10 of Our Favorite Outdoor Furniture Sets for Small Patios and Balconies

10 of Our Favorite Outdoor Furniture Sets for Small Patios and Balconies

Apartment Therapy received compensation for this post, which was written and edited independently by our editorial team.

Shifting into spring and summer brings the urge to do nearly anything outdoors: eating, entertaining, relaxing — you name it. If you’re lucky enough to have a private outdoor sitting area, be it a balcony or a yard, it’s time to start thinking about furnishing it to maximize your outside time — even if your space isn’t exactly roomy. To get you started, we’ve rounded up our favorite outdoor furniture for small spaces so that you can make the most of what you have and spend as much time as possible outside the house.

Nicole Lund and Sarah M. Vazquez also contributed to reporting.

Want to Keep Indoor Furniture Safe and Clean Outside?

Want to Keep Indoor Furniture Safe and Clean Outside?

Have you ever come across a piece of furniture you thought was perfect for your patio or balcony, but it wasn’t quite outside friendly? It happens, and it’s especially frustrating considering that patio furniture can be pretty limited in terms of choice or availability, making it tricky to find something that fits your vision for an outdoor oasis that is also safe to use or leave outside. If this is you, then there are some simple workarounds here. While you can’t make all furniture weatherproof — sorry! — there are some tricks to help make certain pieces more outside-ready. Start with these simple DIY weatherproofing tips below.

Add an outdoor sealant to wood.

Do you have a wooden table that would make the perfect patio dining table, or a wooden bench that would look lovely underneath your backyard tree? Turn it into an outdoor piece with the help of sealant.

“While ideally you would choose furniture made of naturally water-resistant materials like cedar, teak, or cypress woods, any wood furniture can be treated with an outdoor sealant,” says Morgan McBride, founder of DIY home improvement website CharlestonCrafted.com. “Pretty much every sealant brand makes outdoor sealants. Look for something clear, and be sure to note if the sealant is glossy or matte, which can really change the final look of your wooden furniture.” This way, you don’t have to worry that a light drizzle will warp your wood.

Don’t sleep on waterproofing sprays for washable fabrics.

Whether you want to give outdoor cushions an extra boost in protection or wish to weatherproof a certain pillow, waterproofing sprays are at your service. “Outdoor cushions are usually made of water-resistant materials, but adding a coat of an outdoor weather shield, like Scotchgard, is a great way to give it further protection. This will help prolong the fabric’s life and foam,” McBride says.

Just make sure only to use it on washable fabrics — you won’t get the same results with leather, for example. Look at the tag of your pillow or cushion. If it’s X-coded, it means it can’t be cleaned with solvents or water. That means you can’t coat it with a weather shield, either.

Swap in more waterproof fabrics when possible.

Did you find a great couch, some unique seats, or a perfectly sized pillow, but the cushions aren’t waterproof? (Been there.) Keep the frame and the foam, but swap the cloth for waterproof fabrics. “During my travels to India and Southeast Asia, I was entranced by the fabric-making traditions of the local artisans. I decided to take those traditions outside with a Sunbrella partnership. This performance fabric is resistant to mold, mildew, staining, and fading, making it suitable for outdoor use,” said textile designer John Robshaw. You can make the furniture much more waterproof if you use performance fabric that could take a bit of a beating. Just reupholster your pieces with it.

This tip isn’t so much about waterproofing, but it will help your outdoor rug look nicer for longer. If you feel like your outdoor rugs get warped after a while, velcro can help remedy that issue.

“Outdoor rugs tend to get blown around in the wind, which can lead to them getting creased or warped. You can add strips of peel and stick velcro to the underside of the rug to hold it in place,” says McBride. “The velcro is removable in the future if you stop using the rug. If your outdoor rug gets dirty, the easiest way to clean it is with a pressure washer!” (Still shopping for an outdoor rug? These are on sale this weekend.)

Use heavy-duty weatherproof covers to protect furniture.

And finally, one of the best ways to waterproof non-waterproof furniture is to cover it with a tarp or furniture cover when you know a storm is coming. “It isn’t pretty, and might not be practical for everyday use, but putting on covers before big rainstorms or during long periods of time when the furniture won’t be needed is the best way to keep it in great shape,” advises McBride.

