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

Sport Gear Storage in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

My home is protected by ninjas! Well, actually Tae Kwon Do athletes, but they are ninjas in training. So, don’t even think about breaking into our house or they will open up a can of whoop ass on you! 😉

Unfortunately, where my boys are plentiful in kicking and punching skills they lack in the picking up your stuff department. Which means that the bottom of the stairway to our bonus room is usually the dumping ground for their gear bags, clothing and gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

I knew I could “up” the amount of storage we had in this small unused space by going vertical. I designed and created Sports Gear Storage Shelves in the small space at the base of our bonus room stairs. Adding mesh siding gives the storage system a locker vibe and allowed for better air flow around stinky sports gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to know how to build your own Sport Gear Storage Shelves? Hang out for a while and I’ll walk you through the step-by-step tutorial.

Materials:

Cut List:

  • 5 – 15″ x 24″ plywood (shelves)*
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 15″ (shelf cleats)
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 23″ (shelf cleats)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 88″ (sides of support frame)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 4.5″ (top & bottom of support frame)
  • 1 – 5.5″ x 84″ piece of wire mesh
  • Rip edge banding 1/4″ thickness from one 1 x 3″ board

* You should be able to get a sixth shelf cut from your plywood if you wish to use it for a base.

Instructions:

Before beginning to build, sketch out your design with painter’s tape. Take note of the height of any baskets or gear bags you will store on the shelves. This should give you the ability to visualize the storage shelves and make any alterations to your design before you build. Once you are happy with the layout, write down your shelf heights.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

You may wish to clad the walls in wood planks like I did before you build the shelving. If you decide to add the planks, here’s the tutorial for planking your walls.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the heights of your shelves.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Using a level, draw a pencil line where the shelves will rest.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Secure the 1×3″ cleats below the pencil line using 2 1/2″ wood screws into studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue securing shelf cleats to the wall with screws into available studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint or stain the cleats to match the wall color.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Building Curved Shelves with Edge Banding: Read more

Using a stud finder is the quickest and easiest way to find a stud. But, if you don’t have one or are too lazy to find yours (I’m often guilty of this), you can use one of these ways to find a stud.

5 Ways to Find a Wall Stud (without a stud finder) | Pretty Handy Girl

5 Ways to Find a Stud (without a Stud Finder)

1. Measure from an outlet – remove an outlet cover and inspect the outsides of the box. One side will usually be nailed to a stud.

stud-visible-from-outlet-box

Then measure out to the left or right at 16″ intervals. US building code requires wall studs to be spaced at least 16″ on center (meaning the center of the studs.) This will help you locate studs. However, recognize that in locations near doors/windows or openings there may be a stud at less than a 16″ interval.

5 Ways to Find a Stud

2. Look for popped nails or dimples on the wall – It doesn’t always happen, but in older houses you might see nail pops where the drywall was nailed to a stud. In newer construction this is less likely to happen because screws are used.

3. Look for nails in your baseboard or crown moulding – inspect your crown or baseboard moulding for nails that might indicate where it was attached to a stud.

locate-nail-in-moulding

4. Knock on the wall – You should use this method in conjunction with the methods described above. Use your knuckle to knock along the wall horizontally. A stud location will have a higher pitched sound and feel hard against your knuckle. Lack of a stud will have a lower pitch and hollow sound.

5. Use a small pin – Once you think you’ve located the stud, use a small quilter’s pin to verify that you found the stud.

Wall-mounted IKEA LILLÅNGEN Mirrored Cabinet turned Stuffed Animal Storage | Pretty Handy Girl

If the pin sinks in up to the head, there is no stud there. If the pin sinks in about 3/4″ and then stops, you found the stud.

pin-locating-studs

The pin method will save you the hassle of creating a larger hole only to realize that you missed the stud.

Okay, now go find your stud! {snicker, hee hee}

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31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Curtain rods, towel bars, and other wall mounted accessories are relatively easy to hang. The trick is securing them to a stud so they can hold up to the abuse. But, how often have you found that you don’t have a stud where you want it mounted? Probably 98% of the time, right? That’s where it is important to use good wall anchors (specifically for your type walls.) Today I’m talking about drywall anchors.

Day 15: Use Good Wall Anchors

You are probably thinking, “Okay, no problem. The towel bar I bought came with wall anchors. I’ll just use those.” And that would be a mistake!

use_better_anchors

Why? Because those freebie wall anchors get mangled and they won’t hold up to regular use. DO NOT USE those El Cheapo wall anchors that come with your curtain rods, shelves, towel bars, toilet paper holders, etc. In fact, don’t even save them if you don’t use them. PITCH ‘EM…NOW… JUST DO IT!

I am a big fan of the TOGGLER wall anchors because they are easy to drill into drywall and you can remove them fairly easily with a phillips head screwdriver. There are several other brands and types of wall anchors that will work just as well. When purchasing wall anchors, pay attention to the weight limit and wall types they are designed for.

Now, pin this post because friends don’t let friends use el Cheapo Wall anchors!

Good & Bad Wall Anchors | Pretty Handy Girl

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I’m participating in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge. Check out all the other bloggers who are participating!

