Curbly Original
IKEA Hack! Turn a Shower Curtain into an Outdoor Rug

by Holly Wade

IKEA Hack! Turn a Shower Curtain into an Outdoor Rug

Have you ever struggled to find the perfect pattern for something? Then you see it...but it's the wrong product? That happened to me when I was searching for an outdoor rug, so actually decided I used an IKEA shower curtain to recover an outdoor rug, making a simple statement rug that was exactly what I wanted! Because shower curtains are already waterproof, you can makeover any rug with the pattern from a simple shower curtain. 

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Curbly Original
How to: Make a DIY Modern Planter Box for Under $40

by Lidy Dipert

DIY Modern Flower Box

It's that time of year again! The season to start thinking about our outdoor gardens and spaces! When we first moved into our home three years ago, the outdoor living space was...decent. But it wasn't quite our taste, and that made it a bit challenging to get over what we inherited and visualize an outdoor space that was meaningful to us.

But this year, we decided to take our first baby steps towards a more modern and clean outdoor space...

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Curbly Original
DIY Upholstered Outdoor Dog Bed

by Faith Provencher
DIY Upholstered Outdoor Dog Bed
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

My dog Charlie loves to sit outside just as much as I do, but he's a bit too big to lay comfortably on a chair or ottoman. So, I thought it would be fun to make an outdoor daybed for him. Click through to find out how to make an upholstered bed for your own furry friend!   

 

Materials

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

 

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Begin by staining your wood. Put on a pair of protective rubber gloves and wipe the stain and sealer across all of the wood pieces with a rag. Be sure to do this in a well ventilated area, and protect your work surface because the stain will do just that – stain!

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Once the stain dries, take some measurements for the leg placement. Find the center of the diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on the largest piece of wood. Flip it over and find the center point in the same manner on the back side.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Glue one of the legs on that center point, and place the other four in the outer corners. Make sure to place those four half an inch in from the edges.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

While those are drying, begin cutting your fabric. Cut two pieces of outdoor fabric to 20 x 8, one that is 30 x 8 and one that is 32 x 22. Cut the exact same size pieces from the clear vinyl fabric.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Lay the 20 x 8 piece of outdoor fabric right side down on the 20 x 8 wood, and lay the clear fabric on top of that. Staple across the top edge, 3/8 inch from the edge. Place a staple every two inches, stopping half an inch from each end.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Fold the edge over by half an inch as shown above. Do the same on the other edge. Feel free to use Scotch tape to keep them folded.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Flip the wood and fabric over and place stuffing on the surface of the wood.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Pull the fabric taut over the stuffing and staple it down as close to the edge as possible. Staple every two inches, and staple the sides down as well so there are no spots for the stuffing to escape.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Trim off the excess. Repeat steps 4 through 8 on the other 20 x 8 piece as well. Do the same for the 28.5 x 8 piece too, but staple the fabric all the way to the edges on this one.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Now that your legs should be securely glued to the wooden base, reinforce the legs with screws. This is why you made that mark on both sides of the base. Screw through that middle mark from the top side, and it should go directly through the wooden leg below. Do the same for the four corner legs, placing the screw one inch from the edges so they go right through the center of the legs below.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Place the edge of the large remaining piece of fabric face down as shown above, with the matching clear piece on top. Make sure it is face down so that when you flip it up, you won't see the staples on this front edge where they would be most noticeable. Staple every two inches, 3/8 inch from the edge.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Place stuffing on the whole surface of the base and then stretch the fabric across the top and staple all the way around, an inch from the edge. Cut off the excess fabric... this should leave 3/4 of an inch open for you to glue the three side pieces down. Once the glue has dried thoroughly, reinforce them with screws in the back corners.


https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

And you're finished! Your pooch will love his new comfy outdoor bed... my dog Charlie can't get enough of it.

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

I would recommend bringing it inside when not in use so it lasts longer, but it will stand up to the elements thanks to the durable fabric and Thompson's WaterSeal.

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Your furry friend will want to stay outside all day, now that he has a stylish new daybed!

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

 

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
DIY Upholstered Outdoor Dog Bed

by Faith Provencher
DIY Upholstered Outdoor Dog Bed
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

My dog Charlie loves to sit outside just as much as I do, but he's a bit too big to lay comfortably on a chair or ottoman. So, I thought it would be fun to make an outdoor daybed for him. Click through to find out how to make an upholstered bed for your own furry friend!   

 

Materials

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

 

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Begin by staining your wood. Put on a pair of protective rubber gloves and wipe the stain and sealer across all of the wood pieces with a rag. Be sure to do this in a well ventilated area, and protect your work surface because the stain will do just that – stain!

