Modern wreaths are beautiful and simple in nature. Learn how to make your own DIY modern floral wreath and let me share how I saved money on flowers!

DIY Modern Floral WreathDIY Modern Floral Wreath

Originally I wanted this to be a spring wreath, but well…it’s summer now isn’t it? But, this wreath can still rock the spring and summer look.

I found this flower garland on clearance and decided it would be a more cost effective than buying lots of floral stems.

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.)

Instructions:

Watch the video to make your own DIY Modern Floral Wreath or scroll down for the step-by-step instructions.

 

Gather your supplies (listed above.)

Use good wire cutting pliers to remove the flowers you want to use from a garland (or clip off the stems from your flowers.) Lay your ring on your work surface.

Layout some greenery as a base for the shape of your wreath.

Then fill with large and medium-size flowers.

Arrange and tuck in some smaller flowers to fill out the wreath.

To attach the flowers to the wreath use floral wire. You will probably want to wear garden gloves for this. I started out without the gloves and ended up drawing blood unnecessarily (live and learn, right?)

Twist the floral wire around each stem until it’s secured. Continue attaching flowers to the ring until all the flowers are secured.

You can use a ribbon to hang your wreath, but I like to use fishing line for a less frilly appearance.

Hang your wreath on the door, a wall, or anywhere you need to bring some Spring or Summer cheer!

Did you like this simple wreath? If so, you’ll love Karen’s Simple Fall Wreath. It’s so simple to make, you can create one for every season!

It’s amazing how serving food on a rustic tray can elevate your standard meal or dessert into an elegant occasion. This simple decorative rustic pallet serving tray is a simple project anyone can do!

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray

When I worked on a deck makeover with my sister, Caitlin (of Symmetry Designs), we shopped for a lot of the accessories ahead of time. She wanted me to find the perfect Bali-esque tray. Unfortunately I was coming up empty-handed. But, sometimes, you just have to DIY it! This Rustic Pallet Serving Tray was the brainchild of my sister, but I took her idea and ran with it.

Here’s how to make one for yourself.

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.)

Instructions:

Fold a piece of paper into eights. Cut a design along the edge. (I used a simple scallop shape like this “}”.)

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

When you unfold the paper, you should have a paper template to use for tracing.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Trace the template onto a piece of thin plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a jigsaw or band saw to cut out the shape. You might find this tutorial helpful for cutting out intricate shapes.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay your plywood shape on top of the rustic boards. Move the boards around until you like the sections that will make up the tray. Mark a square around the shape with a ruler.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the boards down to size using the pencil mark as a guide.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Dry fit the boards together on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Wet both the plywood shape and the boards with a damp rag.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Apply Gorilla Glue to the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the rustic boards into the glue on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Weigh the boards down with weights or heavy books.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Allow to dry for at least an hour. Remove the weights and clamp the boards onto a work surface (with the area needing to be cut hanging over the edge. Make sure there is clearance for the jig saw blade. You’ll need to cut half the boards and then turn and re-clamp to cut the entire circumference. The Rockwell JawStand works beautifully for this task.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Draw a pencil line 1 inch out from the plywood shape. Cut around the pencil line with a jig saw.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand edges and grooves with sandpaper or Dremel Multi-Max.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the location of the handles on the tray.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill holes using a bit that is the same size as the handle screws.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the tray over and drill countersink holes with a larger drill bit.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the handles with the screws. The screw heads should sink into the plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you want a truly rustic look, lightly sand your handles.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are going to use your tray for food, use a plate or doily under the food.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you think? Do you like this beautiful rustic tray? Think you could make one? I bet you could!

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

You can see this tray and our Bali-inspired deck makeover here.

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This DIY Rustic Pallet Serving Tray is easy to create with a cutout pattern | Plank serving tray | Pretty Handy Girl #DIY #woodworking #DIYtray #servingtray #rustichomedecor

If the birds are out in your area, chances are they are looking for a place to nest. Try your hand at doodle-painting a cute little birdhouse to help them start a family. Who knows, they may be lurking in your yard like a depressed House Hunter’s couple who can’t get past the color on your neighbor’s birdhouse. Check out this cute Doodle-Painted Birdhouse.

