Even though it seemed like it would never happen, patio season is finally here. But if your patio is like ours, it could use a little outdoor decorating TLC. Or, uh, a lot. Whether you need to give that weathered picnic table an overhaul or are looking for a more stylish alternative to typical garden planters (like the ones above, made by putting pots inside bits of reclaimed concrete piping), we’ve got you covered with 10 standout DIY ideas. Your patio never looked so good.
That old, splintery, weathered picnic table deserves a little better than peeling-off paint, don’t you think? To make it new again, simply sand and then paint with a glossy hue. For a modern look, paint one slat in an unexpected color.
Put a big branch to good use by cutting it into rounds, then drilling a hole big enough for a candle. No drill? No problem. Just use the wood rounds as coasters, or to hold a large pillar candle.
Poufs are timeless when it comes to outdoor decor (and look equally gorgeous indoors as well). But before you shell out $300+ for a designer pouf, recreate these chic cushions with a crochet hook and chunky yarn.
Get the tutorial for creating a knitted pouf at Apartment Therapy.
An outdoor rug wakes up even the most humble patch of concrete. Though they’re relatively affordable, you can create a custom carpet by decorating a faux sisal mat.
Just use a paint marker designed to withstand the elements, like the A30 Broad Tip Paint Marker.
Those little plastic side tables always seem to be the first thing to go, somehow acquiring an unmovable layer of filth no matter how much you scrub. But don’t kick it to the curb — instead, give the table surface a lovely little mosaic. Though the pansy pattern (left) is definitely on the more complex end of the spectrum, a mixed combination of tiles (or even broken ceramic plates) looks equally nice.
Check out how to create a mosaic from broken ceramic tiles.
Brand new outdoor cushions can be oddly expensive, because you often have to buy the oversized pillow inserts separately from the covers. But if you stitch up a simple cover from an outdoor-safe fabric (think Sunbrella), you can stuff it with crumpled up plastic bags and no one will be the wiser.
Learn how to sew a sofa pillow from Cottage Magpie.
A birdhouse is cute no matter what, but why not turn a plain one into something more remarkable? When painted to resemble a wee Tudor-style cottage, you’ll have an adorable focal point for your garden.
You know that yardage of pom-pom trim you couldn’t help buying from the craft store but can’t find a use for? Well, here you go: Border your patio umbrella with the retro adornment. Though you could stitch it in place, it’ll be secure with just a few dabs of hot glue.
Amplify the glow of outdoor string lights by placing the bulbs inside of glass jars. The easiest way to do this is to turn small-size jars (think baby-food size) into lanterns. Just wrap the mouth of the jar with wire. Next, bend a piece of wire into a “U” shape and twist the ends to the wire-wrapped jar to secure. Then, slide the lanterns onto the string lights.
Image credits (from top to bottom): flickr.com/greengardenvienna, flickr.com/hownowdesign, flickr.com/jmoorecoll, flickr.com/evstra, flickr.com/kellysue, flickr.com/kodamakitty, flickr.com/gardeninginaminute, etsy.com/mulberrylanefolkart, flickr.com/limegreenrhinestones and etsy.com/sweetteaclothingco