I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts on “Falling in Love with Your Home” in February. We’re in the home stretch (yes, pun intended) now. Today I have my roomie from Blissdom, Sandra from Sawdust and Paper Scraps. She and I love our power tools, and LOVE to build things. I think it would be a blast to work on a collaborative project one day. She’s definitely my soul sister.

Please welcome the lovely Sandra from Sawdust and Paper Scraps who is going to show you how to disguise an ugly view!

Good morning Pretty Handy Girl fans! I’m Sandra from Sawdust and Paper Scraps, here to share an easy and inexpensive project to transform and beautify a window with a less-than-stellar-view!

(Or a window where you want privacy without blinds or drapes like a bathroom or shower.)

We have a basement and even after I added casing, trim and paint to the inside of my window… it was still really unattractive- outside!

So I went to Lowe’s and bought a $14 roll of frosted glass vinyl window cling!
Before installing, I made sure my window was as clean as possible.  I had to clean AND scrape off some paint because SOMEONE was a little sloppy!  (uhem-me)

I installed it on one window by myself and it was something like a scene from an I Love Lucy rerun.  Vinyl flopping down over my head, sliding off one side while I was trying to smooth out the other…
Definitely easier to install with 2 people. But do-able with only one!

The instructions for the stuff I bought said to spray the window and the sticky side of the vinyl (with a liquid that you can purchase separately. But, you can also use a soapy water mixture in a spray bottle).  You have to peel off the backing which I did just a little at a time while person 2 sprayed and then stick it to the window.

After you put the vinyl on the window, use a utility knife to trim off the excess and a credit card or little squeegie to smooth out the wrinkles and push the extra liquid out from under the vinyl.  While it’s wet, you can pull it off and reposition it- so keep it all wet until you have it placed just right.  Then let it dry.  That’s it!

Easy.

I think it’s a big improvement for relatively little cost or effort.

This particular room is my daughter’s playroom so I also built some shutters,


a wall of storage,

and a playhouse. If you’re looking for another project to whip up!

But it all started with the window-well.

And a little vinyl cling!

Thanks for having me Brittany!  And thanks for letting me share with you all one thing I did to help me “Fall in Love with My HOME!”

Thank you Sandra! Great tutorial. I love how easy and quick that solution was. If you haven’t been to Sandra’s blog, you need to zoom over there now. She is the Queen of built-ins and decorative mouldings. Plus, she has just enough crafts to keep you creative!

Mousetrap-MemoTrapFinal

I’ve been dying to show you this project, but didn’t want to give away any secrets. You see, I made them for a few bloggers out there in the home décor blogland. And as luck would have it, most of these special women are here at Blissdom! As a tiny token of my appreciation for their inspirational blogs, I put together a little gift bag. Inside (among other things) was this one-of-a-kind memo pad.

With a note attached.
“My mouse is hooked on your blog!”
Get it? The notepad holder is a mousetrap and I was playing on the word, mouse (the one for your computer). Corny, I know.
So, you want one for yourself? I’m happy to share with you the tutorial.
The memo pad started life as a mousetrap (4 for $1) and a mini picture frame also $1 at the Dollar Store!

Materials:

Wooden mousetrap
Small picture frame
Cabinet Toe kick boards or other thin scrap wood (1 – 4.5″ x 4.5″, 1 – 4.5″ x 10″)
Wire
Ribbon
Notepad
Corrugated cardboard
Small 2″ x 3″ picture
E-6000 glue (optional)
Gorilla glue
Primer
Paint
Sandpaper
Needle-nosed pliers
Saw (hand saw is fine)
Drill and bit (for hole)

Start by removing the hook and trap hold parts with pliers. Then remove the bait hook.
All that will remain is the spring and snapping bar.
Cut the excess wood from your mousetrap with a handsaw.
(I used mine in a miter box for a straight cut.)
Sand down the rough edges.
You will need to cut down your scrap wood to the dimensions below.
The 4.5″ square piece is the same thickness as the mousetrap.
This insures an even surface for the memo pad to rest on.
Following the directions for the Gorilla Glue,
I wet each piece of wood and then added the glue.
Glue the 4.5″ square piece to the bottom of the larger piece of wood. Then glue the mouse trap right above the square piece. Make sure your snapping bar is facing down, as shown below.
Set a weight on top of the wood to “clamp” it while the glue dries. (About an hour or so.)
Anyone know what these hand weights are good for?
Beats me, I only use them to weigh down projects.
After the trap is dry, spray your boards with 1 or 2 coats of primer.
Then follow up with your favorite color paint.
At this point, you will want to drill a hole through the top of your board.
Take apart your picture frame and discard the backing.
Replace it with a piece of corrugated cardboard cut to size. Slide in your picture.
Carefully add a small line of E-6000 glue* to the back of the frame and glue it just above the mouse trap. If you use too much glue, it will glue the cardboard to the frame and you won’t be able to switch out your picture from time to time.
*You could use Gorilla glue for this step, but the glue expands and might glue your frame shut so you can’t change the pictures.
Create a bow with the ribbon and slide a piece of wire through the bow knot.
Secure the bow by threading both ends of the wire through the hole at the top of your mouse trap memo holder. Twist the wires together to make a loop for hanging.
Add your memo pad and you have a unique little note center.
So do you think those wonderful bloggy ladies will like it?
It isn’t too cheesy is it? (Pun definitely intended!)
Hey all, I’m safely at Blissdom now and meeting many other inspiring bloggers. Unfortunately, there is one blogger who, sadly, I won’t be meeting. Jessica from Decor Adventures. She is as sweet as can be and a real kindred spirit when it comes to DIY projects. Instead she’s staying home to kick DIY butt in her basement, but agreed to take some time to meet you all in my absence. Take it away Jessica!
Jessica

Hello Pretty Handy readers! I’m Jessica from Decor Adventures, a professional by day and project addict by night, decorating my new 111 year old house. Today I want to share with you how to hang plates on a wall.  It’s so simple, with no visible hardware, you’ll be hanging them up in no time.

