DIY Backyard Worthy of a Staycation

Never feel the need to vacation again in this DIY backyard. Screen panels, mason jars, repurposed materials, and a flagstone patio turn a basic yard into an outdoor retreat.

Screens for Walls

Stationary and rolling screen panels make this covered deck usable even if bugs show up. Four panels roll on steel hardware to open the outdoor room to the yard when desired. Curtains diffuse light and add privacy, while an outdoor rug softens the planks underfoot.

Let There Be Light

This charming pendant is constructed from canning jars coated with glass paint. The translucent hues combine to cast a gentle glow -- and create a conversation piece -- during quiet evenings on the deck.

Center of Attention

Embellish a pillow by pinning a DIY flower in the center. Start with a felt circle the size of the flower you want and about a yard of cotton webbing (or ribbon). Hot-glue one short end of the webbing in the center of the circle and wind it around from the center to the outside of the circle, twisting and tacking with glue as you go.

Reinvent the Wheel

These storage coffee tables keep a few old tires out of landfills! Wash the tire thoroughly and let dry. Cut a plywood circle that’s a few inches smaller than the tire. Prime the circle and the tire (inside, too) using an oil-base primer, then paint using latex outdoor paint. When dry, attach casters to the bottom of the circle and use construction adhesive to secure the tire on top. For the tabletop, cut a round piece of maple plywood or construct a top using cedar planks like we did.

Across the Board

We assembled this settee from plywood and an old pallet. Casters and a thick cushion bring it to a comfortable seating height. Look for free pallets from local contractors, or buy from a recycler. Look online for pallet furniture designs and construction tips.

In Full Bloom

Here’s a thrifty way to perk up a plain glass florist vase. Either freehand or use a stencil to draw a design on the outside of the vase using dimensional crafts paint. Let dry, then paint the vase using multipurpose semigloss spray paint.

Roll With It

A barn-style door track and a door guide secured on the decking keep the sliding screen panels from swinging in the breeze. PVC pipes supported by wood brackets fashion as curtain rods.

Go With the Flow

Build a backyard pond in three days and with minimal materials. This 8×10-foot pond was built using a catch basin, liner, sand, river rock, and natural stone and includes a pump. Water hyacinths and koi keep the water clean.

Buckle Up

This idea keeps a bench cushion from shifting. Cut cotton webbing to fit around the cushion and bench, plus 8 inches. Attach one end to two D rings to create a belt. Place the belt around the cushion and bench, and buckle it.

At Your Service

Let a potting bench serve a new purpose as an outdoor buffet. To hide storage underneath, hang a beach towel from a tension rod with clip rings. To embellish the drawers, mask the fronts with floral decals, paint, then remove the decals to reveal the wood.

To Dye For

Dye the webbing first, then twist and tack with glue. A length of webbing at the back wraps around the napkin. The table runner is also fashioned from dyed webbing.

Flag It

Alfresco dining is one of the best pleasures of summer. A large, shaded table on a DIY patio fashioned from bluestone sets the stage for an ideal meal. The irregular shapes of the flagstone create an informal and natural atmosphere. When installing, rotate and flip the pieces until you find a good fit with uniform spacing.

TIP: Consider using polymeric sand, which seals paver joints. It's not easily washed away, and it keeps weeds at bay.

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