The best way to truly enjoy the summer? Enhance your outdoor spaces to maximize your time in the fresh air. Any of these awesome projects will make your parties so fun guests will never want to leave.
1. Supersized Fun
Become an outdoor entertaining star with these step-by-step instructions for turning wood scraps into an oversize Jenga game. Don’t fool yourself into thinking the bigger blocks will give you an advantage; this mammoth version can be just as tricky as the traditional game.
2. Can You Dig It?
There’s nothing like relaxing in the sunshine with your toes in the sand—even if you have to do it in your own backyard. Kick back on built-in benches while your kids play in this genius sandbox. Even better: When the box is not in use, the benches fold down to create an effective cover.
Related: Project Guide: Building a Sandbox
3. Cooler Than the Fridge
With this clever built-in tabletop drinks tray, you can say goodbye to clunky insulated coolers. Not only does this practical—and elegant—solution keep libations close at hand, making your own doesn’t require any complicated woodworking tools.
4. Sound Garden
Hacking IKEA goods is a time-honored tradition—and for good reason. This DIY speaker was crafted by adding a few holes to a pair of wooden IKEA salad bowls, then fitting a speaker inside. Hung from a pergola or strung between two trees, this stylish speaker will keep guests tapping their feet to the beat at your next backyard party.
Related: 16 Ingenious IKEA Hacks
5. Banish Bugs
Tiny terra-cotta pots make charming paint-dipped citronella candles. Simply melt down beeswax, then add a few drops of citronella essential oil for a pretty patio accent that will also keep your outdoor space pest-free.
6. Home Sweet Shed
photo: ext.home depot.com
If you’ve got enough space to store all your outdoor essentials, convert a freestanding shed into a playhouse that’s just perfect for tiny tots. The inviting abode will keep kids busy for hours—or, alternatively, provide a stress-free zone for mom or dad to relax.
7. Horsing Around
Put a colorful, charming twist on the classic game of horseshoes. All you’ll need is a horseshoes set, metal primer, and spray paint. Then, voilà—shoes so stunning, you’ll swear they fell off a unicorn.
Related: How To: Build a Horseshoe Pit
8. Right Hand Blue
Transform a lowly drop cloth into a custom Twister mat for instant summer fun. You can even supersize the game in order to add more players, and it’s a great way to use leftover paint from old DIY projects.
Related: 5 Things to Do with… Drop Cloths
9. Happy Camper
Though impractical for camping in the woods, this simple canvas tent is just right for a truly awesome backyard getaway. Make your own using these handy directions. A string of lights and a good book are completely optional (but strongly encouraged).