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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62 DIY Projects To Transform Your Backyard

by M.E. Gray

The ultimate roundup of outdoor DIY projects to transform your yard space

Blooming flowers and fresh rain can only mean one thing: spring has definitely sprung! That means summer will be here before you know it. If getting your backyard in order is on your to-do list but you're having trouble getting started - don't fret! You don't need a total landscaping overhaul for your yard to feel refreshed and inviting. Sometimes it's just a matter of hanging up some string lights or creating a simple fire pit. We've rounded up 62 outdoor DIY projects to get you excited to be outside again as the weather warms up. From plants to playhouses, keep scrolling for more inspiration!       

What ways do you want to transform your backyard? Let us know in the comments!

TABLE OF CONTENTS


OUTDOOR SEATING

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pallet couch
Photo: eHow & The Merry Thought

1. Pallet Couch: Doesn't this space look inviting? The good news is that it's made from free pallets and a few cushions!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Summer hammock
Photo: Design Sponge

2. Summer Hammock: Nothing says "ahhhhhhh" like a gently-swinging hammock. Get ready to relax in the fruits of your labor with this DIY.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Lawn chair transformation
Photo: Curbly

3. Colorful Chair Makeover: There are no rules to how bright colors can be outside. See how these once bland lawn chairs got their day in the sun.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY porch swing
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

4. DIY Porch Swing: As Liz Lemon says, "I want to go to there!" Swinging in the spring breeze is a total DIY reality with this project from A Beautiful Mess.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Fringed hammock
Photo: The Merry Thought

5. DIY Fringed Hammock: This hammock brings boho to the backyard with the addition of fringe.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Macrame hammock chair
Photo: eHow

6. Macramé Hammock Chair: I can"knot" get over how gorgeous this hammock chair is! 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY outdoor cushions
Photo: Curbly

7. DIY Outdoor Cushions: Update your existing patio furniture by stitching up some of these quick and easy DIY outdoor cushions. 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Easy outdoor bench
Photo: eHow

8. Easy Outdoor Bench: Emphasis on "easy!" Instant seating comes to life with wood beams, concrete blocks, and a bit of paint.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Modern outdoor sofa
Photo: Fix This Build That

9. Modern Outdoor Sofa: This number is so sleek I might want to bring it inside my house! The good news is it's built to withstand the elements, which means you can make your back deck super classy.

 


OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Simple grilling cart
Photo: Home Depot via C.R.A.F.T.

10. Simple Grilling Cart: Grillin' on the go! With a built-in drink cooler, what more could you ask for out of an outdoor DIY project?

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Outdoor bar
Photo: The Merry Thought

11. Outdoor Bar: If you're not really the grill master type, but more of a whiskey woman, why not make a drink bar for your backyard?

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Wall-mounting serving station
Photo: Live Laugh Rowe

12. Wall-Mounted Serving Station: Want to entertain but don't have space for a full outdoor kitchen? Go vertical by building this simple serving station with drop-down tabletop! 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Built-in beer cooler table
Photo: Domesticated Engineer

13. Built-in Beer Cooler Table: Woah Nelly, what is this ingenious contraption? Never get up from your chair again with this DIY.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: S'mores station centerpiece
Photo: Curbly

14. S'mores Station Centerpiece: Acting as both a lovely centerpiece and a warming station for marshmallow and chocolate, party guests are sure to be impressed by this s'mores machine (made from glass dishes!).

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Cinder block bar
Photo: Design Sponge

15. Cinder Block Bar: Combining two awesome things (plants and booze), this bar provides an easy builder's solution.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY grill countertop
Photo: Our Fifth House

16. DIY Grill Countertop: Basically like having an outdoor kitchen, this brick counter space built around a grill surely makes outdoor entertaining a breeze.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Drink cooler stand
Photo: Eddie and Steph

17. Drink Cooler Stand: If you're constantly entertaining outside, or if you just enjoy having a cold beverage available whenever, this drink stand provides a classy solution to the standard cooler.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: IKEA outdoor bar cart
Photo: Runaway Chef

18. IKEA Outdoor Bar Cart: This entertaining station falls under the category of "why didn't I think of that?" 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Built-to-last concrete fire pit
Photo: Man Made DIY

19. Built-To-Last Concrete Fire Pit: With a little elbow grease, you can build your own fire pit that you can enjoy for many summers to come. 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Minimal fire pit
Photo: The Brick House

20. Minimal Fire Pit: If clean lines are more your style, explore this fire pit put together by The Brick House.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Upcycled fire pit
Photo: House & Fig

21. Upcycled Fire Pit: I don't want to pick favorites, but this outdoor DIY project is high on the list. See what unusual upcycled material this flaming beauty was made from!

