5 DIY jobs for Summer
Love a bit of DIY? Then you’ll love our easy-to-follow projects for your outdoor space. Get to grips with everything from building bug hotels to creating a vertical flower arrangement. There's a project for inside the home, too, for when the weather isn’t on our side!
Create a vertical garden
If you’ve got limited space, a vertical garden is a great way to spruce up your garden and add colour. They’re also a great alternative to the usual hanging baskets.
A vertical garden can be achieved by attaching planters to a wall or fence or by repurposing a wooden pallet. Vertical gardens are not only functional but also add a great feature to any outdoor space. Here’s how to do it with a wooden pallet...
- Prepare the wooden pallet by sanding it down and applying a coat of weather-resistant sealant or paint.
- Next, line your pallet with landscaping fabric using a staple gun so you end up with pockets to plant in, then fill with soil and pack tightly. If you’re not confident lining the pallet and adding soil to each pallet rung, you can use hanging planters with hooks instead. They can be easily hooked over each rung. Choose colourful ones to add even more wow factor.
- Choose the location. You'll want to find a spot that gets enough sunlight for the plants you want to grow.
- Choose the right plants. Choose plants that are well-suited for vertical growing such as herbs, succulents and small flowers. Why not pick flowers that match your favourite colours and your garden décor?
- Plant your largest plants and flowers at the bottom of your pallet and work your way up. Make sure you leave enough space between each plant so they have room to grow.
- Water. Finally, be sure to water your flowers and plants regularly, watering more often during sunny periods.
Paint outdoor furniture
Give your aged outdoor furniture new life by painting it with a fresh coat of paint. The good thing with wooden furniture is that you can paint it any colour you want, whenever you want! Choose a colour that complements your outdoor space and use spray paint or outdoor paint for great results. Here's how it's done:
- First, clean the furniture. Use a stiff-bristled brush and warm, soapy water to scrub away any dirt or grime on the surface of the furniture. Rinse away and leave to dry completely.
- Sand the furniture. Use sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or peeling and flaking paint.
- Prime the furniture. Apply a coat of primer to the furniture. This will help the outer layer of paint to ‘stick’ better and last longer.
- Paint the furniture. Once the primer has dried, apply a coat of outdoor paint to the furniture using a brush or roller. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying a second coat.
- Seal the furniture. To protect the paint from all weathers and help extend its life, apply a clear sealant over the painted surface.
Top tip - outdoor wooden furniture should be repainted every few years to keep it looking its best.
Build a fire pit
A fire pit is a great addition to any back garden and helps extend those summer nights spent outdoors. Here's how to make a fire pit using bricks or decorative stones.
- Choose the location. Make sure you choose a location that’s flat and level and away from trees, bushes and buildings.
- Collect materials. You'll need bricks or paving slabs, gravel or pebbles, sand and the important metal fire pit ring.
- Prep the area. Clear the area of any debris or grass and dig a shallow hole around 6 inches deep that's slightly wider than your metal fire pit ring.
- Add gravel. Pop down a layer of gravel in the bottom of the hole to help with drainage.
- Add sand. Put down a layer of sand on top of the gravel to create a level surface for the bricks.
- Lay bricks or decorative stones. Start laying bricks around the edge of the hole, making sure they are level and secure. Layer bricks until you’ve reached your desired height - around 12 inches is best.
- Place the metal fire pit ring inside the circle.
And there you have it! Your fire pit will help add heat, light and a great feature to your garden. (Remember to always keep kids and animals away from fires).
Make a bug hotel
Now it's time to think about wildlife with a bug hotel! This is a great one to get the kids involved with. Creating a bug hotel will help attract beneficial insects to your garden and help them thrive in the outdoors.
- Choose a location. The ideal location should be in a sunny spot, close to plants and flowers, but not too close to your home or living area – you don’t want creepy crawlies having easy access to your home!
- Collect materials. Use any natural materials you can find, such as wood, bamboo, twigs, leaves, pinecones and stones. Don’t forget about bricks too to help build a solid structure.
- Build the structure. You can use any design you like, but a simple box shape with compartments for different insects works well. Use bricks to create a structure and different levels – just make sure they’re level and secure. Use the materials you’ve collected to create different areas for insects to live in.
- Add nesting materials. To make your bug hotel even more attractive to insects, add nesting materials such as dried grasses, leaves, straw or shredded paper. Straw and hay can be used to fill gaps between other materials or to create cozy nesting sites for bugs. Pinecones can be stacked together to create hiding places for spiders and other small insects. If you can get hold of hollow bamboo stalks, they create great nesting places for bees.
Now all that’s left to do is to wait for the bugs to come and set up home!
Painting walls inside the home
And here's a DIY job to tackle inside the home!
Is there a room you spend more time in during summer? Perhaps it’s the room leading to your garden? If we're going to be spending more time in one space, why not think about giving that room a little bit of TLC? A simple fresh lick of paint will do the job. It’s a great project to tackle when the weather's not on our side. Here’s how:
- Prepare the room. Remove any furniture or decorations from the walls and place in the middle of your room covered with dust sheets. Cover the floors to protect them from paint splatters.
- Clean the walls. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the walls and remove any dust or dirt – if it’s your kitchen walls you’re painting, it’s important to remove any grease that’s built up from cooking.
- Repair any damage. Fill in any holes or cracks in the wall with readymade wall filler and leave it to dry overnight. Gently sand down the surface with a sanding block until it’s smooth and even.
- Prime the walls. Apply a coat of primer to the walls using a paint roller. This will help hide imperfections and provide an even base for the topcoat.
- Paint the walls. Once the primer has dried, apply your chosen paint colour. Make sure to blend each section of paint together as you go.
- Let it dry. Allow the paint to dry before applying a second coat or rehanging any decorations and putting back furniture