In my constant attempt to save things from the landfill, I came up with this nifty transformation of an old Hollywood light fixture.

Can you believe that I took this…

And turned it into this?

Materials:

  • Trim (canopy) piece of an old light fixture
  • Sandpaper or sanding block
  • Spray primer (automobile primer works best on metal)
  • Valspar java brown spray paint
  • Krylon sparkling canyon spray paint
  • Drop cloth (or plastic sheet)
  • Votives
  • E-6000 glue
  • Brown and amber beads
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scoop or spoon to pour beads from
  • Popsicle stick
  • Tweezers

You are sick of staring at that old hollywood light fixture in your bathroom. Come on, you can admit it. It’s okay, you are among friends. If you need help, I’ll even show you how to remove that dated style offender. And hey, if you are lucky enough to live in a house without one — but you still want to replicate this project — head on over to your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I guarantee they will have plenty to choose from.

1. Start by wiping off the light fixture (unless you are a fabulous housekeeper and yours doesn’t have years of collected dust like mine did.)

2. Scuff up the metal surface with sandpaper.

 

3. Spray the light fixture with the spray primer. Let it dry. Then spray a coat or two of the java brown spray paint. After the brown paint is dry, lightly dust the light fixture with the sparkling canyon spray paint until you are happy with the color.

 

4. Try to let the painted fixture dry overnight to allow the paint enough time to harden.

 

5. Clean your votives with some soap and water and let it dry thoroughly. Squeeze a line of glue around the bottom of the votive.

 

6. Center the votive over the hole on the light fixture.

 

7. Repeat for the rest of the holes.

8. Weigh the votives down with some books while the glue sets (a few hours.)

 

9. Plug in the hot glue gun. (Have you read my Hot Glue Gun Safety post? If not, you should because your fingers will thank me.) While it is heating up, take out the beads you want to use. Set them in a little scoop or spoon.

10. Run a bead of hot glue around the votive. Only work in a small 1-2″ section at a time. This will give you enough time to arrange the beads before the glue hardens.

11. Pour the beads into the hot glue.

12. Use your popsicle stick to maneuver the beads into the glue.

13. Use the tweezers to place any singular beads and perform any detail work.

14. Glue beads around the base of the other votives. Let the glue cool and then pull off any hot glue strings.

15. Put your tea lights into the votives and set it on your table…

…bathtub edge or sideboard.

What do you think? Do you like it or I am just trying to put lipstick on a pig?

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Today I am going to show you how to Make Your Own Fall Wreath. If you’ve been following me for long, you were witness to my one wreath with many different looks for one year. Well, I’m ready for a change. So, I decided to create something completely different.

When I think of fall, I think of cooler weather, sweaters, autumn leaves and flowers. This wreath encompasses all those elements.

Lucky for me I had all the materials on hand. Especially the XL cable knit sweater that I picked up at Goodwill thinking I could make sweater vases out of it.

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:

Start by cutting off the sleeve of the sweater.

Cut, the sleeve in half lengthwise. Then put the right sides together.

Stitch the ends together (try to line up the stripes or cable knitting.) Trim off any excess.

Open your sleeves up to give you one long length of sweater material.

Preheat the hot glue gun. Lay the wreath form on top of the sweater material.

Put a bead of hot glue on the back side of the wreath form and glue one edge of the sweater material to the wreath.


Squeeze out another bead of hot glue, wrap the other side of the sweater material up and glue it against the already glued piece.


Realistically, this is the backside of the wreath, but if you have a see through door like I do, you will want to roll under your raw edges to hide the seams.


Work in 3-4″ sections, adhering one side and then the other until you reach the end of your wreath. Cut your sweater material slightly longer than you need, then roll under the raw edge and glue it down.


Your wreath should resemble something like this:


Hot glue some leaves onto the wreath covering one of the seams.


Then add some flowers. And more leaves, and more flowers, until you have burned your fingers to smithereens!


Next tie one loop of ribbon to cover the top seam.


