How to Build Custom Rustic Wooden Box Crates

How to Build It Gallery

How to Build Custom Rustic Box Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Making custom rustic wooden box crates is super easy. You can build your crates to fit in a book case or use them as drawers in a cabinet. When I was giving my IKEA cabinet a makeover, I chose to remove a door and build custom box drawers instead.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Here’s the super easy tutorial so you can build your own:

Materials:
(some links are affiliate links)

Tools:

Instructions:

Begin by cutting the 1/2″ plywood into four pieces the size you want for your crate sides.

How to Build Custom Rustic Crates | Pretty Handy Girl

Test fit the sides together. Add a line of glue to the ends of the plywood. [Read more...]

Painted Vanity Nightstand

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

In the quest to makeover our master bedroom and save money, I’ve been painting several pieces of furniture to coordinate with the new bed I built.

One of the pieces I painted was this small desk that doubles as a nightstand. Our bedroom isn’t very large and our master bathroom is even smaller than what can be described as a “master” anything! Doing my hair and makeup in our bathroom isn’t a viable option, especially when both Pretty Handsome Guy and I wake up at the same time. When I saw this little desk at a local thrift store, I grabbed it. Especially because she was only $20!

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

She had lots of age, but not much character.

top-of-wood-vanity

However, she was the perfect size and had just enough storage for a makeup vanity.

With a light sanding, primer and a coat of Benjamin Moore Advance paint, she is now showing her more glamorous side. [Read more...]

Securing an IKEA LILLÅNGEN Mirrored Cabinet to the Wall (with an outlet cutout)

Wall-mounted IKEA LILLÅNGEN Mirrored Cabinet turned Stuffed Animal Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

Wall-mounted IKEA LILLÅNGEN Mirrored Cabinet turned Stuffed Animal Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever shopped the “As Is” section at IKEA? There are some deals to be found there! Like this IKEA LILLÅNGEN Mirrored Cabinet. The cabinet had a small bent piece at the bottom and was therefore marked down to $60 from $100! Score! I easily bent the metal back in place with pliers once I got home. Then I decided to use it as a wall-mounted mirror locker for my son’s stuffed animals. Hang out for a few minutes and I’ll show you how to safely mount this cabinet AND move an outlet into the cabinet.

Wall-mounted IKEA LILLÅNGEN Mirrored Cabinet turned Stuffed Animal Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

Handy Boy #2 had a narrow spot between his closet and reading nook that I knew would be perfect for this cabinet. The idea was to give him some storage for his ever multiplying stuffed animals. (They are seriously like rabbits! It never ends. I might need to look into a forced sterilization program.) Knowing my son and his antics (have I told you how he can climb his way around the room without setting foot on the floor. It’s amazing, albeit scary to watch. I’ll have to video him sometime.) I knew that I needed to secure this locker to the wall. But, there was an outlet in my way. And this is the outlet that gives power to the copper wall sconce in his reading nook. Therefore, I had to have access to the outlet. Plus, when he gets older he could charge his electronics in the locker.

Wall-mounted IKEA LILLÅNGEN Mirrored Cabinet turned Stuffed Animal Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

(I should note that I neglected to buy the optional base for this cabinet. Instead, I built a quick one using 2×4′s and 1×4′s.) 

Materials:

  • Drill
  • Quilting pin
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Outlet extender
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Toothpaste
  • Screwdriver

Instructions:

First I located the stud in the center of the wall. Locating studs is easy by using a quilting pin. [Read more...]

DIY Chalkboard Calendar

DIY Chalkboard Calendar | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Chalkboard Calendar | Pretty Handy Girl

How did you like Jacque’s Perpetual Menu Calendar? Well, in the spirit of getting organized, I wanted to share with you my easy chalkboard calendar.

DIY Chalkboard Calendar | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s been very popular with our kids. They like knowing which days they have Tae Kwon Do and they also like to count down the days to important events. In the past I drew out the calendar lines, but trying to erase inside the lines was tedious and time consuming. And what busy mom has time for that?!

To create this quick chalkboard calendar you need to start with a chalkboard wall (or large chalkboard.)

Then you’ll need these things:

Materials:

Instructions:

Using the level, make a straight (and level) line for the top of your calendar. (Mine is 28″ wide.) [Read more...]

