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.


Back Yard DIY ideas



I have a confession. I’ve been on Pinterest way too much since we bought the house. As a result I have way to many ideas!! Today I want to share some of my back yard DIY ideas. Why back yard DIY ideas in October you ask? Because it’s endless summer here in SoCal or for those of you who live further north can start planning you spring projects already.



My list of things that would be nice to do for the yard:

Build Patio Furniture – Top Left. I still really like the idea of building my own patio furniture. But I actually just picked up a love seat from Lowes two weeks ago. Yay summer clearance.

Lattice work along the cinderblock wall – Top middle. I have a few jasmine plants that need room to grow. We had white lattice on the back wall that was being pulled down by the jasmine so we had to remove it. I’d love to replace it though.

AC Surround – Top right. I’ve seen a few ideas, but this is the one that stood out the most. We had white lattice around it but it covered the whole thing and had weeds starting to grow through it into the AC unit. Not the most efficient thing for an AC unit. We’ll need to service the AC unit now that its fall, or potentially replace it because its ancient (but hopefully not because that could get expensive!)

Outdoor Kitchen/ Bar – middle left. When we were looking at houses we fell in love with this one house’s outdoor kitchen. It was amazing. The house was just so-so, and a bit over priced for us. So we would love to build something simpler here.

More lights around the yard – middle middle. The piling design is really cute!!

Backyard Games – middle right. Star Wars corn hole? Giant Jenga? YES! We already have ladder ball (Sag Nuts) and Bocce.

Add lights to chandelier  – bottom left. I have this old IKEA chandelier thats meant to hold taper candles and I found some outdoor LED tapers from Pier 1.

Pot end table – bottom middle. How cute is that?!

Fire Pit – bottom right (see my DIY Fire Pit)

Stain the concrete. Could be so cool!