Marlen Komar


Marlen is a writer first, vintage hoarder second, and donut fiend third. If you have a passion for finding the best taco joints in Chicago or want to talk about Doris Day movies, then she thinks an afternoon coffee date is in order.

59 DIY Landscaping Ideas and Tips to Improve Your Outdoor Space

59 DIY Landscaping Ideas and Tips to Improve Your Outdoor Space

The Curbly House 2017 | DIY landscaping ideas
The Curbly House 2017

Being a homeowner is a big responsibility, and while there’s plenty to take care of inside you home, don’t forget about the outside, either. If you’ve ever looked into the cost of hiring a professional landscaper, you know they’re not cheap. Fortunately, there are a slew of inexpensive and affordable DIY landscaping ideas at your disposal, so long as you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty. From the front yard to the back, barbeque pits to bistro lights, here are 59 ways you can affordably improve your outdoor space.             

Front Yard Ideas

Layered flowers: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Pretty Purple Door

1. To create dynamic visual impact with little long-term commitment, try layering flowers and low-growing greenery in your front yard. These plants are arranged in the ground in a curving pattern, rather than just straight across the lawn.

Layered lawn plants: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Manitoba Design

2.  Add drama by layering the height of your plants. Big in the back, small in the front.

Decorative rocks
Source: Rocks With a Touch of Class and a Side of Sass

3. Have a section of your front yard that’s too awkward to mow? Fill it with rocks. Problem solved.

Flower box
Source: At Charolette’s House

4. Take the DIY landscaping ideas off the ground and to the house by installing a few window boxes (they’re surprisingly easy to build).


Plant shelf
Source: Arbor Original

5. Or try an outdoor shelf instead.

Large boulders among flowers: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Pine Landscape Center

6. If you have a large front yard with little dynamism, add large boulders and rocks for variety.

Create a berm: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Gardening Know How

7. How about creating a berm? What’s a berm, you ask? It’s when you transform your totally flat yard by creating mounds of interest. Easy, and totally affordable. Be sure to do your research first before create a berm around the base of any tree, as too much dirt can suffocate the tree.

A DIY trellis
Source: Better Homes & Gardens

8. No trees on your lawn? Build a trellis or two for your front yard flowers to climb (they are also fairly inexpensive to purchase).

Flowers along a sidewalk
Source:  Curbly

9. Looking for inexpensive ways to create borders or edging? Border your walkway with plants and flowers to define lines in the front yard.

Brick edging
Source: The Home Depot

10. DIY landscaping ideas don’t get much more affordable than this: install brick edging to outline areas of your yard using salvaged or recycled brick. 

Stone edging
Source: West Lake Landscaping

11. Go for a more natural look by using stone to edge your plants.

River rock edging
Source: Rocks with a Touch of Class & a Side of Sass

12. Or, edge flower beds with river rock. How easy is that?

Low ground cover plants
Source: This Old House

13. If you want to keep your yard tame but still want contrast, consider a ground cover plant. Add a few of these low-growing ground cover plants to add variation and color.

Large flower pots
Source: Better Homes & Gardens

14. Display flowers in containers along steps, walkways, or on ledges. This is a great way to add visual interest if you have a lot of brick or asphalt in your front yard.

DIY stone walkway
Source: The Spruce

15. You don’t need a professional – learn how to add a pretty stone walkway that leads right to your front door.

Rope lighting in yard
Source: Christmas Lights Etc.

16. Use rope lighting to create illuminated borders to your front yard for a bright footpath at night.

Cliff landscaping - 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Better Homes & Gardens

17. Have a steep front yard? Try creating cliffs with stone and native flowers to eliminate the need to mow.

Ways to Improve Your Backyard

Flowers along the fence line: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Decoralink

18. Ugly or boring fences no more! Create layers of plants and bushes to frame out the edges of your backyard.

Close up of magnolias
Source:  Etsy

19. Grow marigolds in your back yard to deter mosquitos and aphids (you can also grow chrysanthemums, lavender, and basil).

Raised garden
Source: Sunset

20. Create a raised garden bed to grow your own veggies (or buy an inexpensive one). It will add visual appeal, and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of your labor.