Perpetual Menu Board

Reusable monthly menu board with magnetic meals - perpetual menu board

Reusable monthly menu board with magnetic meals - perpetual menu board

We were recently in North Carolina visiting with Matt’s family.  While we were there I took the time to visit an old dear friend of mine.  This girl has known me for years!  In fact I just realized it’s been 21 years since I first met her.  Needless to say it’s important to catch up with friends like this whenever you get a chance. While visiting her, I noticed she had an adorable menu board in her kitchen where she keeps track of all of her meals for the month.  Since “What’s for dinner?” is one of Matt’s favorite things to ask me, I knew I had to make one of these menu boards.

Materials:

  • 12×12 Frame
  • Clear Plastic Calendar Page
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Magnets
  • Dry Erase Marker(s)
  • Printer Paper or Card Stock
  • Printer
  • Laminator or contact paper
  • Sheet Metal
  • Magnetic Paint
  • Tin Snips
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves

Instructions:

Start by measuring the inside of the frame.  (In my case that measurement was 12″ by 12″.)  Using a marker, mark a dot 12″ down from the edge onto your sheet metal.  Repeat this on the opposite side.

Reusable monthly menu board with magnetic meals - perpetual menu board

Use a straight edge (or carpenters square) lined up on the dots and draw a line.  This will be where you make your cut.

[Read more...]

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench with Furry Upholstered Lid {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Every month Lowe’s challenges me to create another unique project to share with you. This month’s challenge was creative storage ideas. Have kids? This is a unique storage solution using a galvanized tub and a furry upholstered lid. It’s the perfect place to store and corral all that kid clutter in your child’s bedroom. The storage tub doubles as a bench and a step stool. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have children, the storage bench could be used for magazine storage and much more!

Grab these materials and tools and follow along with me (and my 13 year old assistant.)

Creating the Galvanized Storage Bench and Lid

Materials for the Galvanized Storage Tub and Lid:

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Instructions:

Turn the galvanized tub upside down on the plywood. Use the sharpie to mark approximately 1/2 – 1″ out from the edge of the tub. [Read more...]

How to Organize Home Manuals

How to Organize Home Manuals

How to Organize Home Manuals

Happy 2014! I hope you are still enjoying a wonderful holiday season and are excited to see what we have in store for you here at Pretty Handy Girl. It is going to be an amazing year! Since you might be recovering from the fun last night at a festive celebration, I’m going to make today’s project very easy for you. Easy but productive.

A new year always makes us want to be more organized and this project will start you off on the right foot in that department.  Today you are going to organize all those manuals you have floating around the house. You know the ones you can never find when you need to? But have been meaning to organize? Check that item off the To-Do list, here is how to!

There are a few options for getting home paperwork in order, but I’m a binder kind of girl. I tend to organize all of my must-find items in binders, that way I can move them around from room to room if I need to, and I can re-organize the items inside, plus binders can hide a great mess but look so pretty doing so.

Supplies

  • All those pesky, unusually-sized, random manuals, warranties, instructions and information for things around your home
  • A binder {or two if you have a lot of manuals}
  • Dividers with a label option – Can be cut up file folders, purchased dividers or card stock paper
  • Clear plastic sheet protectors
  • Hole punch {optional}

Organize Your Home Manuals

Instructions: [Read more...]

DIY Ring Holder by DIY Show Off

DIY jewelry holder tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I have one fabulous thrifter and DIYer! She’s well know for her DIY projects as well as showing off yours! Please welcome Roeshel from DIY Show Off.

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Hi, Pretty Handy Girl friends! I’m Roeshel from DIYShowOff and today I’m excited to be sharing a super easy DIY gift idea for the Très Frugal Gifts series. a DIY ring holder!

Materials: 

  • Ramekin (Dollar Tree 3 for a $1)
  • Deer Figurine ($2.50 at KMart in the holiday ornament section).
  • Gold spray paint
  • Industrial strength glue

DIY Ring Holder Tutorial Materials

Use what you have on hand to keep your costs down! You can use left over paint and glue. This ring holder can also work using things you may already have at home. Ornaments with a top that fits a ring, plastic toys like a giraffe with a long neck or an elephant with a trunk. I personally use is a cat and the rings slide onto the tail. A finial or dowel would be pretty too! Or how about that dried out highlighter/marker? Paint it! For the base, jar lids or small saucers/plates would work equally as well. Tight budget? Search the junk drawer!

Instructions:  [Read more...]

20 Brilliant Built In Storage Ideas

Built_in_storage_ideas

Built_in_storage_ideasI love finding unused space for storage. Nothing bothers me more than a wall that obviously hides a large void behind it.  Or a built-in bench that could have been perfect for extra storage.

While on the hunt for creative ways to store more, I found 20 brilliant ways to add built-in beauty AND storage to your home. You can see some above, but there’s plenty more in this curated collection of storage ideas that I put together for you. Enjoy.

