Top 10 Classic DIY Projects for the Outdoors

It's time to embrace the warmer weather by tackling a couple of outdoor DIY home improvements. There's so much to be done, where do you start? How about right here! Browse our collection of ideas for easy outdoor projects that are perfect for a weekend—in fact, some can be completed in just a few hours. Are you thinking about an upgrade to your patio or deck? Are you itching to give your garden a new look? Well then, here's your inspiration. Who knows? If you're especially productive this weekend, someday soon you'll be able to sit in your newly spray-painted lawn chairs and admire the vegetables sprouting up in your DIY raised beds.

  1. Tree Swing

    Backyard Tree Swing

    If you’ve got rope, a board, and a free afternoon, you have most of the ingredients for a tree swing! Drill a couple of holes into a sanded plank of wood and secure it with rope. Use a ladder to reach a large branch on a healthy tree and loop a chain over the branch. Attach a properly knotted rope to the chain and the board. For a full tutorial, check A Beautiful Mess.

    Related: How To Make a Tire Swing

  2. Window Box

    Red Window Box

    Even if you're not an expert woodworker, with the right tools you can build your own window box in a day. You'll need a table saw (or boards precut to the inside width of the window frame), sandpaper, safety goggles, a drill and screws, and paint or stain. We've got a full tutorial here.

    Related: Window Boxes That Raise the Bar

  3. Bird Feeder

    Cool Bird Feeder

    There are as many bird feeder designs as there are backyard birds. You can make your own feeder from almost anything, including upcycled bottles, teacups and saucers, and peanut butter and pinecones. If you have a hacksaw, you can make this stylish mod bird feeder with an aluminum sheet roof. Get the details from Curbly.

    Related: 10 Best Bird Feeders

  4. Updated Lawn Furniture

    Painted Lawn Furniture

    If your lawn furniture is looking a little tired, perk it up with a good scrub and a fresh coat of paint. Buff rusty metal furniture clean with steel wool. Vinyl cushions can be cleaned with a mixture of dishwashing soap, borax, and warm water. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. Finish with a colorful coat of spray paint.

    Related: Weekend Projects—5 DIYs to Improve Your Outdoor Space

  5. Potting Bench

    DIY Potting Bench

    A potting bench can be a practical workspace as well as a rustic accent for your deck or garden. You can build one like this from pallets or try upcycling an old dresser, replacing the drawers with shelf slides for convenient pull-out storage.

  6. Garden Path

    Mulch Garden Path

    The amount of time spent laying a new path depends entirely on its length and the materials you use. Mulch is the quickest and most economical material for a garden path, but gravel, bluestone, and brick are great options if you're willing to spend a bit more. Give an existing path an upgrade with new edging made of metal, stone, bricks, or even wine bottles.

    Related: 10 DIY Step Stones to Brighten Any Garden Walk

  7. Build a Trellis

    DIY Trellis

    If climbing vines grow in your garden you probably already have a trellis, but if you don't, make one this weekend with lattice fencing and 1x4 boards. Be prepared to secure the trellis by hammering the posts into the ground with a sledgehammer. Alternatively, integrate it into your space as a permanent fixture by filling the postholes with gravel and concrete.

    Related: How To Build a Trellis

  8. Raised Beds

    DIY Raised Bed

    The best raised garden beds are no more than three or four feet wide to allow gardeners easy access for planting, weeding, and harvesting. Raised beds allow for proper drainage and greater control over the growing medium, so you can raise your own fruits and vegetables even if your region's soil isn't the most arable. Build your own with pressure-treated boards, concrete blocks, or bricks.

  9. Bird Bath

    DIY Bird Bath

    This kid-friendly project hardly takes a minute. Stack together a few terra-cotta pots and rest a saucer securely on top. You'll need to clean and refill the basin every few days; be sure to use natural cleansers that are safe for your feathery guests.

    Related: Wing It—11 Approaches to a DIY Birdbath

  10. Compost Pile

    DIY Compost Bin

    Turn kitchen scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich soil by composting—and build a simple compost bin while you're at it! This bin was built from repurposed pallets. To re-create it, you'll need four pallets, screws, and hinges to turn one side into a door that allows easy access to finished compost.

    Related: Composting 101—What You Should and Shouldn’t Compost / jencelene

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