Pretty Handy Girl DIY Gifts & Apparel

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so excited to be launching my own line of graphic t-shirts, clothing and gifts. I’ve dreamed of having a line of DIY themed shirts and clothing that would allow those of us Handy Girls and Handy Guys to show off our DIY muscle. One of the main obstacles was my lack of desire to purchase shirts in bulk and hope that I wouldn’t be stuck with leftover inventory. Plus, I used to run a baby carrier business and knew how time consuming it was to ship out multiple packages every day. I vowed to never run a shipping type busines again.

A few months ago, Zazzle contacted me about working with them to launch my own product line. They were the answer to my hesitations! It was so easy to create my own designs and set up the shop in an afternoon. (Granted, I spent several more days enjoying the creative process of designing new graphics and products for the store.) Zazzle takes care of all the details. You can upload your own graphics, photos, and designs. Or you can create your own custom graphic text designs with their “customize it” tools. Then they print and ship the orders! You don’t have to lift a finger. Plus, you earn a commission on each item purchased from your shop! AND, to sweeten the deal, you can sign up to become an associate and earn more.

If you think you don’t have the time to figure out how to set up products, you are in luck. I took a bunch of screenshots to show you EXACTLY how to list your products step-by-step.

But before I get to the tutorial, I want to share some of my favorite products from my Zazzle store! I ordered two shirts and this one gets the most comments:

I Saw Enough funny DIY shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

“I Saw Enough” Shirt

I Saw Too Much funny DIY shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

“I Saw Too Much” You have to giggle at the double meanings. This shirt is the perfect shirt for any gal or guy who likes to build and use the power tools.

Power tools are for chicks shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

In my house my husband knows he’s not allowed to touch my power tools. This “Power Tools are for Chicks” is a funny reminder that power tools aren’t just for the boys!

Here’s the coolest part (in my opinion) about the Zazzle shop. If you see a design you like, but would prefer a different color or a completely different shirt style, you can customize it on your choice of clothing or products!

Pretty Handy Girl Shirt Options on Zazzle | Pretty Handy Girl

Zazzle has more products than I can name! But, to give you a little taste: pillows, phone cases, office products, art prints, cards, accessories, t-shirts and much much more! You’ll have to peek for yourself!

Zazzle Customized Products You Design!

The last item I purchased for myself was a custom coffee mug. I thought an empowering message was a great way to start each day. This famous quote is printed on a blackboard texture background and imprinted on a stylish mug that has a variety of interior colors you can choose from. Read more

What’s going on with that Handy Girl? She didn’t post anything on Friday or Monday? Has she succumbed to jet lag after her trip abroad? (nope) Did she cut her thumb off on a saw and can’t type? (nope) Was she abducted by aliens?

face_shielf

(maybe)

Want to know why I’ve been slacking on posting?

This is why:

last_tile

I’ve been feverishly working on tiling the backsplash in our kitchen. It’s been a lot of sweat equity (and some child labor) but the results are stunning.

children_helping_tiles

I chose these beautiful carrara mable subway tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com.

venato_carrara_tiles

They arrived on a huge pallet and have been sitting in the garage for months. Once we got back from our trip I was having major DIY withdrawal. What better way to get back into the DIY game than tiling 80 sq. feet of backsplash! Heeheehee.

tiling_backsplash

I’ve rarely had a free moment, in fact when I actually did take a minute to sit down, Handy Dog took advantage of an open lap. (Ummm, someone needs to tell him he’s too big to be a lap dog.)

lapdog

What’s the rush Handy Girl?

The rush is self imposed, but I did want to finish before I left for Haven. I’m happy to say that I have a few more lines of caulk to run and the backsplash will be…stick a fork in it…DONE!

And then tomorrow morning I can hop in this swanky new 2014 GMC Acadia Denali and head to Haven!

2014_GMC_Acadia_Denali

(Totally love the hologram on the dashboard that displays speed, temperature, current song playing and more!)

Whoa, what’s with the new wheels?

Well, GMC is loaning the vehicle to me for the week. I’ll be working with GMC at Haven and theeennnnnn….

…on Sunday I’ll be working with some other bloggers to furnish and makeover another Habitat House in the Atlanta area. (Do you remember the big reveal last year?) It’s sure to be a lot of fun and a totally rewarding experience when the homeowner opens the door to her new home and is surprised to find it furnished for her!

I’ll be bringing a whole box of tissues this time.

Want to keep up with the action? Here’s how!

Follow these bloggers as they shop the World’s Longest Yard Sale this week:

You can follow the hashtag #GMCHTA (GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure) on Twitter and Instagram for live photos from the sale. And I’ll try to keep you in the loop through social media (mostly Instagram and Facebook) from the#HavenConf conference hashtag and beyond.