Doodle Painted Birdhouse

Doodle-Painted Birdhouse

Have you lost your mind Brittany? This looks like a Christmas tutorial in May? No, I haven’t lost my mind and yes, this is May (for those of us who have lost track of the days. But, this is the perfect project for anyone who has a simple birdhouse that needs sprucing up for those discerning House Hunter birds.

Although I created this little painted birdhouse to function as a tree topper, you can forgo drilling a hole in the bottom and add a hook to have a fully functional birdhouse for those bird watchers in your home.

This is a project you can do for fun or meditation. And kids can also get in the fun. All you need is some acrylic paint and a paint pen and you can have a blast making this Doodle-Painted Birdhouse for yourself or as a gift.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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.)

Optional:

 

Instructions:

Spray prime the unfinished birdhouse and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Sketch a star shape on the sides of the birdhouse. Mark the location where you wish to drill holes. (If you are using this for an outdoor birdhouse, it’s nice to have a little ventilation for the house. But, feel free to skip this step if you wish.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

If your birdhouse is a double-decker, you will probably want to drill holes through the sides at angle and down into the first floor roof. This will allow some of the light to come through the top story holes as well.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

For Tree Topper Only:

Mark the center location on the bottom and drill a 5/8″ hole through the bottom of the birdhouse. (Skip this step if you want a functional birdhouse.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Dump any wood shavings out of the birdhouse. Set up the birdhouse on the drop cloth for painting.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint the sides of the birdhouse red (or any color you like.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint the roof, steeple, and perches gold. Add a star and tree shape on the sides to accentuate the drilled hole patterns.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

After the gold and red paint has dried completely, use the white paint pen to doodle-paint all over the birdhouse.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Afraid to Doodle-Paint?

Nonsense, there is no rhyme or reason to the doodling, just make lots of little curly q’s, c’s, and loops. You can start by outlining the window structures. Then embellish them. Regardless of your doodle-painting style, it’s important to have fun!

You can see how I used the same technique on the chalkboard ornaments on my Feathered Nest Christmas Tree and they came out really cute.

Doodle Chalkboard Ornament | Pretty Handy Girl

When the paint pen lines have dried, add a few coats of an outdoor sealant.

Birdhouse Tree Topper:

You can use it as a tree topper by feeding the top branch(es) into the hole on the bottom of the birdhouse.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Outdoor Birdhouse:

Add the screw eye hook and hang the birdhouse from a tree in your yard.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Décor Birdhouse:

If you simply want to display your birdhouse as décor, set a little battery-powered light inside the hole in the bottom and enjoy a homey birdhouse on a shelf.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to decorate your birdhouse more? You can see how I created this little Christmas painted birdhouse and embellished the roof.

Christmas Wreath handpainted birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Doodle-painted birdhouses are adorable gifts and very frugal. Make it May is almost over, but stay tuned for one more project!

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How to Make a Painted Bird House Tree Topper | Pretty Handy Girl

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?

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Look around your house or the next time you’re at a thrift shop. Find either an unpainted tray or a tray that needs a makeover. This is a quick project to create a Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining for a beautiful and elegant tray to display or organize things in your home.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining

Today I have a really adorable and easy DIY idea for you! Scrapbook paper lined and painted trays. These trays are so versatile, they can be used in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, or anywhere you want to corral items or have a flat surface available. And best of all, you can change their look in a snap.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

(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.)

As I mentioned above unfinished trays can be purchased at many places. If you want a new one, look at your local craft supply store or order one online on Amazon for cheap.

You’ll also want some decorative scrapbook paper, gift wrap, or fabric to line the bottom of your tray.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Instructions:

Lightly sand and wipe off tray with a damp rag.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Prime tray (if using non-chalk paint.) Paint tray desired color. For this tray I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried, brush antiquing wax onto your tray if desired. Buff off excess with a dry rag.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut scrapbook paper to fit inside the tray. When overlapping paper, make sure to line up the repeating pattern.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

For the best durability, line the tray with a piece of plexiglass cut to fit inside the tray. (Ask your local home improvement store to cut or order online.)

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

The paper you use to line the tray doesn’t have to necessarily be scrapbook paper. I got this paper from Ballard Designs. It’s actually cheese paper, but I loved the design. It doesn’t quite match up, so I just rotated the paper.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

When you put something on top of the tray, you hardly notice the seam.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

The nifty thing about these trays is the decorative paper can be swapped out when you bore of the design.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Once again, I’m loving this idea too much…I might be keeping this one for myself ;-).

