Whether your children are going back to school, being home schooled, or participating in online learning, they’ll need a spot to feel inspired to do schoolwork and homework. Are you trying to keep their school work off the kitchen table? Why not turn your dining room into a homework station with these important supplies.

Turn Your Dining Room into a Homework Station

Dining Room Makeover – Homework/School Work Station

We’ve decided to sign our boys up for the online learning option in our school district. (I have great empathy for anyone who has to make the tough decision on where to school kids this year. This was a decision made based on lots of discussions with other parents, our children, and friends that are teachers.)

If we didn’t carve out a dedicated spot to work, our boys would either sit in bed all day, or spread out all over the kitchen table. In the past, all the books and notebooks ended up on the kitchen table until I asked my sons to put away their homework in time to serve dinner. I’ll admit, some nights I didn’t ask, but barked orders. Can you relate?

Besides cluttering the table we eat at, the kitchen table was not a space without distractions. Like most kitchens, ours is the hub of activity after 5pm. Brother may be watching TV in the adjacent living room, hubby might be on a phone, and I am usually cooking. Obviously, it wasn’t the best location for focused studying and work. Two years ago, after moving pencils and books off the kitchen table (for the umpteenth time), I came up with this plan:

Operation Dining Room Converted to Homework Station

dining room makeover into homework station

The idea was to create a space so organized and inviting that my boys would create better work habits and be able to plow through their school work efficiently. Here’s how I achieved the perfect school or homework station and freed up our kitchen table for other things…like eating!

Creating the Perfect Homework Station

If you create a space that is clean, organized, and comfortable; you can set your child up for good work habits from the start. Having a space that is neat prevents distractions and keeps your child more focused. Personally, I have a hard time working in a messy space. Normally I have to clear my desk completely before I can start writing or taking on a focused task.

To clear the clutter, put writing utensils and other necessary supplies in the center of the table in jars or trays. This puts things at your student’s fingertips and prevents the need to get up and get off track. (Obviously, sharpen those pencils ahead of time, and add eraser tops to any worn pencils.)

Supplies for a School/Homework Station

(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.)

dining room table set with homework supplies pencils, paper, pens

You can use any tray or even an old tool box as a utensil organizer:

Get organized before the school year creeps up on you. This toolbox homework caddy will help your kids find everything they need. | Toolbox Homework Caddy

Papers Galore

In the center of the table is a paper tray filled with lots of looseleaf paper and 3×5 cards. I also salvaged paper from half-used spiral binders. My sons helped me tear the pages out and trim the ragged edges with a paper cutter. Now we have an endless supply of scratch paper and I don’t feel guilty having to throw away half-used notebooks.

The non-essential supplies are nearby on our dining room hutch.

calculator notebooks and other office supplies for homework station

A dish corrals the little things in one space keeping them neat and organized. Earbuds are also stored here for my teenagers who love to listen to music while they work (or maybe to help tune out brother or Dad on his Zoom calls.)

office supplies in pie dish

Proper Chairs

Making a space cozy and comfortable can be as easy as pulling up some upholstered dining chairs (if the seats are hard, just add cushions or pillows.) But, for a full day of learning, it is best to use comfortable and supportive office chairs. We just assembled two new office chairs for the boys (after they tested chairs at Office Depot and Staples. These are the two chairs we bought them for this year of virtual learning: (Dexley Mesh Task Chair and Brenton Radley Mesh Task Chair)

Brenton & Dexley Task Chairs

I completely understand if purchasing new chairs is out of your budget. If so, you can try scouring Craig’s List or Facebook Marketplace for a sturdy used chair. Don’t let the condition deter you, because you can always recover it following this tutorial:

For kids that have a hard time sitting still, you may want to let them try either a wobble stool or an exercise ball (with weighted bottom).

Decorating the School Work Space

Working in a space that has some decorations or art makes a space more appealing. Decorate the homework station with art, flowers, or anything that makes the space feel beautiful and relaxing.

dining room hutch with mark twain eat the frog quote

While decorating the room, I added a wood block calendar and a quote from Mark Twain. Have you heard this quote before?

Eat your frog first thing in the morning Mark twain quote

The gist of the message is to stop procrastinating. Do your least favorite task first thing in the morning and put the worst behind you. This leaves the rest of your day with tasks you don’t mind as much or with the tasks you actually enjoy doing. So, go ahead and eat your frog every morning.

If you like this quote, you can download the printable I made here:Eat your frog first thing in the morning Mark twain quoteSpeaking of eating, you can add snacks and water to the space if you feel it will help your kids avoid leaving to raid the pantry. Plus, if kids grab snacks in the kitchen, they are more likely to set up their workspace there. Snacks already accessible lure them into the homework station and keep them there. Don’t forget to keep fresh water close by. All those salty snacks can make you thirsty.

homework station complete with drink dispenser and snacks

This space has been perfect for my sons to use for focused homework time. I don’t know why I didn’t change the dining room (which rarely gets used) into a more usable space sooner. But, now that we have signed them both up for the online virtual academy, I’ll be creating a second space for my other son. Having a high schooler and a middle schooler means they each need to be able to focus on their work.

dining room reused as homework station also good for home schooling

I’ll be sharing an update on how we are turning the guest room into another school/study zone.

