I recently completed installing a sprinkler system in my backyard and have been collecting DIY projects to work on after I get topsoil and sod down. Right now, it’s just pipes and dirt, but I see a huge amount of potential for a garden, raised planters, an area to entertain guests, and more.
by Cole Mayer
1. Raised garden beds
I’ve already started planning out the garden for my wife. My wife, who absolutely loves Pinterest, found a DIY raised garden bed. I’ve seen prices vary, depending on how much wood and soil used, but the average is about $30. A raised bed kit on Amazon, for comparison, goes for $96. We want four, so going the DIY route here is definitely worth it - I’d have to build the planter either way. Building is as simple as making a rectangular box, staining it, and lining it with plastic. All that's left is soil and plants. It'll likely be herbs and vegetables - my wife is quite the chef. The planter areas lining the fence will be wildlife gardens, mostly for the birds in the area, such as doves and quail.
2. Wooden path
A simple pallet wooden path can be made in an hour, and breaks up the monotony of dirt and plants. This is literally as easy as ripping apart a pallet, removing the nails, and possibly treating the wood. Pallets can be bought as cheap as $10-20. Or, if possible, to keep the garden "greener," I'll try to use reclaimed pallets that have been used, rather than brand-new, from-the-store pallets.
by rubyblossom. on Flickr
A garden loveseat made from more pallets is a bit more complicated than the wooden path, but still fairly easy in the long run. Cut a template for the seat portion, make sure it’s comfortable, finish and seal the wood, and glue/nail everything together. Use the stain from the previous projects, and you have the perfect garden seating arrangement.
4. AC Cover
I promise this is the last pallet-related project. Though they don’t use a pallet in this air conditioner cover, I would go that route to keep with the theme. This will help when my wife and I start a family, protecting little ones from the AC unit while hiding the ugly metal. Again, a pretty simple project (especially if I don’t do the rock bed). It’s essentially a fence around the AC unit.
5. Ice chest/table combo
We have old tables for the patio right now, but each one only sits about two people. A table with built-in ice chests will allow for more seats as we expand our family. This isn’t too complicated, just time-consuming. A comment by a reader noted that he added a chafing dish area, as well, which sounds like a great idea.
A childhood friend had a hammock growing up, and I was always jealous. So now it’s time to put one in my backyard. This hammock itself isn’t DIY - I have nowhere near the skills thread it all together. With a wide range of hammocks on the market, I’ll go with Mayan or Brazilian hammock. I want to be able to sleep in it during the weekends and enjoy my backyard, and bonus points if it can fit more than just me. Since the patio will be taken up with the ice chest table, I’ll need a hammock pergola that should be pretty easy to whip up in a weekend. On a summer weekend, I can’t beat the combo of hammock, shade and a good book. And maybe a Moscow Mule.
7. Swings around a fire pit
By far the most involved project - like the table, time consuming but not entirely hard to do - is a swing set around a fire pit The swings are not much harder than the loveseat, and the structure itself builds on the hammock pergola.
by ScubaBear68 on Flickr
Summer just started, and these are all the perfect projects to get done during the weekends. Come August, my backyard should be ready to host a party.