Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a new neighbor or know someone who just moved? It’s time to celebrate with them by giving them a housewarming gift caddy! This is an easy gift tote that you can customize to any size you like. Plus, the recipient can use the caddy for storage or display after the gift has been enjoyed.

Before we begin, I need to back up and tell you that this project is part of The Mystery Thrift Off.

#TheMysteryThriftOff is the brainchild of Lindsey from Better After. She chose a handful of people to take part in this challenge. After scouring her local thrift shops for ugly and hopeless items, she shipped off the chosen items to those of us in the challenge. I signed up—because frankly—I love a challenge. And, I love saving ugly items from the landfill. Be sure to see some of the other Mystery Thrift Off transformations at Better After and vote for your favorite.

But, when the box arrived from Lindsey, I was terrified to open it up! I mean what if she had sent me a ceramic scabies bear!  Yikes. You can imagine my relief when I opened the box to reveal this dated Christmas village.

Chalkboard Arrow Sign (Mystery Thrift Off) | Pretty Handy Girl

Not too bad looking is it.? Truth be told, it was falling apart and the colors were hunter green, colonial blue, mauve and fleshy tan.

Chalkboard Arrow Sign (Mystery Thrift Off) | Pretty Handy Girl

I quickly pulled the three houses apart and began to transform them into A Chalkboard Arrow Sign, a Little Playhouse and the Housewarming Gift Caddy I’m going to show you today.

Before I got started, I removed some nails from the house on the right. And then I was ready to get building.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Ready to create your own caddy? Let’s get to it.

Materials:

  • 1″ x 6″ board
  • Wood glue
  • Finish nails
  • 1″ x 1″ square dowel
  • 1/2″ lattice trim (or other decorative trim)
  • 2″ screws
  • Spray primer
  • Paint (used Botanical Home Decor Paint)
  • Craft paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Patch-plus-primer
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper

Instructions:

Cut the 1″ x 6″ into 5 pieces:

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 2 – 6″ x 15″sides
  • 1 – 6″ x 15″ base
  • 2 – 6″ x 11″ front & back pieces with a 45 degree corners cut into the tops

Add a line of glue along the bottom of the front and back of the caddy.  Attach them to the base with finish nails.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Add a line of glue to cut ends of the sides and add a line of glue to the bottom of the sides.  Attach the front to the sides with finish nails. Repeat for the back piece.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the sides by nailing through the bottom and into the sides.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill a hole into each end of the 1″ x 1″ square dowel. Attach the square dowel to the top of the front and back pieces with the 2″ screws.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

The completely assembled crate should look like this:

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Spray the caddy with spray primer inside and out.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint caddy with a solid color first. (I used a new paint and love the texture and coverage. Botanicals Home Decor Paint in Peony went on smoothly like chalky paints.)

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the craft paints to paint details like windows, shutters and a door onto the front of the caddy. If you’re feeling truly artistic, you can paint the back too.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Nail the lattice trim pieces to the sides of the caddy for a little decoration.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Putty all nail holes.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand the putty smooth after it has dried. Touch up paint the putty holes.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Fill your caddy with wine, flowers, food or other goodies to celebrate the new homeowners.

Housewarming Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

The recipient will be tickled pink. Haha, get it, a little pink house?

PHGFancySign

 

Pin for later!

Mosaic Tile Coasters | Pretty Handy Girl

Want an easy and inexpensive gift idea to give out as a hostess gift for those upcoming holiday parties? How about Mosaic Tile Coasters? They are quick and easy to make. Last month, for my Lowe’s Creative Idea I created a unique lamp shade with mosaic glass tile. I had some leftover sheets and decided to make these coasters with the leftovers. Follow along to learn how to make another great Lowe’s Creative Idea.

Materials:

Mosaic Tile Coasters | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

Begin by cutting your mosaic tile sheet into coaster size squares.

Mosaic Tile Coasters | Pretty Handy Girl

Trim off any excess mesh. Read more

Rock n' Roll Birthday Party | Pretty Handy Girl

My goodness, I have an eight year old! Time has flown by and my little baby is one handsome rocker wanna be. He loves anything rock n’ roll and can be found in his room with headphones on listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, The White Stripes and Weezer.

For his birthday, he wanted to have a Rock n’ Roll birthday party. This was a simple party to pull off and only required a few purchases upfront. I even took a short cut and ordered cupcakes from our local grocery store bakery.

