I’m a serial upcycler. When I can find relatively free materials and turn them into something worth displaying, I’m thrilled! This Magnetic Chalkboard frame is one of those upcycled projects I am proud of.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame

Earlier in the week, I showed you the changes I made in my oldest son’s bedroom. One of the switches I made was to replace his bedroom door because the old one had cracked after one too many slammings. Ugh, cheap hollow door.

In an effort to keep my son from taping all types of signs to his new door, I found an ugly old frame and married it with some scrap metal from a junky set of shelving a neighbor was throwing away.

bookcase in love with ugly frame

That’s not real wood, it’s metal…fake wood metal. Yuck. Wait until you see how they were transformed. You won’t believe your eyes, so watch closely how I made this Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame.

Before you leave this tutorial thinking you can’t possibly make this project because you’ll never be able to find cheap faux wood shelves, let me share with you some alternate materials you can use!

(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.)

Magnetic Material:

Non-Magnetic Material for Chalkboard:

Now that you have some additional material options, let’s get busy making a Magnetic Framed Chalkboard (or just a framed chalkboard).

Materials:

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: You may need some Goo Gone, a scraper, and rag to eliminate any glue on the back of the frame.

Instructions:

Begin by cutting your metal (or backing) to fit into the back of the frame.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint one side of the metal with chalkboard paint. Let it dry. Apply a second coat of chalkboard paint. Let it dry.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

While the chalkboard paint is drying, time to work on the frame.

If your frame has paper on the back, peel it off and use Goo Gone, a scraper, and sander to remove any of the glue residue.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

 

When the chalkboard paint has dried, insert it into the frame, chalkboard side up from the backside of the frame (are you seeing where I’m going with this?)

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

The back of the frame is much prettier than the front, but in order to hold the chalkboard in place, we need to cut some picture molding. Cut the end of your molding at a 45 degree angle. Fit it into the frame and mark where to make your second cut.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue fitting and cutting molding around your frame.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Once all four pieces of molding fit, you are ready to secure them.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Apply a bead of wood glue along the inside edge of the back of the frame.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the molding pieces in place and wipe up any glue that squeezes out.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Clamp the molding pieces and the frame. Allow the glue to dry for at least an hour.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

When the glue has dried. Attach two D-rings to the back of the frame.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Season the chalkboard with the side of a piece of chalk. Then use a dry rag to buff it off.

Time to hang it up! (In my case, I hung it on my son’s door.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

To keep the frame from bouncing any time the door is opened or closed, I put a 3M Command velcro strip between the bottom of the frame and the door.

Now my son can put up pictures, messages, and more without damaging the door.

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Pretty cool huh?! Would you ever guess the back of an ugly frame and metal shelves could look this beautiful?

Upcycled Magnetic Chalkboard Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

I especially like the little metal fasteners showing in the corners of the frame.

Tell me, do you have an ugly frame hanging around your house? Have you ever looked at the back and found it more beautiful than the front?

PHGFancySign

 

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Spring is here and there are countless flowers awakening from the cold winter slumber. When it happens you can pick some blooms and turn them into easy gift ideas. Today I’ll show you how to make easy pounded flower art.

easy_pounded_Flower_Gift_ideasjpg

Easy Pounded Flower Gift Ideas

The results can be used for a framed quote, a paper-wrapped vase, notecards, and much more! I’d go so far to say, the results are close to high end (and expensive) handmade pressed flower paper.

Ready to make some beautiful pounded flower paper? I am (because I could also use an activity to get a little frustration out 😉.)

Materials:

(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:

First, you’ll want to collect some flowers. Smaller colorful flowers work best. But, you can collect larger ones and experiment.

Lay one sheet of paper on top of the block of wood. Arrange your flowers on top of the paper and tape down any strands that don’t cooperate. (The flowers I picked are from a money plant that grows in our woods.)

tape_flower_into_shape

Lay a second sheet of paper on top of the flowers.

cover_flower_with_2nd_paper

Pound the hammer around the paper until you have squished all of the flowers beneath. (This doubles as a stress relief exercise, trust me!)
hammer_paper_and_flowers

Peel apart the papers and you’ll have a pulpy mess.

pull_apart_papers

Remove the flowers and wipe off the excess bits and pieces with a clean chip brush.

wipe_off_flower_guts

Look at that! You got two prints that are a mirror image.

duplicate_pounded_flower_prints

Print out a quote or type a message on coordinating paper and tear around it. Tape it onto flower paper.

tape_phrase_onto_paper

Put your verse artwork into a frame for a sweet gift to your sister, your mother, or a friend.

close_up_phrase_flower_art

Take the other sheet and wrap it around a can, mason jar, or vase.

roll_paper_around_mason_jar

Wrap some twine around the paper to hold it in place. Add water to the vase and pop some fresh flowers in it.

close_up_pounded_flower_vase

Quick and easy gift idea, right?! Give a vase to brighten someone’s day. The best part of this gift is it only cost a pound! (Get it? Like a British £? I know, I have a corny sense of humor. You can blame it on my Dad, it runs on his side of the family.)

