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Outdoor Living: 35+ Projects, DIY & Smart Ideas

Now that summer’s finally here, it’s time to enjoy our decks, patios and backyards…love it!

Along with grilling, gardening and puttering around the yard, who doesn’t want to take advantage of the pleasant weather and just chill outside for a bit.

Here are several different projects you can make (craft & DIY) to help decorate the space or make it more practical.

You’ll find a few woodworking projects, sewing tutorials and easy craft ideas…each sure to help you enjoy your space a little more.

Before you get started, check out this Southern favorite that is perfect for hot summer days…you may want to have a glass ready once you put down the hammer and nails ;).

How To Make Sun Tea

Learn how to use the sun to brew your own refreshing iced tea. Tips and recipe are found here [1].

All you need are a few regular size tea bags, a large glass pitcher or jar (with lid), some water and a hot sunny day.

Ready to get working on some projects? Here you go, have fun! (PS: I regularly add new ideas to project sheets here on Tipnut so you may want to bookmark this page and check back to see what’s new).


Faux Coral Centerpiece [2]: Pick up coral pieces found at the pet supplies department and spray them with indoor/outdoor spray paint.

Bamboo Candles [3]: Made with bamboo placemats, glass jars, tealight candles and hot glue.



Tabletop Fire Pot [4]: Made with a nonflammable container such as a ceramic pot, pebbles, can of Sterno, salt.

Fire & Water Centerpiece [5]: A glass vase is set inside a larger one, tinted water poured between them and pillar candles set inside.



Tile Table Runner [6]: These are felt backed so not wet weather friendly but still gorgeous!

Storage Bench [7]: A great place to stash pillows and other items on windy days.



Stencils For Adirondack Chairs [8]: Small, medium and large blossoms, zip download (containing pdf, gsd and svg files).

Upcycled Patio Furniture [9]: Made with planters, some plywood, fabric, batting and spray paint.



Homemade Citronella Candles [10]: Made with grated beeswax, citronella essential oil and a tin can. More tips on this page [11] for mosquito repellents.

How To Make A Hammock [12]: Made with heavy fabric such as denim, tassel edging, metal rings and rope.



Rock Bowl Flame [13]: Concrete is mixed and poured in a mold, can set inside, trimmed with rocks then when ready to use, filled with a fire gel pack.

Picnic Table [14]: Learn how to build a classic, wooden picnic table with this tutorial.



Striped Tray [15]: Galvanized trays are painted with bands of bright enamel paint.

Patio Chair Cushions [16]: Sew custom seat cushions with fabric, fill with NU-Foam cushion insert to make them comfy. Fabric ties secure them in place.



Punched Tin Garden Lanterns [17]: This nifty project turns empty cans that would normally be thrown into the recycle bin into something functional and pretty for the garden.

Chandelier [18]: All you need is a wire basket that you can hang, crystals, votives and something to hang this from (patio roof or tree branch).



Fire Pit Tutorials [19]: You’ll find a few different ideas I’ve handpicked from around the net (plus tips too).

Matching Coasters & Planters [20]: Supplies needed are textured spray paint (stone), mosaic tiles, hot glue, felt or cork.



Build A Grilling Station [21]: A place to store cooking tools and set food on while grilling. Difficulty is noted as “Easy” to “Moderate”.

Boot Box [22]: Use an old fruit box or one made from scrap lumber, paint and fill with polished pebbles.



Shell Votives [23]: Oversized shells are arranged on shallow tray with sand then a votive candle placed inside each.

Cot Conversion [24]: A camp cot is transformed into an elegant patio daybed.



Photo Lanterns [25]: The idea is to print photos on sheets of vellum then adhere them to the lantern glass with spray adhesive. Project uses store bought lanterns and electric tea lights.

Windsock Lanterns [26]: Nice touch for a garden party, a fabric windsock is sewn, a string of lights arranged inside then hung from a branch or plant hanger.



Oilcloth Placemats [27]: Weather friendly and easy to make, two pieces are sewn together then the edges trimmed with pinking shears.

Wind Chimes [28]: A selection of ideas and tutorials that I’ve found from around the net.



Industrial Pallet Sectional Couch [29]: Made with 4 industrial pallets, outdoor upholstery, cushion foam, and assorted supplies.

Backyard Scrabble [30]: Concrete is poured, scored into squares then tinted with water-base concrete stain.



Bar Cart [31]: A mobile cart that will withstand sun, rain and beverage spills.

Tabletop Garden [32]: Floral moss is soaked in water then arranged on a cookie sheet. Mist to keep the arrangement fresh.



Custom Chaise Cushions [33]: Each uses 4 polyester-filled bed pillows, waterproof fabric and twill tape.

Pillow Covers [34]: Bright and cheery covers that are easy to clean by using inexpensive vinyl tablecloths for the fabric.



DIY Sun Jar [35]: Made with mason canning jars, cheap solar lights, frosting spray & colored plastic labels from drink bottles to filter the light.

Wine Bottle Torch [36]: Use wine bottles that have a neck of at least 1″ diameter & fuel made for outdoor torches.



Tube Lights [37]: A “Beginner Level” project, supplies needed include Metalux replacement lens, metal clamps, end caps, MoonLite night-lights, Rust-Oleum metallic spray paint.

Cupcake Garland [38]: Sweet idea using cupcake liners to cover each bulb on a string of lights.



Hanging Bed [39]: Ideal for the cabin, a wood platform is painted, holes drilled in each corner for rope to hang then a thin mattress positioned on top.

Wine Bottle Tiki Torches [40]: Empty wine bottles are filled with citronella lamp oil and a torch wick to help keep bugs away.



$10 Adirondack Chairs [41]: Made with cedar fence boards, outdoor grade screws and waterproof glue.

Pizza Oven [42]: You’ll need a large clay pot, Cordierite Pizza Stone, chain, hardware and a grill (installs over a fire pit).