7 Simple and Affordable Ways to Upgrade Your Yard Before Summer is Over

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 11:20 AM, August 2, 2016

Rachael Ray Show

Aired August 2, 2016

You’re probably spending more time than usual outdoors right now, so you might be looking at your yard and thinking it could be better. No need to call in an expensive contractor – we have seven DIY projects you can do yourself for pennies on the dollar!

No. 1: Homemade Fire Pit

Jonathan Scott from HGTV shows off his DIY fire pit. He just took a tin planter, topped it with a grate, then put a can of Sterno (used by caterers to keep foot hot) in the center. Next, put a DIY glass box around the Sterno, then surrounded it with decorative rocks. Watch the video for instructions.

No. 2: DIY Flameless Lanterns

This couldn’t be easier and takes all the fire hazard out of candlelight. John Gidding takes mercury-glass style mason jars and inserts flameless candles. The end result will look like a jar of fireflies!

No. 3: Whiskey Barrel Table

Drew Scott shows you how to make a whiskey barrel outdoor table. Just pick up a whiskey barrel planter at the hardware or garden store, paint and stain if you like, then fill with accessories of your choice and cover with a round glass tabletop.

No. 4: DIY Backyard Fountain

Who wouldn’t like to kick back to the sound of trickling water in their yard? Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. shares his brilliant method to make your own outdoor fountain. You just take an affordable pedestal planter, fill it with river rocks, and add a fountain motor. Easy!

No. 5: DIY Patio Stones

This hack is truly amazing – Scott McGillivray from HGTV shows you how to make your own patio stones for pennies on the dollar. Just go to the craft store and buy some thick box-like frames, remove the back, put them in place in your yard in the configuration of your choice, and pour in concrete. Let the concrete dry and remove the box. The best part? This will only cost you a quarter of the price you'd pay if you didn't make the stones yourself. Wow!

Tip: Be sure to “tamp” down the sand carefully before you pour or place the stones. This will help you avoid a common DIY patio pitfall – a surface that isn't level!

No. 6: Chic DIY Concrete Planter

This project from Antonio really does look like a million bucks and costs practically nothing to make. Antonio shares that you just need a couple cheap plastic bins from the dollar store, concrete you can mix yourself at home, and a brick and before you know it, you’ll have your own concrete planters worthy of a feature in a design magazine!

No. 7: Rustic Lit Screen

If you want to add visual interest to your yard for an event, or even for every day, just take a three-panel room dividing screen and pop out the interior. Thread wire vertically, and then weave decorative branches and twinkly lights throughout.

What project do you want to try first? Share below!