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Cool Outdoor Tin Can Lights

Check out this great outdoor lighting idea!

Source: inhabitat.com

 

DIY, summer, craft, recycled, tin can, lantern, punched, votive, how-to

STEP 1: GATHER YOUR MATERIALS

All you need to do to get started on this eco-friendly summer craft project is gather the following materials:

  • 2-4 cleaned, empty tin cans (you can use any size)
  • a hammer
  • an assortment of nails (for larger or smaller holes)
  • colorful permanent markers
  • paper, pencil, masking tape, scissors (if you plan to use a pattern)
  • votive candles
  • a towel

DIY, summer, craft, recycled, tin can, lantern, punched, votive, how-to

STEP 2: CLEAN AND FREEZE

With your newly gathered used tin cans, remove labels, and clean thoroughly. Fill each can with water and freeze overnight until solid. The ice stabilizes the can and prevents it from bending when you punch holes in them later.

DIY, summer, craft, recycled, tin can, lantern, punched, votive, how-to

STEP 3: DESIGN YOUR PUNCH GRAPHIC

Decide on a design for your punched-tin decorations. You can draw the pattern out ahead of time on a piece of graph paper and tape it to the can as a guide. Alternatively, you can freehand a design without marking it ahead of time. Knitting patterns, wallpaper, textiles, and folk art are all great inspiration sources for patterns!

DIY, summer, craft, recycled, tin can, lantern, punched, votive, how-to

STEP 4: PUNCH OUT YOUR PATTERN

Cradle the frozen tin can in a folded towel (to prevent the can from moving and to catch ice chips). Position a sharp, narrow nail above each mark on your pattern and gently tap it 3-4 times with the hammer until just the point has punched the tin can.  Repeat for each mark until you have completed your pattern.

DIY, summer, craft, recycled, tin can, lantern, punched, votive, how-to

STEP 5: REMOVE THE ICE BLOCK

Rinse the can under a hot tap until the ice block pops out and allow the can to dry.

DIY, summer, craft, recycled, tin can, lantern, punched, votive, how-to

STEP 6: ADD SOME COLOR

If you want to add color to your new punched-tin lantern, you can create a variety of fun, shiny designs by simply using colorful permanent markers.

DIY, summer, craft, recycled, tin can, lantern, punched, votive, how-to

STEP 7: LIGHT ‘EM UP!

Drop in some lighted votive candles and enjoy the fun, flickering patterns cast by your new handmade lanterns! Be sure to place the lanterns on a fire-safe surface as the candles can get hot.

movie night outside

Take Family Movie Night Outside

Take Family Movie Night Outside

Make an outdoor portable movie screen for under $10

 

movie night outside

If you regularly tear the wrinkled sheets off your bed to use them as a makeshift projector screen, it’s time to upgrade. Make this portable screen on the cheap that stashes away in a closet til the next time you need it.

The DIY portable projector screen project over at Instructables can be whipped together in about an hour, and costs next to nothing to assemble. All you need is a white sheet, some eyelets, a few screw-in hooks, and about 12 feet of PVC pipe.

There’s only five steps involved in making the screen:

1. Decide what size you want. Mine is 5 feet wide by 6 feet tall.
2. Cut and sew the top and sides. Leave a couple inches extra on each side so you can fold it over and sew a seam.
3. Insert eyelets. One on each side of the top.
4. Sew in PVC pipe. This is to make it hang flat and straight, and to make it easy to roll up and store. Just fold the bottom over the PVC, crease the sheet, take out the pipe and sew all the way across. Then slide the pipe in and sew the sides shut.
5. Put the hooks in your ceiling. I put some in my living room, my bedroom, and another bedroom. They’re hardly noticeable so I just leave them up there all the time.

Using a bedsheet for this project is a super-inexpensive way to get the job done, and you can get them everywhere from Target to Goodwill. If you’re looking for a sturdier material, though, try using Tyvek in place of the sheet

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could cut the length of PVC pipe in half before sewing it into the sheet—then you can fold it in half before storing it. One of Instructable’s commenters also suggests adding a second piece of PVC pipe to the top edge for added stability, and to make sure the screen hangs straight.

20 Creative Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Backyard

20 Creative Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Backyard

 

Source: Country Living

 

1. Tiered Planters

Tiered planters will maximize the ground space you have available for planters and herb boxes.

Get the tutorial at Decor and the Dog.

2. Vertical Herb Garden

Instead of planting horizontally, plant vertically! Use a wood trellis, tin cans, and IKEA pot hangers to recreate this look.

