Do you want to transform your outdoor area into a homey, hang-out center? The easiest way to do that is to buy some new furniture for your patio, deck or porch. But doing so can easily take a toll on your budget, especially if you want new furniture for your interiors, too. The good thing is that adding furniture pieces for your outdoor spots doesn’t need to be expensive – a little creativity, craftiness, and dedication to making a work of art will get you a long way. Save money and decorate your outdoor spaces by doing some unique DIY projects! Here are some furniture ideas for your outdoor space:
DIY Side Table / Patio Umbrella Stand
Do you already have those pretty metal chairs in your patio, but without a table to put down your morning coffee on? All you need is a side table that can also hold a patio umbrella to keep you under the shade. This farmhouse-style table will make your patio extra chic.
1. Gather these items:
- Big antique milk can with the height of a table (check your local antique shops if you don’t have it)
- Wooden round (you can buy it from hardware stores like Home Depot)
- Hole saw drill
- Wood stain
- Wood sealer/polyurethane
- Patio umbrella
- Liquid nails
2. The antique milk can would be the base of your table, and the wooden round would be your tabletop. Drill a hole in the center of the wooden round. The hole must be the same size of your umbrella pole.
3. If the wood isn’t that smooth, you need to sand it first.
4. Stain the wood to give it some color. Once the stain is dry, apply a sealant like polyurethane to give the surface a smoother and more weather-resistant finish. Let dry.
5. Remove the lid from the antique milk can and place the wooden round above it. Insert the umbrella into the hole on the tabletop and down into the milk can.
6. Have someone hold the wooden round upwards so you can fill the antique can with rocks. This way, the side table would have weight and won’t be swayed by winds.
7. Put a bead of liquid nails around the perimeter of the lid. Then, press the tabletop down to make it adhere in place.
DIY Outdoor Storage Box and Bench in One
If you have a comfy outdoor couch, you know what a hassle it can be when it rains – you have to grab the cushions off the chairs then put them indoors so they won’t get wet. You’ve got to get a storage box for that and make it double duty as a bench as well. Outdoor storage boxes can be expensive, so making your own can save you a lot, plus you’d be having a box that is uniquely yours.
1. To create the storage box/bench, you’ll need these things:
- Sheets of quality pine plywood, ¾” thick
- Pre-primed trim boards
- PVC quarter round trim
- 2 pieces of 3.5” galvanized utility hinges
- 2 pieces of 2.5” rubber wheel swivel casters
- 2 pieces of 2.5″ rubber wheel swivel casters with locks
- Adhesive sealant or liquid nails
- Paintable caulk
- Wood filler
- Finishing nail gun
- Skil saw or table saw
- Miter saw or miter box
- Quality primer
- Exterior latex paint
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloth
- Safety glasses
- Safety earbuds
2. Make a rectangular box out of the plywood. Using your table saw or skill saw, cut it according to your own measurements, which will depend on you on how big you want the storage box/bench to be. Make sure that you consider how the cushions will fit. You need 4 big, same-sized rectangular panels and 2 same-sized squares for the side panels to create a rectangular box. While cutting, sawdust will be flying everywhere, so wear your safety glasses to protect your eyes. Cover your ears with safety earbuds as well.
3. Assemble your plywood using an adhesive sealant or liquid nails. Get the rectangular plywood that will serve as your base panel and place it on an elevated surface. Run a bead of adhesive sealant or liquid nails near the edge of the long side of the plywood.
4. Get another rectangular plywood and make it stand at the base panel along the edge you just laid the adhesive on. Stay on one side and have someone hold it steady on the other side, as you press the plywood at the base panel. While you let it stick, let your helper hold it steady while you secure it with nails every few inches. Use a finishing nail gun for this. It will get loud, so keep your safety earbuds at your ears.
5. Continue around the box, applying sealant to every edge where the plywood pieces meet, holding it and pressing it together, then nailing until you are finished with three rectangular sides and the two squares at the side. Keep the top part open, and set aside the remaining piece of rectangular panel (this will serve as the lid, which you will attach later).
6. Caulk all the seams with a paintable caulk. If you used an adhesive sealant that’s paintable, that works as well. Make sure you cover all seams, inside out. Let it dry.
7. Once you have made a box, add a bit of pizzazz with the pre-primed trim boards. Cut your trim board with straight cuts. Glue and nail the top and bottom trim boards first, then measure the sides and cut those trim boards to length.
8. Get your plywood piece that will serve as the lid. Finish its edge by installing the PVC quarter round molding. Then, cut 1×2” trim boards and nail it to the underside of the lid. This can add strength and rigidity to the lid since it will also serve as seating.
9. Back to the box, fill the nail holes with wood filler, then lightly sand it to make it smooth.
10. Place the box on a drop cloth. Prime every surface – outside and inside – with 2 coats of primer. Once dry, give the box at least 2 coats of latex paint in the color you prefer. Do the same with the lid. You can choose a different color of paint for the lid so it would stand out.
