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...]

Scrap Wood iPad Tray by Infarrantly Creative

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Today I have the honor of having the Queen of DIY here to show you how to build an iPad tray stand! Beckie from Infarrantly Creative is a triple threat DIYer (she manages three blogs.) I am so excited about this frugal gift idea, I can’t wait to make one!

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Hello Pretty Handy Girl fans.  My name is Beckie and I blog at Infarrantly Creative, Knock off Decor and Roadkill Rescue.  Besides sharing a “B” name, Britt and I have a love of power tools, doing things on the cheap, and dancing…yep you should see us…we can BREAK IT DOWN! Today I wanted to show you DIY girls, or those with a DIY hubby, a most likely free gift. If you are accustomed to DIY projects, you have probably amassed quite the stockpile of leftover wood.  In August, I made some hanging beds for my son’s room and had leftover 2” x 12” wood that I used for this project.  Pssst…never throw out scraps, right Britt?

Supplies:

  • 2” x at least 6”
  • table saw
  • pre-wood conditioner
  • stain
  • sandpaper

Instructions: [Read more...]

How to Build a Rolling Storage Seat

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Everyone can always use more hidden storage! What’s better than getting organized with more storage? How about combining it with additional seating!  Jaime here from That’s My Letter sharing with you this easy tutorial for how to build a rolling storage seat.

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Of course I couldn’t stop myself at just one seat, I had to make three – they’re just that fast and easy!  The finished size is a generous stool at 19″w x 18″ d x 20″h.

rolling storage stools 2

Lift up that cushioned top and you’ve got tons of storage space:
rolling storage stools 3

To make the rolling storage stool you’ll need the following supplies: [Read more...]

Building a Window Seat with Storage in a Bay Window

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You know when you dream about the finished product on something that you’ve been planning for a long time? And then you finish and your dream becomes a reality? And you think to yourself, am I still dreaming? All those sentiments and more have been going through my head since I finished the built-in window seat in our bay window. This seat is devine! In fact, I’ve begun calling it the Queen’s seat in the hopes that it will deter any male folks from claiming it in our household.

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Several of you have asked for the tutorial to build the window seat. I have that for you, but I want to mention that this is a slightly more advanced project. Halfway into writing this tutorial, I realized there was no way I could show you each and every cut, step, and trick without this being the world’s longest blog post/tutorial. If you have some basic carpentry skills (you know how to hammer, nail, use some power tools and you know how to attach a 2×4″ securely to a wall), you should be able to handle this. With that being said, I do want to offer any help if you should have any questions during the process of building this bench, please feel free to email me and I will do my best to help you.

I also want to mention that I did have to move the HVAC vent forward so it came out the front of the window seat. Here’s the tutorial to move a floor vent. I do want to caution you against building over a vent. We have a bookcase that was built over the register and the wood inside grew mold because there wasn’t enough force to blow the air and moisture out the front of the bookcase. Just a warning, don’t take the easy way out.

Basics for Building a Built-in Window Seat in a Bay Window: [Read more...]

Mudroom Tour – 2013

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We made some serious progress this past week. Not only did we make a big dent in the “to do” list in the kitchen, but we also finished painting and installing the trim in the mudroom. It’s really nice walking past this little paper flower spring wreath and into a finished room!

Our mudroom is looking so nice that I decided to invite you over for a little tour. [Read more...]

20 Brilliant Built In Storage Ideas

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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.

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Creative Block {a Mother’s Day Gift Idea using ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape}

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Mother’s Day is this weekend! Have you decided how to show her your appreciation and love?! I did! My mother is a professional artist. She creates amazing paintings that inspire others and brighten their homes. For Mother’s Day I wanted to brighten her studio with these art utensil holders. I call them “Creative Blocks.” (Or maybe they should be Creative Unblocks. LOL.)

They were easy and fun to make and certainly a project that you can customize to meet your needs. And best of all, the kiddies can help with the painting step! [Read more...]

Art and Craft Studio using Flow Wall Reveal

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Can I get a huge cheer and a big raise the roof sign on this project! This was the project that took FOREVER because of a few speed bumps: pneumonia, mono, water leak, mold growth, asbestos discovery, and finally being evacuated from our own house. Slowly but surely I was able to transform our bonus room into an amazingly creative art and craft studio for us to enjoy. I gave you the low down on how easy the Flow Wall was to install yesterday. But, I’ve been teasing you and I know you definitely want to see the after pictures.

Before you get the 10 cent tour, let’s take a look back in time at what the room used to look like: [Read more...]

