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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Need an activity to do indoors that will help the kids burn off a little excess energy? An Indoor Hopscotch Game with Painter’s Tape is just the thing you need.

indoor_hopscotch_painters_tapeIndoor Hopscotch using Painter’s Tape

When the weather outside is frightful and your kids are less than delightful, lay a roll of painter’s tape on your floor and soon your kids will be having fun indoors.

(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 about that for a quick little limerick? Well, this project is almost as quick. All you need is a roll of painter’s tape (I used ScotchBlue for delicate surfaces, but you can use any type) and a pair of scissors.

scissors_tape

Lay out your hopscotch grid on the floor. (It was easy on our square tile floor because the tile layout acted as a guideline for our course.)

lay_out_hopscotch_on_floor

Add numbers inside the squares.

painters_tape_hopscotch

And let the kids loose. Soon they’ll be a hop skippin’ and a jumpin’ that energy away…

boy_playing_indoor_hopscotch

…well, maybe not all their energy.

boy_jumping_in_air

Important note, don’t leave the tape on the floor for weeks on end or you may struggle to get the adhesive up. But, in the meantime, have fun and let’s pray we can all venture out safely soon!

Anyone else have any great ideas to let kids burn off energy indoors? Please, leave me a comment, I need help here.

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Faking Wall-to-Wall Carpet with an Area Rug | Pretty Handy Girl

The closet renovation is coming along nicely, even though I’ve only been able to work on it in fits and starts. After I added a new light switch for the closet, I added any missing insulation. Then I filled any and all gaps with Great Stuff. This closet had always been very cold in the winter or super hot in the summer. I decided to climate control the closet as best as I could while the walls were open. Then I closed up the walls with sheet rock and painted the small closet. You would not believe how well sheet rock (aka drywall or wall board) insulates! When I added the last piece, it made a huge difference in the climate control in the room. Who knew?!

Every room we renovate, we like to leave little messages in the wall or on the floor. The boys and I had fun drawing before adding the carpeting.

Faking Wall-to-Wall Carpet with an Area Rug | Pretty Handy Girl

The closet dimensions are just under 5′ x 8′ which is perfect for an area rug. I wanted the closet to be as comfy and inviting as possible for the boys, so I settled on a super soft chenille shag rug.

I also purchased enough carpet padding from Lowe’s to line the closet floor. In the interest of climate control, I bought the thickest padding and opted for the Stainmaster brand to resist spills from seeping through to the subfloor.

Ready to get started Faking Wall-to-Wall Carpet with an Area Rug?

Materials:

Faking Wall-to-Wall Carpet with an Area Rug | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Utility knife
  • Scissors
  • Metal ruler or straight edge
  • Sharpie
  • Staple gun and staples (1/2″ – 5/8″)
  • Area rug large enough for your space
  • Carpet padding

Instructions:

Lay the carpet padding on the floor. Line up two edges and fold the other edges up against the wall.

Faking Wall-to-Wall Carpet with an Area Rug | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a pen to draw along the corner where the wall meets the floor.

Faking Wall-to-Wall Carpet with an Area Rug | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the carpet pad to size. Read more

La-Z-Boy Leah Sleeper Chair and a Half

Can we take a moment and talk parent-to-parent? You know how parents of grown children will tell you to cherish the moments you have with your children because they grow up so fast. You know it’s true, but you can’t really fathom the speed until you look back at photos that seemed like they were taken yesterday.

That’s my oldest son in the picture above. He was 7 in that photo. Today he is 11 going on 12 in a few months. Somethings don’t change, like his love of reading. But, his feet, his legs, his arms and his body continue to grow. And his brain? I gave up trying to help him with his math homework this year. And, I can’t outsmart this tween anymore, he cataloged his Halloween candy so I can’t sneak any.

I recognize that we only have a short time before this boy towers over me. In a mere blink of the eye, his room will be empty while he’s away at college.

