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¬į 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…

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  1. 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!

    1. 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.