Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

Despite the fact that most people want a light-hearted beach read for summer entertainment. I have found five books that fulfill the DIY addict in me. You won’t find any hot romances, but there’s bound to be some hot tips and maybe some hot lye. (This post contains affiliate links.)

DIY HandLettering by Melissa Averinos and Asharae Kroll

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

If you ever wanted to perfect the art of handlettering, you’ll love this book. The book covers a variety of pens and tools you can use. Don’t worry, you likely have the basics to get you started. The book is filled with tutorials to letter many fonts. Once you’ve perfected your lettering, there are several DIY tutorials to make gifts and show off your new skills. This is the perfect book to help you find your beautiful penmanship. By the time the holidays roll around you’ll be able to make many beautiful handmade gifts using lettering.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl


Crafting with Nature by Amy Renea

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

Crafting with Nature is a true delight to read. Amy offers many tutorials for using natural elements to make everything from nature! You won’t believe all the recipes and tutorials. They are not your average “crafty” assortment. Instead, this book is a sophisticated guide to creating jewelry, home decor, wreaths, home decor, and gift ideas. You won’t believe how many beautiful treasures she creates with simple lamb’s ear leaves. I will never look at any natural elements the same after reading this book.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl


DIY Artisanal Soaps by Alicia Grosso

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever wanted to make your own scented soaps? Alicia’s exotic recipes will have you becoming your own master artisan soap-maker in no time. DIY Artisanal Soaps offers tutorials for different processes of making soaps. Included is a comprehensive list of essential oils and colorants for making your soaps beautiful and fragrant. If you ever wanted to churn out beautiful soaps for gifts or yourself, you’ll love DIY Artisanal Soaps.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl


Make Room for What You Love by Melissa Michaels

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

Melissa, author of The Inspired Room blog, brings us another great book! Make Room for What You Love helps you pare down your possessions by changing how you think about your home and the things in it. This is a quick read and is bound to free you from clutter and unnecessary items with simple action suggestions.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl


The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

This book wins the award for “book most-likely to be displayed on my coffee table”. The metal corner guards make it feel like an expensive book, when in actuality it’s less than $20.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

The Complete Book of Home Organization is truly a complete guide to organizing your home. Each section is devoted to a specific room and offers tons of tips and challenges to get you more organized. The book is full of beautiful photos that looks more like an interior design book than a DIY book. Toni has obviously put a lot of effort into the book and it creates a resource you’ll love to browse through as you get more organized.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

I hope you found a book to inspired your DIY passion this summer. Happy Summer y’all!


Disclosure: (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.)


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diy owl bookends

Pretty Handy readers Happy New Year!  Jaime here today from That’s My Letter to share how to make scrap wood DIY Owl Bookends.  It’s January and everyone is in cleaning, purging, and organizational mode.  While you’re cleaning out the scrap wood bin, save a few scraps to make these cute owl bookends. They are adorable and will help straighten up your bookshelf, too.

I used scrap wood pieces straight from my cut off bin to quickly put together these bookends.  These wood pieces happen to be different colors (some stained, some cedar, some painted) but you could easily use new lumber and paint the owls in fun colors.

owl bookends 1

This is a great gift idea for adults and kids alike!  I sent this pair off to my sister who happened to have an owl get down her chimney (someone left the flue open!) and was flying around in her house.

owl bookends 3

Below are the step-by-step instructions including materials and a cut list.  Always follow all safety precautions when using power tools.

owl bookend tml

Materials: Read more


I’m thrilled to share with you a selection of 3 DIY books this holiday season. If you are looking for ideas for someone on your gift list who: has children who love to create; loves rustic metal decor; or wants some simple ideas to love the home they are living in…I have the book for you!

Let’s start with C.R.A.F.T – Creating REALLY Awesome Free Things (affiliate link). This book by Jamie Dorobek was not a book I had originally planned on reviewing. But, when I opened the envelope and set the book on the counter it was instantly whisked away from me. My boys took the book and read it from front to back!