Maybe I’ve also been hammering a little too much lately. Leave me a comment if you have any corny jokes to share!

pounded_Flower_art

Do you have any creative ideas for using this pretty flower paper? I set some up for the kids and they had a blast pounding flowers.

PHGFancySign

Hang-O-Matic Wall Hanging Tool Review | Pretty Handy Girl

This is one of the multitude of gadgets that gets sent to me for review. Most don’t make it to the light of the blog. But, this little gadget has proved useful in my toolbox. Stick around to learn how you too can Hang Art easily using Hang-o-Matic. And why I gave this little tool a second chance.

The creators of Hang-o-matic sent me this tool to try out. The first one I received was defective. The moveable clip was loose and wouldn’t stay put. I explained to the creators that I didn’t like the tool because the point wouldn’t stay where it was set. Apparently there had been some production issues and they shipped me a second one. I was doubtful, but after trying the tool a handful of times, I have to admit it is the perfect tool when you are hanging art, decor, or mirrors that have two hooks.

Instructions for Hanging Art Easily using Hang-o-Matic:

Remove the cover from the ruler/level section.

Hang-O-Matic Wall Hanging Tool Review | Pretty Handy Girl

Mark the height you want to hang your art with a pencil. Read more

Galvanized Metal Magnetic Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

I was really inspired by Laura Putnam’s new book: DIY Rustic Modern Metal Crafts. I love the look of aged galvanized metal and knew that our home needed more of it. Today I’ll share with you a tutorial to create your own Rustic Metal Magnetic Window Frame, inspired by Laura’s Vintage Window Memo Board. But, you’ll definitely want to get a copy of Laura’s book to learn how to make 34 more storage and decor items using galvanized metal!

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

Galvanized Metal Magnetic Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: Silicone Caulk (for more secure metal)

Instructions:

Ready to make your own Rustic Metal Magnetic Window Frame? If you have newer galvanized metal, you can easily add an aged patina to metal following this tutorial. Prepare ahead of time, because it might take up to 8 hours to get the look you want. The sheet you see below was left overnight in the solution to get a nice white patina.

aged-galvanized-sheet-metal

Remove the glass panes from your old window.

old-window-pane

Measure the size of each pane.

measure-window-panes

Transfer your measurements onto the galvanized metal sheet. Read more

Rustic Scrap Wood Shadow Box Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Okay all you woodworkers. You know as well as I do that you have an ever growing scrap wood pile that you don’t want to throw away because you know you’ll use it one day.

Rustic Scrap Wood Shadow Box Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Well, today is that day! I challenge you to use some of that scrap wood to make a Scrap Wood Shadow Box Frame like this one.

But, if this isn’t your cup of tea, Sawdust Girl has an entire link up party of scrap wood projects. And you can link up your own scrap wood challenge too!

Okay, so the truth behind this project is that Pretty Handsome Guy has been begging me to frame his U.S. Open flag from Pinehurst almost two years ago. My poor hubby rarely asks for anything, and I figure he waited long enough.

Materials:

  • Scrap wood
  • Backer board (scrap bead board, masonite, thin plywood)
  • Construction glue
  • Lattice edging
  • Wood stain
  • Plexi-glass
  • D-hooks
  • Drill bit
  • Drill
  • Double stick foam tape
  • Brad nails
  • Nail gun or hammer
  • Machine screws
  • Saw (miter, jigsaw or Dremel UltraSaw)

Optional: Gorilla Glue

Instructions:

Cut backer board to the size you want for your frame.

Rustic Scrap Wood Shadow Box Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay out your scrap wood on top of the backer board until it is covered completely.

Rustic Scrap Wood Shadow Box Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

I tried Gorilla Glue Construction Adhesive on this project (Gorilla Glue sent me a tube of glue to try out.) It dried and held all the scrap wood firmly.

Rustic Scrap Wood Shadow Box Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Lift up one piece of scrap wood at a time and apply construction glue onto the backer board. Read more

Wall Art Pottery Barn Knock Off

Today we have Roxanne taking over the Rockstar DIY stage! Roxanne is the knock off queen. She will be showing us how to create these beautiful knock off Pottery Barn Blue Textile prints for much less. If Roxanne sees something from a high end store, she has the super power to create a knock off for 1/10th the price or less! She recently knocked off a $695 Restoration Hardware capiz chandelier for only $52!

