Category: Contests & Give-Aways

This DIY Game Night Essential Doubles as a Fire Pit Cover

Outdoor furniture gets a fun twist with this double-duty tabletop and checkers board.

game table 1


A fire pit makes a great addition to any backyard, but some, including Robin from All Things Heart and Home, find the gaping hole it leaves behind to be a little distracting during the off-season months. Searching for a way to make use of the structure, while also attractively camouflaging it, Robin came up with this incredible double-duty tabletop and game board combo.

game table 2


Robin began by measuring her fire pit and cutting pieces of cyprus wood into a large square that would cover the opening. Next, she used a domino joiner to join the wood pieces, and then added wood glue for extra support. After the pieces were dry, she found the center of the square and created a large circle using a screw, a pencil, and some string. Robin checked that the circle was large enough to cover the fire pit opening, and then used a jigsaw to cut around the circle. She then sanded the piece and stained it for a weathered finish. To create the checkerboard on top, she marked off squares using painter’s tape and filled the necessary holes with black paint. For an aged finish, Robin sanded the black paint until the wood grain showed through.

game table 3


For the full instructions, and for more double-duty ideas, visit All Things Heart and Home.

A Pretty Porch Swing That Used to Be a Deck

Kick back and relax with this porch swing that never goes out of style.

porch swing 1


Is there anything more charming than a porch swing? Not to Ashley of Simply Designing, who decided to take apart a portion of her deck to craft a version for her own family to enjoy. Keep reading to see how a little repurposing and lot of ingenuity contributed to this amazing wood build.

porch swing 2


First, Ashley took apart the built-in bench that already sat atop her deck. Next she installed deck boards to replace any that she had removed, and then cut her recycled wood pieces to size and began assembling. After all the wood pieces were secured and the swing had taken shape, Ashley sanded the unit, sprayed it with deck cleaner, and stained it. Once everything had dried, she drilled pilot holes around the frame, and then screwed eye screws into the pilot holes. Ashley created a support system for the bench by screwing 2×8 boards into the cross beams of her existing pergola, and screwing another eye bolt to hold it. Ashley finished by looping pieces of rope through the eye bolts on the ceiling and seat, and tying the knots in place.


porch swing 3


To get the full step-by-step, and for more fun-filled projects, visit Simply Designing.

A Budget Bench That’s Easy to DIY

Incredibly modern (and incredibly easy!) this outdoor bench makes a statement on any deck, porch, or patio.

wood bench 1


When the warm weather comes around, it’s natural to want to spend time lounging outside. But for Amy of DIY Candy, the porch lacked a perch that would allow her to sit and stay awhile. After devising a plan and picking up a few supplies, she went to work to create this mod build for only $35.


wood bench 2


First, Amy milled the edges of every piece of wood, and cut then cut them to size. Next, she began assembling, forming a modified box joint and then using wood glue and clamps to connect the pieces together as she went. One the bench was put together, she let it dry overnight. From there, Amy sanded the wood to get everything smooth, and gave the piece a few coats of stain and sealer for a sleek finish.


wood bench 3


Get all the info you need for this outdoor-friendly DIY, and find more inspiring projects, at DIY Candy.

Enter to Win Bob Vila’s $3,000 Refresh Your Deck Give-Away with Hyde Tools Today

Enter for your chance to win a $3,000 deck makeover.

April showers have brought May flowers, and we can now exchange the confines of our indoor spaces for the sunshine and warmth of our backyards, and—even better—our decks. But if yours is looking a little worse for the wear, then Bob Vila and Hyde Tools have just what you need: Enter to win the $3,000 Refresh Your Deck Give-Away for the chance to get your deck spick-and-span for spring.


Today and every day in May (starting 12:00 p.m. EST April 30th, 2016 through 11:59 a.m. EST May 31st, 2016), enter to win $3,000 from Hyde Tools to put toward a deck makeover. (See Official Rules below.)