 


OUTDOOR LIGHTING

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Bug-repelling citronella candles
Photo: One Little Project

22. Bug-Repelling Citronella Candles: These outdoor lights do double-duty by providing light and shooing away unwanted pests.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Fire column
Photo: Curbly

23. Fire Column: Nothing says "class" like fire in glass. Shed a little light in your outdoor dining space with this simple DIY project.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pendant light
Photo: Design Sponge

24. Pendant Light: This DIY might make you want to eat outside for every meal! Create a classy dining nook by hanging some proper light fixtures. 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Ping pong ball lights
Photo: Created by V

25. Ping Pong Ball Lights: Maybe the easiest outdoor DIY project on this list, these ping pong ball lights instantly add charm to any space.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: String lights hanging poles
Photo: City Farmhouse

26. String Light Hanging Poles: If you want to hang string lights outside but don't have anywhere to put them, City Farmhouse has an easy solution that also involves plants!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Portable fire pit
Photo: Design Sponge 

27. Portable Fire Pit: This flame is on the move! Which is perfect if you are an renter or apartment-dweller.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Recycled bottle tiki torch
Photo: Gerardot and Co.

28. Recycled Bottle Tiki Torch: Old wine bottles get new life as mounted tiki torches with this outdoor-friendly DIY!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Tin can lights
Photo: Die Landfrau

29. Tin Can Lights: This project is a classic, and couldn't be left off the list! If you need a quick, easy, and cheap solution for your outdoor lighting situation, grab some tin cans, tea lights, a hammer and a large nail, and get to punching!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Mason jar lamps
Photo: Orchard Girls

30. Mason Jar Lamps: Another classic, these jar lights are a simple and sweet way to brighten your backyard.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pool noodle luminaries
Photo: Create Craft Love

31. Pool Noodle Luminaries: Even if you don't have a pool, you can set these floatable candles off in a large container of water to add ambiance to any space. 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Flower pot fire pit
Photo: The Blue Eyed Dove

32. Flower Pot Fire Pit: Who says fire pits can't be cute? Beautiful in blue, this outdoor DIY project only requires a flower pot, stones, and a little flame.

 


OUTDOOR PLANTING

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY trellis with planter box
Photo: Deuce Cities Henhouse

33. DIY Trellis with Planter Box: Give crawling plants somewhere to go by building them a trellis. This project is also great if you're looking to fill visual space in your patio or deck area!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Hose housing station with built-in planter
Photo: DIY Candy

34. Hose Housing Station with Built-In Planter: Gardening hoses are hard to keep neat and pretty. This project solves that solution by keeping the hose hidden! Plus there are flowers involved, which is always a bonus.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Homemade flower beds
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

35. Homemade Flower Beds: Bump up your home's curbside appeal by installing these flower beds you can make on your own.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Window boxes
Photo: Deuce Cities Henhouse

36. Window Boxes: Aren't these just the sweetest? Deuce Cities Henhouse (local gal to us!) has tips on creating the perfect window boxes.

 

62 DIY Outdoor Projects: Vertical planter
Photo: Helpful Homemade

37. Vertical Planter: Take your plants a step up. Perfect if you're low on space but big on greenery!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Plant chandelier
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

38. Plant Chandelier: Ooh la la! Who needs lights when you can have leaves?

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Succulent letters
Photo: House & Fig

39. Succulent Letters: Say it with succulents! Create "wall art" to hang in your outdoor space.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Tapered cedar planter
Photo: Jen Woodhouse

40. Tapered Cedar Planter: Giant planters are not cheap, but with a little woodworking you can craft your own from cedar. 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Geometric cinder block planter
Photo: Little Miss Momma

41. Geometric Cinder Block Planters: Cinder blocks are at it again! With a simple paint job, you can create a modern-looking planter to house all kinds of greenery.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Wooden plant stand
Photo: Shanty 2 Chic

42. Wooden Plant Stand: If you're looking for ways to add visual height to your plant-scape, Shanty 2 Chic has the plans to build a wooden plant stand. 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Gardening table
Photo: Design Sponge