Tie more ribbon to the loop to give your wreath a more “substantial” bow.


And now you have a warm, cozy and colorful fall wreath! What do you think? I just want to snuggle up to it every time I walk through the door.


Have you started to decorate for fall? Do you have your wreath yet? I’d love to hear about your unique wreath project. And if you need more ideas, enjoy these 24 more Fall wreath ideas:

24 Creative Fall Wreaths | Pretty Handy Girl
Y’all have a fabulous weekend!

 

The other day I showed you how to prep and sand a branch to make a towel bar. If you haven’t viewed that tutorial, you may wish to do so now.

Okay, so let’s get started. This shouldn’t take too long, but you’ll want to grab a few supplies before you begin.

Materials:


  • Prepped tree branch
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • 2 Handrail brackets
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Safety Glasses
  • Miter saw or hand saw
  • Water-based Polyurethane
  • Brush
  • 180 grit or finer sandpaper
  • Damp Rag

 

Tutorial:

Start by marking the desired height of your towel bar. I hung mine at 38″ high.

Use the drill and the philips head bit to insert one screw into the bottom of your handrail bracket. Drive the other two screws into the bracket.

Repeat the steps above to install your second bracket.

Rest your branch on top of the brackets. Mark the desired length of your towel bar onto the branch.

Cut the branch with a miter saw or hand saw.

Sand down any rough edges at your cuts. Lay the branch on top of the brackets.

Center the branch and check to make sure it is relatively level. If it isn’t, you might need to move one of your brackets.

Hold the “U” shaped hook under the handrail bracket and make a mark where the holes are on the branch.

Choose a drill bit slightly smaller than your screw.

Drill pilot holes into your branch for the first bracket only.

Rest the branch onto the bracket and drive the screws loosely through the “U” shaped hook and into the bottom of the branch.

Line up the other end of the branch onto the handrail bracket and trace the holes through the “U” shaped hook.

Remove the screws holding the first hook and drill pilot holes where you marked for the 2nd “U” shaped hook.

Lay the branch back on top of the handrail brackets. Attach the screws through both “U”shaped hooks and into the branch’s pilot holes.

Wipe off the branch with a damp rag. Brush a water-based polyurethane over the entire branch and allow it to dry (about 30 minutes.)

Gently sand any burrs or imperfections off the branch and wipe the branch with the damp rag.

Add another coat of polyurethane.

Repeat sanding and adding a coat of polyurethane until your branch has 5 coats of poly. Do not sand the last coat.

Let the branch dry completely for a day and then add towels to your unique branch towel bar!

I purposely left some extra overhanging branch on the ends for extra towels.


I don’t know about you, but I love it! I think the branch is unique and adds some warmth to the bathroom. How about you? Do you like it? Or is a branch in your bathroom just wack-a-doodle!

Linking to: Funky Junk Interiors Branch Party.

I promised to show you how I lit my son’s bookcase. It really isn’t anything fancy.

But, a promise is a promise. Here is the view of the back of the bookcase:

I purchased the LED rope lights at Home Depot. They came with little snap in holders. You simply drive a screw into the mounting hole. Then snap the rope light into the holder.

On the top edge, I used a long channel strip (sold separately near the rope lights. It has a self adhesive backing. Then you firmly press the rope light into the channel. This took some serious strength, but I finally got the length of the rope light inside the channel.

Finally, I plugged the light into a timer.

The lights are set to come on at bedtime and turn off shortly before sunrise.

That’s it! And this is probably the shortest tutorial I ever wrote.

So, I’ll share a few pictures from my sister’s flower garden in California. Check out all the pollen on the back legs of this bee! They are the orange masses hanging from his legs.

The bees were loving the agapanthus as well.

The pink blossoms are from a lemon tree that grows in their back courtyard. Sadly none of them were ripe while I was there. I can only imagine how fresh and sweet lemonade from those fresh picked lemons would taste. Mmmmm!