Laundry Room Reveal using Flow Wall

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TGIF! Our spring break is officially here. Sadly I’m not going to Cancun to party it up like a bunch of MTV teenagers (As if!). But, I am hanging with two guys! My two little guys that is. I’m looking forward to crafting a little bit with them and maybe catch up on some sewing. My boys both like to sew. They also like to build with hammers. That’s my parenting mission at work. I vow to teach them to do everything that I know how to do no matter which gender that talent is associated with.

But, enough about me, what you are really here to see is the laundry room reveal! Before I give you the whole 5′ x 8′ tour, I want to show you how the Flow Wall cabinets and shelving are installed. Because you aren’t going to believe how easy it was. [Read more...]

10 Top Secret Spots for Hidden Storage

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photo credit: Sean Michael Ragan

It’s time to get your James Bond vibe on. I’m a sucker for hidden storage and using wasted spaces. That’s what inspired me to create this Parentables post on 10 top secret places to hide your valuables, clothes, blankets, coats, CDs, flash drives, jewelry and more!

Watch out, it will turn you into a top secret agent by the end of the slideshow.


 

Hallway Storage – the Tutorial

After working on this tutorial for what seems like days, I finally have the Hallway Storage tutorial for you!

Thank you all for being so patient. We’ve had a busy week at the Pretty Handsome Home. Lots of wood rot and drainage problems being addressed, plus an emergency trip to the pediatric dentist. (Warning: Look away if a chipped tooth and bloody lip might make you faint.)

Luckily, all is moving in a positive direction right now (teeth and home repairs).

Materials (to the best of my recollection):

2 – 1 x 10″ x 12′ pine boards (and had Lowe’s cut them in half leaving us with 4 – 1×10″ x 6′s)
3 – 1 x 10″ x 8′ pine boards
1 – 1 x 15″ x 8′ pine board (had Lowe’s rip it to 13″ wide)
1 – 1 x 15″ x 4′ pine board
2 – 4′ x 8′ pre-primed masonite bead board sheets (cut to size by Lowe’s)
1 box of 2″ screws
1 box of finish nails (used 1 1/4″ finish nails in my pneumatic nailer)
6 – 1″ x 2″ x 8′ pine edging strips
1 – 8′ piece of decorative shelf moulding
1 – 8′ piece of trim moulding for the top shelf
Primer
Paint (white for unit, aqua color for behind cube towers)
Caulk
Wood putty
Sandpaper
Triple Coat Hooks (eBay)
Baskets (Home Goods)

Checking out with our 3 helpers leading the way.
I hope they have their allowance to pay for all this!

Building the cube towers:

I mentioned that the hall storage cube towers were built using Ana White’s Land of Nod cube tower knockoff plans. Ana’s towers are 17″ wide by 13″ deep and 70″ tall. We shrank Renee’s to 15″ wide and 10″ deep to accommodate her narrow hallway. And we eliminated the top and bottom shelf and legs. So, if you want the tutorial for the towers, head over to Ana’s site.

Here are two pictures of the towers after construction (before priming and painting):

Look at my Pretty Pregnant Girlfriend sanding and priming her new towers!
We took the towers inside to make sure they would fit. While they were in Rene’s house, I traced the profile of the baseboards onto each tower. You can see how to trace profiles in this older post. Plus, we marked where the towers would fit against the wall (so Renee could see where to paint the wall.)
See, perfectly traced profile!
I used my jigsaw to cut out the profile on each side of the towers. I LOVE my new jigsaw. This machine really cuts through material like ‘butta’ (unlike my previous one, cough, cough Black&Decker.)Words of Wisdom: if you are going to buy a power tool, buy a tool that will work well and for years to come. (Yes, I learned this the hard way!)

Building the shoe storage bench:

Our space dictated a narrow and shallow bench so as not to impede the traffic flow in Rene’s hallway.

We started with two 1″ x 13″ x 18″ boards. 
Then cut one 1″ x 30″ x 13″ board for the center shelf.
After drawing level lines where the shelf would rest, we pre-drilled our holes.
Then drove the screws in to secure the shelf
We cut 3 -1″ x 2″ boards to 30″ lengths, then secured one to the top of the bench using finish nails. (I used my pneumatic brad nailer, but you can use a hammer and nails if you wish.)
 
And then added another one to the backside top of the bench.

Next I nailed the third board on top of the front side so I had a double thickness of 1″ x 2″ boards.

 This gave me enough depth to support the bench and attach a piece of

decorative shelf moulding below them (also cut to 30″ wide).

