11 Cheap and Easy Summer Backyard DIYs

1) Paint Outdoor Patio Tiles

DIY Backyard Cement Tiles

Patio tiles by themselves can look drab, especially when they’re grey concrete like the tiles we started with in our home. An outdoor rug may be the quick and easy solution to liven up the space, but paint gives you more ability to customize your patio. Run out to your local neighborhood hardware store and pick up latex floor paint in the color scheme that suits your tastes. You can see the colors I chose below.

DIY Paint Project

After priming the tiles with Kilz primer, I proceeded to apply three coats of color to each tile. To finish everything off, I sealed the tiles using Clear-Seal concrete protective sealer. This project took an entire day to complete due to the drying process in between each coat. Overall, my wife and I are very happy with the results. We’ve made our patio pop in a way that is both unique and inexpensive. If you’re curious as to where the chairs came from you can find them on Amazon here and here.

2) Create Glow In The Dark Path Pebbles

Glow in the dark stones

Glow in the dark pebbles are a simple and cheap alternative to spending hundreds of dollars on outdoor solar lights. Simply pick up a can of Rust-Oleum glow in the dark spray paint and start painting the rocks or pebbles that line your path. If you don’t feel like painting your own pebbles you can buy glow in the dark pebbles for a nickle a piece here.

3) Start Gardening In Galvanized Tubs

metal tub garden

Galvanized tubs make for great garden plots. You don’t have to clear out any land to create your garden, everything stays contained within the tub, and you can move the tubs around as you see fit. A large galvanized tub will cost you around $150, but you can start off small with a 16 gallon galvanized tub for $24. You can use your tub to plant tall grass and add privacy or partitions to your yard. Even better, if you plant lemongrass you’ll keep the mosquitoes away!

4) Make A Water Blob For Summer Fun

mini DIY water blobs

Water blobs are all the rage on Pinterest and for a good reason. If you don’t have the space or budget for a pool, a water blob will keep your kids just as entertained. Water blobs don’t have to be for kids only. They serve as great water beds for you to lay out and get your tan on. Unfortunately, water blobs are notorious for bursting or leaking after a matter of days. Unlike many water blob how-to’s, we’re here to show you how to make a leak-proof water blob. What’s the secret? An iron. Melting the ends of the plastic together works far better than simply applying duct tape. You’ll need the following things to create your own water blob:

  1. Painter’s plastic
  2. Ironing board
  3. Parchment paper
  4. Duct Tape

DIY water blob step 1

Once you’ve purchased all of the needed materials, you’ll want to roll out your plastic onto the floor and fold it in half. Then, cut a piece out 2 feet of parchment paper and fold the paper in half length wise. Draw a line 2 inches out from the fold. This line will become your ironing guide.

DIY water blob step 2

With your parchment guide ready you can place the ends of your plastic sheet in-between the fold of the parchment paper and turn on your iron. You’ll want to iron along the line on the parchment paper moving your paper as you go. Make sure you’re only ironing on the parchment paper! If your iron touches the plastic it will melt a hole. Work your way around each edge of the plastic sheet to completely seal everything up.

DIY water blob step 3

The final step in creating your very own water blob is to cut a small hole in an edge for your hose to fit in. The duct tape is then used to seal the hole once you’ve filled up the blob.

5) Create An Outdoor Movie Screen

Outdoor backyard movie screen DIY

If you don’t own a projector, you’ll need to first purchase a projector. After that, creating a screen is easy! All you need are curtain hanging wiresscreen fabric, 3 hook screws, and 1x4s. Your total for these three items will come to about $74. You can start by hanging the wires between trees or posts in your backyard. Next, you’ll need to create a wooden frame for the screen using 1×4 planks. When your frame is finished you can attach your screen using staples and add the hook screws to the top of the frame to hang it from the wire. A backyard movie screen makes family nights all the more memorable. We’ve really enjoyed ours.

6) Create A Buried Pot Landscape

Buried pot landscape

Burying planter pots in the ground ensures that your layout is organized and everything stays in its place. Buried pots make landscaping simple.

 7) Edge Your Garden With Bricks

DIY brick paver garden edging

I’m a huge fan of this DIY brick paver garden edging idea from the Michigan Home Improvement Guy, Allen Hardy. Creating brick edging makes cutting your lawn so much easier. Your lawnmower wheels can ride across the brick so that the edge of your grass is cut and you no longer have to break out the weed whacker. You can find the full DIY instructions over at Allen’s blog.