PHGFancySign

Make Your Own Customized File Bin with Mod Podge

custom_fabric_covered_file_bin

I’m just curious if I’m the only person who loses sight of her desk every week? I spend Monday mornings clearing the clutter and figuring out my plan of attack for the week. I could really save that 30 minutes each week by corralling my clutter in one place! On a recent excursion to Walmart, I found the perfect storage solution!


I also found lots of other goodies at Walmart. My friend Su and I had a blast shopping together. Su is the stay-at-home mom of five. She has a wonderful vivacious personality and is loads of fun to be around. If you haven’t met Su yet, head over to her blog The Intentional Home.

Being crafty gals, we set out to find some inspiration for a new craft project using the Plaid products that were sent to us.

(The Plaid paint selection is just like the candy aisle for me. Drooool!) In the past I have ordered aprons and canvas tote bags for teacher gifts, but now I know that I can pick them up at Walmart!

Sorry if I digressed a little, but that happens to me in those big super stores. Back to my storage solution. I found the perfect sized file bin at Walmart, but the design wasn’t cute enough for me. While browsing the aisles, I also picked up some cute pillow cases, and soon a plan was hatched to give my storage bin some personality. Here’s how I did it: [Read more...]

Creative Art Supply Storage

plastic_cup_pen_storage

 

This week, I’ve been giving you a few glimpses of my true personality. I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a background in illustration. Well, we’ve known each other long enough, I think it’s only fair that I show you a few of my paintings: [Read more...]

Installing the Flow Wall System

screw_in_wall_panels

When last I left you, I was covered in dust and debris from scraping the popcorn ceiling in our laundry room. After a shower and some sleep, I was ready to start another productive day.

First I hired some cheap labor to help me paint the walls. Well, I helped ;-).

The color I used was Benjamin Moore’s Glacier Blue in the Aura Bath & Spa Line of paint (since it is a laundry room.) And every time I walk in the room the color makes me want to sing! [Read more...]

Plans to Update My Laundry Room with Flow Wall System

peek_around_laundry_room

You know that beautiful laundry room I showed you last year? Yes, this one:

Well, it isn’t so pretty right now, and honestly I strategically didn’t photograph the ONE wall in the laundry room that isn’t….so….pretty. Can you blame me?!

But, that is all about to change! I’ve been working with a Flow Wall System representative to come up with a plan for my laundry room wall.

Flow Wall Garage and Home Storage Solutions

Within half an hour of sending him my measurements (of my laundry room, not my body measurements – LOL), he sent back multiple possible configurations for our room.

I can’t even begin to tell you how fantastic it is to turn over the planning to someone else for a change! Of course, being the planner that I am, I had to tape up a few paper templates to help visualize how they would work in my space.

The Flow Wall System looks like it is going to be a snap to install (and I will definitely let you know for sure!) Here is a short 60 second video to show you a little more about Flow Wall System:

Here are my beautiful plans for the laundry room using the Flow Wall System sketches as inspiration.

1. Flow Wall medium wall mounted storage bins to hold the iron and ironing supplies

2. Flow Wall small storage hook to hang ironing board on

3. Flow Wall white coated wire shelves for extra storage and drying clothes

4. Flow Wall jumbo decor bins in cream to corral detergents, spot cleaners, etc

5. Waverly Pom Pom Play Spa fabric for a faux roman shade

6. Spray painted brass chandelier inspired by Modern Parsonage

7. Flow Wall cabinets to hide my unsightly mess

What do you think? Do you like the design? I’m probably going to scrape the ceilings and repaint in there too. The exact wall color will have to wait until I get the fabric. I’m particular about color like that. More on my color snobbishness next week. Until then, I hope you have a great weekend. Don’t forget to enter to win a $50 AmEx gift card.  A winner will be chosen at random tonight.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Flow Wall Systems. I have been compensated for my time and will be receiving some complimentary products. However, the ideas and words are all my own. I was not told what to write or what products to write about. I believe you have the right to know when a post is sponsored. Regardless of whether a post is sponsored or not, I believe in honesty, truthfulness, and complete transparency in my posts.

Guest Post – Building Under the Sink Storage by Pink Toes and Power Tools

pink_toes_and_power_tools_pic

I am very excited to welcome Kristen from Pink Toes and Power Tools today! She’s gonna kill me for this, but this is Kristen:

I am not trying to embarrass her, I just want you to see what a fun gal she is! And not only is she fun, she’s got some serious DIY talent! You should see her daughter’s bed that she made!

Please give Kristen a warm welcome today!

Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers! I am Kristen from Pink Toes and Power Tools and I am honored to be guest posting today here at PHG!

At Pink Toes and Power Tools, you will get DIY instruction and inspiration in home remodeling and decorating, with an emphasis on woodworking. The projects on my blog are all done by me. I’m 5’2″ tall and 115 pounds. In short (pun intended), if I can do it then you can too!”

I was a seasoned DIYer in sewing and interior painting prior to beginning my blog, but I was a complete newbie in woodworking. Learn along with me as I tackle my first project, a Storage Closet Organizer, which gave me the confidence to build some Leaning Wall Shelves, which eventually led to an entirely new entrance to my home (which is also the laundry room):

With the new year rolling over just recently, I made a resolution to get some organization back into some hidden areas of our home. So today I am going to show you how you can build some under the sink storage, because I was tired of opening the door and looking at this:

I wish I could tell you that I “staged” it to look this bad, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Some of you may still think that I did and for that I thank you — that means somebody out there believes I’m just not this messy. My husband sure wishes that were so! You can now understand that when I saw this on Pinterest I got pretty excited.

image

source: Pregnant…with power tools

Actually I got a LOT excited…dollar store bins! Scrap wood! Cheap and easy DIY—what’s not to love??

So I went off and I built some stuff and now it looks like this:

I love it so much now!

First thing you need to do is go get yourself some bins. This project cost me $4 because all I had to buy were the bins and I got 2 for $1 at Dollar Tree. You also need to know that bins vary in quality and usability for this project. Look for rigid bins with side edges that are uniform with no obstructions like these:

Mine looked decent in the 2 pack

…but revealed their true colors when I separated them.

Oh well, no worries. I decided to make these work because they were the only options at Dollar Tree that were the right size (these are about 6.25×10) . I modified my runners from the inspiration photo by using two for each side. You would want to do that if your bins are wonky like mine, or you want the bin to not tilt forward as you pull it toward you to open it.

I’ll give you the instructions using my dimensions — modify yours to work with your bins and cabinet space or to use up the scraps that you have available.

For the plastic bin tower you need:

3/4″ plywood–2 @ 9.5 x 19.75 (sides)

1/2″ plywood–2 @ 8 9/16 x 9.5 (top and bottom–I pieces together mine with multiple scraps for each)

1/2″ mdf/ply–16 @ 2 x 9.5 (runners)

1/4″ ply–8 9/16 x 20 11/16

8 bins 6.25 x 10

First you attach the runners. I did this one by one using a bin to space them and make sure it didn’t bind at any point. Turns out as I measure them now, they are all almost exactly 1/4″ wide. Glue and nail with 1″ 18 gauge nails or countersink some screws.

IMG_5642

Here I am figuring out how wide to cut the top and bottom. I think these would slide better if I had put them a little closer together, but I didn’t want to risk them binding. Glue and nail/screw on your top and bottom piece. I just put one nail on each corner of the top and bottom at this point (makes it easier to square it up). Put it on its face, square it up, nail on the back, and add some more nails or screws to the top and bottom.

IMG_5643

Done!

The drawers do not slide perfectly–if you want drawers that do, you have got to get rigid bins with a decent lip on the side like I said before. For $4, I am more than thrilled with these.

The other components for this project are super easy but you’ve got to be careful. This whole unit won’t fit in the cabinet wall to wall if it is all attached together. If you are strategic you can get them in there and remove them later.

Add a scrap wood bin with felt on the bottom for easy gliding so you can reach into the back recesses and you are good to go!

It looks like I threw out a lot of stuff, but honestly what I got rid of would have fit in half of one of the plastic drawers. Ok, maybe three-quarters of one if you count half empty boxes and miscellaneous plastic bags.

What do you think of it? Have you got a place for one of these in your home?

Thanks again for having me here Brittany!

{clapping hands}

Thanks for that wonderful tutorial Kristen! If you would like more DIY tutorials and fun, head over to Pink Toes and Power Tools! And tell her I sent you!

Would you like to be a guest on Pretty Handy Girl? Read my open invitation here.

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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A Dry Erase Message Board from a Cabinet Door

full_front_dry_erase_shot

Happy Monday morning y’all! I’ve been working like a busy bee this past month. So many projects! I need to clone myself so one of us can work on the projects and the other can write the posts. (Luckily I had an extra hour yesterday thanks to switching back to standard time.)

One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is that I will be giving my first demonstration at the Raleigh Habitat for Humanity ReStore this Saturday at 1pm. If you are in the area, I’d love to see you. Here is the address and more information about the  ReStore. I will be demonstrating how I turned a truly nasty greased wall cabinet into this charming shoe storage bench.

