Doing-it-yourself isn’t just for indoor projects, there are plenty of projects you can do yourself for the exterior of your house that can set you up for a fun spring and summer. We’re still in the last throes of winter, but it’s not too early to start thinking about sprucing up your outdoor areas for the spring melt and the hot summer sunshine. Here are three ideas to improve your home outdoors experience you can do in an hour or less:
1. Pest Control
It’s hard to imagine in winter, but come spring, you’ll have many more bugs making your front and back yards home. We don’t live with clouds of mosquitoes here in Colorado typically, but don’t take any chances this summer. There are two easy ways to control insects outside your home: homemade citronella candles, or, a crowd favorite, the mosquito repelling torch.
For the citronella candles, you’ll need a pot and a stove to make a double boiler to melt your wax. Once you have candle wax, a way to melt it, and a vessel to hold it, such as a massive tomato can, all you need is citronella oil, which is usually available in most health food stores.
Torches take a bit more work, but they’re simple enough. You’ll need a way to attach the torch to a wall or into the ground like a tiki torch. Get yourself torch fuel specifically for outdoor torches, some citronella oil again, and a coupler to attach the wick to, and you’re there.
2. The Vertical Garden
In today’s rapidly urbanizing environment, more people around the world are building vertical gardens using all kinds of household items to hold their plants above the ground. You can use an old shoe organizer or a simple wooden pallet to plant small herbs and others you can easily harvest. Remember that wherever you put your hanging garden, it has to get enough sunlight to nurture all the plants. Take it to another level by adding a hydroponic watering system or by planting some natural insect-repelling plants to make this DIY project a two-for-one.
3. Outdoor Theater
There are a few challenges to creating an outdoor theater environment for summer movie nights, but they can be solved. First, you need a white screen. Sturdy material like canvas or cloth works best outside. Then you need a way to mount the screen. One way is to dig small poles into the ground that can double as volleyball or badminton net poles when you’re not watching the screen. The other challenge is getting electricity to your backyard. There are many sneaky ways to hide extension cords and wires outside, such as running them along vines or climbing plants. You can also even dig a shallow trench for the wires, just make sure you’re nowhere near your septic system.
These three simple ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to easy, outdoor, do-it-yourself projects for the spring and summer. All you need is a penchant for using hand tools, imagination, and a little time.