Now, speaking of my sons, here comes my oldest now.

motion blur of boy coming home from school

He loves having a spot to spread out and get his homework done. He has asked me to cut a piece of plexiglass or masonite to top this rustic farmhouse table, because it’s a little too rustic to be a smooth writing surface.

boy doing homework at table with school supplies in foreground

What about dinner guests, you ask? If at some point we have family or close friends over, I can move the supplies onto the hutch and set the table for dinner. Or we could serve Chinese and let our guests use pencils instead of chopsticks. LOL.

Do you have a homework/school work space set up in your home? Where is it? Did I forget to include anything in this functional space?

If you liked the dining room makeover, you might like to see it decorated for the holidays:

Colorful Fall Dining Room:

Pretty Handy Girl Fall Tablescape 2016

Christmas Tablescape:

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Pretty Handy Girl

Create this DIY Chalkboard Calendar to get you and your family organized. It will only take you about half an hour to create but it will save you the headache of double booking yourself and get the kids on board with upcoming activities and trips.

DIY Chalkboard Wall CalendarDIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar

I’m bring back this tutorial for those of you that may have missed it. Why? Because this DIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar has been in our kitchen for over four years and it has held up beautifully! This calendar is an important part of our daily routine. My kids look at it frequently to see what activities and trips are coming up. My husband and I use a Google calendar to stay current, but this calendar is a great way to keep the kids organized and to let me look at a glance what’s coming up while I’m on the phone. Seriously, this is one of the best things I created for our family. In the spirit of getting organized, I’m going to share with you my easy DIY chalkboard wall calendar. But, first here are some great uses for a chalkboard calendar.

Ways to Use a Chalkboard Calendar:

  • Keep Track of After School Activities
  • Menu Plan
  • Chore Reminders
  • School Lunch Menu
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Reminder for Pets Flea, Tick and Heartworm Medicine
  • Business Trips
  • Vacations
  • Date Nights
  • Family Activities
  • Blog Calendar
  • Schedule Meetings
  • Work Calendar
  • Project Planning

Have I left anything out?

2014 chalkboard calendar wall

Easy to Clean:

In the past I used to draw out the calendar lines, but trying to erase inside the lines was tedious and time consuming. What busy mom has time for that?! By using the vinyl stripes, I can easily erase the calendar after two months and add new dates.

To save extra time, I like to put recurring items on the bottom line so I can wipe around them and keep the items there from month-to-month.

close up chalkboard calendar day

I also use consistent color coding. One color per person and I use separate colors for school or trips. But, feel free to do what works for your family.

To create this quick chalkboard calendar you need to start with a chalkboard wall (or large chalkboard.) Then gather some supplies.

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:

Using the level, make a straight (and level) line for the top of your calendar. (Mine is 28″ wide.)

draw chalk lines using level

Using your ruler, mark a tick mark horizontally every 4″ (more or less depending on your space availability) for the 7 days. Make 5 tick marks down from the top line vertically every 4″. Repeat on the opposite side. Then add your horizontal tick marks for the days at the bottom.

chalk grid lines created

Use your vinyl lines to outline the calendar and create the horizontal lines.

chalkboard horizontal lines drawn

Connect the vertical tick marks with vinyl lines. If you have excess vinyl, snip off the excess with a pair of scissors. (Our calendar is 20″ tall.)

excess vinyl trim excess

In our house I added two calendars. It’s always nice to see a month ahead! Sometimes I contemplate moving the calendars up and added a third month, but for now this works well for us.

grid lines chalkboard calendar

The chalkboard calendar lets you get creative and practice your chalk lettering. (It’s been fun for me to practice since picking up these hand-lettering books.)

February Chalkboard Calendar month

Can you think of other ways to  keep you and your family organized? I’d love to hear it.

2014 chalkboard calendar wall

By the way, Leen has a chalkboard calendar for those of you that don’t want to commit to a large painted chalkboard wall in your home!

PHGFancySignDisclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. Leen is just a good friend and my go to source for vinyl graphics and designs.

You may also like Jacque’s Perpetual Menu Calendar:

Reusable monthly menu board with magnetic meals - perpetual menu board

Or this refrigerator chalkboard calendar:

DIY Custom Closet Shelving

I don’t like wire shelving in closets! Who’s with me on this one? I am slowly replacing all the wire shelving at my daughter’s new home. As you may know, custom closets are super expensive. While researching “small closet solutions”, I found a way to transform a plain builder grade wire shelf closet into a custom stenciled closet!