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Once the stain dries, take some measurements for the leg placement. Find the center of the diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on the largest piece of wood. Flip it over and find the center point in the same manner on the back side.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Glue one of the legs on that center point, and place the other four in the outer corners. Make sure to place those four half an inch in from the edges.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

While those are drying, begin cutting your fabric. Cut two pieces of outdoor fabric to 20 x 8, one that is 30 x 8 and one that is 32 x 22. Cut the exact same size pieces from the clear vinyl fabric.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Lay the 20 x 8 piece of outdoor fabric right side down on the 20 x 8 wood, and lay the clear fabric on top of that. Staple across the top edge, 3/8 inch from the edge. Place a staple every two inches, stopping half an inch from each end.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Fold the edge over by half an inch as shown above. Do the same on the other edge. Feel free to use Scotch tape to keep them folded.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Flip the wood and fabric over and place stuffing on the surface of the wood.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Pull the fabric taut over the stuffing and staple it down as close to the edge as possible. Staple every two inches, and staple the sides down as well so there are no spots for the stuffing to escape.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Trim off the excess. Repeat steps 4 through 8 on the other 20 x 8 piece as well. Do the same for the 28.5 x 8 piece too, but staple the fabric all the way to the edges on this one.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Now that your legs should be securely glued to the wooden base, reinforce the legs with screws. This is why you made that mark on both sides of the base. Screw through that middle mark from the top side, and it should go directly through the wooden leg below. Do the same for the four corner legs, placing the screw one inch from the edges so they go right through the center of the legs below.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Place the edge of the large remaining piece of fabric face down as shown above, with the matching clear piece on top. Make sure it is face down so that when you flip it up, you won't see the staples on this front edge where they would be most noticeable. Staple every two inches, 3/8 inch from the edge.

Step

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Place stuffing on the whole surface of the base and then stretch the fabric across the top and staple all the way around, an inch from the edge. Cut off the excess fabric... this should leave 3/4 of an inch open for you to glue the three side pieces down. Once the glue has dried thoroughly, reinforce them with screws in the back corners.


https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

And you're finished! Your pooch will love his new comfy outdoor bed... my dog Charlie can't get enough of it.

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

I would recommend bringing it inside when not in use so it lasts longer, but it will stand up to the elements thanks to the durable fabric and Thompson's WaterSeal.

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Your furry friend will want to stay outside all day, now that he has a stylish new daybed!

https://www.curbly.com/users/faith-towers/posts
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

 

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How To Keep Your Garden Watered While You're On Vacation

by Rachel Jacks

Tips for how to keep your garden watered while you're on summer vacation

In my part of the world, the hot, sunny summer growing season does not overlap much with the rainy season. It can go weeks without a drop of rain in the summer, which makes watering my vegetable garden daily a necessity. But summer is also vacation time, so if you don’t have a sprinkler system, how do you keep everything from dying while you’re gone? Don’t worry, there are a variety of DIY solutions to this problem.      

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Summer Living: How to Throw an Amazing Backyard Movie Night

by Rachel Jacks

There's something uniquely romantic about watching a movie outdoors. While drive-in theaters are uncommon these days, you can still experience a movie under the stars by setting up your own outdoor movie theater for a backyard movie night.

We've put together a list of everything you need for an amazing backyard movie night, from the best outdoor projector to the ultimate movie snacks. Once you have everything you need for your outdoor movie night, you'll be all set to make it a regular summer tradition. 

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Summer Living: How to Throw an Amazing Backyard Movie Night

by Rachel Jacks

There's something uniquely romantic about watching a movie outdoors. While drive-in theaters are uncommon these days, you can still experience a movie under the stars by setting up your own outdoor movie theater for a backyard movie night.

We've put together a list of everything you need for an amazing backyard movie night, from the best outdoor projector to the ultimate movie snacks. Once you have everything you need for your outdoor movie night, you'll be all set to make it a regular summer tradition. 

Continue Reading

How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard with Hummingbird Food

by Rachel Jacks
How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard with Hummingbird Food
Photo: Andrea Reiman

Hummingbirds are good for your garden ecosystem, and very entertaining little creatures. It's easy to fall in love with these tiny, charismatic birds that whiz around with little concern for us (unless you're getting too close to their food sources--then they'll give you a talking-to, and maybe even try to chase you off). A visiting friend who saw them for the first time in person on my front porch said he felt like he was in an animated Disney movie. If you're ready to attract them to your own yard, you just need to bribe them with hummingbird food, and maybe a few other amenities. Read on to learn how.         

 

Why should you attract hummingbirds to your garden?

Hummingbirds are beautiful and entertaining. The iridescent feathers of ruby-throated hummingbirds are particularly lovely. If you haven't had the joy of encountering them in person, you might not know how much personality they have. They're curious, fearless creatures who quickly realize that us slow humans don't pose much of a direct threat. I've had them fly up and hover quite close to me, presumably studying me for food possibilities.

Photo: Bill Williams 

The physical engineering required for these natural marvels to fly forwards and backwards, flapping their wings 70 times per second, is amazing. They need to eat every 10-15 minutes to keep that kind of exertion. You would need to drink more than a can of soda per minute to keep up. 

