diy french cleat

I am going to teach you how to securely hang heavy objects on the wall with a board and a few screws. Using a French Cleat has been a tried and true method for hanging heavy objects and is used by professional cabinet makers and DIYers alike. It can be incorporated into the item being built or added after the fact.

DIY French Cleat

How to Make a French Cleat

What is a French Cleat?  A French Cleat is a board or molding with a 30°-45° bevel cut attached to the wall along with a corresponding beveled board or molding attached to the object to be hung on the wall. That sounds a little confusing but check out the diagram below and it will all make sense. First let’s grab a few supplies.

DIY French Cleat

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

  • 1″ x 3″ board or 3/4″ plywood strip (3″ minimum width)
  • 2″ screws

Tools:

Instructions:

Step 1:

Measure the length that you need your French cleat to be. Typically a french cleat is the length of the item to be hung on the wall and spans the length of at least 2 studs in the wall that the item will be secured to.

Step 2:

Adjust your table saw or circular saw to a 30°-45° bevel and rip your board along the center. (For tips on using a table saw safely, read this article.)

Step 3:

Secure the top piece of the cleat to the item to be hung (see diagram shown below). This can be done with pocket-holes, glued under a shelf, or with screws to the back of the item. (You may want to pre-drill your holes to avoid splitting the wood.)

DIY French Cleat

Step 4:

Choose the height at which you want to hang the item on the wall and mark where the bottom cleat will be placed. Mark the studs that the cleat will be screwed into and secure the cleat to the wall using wood screws and a level in the orientation shown above. (Again, you may want to pre-drill your holes to avoid splitting the wood.)

Step 5:

Gently place the object above the wall cleat and lower until the two pieces are securely nested together.

Often times the weight of the object and the angle of the beveled cleat is enough to keep the object securely in place. But, if you’re worried about children lifting the item, you can add a screw through the hanging object into the cleat or a wall stud for peace of mind.

DIY French Cleat

And if you’re excited about using a French Cleat, you might like to make a headboard that is hung on the wall using a French Cleat!

rustic-king-headboard-side-view

This is a great tip for hanging cabinets on the wall as well. I hope you try your hand at making and using a French Cleat soon. Let me know how it goes!

Hi! I’m Kristen, from In Her Garage, and I am a self-taught woodworker and DIY fanatic from Minnesota where I live with my husband and our two daughters. Between being a wife, mom and, registered nurse, I try to make as much time for DIY as possible. My love for building came after our family built our current home in 2015. After we moved in, we needed furniture and instead of spending massive amounts of money to order the pieces we wanted I decided that I would build them myself. I started with a buffet table plan from the fabulous Ana-white and quickly set out to remodel my entire home office.

Since then I have started a side business building furniture for the people in my community. I love hearing my clients talk about the pieces they wish they had whether it be a rustic buffet table, a one drawer side table, or a toy box and then making it a reality for them. While starting my small business it made perfect sense that I would document my building journey so I simultaneously launched the In Her Garage blog and I love sharing my plans, tips and tricks.

Making something beautiful with your own two hands through a little preparation and determination is an amazing feeling and I hope to bring inspiration and know-how to those looking to tackle a big or small project.
I am so glad that you found me here and please feel free to connect with me on PinterestInstagram, Facebook, and Youtube to see what I am working on right now.

 

 

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m a serial upcycler. When I can find relatively free materials and turn them into something worth displaying, I’m thrilled! This Magnetic Chalkboard frame is one of those upcycled projects I am proud of.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame

Earlier in the week, I showed you the changes I made in my oldest son’s bedroom. One of the switches I made was to replace his bedroom door because the old one had cracked after one too many slammings. Ugh, cheap hollow door.

In an effort to keep my son from taping all types of signs to his new door, I found an ugly old frame and married it with some scrap metal from a junky set of shelving a neighbor was throwing away.

bookcase in love with ugly frame

That’s not real wood, it’s metal…fake wood metal. Yuck. Wait until you see how they were transformed. You won’t believe your eyes, so watch closely how I made this Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame.

Before you leave this tutorial thinking you can’t possibly make this project because you’ll never be able to find cheap faux wood shelves, let me share with you some alternate materials you can use!

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Magnetic Material:

Non-Magnetic Material for Chalkboard:

Now that you have some additional material options, let’s get busy making a Magnetic Framed Chalkboard (or just a framed chalkboard).

Materials:

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: You may need some Goo Gone, a scraper, and rag to eliminate any glue on the back of the frame.

Instructions:

Begin by cutting your metal (or backing) to fit into the back of the frame.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint one side of the metal with chalkboard paint. Let it dry. Apply a second coat of chalkboard paint. Let it dry.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

While the chalkboard paint is drying, time to work on the frame.

If your frame has paper on the back, peel it off and use Goo Gone, a scraper, and sander to remove any of the glue residue.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

 

When the chalkboard paint has dried, insert it into the frame, chalkboard side up from the backside of the frame (are you seeing where I’m going with this?)

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

The back of the frame is much prettier than the front, but in order to hold the chalkboard in place, we need to cut some picture molding. Cut the end of your molding at a 45 degree angle. Fit it into the frame and mark where to make your second cut.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue fitting and cutting molding around your frame.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Once all four pieces of molding fit, you are ready to secure them.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Apply a bead of wood glue along the inside edge of the back of the frame.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the molding pieces in place and wipe up any glue that squeezes out.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Clamp the molding pieces and the frame. Allow the glue to dry for at least an hour.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

When the glue has dried. Attach two D-rings to the back of the frame.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Season the chalkboard with the side of a piece of chalk. Then use a dry rag to buff it off.

Time to hang it up! (In my case, I hung it on my son’s door.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

To keep the frame from bouncing any time the door is opened or closed, I put a 3M Command velcro strip between the bottom of the frame and the door.

Now my son can put up pictures, messages, and more without damaging the door.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Pretty cool huh?! Would you ever guess the back of an ugly frame and metal shelves could look this beautiful?

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

I especially like the little metal fasteners showing in the corners of the frame.

Tell me, do you have an ugly frame hanging around your house? Have you ever looked at the back and found it more beautiful than the front?

PHGFancySign

 

Pin for later!

Beef Up Door and Window Casing with Back Band | Pretty Handy Girl

Want an easy way to add more architectural interest to your standard colonial door and window framing? Adding an extra piece of moulding, called back band, can add that extra boost of architectural interest.

Add Architectural Interest to Casing | Pretty Handy Girl

And the good news is that you can do this to your existing trim moulding. No need to remove or start fresh! The only thing you will need is paint on hand to paint the moulding after you BEEF it UP! In essence, We’re gonna PUMP it UP!

Materials:

  • Back band moulding
  • Finish nailer
  • 2″ finish nails
  • Caulk
  • Paint
  • Miter saw or  hand saw with miter box

Instructions:

There’s really not much to this tutorial. Line up the back band against your existing door or window frame. Measure or mark the back band where you need to cut your miter. Read more

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!)

DIY Add Molding Panels Flat Door

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


I’m so thrilled to be healthy again, that I’m doing a happy dance (see the video below if you want to witness it.) The pneumonia is gone and my boys are back in school. Can I get a “Woot Woot!”?

The bonus room/art studio renovation is rockin’ and rollin’ again and I have some progress to show you: Read more