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Do tell me, are you enjoying the Make It May series?

Check back tomorrow for yet another great DIY gift idea!

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DIY Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining | Pretty Handy Girl

Can you think of anything more spring-like than a nest full of blue eggs? Today I want to show you how to make Faux Blue Speckled Bird Eggs and a Nest!

Faux Blue Bird Eggs and Nest

Spring has arrived in North Carolina and I want to dance and sing and tiptoe through the tulips. Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, it is the perfect time to start decorating for Easter! A nest of Blue Speckled Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece! Mother Robin sure does create beautiful blue eggs, but we’d never think of disturbing those precious eggs.

Instead, I’ll show you how to turn regular chicken eggs…

…into a beautiful nest of blue speckled eggs to decorate for Easter or Spring.

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.)

Instructions:

It’s time to get messy. Put down a drop cloth or tarp to cover your work area (and beyond.) First, I’ll show you a magic trick! Learn how to remove the white and yolk out of eggs without breaking the shell. Rest an egg inside the empty carton. Gently tap a nail into the top of your egg.

Turn the egg upside down and put another hole into the other side. Typically you’ll need one hole slightly larger.

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

Pucker up and blow through the smaller hole until the egg white and yolk drain out the larger bottom hole. (Of course, you’ll probably want to save the eggs for omelets or scrambled eggs.)

Once you have emptied your eggs, clean them off. Then close your egg carton and flip it upside down to create a raised support for your eggs.

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

Gather your blue, black, and white acrylic paints. Paint the egg a robin’s egg blue color and allow them to dry.

Put on rubber gloves. Pour a small amount of black acrylic paint onto a paper plate. Add a little water to create a runny consistency. Dip the toothbrush into the paint mixture. Aim the toothbrush at the eggs and stroke your finger along the bristles to spatter black dots all over the eggs.

Allow the black speckles to dry and repeat the process using the white paint.

While the eggs are drying, pull out your pasta maker. (Am I the only one who never uses my pasta maker for making pasta?) Cut the paper bag into sections wide enough to fit into the pasta maker.

Feed the paper bag through the pasta maker to shred it. (You can shred the bag with a paper shredder or scissors if you don’t have a pasta maker.) Arrange the shreds into a nest form in a bowl, urn, or basket.

Set your faux blue bird eggs into the nest and admire your beautiful Spring décor!

This centerpiece can be left out until you are tired of looking at it. Then store the eggs in the carton and bring them out again next year.

 

Have a great week! I hope the weather is warming up where you are!

 

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This DIY nest of Blue Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece for your Easter decor! | DIY Easter table centerpiece | Pretty Handy Girl #prettyhandygirl #easterdecor #tablecenterpiece

How-to-faux-paint-a-fake-pumpkinHow to Fake a Fake Pumpkin

Have you seen those neon orange fake pumpkins and nearly vomited because you wouldn’t dream of decorating with them. I mean—get real—everyone would know they were fake. Ah ha, but have you seen the price tags? $1 – $6? For that price you might just be willing to take a leap of faith with me, wouldn’t you? Awesome, because I’m going to show you how to faux paint a fake pumpkin so you can decorate with them year after year and fool your friends.

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:

Start by painting all the pumpkins with Chalk Paint (use gray, white, green and blue paint.) Allow the pumpkins to dry.

paint-pumpkins-french-linen

Painting Realistic White Pumpkins:

It helps to look up some pictures of real pumpkins to refer to.

pure-white-country-grey

Using the stencil brush, paint a mixture of grey and white on one of the pumpkins.

paint-white-mixture

Before the paint dries, dab some of it off with the sea sponge. (Keep your sea sponge dry, not wet during the process.)

sponge-off-white

Dip the stencil brush into the white paint and add paint on the outer most bumps on the pumpkins. This is adding highlights.

highlights_on-white-pumpkin

Dab the highlights gently with the sea sponge to blend.

sponge-off-white-2

Use the fan brush dipped in a small amount of green paint inside the pumpkin ridges. Dab the ridges with the sea sponge to blend.

white-gourd-pumpkin

Have you ever seen a truly unblemished pumpkin? I think not. It’s time to add some spots or marks on the pumpkin to truly fool your friends. Dip the end of the paint brush into brown paint and dot it onto the pumpkin. Blot the spot with a sea sponge and maybe even transfer a few new spots with the sponge.

add-blemishes

Paint grey around the base of the stem and into the grooves with the round paint brush.

add-dark-depth-around-stem

Paint brown and green paint onto the pumpkin stem. Blend slightly with the sea sponge.

paint-sponge-stem

Can you spot my fake white pumpkin? Well, of course you can because I just showed you how to paint it. But, it will definitely fool your friends!

grouping_left_pumpkins

Painting Realistic Blue Pumpkins:

Painting blue pumpkins uses the same technique as painting the white pumpkins, only using a few different colors.

