How to Stain a Basket

stained thrifted basket

how to stain an old basket

I admit it, I’m a basket addict!

Baskets are one of the best ways to organize and accessorize your home but they can be very expensive when purchased new. Thrift stores are a great source of affordable baskets but they are often out-of-fashion colors and can have missing or broken pieces. Today I’m going to show you how to take those old, thrift store baskets and make them a beautiful accent piece for your home.

Materials:

  • super glue
  • hand broom
  • stain
  • paintbrush

Instructions:

The first step in fixing up an old basket is to clean out any dirt or debris using a hand broom. Be thorough on both the interior and exterior.

before old thrifted basket staining

Next inspect your basket for any broken pieces. Use super glue to repair any areas that may need it. [Read more...]

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

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

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

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

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

Haven and the GMC Habitat House Makeover 2013

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My goodness, it has been a whirlwind week for me. I left on Wednesday to head down to Atlanta, GA with my good friend Holly (of Storywood Designs). We rode in the lap of luxury in a swanky new 2014 GMC Acadia Denali! (My boys were in love with the new SUV. Especially the bluetooth headphones that let them listen to another radio station as Mama belted out the lyrics to “Blurred Lines.” I can’t blame them, singing is the one skill I don’t have.)

I was sponsored by GMC at Haven and they let me borrow the vehicle for the week. It’s a good thing we had the Acadia with loads of cargo space, because neither of us travel light. We even brought our own furniture:

bellhopOur bellhop barely skipped a beat as he loaded furniture onto the cart with our luggage.
(photo courtesy of Holly)

Holly and I didn’t waste a moment. We checked into the Grande Hyatt in Atlanta, spread out our ScothBlue Heavy Duty Non-Slip drop cloths and started transforming furniture: [Read more...]

What’s Up with that Handy Girl?

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What’s going on with that Handy Girl? She didn’t post anything on Friday or Monday? Has she succumbed to jet lag after her trip abroad? (nope) Did she cut her thumb off on a saw and can’t type? (nope) Was she abducted by aliens?

face_shielf

(maybe)

Want to know why I’ve been slacking on posting?

This is why:

last_tile

I’ve been feverishly working on tiling the backsplash in our kitchen. It’s been a lot of sweat equity (and some child labor) but the results are stunning.

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I chose these beautiful carrara mable subway tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com.

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They arrived on a huge pallet and have been sitting in the garage for months. Once we got back from our trip I was having major DIY withdrawal. What better way to get back into the DIY game than tiling 80 sq. feet of backsplash! Heeheehee.

tiling_backsplash

I’ve rarely had a free moment, in fact when I actually did take a minute to sit down, Handy Dog took advantage of an open lap. (Ummm, someone needs to tell him he’s too big to be a lap dog.)

lapdog

What’s the rush Handy Girl?

The rush is self imposed, but I did want to finish before I left for Haven. I’m happy to say that I have a few more lines of caulk to run and the backsplash will be…stick a fork in it…DONE!

And then tomorrow morning I can hop in this swanky new 2014 GMC Acadia Denali and head to Haven!

2014_GMC_Acadia_Denali

(Totally love the hologram on the dashboard that displays speed, temperature, current song playing and more!)

Whoa, what’s with the new wheels?

Well, GMC is loaning the vehicle to me for the week. I’ll be working with GMC at Haven and theeennnnnn….

…on Sunday I’ll be working with some other bloggers to furnish and makeover another Habitat House in the Atlanta area. (Do you remember the big reveal last year?) It’s sure to be a lot of fun and a totally rewarding experience when the homeowner opens the door to her new home and is surprised to find it furnished for her!

I’ll be bringing a whole box of tissues this time.

Want to keep up with the action? Here’s how!

Follow these bloggers as they shop the World’s Longest Yard Sale this week:

You can follow the hashtag #GMCHTA (GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure) on Twitter and Instagram for live photos from the sale. And I’ll try to keep you in the loop through social media (mostly Instagram and Facebook) from the#HavenConf conference hashtag and beyond.

Want to read more about my adventures along the World’s Longest Yardsale last year?

Start reading here.