Paver patio
Source: Not Just a Housewife

21. Give your back yard some interest by building your own paver patio

DIY Pergola
Source: A Beautiful Mess

22. Or go for a full-blown pergola! A bigger back yard project, but much more affordable if you do it yourself.

DIY outdoor bistro light stands: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Curbly; Photo by Faith Towers Provencher

23. Hang some outdoor bistro lights on these easy-to-build light stands to illuminate your yard.

A secret garden
Source: Not Just a Housewife

24. Get ready for DIY landscaping ideas straight out of childhood. Why not create a secret garden in your back yard? The 9-year-old in me is absolutely giddy over this idea.

Fences with built-in planters
Source: Not Just a Housewife

25. Create a flower-filled fence line. Here are some plans a fence with built-in flower planters.

DIY Fire Pits You Can Create

4-step fire pit: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: A Beautiful Mess

26. First time fire pit builder? Here’s how to make this one in four easy steps.

Concrete modern fire place from ManMade DIY
Source: ManMadeDIY

27. Follow this tutorial for a more modern fire pit.

Fire pit made from an old washer
Source: House & Fig

28. If you have an old washing machine lying around, you can create this one-of-a-kind upcycled fire pit.

Skim-coated fire pit
Source: Oh The Potential

29. Would you have guessed that this fire pit was initially made out of cinder blocks? Learn how to skim-coat to create this clean look.

Minimal metal fire pit
Source: The Brick House

30. If you’re handy with a welding torch, you can make a minimal fire place from metal.

Fire feature
Source: The Art of Doing Stuff

31. Maybe you don’t want a whole fire pit, but a little glow would be a nice touch to your back yard. Here’s how to create a mini glass fire feature.

Terra cotta fire pit
Source: Elisabeth McKnight

32. No back yard to build a fire pit? No problem. You can still toast marshmallows in a terra cotta pot.

Water Features to Add Appeal Outdoors

DIY bird bath: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source:  HomeTalk

33. Water features don’t have to be complicated, or even powered. They can be as simple as a bird bath. Build your own, or purchase an inexpensive one. Give your yard something of interest, and beautiful song birds, too.

Urn water feature: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source:  Erica Glasener

34. Create visual appeal in your yard by building your own urn water feature from a ceramic vase.

Tiered water feature
Source: Addicted 2 DIY

35. Stack ’em up! With a little extra effort, you can transform the previous project on this DIY landscaping ideas list into a multi-level water feature.

Stone water feature
Source: The Family Handyman

36. You don’t need special skills to build a water feature, just a bit of time and the right tools. Here’s how to build one from stone.

Stone pond
Source: Curbly

37. This is one of those DIY landscaping ideas that is going to require the help of a friend, but if you’re into drama, consider building a stone pond fountain.

Stone water feature
Source: The Family Handyman

38. Don’t you love this low-to-the-ground look of this stone fountain?

Water wall DIY: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source:  The Interior Frugalista

39. Big impact at a little cost! Check out this tutorial for making a waterfall wall for under $300.

Man-made waterfall: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: The Spruce

40. For the ultimate “wow factor,” accent your outdoor space with an outdoor waterfall.

Hedges, Fences, and Other Privacy Features

Shrub privacy fence: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: This Old House

41. Add privacy by planting some shrubbery yourself. It’s as easy as digging a trench, dropping the plants in, teasing out the roots, and watering.

How to build a fence: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: The Home Depot

42. Nothing beats the backyard privacy of your own fence. Before you begin the building process, you’ll need to be sure of a few things: Verify your property line, check with your city or township about the limitations and height-restrictions of your fence, have someone from the city come and check for gas lines, and have a neighborly chat with anyone you’ll be sharing the fence line with.

Floating garden wall
Source: Curbly

43. Need just a bit of privacy? Build this floating garden wall. It comes complete with shelving for plants.

Copper pipe trellis
Source:  The Horticult

44. For natural privacy, build a trellis wall out of copper pipe to create a green barrier over time.

Wood trellis
Source: A Beautiful Mess

45. Create a visual divide and build a mod trellis.

Shou sugi
Source: The Faux Martha

46. Transform your privacy wall using shou sugi – the process of burning wood, making it water-resistant. Side effect, the shou sugi treatment transforms wood to a beautiful, rich black color. 