Use the stencil brush to paint blue onto another pumpkin. Dab the blue paint while it’s still wet with the sea sponge.

add-duck-egg-blue-sponge

Use the fan brush dipped in gray and brown craft paint to fill in the ridges.

darken-crevices

Dab the paint with the dry sea sponge to blend.

sponge-crevices

Add some highlights with a mixture of grey and white. This serves two purposes. 1) It adds dimension. 2) It tones down the excess blue on the pumpkin.

add-highlights

Paint the stem the same way you learned above.

To truly fool people, set up your fake pumpkins with some real pumpkins and real gourds. Sooo, can you spot the fakes?

guess-the-fakes

How many did you get right? The metallic gourd is simply spray-painted with copper spray paint. But, I did try my hand at faking a green and yellow gourd using the same technique as the pumpkins, but adding green to the top and yellow to the bottom.

the_fakes

Okay, I’ll give you a second shot. Guess the fakes:

vertical-fall-vignette

How did you do this time? Ha, you can now apply for a job as an art forgery detective ;-).

truth_fake_gourds
Now seriously, how many people will be viewing your pumpkins that close? Umm, next to no one. Normally they’ll view them from afar.

full-living-room-shot

Get your paints and palette out and go fake some fakes! It will be our little secret.

fall-vignette-grouping

PHGFancySignDid you like this painting post? Ahhh, then I know you’ll like this Ballard Pear painting tutorial:

Or if you’re feeling like taking on a larger scale project…how about Faux painted bricks!

Or perhaps you’d like to perform some faux zinc painting magic:

You can do it! I know you can.

Saving Etta: Downstairs Bathroom RevealSaving Etta: Downstairs Shared Bathroom Reveal

The downstairs shared bathroom in the Saving Etta house was designed to function as an en suite bathroom to one of the bedrooms, but also to have a second door opening to the main hallway for guests or for anyone to use. I can’t take credit for the architectural plans in the Saving Etta house, but I can take credit for the fun design choices I made when putting in the finishing touches on the house. (All product sources are listed at the end of this post.) The downstairs bathroom was one small room where I had lots of fun with the floor tile.

Stripes! From the beginning I knew I wanted to use classic tiles in the bathrooms. And possibly tile a border in one bathroom. If you’ve seen Mandi’s daughter’s bathroom in The Merc you’ll appreciate why I wanted to add a border to the floor.

But, if you’ve ever tried to design a border using little hex tiles, you’ll quickly learn that you can achieve a straight line from left to right, but when you try to create a straight line 90 degrees from the first stripe, it looks like a squiggly line. Bummer. However, sometimes it takes road blocks in your path to help you find a more creative solution you like even better.

I used Jeffrey Court mosaic tiles (available at Home Depot) in white and black to create this unique look. And my tile setter did a phenomenal job with the installation.

Before I take you further into the bathroom, I want to thank all the Saving Etta sponsors. As you all know, I’m very particular about the brands I work with and I can honestly say my sponsors are the cream of the crop when it comes to selling products for your home and lifestyle.

Bathroom Before:

As you learned the other day, the original house only had one bathroom and it was definitely not anything pretty.

Saving Etta - The Story of Saving a House Built in 1900 | Pretty Handy Girl

After the back of the house was removed, we began to build back in the same footprint. As you can see in the photo below, the wall on the left was the original back wall of the 1900 portion of the Saving Etta house.

After framing, I had my drywall contractor install Purple drywall throughout the bathroom. If you don’t know why it’s important to use purple drywall in kitchens and bathrooms, you’ll want to read this post.

The transom window over the tub lets in a ton of natural light, but no peeping eyes! It’s obscure glass from Plygem’s Mira window line.

