Dead Simple DIY Outdoor Decor
In the warm months of the year (and there are many of them in Austin), my yard and patio become almost another room to the house. There are so many really easy DIY projects that make chilling outside more comfortable, stylish and welcoming to your guests. This article boasts instructions for chairs, a couple different varieties of easy lanterns and party decor, even a formula to let you “draw” with moss on the side of your house. I’ve also got instructions on how to make that most crucial of summer accessories: a hammock. Everyone uses their yards a little differently, but these half dozen DIY projects should have something to make your yard a more beautiful place to relax and live.
Use Collage To Upcycle Found Patio Furniture
This is actually a picture of chairs sold on etsy by artdp, but I can approximate the process for you. You just need a slatted chair and an image (or images, or text, or collage, or [insert creativity here]) large enough to cover the area of the top and sides of the slats. Once you have everything collaged out exactly how you want it, secure it with Mod Podge or spray adhesive. Use the outdoor variety of Mod Podge to essentially varnish the chair. (Many coats, thorough coats, and still maybe try to keep it out of the rain.) It’s a craft made for your bonus day on a three day weekend, and you’ll end up with an upcycled seating option that’s uniquely, stylishly yours for almost no cost.
Don’t Have A Hammock? Macrame One
I think all genders can appreciate the convenience of a macrame-your-own hammock DIY. This ehow article is pretty extensive on instructions and specs ( that could echo the picture). I’ll just add, remember that you always have ways to customize your creation with paint or detailing. Heck, make it a patriotic lounge with
Let It Grow — Paint With Moss
L’original is in French, but the gorgeous pictures and a bit of Google translate is all we need. After gathering up some moss and removing the sod, you mix with (really) 2 cups of plain yogurt, 2 glasses of water or beer, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar or corn syrup, and a blender. The resulting icky goo can be painted on a brick wall and as long as it isn’t blasted with full sun all day long, will grow exactly where you paint it. Use it to freehand an inspirational message or family motto, or use a stencil for more precise works. I don’t know whether this typography was done freehand or with stencils, but either way, they’re really incredible. And they make me want to get my hands dirty. Note: This moss recipe is not a sure thing; there are many different mixes that people claim work better under this or that condition. Here’s a resource page on moss to get you started.
Free Pallet + Cheap Paracord = Comfortable Seat
Here’s another take on the vital hammock. This one uses upcycled pallets, those staples of cheapos everywhere, though you could also just go to the store and buy lumber. (You really don’t use pallet wood for something like this if you don’t know where the pallets have been used.) Buy new, good paracord, spend time with the Instructable, and you’ll end up with a chair that’ll last for years. Think how cool it would look if you collaged the boards! Someone in the comments had a similar thought, spraypainting a skull on theirs:
Tin Can Lanterns (With Patterns, Even!)
This is a dual-function DIY. The finished product really adds to the presence of the patio, and the construction is a really great way to get out your frustrations, since you’re just hammering in a nail over and over and over.
This could be a great group kid’s craft over fourth of July weekend, for kids old enough to hammer of course. Use the included patterns to make a mix of lanterns that looks accidental but really works. Plus, it’s a way better use for tin cans than the recycling bin.
This DIY was written six years ago and the original blog post being used as a guide, with its patterns, is no longer there. But since I happened to have this graphic, perhaps you can isolate and print them out with a little strategic cropping. (Hint: you can.)
This one requires you to drink until some cans are empty before you start. Yes, I know, the DIY life is tough sometimes. But you’ll need at least one and preferably a few cans for this, either soda or beer cans, like tallboys. Make sure they’re washed out, and make sure you are not drinking and xacto-ing. (Calamity knows safety!) There are a lot of options here: you can use cans as their own decoration, using the same brands and colors, or spraypaint them like the second example. It seems more sophisticated to cut them as the crafter in the first picture, at Dollar Store Crafts, does, on the diagonal. Make a garland of these for a real statement piece at your next bbq.
What have you done to make your yard unique?