Looking for a last-minute holiday craft you can do with your kids (or alone in your own quiet spot)? How about a fir tree pegboard! This is a festive, fun project you can make in an evening.

Plywood tree with

How to Make a Fir Tree Pegboard

There are so many fun ways to use this pegboard tree! We’ve made a dino tree, a wino tree, and have big plans for a charcuter-tree (a.k.a. a vertical tree-shaped meat and cheese tray). I imagine even the Elf will find a “shelf” or two to relax on over the next few weeks. When the holidays are over, this tree can shed its twinkle lights and function as a nature-themed table display or become a donut tree! What are your creative ideas for this pegboard? Leave a comment below!


  • 1/2” plywood (only need a 2X2-foot piece)
  • 1/2” dowel at 5 feet long
  • 2×6 at 7 inches
  • Paint (optional but not recommended)

(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: Determine the desired size of your fir tree peg board. I wanted something 2 feet tall and approximately 2 feet wide at the base with a 7-inch stump at the bottom. Using a table saw or a circular saw, trim down your plywood to a square or rectangular that will fit the outline of your tree. If you purchase plywood from your local hardware store, you can ask them to cut it down to your specifications.

Step 2: With your plywood cut, determine how far apart you want your peg holes. Mine are spaced 2 inches apart from the center of each hole. Unpro tip: If you make the dimensions of your plywood section evenly divisible by the distance between the holes (for example, 24 inches wide with 2-inch hole spacing, or 21 inches wide with 3-inch hole spacing), this process is a breeze. If not, be prepared to do some 8th grade level math. Use a pencil to mark the hole spacing along each edge of the plywood, then use a straight edge to connect the marks from side to side.

Step 3: You should have a grid on your 1/2” plywood. If you are artistically inclined, use a pencil to freehand sketch the shape of a tree, starting from the center point at the top. The intersection of each grid line is where you will place a 1/2” hole, so plan the edges of your tree accordingly. Of course, you always have the option of omitting holes too close to the edges. If you aren’t artistically inclined, make a guide by drawing a triangle from the center at the top and down to each bottom corner.

Then sketch the tree branches following the lines on each side. I made a stump at the bottom because my son couldn’t fathom a flat bottom tree (dramatic gasp!). I am NOT a gifted sketcher, but doing it this way was nearly foolproof. Alternatively, a simple triangle pegboard could make a stunning minimalist tree and I love that for those of you who are overwhelmed by the thought of drawing and then cutting fir tree branches.

Step 4: Now for the tools. Both of my kids are notorious for following me into my workshop dungeon and I encourage it! But we have strict rules to keep everyone safe.

Rule number one is that no matter which tools we are using, everyone wears properly fitted (i.e. kid-sized) ear and eye protection. This creates good habits from an early age and prevents those “whoops!” moments when you use the miter saw for “just a quick second” and now everyone’s ears are ringing. A quick hearing fact for the DIYers with kiddos: 1 in 6 school-aged in the children in the US suffers from noise-induced hearing loss. This is permanent hearing loss that can impact their social development and academic success and will ultimately need to be treated with hearing aids to offset the increased risk of early on-set dementia. Take a moment to let that sink in. This is why I am so cautious with my kids around loud tools (not to mention at loud events and on airplanes). My kids wear hearing protection made specifically for children. We use Wise Little Ears hearing protection from an audiologist and educator-owned company. In full disclosure, I am the educator half of this mom-owned business! We assure each pair is high quality and comes with guidance for how and when to use them. If you have children, I hope you’ll look into our Wise Little Ears protective products for your little ones.

Now, with your safety gear on, clamp the plywood to a sturdy surface and use a jigsaw to cut out the shape of the tree on one side, then on the other side. Go slowly and make extra cuts to get into tight turns. Save the scraps, you’ll use them for branch-looking shelves later.

Step 5: You should have the outline of your tree with gridlines. Using a pencil, make a mark at all the intersections that are not close to an edge. Remember that the peg holes will be a 1/2” in diameter, so they need a little space. Skip any hole that is too close to the edge. Using a drill, make small pilot holes at each mark. Pilot holes are optional, but they help guide the forstner bit.