One more thing before I rush out. If you are going to Haven, you MUST…I repeat…you MUST hop in on one of the two classes Sandra, Traci and I are teaching. It’s called, “Let’s Case This Joint” and it’s going to be a total interactive hands on experience in molding, casing and trim installation. And there will be power tools! You might just have to put up with me and my “Dirty Handy” impersonation though.  ”Go Ahead… Make My Day.”

dirty_harry_impersonation

 Put a Ryobi cordless finish nailer in my hand and I start acting like a tough guy.

I’ll be back later with some more DIY tutorials. I promise. I haven’t been abducted by aliens, I’ve just been a little up to my elbows in grout.

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Disclosure: GMC is sponsoring my trip to Haven this year. I was provided with a loaner GMC Acadia Denali to drive to the conference and back. I was not told what to write or say. All words, ideas and photos are my own.

Speaking Engagements & Handy News

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I’m currently cruising at the over 10,000 feet altitude (gotta LOVE in flight wi-fi!) and headed to Salt Lake City to attend SNAP later this week. Say a prayer that I don’t catch the stomach bug that claimed another family member this morning. Currently Buddy and I are the last ones standing (where is there wood on an airplane to knock?!!!) Anyway, I’ll be giving a talk about DIY Residential Lighting and Electrical Upgrades while there. If you are at SNAP, I hope you’ll pull me aside to say hi. Please forgive me if we’ve met and I forgot your name. I’m HORRIBLE with names, but pretty good with faces. ;-)

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Then on Monday, I’ll be back on the East coast for a talk at the “Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro” ReStore for Earth Day. If you are in the area, come check out the celebration on Monday, April 22nd at noon. The address is: 3826 High Point Rd. Greensboro, NC 27407 (Ignore the address on the website, it is misleading.)

I’m sure I won’t be able to resist some shopping and chatting afterwards, so stick around and I’ll tell you all the wonderful things my mind sees when I wander around the ReStore!

If you can’t make it, I hope you have a great Earth Day and do something green that day.

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Don’t forget I have an awesome giveaway going on right now from Everyday Icing.

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I’m in love with their jewelry and accessories! I wore one of their necklaces yesterday and received several compliments.

Finally, if you left me a comment on the Embellished HERSHEY’S KISSES carrying cases tutorial, you won some HERSHEY’S KISSES and a carry case! Congrats! Check your email and reply to me as soon as possible.

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Volunteer Day for Habitat for Humanity

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Have you ever wanted to volunteer to work on a Habitat home? Yup, me too! A few weekends ago I got my 2nd chance (You can read about my first unique opportunity here.) It was a cold and rainy day, so we were delegated to some indoor tasks. We worked on a “recycled” Habitat home that was built in the 90′s but the owner moved on (hopefully to bigger and better accommodations.) It was sold back to Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, who gets first dibs on homes they have built. The house is in the process of getting new paint, new fixtures and new flooring. I spent the day installing door handles on all the doors while the rest were on painting duty.

habitat_group_picture [Read more...]

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

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

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

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

 

Day 5 Reveal of the Moore Habitat for Humanity House – End of the GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure

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And now the moment y’all have been waiting for! The end of our journey and the culmination of all our efforts were revealed to Alexcia, Jaydon & Jurnei Moore on Sunday, August 5th 2012. Alexcia thought she was just getting the keys to her empty home. Little did she know, that GMC, OnStar, Habitat for Humanity and 6 bloggers had conspired to fill her home with furniture, beddings, and home decor.

(Alexcia thinking, “You did what to my house?”) [Read more...]

Day 4 Pulling It All Together on the GMC OnStar Hidden Treasure Adventure

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After yesterday’s diversions, we were all feeling the pressure to purchase the final items on our wish lists. This would be our last day on the yard sale and the last day to prep any items we purchased before placing them into the Habitat house.

We decided to create a master wish list for everyone so we could all be on the lookout for each other. There was a lot of texting with photos attached as we shopped in the in the morning.

[Read more...]

Day 3: Surviving the GMC OnStar Hidden Treasure Adventure

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On Day 3, despite our best efforts to maximize our time, we ran into a few distractions. Here are a few words of wisdom and things we learned today: [Read more...]

Day 2: The Start of the GMC OnStar Hidden Treasure Adventure

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I made it home safely on Sunday night after an exhausting but fulfilling week. I apologize for not posting in real time, but there was truly no way for me to do it. Sleep was a bit of a priority for me ;-). But, we’ll just roll back our clocks and I’ll take you along for an adventure of a lifetime!

