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!

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

Look around your house or the next time you’re at a thrift shop. Find either an unpainted tray or a tray that needs a makeover. This is a quick project to create a Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining for a beautiful and elegant tray to display or organize things in your home.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining

Today I have a really adorable and easy DIY idea for you! Scrapbook paper lined and painted trays. These trays are so versatile, they can be used in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, or anywhere you want to corral items or have a flat surface available. And best of all, you can change their look in a snap.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

(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.)

As I mentioned above unfinished trays can be purchased at many places. If you want a new one, look at your local craft supply store or order one online on Amazon for cheap.

You’ll also want some decorative scrapbook paper, gift wrap, or fabric to line the bottom of your tray.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Instructions:

Lightly sand and wipe off tray with a damp rag.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Prime tray (if using non-chalk paint.) Paint tray desired color. For this tray I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried, brush antiquing wax onto your tray if desired. Buff off excess with a dry rag.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut scrapbook paper to fit inside the tray. When overlapping paper, make sure to line up the repeating pattern.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

For the best durability, line the tray with a piece of plexiglass cut to fit inside the tray. (Ask your local home improvement store to cut or order online.)

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

The paper you use to line the tray doesn’t have to necessarily be scrapbook paper. I got this paper from Ballard Designs. It’s actually cheese paper, but I loved the design. It doesn’t quite match up, so I just rotated the paper.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

When you put something on top of the tray, you hardly notice the seam.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

The nifty thing about these trays is the decorative paper can be swapped out when you bore of the design.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Once again, I’m loving this idea too much…I might be keeping this one for myself ;-).

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Do tell me, are you enjoying the Make It May series?

Check back tomorrow for yet another great DIY gift idea!

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DIY Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Pencil Vases

DIY Back to School Pencil Vase

Last year my son’s teachers asked for a pack of pre-sharpened pencils. Instead of just giving them a box of pencils, I wanted to give his teachers something prettier than a box of pencils. When I found a colorful package of pencils, I knew I was on to something. After some  sharpening pencils it was time to get creative.

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 the label and clean your recycled glass bottle. Dry it thoroughly. Apply double-stick tape to the top and bottom edges of your bottle.

Lay one pencil onto the bottle vertically. Press it against the tape for a temporary hold.

Continue adding pencils around the bottle. At about 1/3 – 1/2 coverage, slip a rubber band around the middle of the bottle over the pencils. This will help hold the pencils in place.

Continue adding pencils until the bottle is completely covered.

Choose a coordinating washi tape and tape one end of the pencil stack.

Press the tape firmly against the pencils and repeat along the bottom edge of the pencils.

Remove the rubber band.

Fill the bottle with water and add some flowers.

Deliver this beautiful DIY Back to School Pencil Vase to the recipient.

You might have to convince them it’s okay to remove pencils as needed.

Either way they look cute on the desk for a while.

Here’s a video tutorial to show you how easy it is to make the back to school pencil vases:

Like this idea? Pin it for future reference (and to share the love):

DIY Pencil Vases

If you liked this idea, you’ll love some of these other teacher appreciation ideas:

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas Series | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards | Pretty Handy Girl

Teacher Appreciation time is coming up. Every year, I find myself scrambling for last minute gift ideas for the teachers. My sister-in-law is a school teacher and she has always lamented the amount of sugar-laden sweets she is gifted. For that reason, I like to give my sons’ teachers non-food gifts that will last long after teacher appreciation week. This week will be dedicated to Simple & Inexpensive Last Minute Gift Ideas your teachers will surely love!

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas Series | Pretty Handy Girl

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas:

Decorated Chalkboard | Thank You for Nurturing My Child Plant | Apple Pencil Holder | You Rock Gift 3D Card | Simple Washi Tape Vases

Today we’ll start off with a simple DIY project that your children can help create. Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards are a great little DIY gift idea for the teachers in your life (or anyone who uses clipboards.) I plan to give these to my boys’ teachers with a gift card to an office supply store tucked under the clip.

Gather the little munchkins around and let’s get started on these adorable Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards.

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

Easy Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions: Read more

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

Are you enjoying Tote Week?!

Tote Week | Pretty Handy Girl

If you’re just joining in here’s the line up:

Today I have one of my closest friends and blogging buddies here. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, she’s the amazing, the incredible and the always vivacious Sandra from SawdustGirl.com. And she’s going to give you a tutorial for sewing those cute reversible and reusable tote bags!

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Howdy Handy friends! I’m Sandra of Sawdust Girl – formerly Sawdust and Paper Scraps. I try to reduce, reuse and recycle anyway so this tutorial for reusable, reversible, ruffled totes is fitting. Don’t ya’ think? I like to use my totes as grocery bags and have given a pair of these as gifts along with a few reusable produce bags found at the dollar store.

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

I used an old sheet and a set of pillowcases to make mine but for a gift item, maybe use new fabric. If you look for sheets on clearance you can get a LOT of fabric for just a few dollars.

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

This is a really easy pattern that I made from looking at a canvas tote. (It fits perfectly on a standard pillowcase.)

