How to Compost – Magnificent Garden Soil

How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you compost? Oh my gosh, if you don’t, why not?!!! It is easy, it’s great for the environment and it will result in amazing nutrient rich soil that surpasses anything you can buy from a store! Some of the additional benefits are that you will reduce the amount of trash you produce and keep things out of the landfill.

Now, I totally understand if you are living in the big city in an apartment and really don’t have space for compost let alone potted plants. But, if you have a yard, you really should be composting! It’s easy, it takes very little time and my little gardening BFFs (aka worms) do all the work for you.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

That’s right, they eat up all your kitchen and yard waste and turn it into beautiful black soil. How do they do it? Well, if I tell you, you have to promise that you won’t get grossed out. They poop it out. LOL. Yup, compost is decomposition and worm castings (a nicer word for worm poop.) Please don’t run away, find out how easy it is to create this magnificent garden soil.

Here’s the basics for how to compost and get top quality soil for your garden and landscaping for FREE! [Read more...]

3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Container gardening is easy and great for instant color gratification. But, it’s especially fun to find “unconventional” objects to use as a planter. You may have noticed my little red wagon planter in the Landscaping 101 post. My 3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter is sure to bring color to your landscaping while also providing some fun and whimsy. Plus, it’s easily rolled to a new spot if you want to change your view. But, the best part is, you can make this planter in 3 steps!

Materials:

  • Drill
  • Large drill bit
  • Little wagon or other container
  • Rocks
  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Hand trowel

Instructions: [Read more...]

Landscaping 101 – Tools, Planting and Adding Color {+ True Temper Giveaway}

Landscaping 101: Tools, Planting, and Adding Color to your Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

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When we bought our first home 13 years ago, we were lured by the idea of having at least half an acre of land. Little did we know that it would involve LOTS and LOTS of yard work. Over the years we’ve learned several tips and tricks to creating beautiful landscaping that will last for decades. If you’re a new homeowner (or still trying to find your green thumb), here’s the Landscaping 101 course to help you hit the ground running. I’ll be sharing which yard tools are essential, how to pick the right plants, how to plant them, and how to add color to your landscaping. Plus, stick around because I have a True Temper giveaway to fill your shed with new yard tools! Pull up a stump and lets dig in! [Read more...]

25 Ideas for Tabletop Gardens and Terrariums

Faux Terrarium

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As the weather changes and the flowers start to wane outside, it’s a great time to focus on bringing natural beauty indoors. I’ve gathered some beautiful and unique ideas for creating your own tabletop gardens. For those with less time to water, may I suggest trying one of the succulent or cacti gardens. Regardless of the plants you use, I love the wide variety of creative containers used for these mini-environments.

Let’s get started with some beautiful tutorials for planting a tabletop garden:

1. Easy Terrarium in Minutes! [Read more...]

How to install landscape bed black edging

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Jaime here from That’s My Letter to share an easy project that will make your landscaping look clean and neat.

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We just moved into a new home with tons of landscaping, it’s full and lush and mature AND lacks definition from the grassy yard.

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With help from the folks at True Temper® I installed landscape edging using the round point shovel and black plastic edging to create that defining line between grass and plantings: [Read more...]

How to Grow an Incredible Crop of Tomatoes

How to grow Happy Tomatoes

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Last spring we completed my raised bed stack stone garden.  It served as an incredible place for me to try my hand at growing vegetables.  I planted green peppers, strawberries, onions, basil, oregano, jalapeños, and 9 tomato plants. Yup, you read that right N-I-N-E tomato plants in three different varieties.  To be fair, most of the plants looked very sad and I really thought half of them would die.  Much to my surprise they not only lived but they thrived to insane proportions and produced over 2 bushel, which is equivalent to over 100 lbs of tomatoes.  That’s a whole lot more than I expected!  I was knee deep in tomatoes and quickly taught myself how to can tomato sauce.

Last year I chose to stake the tomatoes using 5′ plastic garden stakes and garden support tape.  It worked great for a little while but when the tomatoes got to a certain size, the stakes started to bend from the weight of the plants.