If you’re the winner of this month’s give-away, you’ll score $3,000 to put toward transforming your outdated deck into a relaxing retreat. Spend the prize money on whatever your deck needs, from repairs and contractor services, to a brand-new outdoor dining set. In addition to the $3,000 prize, Hyde Tools is also offering up an assortment of gear to help make your dream deck a reality. Whether you try out the PivotPro Water Wand—which transforms any standard garden hose into a cleaning machine—or another of their multitasking tools, Hyde has what you need to keep a good deck looking great.

Don’t waste another minute! Enter today and every day in May for your chance to upgrade a forlorn deck into the gathering hub you’ve always imagined.

To learn more about Hyde Tools, click here.

The “Bob Vila’s $3,000 Refresh Your Deck Give-Away with Hyde Tools” is open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia; residents of Alaska and Hawaii are not eligible. Void in all other geographic locations. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Contest Period runs from 12:00 p.m. (EST) Saturday, April 30th, 2016 and ends at 11:59 a.m. EST on Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 . One entry per household per day on Alternative means of entry for Drawing is available by faxing your name and address to 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. See Official Rules.

Bob Vila’s $3,000 Refresh Your Deck Give-Away with Hyde Tools Official Rules

Bob Vila’s “$3,000 Refresh Your Deck Give-Away with Hyde Tools” (the “Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by Vila Media, LLC, Post Office Box 835, West Barnstable, MA 02668 (“Sponsor”).

The Sweepstakes consists of one (1) random drawing (the “Drawing”). The Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on April 30th, 2016 and ends at 11:59 a.m. EST on May 31st, 2016 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). One Drawing will be held during the Sweepstakes Period. The entry period for the Drawing shall begin at 12:00 p.m. EST on April 30th, 2016 and ends at 11:59 a.m. EST on May 31st, 2016 (the “Entry Period”). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MAKING A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. ODDS OF WINNING WILL DEPEND ON THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. ONLINE ENTRY ONLY AND INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED. AFFIDAVIT OF ELIGIBILITY AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM MAY BE REQUIRED.

Open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. Employees of Sponsor and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies and any other entity involved in the development or administration of this Sweepstakes, and their immediate family members or household members are not eligible to participate in or win the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any person who fails to meet the eligibility requirements or any person it determines, in its sole discretion, to be sufficiently connected with the Sweepstakes such that such person’s participation could create the appearance of impropriety. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means are void, and Sponsor expressly reserves the right to disqualify any entries that it believes in good faith are generated by an automated program or via scripts. Entries that are determined, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor to constitute advertisements, commercial messages, or “spam” will be disqualified and deleted. Void where prohibited by law. All applicable federal, state and local laws apply. No purchase is necessary to participate in the Sweepstakes. You may enter any given Drawing one (1) time per household per day by visiting the BOB VILA website at and submit your name and email address using the online “$3,000 Refresh Your Deck Give-Away with Hyde Tools” submission form.

Each entry submitted in response to the Drawing and in accordance with the Official Rules will constitute an official entry. Duplicate entries within one day will be deemed void.

If you do not have internet access, alternative means of entry for the Drawing is available by faxing your name, address and phone number to the Sponsor at 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. One (1) alternative entry per household per day. Any additional entries submitted via fax within one day will be deemed void.

Entries received after the end of the Sweepstakes Period will be deemed void. Normal time, toll, connection and usage rates, if any, charged by your Internet Service Provider will apply. All entries become the property of the Sponsor. By entering the Drawing during the Sweepstakes, you will be agreeing that any information collected in connection with the Sweepstakes may be used by Sponsor in accordance with Vila Media, LLC’s Privacy Policy, a current copy of which can be found here. By participating, all entrants agree to abide by these Official Rules.

At the end of the Entry Period, there will be one (1) drawing in which one (1) potential winner (“Winner”) shall be selected from all eligible entries received during that Entry Period by employees or representatives of the Sponsor to receive the prize designated for the Drawing. The winning entry will be chosen at random. The number of eligible entries received during the Entry Period for the Drawing determines the odds of winning. The Sweepstakes will be conducted under the supervision of the Sponsor. If the Winner is determined to be ineligible, forfeits or does not claim the prize, the prize will be re-awarded, in Sponsor’s sole discretion based on a subsequent drawing from the pool of eligible entries. Other restrictions may apply. Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding with respect to all matters related to the Sweepstakes. All prizes (or in the event of a lost, misdirected, or otherwise unavailable prize, a prize of equivalent value) will be awarded. In no event shall the Sponsor be obligated to award more prizes than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules. Winner shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize. To receive a complete list of winners or a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Prize Fulfillment, Vila Media, LLC, PO Box 835 Barnstable, MA 02668. Specify winner’s list or rules on your request.

