Hello readers, it’s Jaime from That’s My Letter here and we are nearly to the end of 2016!  I have a super easy and fast last minute gift idea for kids – a switches and locks playboard that uses up all those spare hardware bits lying around your workshop!

I scoured my workshop pulling together all the spare pieces of hardware I had stashed away to use on this playboard.  Anything that moves, turns, twists, flips, or latches will be great for this project.  I always save random pieces of hardware from renovations or from previous projects and today they are coming in handy.

This playboard makes a great gift for toddlers and young kids to keep them busy with all the different hooks and latches.  Just be careful to steer clear of anything that could pinch or snap little fingers.

I added the pine board frame to finish off the plywood and make this board a nice, completed, functional board perfect for my almost 3-year-old nephew.

Supplies:

  • 3/4″ plywood scrap piece about 19″ x 19″
  • Paint
  • 1″ x 2″ x 8′ pine board
  • Misc. switches, locks and hardware pieces
  • Nail gun
  • Wood glue
  • 1 ¼” finish nails
  • French cleat

Instructions:

Step 1: Paint the plywood and let dry.  Gather all your miscellaneous switches, knobs, locks, pulls, chains, magnets, etc.

Step 2: Attach all the hardware pieces to the plywood.

Step 3: Frame out the plywood using 1×2 boards attached with wood glue and 1 1/4″ finish nails.  Add a french cleat to the center top back and hang on the wall:

Now you’re ready to add a giant bow and give to that special little someone!  Take a look through your workshop and I guarantee you’ll find a few miscellaneous hardware bits that would be perfect for a switches and locks playboard.  Happy Holidays!

~Read more of Jaime’s tutorials~

 

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sliding mirror title

How to build a sliding mirror door:

Hello Pretty Handy Readers!  Jaime here from That’s My Letter and today I am sharing a sliding mirror project that is the finishing touch on my newly made over walk-in closet.  I will show you how to build a sliding mirror door using wood, wheels and pipe fittings.

This sliding mirror is my solution to a small walk-in closet with no wall space and no back of the door option for a mirror.  The mirror slides across the room on stationary wheels and a galvanized steel pipe track.

sliding mirror 3

My pipe extends beyond the built-ins (mainly because that’s the pipe I had on hand) but this also allows for full access to the built-in compartments.

sliding mirror 5

In the photo below you can see the pipe extends beyond the built-ins at the ceiling:

sliding mirror hardware installed

Simple finger pull holes allow you to glide the mirror along the pipe.  You could get fancy with hardware here but I took the minimalist approach.

sliding mirror 2

Stationary wheels keep the mirror in place while eliminating the need for any lower track system.

sliding mirror wheel detail

Hello super slim profile!  The whole mirror and wood support is only 1 1/2″ thick so the mirror does not protrude out into the room.

sliding mirror profile

Ready to make this clever sliding mirror? Let’s get to it… Read more

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s hard to stay organized when you are a DIY blogger, Mom, wife, cook, cleaner, taxi driver, and a student (taking evening classes for the general contractor exam.) I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve dropped a few balls in this massive juggling act. But, I strive to improve and part of that effort involved hanging a Family Organization Center Door next to the refrigerator.  Did you know there was such a thing? Ha, me either until I saw this half window door at our local Habitat ReStore.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

A vision of a place to plan meals, keep track of chores and keep reminders became clear in my head when I first saw it. Want to see how I took this old door and turned it into a family organization center? Hang around for a few minutes to find out.

Materials:
(contains some affiliate links)

Optional:

Instructions:

After finding a door for your organization center, you may need to trim down the sides to fit your space. I had to trim an inch off each side of my door to fit on the side of our refrigerator cabinet. Use a circular saw to trim the door. Using a Kreg Rip Cut will help keep the saw straight.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

For extra stability, you may want to add a caster on the bottom of the door (opposite the hinge side). This is not necessary, but will add extra support.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut scraps of coax cable to fit into the tops of the windows. Read more

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever reached for a towel and realized that the towel bar was barely secured to the wall? Installing a New Towel Bar Securely is a fairly simple DIY task if you know how to anchor the brackets.

As part of my little laundry room refresh, I decided to replace the dated brass towel bar that had started to come loose.

Install a Towel Bar Securely Materials:

(Contains some affiliate links)

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional:

Install a Towel Bar Securely Preparation:

Begin by removing the old towel bar if you have one already installed. Look underneath for a tiny set screw. Usually you will need a small flat head screwdriver or allen wrench to remove it.

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Once the mounting bracket is removed, you will see the mounting plate which can be removed by unscrewing the screws. Patch any holes in the wall and touch up the paint before installing the new towel bar.

Mounting Instructions:

Find the template that came with your new towel bar. Sometimes it is on the instruction sheet, and sometimes you have to cut it off the product box.

Hold the template up and line up the bracket locations with studs. If  you can’t line it up with two studs, you can use a good wall anchor. Don’t use the anchors that came with the towel bar. (Here’s why you should never use those freebie wall anchors.)

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Tape the template in place and level it. Make any adjustments necessary to get the template perfectly level. Read more

12 Ways to Burglar Proof Your Home

Thanksgiving is next week and it’s the biggest traveling holiday of the year. Taking steps to burglar proof your home can put your mind at ease as you travel and keep your home and valuables safe.

The experts at Allstate have offered 12 Ways to Burglar Proof Your Home for the holidays. Of course, these tips will keep your home safe 365 days of the year!

1. Change the locks  Remember to change all the locks when you move into a new house. You’ll never know who had access to the keys before you moved in. If you lose the keys to your house, you should also replace all the locks for the maximum home security.

Changing_out_brass_door_knob

2. Invest in an Alarm – There are many companies that will install and monitor a home alarm system for a very little monthly fee, however sometimes you do not need an additional monthly expense. If an alarm company is not an option for you, you can visit your local hardware store to invest in home alarms that take seconds to install. They will make very loud and obnoxious sounds if the doors or windows are open. This is a very inexpensive option but can be a large deterrent from theft. Read more