Summer is here and you are beyond ready to enjoy your outdoor spaces. Whether you have been dreaming of DIY projects on Pinterest for ages or just need to put your idle hands and creative brain to work, creating your own haven may be easier and less expensive than you think. In fact, there’s a good chance you may already have a few materials around the house that you can repurpose and put to good use.
When considering upgrades to your porch, patio, or yard areas it can feel overwhelming with the potential cost or completion time for many jobs. You don’t have to add an in-ground pool or build a deck to enjoy your home. With a little inspiration, ingenuity, time, and effort you can easily transform your own outdoor oasis and engage your own enjoyment with smaller, more attainable projects.
Ring the Dinner Bell!
Are you looking for additional outdoor spots for family and friends to gather for a meal fresh from the grill? There are many beginner DIY plans for constructing a simple picnic table found online. If you don’t have specialty tools, like a reciprocating or circular saw to cut your own lumber, many hardware stores are happy to make the cuts for you. Once your table is built you can leave the wood natural or elevate its style by painting or staining it. Add a patio umbrella, fire up the grill, set out your plastic dinnerware and you instantly have an extra outdoor dining spot. Have little people? There are also kid-size table DIY plans too.
Care to Get Cozy?
Is there anything sweeter than the taste and toast of your own s’ mores you’ve cooked over an open flame? Or friends circled up in chairs, wrapped in blankets, sipping wine on a cool fall evening? A fire pit makes that dream a reality. Many DIY fire pits can easily come together with some gravel, pavers, or large rocks. It doesn’t take much to get this cozy spot ready for year-round fire and fun.
Quiet Please. Nap in Progress…
A porch swing may offer you the perfect spot for reading, relaxing, or dozing off to the soothing sounds of an afternoon rain shower. Sure, there are many traditional swings available to purchase, but there are also many great options out there for creating larger and much more comfortable swings. You may even have the materials collecting dust in your attic or basement. Porch swing beds can be DIY’ed by repurposing an old baby crib or an unused twin size mattress that you’ve been moving with each PCS. Bring your book and a blanket and you’ll be snoozing before you know it.
Maybe you aren’t quite ready to get out power tools and add a large structure like a table, fire pit, or swing to your space. Maybe, just adding a little flair and ambiance is all you’re after. If the thought of trying to re-home a large swing or heavy table during your next PCS seems daunting, here are some smaller and more portable DIYs to tackle.
Light Up Your Life:
For about $30 you can add an instant glow to your outdoor space. Using mason jars with lids, battery-powered LED string lights, hooks, and hardware will take your porch from dark and dreary to festive and fun. These days, mason jars can be found in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. If you are looking for something even simpler, outdoor light strands with bulbs can usually be hung with a staple gun and some extension cords.
Take a Trip to Flavortown:
If you aren’t ready to clear a giant plot of land to harvest your own vegetables and food, maybe starting small with an herb garden will inspire you. Many herbs will thrive in small containers indoors or outdoors. Basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, and parsley will grow easily. There are endless choices on where or how to plant them. These herbs can grow in the ground or in terra cotta pots or jars. Choose a creative way to label and identify each plant. Craft sticks, chalk paint on flat surfaces, or vinyl labels are all great choices.
Bloom Where You’re Planted:
One of the most basic ways to DIY a place for your plants and flowers is to use containers or objects you already have and repurpose them in a fun and useful way. Wooden boxes, old baskets, a pallet, a tire, rain boots, or a wagon are whimsical ways to display flowers outdoors. Upcycled teacups, cans, or jars with a little creativity added can make for interesting indoor displays.
Whether you have a lot of time or a little, an abundance of skill, or are a beginner, when it comes to your outdoor spaces, Doing-It-Yourself can bring both a welcome decorative or functional addition as well as a lot of pride in a job well done.