Rock n' Roll Birthday Party | Pretty Handy Girl

Upon arrival, each child received a personalized backstage pass.

The passes were made using black vertical badge holder with lanyards and washi tape.

Rock n' Roll Birthday Party | Pretty Handy Girl

I printed the passes on neon card stock. Feel free to download my PDF to make Backstage Passes for your party.

Backstage passes for Rock n' Roll Birthday Party | Pretty Handy Girl

If you wanted to get extra glitzy with the lanyards, you could purchase these Rhinestone Bedazzled Lanyards: Read more

Sew Easy Anthropologie Cloth Napkin Gift Bags | Pretty Handy Girl

When I want to give a small gift as a thank you or to make someone’s day I like to dress it up by presenting the gift in a little fabric drawstring pouch. These cloth napkin gift bags are “sew” easy to make and they cost about 1/3 the cost of the cloth napkin! Gather a few simple supplies and your sewing supplies and join me.

Materials:

  • Cloth napkin
  • Thread
  • Baker’s string or thin ribbon
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Safety pin
  • Chopstick, paint brush or other stick type object

Instructions:

Fold the cloth napkin into fourths. Cut along the folds to yield four squares.

Sew Easy Anthropologie Cloth Napkin Gift Bags | Pretty Handy Girl

Fold the napkin fabric in half right sides together. Read more

DIY Lemonade Lip Balm | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy Summer! Warm days and soaring temperatures always put me in the mood for lemonade. For a little end of the year gift for my sons’ teachers I whipped up a small batch of DIY Lemonade lip balm. But, this is a fabulous gift to make for a girlfriend or anyone who needs a little ray of sunshine. I’m joining in with Kristen Duke’s Birthday Celebration Blog Hop with 101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for your Friends!

Lemonade Lip Balm Materials and Ingredients:

(contains affiliate links)

DIY Lemonade Lip Balm | Pretty Handy Girl

Yield: Recipe yields enough to fill three 1/2 oz. jars. Feel free to double the recipe to make more.

Lemonade Lip Balm Instructions: Read more

free printable blog hop

I’m excited to share 101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for your Friends. I am joining creative forces with Kristen Duke in her Birthday Celebration Week along with over 100 talented bloggers sharing lots of inexpensive ideas and free printables! The collection is live now, so be sure to jump out of bed and find a fabulous gift idea for that special person in your life.  A lot of these gifts are versatile for any occasion, and can be a gift to your friends, family, or even that gal that you’d like to get to know better. Even more fabulous—most gifts are under $5, and have coordinating printables to make it super simple!

101 Birthday Ideas for Friends

{Blog Hop Birthday designs by C {dot} love}
 

I’m sharing a recipe for DIY Lemonade Lip Balm because I know a little handmade gift of lemony goodness will brighten anyone’s day and let them know that you care enough to pamper them on their birthday (or any day.)

DIY Lemonade Lip Balm | Pretty Handy Girl

Are you ready for some inspiration? Join in on the BLOG HOP! Click on each of the links below each collage to see the instructions on how to make them and their free printable. I like to open a bunch of new tabs and Pin my favorites for later. Don’t forget to follow the Gift Ideas Pinterest Board as well, to save future great ideas. Read more

Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towel | Pretty Handy Girl

How about a cheap and easy DIY gift idea today? Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towels are sure to please anyone and they cost less than a dollar! I bought several of the red striped Tekla tea towels at Ikea that cost .79 a piece!

Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towel | Pretty Handy Girl

I came up with the idea after seeing Miss Mustard Seed’s cafe curtains. But, decided to create monogrammed tea towels to give as gifts.

Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towel | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Ikea Tekla Tea Towel
  • Red & green acrylic paint
  • Tiny round paint brush
  • Painter’s tape
  • Light box (if you don’t have one, you can tape your letter and towel to a window during the day.)

Instructions: Read more

star-wars-themed-party

Today we are going to talk about DIY Star Wars Birthday Party. But first, I have a special guest for you today. Jenelle is a woman who shares my passion for upcycling and creating treasures from trash. She creates at TrashN2Tees. When I say creates, I should say works amazing transformative magic on old shirts and clothing. She turns them into the most adorable shirts and accessories! Like this Fox Applique Geeky Kids shirt:

Fox_geek_shirt

And this too cute for words Hungry Bear Shirt:

Bear_stomach_shirt

But, kids’ clothing is just the beginning. She also sells jewelry made from shirts! Like these funky chunky bracelets:

Upcycled T-shirt Funky Chunky Bracelets

You won’t believe all the cool things she has in her Trash N2 Tees Etsy Shop (First time buyers receive 10% off with coupon code FTB10Off):

Trash_N2_Tees_Etsy

She also launched a clothing recycling program for used, stained or out of style clothing! She’s like the Upcycling Wonder Woman! And, she has a son who LOVES Star Wars. All you mamas of boys know how obsessive our little Jedis can be for Star Wars, right?!