Trees to illustrate divide: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source:  Curbly

47. Create an implied wall to divide your yard using small trees or shrubs.

Leyland cypress trees
Source: Fast-Growing-Trees

48. Need lots and lots of privacy? There are cheap trees you can buy that over time will block out the neighbors, like the inexpensive Leyland Cypress.

How to Create Shade in Your Yard

A fabric gazebo for instant shade: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: The Home Depot

49. No shade? Create an outdoor hangout space by getting an affordable fabric gazebo.

DIY pergola curtains
Source: A Beautiful Mess

50. Or sew curtains to hang from your pergola to block a little light when needed.

Trampoline den
Source: DIY Network

51. Add a sun sail for immediate shade (bonus if you hang it over your own trampoline lounge!).

Source: BHG

52. Grow shade by planting rhododendron in your yard. They’re a dense evergreen with broad leaves, and the flowering in the springtime is lovely. 

Plant along with flowers in the outdoor space.
Source: The Old Farmer’s Almanac

53. Grow Chinese Wisteria on an existing structure or trellis to block light (be mindful – this plant is known as an invasive plant in some areas).

Creating Visual Interest Around Trees

Mulch around the bottom of trees: 59 DIY landscaping ideas
Source: Jacksonville Tree Service

54. Add mulch to cover the most shaded parts of your lawn.

Ground plants around bottom of tree
Source: This Old House

55. Another genius (and affordable) of the DIY landscaping ideas: Add ground cover plants to hide gnarly roots.

Source: Costa Farms

56. Or, opt to grow some moss instead.

Stone edging around tree
Source: Rocks With a Touch of Class and a Side of Sass

57. Use stone to edge the area around the base of your trees. 

Flower box around tree
Source: The Great Goodness

58. Or build a raised flower bed at the base of the tree (be careful not to add too much dirt around the base of the tree, as you could hurt or kill it).

Tree bench
Source: This Old House

59. For extra seating, create a one-of-a-kind tree bench.

59 DIY Landscaping Ideas
Share this roundup on Pinterest!
62 DIY Projects To Transform Your Backyard

62 DIY Projects To Transform Your Backyard

The ultimate roundup of outdoor DIY projects to transform your yard space

Blooming flowers and fresh rain can only mean one thing: spring has definitely sprung! That means summer will be here before you know it. If getting your backyard in order is on your to-do list but you’re having trouble getting started – don’t fret! You don’t need a total landscaping overhaul for your yard to feel refreshed and inviting. Sometimes it’s just a matter of hanging up some string lights or creating a simple fire pit. We’ve rounded up 62 outdoor DIY projects to get you excited to be outside again as the weather warms up. From plants to playhouses, keep scrolling for more inspiration!       

What ways do you want to transform your backyard? Let us know in the comments!


62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pallet couch
Photo: eHow & The Merry Thought

1. Pallet Couch: Doesn’t this space look inviting? The good news is that it’s made from free pallets and a few cushions!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Summer hammock
Photo: Design Sponge

2. Summer Hammock: Nothing says “ahhhhhhh” like a gently-swinging hammock. Get ready to relax in the fruits of your labor with this DIY.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Lawn chair transformation
Photo: Curbly

3. Colorful Chair Makeover: There are no rules to how bright colors can be outside. See how these once bland lawn chairs got their day in the sun.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY porch swing
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

4. DIY Porch Swing: As Liz Lemon says, “I want to go to there!” Swinging in the spring breeze is a total DIY reality with this project from A Beautiful Mess.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Fringed hammock
Photo: The Merry Thought

5. DIY Fringed Hammock: This hammock brings boho to the backyard with the addition of fringe.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Macrame hammock chair
Photo: eHow

6. Macramé Hammock Chair: I can”knot” get over how gorgeous this hammock chair is! 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY outdoor cushions
Photo: Curbly

7. DIY Outdoor Cushions: Update your existing patio furniture by stitching up some of these quick and easy DIY outdoor cushions. 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Easy outdoor bench
Photo: eHow

8. Easy Outdoor Bench: Emphasis on “easy!” Instant seating comes to life with wood beams, concrete blocks, and a bit of paint.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Modern outdoor sofa
Photo: Fix This Build That

9. Modern Outdoor Sofa: This number is so sleek I might want to bring it inside my house! The good news is it’s built to withstand the elements, which means you can make your back deck super classy.


