If the birds are out in your area, chances are they are looking for a place to nest. Try your hand at doodle-painting a cute little birdhouse to help them start a family. Who knows, they may be lurking in your yard like a depressed House Hunter’s couple who can’t get past the color on your neighbor’s birdhouse. Check out this cute Doodle-Painted Birdhouse.

Doodle Painted Birdhouse

Doodle-Painted Birdhouse

Have you lost your mind Brittany? This looks like a Christmas tutorial in May? No, I haven’t lost my mind and yes, this is May (for those of us who have lost track of the days. But, this is the perfect project for anyone who has a simple birdhouse that needs sprucing up for those discerning House Hunter birds.

Although I created this little painted birdhouse to function as a tree topper, you can forgo drilling a hole in the bottom and add a hook to have a fully functional birdhouse for those bird watchers in your home.

This is a project you can do for fun or meditation. And kids can also get in the fun. All you need is some acrylic paint and a paint pen and you can have a blast making this Doodle-Painted Birdhouse for yourself or as a gift.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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:

Spray prime the unfinished birdhouse and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Sketch a star shape on the sides of the birdhouse. Mark the location where you wish to drill holes. (If you are using this for an outdoor birdhouse, it’s nice to have a little ventilation for the house. But, feel free to skip this step if you wish.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

If your birdhouse is a double-decker, you will probably want to drill holes through the sides at angle and down into the first floor roof. This will allow some of the light to come through the top story holes as well.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

For Tree Topper Only:

Mark the center location on the bottom and drill a 5/8″ hole through the bottom of the birdhouse. (Skip this step if you want a functional birdhouse.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Dump any wood shavings out of the birdhouse. Set up the birdhouse on the drop cloth for painting.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint the sides of the birdhouse red (or any color you like.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint the roof, steeple, and perches gold. Add a star and tree shape on the sides to accentuate the drilled hole patterns.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

After the gold and red paint has dried completely, use the white paint pen to doodle-paint all over the birdhouse.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Afraid to Doodle-Paint?

Nonsense, there is no rhyme or reason to the doodling, just make lots of little curly q’s, c’s, and loops. You can start by outlining the window structures. Then embellish them. Regardless of your doodle-painting style, it’s important to have fun!

You can see how I used the same technique on the chalkboard ornaments on my Feathered Nest Christmas Tree and they came out really cute.

Doodle Chalkboard Ornament | Pretty Handy Girl

When the paint pen lines have dried, add a few coats of an outdoor sealant.

Birdhouse Tree Topper:

You can use it as a tree topper by feeding the top branch(es) into the hole on the bottom of the birdhouse.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Outdoor Birdhouse:

Add the screw eye hook and hang the birdhouse from a tree in your yard.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Décor Birdhouse:

If you simply want to display your birdhouse as décor, set a little battery-powered light inside the hole in the bottom and enjoy a homey birdhouse on a shelf.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to decorate your birdhouse more? You can see how I created this little Christmas painted birdhouse and embellished the roof.

Christmas Wreath handpainted birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Doodle-painted birdhouses are adorable gifts and very frugal. Make it May is almost over, but stay tuned for one more project!

PHGFancySign

Pin for later!

How to Make a Painted Bird House Tree Topper | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Did you see the cute little red and white mushrooms in my terrariums that I made? They were super easy to make. I can show you how and this will only take a second.

Materials:

Instructions:

Mark the height you want your mushrooms to be on the dowel rod. Add 1/2″ to the height for anchoring it into the soil. Cut your dowel rod (or a branch in a pinch.)

Spray your cut dowel rods (or branches) with spray primer. Be sure to coat all sides. Spray the acorn caps at the same time.

Spray paint your acorn caps red.

After the paint has dried, glue the acorn tops to the dowel rods using E-6000 glue.

Let the glue harden (about 30 minutes.) Add some dots of white paint onto the red caps.

Press your adorable little mushroom into the soil in your terrarium and then sit and wait for a fairy to move in.