The Downstairs Shared Bathroom Reveal:

You’ve already seen the mosaic hex tile floor. Continuing with the black and white striped theme, I made sure to stage the bathroom with a striped shower curtain (could you ask for a more perfect match?) Of course, who can deny the beauty of the glass door knob. These Schlage Hobson knobs were used throughout the house and they are undeniably gorgeous and equally amazing to touch.

The vanity I chose for this bathroom was a wonderful surprise. The price was a steal compared to the master bathroom vanity. When it arrived, I expected a cheap quality vanity, but was relieved to find it had strong construction, adjustable hinges, and came complete with a quartz (marble look-a-like) countertop and integrated sink. In contrast, the vanity in the master bathroom didn’t come with a top or sink. You can read more about that vanity and my opinion of it here.

This vanity is heavy, so I was thrilled that the delivery from Wayfair included placing it in the room of your choice at delivery.

One lesson I learned from this bathroom was to double check measurements during framing. My plumber was the first to point out that the bathroom width was 6″ wider than the tub. After some creative brainstorming, I decided to take the easy route and add some framing on either side of the tub to make up the difference.

Obviously the tub surround turned out okay, but it wasn’t without challenges. Especially because I made the mistake of paying my drywallers to install the cement board. I learned after they left what a sloppy job they did. My tile installer had to perform some miracles to plumb and straighten the walls. I’ll definitely leave that task to the tile setter next time (and save money not paying for the same project twice.)

Time to talk dirty. Well, not exactly, but I want to share with you another inexpensive fixture that surprised me. The toilet!

It is a very modestly priced ProFlo toilet that really performs well. In fact, I’ll probably get the same toilet for our master bathroom. It doesn’t have any fancy features or look special, but frankly I just want it to work well under pressure (if you know what I mean.)

Speaking of things I will use in my own bathroom, I must install another Broan Exhaust Fan and Light. This low profile recessed light doubles as the exhaust fan! Talk about hard working.

Want to hear something funny? After my drywall installers finished the job, I discovered they had sealed the junction box for the vanity light into the wall. My electrician and I were able to find it and cut a hole. Then I realized I had forgotten to purchase the light fixture for this spot. Luckily he had enough work to keep him busy while I ran to purchase a light fixture for over the sink.

I’m so happy with how this bathroom turned out. It’s the perfect bathroom for the homeowners and their guests.

What are your favorite features? Would you change anything? Is there anything you learned while renovating your own bathroom? Please share!

Sources:

(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.)

Black Hex Tiles by Jeffrey Court

White Hex Tiles by Jeffrey Court

Transom Window by Plygem

Burholme 49″ Black Vanity Set

Faucet by Moen

Toilet by ProFlo

Bronze Cage Vanity Lights

Schlage Hobson Door Knobs

Shower Head & Tub Spout Set

Shower Curtain Rod

Black Striped Shower Curtain

Shower Curtain Rolling Rings

Recessed Light Exhaust Fan by Broan

Mirror

Wall Color: Emmie’s Room by Magnolia Home Paint

Door Color: Cupola by Magnolia Home Paint

Disclosure: I received materials and/or compensation from the sponsors of the Saving Etta project. These were the bathroom sponsors: Ask for Purple, Plygem, Broan-Nutone, Schlage, Magnolia Home Paint, KILZ, Jeffrey Court Tile. I was not told what to write. All opinions and words are my own. As always, I will notify you if you are reading as sponsored post or if I was compensated. Rest assured I am very particular about the brands I work with. Only brands I use in my own home or that I’ve had a positive experience with will be showcased on this blog.

How to Choose Color Harmonies | Pretty Handy Girl
Color Harmony in Decorating

One of the most frequent complaints from homeowners is struggling to choose colors for their home. When you walk into the paint store, the color selection can seem overwhelming. Choosing a rug or furniture can be equally daunting. Today I’ll give you some tips and tricks for creating color harmony in home decorating. You’ll learn a little knowledge about color theory, complements and harmonies that make choosing colors much easier. Plus, you can use the same theories in almost any visual field. From  graphic design and web design to choosing your outfit for a big event. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to put together pleasing color palettes with ease.

I’m sure you’ve stumbled across art, paintings or photos that use visually stunning color palettes. Chances are that the artist or designer put thought into each color and how they work together. Let me introduce you to color relationships and harmonies!

You’ve heard the term complementary colors, but do you know what defines a complement? Here are the definitions of the various color relationships or harmonies and some great sample palettes you can use in your home!

