34 Awesome DIY Backyard Ideas (with Plans!)
There's nothing better than a job well done in the great outdoors. Whether you want a quick morning project or are looking to add a real statement piece to your yard, we have you covered. Check out these great DIY backyard projects with plans and get building!
Build a Fire Ring
Safe, durable and cozy on a cool summer’s night, we’ll show you how to build a stone fire ring that will be the center of family gatherings for years to come. It’s one of our absolute favorite DIY yard ideas. Whether you’re hosting a cookout, campfire jam session or just taking in the stars, this attractive feature will be the highlight of your yard.
If you’re ready to go for the gusto, consider a brick fire-pit for a more substantial effect.
Build a Garden Shed
Who says functional storage can’t be beautiful? Whether your style is Craftsman, modern or country, you’ll find a garden shed to make all your storage dreams come true. Check out our extensive library of shed plans, complete with the materials, steps and tools you’ll need for success.
Plus: If you’re feeling festive check out this multi-purpose pub-shed, which does double-duty when it comes to backyard parties.
DIY Planter Trellis Combo
Create a living privacy screen. These planter trellis combo plans feature a simple planter and trellis planter made with bamboo. You can do it in a weekend for about $100.
If you’re wishing for wisteria or craving clematis, you can plant them just steps away in this planter and trellis for your deck or patio. And if you build a pair of them, you can create a privacy screen or provide shade from the late afternoon sun.
DIY Cedar Potting Bench
This super-simple potting bench will make your gardening projects much more enjoyable—and it’ll help you stay organized, too! Get the potting bench plans.
We designed this bench to be strong without complex joints. An experienced woodworker can complete this potting bench in a day. If you’re a beginner, allow two or three days to follow these planter bench plans.
Build a Grill Gazebo
For the ultimate in DIY outdoor furniture projects, why not challenge yourself with this grill gazebo? It can be fully customized to include bench seats, lighting, built-in coolers, wine glass storage and more. And it will accommodate most standard grill sizes (see our guide to choosing the best grill fuel source), yet it’s compact enough to fit onto a small deck or patio.
This is a large-scale, multi-day project requiring moderate skills. Our grillzebo is made from Western red cedar, but you could save around $400 by using pressure-treated lumber instead.
Build a Screen House
This stand-alone screen house is the perfect warm-weather hangout. Here you’ll find detailed screen house plans for creating this amazing outdoor project.
Imagine the design possibilites you can create in this outdoor oasis! Make it a pool side cabana, an art studio or study, or just a place to re-connect with nature
DIY Rain Garden
A rain garden is easy to build, reduces yard maintenance and even helps the environment. Follow these simple DIY rain garden plans to put one in your yard.
Nurture the land in your yard and protect the environment by channeling rain water and runoff from gutters into a rain garden planted with deep-rooted, colorful native plants.
Add Seating with a DIY Wooden Bench
For large outdoor gatherings, copious seating is a necessity. This outdoor couch can fit several adults, and oversized arm rests act as end tables for drinks. Before getting started, you’ll want to pick up the cushions for the couch first; depending on their size, you can make any adjustments to the cut list necessary for the perfect fit.
Once you have the cushions, all the materials you need can be found at local home centers. We used treated lumber, but you can splurge for a naturally rot-resistant wood like cedar or cypress. We’ve got the full plans for this DIY wooden bench.
Install a DIY Screened Porch
Expand your home’s living spaces with a screened porch, perfect for hot summer days where you want some of the breeze and none of the bugs. It’s a multi-day project, but you’ll get many seasons of use per year out of this DIY addition.
Built with standard dimensional lumber available at home centers, we designed this project not to have heavy beams or complicated joints. Straightforward construction plans make this project ideal for someone who is comfortable building decks or sheds. And the exposed rafters and open soffit make the whole project look attractive and professionally done.
It may seem like an intimidating project to tackle, but we’ve broken down all the steps and tips you need to know for this DIY screened porch.
Charming Gazebo You Can Build Yourself
Besides gracing the back yard with its splendor and calming presence, a gazebo is the perfect place to entertain. One look at this beauty and you’ll be picturing it filled with family and friends, celebrating a graduation or even a backyard wedding. Get these charming gazebo project plans.
Add Interest with a DIY Garden Arbor
This timber garden arbor can be your place to get away for a quiet retreat or a nook to chat with friends. Get the garden arbor plans here.
Building it is enjoyable too. The main structure goes together like an old-fashioned timber frame with tenons and notches you cut into wooden 6x6s with your circular saw and handsaw.
Build a Bug-Free Screen House
Escape the bugs when entertaining friends and family with this DIY screen house. Find the project plans Find the bug-free screen porch plans here. This stand-alone screened in structure is the perfect outdoor hangout for friends, family or just some quiet solo time.
Keep the doors open for a refreshing breeze in the fall or close them up in summer to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Dream Deck you can build Yourself
This small deck, one of our favorite DIY backyard ideas, is packed with features: composite decking, cantilevered seating nooks, a cedar pergola, custom railing and cascading stairs.Find the full dream deck project plans here.
DIY Patio Planter
A hardscape wall in your yard doesn’t have to lack flowers or vegetable plants. The wall butting up to the patio serves double duty as a beautiful garden planter. A yard wall planter is an easy DIY project. Here are some plans to build patio wall planters yourself.
