With summer OFFICIALLY here, I’ve been taking full advantage of summer evenings in our backyard whenever possible. Whether it’s a simple dinner just Ken and me or hosting a group of friends for a bonfire, if it involves my backyard on a warm summer night, you can bet I’ll be on board!
The best, most hangout-worthy outdoor spaces always address three key elements really well: lighting, greenery, and accessories.
- String lights to candles, lighting is an easy ambiance-creator that can make any space feel magical at night.
- Greenery (i.e. potted plants and surrounding foliage) helps the space feel lush, relaxed and just plain good to be in.
- Accessories such as pillows and tabletop accessories provide a human element and bring an added level of comfort to an outdoor space.
If you’re looking to turn your backyard or balcony into a feel-good al fresco retreat, then you’ve stopped by the right place! We’ve teamed up with art & craft supplier, Loew-Cornell, to share 3 outdoor DIY projects you can make with simple craft store supplies. From lantern garlands, to mini lattices to citrus-y coasters, we’ve got your outdoor space covered for summer!
MASON JAR LANTERN GARLAND
What I LOVE about this lighted garland is that it doesn’t require a power hook up, so you’ll never need to wrestle with extension cords. You could take this bad boy to the park if you wanted to! The lanterns are powered by battery-operated LED inserts, and they’re so simple to install, it’s almost silly. String the garland on your patio umbrella as I’ve done here, or in a tree above a picnic blanket, either way you’ll have instant ambiance.
- Transform Mason LED Lighted Lid Inserts
- Transform Mason Wide Mouth Wire Handles
- AAA Batteries (2 per light)
- Wide Mouth Pint Mason Jars
- Attach the wire handle around the mouth of the mason jar. Then install 2 AAA batteries in the LED light, and attach the large metal lid to the light by rotating clockwise.
- Next place the light (lightbulbs facing into the jar) onto the opening of the mason jar, and secure in place with the mason jar rim.
- Now it’s time to string up the lights! Attach the lights to the rope with a single knot about every 18” or your desired distance. Last but not least, tie the garland up at each rope end over your outdoor space. To turn on, press the small white button on the top of each jar.
MODERN GRID MINI LATTICE
Nothing breaks up a stark, hard-lined balcony or patio better than a little greenery. For that very reason, I add height to my potted plants with lattices. This mini DIY lattice, made from wood crafting dowels, is perfect for adding a vertical element to tabletop plants, and it also instantly creates a centerpiece that can stay outside all summer long.
- 4 Packs of Simply Art Assorted Square Wood Dowels
- Circular Saw or Mitre Saw
- Wood Glue
- Sort out 8 medium thickness dowels from the assorted wood dowel packs. Determine the overall width of your trellis, and use a circular saw to cut 4 of the 8 dowels to that width. The size of my planter dictated that the trellis width would be 7-3/4”. The remaining 4 dowels will stay at the full 12” length.
- Begin laying out the structure of the grid, starting with the vertical posts. Use a t-square to make sure they’re straight and equal distance apart. Then lay the horizontal dowels (cut in Step 1), over top of the vertical posts. Again, use the t-square to make them straight and even. When the dowels are in place, use a dab of glue at each intersection to secure them. Top with a heavy book and let dry for about 2 hours.
- Plant climbing greenery into the planter, and stake the trellis in across the back.
SUMMER CITRUS COASTERS
Colorful tabletop accessories are the epitome of summer entertaining, and these citrus-y drink coasters are no exception. I like using them for happy hour as they add a pop of color to an otherwise low-key, neutral tabletop spread.
- 5 Simply Art Wood Coasters
- Sheet of Craft Foam
- Glue Stick
- Outdoor Craft Paint
- Loew-Cornell Fine Sponge Dabber
- Simply Art Paint Brushes
- Begin by painting 4 of the coasters a contrasting base color such as white. Set aside to dry.
- Then trace the round shape of one of the coasters onto your craft foam sheet. Free hand draw the inner workings of citrus fruit, including the seeds!
- Then cut out the shapes.
- Use a glue stick to adhere the shapes onto the wood side of the extra coaster.
- Next transfer paint onto your new stamp with a sponge dabber. Use enough paint to really cover the foam shapes, but not so much that the paint puddles when stamped.
- Line up the stamp with the coaster and stamp away.
- Lastly add the “rind” to your citrus fruit with a thick paint line around the perimeter of the coaster.
This post was sponsored by Loew-Cornell. Thank you for supporting the brands I love that help me keep the DIY inspo flowing directly to your inbox! All thoughts & opinions are explicitly my own.