Hi! I’m Maria from Simple Nature Decor here today to show you how to take a builder grade closet and turn it into your own custom dream closet!

Usually I like to create with things I find in nature around my coastal Carolina home. My hanging drift wood chime was created from the driftwood I find on the local beaches. Because the weather is great most of the year, I work on many of my projects outdoors in the fresh air. I love painting furniture outdoors.

But, today I’m turning my talents inside to show you how to give your closet shelves a custom makeover for very little money. Ready? Great, here’s how to DIY Custom Closet Shelving.

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:

Remove those wire shelves.

Step 1: Using a small flat head screwdriver, pull out the bracket nails. Then use the pliers to pull them completely out of the wall. All the holes will need to be plastered.


Step 2: Use joint compound (spackle) to fill the nail holes. You may have to use two coats. Spread one coat. Let it dry completely. Sand and repeat to get a smooth finish. Paint your closet walls.

Step 3: Determine your shelf heights. (Tip: Use the same spacing as your wire shelving or measure the heights of items like baskets or products that will be stored on each shelf.)  Use a ruler and pencil to mark shelf heights on the walls. Use a level to draw the lines on all three walls.

Before adding the shelf supports, stencil the entire interior of the closet. Measure and line up your stencil in the center of the back wall. Use painter’s tape to hang the stencil. (We used this Moroccan style stencil.)

Use a small foam roller to paint over the stencil. Make sure to blot off excess paint by running your roller over a paper towel after loading it with paint. Otherwise, it will have too much paint and can bleed through the stencil. Remove the stencil and line it up with an adjacent section. Stenciling an entire closet will take patience, but the results will be a true work of art!

Step 5: Use (4) 1″ x 2″ x 8′ wood strips and 3 sheets of MDF wood. You can request to have the MDF wood cut to your closet measurement. (Tip: Take your width measurement and subtract 1/2″. Measure the depth of your closet and subtract an inch. This will compensate for any irregularities in your wall or door frame.)

Cut the 1″ x 2″s to fit on each side of your closet. Hold the strips at the shelf location marks you made before stenciling. Secure the strips using nails or screws into the stud locations. (Having trouble finding the studs? Use one of these 5 Methods to Find a Stud without a Studfinder!) Repeat for each shelf. This will create the ledge to support each shelf.

Step 6: Paint your wood strips white to match the closet walls.

Step 7: Run a bead of construction adhesive along the top of the shelf support strips. Lay the shelves on top of the supports.

Load up your new custom shelving with items.

What a transformation! Do you like the new look?

Thanks for letting me share with you how to give your closet and storage shelving an upgrade!

Disclosure: Maria was provided with the stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils at no cost to her. All words and ideas are her own. She was not told what to write. 

Hi I’m Maria and I’ve been a lover of nature for my entire life! Five years ago I created a blog called Simple Nature Decor. It’s about bringing what’s beautiful in nature into your home. I create nature-inspired decor ideas for the home. My home in coastal Carolina is filled with amazing elements that have inspired me to create some of my favorite DIYs. Come visit me at Simple Nature Decor!

If you liked this tutorial. You’ll love reading how to turn a closet into a reading nook:

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

Or you might like to learn how to use a stencil on more than just walls, like on this dumpster-destined table:

How to Turn a Desk Organizer into a Charging StationHow to Turn a Desk Organizer into a Charging Station

Do you have multiple devices that need charging every day, but they are cluttering up your counter or table? Luckily I have the answer to that problem and it involves this simple desk organizer.

Would you believe that wooden organizer is now a stylish charging station!

Here’s what a typical desk organizer holds. Functional? Maybe, but by thinking outside the box I came up with an even more useful option for our home.

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:

(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:

Follow this simple video tutorial (or read below for the step-by-step instructions.)


Start by giving your organizer a good cleaning. Make sure there is no dust or dirt.

Wipe out Desk Organizer

Place all your devices into the organizer to determine where you want them to rest when charging. Next, plan where you want the USB charger to go.

Test fit devices

Mark the spot where the charger cord will need to come through the back of the organizer by tracing around the plug end.

draw around plug end of cord

Determine the size of bit you need to create the holes for the plug. You want it to be about the same size as the width of the plug. (Depending on the shape and size of your plug, you may need to drill two holes next to one another.)

Choose drill bit the width of one of the plug holes.

Put on your safety glasses. Drill the plug hole. Be careful not to let the bit sink too deep into the organizer to prevent damage to the other sections.

Drill through back of organizer for plug

Insert your USB charger cord into the hole to make sure it fits. Wipe off any sawdust and sand any rough edges.

Test fit plug in newly drilled hole.

Paint your organizer any color you desire. I highly recommend using at least two coats of paint.

paint organizer if desired

After the first coat of paint dries, lightly sand it before applying the second coat.

