7 Fun & Easy DIY Outdoor Projects on a Budget

You don’t need to be a professional landscaper to reimagine your backyard or make your outdoor living space more functional and attractive. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves, many of the outdoor amenities you envy can be yours over the course of a weekend.

Here, Mr. Handyman of Memphis offers seven easy projects that will breathe new life into your outdoor space. These are simple enough DIY jobs, but if you need our help, don’t hesitate to call! We’ll pick up where you left off.

1. Stone Pathway

A simple stone pathway can do wonders to liven up your backyard. It adds visual interest by breaking up an expanse of turf or mulch, while providing a safe way to traverse across the yard. Plus, it’s an easy weekend project. No mortar required – opt instead to set flagstones in a bed of sand. All you’ll need is edging material, such as pressure-treated wood timbers, landscape fabric and staples, sand, flat stones and gravel. Pro tip: Think of this project as a giant jigsaw puzzle. Find space near your path to lay out all the stones so that you can quickly see the sizes and shapes you’re working with.

2. DIY Trellis

This garden structure can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. Trellises come in a variety of styles. The most common include arches, teepees, A-frames, ladders and grids. If you’re handy with tools, this project will be a snap. The important thing is to consider what you’re using your trellis for. For cucumbers, opt for a sturdy A-frame. For twining vines such as jasmine, create a lightweight trellis with support posts spaced three to four inches apart. Some trellis structures can serve as makeshift walls, helping to create garden rooms. Create sections for quiet contemplation, another for entertaining and a separate area for your vegetable garden.

3. Pallet Daybed

Have you seen the price of outdoor furniture? Those things aren’t cheap. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a skilled woodworker to make yourself a daybed. All you need are four to six pallets, a handful of screws and cushions. If you’re ambitious, you can make armrests to keep cushions on either side from falling off the sides. Consider installing casters on the bottom so that you can conveniently roll the bed away for the season.

4. Small Water Feature

No digging required! You can make a standalone water feature out of ceramic pots, a water pump, plastic tubing and a little engineering. The pump is hidden in the base of the feature (the larger of the two pots). It forces the water upward to cascade down the tiered pots. The light gurling is a relaxing sound, one that will lull you into a nap on your pallet daybed.

5. Cinderblock Bench

Are you a DIYer with an aversion to tools? If so, this may be the perfect project for you. No cutting for drilling is required to assemble a cinderblock bench. You’ll need cinderblocks (of course) and pressure treated 4x4s. Simply stack the blocks to bench height and run the lumber through the holes on the side. A bead of concrete adhesive on the blocks will hold it all together. Dress it up with some cushions and you have an instant bench with style to spare.

6. Fire Pit

A fire pit can invite late nights roasting marshmallows and relaxing under the stars but before you dig, contact your local building department or homeowners’ association to learn if there are any restrictions. Some municipalities outright forbid them. Others have strict rules about fuel type, location and size. Be sure that the inner wall is constructed with brick or other fireproof material. Unless you’re using wood as your fuel source, you’ll need the gas company to install a supply line, whether it’s natural gas, propane or Ethanol. Once you’ve ironed out those details, you’ll have fun determining a style that suits your landscape and selecting the materials.

7. Wine Bottle Tiki Torches

Don’t toss those empty wine bottles. Instead, reuse them as tiki torches.

  • Fill the bottle with torch fuel (you may need a funnel).
  • Place a ½ inch coupling about a quarter of an inch down a length of replacement tiki wick. Wrap the coupling with plumber’s tape until the coupling fits snug into opening of the bottle.
  • Seat the wick firmly inside the bottle. About a quarter of an inch should be sticking out of the top.
  • Wait several minutes for the wick to absorb the fuel before lighting.

Need a pro? Call to learn more about our handyman and repair services in the greater Memphis area.