Aqua Dresser Makeover – What’s Knot to Love?

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

You know you’ve seen those knotty pine dressers from yesteryear. Their spotlight has faded and they are finding themselves at thrift shops, ReStores or worse yet…at the curb.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m begging you to let this knotty eyesore back into your home. It doesn’t have to be banished. It’s KNOT her fault she was built from cheap pine. All this dresser needs is a new coat of paint and some beautiful brass knobs and all her flaws and knots will be forgotten.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Extra observant points to anyone who realized that this blogger forgot to take a good before picture! She looked very similar to the knotty pine dresser shown above, except she had wooden circle knobs and an unfortunate set of bun feet. I did remove the bun feet from the dresser when I first brought it home. Mama ain’t got no need for buns in this oven (or on my dresser.)

Here are the details on how to refinish a knotty pine dresser and give it a complete makeover!

Materials:

  • Sandpaper
  • BIN primer
  • Damp rag
  • Paint brush
  • Foam paint roller
  • Quart of Benjamin Moore Advance paint (Deep Ocean)
  • Valspar asphaltum glaze
  • Brass hardware (I bought mine from House of Antique Hardware)
  • Drill with bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Level

Instructions:

This tutorial will be fairly brief, if you need more photos and explanation, you can view my previous dresser painting adventure.

Begin by removing all the drawers and knobs. Lightly sand the dresser and drawer fronts. Wipe off any sanding dust. [Read more...]

DIY Button Pendant Light {#LowesCreator Idea}

DIY Button Pendant Light | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Button Pendant Light |Pretty Handy Girl

While I was house touring on Tybee Island and having  fun antique and salvage shopping in Savannah, I spied some bare lamp shade frame hanging lights. They immediately inspired me to design a DIY Button Pendant Light for over my bedside table in our master bedroom. Part of the desire was born out of the necessity to have more space on my bedside because the table actually doubles as my makeup vanity.

DIY Button Pendant Light | Pretty Handy Girl

Making a Button Pendant Light is an easy DIY project, but you’ll need some patience while threading the buttons. I’ll also show you how to wire a lamp socket and lamp plug! Ready to get started?

Materials:

DIY Button Pendant Light |Pretty Handy Girl

Optional:

Instructions: [Read more...]

Why I’m NOT going to participate in Teacher Appreciation Week anymore!

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Two weeks ago was Teacher Appreciation Week at my son’s school. Every year I have a bit of a knee jerk reaction to this week. Is it because I don’t appreciate my sons’ teachers and administrators? Definitely not true! I appreciate them more than I can ever show. It’s a joke in our house that if I homeschooled, we probably wouldn’t have children. We all need that time away. And, my kids are so head strong, that they learn much better from talented educators that don’t tuck them in bed at night.

So, why you ask do I have a knee jerk reaction? Let me explain. [Read more...]

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

As part of the makeover of my son’s bedroom, I wanted to create a fun chalkboard desk surface for him to write and build legos on. The idea of a chalkboard coated surface came to me when I remembered how much he liked the mini-chalkboard decals that used to be on his room wall.

Creating a chalkboard surface on any desk or flat surface couldn’t be easier with the right tools. Here’s how you can create your own chalkboard desk!

Materials:

  • 3M fine grit sanding block
  • Valspar High-Hiding Primer tinted gray
  • Rustoleum chalkboard paint
  • 2″ paint brush
  • Foam brush
  • Small craft paintbrush
  • Desk surface (I used pre-cut finish grade plywood)
  • ScotchBlue painter’s Tape
  • General Finishes Water-based sealer (or satin Minwax Polycrylic)

Instructions:

Begin by lightly sanding your desktop with the sanding block. Wipe any dust off with a damp rag.

Paint one coat of primer on your desktop surface. (A little note about my primer: I asked the Lowe’s paint department to tint it as dark as they could with black colorant. This helps when you are painting over the primer with a dark color.)

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

After the primer has dried, create a border on your desktop with painter’s tape. Press the edges down firmly with your fingers. Paint one coat of chalkboard paint with the paint brush. Brush the paint in one direction. Let that layer dry. Repeat with a second coat brushing across the original strokes (i.e. vertical then horizontal.) [Read more...]

