DIY Outdoor Projects to Transform Your Yard

Today I’m sharing a collection of the various DIY projects that we tackled in our last house that completely transformed our yard and landscaping.

Now that the warmer spring weather and longer days have arrived, I find my mind wandering to the yard and garden as it has been known to do every spring for the past many, many years. I vividly recall the first year I got hit by the gardening bug. It was the first spring after we were married. I was in my teacher’s training program at the time, and had to travel out of town for my spring practicum. I used to visit the different garden nurseries every Friday after school let out, sourcing plants for our new garden. I obsessively read every gardening and plant book that I could get my hands on and memorized the latin names for more perennials then I care to admit. Landscaping our yard became my newest passion, and I absolutely delighted into creating a cute and welcoming garden.

The Gardening Bug

Fast forward nearly eighteen years, and I’ve been hit by the gardening bug in all four of the previous homes that we’ve lived in and am definitely riding the wave in our current home. We’ve been living with a mud-rock pit of a front yard since moving in (you can read the details about why, here) but things are finally getting started! As I write this, our driveway was torn up this morning, and the front yard will be getting cleaned up and levelled next. I can’t wait to get some grass growing and then to clean up, refresh, and replant the garden beds out there!

I’ll be sharing some great exterior yard and landscaping as well curb appeal improvements over the next couple of months. But today I’m taking a little trip down memory lane, sharing a collection of fairly simple DIY outdoor projects that we did in our previous home. These home projects, when combined, literally transformed our yard from a blank, blah kind of space into a gorgeous and welcoming outdoor retreat. It took a few years, but the changes were awesome!

DIY outdoor projects that transform your yard.

One of my features in our yard was the use of river rock throughout the space, including the addition of a dry river stream.

Rock on the side of the garden by the driveway.
Landscaping with River Rock

We also used a lot of ornamental grasses in our landscaping, something that I plan to repeat in this house. I can’t wait to give it a more modern, crisp landscape and grasses are a brilliant, low-maintenance way to do that!

A wooden fence with ornamental grasses beside it.
Landscaping with Ornamental Grasses

We also added a split-rail fence to define the boundaries of the front yard, and although it wasn’t a DIY project, it easily could be. I loved the simple, wooden rustic feel and it added a ton of cute character to our yard.

A rustic wooden fence with a newly planted garden.

One the lower patio we completely refreshed the old, tired, concrete surface with Stone Effects and I shared DIY tips. It made SUCH a big difference and the whole lower patio felt like a completely new space!

Outdoor chaise lounges on the deck outside.
How to Transform an Old Cracked Concrete Patio

We also added a cedar privacy screen to this lower patio area, which was the perfect simple and rustic way to create some separation from our neighbours in this part of our yard.

A wooden privacy screen on the back deck.
DIY Cedar Privacy Screen


Perhaps my favourite corner of our yard was the lake front pea gravel fire pit that we added. Sitting there, in the shade, looking out at the blue lake, and enjoying a cozy fire was an awesome way to enjoy a summer (or even a fall) evening!

A firepit in the backyard with adirondack chairs around it.
Pea Gravel Fire Pit Reveal

We completely transformed our lawn on both the front and back side of the house over a couple of spring/summer seasons, and I shared some awesome tips for how to tackle this yourself…

Various shade of grass before and after being attended to.
Our Lawn Makeover Project Before and After

We also refreshed a few pieces of old, worn outdoor furniture with paint using some super handy and time-saving tools!

Life is better at the lake pillow on an outdoor chair.
How to Paint Outdoor Furniture so it lasts for years

It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do, and it’s nice when “a coat of paint” literally means one coat of paint! I refreshed our old, free, hand-me-down picnic table with one coat and was thrilled with the coverage!

A picnic table with watermelon slices and a sunflower on it.
Refreshing Worn Outdoor Furniture with One Coat Coverage

And no outdoor “room” is complete without some pretty decorative cushions, amIright? I try to treat all mine with something so that they will last and hold up through all that hot summer sun. I shared the details on how to protect your outdoor cushions in this post.

Colourful cushions on the outdoor seating.
How to Protect Your Outdoor Cushions

We even built the odd piece of furniture – like this super cute little outdoor rolling stump side table ! It’s an easy project you can do yourself in a day or less, and adds a fun, rustic touch to your outdoor seating area.

An tree stump as an outdoor side table.
DIY Rolling Stump Side Table

Planters are always one of my favourite simple outdoor DIY projects, and this one I stuffed full of beautiful succulents is still a fave.

A small pot with succulents and rocks and small flowers.
DIY Succulent Planter

Our previous front porch got next to no sun, so I had to be careful about what I planted in my summer pots out there. I shared my tips for creating simple DIY summer shade planters.

The front porch with large pots and flowers inside.
DIY Simple Planters for Shade

Want to see the WHOLE Yard and Patio BEFORE AND AFTER? If you love before and afters, like I do, then it’s a really fun post!

Before and after patio and yard makeover reveal poster.
Patio and Yard Reveal Makeover

After looking back at how far we’d come, I’m super inspired about making a similar transformation in this yard.

Outdoor season! Yay! If you’re as excited about it as I am, you’ll definitely want to pop around and check out all these awesome outdoors ideas that my friends are sharing today…

Visit These Outdoor Blog Posts!

How to Create an Outdoor Living Space by Happy Happy Nester | Patio Makeover Ideas by Modern Glam | How to Set the Perfect Outdoor Table by My 100 Year Old Home | DIY Umbrella Cover with Pom Poms by Hallstrom Home | Succulent Pot by Craftberry Bush

  A Greenhouse Update by Amber Tysl | Summer Planter Centerpiece by Clean and Scentsible | Teacup Fairy Village Gardens by Life is a Party | DIY Outdoor Projects to Transform Your Yard by The Happy Housie | DIY African Wax Print Fans by Casa Watkins Living Outdoor Entertaining with Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktails and Edible Flower Ice Cubes by A Pretty Life

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  1. A very nice makeover. You will have some great nights, enjoying the sounds of nature.

  2. Krista,
    Your home and your location on the lake is beautiful. It is my husband’s dream to have a house on a lake. Oh, and by the way, I was the same when we first got married, I had the gardening books out in the yard while I was setting up my English style flower garden!

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