Summer is here in all its glory, but your backyard is not so hot. It’s time to get your craft on and crank up the fun with these amazing summer DIY projects. You’ll stay cool all summer while the heat blazes on. Let the battle of the backyards commence.
Wild, Wonderful Water Blob
Skip the lines and pee-filled pools at the water park this summer and create your own outdoor fun with this giant water blob. It’s similar to a waterbed, except that your kids are allowed to run, jump and play on it. (Hey, it doesn’t just have to be for kids!) Not only is this project sure to keep your kids occupied all summer, but it’s pretty easy to make too! Grab your glue gun and let’s get started.
- To make the blob, fold the plastic (4-mil or thicker clear plastic can be found at any hardware store) in half on a clean, smooth floor. The plastic can be any size you like, but a 10′ x 20′ sheet will make a 10’x10′ blob – large enough for all kinds of fun.
- Set an iron onto high heat with no steam, then place sheets of parchment paper (or kraft paper) above and below the area you’re working on, starting with the side opposite the fold.
- Iron the paper, starting with one corner opposite the fold, to create a seam approximately two inches wide along the entire edge.
- Continue along the other non-fold sides of the plastic, then cut a two-inch slit in the folded side near a corner to make room for a garden hose.
- Cart the plastic outside and set it on a smooth area of the lawn or on a clean section of the patio (remove pebbles and debris to create a safe environment for the blob).
- Prop up the slit portion of the blob, insert the garden hose, then turn on the water until the water level is at least several inches deep.
- Remove the hose, duct tape the slit closed, Remove the tape to drain or refill the blob any time you like. Happy blobbing!
Pro Tip: Tint the water blue (or any fun color!) with a little food coloring to create a blob that pops. Keep the blob in the shade to help keep the water cool.
Marvelous Mini Golf
Build your own custom backyard mini golf course for an afternoon of fun for the entire family. Time for Dad to show off his glory days golf “skills”. Craft a somewhat traditional course from bricks and boards, or get a little more creative and make cardboard castles, alligator tunnels, sand traps and water hazards. Here’s how to make our favorite hole for a family fun game of mini golf.
- Build a tower of three blocks, lean your ramp against it and set a few guide bricks on each side.
- Try a few practice shots, testing for range.
- Set the finish with 2 1⁄2 cinderblocks in a wall behind it as a backstop.
- Place the rest of the bricks to complete the square around the finish, leaving two narrow entrances on either side.
- Make this hole more difficult — Par 4 — by elevating the front wall with extra material to prevent low balls from bouncing over.
Pro Tip: Try making a loop for one of the holes out of a five-gallon bucket.
Made in the Shade
Warm weather means more time spent outdoors, but too much time in the sun can be overwhelming at times. Shade your patio, pergola or a portion of the yard with a homemade sun shade. For a pergola, the process can be as simple as weaving indoor/outdoor fabric or curtain panels between slats on the pergola, basket-weave style.
Another easy DIY option is to make your own triangular shade sail with a piece of shade cloth or outdoor fabric.
- Install grommets near the corners of your triangle.
- Next connect your cloth to secure wooden or the edge of a building using eye bolts or boat cleats and rope.
You can even make simple shade for any area of the yard out of colorful indoor/outdoor fabric panels fitted with grommets; the grommets make it easier to hang the panels anywhere you like: from balcony posts, tree branches, you name it. They’re just as easy to take down when no longer needed.
The Ultimate Outdoor Relaxation Room
Create the ultimate relaxation space for reading, writing, or meditating by creating this versatile outdoor room. Use indoor/outdoor fabric panels (or sheets), wood posts and comfy floor pillows.
- Build a low platform to make a floor for a somewhat permanent structure in your yard.
- Add in some tall, sturdy posts around the perimeter to hang the fabric walls and ceiling.
For our readers with little people try this project, which will provide you with a relaxing spot for your tiny tots. Kids will love their own personal getaway just as much as you love yours!
- Attach sheets or fabric panels to large hula hoops.
- Customize your fort to your little one’s personality. Let them help pick out the fabric color and patterns.
- Hang horizontally from a tree or overhead structure.
This is the perfect spot for your kiddos where they can eat snacks, play, and read books in their own little private sideways
Pro tip: Try this project out for adults. Simply place the fabric of your choice over the head area of a patio lounge chair. Keep your favorite cold beverage nearby for ultimate relaxation.
After Dark Orb
Looking to get creative after dark? Give your yard a dose of DIY with these illuminated spheres. The secret? Round glass shades from ceiling fixtures. Buy these on these orbs from a charity salvage shop such as the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a thrift store or a yard sale.
Once you’ve found your picks, it’s time to repurpose.
- Pick glass shades that are white and smooth, then place outdoor-rated twinkle lights or rope lights inside the orbs.
- Plug your lights in at the other end into the nearest outdoor outlet.
- Set the orbs open-side down in a flowerbed, near a tree or in another area you’d like to highlight. then hide the cords under mulch or wood chips.
Pro Tip: Solar lights that have external, portable solar panels will also work if you don’t want to plug anything in – just set the solar panel in an area that gets plenty of sun and place the light under the glass shade.