How to Make an Old Sign from a Foot Board

How to Make an Old Sign

How to Make an Old Sign

One project I really wanted to make was an old wooden-looking sign. I hoped to stumble upon a salvaged piece or something found. Lucky enough, I happened to find a foot board from a bed right down the street. It was the perfect shape to make into a sign. When someone throws something out, I usually take it for a project! With some paint and lettering, you can make this or any piece into an old sign. Here’s how!

Materials

  • Foot board – You could pick one up at a thrift or salvage store for only a few dollars
  • Sand paper
  • TSP
  • Chalk paint or regular paint
  • Paint brush
  • Sealant like wax or polycrylic
  • Printer and paper
  • Scissors, tape, ballpoint pen

Instructions:

This was the foot board I scored on the curb. It had a perfectly rounded top with molding on it and had the shape of an antique sign. I remember seeing one like this at Ballard Designs that sells for hundreds of dollars. Since I had all the supplies for this, it cost me nothing! The legs were really neat, but we ended up cutting them off to make this a sign. I thought it would look better that way. Who knows, maybe I’ll make something else out of the legs?

Foot Board Before

Lightly sand down the foot board and clean it with TSP. This will prep it for painting and take off any dirt.

Sanding and TSP [Read more...]

Upcycled Plant Cart Saved from “Above the Rim”

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

This past summer I spied a metal cart in a dumpster. To be frank, I have never truly actually participated in dumpster diving. The thought of actually climbing inside a dumpster has never been on my acceptable things to do list. But, this metal bar cart was floating on top of the trash pile. It was (to quote a Seinfeld episode) above the rim! And it was begging to be upcycled into a beautiful plant cart.

So, I convinced myself it was okay and wasn’t officially dumpster diving. Feel free to debate this fact in the comment section.

I brought it home and knew I could do a quick makeover with some spray paint. But, first it needed a good cleaning and some prep work. The tops of the shelves were very rusty:

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

And the undersides were filthy. But, the end product was worth it! Here is how to upcycle your own little metal rusty bar cart into a beautiful plant stand!

Materials:

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 1 Discarded rusty bar cart (rescued from above the rim)
  • Socket set
  • Hammer for coaxing rusty bolts loose
  • Can of Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint
  • Can of Krylon Copper Spray paint
  • Sander/sanding block
  • Fine grit sand paper
  • Wire brush
  • Rag and/or damp wipes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Scraps of wood to elevate while painting
  • Optional: Drill

Instructions:

Loosen corner bolts with a socket wrench or drill and socket bit. Hammer out any that are too rusty to budge. [Read more...]

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have a butterfly chair that is sun-faded or has hideous fabric on it? I bet you thought it was a lost cause, right? Nope! With a sewing machine, some new fabric and a little spare time you can recover that ugly butterfly chair and have a new one. Okay, so I didn’t recover it with green fabric in honor of St. Patrick, but what could be greener than a good old upcycling project! Believe it or not, this was a much easier project than I had anticipated, so don’t get scared by the curves. You can “sew” do this! ;-)

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

I stumbled upon this chair at Goodwill for $9.99. Normally I wouldn’t spend this much for a sun-faded chair, but because I was working on the school library makeover project — and we needed more comfortable seating — I bought it.  After all, we would have had to pay at least double for another comfy chair.

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I had some soft leftover fleece fabric that I could use to recover the chair. I wish I had measured how much I used, I think it was a little less than 2 yards.

Materials:

  • 2 yards of fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Old butterfly chair + old cover

Instructions:

1. Remove the old cover from the butterfly chair frame. Lay it on top of your fabric (both right sides up.) [Read more...]