Lightly sand between coats

Optional: You may wish to use a vinyl cutter to create some fun lettering for your charging station.

Add vinyl lettering "in charge"

Place your USB charger into the organizer. Insert the cord through the back and plug it into the charger.  Use adhesive velcro to attach the charger to the inside of the organizer.

Slide charger into slot and adhere with double sided velcro.

Time to plug in all your devices and get them powered up!

Now you have a beautiful and stylish charging station to organize your devices and keep them from cluttering your kitchen counters.

I hope you love this charging station as much as I do.

I’m curious where you charge your devices? Is the kitchen where they all get deposited or have I been doing this all wrong?

If you like this tutorial, you might also like this Industrial Charging Station & Lock Box.

Industrial Charging Station and Lock Box | Pretty Handy Girl

Or these creative paint brush or pencil holder using scrap 2×4’s:

Create Art Utensil and Pencil holders

 

How to Install Pegboard Walls | Pretty Handy GirlHow to Install Pegboard Walls

Pegboard walls are the bomb, aren’t they? They provide a ton of storage organization without taking up valuable floor space. Pegboard can be used in a variety of spaces successfully. A garage or shed aren’t the only places that can use this fantastic vertical storage. I’ve seen some amazing craft and sewing spots that utilize pegboards. Heck, even a kitchen can use some pegboard storage like this example from Curbly:

Pegboard storage solution in the kitchen

Today, I’ll show you how to install pegboard walls anywhere you want! I’ll be showing you the process on an open stud wall. If you have a finished wall, simply screw strips of wood into the studs before installing your pegboard. Easy peasy! Ready to get started?

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:

Installing pegboard is ideally done on exposed studs walls.  If you don’t have exposed studs, you can secure 1″ x 2″ boards (or other wood strips) to the studs in your wall. This will create the hollow space behind the pegboard for the hooks set into.

How to Install PegBoard Walls | Pretty Handy Girl

Add blocking to the corner if needed for something to nail into. To secure the blocking, drive screws through studs into the blocks as shown below.

How to Install Pegboard Walls | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and cut your pegboard panels insuring that each side will line up on a stud.

Start in one corner. Run a bead of construction adhesive along all the studs that will hold your first pegboard panel.

How to Install PegBoard Walls | Pretty Handy Girl

Set scrap wood below the pegboard to raise it off ground (this will prevent liquid spills from soaking into the pegboard. It will also allow for some expansion.)

How to Install PegBoard Walls | Pretty Handy Girl

Nail one side of the pegboard to the end stud. Place nails every 9 – 12 inches.

How to Install PegBoard Walls | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue adding pegboard panels following the same process (construction adhesive, then hammer nails to secure.)

How to Install Pegboard Walls | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue until all your pegboard panels are hung.

How to Install PegBoard Walls | Pretty Handy Girl

Add pegboard hooks and hangers. (To help me get my shed more organized, National Hardware sent me a wide selection of pegboard hooks and hangers. I can honestly say, they have all the bases covered with their assortment of storage products.) Hang all your items on the wall, for instant vertical storage.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Having all the lawn and garden tools on the wall frees up the floor for two mowers. Don’t ask me why we have two mowers. That’s Pretty Handsome Guy’s department.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

But, I guess I can’t judge, I do have duplicate tools. Doesn’t everyone need two drills and two power sanders?

Anyway, now that you know How to Install Pegboard Walls, are you ready to add some pegboard walls to your home?

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed Build a Garden Shed

Happy New Year! It’s time to store away all those awesome gifts and maybe create more storage solutions. I’m not sure about you, but our garage was definitely bursting at the seams. That’s why I’m super excited to share with you how to Build a Cute Garden Shed. Before you think that you could never build a shed, I beg to differ! This shed comes in a kit. Most of the pieces are pre-cut for you. And it comes with detailed instructions. It does help to have a friend to help with a few of the heavy lifting steps, but the majority of the build can be done by one person.

Let’s get down to the details. I’ve partnered with Lowe’s Home Improvement to show how you too can build a cute garden shed.  Don’t be fooled by the half dozen sheds that are on display in the Lowe’s parking lot. Lowe’s has more than 150 wooden shed kits online waiting for you to explore them! Once you purchase a kit shed, you can customize it to your desires. For example, I looked at tons of sheds online and in person, but ultimately narrowed my choice down to the Cambridge Shed from Lowe’s Home Improvement. The shed wasn’t exactly cute, but it had potential.

Cambridge Shed by Best Barns

For fun I photoshopped this rendition of the shed with some bright colors on it in our yard. (Note: The windows, cupola and weathervane were options that must be purchased separately. Also, for your needs, the shed kit can be purchased with wood joist flooring system or no flooring if you are building it on top of a concrete pad.)