La-Z-Boy Leah Sleeper Chair and a Half

Soon he’ll be packing up his things to bring with him as he moves out of the house. That’s when I will remind him Read more

Install a ReadyMade Mirror Frame on Door | Pretty Handy Girl

You guys, I can’t believe I have a middle schooler. I know, I know, I’ve been having a pity party for myself for two weeks. But, I’m finally coming to terms with it. This past week, I helped Handy Boy #1 de-clutter his room and carve out a space for him to do his homework (without being interrupted by his younger brother.) We moved his furniture around and actually had a lot of fun talking and working together.

Install a ReadyMade Mirror Frame on Door | Pretty Handy Girl

I also installed a mirror on his door. Although he’s not obsessed with how he looks or dresses yet, I know that time is coming soon. Instead of putting up a cheapy plastic-framed mirror, I worked with MirrorMate to test out their new READYFrame kit. You may remember when I ordered a custom MirrorMate frame for that ugly and naked mirror in my sons’ bathroom. It still looks great today (although I painted it blue for a new look.)

MirrorMate now sells pre-made frames that fit several of the standard sized mirrors you can buy at Lowe’s, IKEA or HomeDepot. I chose the Essex Crosshatch Silver and the tall 16″ x 58″ mirror from Lowe’s.

I didn’t need to purchase any hanging hardware because MirrorMate ships it with your frame.

Install a ReadyMade Mirror Frame on Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to see how easy it was to hang and dress up the mirror? I’ll give you a hint, it was easy and it looks beautiful!

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.)

Install a ReadyMade Mirror Frame on Door | Pretty Handy Girl

  • MirrorMateREADYFrame
  • Screwdriver (or drill with phillips head bit)
  • Rubber mallet (or hammer)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Wet wipe
  • Heavy book or weight
  • Thumbtack or pin
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball or rag
  • A helper

Assembling the Frame:

Open up the READYFrame box and remove the frame connectors from the packaging.

Install a ReadyMade Mirror Frame on Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Remove the top from the glue and peel off the seal. Poke a thumbtack in the glue bottle to create a hole in the nozzle. Apply glue to the edges of theREADYFrame. Read more

DIY Marble Toss Game | Pretty Handy Girl

This summer, parents are busy trying to keep their children busy with quality games and toys. Any seasoned parent knows that those electronic noise-maker toys have no place in a sane household. With this in mind, my friend Stefanie from Brooklyn Limestone has started a summer long series called “Die Ugly Toys Die.”

Die Ugly Toys Die

Every Thursday she’ll feature another DIY toy or game that you can make for your children. It’s time to get back to the basics and send those annoying and ugly toys off a cliff.

My tutorial for creating a DIY Marble Toss Game is starting the series today.

Click here to find the instructions to build your own. Then watch your kids have hours of fun challenging each other in a tossing game.

Be sure to check over at Brooklyn Limestone every Thursday for a new DIY toy or game.

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How to Turn a Bunk Bed into a Loft Bed

How to Turn a Bunk Bed into a Loft Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember when I built a loft bed for my younger son? No sooner had I made his bed, when my oldest son was begging me to build him a loft bed too. Instead of starting from scratch, I was able to turn his bunk bed into a loft bed in a few simple steps.

How to Turn a Bunk Bed into a Loft Bed

Materials:

  • 2″ wood screws
  • 1 – 1″x 4″x 8′ board
  • Saw
  • Drill with philips head bit
  • Pencil

Instructions:

Remove the mattresses and bedding.

You will need to remove the bunky board (or slats) and the front side rail from the lower bunk.

How to Turn a Bunk Bed into a Loft Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

This will leave you with a loft frame.

How to Turn a Bunk Bed into a Loft Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

But, the bed will be wobbly until you add a diagonal support. Hold the 8′ board up at an angle against the back of the bed. Use the pencil to mark the angle and excess to cut off the ends. Read more

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

While my sister and I were renovating the Topsail Beach condo we had a strict budget. Finding a large mirror for less than $15 was challenging until I found this mirror with potential. I know my sister was doubtful, but I had a vision. Some red milk paint, lattice and glue would make this racing stripe makeover complete!

