Wording With Purpose

Home DIY


Grown Up Daughter (4)

I am an avid DIY guy, partly because I enjoy it, but mainly because finances are tight. I love to up-cycle, reuse, and derive solutions that solve problems without draining the cookie jar. My wife and daughters are phenomenal idea generators, and my part is to turn those ideas into reality. It’s fun and a great way to build family bonds.

Coop Wire (3)


I use Pinterest.

Guys, if you don’t know about Pinterest you might want to take a look. The ladies are pinning photos like mad, creating boards, and in general, coming up with new items daily to add to our “Get-It-Done” lists.  Expect to receive emails from your Pinterest-savvy lady with links to projects that tickle her fancy. Strut your stuff, and get in the shop. Demonstrate that her confidence in your skillset is well placed.

I created a Pinterest account and post pictures of my DIY projects to that site (John’s DIY board).


Outdoor Projects

A chicken coop? Are you sure?

Men, what do you do when your grown up daughter asks for your help building a chicken coop? We grab the tools, right? Here’s our version of the backyard coop.

Amanda’s Chicken Coop

Drainage Projects

In these articles I will share two drainage applications. Both handle gutter downspout flow but each has a unique flavor. Would I jump at a chance to help my daughter install a drain pipe? You betcha! I’m a dad, and it’s what we do.

Amanda’s Drain

Michelle’s Drain

Outdoor Handrail

Our back door leading to the patio needed a handrail. Here’s my simple design.


Indoor Projects

Space for books and doodads.

Michelle needed a solution for using the space above her fireplace. Here’s our innovative corner shelf.

Michelle’s Corner Shelf

Turn firewood into furniture.

A dying cedar tree became the stimulus for a rustic cedar bench project.

Shawn’s Cedar Bench

 It’s time for laundry room improvements.

The worn floor, scarred paint, and the last stand of popcorn ceiling in our home means we’re ready for an upgrade. Paint, new tile, fresh trim, and a couple of innovations improved the outlook for this tiny room.

Laundry Room Improvements

 Build a low cost but high performance desk chair mat.

What’s a home office without a desk and chair? And how can the user operate the chair safely without a quality chair mat? My chair mat succumbed to years of use, and the price of new ones staggered my conservative financial senses. Time for a DIY solution.

DIY Desk Chair Mat

The pole lamp design came from my artsy wife.

The construction is my responsibility. We needed a grow lamp suspended above a living room garden. Several discussion sessions led to an idea and then it was time to move to the shop and turn the idea into reality.

Pole Lamp

My daughter asked for a custom ceiling light.

The modern fixture above her farm table seemed out of place. This project spanned about two years with part of that time used to dry the wood and part used for procrastination on my part.

Rustic Ceiling Light

Our living room needed an update.

We replaced two end tables and the TV table with shelves which freed floor space and opened up the room.

Wall of Shelves

Granddaughter, Fern, is ready for a step stool.

My first project for Fern, an easy-to-build but sturdy step stool.

Step Stool

Build a light from quilting hoops?

The expression is “you break it you buy it.” I broke Michelle’s entry way light and we created a replacement.

Hoop Pendant Light

Gardening Projects

Layering Woody Plants

This technique for propagating woody plants worked!

John’s Free Plant

Relocating Woody Plants

Moving Hydrangeas

Raised Garden Bed

Living in a townhome implies limited garden space. In this simple DIY project we add a raised bed adjacent to the deck to increase Michelle’s gardening space.

Raised Garden Bed

Starting Seeds

Do the garden shops in your area mostly carry the same plants? Why not consider buying seeds and starting your own plants to increase the variety in your garden?

Starting Seeds

Compost Sifter.

Organic materials do not compost at equal rates. I pull out the large pieces from my compost pile such as pine cones and sticks but even so I may need to sift the final product before I apply it.

Compost Sifter

Home Repairs

Electrical Repairs

Change a defective outlet

Install a timer switch

Drywall repair