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

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

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 2 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Today I’m going to show you a tip for fixing a rubbing or sticking door.

Day 2. Fixing a Sticking Door

Do you have a door in your home that rubs on the frame or gets stuck certain times of year? Our bathroom door used to stick in the summer (but not the winter.) The excess humidity in the air caused the door to swell just enough that it rubbed at the top of the frame. The fix literally took less than five minutes!

Take a look at your door and determine where the door is rubbing. Assess which direction you need to nudge the door to break the contact.

The simplest fix is to try loosening or tightening the door hinge screws. Take a look at the door below. The door was too tight in the upper left corner. To relieve the rubbing loosen the screws a half turn in that top hinge. Test the door again. You may also need to loosen the screws on the middle hinge and tighten the screws on the bottom hinge.

Is your door still sticking? Try removing the screws completely from the door frame. Instead of shimming with a wooden shim (which would be too thick) cut a piece of thin cardboard (think cereal boxes and product packaging) and inserted it behind the hinge. Then drive the screws back in.

Shim a door hinge

95% of the time the above two tips will resolve your issues. If your door is still sticking, you may have to take more drastic measures like routing out more material from the door frame with a Dremel or using a power planer to trim down your door.

PHGFancySign

Check out other participants in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge.

31 Day Writing Challenge

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Other tips in the 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes series:


How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

The folks at Allstate Insurance have graciously sponsored this post, which will help you learn how to install security film to safeguard your doors (or windows) from a potential break-in! It’s a simply DIY solution that could potentially save you the heartache of having your home burglarized.

I’ve noticed an unsettling trend in our area. There are more thefts popping up around our neighborhood. Luckily the majority of them are burglaries with no violence. But, it’s still unsettling. If you want the latest on crimes around you, sign up for SpotCrime.com. Simply enter your address and you’ll get emails when crimes are reported around you. Then again, this could lead to a bit of paranoia {raising hand.}

SpotCrime.com map

Regardless, there are two doors in our home that have always caused me some concern. We have two half window doors that needed some added security measures. The first one is the entrance to our mudroom. The second one is the back door to our garage (and you know I’d be heartbroken if anyone stole my power tools!)

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

If you have a door like this, a burglar can simply break the pane of glass closest to the knob, reach in and turn the deadbolt and handle. One option is to install a two-sided keyed entry deadbolt lock. Because we have little children, I worried about them not being able to find the key and get out of the house in the event of a fire.

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

This past week I happened to hear about security film and did a little research. I was skeptical until I tested the material myself. The results seriously amazed me! You can watch my test in the video later in this post.

In the meantime, here are the supplies you’ll need and the very simply installation instructions!

(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.)

Materials:

 Instructions:

1. Begin by removing the grill if you have one solid piece of glass with faux dividers (see my video below for more details on removing the grill.) If you have true divided light, move on to the next step.

2. Measure your windows. Reduce the size by 1/8″ to leave space at the edges for the water to escape. Transfer the measurements onto the film with pen. Cut the window film with the x-acto knife and ruler. (You could use scissors in a pinch.)

How to Add Security Film to Glass Doors & Windows | Pretty Handy Girl Read more

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

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

In the quest to makeover our master bedroom and save money, I’ve been painting several pieces of furniture to coordinate with the new bed I built.

One of the pieces I painted was this small desk that doubles as a nightstand. Our bedroom isn’t very large and our master bathroom is even smaller than what can be described as a “master” anything! Doing my hair and makeup in our bathroom isn’t a viable option, especially when both Pretty Handsome Guy and I wake up at the same time. When I saw this little desk at a local thrift store, I grabbed it. Especially because she was only $20!

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

She had lots of age, but not much character.

top-of-wood-vanity

However, she was the perfect size and had just enough storage for a makeup vanity.