Aside from their entertainment value, hummingbirds are pollinators, insect predators, and help disperse seeds. That means that they're good for your garden, and perform important roles in a healthy ecosystem. Unfortunately their habitat is increasingly being destroyed by humans through development and climate change. Making your yard welcoming to hummingbirds is one way to help make up for that.

Photo: Bill Williams

How do you make hummingbird food?

Hummingbird food is so incredibly easy to make that a child can do it (in fact, I did make it as a kid). Here's the very simple hummingbird food recipe:

Put 1/4 cup white sugar for every 1 cup of water in a pan (in other words, 1 part white sugar and 4 parts water ). Bring the water to a boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Cover, and let cool.

Photo: Nathan Anderson 

Is sugar water healthy for hummingbirds?

According to the Audobon Society, the best hummingbird food is their natural diet of nectar from native plants. But sugar water very closely mimics the chemical makeup of flower nectar. So it's fine as a supplement to their natural diet. As long as you don't use anything other than refined white sugar water to feed hummingbirds, and keep their feeder clean, it's not unhealthy for them. 

Does hummingbird food need to be dyed red?

Red dye is definitely not recommended for hummingbird food. It is unnecessary, and may even be harmful. 

What else can hummingbirds eat (besides nectar)?

According to Bird Watcher's Digest, in addition to nectar and homemade hummingbird food, hummingbirds also eat insects, tree sap, fruit juice, and pollen. When feeding them yourself, you'll want to stick to the sugar water recipe above, supplemented with their favorite flowers. If you're feeling particularly generous, you can put overripe fruit near the feeders to attract fruit flies for them to snack on. 

Photo: Andrea Reiman

Top flowers to attract hummingbirds

The best flowers to attract hummingbirds are natives that grow in your area, especially those with red, pink, or orange flowers in a tubular shape. A variety of flowers with different blooming schedules are preferable, so there's always something producing nectar. The Audobon Society has a very useful native plant database that allows you to search by your zip code, then filter by the type of bird you want to attract. 

Here are some examples of flowers that attract hummingbirds: Bee balm, sages, daylilies, lupines, foxgloves, hollyhocks, petunias, flowering quinces, lantana, manzanita, mimosa, morning glory, trumpet honeysuckle, yucca, scarlet runner bean, and columbine.

Best hummingbird feeders

The best hummingbird feeders are ones that are easy to keep clean and filled. Hummingbirds are very territorial, so multiple feeders spread throughout your yard, each with fewer feeding ports, are preferable to one big one. I've had various feeders over the years, and the one below is by far my favorite because of how easy it is to disassemble and thoroughly clean. Hummingbirds seem to like it, and it's much more attractive to me than the popular plastic red ones.

This hummingbird feeder is available here.

If ants are a problem (they love the sugar water, too), you can buy various types of ant moats or guards to keep them from getting to the feeder. You can also do what I did before they were widely available, and make your own

How to clean feeders

Once you've gone to the trouble of making your yard welcoming to hummingbirds, the last thing you'll want to do is cause them harm. So you need to keep their feeders clean, mold-free, and filled with fresh food. The hotter the weather, the more often you'll need to clean them, but a weekly cleaning is usually fine. Keeping them in the shade can help prevent the sugar from fermenting and turning cloudy as quickly.

There are several ways to clean hummingbird feeders. The simplest is to soak them in one part white vinegar to four parts water. Use a bottle brush to scrub the feeder, or add grains of rice and shake vigorously. If your feeder has developed mold, soak the feeder in a solution of solution of 1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water for one hour to thoroughly sterilize. With any of these methods, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water before refilling.
Photo: joel herzog

What else can you do to attract hummingbirds?

Besides making them hummingbird food, there are several additional things that you can do to make your yard welcoming to hummingbirds.

Provide nesting material: Leave spider webs and fluffy plant material alone so that hummingbirds can use them to build their nests. I still treasure the time I saw one collecting cat fur from the top of a fence that my cat often climbed over. Hopefully some baby birds were quite snug in their hummingbird nest of soft cat belly fur. 

Ditch garden chemicals: Spiders and insects are an important part of a hummingbird's diet, especially when they're nestlings. Pesticides can make insects more difficult to find, and potentially travel up the food chain. Systemic herbicides can wind up in nectar that the birds eat. 

Provide water: Hummingbirds like to bathe frequently, and especially like sprinklers and misters. Attach a mister head to your hose, or go all out and install a DIY patio misting system to cool off the whole household.

Catch their eyes: Tie bright orange or red plastic surveyor's tape around bushes, trees, or railings so that it blows in the wind. When birds fly down for a closer look at the bright colors, hopefully they'll discover your hummingbird habitat. 

Provide perches: Hummingbirds like to perch on branches of trees and shrubs to rest, spot insects to grab, and survey their territory. Trees are also the best place for them to locate a hummingbird nest. 