Want to read more about my adventures along the World’s Longest Yardsale last year?

Start reading here.

One more thing before I rush out. If you are going to Haven, you MUST…I repeat…you MUST hop in on one of the two classes Sandra, Traci and I are teaching. It’s called, “Let’s Case This Joint” and it’s going to be a total interactive hands on experience in molding, casing and trim installation. And there will be power tools! You might just have to put up with me and my “Dirty Handy” impersonation though.  “Go Ahead… Make My Day.”

dirty_harry_impersonation

 Put a Ryobi cordless finish nailer in my hand and I start acting like a tough guy.

I’ll be back later with some more DIY tutorials. I promise. I haven’t been abducted by aliens, I’ve just been a little up to my elbows in grout.

PHGFancySign

Disclosure: GMC is sponsoring my trip to Haven this year. I was provided with a loaner GMC Acadia Denali to drive to the conference and back. I was not told what to write or say. All words, ideas and photos are my own.


We had a great turnout at the Habitat ReStore demonstration on Saturday! Thank you to everyone who showed up. It was nice meeting some new friends. There will be another talk at 1 pm on Saturday, December 10th at the Cary, NC Habitat ReStore! I hope you can make it, because I’ll be showing how to turn some common ReStore items into holiday gifts and décor.

And now for the tutorial that you really wanted to see — but couldn’t make it to see — making a shoe storage bench out of an kitchen wall cabinet!

Wall cabinets that fit over your fridge or stove work really well for this shoe storage bench project. Ideally the cabinet will be 18″ in height (standard seat height). If it is shorter, you can build a base for your bench to raise it up a little.

It is more than likely that these cabinets will be coated with about 5 lbs. of grease. But, have not fear, I found THE BEST cleaner for removing grease. Hot water and ammonia! You must work in a well ventilated area when working with ammonia. Sponge on the ammonia and hot water concoction and wait about 10 minutes. Wipe off the cabinet and repeat until clean.

Materials:

  • Ammonia, hot water and a sponge or rag (to clean off grease)
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Miter saw
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Construction or thick wood glue
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • 2″ finish nails
  • 1 and 1/4″ finish nails
  • Quarter round moulding for base of cabinet
  • Cove moulding for top of cabinet
  • 1″ thick board (cut to fit inside cabinet dimensions)
  • 1×4″ pine firring strips
  • Plywood or pine board cut to fit 3″ wider and 1.5″ deer than finished dimensions of the cabinet (after moulding is added.)
  • Optional: Thin plywood to use as a filler strip

 

Remove all the hardware and the doors. Remove any nails that are poking out or hammer them flush with the wood.

Measure the inside depth of the top of your cabinet.

Cut three 1×4″ boards to sit on top of the cabinet and use for the bench support and to give your nails something to grip when attaching the bench top. (Without these supports it would be very difficult to nail or screw into the particle board cabinet without it flaking and chipping.)

Use thick construction glue to attach the boards. (Glues that have a toothpaste consistency.)

Nail finish nails into the boards at an angle to secure them.

For good measure, nail two more finish nails through the back of the cabinet and into the ends of the support boards.

Measure your cabinet sides and front. Cut quarter round (convex shape) for the base of your cabinet and cove moulding (concave shape) for the top of your cabinet.

Here is a close up of the moulding I used for the base and crown of the cabinet.

If the face frame of your cabinet juts out past the side, you’ll have a gap (see below). No worries, we can fix that!

Slip a piece of thin plywood to fit behind the quarter round (and cove moulding). Draw a line at the top of your quarter round (and bottom of the cove moulding). Cut the plywood piece with a jig saw.

Glue the thin plywood strip onto the cabinet.

Rest your moulding on top of the filler strip.

Predrill holes in your trim moulding, then hammer finish nails to secure the trim. If you are using a finish nailer to secure the moulding pieces, you won’t need to pre-drill.

Fill any nail holes or cracks with wood putty.

Fill the seams of the filler strips with wood putty too.

Allow the wood putty to dry and then sand it smooth.

Your cabinet should look something like this:

For the top of your bench, cut a piece of wood that is 3″ wider and 1.5″ deeper than the top dimensions of the cabinet (be sure to measure to the edge of the crown moulding.) Sand it smooth. Stain or paint the bench top.


At this point, you can attach your bench top by screwing a few screws from inside the cabinet up through the support pieces and into the bench top.

*For demonstration purposes, the video will show how I attached the bench top with glue and finish nails from the top: Add some construction glue to the wood supports. Then, nail the top into the three support boards on top of the cabinet. Fill the holes left by the nails. And touch up the spots with stain or paint. Either way will work, but the screws from below will save you the work of adding wood putty and/or touching up the nail holes.