C.R.A.F.T. Book Review

Within 30 minutes, my oldest (a middle schooler) had already cut up a cereal box and was working on his own puzzle.

C.R.A.F.T. Book Review

C.R.A.F.T. Book Review

The next day, my 3rd grader had a playdate at our house. He and his friend asked for the materials to make their own Emoji masks. Read more


It’s time to make room on your bookshelf for two more beautiful books. The first is Natural Accents by Stacy Risenmay. Stacy is a good friend and fellow DIY blogger. She’s also a power tool rock star. Stacy recently released this colorful book filled with lots of ways to decorate and furnish your home with natural elements. This book follows in the footsteps of Stacy’s blog with easy to follow step-by-step tutorials.


Natural Accents is filled with projects that you can make with simple materials found in your backyard.


My favorite project is definitely this plexiglass side table. Natural Accents is filled with many more brilliant ideas!


Get your copy today, because you’ll find at least half a dozen projects you’ll want to tackle this weekend.

Natural Accents by Stacy Risenmay $22.58 on Amazon (affiliate link)



New Ceramic Surface Design by Molly Hatch is a book full of ceramic eye candy. If you’ve ever wanted to dabble in ceramic arts, this is the book you want to devour. And even if you have no interest in ceramics, this book is filled with beautiful photos on each page. I found myself being drawn through the entire book enjoying all the gorgeous art pieces.


Molly filled New Ceramic Surface Design with everything you need to know about working with clay, glazes and more. She gives her expert advice and tips to help you avoid botched projects.


I leave you with one of my favorite images from the book. This beautiful Mishima Slip Inlay design in blue and white belongs on my shelf!


Get your own copy of New Ceramic Surface Design by Molly Hatch for $20.27 on Amazon (affiliate link)


Disclosure: Natural Accents by Stacy Risenmay and New Ceramic Surface Design by Molly Hatch were sent to me at no charge to review. I was not told what to write or say about these books. 

bookrack title 1

Who needs kids book storage that is easily accessible and holds a ton of books?  I’m Jaime from That’s My Letter and today I’m sharing a DIY wall bookrack with free plans to build your own.

This bookrack building project will have all your books corralled in no time.  The shelves are tapered and have plenty of depth for multiple books or thicker books.

bookrack 2

Personally I love this display style storage because it allows kids to see the book covers, easily making reading more enticing!

bookrack detail

I added a center cut out for style points, but this is totally optional. It doesn’t affect the operation of the bookrack.

bookrack profile

At only 4 1/2″ deep the bookrack is unobtrusive but still provides plenty of useful storage.


  • 1 – 1x5x10 pine board
  • 1 – 1x4x10 pine board
  • 1 – 1x3x6 pine board
  • 1 – 1x2x6 pine board
  • 1/4″ plywood (1/2 sheet)
  • chop saw
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • sandpaper
  • wood putty
  • drill
  • pocket hole jig
  • 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 1 1/4″ & 3/4″ finish nails
  • finish nailer or hammer
  • wood glue
  • french cleat


Click here to download the step-by-step instructions to construct this bookrack.  Read through plans first before beginning.

bookshelf tapered plans

Cut list:

2 – 1×4 @ 31 ½” (sides)

3 – 1×5 @ 36” (shelf fronts)

1 – 1×4 @ 34 1/2” (bottom shelf base)

1 – 1×3 @ 34 ½” (middle shelf base)

2 – 1×2 @ 34 ½” (top shelf base & top cross support)

1 – ¼” plywood @ 36” x 31 ½” (back)

bookshelf tapered step 1 plans

Step 1: Sides. Follow measurements in guide above to cut out sides. Use a jigsaw and clamps to hold your wood steady. Cut 2 sides.

bookshelf tapered step 1 real

Tip: To ensure sides are equal, clamp together then sand smooth.

bookshelf tapered step 2 plans

Step 2: Shelf fronts. Attach (3) shelf fronts to sides at notched locations using glue and 1 ¼” finish nails. Read more