Proposed Shed Design

Then I called my neighbor and ran the idea by them since they would see the shed every time they came and went from their house. I nearly choked when the wife said, “Brittany, I’m sure whatever you build will be very tasteful and adorable. It’s not like you would paint the shed a neon green color.” At that moment, the husband opened my email with the green shed picture and he frantically waved to his wife to hush. We all had a good laugh about it, but ultimately I decided to tone down the shed colors to avoid it looking too “noticeable.”

After I received my neighbors’ okay to proceed, I checked our survey and called 811 to have the utilities marked in the yard. Luckily the only thing moved was our compost pile.

Build a Cute Garden Shed

To prepare the site for the shed, I hired a landscape company to install a retaining wall. This helped to level the slope.

Backyard Landscaping Reveal | Pretty Handy Girl

Because the shed was supposed to be a cute GARDEN shed, I built two rot-resistant raised planter beds in front of the shed site. (If you have an eagle eye, you can see the gravel pad behind the planter beds.)

How to Build a Rot-Resistant Raised Planter Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

Then life happened and I had a very complicated sinus surgery in Houston, Texas. Thankfully all is well and I can breathe (and smell) so much better. Unfortunately the shed was put on hold until I was given the okay to lift heavy items again. Once I had the doctor’s okay, I jumped into action the next day! (I’m not sure he knew I’d be lifting heavy sheets of siding and hand nailing rafters, studs and roof shingles or he may have made me wait longer. LOL.)

If you are my friend on Instagram, you saw some of the progress pictures from this shed build last summer. I admit, I’m behind in posting about this fabulously cute garden shed. I hope you’ll forgive the delay.

How to Build a Garden Shed from a Kit:

This shed kit was by no means a difficult project for an average DIYer to build. But, it will take longer than a weekend. You will also need to get a helper for several of the steps. Especially when lifting the walls and trusses. Otherwise, most of the shed can be built by one person. Your shed kit will be delivered from Lowe’s and dropped in your yard by a wide forklift machine. Make sure the location you want it delivered is near where you want the shed built and that it can be accessed by the forklift (it needs an 8′ wide radius to maneuver through trees, etc.) Open your box and find the instructions. All the hardware, nails and fasteners should be included in the kit. (Although I did end up needing to buy another box of nails when we ran out: possibly because we bent too many or I used more than necessary.)

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Preparation:

Call 811, your local utilities marking service to have all your utilities marked. Check with your city or county Building and Development office to find out what the requirements are for accessory structures on your property. Find out what your setback is and if you need a permit (in our area, the set back is 10 feet and a permit is required for structures over 144 sq. feet.) Level your site and add drainage rock to create a firm base that will not allow water to pool under your shed.

Lay out your site and put up stakes and level strings to delineate where the shed support is to be constructed.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Lay your sleeper posts on the ground and concrete pads or footers if necessary to level.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Take your time with this process. A good foundation is important for a well built structure.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Building the Shed Floor:

Follow the instructions for your shed. Build the floor system with 2″x6″ pressure treated lumber. Check that your flooring structure is square by measuring from corner to corner.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Repeat for the opposite corners. The two measurements must be equal before proceeding.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Lay the plywood flooring on top of the floor joists. (Pro-tip: Use a chalk line to mark where the joists are under the plywood. This will make nailing the flooring to the joists super simple.)

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Nail the plywood flooring to the floor joists.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

After the plywood flooring is completely installed. Build your roof trusses. Follow the instructions. To build the trusses identically, use shipping blocks to create a template to use for each truss assembly.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Once the trusses are built, set them aside.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Build your walls according to the plans. Add the exterior panels before raising your walls (with the exception of the front wall).

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

It’s helpful to mark out your stud locations on the top and bottom plate to assure your walls are built plumb and square.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Have a second pair of hands help you erect the walls one at a time. Brace the walls after checking for plumb. Then secure the walls to the flooring by nailing or driving fasteners through the bottom of the wall.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Now give yourself a big pat on the back! The shed walls are up!

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Add the exterior sheeting to the front of the shed.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Call in your assistant to help you raise the trusses onto the garden shed.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Trusses are installed, but rain was threatening, so we threw up the tarp to cover the shed.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Install the door hardware to hang the sliding doors. Honestly, this was the toughest task. In fact, I’d recommend installing the sliding door track BEFORE adding the roof panels (opposite of what the directions tell you to do.)

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Then you can nail the OSB roof panels to the roof trusses.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Attach the felt paper on top of the roof. (Trim the overhanging tar paper.)

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Be sure to install drip edges along all the edges of your roof (not shown).

Install the trim on your shed.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Paint your shed any colors you fancy.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Add your roof shingles starting from the bottom first and work your way up.