Simple Vases using Radiant Orchid {Lowe’s Creative Idea}

Radiant Orchid Vases from Recycled Cans & Jars | #upcycling | Pretty Handy Girl

Radiant Orchid Vases from Recycled Cans & Jars | #upcycling | Pretty Handy Girl

There I was digging things out of the recycling bin again. Pretty Handsome Guy gave me a raised eyebrow, but he knew better than to question my motives. I had that idea bulb flashing over my head, and I was ready to transform some jars and tins. With Springtime just around the corner, it was time to force a little vibrant color into our home. I introduce to you the cheapest way to bring Radiant Orchid color into your décor! If you have recycled jars and tins, you are set!

Materials: 

Radiant Orchid Vases from Recycled Cans & Jars | #upcycling | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: Gold vinyl stripes or washi tape

Instructions:

Clean out your jars, bottles or tins.

Coat the exterior of your recycled vessel with primer. Allow to dry.

Radiant Orchid Vases from Recycled Cans & Jars | #upcycling | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint each bottle and tin with radiant orchid paint. Allow to dry. You might need two coats depending on the coverage. [Read more...]

All You Need Is…Valentine String Art & Engraving

All You Need is...Valentine String Art | Pretty Handy Girl

All You Need is...Valentine String Art | Pretty Handy Girl

All you need is some scrap wood, and maybe a little string. And a few nails. And how about a gum wrapper? If you had all those you could be like MacGyver and build some kind of cool device that would catch fire. But, since I had everything except the gum wrapper, I decided to make a Valentine art project. Follow along and I’ll show you how easy it is to make your own heart string art and engraving art for Valentine’s Day. If you need any of the materials, you can pick up most of them at your local Lowe’s Home Improvement store (probably the same place MacGyver shops because they have gum at the registers.)

Materials:

Instructions:

Start by painting your wood red.

All You Need is...Valentine String Art | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried, draw a heart with chalk. [Read more...]

How to Add Molding Panels to a Flat Door

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

When my sister brought me on to the Topsail Beach condo renovation, she had a laundry list of DIY projects she wanted me to complete. One of them was dressing up the hollow flat doors with moulding panels. She showed me a pin that led to One Life to Love’s DIY beadboard panel doors. After seeing the photo, I knew it would be a great DIY upgrade to make. But, we decided to use real beadboard (instead of beadboard wallpaper) because it had to hold up to the stress of being a rental.

To begin, start by measuring and marking the doors to determine the size of your panels.

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Draw lines 5″ in from the top and two sides of your door.  Draw the bottom line  6″ up from the bottom. Finally, leave 5″ between the top and bottom panels.

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

When marking your doors, use a pencil and level to draw your lines.

How to Add Panels to Flat Hollow Core Door | Pretty Handy Girl

After we had our panel measurements, Caitlin and I headed to Lowe’s. But, she refused to push me in the cart (party pooper!)

in-lowes-shopping-cart

We pulled some 4′ x 8′ beadboard panels and took them to the lumber cutting area. We gave the Lowe’s employer our measurements and asked him to cut the boards for us. While he cut our beadboard, Caitlin and I gathered the rest of our supplies.

Materials: [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...]

Scrap Wood iPad Tray by Infarrantly Creative

scrap-wood-ipad-tray

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!

PostBreakblue

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...]

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

One of my favorite places to thrift shop is the Habitat ReStore. I mean, where else can you find cool $2 cabinet doors?

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

This fine cast off door is just screaming to be upcycled into a beautiful tray. Especially when the same thrifting adventure yielded VERY COOL door hardware! Simply combine the two and you have yourself a unique serving tray to give as a gift (or keep for yourself.)

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Cabinet door
  • Door handle or cabinet handle
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Rubber bumpers

Optional: Rub n’ Buff Gold Leaf

The steps are super simple. [Read more...]

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign {Countdown to Christmas Idea}

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you keep scraps of wood and say to yourself, “I might need that for something someday.” Well, today is your someday! Grab a scrap (or ask Lowe’s for their scraps) and create this super easy wooden chalkboard sign.

When you’re done, you can turn it into a sign that displays your favorite quote; a plaque welcoming friends; or you could create a fun Christmas Countdown sign!

