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15 Easy And Fun Outdoor DIY Projects You Can Do In Less Than An Hour

15 Easy And Fun Outdoor DIY Projects You Can Do In Less Than An Hour

Outdoor DIY projects are very divisive: some people love spending time outside and getting their hands dirty, while others hate the idea of spending hours exposed to the elements with only a tool kit for company. The good news is that even if you fall into the latter camp, there are still plenty of fun backyard DIY projects that you can do in less than 60 minutes. Try one (or more) of these projects when you feel like getting some fresh air but don’t want to spend the whole day in the sun.

1. Do Some Landscaping Along Your Walkway

    If you have a path leading up to your front door, spruce it up by adding some plants as a border along the edge. You’ll want to choose a hardy plant that can handle being stepped on and doesn’t require a lot of care, or else an initially short DIY project could become more work than you intended. Creeping Jenny is a popular option if you’re looking for ground coverage, while geraniums are great if you’re looking for a little more color. Find more suggestions for walkway plants here.

    2. Make an Outdoor Tic Tac Toe Board

      Source: chickenscratchny.com

      Set up a giant tic tac toe board for your kids using only a wood round, smooth rocks, and yellow, black, and red paints. You can paint lines on the wood round to create your board while you paint the rocks to look like bumblebees and lady bugs.

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      3. Create Fire in a Bowl

        Source: 1.bp.blogspot.com

        Maybe you don’t want to tear up your yard or invest the time necessary to build a fire pit, but you can still add a cozy touch to your next patio get-together by setting up bowls with flickering flames. This project should only take about half an hour, and you can learn how to do it here.

        4. Turn a Plastic Bottle into a Succulent Hanger

          Source: whipperberry.com

          The next time you have a medium or large plastic bottle hanging out in your recycling bin, turn it into a succulent hanger by cutting off the narrow top section and filling it with soil and pea gravel. All you have to do is purchase several small succulents (which require very little maintenance) and plant them in the containers, then poke two holes in the side of the bottle in order to thread twine through. If you’re ambitious, you can also use acrylic craft paint to decorate the bottle.

          5. Make a PVC Pipe Towel Rack

            Source: cutediypins.com

            If you have a pool in your backyard, you can make a towel rack using only PVC pipes, a PVC saw, and 12 T-fittings that are the same size as the pipes. That way, your family can keep their towels off the ground and use them longer! Get the instructions here.

            6. Make Your Own Citronella Candles

              Source: blog.sndimg.com

              Why not choose a DIY project that will benefit you, your friends, and your family the next time you want to sit outside on a summer evening? Follow this step-by-step guide to make your own citronella candles in order to ward off mosquitoes.

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              7. Make a Hanging Basket Garden

                Source: abeautifulmess.typepad.com

                If you have a green thumb but limited space in your yard, you can create a hanging basket garden by running twine through sturdy, woven baskets, filling those baskets with soil, and adding plants. Just make sure that your baskets are large enough for your plants but not so large that they’ll be extremely heavy once you add the soil.

                8. Pitch a Hula Hoop Tent

                  This is a great project for parents and kids to do together. All you’ll need are hula hoops, old sheets, scissors, and safety pins for the actual tents, plus blankets and cushions to sit on underneath. Get detailed instructions here and give your kids a cool, shady place to hang out in the backyard.

                  9. Make a Movie Screen Out of a Bed Sheet

                    Source: pvcplans.com

                    If you have an old white sheet or tarp lying around, transform it into a projector screen for an outdoor movie night. All you have to do is sew down the sides of the sheet to get the screen size you want, insert eyelets on each side of the top of the sheet, and sew in PVC pipes to create the frame. Then you can just use twine or rope to suspend the screen from a tree or other outdoor structure.

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                    10. Build a Backyard Tandoor Oven

                      Source: food52.com

                       

                      Did you know it’s possible to turn a terra cotta flower pot into a tandoor oven for naan and other flat breads? Or that this complicated-sounding project can be completed in roughly an hour? You can learn how at Food52.

                      11. Make a Bird Feeder Out of an Old Bottle

                        To complete this project, you’ll need to use screws or wood dowels to connect two small wooden planks at a right angle. You’ll then need to add two wire loops to the vertical board—one near the neck of your glass bottle and one near the bottom, so that the bottle is suspended 3 or 4 inches above the bottom board and the birdseed will be able to flow out into a bottom container gradually.

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                        12. Turn Mason Jars into Outdoor Lights

                          Source: cdn.hometalk.com

                          Illuminate your deck or patio by creating solar mason jar lights, which are incredibly easy and inexpensive to make and can typically be completed in half an hour or less.

                          13. Paint Cinder Blocks to Create Outdoor Coffee Table

                            Source: buzzfeed.com

                            We normally think of cinder blocks as unattractive, but they don’t have to be. Throw down a drop cloth, choose a wide paint brush and a color paint that you like, and spruce up a couple cinder blocks. You can then turn two cinder blocks on their ends (so that they’re taller than they are long) to make an outdoor coffee table, or turn several painted cinder blocks into planters for colorful flowers.

                            14. Paint Your Patio Tiles

                              Source: abeautifulmess.typepad.com

                              If you like the idea of a painting project and have a tiled patio that you want to give a modern look, you can transform several squares using latex floor paint.

                              15. Create a Border for Your Garden Using Wine Bottles

                                All you’ll need to do is dig a trench (about 8 inches deep) around your garden, line the far edge of the trench with either aluminum flashing or landscaper’s plastic edging, and then place your wine bottles top down in the dirt against the edging or flashing. Just be sure you rinse out your wine bottles and remove any labels or plastic first!

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                                Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                1. Work on the small tasks.

                                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                3. Upgrade yourself

                                Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                4. Talk to a friend.

                                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                7. Read a book (or blog).

                                The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                8. Have a quick nap.

                                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                10. Find some competition.

                                Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                11. Go exercise.

                                Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                12. Take a good break.

                                Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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