I’m not the type who can throw something away, so when I removed the cabinet doors to make the shoe bench, I decided to salvage them and make message boards. The first one was transformed into a cute chalkboard frame.

The other one was turned into a — you guessed it — dry erase board!  And of course (because I love you), I’ll share with you how I made it.

 

Materials:

  • Cabinet door (pre-primed and painted)
  • Plexiglass cut to the interior panel dimension
  • Scrapbook paper (choose a light color that dry erase marker will show up on top of)
  • 4 Nail head trim tacks
  • 3 Cup hooks
  • X-acto blade
  • Metal ruler
  • Sharpie marker
  • Drill and bits
  • Scrap of wood
  • Hammer
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Dry erase marker
  • E-6000 glue

1. If you haven’t already: clean, prime and paint your door. It isn’t necessary, but if you want to give your cabinet door a new look, go ahead and paint it any color you like! The sky is the limit on color. I used American Accents Antique Black.

2. Cut your scrapbook paper to fit inside the cabinet door panel. As always, be sure you are using a fresh new x-acto blade and a metal edged ruler.

3. Mark a dot 1/2 inch from the corners of the plexiglass.

4. Drill a small hole through the plexiglass at each dot. Use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the nail on your nail head tack.

5. Lay your scrapbook paper into the panel, then rest your plexiglass on top of the paper. (I purposely didn’t glue the scrapbook paper so I could change it out when I want a décor change.)

6. Set a nail head into each corner hole in the plexi. Hold the nail with the needle-nosed pliers as you hammer each tack into the cabinet door.

7. If your tacks go through the back, flip over the cabinet door. Set the piece of scrap wood (red arrow) under the nail head and hammer the point of the nail to bend it to the side (so no one gets poked!)

8. Use a ruler to mark where you want your cup hooks mounted. Pre-drill holes for your cup hooks using a drill bit slightly smaller than the cup hook screw end. Then screw them into the holes.

9. Attach D-ring hooks to the back of the door.

10. Attach a dry erase pen to the board using string. Or if you find a marker with a magnetic cap, you can glue a magnet to the board using E-600o. Now you can hang the marker back on the board when you’re done writing a message.

11. Hang that cute little dry erase board up on the wall! Did you see this and this tip for hanging frames that have two hooks? Genius!

That is how you can make a custom dry erase board out of an old cabinet door! I love how it matches the bench colors and can match anything I want it to by changing out the scrapbook paper. Shoot, I could probably put photos behind the plexi too!


Okay, so who is coming out to join me on Saturday? Please don’t let me show up and give a talk to the crickets. ;-)


The Bagster® Bag Blogger Challenge and $100 Giveaway

back_of_garage

This is a little story about a girl named Pretty Handy Messy Girl. She was a DIY Super Star, but she had a big problem. Her workshop (sometimes referred to as the garage) was a colossal mess! There were piles of paint, unfinished projects, tools strewn everywhere, remnants of beach vacations past and worst of all: the clutter seemed to be procreating. Yikes!

I’m warning you now — what you are about to see is very disturbing — please avert your eyes if you detest chaos.

This is abuse! The sad plastic shelving just can’t hold all the paint cans anymore.

Don’t look now, squeezed amongst the toys are the bikes. Believe it or not, there are actually 4 bikes in the picture. But, that 4th one is inaccessible! Can you tell it doesn’t get much use?

Then there are the tools —Pretty Messy Girl’s necessities of the trade — they are just scattered willy nilly. Such a crying shame!

Lucky for our heroine, she had a Super Hero who was about to deliver her from this prison of clutter.

Meet our hero, The Bagster® Bag! Pretty Handsome Guy found our hero at the local Ace Hardware and left him front and center for Pretty Messy Girl to see. Speaking of see, did you see that last word? My favorite: GONE!

Catching the hint, she embarked on a long journey to reclaim what was once hers. Setting up the Bagster bag took only a few seconds.

If you’ve never met the Bagster® bag before, you’ll be surprised to learn some amazing facts about him:

1. He is an inexpensive alternative to renting a dumpster.

  • The Bagster® bag is an affordable solution for homeowners and a great way to save money on do-it-yourself projects. Bagster® bags cost just $29.95 and the flat rate collection fee ranges from $79 to $159 per bag, depending on your area – 50 to 70 percent less than a dumpster rental.

