easy DIY test tube vases on the wall

DIY test tube vases on the wallDIY Wall Mounted Test Tube Vases

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hi all, I’m back again from Anika’s DIY Life. I am sharing this super easy and quick tutorial to make DIY wall mounted test tube vases. The best part is they look really cute on the wall and can be displayed in any room!

Personally, I hung mine in the guest bathroom that is currently being updating. These simple vases bring in much needed color and also ties in with the dark vanity.


(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.)


Step 1 – Measure and mark 1 ½” on a 2″ x 2″ board. (2″ lumber is actually 1 ½”. To cut out a cube, you need to cut at 1 ½”.) Find the center (at 3/4″) and mark the location for the hole.

Step 2 – Clamp the 2″ x 2″ to the workbench and use a 7/8″ drill bit to bore a hole through the board.

Tip: You may need to make a small pilot hole first with a small drill bit to keep the spade bit from wandering.

Drilling hole for test tube

Step 3 – Once the hole is drilled, cut your board at the marked location using a miter saw or hand saw.

Step 4 – Paint or stain the cubes in the color of your choice. (I used a Java colored gel stain to match my bathroom vanity.) If you would like to use fresh flowers and water in these test tubes, be sure to add a durable coat of polyurethane on the cubes to protect from splashes.

staining the cubes for the test tube vase

Step 5 – Add a line of hot glue about 2″ down from the top rim of the test tube. Place the test tube inside the cube to glue it in place.

attaching the test tube to the vase

Step 6 – Trim mounting strips to size if they are longer than the cubes. Mount the vases on the wall using 3M Command Strips (removes without damaging walls when you are ready for a change) and add your favorite real or artificial flowers. These vases are very light so the strips work great! Even if you are using fresh flowers, the command strips make it easy to take them off the wall and dump out the water.

easy DIY test tube vases on the wall

I decided to add 3 of these on the bathroom wall. They are so easy and quick to make. You should make as many as you like to fill an entire wall or gift to friends!

DIY test tube vases on the wall

Don’t they look pretty? Come follow along with the bathroom remodel on my blog as I share all the little and big projects that went into it!

If you love easy scrap wood projects, I have a whole bunch of them on my blog. Be sure to check them out!

~See more of Anika’s tutorials~

Also, you might love these simple and creative flower vase projects Brittany created:

These hanging beaded vases are my favorite!

DIY Reclaimed Wall Hook & Vase | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Reclaimed Wood Wall Vase

How to tile a fireplaceHow to Tile a Fireplace

Hello Pretty Handy Girl Readers! Sarah here from The Created Home. Today I’m sharing how you can update and customize your fireplace by doing your own tile work. Don’t be intimidated, tiling is actually quite accessible for DIYers, and once you get the hang of it you’ll be unstoppable. You may even find that you really enjoy it!

As with any DIY, especially one you are new to, you will need to read all the way through to make sure you are familiar with the process and always take proper safety precautions. Use ear and eye protection when you are using a tile saw. Read the manual for your tile saw and make some test cuts to get the feel for using it.

Note: This tutorial will not cover the grouting step. The tile I chose for this project was close together and did not require grout. I’ll cover that in more detail in just a bit. To learn how to grout, read Brittany’s tutorial on grouting and sealing tile.


(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.)

tiling supplies

How to Tile a Fireplace: Make a plan

Entire tutorials can be written about how to choose and plan out your tile. There are a LOT of options out there. Bear in mind that a patterned tile will require more work when laying out, as the pattern needs to be visible and centered in the space. Example: In this fireplace I would have loved to use a cement tile look, but the tiles I found were 8″ and the sides of the firebox only allowed for 6 ½” (which would have looked awkward with the designs I liked.)

Ugly Before Shot:

tile fireplace before

A second thing to keep in mind is that knowing the square feet to be covered is only half the battle. Chances are you’ll have a number of small pieces to cut which will render some part of each tile unusable. It’s a good rule of thumb to always get 10 – 15% more tile than you need.

Once you have the tile you will need to plan your layout. Where will a row have to be ripped to fit? Where will the pattern repeat? What order will the tile need to be applied? For this project my husband and I spent just as much time making the plan as actually installing the tile.