Be back later this week with more DIY tutorials!

Hey guys, today I’m dishing up a triple dose of posts for you. I’ve been busy, really busy, super busy! And you don’t know the half of it. As you are reading this, I’m on my way home from California. I flew out to surprise my little sister for her birthday. She and her husband are expecting their second child and I wanted to go all “Pretty Handy Girl” on their home ;-D.

First, you can read my tutorial for making this whimsical message center, from a curbside window, over at my friend Sandra’s blog,

Then you can come back here and read about this Artist’s Inspiration board also made from an old window.

Finally, if you like what you see you can head over to Parentables to see an entire post on curbside transformations! You won’t believe some of the before and afters!

Okay, ready? Well, let’s get this show on the road.

Materials:

  • Old divided light windows
  • Foam core
  • Tin snips
  • 3M duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Primer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Irwin mat knife (or x-acto knife)
  • Clear Caulk (window and door sealant)
  • primer
  • fine grit sand paper
  • Two colors of paint (gold and medium gray)
  • Crackle medium
  • Polyurethane
  • Foam double stick tape
  • mirror
  • ruler
  • mirrored glass
  • tin pots, buckets or recycled cans
  • drop cloth bulletin boards from THIS post

Prepping your window:

You will need to clean, prime and paint your window before beginning this tutorial.

Here is what I did during the prep phase: Cleaned the windows (I used a bleach solution because there was mold and mildew present.) I repaired the glazing that was cracked and missing. I used paintable caulk. No need to buy glazing.

Prime the entire window, glass and all! Once the primer has dried, use the sandpaper to gently rough up the primer (especially on the glass. But, be careful not to scratch through to the glass.)

For the beautiful crackle finish on my window, I started by painting the window a metallic gold color.

When the gold had thoroughly dried, I coated the entire window with the crackle medium. Once that had dried, I painted a medium gray on top. That’s when the magic happens. The paint separates and reveals a hint of gold. It is important not to go back over the gray paint after you paint it on or you will get a gloopy mess!

I finished off the painting prep steps by applying two coats of water-based polyurethane.

Tutorial:

Measure all the individual window panes. Be sure to measure only the exposed glass.

Transfer your measurements to cut 2 squares of foam core. Make sure your blade is sharp! Dull blades will drag and tear the inner foam.

Next, transfer your measurements to cut two pieces of cork board. Cut the cork board with a ruler and mat knife.

Finally cut two pieces of mirrored glass to fit the remaining two panes (need help cutting glass? Have a professional do it, or watch Sandra’s tutorial HERE.)

You should now have 2 pieces of foam core, 2 pieces of cork board (wrapped in drop cloth as I showed you the other day), and two pieces of mirrored glass.

Dry fit all the cut squares to make sure they will fit in the window openings.

Take the foam core and tin pots outside. Spray them with primer.

When the primer has dried, spray the foam core and buckets with a few coats of chalkboard paint.

To view how to print onto painter’s drop cloth, refer to my tutorial here.

To attach the chalkboard foam core, mirrored glass, and drop cloth squares, you will need clear window and door caulk. Snip the top off at an angle. Insert a straightened coat hanger into the tip to puncture the inner lining of the caulk.

Put a fair amount of caulk onto each glass of the window. (Lazy supervisor in the background!)

Press the individual squares into it. Weight the drop cloth squares (with paint cans) while they dry.

To secure the chalkboard and mirror sections, run a bead of caulk along the edges of the boards.

Use a damp paper towel to smooth and clean up the caulk edging.

Once the caulk has dried, you can affix the tin buckets to the window. Drill holes through the bucket bracket or tin cans.

Attach a screw through the hole and screw it into the window pane.

To add a hanger to your memo center, flip the window over and measure down 3″ on both sides.

Use a drill to drive the screws into the D-ring style hangers.

I made this artist’s board to sell, but honestly I’m having a hard time parting with it. So, it may just find a home in my painting studio (aka Bonus Room). But, maybe you could convince me otherwise. How much would you pay for this one of a kind artist’s board? I keep thinking it is a real life version of Pinterest.

