Finger-printed Envelope Star Pillows

Make Your Own Finger-Printed Star Pillows | Pretty Handy Girl

Make Your Own Finger-Printed Star Pillows | Pretty Handy Girl

Personalized finger-printed envelope star pillows are an easy and fun gift item to make. My boys and I enjoyed making these pillows for their home room teachers. We got the idea from Cristina’s beautiful seaside themed thumb print pillows.

Materials:

Make Your Own Finger-Printed Star Pillows | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Fabric (I used bleached and washed leftover drop cloths)
  • Pillow insert
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Freezer Paper
  • Fabric Paint
  • X-acto knife
  • Small Flat Brush
  • Permanent Marker
  • Scissors
  • Piping (here’s the tutorial to make your own piping)

Instructions:

Cut your front fabric with 1 inch excess around the pillow form. Cut the two back pieces of fabric with a 1 inch excess on all sides, plus allow for a 3″ overlap in the center.

Make Your Own Finger-Printed Star Pillows | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Fingerprinted Star Tutorial:

Here’s a great way to customize your pillow for the recipient. Let your little ones finger-print inside the star. [Read more…]

21 Ways to Make and Decorate Totebags

canvas-tote phg

21 Ways to Make and Decorate Tote Bags | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you been enjoying all of the awesome tote bag tutorials this week? Today we’ve rounded up even more sewing tutorials, decorating ideas, and an amazing crocheted tote bag.

How To Sew Totebags:

canvas-tote phg

Who can resist an adorable lined tote bag with a monogram. Can you believe this beauty is all DIY! Jaime of That’s My Letter whipped up a classic monogrammed canvas tote.

Quick-Easy-Tote-Bag

Drop cloths aren’t just for catching paint anymore! Heather of The Sewing Loft shows how to make an Easy Canvas Tote Bag out of painter drop cloths!

Fox book bag

What does the fox say? He’d say he’s head over heels in love with this tote bag. Perfect for back to school, Heather shows how to sew or iron on this fox applique with sweet embroidery details.

reversible-reusable-tote-tutorial

Sandra from Sawdust Girl is famous for her amazing woodworking so it should be no surprise that she has a fabulous tutorial for Reversible Reusable Ruffled Grocery Bags.

how-to-make-a-piped-edge-totebag

It’s okay to cheat a little. Grab a store bought tote and dress it up that plain tote bag with piping. This tutorial also shows a cheat for the non-sewer!

decorate tote with old shirt

Old shirt + another store bought tote = Adorable! Customizing a Totebag With an Old Shirt in an hour.
This goes straight on my Christmas to-do list!

T-Shirt-to-Library-Tote-Bag

I know, it’s hard to discard that favorite t-shirt. Now you don’t have to! Repurpose that favorite tee into a library totebag? Jessica from Mad in Crafts shares how easy it is in her step-by-step tutorial.

tote bag from tee shirt

What’s better than repurposing one t-shirt? Of course, recycling two shirts! On Creative Green Living, Carissa shares another t-shirt-to-totebag tutorial using two shirts. One makes a stylish liner.

PostBreakblue

No-Sew Totebags: [Read more…]

Customizing a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to another Tote Bag Week Post! Are you getting lots of ideas for how to make and dress up tote bags? If you’re just joining in here’s the line up:

Today I have a fun tutorial for Customizing a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt.

Materials:

  • Canvas tote bag
  • Long-sleeve button shirt
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine (or needle and thread)

Instructions:

Begin by cutting off the sleeves and cuffs on your shirt. Save the sleeves to use on another project, like Adding Piping to a Tote Bag (or piping on a pillow, an upcoming tutorial.)

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut off the pockets (cut as close to the seams as you can.)

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

For the customized tote bag, we’re going to use the cuff and two pockets.

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Fold the cuff in half and cut it.

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Stitch the end of the raw edges on the cuff closed.

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Pin the cuff halves to the inside center of your tote bag (buttons facing out.)

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Stitch the cuff end to the tote bag until secure.

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Pin the pockets to each side of the tote bag (if your tote bag doesn’t have sides, the pockets would look just as cute on the front and back of the tote bag.)

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Stitch along the top of the pocket. Then lift the pocket flap up and sew the rest of the pocket to the tote bag.

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Feel free to finger print a star on your tote bag (tutorial for finger-printing stars here.)

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

These shirt embellished tote bags are perfect for a day at the beach. Or as a gift for a friend, teacher or grandparent.

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Personally, I think I’ll be making many more of these in the future.

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for customizing a tote bag with an old shirt. Get ready for a grand finale tomorrow!

PHGFancySign

Cute Reversible Reusable Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl

Reversible Reusable Tote Bag Sewing Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

Are you enjoying Tote Week?!

Tote Week | Pretty Handy Girl

If you’re just joining in here’s the line up:

Today I have one of my closest friends and blogging buddies here. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, she’s the amazing, the incredible and the always vivacious Sandra from SawdustGirl.com. And she’s going to give you a tutorial for sewing those cute reversible and reusable tote bags!

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Howdy Handy friends! I’m Sandra of Sawdust Girl – formerly Sawdust and Paper Scraps. I try to reduce, reuse and recycle anyway so this tutorial for reusable, reversible, ruffled totes is fitting. Don’t ya’ think? I like to use my totes as grocery bags and have given a pair of these as gifts along with a few reusable produce bags found at the dollar store.