Get to work:

For this project we chose to tile over existing tile, which was far simpler than removing what was there (even with the poor shape it was in.) If your tile doesn’t have adhesion issues this may be a great route for you. We tested the waters [tile] here and found that the damage to the existing tile was superficial, albeit highly unattractive.

damaged tile fireplace

Once you have a game plan it’s time to make your first cut. A tile saw (or wet saw) cuts much like a table saw, but it needs a constant source of water to keep the blade cool and the dust down. Keep a pail of water on hand to refill the saw as needed. Some tile saws can be hooked up to a water source via a hose.

tile saw wet saw

You will be covering the edges where the tile runs into the wood mantle surround with some sort of trim, so it’s not important that you are dead on with every cut fitting perfectly against that edge. This is also useful if you run into issues with things being out of square (which happens frequently). You can see in the photo below the tile does not fit snuggly, or uniformly along the far sides.

How to Tile a Fireplace

Using a Wet Saw: a few tips

I recommend using a tile saw rather than a snap cutter (which just doesn’t work very well). It can be intimidating at first, but go slow, use caution, and follow some basic rules to ensure a professional looking, safe job.

The first rule, is to keep those fingers away from the blade. Make your cuts slow and steady. Water should be flowing around the blade constantly as you gently push the piece through. You can avoid chipped ends by pushing the piece through very, very slowly as you reach the end, being careful not to force the blade. Too fast and the corner of your tile will likely chip off.

wet saw tile saw fireplace

Use your fence to make sure your cuts are straight. You may have to trim off ends if you tile is staggered, as ours was. Place the trimmed end to the outside, where it will be covered with molding.

How to Tile a Fireplace

How to Tile a Fireplace: adhering the tile

Tile adhesive comes either pre-mixed or in powder form. Pre-mixed is great for small jobs like a fireplace, but either route is fine. Use the notched trowel to spread the adhesive on the back of the tile piece, covering the entire back.

how to tile

The notches will leave tracks, like so:

how to tile

Position the tile where you want it and push firmly, wiggling it around a bit so those tile tracks fill and the tile is firmly adhered along every point to the fireplace.

how to tile a fireplace

If you are grouting between your tiles you will use spacers around each piece. The pieces we used required being set close together to mimic the look of the “preset” tiles. We used the adhesive to fill any small gaps that did show. Again, be sure to check out Brittany’s grouting tutorial if you plan to use grout.

how to tile a fireplace

Continue adding the tiles to the desired pattern. Be sure to account for how your final row will fit, as it will in all likelihood require cutting the tile crossway to fit correctly. The good news is you will be able to hide the seam at the top with some molding.

tiling over existing tile - How to Tile a Fireplace

This fireplace required tile down on the hearth as well, which meant notching around the mantle. To make those cuts be sure you are cutting the tile face up and draw lines to help guide your cuts. The blade will undercut a bit farther than your top cut, but it will be hidden underneath. You’ll quickly discover that most lines are not square, and probably have a gap something like this. Use some caulking to seam it all together and it will look just fine.

tiled hearth

Finishing the Fireplace: adding trim

Molding completes the finished product and hides those seams. Quarter round is a great option for the fireplace. Paint the molding to match the mantle. Attach by driving brad nails through the quarter round at an angle so it goes into the hearth. Caulk around the molding for a seamless look.

fireplace molding

Bonus Content: wrapping the hearth

The front of the hearth here had tile, and I decided the better look would be to wrap it in wood instead to tie it into the white of the mantle and break up the tile a bit. It’s the same look I created when we redesigned our own fireplace.

how to tile a fireplace

To create this look you will need a piece that is the same width as the height of the hearth front inclusive of the tile you just added. If you are lucky you won’t have to rip a piece down to fit.

The sides of that front can be square cut or mitered. To miter the front, cut one end at a 45 degree angle. I prefer to use the saw’s bevel function to get this cut nice and straight.

bevel cut

Place the piece against the front of the hearth and line up where it will sit.

miter cut hearth front

Mark the other end where the short end of the 45 will sit. This is easier and more accurate than simply measuring.

marking cut

It also helps to sketch the angle of your cut while the wood is in place to ensure you don’t cut the wrong way (it’s easy to do).