8) Keep Animals At Bay With Pine Cone Bedding

DIY pine cone bedding

Collect all of the pine cones in your yard and use them as bedding material. The pine cones will keep pets and soft-pawed animals out of your plants.

9) DIY Your Outdoor Seating

DIY cinder block couch

This is an awesome DIY idea from Doug Tyler’s Michigan Home Blog. An outdoor couch would typically cost upwards of about $600. Doug shows you how to create your own outdoor couch using cinder blocks and 4x4s for just $250!Doug has a lot of great DIY home improvement ideas. I’d highly recommend checking out his blog. You can find the full outdoor seating how-to here.

10) Create Trellis Wall Graffiti

DIY trellis wall

Trellis kits by Lee Valley allow you to create a trellis in any shape you desire. You can find the kits here for just $24.50.

11) Add Storage Space With A Bucket Table

DIY backyard coffee table

You can add both character and storage space with a build-your-own outdoor coffee table. You can place your drinks on top of the table and anything you don’t want laying around into the bucket. All you need are the following items:

  1. Metal tub
  2. Stain
  3. Glue
  4. One 1/4 inch plywood
  5. 2×6 untreated lumber
  6. Poly

DIY backyard coffee table how to

The entire project will cost you roughly $60. After your materials are purchased, the first thing you’ll want to do is cut the plywood into a circle. Next, you’ll want to give your 2×6 boards a used look by beating them with the claw side of the hammer. When your boards look the way you want them to, glue them down to the plywood and let everything dry overnight. The following day you can cut the boards around the plywood so that you’re left with your circle table top.

Finished rustic backyard coffee table

At this point you’ve done over half of the work. All that’s left is to stain your tabletop, finish it off with a coat of poly, and then place it on top of your metal bucket.


5 Tips to Add Style and Value to Your Bathroom


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Upgrading and remodeling the bathroom is one of the top projects when it comes to home improvement. Studies show that an updated bathroom is on the top of the list of things that buyers are looking for in a home. This makes sense, after all, the average person will spend a year and a half of their life in the bathroom. Whether you’re looking to add style and functionality to your bathroom to meet your own needs or want to add value as you prepare to sell, these 5 tips can help.

Make Use of All of Your Space

Making the most out of your space is crucial when it comes to upgrading your bathroom. If you can, add cabinets in your bathroom to serve as storage for your toiletries as well as add the look you want. Shelves can also help create storage space and provide room for a little decoration. You can even use simple woven baskets to match your décor and provide simple storage avoid a cluttered space. Smart, stylish storage options are a great way to add value to your home. Don’t let limited square footage keep you from making the most of your bathroom.

Focus on the Smaller Things

Small bathroom fixtures like handles and knobs can make a big difference in your bathroom. Replace dated standard vanity handles with newer more stylish ones. Replace an old sink with a luxurious new one. The sink is a key part of every bathroom and buyers will take notice of updated features which can translate into more value for you. If your toilet is looking a little dated, spruce it up with a new seat and cover. Replace your old shower door with a sleek, new one. Small updates like these will help to add value to your bathroom without costing outrageous sums of money.

Fix Any Existing Issues

It is easy to let small problems in the bathroom go as they may not have much of an effect on your everyday life. Things like a leaky faucet or old caulk are problems that buyers don’t want to see, even though they may be small and easy to fix. Take some time to address these issues as your update your bathroom. If you can frost a birthday cake, you can re-caulk your shower or tub. Make sure your toilets are flushing properly as well. Easy fixes like these will ensure that your buyers aren’t deterred little problems.

Be Smart When Choosing a Style

If you’re not looking to sell anytime soon and want to decorate with a style that you love, go ahead. If you think you might sell your home in the near future, you can certainly choose a style that you like, but it will be beneficial to follow a more traditional style. Rich finishes, detailed accents, and darker, deeper colors continue to be popular with buyers in the U.S. If you want to add the most value to your bathroom, designing with his in mind is key.

Make Safety a Priority

Safety may not be something you think about when you’re upgrading your bathroom. However, adding features like non-slip flooring and grab-bars can be valuable to families with small children or an elderly family member. These features don’t have to be an eyesore either, there are many stylish options when it comes to safety. A big area of concern when it comes to safety is the tub. If you want the safest option as far as tubs go, consider shopping for a walk-in tub. Walk-in tubs are a great way to make your bathroom safer and easily accessible for elderly family members, and they can still look fantastic. For more about walk-in tubs read our article on How a Walk-In Tub Will Change Your Life.