*Seam allowance? I run the fabric along the right side of the foot. I think it’s a waste to take a wide allowance and then trim!

Instructions:

1. Use the same pattern for the bag and the liner. You could use the same fabric for both or mix it up for fun. I like to use 2 different fabrics so I can flip it inside out and have a totally different bag!

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

2. Sew all 4 pieces (excluding the bottom) together like this: front/side/back/side making one long piece of fabric.

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

3. If you are going to add any kind of embellishment, now is the time. I’m adding three rows of ruffles! Read more

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

We are days away from Christmas and I’m sure there is someone on your list that you just can’t figure out what to get for them. I have the perfect solution! Make them a wood block floating picture frame using scrap 2×4″ lumber and plexiglass.

If you don’t have scrap 2×4’s lying around, you can purchase a 2x4x8 foot stud for less than $4! You could make 16 photo frames out of that one board! (Granted, you’ll need to buy the plexiglass for each.)

Materials:

  • 2 – 2 x 4s (cut to 6″ lengths)
  • 4 – 6″ x 9″ pieces of plexiglass (3/32″ thickness)
  • Ipswich Pine Stain
  • gel stain or Minwax Express color
  • small detail paint brush
  • pencil or pen
  • photos
  • tape
  • rag
  • optional: scrapbook paper, double stick tape

Tools:

Instructions:

Set your table saw to a 10 degree bevel.

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the saw blade to a depth halfway through your block (about 7/8″ deep.) Set the fence to 2″ from the blade.

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

Use your GRR-RIPPER to safely guide the 2×4 over the saw blade. Check to see if two pieces of plexiglass will fit in the groove created by the saw blade.

Wood Block Floating Picture Frames | Pretty Handy Girl

If not, nudge the fence over slightly and make a second pass over the blade. Check to see if the plexiglass will fit now. If not, repeat the process until they fit snugly. Read more

Très Frugal DIY Gift Idea Round Up

Can you believe all the wonderful DIY gift ideas that we had for you this past month? 31 DIY gift ideas that are frugal and attractive in this Très Frugal DIY Gift Idea Round Up.

And if that’s not enough, you can view 10 DIY Gift Ideas that take 15 minutes or less to create:

Happy Holidays to you!

PHGFancySign

How to make a hanging ornaments table runner | Pretty Handy Girl

I have half of the dynamic duo from At the Picket Fence today and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Heather and Vanessa are the sibling duo who create and blog about their beautiful homes and share scrumptuous recipes! I’m honored to have Vanessa here today to share this brilliant Ballard Designs knock off project.

How to make a hanging ornaments table runner | Pretty Handy Girl

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Hi there! I’m Vanessa from the blog At the Picket Fence and I’m so thrilled to be visiting here today! Brittany’s kinda my hero and is helping me find the courage to tackle more DIY projects. Come 2014 my house isn’t gonna know what hit it! At this time of the year more than ever, being frugal is the name of the game and I love to try and come up with creative gift giving ideas for friends and family. Today I’m sharing with you a so simple, no-sew project!

I just love me some Ballard Designs. Don’t you? But, their prices don’t love me back. So, I have to resort to knocking them off. That always sounds so wrong doesn’t it? Kinda has a Bonnie and Clyde ring to it. I’m just going to think of it as imitation being the sincerest form of flattery! This is my version of their hanging ornament table runner from last year and just to prove how very très frugal this really is, here’s the cost difference:

Theirs ~$79.00 …….. Mine ~ $15.00

How to make a hanging ornaments table runner | Pretty Handy Girl

Supplies Needed:

  • Drop cloth cut to size of runner you want (don’t wash the drop cloth first!)
  • Fabric squares or remnants in color/patterns of choice
  • Twine
  • Ribbon in coordinating color
  • Glitter Paint writer in color of your choice

Instructions: Read more

Today I am so excited to have the very talented Sarah joining us with a fabulous très frugal DIY gift idea. Sarah is the creative genius behind Sarah M. Dorsey Designs. I am in love with her design style in her home. The coolest thing about Sarah’s designs is that she achieves them on a super frugal budget. Today she’ll show us how to make marbled picture frames in no time for only a few bucks.

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Hi PHG Friends!! This is Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs. I’m so excited and honored to be here sharing a simple DIY gift idea.

Today may be Black Friday, but instead of buying a gift, think about making a gift. Handmade gifts mean so much more (at least to me 🙂  Plus you’ll save yourself the aggravation of crowded stores. A win win!

I love the variety of marble paper – adding that to a plain picture frame truly makes them one of a kind! Here’s how I did it.

Materials:

  • 1 sheet of marble paper (available at paper source and blick art supply)
  • Mod Podge
  • Frame (recommend straight front and sides) ** Tip: check your local thrift store for frames, I was able to these for about $1 each
  • Brush
  • Cutting supplies: scissors, cutting mat, xacto knife, metal ruler

Instructions: Read more

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

silhouette-projects

Today we’ll focus on the tutorial for creating your own quote canvas art! (I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Materials:

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Repeat for the rest of your quote.

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

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

Canvas Quote Art Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl     PHGFancySign

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