You can do the math, but I know that’s a real steal.

Roxanne from The Honeycomb Home

Roxanne, is the talented DIYer behind The Honeycomb Home blog. She can frequently be found turning her cookie cutter home into a beautiful home on a budget. Please welcome the dynamic Roxanne to the stage!

Rockstar DIY Series

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I was recently browsing my favorite website, Pottery Barn, and noticed this set of beautiful Framed Blue Textile Art. I loved the wooden frames and the blue fabrics, but not the price! They sell for $169 for one, or $334 for the pair! I realized this would be very easy to knock-off for a fraction of that price.

PB framed textile art

To re-create this look, I ordered fabric samples from Calico Corners. To make this work, you will need the larger sized samples. Average size samples are usually around 5.5″ squared. The larger versions at Calico are 27″ X 18″. I always prefer to order the larger size because its hard to get a good sense of how it will look in the room from the small size. Here is a picture of the small sample versus the large.

Fabric Sizes

I found two beautiful wood frames at Michael’s, which are normally priced $29.99, I scored them on sale for $10 each, it was a steal! I bought them in size 16″ X 20″, which is a little smaller than the Pottery Barn frames. Read more

Create this fabulous knock-off West Elm wooden framed mirror without any fancy power tools. Just use a 1x6 tongue and groove board which is the perfect fit to insert an inexpensive IKEA mirror.

Today on the Rockstar DIY stage is Kim, with the tutorial to make this beautiful money saving West Elm Inspired Framed Mirror!

Rockstar DIY Series

Kim is the power DIY blogger behind The Kim Six Fix. She shares the belief that there isn’t any project big or small that she can’t tackle. Currently Kim lives in California with her husband and three little ones. But, she used to live practically in my backyard in Durham, NC. Unfortunately we never met before she moved. #MissedOpportunity Because if we had, we probably would have fixed up an entire block of houses together!

Kim Six

Today Kim is here with the genius solution to building a West Elm Inspired Framed Mirror using tongue and groove boards. Those saws have started buzzing, so I know she’s ready…take it away Kim!

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I’m so excited to be here on Brittany’s blog today! I have been a HUGE fan since I first started blogging about my DIY projects and so it is surreal to be actually posting here…  ON HER BLOG!!! Squee!!  Of course I want to thank her so much for this opportunity, and I hope you all enjoy my project.

Okay, enough fan-girling.. On to the post: 

If you know me, you know I am a big fan of knocking off overpriced high priced name brand home decor. There is almost a challenge to it.  And when I saw this simple mitered block wood mirror on the West Elm website I knew I could create the look for a lot less.

Create this fabulous knock-off West Elm wooden framed mirror without any fancy power tools. Just use a 1x6 tongue and groove board which is the perfect fit to insert an inexpensive IKEA mirror.
Now, unlike a lot of the other guest bloggers who have been sharing their amazing tutorials, I don’t yet have a fabulous tool stash (something I am trying to remedy.)  What that means for you is that you don’t need a big tool stash either! We’re in this together!

So in this case, when I saw the mirror had the glass inset into the wood, (something typically achieved with a table saw or a router) I knew I would have to think outside of the box. How could I get the wood to wrap around the mirror without cutting it myself?

A trip down the lumber aisle of the hardware store revealed the answer: Tongue and Groove 2×6 boards  (typically used on walls or floors).  It has a ’tongue’ on one side which insets into the ‘groove’ on the other.  Perfect: A board with a built-in mirror holder!

2x6 southern yellow pine tongue and groove flooring 425
The boards they had in stock at the big box home improvement store weren’t anything super special, and they weren’t very expensive. For my project I only needed two 8 foot boards at $8 each.

Usually these types of boards are made of whitewood (or pine) since that is the least expensive. However, my store actually used Cypress (a whitewood alternative), which was a fun change for me. This was my first project with that wood type and it pretty much acted like pine.. .so I was in my comfort zone. You could do this with cypress or pine (or even hardwood).

Now that I had the boards, I had to get them down to the correct dimensions, and I didn’t want the tongue, only the groove.  The first thing I did was rip the boards down to the width I wanted for the mirror frame.  Now, once again, most people would do this on a table saw, but I don’t have one.  I only have a circular saw, so I used it plus the Kreg Rip Cut, to cut the boards down lengthwise:

Next I sanded them like crazy.  The circular saw doesn’t leave the cleanest cut, and the boards were in pretty rough shape.  Nothing a random orbital sander couldn’t help.