See, I told you it would only take a second! Well, besides waiting for the paint to dry, this project takes less than five minutes.

I have a mushroom leftover, but I don’t have any more terrariums. Any ideas what I can do with a little lone mushroom?

UPrinting.com Giveaway Winner

I have to tell you that I really enjoyed reading all your comments on the UPrinting giveaway. Some of you had some amazing photos that you really wanted to have printed. And some of you brought tears to my eyes when reading about photos of loved ones who have passed on. You made me think about both my grandmothers who passed away over 5 years ago and who I still miss almost daily. I wish I had a photo canvas for each and everyone of you. If you didn’t win, I really hope you will look into having your photo printed as a rolled canvas and stretch it yourself to save money. Your photos are too precious not to! (Oh, don’t make me cry again.)

We do have ourselves a winner of the UPrinting.com rolled canvas! And she has a special photo in mind.

Deborah wrote: “Thank you for posting this. I would never have known you can do this yourself. I would love to have my favorite picture of my 3 kids printed in a huge size for over out sofa in the living room.”

Deborah is a blogger and homeschooling mother of three children. This month she is writing a series (inspired by The Nester) on 31 days to Slash Your Budget Painlessly on her blog Green Willow Pond.

Green Willow Pond

She has some great tips and ideas on saving money. From making your own linen napkins to making your own laundry detergent! Truly a woman after my own frugal heart.

Congratulations Deborah. Please check your email and get back to me asap to claim your prize.

 

 

 

 

“It’s a Party and I’ll Paint if I Want to…Paint if I Want to… Paint if I Want To…You Would Paint Too if you had Scotch Bluuuueee!”
I think I’m going to call 3M ScotchBlue right now and suggest this as their new jingle. Kind of catchy isn’t it?!

Check out my project tutorial on revamping an old cabinet door below.

Go ahead, grab your paint and brushes — and don’t forget a roll of ScotchBlue painter’s tape!

I have been using ScotchBlue painter’s tape for a while and I really like it. I am not being paid to say this (even though they did send me a few free rolls of painter’s tape.) You’d know I like ScotchBlue tape if you have read the backlit bookcase post, painting the bamboo rug post and the painting like a pro post (where I share some tips for using ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape!)

But, enough looking back, I want to share with you how to make something out of a disgustingly filthy grease covered discarded cabinet door. So, let’s hop to it! While building my mudroom bench, I took off the doors and kept them in the hopes of being able to use them another day. I’m working on a new bench for my Habitat ReStore demonstration, so I have more cabinet doors now! I devised a plan to reuse the doors in a creative way, a way that would be fun and yet help us keep track of our comings and goings. Meet my cabinet door turned into a chalkboard message board with hooks:

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:

Clean the doors! If you have a cabinet that has finished it’s first life as a kitchen cabinet, and has so much grease on it that you could grease a pig…well, you need to clean it off. I experimented with several different techniques (GooGone, Dawn Detergent, Shakelee DeGreaser Spray, and Ammonia), but the one that worked best was inexpensive ammonia mixed with hot water.

 

I saturated the cabinet with the ammonia mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes and voila! The grease came off like butter (no pun intended.)

 

Dry the cabinets and gently sand all the surfaces to rough them up slightly. (Don’t rough ’em up too much boys, we need him to be alive. LOL! Spoken like a true Western character.)

 

Wipe off the door thoroughly with a damp baby wipe.

 

Use wood putty to fill in the wood grain on the middle panel of the cabinet. (You could also fill in the cracks on the frame of the cabinet too, but I have other plans for the frame.)

 

Let the putty dry for about 10 minutes. Sand the panel until it is smooth.

 

Wipe off the cabinet door again. Be sure to get all the sawdust off.

Spray your cabinet door with spray primer. One coat should be enough to cover the door. It helps to elevate the cabinet with a block or two underneath so it doesn’t stick to your drop cloth.

