I have access to electricity.) This is my favorite tool to grab for cutting and sanding. It was a life saver when I was renovating my kitchen. From cutting through nails to cutting notches in studs, this tool has the power and precision to cut through a multitude of materials. Plus, the detail sanding head is great for small sanding jobs. Grab this one quick, they are selling out on Amazon quickly!

6. Rockwell 3RILL 3-in-1 Impact Driver Despite it’s 12 volt battery, this impact driver, drill and driver is my go to drill. It packs a lot of power in a smaller drill that is easy to hold and fits in a woman’s hand. The lithium battery lasts and lasts. Finally, the quick release hex chuck holds tight to drill bits and driver bits. This is my little green machine.

7. HomeRight EZ Twist Paint Stick I’ve painted almost every room in both my homes. I had tried many painting gadgets and always returned to the original edger and roller I’ve owned for over a decade. But, all this changed this past year when I tried the HomeRight EZ Twist Paint Stick. It literally cut my painting time in half! Plus, it eliminates the hazard of stepping in the paint tray (which I’ve done too many times to count.)

8. 3M TEKK WorkTunes Hearing Protection These ear protection muffs make remembering to use them in the workshop easy. I love hooking up my iPhone to the WorkTunes to listen to podcasts or music while working. The only problem is that we only have one pair which leads to a few battles when Handsome Guy wants to use them while mowing the lawn and I want to use them at the same time.

9. 3M Tekk Lightweight Safety Glasses – Having protective gear that is comfortable to wear is important. These safety glasses are so lightweight and comfortable that I often forget I have them on. The clear sides give full peripheral views. They are inexpensive which makes them perfect for a stocking stuffer ;-).

10. Tomboy Tools Magnetic 13 oz. Hammer I rarely buy tools specifically made for women because they don’t normally live up to my tough standards. But, this hammer is an exception. The hammer is lightweight, but still strong enough to get me through framing walls in our kitchen. It is perfectly weighted and has a shock absorbing handle. The magnetic notch on the head allows you to rest the nail and set it with one swing over your head. Best of all, because of its color the guys won’t run off with it. And, it’s easily spotted on the job site.

11. Duluth Women’s Work Gloves – Finding work gloves that fit a smaller woman’s hand and don’t slip around are important to me. These work gloves fit like a…well…like a glove. They are padded for comfort and the fingertips are reinforced on all sides (the place most other gloves fail.)

duluth-women-work-gloves

For Your Wardrobe:

1. Women’s Crosscut Performance Flannel Shirt – Have you ever wanted to spend the day in your pajamas because they are just so darn comfy? This flannel shirt is exactly like wearing your PJs all day! I own two of these crosscut flannel shirts now because I would wear them every day if I could. Recently I figured out how to dress up my flannel shirt for church.

duluth-plaid-shirt

2. Plaid Military Cap This is my go to hat for bad hair days. The hat is lined with a satin lining and has a comfortable fit. I have a small head, so finding a hat that fits my youth sized noggin is huge! If you order this hat and you have a regular size head, order up a size.

duluth-plaid-hat

3. Buckle Payton Boot Stretch Jeans – Can we get a little personal here. I’m curvy, and I have a hard time finding jeans that a) won’t wear out in the thighs b) won’t ride so low they leave me with a muffin top. These are my favorite jeans. They look hip, but not too young. And I own two pairs that I wear almost daily. The price point is decent and they don’t accentuate my blogger butt. I’ve paid three times as much for a pair of jeans that ripped after only a year. When I die I want to be buried in these jeans!

buckle-payton-jeans

4. PHG “I Saw Too Much” T-shirt – This is by far my favorite shirt that I designed. The Alternative Apparel shirt is lightweight, but not at all flimsy. It’s definitely a flattering cut on a woman. The same graphic is also available on a mens’ shirt. Oh hey, look! I’m wearing my favorite hat, jeans and shirt all in one photo! I told you I love them.

