Summer Spectacular Spray Dyed Shirts over at Beneath My Heart

Hello from the hot, humid and sweltering temperatures of North Carolina! Are you tearing your hair out yet because the kids are home for the summer and driving you nuts?

Today I’m chillin’ over at Beneath My Heart with a fun and colorful activity you can do with the kids. Head over and learn how to Spray Dye T-shirt with painter’s tape and RIT dye.

Need more ideas to keep your kids busy? Check out these 20 Boredom Buster DIY Projects for the Kids this Summer!

20 Summer Boredom Busters for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

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Death to Ugly Toys – DIY Tutorials for Quality Toys and Games

Die Ugly Toys Die

DIY Marble Toss Game | Pretty Handy Girl

This summer, parents are busy trying to keep their children busy with quality games and toys. Any seasoned parent knows that those electronic noise-maker toys have no place in a sane household. With this in mind, my friend Stefanie from Brooklyn Limestone has started a summer long series called “Die Ugly Toys Die.”

Die Ugly Toys Die

Every Thursday she’ll feature another DIY toy or game that you can make for your children. It’s time to get back to the basics and send those annoying and ugly toys off a cliff.

My tutorial for creating a DIY Marble Toss Game is starting the series today.

Click here to find the instructions to build your own. Then watch your kids have hours of fun challenging each other in a tossing game.

Be sure to check over at Brooklyn Limestone every Thursday for a new DIY toy or game.

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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!

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Little Playhouse for Ollie {Mystery Thrift Off}

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

I love giving my boys creative freedom on projects. Frequently I let them have access to my scrap pile. Inevitably they build little houses for their stuffed animals. This little house was designed and painted by my 8 year old for Ollie (his little stuffed octopus.) I helped him build it. If you want to build a little playhouse for your child to paint, follow along.

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 Housewarming Gift Caddy and the Little Playhouse I’m going to show you today.

I began by removing some of the embellishments.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

I saved them for a future project.

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

Next I sanded off the glue.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Here’s where you can pick up the tutorial. Start by cutting a house shape into a piece of plywood or scrap wood. Cut out a doorway (the Dremel Multi-Max worked perfect for this task.)

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the house shape over and attach hinges to one side of the door and the house.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut two pieces for the sides of the house (1″ x 4″ lumber) and a back piece the same height as the house front.

Little Playhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Clamp the back of the house to a solid surface and attach the sides of the house with glue and finish nails. [Read more…]

Make Your Own Monster Dolls

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

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

Aren’t they cute?! Okay, they may have a few imperfections, but I don’t want to hear about it because my boys made them! That’s right my 4 and 7 year old boys made their own Monster Dolls. With a little help from me. It was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon together.

My 7 year old really dove in and enjoyed every aspect of making his monster. He even used the sewing machine with my help. My 4 year old needed a bit more guidance and help. He was very tentative about the sewing machine, but I convinced him to push the pedal. After one time pushing it,  he was LOVING puttin’ the pedal to the metal! LOL!

Materials:

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

  • Fleece
  • Colored felt
  • Scissors
  • Vanishing sewing pen
  • Buttons
  • Colored thread
  • Poly-fill stuffing
  • Needles
  • Sharpie marker
  • Paper and pencil

Instructions:

Let your child draw their monster on a piece of paper.

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

Help your child draw the outline of the monster onto the back side of the fleece. Explain that you might need to fatten up any skinny appendages so you can turn the monster right side out and stuff (him or her) after sewing.

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

Pin two pieces of fleece together (right sides together.) Help your child cut out around the outline of the monster’s body. [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…]

DIY Constellation Wall Art

DIY Constellation Wall Art

DIY Constellation Wall Art

Happy New Year! It’s Jessica from Decor Adventures, back with a fun project for your walls this month.  In late November, my husband and I had a baby girl! We are enjoying every minute of her and on the side I’ve been working on decorating her nursery. This idea for constellation wall art is both a way to add art to the walls, and some personalization of her birthday. It’s easy to put together and only requires a few basic supplies.

Materials

  • Picture frame
  • Hardboard to fit inside picture frame
  • Primer
  • White and black paint
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Small nails
  • Embroidery floss in white
  • Computer, internet, printer, paper
  • Hammer
  • Glitter (optional)

DIY Constellation Wall Art

Instructions

1. Paint your picture frame if desired. I used Smitten by Americana Decor chalky paint. I sealed it with 2 coats of polycrylic since chalky paint dries in a matte finish.

