Tuesday's Tip: 4 Frugal Outdoor DIY Projects to Brighten Your Backyard!

July 2013


No matter how large or small your yard is, when summer hits, it can be tempting to dive into a number of backyard projects.

While some projects seem designed to bust your budget and aren’t plausible for those of us with smaller yards, such as putting in a pool, there are plenty of wallet-friendly outdoor DIY crafts you can do.

Flower Pot Bird Bath

Let’s start with a very simple outdoor DIY project. Patricia’s Pots has a simple tutorial for building your own bird bath using painted terracotta flower pots.

Terracotta pots can be purchased for not very much money at craft stores or your local gardening store.

The project involves buying three pots of different sizes, from 12 inches to 16 inches, plus a 20 inch wide saucer. I’m sure you can change up the sizes based on the size of your yard.

You stack the pots, so that the largest is on the bottom and the smallest on the top, then set the saucer on top of the smallest pot.

The tutorial has you seal the pots before painting to prevent water and weather damage. The project sounds easy enough for you to do in an afternoon, perhaps with the kids.

Bird Feeder

Once you’ve brought the birds to your yard with a bird bath, it’s time to entice them to stay by giving them some food.

Erin of Erin’s Creative Energy has tutorial for making a DIY bird feeder using a plate and bowl.

Her craft does require you to use a drill and put holes through a melamine or stoneware plate and bowl, so be warned.

The finished result is a lot cuter looking and less expensive than most bird feeders you see on the market, so the use of power tools might be worth it.

DIY Hammock

Some DIY backyard projects are a bit more complex, such as this homemade hammock from Kate at Design Sponge.

She made her hammock from a beach towel, but you can use any durable fabric, as long as it’s wide enough and long enough.

I might recommend using a fabric you know can withstand weight, such as a heavy cotton canvas or a heavyweight nylon.

You do have to know how to sew to make the hammock, as you stitch pieces of leather to the short ends of the fabric. The leather connects the fabric to ropes which suspend the hammock between two trees or poles.

Once you get the hammock assembled and hung up, you’ll have a quiet place to relax and read in your yard.

Homemade Chalkboard

Why have your kids draw on the sidewalk when they can draw on their own outdoor chalkboard?

The team at Lowes have come up with a clever way to build an outdoor-safe chalkboard .

This outdoor DIY project calls for using exterior flat latex paint, which won’t wear out when exposed to the elements.

The tutorial advises against using chalkboard paint, since it isn’t recommended for use outside.

If you aren’t feeling quite up to making a full chalkboard, but have a wall in your yard or a solid fence, try painting the fence with the black exterior paint.

Your kids will still have a smooth surface to draw or write on and you won’t have to worry about using a miter saw.

Thanks, Mint.com!


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