Don’t forget to view more of my curbside transformations.

I hope you will take a moment to view how I test drove my Dremel Trio. This is seriously a really fun power tool! Just be sure you are safe so as not to ruin the fun. Eye protection, face mask, and ear plugs. Check.

For those of you who like to skip to the end of the book and see the ending, here you go:


For the rest of you, here is how I created this cut out/back lit bookshelf that started life as a bookshelf from a closing Borders bookstore.


Tutorial for creating a cut out bookcase:
Almost any bookcase will work for this project, but the ones that have a thin wood (can be masonite) backing will work best. Set up a work area that you don’t mind getting dusty and dirty. Remove the shelves from your bookcase.

Cutting the endcap:

Materials:

  • circular saw
  • level
  • clamp
  • scrap wood
  • screws
  • drill

I cut the endcap in half lengthwise so I could use half for each end of my bookshelf, and to position it flush against the wall. To cut a straight line using a circular saw, I clamped one end of a level to the endcap. My level wasn’t long enough, so I drilled a scrap piece of wood on top of the level and into the end cap to support the other end.


I set the circular saw blade just below the depth of the endcap. By resting the endcap on two 2×4″ boards, I was able to creative a gap below the endcap for the sawblade to pass through.Then I ran the circular saw along the level for a straight cut. Straight as an arrow, and it met Pretty Handy Dog’s approval.

Cutting out the backing design and painting:

Materials:

  • Dremel Trio
  • Palm sander
  • Sandpaper (100 grit & 220 grit)
  • Scrap 2×4 lumber
  • Chalk or pencil
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Primer
  • Paint (white and navy blue)
  • 3M Clean Edge technology painter’s tape
  • Newspapers
  • 2″ paint brush
  • Small paint roller and tray

Sketch out the design on your bookshelf (using chalk or pencil) before beginning.

Before using any new power tool, take some time to read through the manual.

To insert a bit into the Dremel Trio, you push in the blue (shaft lock) button on the front and use the enclosed wrench to loosen the collet nut on the tool.

Insert the cutting bit into the Trio. (The trio also comes with a sanding drum bit and a routing bit!)

Tighten the collet nut with the wrench.

Turn the blue handle on the side of the TRIO to raise or lower the base plate.

Adjust the base plate until the cutting bit extends slightly below the wood backing of your bookcase.

Lay the bookcase down on its back. Position 2×4 boards under the edges of the bookcase (or you will be cutting into concrete. I’m pretty sure the TRIO is not capable of that, but I could be wrong.)

Plug in your Trio and get ready to have some FUN! You may want to practice on a scrap piece of wood before working on your bookcase. The TRIO allows you to change directions quickly and easily. Creating fanciful cuts is a breeze!

Squeeze the trigger and when the bit reaches full speed you can plunge it into the workpiece. For the pin holes hold the Trio steady, insert the bit and then lift it back out of the same hole.

To cut trees and other designs, plunge the TRIO into the wood and then slowly move the tool through the wood to carve your design. Be wary of long “V” shape cuts as they will make the backing weaker.

When your design has been completed, use the power sander to sand the back of the bookcase (where the majority of the splintering will have occurred.)

Insert the sanding drum bit into the TRIO and sand any large cut out areas.

Fold a piece of sandpaper in half and feed it through the thin lines of the branches to sand any rough edges that can’t be reached with the sanding bit.

Set the bookcase upright and inspect the cuts for more splinters. You can preview what your design will look like when lit up. Lookin’ good, huh?!

Before sanding the rest of the bookshelf, repair any dents or holes with wood putty. (This is a post I wrote about repairing all types of holes if you need help.)

Use the palm sander and a fine grit (220 grit) sandpaper to rough up the rest of the bookshelf.

Apply a coat of primer to the bookcase, shelves and sides. (Still working on emptying that can of KILZ Clean Start primer! Love that stuff.