The Winner will be notified by email, or in the case of alternate entry, by phone; Sponsor reserves the right to determine the method of notification. Winner must claim their prize within twenty-four (24) hours after the date of notification of their prize. A Winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified twenty-four (24) hours will be considered such Winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate Winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate Winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. Sponsor reserves the right to ship prizes directly to the mailing and/or email address (as applicable) provided by Winner during their entry to the Drawing.

The prize for the Drawing during the Sweepstakes Period shall be provided by Hyde Tools, Inc. (the “Prize Supplier”) and shall consist of up to $3,000 reimbursement by the Prize Supplier of Winner’s verified, direct expenses for paint, supplies, and professional services in connection with a deck refurbishment. No transfer, substitution or cash redemption will be awarded in lieu of Prize. Limit one prize per entrant. The prize will be delivered within 30 days from when the prize winners’ documents are executed and sent to the prize provider.

An entrant or winner may be disqualified from the Sweepstakes, and his or her entry may be deleted, if he or she fails to comply with each provision of these Official Rules, as determined in the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Participation in the Sweepstakes is at entrant’s own risk. Sponsor shall not be liable for (1) failed, returned or misdirected notifications based on inaccurate information provided by the winner on the Drawings entry forms, (2) entries and responses to winner notifications which are lost, late, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible, postage-due, misdirected, damaged or otherwise not received by the intended recipient in whole or in part or for computer or technical error of any kind, (3) any electronic miscommunications or failures, technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit an entrant’s ability to participate in part or wholly in the Sweepstakes, (4) any technical malfunctions of the telephone network, computer on-line system, computer equipment, software, program malfunctions or other failures, delayed computer transactions or network connections that are human, mechanical or technical in nature, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from downloading any part of this Sweepstakes or (5) any warranty of fitness or merchantability of any prize or the function or operation thereof, which shall be the sole responsibility of the manufacturer of the prize. Sponsor does not make any, and hereby disclaims any and all, representations or warranties of any kind regarding any prize. Unless prohibited by applicable law, your entry constitutes your permission to use your name, photograph, likeness, voice, address (city and state) and testimonials in all media, in perpetuity, in any manner Sponsor deems appropriate for publicity purposes without any further compensation to such entrant.

By entering or accepting a prize in the Sweepstakes, Winner agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and to conform to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. When applicable, the Winner (or, if the Winner is a minor, the Winner’s parent or legal guardian) may be required to execute and return to Sponsor within three (3) business days an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability and Publicity Release and relevant tax forms to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner may be selected. Winner may be required to furnish proof of identity, address and birth date in order to receive a prize.

By entering, an entrant agrees to indemnify, release and hold harmless Sponsor and each of its respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliated entities, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any damage, injury, death, loss, claim, action, demand, or other liability (collectively, “Claims”) that may arise from their acceptance, possession and/or use of any prize or their participation in the Sweepstakes, or from any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, regardless of whether such Claims, or knowledge of the facts constituting such Claims, exist at the time of entry or arise at any time thereafter. Released Parties are not responsible or liable to any entrant or to any Winner or any person claiming through such Winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action, regulation, order or request by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action, regulations, order or request proves to be invalid), equipment failure, threatened terrorist acts, terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond the Released Parties’ sole control. The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing, electronic or human errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) viruses or technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications or entry information, any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, failures or technical malfunction of any computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, email, players or browsers, whether on account of technical problems, traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing; (3) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (4) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (5) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize; or (7) late, lost, misdirected, illegible, incomplete or mutilated entries or for theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of entries. These indemnification and release provisions shall survive expiration of the Sweepstakes.