Get the tutorial at Making Lemonade.

3. Faux-Grass Rug

Offering the illusion of luscious green lawn, a faux-grass rug will help make your patio space look bigger than it really is.

See more at Liz Marie Blog.

4. Add Some Depth

You can’t change the size of your backyard, but you can make it seem larger than it actually is by using this neat trick: Hang a few vintage mirrors on your fence so they reflect the surrounding greenery.

See more at The Brambleberry Cottage.

5. Succulent Wall Art

succulents in garden

Use a rectangular plastic tray divided into planting cells to display an enchanting succulent garden like this one.

Get the tutorial.

6. Coffee Can Planters

We didn’t need an incentive to drink more coffee, but now we’re glad we have one.

Get the tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.

7. Invert Your Tomatoes

Tressling and the upkeep of tomato vines can take up a lot of space. So, hang your tomatoes from the roof instead.

Get the tutorial at Bonzai Aphrodite.

8. Build an Herb Spiral 

Plant your herbs in a spiral to fully utilize all the space you have.

Get the tutorial at The Micro Gardener.

9. Make It Mobile

No space? No problem. Put your garden on wheels.

Get the tutorial at Instructables.

10. Mason Jars

Use some Mason jars to plant a cute herb garden that can even be displayed inside your kitchen.

Get the tutorial at Camille Styles.

11. Stack Your Planters

Stack your planters to make a tiered herb garden.

Get the tutorial at Fancy Frugal Life.

12. Grow Mushrooms in an Old Laundry Basket

No need for a full kitchen garden with this super easy trick for growing your own oyster mushrooms.

Get the tutorial at Instructables.

13. Build a Mini Storage Shed

Repurpose old doors and windows into a cute mini gardening shed, just big enough for all of your essential tools.

Get the tutorial at A Cultivated Nest.

14. 
Start Off Small

 Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Terrariums are a great way to decorate any indoor or outdoor space—and they’re super low maintenance.

Get the tutorial at Apartment Therapy.

15. Make a Small Water Feature

Want a water feature, but don’t think you have enough room to install one? Not anymore.

Get the tutorial at The Garden Glove.

16. Hanging Garden

Another way to cram more greenery onto a backyard patio with minimal square footage—hang your plants in tiered baskets.

Get the tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.

17. Modular Deck Tiles

If you don’t have enough space for a built-in deck, these snap-in deck tiles ares the perfect solution.

Get the tutorial at Apartment Therapy.

18. Stack Up Crates

Make your own vertical garden by stacking crates. Make sure to reinforce them with wood planks!

Get the tutorial at Little Green Dot.

19. Dedicate a Corner 

Use a rolling cart to hold a miniature herb garden that can be brought inside or kept outside.

See more at SF Girl By The Bay.

20. 
Colorful Yarn

Add some color to your yard by hanging upcycled planters made from old soda bottles with colorful yarn.

Get the tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.

 

How to: Make a DIY Modern Concrete Fire Pit from Scratch

How to: Make a DIY Modern Concrete Fire Pit from Scratch

 

There’s nothing better than enjoying your outdoor living space with the glow of a fire pit. Now that the weather is getting nicer for late night hang outs lets check out this simple DIY project.

created at: 08/05/2013

This version is cast of affordable, weather-resistant concrete that creates a sleek, modern look. It’s portable but sturdy, and uses gel fuel, making it possible to have a quick 30-minute post grill session fire. It take a bit of care and proper prep, but this could be made in just a few hours for well under $50 in materials.

created at: 08/01/2013

Tools and Materials: 

 

CASTING THE BOWL

created at: 08/01/2013

Creating this project is all about two components: finding the right materials and working safely. For the main fire bowl, we used the largest mixing bowls we could find. Check your local restaurant or party supply store for extra-large options. I opted for a plastic punch bowl for the outside because I liked the profile shape, and a stainless steel mixing bowl for the inside.

created at: 08/01/2013

Working with concrete isn’t difficult, but it does require some finesse. First, it’s fairly heavy and can be difficult to mix in large batches by hand. Secondly, it’s extra important to use the proper safety gear to prep and execute your project. Work outside or in a well-ventilated area, and cover your work surface with plastic. I covered my bench in a plastic drop cloth, and taped everything down with ScotchBlue™ tape.