How to Tile a Fireplace

Cut 45˚ for the side pieces, then measure and make the 90 degree cuts. You can easily cut those back to fit, so cut a little at a time. Paint the molding. Attach by finish nailing the angles together, and then either nail or glue it to the face of the hearth. We used construction adhesive and clamps, letting them sit overnight.

Stand back and enjoy your hard work!

how to refinish a fireplace with tile

As you can see, not only are there a lot of options for refinishing a fireplace, there are a ton of options for tile itself. Tiling is a great way to go that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Our cost for this fireplace was just over $100.

When we started, this fireplace was far from the focal point of the home, as you can see . . .

fireplace before

. . .and here’s the dramatic finished look.

How to Tile a Fireplace

Now it’s your turn! Put those tiling skills to work and tile it up! In no time at all you’ll be chatting with company and casually mention, “Oh yes, the fireplace. did that. No big thing.” And don’t forget to share your before and after photos so we can all admire the transformation with you.

Happy tiling!

~See More of Sarah’s Projects~

Check out these other posts to up your tiling game!


Green and purple hydrangeas in rustic wood trough. Build Your own Rustic Trough Centerpiece tutorial.

How to Build a Trough Centerpiece for less than $10!!!Build Your Own Wood Trough Centerpiece

Wood trough centerpieces are very popular right now and for good reason! They will work with any seasonal decor. Add grass and eggs and you have instant spring decor. Add sunflowers and you have just decorated your table for summer. Add pumpkins or dried hydrangeas for a pretty fall centerpiece. And for the holidays, tuck in pine boughs and pine cones.

Build Your Own Trough Centerpiece

But, if you’ve ever tried to buy a wood trough, you probably noticed the prices can be upwards of $50 or more. That’s hogwash! Let’s Build Your Own Trough Centerpiece for less than $10!


Cut list:

  • 2 – 1″x 6″ x 32″
  • 2 – 1″ x 6″ x 3 ½”
  • 1 – 1″ x 4″ x 36″ (we will cut this to size during the tutorial.)


Cut your lumber to the dimensions above. Leave your 1″ x 4″ for now.

Cut Pieces for Rustic Wood Centerpiece trough.

Set up the sides of your trough and one end around the base piece (1″ x 4″ x 36″).

Dry fit wood box pieces together.

Set the second end on top of the base and mark where to cut the base piece to fit inside the sides and ends of the trough. Cut the base to size.

Mark cut line with pencil on trough bottom.

You should now have two long sides, two ends, and a base.

Cut trough pieces

Run a line of wood glue along the bottom of the sides and ends where it will meet the base.

Add wood glue along bottom edges of sides.

Set the sides and end pieces around the base and clamp in place.

Clamp box pieces together.

Nail the sides into the end pieces.

Nail sides of trough together.

Nail the sides into the base piece.

Nail sides to bottom piece.

Optional, use a planer or rough sandpaper to round the edges of your trough.

Shave off clean corners for rustic look.

Sand the trough smooth.

Sand smooth.

Congratulations, your trough centerpiece build it complete! That wasn’t hard was it?

Finished trough build.

Leave your trough raw. Or stain and paint it to give it a rustic look by following my video tutorial below!

Dry brush Fusion paint.

Add some flowers or seasonal decor and put your trough centerpiece on your table (or mantel or anywhere you want to display it.)

Do you like this trough centerpiece? What would you display in your’s?

I’ll be back later with a full tutorial on how I create the perfect aged and distressed look on my trough. See ya’ later alligator!

If you liked this tutorial, I know you’ll love this collection of 71 Practically Free Scrap Wood Projects!

71 Practically FREE Scrap Wood Projects


Pin for later!

DIY Tile Centerpiece

The holiday season is just around the corner, and there’s nothing quite like time spent with your friends and family gathered around the table. I know sometimes it’s all you can do to produce a delicious spread for your guests – details like a fancy tablescape are asking too much. Lucky for you, this DIY tile table centerpiece is the perfect solution for creating a gorgeous centerpiece that is easy to decorate and switch up for whatever occasion gathers your friends and loved ones around the table.


(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.)

tile centerpiece supplies

(That material list may seem long, but hopefully you’ll have a few things laying around already. And luckily, most of the materials are inexpensive.)