When the primer has dried, mask off the sides of the bookcase where they meet the back.

3M sent me this Scotch Blue Painter’s tape with Edge-Lock protector to try. I was skeptical, but when I pulled the tape off it did give me a clean edge. The only place I had a little bit of seepage was in the corners where I didn’t press the tape tightly into the corner. The key to using this tape is to firmly press the edges with your finger to engage the “Edge-Lock” seal. I haven’t tried it for painting walls, but you better believe I have a wall project coming up that I can try it on.

Paint the back of your bookcase. I chose a very dark navy blue. To save paint, I used a medium blue paint for my first coat to darken the back and hopefully save paint.

Then paint one coat of the navy blue.

Follow up with a second coat to eliminate any streaking.

When the navy paint has dried, tape along the edges of the navy blue backing, where it meets the sides. Slip pieces of newspaper underneath to catch any paint splashes. (Will you get a load of my lazy supervisor! You think he’s been working hard in the heat? Uh no, that would be me doing all the work and him snoozing away the day.)

Paint the rest of the bookcase, the sides and the shelves white. I used two coats of Benjamin Moore Impervo Semi-gloss white.


Once the paint has dried completely, re-assemble the bookcase. And screw the end cap halves onto either side of the bookcase.

I installed a light rope behind the bookcase (tutorial to come at a later date) and set the lights on a timer. The rope light comes on at dusk and illuminates all the cut outs.

There is a very soft glow emitted from the back of the bookcase.

It provides the perfect amount of light for my son who HAS to have a light on at night.

My only complaint about the rope lights is that they give off a strong plastic odor. But, after a week the smell has dissipated.

I had the foresight to purchase a few of the clear display stands that slide into the end caps of the bookcase. It makes it easy to display books to pique my son’s reading interests.

Oh look! There he is now! Mission accomplished, reading interest piqued. Yes, I think he is double-jointed and a teacher pointed out that both my son’s sit like that. Must be in the genes.

A few more detailed pictures of the bookshelf. This has to be one of my favorite projects I’ve created recently. And it wasn’t very difficult to complete.




 

 

 

 

Back story and my ramblings:

Sleeping outside on the screen porch was nice until I woke up with a sore neck. So, I won’t be doing that again for a while. But, I won’t complain because we are lucky to have a screened porch and I am really loving it after the recent makeover.

The makeover was spurred on by this Pier One bamboo rug that I scored for $25 while thrifting!

It’s nice isn’t it? Especially with the splashed paint on it. Yes, I was the sloppy culprit who dripped paint while repainting my garden bench. But, no big deal, I had bigger plans for that rug.

So I sat down at my computer and spent a few minutes hours on Pinterest to research some patterns for my rug – seriously addictive site! But, it is also proving to be a huge organizational tool for my blog. I can pin ideas I want to create. Or I pin other bloggers projects that I want to make sure I give credit to when I steal borrow their ideas.

Once I narrowed down the designs I liked, I used my photoshop skills to change color palettes and design to create a sketch for my painted rug.

Then I ran over to Ace Hardware to purchase some paint. I ran into my good buddy, Mr. Paint Dept Guru – and guess what he did! He told me he had just finished going through the mistinted cans and hadn’t even priced them so he let me have my pick of some cans for….FREE! That is why I love my Ace Hardware. They are a small neighborhood store and all the employees know my face. The cashier and I even have a running joke. She couldn’t remember my name once (how can she, there are only 300 customers in there a day), so I told her that I’d give her a hint. I told her that I share the same name with a famous pop singer. She laughed and said, well, I keep thinking Beyoncé but I know that isn’t your name. So, now she calls me Beyoncé everytime I walk in.

Tutorial:

If you just came here to find out how I painted the rug, I’m sorry about my story-telling. Anyway, here is the tutorial, you found it!

