La-Z-Boy Design Dash

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swatches

Over a month ago I was contacted by La-Z-Boy and asked if I’d like to participate in their La-Z-Boy Design Dash. The idea was to visit my local showroom and design a sofa. Then I’d meet my sofa in High Point, NC and design a room around that sofa. The concept sounded like fun. And the idea of getting away for a few days for some R&R sounded great! Little did I know, that there would be very little rest or relaxation involved.

A week later I received instructions to go to the local La-Z-Boy showroom and design my sofa. As I approached the showroom I was hesitant. I remember the vision of my grandfather’s old slouchy recliner. I was suddenly filled with trepidation. How could I “design” a sofa with flabby rolls of corduroy? I grabbed the door and opened it, and what lay inside literally shattered any preconceived notions I had of La-Z-Boy!

I was stopped immediately by what I saw.

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I had a breathtaking reaction to this chair:

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Everywhere I looked there was more beautiful upholstered furniture. [Read more...]

30 Amazing DIY Decorative Mirrors

Wood Shim Starburst Mirror

A mirror is a great asset when decorating a home. They’re functional and placed strategically they can visually enlarge a space. Decorative mirrors do double duty as beautiful pieces of art.

Here are 30 amazing DIY decorative mirrors to suit any taste or style (not to mention budget.)

30 Amazing DIY Mirrors

Starburst/Sunburst Mirrors

No matter which celestial body you choose to call them, these trendy mirrors add a sparkle to any wall.

Wood Shim Starburst Mirror | 30 Amazing DIY Mirrors

 1. Wood Shim Starburst Mirror by Infarrantly Creative
Beckie used wood shims to create this beauty at a fraction of the cost of similar mirrors sold in stores

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DIY Sunburst Mirror | 30 Amazing DIY Mirrors

2.  DIY Sunburst Mirror at K Sarah Designs
 Another lovely mirror created again with wood shims, but a completely different look. [Read more...]

Mosaicworks Glass Tile Rainbow Mirror {Guest Post}

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mosaic works blue mosiac mirro

Have you ever been browsing Pinterest or the blog world and come across an artist that has literally left your mouth hanging open? Well Karen from MosaicWorks may have caused me to drool a bit on my keyboard. I immediately asked her if she’d like to share a tutorial with you.

But, first let me give you a little background about Karen. She studied Illustration in Art School and ended up as a graphic designer (the similarities are uncanny.) She also authored and illustrated a children’s book called Mr. Bob’s Magic Ride in the Sky. She lives in Oshawa, Ontario with her husband, two daughters, and  two dogs (William and Kate…the royal canine couple.) She’s a blogger and an extremely talented mosaic artist! You MUST follow her blog at MosaicWorks.ca. Her creative projects are brilliant and her musings and short photo posts are enough to lighten your day.

Without further chatter, I turn you over to Karen!

Karen Johnston MosaicWorks CA

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Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers. I’m a mosaic artist who, like Brittany, is always up for a good DIY. [Read more...]

10 Uses for Old Windows

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10_uses_for_old_windows

Last week I replaced our kitchen window with a new casement window. It’s beautiful and I’m in love. But, I feel bad for the old window.

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The window is sitting neglected and abandoned beside our house. Whenever I walk by, it begs me for a transformation. I’m thinking I could make any one of these ideas with the old window! [Read more...]

MirrorMate Installation and Giveaway

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Do you have an ugly builder’s mirror? I’m betting about 85% of you do. The other 10% were lucky to buy a home that has a beautifully framed mirror. And the remaining 5% either made or bought a new mirror with a frame! When I was first introduced to MirrorMate on Kate’s blog, I could barely contain my excitement. There was finally a fix for the ugly builder’s mirror in my kids’ bathroom {happy dancing}! I could finally say adieu to the stained, rusted and chipped behemoth in the bath and yet I wasn’t adding anything to the landfill in the process!

Bethany, who works for MirrorMate, helped me pick out the perfect frame for our bathroom. And shipped it as soon as the frame was available. Unfortunately, the frame arrived right before I left to surprise my sister in Ca. Then I came home and got deathly ill. So, the poor frame sat in our garage for a month. As soon as I started feeling better I jumped right into the bathroom makeover project. I have to tell you, the makeover was inspired by the beautiful MirrorMate frame. I just couldn’t put that beautiful frame into the fishy bathroom. It just would look like the grown up in a child’s playground.

