diy french cleat

I am going to teach you how to securely hang heavy objects on the wall with a board and a few screws. Using a French Cleat has been a tried and true method for hanging heavy objects and is used by professional cabinet makers and DIYers alike. It can be incorporated into the item being built or added after the fact.

DIY French Cleat

How to Make a French Cleat

What is a French Cleat?  A French Cleat is a board or molding with a 30°-45° bevel cut attached to the wall along with a corresponding beveled board or molding attached to the object to be hung on the wall. That sounds a little confusing but check out the diagram below and it will all make sense. First let’s grab a few supplies.

DIY French Cleat


(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″ x 3″ board or 3/4″ plywood strip (3″ minimum width)
  • 2″ screws



Step 1:

Measure the length that you need your French cleat to be. Typically a french cleat is the length of the item to be hung on the wall and spans the length of at least 2 studs in the wall that the item will be secured to.

Step 2:

Adjust your table saw or circular saw to a 30°-45° bevel and rip your board along the center. (For tips on using a table saw safely, read this article.)

Step 3:

Secure the top piece of the cleat to the item to be hung (see diagram shown below). This can be done with pocket-holes, glued under a shelf, or with screws to the back of the item. (You may want to pre-drill your holes to avoid splitting the wood.)

DIY French Cleat

Step 4:

Choose the height at which you want to hang the item on the wall and mark where the bottom cleat will be placed. Mark the studs that the cleat will be screwed into and secure the cleat to the wall using wood screws and a level in the orientation shown above. (Again, you may want to pre-drill your holes to avoid splitting the wood.)

Step 5:

Gently place the object above the wall cleat and lower until the two pieces are securely nested together.

Often times the weight of the object and the angle of the beveled cleat is enough to keep the object securely in place. But, if you’re worried about children lifting the item, you can add a screw through the hanging object into the cleat or a wall stud for peace of mind.

DIY French Cleat

And if you’re excited about using a French Cleat, you might like to make a headboard that is hung on the wall using a French Cleat!


This is a great tip for hanging cabinets on the wall as well. I hope you try your hand at making and using a French Cleat soon. Let me know how it goes!

Hi! I’m Kristen, from In Her Garage, and I am a self-taught woodworker and DIY fanatic from Minnesota where I live with my husband and our two daughters. Between being a wife, mom and, registered nurse, I try to make as much time for DIY as possible. My love for building came after our family built our current home in 2015. After we moved in, we needed furniture and instead of spending massive amounts of money to order the pieces we wanted I decided that I would build them myself. I started with a buffet table plan from the fabulous Ana-white and quickly set out to remodel my entire home office.

Since then I have started a side business building furniture for the people in my community. I love hearing my clients talk about the pieces they wish they had whether it be a rustic buffet table, a one drawer side table, or a toy box and then making it a reality for them. While starting my small business it made perfect sense that I would document my building journey so I simultaneously launched the In Her Garage blog and I love sharing my plans, tips and tricks.

Making something beautiful with your own two hands through a little preparation and determination is an amazing feeling and I hope to bring inspiration and know-how to those looking to tackle a big or small project.
I am so glad that you found me here and please feel free to connect with me on PinterestInstagram, Facebook, and Youtube to see what I am working on right now.



Does your tween or teen love to make things? Hands-on projects are a great way to help your kids stay creative, use problem-solving skills, and practice small motor skills. Read more to discover 30+ DIY Crafts Tweens Will Love!

30 crafts teens would love pinterest image

30+ DIY Crafts Tweens Will Love

DIY crafts for tweens are a great way to allow them to make something while keeping them away from those never-ending screens. Teens and tweens can make creative items as gifts for their family and friends or just a fun item to keep for themselves. These crafts will boost their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment as they create things that didn’t exist before. Check out these awesome ideas for more than 30 DIY Crafts Tweens Will Love.

These colorful DIY paracord bracelets are a fun project for tweens of any gender to make.


Using a ceramic mug and simple colorful sharpies, they can create these fun personalized Monogram mugs.


Use nails, thread, and a board to make this Custom String Artwork for their own bedroom decor or elsewhere.