Keep the blooms coming: Remove dead flowers from flowering plants, which encourages them to bloom again. This one is definitely a win-win, because who doesn't want more flowers?

Share this on Pinterest!

 

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How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard with Hummingbird Food

by Rachel Jacks
How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard with Hummingbird Food
Photo: Andrea Reiman

Hummingbirds are good for your garden ecosystem, and very entertaining little creatures. It's easy to fall in love with these tiny, charismatic birds that whiz around with little concern for us (unless you're getting too close to their food sources--then they'll give you a talking-to, and maybe even try to chase you off). A visiting friend who saw them for the first time in person on my front porch said he felt like he was in an animated Disney movie. If you're ready to attract them to your own yard, you just need to bribe them with hummingbird food, and maybe a few other amenities. Read on to learn how.         

 

Why should you attract hummingbirds to your garden?

Hummingbirds are beautiful and entertaining. The iridescent feathers of ruby-throated hummingbirds are particularly lovely. If you haven't had the joy of encountering them in person, you might not know how much personality they have. They're curious, fearless creatures who quickly realize that us slow humans don't pose much of a direct threat. I've had them fly up and hover quite close to me, presumably studying me for food possibilities.

Photo: Bill Williams 

The physical engineering required for these natural marvels to fly forwards and backwards, flapping their wings 70 times per second, is amazing. They need to eat every 10-15 minutes to keep that kind of exertion. You would need to drink more than a can of soda per minute to keep up. 

Aside from their entertainment value, hummingbirds are pollinators, insect predators, and help disperse seeds. That means that they're good for your garden, and perform important roles in a healthy ecosystem. Unfortunately their habitat is increasingly being destroyed by humans through development and climate change. Making your yard welcoming to hummingbirds is one way to help make up for that.

Photo: Bill Williams

How do you make hummingbird food?

Hummingbird food is so incredibly easy to make that a child can do it (in fact, I did make it as a kid). Here's the very simple hummingbird food recipe:

Put 1/4 cup white sugar for every 1 cup of water in a pan (in other words, 1 part white sugar and 4 parts water ). Bring the water to a boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Cover, and let cool.

Photo: Nathan Anderson 

Is sugar water healthy for hummingbirds?

According to the Audobon Society, the best hummingbird food is their natural diet of nectar from native plants. But sugar water very closely mimics the chemical makeup of flower nectar. So it's fine as a supplement to their natural diet. As long as you don't use anything other than refined white sugar water to feed hummingbirds, and keep their feeder clean, it's not unhealthy for them. 

Does hummingbird food need to be dyed red?

Red dye is definitely not recommended for hummingbird food. It is unnecessary, and may even be harmful. 

What else can hummingbirds eat (besides nectar)?

According to Bird Watcher's Digest, in addition to nectar and homemade hummingbird food, hummingbirds also eat insects, tree sap, fruit juice, and pollen. When feeding them yourself, you'll want to stick to the sugar water recipe above, supplemented with their favorite flowers. If you're feeling particularly generous, you can put overripe fruit near the feeders to attract fruit flies for them to snack on. 

Photo: Andrea Reiman

Top flowers to attract hummingbirds

The best flowers to attract hummingbirds are natives that grow in your area, especially those with red, pink, or orange flowers in a tubular shape. A variety of flowers with different blooming schedules are preferable, so there's always something producing nectar. The Audobon Society has a very useful native plant database that allows you to search by your zip code, then filter by the type of bird you want to attract. 

Here are some examples of flowers that attract hummingbirds: Bee balm, sages, daylilies, lupines, foxgloves, hollyhocks, petunias, flowering quinces, lantana, manzanita, mimosa, morning glory, trumpet honeysuckle, yucca, scarlet runner bean, and columbine.

Best hummingbird feeders

The best hummingbird feeders are ones that are easy to keep clean and filled. Hummingbirds are very territorial, so multiple feeders spread throughout your yard, each with fewer feeding ports, are preferable to one big one. I've had various feeders over the years, and the one below is by far my favorite because of how easy it is to disassemble and thoroughly clean. Hummingbirds seem to like it, and it's much more attractive to me than the popular plastic red ones.

This hummingbird feeder is available here.

If ants are a problem (they love the sugar water, too), you can buy various types of ant moats or guards to keep them from getting to the feeder. You can also do what I did before they were widely available, and make your own

How to clean feeders

Once you've gone to the trouble of making your yard welcoming to hummingbirds, the last thing you'll want to do is cause them harm. So you need to keep their feeders clean, mold-free, and filled with fresh food. The hotter the weather, the more often you'll need to clean them, but a weekly cleaning is usually fine. Keeping them in the shade can help prevent the sugar from fermenting and turning cloudy as quickly.