 

created at: 08/01/2013

Also, be sure to wear proper safety gear to protect your eyes, skin, and respiratory system. For this, I consulted with 3MDIY.comfor their suggestions of the best products from their 3M Tekk Protectionline. I went with an N95 valved dust mask for sanding and grinding, and long sleeves and refinishing gloves to protect my arms and hands. For my eyes, I opted for these Walter White-style safety goggles, which not only protect from debris but also dust and irritants. Plus, I prefer them when wearing a respirator or dust mask, since they seal tightly and don’t fog up.

 

created at: 08/01/2013

1. Once you’re all prepped, spray your molds with non-stick spray. This will help release the concrete once it’s dry. A thin, even layer over the inside of the outer mold/outside of the inner mold will do.

 

created at: 08/01/2013

2. Then, mix up your concrete. It’s hard to determine how much you’ll need, but it’s better to mix up more as you start than to rush to create more in the middle. I used about 1/3 of a bag for this project, adding water a little at a time until the mix formed a thick, cookie batter-like consistency. Make sure you’re wearing your safety gear here; this is the time when most of the particulates and irritants are flying around.

 

created at: 08/01/2013

3. Then, use the trowel to add the concrete mix to the outer mold. Fill it about half full, then check the inner mold to see how high the concrete comes up to the side. It’s okay to take the inner mold in and out a few times, just make sure you don’t lose all your non-stick spray. (You can wipe it clean and reapply). A friend or extra pair of hands is helpful here. Then, use weights or rocks to keep it in place. Some things to watch out for:

  • As you place the inner mold, make sure that it’s centered so your bowl will have an even thickness all the way around
  • Keep the lips of the bowls coplanar for an even, symmetrical finished product
  • Adjust the weights so that you have the biggest inner bowl as possible while keeping the structure thick enough to be strong. You’ll want to be sure that there’s enough space on the inside to place your gel canisters beneath the lip of the bowl.

 

created at: 08/01/2013

4. For a super smooth finished surface, try this tip (I picked this up years ago from an episode of This Old House, I think): use something with a motor to vibrate the bowl to remove any air bubbles inside the mold. Here, I’m using my reciprocating saw without a blade, but anything will work: a powered sander, an oscillating or rotary tool, even an immersion blender.

One it’s settled and things are no longer moving, allow the concrete to cure according to the package directions. (48 hours-ish)

 

FINISHING THE BOWL

created at: 08/01/2013

5. When your concrete has cured, carefully remove it from the mold. I lightly tapped on mine with a rubber mallet, first removing the inner bowl, then freeing the outer. It’s solid at this point, so don’t be afraid, but do be careful since it’s quite heavy.

 

created at: 08/01/2013

6. Use a coarse sanding pad (60-80 grit) to clean up the top lip, and give everything a nice rounded profile. Again, since you’ll be generating a lot of fine particulate dust, wear your safety glasses, gloves, and dust mask.

 

created at: 08/01/2013

Wipe away the debris, then give the whole thing a round of fine grit (220) sandpaper. Since concrete doesn’t have any fibers or grain like wood, you don’t have to work your way up. Any sanding is just the removal of irregularities or smoothing things up.

 

ASSEMBLING THE FIRE PIT

created at: 08/01/2013

7. Lastly, take it outside, and place the gel fuel canisters inside. I found mine at a local fireplace/swimming pool/outdoor recreation store, but you can find them in some hardware or home improvement stores or online.

 

created at: 08/01/2013

8. Place the grill grate in the bowl. The one I used was a 14.5″ bottom grate (for the charcoal, not the cooking surface) for a Weber kettle grill. It rested perfectly about 1/2″ from the surface of my 15″ internal diameter bowl. If you can’t find one, you can cut a larger one to size with a hacksaw or grinder, or create your own from hardware cloth or steel mesh.

9. Then, cover the grate with a layer of rocks. I’m using “Mexican beach pebbles” that I found at a garden center. These are commonly used with fire, so I can be sure they’ll stand up to the heat and won’t explode into flaming shrapnel with extended use. So, just be sure that whatever rocks you’re using are appropriate for the purpose.

created at: 08/05/2013

LIGHT IT UP!

While the flames on these aren’t bonfire-sized, the gel canisters put out quite a bit of heat, and all kinds of fun ambiance. At some point, I’d like to make a few of these and place them around my patio or deck. (At some point, I’d also like to have a patio or deck). But, for about $40 in materials (many of which I can reuse), I have a great, easy-to-use backyard fire solution, that requires nearly zero work to start or snuff out, and can keep our outdoor hangouts going well past sundown.

created at: 08/05/2013

 

source: manmadediy