 

Mask off the middle of your door with newspaper and ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape. Press the edges down firmly by running a finger along the edge. (If your cabinet door is very textured, you can seal the edges by brushing matte medium where the tape meets the door.

 

Spray the frame with 2 even coats of the summer squash yellow color (allowing the paint to dry between coats.)

 

Remove the mask, now ooo and aaaa over that clean edge! Give the paint about an hour to cure before the next step.

 

Wrap newspaper around the back of the cabinet door and fold the edges up. Use ScotchBlue painter’s tape to tape the edges of the frame off (cover all the yellow with tape or newspaper.)

 

Spray the inside panel with 2-3 even coats of the chalkboard paint. Let it dry throughly before you remove the tape and newspaper mask.

 

It is starting to look rather purrrrdy, ya think?! Feel free to stop here and say that you are done…

 

…or if you are a perfectionist (like me), you will want to cover the woodgrain on the frame with scrapbook paper.

 

Simply measure your border and cut scrapbook sheets to that width. It is okay if your sheets aren’t long enough to fit on one length, you can tile them.

 

Brush one layer of mod podge onto the frame then lay the scrapbook paper on top of the mod podge. Press out all the air bubbles. Let the mod podge/paper dry for a few minutes.

 

Then brush 1-2 coats of the mod podge on top of the scrapbook paper borders to seal the paper.

 

If you want to embellish your chalkboard frame, you can rub on transfer decals (or paint some decorations using white acrylic paint.)

 

To make your chalkboard frame more functional, add 2 D-rings on either side of the back for hanging purposes. Then add some garment hooks to the front.

 

Don’t forget to season your chalkboard. (I prefer Old Bay seasoning…just kidding! I always wanted to say that.) Rub a piece of chalk on its side all over the surface and then wipe it off with a dry rag.

 

And that concludes the tutorial. Don’t you think the results are sweet! Especially because it is made from something that would have otherwise been discarded.

 

I envision a wall with several of these chalkboard frames lined up, one per family member. That way a message can be written to each person. I guess I better get busy and make 3 more.

 

I love how the hooks add additional storage! Be sure to use two picture hangers (one for each D-ring hook.) If you have good eyesight you might have noticed my fishing line that is hanging the cabinet above. This was for photography purposes only. Unless you want your frame to rip the drywall and land on the floor the first time your child wants to hang something heavy on the hooks, do as I say, not as I do.

 

Awww, isn’t she just a perfect little slice of sunshine on a blank wall? She makes me happy.



You made it through another one of my insanely long tutorials! Congrats!

 

 

Disclaimer: I was one of the bloggers chosen to host a ScotchBlue Painting Party. I was not paid or compensated for this post. I was sent a few rolls of ScotchBlue painter’s tape, but I honestly can’t remember if it was 2 or 3 or 5 because they promptly got added to the collection of ScotchBlue tapes I already own.

I have a real problem throwing away perfectly good glass jars and bottles. To me they are little craft gems waiting for me to transform them. With Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation coming up, I decided to turn some of our recycled bottles into cute gifts for Mom and my sons’ teachers.

Before you begin this project, I want to warn you to be flexible. The painting step has the potential to get messed up, but that doesn’t mean the project has to be a failure. I’ll show you how I fixed one of the bottles that didn’t turn out as I had planned.

Materials:

  • Glass Bottles or Jars
  • Spray Paint
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Plastic Bags
  • Masking or Painter’s Tape
  • Drop Cloth, Tarp or Plastic
  • Foam Stickers
  • X-acto Knife
  • Pencil
  • Embellishments: beads, transfer rub-ons, wire, fabric, ribbon, raffia, lace, or whatever you have lying around
  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks

Instructions:

Clean out the bottles/jars and let them dry completely. Save the lids if you want to cap off them off.

Select some foam stickers to use as a mask on your bottle.

I chose a heart and then cut an “M” into a circle foam sticker using an X-acto knife. (Remember to cut your letters in reverse.)