Persons found tampering with, abusing, or otherwise disrupting any aspect of this Sweepstakes, or otherwise attempting to defraud Sponsor, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and their entries will be deleted. If disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the entrant’s eligibility to further participate in this Sweepstakes and future promotions and sweepstakes of Sponsor or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to undermine the legitimate operation of this Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

This Sweepstakes is strictly for promotional and entertainment purposes and may not be used in connection with any form of gambling. In the event this Sweepstakes is challenged by any legal or regulatory authority, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the Sweepstakes, or to disqualify entrants residing in the affected geographic areas. In such event, the Sponsor shall have no liability to any entrants who are disqualified due to such an action. Sponsor reserves the right to modify these Official Rules in any way or at any time. Sponsor reserves the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this Sweepstakes should viruses, bugs or other causes beyond their control corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Sweepstakes. In the event any portion of this Sweepstakes is compromised by any non-authorized human intervention, actions of entrants, or other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, corrupt or impair the integrity, administration, security, or operation of this Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to suspend, modify, abbreviate or terminate the Sweepstakes without further obligation. If Sponsor elects to abbreviate the Sweepstakes, Winner(s) will be determined from all eligible entries received for Drawing(s) prior to the action or compromise giving rise to the suspension or termination of this Sweepstakes. In the event of cancellation, abbreviation or suspension, Sponsor shall promptly post a notice on the Sweepstakes entry page to such effect.

This Sweepstakes shall be governed by New York law. By participating in this Sweepstakes entrants agree that New York courts shall have jurisdiction over any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to this Sweepstakes and that venue shall be only in New York City, New York. The failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any part of these Official Rules is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, that part will be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law, and the remainder of these Official Rules will remain fully in force.

Bob Vila Thumbs Up: The Furniture Makeover Competition Starts Today

Vote today and everyday this month to help your favorite blogger win the April Thumbs Up challenge.

Furniture Makeovers


Old furniture is one of the best—and cheapest—materials to get your hands dirty in the DIY world. Whether it’s a modern spin on an old classic, a quick paint upgrade that makes a huge impact, or a charming (or quirky!) addition to a builder-basic piece, the opportunities for personalizing found furniture are endless. Which is why we’ve decided to showcase some of the best furniture makeovers around for this month’s Bob Vila Thumbs Up competition.


Bob Vila Thumbs Up recognizes some of the very best DIY projects around the web, and this month we’re shining the spotlight on great furniture makeovers. Each of these bloggers wins points in our book for creativity but only one can win the Bob Vila Thumbs Up competition and the $250 gift card.


So cast your vote today and every day through April 30 to help your favorite furniture makeover become this month’s Bob Vila Thumbs Up winner. After all, only you and your vote can determine the outcome of this competition.

Congrats to last month’s winning blogger, The House of Wood. Read more about the winning Bob Vila Thumbs Up project here.

Enter Bob Vila’s Love Your Lawn Give-Away with John Deere Today!

Enter to win a John Deere riding mower!


John Deere

Spring has officially sprung, which means it’s time to turn your attention to your flowers, bushes, trees, and—most importantly—your lawn. While all outdoor greenery makes for a beautiful home, there’s no single feature that covers as much real estate, and packs such a curb appeal punch, as fresh, green grass. That’s why we’ve partnered with John Deere to bring you the Love Your Lawn Give-Away, which awards one lucky winner a top-of-the-line mowing machine that makes easy work of outdoor maintenance.


Today and every day in April (starting 12:00 p.m. EST March 31st, 2016 through 11:59 a.m. EST April 30th, 2016), enter to win your choice of one of two John Deere riding mowers. (See Official Rules below.)

sealSince its founding in 1837, John Deere has grown from one man’s idea to improve agriculture into one of the most admired producers of American-made residential lawn equipment in the world. Building innovative, high-quality products that constantly improve the lives of those who use them is all in a day’s work for this household name, making John Deere a top choice for the farm, the front lawn, and everything in between.

If you come away the winner of this month’s give-away, you’ll get to choose the perfect John Deere mower for your lawn:

Want to give your neighbors major lawn envy? Then the S240 Sport Lawn Tractor is for you. This user-friendly model makes maintaining your lawn a smooth, comfortable, and enjoyable experience. Large, turf-friendly tires and a powerful engine help this sleek machine tackle even hilly landscapes with ease, while the 42-inch Edge Cutting System provides a clean cut for your lawn.

