Bob Vila's 13 Best Projects for a Long Weekend

Three cheers for the long weekend! A few times out of the year, we're blessed with a full extra day's worth of time to ourselves. It's the perfect opportunity to run errands, spend time with family, or fix up whatever has been hanging around for weeks waiting to be addressed. But that extra day is also great for tackling a fun home DIY. We've rounded up a few of the best, most joyful summer projects we've seen in order to inspire you to exercise your creativity over the long weekend. This collection ranges from hour-long crafts to extensive multiday projects, so there's an option here to suit every skill level and any schedule.

  1. How Your Garden Grows

    Plant markers

    You might be one who remembers which row you've seeded with celery and which will come up zucchini, but why not embrace the opportunity for a little flashiness in the garden? In this modern take, labels punched into aluminum flashing make for sturdy and attention-grabbing signage! And at just 10 minutes a sign, you couldn't really ask for a better return on your time investment. 

    Related: 10 Totally Unexpected Things to Remake as Planters

  2. So Fresh

    DIY Herb Garden

    You've started your fresh veggies in the garden, but have you set up your herbs in the kitchen window? If not, follow our DIY to create a mini vertical garden that won't take up much room at all in a space-starved kitchen, and will let you enjoy home-grown seasonings all summer long.

    Related: 10 Clever DIY Ways to Store Spices

  3. Smoking Hot

    DIY Fire Pit

    A fire pit can be as simple as a hole in the ground with stones stacked haphazardly around, but if you want something safer and more special, consider this ingenious approach: Repurpose the drum from an old washing machine. The stainless steel holds up to high heat, and the slots allow air to reach the fire. And somehow the industrial drum manages to look quite stylish, especially when lit up against the night sky.

    Related: No Money to Burn? 9 Fire Pits You Can Afford

  4. Swing High

    DIY Porch Swing

    This summertime staple is an absolute necessity for at-home relaxation—or, at least, we certainly wouldn't want to be without one. Enjoying a cup of morning joe in this serene spot will be all the sweeter with the knowledge that you crafted it with your own hands. You can build your own porch swing in one afternoon, bringing nostalgic charm to your outdoor space.

    Related: Screen Shots—12 Seductively Serene Screened Porches

  5. Your Number is Up

    DIY House Numbers

    Sure, house numbers serve a very practical function, notifying guests, delivery services, and first responders that they've found the right place. But these utilitarian numbers need not be boring. With a few pieces of scrap wood, a jigsaw, and bright, bold paint, you can craft a cheerful statement just like this one.

    Related: Refresh Your Home with 8 Easy Outdoor Paint Projects

  6. Kids at Heart

    DIY tent

    While playing with imaginary friends and finger painting may be things of the past, you're never too old to enjoy a good, old-fashioned fort. This easy-to-build little hideaway is perfect for children and grown-ups alike. So this summer, when extreme temperatures send you indoors, grab your pillows, sheets, and cushions to continue the fun.

    Related: Banish Boredom with 7 Kid-Friendly DIY Projects

  7. A Step Up

    Ladder shelf

    Good for more than reaching the top shelf, an old ladder hiding in your attic could be given new life and responsibility elsewhere around the house—as a plant stand. A fresh coat of bright yellow paint completely transforms this cheap flea-market ladder into a sturdy, space-saving display for pretty potted plants, books, and other small tchotchkes.

    Related: 12 Tiny Gardens You Can Grow on a Tabletop

  8. A Warm Welcome

    DIY Doormat

    Held together by knotted rope, this wood-slat doormat is super simple to assemble. Check out our tutorial to learn how you can knock one out before your next guests arrive!

    Related: 10 Doable Designs for a DIY Rug

  9. Game On

    DIY string lights

    When the sun goes down, the party doesn't have to end. Instead, continue outdoor games past dusk by the glow of upgraded string lights. Here, a set of colorful shuttlecocks can transform any ordinary set of string lights into something infinitely more fun! 

    Related: 8 New Ideas for DIY Outdoor Lighting

  10. The Bar's Open!

    DIY Mini Bar

    You can serve up drinks on demand when you mount a pull-down bar on the exterior of your home! Located off a deck or patio, this six-inch-deep woodworking project will help keep your glasses filled all season long, quickly proving itself to be a wonderful investment of DIY time.

    Related: 10 Doable Designs for DIY Outdoor Furniture

  11. Movies with the Stars

    Outdoor Movie Screen

    Nothing says summer quite like a night out under the stars. Re-create that drive-in movie nostalgia right at home with your DIY screen setup. All it takes is a large white sheet, projector, and a little creativity to devise a backyard theater!

    Related: 7 Irresistible Outdoor Living Trends for 2015

  12. Growing Up

    DIY Trellis

    Set your yard apart from the neighbors' with a unique, chevron-based trellis that supports climbing plants while also serving as a stylish focal point in your garden. Here, the diagonal members are actually repurposed wood shims, and the verticals are store-bought garden stakes. Building this beginner-friendly DIY trellis requires nothing more than a bit of basic sawing and nailing. 

    Related: 9 Insanely Easy 1-Hour Backyard Projects

  13. A Sunny Seat

    DIY window seat

    With a whole season of sunny days ahead, what is more desirable (or more dreamy) than a nook to curl up in while you soak up those rays? If you start with a can-do attitude and a solid set of instructions, a bay window built-in—complete with a wealth of hidden storage!—could be yours before the weekend comes to a close.

    Related: Storage Where You Least Expected It: 10 Sly Spots to Stash Your Stuff

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