20 DIY Outdoor Decorating Projects That Take 30 Minutes—or Less

wooden candle holders on table
Photo: Carson Downing

You can add personality and style to your backyard or patio with these DIY outdoor decorating ideas. Each of these simple projects can be finished in 30 minutes or less, so you'll spend less time crafting and more time enjoying the outdoors. Upgrade your yard with colorful planters, simple wind chimes, a pretty birdhouse, and more, with these easy to follow (and budget-friendly) ideas.

01 of 20

Hanging Planter Platform

outdoor hanging plant stand
Carson Downing

Display small potted plants on a hanging platform. Drill six equally spaced holes through a live-edge circle round, using a bit large enough to make a hole you can thread twine through. Determine the hanging height, then double it and add about a foot. Cut three pieces of twine to this length. Thread twine through three drilled holes, leaving about 4 inches below the round, then thread a wood bead onto the short end and knot. Thread the other end of the twine through the opposite hole, add a bead, and knot. Repeat with the two remaining strands and use an S hook to hang the platform, adjusting for height.

02 of 20

DIY Outdoor Candle

candle and cactus in terra cotta planters
Carson Downing

Upcycle an old terra-cotta pot into a DIY outdoor candle. Brush a coat of paint on the pot, and once it's dry, sand it to create a rustic look. Cover the pot's hole with a penny or pebble, then mix citronella oil into melted wax and pour enough in make a candle. Citronella oil helps repel mosquitoes.

03 of 20

DIY Outdoor Candleholders

wooden candle holders on table
Carson Downing

Light up your porch or patio with stylish outdoor candleholders. Screw or glue together two square wood bases, one slightly smaller than the other. Cut wood garden stakes to size—these lanterns are 12 inches and 14 inches high—removing the pointed ends. Measure and cut pieces to fit between the taller stakes, then glue them together. Once dry, drill or glue the vertical uprights to the base. Finish by adding a glass votive and candle to each.

04 of 20

Outdoor Planter Boxes

outdoor wooden planters
Adam Albright

Fashion 6-foot cedar fence boards into plant pot slipcovers. After trimming off dog-eared ends from the boards, cut into 1-foot-long pieces. You will need 12 for the tall pot and eight for the shorter pot. Use waterproof glue to adhere three boards into a slab (two for the shorter slipcover), then repeat three more times. Weigh the slabs down to keep them flat while they're drying. For the vertical corner boards, cut eight 12-inch pieces from 1×2 cedar boards. Arrange the slabs into a cube and use a drill or pin nailer to attach two uprights at each corner.

05 of 20

DIY Garden Obelisk

plant stands in garden
Carson Downing

Create vertical interest in the garden with an obelisk over vines or other climbing plants. Gather bamboo stakes and twine from a garden or home center, and stick seven stakes in the ground around your plant. Wrap twine near the top of the bamboo to stabilize the arrangement. Weave more twine around the middle and bottom of the structure to further secure the stakes. As you wrap the twine, wind it once fully around each bamboo stake so that it stays in place.

06 of 20

Color-Block Concrete Planter

concrete succulent planter

Give basic concrete containers a colorful update. Create a color-block effect by portioning off a section of the planter with masking tape, then add color with spray paint. Let it dry, then fill with your favorite flowers or plants.

07 of 20

Colorful Rope-Wrapped Pots

rope wrapped pot pink flowers
Cameron Sadeghpour

Add texture and color to a plain terra-cotta pot. Wrap a long strand of twine or rope around a pot (the exact length depends on the size of the container) and secure the ends with hot glue. Paint designs on the rope with colorful latex paint.

08 of 20

Fabric-Covered Stepping-Stones

Bring your favorite fabric outdoors to enhance your stepping stones. Not counting the drying time, this outdoor craft takes only 30 minutes to put together. Simply attach a fabric cutout to pavers with polyurethane seal and let everything dry.

09 of 20

Flowerpot Birdhouse

terra cotta birdhouse project
Peter Krumhardt

A simple terra-cotta flowerpot easily becomes a cute birdhouse with the help of a few basic crafts supplies. Secure the pot to a sturdy surface, such as a fence, and add a wooden plaque with a drilled hole. Then sit back, relax, and get ready to watch your feathered friends.

10 of 20

No-Sew Burlap Wrap

blue dot burlap planter
Cameron Sadeghpour

Use no-sew burlap wraps to cover basic plastic pots housing large shrubs and plants. Start with a few yards of burlap, then fold them over the planter as if you were wrapping a present. Secure the fabric with hot glue, then embellish it with painted patterns.

11 of 20

DIY House Numbers

wood mounted house numbers
Ann VanderWiel Wilde

House numbers serve an important purpose when guests come to visit, so make sure they stand out. If your front door is far from the street, mount a set near your walkway. Add more emphasis to metal numbers by mounting them on a piece of wood, or add a colorful background with spray paint.

12 of 20

Mini Succulent Garden

potted succulent plant garden
Ed Gohlich

This miniature succulent container garden takes only a few minutes to assemble. Start by pouring soil into an 18-inch pot, then add rocks, a taller plant, and succulent cuttings. Finish with colorful tumbled glass, lava rock, and white pumice to incorporate a variety of textures.

13 of 20

Quick Outdoor Pillow Updates

Patio seating with white furniture and colorful pillows
Dana Gallagher

Upgrade outdoor pillows with a few easy embellishments. Add pom-poms to each corner, or create an eye-catching pattern with a painted design. Use stamps or stencils to achieve crisp lines and even shapes.

14 of 20

Wine Bottle Chimes

wine bottle chimes
Peter Krumhardt

Save a few empty wine bottles to repurpose as DIY outdoor decor. Make this wind chime by wrapping the necks of empty wine bottles in aluminum wire, then hang them from a pergola, overhang, or tree.

15 of 20

Dip-Dye Outdoor Place Mats

Pick your favorite color and get to work on these easy dip-dye outdoor place mats. Start by filling three plastic tubs with water. Add dye to one bucket, then, one at a time, dip the place mats in the solution. Use the other two buckets to rinse the mats, and allow them to dry.

16 of 20

Outdoor String Lights

Outdoor structure string lights
Ann VanderWiel Wilde

Hang string lights in any space that could benefit from a soft glow, such as near a deck, she-shed, or patio. If you have no outdoor outlets, opt for battery-operated string lights. Add personality to your outdoor lighting with simple DIY updates, like colorful paper shades.

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Graphic Beach Towels

Personalize basic beach towels with a summery phrase, a family member's initials, or a fun pattern. Apply equal parts bleach and water using a stencil to create a subtle, yet graphic design. Remember to wash the bleached towels before you spread them out on lawn chairs or pack them for the pool.

18 of 20

DIY Welcome Mat

Grass painted welcome mat
Jay Wilde

Greet guests with a summery DIY doormat. You can quickly create a custom design on a plain mat using painters tape and spray paint. To make this fresh grass design, simply mask off your pattern with tape, then spray various shades of green.

19 of 20

Key Wind Chime

Give new life to old keys with this simple wind chime. Gather keys you no longer use (or look for some at thrift stores and flea markets) with interesting shapes or details. Wrap a tree branch with colorful shades of embroidery floss, then hang old keys at different lengths.

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Wildflower Outdoor Centerpiece

Fresh flowers mason jars
Adam Albright

You can make a sweet centerpiece for your outdoor patio table in five minutes. Simply arrange Mason jars of varying sizes on the tabletop and fill them halfway with water. Gather freshly cut wildflowers to arrange inside.

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