How to Build this Cute Garden Shed

Install a cupola and weathervane if you like. After the cupola is installed, add the ridge vents, and shingles onto the ridge vents.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

I recommend adding the shingles and weathervane to the cupola AFTER installing it on the shed. This keeps the weight on the cupola down when you have to lift it onto the roof.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

If you noticed the rooster changed colors, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. I spray painted the weathervane a copper color to make it stand out better.

Cute Shed Cupola and Weathervane

Now stand back and admire the cute garden shed that you built!

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Feel free to add windows and window boxes for a more cottage style feel.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Paint Colors:

  • Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal Gray
  • Benjamin Moore Calypso Blue for the door and shutters
  • Trim color is Sherwin Williams Dover White

Source List:

Want a peek inside the shed?

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

I painted the floors the same color as the doors and primed the walls and ceiling.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

The shed holds all our garden and landscaping tools. I’ll put up a tutorial for adding the pegboard wall next week. For maximum organization, l used pegboard hooks and hangers to maximize the storage.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Of course, there is additional storage in the rafters. We have enough room for boogie boards, sleds, and beach umbrellas up there.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

I love how my garden shed turned out.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

But, best of all, my neighbor likes it too.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

I added a fake mirrored window on the back of the shed. Some day I’ll add shutters to the mirrored window.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

Hope you found the encouragement to build your own garden shed. I’d love to stick around and chat, but the leaves are piling up and need to be raked.

How I Built this Adorable Garden Shed

If you want to see the time-lapse video of the shed build, here it is:

Until next time.

Build a Cute Garden Shed

Disclosure: This project was sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. I was provided with materials to build the shed in exchange for sharing the building process with you. I will always let you know if a project is sponsored. All opinions are my own.

If you liked this post, you’ll love learning how to build the lattice window boxes:

How to Build Window Boxes | Pretty Handy Girl

Or how to build a wood storage shed:

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29 Hacks to Help You Get More Organized

January is the time of year where we focus on making the next year better than the last. Often that involves new workout goals or resolutions. Other times it means getting more organized. There is something intensely motivating about being organized and saving yourself small bits of time.  With that in mind, here are 29 hacks to help you get more organized for the coming year! Learn how to make your own bins, trays, and more to complete those organizational projects! I hope this helps you start your year off on the right foot.

personalized wall shelfNot enough closet storage? Consider building a Personalized Wall Shelf for jackets, backpacks, and knick knacks.

 

Jewelry Organizer Shelf Keep your jewelry sorted and easy to find with this simple DIY Jewelry Organizer.

 

coffee serving tray mapHaving your morning coffee supplies on a tray like this Rustic Map Serving Tray keeps them looking less cluttered and easy to find even on those mornings that come a little too early.

 

DIY Rolling Storage StoolsBuild these DIY Rolling Storage Stools for extra seating and hidden storage! They can be useful in any room!

 

Ladder Display ShelvesThis rustic Ladder Display Shelf is perfect for organizing and displaying keepsakes or supplies. (Not to mention taking advantage of vertical storage.)

 

Turn a spare Closet into a Reading Nook with some under seat storage to keep your child’s room neat, organized, and adventurous!

 

DIY Produce RackMake this DIY Produce Rack to keep fruits and veggies fresh, accessible, and off your counter.

 

DIY Drawer DividersImprove the space in your bathroom drawers with these DIY Drawer Dividers.  They’d work beautifully in the kitchen as well!

 

DIY Decorative Ammo BoxMake this rustic DIY Decorative Ammo box to add a cool conversation piece to your room with bonus hidden storage inside.

 

DIY Wall BookrackEncourage those little readers by keeping kids books in sight and organized with this DIY Wall Bookrack.

 

DIY Industrial Charging Station and Lock BoxThis Industrial Charging Station and Lock Box is the perfect solution for managing devices and screen time in a busy household.

 

DIY Cell Phone Holder and Charging StationMake this DIY Cell Phone holder and Charging Station to prop up your phone and charge it as you sleep.

 

scrap wood industrial iron board rackNeed some laundry room organization? This Scrap Wood Iron Board Rack is perfect for holding those ironing items in a small space yet easy to use!

 

Galvanized Tub Storage BenchTurn a galvanized tub into a Storage Bench for your child’s room. It’s a step stool, kid bench, and hidden storage all in one.

 

DIY Library Book BoxEver lose track of library books? This DIY Library Book Box is a perfect solution to that constant struggle!

 

Rain Gutter Book StorageAnother solution for book storage would be to repurpose Rain Gutter into Bookshelves.

 

DIY TrayBuild a DIY Tray Box to keep small items corralled in one place and looking less cluttered.

 

Cordless Drill and Circular Saw StorageGarage or shop organization is crucial, and this Cordless Drill and Circular Saw Storage Center is a perfect solution for a garage workshop!

 

Rustic Box CratesBuild some Rustic Wooden Box Crates to store your paperwork, magazines, or anything you want to store out of sight.

