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Crafting dreams: Bourn to Create’s Sarah Blackbourn inspires with DIY lifestyle

Photography by Brandi Stage Portraiture
Hair and Makeup: Brooke Soto, Electric Lady Hair Studio

A quick scroll through Sarah Blackbourn’s social media shows a woman in constant motion.

The talent behind Bourn to Create always keeps her hands occupied — whether she’s sanding, cutting, drilling, measuring, painting, cooking, or collecting eggs from her handmade chicken coop.

“I am a doer,” says the married Memphis, Tennessee, native. “I don’t like to sit still very long.”

In fact, Blackbourn has a background in athletics and kinesiology — the science of movement — and was a personal trainer, a basketball and lacrosse coach and a physical therapy clinic manager, among other things, before becoming a full-time artisan and content creator. What began as a small wood-art business blossomed into a full-time occupation.

“Most of it came naturally to me because of my work history, so I wouldn’t change that a bit,” Blackbourn says. “All of these (elements) come together through my content, in which I can teach others how to DIY and share about homesteading and life in Mississippi.”


Although she’s always had the aptitude and desire to build things, Blackbourn lacked the space and equipment until recent years. A creative at heart, she and her best friend once started a side hustle called Whale Said to make enough money to travel. They sold their handmade jewelry and home decor items at farmers markets and pop-up shops across San Diego. In 2020, having previously lived on the Gulf Coast, Blackbourn and her husband, Marshall, returned to Biloxi to be closer to family.

When the couple bought their home, Blackbourn started making a large piece of wood art to hang on the wall — buying tools specifically for that project. She learned the basics of using the tools from her husband and by watching other creators.

“I fell in love with it immediately,” Blackbourn recalls. “I said from the very first day, this is what I need to be doing — making wood art and doing DIY projects while sharing them on social media.”

After wearing many hats throughout her working life, Blackbourn was well prepared to juggle the many roles of her new endeavor, from being her own videographer, photographer and website designer to handling all the shipping, administration and inventory. Between the array of skills she brought to Bourn to Create and her determination to develop new ones, it didn’t take long for the fledgling artisan to be taken seriously.

For instance, after just a few months of making wood art and selling her work online, Blackbourn was accepted as a vendor in the Peter Anderson Arts Festival in Ocean Springs.

“I knew it was a long shot, as they can be very selective on their artist vendors,” she says. “I have now participated three years in a row and have experienced how the community comes together for such a big event. The support for local artists on the Coast is unreal.”


When she remodeled her husband’s office as a surprise, Blackbourn shared her progress each day on TikTok and had an audience of thousands cheering her on. The room originally just contained a couple of tables, but Blackbourn overhauled it to suit her spouse’s Western style. She painted, created a built-in desk, made floating shelves, designed and built another desk, repurposed end tables and added a large piece of custom wood art.

“He came home to a completely transformed space and was totally surprised,” Blackbourn says. “Those office videos have over 15 million views across my socials with such positive words of encouragement. That’s when I realized I could make content-creating a full-time job.”

Another standout moment from Blackbourn’s craftswoman career came in 2022, when her best friend relocated to North Dakota while also expecting a new baby. Over the course of three weeks, the women worked together to make her friend’s new home feel special. They painted the kitchen cabinets, resurfaced the countertops, changed out lighting, created accent walls in the living room and transformed the entryway and guest bath. A spare bedroom became a library featuring a full wall of shelves.

“It’s amazing what you can do with a space on a very low budget if you have the knowledge and tools,” Blackbourn says. “And if you don’t have the knowledge yet, just watch videos on YouTube. there is so much free content and tutorials available. We got so much quality time working on this, and I gained skills that I didn’t have before.”


As Blackbourn’s own confidence has grown, she’s inspired many of her fans, mostly women, to tackle projects they once believed were beyond their capabilities.

“They have shared stories about how they’ve lost their partner, or their spouse is deployed, and they didn’t realize they can do these things on their own until they saw my videos,” she says. “I love when people reach out to me because they are working on a specific project of mine that inspired them and ask questions about a step, or simply share pictures of their versions. These moments are what keep me going.”

Of course, not every project can be deemed a success. Blackbourn admits that a few of her pieces were “complete misses.” Sometimes the design she envisions doesn’t translate well to the wood — at least at first.

“I learned to set those down, walk away and give myself some grace; nobody is perfect,” she says. “I will always come back later and turn it into something else, which has oddly become some of my best work. Never trash your failed projects; they can become something else one day!”

Blackbourn counts her chicken coops among her favorite projects. She built the first last February, followed by a second, larger coop that she crafted with her neighbor last fall.

“This was absolutely the most challenging and rewarding project because I was able to work through many steps I had never done before, like cutting corrugated roof metal; but the reward was giving the chickens a safe place to live, watching them move in, get settled and start laying eggs,” she says. “They bring me joy every day.”


Having spent many years in the “hustle and bustle,” Blackbourn appreciates her slower, simpler pace of home life since moving to the Coast. As for what comes next, she says she’d love to continue to grow her channels and expand her own homestead until her family outgrows it.

“We have dreamed of living on a larger farm with more land and animals one day,” Blackbourn says. “When that happens, get ready, because my projects will be endless!”

Had you asked her three years ago what her life would look like, Blackbourn never would have imagined that she’d be remodeling rooms, building coops, tending to a flock of chickens, working with brands and sharing her lifestyle online. While she didn’t expect people to be so interested in her work and content, she is enjoying every minute.

“I’m proud to be exactly where we are,” she says. “I love this little moment in time.”


Sarah’s DIY sliding door project


“Pick a beginner-level project you’ve been wanting to do. Educate yourself on how to do it by watching others like me. Get ideas and research what tools you need. Only buy the tools you need for that project, and you do not need the most expensive ones; buy them secondhand if you can, and simply do it. If you love it, find more projects to do with those tools. And if you are open to sharing, I challenge you to share your journey on social media. Start recording little pieces of your work and posting them. People will love it whether you have 10 followers or 1 million.“ – Sarah Blackbourn

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