I Saw Too Much funny DIY shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

5. Merrell Women’s Leather Encore Slip-On Shoe Life is too short to walk around in cute and uncomfortable shoes. If you can’t tell by now, I’m all about the comfort over fashion. I am also lazy and despise taking an extra few minutes each day to tie and untie sneakers. For that reason, these are my favorite shoes. They feel like slippers, but have non-slip soles and leather exteriors. Merrell makes several slip on shoes in the Encore line. It’s up to you which style you like best!

merrell-slip-on-leather-shoes

For Your Picture Taking Abilities:

1. Canon EOS Rebel T5 SLR Digital Camera Pack If you are still holding out on buying an SLR camera, don’t wait another day. I have an older Canon T1 Rebel camera that I bought four years ago. It is amazing the difference it makes in my photography! Case in point. The picture on the left was taken with my point and shoot, and the right with my Canon Rebel T1 a few years later. The colors are more vibrant and the photo has a lot more depth. And the details are more crisp.

Boy's Red, White & Blue Themed Room | Pretty Handy Girl

AfterShot

The Canon T1 is no longer manufactured, but if you see a used one grab it! I have bumped my camera more times than I can count. (Hello, I’m a DIY tutorial blogger, it happens!) I have purchased a few lenses (a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 and aCanon EF-S 10-18mm Wide Angle Lens) for my camera but have kept the same body.

2. Lightscoop Standard Version Bounce Flash – If you are trying to save money on photography equipment consider buying a Lightscoop instead of a camera mounted bounce flash. This little gadget clips onto the shoe for your flash and simply reflects the flash light onto the ceiling (or wall if you have your camera pointed sideways. I still don’t own a bounce flash and use this little guy a lot!

3. Induro AKB1 Tripod Believe it or not, this three legged creature has saved many a rainy day photoshoot! Plus, it let’s me take better selfies. If you finally upgraded to a SLR camera, you really need a good tripod. Indoor photography is tough without one. This is the tool that lets you get beautiful pictures in darker settings without having to raise your ISO (which can result in grainy photographs.)

4. August Blossoms Camera Strap Technically this strap won’t improve your photography skills but it will safely hold your lens cap in the pocket and distinguish your camera from others that look the same. If you’ve ever been to a blogger event, a lot of us have the same camera. And personally, I think the cloth neck strap is a lot more comfortable on my neck.

august-blossom-camera-strap

For a Better Night Sleep:

1. Savvy Rest Serenity Layered Latex Mattress If you’ve been an exceptionally good kid this year, why not ask for this mattress. You can tell Santa that you’ve reached the age where you need a good mattress that will last well into your retirement and beyond (20+ years.) We’ve been sleeping on our Savvy Rest mattress for a year now and I have to warn you that if you get one you won’t want to leave home anymore. I am so eager to get home and sleep in my own bed anytime I go away. I sleep much better and my hips and back thank me every morning.

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

2. Talalay Latex Foam Pillow This is the same pillow I’ve had for over 15 years! You’d think a 15 year old pillow would look flat and shapeless. And it would, except this pillow is a latex foam pillow and has the exact same shape as the day I bought it. For what it’s worth, I’m a side/stomach sleeper.

 

For Helping You Wake Up:

1. Jonathan Adler On the Go Coffee Mug This is my absolute favorite coffee mug. It fits in any cup holder. It keeps my beverage warm for a while. The fitted lid means less spills. And let’s be honest, it looks stylish!

2. Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker I call this the marriage saver because I really wanted a Keurig to make quick cups of coffee. But, Pretty Handsome Guy prefers to make a pot of coffee in the carafe. I like mild coffee and he likes high octane coffee! When I saw this baby, I bought it immediately and now our marriage is saved!

I hope you found something to ask Santa for. Or you saw something to get as a last minute gift!

PHGFancySign

Disclosure: I was not compensated by any brands to write this post. These are my honest to goodness favorite things I own. In full disclosure, some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links.

Starry Night Christmas Tree + Giveaway

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

This year I might have taken the tree decorating a bit far. I couldn’t stop at just decorating the tree. No, I had to decorate up the walls around the tree and onto the ceiling. The tree is literally surrounded by a multitude of shimmery vinyl stars!

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you think? Overkill? Or do you like the emphasis those stars place around the tree. If you agree with me and think this is the best idea since VanGogh painted Starry Night, then I have a giveaway for you! Scroll to the end of this post to learn how you can enter to win a set of removable wall vinyl stars like these for your home! Of course if you are like me and consider yourself unlucky when it comes to contests, here is a link where you can purchase your own set of stars from Leen the Graphics Queen.