 

Turn cardboard box into Decorative binDon’t throw it away! Turn a Cardboard Box into A Decorative Bin to store anything you like. This has to be the most economical storage solution ever.

 

Tall and Skinny Storage Cabinet
Build this Tall and Skinny Storage Cabinet to solve storage problems in a small space. Imagine the storage possibilities in a bathroom, guest room, or kitchen!

 

DIY stacking storage cubbiesGain some easy toss in and take out storage with these DIY Stacking Storage Cubbies.

 

There are so many awesome garage storage ideas in this one post, like this Outdoor Tool Organizer. Be sure to open this article to see them all!

 

Pull Out Pantry DrawersOrganize your pantry with these DIY Pull Out Drawers with Chalkboard Fronts. Now there is no excuse for your spouse putting away the groceries in the wrong spot.

 DIY Cork Jewelry HolderMake a new and unique Cork Jewelry Holder to organize all your necklaces. This little holder is perfect for the back of a door or a small spot between doorways.

 

diy cedar under bed storageBuild this Cedar Underbed Storage to make great use of that otherwise empty space.

 

Shelf Organizer made from one boardOne board is all you need to make this DIY Storage Organizer that can be used in many different ways.

 

Scrap Wood CaddyBuild a Scrap Wood Caddy for any supplies you need to keep organized and transportable. Think cleaning supplies, art & craft supplies, office supplies and much more.

 

Scrap Moulding TrayThis Scrap Moulding Tray is one way to use up those casing and trim scraps. Plus, it’s an attractive way to corral and store project supplies.

I hope this helped give you some more organization ideas! Do you have any great organizational hacks? Share them in the comments please!

If you like this post, you’ll love learning how to build this hallway storage cubes and shoe bench:

9 Holiday Storage Hacks

Now that Christmas is over, you’re probably in one of these two camps.

  • Camp #1: Christmas is over, time to pack everything away pronto.
  • Camp #2: Christmas is over, but I want to enjoy the decorations for a while longer. I’ll put them away in the new year.

Regardless of which camp you belong to, I have several Holiday Storage Hacks to help you store the holiday items for next year!

Plastic and Foam Cups:

There will always be ornaments to pack away after the holidays. Protect them from getting crushed or breaking by storing them inside individual disposable cups. For fragile ornaments, insert a foam cup inside the larger plastic cup before placing the breakable ornament inside. This gives a nice cushion around the ornament and creates a nice even layer in the bottom of your storage bin, which is helpful for the next hack.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Lasagna Method:

Don’t just throw your ornaments in the bin. Start at the bottom of your bin and place a layer of ornaments stored in cups. (Easy to do if you use the first hack above!) Place a piece of foam over the cups and continue with a second layer of ornaments. Again, add another piece of foam, then place ornaments that lay flat or are very thin on top of that last layer of foam. They will be protected and ready to go for decorating next year.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Saran Wrap the Tree:

Artificial trees can be cumbersome and messy when store them away. To neatly pack your artificial trees use a roll of plastic wrap to secure the branches together, making it easier to carry and store. Bonus, you might actually be able to get that tree back in the box you bought it in!

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Linen Zipper Pouches:

If you have a collection of small tea lights and candles, use an old linen zippered pouch from your last blanket purchase. These are perfect for storing your tea lights, batteries, and other similar items until next year. The clear bag also lets you see exactly what’s inside.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Cardboard Light Holder:

Do your lights get tangled up by the following year? This year put an end to the frustration by cutting out a large rectangular section of cardboard (shipping boxes or cereal boxes work great.) Make a small slit on one end to hold the end plug of your light strand. Wrap the lights around the cardboard to keep them secure and organized and ready to put up next year. This hack also allows you to store the strands upright to save on space. It may take a bit of extra time now, but will save you time (and curse words) next year!

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Store Like Items Together:

I don’t know about you, but in the past my bins were filled with random holiday items. I struggled to find a particular item. To solve this issue, put similar items into one bin. Next year you’ll know exactly where all of the lights are in an instant. Label the outside of each bin to help speed through the decorating process.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Hang Wreaths:

Wreaths are large and take up a lot of bin space. To store your wreaths, put them on hangers in an extra closet. If you don’t have closet space, nail a horizontal board to the rafters in your attic or garage and hang them there.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Gift Wrap Storage:

Gift wrap rolls are long and can be difficult to store. Use a bin or basket in the corner and store your gift wrap upright. This prevents the rolls from getting crushed and they are easy to grab next time you need to wrap a present. Feel free to store birthday and other holiday wraps as well.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

Or, create this under the bed gift wrap station like Her Toolbelt made:

Bins for Gift Bags, Ribbons, & Tissue Paper:

Fold your gift bags neatly and place them inside clear storage bins. Organize by size or celebration and you’ll have a great place to go whenever you need to quickly wrap a gift. Use another bin for ribbon spools and yet another for scrap ribbons (never let those scraps go to waste.) The clear bins make it easy to grab the correct bin, no matter how last minute you’re putting the gift together.