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Easy Wooden Chalkboard Sign | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Scrap wood (3/4″ thickness works the best)
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Red paint (I used Miss Mustard Seed Tricycle Milk Paint)
  • White paint pen
  • Chalk
  • Pencil
  • Eye hooks
  • Drill
  • Drill bit slightly smaller than the eye bolts
  • Ribbon
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses

 

Instructions: [Read more...]

DIY Stamped Spoon Necklace from Thistlewood Farms

Silver-stamping-block

Stamped Spoon Necklace

Today I have the honor of introducing the extremely creative KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms. She’s showing us one of my favorite gift ideas from her idea farm ;-). DIY Stamped Spoon Necklaces!

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Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers! My name is KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms and I am so excited to be here today! In our family….every year is a handmade Christmas and I just love getting handmade gifts from family and friends.

Today, I want to show you how to make a simple gift for someone special this Christmas by transforming a vintage silverplate spoon into a necklace. You can personalize it with a date or names or a quote or an anniversary. Just be sure and stamp it from the heart.

How to Make a Spoon Necklace

Spoon-Necklace

Supplies:

Silver-stamps

  • spoon (at the risk of stating the obvious)
  • steel stamping block
  • hammer
  • silver stamps
  • jump ring
  • chain

Instructions: [Read more...]

Spoon Tealight Candle Holder

Spoon Tealight Candle Holder

Spoon-Tealight-Candle-Holder-Feature

Jacque and I are so excited to be contributing in Brittany’s Trés Frugal- 30 DIY Gift Ideas!  We’re no strangers to DIY gift ideas!  In fact for as long as I can remember, my family has taken part in a Make-a-Gift tradition.  Each year we have to come up with some creative DIY gifts to give to family members.  It’s one of my favorite traditions!

With the holidays closing in on us, who couldn’t use some quick and budget friendly gift ideas? So today, we’re sharing a quick look at how to make a DIY tealight candle holder!

Spoon Tealight Candle Holder

Reclaimed wood seems to be the perfect material to make DIY gifts out of.  We have made a few different custom wall hangings using various types of reclaimed wood and love the rustic look.  We found out that a family friend was replacing some of his older barn boards and were lucky enough to snag a few for our stash!  Barn wood and pallet wood are great options for this project, but don’t rule out other sources of lumber.  We’ve actually used old decking boards for tons of projects.  If you can’t find any wood to reclaim, take a peek at Brittany’s tutorial on how to make new wood look old, weathered, and rustic.

Materials List:

  • Weathered Piece of Wood
  • 3 Spoons
  • 3 – 1 ” Wood Screws
  • D-Ring Wall Hanger (with screws)
  • 3 Tealights

Tool List:

  • Nail Set
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • 1/8″ Drill Bit

Instructions: [Read more...]

Creating Vintage Painted Oars with 3M

3-oar-on-deck

How to Make Vintage Painted Oars | Pretty Handy Girl

Vintage painted oars are nostagic objects for me. They bring back memories of camp and watching crew teams rowing along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. So, when my sister wanted to find some oars to decorate the beach condo with, I jumped at the opportunity to make some. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know that my sister Caitlin (of Symmetry Designs in San Jose, CA) and I have been renovating Diane Chamberlain’s Topsail Beach condo. The condo is a great size (three bedrooms) and located ocean front. That’s where the pros ended. Sadly the condo was stuck in the 80′s: teal carpeting, orangey wood trim and cabinet doors that were falling off. We converged on the property back in September to start the renovation process.

Before the trip, I whipped out these fun painted oars. They were easy to make, you could sooo do this!

Materials:

3M™ Safety Products:

  • 3MTekk Eye glasses
  • 3MTekk Ear plugs
  • 3MTekk Painter’s glove
  • 3MTekk Cool Valve dust mask

3M Advanced Abrasives:

  • 3M Sand paper for sander (80,120 & 180 grits)
  • 3M 220 Grit Sanding sponge
  • ScotchBlue™™ Painter’s Tape
  • 3M Sanding block
  • 1″ x 6″ pine boards
  • Jigsaw
  • Sander
  • Paint brushes
  • Stencil brush or sponge
  • White paint
  • Red Paint
  • Red Paint
  • Number stencils
  • Minwax Early American stain
  • Rags

Instructions:

Clamp your 1″ x 6″ board to a work surface. Trace out the oar shape onto your board. You can use rulers and rounded paint cans or plates to trace the curves.