11. On the bottom corners of the box, screw in the 4 rubber wheel swivel casters.
12. Attached the galvanized hinges to the lid, and then to the box.
DIY Tire Coffee Table
This one’s a very simple project. Perhaps you have used tires in your garage that you can’t dispose of because you’re still thinking what to do to them. Here’s an idea: why not make it a coffee table for your patio? It’s great to pair with wooden benches in your outdoor hangout place.
1. Gather these materials:
- 2 used tires
- Spray primer
- Spray paint
- Round glass surface (you can recycle from old coffee tables or get one from a glass shop)
2. Clean the used tires. If they have been stored for a while, it may have collected dust and dirt, so you need to wash it with soap and water. Let dry.
3. Paint the tires with primer. Let it dry. Then spray paint it with the color you prefer. Let dry.
4. Stack the two tires, then put the glass on top of it.
DIY Modern Outdoor Bench
The modern trend is to go for simple, minimalistic designs. Getting furniture with this style, let’s say from shops like Pottery Barn, may get expensive because you’re also paying for the brand. Making your own will surely cut the cost. This bench isn’t your typical bench with wood planks screwed into a metal frame – it’s all wood and adhesive.
1. To create this modern bench that is 16” high, 40” long and 13.5” deep, gather these supplies:
- Regular 2x4s (preferably pressure treated wood if you’re going to expose it to elements)
- 5 pieces of 33.5” long
- 4 pieces of 40” long
- 10 pieces of 16” long
- 8 pieces of 12.75” long
- Adhesive sealant or liquid nails
- Bar clamps
- Table saw
- Belt sander with 80-grit and 120-grit
- Sanding blocks
- Wood stain
- Wood sealer
2. Even out your wood, as wood purchased from hardware stores is hardly ever even. Using a table saw, mill the 2” edges of every piece of wood to get a precisely square edge.
3. Cut the pieces of wood, following the list above. Make it precise, as you will use these pieces of wood to make a box joint, kind of like a Jenga puzzle. Here’s how it goes: the 4 pieces of 40” long wood and the 5 pieces of 33.5” long ones would be glued together in an alternate manner (40-33.5-40) and this will serve as the seat of your bench. Perpendicular to that, the 10 pieces of 16” long wood and the 8 pieces of 12.75” long ones would also stick together alternatively, with the 16” pieces filling up the space left by the longer pieces. This will serve as the legs of the bench.
4. To start, place a 40” piece of wood on the ground, with its 2” side facing down. Place a 33.5” piece next to it (also with its 2” side facing down), making sure it’s centered. On each end, you’ll place a 16” long piece of wood perpendicular to the other two pieces. Put it in the space left by the 33.5” piece of wood. Make sure everything is even. You may use a T-square to ensure it’s a right angle, then glue these pieces into place. Clamp them together using a bar clamp.
5. On the other side of the 40” piece of wood, glue another 33.5” piece next to it. On top of the 40” piece, glue a 12.75” piece, next to that 16” perpendicular piece you have glued earlier. Do the same on the other end of the 40” piece. After that 12.75” piece is in place, place another 16” piece just like you did earlier. Extend the clamp to hold your newly glued pieces together.
Tip: Organize the pieces of wood first without gluing yet, so you’d understand how the bench goes together. It’s best to begin at one end of the bench and start assembling with the liquid nails and using the bar clamps as you go along. Remember, as you’re doing a modified box joint, you’ll have one long piece of wood, then short one, then long, then short, and so on. It’s easier as it sounds!
6. Keep assembling the bench until you used up all the wood pieces. Keep them clamped together and let the glue dry overnight.
7. The next day, undo the clamps and sand the uneven surface of the seating area (sometimes the edges aren’t perfect) using the belt sander. This will help even out the surfaces because let’s face it, the wood planks wouldn’t be so perfectly glued to form a straight line. Sand with the grain until it’s completely smooth and flat. Do it also on the legs of the bench. Wipe away all the sanding dust after. If it still needs a little bit of smoothening, use 80-grit sandpaper and finish with 120-grit sandpaper and sand manually.
8. After wiping off every sanding dust, you can now proceed on staining your bench. Follow the instructions on the container on how to apply the stain. Sometimes, applying stain can lift the grain of the wood slightly, so you can sand with a 120-grit after the first coat, then stain again.
9. Apply a sealant evenly.
DIY Garden Stool Made from Tire
Provide yourself a stool for comfortable seating while you’re out there tending to your garden. It’s also a way for you to recycle your old tires and turn it into an adorable little craft.
1. You’ll need:
- One old tire
- Wooden board
- Tape measure
- A cushion that can fit inside the tire
2. Measure the diameter of the tire. Once you got it, draw a circle on the wooden board as the same size as the diameter of the tire. To do this, get a rope and a pencil and use it as a compass.
3. Using the jigsaw, cut the wooden board into a circle. Smooth the edges using sandpaper.
4. Paint both sides of the circular wooden board and let it dry. This will be placed at the bottom of the tire to cover the hole.
5. Start painting the tire. Apply a primer to the tire to seal it and prevent it from cracking. Then, paint the outside with your preferred color. Let dry.
6. Insert the cushion on the tire hole, over the wood board.