Jenelle knew that her little guy deserved a fantastic Star Wars themed party that wouldn’t break the budget. She did a fabulous job creating a memorable Star Wars Party for very little money. I leave you in Jenelle’s capable hands: Read more

It’s official, we don’t have any babies or toddlers or young ones in our house anymore. Pardon me while I wipe the tears from my eyes. Nope we have boys. Long lean and fat free boys who like to run and do all sorts of death defying take years off of Mom’s life feats.

Talk of farts and laughing at poop jokes is common conversation in our home. Have you heard the one about the boy who went to the doctor? He told the doctor, “Doctor doctor, my bottom is broken. It has a crack in it.” Want to hear another one? I didn’t think so.

I’ve also noticed that my sweet little boys’ feet are slightly pungent 99% of the time (except for up to 30 minutes after bath time.)

These are the ages when they remember and know exactly what they want for their parties. When Pretty Handy Boy #2 asked to have a lizard themed birthday, you know I had to oblige. (Did you notice that subtle name change? He used to be Handsome Boy. Well, he’s still handsome, but he and his brother are getting to be very handy with the tools. Therefore, I’m renaming both my boys, going forward they will be known as Pretty Handy Boy #1 and #2.)

As I’m sure you know, lizard themed birthday parties are not exactly a common party choice. Running to the party store to pick up everything was a lost cause. (I didn’t think he’d accept Miss Spider plates and decorations.) With not a lot of time (and on a tight budget), this is what I came up with: Read more

Terrariums are making a comeback in home décor. Gone are the octagonal mirrored terrariums. They have been replaced by sleak apothecary jars, tall cylinders and lidded glass vessels (to name just a few shapes.)

Twig Terrariums has an amazing array of beautiful ready made terrariums or DIY kits for sale! Some of them have stunning details, right down to a little miniature person inside the lush world. The terrarium below sells for $200.

If you want to create your own version that is a little more budget friendly, it isn’t hard to do. In fact you can get some plants from a local nursery or as close as your own backyard!

Materials:

  • Glass container (with or without a lid)
  • Small decorative pebbles or pea gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Live Moss
  • Terrarium plants (small shade loving plants)
  • Potting shovel
  • Water

1. Clean your glass container with soap and water and dry it.

2. Add a layer of gravel or decorative pebbles to the bottom of your glass container.

 

3. Add a layer of potting soil. No need to level it.

 

4. Collect your plants and think through the plant placement in your head.

 

5. Gently remove a plant from the pot.

If it is root bound (all the roots are wound tightly around the bottom) gently tease some of the roots free and break apart the roots at the bottom of the plant.

 

6. Insert your plants into the soil.

Put taller plants at the back and the shorter ones in the front so you can see all the plants.

 

7. Cover the soil with moss. You can cut or tear pieces to fit flush with the edge of the terrarium.

8. Fill your terrarium and let the water soak in. The water should reach the top of the rocks. Check the water level a few times a week and be sure to refill when the water gets low. If your terrarium has a lid you won’t have to water as often as a lidless variety.

 

9. Add any decorative embellishments like these faux mushrooms (tutorial HERE)…

…or my sons’ favorite, a little plastic dinosaur!

Terrariums make the perfect year round accessory. I have them prominently featured in my living room along with some other natural elements.

This version was made entirely with plants that I have growing in my shade bed. Small ferns, arugula and creeping ground covers. Plus, I added a few round pebbles for visual interest.

I might pick up a tiny person or two at a hobby shop next time I’m near one. Anyone seen any that look like the characters in “Land of the Lost” heh, heh, heh!


In the meantime, I’m loving my cost effective terrarium. Yes, terrarium singular, because the cylinder terrarium was a gift for our friends who dog sat for us.


I almost wouldn’t be surprised to see a fairy take up residence in one.

I’ve been busy working on some more projects to show you, so hang tight and check back soon! 😉 In the meantime, I hope you have a fabulous weekend and are enjoying Fall!