If you choose the Z335E ZTrak Zero-Turn Radius Mower, you’re signing up for the best in speed and precision. It’s not how fast you mow, it’s how well you mow fast, and this mower delivers both. Ideal for long and level stretches of land, the motion control levers driven by two independent transmissions make turning on a dime easy and fun. Equipped with the ACCEL DEEP™ mower deck, which offers first-rate cut quality at faster speeds, the Z335E will leave your lawn consistently beautiful.

So what are you waiting for? Enter today and every day in April for your chance to win one of these two amazing mowers that will help make your lawn the most beautiful on the block.

To learn more about John Deere, click here.

The “Bob Vila’s Love Your Lawn Give-Away with John Deere” is open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia; residents of Alaska and Hawaii are not eligible. Void in all other geographic locations. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Contest Period runs from 12:00 p.m. (EST) Thursday, March 31st, 2016, through 11:59 a.m. Saturday, April 30th, 2016. One entry per household per day on Alternative means of entry for Drawing is available by faxing your name and address to 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. See Official Rules.

Colorful Desk Makeover

See how this crafty blogger transformed a secondhand desk into a bright statement piece for her refreshed home office.

Bob Vila Thumbs Desk Makeover


After searching with no avail for the perfect desk for her updated home office, Sabrina of Pink Little Notebook decided to hunt for a secondhand piece that she could repurpose instead. Keep reading to see how she put together this bright and modern build.

Bob Vila Thumbs Desk Makeover 2


First, Sabrina cleaned and dismantled the found desk so that it was ripe for repurposing. She then sanded the entire unit with her hand sander until all the previous sheen was gone, and wiped away any remaining dust. She primed and painted everything in a bright white, and then added an accent color to the ridges of the cabinets to make them pop. Sabrina wanted to replace the laminate countertop that the desk came with—and she wanted to add an extension—so she bought two pieces of pine wood to serve as the tops. She treated the wood, let it dry, and then applied a blue stain. Finally, she created legs for the extension and assembled everything together for a show-stopping finish.

Bob Vila Thumbs Desk Makeover 3


For the full step-by-step, and for more great DIY ideas, visit

Bus-Inspired Dream Dresser

It doesn't get much more charming than this Volkswagen-inspired dresser makeover. Keep reading to see how this blogger put it all together.

Bob Vila Thumbs Bus Dresser


Larissa of Prodigal Pieces had been carrying an idea around with her for about two years, and when she scored an Art Deco chest of drawers for free at a garage sale, she knew she could turn her dream into a reality. Read on to see how she brought her vision of this charming Volkswagen bus to life.

Bob Vila Thumbs Bus Dresser 2


Larissa started by removing the chipped veneer that plagued the outside of the dresser and gave everything a light sanding. Then, she removed a few features she wasn’t enthused about, primed the piece, and started in on designing the bus using stencils made from cardboard, plastic lids, and other household items. After painting the dresser and thoughtfully assembling the hardware so it mimicked the front of a Volkswagen bus, Larissa added the perfect finishing touch: a silver VW emblem.

Bob Vila Thumbs Bus Dresser 3


For more great repurposing ideas, and for the full tutorial, visit

Old Piano Bench Turned Stylish Seat

This blogger transformed an old piano bench into a perfect perch for her home.

Bob Vila Thumbs Up Piano Bench


After scoring a vintage piano bench for pennies at a local garage sale, Melody of My Passion for Decor went to work giving it a much-needed spruce. Keep reading to see how a few simple steps made a huge difference for this outdated furniture piece.

Bob Vila Thumbs Up Piano Bench 2


First, Melody gave the bench a few coats of white paint and distressed it in a few areas to add interest. She also wanted to give it an element of coziness, so she decided to upholster the top using a piece of spare wood, foam batting, and fabric she found on sale. After completing the new and improved seat, she attached it to the bench top using screws, and displayed the project proudly in her home.

Bob Vila Thumbs Up Piano Bench 3


For the all of the details for this project, and for more charming DIYs, visit