This year I am doing things differently to make sure my plants get the full support they need for their growing bodies ;-).

Planting and Staking Your Tomatoes [Read more...]

How to Recover Outdoor Pillows and a Mini Patio Makeover #LowesCreator

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When Lowe’s challenged me to give an outdoor spot a mini-makeover, I knew exactly where to turn my attention.

Our small paver patio is where we sit on warm spring days to eat lunch, take a break or sip wine after dark. The winter months wreak havoc on the furniture and the pillows I neglected to bring inside.

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Cleaning the furniture was as easy as a quick sponging with a Mr. Clean magic eraser.

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Then I hosed them down and was done in less than 10 minutes. The pillows weren’t as easily cleaned. I tried to wash them, but they were still a little dingy. So, I headed to Lowe’s to look for new ones.

As I entered Lowe’s with my complimentary gift card in hand, I found myself wandering down the curtain aisle again. (Do you gravitate to this aisle too? With all those colors, patterns, and textures it’s hard for me to stay focused on my shopping list.) [Read more...]

Outdoor Planter from an Ice Bucket #LowesCreator

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Being a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blogger is one of my favorite jobs as a DIY blogger. I love walking the aisles of Lowe’s, with my provided gift card in hand, dreaming of finding mundane objects to transform into amazingly beautiful objects. For example, what do you get when you cross an ice bucket with a stove pipe connector?

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[Read more...]

Easy Potted Clover for St. Patrick’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is in one day, right? So, what am I up to? I’m getting ready to celebrate the return of spring and St. Patrick’s Day of course.

In North Carolina, the trees are starting to bud and a few have flowers. I’m super excited for the arrival of spring. In addition to the flowers, the weeds have also started to pop up. But, there is one weed that I don’t mind sticking around for a little while.

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Although clover is technically a weed, it is also is a beneficial plant for your yard. It encourages bees to visit and help pollinate your flowers. Clover also produces nitrogen which is good for your lawn. And finally, it is a low growing evergreen plant, which means more green in your lawn. [Read more...]

Fall Leaves Garden Flag with Google+ LIVE Video Tutorial

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Hi, Y’all! Did you know it’s Fall Y’all! Yup, the weather has finally turned in Raleigh, NC. To celebrate this colorful season I’ve created this beautiful garden flag using a few simple supplies from the Dollar Store. Scroll down for the full material list.

If you want to watch the tutorial in my Google+ LIVE hangout, view the video below.

We will start promptly at 10am PST (1pm EST). But, don’t fret if you miss it, you will be able to play the video at your convenience later.

(If you are viewing in your email, click HERE to view this post on my website.)

 

Joining me is the fabulous Sandra of Sawdust & Paper Scraps and Sharon from Mrs. Hine’s Class. It’s going to be a lot of fun so stick around.

[Read more...]

I’ll Be LIVE! Google+ Hangout featuring Homemade Thanksgiving

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This is going to be an exciting week!  “A Homemade Thanksgiving” is happening!  In short, it’s a week long LIVE event filled with tips & tutorials from some of your favorite craft and décor bloggers.

Here’s the Line Up (All times are Pacific Standard Time):

Monday – November  5

12:00 pm - Five Printable Placecard Options - Kristi B  of Creative Kristi

2:00 pm - Using Natural Elements from Your Own Yard to Create Fall Displays - Barbara Garrett of The Everyday Home

 

Tuesday – November 6

11:00 am - Decorating on the Cheap - 5 Trending Hometalk Projects  - Hometalk.com  – with guest Heather Patterson (At The Picket Fence)

12:00 pm - Table Centerpieces - Aimee Lane of It’s Overflowing with guest  Emily Morgenstern (52 Mantels)

1:00 PM - Creating a Fall Mantel - Barbara Garrett of The Everyday Home

 

Wednesday – November 7

11:00 AM - Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids - Amanda Formaro of Crafts by Amanda

1:00 PM - Thanksgiving Crafts - Amber Price  of Crazy Little Projects

2:00 PM - Turkey Cookies with Your Kids - Natalie Dixon of A Turtle’s Life

4:00 PM - Embellish with Paint - Colleen Jorgensen of Just Paint It!