There are several ways to clean hummingbird feeders. The simplest is to soak them in one part white vinegar to four parts water. Use a bottle brush to scrub the feeder, or add grains of rice and shake vigorously. If your feeder has developed mold, soak the feeder in a solution of solution of 1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water for one hour to thoroughly sterilize. With any of these methods, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water before refilling.
Photo: joel herzog

What else can you do to attract hummingbirds?

Besides making them hummingbird food, there are several additional things that you can do to make your yard welcoming to hummingbirds.

Provide nesting material: Leave spider webs and fluffy plant material alone so that hummingbirds can use them to build their nests. I still treasure the time I saw one collecting cat fur from the top of a fence that my cat often climbed over. Hopefully some baby birds were quite snug in their hummingbird nest of soft cat belly fur. 

Ditch garden chemicals: Spiders and insects are an important part of a hummingbird's diet, especially when they're nestlings. Pesticides can make insects more difficult to find, and potentially travel up the food chain. Systemic herbicides can wind up in nectar that the birds eat. 

Provide water: Hummingbirds like to bathe frequently, and especially like sprinklers and misters. Attach a mister head to your hose, or go all out and install a DIY patio misting system to cool off the whole household.

Catch their eyes: Tie bright orange or red plastic surveyor's tape around bushes, trees, or railings so that it blows in the wind. When birds fly down for a closer look at the bright colors, hopefully they'll discover your hummingbird habitat. 

Provide perches: Hummingbirds like to perch on branches of trees and shrubs to rest, spot insects to grab, and survey their territory. Trees are also the best place for them to locate a hummingbird nest. 

Keep the blooms coming: Remove dead flowers from flowering plants, which encourages them to bloom again. This one is definitely a win-win, because who doesn't want more flowers?

Share this on Pinterest!

 

Continue Reading

What Should You Do This Month? Throw a Backyard Solstice Party to Celebrate the Start of Summer

by Rachel Jacks

Backyard Solstice Party

While many Americans think that summer starts on Memorial Day, it officially begins on summer solstice, usually June 21 in the Northern hemisphere. The longest day of the year seems like the ideal excuse for a party, so here are some ideas for a backyard celebration of midsummer. And if you don't get around to throwing a summer solstice party, there's no expiration date on these outdoor party ideas!                

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59 DIY Landscaping Ideas and Tips to Improve Your Outdoor Space

by M.E. Gray
The Curbly House 2017 | DIY landscaping ideas
The Curbly House 2017

Being a homeowner is a big responsibility, and while there's plenty to take care of inside you home, don't forget about the outside, either. If you've ever looked into the cost of hiring a professional landscaper, you know they're not cheap. Fortunately, there are a slew of inexpensive and affordable DIY landscaping ideas at your disposal, so long as you're willing to get your hands a little dirty. From the front yard to the back, barbeque pits to bistro lights, here are 59 ways you can affordably improve your outdoor space.              

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Front Yard Ideas

Layered flowers: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Pretty Purple Door

1. To create dynamic visual impact with little long-term commitment, try layering flowers and low-growing greenery in your front yard. These plants are arranged in the ground in a curving pattern, rather than just straight across the lawn.

 

Layered lawn plants: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Manitoba Design

2.  Add drama by layering the height of your plants. Big in the back, small in the front.

 

Decorative rocks
Source: Rocks With a Touch of Class and a Side of Sass

3. Have a section of your front yard that's too awkward to mow? Fill it with rocks. Problem solved.

 

Flower box
Source: At Charolette's House

4. Take the DIY landscaping ideas off the ground and to the house by installing a few window boxes (they're surprisingly easy to build).

 

Plant shelf
Source: Arbor Original

5. Or try an outdoor shelf instead.

 

Large boulders among flowers: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Pine Landscape Center

6. If you have a large front yard with little dynamism, add large boulders and rocks for variety.

 

Create a berm: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Gardening Know How

7. How about creating a berm? What's a berm, you ask? It's when you transform your totally flat yard by creating mounds of interest. Easy, and totally affordable. Be sure to do your research first before create a berm around the base of any tree, as too much dirt can suffocate the tree.

 

A DIY trellis
Source: Better Homes & Gardens

8. No trees on your lawn? Build a trellis or two for your front yard flowers to climb (they are also fairly inexpensive to purchase).

 

Flowers along a sidewalk
Source:  Curbly

9. Looking for inexpensive ways to create borders or edging? Border your walkway with plants and flowers to define lines in the front yard.

 

Brick edging
Source: The Home Depot

10. DIY landscaping ideas don't get much more affordable than this: install brick edging to outline areas of your yard using salvaged or recycled brick. 

 

Stone edging
Source: West Lake Landscaping

11. Go for a more natural look by using stone to edge your plants.

 

River rock edging
Source: Rocks with a Touch of Class & a Side of Sass

12. Or, edge flower beds with river rock. How easy is that?

 

Low ground cover plants
Source: This Old House

13. If you want to keep your yard tame but still want contrast, consider a ground cover plant. Add a few of these low-growing ground cover plants to add variation and color.