31 Day Writing Challenge

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Need a desk but lack floor space or the funds to buy a desk? This Wall-Mounted Desk tutorial will meet your needs! Plus, you can customize the length to meet your needs.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Wall Mounted Desk Tutorial

Hey, I hope you had a fabulous weekend! Was it productive? Full of DIY activities? Well, I’m back with a tutorial for building a wall-mounted desk. The great thing about a desk that is wall-mounted is it can be small or large and it won’t take up any floor space! This gives a nice clean look and makes the room feel larger. Plus, the materials will almost certainly cost less than buying a desk.

My son is starting to have more homework in school. (I didn’t realize that first grade was the new 3rd grade!) I figured soon enough he’s going to need a spot to sit and work on homework. Plus, he’s an avid Lego builder and this makes a great surface for him to build on.

Materials:

  • Finish grade plywood (my desktop is 16″ x 40″)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • 1 – 2″ x 4″ x 93″
  • 2 – 9.5″ x 9.5″ bird’s mouth brackets
  • 4 – 3″ cabinet mounting screws
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Level
  • Pencil

Instructions: 

Begin by assessing where you want to mount your desk. For better perspective, you can outline the desk area with painter’s tape on the floor.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut your finish grade plywood to size. Using the Kreg Rip Saw with my miter saw is much easier than hauling out the table saw and getting as assistant to help lift the plywood. If you put a piece of rigid foam insulation underneath, you can cut almost anywhere! Just set your saw blade depth slightly below the plywood.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut your 2″x4″ stud 4″ narrower than the length of your desk top surface. (My desktop is 40″ long, therefore my mounting stud is 36″ long.)  Locate the studs in your wall. Mark their location.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill holes in the mounting board at the stud locations. Use a small bit slightly narrower than your screws. Then use a larger bit the width of your screw head to create a countersink hole. Drive the cabinet mounting screws into one end of the mounting board and into the stud. Use a level to make sure your mounting board is level, then drive the additional mounting screws into the other studs.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut two pieces of 2″x4″ at 8″ long. These will create the supports for the shelf brackets. For a clean look, bevel the end at a 45 degree angle when you cut them. Attach the 2″ x 4″ pieces below each end of the mounting board as shown below.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Your mounting boards should look like this:

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Set two small screws into the shelf bracket keyholes. Line the bracket up with the top of the mounting board and center it on the vertical supports already attached to the wall. Make a pencil mark where the screws need to be set.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the pencil to mark the depth of the keyholes on the screws so you know how deep to drive the screws into the bracket support.
Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the small screws to the vertical support where the pencil marks were and drive them to the point where you marked on each screw.

Slip the bracket onto the screws.

For added support, pre-drill one hole through the top of the bracket and into the mounting board. Pre-drill a second hole through the bird’s eye bracket at the narrowest point.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Drive screws into the two pre-drilled holes to further secure the shelf brackets to the mounting boards.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Repeat for the second bracket.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay your desktop surface on top of the brackets. You can either drive small screws through the top of the desk and into the mounting board. Or drive a small screw up through the underside of the bracket and into the desktop. I prefer the latter because you won’t have to wood putty the desk surface.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Wood putty all your holes. Allow the putty to dry and sand the putty smooth. Paint your brackets, mounting boards, and desktop. I chose to paint my desktop beforehand with a chalkboard surface.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Let the paint dry. If you want to protect the desk surface, you may choose to paint a few coats of polycrylic on top.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

And my son has a spot to do homework, legos, or create a little book.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Don’t you just love his lego pencil holder he created?! I think he needs to start an Etsy store ;-).

Lego Pencil Holder | Pretty Handy Girl

I had fun decorating the wall with some vintage signs and an adorable London themed tea towel calendar from Spoonflower. Making tea towel calendars every year in November/December has been a tradition I started over a year ago. We anxiously await the release of the newest calendar designs on Spoonflower.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Source List:

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. It was an easy solution for my son’s room. Best of all, you can expand the width, but if you do add more brackets.

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DIY Wall Mounted Desk

If you liked this tutorial, you might also like this inexpensive desktop for $40!

How to Install Shelves on a Tile Wall (using Corbels) | Pretty Handy Girl

After painstakingly tiling my backsplash, I was more than a bit hesitant to drill holes into the tiles to hang the corbels and open shelving. But, I convinced myself to stop being a wussy procrastinating and just do it.

I’m so pleased with how they turned out and I didn’t chip or crack a single tile. In hindsight I really didn’t need to stress this project. It was less nerve-wracking than I had anticipated.

Here’s the full tutorial so you can install your own open shelving on a tile wall!

Materials:

  • Diamond drill bit (the same diameter as the screws you are using)
  • Wood screws to attach anchor board (must be long enough to go through board, tile, drywall and at least an inch into a stud)
  • Drill
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Level (long and a small one if you have one)
  • Pencil
  • 2 regular drill bits (1 the same diameter as the screw + 1 large enough to create a countersink for the screw head)
  • Shelf brackets (I used corbels and a 1″x6″ pine board as an anchor)
  • Kreg jig
  • Pocket hole screws (long enough to attach corbel to anchor board without going through the board)
  • Joint compound or wood putty

Instructions:

Start by determining the height you want your shelves to hang. Read more