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.

PHGFancySignPin for later!

DIY Wall Mounted Desk

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

blue-loft-bed

Guys and Gals, I am here today to tell you that you can build a loft bed for your child! However, unlike most of the tutorials you find on my site, building this loft bed is not one of them. Instead, loads of gratitude goes to Ana White and her fabulous plans for building a loft bed. You can follow her plans for the build. I assure you, they are detailed and easy to follow.

DIY Loft Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

The only modification I made to the plans was to move the ladder to the foot of the bed instead of the side. What I will show you is how to color stain the bed blue in two simple steps. I’m absolutely in love with the Minwax Express Color wiping stains. They go on super easily, and clean up is a snap with soap and water. Then you seal it as easily as you stained it. Coolest product EVER!

(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:

Read more

Easy Added Color to a Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Adding color to dresser drawers is definitely an easy way to add a pop of color to an otherwise boring piece of furniture. Add some new knobs and your dresser will look like a new piece of furniture! (Tutorial for creating custom knobs coming soon.)

You could say that I finally got that Kick in the Pants I needed to start working on my son’s room. One makeover I had in mind was giving his dresser a pop of color.  The top and sides of the dresser were in great shape and it has a tough laminate top. Instead of painting the entire dresser, I decided to paint only the drawers because — knowing my little guy — he would have it scratched up in no time.

Easy Added Color to a Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Instructions:

Start by removing clothing from the drawers. Then firmly pull the drawers all the way out. Some drawers have a clip at the end, just pull straight toward you. Others may require you to lift up on the front to release the drawers from the track. Mark the inside of the drawer so you know which slot to return it to.

Read more

Tips for Installing Brick Wallpaper Mural | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I can’t wait to show you how to easily add dimensional interest to a focal wall in your home. Installing a Brick Wall Mural is definitely a DIY project you can tackle if you have a friend or two to help you. When Wallpaper Direct contacted me to offer to let me try some of their products, I was still a bit wary (having stripped my fair share of wallpaper.) But, then I stumbled upon the white brick wallpaper and saw how cool it looked. I decided to give it a try and let them send me a wallpaper mural specifically for my son’s bedroom. But, let’s back up. Remember last week when I admitted to being a procrastinator? Well, this is what I started with:

Back Camera Back Camera

After staring at Nickelodeon green for 6 years, my son and I decided it would be calming to paint the walls a soothing gray. And, I thought it would be really cool to create a loft look by installing a giant wall mural of white brick. (Note: The large mural panels has since been discontinued, but you can purchase white brick wallpaper that looks very similar and may actually be easier to install by yourself.)

I ordered the mural and it arrived safely to our house in a few days. I quickly organized a few friends who had installed wallpaper to help me.

Installling Brick Mural Wallpaper | Pretty Handy Girl

To install a wallpaper mural, you’ll need a few tools.

(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:

Prep Work:

Before wallpapering your wall, clean it with a mild cleanser (diluted TSP is wonderful, but you can use regular multi-purpose spray cleaner.) Patch any holes or imperfections with spackle (joint compound). After the compound has dried, lightly sand the wall. Read more

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have a butterfly chair that is sun-faded or has hideous fabric on it? I bet you thought it was a lost cause, right? Nope! With a sewing machine, some new fabric and a little spare time you can recover that ugly butterfly chair and have a new one. Okay, so I didn’t recover it with green fabric in honor of St. Patrick, but what could be greener than a good old upcycling project! Believe it or not, this was a much easier project than I had anticipated, so don’t get scared by the curves. You can “sew” do this! 😉

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

I stumbled upon this chair at Goodwill for $9.99. Normally I wouldn’t spend this much for a sun-faded chair, but because I was working on the school library makeover project — and we needed more comfortable seating — I bought it.  After all, we would have had to pay at least double for another comfy chair.

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I had some soft leftover fleece fabric that I could use to recover the chair. I wish I had measured how much I used, I think it was a little less than 2 yards.

Materials:

  • 2 yards of fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Old butterfly chair + old cover

Instructions:

1. Remove the old cover from the butterfly chair frame. Lay it on top of your fabric (both right sides up.) Read more

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Every month Lowe’s challenges me to create another unique project to share with you. This month’s challenge was creative storage ideas. Have kids? This is a unique storage solution using a galvanized tub and a furry upholstered lid. It’s the perfect place to store and corral all that kid clutter in your child’s bedroom. The storage tub doubles as a bench and a step stool. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have children, the storage bench could be used for magazine storage and much more!

Grab these materials and tools and follow along with me (and my 13 year old assistant.)

Creating the Galvanized Storage Bench and Lid

(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 for the Galvanized Storage Tub and Lid:

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Instructions:

Turn the galvanized tub upside down on the plywood. Use the sharpie to mark approximately 1/2 – 1″ out from the edge of the tub. Read more

School Library Painted with Montpelier Wedgewood | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember last week when we were picking colors for the school library? Well, I’m back to show you how everything came together!

But first, I’d like to announce the winners of the Valspar paint samples:

Valspar_color_winners

 

Congrats to Bonnie, Lynda, Marion, Cathleen, Joanne, Colleen, Amy H., Nicole, Becky V. and Nancy B!