Putting the frame together and framing the mirror was a piece of cake. Here is how we did it:

1. Unpack the MirrorMate and accompaning supplies.

2. Spread the frame and pieces out. Use wax paper (or old cereal bags) under the corners to protect your work surface from the glue.

3. Glue each corner.

4. Insert the small connector pegs into the slots at the corners. You might need a hammer to lightly tap them in.

5. Wipe off any excess glue with a damp rag (or baby wipe).

6. For added strength and to hold the frame while it dried, I chose to “clamp” my frame by typing rope around it. This was not a necessary step, but I think it helps insure a tight joint, so I did it.

Please tell me that I’m not the only one who started singing. “Spiderman, spiderman, does whatever a spider can, spins a web…”

 

While the frame is drying, assemble the cardboard guides for the MirrorMate installation.

Add the double stick tape to the back as shown in the directions:

After allowing the frame to dry for an hour, get your DIY partner to help you move the frame. You must be careful not to lift or carry the frame by the corners or it could come apart. I left the rope on it until we moved it into the bathroom (just to be safe.)

Clean your glass with rubbing alcohol (especially where the frame will adhere to the mirror.)

Put up with your handsome assistant insisting on reading the directions (even though you already did and are anxious to move along.)

Have your assistant hold up the frame and then have fun telling him to move it to the left. No, wait a little to the right. Well, maybe back to the left. {Hee, hee.}

Level the frame.

Insert the corner guides directly into the top two corners. Be sure the guide is touching the frame’s inner edges.

Remove the frame and then peel off the tape backing.

Then lift the frame back up with the help of your assistant. Align the frame onto the corner guides and press firmly onto the glass. You only have one shot at this, so go slow.

Remove the corner guides and the glue strips from the mirror.

Now stand back and admire your newly framed mirror! GORGEOUS, don’t you think? And the installation was a snap (or should I say a stick. LOL!)

No one will ever know that you are hiding a dirty stained, chipped and rusty secret underneath!


One final look at the finished product and a sneak peek at the finished bathroom. I’ll be sharing with you the board and batten tutorial soon.


One final note: I have to warn you, DO NOT put painters tape on your mirror or you will be crying the blues like I was.

I immediately contacted Bethany to see if she could send me some touch up paint. I can’t even tell you how helpful she was and when she reported that it was actually hot press leaf on the frame and not paint, I figured I’d be doing some creative treatment on the side. But, instead, she insisted on sending a new frame immediately (which arrived 2 days later!) MirrorMate has the best customer service and she told me “We want our customers to be happy with their purchase, even if that means sending a new frame.” Wow, now that is a company I want to do business with!

 

 

 

Disclaimer:

I was sent a complimentary MirrorMate frame for a product review. I can honestly say that this post reflects my opinions and I was not swayed to write a positive post. Nor was I paid to write this post. For more information you can read my disclosure statement.

An Artist’s Inspiration Board from an Old Window

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Hey guys, today I’m dishing up a triple dose of posts for you. I’ve been busy, really busy, super busy! And you don’t know the half of it. As you are reading this, I’m on my way home from California. I flew out to surprise my little sister for her birthday. She and her husband are expecting their second child and I wanted to go all “Pretty Handy Girl” on their home ;-D.

First, you can read my tutorial for making this whimsical message center, from a curbside window, over at my friend Sandra’s blog,

Then you can come back here and read about this Artist’s Inspiration board also made from an old window.

Finally, if you like what you see you can head over to Parentables to see an entire post on curbside transformations! You won’t believe some of the before and afters!

Okay, ready? Well, let’s get this show on the road.

Materials:

  • Old divided light windows
  • Foam core
  • Tin snips
  • 3M duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Primer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Irwin mat knife (or x-acto knife)
  • Clear Caulk (window and door sealant)
  • primer
  • fine grit sand paper
  • Two colors of paint (gold and medium gray)
  • Crackle medium
  • Polyurethane
  • Foam double stick tape
  • mirror
  • ruler
  • mirrored glass
  • tin pots, buckets or recycled cans
  • drop cloth bulletin boards from THIS post

Prepping your window:

You will need to clean, prime and paint your window before beginning this tutorial.

Here is what I did during the prep phase: Cleaned the windows (I used a bleach solution because there was mold and mildew present.) I repaired the glazing that was cracked and missing. I used paintable caulk. No need to buy glazing.

Prime the entire window, glass and all! Once the primer has dried, use the sandpaper to gently rough up the primer (especially on the glass. But, be careful not to scratch through to the glass.)

