Sun Sail DIY

This back yard was a disaster when we moved in. The picture below is from the listing, but it basically looked like this when we moved in. Some of the yard had been trimmed, and they left a pile of yard waste in the middle of the dried back lawn. 

This what the yard looked like before the sun sail project. We added the gazebo shortly after we moved in because it helps to shade the master bedroom which is west facing, and is not tied into the central air so it can get quite toasty in the summer. We also did a ton of pruning and weeding. We took down a lot of the white lattice work too. We have a plan for that wall, which is to eventually do horizontal boards across.

DIY Sun Sail

Supplies needed:

1″ Electrical conduit pole

conduit mounting pieces… I don’t know what they are called but you can see them in the base support we built.

Small and large rocks (sand too) | I used one bag gravel and two bags decorative rocks.

eye bolts for mounting | I needed one for the conduit pole and two for mounting to the house

wood scraps to built base support


pot or container to mount pole in (drill drain holes if you can)

sun sail | I chose a 12 x 12 x 12 , but measure your space to find the best fit.

carabiner clips


hack saw, jig saw, cordless drill, clamps, screwdriver, wood glue, ruler/ triangle, pencil

Building the base support:

We wanted the base support for the pole to be really sturdy so we built this brace piece to help support it. We cut two circles the same size and drilled holes in the middle (one hole slightly larger) to accommodate the conduit pole and mounting hardware. We glued the circles together and fastened the conduit pole pieces. We also made a rectangular base using scrap 2×4’s and drilled a hole in one to fit the pole.

Rigging the conduit pole:

The pole we bought was 10 feet tall, way too tall for the yard so we knew we had to trim it down. But first, we drilled the hole where we wanted the eye bolt to go. Pre-drill with a smaller drill bit first, then match the size of the bolt and drill. Use a hack saw to cut off the excess, in our case, we went with an 8ft pole. Sand down the pole to get rid of the rough bits.

Filling the base:

We placed a couple of cinder block and brick scraps in the base first. Here is where we think sand would be nice too. Didn’t think of it until after we had filled the base but the sand would really help fill in the smaller cracks. Use small construction gravel first and decorative river rocks on top of that.

Raising the sail:

The sail I bought came with some rope that we used initially to raise the sail, however we went with carabiner clips in the end to hold up the sail. Pre-drill holes with a drill bit and then install the eye bolts. Tie temporary into place to get the sail up and then make adjustments. When you are satisfied with the placement, use the carabiner clips to secure the sail.

pro tip: use a screw driver to help screw in the eye bolt.


How to transform an old chandelier

So this chandelier was here when we moved in, but you can find it at Home Depot. It’s really nothing special, they call it a bronzy color at the Home Depot, its really just brown. I did a little online window shopping to see what was out there and didn’t want to pay a couple hundred dollars for a new chandelier when I could spend $4 on Amazon on a can of spray paint to change the appearance of this one.

How to transform an old chandelier


With the help of my dad, we removed the chandelier, pulled the wiring through the chain and I cleaned it with some isopropyl alcohol. I washed the shades with soap and water.


The next step is to tape it really well since you’ll be spray painting it. Tape both the sockets for the light bulbs and the wires.


Find an well ventilated area, thats protected from the elements. I was able to use my shed. Use light short bursts of paint to start covering the chandelier. Don’t worry if its not all coated at once. Plan on multiple coats.

Touch up and dry:

We strung up the chandelier in the shed to allow to dry and reach the more challenging places to paint.

Once the paint was really dry (give it a day or two if you can), we fed the wires back through the chain and re-hung it.


It’s a little difficult to tell that its navy when the lights are one, but its considerably better than that brown color. It will look even better when I paint the walls a nice driftwood gray!

House Number DIY


Finally, a curb appeal project is complete! Look at those shiny new house numbers! So much better than the old one…  Of course now I really really want to paint the exterior of the house to freshen it up a bit. Hello gray with white trim and blue shutters?? Perhaps. A huge thank you to my dad who is in town and I put to work on many projects around the house.

House Number DIY

Supplies needed:

House numbers | I used these

Wood pieces – I used two 3′ pieces of wood

Wood box (I found it at Jo-ann’s)

faux succulents or plants of your choosing

Floral foam

Brackets for the back to hang

Wood glue

Tape measure

Orbital sander

Saw – I used a jig saw to cut the wood

Cordless drill

Wood prep

First cut and prep your wood. I went with two 3 foot boards. I wanted the house numbers for be floating, in order to do that you need wood that is at least 1 inch thick. I just happen to have more wood leftover from the fence project that I still haven’t posted pictures of. Glue the wood together. Use a brush or scrap piece of cardboard to work the glue into the wood and clamp it down good. After its dry, trim the edges again with a saw and sand the whole board smooth.