If the bottle neck is narrow, use the X-acto knife to feed the sticker into the jar.

Then use a pencil or stick to firmly press the sticker to the inside of the jar.

Wrap your bottle in a plastic bag and then tape the bag to the neck of the jar/bottle.

Set the bottles in a tarped area or box.

Put on some rubber gloves and insert the spray paint nozzle into the jar. Spray a layer of paint into the jar.

Wait a few minutes and repeat. The paint will be liquid, so rotate the bottles and jars to spread the paint around. Then turn the jars upside down to dry.

After the paint has dried (several hours), gently remove the foam sticker with the X-acto knife.

If a little paint has dripped into your masked area, you might be able to scrape it off with the X-acto. One of the stickers (jar shown on the right side below) didn’t adhere, and the paint bled underneath the sticker. But, no worries, it can easily been fixed.


Time to get out your embellishment scraps. Ribbons, lace, rub on decals, beads, etc. Anything goes!

To fix the drippy paint jar, I rubbed on a few decals to cover the messed up heart mask.

I added some wire and beads to the collar. And presto, a cute pencil holder!

Use a hot glue gun to glue beaded string on your bottles. I added the trim around the collar and around the heart shape on this bottle. Then, I added another rub on decal.

And, voila, a beautiful flower vase!

To create a cute bottle top, try gluing batting, fabric, lace and a ribbon to the lid.

Wrap up a small present inside some tissue paper and inserted it the bottle. Or write a little heart felt note and slip it inside.

I included a battery powered tea light, it made a beautiful votive gift. The jars are so beautiful when lit up, don’t you think?

You can also try spraying the exterior of a few bottles. They don’t have the same shiny luminous look, but they will still be beautiful none-the-less.

Do tell me, what other ideas do you have using these glass jars and bottles? I’d love to hear!

Take a look at some other attractive ways to reuse recycled bottles and jars?

 

 

Today I’ll show you the painting technique I used on the chair I stripped yesterday.

Here is a list of suggested materials:
Tarp or drop cloth
Brush
Primer
Rubber gloves
Sandpaper (Fine & Medium grits)
Spray paint (optional handle adapter to prevent hand cramps and spray on your fingers)
Dust mask
White paint
Brown acrylic paint or craft paint
Rag
Polyurethane
Floor protectors (chair glides)

Because I stripped and sanded the chair down to bare wood, I needed to prime the wood so it would accept the paint. If you don’t prime bare wood, then the paint will be absorbed into the wood and won’t leave a clean all over finished look. The primer is also a base that makes the paint stick to it easier. Primer is very good at adhering to lots of surfaces, including your skin. So, be sure to wear gloves or you may look like a reverse dalmatian for a few days.

I’ve used many different primers. Sometimes I use a spray primer and sometimes a liquid primer. Did you know that primer comes in different colors? And it can be tinted? Be sure to ask the paint department next time you are drastically changing the color of a room. They might be able to tint your primer close to the color you are painting so it cuts down on the number of coats you have to use.

For this project I used Bulls Eye water based primer that you paint on. You do not need much, we only had a big bucket left over from painting some rooms in our home.

Primer dries quickly, so work fast. It isn’t necessary to make it look perfect, just get a thin coating on all the wood surfaces and be careful to wipe off any drips.

After the primer dries (I used my box fan to speed the process,) you should lightly sand the chair to remove any burrs or drips. This also gives the primer a little scuffing so that the paint has something to grip to. Don’t sand so much that you go through the primer coat.

At this point you will need to “tent” off an area where you will be working. Spray paint will get everywhere if you let it. The good news is that usually the particles will dry in the air, but they will coat everything in the vicinity and will need to be wiped off. If you can spray outside, it will be better for your lungs, but be sure your drop cloth extends at least 4 feet out in all directions from the piece you are spraying.