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

I used an old sheet and a set of pillowcases to make mine but for a gift item, maybe use new fabric. If you look for sheets on clearance you can get a LOT of fabric for just a few dollars.

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

This is a really easy pattern that I made from looking at a canvas tote. (It fits perfectly on a standard pillowcase.)

*Seam allowance? I run the fabric along the right side of the foot. I think it’s a waste to take a wide allowance and then trim!

Instructions:

1. Use the same pattern for the bag and the liner. You could use the same fabric for both or mix it up for fun. I like to use 2 different fabrics so I can flip it inside out and have a totally different bag!

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

2. Sew all 4 pieces (excluding the bottom) together like this: front/side/back/side making one long piece of fabric.

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

3. If you are going to add any kind of embellishment, now is the time. I’m adding three rows of ruffles! [Read more…]

Dress Up a Plain Tote with Piping

Piped Tote Bag Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Piped Tote Bag Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome back to Tote Week! If you’re just joining in here’s the line up:

 

If you’re short on time (or don’t have a sewing machine), there’s nothing wrong with cheating a little.

Tote Week | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I want to show you a great way to add some character to a store bought tote bag. You can dress up a plain tote bag with piping. I purchased canvas tote bags at Michael’s for a few dollars. You can purchase piping or make your own easily (if you have a sewing machine.) If you don’t own a sewing machine, purchase pre-made piping and buy some double stick hem tape or hot glue to secure the piping instead of sewing it on.

Piped Tote Bag Tutorial

Materials:

Piped Tote Bag Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Tote bag
  • Scissors
  • Piping (tutorial to make your own piping)
  • Fabric
  • Rope
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Sewing machine (use hot glue or double stick hem tape if you don’t have a sewing machine)

Instructions:

Start by making your piping. Be sure to make enough to line the rim of your tote bag and overlap by at least 2 inches.

Piped Tote Bag Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

If your tote bag handles are sewn to the inside of the bag, rip the top seam off to free the handles from the top edge of the tote bag.

Piped Tote Bag Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Begin pinning your piping around the inside of the top edge of the bag. Fold the raw edge over and between the bag and the piping as shown below:

Piped Tote Bag Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Overlap the edges of the piping in an inconspicuous spot (near a back handle.) [Read more…]

Home is Where the Heart Is – Door Decor

house shape door decor 1

house shape door decor collage

How about an unusual front door decor idea today?  Jaime from That’s My Letter here to share this house shape door decor project with free plans to make your own.

house shape door decor title

A little play on “home is where the heart is,” this door decor is definitely different and not your typical wreath.  I used 1×3 pine boards to make the house shape then added the cut out hearts to hang in the middle. (Yes the house shape does look like an arrow. If you want to make an arrow shape, those plans are below as well.)

house shape door decor 1

This would also make great indoor wall art. Imagine all the paint color possibilities!

house shape door decor hearts

Supplies:

  • 1 – 1″ x 3″ x 6′ pine board
  • 1/4″ plywood scraps
  • miter saw
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • wood glue
  • finish nailer
  • 1 1/4″ finish nails
  • 3/4″ finish nails
  • scroll saw or jigsaw
  • sandpaper
  • wire hanger
  • drill
  • 1/8″ drill bit
  • wood putty
  • white spray paint
  • red acrylic craft paint
  • paintbrush
  • clear exterior grade polyurethane spray

Below are the step-by-step instructions to make your own wood house shape door decor. Always follow all precautions and safety rules when using power tools.

house shape door decor dimensions

 

Cut List:

  • 1 – 1×3 @ 12 3/4″, one end 45 degree miter (roof)
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 12″, one end 45 degree miter (roof)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 2 1/2″, one end 45 degree miter (roof overhang)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 13″ (sides)
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 9 1/2″ (base)

 

Step 1: Assemble roof.  Attach long side to short side using glue and 1 1/4″ finish nails.
house shape door decor step 1

Step 2: Add roof overhang pieces to mitered ends of roof.  Use glue and 3/4″ finish nails here.  Below demonstrates how to cut these super short mitered pieces. [Read more…]

Lemon Zest Popcorn

Lemon Zest Popcorn {Gift Idea} | Pretty Handy Girl

Lemon Zest Popcorn {Gift Idea} | Pretty Handy Girl

Lemon Zest Popcorn Recipe

Want a summer recipe for popcorn? One that has that tangy zest and sweet buttery flavor. You’ll definitely love this recipe for Lemon Zest Popcorn. And as a bonus, you can make a big batch and give some in handled mason jars as a gift. This is an idea I had as one of the little end of the year gifts I gave my sons’ teachers. I included the mason jar full of popcorn in a tote bag with a few more summer inspired gifts.

Ingredients:

Lemon Zest Popcorn {Gift Idea} | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 16 cups Popcorn (I used 3 packages of Orville Redenbacher’s Simply Salted Popcorn)
  • 6 tbsp Butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest
  • 6 drops DoTerra Lemon Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • Salt to taste

Optional: Drinking Mason Jar Mugs, Sip & Straw lids and Mason Jar lids

Instructions:

Melt butter in saucepan. Add 6 drops of DoTerra Lemon Essential oil. Add sugar (I used coconut palm sugar, but you can use regular granulated sugar). Mix well.

Lemon Zest Popcorn {Gift Idea} | Pretty Handy Girl

Meanwhile, grate one lemon for zest. [Read more…]

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.

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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.