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10 Awesome DIY Cabin Projects

There are few pleasures as pure as escaping to a cabin for a leisurely retreat. But just because you're away from home doesn't mean you have to give up your home improvements! Here are 10 DIY projects to enhance the character of your cabin while making seasonal maintenance easier.

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Adirondack Chairs

Adirondack Chairs

Does anything symbolize a cabin getaway more than the classic profile of an Adirondack chair? And now you can make your own take on a DIY cabin classic with the help of this Family Handyman article. The project walks you through the planning, design and construction of your own chair, while still leaving room for artistic interpretation. For an example of how to bring your own vision to this classic design, check out this variation by a Family Handyman reader. And the curves the reader added to the design give the chair a softer feel, without sacrificing the timeless look. If you have a special someone you'd like to curl up next to while enjoying the view from your cabin, consider building an Adirondack love seat.

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Classic Fire PitFamily Handyman

Classic Fire Pit

A bonfire in an integral part of the cabin experience. And there's simply no better place to enjoy s'mores, roast hot dogs, and tell the occasional spooky campfire story. Create a permanent spot for your family to gather around the fire with these plans for a DIY cabin fire pit made of bricks or retaining wall blocks.

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Fire TableFamily Handyman

Fire Table

This DIY cabin project is similar to the fire pit, but kicks the craftsmanship up to the next level. A fire table gives the same warmth and collective gathering spot as a fire pit, but with a slightly more sophisticated feel. Think sipping a glass of wine instead of roasting marshmallows. (Or maybe both!)

And this project uses a propane feed to minimize the mess and keep the coals simmering long into the night.

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Protect your Cabin from Pests and CrittersErni/Shutterstock

Protect your Cabin from Pests and Critters

As much as you enjoy getting away to your cabin, insects and varmints enjoy it even more. Here are 14 ways to help keep the peace inside your cabin by keeping pests on the outside. Depending on the location of your cabin, chances are that you face a wide range of invaders, from spiders and ants to squirrels and possums. But most cabin owners have an ongoing struggle with one specific pest: the common field mouse. If these cute but damaging critters are an issue for you, check out this Family Handyman article that focuses on How to Have a Mouse-Free House.

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Firewood Splitting and Seasoning Station Zhukova Valentyna/Shutterstock

Firewood Splitting and Seasoning Station

Whether your cabin has a log burning fireplace or you simply use wood for bonfires, a firewood chopping station keeps the splinters and swinging axes isolated to one spot. And a covered seasoning area protects your freshly split wood, letting it age and dry until it will burn hot and with less smoke when added to the fire. Create a splitting station by leveling the ground to provide solid footing, and setting a wide, solid stump in the dirt. Next, place the logs to be split on the stump to raise them to a more ergonomic height and provide a safe backdrop if your swing goes wide. A seasoning station takes a bit more work, but makes a great DIY cabin project. These stations can be as large or as small as you need, but all they really require is a roof and protection from prevailing winds. And for a robust seasoning shed that will protect your wood for years and look attractive while doing so, follow the steps in this outdoor storage locker tutorial. Simply leave off the doors to keep stocking and removing wood easily.

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Closing Up the Cabin for the Winter

Closing Up the Cabin for the Winter

All good things must come to an end, and that includes camping season (unless you're lucky enough to have a four-season cabin, of course). When it's time to close up your cabin, follow these steps to make sure you won't come back to animal infestation or frozen pipes. And the exact actions you need to take to close up your cabin will vary greatly according to the temperature range in your area. But with a little bit of planning and preparation you can make your shut-down procedure as painless as possible. Once you've made your seasonal shut-down a routine, you'll be much less likely to skip a step—a decision that you may end up regretting a few months later.

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Add a Tree HouseFamily Handyman

Add a Tree House

For a bit of added whimsy, consider giving your cabin retreat a secret getaway of its own. A tree house near a cabin provides a fun play space for kids of all ages. And is a chance to pass on your hard-won DIY cabin skills to the next generation. And whether you choose to make a simple platform or a full-on tiny house, you'll be creating a place of fun and freedom in the branches of tree.

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Trail Bench

Trail Bench

Chances are that your cabin has its own set of trails and walkways surrounding it, either public or of your own making. And building a bench as a rest spot or at a particularly nice lookout spot can give hikers on the trails a chance to catch their breath and enjoy the view. A bench can be pre-assembled or be built in sections, ready to be secured on-site. And the bench featured here is portable and can be easily relocated, but if you want a more solid, permanent solution, check out these plans for a campfire bench.

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Outdoor ShowerFamily Handyman

Outdoor Shower

There are two types of cabins that greatly benefit from an outdoor shower enclosure. Cabins without running water and cabins close to the beach. And for the former, an outdoor shower gives campers a chance to cool off and feel a bit more civilized. For the latter, a quick rinse outdoors is the best way to rid the sand and debris of the beach before it's all tracked indoors. Regardless of which category your cabin falls into, you and your cabin-mates will be more likely to use an outdoor shower if there's a measure of privacy. And a shower enclosure is a quick DIY cabin project that will add a bit of luxury to your stay, and help keep sand out of your sheets.

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DIY Cabin Decor

DIY Cabin Decor

Whether your cabin is rustic and isolated or state-of-the-art and filled with friends, provide a unique experience by reflecting the outdoor setting within your interior decor. And most cabin owners prefer to embrace a farmhouse style. But those whose cabin escapes are centered on lake recreation or hunting might opt for DIY cabin decorations that reflect those passions.