As you know, GMC flew six of us (Brooke from All Things Thrifty, Donna from Funky Junk Interiors, Lindsey from Better After, Cy & Traci from Beneath My Heart, and myself) to Michigan to take part in the World’s Longest Yard Sale and for a charitable cause. After our arrival in Detroit, we toured the OnStar command center, did some quick shopping at the Habitat ReStore in Detroit and then headed to our hotels for the night.

The next morning we woke up early to start the adventure! We each drew a piece of paper from our GMC organizer’s hand. On the paper was a room name. The room corresponded to a REAL room in a brand new Habitat for Humanity house in Birmingham, AL. The owner, Alexcia Moore, was set to receive the keys and move in on Sunday, August 5th.

[Read more...]

Day 1 : GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure

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Well, I arrived safely in Detroit and hit the ground running. It is going to be a whirlwind of activity from now until Sunday, August 5th! Are you up for the adventure? If so, I’ll take you along for the ride.

First, I met up with fellow Junk Warrior, Donna. I know y’all know this famous junkster as Funky Junk Interiors. Donna is such a sweet gal (errr, I mean a tough chick!) [Read more...]

Habitat ReStore Brain Exercises and Being on Channel 11 in Atlanta, GA

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Special thanks to Becky from Organizing Made Fun for taking these photos.

For some reason, I like to spend my birthday at a Habitat ReStore. In 2010, I spent the morning wandering the aisles at the Raleigh ReStore. And this year, I gave a talk at the Atlanta ReStore.

During my talk at the Atlanta ReStore, there was a rogue cameraman who started following me around after the talk. I saw him ducking in and videoing while I was touring the store and sharing what I see in my mind when I look at gently used donations. Next thing I knew, he was interviewing me for the Ways to Save segment on 11Alive. There is a little article on their website about Easy Home Improvement Projects for Women, but as you know I believe that there isn’t a home improvement project that is too hard for women (so I cringed a little at the title.)

One of my readers, happened to capture the video segment when it aired and uploaded it to YouTube so y’all can see it here. A BIG thank you to Lori!

Being at the ReStore is one of my favorite things to do. Not only can you get some good deals, but I like to think of it as brain exercises. I love to challenge my brain to come up with some creative re-uses for the items. Do you want to see what I see? Here are two posts I created to help you see what’s in my head.

Re-imagining at the Habitat ReStore

What Do I See at the Habitat ReStore

I hope you have a great rest of your weekend. I’m not sure about your locale, but it has been hot, hot, hot here! Today is supposed to be up to 102F again.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore Talk in Atlanta, GA – Sat. June 23rd

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We interrupt this fabulous weekend to bring you an important announcement:

I’m headed to Hotlanta! Woo hoo!

I’m headed south this coming week to attend the Haven Home Conference. While I’m in Atlanta I couldn’t miss the opportunity to check out the local Habitat ReStore. I hear they have some fabulous furniture right now. And you can bet I’ll be checking out some of the light fixtures they have in stock.

Won’t you come join me and hear my empowerment talk? I’ll share with you why I think everyone is handy but may not know it yet. Plus, I’ll be giving tips on how to decorate on a frugal budget using common ReStore finds!

So hop on over to the Atlanta ReStore on Saturday, June 23rd at 2pm. The store is located at 519 Memorial Dr., Atlanta, GA.


View Larger Map

I’d love to meet you and give you a squeeze ;-)!

If you think you would like to go, please email: restorenewsletter@atlantahabitat.org Put “Brittany RSVP” in the subject line so they can be sure to set up enough chairs. Hope you can make it!

 

Nope, It’s Not a Pier 1 Lantern

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Thanks to my Facebook fan, Heather H., for the ultimate compliment on this lantern. She asked if I got it at Pier 1! Nope Heather, I got it at the Habitat ReStore and it found its way into my hands in this condition:

After a Women Build meeting at the Habitat ReStore a month ago, I spied that dusty relic. An old discarded hanging light fixture. I grabbed it and promptly paid $5 for it. Then I got to chatting with the clerk at the ReStore and absentmindedly walked out without my lantern. By the time I remembered, the ReStore had already closed. It was sad… it was tragic… I didn’t know when I’d be reunited with my light fixture because the ReStore is about 25 minutes away from my home. But, there is a happy ending to my story, my mother-in-law (who gives a good name to all MILs out there) offered to swing by the ReStore the following day to pick up my lantern for me. Hugs to her for reuniting us. But, I had to laugh at the look of skepticism she gave me as she handed over the dusty light. She couldn’t see its true potential, but I could.