2. He’s compact, but packs a mean punch.

  • The Bagster® bag is a highly durable, woven bag designed for disposing as much as 3,300 pounds of debris and is big enough to hold full sheets of plywood, doors and even a bathtub.

3. If you’ve ever seen a big unattractive dumpster you will agree that Mr. The Bagster is quite the dashing fellow.

  • The Bagster® bag is a convenient choice for any home improvement project.
    - Often times construction debris can’t be picked up from the curbside, so consumer now have a great solution when a dumpster is too large for the project.
    - The Bagster® bag is ready when you are – great for last-minute projects or ones that need an extended period of time to complete.
    - Consumers can use the bag for as long as they like, then schedule a collection when the bag is full or their project is finished. The bag and collection service are always ready, putting consumers in control of their projects.
    - Collection can be scheduled online at www.thebagster.com or by calling 1-877-789-2247, and Waste Management will collect the bag within three business days.

4. He is easy to locate and will be there in a moments notice at the first cry of “Help!”

  • Waste Management has made the Bagster® bag a simple solution for waste and debris removal.
  • - Consumers can purchase the lightweight bag at more than 2,000 locations across the country, use it for as long as they like, then schedule a collection online or over the phone whenever they are ready.
    - The Bagster® bag is sold at local home improvement and hardware stores, including participating The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and True Value. To find a local retailer near you, visit www.thebagster.com.

5. He might as well have a cape because he’s a super hero in a bag (errr, Bagster).

  • For more information and to see a demonstration of a Bagster® bag in action, visit www.thebagster.com.


While Pretty Handy Messy Girl attempts to gain control of her workshop, you could win a $100 American Express gift card, compliments of Waste Management.

To enter to win, you may do any of the following (leave a separate comment for each entry) for up to 3 chances to win!

One winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, November 2nd.

Disclosure

Waste Management partnered with bloggers such as myself to participate in its The Bagster® Bag Blogger Challenge.  As part of the program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the The Bagster® Bag Blogger Challenge. Waste Management believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Waste Management’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Organizing 101 Giveaway and Creating Calm Amongst Chaos

neat_under_kitchen

As a mother of two boys, my life is CHAOTIC! No matter how hard I try to contain the chaos that surrounds those two, I have come to terms with the fact that there are some things in life that cannot be controlled.

A week ago Tuesday night, while my dear husband was away on business, I had some super chaos thrown my way.

My boys were 5 ft. from me as I was putting away the dishes. They were showing off their “untrained” ninja moves to each other. My youngest proceeded to show his older brother an amazing kick that had so much momentum it swept him off his own two feet and sent him falling backwards. As anyone would do, he put his arm behind him to catch his fall. The results were 5 hours in the ER, a big fat co-pay, and this:

So, while I cannot control my boys’ crazy antics, what I can control is the chaos that exists in my home in closets, in drawers, and even under the kitchen sink!

I took the organizing 101 workshop back in the spring, and it was a great exercise in motivation and follow through for me. Over the course of 7 weeks, I learned  how to tackle small projects first. I learned what tools to use while organizing, what my road blocks are and many more useful tips.

Here is just a sampling of the organizational projects I’ve completed since taking the workshop:

Linen Closet

 

Under the Kitchen Sink

Bathroom vanity

and our Family Command Center

Having a more organized home has allowed me to have a more organized life. Which in turn gives me more patience and time to deal with little surprises, like this:

What about you? Do you want less CHAOS in your home and life? Well, meet your teachers:

Aby & Jay are the geniuses behind simplify1o1.com. Their goal statement says it all:

Our goal is to teach you skills and techniques to get more organized, as well as to provide you with the products and tools that will make getting the job done more fun and efficient. We’ll help you become a more productive, more energized and happier version of yourself. You’ll have more time and more energy to do the things you love (plus, you’ll be able to find everything you use to do those things you love!)

They help people take control of their homes which transfers to better control of their lives. By organizing your home, you can save countless hours a year. By simplifying and organizing your home, you will also save money. Best of all, having a neat and organized home will help you reduce CHAOS!

Aby & Jay are so passionate about spreading their knowledge of organizing and simplifying that they are offering one free spot in the Organizing101 workshop – a $75 dollar value, starting this upcoming week.

What better way to start the school year? Get control, get organized, and simplify your life. Banish the chaos that you CAN control!

Rules for entering the giveaway (up to four chances to win):

A winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, Sept. 25th at midnight EST.