2. Prime and paint your hardboard with black paint. You could also use dark blue, since it will represent the night sky. I sprinkled a little bit of black glitter on the wet pant to add some sparkle (optional.)

Paint the nails white. These will be the “stars” in your constellation.

DIY Constellation Wall Art

3. Find an image of the constellation you plan to use and print out an image of it. You can find this with a quick search online, but this is a good resource for pictures. Print it on paper to fit inside your frame. [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…]

Chalkboard Memo Board – The Time I Made a 4th Grade Teacher Use a Power Tool

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

Before the end of the school year a REALLY GOOD friend of mine asked if I would give a talk in her daughter’s class about what I do for a living. I hemmed and hawed because I rarely have the free time. But, the main reason I was hesitant was because I didn’t know how to talk to 4th graders about what I do. Saying I’m a blogger is something that is hard for me to vocalize. “I write a blog” sounds simple and easy. But, in actuality, I do so many other things to make this blog a reality. Just a few of my job descriptions are: writer, photographer, builder, crafter, teacher, photo editor, business woman, manager, social media coordinator, graphic designer, web designer and all around handy girl! How could I explain all of that to the students?

Suddenly, an idea hit me! I would waltz into that classroom and use my platform to break down the stereotypes about women and handy people within 30 minutes (or less!) Then I’d empower the 4th grade students by letting them build their own chalkboard memo board AND use a power tool! Lofty goals, but I felt sure I could do it. Little did I know that the students wouldn’t be the only one empowered.

The quiz:

I started out by talking to the kids about what a handy person is. They shared terms that fit the definition of a handy person: fixes things, builder, carpenter, plumber, woodworker, and home improvement specialist. Then I showed them a slide presentation and gave the kids a quiz asking them to tell me which of these people are handy:

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

I showed them one picture at a time and as expected, they got all of the answers wrong.

The answers: [Read more…]

Building a DIY Marble Toss Game with Dremel Fortiflex

DIY Marble Toss Game | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Marble Toss Game | Pretty Handy Girl

The summer is dragging on and the kids don’t have any summer camps for the next few weeks. That means: 1) I need to find a way to keep the kids entertained. 2) I need to keep them from pushing me over the brink of insanity. 3) I need to keep them from pushing each other off a cliff.

engraved-marble-toss

I came up with a fun marble toss game that will keep them busy. It was an easy game to make and I used some of the scrap wood laying around my workshop. Feel free to substitute materials and make modifications.

I enjoyed using the Dremel Fortiflex to carve the intricate letters and numbers. I have to admit I’m enjoying working as a brand ambassador for Dremel and testing their tools.

Let’s get your marble game face on!

Materials:

  • Pencil
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Computer print out of “Marble Toss”
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint brush
  • 12 – 1.25″ wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • 10 – 1″ brad nails
  • Wood putty
  • Acrylic paint: Red & Aqua
  • 10 marbles
  • Chalk
  • Compass or round objects to trace holes (tape roll, glass, quart paint can, and food container)

Optional: White pin stripes

Cut list:

  • 1 – 1/4″ x 10.5″ x 24.5″ plywood (face)
  • 1 – 1/2″ x 23″ x 9.25″ plywood (for side supports)
  • 2 – 1×3″ cut to 8.5″ (for base supports)
  • 1 – 2×4″ cut to 8.5″ (for upper support)

Tools Used:

Instructions:

Begin by drawing a horizontal line across the 1/2″ plywood.

mark-triangle-half

The angle will be approximately 22˚degrees.

22-degrees

Use the Dremel Ultra-Saw (jig saw or circular saw) to cut your plywood board in half diagonally.

cut-on-line-ultra-saw

You should have two identical triangles for the side supports. [Read more…]

Easy DIY Yardstick Star

kona stain yardstick star

easy diy yardstick star

Hi there! It’s Melissa from The Happier Homemaker again and I’m excited to share a super easy little DIY decor project with you today!  A few weeks back I was at Lowe’s on a Saturday morning (isn’t that where we all are on the weekends?) While shopping around I saw a bucket of yardsticks in the paint section and had a stroke of inspiration to create this adorable little yardstick star for my mantel! This was one of my favorite types of projects (simple and inexpensive) and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Materials

  • 3 wood yardsticks
  • Saw (I used a circular saw but almost any type will work)
  • Wood Glue
  • Stain