How about you? Would you have passed this light fixture by? Or would you have seen the potential?

Well, next time you see a light fixture like that, grab it and I’ll show you how to transform it.

Materials:

  • Old lantern style light fixture
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Two screwdrivers (at least one needs to be flat head)
  • Damp rag
  • Sandpaper
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Kilz spray primer
  • Rustoleum Lagoon spray paint
  • Rub n’ Buff Gold Color
  • Paper towels
Difficulty: Easy
Step 1. Disassemble the lantern by unscrewing all the parts.

Step 2. Use wire cutters to cut the wire to the light housings.

Step 3. Pull the light sockets, bulbs and lighting out of the lantern.

Step 4. Remove the finial from the bottom of the lighting and set it aside with the lantern. Discard or keep the lighting parts for some other project.

Step 5. If there is a chain attached to the lantern, insert the two screwdrivers into the link attaching it to the lantern. Rotate the two screwdrivers in opposite directions as shown to pry the chain link apart.

Step 6. Pry up the tabs on the lantern that are holding the glass in place. Remove the glass panels and set them aside.

These are the parts that I kept for the lantern:

Step 7. Wipe all the parts with the damp rag to remove any dust and debris. Then scuff the lantern parts with sandpaper and wipe off any remaining dust.

Step 8. Set the lantern and parts outside on the drop cloth.  Spray them with Kilz primer, flip the pieces over and spray again.

Step 9. When the primer has dried, inspect the lantern for any paint drips that need to be sanded smooth.

Step 10. Spray paint the lantern and parts with Rustoleum Lagoon. Flip everything after the first coat is dry and spray a second coat of paint.

Step 11. After the lantern has dried thoroughly, reassemble the lantern.

Screw the finial onto the inside of the lantern where the lighting used to attach.

Step 11. Wipe a small amount of rub n’ buff on a dry paper towel. Rub it on the cross bars of the lantern.

Step 12. Clean the lantern glass with windex and a clean rag. Then insert the glass panels back into the lantern.

Admire your new aqua beauty!

The hardest part of this project was trying to decide where to display my lantern. I could see it in every room of our home!

But, ultimately I gave it a place of prominence on our mantle. And included an old picture inside it.

Have you seen these old light fixtures? Could you ever guess that they could be turned into beautiful decorating gems?
Have a great weekend y’all. I hope you make a trip to your local Habitat ReStore and search for your own lantern.

I hope you’ll join Heather and some other friends on Facebook so you can see what I’m up to next!

Sharing with Tater Tots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up Party

 

Adding Grilles to Garage Door Windows

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You know that thing about your house that you really want to change, but it takes you a while to mull over how to change it? Well, that thing for me was our garage doors. They are the two giant doormen that greet me at least five times a day as I run errands and taxi my children to and from school. I always thought they could be a little more polished and more inviting. In this mulling over period I dreamt of painting the garage doors and boosting the character factor by adding grilles to the windows. I even created a paint preview to see what it would look like. I fell in love immediately and the hulking gray doors’ fate had been sealed.

I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to add the grilles (cross pieces in the windows.) I thought about cutting up paint sticks or just plain strips of square dowels cut to fit, but I REALLY wanted them to look as real as possible and I liked the router profile of the real deal.

A few months later I literally almost tripped on a stack of donated window grilles at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. You know, the cheap ones that are pressed up against the window and always fall out. Grrrr!

That was when the “A-ha” moment happened and I figured that I could use them to dress up my garage doors. I carefully measured the panes on the garage then found a set of four grilles that would give me two cross pieces per window! Perfect! And the best part about those grilles is that they only cost $2 a piece. For $8, some paint and glue I was able to transform my garage doors from boring bland to cottage charm!

And here is the tutorial for how to add grilles to plain jane garage door windows!

Materials:

  • Reclaimed grilles from Habitat ReStore
  • Hand saw
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Paint
  • Loctite Outdoor Sealant Glue
  • Windex
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • 3M painter’s tape
  • Razor blade scraper
  • Paintable flexible caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Wet rag
  • Gloves

Start by cutting the grilles down to size. This is how I got two crosses from each grille. First, cut the grille into two pieces as shown below:

No power tools needed. A handsaw works great.