For the beautiful crackle finish on my window, I started by painting the window a metallic gold color.

When the gold had thoroughly dried, I coated the entire window with the crackle medium. Once that had dried, I painted a medium gray on top. That’s when the magic happens. The paint separates and reveals a hint of gold. It is important not to go back over the gray paint after you paint it on or you will get a gloopy mess!

I finished off the painting prep steps by applying two coats of water-based polyurethane.

Tutorial:

Measure all the individual window panes. Be sure to measure only the exposed glass.

Transfer your measurements to cut 2 squares of foam core. Make sure your blade is sharp! Dull blades will drag and tear the inner foam.

Next, transfer your measurements to cut two pieces of cork board. Cut the cork board with a ruler and mat knife.

Finally cut two pieces of mirrored glass to fit the remaining two panes (need help cutting glass? Have a professional do it, or watch Sandra’s tutorial HERE.)

You should now have 2 pieces of foam core, 2 pieces of cork board (wrapped in drop cloth as I showed you the other day), and two pieces of mirrored glass.

Dry fit all the cut squares to make sure they will fit in the window openings.

Take the foam core and tin pots outside. Spray them with primer.

When the primer has dried, spray the foam core and buckets with a few coats of chalkboard paint.

To view how to print onto painter’s drop cloth, refer to my tutorial here.

To attach the chalkboard foam core, mirrored glass, and drop cloth squares, you will need clear window and door caulk. Snip the top off at an angle. Insert a straightened coat hanger into the tip to puncture the inner lining of the caulk.

Put a fair amount of caulk onto each glass of the window. (Lazy supervisor in the background!)

Press the individual squares into it. Weight the drop cloth squares (with paint cans) while they dry.

To secure the chalkboard and mirror sections, run a bead of caulk along the edges of the boards.

Use a damp paper towel to smooth and clean up the caulk edging.

Once the caulk has dried, you can affix the tin buckets to the window. Drill holes through the bucket bracket or tin cans.

Attach a screw through the hole and screw it into the window pane.

To add a hanger to your memo center, flip the window over and measure down 3″ on both sides.

Use a drill to drive the screws into the D-ring style hangers.

I made this artist’s board to sell, but honestly I’m having a hard time parting with it. So, it may just find a home in my painting studio (aka Bonus Room). But, maybe you could convince me otherwise. How much would you pay for this one of a kind artist’s board? I keep thinking it is a real life version of Pinterest.

Don’t forget to view more of my curbside transformations.

Message Center for the Mudroom

If you came by for my mudroom tour, you saw this message center made from a curbside window frame.

This was a super easy project and I built it in about 2 hours.

First, I gave the whole window a fresh coat of white paint. Then, I taped off the edges of the upper left and lower right windows and used 2 coats of chalkboard paint in those panes.

While the paint dried, I cut two pieces of foam core to size for the upper right and lower left panes. Then added some batting and wrapped the fabric around. I used a hot glue gun to attach the fabric to the back of the foam core. Then positioned the black ribbons on top and glued them to the back of the foam core as well. While the glue gun was still heated up, I ran a bead of glue around the edge of the window panes and inserted the two upholstered foam core pieces in place. (Pictorial directions for the upholstered foam core can be viewed here.)

Next, I had some leftover cheap mirror glass* that I used for the the mudroom coat rack. I used my glass cutter and cut those two panels down to size. Then I put some E-6000 onto the window pane and inserted my mirrored glass. To seal and hide the edges of the mirror, I used white bath and tile caulk around the edges of the mirror.

* Cheap Mirrored Glass Source: Find those $10 back of the door full length mirrors. Buy one at Walmart, Kmart or Target. Just peel off the glued frames and paper backing and cut your mirror pieces from it.

To build the little curved shelf, I actually already had the curved board leftover from another project. But, you can cut a piece of 1″ x 6″ with a jigsaw. Then use a router to give it a decorative edge. Then sand it, prime it and paint it.

To attach the shelf, I used 3 L-brackets on the underside and painted them white to be less noticeable. I also nailed a piece of 1″ x 2″ (painted white) to the bottom of the window so I could screw the brackets into it.

Once the message center was finished and dry, I located the studs on our mudroom wall and hung the window with two L- brackets on the bottom (see pictures above) and one on top.

Now I have a cute place to welcome guests, hang postcards and birthday invites, and check for ORT (object remove from teeth) before heading out the door.