Since spring tends to be outdoor-DIY season, I wanted to share a list of things I’d like to do to create the perfect backyard hangout this year. They’re all affordable, fun and relatively easy — the best kind of DIY projects, in my opinion.
DIY Outdoor Movie Screen
Get your outdoor movie nights or Game of Thrones screenings going in style — this movie screen tutorial from Running With Scissors shows you how to make a pretty impressive outdoor projection screen with just a few 1x4s, curtain hanging wire and some fabric. Its installation kinda depends on trees, but decks and fence posts would work too.
DIY Outdoor Seating
Need extra seating for movie night? Buying some outdoor couches is always an option, but if you’re looking for something quick, durable and cheap, grab a dozen cinder blocks, some treated posts and voila: outdoor bench. (Adding a cushion, like they did here in this DIY outdoor bench tutorial on The Basement blog, would definitely make it more comfortable — try a place like Southeastern Salvage if you don’t already have something you can toss on there.)
DIY Bar Cart
You don’t want to have to keep running back inside for beers and refreshed cocktails, right? Bar carts are the ideal (and coolest looking) solution, though they can tend to be a little pricey, so bringing yours outdoors might not be the most appealing thing. This DIY bar cart tutorial from Primer magazine handles that conundrum handily. A cheap Harbor Freight tool cart, a little wood, some spraypaint if you don’t love the color: rugged bar cart achieved. (Though you’re gonna want to bring it inside for the wood to last.)
DIY Fire Pit
There’s really nothing better than sitting out by the fire with a drink, some friends and some s’mores ingredients on a spring (or fall) night. Don’t have a place to build that fire? It can be easy — and cheap — to make your own fire pit. You can find a million different fire pit tutorials online, but I like this fire pit DIY from HGTV for two reasons: the look fits pretty much any home, and it won’t take long to have it done and roaring.
DIY Tiki Torches
A good night hanging out outside shouldn't be followed by a morning spent frenziedly scratching mosquito bites. Sure, tiki torches are cheap enough and easy to come by, but they’re kinda corny looking, no? I really like these DIY mason jar torches (tutorial on The Frugal Homemaker blog), because they keep the bugs back, look cool and take just about no time and/or skill to make.
DIY Giant Jenga
Croquet and horseshoes are fine as far as outdoor games go, but I’m a fan of Giant Jenga, since it brings a bunch of suspense and a satisfying (but not damaging) crash to the party. And if you have a saw, some 2x4s and a dream, it’s a snap to make. Again, you can find any number of tutorials if you want a little something to go by; I like A Beautiful Mess’ Giant Jenga DIY, because it’s visually driven and they encourage a little color.