DIY Sheet Metal Gift TraysDIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays

The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about gift giving ideas! Gift trays are a great way deliver gifts to your friends, neighbors or teachers. The best part of a gift tray is it can be reused for anything they want and nothing goes to waste! Follow along with this tutorial to see how to make these DIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays.

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: Sheet Metal Gift Tray

  • 1/2″ or 3/4″ Plywood scrap wood
  • 2″ pieces of lathe or scrap moulding
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000W49NPC’ text=’Sheet metal scrap’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4f103892-cbe2-11e7-a00c-3fda84932599′] (large enough to cover plywood base)
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00009OYFY’ text=’Sheet metal snips’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’56db011a-cbe2-11e7-88c9-230adf5bdb2c’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000S7ZSTS’ text=’Construction adhesive’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’65c9549d-cbe2-11e7-8619-39ed35fc6585′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B000DZF2Q4′ text=’Caulk gun’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’6d3fe28c-cbe2-11e7-bb25-e144f3be5a89′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00125NQBC’ text=’Sandpaper’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7f0ff979-cbe2-11e7-b34f-fb2f071c5869′]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B001JYVDSE’ text=’Steel wool’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8e654c5e-cbe2-11e7-b495-0ffc93a9294c’]
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B01I7DNOYA’ text=’Gloves’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b09e21ba-cbe2-11e7-91af-d908a698cd02′]
  • Drill
  • Pencil or Marker
  • 4 – [amazon_textlink asin=’B01N6NID4X’ text=’L brackets’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’de9d5670-cbe2-11e7-84b2-2f143e838863′] and 1/2″ wood screws
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B001PNH8D8′ text=’Brad nails ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’prett-wp-001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0337c2d4-cbe3-11e7-b1d7-3dfa06c67bf1′]Nail gun

Instructions:

Cut your piece of plywood to the desired size for the tray base. Lay the plywood base on top of the sheet metal and trace with a permanent marker. Use tin snips to cut the metal to size.

1. Cut base and mark sheet metal size.

Put on your safety gloves and use the sanding block to remove some of the shine from the sheet metal. Smooth over any sharp edges.

2. Sand Sheet metal edges and base.

Rub the steel wool over the entire sheet metal piece to give it a soft polished finish.

4. Use steel wool to dull sheet metal surface.

Load a tube of construction adhesive into your caulk gun. Apply a fair amount of adhesive to the plywood. Glue the sheet metal to the top of the plywood.

5. Add Construction Adhesive to wood base

Press the sheet metal down evenly on top of the adhesive. Wipe off any excess if needed with a paper towel.

6. Press sheet metal on top of wood base.

Cut the 2″ pieces of lathe or scrap moulding to the length of the two shorter sides. Next, measure and cut two pieces of lathe for the long ends. (Be sure to allow extra length to overlap the short pieces of lathe/moulding.  Use the construction adhesive and brads to secure the lathe to the sides of the plywood. Clamp the sides until the adhesive cures.

8. Clamp sides while glue cures.

Once the adhesive is cured, remove your clamps. Attach the L brackets on the lower half of each corner using 1/2″ wood screws. The L brackets will reinforce the sides and add an industrial look.

9. Add corner brackets for extra support and decoration.

There you have it! These DIY Sheet Metal Gift Trays are easy to make, look great, and are an extra special and environmentally-friendly way to give gifts!

10. Add gifts and deliver!

I hope you love this project. Do you have other ideas for quick gift giving? Please share!

Want some more gift giving inspiration?

DIY Scrap Moulding Trays

scrap-moulding-trays

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Materials:

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Instructions:

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

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

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

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

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

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

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

DIY Feather Art | Pretty Handy Girl

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

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

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

Before the end of the school year a REALLY GOOD friend of mine asked if I would give a talk in her daughter’s class about what I do for a living. I hemmed and hawed because I rarely have the free time. But, the main reason I was hesitant was because I didn’t know how to talk to 4th graders about what I do. Saying I’m a blogger is something that is hard for me to vocalize. “I write a blog” sounds simple and easy. But, in actuality, I do so many other things to make this blog a reality. Just a few of my job descriptions are: writer, photographer, builder, crafter, teacher, photo editor, business woman, manager, social media coordinator, graphic designer, web designer and all around handy girl! How could I explain all of that to the students?

Suddenly, an idea hit me! I would waltz into that classroom and use my platform to break down the stereotypes about women and handy people within 30 minutes (or less!) Then I’d empower the 4th grade students by letting them build their own chalkboard memo board AND use a power tool! Lofty goals, but I felt sure I could do it. Little did I know that the students wouldn’t be the only one empowered.

The quiz:

I started out by talking to the kids about what a handy person is. They shared terms that fit the definition of a handy person: fixes things, builder, carpenter, plumber, woodworker, and home improvement specialist. Then I showed them a slide presentation and gave the kids a quiz asking them to tell me which of these people are handy:

DIY Chalkboard Memo Board (4th grade project) | Pretty Handy Girl

I showed them one picture at a time and as expected, they got all of the answers wrong.