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To quickly review, we painted the walls and ceiling tiles using Valspar Montpelier Wedgewood. Then we stenciled stars on the ceiling.  After installing the ceiling tiles the library looked like this. Better, but still a bit ho-hum.

School Library Painted with Montpelier Wedgewood | Pretty Handy Girl

I had much bigger plans and was far from finished. I called in some expert help from my friend Leen the Graphics Queen and her husband. They cut and installed all the silver trees and birds. We had an absolute blast working together. There were several birds leftover, so Leen played hide and seek by putting a few birds elsewhere in the library. The kids (and I) had fun trying to find them over the next few days. Read more

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Choosing paint colors can be a daunting task. Looking at small paint chips at your local Lowe’s Home Improvement store can be a bit overwhelming. Especially because there are so many colors to choose from! (That can be a good thing too ;-).)

Luckily I have two tips to help you choose the paint color that’s right for you:

1. Use Valspar paint. Finding a paint color you love is easier with Valspar. If you don’t love the first color you choose, you can have another on them. It’s as easy as, love your color, or change your color. That’s the Valspar Love Your Color Guarantee. And it certainly helps alleviate the stress of choosing the right paint color for your room.

2. Create larger paint chips. Looking at tiny paint chips won’t help you conceptualize that color over the entire wall. Making large paint swatches using foam board and sample paints is easy and can save you time when choosing the ideal paint color. I put together this short video to show you how we selected the final color for the school library.

I knew if I could create big paint chips and let the librarian live with the large chips for a few days, she’d be better prepared to make a final decision. As you saw, she was much more comfortable choosing this way.

The winning color was Montpelier Wedgewood by Valspar. And, luckily after we began painting, we all fell in love with the color she chose.

Here’s how we tackled painting the school library (acoustic ceiling tiles and all!): Read more

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you get your fill of food and family time today. I need to give a big congrats to the Silhouette Portrait Giveaway winner, Kelly Crumpler Kelly! Woo Hoo, you’ll be making all your gifts with the Silhouette Portrait this year, won’t you Kelly?! Speaking of making your own gifts, I’m on a bit of a DIY art kick lately. I think creating your own art is creative, frugal and fun! Today I have a tutorial for creating this laundry quote canvas art, but frankly you can use your own favorite quote! Or create personalized name art for one of the kids on your gift list! The easiest way to create quote artwork is using a Silhouette craft cutter to cut your letters out. You can use the Silhouette for so much more than you ever imagined. I use mine a lot for cutting letters like I did for the laundry sign.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

But, you can also use it for creating custom temporary tattoos, fabric and cardstock shape cut outs, flocking iron ons, stenciling on wood, glass etching, faux pen & ink etching, 3-D paper projects, printable foil labels and much much more!

silhouette-projects

Today we’ll focus on the tutorial for creating your own quote canvas art! (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:

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

Type out your quote in the Silhouette studio software. Send the art to cut on adhesive backed cardstock using your Silhouette.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Separate the phrase into sections by scoring around them with an x-acto knife.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the cardstock over and remove the backing on just the letters (if you can keep the rest of the backing in tact it will help with positioning.)

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

I had big plans to show you how to make your own DIY canvas art using scrapbook paper as the background. Everything was moving along swimmingly after I adhered the scrapbook paper to the canvas using mod podge. But, I neglected to let it dry (too impatient) and this happened. Whomp wah…craft fail!

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

But, I wasn’t about to be deterred. So, I created a fun painted background instead. Drizzle paint onto the canvas. Use a palette knife to spread the paint. Be careful not to overly mix the paint. Streaks in the paint give it texture, dimension and interest.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Let the painting thoroughly dry! (Must have patience.)

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Carefully lay your words onto the canvas one section at a time.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Press the letters in place and gently peel up the backing.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Repeat for the rest of your quote.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Here’s the FUN part! I used my Silhouette CAMEO to cut out the word “FUN”  in orange card stock and striped scrapbook paper. Then I layered the word FUN to make it stand out. Creating a layered word: 1. Apply a thin coat of mod podge to the back of the orange letters. 2. Lay them slightly offset onto the white letters. Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

3. Apply more mod podge on top of the yellow letters. 4. Press the striped letters into the wet mod podge, offsetting them from the orange letters. Seal all the letters by brushing mod podge over the letters.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

To create a shadow, use the fine tipped permanent marker to underline the right and bottom sections of each letter.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

And, that’s it! Loads & loads of FUN don’t you think?!

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

I created this artwork to be included in the laundry themed gift basket, but how fun would it be to create personalized art with a child’s name layered like I did with the word “FUN.”

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl     PHGFancySign

All the Très Frugal DIY Gift Ideas can be seen here.

How-to-recover-this-end-up-chairs

As a parent of two elementary school students, I always ask my kids’ teachers if they need anything for their room. Usually the answer is markers, wipes, or snacks. But, my kindergartner’s teacher knows about my secret identity after having taught my older son for a year. So, she didn’t hesitate to ask me if I could possibly recover a few really sad looking chairs that had seen their fair share of kindergarten butts. 😉

(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.)

 

old_school_chair

These poor chairs were still very study, but the fabric was nubby, pilled and stained. I love a good challenge, so I took all three of the chairs home over the Christmas break.

The first task involved removing the seats. Before I touched the seats, I flipped over the chairs and marked the front side of the chair so they would fit together perfectly when I put them back together. Read more