 

Large flower pots
Source: Better Homes & Gardens

14. Display flowers in containers along steps, walkways, or on ledges. This is a great way to add visual interest if you have a lot of brick or asphalt in your front yard.

 

DIY stone walkway
Source: The Spruce

15. You don't need a professional - learn how to add a pretty stone walkway that leads right to your front door.

 

Rope lighting in yard
Source: Christmas Lights Etc.

16. Use rope lighting to create illuminated borders to your front yard for a bright footpath at night.

 

Cliff landscaping - 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Better Homes & Gardens

17. Have a steep front yard? Try creating cliffs with stone and native flowers to eliminate the need to mow.

 


Ways to Improve Your Backyard

Flowers along the fence line: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Decoralink

18. Ugly or boring fences no more! Create layers of plants and bushes to frame out the edges of your backyard.

 

Close up of magnolias
Source:  Etsy

19. Grow marigolds in your back yard to deter mosquitos and aphids (you can also grow chrysanthemums, lavender, and basil).

 

Raised garden
Source: Sunset

20. Create a raised garden bed to grow your own veggies (or buy an inexpensive one). It will add visual appeal, and you'll be able to reap the benefits of your labor.

 

Paver patio
Source: Not Just a Housewife

21. Give your back yard some interest by building your own paver patio

 

DIY Pergola
Source: A Beautiful Mess

22. Or go for a full-blown pergola! A bigger back yard project, but much more affordable if you do it yourself.

 

DIY outdoor bistro light stands: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Curbly; Photo by Faith Towers Provencher

23. Hang some outdoor bistro lights on these easy-to-build light stands to illuminate your yard.

 

A secret garden
Source: Not Just a Housewife

24. Get ready for DIY landscaping ideas straight out of childhood. Why not create a secret garden in your back yard? The 9-year-old in me is absolutely giddy over this idea.

 

Fences with built-in planters
Source: Not Just a Housewife

25. Create a flower-filled fence line. Here are some plans a fence with built-in flower planters.

 


DIY Fire Pits You Can Create

4-step fire pit: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: A Beautiful Mess

26. First time fire pit builder? Here's how to make this one in four easy steps.

 

Concrete modern fire place from ManMade DIY
Source: ManMadeDIY

27. Follow this tutorial for a more modern fire pit.

 

Fire pit made from an old washer
Source: House & Fig

28. If you have an old washing machine lying around, you can create this one-of-a-kind upcycled fire pit.

 

Skim-coated fire pit
Source: Oh The Potential

29. Would you have guessed that this fire pit was initially made out of cinder blocks? Learn how to skim-coat to create this clean look.

 

Minimal metal fire pit
Source: The Brick House

30. If you're handy with a welding torch, you can make a minimal fire place from metal.

 

Fire feature
Source: The Art of Doing Stuff

31. Maybe you don't want a whole fire pit, but a little glow would be a nice touch to your back yard. Here's how to create a mini glass fire feature.

 

Terra cotta fire pit
Source: Elisabeth McKnight

32. No back yard to build a fire pit? No problem. You can still toast marshmallows in a terra cotta pot.

 


Water Features to Add Appeal Outdoors

DIY bird bath: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source:  HomeTalk

33. Water features don't have to be complicated, or even powered. They can be as simple as a bird bath. Build your own, or purchase an inexpensive one. Give your yard something of interest, and beautiful song birds, too.

 

Urn water feature: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source:  Erica Glasener

34. Create visual appeal in your yard by building your own urn water feature from a ceramic vase.

 

Tiered water feature
Source: Addicted 2 DIY

35. Stack 'em up! With a little extra effort, you can transform the previous project on this DIY landscaping ideas list into a multi-level water feature.

 

Stone water feature
Source: The Family Handyman

36. You don't need special skills to build a water feature, just a bit of time and the right tools. Here's how to build one from stone.

 

Stone pond
Source: Curbly

37. This is one of those DIY landscaping ideas that is going to require the help of a friend, but if you're into drama, consider building a stone pond fountain.

 

Stone water feature
Source: The Family Handyman

38. Don't you love this low-to-the-ground look of this stone fountain?

 

Water wall DIY: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source:  The Interior Frugalista

39. Big impact at a little cost! Check out this tutorial for making a waterfall wall for under $300.

 

Man-made waterfall: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: The Spruce

40. For the ultimate "wow factor," accent your outdoor space with an outdoor waterfall.

 


Hedges, Fences, and Other Privacy Features

Shrub privacy fence: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: This Old House

41. Add privacy by planting some shrubbery yourself. It's as easy as digging a trench, dropping the plants in, teasing out the roots, and watering.

 

How to build a fence: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: The Home Depot

42. Nothing beats the backyard privacy of your own fence. Before you begin the building process, you'll need to be sure of a few things: Verify your property line, check with your city or township about the limitations and height-restrictions of your fence, have someone from the city come and check for gas lines, and have a neighborly chat with anyone you'll be sharing the fence line with.