 

Thursday – November 8

10:00 AM – Fall Garden Flag from Dollar Store Items - Brittany Bailey of Pretty Handy Girl with guest +Sandra Powell (Sawdust & Paper Scraps)

11:00 AM - Hand Crafted Thanksgiving Home Decor - Shannon Fox of Fox Hollow Cottage with guest +Debbie Manno (Debbiedoo’s)

12:00 PM – Tips and Tricks for Hosting Your Family and Not Going Bonkers! - Nellie Bellie with guests Jessica Kielman (Mom4Real) & Jen Marrs (Four Marrs & One Venus)

1:00 PM – Creative Kids’ Thanksgiving Ideas - Amy Bell of Positively Splendid

3:00 PM - Decorating with Natural Elements - Sharon Hines of Mrs. Hines Class with guests Ann Drake (On Sutton Place), Colleen Jorgensen,(Just Paint It), & Jane Windham (Cottage at the Crossroads)

4:00 PM - Quick Thanksgiving Crafts - Angie of Country Chic Cottage& Carolina Moore of 30 Minute Crafts

 

Friday – November 9

11:00 AM – Thanksgiving Placecards - Karen Watson of The Graphics Fairy with guests +Gina Luker (Shabby Creek Cottage)

2:00 PM – Ways to Personalize Your Thanksgiving Table - Kim Demmon of Today’s Creative Blog

Are you excited? Did you happen to catch Thursday? At 10 AM PST? I’ll be sharing how to make a fall flag using materials from the dollar store with my friend, Sandra of Sawdust & Paper Scraps. We’ll be doing the live video for you to view right here on the blog!

I’m used to creating solo videos, but I wanted to get y’all involved this time. I hope you’ll drop in for my first LIVE tutorial! I’m going to show you how to make this pretty fall flag:

If you want to be ready to craft, gather these materials beforehand:

Materials:

  • Dollar Store placemat
  • Brown, orange & red thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Silk leaves
  • Glitter paint or glitter glue
  • Stencils
  • Optional: hand sew or hot glue if you don’t have a sewing machine

If you can’t drop everything and make it Thursday at 10 AM PST, you can still watch later on my YouTube channel at your convenience. (That’s the really nice thing about Google+ Hangouts On Air – they’re recorded onto YouTube for viewers to watch at any time.)

What do you think? I know I’m really excited, not just for mine, but also to see some of my favorite bloggers too! This is really a landmark event – to have a group of bloggers broadcasting like this. I hope you’ll join me and Sandra. That girl cracks me up, so be prepared to pee your pants ;-D.

House Logic Boost Your Roost Finalists

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Announcing the Finalists!

The results are in and we have six finalists in the Boost Your Roost contest! I am encouraging y’all to head over to vote for your favorite entry (one vote per day.)

Before I announce my finalist, I have to tell you that the last week of the Boost Your Roost contest was emotionally draining for me. I have never seen so many homes and families that truly needed this renovation. There were over 250 entries that were submitted to me. I cried after reading many of the submissions and I lost sleep as I worried how those who weren’t chosen would ever be able to achieve their home improvement goals. Several of the entries were too ambitious for the House Logic budget and time frame. Therefore we had to choose projects that better met these restraints.

Throughout the judging process there remained one finalist’s request that continued to seed in my mind. I pictured being able to make a difference in not just the life of one person, but a whole family’s.

May I introduce you to Allison Smith, her husband Aaron, and their adorable 5 year old son Cooper: [Read more...]

How to Patch Spots in Your Grass (The Easy Way)

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Welcome back to the Spring Olympic events. We are here in Handy Stadium which is home to numerous sporting events including: football, soccer, 25 yard dash, off-road cycling and you can’t forget father/son wrestling.

As you can see, we have yards and yards of pristinely manicured blades of grass.

Wait a cotton pickin’ minute, is that a….

[Read more...]