62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Simple grilling cart
Photo: Home Depot via C.R.A.F.T.

10. Simple Grilling Cart: Grillin’ on the go! With a built-in drink cooler, what more could you ask for out of an outdoor DIY project?

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Outdoor bar
Photo: The Merry Thought

11. Outdoor Bar: If you’re not really the grill master type, but more of a whiskey woman, why not make a drink bar for your backyard?

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Wall-mounting serving station
Photo: Live Laugh Rowe

12. Wall-Mounted Serving Station: Want to entertain but don’t have space for a full outdoor kitchen? Go vertical by building this simple serving station with drop-down tabletop! 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Built-in beer cooler table
Photo: Domesticated Engineer

13. Built-in Beer Cooler Table: Woah Nelly, what is this ingenious contraption? Never get up from your chair again with this DIY.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: S'mores station centerpiece
Photo: Curbly

14. S’mores Station Centerpiece: Acting as both a lovely centerpiece and a warming station for marshmallow and chocolate, party guests are sure to be impressed by this s’mores machine (made from glass dishes!).

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Cinder block bar
Photo: Design Sponge

15. Cinder Block Bar: Combining two awesome things (plants and booze), this bar provides an easy builder’s solution.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY grill countertop
Photo: Our Fifth House

16. DIY Grill Countertop: Basically like having an outdoor kitchen, this brick counter space built around a grill surely makes outdoor entertaining a breeze.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Drink cooler stand
Photo: Eddie and Steph

17. Drink Cooler Stand: If you’re constantly entertaining outside, or if you just enjoy having a cold beverage available whenever, this drink stand provides a classy solution to the standard cooler.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: IKEA outdoor bar cart
Photo: Runaway Chef

18. IKEA Outdoor Bar Cart: This entertaining station falls under the category of “why didn’t I think of that?” 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Built-to-last concrete fire pit
Photo: Man Made DIY

19. Built-To-Last Concrete Fire Pit: With a little elbow grease, you can build your own fire pit that you can enjoy for many summers to come. 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Minimal fire pit
Photo: The Brick House

20. Minimal Fire Pit: If clean lines are more your style, explore this fire pit put together by The Brick House.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Upcycled fire pit
Photo: House & Fig

21. Upcycled Fire Pit: I don’t want to pick favorites, but this outdoor DIY project is high on the list. See what unusual upcycled material this flaming beauty was made from!


62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Bug-repelling citronella candles
Photo: One Little Project

22. Bug-Repelling Citronella Candles: These outdoor lights do double-duty by providing light and shooing away unwanted pests.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Fire column
Photo: Curbly

23. Fire Column: Nothing says “class” like fire in glass. Shed a little light in your outdoor dining space with this simple DIY project.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pendant light
Photo: Design Sponge

24. Pendant Light: This DIY might make you want to eat outside for every meal! Create a classy dining nook by hanging some proper light fixtures. 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Ping pong ball lights
Photo: Created by V

25. Ping Pong Ball Lights: Maybe the easiest outdoor DIY project on this list, these ping pong ball lights instantly add charm to any space.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: String lights hanging poles
Photo: City Farmhouse

26. String Light Hanging Poles: If you want to hang string lights outside but don’t have anywhere to put them, City Farmhouse has an easy solution that also involves plants!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Portable fire pit
Photo: Design Sponge 

27. Portable Fire Pit: This flame is on the move! Which is perfect if you are an renter or apartment-dweller.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Recycled bottle tiki torch
Photo: Gerardot and Co.

28. Recycled Bottle Tiki Torch: Old wine bottles get new life as mounted tiki torches with this outdoor-friendly DIY!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Tin can lights
Photo: Die Landfrau

29. Tin Can Lights: This project is a classic, and couldn’t be left off the list! If you need a quick, easy, and cheap solution for your outdoor lighting situation, grab some tin cans, tea lights, a hammer and a large nail, and get to punching!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Mason jar lamps
Photo: Orchard Girls

30. Mason Jar Lamps: Another classic, these jar lights are a simple and sweet way to brighten your backyard.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pool noodle luminaries
Photo: Create Craft Love

31. Pool Noodle Luminaries: Even if you don’t have a pool, you can set these floatable candles off in a large container of water to add ambiance to any space. 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Flower pot fire pit
Photo: The Blue Eyed Dove

32. Flower Pot Fire Pit: Who says fire pits can’t be cute? Beautiful in blue, this outdoor DIY project only requires a flower pot, stones, and a little flame.