 

Floating garden wall
Source: Curbly

43. Need just a bit of privacy? Build this floating garden wall. It comes complete with shelving for plants.

 

Copper pipe trellis
Source:  The Horticult

44. For natural privacy, build a trellis wall out of copper pipe to create a green barrier over time.

 

Wood trellis
Source: A Beautiful Mess

45. Create a visual divide and build a mod trellis.

 

Shou sugi
Source: The Faux Martha

46. Transform your privacy wall using shou sugi - the process of burning wood, making it water-resistant. Side effect, the shou sugi treatment transforms wood to a beautiful, rich black color. 

 

Trees to illustrate divide: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source:  Curbly

47. Create an implied wall to divide your yard using small trees or shrubs.

 

Leyland cypress trees
Source: Fast-Growing-Trees

48. Need lots and lots of privacy? There are cheap trees you can buy that over time will block out the neighbors, like the inexpensive Leyland Cypress.

 


How to Create Shade in Your Yard

A fabric gazebo for instant shade: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: The Home Depot

49. No shade? Create an outdoor hangout space by getting an affordable fabric gazebo.

 

DIY pergola curtains
Source: A Beautiful Mess

50. Or sew curtains to hang from your pergola to block a little light when needed.

 

Trampoline den
Source: DIY Network

51. Add a sun sail for immediate shade (bonus if you hang it over your own trampoline lounge!).

 

Rhododendron
Source: BHG

52. Grow shade by planting rhododendron in your yard. They're a dense evergreen with broad leaves, and the flowering in the springtime is lovely. 

 

Source: The Old Farmer's Almanac

53. Grow Chinese Wisteria on an existing structure or trellis to block light (be mindful - this plant is known as an invasive plant in some areas).

 


Creating Visual Interest Around Trees

Mulch around the bottom of trees: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Jacksonville Tree Service

54. Add mulch to cover the most shaded parts of your lawn.

 

Ground plants around bottom of tree
Source: This Old House

55. Another genius (and affordable) of the DIY landscaping ideas: Add ground cover plants to hide gnarly roots.

 

Moss
Source: Costa Farms

56. Or, opt to grow some moss instead.

 

Stone edging around tree
Source: Rocks With a Touch of Class and a Side of Sass

57. Use stone to edge the area around the base of your trees. 

 

Flower box around tree
Source: The Great Goodness

58. Or build a raised flower bed at the base of the tree (be careful not to add too much dirt around the base of the tree, as you could hurt or kill it).

 

Tree bench
Source: This Old House

59. For extra seating, create a one-of-a-kind tree bench.


59 DIY Landscaping Ideas
Share this roundup on Pinterest!

 

Want more DIY landscaping ideas? Here are 13 more tips for landscaping on a budget.

Affordable landscaping tips

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Dull No More: How To Clean and Sharpen Your Garden Tools

by Rachel Jacks
How to clean and sharpen garden tools

Photo: Rachel Jacks

Spring and summer is growing season, but that also means it's time to trim your yard. Trees, bushes, and shrubs need to be kept in shape, and to do that, it really helps to have sharp tools. It's faster and easier to cut with a sharp blade, plus it's better for the plant. In just a few minutes, you can actually sharpen garden tools yourself.        

Yard work is hard enough without trying to do it with dull tools that don't work how they're supposed to. If it has been a long time since you've used newly-sharpened tools, you'll probably be surprised at how much better they work. You can use this same method and file to sharpen everything from a mower blade, to shovels and hoes, to shears and pruners. Ready to give it a try? Here's what you need to know about how to sharpen garden tools.

Materials

Materials needed for this project

Materials you'll need to clean and sharpen your garden tools. Photo: Rachel Jacks

 

A bastard-cut mill file works for sharpening many different yard tools. Although it isn't on their website, the 10" version of this 12" file was about $7 in my local Home Depot, and considering that tool sharpening usually costs at least $5 per item, it will quickly pay for itself. In case you're curious (I was!), "bastard" is a term for the coarseness of the file, and "mill" refers to the way the teeth of the file are arranged.

Step

Remove rust from the blade with steel wool or fine sandpaper.

Remove rust from the blade with steel wool or fine sandpaper. Photo: Rachel Jacks

Use the steel wool pad or a wire brush to clean and remove rust from the blade. Skip this step, and you risk damaging your file. If you have a lot of rust (guilty-as-charged), you may want to switch to 300-grit sandpaper. 

Safety first! Wear heavy-duty work gloves and safety goggles.

Step

Sharpen the edge with the file.