Now comes the fun part! Grab your paint can in the color you have painstakingly chosen. I used Valspar Pistachio Satin finish in a spray can. I used to use Rustoleum, but it seems that my local Lowe’s has eliminated most of the Rustoleum brand spray paints and replaced them with Valspar. My suspicions tell me that it might still be the same paint but branded for Lowe’s.

I use light coats of spray paint about 8-10 inches away from the surface. The trick with spray paint is to use several light coats instead of trying to cover all at once. This will insure an even finish. You also don’t want to end or stop on the piece you are spraying. I use a smooth consistent sweep across the chair and then release the trigger after my spray has left the chair. If you stop on the chair, you will either get a shiny spot or drips where the extra paint has collected. Here is a graphic to show you how to spray your paint:

I used three light coats to cover this chair. I did sand VERY lightly between coats (using a fine grit 200 grit or higher) to make sure there were no rough spots and to add something for the next coat to adhere to. I also wipe off the chair after sanding with a damp rag. Just be sure to take your time to work up to your final color. This is the point where you may stop and say that you like the final results of your painting job. If you stop now, be sure to finish your painting job off with two coats of polyurethane.
I choose to add some more interest to my chair.
Milk Painting – Adding Depth and Interest
 
After the green spray paint layer has completely dried, I took the fine grit sandpaper (200 or higher) and gently roughed up the surface. Then I wiped off the whole chair with a damp rag and let the chair dry.
For this step I used some left over white latex trim paint we had lying around. I used a semi-gloss finish because that is what we had, but you can use any white paint you have left over. I dipped the edge of my brush into the paint and then wiped most of it off on the can. Then I lightly ran the brush over the chair in the direction that the wood grain would go. The green paint should show through your strokes. Only go over the area once, unless you really ran out of paint on your brush. If you put too much on the chair, or have areas with too much (see the left edge of the picture on the right below),  you can take a wet rag or baby wipe to clean it off and try it again.

Once the whole chair has the milk paint technique, I let her dry. Once again, this may be the point where you stop painting. But, I really had more distressing in mind for this girl.

I wanted to let some of her age show through, so I grabbed some medium grit sandpaper (100 – 150 grit) and sanded some edges down to the bare wood. Think about any place on the chair that sticks out and might be rubbed and worn on an antique.

Unfortunately for me, the bare wood on my chair was a little too peachy colored next to the pistachio color paint, and I really liked the look of this leg that was sanded and had a darker brown area showing through. So, I decided to fake the darker brown wood look.

I wiped off the chair again with a damp rag and then ran up to grab some acrylic paint out of my art supplies. I chose the Raw Umber brown and squeezed a quarter size dollop onto my palette. Then I grabbed a clean rag and wrapped it around my finger. I dabbed my rag into the paint and made sure I didn’t have any globs on the cloth. Then I lightly ran the edge of my clothed finger over the edges of the chair where I had sanded.

Uh oh, don’t peek at the fabric on my chair! That is the next step we will go over tomorrow. Plus, it wasn’t a good idea to paint with the fabric on my chair. Too many opportunities to drip or rub paint onto the seat.
Once I was done adding the brown paint, I let the chair dry. Next I took my fine grit sandpaper and sanded the whole chair lightly being careful not to sand off any paint. Wiped the chair down and let it dry.
I really liked the aged beautiful look that my chair had achieved, so I was ready to seal her with 2 coats of polyurethane. I used a water based poly and lightly sanded between coats. At this point you are probably sick of the sanding, but I am a sucker for smooth finishes. I love to caress finished wood and feel the baby softness under my fingers. Plus, this is the chair that I will spend many hours sitting in and working.
After the poly has dried, I do add floor protective legs to my chair. It protects our wood floors from damage. I’m really into protecting our wood (as you can probably guess.) Furniture glides or floor protectors are super easy to add. They go on just like nailing a nail. Be sure you have your glide centered on the leg and that you aren’t nailing it into any metal. Then gently tap it into the leg of your chair.