Next, cut off the excess so you are left with two crosses that fit perfectly in the window panes of your garage door.

Test fit the cross. If your measurements are off, no worries, 1/2″ gaps can be filled with caulk.

After cutting all of the cross pieces, clean them off. Lightly sand and paint them the same color as your garage doors.

After the paint is dry, clean the glass with windex and then use rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt and debris from the glass.

Spread a bead of Loctite Outdoor Adhesive onto the backs of both the vertical and horizontal bars. Center and press the grilles onto the glass. Use painter’s tape to hold them in place.

Wait 24 hours for the glue to harden and dry. Then scrape any excess glue off the glass with a razor blade.

Time to fill in the cracks! Caulk all the seams. For the larger gaps, 1.) Apply painter’s tape on both sides of the void to 2.) keep the caulk off the window and give you a crisp, clean edge. (I’ll have a special caulk gun tutorial for you on Friday!)


3.) Remove the painter’s tape while the caulk is still wet. Let the caulk dry.


 And you’re done! How is that for adding instant character?!


I could kiss these beauties! They are definitely welcoming doormen now.

Speaking of welcome, I repainted our faded Welcome sign and hung it back up. Are you an eagle eye reader? What else changed in the pictures below? Five things have changed, can you spot them all? I’ll start you off:

      1. Painted doors
      2. Added grilles
      3. Refreshed welcome sign

Okay, one more lookey at my beautiful garage door windows and then you have to leave.

I want to give a big shout out and thank you to Waste Management and The Bagster who helped make my garage makeover a possibility. You can see more of my garage transformation here.


Best of Pretty Handy Girl 2011

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

Gift Bucket Liner from Goodwill Pants

How to Paint a Dandelion Wall Mural

Fork Photo and Note Holder

Spring Paper and Button Flowers

How to Paint Doors the Professional Way

 

How to Paint Like a Pro Series:

 

Build Your Own Ladder Display Shelves

Photography Secrets for Shooting Indoors

 

Toilet Repairs Series:

 

Dream Big Butterfly Window

Backlit Cut Out Bookcase

Rustic Wine Crate

How to Replace an Ugly Hollywood Strip Light

Board and Batter Tutorial

How to Make a Branch Towel Bar

Light Bulb Comparison

How to Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

Ombré Paint Chip Lampshade

 

Cabinet Door Revamped to Chalkboard Message Board

Kitchen Cabinet Turned into Shoe Storage Bench

 

Dollar Tree Placemat Garden Flag

 

Beveled Glass Light Fixture Ornaments

DIY Matchbox Car Race Track

 

And Finally, A Whole Slew of Power Tool Tutorials:

Compound Miter Saw

Jig Saw

Finish Nailer and Compressor

Cordless Drill

Circular Saw

Table Saw

Band Saw

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

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

Beveled Glass Ornaments from an Old Brass Light

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I had so much fun at the Habitat ReStore talk this past weekend. My favorite holiday decorations were these adorable beveled glass ornaments. Would you believe me if I told you that they began life as a dated octagon brass light fixture?

Well, they did! And here is the best part, for $5 you can score one of these fixtures at your local Habitat ReStore and make 16 ornaments from the one light!

Materials:

  • Beveled glass octagonal light fixture (the flimsier the brass the better)
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Small flat head screwdriver
  • Gloves
  • Glass cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Printed photos
  • Mod podge
  • Paint brush
  • Screw eyes
  • E-6000
  • Wax paper to protect work surface
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors

 

Instructions:

Put on your gloves for this first task! To free the beveled glass, you’ll need to poke, prod and cut at the brass surrounding the glass. Inserting a flat screwdriver will help to pry up the edges. As the edges come loose, cut into the metal with wire cutters, and pull it apart using needle-nosed pliers. All the while, use caution so as not to break the glass pieces.

After all the glass is free, clean both sides of the glass with windex and a soft cloth. Scratch off any dirt with your fingernail (or a razor blade).

Cut photos to fit inside the middle of the beveled glass piece.

Trace around the glass and cut a piece of scrapbook paper the same size as the glass.

Coat the back of the photo with mod podge and center it on the scrapbook paper.