Creative Container Gardening – DIY Talent The Pink Hammer Blog

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Welcome back to another day of the DIY Talent Parade! Do you see that flurry of pink activity? You know what that means, it is none other than Kelly from The Pink Hammer Blog!

Kelly is the gal behind those rockin’ pink tools. With a drill in one hand and a hammer in the other, there isn’t anything she can’t do! Take this bathroom renovation for example:

She took it from dark and dingy to sea-inspired-licious! The transformation is impressive, don’t you think?!

Today Kelly is going to whip up some creative containers for planting. And, boy oh boy does she have some creative ideas!  Take it away Kelly!

[Read more...]

How to Root Plant Clippings

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I have a bush in our yard that is a pure delight to me.

It has the distinguished honor of being the first flowering plant in our landscaping after a long winter. In the winter, it has pretty dark shiny evergreen foilage. When these little white blossoms open, they produce the most heavenly lemon smell.

My angelic plant is a Daphne bush (maybe the star white variety ) and it seems to like the shaded spot it holds under the protective canopy of oaks over it. If there was ever a plant I want more of, this is it. So, I decided to try to root some clippings this year using rooting hormone. [Read more...]

Installing Your Own Sprinkler System

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Last week I shared with you how to grow a better lawn based on what I learned from my education at Pennington Seed. Part of growing a more beautiful lawn is learning how to water it properly. Did you know that the majority of homeowners overwater their lawn and plants? Typically your yard only needs 1 inch of water per week (1/2 inch waterings two times a week) If you install your own sprinkler system with a timer and a rain gauge, you can insure that your lawn and/or landscaping gets just the right amount of water.

When we lived in our old house, Pretty Handsome Guy and I received a quick tutorial on installing a sprinkler system in our yard. Our neighbor — the previous owner of our current home (Yes, it’s complicated like that.) — showed us how to piece together pvc pipes, add spray heads and set up a timer to water our lawn. Now I’m passing this information on to you.

Here is the Pretty Frugal Girl’s method for installing your own sprinkler system! [Read more...]

How to Grow a Better Lawn – Grass Seeds DO Make the Difference

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Last week I flew to Portland, OR to get an education on grass seed at Pennington Seed. I learned a lot more than I ever imagined you could learn about those little seeds. I am so grateful for the opportunity and the time that Pennington Seed took to share this information with me. I spent a whole day trying to absorb as much as I could. As you can imagine, there was so much information, I tried my best to fit it all in this post. [Read more...]

Whirlwind Weekend & Winner of Sweet Faerie Design Giveaway

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I’m back! But, I’m not quite 100% back on EST. I’m finding out that jet lag plus a time change are a toxic combination. A combo that even two cups of coffee and a nap couldn’t fix today. I seriously could lay down on that beautiful bed of grass above and sleep for a week.

Here is a quick recap of this past weekend: [Read more...]

A Little Grass Education for Me from Pennington Seed

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I’m headed out early tomorrow morning to Portland, OR.

Yup, across the great US to the West Coast. Luckily I’m not afraid of flying, but honestly I’m not good at travelling more than a few times a year. I feel like I just got back from Blissdom. But, I couldn’t turn down this opportunity. It’s for my childrens’ sake. They live in a house that has a backyard that looks like this:

We have some of that good ole’ North Carolina red clay that deprives grass of water and nutrients.

I’m in serious need of some lessons on how to grow grass and help improve my kids’ play area. Okay, truth be told, I also want to go so I can put an end to the red clay tracks that they bring inside after playing in the backyard. Selfish reason — I know, but can you blame me?!

The good folks at Pennington Seed have decided to take myself and a few other DIY bloggers under their wing to teach us about grass seed. I’ll be joining these other fine DIY blogger guys and gals:

Building Moxie, Charles & Hudson, Handy Guys Podcast, Hoosier Homemade, Man Made DIY, My Repurposed Life, Sawdust and Paper Scraps,  The Shabby Creek Cottage, and Veggie Gardening Tips

Believe me, I will be asking lots of questions about how we can have something that looks a little more like this:

Definitely leave me a comment letting me know if you have any questions for the grass guru. I’ll try to get the inside scoop for ya’. ;-)

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.