2016 was a full year for me. As a personal recap, I accomplished a lot. In January I passed the North Carolina Residential General Contractor exam to become a licensed general contractor. I’m still in disbelief that this actually happened.

Shortly after passing the exam, a friend hired me to get her home ready to sell. I spent two months acting as a general contractor hiring subs to help fix and spruce up the house. I gave one of her bathrooms the equivalent of a remodel on a shoe string by replacing the light fixture, framing out an old mirror and painting the vanity. Here’s proof that you don’t need to gut a dated bathroom:

STOP! You Don't Have to Gut Your Dated Bathroom | Pretty Handy Girl

The master bathroom already had a head start with new tile and vanity. But, I finished the transformation by installing new oval frameless mirrors.

How to Hang a Frameless Oval Mirror on the Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m thrilled to report that her home sold in four days for a lot more than their asking price. Woot! This experience helped me realize that although I like fixing up houses and making them beautiful again, I prefer to be the primary decision maker. I’m back to focusing on looking for a house to flip (this was the main reason I pursued my license.)

We finished a boat load of projects around the exterior of our home after a major backyard landscaping project.

Outdoor Garden Patio Party Decorating Ideas | Pretty Handy Girl

I built a Pergola Trellis Screen to hide our trash cans. Lucky for you, I drew up detailed plans so you could build your own.

Build a Pergola with Trellis to Screen Your Trash Cans | Pretty Handy Girl

And should you need somewhere to store firewood, I built and created a tutorial for this wood storage shed.

Build a Wood Storage Shed | Pretty Handy Girl

I also found a use for some old lattice panels by creating a living lattice privacy screen. This was such an easy project, I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

Create a Living Wall Lattice Privacy Screen | Pretty Handy Girl

The landscape designer wanted to remove our swing set since the boys had outgrown it, but I couldn’t part with it. You could say the swing set matured with this idea for creating a swing set for grown ups.

Grown Up Swing Set | Pretty Handy Girl

One of the projects I was most excited about was building two rot resistant raised planter beds.

How to Build a Rot-Resistant Raised Planter Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

For years I’ve craved a garden to grow our own vegetables. 2016 was the year it finally happened. We enjoyed baskets full of cucumbers, basil, tomatoes and salad greens. Hopefully we’ll have more vegetables next year.

Behind the scenes I built a shed in the heat of the summer. I’ll be sharing the process in 2017. In the meantime, you can see a peek at the shed in this tutorial for how to build lattice window boxes.

How to Build Window Boxes | Pretty Handy Girl

As a mother of two boys, we struggled with the boys doing too much screen time which prompted me to build this industrial style charging station and lock box.

Industrial Charging Station and Lock Box | Pretty Handy Girl

This year our hearts were broken twice. First we had to say goodbye to Buddy aka Handy Dog after he developed a tumor on his heart. Within a few months, we opened our hearts and home to Lena the Lucky Dog but sadly we had to give her back to the rescue when she couldn’t be trained (or medicated) to stop guarding me from everyone in the family. (Good news, she was adopted the next day by a couple without children. They were a much better fit for her personality.) While she was with us, I made an industrial dog bowl feeder that was a better fit for Lena.

How to Build: Industrial Dog Bowl Feeder Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

I never officially shared it on the blog, but in October we adopted Bandit the Rescue Dog. He’s a one year old ball of energy. I never thought we’d have such a young dog, but his antics are filling our home with lots of smiles and laughter. He is truly one happy go lucky pup.

One of the before and after transformations I’m most proud of is the drab to fab screen porch makeover I gave to my stepmom. She loves it and is spending a lot more time writing out there.

Installing the Most Beautiful Ceiling Fan | Haiku Copper Luxe Ceiling Fan | Pretty Handy Girl

2016 could be called the year of copper on the blog. I had so much fun working with copper pipes. From creating a half round copper pipe side table. . .

Half Round Copper & Wood Side Table | Pretty Handy Girl

to a copper pipe centerpiece:

DIY Copper Pipe Centerpiece | Pretty Handy Girl

I even discovered a way to turn copper pipe into jewelry!

DIY Copper Ring Jewelry | Pretty Handy Girl

To finish out my 2016 recap, I enjoyed indulging my creative artist side by painting with alcohol inks.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

These were so fun to play with and anyone can create stunning art with alcohol inks! Just follow my video tutorial for tips and tricks using alcohol inks.

Finally, if you ever wanted to find the perfect vintage sign, now’s your chance to stop looking and learn how to make a vintage rustic sleigh ride sign (or any other sign you desire.)

How to Make a Vintage Rustic Sleigh Ride Sign | Pretty Handy Girl How cool! You can use this technique to make or transfer any sign graphic.

I hope you enjoyed some of my tutorials this year. Did I miss any of your favorites?

I have a lot in store for you in 2017, so stick around!

16 replies
  1. Ivory
    Ivory says:

    My, my, girl you are so talent. I wish you were here doing something to a few rooms in our home that could use your fabulous talent. Thanks fr always brighten my day each time I open up your post.
    Get out the bubbles, and you and your family have a safe and happy new year,

    Reply
  2. Shelby
    Shelby says:

    An awesome year (despite losing Buddy) your tutorials are just my style, anything building, painting no light work for me. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Reply
  3. debbi s
    debbi s says:

    I love everything you do; you have inspired me. I am looking for a pretty way to hide the ugly, very visible propane tank in our new house. Your trash-can-hiding trellis might be my starting point.

    Reply

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