5 DIY Outdoor Projects That’ll Boost Your Yard’s Beauty

posted: 04/06/16
by: Blythe Copeland

With spring finally, officially here, it's time to start getting your outdoor spaces spruced up for the warmer weather: Think new plants, fresh mulch, and bright furniture cushions. Thankfully, you have plenty of time to invest in some larger scale DIY projects before patio season is in full swing; try one of these projects, whether you're a novice or a pro, to put a personal touch on your yard this year.

1. Planter box

Square planter boxes may not be the most elaborate upgrade, but they have nearly endless uses: Build two to flank your front door with bright, shade-loving plants; place them on your back step to keep fresh herbs within easy reach of the kitchen; or add several to your patio for a colorful finishing touch. Plans from Ana White show you how to build a cedar version for less than $20, and provide an ideal base for finishing with your own paint or stain colors.

2. Raised garden bed

Raised garden beds help amateur gardeners protect their flowers, fruits, and vegetables from pests and weeds, and can also help keep your yard neat by keeping your crops contained. These plans from Sunset will show you how to build an 8x4 foot bed -- though you can make yours bigger, smaller, or higher by modifying the size of wood you purchase -- and get you started on a summer full of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, and more.

3. Garden bench

This simple backless bench, made according to plans from Lowe's, offers seating for a few extra guests on your porch, patio, or underneath your favorite tree. And though it's aimed at beginners, it also offers plenty of options for customization, from the type of wood to the the finished size, so you can build the bench that's just right for your style and space.

4. Adirondack Chair

If you're ready to take on a slightly more complicated seating project, try these instructions for a classic Adirondack chair from Popular Mechanics. The curved back turns the chair into a comfortable spot for al fresco cocktails or roasting marshmallows, and included plans for a matching table help you create a backyard seating area that will be your new favorite spot.

5. Outdoor kitchen

Anyone can have a grill, but only a true barbecue master will create her (or his) own outdoor kitchen to make sure your summer parties are the best on the block. This Old House's Mark Powers put together this tutorial for a framed island that boasts space for the grill and cabinet, covered with a stone veneer that's designed to last.