Here is a close up of how the trim moulding and 1″ x 2″ boards are stacked.

Finally we cut a board for the bench top: 1″ x 15″ x 30″. And our bench is essentially finished! (We left the top off until after the bench was attached to the cube towers and the wall.)

 

Installing the towers and bench:

After the towers and the bench were primed and painted with two coats of paint, we transported them back over to Renee’s house.

Renee had pre-painted the wall a pretty turquoise color at the back of the towers.

Now it was time to go stud hunting finding. I rely on two techniques for finding studs (and neither of them requires going to a singles bar!) First, I used my electronic stud finder. It takes some patience, but it gives me a good idea where the studs might be. To use the stud finder, I squeeze the buttons on the side of the gadget. Then s-l-o-w-l-y move the finder left and right over a 1-2 foot wall section. The light comes on when it detects something solid behind the drywall. Then I made a mark in the middle of the “lit” area.

Next I use the knocking technique. It almost helps to close your eyes for this. I will knock along the wall moving left and right. I’m listening for the knock to get higher pitch and sharper where the stud is. I can also feel less give in the drywall and it almost starts to hurt my knuckle because I’m knocking against a hard area where the stud is. You will most likely need a little practice to get a feel for finding the studs while knocking. Anyway, this gives me the idea where the studs are.

I’ve heard of using a third technique. Once you think you  have located the stud. You can take a quilting pin and insert in into your drywall. If it goes in about half an inch and stops you have located a stud. If the pin can be inserted all the way to its head, you have hollow wall behind the pin.

Now that we had located the studs in the wall, we checked them by measuring between the studs. They are normally 16″ from stud to stud. And there should be a stud around the door and window frames.

So, the studs have been found and marked. Next we cut four 15″ lengths of the 1″ x 2″ boards and painted them the same color as the turquoise wall. These will be our cleats for attaching our towers to the wall.

Then pre-drilled holes on the cleat where at least one stud is. Lined the cleat up with the top edges of our cube tower. Then drove the screws through the 1″ x 2″ cleat. The second hole was not into a stud. We decided not to use a wall anchor because there was enough strength from the one stud and drywall.

 
We repeated this for a second cleat under the bottom shelf of the tower. I apologize I don’t have a picture of this, but at this point we nailed through the top side of the bottom shelf and into the cleat to secure it to our wall. The top cleat was left as is for now.
Working from left to right on this unit, we nailed our 30″ x 60″ pre-cut (thank you Mr. Lowe’s Home Improvement) bead board to the wall.

Cutting a Hole for an Outlet:

Here is an easy trick for marking where to cut a hole in your bead board. In our case, we had to cut a hole for an outlet. 1. Take the cover off your outlet. Use bright red or dark lipstick and rub it on your outlet. 2. Set your bead board in place on the wall and press in where the outlet it. When you remove it, you will have the outline of your outlets. 3. Use your outlet cover and line it up with the outlet. 4. Then trace around the cover.

We cut our hole slightly smaller than the outlet cover. After you put the cover back on, wipe off the lipstick.

Then, we installed two more cleats though the bead board and at the same height of the bench. Sliding the bench back against the cleats, I used a few finish nails to nail the back of the bench to the cleats.

Before we put the bench lid on, we installed the second cube tower using two more pre-painted cleats in the same manner as the first tower. Then nailed through the sides of the bench and into the towers on each side.

Finally, we lined up the top of the bench and nailed it down into the wall cleats and into the bench sides and front.

The next step was to nail a 1″ x 10″ x 60″ board to the top of the towers and nailed down into the wall cleats to secure it to the wall. We added some decorative trim to the top board.

We cut a 1″ x 3″ x 30″ strip of wood to mount the coat hooks on. We also cut some more decorative shelf molding and attached it just under the top shelf and above the 1″ x 3″ hook board. Next we eyeballed our hooks and screwed them into the 1″ x 3″ boards.

To finish the built-in unit we caulked all our seams and filled the nail holes with putty. More details on this final step can be viewed in this post. Then covered the dried caulk and putty with paint.

And we were done!

Approximately $300 (including the baskets & hooks) and 3 days of work produced this fabulous organizing built-in hall storage unit! You can see some of the close-up pictures in this previous post.

What do you think? Not too hard to create, was it? A little over a weekend and Renee had a storage system for her entry hallway. I can’t tell you how much our mudroom bench has saved my sanity

Hallway Cube Towers and Shoe Storage

I am a lucky gal to have a very wonderful friend in my life.