Materials:

  • Kilz Clean Start Primer
  • Stir stick
  • Drop cloth
  • ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape
  • Gloves
  • Paint brushes (thin and thick)
  • Paint roller
  • Butcher paper
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Latex paint colors
  • Minwax Polyurethane
  • Mask Yeah! No need to wear a mask with the new KILZ clean start primer!

The good people over at KILZ recently sent me a gallon of their new eco-friendly primer* (yeah, I thought that was an oximoron too.) I’ve used KILZ 2 latex primer for years and have been very happy with the product, so I had serious doubts that some “green” primer could perform the same. Well, I stand corrected! Love this stuff!!! No face mask necessary, no need to worry about off gassing. The primer had no smell that I could determine.

And it sticks like glue to the surface that needs to be primed. It worked just as well as the regular “stinky” primer. I even scouted out my local Home Depot to see if they stock it (for when I run out) and they do! (My local Lowe’s hasn’t received a shipment yet.)

Just in case you didn’t see this: Zero VOCs!!! I like that!

Sorry, I get side tracked easily.

Start by laying down a drop cloth and putting on rubber gloves.

Stir your primer well. Roll on the primer onto the bamboo rug.

Then smooth the primer in the direction of the slats with a brush.

Tape off the inside edge of the canvas border using your painter’s tape.

Roll on the border color. Yup, that pretty blue gray paint was a mistint and therefore FREE!

After the border color dries, remove the painter’s tape and then put tape on top of the border.

Roll on the base color for your rug. Then use a brush to drag the paint between the slats. You may need to apply a second coat of paint.

Using the chalk and butcher block paper, draw out your rug design.

And lay the design on top of the rug.

Cut out the largest shapes first. And trace inside the cut outs onto the rug.

Paint inside the chalk lines with the flower color.

Next draw the vines and branches onto the rug using chalk. Chalk can easily be wiped off if you wish to work with the design a little bit.

Continue tracing flowers, vines and leaves and fill them in with paint.

When your rug is completely painted and dry, wipe it off with a damp rag. Then roll on at least 2 coats of water based polyurethane. I prefer Minwax, but use what works for you.

One word of advice when painting on bamboo slats. Don’t try to be a perfectionist. Just relax and have fun. The inconsistencies will make your rug look more authentically hand-painted!

I love my new porch rug! Even better, I love the price!

It looks fabulous with my beachy coffee table I made last year.


I promise – a photo tour of our screen porch will be coming soon.



 

* Disclaimer: I was sent a gallon of Kilz Clean Start Primer for my honest review. I was not paid or compensated for the review other than with a gallon of primer. My thoughts and opinions are authentic and my own. In other words, I respect you and will not lead you astray with false product information.

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Do you remember that cute little blue striped bin in Renee’s storage unit? The one that she uses for junk mail and recycling.

How much do you think she paid for that? Would you believe nothing?! I made it for her out of a cardboard box and art supplies I had on hand.

Materials:
Cardboard Box
Black Spray Paint (or other color)
Spray Mount (Spray Adhesive)
Elmer’s Glue
Scissors
4 sheets of scrapbook paper (wrapping paper, fabric or wallpaper)

Instructions:

1. I started with a square Huggies Pull Ups box. I knew you wouldn’t believe me, so here is the picture to prove it.

 

2. Spray paint the inside of your box (be sure to wear gloves because the spray will coat your hand since it swirls around inside the box.)

3. Spray adhesive on the back of 2 sheets of scrapbook paper.

4. Attach them to opposing sides of the box.

5. If your scrapbook paper wraps around the sides, that is good. Be sure to snip the top of the paper at the corners of the box so it can fold over inside the box.

6. Cut your other two sheets of scrapbook paper to the exact width of the uncovered box sides. Spray adhesive on those two sides and attached them to the box. Then fold over the top edges of the paper.

7. If the folded top edges don’t stay glued, put a little elmer’s glue underneath and then use a book, clothespins, or binder clips to hold it down while it dries.

And you are done! Cute, easy and cheap! That’s how I like my men projects.