Upgrade a pair of flip flops by using fabric to make these Scrappy Flip Flops in any color!


Do your kids like secret codes and messages? Have them make these Morse Code Bracelets for a friend.


Quick and easy, these Washi Tape Hair Pins can be made to match any outfit for any occassion.


Your tween will love holding their money and library card in this colorful Patterned Duct Tape Wallet.


Your tween can take a boring old vase and turn it into a beautiful DIY Glittered Vase.


Have your tween or teen practice their origami skills with these Folded Paper Bracelets.


Get them hemp twine and beads and let them create Beaded Wish Bracelets in any color or for all their friends.


They can create these adorable personalized Yarn Wrapped Cardboard Letters for them to display in their bedroom.


Practice their art skills by making these Beautiful Floral Ceramic Mugs using permanent markers.


Does your tween love to read? Have him or her make these DIY Tassel Bookmarks for a fun way to mark their progress in the book.


If your tween loves a boho style, show them how to create these easy-to-make Silk Wrap Bracelets.


They can keep track of all their fun summer outings by making this colorful DIY Summer Memory Journal.



Have your tween make a Personalized Dot Flower Pot for their favorite plant.


If you have seashells lying around, these colorful Puffy Paint Seashells would make great art for any tween or teen bedroom!


Find some vintage doilies and lace so they can create these Vintage Bohemian Doily Dreamcatchers.


A fun upgrade from elementary art, use multiple colors of paint and shading techniques to make some DIY Leaf Print Art. 


Have some white tennis shoes that just need a little color and sparkle? They can make these fun Decorated Tennis Shoes!


Fun to make AND throw, these Folded Paper Stars are a great project for a rainy day.


Use markers and an old t-shirt to create this fun DIY Science Tye Dye Shirt.


They may need a little assistance, but this DIY Kids Scooter would be something your tween would absolutely love!



Rock painting never gets old, especially when they can show their moods by creating fun Emoji Rock Paintings.


A little homemade room decor is always fun, have your tween create this DIY Yarn Pom Pom Garland.


If you have a bunch of crayon pieces laying around, have your tween make some Shaped Melted Crayons for a new fun coloring adventure.


Tweens may still like dolls, especially if they create a Make Your Own Monster Doll. 


Have your tween make these Glass Bead Magnets with their favorite characters or images to show off their personality.



If your tween is into animals, they might just love this DIY Log Bird Feeder and watching all the birds that will come to feast.


So many colors and options, have them customize their own DIY Tie Dye Shoes!


For back to school or just everyday fun, it’s easy for them to upgrade from boring pens and notebooks to Sparkly Office Supplies. 


They may need some assistance to make this, but they will certainly love this DIY Headphone Stand. 


Teach them a few woodworking skills (assist please!) to make this unique Retro Phone Speaker for their room.


I hope your tween or teen really loved these ideas and found inspiration on how they can create something awesome! Comment and let me know what you (or they) think! Which is your favorite?

Hi, I’m Sheri from Hazel + Gold Designs. Here are a few fun stats about me: I like love chocolate and peanut butter (together of course.) If you like stats, I have been crocheting for about 16 years, crafting for 20, and woodworking for about 4 years. I found a passion in making and being creative and began documenting my projects online at Hazel + Gold Designs.

When not working on projects, I enjoy spending time with my husband, four children, perfect dog, and ornery cat. You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Read all of Sheri’s tutorials.

~Find more of Sheri’s projects here ~

Millies’ Remodel has come to the point where it’s time to start building back! Hooray. But, this means I need to pick out the final finishes. Want to see Millie’s main bathroom design board?

Millie’s Remodel: Main Bathroom Design

I find the process of creating a design board very helpful. It’s the easiest way to see how everything will work together and pinpoint anything that might not fit with the desired design style.

Before I show you the design board, I know I left you hanging for a month after we’d stripped everything down to the studs and installed new electrical, plumbing, and a new Trane HVAC unit. Now we have a clean slate for the bathroom.

framing opening and plumbing run between kitchen bathroom

You have to admit, it’s an improvement from the original bathroom. Especially because the toilet was ready to fall through the floor!  In case you forgot what it looked like when I bought the house, here’s a reminder. How could you forget that beautiful faux blue marble vanity top? Yuck.