(Drill press not necessary, a hand held drill would work fine.)

Then, using a sharp 1/2” forstner bit, place the center of the bit into the pilot hole, drilling slowly at first, then speeding up through the plywood and out the back. When all the holes are drilled, lightly sand both sides of the plywood with 180-220 grit sandpaper to clean up and remove the pencil lines. Then lightly sand the edges and the bottom to remove splinters or sharp edges.

Step 6: To make a stand for your pegboard, cut a 2×6 the length of the bottom of your tree or stump and make a deep groove (also called a dado) through the middle of the 2×6 that is the same thickness of the plywood. You can do this with a router and a 1/2” strait bit (be sure to clamp your wood for a hand held router. Alternatively, you can use a table saw.

To use a table saw, set the blade depth to about one inch so that when you pass the 2×6 flat over the blade, it cuts a channel instead of cutting all the way through the wood. Set the saw fence to the middle of the 2×6 (this doesn’t have to be exact) and make your first pass over the blade. Turn the saw off, move the fence over slightly less than the width of the blade (typically 1/8”), then run your board in for another pass. Continue this process, checking the width of the groove after each pass with a scrap piece of the tree cutout, until the channel is the same thickness as the plywood. It is important that the tree fits snugly into the base, otherwise the tree will tip to one side or the other.

If you went big with the size of your tree, like REALLY BIG, you will need to modify the base to make it sturdier. For example, if your tree is in the 2-to-3-foot range, a 2×6 will work. Tree peg boards that are larger than 2-3 feet wide will need a larger base or create additional feet on the front and back.

Step 7: Now it’s time to make your shelves and cut your pegs! Collect your leftover plywood scraps and determine which pieces would make good shelves. A good shelf must be longer than the distance between at least two peg holes and have a flat side that will sit flush against the tree. I picked the longest sections with interesting, branch like curves. If you didn’t manage to get anything that fits this description, you can use your jigsaw to create a shape in any piece with at least one flat side. Or, if you prefer, you can cut standard 90 degree shelves.

Cut your pegs according to the depth of your shelves. The pegs should extend to the edge of the shelf for more stability. Cut a few long pegs to hang wine glasses and short pegs to hang coffee mugs, ornaments, or to string lights.

Optional step: Paint. Here’s the thing about paint and peg boards. Painted surfaces, especially with sheen, will stick together. There is also a good chance that a painted peg will fit not fit into painted hole because paint adds thickness to both surfaces, making the pegs slightly bigger and the holes slightly smaller. The easiest solution is to leave the tree and pegs completely unfinished. But if that’s not an option for you, your kids, or your wine glass, here are a few suggestions:

  • Pick a paint with a matte finish so there is less stick.
  • Don’t paint the pegs OR the inside of the holes. Unpainted pegs and hole edges would look fun!
  • Thin out the (matte) paint and do a paint wash.
  • Sand the pegs and the holes. This is a risky option because if you sand too much, the pegs won’t be tight in the holes and if you don’t sand enough, they won’t fit.
  • Use a sponge to make a textured accent rather than a solid coat of paint.

And there you have it! A fun festive project with endless options. Remember to check out Wise Little Ears for more information on protecting your little builder’s ears.

Build scrappy and be safe!

~See More of Lara’s Tutorials~

Looking for a simple and fun craft to do with the kids? These melted crayon hearts are just the thing. Make them for Valentine’s or just to reuse old broken crayons.

Melted Crayon Heart Valentines

After the abundance of candy and cookies consumed over the holidays, I cringe at the idea of more sweets finding their way into our home. Especially candy with artificial colored dyes added. Valentine’s Day and Halloween are the two holidays where I have to brace myself for the inevitable influx of dye-laden candies. I don’t have concrete proof, but I’m fairly certain that one of my sons has a dye sensitivity. This sensitivity manifests itself in behavior issues.