Complementary Colors:

One of my favorite color combinations are the gorgeous pinks in a bouquet of peonies paired with an aquamarine ball jar.  Something about this palette stops me in my tracks every time! The reason this pair grabs my attention is that those two colors are complementary.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Two Twenty One

Red/orange and blue/green are directly across from each other on the color wheel which makes them complementary or a perfect pair. (Kind of like wine and chocolate…right?!)

Complementary Color Palettes

Here is another example of a complementary color palette. Blue and orange are stunning together. All the blues are balanced by a few pieces of fiery orange that demand attention in Sarah Richardson’s nursery below.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Sarah Richardson via HGTV.ca

Complementary Color Palettes

 Split Complementary Colors:

Elise from Grow Creative is my newest favorite eye candy blog. She is a watercolor artist and photographer. You should definitely subscribe to her blog for a visual pick me up every time she posts! Her watercolor painting of a cactus contains a great example of the split complementary relationship.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Grow Creative

Although, she only used a little of the bright red-orange color at the tips of the cactus, the bright color holds its own opposite the blue and green split. Without the orange, this painting would still be beautiful with an analogous palette (see the explanation of an analogous palette here.)

Split Complementary Color Palettes

In the photo below of the Thistle from Grow Creative, the opposing colors have a wonderful split complementary relationship.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Grow Creative

The purples and green steal the show for sure, but the small hint of yellow gives this photo more complexity.

Split Complementary Color Palettes

Analogous Colors:

While attending the La-Z-Boy event, I fell in love with Beth from Home Stories A to Z’s room design. The dark and light contrast of the navy with the crisp white doors stole my heart for sure. But, the decor colors really complete this stunning palette.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Home Stories A to Z

The key colors in her room are navy, light green and yellow. The white and grays are neutral therefore, they work with any color. Together you have a great example of an analogous palette.

Analogous color harmony | Pretty Handy Girl

Another example of an analogous palette is seen in this photo of a paper floral table runner by Fiskars:

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Fiskars

Choose colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel for a gorgeous analogous palette. These colors together are sunny, warm, energetic, but most of all harmonious.

Analogous Color Harmony | Pretty Handy Girl

Tetrad and Triad Palettes: 

Now we’re getting into a few of the more complex palettes. They aren’t hard to use, but do require a little more thought in terms of amounts and value. The bold palette in this dining room works well because they are presented against a neutral black and white backdrop.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of John David Edison Interior Design in Toronto, ON

The blue, yellow and pink colors form a perfect triangle on the color wheel making them a great example of a triad relationship.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl

This bouquet my husband gave me for my birthday is a wonderful example of a Tetrad palette at work.

Tetrad Color Hamonies Split Compliment Color Palette | Pretty Handy Girl

The four colors (red/yellow/blue-violet/green) are equally spaced on the color wheel. Using all these colors in a room design can be gorgeous, but you should choose one main color and a secondary color that will dominate and let the other two colors take up less visual space. As an alternative, you could balance the bold colors with a large amount of a neutral color(s) as shown in the dining room above.

Tetrad Color Hamonies Split Compliment Color Palette | Pretty Handy Girl

Monochromatic:

After explaining some complex color relationships, I wanted to leave you with a very simple palette. The monochromatic palette is comprised of one color used throughout a room with differing values (shades of that one color achieved by adding white or black.)

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl

My screen porch has a monochromatic palette. Using a variety of shades of blue with white creates a calming palette that’s easy on the eyes (and invites one to sit for a while and relax.)

Monochromatic Palette | Pretty Handy Girl

For a little more punch, you can pair one color with black and white.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo Courtesy of MintSix Boutique Homewares and Styling in New Zealand

Mint Six Boutique creates a beautiful example of a monochromatic palette with several shades of red and coral in this bedroom.

Monochromatic Palette | Pretty Handy Girl

The coral color steals the show, but is highlighted by the contrasting black and white in the room. Using strong contrasts in your home are sure to create visual impact.

Where to Get a Color Wheel:

Creating new color palettes is easy if you use a color wheel. You can purchase a color wheel on Amazon for less than $10! Once you have one, you can use it to choose colors for a room palette, coordinate your outfit for a big event, tablescapes, logo design and much more.