Storage Hacks for Holiday Decorations | Pretty Handy Girl

There you have it! Holiday clean up doesn’t have to be stressful, just keep it organized and use these hacks to make your holiday decor last for years to come. Do you have any storage hacks for holiday decorations that you would add to this list? Please share them in the comments!

How to Use Vintage Rulers for Narrow Pantry Shelf Stops | Pretty Handy Girl

While configuring the new pantry, I knew I wanted to use up any and all available space to maximize storage. A shallow shelf took advantage of the 3 inches behind the door frame in the closet side of the pantry. To prevent items from tumbling off  these shelves, you can use thin slats of wood. But, I utilized Vintage Ruler Stops on the Narrow Pantry Shelves. Not only do the rulers prevent items from being bumped or knocked off, but they provide a rainbow of color.

If you remember, this was the pantry before:

And these are the plans I made to transform the pantry into something beautiful with more storage.

Installing Vintage Ruler Stops on Narrow Shelves:

(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: Painter’s tape

Instructions:

Cut vintage rulers (or other thin wood material) to the width of the shelf cabinet box. Squeeze a line of Iron Grip Silicone Adhesive along the bottom edge of the shelf and about an inch up on either side.

Press the ruler into the glue and line it up with the bottom edge of the shelf.

Use painter’s tape or a few brad nails to support the ruler while the adhesive cures. Once the GE Iron Grip Adhesive cures it will hold the ruler firmly. Without the adhesive, brad nails will eventually work their way through the wood or fall out.

Repeat for the remaining shelves.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

Your shelves are ready to load up with jars and cans!

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

I love the side storage that was reclaimed in the closet. That was definitely one of my biggest pet peeves about the old pantry — wasted space.

It’s amazing how many jars and cans I can fit on the side.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a pantry or closet that can use narrow shelves for additional storage? I bet you do ;-).

I’m really anxious to show you a sneak peek of the pantry renovation project. I’m not 100% done, but the finish line is close. This is a good spot to give you a pantry progress update and show you the process of turning a bi-fold door pantry into something with more functional storage, not to mention coolness factor.

This is where the project began:

That was our 6′ wide and 3′ deep pantry back in 2012 shortly after a small water leak left us with a gutted kitchen. After the restoration crew installed the new subfloor (because of the asbestos abatement), I took the ugly bi-fold doors off and fully intending to include the pantry in my complete DIY kitchen renovation. By the time I finished the kitchen renovation, I was exhausted and longing for a break. Four years later, this is where the pantry progressed until a few months ago.

Big difference right? Just kidding. I installed flooring and a new light fixture, but that’s it. I had dreams of making an open pantry and showed this sketch to my friend Sandra from SawdustGirl.com back in 2013.

Open Pantry Concept Sketch

She and I talked through some ideas and then I sat on the project for a couple of years. By this time I had revised my idea on the pantry and drew up a new sketch:

(Please don’t show that to my illustration professors. That’s one rough sketch there.)

The idea was to partition off the right hand side of the pantry and create a small closet with a door. To get the most storage possible, I moved over to SketchUp to draw out plans for the small closet.

Next it was time to cut the shelves out and get this project rolling.

Our dining room took over pantry duties as I began the framing process in the gutted pantry.

I’m sure you’re going to ask me why I didn’t remove the framing over the doorway. I decided to leave it in place because the door frame is made up of a large double header and the kids’ bathtub is directly over the header. Basically I didn’t want to risk the tub falling through the ceiling.

New wiring was run for two outlets on the left side and I moved an outlet down toward the floor on the right side.

You may remember when I showed you how to Add Energy Efficient LED light fixtures in recessed can lights. Those lights were the ones I installed on each side of the partition.

I tried to hire my favorite electrician to install a door frame switch for the light, but he explained how to do it and left without taking my money. (I owe him big time.)

In the end, I’m grateful for his advice and for pushing me out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t as hard as I expected.

Next up on the to do list was to build the cabinetry for the closet.

I constructed two boxes. One deep box for the back and a shallow box for the side shelves. I’m not going to show you how to build cabinets because Sawdust Girl does it so much better than I do!

After the boxes were built and painted, I carefully installed them into the closet. Some white caulk and trim moulding were added to give it a more finished look.

Next I built the drawer boxes for inside the larger cabinet box. Again, Sawdust Girl has the best instructions for building drawer boxes here. But, here’s a tutorial to show you how to finish off plywood edges.

Blum drawer slides (affiliate link) were used on the drawers, per Sandra’s suggestion.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to see the full reveal? Click here to see my Pantry Reveal with Hidden Wine Storage.

Make Your Own Chalkboard Front Drawers | Organized Pantry | Pretty Handy Girl