Because of this, I try to make Valentines that don’t use candies. Years ago, I made these Melted Crayon Heart Valentines! They were a big hit with the kids. This year my boys are too old for swapping Valentine’s (and they are enrolled in virtual school until the Fall), but I thought this would be a fun craft for those of you with little ones looking for easy crafts to fill the time.

How to Make Melted Crayon Heart Valentines


(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.)


  1. Start by collecting all those broken crayons (or sacrifice some worn down ones.)
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Peel the labels off all the crayons.
  4. Break the crayons into small pieces.
  5. Optional: Separate into colors if you want to create monotone heart crayons
  6. Fill the bottom of the muffin tin with the broken crayons.
  7. Place in 300F oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Once the crayons are liquified, remove them carefully from the oven.
  9. Set out to cool for about 15-20 minutes.
  10. Pop them out of the tins and glue to cardstock for Valentine’s or let the kids color with them.

We attached them using Elmer’s glue dots to cards that said “For Crayon Out Loud, Won’t You Be My Valentine.”

Kelly added some glitter to her crayon hearts:

And Heather of Whipperberry paired her melted crayon hearts with these adorable Valentines using a cutting die:

Want another candy-free Valentine idea? Make these adorable “You Rule” Valentines:

You Rule Valentines | Pretty Handy Girl

Now tell me, how are you all doing? Made it through 2020? I hope you are having a happy new year so far.

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Skip the candy with these DIY melted crayon valentines from Pretty Handy Girl! | DIY Valentine's Day gifts #holidaygifts #prettyhandygirl

DIY fabric tile coasters

DIY Fabric Tile Coasters

Hello! How are we all doing?

The holidays may look a lot different this year, but the same sentiments and traditions are still here. If you have a tradition of making handmade holiday gifts, I have the perfect craft for you today! These DIY fabric tile coasters are a cinch to put together and you can customize them with any fabric you like.

This project is not only easy, it’s inexpensive too. Pick up square tiles from a home improvement store for as little as 15 cents. Then grab some fabric scraps to make these coasters come together.

I’m sharing the full tutorial plus some tips on making your coasters waterproof! So, let’s get started.

How to Make DIY Fabric Tile Coasters


(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: Cut Fabric to Size

The first thing you need to do is cut your fabric to size. I tried this many different ways and by far the best looking option is to cut them slightly smaller than the tile. This will leave a small white border around the top of the coaster but it will look neater. Plus, it is much easier to apply this way.

Use a rotary cutter to get the neatest cuts, but if you don’t have one, use a pair of very sharp scissors or fabric scissors.

Step 2: Apply Fabric to Tile

Take your foam brush and paint a layer of Mod Podge onto the top of your tile. Then, apply your fabric square to the tile, Smooth out bubbles as you apply.

Once your fabric is aligned properly and smooth, apply another layer of Mod Podge on top of the fabric.

Set aside your tile coasters to dry.

Step 3: Waterproof and Seal your Coaster

Once your Fabric and Mod Podge fully dries, you will notice it feels a little stiff and tacky. Eventually, this will go away but if you don’t have time on your hands and you really want to waterproof them, you’ll need to seal them.

With any of these sealers, you want to spray outdoors or in an area with really good ventilation – as the fumes are pretty strong.

One way to seal them is to use an acrylic sealer spray from Mod Podge. You can buy this in gloss or matte. I only had matte on hand but I do think gloss is the way to go here.

Another sealer (which I haven’t personally tried yet) is called Engine Enamel. This is made by Rustoleum and is actually for cars! But I’ve heard it works here too. It will give a glossy finish to your coasters and protect them from water and heat.

Finally, a third option is to use resin. Resins can be more expensive than the first two options, so keep this in mind. EnviroTex Lite is a resin sold at Michael’s and other craft stores and gives your finished coaster a very high gloss, polished look. It’s really beautiful so if you are serious about your coaster making, this is definitely the winner here.