Artists Color Wheel | Pretty Handy Girl

Before you have one of these great color tools on hand, you can visit ColourLovers. It is a website that allows you to browse color palettes:

ColourLovers.com | Pretty Handy Girl

(Feel free to follow me on COLOURlovers, as I upload my new favorite color palettes.)

Or you can create your own palettes. One of the best tools on their site is Copaso (found under tools). You can use it to upload pictures and/or create color palettes from scratch. To see suggested complements and harmonies, select one of the buttons below the color wheel.

Copaso color palette | Pretty Handy Girl

Find photos that have color palettes you love (Houzz and Pinterest are two great places to start). Then upload the photo in the Copaso program. The program lets you pixelate the photo so you can select exact colors (you can also fine tune the hue and value until you reach your desired color.)

Copaso Pixelate Picture | Pretty Handy Girl

I uploaded this beautiful seaside home from Houzz to create a new palette of seaside colors that appeal to me:

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo Courtesy of Donna Elle Seaside Living in Nantucket, MA

Next time you are thinking about shopping for home decor, paint colors or furniture, have a plan before you go. Use color harmonies and complements to help you solidify your color palette. Planning ahead will help avoid that overwhelmed feeling.

Pin this post to refer to next time you are trying to figure out good color harmonies!

How to Choose Color Harmonies | Pretty Handy Girl

Enjoy picking fabulous color palettes from now on!

PHGFancySign

How and Why You Should Install a Smart Lock on Your DoorHow and Why You Should Install a Smart Lock on Your Door

Smart locks have been around for a while, but I’ve been slow to jump on the bandwagon and install a smart lock. I worried they might be tricky to install and had heard stories of the technology being glitchy (although I can’t find a lot of concrete evidence beyond this firmware update glitch that left 500 LockState locks completely useless.) However, after installing a Schlage smart lock on the Saving Etta house, I am a converted technophobe.

If you’ve never installed or used a smart lock before I have some considerations for you when deciding How and Why You Should Install a Smart Lock on Your Door.

Why are Smart Locks are a Good Investment?

If you’ve ever had the unfortunately situation of locking yourself out of your home, with a smart lock this is a thing of the past! You only need to remember your code! Do you hire contractors or cleaning people to work at your house? Now you don’t have to take off work or give them a key if you aren’t home. Set up a temporary code for each person and remove the code when they are done. The same can be done for guests or for an AirBnB property.

Do you have kids old enough to let themselves in after school? Why not give them a code so you don’t have to worry about them losing a key and you can keep track of when they got home.

Finally, if you’ve ever had that nagging feeling that you left the door unlocked, you can rest easy by simply checking or locking the door remotely from your smart phone.

What if I told you a smart lock can also help lower your homeowner’s insurance and could be a selling feature when you sell your home? Is there really any reason  you wouldn’t want a smart lock? There may be, so read on.

Some Things to Consider Before Buying a Smart Lock:

  • Do the centers of your deadbolt and door knob holes have at least 5 ½” between them? (If not the interior circuit and alarm unit may not fit.)
  • Does your deadbolt hole equal 2 1/8″ in diameter?
  • Does the deadbolt and door knob hole backsets equal 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″ from the edge of the door to the center of the holes?
  • Is your door thickness 1 3/8 – 1 3/4″ wide?
  • Is the latch bore hole in the door frame at least 1/2″ – 7/8″ deep?

If you couldn’t answer yes to all of these questions, a smart lock may not be right for your current door.

If you have a door that requires you to push hard, pull up, or hip check it, you will need to make adjustments to your door before installation. Why? A smart lock is activated by an electronic mechanism. The deadbolt needs to move freely into the frame to work properly.

Do you have a smart phone? If you don’t, you can still use a smart lock, but understand that you can’t take advantage of all the remote features.

Most smart lock run on batteries, but many needs Wifi or Bluetooth to handle features performed on your phone remotely. Obviously these functions may not be available if the power is out in your home. For this reason, it’s always good to carry a back up key on your keychain.

Some experts say smart locks can be hacked, but most standard locks can be picked or opened with brute force. Both have their limitations. I’d recommend doing further research if you are concerned about smart lock security.

Finally, there is the cost to consider. Smart locks aren’t cheap, but as I mentioned above, they can save you money on insurance or give you more money in your pocket when it’s time to sell.

How Hard is it to Install a Smart Lock?