Instructions:

materials yardstick star

Use a saw to cut each of your yardsticks in half at the 18″ line. Set one segment aside so you have 5 total pieces to work with. [Read more…]

How to: Build a Wall Chalkboard with a Chalk Ledge

wall chalkboard

wall chalkboard

Chalkboards are popping up everywhere (like Brittany’s DIY chalkboard calendar from last week) and you can easily make one, but how about upping the usefulness by making a chalkboard WITH a chalk ledge?  Jaime here from That’s My Letter to show you how easy it is to add a chalk ledge to your chalkboard.

chalkboard with ledge

You definitely need a place to put all that chalk (or chalk markers like we prefer).  This chalk ledge protudes a minimal  1 3/4″ from the wall but still has space enough to hold lots of chalk.

chalkboard with ledge 5

I also attached a galvanized pail for more chalk markers.

chalkboard with ledge 1

wall chalkboard 1

I installed this chalkboard near our back door mudroom area.  Unfortunately the key pad for our alarm system is nearly smack in the middle of that wall.  I simply cut out a square in my plywood using a jig saw to accommodate the key pad.  My kids love their new chalkboard and somehow the key pad isn’t quite so obvious once they start drawing around it.

chalkboard with ledge 2

Supplies:

  • 1/2″ plywood (cut to desired size)
  • 1×2 pine board (cut to length of plywood)
  • 1 3/8″ x 1/4″ thick flat trim moulding (cut to length of plywood)
  • black chalkboard paint
  • blue painters tape
  • stain
  • polyurethane
  • foam brushes
  • drill
  • Kreg pocket hole jig (not necessary but definitely easier if you have one)
  • 1″ pocket hole screws
  • wood glue
  • 3/4″ trim nails
  • countersink bit
  • 2 1/2″ toggle bolts
  • 5/8″ spade bit (check toggle bolt requirements)
  • pencil
  • level

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut your plywood to size, using your Kreg pocket hole jig make pocket holes every 8″ along bottom edge of plywood (on back side). (I used the portable base with automaxx clamp here, much easier that slipping a large piece of plywood into the jig.) [Read more…]

School Library Reveal

Valspar_color_winners

School Library Painted with Montpelier Wedgewood | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember last week when we were picking colors for the school library? Well, I’m back to show you how everything came together!

But first, I’d like to announce the winners of the Valspar paint samples:

Valspar_color_winners

 

Congrats to Bonnie, Lynda, Marion, Cathleen, Joanne, Colleen, Amy H., Nicole, Becky V. and Nancy B!  Be sure to email me with your addresses and final color picks!

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To quickly review, we painted the walls and ceiling tiles using Valspar Montpelier Wedgewood. Then we stenciled stars on the ceiling.  After installing the ceiling tiles the library looked like this. Better, but still a bit ho-hum.

School Library Painted with Montpelier Wedgewood | Pretty Handy Girl

I had much bigger plans and was far from finished. I called in some expert help from my friend Leen the Graphics Queen and her husband. They cut and installed all the silver trees and birds. We had an absolute blast working together. There were several birds leftover, so Leen played hide and seek by putting a few birds elsewhere in the library. The kids (and I) had fun trying to find them over the next few days. [Read more…]

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors in the School Library

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Choosing paint colors can be a daunting task. Looking at small paint chips at your local Lowe’s Home Improvement store can be a bit overwhelming. Especially because there are so many colors to choose from! (That can be a good thing too ;-).)

Luckily I have two tips to help you choose the paint color that’s right for you:

1. Use Valspar paint. Finding a paint color you love is easier with Valspar. If you don’t love the first color you choose, you can have another on them. It’s as easy as, love your color, or change your color. That’s the Valspar Love Your Color Guarantee. And it certainly helps alleviate the stress of choosing the right paint color for your room.

2. Create larger paint chips. Looking at tiny paint chips won’t help you conceptualize that color over the entire wall. Making large paint swatches using foam board and sample paints is easy and can save you time when choosing the ideal paint color. I put together this short video to show you how we selected the final color for the school library.

I knew if I could create big paint chips and let the librarian live with the large chips for a few days, she’d be better prepared to make a final decision. As you saw, she was much more comfortable choosing this way.

The winning color was Montpelier Wedgewood by Valspar. And, luckily after we began painting, we all fell in love with the color she chose.