Step 4: Apply Cork to Bottom of Tile

After your coasters are dried and sealed, let’s finish the bottom. Tile squares can be a bit rough on the bottom, so we need to cover them.

I found these cork squares on Amazon and they fit perfectly! They are also sticky on one side, so you just need to peel off the back and apply.

Another option is to use felt squares and hot glue them to the bottom.

These coasters are easy to create and make wonderful handmade gifts – even for a hostess!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Enjoy this holiday season, even if it does look a bit different. 🙂

karen signature

~ See More of Karen’s Tutorials ~

karen from decor hintHello!  I’m Karen, the creator of the Home Decor and DIY Blog: Decor Hint. I’m a Native of the East Coast, but I currently live in beautiful Seattle with my hubby, our two wonderful children, and our spunky wheaten terrier.

You can usually find me with some sort of craft in one hand and a coffee in the other. And I’m always rearranging furniture or moving lamps from room to room. I have a passion (read: obsession) for decorating, DIY, and gardening. In short, I love making my house into a home.

Like many, I’m inspired by what I see in home decor magazines, but I’m not so inspired by the price tags.  Consequently, I love finding and creating beautiful budget-friendly home decor items. In a head to head competition, I bet you’d never know the difference between the designer items and my DIY creations!  Many of my DIY projects focus on sewing, crafting, upcycling, and organizing. Some of my favorite projects have been making pretty wreaths, sewing my own tassel hand towels, and crafting these trendy wood bead garlands. I can’t wait to inspire you and spark your creativity through my DIY projects.

You can always connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s amazing how serving food on a rustic tray can elevate your standard meal or dessert into an elegant occasion. This simple decorative rustic pallet serving tray is a simple project anyone can do!

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray

When I worked on a deck makeover with my sister, Caitlin (of Symmetry Designs), we shopped for a lot of the accessories ahead of time. She wanted me to find the perfect Bali-esque tray. Unfortunately I was coming up empty-handed. But, sometimes, you just have to DIY it! This Rustic Pallet Serving Tray was the brainchild of my sister, but I took her idea and ran with it.

Here’s how to make one for yourself.


(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.)


Fold a piece of paper into eights. Cut a design along the edge. (I used a simple scallop shape like this “}”.)

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

When you unfold the paper, you should have a paper template to use for tracing.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Trace the template onto a piece of thin plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a jigsaw or band saw to cut out the shape. You might find this tutorial helpful for cutting out intricate shapes.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay your plywood shape on top of the rustic boards. Move the boards around until you like the sections that will make up the tray. Mark a square around the shape with a ruler.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut the boards down to size using the pencil mark as a guide.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Dry fit the boards together on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Wet both the plywood shape and the boards with a damp rag.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Apply Gorilla Glue to the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the rustic boards into the glue on the plywood shape.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Weigh the boards down with weights or heavy books.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Allow to dry for at least an hour. Remove the weights and clamp the boards onto a work surface (with the area needing to be cut hanging over the edge. Make sure there is clearance for the jig saw blade. You’ll need to cut half the boards and then turn and re-clamp to cut the entire circumference. The Rockwell JawStand works beautifully for this task.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Draw a pencil line 1 inch out from the plywood shape. Cut around the pencil line with a jig saw.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Sand edges and grooves with sandpaper or Dremel Multi-Max.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the location of the handles on the tray.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill holes using a bit that is the same size as the handle screws.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip the tray over and drill countersink holes with a larger drill bit.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the handles with the screws. The screw heads should sink into the plywood.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you want a truly rustic look, lightly sand your handles.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are going to use your tray for food, use a plate or doily under the food.

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

What do you think? Do you like this beautiful rustic tray? Think you could make one? I bet you could!

Rustic Pallet Serving Tray | Pretty Handy Girl

You can see this tray and our Bali-inspired deck makeover here.


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This DIY Rustic Pallet Serving Tray is easy to create with a cutout pattern | Plank serving tray | Pretty Handy Girl #DIY #woodworking #DIYtray #servingtray #rustichomedecor

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


(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.)




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