Big news, DIYers: June 3 marks the sixth anniversary of Dunn DIY! Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for so long, but at the same time, looking back on how we started also seems like a lifetime ago. We’ve come so far since those first blogs—there’s nothing like repetition to both improve and expose areas that need work. Although every week is a different project, there’s still a lot of repetition involved in this job: being in front of a camera, writing tutorials, and making cuts, drilling, and sanding.
Over these six years, I’ve grown so much in all of those areas. I used to struggle to find the right words to describe a step in the process, and now I have a whole arsenal of DIY vocabulary. I remember putting together projects for the first time in front of the camera and figuring it out as I went. Now I feel like I'm playing most of the parts of a baking show: I’m the one hosting, but I’m also the one making the pre-baked cake that’s pulled out of a cupboard in the middle of the show. It’s amazing how the details of this job that took so much effort (and error) in the beginning come as second nature to me now. There are definitely skills I've developed in this job I might not use a lot of other places, but some of what I’ve learned—like creative problem solving, strategizing, and doing mental math—are skills I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.
This job has by no means been easy. It was a sharp learning curve in the beginning, and I’m still often learning as I go—but it has been worth every minute. I never thought my skills and passions would play out in a job quite like this, and I’m so thankful that they have. I would never exchange my experiences, my growth, or my team at Dunn DIY for another.
In honor of our sixth anniversary, this week we’re counting down six of our most popular Dunn DIY posts from over the years. We hope you enjoy!
6. How to Make Pin Curls Like Rosie the Riveter
This pin curl tutorial was a Halloween post from several years back, and though it’s a little off-brand for Dunn DIY, we did it because we received so many comments asking how I do my hair. Halloween seemed like a good excuse to do something a little different and to answer everyone’s questions. Clearly it was a success, since it turned out to be one of our most viewed posts!
If you try out this tutorial, my best advice is don’t give up. Pin curling is a tricky art, and it’s challenging to get the hang of it. Don’t be afraid to brush those curls out. It feels terrifying, but it's the only way to get a good pin curl set. And if it doesn't work out the first time, keep trying! My first pin curl set was a frizzy mess, but the more I do it the better it looks.
5. How to Make an Arch for Your Wedding
I designed and built this arch for my wedding in the summer of 2017. The venue I was getting married at offered an arch, but it wasn’t what I had in mind. I wanted something simple yet impressive, so I came up with this basic design that perfectly matched my aesthetic.
One of the best design elements is that the arch is easy to disassemble and reassemble. This made transporting it to the venue a smooth process, and only a groomsman or two were needed to assemble and stake it in place. Incorporating pieces of your own craftsmanship is a great way to make a special event even more unique to you. Plus, you could easily turn this arch into a permanent structure in your backyard and keep it for years.
4. How to Refinish a Rusty Fire Pit
This is a simple yet rewarding project to update an old, beat-up fire pit and give it new life. This project is as simple as sanding, scrubbing, and providing a fresh coat of high-heat spray paint. High-heat spray paint is such a cool concept, and this is the perfect use for it. Updating your patio has never been this easy or inexpensive. You can also use high-heat spray paint to give an extra coating of protection to a new fire pit to help it hold up during the rainy season.
3. How to Make a Blanket Ladder
This DIY blanket rack comes from our 12 Days of DIY from Christmas of 2015. It’s such a simple DIY project, yet it’s stood the test of time as one of your favorite posts.
I gave the blanket rack from this photoshoot to my sister and her husband as a Christmas gift. Since then it’s traveled with them to several different apartments, into storage and out again, and is now finally leaning against a wall in the living room of their first house. So this DIY has stood the test of time not only with you, but also with my family.
2. How to Build a Boardwalk
After Todd visited the New England coast, a solution to a problem back home presented itself. The problem? A mossy, muddy side yard. The solution? A boardwalk! A slightly raised walkway down the side yard is the perfect answer. Ours still looks new after more than three years, and it sparks memories of the family trip back east every time it’s walked on.
1. How to Build a Horizontal Fence
The increase in the popularity of fences with boards running horizontally led us to include this post in our series on fencing in the summer of 2018, and it’s still one of your favorites. We had a blast designing this one by mixing boards of different widths in a fun pattern. The design adds visual interest, and I love that it isn’t the same as the fence you'll find on the next block.
Thanks so much for coming with us on this journey of the past six years—we couldn’t have done it without you. We hope you enjoy the tutorials in this post, and we can’t wait to keep growing, learning, and building with you in the years to come.