10 do-it-yourself projects to get your backyard ready for summer

We could all use a little sunshine

This Barrie 360 feature is brought to you by Darick Battaglia

With the weather getting nicer (in between April snowstorms) and most people at home with lots of time on their hands, it’s the perfect time to start some do-it-yourself projects to turn your backyard into a summer utopia. With many hardware stores offering curbside pickup, you can complete all of these projects while still social distancing too!

Stone Path

One of the easiest ways to make your backyard look amazing is to lay your own stone path. If you have a garden, fire pit, pool, or something else already occupying the yard, a stone path can help tie it all together and give the yard a luxurious and more focused feeling. Ascetically pleasing, practical, and one of the easiest projects to complete, laying a stone path should be high on your do-it-yourself list.

Fire Pit

If you’re going to lay down a path, why not pick up some extra stone and create your own fire pit? Installing your own fire pit is actually a lot easier than it sounds and all you need is fire bricks, paving stone, and gravel (and make sure to clear a few inches of grass around the pit). This project can be completed in as short as one afternoon so you’ll be getting warm and roasting marshmallows in no time.

Outdoor Cooler

We’ve all been in this tragic situation: you’re relaxing in the backyard, sun shining down, book in hand and you reach over to sip your drink and it’s empty. Instead of going all the way back inside, build your own icebox to keep your drinks ice cold in your backyard. You could create a free-standing one, hide one in the ground under a plant, or attach one to your outdoor table so you don’t even have to get up. This one is perfect pool owners who want to keep their floors dry!

Painted Moss

Did you know that if you mix beer, sugar, and moss together you can create a sort of green graffiti? There are a number of cool things you can do with moss to give your backyard a more rustic feel like drizzling it over pots or using a paintbrush to create something unique like a picture or phrase. You could write out your last name, a welcome message, or maybe even a big bold “GET OUT” (we don’t judge here).

Outdoor Theatre

There are a number of things people are missing during self-isolation and one of them is heading to the theatre, grabbing some popcorn, and watching a movie. Luckily, watching a movie under the stars is even better. Installing a screen can be as easy as hanging one from your fence or house, then just create some seating, pick up a projector, and you’re ready to go.

String Lights

If you’ve driven through downtown Barrie you probably noticed the lights crisscrossing above Dunlop Street. Take that, shrink it down, and add that ambiance to your backyard. String Lights can add a lot to the feel of your yard and can give you the extra light to enjoy some more activities outside at night. If you don’t have high enough fences you might have to get creative with placement or even install some posts yourself.


With all the do-it-yourself projects you’ll be completing you will need a place to store things. From pillows to kid’s toys, keeping your yard tidy is important and there are some easy ways to make your own storage containers. Make sure to make them weatherproof to protect everything from the rain.

Bottle Opener

Simple things can make a big difference when you’re having a drink and relaxing. A very simple do it yourself project is to attach a bottle opener to a piece of wood (or your fence) along with a small container to catch discarded bottle caps. Keep your yard free from caps and make sure you always have an opener close by!

Bird Feeder

From hanging a tin with a decorative ribbon to building one out of wood from scratch, there are many ways to add a bird feeder as a permanent fixture in your backyard. Not only will a bird feeder add a lovely soundtrack to your yard in the form of chirping birds but it can also help protect your garden from your hungry new friends.


A backyard classic, there are so many ways to utilize your backyard space to install a hammock or create your own from the ground up. If you don’t have a tree in your backyard, our favorite alternative is to use four wooden posts and create a trio of hammocks for the ultimate social lounge area (after social distancing is over, of course).

Featured image courtesy of suntorn somtong via pexels.com