If you’re wondering where I was for a month, I had three trips from mid-December to mid-January. Although normally I get homesick if I travel more than once in a month, it was nice spending time with my boys, my husband, my sister, and a few friends. First, we flew across the country and beyond for a vacation trip to Hawaii over Christmas. We had a fabulous time swimming with sea turtles, whale watching, and witnessing all the beauty along the Road to Hana, and a sunset view from Haleakala in Maui. Then we flew to the big island and had our minds blown touring Volcano National Park. We capped off the trip with a stop in San Jose to see my sister, my nieces, my brother-in-law, and my mom! There’s nothing like family to make you laugh until you are crying.

After being home for a week, I took a quick trip to Hilton Head, SC to tour the HGTV Dream Home. You can see parts one and two of the tour.

Finally, I flew back west for a week to attend the International Builder Show in Las Vegas. I’ve never been to this show but it was amazing, overwhelming, and exhausting all at the same time. But enough about my travels, today I want to show you the finishes I’m contemplating for Millie’s main bathroom.

Mid-Century Style

I knew Millie deserved a mid-century modern vibe given her age (and the popularity of this design trend.) To tell you the truth, I’d never designed anything with MCM in mind. To familiarize myself with this more minimal design style, I searched “Mid-Century Modern” images in Pinterest and started creating a design file for Millie’s Remodel.

After delving deep into the Mid Century pin world, I began to put together elements for the bathroom.

(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.)


Over Mirror Light | Black Modern Door LeverGold Tub Shower Fixtures | Lighted Mirror | Graphic Cement Floor Tile | Beveled Subway Tiles | Dresser

What do you think about the finishes I picked for the bathroom? I’m loving the combination of warm colors. The light fixture and lighted mirror from Kichler will add some much needed soft light in the bathroom.

Can I tell you about those subway tiles? I couldn’t find an exact source link for those tiles because I purchased them at my local Habitat ReStore! And boy did I get a steal on them! I paid $8 per box meaning I paid 71 cents per square foot! The vanity I chose is a dresser I plan to transform into a vanity by adding a sink and modifying the drawers to fit around the plumbing. I can’t wait to show you how to transform a dresser into a vanity.

Finally, let’s talk about the star of the bathroom. Those tiles! The Vegas 3 Lili Cement Tiles can be installed in several patterns, but I liked this houndstooth style pattern. Of course, a regular doorknob wouldn’t be fitting for a mid-century modern house, so I’m excited to install those flat black Latitude door levers by Schlage.

I’m dying to know if you like the mood board for Millie’s main bathroom. Anything you’d change?

P.s. Lili Cement Tile, Schlage, and Kichler are sponsors of the Millie’s Remodel project. I am so grateful for their support of this project.

A special thank you to the Millie’s Remodel Sponsors:

The Millie’s Remodel project sponsors have donated materials for the Millie’s Remodel project. As you know I am very particular about the brands I work with and recommend. As a general contractor, I choose the products used on my projects wisely to make sure they last a lifetime. Therefore, I have no reservations putting my name behind each and every one of these sponsors.

millies remodel sponsors logos
social media image 26 ways to decorate with red white and blue

Creative Ways to Decorate with Red, White, and Blue

July 4th is right around the corner. If you like to decorate for the 4th, try using red, white, and blue primary colors to give a patriotic vibe to your home. Red, white, and blue are also perfect for a classic and bright style. This trio of colors enable you to use different prints and textures together. Here are 26 creative ways to decorate with red, white and blue!

Red and Blue Star Pillows are great decorations and they look wonderful year-round.


Add blue to your kitchen with this Quick Cutting Board Makeover.


Red File Cabinet Makeover using Chalk PaintThis File Cabinet Makeover using Chalk Paint is a gorgeous way to add red to your room.


Fingerprinted Envelope Star PillowThese Fingerprint Star Pillows rock the muted red and blue. Plus, the piping adds some elegance.


made in usa star shirtsDecorate yourself as much as your home with these Made in USA Star Shirts.


 refinished furniture in blue tones

Learn to Update Furniture Like a Pro using paint in blue tones, glaze, and wax.