Installing a smart lock to your entry door may seem like a hassle, but it’s actually a fairly simple installation anyone can accomplish.

For some reason I thought the install would be more difficult, which is why I installed the ho-hum satin nickel knob and deadbolt on the Saving Etta house door. Sadly, it stayed on the door for months. As the completion date neared, I thought I’d need to clear an hour or so to install the Schlage Smart Sense lock. Boy was I mistaken, it took less than 30 minutes!

Let’s give your home a smart upgrade by installing a smart lock today. Here’s how to install the Schlage Smart Sense Deadbolt in thirty minutes or less.

(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.)

How to Install a Schlage Smart Sense Deadbolt:

Remove the Smart Sense Deadbolt from the box and make sure you have the booklet included. This booklet has the programming codes and must be kept in a safe place. DO NOT THROW IT AWAY!

Materials:

Instructions:

First check to make sure your deadbolt engages freely into the door frame and deadbolt strike plate.

Remove the existing hardware.

Also remove the existing strike plate from the door frame. Then install the reinforcement plate into the door frame using the longer reinforcement screws. (Pay attention to the wording on the reinforcement plate telling you which way to orient the plate.)

Install the new strike plate on top of the reinforcement plate.

Insert the new bolt into the door (if you have a circular faceplate in the door, you’ll have to swap the rectangular plate with the round one in your kit and use the hammer and block to tap the bolt in.) Secure the bolt to the door.

Close the door and use the flat head screwdriver to test the locking mechanism. Does the deadbolt seat properly in the door? If yes, move on. If not, make any adjustments to your door now.

My door needed some adjusting (a shim behind one of the hinges to square up the door) before the deadbolt could open and close freely. 

Now that the bolt seats properly, add the keypad to the outside of your door (be sure to feed the cable through the door and under the bolt as you seat the keypad.)

The cable should be positioned under bolt and exit on the interior side the door.

Add the support mount to the interior of the door using the mounting screws provided. The support mount is stamped with the words TOP and AGAINST DOOR. Be sure to orient the support accordingly. Make sure the support mount and keypad are straight and plumb before tightening the screws.

Remove the top cover on the alarm unit.

Attach the cable to the back of the interior alarm unit.

Carefully attach the alarm unit to the support plate. You may have to turn the knob to line up the slot in the back of the alarm unit with the tab in the bolt.

Secure to the mounting plate with a screw in the middle of the until and a second screw above the circuit board. (Please note: Schlage recommends using a hand held screwdriver instead of a drill. I’m a rebel, what can I say?)

Remove the battery tray inside the alarm and insert four AA batteries.

Replace the battery tray with the batteries facing the door. Re-attach the battery connector.

Make sure not to turn the deadbolt knob until you set up the keypad. Replace the cover.

Now it’s time to test your keypad. Grab the brochure and locate the default codes on the sticker. Press the Schlage logo. The keypad should light up.

Enter the default code and the deadbolt should go through a set up routine. Let it finish, then close the door from inside the house and test the lock using the thumb turn. The bolt should still be able to open and close freely. (If not, make any adjustments to your lock or door as necessary.)

Now you can test the keypad entry. Take a key with you as you step outside. Close the door and press the Schlage logo. The door should lock.

Press the Schlage logo again (the door should stay locked.) Now enter one of the default codes and the green check mark should illuminate and unlock the door.

Your new Schlage Smart Sense deadbolt lock is now set up.

To manage your new smart lock, download the Schlage Smart Sense app on your smart phone and follow the instructions. You can also set up new codes, or lock and unlock it remotely.

Schlage has an installation video if you have any questions about this installation. Watch it below:

The Schlage Smart Sense Deadbolt was fantastic to have on the Saving Etta house. I was able to program temporary codes for the subcontractors and deactivate them after they finished their work.

I will definitely be looking into adding one of the Schlage Smart Sense Deadbolts  to my own home. Especially because my boys are always misplacing their keys. 😉

Disclosure: As a sponsor of the Saving Etta project, Schlage sent me the Smart Sense Lock for the house. I was not told what to write, all opinions are my own. 

Pin this image to help others learn more about smart locks!

 

Want to learn how to drill new door knobs holes?

How to Drill New Holes for Door Knobs

Or maybe you want to learn how to replace the other door knobs in your home:

How to Replace Door Knobs and Deadbolts | Pretty Handy Girl