Put on your safety glasses, ear plugs and grab the jig saw.

How to Make Vintage Painted Oars | Pretty Handy Girl [Read more...]

DIY Industrial Cupcake Stands

cupcake stand 1

cupcake stand

Make these cupcake stands now and you’ll be ready for all the upcoming holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching!  The cool black steel plumbing parts base combined with the natural wood slice platform lends itself to an unexpected industrial feel.

Each cupcake stand costs $5.50 in parts (not including the birch log), very reasonable for a unique, DIY project that could easily lend itself to become a favor or small gift.

cupcake stand 3

Supplies required (for one cupcake stand):

  • 1/2″ black steel floor flange
  • 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ black steel nipple
  • birch log (approx. 5″ in diameter)
  • hand saw or circular saw
  • palm sander or sandpaper
  • drill
  • 3/4″ circular drill bit
  • E-6000 glue

Instructions:

cupcake stand 4

Step 1: Using a handsaw or circular saw slice off 3/4″ thick disc of wood from the birch log. (If you’re concerned about bugs, you can bake them as shown here.)

Step 2: Sand wood slices smooth.

Step 3: Using a drill with a 3/4″ circular bit drill out a small hole for the nipple piece, only about 1/4″ deep, be careful not to let the tip of the bit pierce through to the other side of the wood slice.

cupcake stands 5

Step 4: Apply E-6000 glue to one end of nipple and screw it into flange.

Step 5: Apply E-6000 glue to circular hole in wood slice.

Step 6: Gently ‘screw’ other end of nipple into wood slice.

cupcake stand 6

Let the glue dry while the cupcake stands are upside down.

When dry, flip the stands over and load them up!  They are perfect not only for cupcakes but candles too:

cupcake stand 2

Cupcakes, candles and individual pies too!  Mini pumpkin and pecan pies are on definitely my Thanksgiving menu this year:

cupcake stand 1

Jaime signatureLearn more about Jaime ~

Upcycled FREE Room Divider becomes a King Size Headboard

cutting out circle on header of headboard

DIY Room Divider King Headboard

I’m still working on my bedroom re-do, it’s been a long process but it is slowly coming to an end with the decorative part.

After painting the room, my big question was how to make the bed or that whole wall where my bed is going to be located, the focal point in the room.  At first I was thinking about installing wall paper with a nice design, then I thought about using a stencil since its a more economical choice. A painted stencil would also be easier to change later on.  Then, I received a stroke of luck! I scored a cabinet in the FREE section of Craiglist! When picking it up, the owner asked me if I also wanted this room divider:

DIY Room Divider King Headboard

“Of course!” I said and run out of there before he had time to change his mind!  That thing is super heavy! It looked really nice after a good cleaning, up close not that much, something was sprayed on it :( there were lots of spots all around.

DIY Room Divider King Headboard

That’s why I decided to paint it and use it as my bedroom’s headboard.

The materials and tools you will need: [Read more...]

The Painted Chairs – a Second Chance Makeover

a second chance - painted chairs

Painting chairs - a second chance makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

My search for some small chairs for the kitchen table area is finally over!  The chairs I had before blocked the view from my kitchen to the family room and vice-versa, their backs were too high and overall they were too big for that small space.

kitchen area before RLC

I’d seen some pretty, small and colorful chairs from the catalog magazines I receive, but their prices weren’t that pretty. Almost $150 per chair!  Craiglist was my searching place, it almost took me a year but I found them, $5 each!

Painting chairs - a second chance makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Their condition was good, no squeaky sounds, loosened parts or missing screws. Their appearance was on the drab side, they looked better in these pictures than they did in real live.  At some point they had been re-stained but the job was poorly done because they felt bumpy.

Painting chairs - a second chance makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

I knew they deserved a second chance! And I knew just how to do that.

Painting chairs - a second chance makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials: [Read more...]