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

To transform the mirror, I disassembled the top and cut off the panel portion using my Dremel MultiMax. I salvaged the top crown moulding and re-attached it to the new top of the mirror with glue and finish nails.

Then it was time to add stripes.

Materials (some links are Amazon affiliate links):

Instructions:

Tape off the edge of the mirror where it meets the frame. Paint two coats of Miss Mustard Seed Tricycle red paint onto the frame. (See this post for painting with milk paint.)

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint dries, wax it or leave it unfinished. Mark the center of the frame at the top and bottom of the mirror.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut pieces of lattice to fit the mirror frame width. (I used three pieces of lattice and cut a fourth piece in half for the outer stripes.) Pre-paint the lattice pieces ironstone (white) and let dry.

Wet the frame and the back of the lattice. Apply a small amount of Gorilla Glue to the backs of the lattice.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Line up the center lattice piece with the pencil mark. Attach it and the other two pieces beside the middle lattice.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a ruler to create a space between the middle stripe and the outer small lattice piece. Glue the outer pieces in place.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Set a weight (or paint can) on top of a scrap board and the lattice pieces while the glue dries.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Remove the weight. Paint the top and bottom edge of the mirror frame white to create the illusion that the stripe continues around the frame edges. Distress the lattice pieces with sandpaper if you want a rustic look.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Hang your mirror on the wall and admire! Not bad for $15, two coats of paint, and some scrap lattice!

Some red milk paint, lattice and glue transform this $15 find into a charming racing stripe mirror perfect for a boys' room! | thrift store makeover | DIY mirror | mirror tutorial | #prettyhandygirl #DIY #tutorial

The mirror hangs happily in the twin bedroom at the Topsail Beach Condo. Click here to see the rest of the condo!

Some red milk paint, lattice and glue transform this $15 find into a charming racing stripe mirror perfect for a boys' room! | thrift store makeover | DIY mirror | mirror tutorial | #prettyhandygirl #DIY #tutorial

Hope you never turn down a $15 mirror again ;-).

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Boy's Red, White & Blue Themed Room | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy Friday!!! I finally finished my son’s room makeover. Poor kid has been asking for over two years when I was going to work on his room.

Boy's Room Before | Pretty Handy Girl

It feels so good to be done and be able to share the final reveal with you. The theme started four years ago when I converted his extra closet into a reading nook. The blue, white and red work beautifully together.  Read more

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

Have you ever shopped the “As Is” section at IKEA? There are some deals to be found there! Like this IKEA LILLÅNGEN Mirrored Cabinet. The cabinet had a small bent piece at the bottom and was therefore marked down to $60 from $100! Score! I easily bent the metal back in place with pliers once I got home. Then I decided to use it as a wall-mounted mirror locker for my son’s stuffed animals. Hang out for a few minutes and I’ll show you how to safely mount this cabinet AND move an outlet into the cabinet.

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

Handy Boy #2 had a narrow spot between his closet and reading nook that I knew would be perfect for this cabinet. The idea was to give him some storage for his ever multiplying stuffed animals. (They are seriously like rabbits! It never ends. I might need to look into a forced sterilization program.) Knowing my son and his antics (have I told you how he can climb his way around the room without setting foot on the floor. It’s amazing, albeit scary to watch. I’ll have to video him sometime.) I knew that I needed to secure this locker to the wall. But, there was an outlet in my way. And this is the outlet that gives power to the copper wall sconce in his reading nook. Therefore, I had to have access to the outlet. Plus, when he gets older he could charge his electronics in the locker.

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

(I should note that I neglected to buy the optional base for this cabinet. Instead, I built a quick one using 2×4’s and 1×4’s.) 

Materials:

  • Drill
  • Quilting pin
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Outlet extender
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Toothpaste
  • Screwdriver

Instructions:

First I located the stud in the center of the wall. Locating studs is easy by using a quilting pin. Read more