To install the shelf, level the board you cut to fit inside the cabinet (or shall I call it a bench since we are almost done!)


Use either “L” brackets inside the cabinet to hold the shelf or hammer nails from the side and into the ends of the shelf to secure it. Luckily shoes aren’t super heavy, so you can get away with using finish nails to hold the shelf in place.


Use a nail set to sink the nail below the wood surface.


Add a small amount of wood putty to the nail hole.


Gently sand the cabinet and shelf to scuff up the surface and give it a “tooth” for the primer to adhere to. Prime the cabinet and bench.


Paint the cabinet, shelf and bench.


Protect your bench with a few coats of polyurethane and you are done!


Room for about 8 pairs of shoes! If you wanted a larger bench or more storage, you could attach two cabinets side by side.


Here is the video from my Habitat ReStore talk. (I apologize about some of the background noise.)

By the way, thanks to my sponsors Bogs Footwear (boots) and Tomboy Tools (tool belt.) I need to lower that belt a little ;-). I was rushing in and just buckled it on me without adjusting it.

 

 

 

Sharing this tutorial with Home Stories A2Z Tutorials and Tips Link Party and The Shabby Creek Cottage’s Transformation Thursday

Making Red & Blue Star Pillows

If you read yesterday’s post, you saw two star pillows on my son’s reading nook bench. I promised you the tutorial, so here it is:

These were super easy to make. I made two pillows in just over an hour on my Brother CS6000i sewing machine. This was a great Mother’s Day present from my hubby 2 years ago. (Last year he bought something most men would swoon over – A 10 inch sliding dual bevel compound miter saw. I just love saying that long name!)

This sewing machine is very reasonably priced at $125 and it has loads of decorative stitches!

The first thing I did was print out a star symbol from the computer as large as I could on letter size paper. (Look through your dingbat fonts if you can’t find a star. Mine is Option + H when using zapf dingbats font. But, yours may differ. Or better yet, google star in the images tab.)

Then I traced the star slightly larger than my print out onto white felt. Be sure you are using sharp scissors when you cut the felt or it will tear.

Making Red & Blue Star Pillows

Luckily I had leftover fabric from some pillows I made for Christmas presents and 2 denim cloth napkins handed down to me from my super stepmom!

I simply cut out two squares of red corduroy the same size as the napkins. At this point I should have ironed my fabric, but I was too impatient to finish sewing these starry stunners.

Making Red & Blue Star Pillows

I laid out the stars on the center of the fabric (one on blue and one on red.) Then pinned them in place and stitched the stars onto the fabric.

Making Red & Blue Star Pillows

I used this decorative stitch (I don’t know the name of it…can anyone tell me?), because it made it looked hand-stitched. I used red thread on the blue denim pillow and navy on the red corduroy pillow.

Then I matched up one denim napkin with the red corduroy star front and vice versa for the denim star pillow. After laying out my pillow (gotta love that I kept those hunter green pillows from the 90’s!) on top of the fabric, I pinned the fabric right sides together forming a guide for where my seams would be.

 

Next I straight stitched the sides together leaving an opening, about half the width, at the bottom to stuff the pillow inside. I checked to make sure the pillow fit before I turned it right side out. Then trimmed my extra salvage edges and made 45 degree cuts at all corners. At this point, I turned the pillow case right side out.

Making Red & Blue Star Pillows

I used the blunt tipped scissors to poke the corners out (broken tipped pencils or other blunt pointy objects work just as well. Wow, that sounds like a murder weapon.) Then stuffed my pillow back inside and pinned the bottom of the pillow together.

Last, I stitched a straight stitch as close to the bottom of the pillow as I could to seal the open edge.

And that is my super-duper, easy and quick guide to creating star pillows.

Making Red & Blue Star Pillows

But, who says you have to make star pillows. Get inspired to make your own pillows! Here are some other ideas:

Poinsettia pillows made with corduroy and felt on Centsational Girl’s blog.  I loved the combination of the textures and the graphic images.

Or adorable pet silhouette pillows. I made a dog portrait pillow for my pretty handy sister and my super talented mom (who both coincidentally own black dogs.)

Next up will be a tutorial on rewiring and adding a switch to the copper wall sconce lamp that hangs in the closet turned reading nook project, that I bought from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore!

Inspired by:
Visit thecsiproject.com
Check out some other Independence Day inspired projects on their site.

 

and

 

Project completed just in time to participate at Centsational Girl’s
Check out other Independence Day themed projects on her site as well!

 

Happy Fourth of July!