43. Gardening Table: Got a green thumb? You're going to need a place to work! Learn how to make your own gardening table, courtesy of Design Sponge

 


OUTDOOR FLOORING

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Colorful patio tiles
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

44. Colorful Patio Tiles: I can't get over what a simple and transformative idea this is! If you can't commit to painting your patio, try chalk for a temporarily colorful time!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Painted patio
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

45. Painted Patio: If you're looking for a way to bring bold to the backyard, this paint job takes the cake.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Stenciled concrete
Photo: Jen Woodhouse

46. Stenciled Concrete: This stencil job mimics the look of a rug with the low-maintenance factor of concrete! Try this look on for size if you're trying to create a more intimate outdoor living space. 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY rug from drop cloth
Photo: DIY Network

47. DIY Rug from Drop Cloth: Personalize the patio by making a rug from a drop cloth. It'll withstand the elements, too!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pallet walkway
Photo: Funky Junk Interiors

48. Pallet Walkway: A couple of pallet boards bridge the gap in this DIY. Totally doable, and totally cheap!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Painted outdoor rug
Photo: Curbly

49. Painted Outdoor Rug: Most outdoor rugs are "blah," but painting them is easy enough. See how with our tutorial for this modern and simple design!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pea Gravel Patio
Photo: City Farmhouse

50. Pea Gravel Patio: Want to build your own patio? Pea gravel makes it easy to create a patio space without all the pavers. 

 


OUTDOOR PLAYING

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Tree swing
Photo: Momtastic

51. Tree Swing: How sweet is this swing? Even if you're grown, there's nothing quite like swaying under a tree.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Circular rope swing
Photo: Dukes and Duchesses

52. Circular Rope Swing: If you're working on your balance, try this swing on for size!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Sandbox with lid
Photo: Ana White

53. Sandbox with Lid: It's a gross reality, but if you have cats, you have to have a sandbox with a lid. Ana White has the plans for how to build one of your own.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Sandbox with seating and awning
Photo: Ana White

54. Sandbox with Seating and Awning: Keep the kiddos safe from the sun by adding an awning to your sandbox. Plus these plans come with adorable seating!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY bungalow playhouse
Photo: That's My Letter

55. DIY Bungalow Play House: With chalk board panels, this playhouse can be imagined into any space. 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Play tent
Photo: Make It Love It

56. Play Tent: Can I move in? This cloth tent is also collapsible, so it's easy to move inside and out!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Hula hoop hideout
Photo: Alanna George

57. Hula Hoop Hideout: Give each kid their own special space with some fabric and a few hula hoops. 

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Recycled Tire Teeter Totter
Photo: Sugar Bee Crafts

58. Tire Teeter Totter: Alliteration aside, this teeter totter is adorable. Plus it's made from recycled materials, so it's good for the kids and the earth.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY tether ball
Photo: Simply Kierste

59. DIY Tether Ball: This DIY feels like a throwback! Do you guys remember playing tether ball long into the afternoon? Turns out it's pretty easy to make one of your own for you or your offspring to enjoy!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Mini bowling lane
Photo: Handmade with Ashley

60. Mini Bowling Lane: How adorable is this?? Bowling never looked so cute, plus it's small so it doesn't take up a lot of space!

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Giant four-in-a-row
Photo: Home Depot

61. Giant Four-in-a-Row: Everything better when it's bigger. Fair warning: you may end up being house-party-central if you build one of these.

 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Giant jenga
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

62. Giant Jenga: Last but not least, this thrilling game is the perfect addition to a summertime backyard party.

 

 


 

Bonus! Author Christina Pfeiffer is sharing What to plant for more drought resilient containers

By their nature, containers require more frequent watering than plantings in the ground.  Smaller containers in full sun can need watering twice a day during hot spells.  Go large when choosing new containers to save on time and water demands.

Choose a group of plants that are compatible in looks and culture.  Match up their needs for light and water first, then play with combining colors and texture.  

Sedums

These perennials are my first 'go-to' s for drought tolerant containers.  They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors with blooms that benefit pollinator insects and ask for little in terms of water and fertilizer.  Most will overwinter and also combine well with other drought tolerant plants.

