Home & Decor,  DIY

One Room Challenge Week 5 ~ DIY Outdoor Projects

When we decided to makeover our backyard in week 1 of the One Room Challenge, the plans included several DIY outdoor projects.  Here’s a recap of a what we wanted to accomplish:

Reclaimed DIY Bench

There were 2 existing benches from the previous deck.  We wanted to use 1 in the garden and 1 on the patio but  it turns out that 1 was not salvageable as a bench.  So those 2 benches became 1 bench, 1 small backless bench, & 1 bar tabletop.

The benches were not a comfortable height or depth for normal sitting, but both of those issues were easy to fix.  First I cut 2 inches off the legs to get a more standard seat height.  Then I removed the back slats and re-attached them to the back side (instead of the front) of the 4×4’s that act as the back legs and back support.  A few cushions & it’s much more comfy.  It’s also the perfect height for sitting in & tending the garden.

I do not advocate all my methods; I needed extra hands & this planter worked in a pinch.

Now I am so torn on whether to keep this bench here or go with al fresco garden dining idea.


Reclaimed DIY Bar Top

I said 1 of the existing benches wasn’t salvageable because whoever built it pieced together the seat.  Instead of continuous lengths of wood, there were 2 lengths that were cut in half & screwed together end to end to form the seat.  The last 1 was cut out around the 4×4 legs.  I don’t have a good picture of this but trust me, it was a mess.

We still had wood leftover from building the garden, so we cut that to fit the existing frame of the bench & decided to use it as the bar top.  We plan to attach metal legs with locking casters.  I may even do a little something special to the top as a surprise for DH.  Maybe.

DIY outdoor projector screen

This is by far the easiest DIY projectswe have ever done.


  • 4 1″x10′ PVC pipes, cut in half to equal:
    • 3 – 1″x 5′ pipes for the 2 upright sides & 1  upright center brace
    • 4 – 1″x 4’11” pipes for the top & bottom (cut to account for the 1″ connector pieces)
  • 2 1″ PVC elbows
  • 3 1″ PVC 3-way T connectors
  • 1 1″ PVC 4-way connector
  • 1 heavy duty 10’x10′ white tarp
  • Bungee cords

Watch the video below to see how we put it together. If you prefer to read the steps, continue below the video.

The Process:

To build the frame:

  1. Connect 2 of the shorter pipes end to end with the 3-way T’s.  Connect the other 2 with the 4 way connector
  2. Lay the connected pipes from step 1 parallel on the ground about 5′ apart and connect a 5′ pipe in the middle to each open end of the T’s. You should now have what looks like a huge H.
  3. There should now be 3 5′ pipes left, the 2 elbows, & 2 T connectors.
  4. Lay 1 5′ PVC pipe on each open end of the “H”; connect them to the “H” with the elbows. This is the top of the screen.
  5. Connect the same pipes from step 5 to the bottom of the “H” using the remaining T connectors.
  6. Using the last 5′ PVC pipe, cut a 6-12″ section at a sharp angle – we cut 6″ at a 45° angle. It just needs to be sharp enough to make it easy to tamp into the ground.

If you don’t want to stake it, you can easily make a base using the same technique of connecting PVC pipe to make flat feet. We will use ours in front of the iron fence so we’ll stake it & secured it with bungees to the fencing when in use.

Attach the tarp to the frame by wrapping it over the top of the frame & secure around the bottom of the frame with bungee balls or zip ties pulled through the grommet holes.   Follow the same process across the sides of the frame. It should now be fully a stretched approximately 5’x10′ “screen”.

The best thing about this DIY projector screen is that we can easily take it down and store it practically anywhere – flat or rolled up.

DIY Grill Tool Holder

This was not on the original list but… last but not least, I am making this nifty little grill tool holder.  I cannot take credit for this; I saw it on Country Living, liked it, & had all the materials to make my version of it so… I did.  Here’s the original:

It’s put together but still in progress – it needs paint & personalization.

You may have noticed a trend.  Everything still needs to be painted.  The “plan” is to do all the painting in 1 day so I only have to clean supplies once.
Speaking of next week, be sure to check back to see what happens.  With all that’s going on, I am so happy (& proud) that we’ve gotten this far, but you never know where we’ll be next week.  For now we have this beautiful mess.

All the guest participants are working hard on their spaces & I can’t wait to see what they and the featured designers do so be sure to check them out at Calling it Home as well!

Until next week…

Until next time...Enjoy!
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  • Mari

    I can’t believe you’re out there building with your boot on good for you! Staying productive helps healing process but don’t over do it xo!

    • N'Ckyola

      Hi Mari!
      Girl… I was getting so tired of sitting & watching the action. My DH couldn’t have ALL the fun! I am taking it really slow though – it has taken me twice as long as normal to do these projects. And I’m still not done.
      It will be worth it in the end.

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One Room Challenge Week 5 ~ DIY Outdoor Projects

time to read: 4 min