62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY trellis with planter box
Photo: Deuce Cities Henhouse

33. DIY Trellis with Planter Box: Give crawling plants somewhere to go by building them a trellis. This project is also great if you’re looking to fill visual space in your patio or deck area!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Hose housing station with built-in planter
Photo: DIY Candy

34. Hose Housing Station with Built-In Planter: Gardening hoses are hard to keep neat and pretty. This project solves that solution by keeping the hose hidden! Plus there are flowers involved, which is always a bonus.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Homemade flower beds
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

35. Homemade Flower Beds: Bump up your home’s curbside appeal by installing these flower beds you can make on your own.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Window boxes
Photo: Deuce Cities Henhouse

36. Window Boxes: Aren’t these just the sweetest? Deuce Cities Henhouse (local gal to us!) has tips on creating the perfect window boxes.

62 DIY Outdoor Projects: Vertical planter
Photo: Helpful Homemade

37. Vertical Planter: Take your plants a step up. Perfect if you’re low on space but big on greenery!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Plant chandelier
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

38. Plant Chandelier: Ooh la la! Who needs lights when you can have leaves?

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Succulent letters
Photo: House & Fig

39. Succulent Letters: Say it with succulents! Create “wall art” to hang in your outdoor space.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Tapered cedar planter
Photo: Jen Woodhouse

40. Tapered Cedar Planter: Giant planters are not cheap, but with a little woodworking you can craft your own from cedar. 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Geometric cinder block planter
Photo: Little Miss Momma

41. Geometric Cinder Block Planters: Cinder blocks are at it again! With a simple paint job, you can create a modern-looking planter to house all kinds of greenery.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Wooden plant stand
Photo: Shanty 2 Chic

42. Wooden Plant Stand: If you’re looking for ways to add visual height to your plant-scape, Shanty 2 Chic has the plans to build a wooden plant stand. 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Gardening table
Photo: Design Sponge

43. Gardening Table: Got a green thumb? You’re going to need a place to work! Learn how to make your own gardening table, courtesy of Design Sponge


62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Colorful patio tiles
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

44. Colorful Patio Tiles: I can’t get over what a simple and transformative idea this is! If you can’t commit to painting your patio, try chalk for a temporarily colorful time!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Painted patio
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

45. Painted Patio: If you’re looking for a way to bring bold to the backyard, this paint job takes the cake.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Stenciled concrete
Photo: Jen Woodhouse

46. Stenciled Concrete: This stencil job mimics the look of a rug with the low-maintenance factor of concrete! Try this look on for size if you’re trying to create a more intimate outdoor living space. 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY rug from drop cloth
Photo: DIY Network

47. DIY Rug from Drop Cloth: Personalize the patio by making a rug from a drop cloth. It’ll withstand the elements, too!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pallet walkway
Photo: Funky Junk Interiors

48. Pallet Walkway: A couple of pallet boards bridge the gap in this DIY. Totally doable, and totally cheap!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Painted outdoor rug
Photo: Curbly

49. Painted Outdoor Rug: Most outdoor rugs are “blah,” but painting them is easy enough. See how with our tutorial for this modern and simple design!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Pea Gravel Patio
Photo: City Farmhouse

50. Pea Gravel Patio: Want to build your own patio? Pea gravel makes it easy to create a patio space without all the pavers. 


