No outdoor installment is quite as classic—or as simple—as the summer tree swing. It's a delight for kids of all ages. Set up your swing in the limbs of your sturdiest tree using roughly 25 feet of heavy-duty rope, a seat-size board, a little duct tape, cable ties, and these Instructables directions.
Related: 10 Playful Examples of Swinging and Swaying Furniture
One man's trash is another bird's treasure—at least, that's how this feathered friend might feel. Establish a drop-in spot to feed winged travelers in your own backyard at very little cost (just a butter container, an old CD, and some coins for weights!) in this upcycling project from Instructables.
Related: Wing It—16 Approaches to a DIY Birdbath
Equip your family for a neighborhood water fight with a small arsenal of squirt guns made from inexpensive PVC pipe. To complete yours, you'll need—besides PVC in two diameters—some O-rings and dental floss. Assembly involves simple sanding, gluing, and drilling; these instructions make it a cinch.
Related: 10 Fun Ways to Turn Your Backyard into a Water Park
When sprucing up your backyard for spring, don't forget the fence. This humdrum wood fencing got a flashy update with a few strategically placed marbles. To make your own, just drill holes into the boards, and push the marbles inside! When the sun hits the fence from behind, the colors will shine through. Follow the tutorial at Creating Really Awesome Free Things.
Related: Living Fences - 11 Boundary-Setting Solutions
Outdoor showers aren't just for the beach! An homemade outdoor shower is a relaxing way to enjoy sunny days or an easy way to make sure the kids rinse off thoroughly so they don't track mud or sand inside. All you need to make your own is a hose, shelf brackets for mounting, some stones to prevent your feet from getting muddy, and a beverage can for a shower head! Check out Instructables for all the details.
Related: 10 Plants for Where the Sun Don't Shine
Green thumbs confined to tiny porches, patios, and balconies need not give up on gardening. Instead, they can maximize the space they do have by growing up. This vertical garden made up of hanging terra-cotta pots is safe and secure, and the idea can be modified for almost any space. Access the complete one-hour tutorial here.
Related: Growing Up - 10 Inventive DIY Vertical Gardens
Paint Your Patio Furniture
Patio furniture is a backyard warrior, weathering rain, sun, and wear. But all those elements take their toll on its appearance. Luckily, revamping your gear is only a can of spray paint away. And paint isn't just for metal or plastic—you can also use it to refresh upholstery and wicker. Before you update your patio furniture, check out these incredible ways to get the job done simply and beautifully.
Related: 10 Unexpected Uses for Spray Paint
Slated for Success
Sleek industrial planters need not cost an arm and a leg. Instead repurpose reclaimed slate tiles in this DIY project so easy, anyone can do it. All you'll need to get the look is some scrap wood, slate tiles, and screws. Go to Instructables for the full how-to!
Related: 10 Inspired DIY Planters to Dress Up Your Garden
Make Your Mark
Gardeners, say goodbye to popsicle stick plant markers forever! This hardy alternative to traditional markers, made from aluminum flashing, is sure to last for more than one season. Sarah of Sarah Dorsey Designs printed out dot templates and used an awl to impress the labels into the metal. Head over to her blog to re-create these modern markers.
Related: 10 Easy-to-Grow Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!