Sharpen the edge with the file. Photo: Rachel Jacks

Holding the blade in a vise, match the bevel with the file, and push it across the blade to reveal shiny new metal. (You may find it easier to hold the shears in your hand rather than a vice when the blades are this small.) This type of file only cuts when you push, not when you pull. After working your way to the end of the blade with a few strokes of the file, check the edge. You want a uniform, shiny edge of fresh metal, so adjust your angle if necessary. On garden shears like these, only one set of the blades has a beveled cutting edge. 

Step

Oil your blade to lubricate it and protect it from rust.

Lubricate the blades. Photo: Rachel Jacks

After you're done sharpening the blade, run the sandpaper or steel wool over the back side of the blade to remove burrs and stray bits of metal. Spray WD-40 or other lubricant on the tool, then wipe off excess. 

To keep your garden tools clean, sharp, and rust-free, always wipe them dry after you're done using them, and regularly oil them as shown above. 

Now go forth and sharpen all of your tools, and maybe use them to cut yourself a nice bouquet when you're done. 

How to clean and sharpen garden tools for your summer gardening

Photo: Rachel Jacks

Clipping with sharpened garden tools

Photo: Rachel Jacks

How to clean and sharpen garden tools

Photo: Rachel Jacks

 

Are you ready to make the most of your yard? Here are 59 DIY Landscaping Ideas and Tips to Improve Your Outdoor Space.

Continue Reading

Dull No More: How To Clean and Sharpen Your Garden Tools

by Rachel Jacks
How to clean and sharpen garden tools

Photo: Rachel Jacks

Spring and summer is growing season, but that also means it's time to trim your yard. Trees, bushes, and shrubs need to be kept in shape, and to do that, it really helps to have sharp tools. It's faster and easier to cut with a sharp blade, plus it's better for the plant. In just a few minutes, you can actually sharpen garden tools yourself.        

Yard work is hard enough without trying to do it with dull tools that don't work how they're supposed to. If it has been a long time since you've used newly-sharpened tools, you'll probably be surprised at how much better they work. You can use this same method and file to sharpen everything from a mower blade, to shovels and hoes, to shears and pruners. Ready to give it a try? Here's what you need to know about how to sharpen garden tools.

Materials

Materials needed for this project

Materials you'll need to clean and sharpen your garden tools. Photo: Rachel Jacks

 

A bastard-cut mill file works for sharpening many different yard tools. Although it isn't on their website, the 10" version of this 12" file was about $7 in my local Home Depot, and considering that tool sharpening usually costs at least $5 per item, it will quickly pay for itself. In case you're curious (I was!), "bastard" is a term for the coarseness of the file, and "mill" refers to the way the teeth of the file are arranged.

Step

Remove rust from the blade with steel wool or fine sandpaper.

Remove rust from the blade with steel wool or fine sandpaper. Photo: Rachel Jacks

Use the steel wool pad or a wire brush to clean and remove rust from the blade. Skip this step, and you risk damaging your file. If you have a lot of rust (guilty-as-charged), you may want to switch to 300-grit sandpaper. 

Safety first! Wear heavy-duty work gloves and safety goggles.

Step

Sharpen the edge with the file.

Sharpen the edge with the file. Photo: Rachel Jacks

Holding the blade in a vise, match the bevel with the file, and push it across the blade to reveal shiny new metal. (You may find it easier to hold the shears in your hand rather than a vice when the blades are this small.) This type of file only cuts when you push, not when you pull. After working your way to the end of the blade with a few strokes of the file, check the edge. You want a uniform, shiny edge of fresh metal, so adjust your angle if necessary. On garden shears like these, only one set of the blades has a beveled cutting edge. 

Step

Oil your blade to lubricate it and protect it from rust.

Lubricate the blades. Photo: Rachel Jacks

After you're done sharpening the blade, run the sandpaper or steel wool over the back side of the blade to remove burrs and stray bits of metal. Spray WD-40 or other lubricant on the tool, then wipe off excess. 

To keep your garden tools clean, sharp, and rust-free, always wipe them dry after you're done using them, and regularly oil them as shown above. 

Now go forth and sharpen all of your tools, and maybe use them to cut yourself a nice bouquet when you're done. 

How to clean and sharpen garden tools for your summer gardening

Photo: Rachel Jacks

Clipping with sharpened garden tools

Photo: Rachel Jacks

How to clean and sharpen garden tools

Photo: Rachel Jacks

 

Are you ready to make the most of your yard? Here are 59 DIY Landscaping Ideas and Tips to Improve Your Outdoor Space.

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
No Campfire? No Problem! Make a Portable S'mores Fire Pot

by Holly Wade

No Campfire? No Problem! Make a Portable S'mores Fire Pot

I grew up as a Girl Scout and did my fair share of camping, and the s'mores were always my favorite part. Even as an adult, I would toast s'mores on my gas stove, but sadly my current home has an electric stove, leaving me without a makeshift campire to make s'mores. Rather than letting that stop me, I made this portable s'mores fire pot with Sterno ethanol gel canisters and a planter pot! 

 This is an incredibly easy project to whip up...

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