Installing the numbers

Again, I wanted the numbers to be floating so I mostly followed the directions on the package. I started by taping the templates onto the board and marking the holes with a nail. The instructions said to drill a pilot hole with 1/8″ bit which we did, but the next step was drill with 1/4″ bit which was much to big of a hole for mounting to the board (works for installing directly to the house though?). We just matched up the size of the mounting screws to a bit, went up just a tiny bit in size and drilled the holes. Attach the mounting screws to the numbers and stick them into the holes, we added wood glue to the holes to ensure that the numbers would stay.

Box and flowers

Next we glued the box onto the wood with wood glue and clamped it down good. Leave it for a bit to dry. Once the box is dry, you can place some floral foam and flowers into the box, arrange however you want.


We used those frame mounting brackets that have a triangle loop, look at the bottom of the picture to see what I’m talking about, I don’t know what they are called. But anyways, measure where you want them and screw them on. Make sure they are level. We had to use a stucco drill bit to get the holes into the house for the screws to mount the numbers but it turned out pretty neat! I can’t wait to paint the exterior and see how it looks. I’m hoping to paint or replace the wall mounted mailbox shortly.

Star Wars Man Cave

If you know us you know we have a thing for Disney and Star Wars.  So, when we bought our 4 bedroom 2 bathroom house in California, we of course needed Disney season passes and J needed his own space or “man cave’ if you will. Naturally it had to be Star Wars themed.

Here’s what the room looked like before we bought the house. Not much going for it except for the fabulous built-in’s, which was a major selling point for us. The previous owners REALLY liked brown…

We inherited the futon from them, but I covered it with a mattress protector and a red sheet after vacuuming it and spraying it down with pet oder eliminating spray (this one works great btw).

I painted the room the same colors as my studio BHER evening white on three walls and sparrow on the wall with the window.

Wampa rug, Yoda back pack, Boba Fette stein, and R2-D2 lamp are from ThinkGeek | Pillow and fleece throw Fabric are from Jo-ann’s

Storage cubes tutorial here | Guitar hooks found here | Storm trooper art from here | Curtains and sheets from target (similar here and here)

I bought J some of those star wars micro kites from ThinkGeek too, he was thinking about hanging them up in his room. We’d like to do some sort of display cabinet for his star wars LEGO too but there just isn’t enough room. This is a pretty tiny room, I’ve seen walk-in closets bigger than this.

Also, have you guys seen Pottery Barn Kids Star Wars stuff?? How cool is that? If we ever have a son, guess what theme his room will be… of course I guess you could do it for a girls room too, we don’t subscribe to gender norms here.

Star Wars Man Cave

DIY Give Thanks Sign


This DIY Give Thanks Sign is just in time for next weeks holiday. It’s quick and easy too! While I was waiting around all day for the plumber to make the required repairs to our guest bathroom (and its still not done, round 2 tomorrow) I thought I would whip up a little thanksgiving sign for the mantle. We have wood leftover from the side yard gate (someday I’ll post pictures of that project). Its incense cedar and some of the planks look really cool, plus I get to inhale that wonderful wood smell when I make these types of projects.

Supplies needed:

Wood piece

Printed letters (or you can free hand if you’re awesome)


paint color of your choosing

tiny paint brush

washi tape to hold paper in place

DIY Give Thanks Sign

First, not pictured select the font and size of letters you would like to use and print them out. I thought about trimming out the individual letters again like I did with my DIY Rustic Biergarten sign but wanted to try a slightly different technique. I taped the pieces of paper down and used a pen to trace/outline the letters into the wood. This cedar is soft enough that I could get away with it. Then I carefully went over the indents left in the wood with pencil so I would have a better outline to follow when painting. I can see how having a Circut wold be helpful for this type of project haha.


Next I very carefully painted the letters with a very fine tipped brush and black paint.

Look at how cute and simple that is!img_1144

Hmm now imagine how that would all look on a white brick wall?? Perhaps?? I can’t decide if I want to whitewash the brick or not. There is some sort of coating on the brick so I’m not even sure that the bricks would take the paint.