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

My idea started when I was gazing at my favorite tree topper I bought at Target a few years ago. At night when the light is turned on, it casts a multitude of lit stars all over the ceiling and walls. I was thinking how sad it is that you can’t see all those stars in the day. I wanted a more permanent way to keep the stars on the wall and ceiling 24/7! That’s when I called my friend Leen the Graphics Queen on a whim. That girl is the sweetest thing. She put up with my crazy idea and promptly shipped me several sheets of stars in different colors to create my vision. Proof that she’s truly a wonderful friend, she sent me both a set of gold and silver stars for me to choose from. As you probably guessed, I used the gold stars and now Leen and I want to share with you that beautiful set of silver stars that I didn’t use. Read to the end of this post to learn how you could enter to win them.

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

Now, behold our blue, white and gold Christmas tree! The gold is the prefect touch of warmth against the cool white and blue color palette.

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

The feather boas and icicles were from Michael’s last year. The larger aqua blue embroidered ornament balls and silver tree skirt are from Lowe’s (yeah—I know—Lowe’s the Home Improvement store!) The rest of the ornaments I’ve had for a while.

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

At night when the tree is lit, you can see that I wrapped the tree with several strands of white and blue mini-lights.

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

The British horse bridal medallions were a gift from a dear friend a few years ago. They have made the rounds in my home decor, but this year I added them to the Christmas tree.

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you think? Do you like my idea of surrounding our tree with its own constellation of stars? Do you want to win your own set of stars like the ones I used?

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

You don’t have to use them on the ceiling. You can use them to decorate your desk, your door, holiday gifts, your refrigerator, your kids (okay maybe not them) or anywhere you want to decorate for the holidays! Best of all, when you are ready to remove them they peel off and leave no damage behind.

Starry Night Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

Here are the details:

Visit Leen the Graphic Queen’s shop and leave me a comment on this blog post telling me what you’d like to have in your home. Follow myself and Leen on our social media channels and  you’re golden….err I mean silver. All entries must be recorded in the Rafflecopter widget below. I’ll pick a winner this weekend! (Can’t see the widget? Click here.):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions: Winners will be selected at random using Rafflecopter. Entries must be received by Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 12:00am EST. Contest open to Continental US residents only. Must be an adult aged 18 and older. Winner will be notified by Tuesday, December 16th 2014 via email. Winner must reply to email within 2 days of receiving the notice. Please be sure you have PrettyHandyGirl@gmail.com as an acceptable email address.
Prize will be fulfilled by Pretty Handy Girl and mailed via USPS. Pretty Handy Girl cannot be held responsible for prizes that are lost or damaged en route.

PHGFancySign

Disclosure: Here’s the scoop, I wasn’t paid to run this giveaway. Leen is a good friend of mine and I love her graphic vinyl. I approached her about using her graphic stars. Yes, she sent them to me for free, but she’s a sweetheart like that. Leen and her husband run a small shop near the coast of North Carolina. They are the type of business that you want to support around the holidays and the rest of the year. I’d tell you more about how wonderful they are and how they are raising four wonderful children, but then it would sound like I’m gushing. So, hey, just know that I wasn’t paid and I want to see Leen succeed ;-)!

Chalkboard Gift Tag Signs

Chalkboard Gift Tags | Pretty Handy Girl

Chalkboard Gift Tags | Pretty Handy Girl

Want a great way to dress up gifts? Make these easy chalkboard gift tags for your holiday or birthday gifts. Purchase some inexpensive wood plaques or cut some masonite scraps and paint them with chalkboard paint.

Drill a few holes and thread them onto the ribbon on the gift. After the present has been opened the recipient can hang the chalkboard tag on their door or use them to label bins.

Materials:

  • Unfinished wood plaques (I bought mine at Michaels)
  • Small rectangular scraps of masonite
  • Chalkboard paint (spray or brush on works fine)
  • Screw eyes
  • Pliers
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Ribbon or rope
  • Chalk

Instructions:

Prep your tags by painting them with chalkboard paint. Typically I like to use two coats.

Drill holes in the top of the plaque (slightly smaller than the screw eye.)

Chalkboard Gift Tags | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn a screw eye into the hole. Pliers are helpful when it gets tough to turn. [Read more…]

Mosaic Tile Coasters {Lowe’s Creative Idea}

Mosaic Tile Coasters | Pretty Handy Girl

Mosaic Tile Coasters | Pretty Handy Girl

Want an easy and inexpensive gift idea to give out as a hostess gift for those upcoming holiday parties? How about Mosaic Tile Coasters? They are quick and easy to make. Last month, for my Lowe’s Creative Idea I created a unique lamp shade with mosaic glass tile. I had some leftover sheets and decided to make these coasters with the leftovers. Follow along to learn how to make another great Lowe’s Creative Idea.

