Outdoor Summer DIY Projects

Hopefully today is the day the doctors take my sling off and I can start to use both my arms - or at least hands!!  But as I still am one handed at the moment, I thought I would share some fun DIY projects we have done in the past to spruce up our outdoor living space - especially as we love to entertain!!


Have an old ladder hanging around - put it to good use as a way to hang flowers.  We had this ladder in our back yard not being used.  We cut it down to the size we needed and then used a few lag bolts to hang.  Viola you have a vintage looking plant hanger.  We left ours in its natural state but it would also look great painted.


As I have mentioned numerous times - we love to party here.  As there are loads of young ones in our family, we built this photo booth for them to have a bit of fun - although the adults enjoyed it just as much.  We simply took a piece of plywood and cut a window out of it big enough to make sure a few faces can fit in there.  Make sure you do not cut the hole out too low - you can always use a step stool for the little ones as we did - as it is harder for the adults to bend over.  I decided to paint the wood with chalkboard paint as I felt it would be fun for the kids to draw on it before taking their photo.  I used 3 coats of paint.  You can also choose to use paint, wallpaper or anything else to cover the plywood with.  I then took some decorative trim and screwed it on to make it look like a frame.  We took 2- 2x4's and screwed them at an angle to the back to make legs to prop the photo booth up.  Now you have a fun addition to any party!!

For props, I took heavy cardboard paper and drew various fun items - mustache, glasses, super hero hats, top hats, lips, etc - then colored them in with sharpies and added some trim here and there.  These were then hot glue gunned to wooden sticks - I actually used the wooden skewers you use for grilling.


Have any empty wine bottles lying around?  Here is a good use for them.  Start by soaking them to peel of any labels.  Then you will need to hit the hardware store for some items - copper top plate connector, split ring hanger, copper coupling and cap, threaded rod, wick, some screws and bolts - most of these items you can find in the plumbing section.  You can find detailed instructions all over the web so just google it - but here is one site that does a good job showing all the steps - http://www.designsponge.com/2009/08/diy-project-eriks-recycled-wine-bottle-torch.html.  We love ours - not only is it a stylish way to keep the bugs away but it becomes a talking piece at all of our backyard gatherings.


I love mason jars.  I use them in many ways at all of our parties.  They look vintage but you also can't beat the price.  You can buy a case of 12 for $8-14 depending on the size.  I get mine at Walmart or the grocery store.  Here are some of the ways I have incorporated them into my summer parties

Flower Vase - Painting Mason Jars can transform them into many things.  There are many ways to paint them but for these, as they were going to be outside, I used spray paint.  You can find spray paint in so many great colors now.  I use Rustoleum especially for outdoor projects (even the green chair you see in the background was spray painted)

Drink Cups - I don't know about you but one of my pet peeves about outdoor dining is bugs!!!  A very simple way to solve that problem yet still stay vintage and pretty is cupcake liners over the mason jars.  I have also drilled holes in the regular tops they come with but the above method tends to be much simpler!

 Now this one is for the adults - Candied flavored shots in a mason jar!  Take some candy and add vodka and let it sit for a day or two and here is what you have.  Add some ribbon and a little label and the party can get started!!

Hope you enjoy some of these projects!  Do you have a favorite backyard DIY?  If so send it over and we will post about it!!