62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Tree swing
Photo: Momtastic

51. Tree Swing: How sweet is this swing? Even if you’re grown, there’s nothing quite like swaying under a tree.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Circular rope swing
Photo: Dukes and Duchesses

52. Circular Rope Swing: If you’re working on your balance, try this swing on for size!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Sandbox with lid
Photo: Ana White

53. Sandbox with Lid: It’s a gross reality, but if you have cats, you have to have a sandbox with a lid. Ana White has the plans for how to build one of your own.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Sandbox with seating and awning
Photo: Ana White

54. Sandbox with Seating and Awning: Keep the kiddos safe from the sun by adding an awning to your sandbox. Plus these plans come with adorable seating!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY bungalow playhouse
Photo: That’s My Letter

55. DIY Bungalow Play House: With chalk board panels, this playhouse can be imagined into any space. 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Play tent
Photo: Make It Love It

56. Play Tent: Can I move in? This cloth tent is also collapsible, so it’s easy to move inside and out!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Hula hoop hideout
Photo: Alanna George

57. Hula Hoop Hideout: Give each kid their own special space with some fabric and a few hula hoops. 

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Recycled Tire Teeter Totter
Photo: Sugar Bee Crafts

58. Tire Teeter Totter: Alliteration aside, this teeter totter is adorable. Plus it’s made from recycled materials, so it’s good for the kids and the earth.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: DIY tether ball
Photo: Simply Kierste

59. DIY Tether Ball: This DIY feels like a throwback! Do you guys remember playing tether ball long into the afternoon? Turns out it’s pretty easy to make one of your own for you or your offspring to enjoy!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Mini bowling lane
Photo: Handmade with Ashley

60. Mini Bowling Lane: How adorable is this?? Bowling never looked so cute, plus it’s small so it doesn’t take up a lot of space!

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Giant four-in-a-row
Photo: Home Depot

61. Giant Four-in-a-Row: Everything better when it’s bigger. Fair warning: you may end up being house-party-central if you build one of these.

62 DIY Projects to Transform Your Backyard: Giant jenga
Photo: A Beautiful Mess

62. Giant Jenga: Last but not least, this thrilling game is the perfect addition to a summertime backyard party.

Bonus! Author Christina Pfeiffer is sharing What to plant for more drought resilient containers

By their nature, containers require more frequent watering than plantings in the ground.  Smaller containers in full sun can need watering twice a day during hot spells.  Go large when choosing new containers to save on time and water demands.

Choose a group of plants that are compatible in looks and culture.  Match up their needs for light and water first, then play with combining colors and texture.  


These perennials are my first ‘go-to’ s for drought tolerant containers.  They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors with blooms that benefit pollinator insects and ask for little in terms of water and fertilizer.  Most will overwinter and also combine well with other drought tolerant plants.

Herbs for garden and kitchen

Culinary and ornamental herbs are another group happy in well drained soil and sun.  Those with variegated foliage are stunning accents planted solo in a container.  Among my top favorites are:

Variegated lemon thyme
Sages that are edible and ornamental: ‘Berggarten’, ‘Aurea’, ‘Purpurescens’ and ‘Tricolor’
Oregano ‘Kent Beauty’ trails beautifully out of hanging baskets and into the marinara sauce.

Perennial favorites

These garden perennials make a successful leap between garden beds and containers and back again:

Coral bells, Heuchera ‘Green Spice’, ‘Peppermint Spice’ and ‘Moonlight’
Geranium x ‘Johnson’s Blue’ and other hardy geranium
Oxalis tetraphylla ‘Iron Cross’
Dusty Miller –
Sunrose, Helianthemum ‘Wisley Pink’ and ‘St. Mary’s’
Hardy fuchsia
Cape fucshia

Add these grasses and grass-likes for contrasting texture

New Zealand Flax, Phormium and  variegated  iris both offer tall, strappy, striped leaves.  
Low growing glack mondo grass has dramatic dark foliage and and small white or purple flowers.
Variegated lily turf, Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’, ‘Silver Dragon’ and ‘Sunproof’  all have white edged leaves and purple blooms.

Annuals that can take the heat (and a bit of drought)

Many of the popular annuals used for seasonal color do best with regular water and fertile soil.  Be sure to keep these birds-of-a-feather together.  Here are some great annuals that don’t like as much water and fertilizer and that combine well with other types of plants listed in this article:

African daisy, Osteospermum Symphony series
Sweet allysum, Lobularia maritima
Coreopsis tinctoria
Dwarf snapdragons, Chinese Lantern series

Ready to get your backyard in order? We've rounded up 62 outdoor DIY projects to help you get out in the sunshine
Share these outdoor projects on Pinterest!