About HammerLikeAGirl

We are three Seattle friends who get together once a week to tackle a fun or daunting project. We believe that when women band together, anything is possible.

Fence Design

We keep noticing beautifully designed fences, arbors and outdoor space screens around our town. We see plenty of badly designed ones too, but thought you’d be more interested in the goodies!

Keep your eyes peeled for additions to this series as we discover more while we collect supplies for our next project.

We’d love to hear your opinions too. Don’t be shy ;)

Posted April 16, 2014

Sometimes simple is the most elegant – The black stain against the lime of the maple tree makes both colors more vibrant (and what about the fall colors!). It also illustrates a couple of design considerations: first how the plantings/foliage look with the color and design and secondly – stain, don’t paint! Whenever you can!

Fence stained black

Posted February 25, 2013

You know those fabulous slabs of tree you’ve squirreled away in your basement? I know some of you have them (and I am jealous). Here’s an idea to inspire your creative side – check this out! The wine garden fence designed by Marenakos Rock Center for the Seattle Flower and Garden Show 2013.

Marenakos Wood and Stone Fence

A Wood and Stone Fence

A powerful statement at 10-15 feet tall! Just to the right of this was the entry gate:

Marenakos Entry Gate


I love the design concept of getting lighter (visually), and more wild as the fence/arbor/entry goes up and the contrast between warm, polished wood against hewn, cold stone. Lighting was used to great effect, which my flash washed out (dang!), but you can still get a sense of it. The plants add softness and depth by being both in front of and behind the fence, tapping into our impulsive nature to spy inside. Isn’t it great?!

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Not Your Typical Organ Donation

One of our church friends called the other day, saying she just couldn’t bear to toss the last bits of the church organ they were replacing, and might we be interested in taking a look? How could we resist – (husbands roll eyes here, but they never read our posts so we’re safe ;)) We do confess though, (get it, church pun fun), we’re a little stumped as to what to do next…

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Make Gift Wrap from Old Books

We made several sheets of this gift wrap for the holidays and it was a hit, so here’s a quick how-to tutorial. Change the color scheme and it can work for any occasion throughout the year. GiftWrap_Box

Project: Sew pages of a book together with contrasting top-stitch thread and roll on ink with a brayer to create unique, recycled gift wrap. We used an old encyclopedia and pulled out pages that related to people’s interests – the music section for our musician friend, printing press section for our graphic designer friend, and the biography section for our literate friend. Continue reading

Handmade Holiday Market


We are excited to announce that we will be participating in Second Use Building Materials’ first-ever Handmade Holiday Market. It will be held Sunday, December 1st from 11am to 4pm at Second Use (3223 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA). Come visit us and see what we’ve been up to! We’ll have lots of holiday gifts and home accessories made from salvaged material – framed art, memo books, wrapping paper, lighting, tables, cupboards and more.

This Plus That Equals: a Side Table

Ten years ago, we made the mistake of planting 3 Leyland Cypress trees (too) close to our house. We wanted to create a screen between our house and our neighbors. The trees turned from a cute hedge that provided dappled shade and privacy, to a 40 ft dark forest that shaded out our entire backyard. Usually we are tree huggers, but in this case we turned into tree cutter-downers.

After we spent $600 to have the trees cut down, I thought the least we could do was to commemorate them with a small side table (a $600 side table).


Leyland Cypress slab left over from our logging project.



An old metal (maybe welding?) stand, picked up at RE-Store.



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Hammer Like A Girl at Northwest Home Magazine Today!


We are happy to say that we’ve been asked to post some of our favorite diy projects on Northwest Home Magazine. Go check out our latest – “Framing the Past”.

Shopping Trip (Hammer Like a Girl Style): Urban Reclamation, Seattle

Through NW Home Magazine we learned about a cool store called Urban Reclamation in the Georgetown area of Seattle. They are a company that features salvaged architectural lumber and components. In September, they will be moving their shop to the SODO area (Millwork Supply Building, 2225 1st Ave South, Seattle, Wa). We are looking forward to visiting them in their new space. Meanwhile, we took advantage of their sale and brought home these great treasures:

Spam of the Week

Everyone gets spam on their blogs, but because of the low volume of real mail on our blog, we actually read our spam. Because they are often hilarious, we are going to start sharing some of the more unusual/odd and sometimes inappropriate with you.

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Field Trip: Gum Wall in Post Alley, Seattle


We had the opportunity on July 4th to take a field trip to Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. We made time for a little detour to see the infamous Gum Wall in Post Alley. Across the alley from all the gum was a wall of great sticker/graffiti art. These aren’t the best pictures (they were taken with my phone) but hopefully show the great colors, patterns and vibrancy of the wall. Go visit if you have a chance, and leave your DNA behind, imbedded in a wad of gum! Continue reading

Hey, we won an award!

We are excited to say that last night we won “The Golden Prybar” award given by the DeCon ’13 Conference – sponsored by BMRA (Building Materials Reuse Association). The award was for Best of Show in presentation of projects showcasing the use of salvaged materials. It was one award among many, given to people who work in the deconstruction industry. It was fascinating to see the dedication of the individuals who work in this field.

Here’s our presentation board featuring some of our favorite projects using salvaged materials:


Here’s us winning the award:


Here’s us with that enviable Golden Prybar:


Here’s Monica drinking a beer:


And here’s Mary Jean wishing everyone peace:


A very cool side benefit was that the ceremony took place at the greenest building in the worldThe Bullitt Center. We didn’t have the full tour, but snapped some pictures of the some of the interesting architectural features. It is an amazing building that we are lucky to have here in Seattle.