 This is my good friend Renee
Isn’t she beautiful? I wish I could have her hair and smile.  Renee has been a motivational force in my life. She talked me into doing my first triathlon two years ago. She was also a motivator for this blog! (So you should definitely thank her for that.) But, overall, she is just a fabulous friend who I enjoy spending time with.

A few months ago Renee called me with some super exciting news. She was pregnant with her second child. This was a much anticipated pregnancy and the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait” enters my thoughts when I think about how long she and her husband Toby have wanted this baby.

I wanted to do something very special for my good friend. Especially something to help with those pesky pregnancy nesting tendencies.  I knew that she had been struggling with storage solutions for the hallway between her garage and kitchen. This was her catch-all location and it was a narrow 38″ wide hallway I might add.

Plus, there are six doorways coming off this hall. Yup, talk about a challenge! This hall has access to a bathroom, a storage closet, the garage, the bonus room, the back deck and the kitchen.

Smack dab in the center of this hallway was a console unit that she bought in an effort to get some storage and organization. Well, needless-to-say, it wasn’t working for her.

She bought this console off of Craig’s List to help organize the hallway.

Renee, really needed a highly functioning location to store anything and everything that didn’t need to come into her home.

Initially I drew up some quick sketches and showed them to her and her hubby. They both liked the idea, so the next step was to take some measurements and tape out our plans.

We taped the outline of two storage towers, a bench with storage underneath, and coat hooks. (Do you like our hanging coats? The vertical strips of tape.)

Plus, we taped the footprint of the unit. It was very important to keep the shelves as shallow as possible, so as not to impede the traffic flow.

Renee was tasked with buying some baskets to use on the storage towers and picking out a paint color for the back of the towers. She knew she wanted bead board behind the coat storage and she wanted black coat hooks. Buying triple hooks allowed her to maximize the amount of coats and bags that could be hung.

Then we got to work. (Yes, I said we! Renee helped with all the steps, because she wanted to learn some new DIY skills. I think she learned a lot on this project!)

We used Ana White’s blog (previously Knockoff Wood) plans for the storage towers, but altered them to fit our size requirements. The tutorial for the rest of the storage unit that we built is here. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy these after pictures!

First off, you might notice that the before pictures weren’t just cluttered. The lighting in their hallway was pretty dismal. Thanks mostly to a builder grade flush mount light fixture and one CFL bulb. But, we fixed that too.

So, do you recognize that chandelier?! My twitter followers saw the picture here. $10 at the Habitat ReStore! What a steal!

A pretty place for flowers and pictures on top of the unit.
Coats and bags have plenty of hanging space.
The cranberry red baskets allow each family member a place to put their things.
Plenty of shoe storage for the whole family.

Here is the tutorial for that cute little blue striped storage box above. Its purpose is to halt all the junk mail. Renee can flip through the mail and put the junk mail in there to be recycled.

So, what did we do with that big console? 
 

It is sitting happily around the corner in her large kitchen. Renee bought some storage bins that we used in the lower half for more storage.

Now Renee’s daughter has plenty of access to her arts and craft supplies.
And, because who doesn’t love a really amazing before and after!
Before:
After:

Hanging Jar Storage

Over the weekend I finally cleaned up our garage. This is our multi-purpose space, so it had multi-multi-multi items strewn everywhere.

Because our garage is small (fits 1.5 cars) space is a premium and I knew where I could find more space. One place I found space is under the shelves. Another place was inside my workbench (but, I’ll show you that in another post.)

I had been saving jars and lids (which I had to fish out of the trash a few times. Ewww!) for storage of odds and ends in the workshop/garage.

This project turned out to be a super easy and quick project (unlike taming the wild multi-beast our garage had become.

1) First I put the jar lid on top of a scrap piece of wood. 2) Then I centered my drill. 3) And drilled through the lid (check the size of your screw to make sure you choose a drill bit that equals the diameter of the screw, but not large enough for the screw head to go through.

Then I used a screwdriver and attached the lid to the underside of my shelf.

Then simply screwed the jar into the lid! Repeated that process three more times and filled the jars with the odds and ends that needed a place to be stored.

Ultimately, I finished cleaning the garage so I have room to set up a spray tent and start working on this sad little chair I found on the curb. Look here to see her transformation! I have to tell you, it is going to be quite a job. I took her completely apart, but I can rebuild her. I have the technology. Better, stronger, faster than before! (oops, The Six Million Dollar Man started playing in my head.)

Update: I was feeling pretty embarrassed after showing you my messy garage. So, here is proof that I really did clean it up. We still have a lot of stuff to fit in a small area, but at least I can walk around and find things now!