The answers: Read more

finish-nailer-comparison

A finish nailer is a great tool to have in your workshop.  It’s great for small projects, installing moulding, wall planking and more. After using both types of finish nailers for many projects, I wanted to break down the pros and cons of each.
Compressor_finish_nailer_combo_kitI was able to score this Campbell-Hausfeld nailer and compressor combo around Father’s Day at Lowe’s for $69! (Normal MSRP is $99.) I’ve used the compressor-powered nailer for many years on an assortment of DIY projects (like my Art & Craft Studio scrap wood wall.)  I haven’t had any problems with it. It’s reliable, lightweight and can fire a variety of length finish nails and U-staples. For the value, you can’t go wrong. The cons of the Campbell Hausfeld are mostly related to the compressor. It is very loud when the air tank is recharging. It’s a little bulky to store and haul around. You are limited to the length of your air hose and a power source. And you must empty the tank and maintain it periodically.

PostBreakblue

Ryobi-nail-strike

In all the ways that the Campbell-Hausfeld fails, the Ryobi Air Strike excels. It doesn’t take up as much room to store. No compressor needed because it is essentially built into the tool. As long as the battery is charged you are ready to fire nails on a moment’s notice. The light helps illuminate in dark working areas. You aren’t tethered to an air hose or compressor. This allows you the freedom to wander anywhere with the nail gun. And it is quiet (with the exception of the bang when firing the nail.)

The downsides are it doesn’t shoot U-staples. The gun itself is heavier to hold because of the battery and size of the gun. If you lose charge in the battery you have to wait a while for it to charge. Finally, the price is slightly higher than the MSRP of the Campbell-Hausfeld at $129.

Update: I’ve had a few occasions where my Ryobi Air Strike has quit firing. Usually I can get it working again by unlatching the front of the gun and checking it for jams or reloading with new nails. Recently at a DIY conference, I learned that I’m not the only person who has had this problem. So far the nail gun still works, hopefully it will continue to do so.

2nd Update: After another winter of the Ryobi Air Strike refusing to fire after every other nail, I’ve finally decided to pitch it. I’m in the process of testing a Porter-Cable 18 gauge 20 volt brad nailer and a DeWalt 16 gauge Angled Finish Nailer.

I hope this comparison helps you select your own finish nail gun.

PHGFancySign

 

Want to learn how to use a finish nailer? Check out my tool tutorial videos and more!

 

Pin for later!

 

How to Create a Rustic Wood Headboard for $80 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m back with more progress on the beach condo. I am really excited to share this tutorial on how to create a rustic wood headboard with you because it caused quite the buzz on Facebook and Instagram. This has to be one of my favorite projects that I completed in my stepmom’s beach condo. (You can see more pictures of the condo renovation on my sister’s interior design business page. Be sure to like her page, she has some great renovations to share.)

My sister, Caitlin, wanted me to make a unique rustic wood headboard for the master bedroom. Her budget was running low so she turned to Pinterest for some ideas and showed me this picture as inspiration.

I followed the link to a retail site where you could purchase the headboard for $2,195! {Cough, choke, gag…this was well out of our budget!} When we tallied the receipts, the lumber and materials to build our own king-sized headboard came in around $90 from Lowe’s! Woot woot!

And best of all, it is a relatively easy project that anyone can do if they have the right power tools.

Materials: Read more

How to Install Planked Walls - a tutorial by Pretty Handy Girl

Today’s post is all about filling in the plank and how to plank walls! I love a good play on words…and I love the planked wall look which harkens back to a simple country farmhouse look. Previous to the water leak we had beadboard walls that I had installed shortly after moving into our house. But, I was tired of the beadboard and really wanted a look that was casual, cozy and all about the farmhouse look. I’d fallen in love with The Lettered Cottage’s guest room walls:

Those lucky ducks uncovered the planks under the drywall! I knew we wouldn’t be lucky enough to find anything but termite damage under our drywall. Then I saw the House of Smith’s installed their own gorgeous planked walls using ripped plywood planks and two nickels:

I decided I could do it for cheaper, so I used two pennies. LOL. Get it? Cheaper than two nickels. 😀

The process of installing plank walls is really very simple. And the planks are great for covering a multitude of sins on your wall. (Like previously glued beadboard walls.) Read more


I’m so thrilled to be healthy again, that I’m doing a happy dance (see the video below if you want to witness it.) The pneumonia is gone and my boys are back in school. Can I get a “Woot Woot!”?

The bonus room/art studio renovation is rockin’ and rollin’ again and I have some progress to show you: Read more


A few months ago when I got the call that Woman’s Day wanted to send a photographer to photograph me and my garage, I kind of freaked a little. I mean, it was my garage, the least attractive room in our house! Part of the unattractiveness stemmed from my workbench with a huge gaping hole in it.

It was suggested that I could just cover the hole with some fabric (which, yes, I could have done.) But, being that it is my workshop and a sawdust producing place, I felt I could do a little a little better than just some fabric. I decided to build custom doors for the opening. Luckily they turned out to be less of an involved project than I originally anticipated. (I love when that happens.)

Come on in the workshop and I’ll show you how I built these open frame cabinet doors. Read more

vintage coca-cola crate turned dog bowl

I met Katie & Jon at Haven recently and fell in love with their DIY Tutorial blog, Sew Woodsy, immediately. This fun couple really write great tutorials, like the DIY Corn Hole Game

…and a Sew Your Own Yoga Skirt tutorial.

So give it up for the FAB DIY duo! Sew Woodsy!!! Read more