Bonus: simplify 101 is offering the readers of Pretty Handy Girl 15% off enrollment of any of their current workshops. In Organizing 101, you’ll learn a simple approach for de-cluttering your home. Plus, you’ll find out how to organize and store all the things you keep, so they’re easy to use (and put away when you’re finished!) Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines will take the mystery out of creating new habits and routines, so you can lead the life you want to live. When you have good habits and simple routines in place, your day flows smoothly, because you don’t have to constantly remind yourself to get things done. Get Organized for the Holidays is the ultimate holiday planning workshop. Get simple tips and ideas so you stay energized and joyful all season long!  To take advantage of this offer, enter SAVE15PHG during checkout. This offer is good from 9/21/11 through 9/29/11 and can’t be combined with any other offer. (Get Organized for the Holidays is on early bird discount – 20% off – through Sep. 22!)

If you’d like more tips on organizing your home or office top to bottom, sign up for Simplify 101’s organizing newsletter right here ! You can also follow the blog and get even more daily tips.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored giveaway post paid for by simplify101. However, in all honesty, I can’t say enough good things about simplify101. I will end by telling you that I thoroughly enjoyed the workshops I have taken so far (Organizing 101 and Organizing with your Kids).

My 7 year old son and I worked together to take his room from this:

to this:

And the best part was that he enjoyed doing it and asked every night if we could work together on organizing his room. We worked in 15 minute segments over several days. You would not believe the things that were stuffed underneath his bed! I can’t even tell you because it was that bad. But, on the bright side, my oldest is learning to live in a less chaotic room. ;-)

 

Guest Post by Becky from Organizing Made Fun

So, if you are like me, you have lots of paint supplies and cans and bottles and jars and more crammed in your storage area of choice. And if you are like me, this storage area is a complete disaster!

This is where my friend Becky can help. Becky is the brains behind Organizing Made Fun. She has some great tips and ideas on her blog for keeping your home and life organized. I hope you’ll take a moment to browse her site.

Without further introduction, please welcome Becky:

I’m Becky, from Organizing Made Fun! I hope to movitate you today! So hang on…

Brittany has graciously asked me to help you get motivated to organize! Since I LOVE to organize and it’s fun, I said “of course”! Today, I’m going to show you how I organized all my household paint recently.

It may not seem so bad, when you first look in here.  My paint stash isn’t THAT big, is it?  Well, it is…see this is where I was storing half of my paint supplies – in my basement.

The other half are in my shed outside!  My goal: keep it all in one location! I prefer having it in the basement so I did a little bit of re-organizing. My other goal:  don’t spend ANY money on organizing bins.  For Pete’s sake, this is paint in the basement! It doesn’t need to LOOK pretty! But, I DO need it to function practically!

I got all my paint, spray paint, paint brushes, anything related to painting, and put them in the basement on the floor.

Wow, that’s a LOT of paint.  I even attempted to try and get my friends to take some – a small amount was actually taken! But, there is still a lot left.

My cardboard carry-all box was not functioning as originally intended.  It had now become my “throw it in there and forget about it” box!

A couple of years ago, I was smart and bought many small, quart-sized paint cans at the hardware store.  They aren’t expensive and I had a couple left.  I use those to pour that last little bit left from the big gallon paint cans of paint into.

I highly recommend you dab your finger with the paint, mark the date, the formula or name of paint color, and brand. This way, if you ever DO need more you can have it mixed exactly the same.

More importantly, write down the date and the room you used it in.  I can’t tell you how many cans of paint I forgot to do this with and the colors all start to look alike! Was this the kitchen yellow, the bathroom yellow, or furniture yellow? It’s also amazing to realize – “wow, it’s been 8 years since I painted the kitchen?” – and realize that it might be time for an update!

My resources for organizing were simple, old containers. I used a small coffee can, a Doritos can, Feta cheese container, a couple of cardboard box-bottoms, and some aluminum left-over containers.  All of these I found in my stash of containers in my overflow pantry.

The large aluminum roasting pan was used to house all my spray paint {it was a tiny bit big, so I smooshed it in the front and back to be able to close the door}.  A smaller aluminum pan for the rollers. Two existing plastic boxes for sand paper and rubber gloves {they WERE “organized” paint supplies in the shed but got unorganized}.

Then, the feta cheese container to contain my stir sticks…

A coffee can for holding foam brushes…

A Dorito can for my Purdy brushes!

And then, I put all the quart-sized paint cans into the cardboard box-bottom and stacked another box-bottom on top of the cans to make a “shelf”.

This removable “shelf” would hold all the roller handles. I’ve got a lot – a lot more than I remember!

I used the third pre-existing plastic box {minus the missing lid} for housing other small, miscellaneous paint supplies {tape, small foam rollers, paint can openers, etc.}.