These 5 tips will help you add the style you want in your bathroom as well as provide the value that you need in your home. For all things home improvement and DIY make sure to check out the rest of our home improvement blog posts.

10 DIY Projects Under $100


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Upgrading your home can be a fun and exciting experience and can add the functionality and look that you want in your home. But upgrading can also be an expensive and difficult process which may discourage you from taking action. That’s why we’ve scoured the internet and found 10 DIY project for under $100. These projects are sure to improve the aesthetics of your home as well as add functionality.

Mount Hooks to Clear Your Kitchen Counter

Does it ever feel like dishrags and towels are piling up on your counter? These rags are essential to every kitchen, but they don’t have to take up space on your counter. Luckily we found an easy and cheap solution: hooks. Installing hooks above your counter will give you a place to hang your towels, while keeping them easily accessible at all times. Mounting hooks also gives you an opportunity to showcase your style. Choose shiny, chrome hooks for a sleek look or go the more artsy route with some creative and fun hooks. With something as small and simple as hooks, the possibilities are endless.

Create Space with a Cutting Board

Kitchen sinks with larger basins are great for washing dishes, but they also take up a lot of counter space. Take back that space by creating a cutting board to cover the basin. All you need is a block of maple wood and a jigsaw to cut it to the size of your basin. You can even pop a hole in the middle of the board to allow for easy disposal of chopped waste into the sink. You can even customize your board to match the style of your kitchen. And the best part is, it’s all under $100.

Hang Natural Fiber Shades

If your windows are feeling bare, dress them up with some natural fiber shades. The natural materials bring an element of the outdoors into your home and can be a great addition to your home décor. The shades are functional too. Pull them down to shield our home from bright sunlight and restrict rays from heating the air in your house. Installing natural fiber shades can be a great addition to your living space without pushing you over your budget.

Add a Chandelier to the Laundry Room

Most people wouldn’t expect to see a sophisticated light fixture, like a chandelier, in a laundry space. However, it is likely that you spend a chunk of your time in the laundry room washing, folding, and ironing clothes. Why not make the space a little more attractive by adding a simple chandelier? The stylish fixture is sure to brighten up the room and make your time spent there a little more enjoyable.

Install a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans are a great way to improve the look of your space as well as add comfort and functionality. In another blog post, we explain how helpful fans can be when it comes to saving money on your energy bill. Fans can be used to reduce A/C usage and save you money on energy, all while looking great. Purchase a fan with rich, dark wood blades to match your sophisticated décor or add some color to match your fun, modern living space with a brightly colored fan. The choices are endless and can be had for less than $100.

Protect Wood Floors with a Decorative Floor Mat

Wood floors are bound to take a beating throughout their life, especially near the front door. Fortunately, the pain they endure can be lessened with a floor mat to protect them. This idea is probably the easiest to complete out of the 10. Your floor mat doesn’t need to be dull and boring to be effective. Find a color to match your space or an intricate pattern to draw attention. Once again, endless possibilities.

Replace a Boring Old Doorbell with a Fun One

Doorbells are often overlooked in this day and age. All of them seem the same and they typically look ugly, but serve their purpose. Take advantage and break away from the boring old doorbell style. Surprise your quests with a stylish doorbell. Make the delivery man’s day a little more fun by adding a cool new button to push. Installing a doorbell is very easy and could add the charm you’re looking for to your front door.

Add a Shelf Above a Doorway

Create a fancy doorway display by adding a shelf above a door. Then add a decorative plate, mirror, or a work of art to draw attention. Your doorway display will make your home just a little more interesting and will aid in decoration and design.

Turn an Unused Closet into an Office

Have you ever wanted to have a home office, but can’t dedicate an entire room to creating it? This final DIY project idea might just solve your problem. If you have a closet in your home that is rarely used or completely unused, turn it into an office for yourself. Add a deep shelf for the desk and a shallow one for storage above. Decorate accordingly and you have a fully functional home office!

These 10 DIY projects can add the functionality and flair you want in your home at an affordable price. For more DIY and home improvement content make sure to check out the rest of our blog!