Here’s how we tackled painting the school library (acoustic ceiling tiles and all!): [Read more…]

3-D Snowflake Tutorial by Remodelaholic

Snowflake Tutorial for Christmas

3D Paper Snowflake

Today’s guest is the queen of DIY! She’s all about doing it herself from huge home renovation projects down to small ornaments. Please welcome Cassity from Remodelaholic!

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I think it is fun to let your kids get in on gift making, not just buying! Something simple that brings you together as family and doesn’t break the bank? This not so little 3D snowflake is the perfect answer to getting your kids involved!

Supplies:

  • Double sided Scrapbook paper (12″ x 12″ will result in less wasted paper!)
  • Glue, tape or staples
  • paper clips

Instructions: [Read more…]

Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards

Easy Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards | Pretty Handy Girl

Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards are a great little DIY gift idea for the teachers in your life (or anyone who uses clipboards.) I plan to give these to my boys’ teachers with a gift card to an office supply store tucked under the clip.

Best of all, they are a project that the kids can help with. So gather the munchkins around and let’s get started.

Materials:

Easy Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Clipboards
  • Chalkboard or Chalk-like Paint
  • Foam brush
  • Emory board or a scrap of sturdy cardboard
  • White chalk
  • Makeup pencil sharpener
  • Washi tape
  • Small ruler

Instructions: [Read more…]

DIY Washer Toss Game

How to Build a DIY Washer Toss Game

DIY Washer Toss Plans

Earlier this month, I ran across a roundup of super creative DIY outdoor games that Sara from MomEndeavors had put together!  After seeing how this crazy talented group of bloggers were able to build their own DIY outdoor games, I decided to try my hand at one that I’ve played for years at the firehouse when we’re not busy running calls.  So, here’s my quick tutorial on how to build your very own DIY Washer Toss Game! [Read more…]

DIY Star Wars Birthday Party

Fox_geek_shirt

star-wars-themed-party

I have a special guest for you today. Jenelle is a woman who shares my passion for upcycling and creating treasures from trash. She creates at TrashN2Tees. When I say creates, I should say works amazing transformative magic on old shirts and clothing. She turns them into the most adorable shirts and accessories! Like this Fox Applique Geeky Kids shirt:

Fox_geek_shirt

And this too cute for words Hungry Bear Shirt:

Bear_stomach_shirt

But, kids’ clothing is just the beginning. She also sells jewelry made from shirts! Like these funky chunky bracelets:

Upcycled T-shirt Funky Chunky Bracelets

You won’t believe all the cool things she has in her Trash N2 Tees Etsy Shop (First time buyers receive 10% off with coupon code FTB10Off):

Trash_N2_Tees_Etsy

She also launched a clothing recycling program for used, stained or out of style clothing! She’s like the Upcycling Wonder Woman! And, she has a son who LOVES Star Wars. All you mamas of boys know how obsessive our little Jedis can be for Star Wars, right?!

Jenelle knew that her little guy deserved a fantastic Star Wars themed party that wouldn’t break the budget. She did a fabulous job creating a memorable Star Wars Party for very little money. I leave you in Jenelle’s capable hands: [Read more…]

How to Make Thumbprint Design Envelope Pillows {Great Gift Idea}

contact paper silhouete on fabric

Thumbprint seahorse pillow1

Hello, Pretty Handy Girl readers! It’s Cristina from Remodelando la Casa once again happy to share an easy and fun project where kids are more than welcome to give a helping “thumb” :)

Thumbprint starfish pillow2 with tag

Envelope pillows are the easiest pillow covers I’ve sewn and let me tell you, my sewing skills are not that good.  A fabric rectangle is folded to create an “envelope”, four simple straight  lines to sew and your cover is done! No zippers, no Velcro, the envelope holds the pillow really well. [Read more…]

Indoor Hopscotch using Painter’s Tape

indoor_hopscotch_painters_tape

indoor_hopscotch_painters_tape

When the weather outside is frightful and your kids are less than delightful, lay a roll of painter’s tape on your floor and soon your kids will be having fun indoors.

How about that for a quick little limerick? Well, this project is almost as quick. All you need is a roll of painter’s tape (I used ScotchBlue for delicate surfaces, but you can use any type) and a pair of scissors.

scissors_tape

Lay out your hopscotch grid on the floor. (It was easy on our square tile floor because the tile layout acted as a guideline for our course.) [Read more…]