Herbs for garden and kitchen

Culinary and ornamental herbs are another group happy in well drained soil and sun.  Those with variegated foliage are stunning accents planted solo in a container.  Among my top favorites are:

Variegated lemon thyme
Sages that are edible and ornamental: 'Berggarten', 'Aurea', 'Purpurescens' and 'Tricolor'
Oregano 'Kent Beauty' trails beautifully out of hanging baskets and into the marinara sauce.

Perennial favorites

These garden perennials make a successful leap between garden beds and containers and back again:

Coral bells, Heuchera 'Green Spice', 'Peppermint Spice' and 'Moonlight'
Geranium x 'Johnson's Blue' and other hardy geranium
Oxalis tetraphylla 'Iron Cross'
Dusty Miller -
Sunrose, Helianthemum 'Wisley Pink' and 'St. Mary's'
Hardy fuchsia
Cape fucshia

Add these grasses and grass-likes for contrasting texture

New Zealand Flax, Phormium and  variegated  iris both offer tall, strappy, striped leaves.  
Low growing glack mondo grass has dramatic dark foliage and and small white or purple flowers.
Variegated lily turf, Liriope muscari 'Variegata', 'Silver Dragon' and 'Sunproof'  all have white edged leaves and purple blooms.

Annuals that can take the heat (and a bit of drought)

Many of the popular annuals used for seasonal color do best with regular water and fertile soil.  Be sure to keep these birds-of-a-feather together.  Here are some great annuals that don't like as much water and fertilizer and that combine well with other types of plants listed in this article:

African daisy, Osteospermum Symphony series
Sweet allysum, Lobularia maritima
Coreopsis tinctoria
Dwarf snapdragons, Chinese Lantern series

 

 

 


Ready to get your backyard in order? We've rounded up 62 outdoor DIY projects to help you get out in the sunshine
Share these outdoor projects on Pinterest!

 

Looking to freshen up your indoor space instead? Check out these 72 organization tips!

72 Organization Tips and Projects

 

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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.         

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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...

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How To: Make the Ultimate, Reusable Fruit Fly Trap

by Chris Gardner
DIY Fruit Fly Trap
Learn how to get rid of fruit flies for good.

Ah ... summertime. The pinnacle of the produce season means amazing things for your palate: sun-ripened fruit, homegrown vegetables, and fresh herbs for days.

Unfortunately, ripe produce also invites other guests to the flavor party: fruit flies. These little monsters (drosophilidae), with their big red eyes and kneejerk-wave inspiring flight patterns, aren't terribly harmful (they have a...

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How to Create an Indoor Garden Your Cat Will Love (Because She's a Plant Lady, Too)

by M.E. Gray

How to make an indoor garden for you feline friend

I was a junior in high school when my cat, Donut, came into my life. She was a rescue from the local ASPCA, and she's been my ride-or-die ever since. Because I was young when I got her, I didn't understand all of her needs. Over the last decade of us living together, the space that Donut takes up in my home grows larger and larger - because like any other living thing, she needs more than water and shelter to thrive. She needs play. She needs nutrients. She needs a place to sharpen her talons other than the side of my armchair. And just how I want only the best for my own health and wellbeing, I want the best for hers, too. Which is why it's important that she gets her greens (or in this case, cat grass).            

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The Internet is Magic, and You Can Buy All Your Houseplants Online

by M.E. Gray

Where to Buy Houseplants Online - 10 online retailers

The internet is a beautiful thing. Anything and everything exists there, including online shops that will sell and ship houseplants to your home. It's basically an introverted millennial's dream (that's me, btw). I am fortunate enough to have a lot of nurseries and plant shops in my area, which is where most of my greens come from. I'd never considered that I could buy houseplants online, but after discovering how easy/cheap/non-confrontational it is, I have several green babies bookmarked on my computer. If you're looking for new places to find greenery, here are 10 great sources for you to buy houseplants online.           

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How to: Make Homemade, Healthy Spiced Ketchup

by Rebekah Greiman
How to: Make Homemade, Healthy Spiced Ketchup
Hello! I'm Rebekah from Potholes and Pantyhose where I share and photograph detailed tutorials of my DIY projects, recipes, photography tips and remodeling endeavors. I am in the middle of remodeling both our living and dining rooms.

My garden is in full swing and I have a plethora of Roma tomatoes that needed to be used. And, after reading the back of a ketchup bottle one day which listed the third ingredient as High Fructose Corn Syrup and the fourth as Corn Syrup, I knew just what to do.  

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