7 Ways to Use What You Already Have to Get Your Yard Summer-Ready

Prep your yard for summer days outside with our almost-free ideas.

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You may be ready for summer days ahead, but is your yard? Our easy budget-friendly updates will bring your outdoor space back to life from dreary winter days.

Vertical Garden

Outdoor Dining Area With Wood Pergola and Vertical Garden

Outdoor Dining Area With Wood Pergola and Vertical Garden

A vertical hanging pocket garden surrounds a pergola-shaded outdoor dining area in this backyard. A variety of hanging glass pendant lamps are sophisticated additions to the rustic, weathered-wood terrace.

and The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie

Hang an edible garden using pocket mesh shoe organizers for added privacy and easy access to your favorite herbs.

Mason Jar Lanterns

Create Glass Lanterns for the Backyard

Create Glass Lanterns for the Backyard

Add pizzazz to a summer patio with hanging lanterns. Suspended from shepherd's hooks, these easy, inexpensive candleholders will add sparkle to the garden by day and illuminate a pathway by night.

Illuminate your outdoor space by placing tea light candles in Mason jars. Hang them with shepherd's hooks.

Trash Can Planters

Container Garden in Galvanized Metal Trash Cans

Container Garden in Galvanized Metal Trash Cans

Add portable green space to your patio using galvanized metal trash cans and casters. You'll need: metal trash cans, empty 2-liter plastic bottles, casters, screws, nuts, drill, drill bit, potting soil, plants of various sizes and habits (tall, short and cascading), pressure-treated lumber, tape measure, marker and gardening gloves.

Combine your love of container gardening and upcycling by using trash cans to create planters on the cheap. Drill a few small holes in the bottom of galvanized buckets for drainage or make portable planters from galvanized metal trash cans.

Gravel Pathway

Japanese Style Screen with Rolled Bamboo Base

Japanese Style Screen with Rolled Bamboo Base

Photo by: DK - Small Garden © 2004 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Small Garden , 2004 Dorling Kindersley Limited

If you don't have a pathway to your backyard, lay board pulled from shipping pallets down and surround them with small gravel.

Painted Garden Stones

Basil Plants With Decorative Stone Marker

Basil Plants With Decorative Stone Marker

Transform an ordinary rock into a colorful work of art that labels your plants and accents a garden bed.

Get the kids to help with this fun DIY! Make garden stones from rocks in your own garden. Label them with crayons or paint, and embellish by hot gluing pebble vase fillers.

Tree Stump Table

Rustic Patio with Wood Chairs and Natural Log Table

Rustic Patio with Wood Chairs and Natural Log Table

The fuchsia rug contrasts beautifully with the natural wood furniture on this backyard patio.

A tree stump is an easy addition that will bring rustic flair to your outdoor space. The best part? You may just have the supplies in the backyard. Attach casters to the bottom for easy mobility. 

Turn Anything Into a Planter

Easy DIY Outdoor Projects

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Build a Stacked Stone Fireplace

Add fireside ambiance to your backyard with an outdoor fireplace made from stacked stone.

Create a Rustic Rolling Stump Table

Tree stumps make ideal outdoor side tables: They're inexpensive, durable and can double as extra seating. To make the hefty chunks of wood easier to move around your outdoor room, attach casters to the bottom of each stump, like Emily Henderson did here.

Create a Painted Canvas Area Rug

Transform a basic drop cloth into a one-of-a-kind outdoor area rug with a ruler, some painter's tape and stripes of your favorite bold hue.

Make Your Own Wash Tub Planters

It's easy to blow your entire outdoor budget on planters. Instead of buying new ones at the home improvement store, hit the flea market or thrift store to find old metal washtubs. Drill holes in the bottom, like Emily Henderson did here, to give your plants proper drainage.

Create a Simple Pathway

Set a clear path for guests with simple steppingstones. Choose contrasting large stones and small gravel to create extra interest. Design by John Gidding

Lay a Stone Patio This Weekend

Laying a patio is one of the easiest and fastest DIY jobs around, and it can be done with tools you probably already have in one weekend.

Hang a Daybed

There's nothing quite like sitting (or sleeping) on a daybed during the warm summer months. This relaxing porch addition is quick and easy to hang. When installing the porch swing, attach it to something structural, especially when dealing with older homes. If you prefer a rustic rope look as opposed to chain links, be sure to use marine-grade nylon or polyester for a longer-lasting effect. Don't forget cozy cushions and pillows to add a stylish finish and a comfortable spot to relax. Design by John Gidding

Stain a Wooden Deck

Whether your deck is new or a bit worn, a few coats of stain will give it a fresh look.

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