Step 1: Layout your tile on the 1/4″ plywood and trace around the perimeter to mark your desired size centerpiece. (I used 6″ x 6″ ceramic tile and 1/8″ spacers.) You can use any type of tile, but cement tile would look fantastic here! Cut the plywood to size using your table saw or circular saw.

Step 2: Seal the plywood with polyurethane or other varnish.

Step 3: Apply the Mirror, Marble & Granite Glue to the back of your tiles. (Typically mortar is used to set tiles, but adhesive is less messy and perfectly fine for this application.) Do not use regular construction adhesive as it may stain or seep through the tiles.

Press the tiles firmly in place, separating with tile spacers. Let the adhesive cure for about 24 hours.

Step 4: Time to grout the tile. Follow the instructions on your grout container to mix grout to the desired consistency (usually like thick peanut butter.)

Spread the grout over the tiles. To get the grout into the space between the tile use plenty of grout and hold your float at a 45 degree angle.  Scrape the float across the face of the tiles, packing the grout into the seams. Follow Brittany’s tutorial for grouting tiles if want to see a video tutorial.

Step 5: Wait 10 minutes for the grout to set, then gently wipe off the excess grout with a damp sponge. Be careful not to wipe the grout out of the seams.

Step 6: After about two hours clean up the haze on the tiles with a damp rag or cheesecloth. Continue wipe down the tiles until they are clean.

Step 7: Cut the decorative moulding pieces to fit around the sides of your tiled plywood tray. (Stain or paint the moulding pieces per your style.)

Adhere the wood moulding around the border of your plywood using construction adhesive.

Use clamps to hold the pieces in place while the adhesive cures.

Use grout sealer per the instructions on the packaging to seal your tiles and grout.

Step 8: Put the tile centerpiece on your table and decorate it up!

Obviously, this centerpiece can be easily customized to whatever look and size you like. Maybe consider one row of larger size tiles instead of a double row. Or a mosaic of smaller tiles would look amazing.

Besides looking attractive, tile makes for a good place to place hot dishes and protect your table top.

Pin this idea to share or to store for later:

That’s it! Be sure to share pictures if you make one for yourself. Thanks for reading, and happy entertaining!

~See More of Sarah’s Tutorials ~


DIY Burlap Bulletin Board

How to make a DIY burlap covered bulletin boardDIY Burlap Bulletin Board

Hello, Pretty Handy readers! I have a quick and fun project for you today! We’re going to make DIY Burlap Bulletin Boards together, hooray!

I love displaying pictures around the house, but sometimes I don’t have enough frames. Then there are the frames I have with broken glass. In the spirit of not throwing anything away (and finding a way to upcycle everything), I turned one of those glass-less frames into a burlap bulletin board. And it looks perfect next to my Ikea Ivar cabinet hack  and DIY mail organizer.

Ready to learn how to make this easy DIY Burlap Bulletin Board? Great, let’s go!


(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 to make the burlap covered cork board



Step 1: Cut cork to the size of the cardboard backing in your picture frame. Glue it onto the cardboard using spray adhesive.

Add cork roll to make a DIY cork board

Step 2: Cut burlap fabric 2 inches wider than your cork on all sides. Attach burlap on top of the cork using hot glue to secure the burlap to the back of the cardboard backing.

Attach burlap on rok to make a burlap covered bulletin board

Step 3: Place the burlap bulletin board into the frame.

How to make a cork bulletin board

Feel free to add a little more character by stenciling a pattern on one side. (I chose to use red and gold craft paint to bring out the gold thread in my burlap fabric.

Adding stencils on burlap covered bulletin board

That’s the easy way to create a DIY Burlap Bulletin Board!

Use your bulletin board to display picture, notes and reminders. Personally, I use it to pin school calendars instead of letting them get buried in the pile of other papers.

Make a burlap covered corl board with this easy tutorial

Until next time!

~ View more of Anika’s DIY Tutorials ~

Like this idea? You’ll also love Brittany’s idea of using a magnetic sheet to create a magnetic board instead of a cork board.

DIY Magnetic bulletin board

And be sure to check out Katie’s PB Knock Off Monogram Bulletin Board:

PB Knock Off Monogrammed Bulletin Board