Sanding boards for mirror frame
Here is a good closeup of how exactly the mirror fits in the groove.   You can see where the mirror (a $9 one I picked up at IKEA) fits into the groove of the board. And although it isn’t obvious, each side of the groove is actually shaped differently. On one side it was squared off, while the other was rounded down.  You can use either edge as the ‘front’ of the mirror frame, but just make sure you are consistent!

Channel in 2x4 for framing Mirror
I liked the square edge facing out (I thought it was closest the inspiration piece.)

Also, be aware when measuring your mirror, that it will extend down into the mitered corner.  You can’t just measure the perimeter of the mirror and cut the frame the exact same size.   The frame will actually be slightly smaller.

Inseting mirror into frame groove

I measured by putting the mirror into the notch of the board and sliding the 45 degree pre-mitered corner down onto the perpendicular board (which should also have the mirror placed in the groove.) Where the point of the mitered board hits the perpendicular board is where you should put a mark. Then miter the second board at a 45 degree angle with the longest point hitting that mark.

Measuring and Marking Mitered frame
You want a pretty tight fit because the only thing holding the mirror into the frame will be that channel. If you cut the edges too long, the mirror will want to fall out.  Be as accurate as you can, and make sure you make plenty of dry fitting before you start the assembly process: Read more

Easy Clipboard Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

Today’s project is so easy, I named it the Easy Clipboard Stand (catchy name, no?) This is a great way to upcycle an old clipboard and a scrap 2×4. This clipboard stand is super versatile. It can be used as a traditional stand for announcements; a copy stand; a recipe holder; an art frame or anything you need to bring attention to. Plus, if you use a dark chalk paint color, it can be used as a chalkboard sign. Bonus.

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

Tools:

Instructions:

Cut the 2×4 scrap to the same width as the clipboard. Set your table saw blade approximately 2/3 height of the 2×4 block. Angle the blade to 15 degrees. Carefully slide the block over the blade. You’ll notice I use a GRR-Ripper Push Block to keep my hands away from the blade. (If you own a table saw, you need one of these!)

Easy Clipboard Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

The 2×4 should look like the photo below.  Read more

Easy Plexiglass Art Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever wanted to frame a piece of art but didn’t want to pay the high cost to buy a custom frame? Or worse, you’re like me and too lazy to DIY your own frame? That’s where I found myself last week when I was creating the perfect gallery wall. I was at the corner of cheap and lazy. But, I stood my ground at that corner and created an Easy Plexiglass Art Frame!

I wouldn’t recommend this technique for priceless art, but for posters and other art that you want to frame quickly or easily, this is your tutorial!

Materials:
(contains some affiliate links)

  • Art poster or drawing
  • Double-stick tape
  • Plexiglass
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw or plexiglass cutter
  • Board larger than the art (at least 3″ on each side)
  • Small wood screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill with drill bit smaller than screw diameter
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Picture hanging hook(s)

Optional: Paint and Paintbrush

Instructions:

Cut your board to size. If you want, stain or paint your board ahead of time. Allow it to dry.

Easy Plexiglass Art Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Put pieces of double stick tape on the corners of your art and position it in the center of your board.

Easy Plexiglass Art Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay the plexiglass on top of the art and mark where to cut the glass (allow at least 1/4″ overlaps.)

Easy Plexiglass Art Frame | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut your plexiglass with a jigsaw, bandsaw, scoring plexiglass knife or ask a local home improvement store to cut your glass exact. Sand the edges of the plexiglass until it is smooth. Read more

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

When I needed an extra piece of art for our living room gallery wall I created DIY Feather Art. You can create your own, but please purchase craft feathers, use fake feathers or paper feathers. (Per the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to collect feathers, nests and other anatomical parts of certain migratory birds.)

Materials:

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Rustic 1×4″ boards (I used pallet wood)
  • Wood yardstick or lattice boards
  • Watered down white paint
  • Paint brush
  • Clamp
  • Scissors
  • Kreg Jig
  • Pocket hole screws (1.25″)
  • Nylon line
  • Small drill bit
  • Drill
  • Staple gun
  • 1″ finish nails
  • Hammer or nailgun
  • Wood glue
  • Feathers
  • Pencil
  • D-ring picture hangers

Instructions:

Cut your 1×4″ boards to size (or select one board the size you want for your art background.) To connect the two boards, mark the location to drill pocket holes.

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes into the back of both boards.

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Clamp the boards together and join them with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the board over and paint it with watered down white paint for a white-washed look.

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Mark the width of the white-washed board onto the yardstick. Cut two pieces the same length. Read more