Who says you can’t stain a bed blue! Learn how to make this awesome loft bed.


Pine Aqua Dresser MakeoverGive your Pine Dresser a Blue Aqua makeover to breathe new life into old furniture.


Add Colors to an Old Dresser by painting just the drawer fronts. For something extra see what was done to the sides.


tub storage benchMake a useful Red Tub Storage Bench to brighten up any room and provide extra storage.

faux cross stitch tea towelMake this Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towel
 to add red and white accents to your farmhouse kitchen.


Create a fun Reading Nook for your kids using these primary blue and white striped curtains and accent with red tones.


backlit bookcaseMake this Blue Bookcase and learn how to add some backlighting for a cool effect at night.


red hand painted monogrammed ornamentsUse a little red ribbon to add a special touch to these Hand-Painted Monogrammed Ornaments.


Patriotic Denim Bunting TutorialThis Patriotic Denim Bunting Tutorial is great for summertime when you’re going for a festive red, white, and blue theme.


hanging bead flower vasesUse different elements like red and white flowers, plus blue beads to make Hanging Beaded Glass Flower Vases.


Make a decorative red barn doorA Red Decorative Barn Door can stay up all year-round and be decorated with a variety of seasonal decor items.


Patriotic Summer MantelDuring summer use this amazing red, white and blue Decorative Patriotic Mantel for inspiration.


twig star decorationsMake your own whimsical White Twig Star Decorations.


Blue Bench CushionUse blue fabrics to update your furniture with this tutorial to make a Bench Cushion With Piping.


diy art summer blueMake your own Blue DIY Art with this fun paper and the sun!


wool roses on a stemRed Wood Roses on a Stem can add a red accent anywhere in your home.


blue window resin artPaint an old window in a tone of blue to create this Dream Big Butterfly Window to your wall decor.


DIY Decorative MushroomsAdd small elements of red to your plants like little Red Decorative Mushrooms.


dry erase message board from a cabinet doorUse red when upcycling a cabinet door into a Dry Erase Message Board.


Don’t let winter stop you, create a garden flag using red, white, and blue fabric paint on a placemat. Create your own design  patriotic design!

Remember to pin this image to refer to later and please share on social media!

Check out these 26 creative ways to decorate with Red, White and Blue for some inspiration for bold and bright home decor.

Other posts you may be interested in:

Decorating Ideas for an Outdoor Garden PartyOutdoor Garden Patio Party Decorating Ideas | Pretty Handy Girl


How to Decorate Series: Color Harmony in DecoratingHow to Choose Color Harmonies | Pretty Handy Girl

Hi, I’m Sheri from Hazel + Gold Designs. Here are a few fun stats about me: I like love chocolate and peanut butter (together of course.) If you like stats, I have been crocheting for about 16 years, crafting for 20, and woodworking for about 4 years. I found a passion in making and being creative and began documenting my projects online at Hazel + Gold Designs.

When not working on projects, I enjoy spending time with my husband, four children, perfect dog, and ornery cat. You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Read all of Sheri’s tutorials.

~Find more of Sheri’s projects here ~

makita-girls-2015-WhatIt’s 2018, and I’m Still Wondering Where are the Real Makita Girls?

Back when I first published this post, I never thought I’d be resurrecting it from the archives. Then Simone Giertz shared this tweet and my anger and frustration at Makita boiled over again. The video Simone was referencing has been taken down by Makita, but here’s another upload of the Makita Girls behind the scenes video:

It’s been three years Makita, why are you still using the same tired marketing campaign? Your transparent attempts at finding spokeswomen who actually use power tools is laughable. My 14 year old son even pointed out that Miss Makita can’t actually build shelves with a sander. Sure, she can finish them with a sander, but any avid power tool user would not choose a sander as their favorite power tool (give me a recip saw or a sliding compound miter saw any day over a sander!)

In the three years that have passed since I was angered by Makita’s Miss and Senorita Makita campaign, I added four expensive power tools to my toolbox. And you know what? I consciously steered clear of the Makita brand because I don’t want to support a brand that objectifies women and doesn’t recognize that there are many of us that use power tools for more than “building shelves.”