Gently coat the front of the scrapbook paper border with mod podge (do not paint mod podge onto the photo or streaking can occur.)

Press the flat side of the beveled glass on top of the scrapbook paper/photo.

Flip the glass over and put a dollop of E-6000 at the top center of the scrapbook paper. Lay one screw eye into the glue, then cover the screw with a small dollop of E-6000 glue to secure the screw eye.

After the mod podge and E-6000 has dried, cut some pieces of ribbon and thread them through the screw eye. Make a loop with the ribbon and hang it on your tree!

Or give them as gifts to the Grandparents!

I made another ornament using scrapbook paper and stuck a monogram letter sticker on top of the glass. I also added a small quote on another ornament. The possibilities for this project are numerous!

I had to share with you a few other transformations that I showcased during the talk at the Habitat ReStore:

I took an old chandelier and flipped her over, coated her with primer, heirloom white spray paint and then added some distressing and finished with some antique gold Rub n’ Buff.

Now she’s a beautiful candelabra for our dining room table!

I used the canopy (round flat disk that attaches to the ceiling) as the base for the candelabra. When you take apart a light fixture, you can get creative by flipping and switching around parts and pieces.

Old lightbulbs became adorable little ornaments with a few stickers and a coat of spray paint. My favorite is this clear bulb that I added a heart sticker to. When I peeled off the sticker a little heart shaped window remained. Peek inside to see the filament.

If you’ve ever wrapped an easter egg with rubber bands before dying it, you’ll recognize this pattern.

A $2 cabinet door and some chunky cabinet handles partnered to form a holiday serving tray. The handles also got a little Rub ‘n Buff for shine.

I’m sorry I don’t have the tutorials for you right now. Most likely at a later date, I’ll post them for y’all.

I have two announcements:

#1 – The winner of the RIT dye giveaway is: Judi! She said,  ”Dye WOOD –really !!!! Can’t wait to see what all else you (and I) can dye !! Loving it !!”

RIT Dye

#2 – My son let me paint his cast like a candy cane! I used KILZ Clean Start (zero VOC) primer and a flat brush to give his cast the stripes. One of my facebook fans had the genius idea of asking Santa to sign it!


Let’s just hope that he can keep this cast for more than a week!

 

 

 

Linking up to Home Stories A2Z Tutorials & Tips TuesdaysCentational Girl’s Holiday Home Craft Link PartyNot Just a Housewife’s Show Me What Ya GotFunky Junk Interiors SNS

Holiday Decor from ReStore Finds – Saturday, December 10th – 1pm

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I just got back from Pretty Handsome Guy’s office party. We had a blast, and the evening was defined by a surprise entertainer: Doug E. Fresh who showed up to work the crowd. I have to tell you that I wasn’t too familiar with him. So when we saw him before entering the party, I was introduced to him as Doug E. Fresh. I ALMOST said, “Uh, so should I call you Dougie or Mr. Fresh?” Thank goodness I said neither and just stuck with the polite, “Hi, nice to meet you.” Within minutes of entering the room, he had the crowd moving and groovin’!

I truly enjoyed the party because I got to chat with two other “Handy Girls”. One of them reminded me that I haven’t publicized the date for my next ReStore talk! (Thanks Heath for jogging my frazzled brain!)

So, consider this your official invitation! Saturday, December 10th at 1pm, I will be speaking at the NEW Cary ReStore located at 181 High House Rd. Cary, NC 27511.  I can’t promise that Doug E. Fresh will be there, but I can tell you that it will be a fun talk with lots of cool idea for ornaments, a wreath, an advent calendar and other holiday decor. If you come, I hope you’ll stay a little afterwards so I can meet you. ;-)

Want to give the grandparents something special from your son or daughter? But, you cringe at the thought of them throwing away another construction paper ornament? I guarantee, these  are 10 of the most special gifts that your children (all age range) can make for that someone special in their lives!

 

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

Animated_chalkboard_box

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Prepping the drawer:

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

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

Add decorative trim molding to the top as shown:

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

Wipe off the drawer/unit with a wet rag.

 

Faux painting the unit:

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

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

 

Creating the bulletin board:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Adding a graphic letter to the bulletin board:

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

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

 

Creating the sliding chalkboard:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finishing touches:

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

Clamp the ruler in place and let it dry overnight.

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

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

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

the decorative crown molding,

and most of all for the price!!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

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