When we had a housewarming party last fall, we made our guests participate in a fun little activity while helping to decorate all at the same time. I got some inexpensive plates at the thrift stores and asked our guests to freestyle it!  We had them decorate plates to hang in our house with their well wishes for our first place.

Kitchen

First the secret is Dischangers. They are easy to order online, ship super quick and come in different sizes to hold various weight.

To use them, moisten the disc and secure it to the back of your plate then let it dry overnight. Make sure you wait, even if you want them up right away. You don’t want any plates crashing to the ground because the glue is wet!

Plates

To make my arrangement I used a technique I saw online where you make a grid of your art on a piece of paper, hang it on the wall, nail in the holes, hang up your art, pull the paper away and presto! Art on the wall. This actually can be done with different wall arrangements, plates, art or photos, etc.

To get started I pulled out a piece of packing paper that came in box from an item I ordered. I was that thick butcher paper. I laid it out on the counter space which was just about as big as my wall area.

Then I arranged the plates on the paper how I wanted them to look on the wall. This way I could move them around without having to hammer a new hole in the wall.

Plates

Then I traced each plate onto the paper with a sharpie, making sure it didn’t bleed onto the counter underneath. You can write on the plates or art which piece it is. This will help to see what you’ve got going where.

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Then I removed the paper from under the plates and hung it up on the wall with painter’s tape. Now you’ll see the placement of your art/plates.

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After that, measure where each nail hole goes,

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mark that spot on your “plate” on the wall,

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and hammer one in!

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Once you carefully remove the paper, you’ll have your nails all ready to go.

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Lastly, simply hang up your art and you’re done.

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Plates

This is the little bistro corner in our kitchen. So when our friends come over they get to see their handiwork.


Kitchen

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Hoped you learned something today with my plate art. Do you have a technique for hanging things up on the wall? Any tips you want to share?

Thanks again to Pretty Handy Girl for letting me visit!

Please give Jessica a round of applause. Wasn’t that a great tip for hanging plates? I think I’ll be using this technique to hang our family photo wall soon!

You should hop over to her blog where she and her husband are doing some crazy renovations to their home.

When Miss Mustard Seed and I were junkin’ on Black Friday, she asked what I was looking for. I immediately answered rustic, rusty, and anything that looks aged and has a story to tell. I am so wacky like that, I could care less how well something is made or if it is an expensive antique. When I die, my kids are going to be sadly disappointed that all these antiques I’ve collected over the years aren’t worth a dime. C’est la vie, right?

So, this year for our Christmas décor, I decided to create a natural rustic country inspired theme. What better way to invoke that spirit than with an old barn door. The only problem was that I didn’t own one. No problem, I’d just make one!

Materials:
Plywood board – painted or stained red
3 – 1″ x 4″ boards – painted or stained red
Nails or screws
Wood glue
D-ring picture hangers
Picture Wire
optional: Rusty door parts

In my “I can’t throw anything away scrap pile” I took some old plywood scraps that had been stained with red stain.

You will need to measured the space above your mantle, subtract a few inches from the top and bottom, then cut the plywood down to size (using a circular saw or table saw.)

Lay two 1″ x 4″ strips of plywood as cross pieces.

And one 1″ x 4″ piece at an angle. Draw a line where the horizontal pieces intersected with the diagonal piece.

Use a miter saw, circular saw or jig saw* to cut the angled cuts.

Liberally appy glue to the back of the 1″x4″ strips to secure them to the plywood base and then nail some finish nails into the strips to secure them. You can use a pneumatic nailer* if you have one, but screws or regular nails hammered in will work just as well! No need to buy any new tools for this project.

Hopefully you have a nail or hook already installed on your fireplace. Luckily I did, but in the past I have also just leaned artwork against the brick. So, if you choose to lean, ignore the next few steps.

Measure the location of the hook on your mantle. For example, if the hook is 20 inches from the ceiling, and you want your barn door’s top to hang 12 inches from the ceiling, then you will need to install the hooks 9 inches down from the top of the barn door. This will allow an inch for the wire to slack. Get out your D shaped picture hooks and screw them to the back of your barn door using a cordless drill* or just a screw driver and some muscles. Repeat on the opposite side.

Feed some metal picture wire through one D ring. Twist once…

…then feed the wire back through the D ring and twist the rest of the wire tightly against itself.

Pull the wire taught and repeat on the opposite side.

This is the best way to attach picture wire so it doesn’t slip. If you are hanging something super heavy, you might need to loop the wire back through the D rings a few more times.

If you have some old gate handles, hinges, or latches, attach them to your door. I screwed this old RUSTY gate lock to the top of my barn door. It makes a convenient hanger for…

…my Christmas wreath!
That’s all I’m going to show you of our mantle today.

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