Materials:

Mosaic Tile Coasters | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Mosaic tile sheet
  • Cork
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Ruler
  • X-acto knife
  • Pencil

Instructions:

Begin by cutting your mosaic tile sheet into coaster size squares.

Mosaic Tile Coasters | Pretty Handy Girl

Trim off any excess mesh. [Read more…]

DIY Snow Globe Ornament

snowglobe ornament 1

snowglobe ornament

Jaime here today from That’s My Letter and it’s officially holiday prep time!  Today I’m sharing a DIY snow globe ornament with a wood base that makes a perfect gift for anyone big or small.

This snow globe ornament is constructed on a wood base where all the interior pieces can be glued to the base and then the clear globe is placed over the scene.  The globe is plastic and the entire ornament is very lightweight so it won’t weigh down your tree branches!

snowglobe ornament 4

You can put nearly anything inside the snow globe as long as it fits under the dome.  I used bottle brush trees, wire candy canes and a wood dowel sign with the family name printed on cardstock.  Add a little faux snow and you have the cutest little winter scene.

snowglobe ornament 2

The faux snow will cover any unsightly hot glue and adds just that tiny bit of sparkle.

snowglobe ornament 3

Add a small wood ball on top to compliment the wood base with a string for hanging and you have a keepsake ornament that will look beautiful on or off the tree.

snowglobe ornament 1

Materials:

snowglobe ornaments supplies

  • 3″ clear plastic craft ornament
  • 2″ circle (cut from cardstock, only used as a template)
  • 3″ wood square (1/4″ plywood)
  • mini pom poms
  • mini wire candy canes
  • mini bottle brush tress
  • 1/8″ dowel
  • small wood balls with hole in center
  • red string
  • white glue
  • paint brush
  • faux snow
  • x-acto knife
  • sandpaper
  • hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • black sharpie marker

Instructions:

Step 1: Using an x-acto knife cut around the ornament opening enough to remove the neck portion.  Don’t worry about being neat here the goal is to remove the neck and have a wide enough opening for scissors. [Read more…]

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…]

DIY Block Print Stamped Tea Towel

diy block print tea towel

how to stamp with potatoes

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

Supplies:

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

Instructions:

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

diy potato stamped towel

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

DIY Personalized Wall Shelf

personalized wall shelf 1

personalized wall shelf

Happy Wednesday Pretty Handy Readers!  Today’s project is a DIY personalized wall shelf and I’ll show you how to make it.  I’m Jaime from That’s My Letter, a fellow DIY blogger who builds, paints and sews.  I made this wall shelf as a gift for Bryce’s birthday, it makes a great statement AND it’s useful too!

personalized wall shelf 1

Just a bit of painting and assembly to make this awesome, personalized wall shelf.  And of course you can adjust the paint colors to fit your scheme.  Bryce happens to have navy painted walls in his bedroom so I know this wall shelf will really pop once hung in his space.

personalized wall shelf 2

The stained wood shelf adds just a touch of warmth and coordinates well with the hardwood floors.  For a deeper shelf, use a wider board. I used a 1×3 but you could use a 1×4 or larger.

Materials:
(Amazon affiliate links included)

personalized wall shelf supplies

  • 1/2″ or 3/4″ plywood cut to desired size (approx. 2′ x 4′)
  • scrap piece of 1/2″ plywood approx. 4″ x 36″
  • 1×3 pine board cut to width of plywood
  • 9″ MDF Pre-cut letters
  • Single robe hooks
  • French cleat kit
  • paint, roller & brush
  • stain & foam brush
  • sandpaper
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • wood glue
  • 2″ wood screws
  • 3/4″ wood screws
  • drill & bits
  • nailer & finish nails

Instructions:

Before beginning, layout your letters onto plywood and cut the plywood to size based on the length of the name.

Step 1: Apply stain to the 1×3 shelf piece on all sides using a foam brush. Wipe off the excess.  Set the shelf aside and let it dry.

personalized wall shelf step 1

Step 2: Paint your letters.  Paint your plywood back (not shown).

personalized wall shelf step 2

Step 3: Distress the edges of the letters using sandpaper. [Read more…]