With a light sanding, primer and a coat of Benjamin Moore Advance paint, she is now showing her more glamorous side. Read more

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

You know you’ve seen those knotty pine dressers from yesteryear. Their spotlight has faded and they are finding themselves at thrift shops, ReStores or worse yet…at the curb.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m begging you to let this knotty eyesore back into your home. It doesn’t have to be banished. It’s KNOT her fault she was built from cheap pine. All this dresser needs is a new coat of paint and some beautiful brass knobs and all her flaws and knots will be forgotten.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Extra observant points to anyone who realized that this blogger forgot to take a good before picture! She looked very similar to the knotty pine dresser shown above, except she had wooden circle knobs and an unfortunate set of bun feet. I did remove the bun feet from the dresser when I first brought it home. Mama ain’t got no need for buns in this oven (or on my dresser.)

Here are the details on how to refinish a knotty pine dresser and give it a complete makeover!

Materials:

  • Sandpaper
  • BIN primer
  • Damp rag
  • Paint brush
  • Foam paint roller
  • Quart of Benjamin Moore Advance paint (Deep Ocean)
  • Valspar asphaltum glaze
  • Brass hardware (I bought mine from House of Antique Hardware)
  • Drill with bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Level

Instructions:

This tutorial will be fairly brief, if you need more photos and explanation, you can view my previous dresser painting adventure.

Begin by removing all the drawers and knobs. Lightly sand the dresser and drawer fronts. Wipe off any sanding dust. Read more

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl

I have a friend named Holly. She and I live in the same neighborhood and we help each other out with DIY projects. Last week she asked me to help her come up with a solution to hide her dirty laundry.

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl

Holly and I were trying to figure out how to replace her sad laundry room door(s). The right side door had broken off and was unusable. We floated several ideas, originally thinking about creating inexpensive sliding barn doors. But, we scaled back that idea after realizing that inexpensive pipe hardware (spanning over 8 feet) was still too expensive for the budget. We began discussing buying cheap bi-fold doors and dressing them up. However, even new bi-folds aren’t super cheap. I mentioned she “might” have luck going to the Habitat ReStore to find the exact size doors. We both knew that was a slim chance. Then an idea hit me like a bi-fold door falling off its hinges! Among the multitude of things I have stored in my attic, were two sets of closet doors! One that used to be on my son’s reading nook closet. And the second set used to be on the pantry.

Would it be fitting that the only before pictures I have of the pantry doors are these gems?

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl
The Streaker

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl
The Goofball

You get the picture. They are ordinary bi-fold doors. After the doors were removed from our pantry I liked how open it was. Although sometimes I wonder if I am just too lazy to open and shut the doors every time I want food.

How to Trim Closet Doors with Dremel UltraSaw | Pretty Handy Girl

Regardless, I liked the open concept, but not necessarily our food being constantly ON DISPLAY. I have plans to add built-in cabinets and shelving to the pantry, similar to what my friends The DIY Village created, but for now we just have it open.

I ran home to dig through the attic and find the two sets of doors that might work for Holly. I held my breath (partly because the attic was stifling hot) as I measured the doors. My son’s closet doors were…too narrow. Whomp wah. The pantry doors were… a perfect width!!! But, they were 2″ too tall. No worries, I knew I could trim them down.

Here’s how to remove (and install) closet doors and cut them down to size using a Dremel Ultra-Saw:

Read more

Spigot Faucet Drawer Knobs Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember my son’s dresser that I gave a pop of color? As promised I’m back today to show you how I made the spigot handle drawer knobs. I purchased my vintage spigot handles from Etsy seller, Anything Goes Here. She has some other vintage handles available, so snatch them up quick. The only other materials you need can easily be picked up from the hardware store.

Materials:

Spigot Faucet Drawer Knobs Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Spigot faucet handles
  • #8 – 32 Machine screw nuts
  • #8 – 32 x 2″ Threaded machine screws
  • Washers
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Phillips head screwdriver

Optional: Clear sealer spray to protect knobs

Instructions:

Making these adorable vintage spigot knobs is an easy project. Line up your parts per handle. You’ll need 1 machine screw, 4 washers, and 3 nuts per handle. Start by threading one washer onto the machine screw. Thread the spigot handle onto the screw. Read more