A Year of Change {May Reveal}

May was a blur for me but luckily I took a bit of time to get my Year of Change May project completed!


The theme for this month was to do something outside and yes, it was that vague of a challenge. We wanted to leave the challenge open for interpretation and let the creative juices flow. And we were lucky enough to be joined by two guest designers this month, Emilie of Shell and Chinoiserie and Kari from Kari-Joy! I can’t wait to show you my little project for this month so let’s get to it!

{Erin’s project}

DIY hanging herb garden

There has been a lot of things going on in my backyard this month, mainly a brand new deck and pergola being added on. And sure, I could have totally showed that as my project for this month but that wouldn’t really be fair since this idea of the Year of Change Challenge is to complete small projects that make a big impact. Instead there was this one little nook on my house that looked sad, and desperate for something to make it pretty. In my ideal world, where I built this house from the beginning, I would have put a water fountain into this wall. How cool would that have been?


Since installing a water fountain is outside of my DIY abilities, I found some hanging planters on West Elm (no longer available) and decided they could be good for the space in my little nook. And to hang them I went with galvanized pipe picked up at the hardware store.

DIY hanging planters | Suburban Bitches

To hang these planters from my house I picked up 2 3 ft sections of galvanized pipe (which was already sold in that length), 4 floor flanges (round piece that attaches to house), 4 2 1/2 in nipples (as funny as it sounds), and 4 90 degree elbows. I put the whole piece of galvanized pipe together and then hung up on the house siding and made marks where the bolts needed to go. The guy at the hardware store gave me some heavy duty bolts that were appropriate for my type of siding so if you want to do a project like this just feign ignorance and men will come running to your rescue at the hardware store.

DIY hanging galvanized planters | Suburban Bitches

A few minutes later I had everything drilled, bolts inserted, and the pipe ready to have the planter hung from. The planters from West Elm would have hung too far below the pipes so I had to shorten the rope that they were intended to hang from. This was easy too, just cutting the rope and then reattaching it on the underside of the planter.

DIY hanging galvanized planters | Suburban Bitches

And there you see one of the planters. I was going to use these planters for my herb garden this summer so I went to the nursery and picked up 8 herbs, 4 for each planter. Then I thought, “Hey crafty girl, why not make some DIY herb markers for these planters?”. And these markers couldn’t be easier to make, especially when you can borrow supplies from your crafty co-blogger. I picked up two packs of bakeable clay to make eight markers.

DIY garden markers | Suburban Bitches

Each package is perforated into four pieces so for each marker I used 1/4 of the package. Simply roll out the clay into a long rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.

DIY garden markers | Suburban Bitches

Then I used the borrowed stamps from Tricia to stamp the name of each herb into the piece of clay. I found that you didn’t need to press very hard on the stamp and it turned out better if you just lightly made an impression with the stamp. I cut them into similar shapes and trimmed off the excess clay before baking.

DIY garden markers | Suburban Bitches

Next I baked these at 275° F for 15 minutes (according to package directions) and that was it. Super easy and now I know if I’m eating sage, oregano, or marijuana. A win-win. And here’s the final product, a DIY herb garden with DIY herb markers.

DIY hanging herb garden | Suburban Bitches

DIY herb markers | Suburban Bitches

DIY hanging herb garden and herb markers | Suburban Bitches

{Tricia’s project}

My project was called “spruce up the back deck so it’s no longer an embarrassment.” Can anyone else relate?

This was the before photo –

backyard before

Note the hodge podge of plastic toys, the table missing it’s glass top (that’s called don’t leave your umbrella in your table in Colorado because the wind WILL tip it over and you WILL have glass everywhere), the faded pergola, the odd placement of the furniture and my cute little photo bomber!

This is the after –

Tricia's backyard ~ after

The first major change up was adding an outdoor rug to anchor the sitting area. Next year I’d like to DIY stain the concrete (we’ll see if I can get Mr. Man on board for that one) but for now I’ll settle for a rug to bring color and warmth to the patio floor.

Lots of new pots and flowers added for the backyard refresh.

Tricia's backyard

Tricia's backyard after ~ Suburban Bitches

The other major change up was staining the pergola.

Tricia's backyard after ~ Suburban Bitches

There was good and bad to this project. I had absolutely contemplated doing this myself and doing it in a white wash. I was at Erin’s for our flower workshop and ran home for more margarita fixings (you can never have enough margaritas on a Sunday afternoon). I told the girls right before I left how painting the pergola was going to be my project for the week.  When I got back 15 minutes later I told them I’d hired a painter to come stain it in a natural color. I saw a professional painter staining my friend’s deck, dragged him home with me, got him to give me a quote and he and my husband thought we should go for a natural color. After a couple margaritas I really didn’t care what color it was as long as I wasn’t the one doing it.  The downside to this was the painter was supposed to paint Saturday, then it became Sunday and then he actually started on Monday and the one day project stretched to three.  Wednesday night my husband was out of town and last night strangely enough he was not up for string the cable for outdoor curtains in the dark.  Wimp. So, although I am happy with how much better the patio looks I’m a little disappointed that my DIY outdoor curtains aren’t up because I think they are going to really make the space.  June on the blog will be all about outdoor projects (and my Mongolian sheepskin bench DIY too!) and one of those will be my drop cloth curtains because who the hell wants to spend $800 plus on outdoor panels?

I did do one DIY in the yard – these chalkboard paint pots filled with lavender and dusty miller.

chalkboard pots ~ Suburban Bitches

The flowers are looking a little wilty after a couple of abnormally hot days but with the temps returning to normal I think they’ll perk back nicely.

This is what the pots looked like before – faded sad Ikea buckets I had used for herbs last year.

chalkboard pots before ~ suburban bitches

A little chalkboard paint and polyacrylic on the handle later and they’ve got a fresh new life.  Now to figure out what to write on them…

That’s a wrap on May!  Be sure to check out Amy, Rosa, Sarah, Kari and Emilie’s projects.  So fun to get work with all these amazing women! Next Friday we’ll be announcing our June project and guest designer – so excited for this next round too!!

Related posts:

The making of an outdoor area {deck and pergola}
A Year of Change {June project}
A Year of Change {July project}
A Year of Change {November Reveal}
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3 Responses to A Year of Change {May Reveal}

  1. emilie says:

    You and your adorable planters put me to shame! And enjoy that gorgeous new deck–I am so inspired to go finish all of my unfinished projects now! Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in A Yea Of Change–although I failed miserably, I had so much fun doing it! 😉 Xo!

  2. Judy says:

    Your sizing looks like my vinyl siding. I was told not to put holes in the siding. Leaves room for outside elements to get inside thru the holes, wet, bugs, etc. I resisted hanging things because of this. I own my home, but was afraid of the damage to the siding. Can you tell me your thoughts, or any other way to hang things on vinyl siding?

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