I also moved out some other entertaining supplies in order to make room for the larger gallon-sized paint cans. Then I simply used the last of my existing plastic boxes to hold my de-glossers {TSP, stone sealers, etc.}.

Last, I wanted to keep my rectangular, cardboard box for my paint trays and liners.  I like to use this box to “load” up everything and carry upstairs for my paint job!

In the end, I decided to get rid of a bunch of paint.  Now, keep in mind, you can’t “throw away” paint! You must let the can sit out in the sun and completely dry before throwing out.  Or, better yet, our city has a “hazardous waste” round-up every August that I plan to take all this paint to!

You can see here, before and after, it’s not drastically different, but I actually added MORE stuff to it and it’s more organized.  My goal of not buying a single organizing container was also accomplished! So, I would say it was a success! I’m the only “painter” around here, so the mess was mine and I can’t blame anyone else! Now, I’m going to keep it nice.

Photobucket

I really like that Becky used common household recycling to organize her paint storage! Very eco-conscious storage. I’m definitely motivated to organize my painting supplies now. Hmmm, I bet I could use that soy protein shake container I just threw away.

I wanted to share with you that Becky also has a great post about organizing your weight. In her post she mentions a phone app called Lose It! I downloaded it right away and already lost one pound this week! Woot!

http://www.loseit.com/

Another one of my favorite bloggers, Donna from Funky Junk Interiors started a series called Junk Loser.

 

Click to Join the Facebook Group

She’s been posting some inspirational stories and a link party for healthy recipes to help her readers lose weight.

Between Becky and Donna, I’m committed to shedding these last 10 pounds that I’ve been hauling around since October of last year. So, hopefully as the months progress you’ll be seeing a lot less of me. LOL! Get it?!

See ya later. Gotta go get some exercise now that I’m feeling better.

How to Use Contact Paper and Pimp My Closet

MASTER_bathrm_vanity

For the past six weeks I’ve been taking the Simplify101 workshop: Organizing101. Aby has been a great instructor, and it has motivated me to take back my home!

A few of the projects I’ve completed are:

Bathroom Vanity Drawers

 

Underneath the Kitchen Sink

 

Hall Coat Closet

AND…

…Duh, du, duuuunnnn. Our linen closet:

This abyss is 5 feet deep with no light…I wasn’t sure what I’d find in there. Did I just see E.T. hiding in that closet?

Per Aby’s instructions, I emptied the entire closet.

Uh huh, all that stuff was in that one closet! I told you it was an abyss. Check out that tail in the upper right hand corner, Pretty Handy Dog is coming to the rescue.

Wow, look at all that room. I can store…two little boys? Does this photo remind anyone else of Hansel and Gretel?

Once I had the closet emptied, I cleaned the shelves with some Shaklee Basic H2 cleaner (still liking this stuff!)

Now comes the fun part! I got to pretty up those ugly painted shelves with decorative contact paper (found at Target.)

When I worked for a sign and banner shop (oh about 22 years ago), I learned how to lay down vinyl without bubbles and wrinkles. The same method works well for contact paper as well.

Materials:


  • Contact paper
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Staple gun
  • Safety Goggles

 

Instructions:

Begin by laying the contact paper on the shelf.

Cut it about 2 inches longer than the front of the shelf.

Flip the contact paper over and peel back about 3-4 inches and fold the backing down.

Now turn the contact paper back over so the adhesive is facing down. Line the paper up with the back edge and the wall. And press it down with your finger.

Gently pull the backing off the contact paper a few inches at a time.

At the same time press your hand in the middle of the paper and smooth the paper from the center to the outside edges. The goal is to push any air pockets out to the edge.

Pull the backing out a few more inches and use your hand to smooth forward and towards the sides again.

Repeat until the backing is completely removed.

If you need to, cut a notch out of the contact paper around the shelf supports.

Then fold the paper underneath the shelf.

Tack the paper in with the staple gun, one or two staples should hold it. Be very careful that the staple gun is shooting into the wood and not towards your face. In fact, Meri-K would tell you that you should be wearing eye protection while using a staple gun.

I chose to label the edges of my shelves (so Pretty Handsome Guy would obey the new closet organization rules!) I used some decorative baskets and bins to hold other odds and ends.

At the last minute I decided to add a plug-in style under-the-counter florescent light beside the door frame. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have a light in this closet now! No more boogie men hiding in there.

And they all lived happily ever after with their newly organized linen closet.

Check back bright and early Saturday morning. I have an important announcement for y’all! Get those noise makers, party hats and confetti ready. It’s PARTY TIME!