Get it together Makita! It’s 2018, time to retire the women in bikinis and find a woman who gets her nails at the hardware store (not the salon.) There are so many women who can guide potential buyers to purchase tools based on their expert opinions. Let’s see this campaign retired or start searching for all the women makers, contractors and builders out there. Am I right?

This is my open letter to Makita in 2015:

Oh Makita, why did you have to go and do this?!

Makita announced its 2015 Makita Girls and where you can go to meet them. Initially, I reserved my opinion until I learned more about these new spokesmodels. But, after reading their bios, I was angered. Not a single mention of enjoying woodworking, building or carpentry. Where is the DIY love? What will they talk about at these appearances?  I’m disappointed that Makita would choose their spokesmodels for looks and not skills. And, I question their decision to maintain an advertising program that perpetuates the stereotype that only men use their tools.

Don’t they realize that they are alienating a huge growing market of DIY women? Would I have been offended if they selected an attractive woman who had Mad-DIY skills? Definitely not.

If they wanted beautiful women using tools, there is no shortage of kick ass female builders out there. This ever changing world of Do It Yourselfers is filled to the brim with amazing “Real Makita Girls.” Some of these women have the right to hold their Makita tools proudly. They can tell you the difference between a bevel and a miter; a cross cut vs. a rip cut and they know that brushless is a good thing and has nothing to do with long flowing locks of hair! These women choose quality tools that are strong enough to stand up to the current and future projects they are completing.

Am I angry? Yes! Am I going to stop using Makita tools? No, because frankly they make great tools. My Makita 10″ Compound Sliding Miter Saw is my baby:

Makita Girls | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s the first tool I’d truly cry over if it was stolen. This saw has been with me through 100’s of projects, a kitchen remodel and countless fixes. I have never had to adjust the laser or to square up the tool. It is a quality power saw made with aluminum and metal parts, not cheap plastic. But, despite my undying love for my Makita tools, their advertising tactics make me embarrassed to confess my love.

Do you want to help me change the search results right here and now? Let’s show Makita what a Real Makita Girl is. Please visit these accomplished builders and DIYers. Pin their images and title it “Real Makita Girl” or use the hashtag #RealMakitaGirls.

Makita Girls | Pretty Handy Girl
Sara Bendrick – Landscape Designer, Woodworker and DIYNetwork TV Host of I Hate My Yard

Makita Girls | Pretty Handy Girl
Kit – Blogger, Builder and Kick Ass DIYer at

Makita Girls | Pretty Handy Girl
Kim – Blogger, Builder and Creative Genius at

Hey, do you use Makita tools, too? If so, show me your…tools! (Email me pictures of yourself using your Makita tools, to PrettyHandyGirl (at) I’ll add your photo to this post.)  Let’s take over the search term “Makita Girls” and show them what a Real Makita Girl is!

#RealMakitaGirlsMary Hunnicutt another one of many #RealMakitaGirls

Cottage at the Crossroads #RealMakitaGirlsJane from Cottage at the Crossroads

In the meantime, I have to ask:

Makita, when you make awesome tools, why do you have to stoop to such slimy advertising tactics? The 1980’s called, and they want their tight spandex and scantily clad women back. Please remove the blinders and take notice of your growing customer base.  Women are shopping in the tool department. They are your consumers. They are smart and savvy. They want to purchase tools that will last. They want to hear about what makes a Makita tool great and why they should spend a little more to purchase a tool that won’t fall apart in a year or two.

A few weeks after this post was published in 2015: I spoke to Wayne Hart, the communications manager at Makita tools after this post initially published. We had a pleasant conversation and he seemed to understand my concerns about the Miss Makita and Senorita Makita models. I offered to let Mr. Hart make a statement to my readers but never heard back from him. In the meantime, the program has continued in 2016 and 2017, but I noticed that at least two of the models have used some of the tools outside the program. At least that’s some progress, right!? What do you think about tool companies continuing to use models as spokeswomen?


Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this post are my own. Sara, Kit, and Kim are DIY women I admire. They gave me permission to use their photos, but that doesn’t mean that they endorse what I have written in this post.