DIY Mixed-Medium Garden Trellis
Climbing plants like vines and roses lend a lot of charm to an ordinary garden, especially when they’re winding up a trellis as stunning as this one. And its character just grows richer as the wood turns gray and the copper develops a beautiful green patina. DIY planter trellis plans.
Build a 3-Season Planter Box
This 3-season planter box uses plastic containers or liners to keep moisture and dirt away from the wooden parts, meaning it will survive the outdoors a lot longer than other planters. Learn how to build the 3-season planter box here.
Save Your Back with a DIY Self-Watering Planter
Build a raised planting bed and have tonight’s salad at your fingertips! This attractive cedar design uses perforated drain pipe to store and distribute the water. Get the full plans for this raised-bed planter here.
Build a Tiered Plant Stand
Looking to soften up your deck with some plants? This DIY backyard idea is perfect for adding that floral touch. Show off your gardening skills with this simple multi-level plant stand. It’s easy to build from seven 8-ft.-long 1x2s. In just a morning, you can build this handsome, durable plant stand, perfect for indoor use or outside on a deck or patio. Get the plans for this tiered plant stand here.
DIY Arbor and Benches
Build this simple seating/planter/arbor project to create a quiet, private space in your yard or on a deck. It provides shade and comfort as well as a welcome screen from neighbors. You can install it on an existing patio or build it on your deck. Get the full plans for this arbor and benches here.
DIY Rainy-Day Doghouse
Use a plastic storage bin for a dog house. A nice little doghouse that will hold up in the rain can cost $100 (though dog carpenters can cut down on labor costs). But you can make your own for a fraction of the price using a plastic storage bin. Cut a small hole in the bin, flip it over on its lid and stick a dog bed inside it. Your dog will love watching the rain from inside his snug little house, and you’ll save $85! Don’t be surprised if your cat likes it so much you’ll have to make one for her too.
Answer the Call of the Water
Answer the soothing call of water as it trickles in your own DIY backyard idea. If you’re ready to add outdoor projects with wow-factor to your yard, this is it. This DIY water garden stream uses pre-formed shells for ease of construction, and the result is a stunning feature that is part pond, part waterfall—and all parts awesome. If a full pond isn’t in your budget, consider this handy pond in a box, which will fit small spaces beautifully.
Build a Low-Maintenance Water Feature
Low maintenance is key with this outdoor water feature. Once it’s built, there’s little to do but sit back and enjoy it! Here’s how to build this water feature. You can build this beautiful artesian fountain in just two days. And once it’s built, you don’t have to worry about maintenance.
DIY Wooden Bench for Less
Need some extra seating for an upcoming outdoor get-together? You can build this super-simple DIY outdoor bench in just a few hours!
This simple bench, based on author and ecologist Aldo Leopold’s classic design, can be constructed in a couple of hours. All it takes is two boards and 18 screws, for a cost of less than $25.
Construct a Patio Privacy Screen
There’s a time and place to fraternize with the neighbors, and that time isn’t necessarily when you’re trying to kick back and enjoy a little quiet time on the patio. We built an airy, attractive screen that serves as the perfect solution to achieving a little outdoor privacy for homes a bit too close for comfort to the neighbors.
Plus, its unique look will enhance any yard. While it may look like a big project to tackle, most of the work is cutting boards to length and screwing them together. It measures 12 ft. long and 7 ft. tall at its highest point, but it’s easy to adapt it to your yard. All the steps you need to construct this handsome outdoor privacy screen are here.
Build a Pergola
Kick your outdoor space up a notch with the addition of an elegant, vine-covered pergola. This project will keep you and your guests cool while creating a relaxing spot to spend hot summer days. Building the pergola on top of your existing patio will reduce the cost and simplify the labor involved.
And building it unattached to your house relieves the headache of matching up the new structure with the eaves of the house and moving any existing gutters. To make the project even easier, we used durable, hollow-core composite columns, which slip right over treated 4×4 posts embedded in concrete. If you’re ready to take on this project, head over here for the full pergola step-by-step.
DIY Stone Fountain Conversation Starter
You can customize this design to suit your yard without changing the basic construction. Our fountain is about 4 ft. in diameter. You could make yours half as big or twice as big using the same materials and methods. Check out the details DIY stone fountain here.
Gather Round a DIY Fire Table
A fire table is a beautiful addition to your outdoor living space—and an invitation to gather around. It’s also a stylish centerpiece that gives you a great opportunity to showcase your DIY prowess. Click here to find out how to build this DIY fire table.
Build a Natural Waterfall
Water is one of the most relaxing sounds in an outdoor yard space. In this natural waterfall, the water from the rain spout is funneled to fuel the waterfall – both ecological and delightful. A hardscape DIY backyard waterfall can be built in one day, and you can see how to build a stone fountain right here.
DIY Copper Wind Chimes
You can use copper pipe to decorate your DIY backyard spaces by creating a simple wind chime. All it takes is some copper pipe cut into different lengths to provide the tune you desire. Thread fishing line through two holes drilled in one end of each chime.
The individual pipes are then tied to a wooden base. Use fishing line to hang the chime from the ceiling, soffit or tree limb. When the wind blows, you will be serenaded by the sweet sounds.
Build a Tile-Top Table
This tiled table is simple to make, but it’s engineered to hold up in any weather. All the materials are available at home centers and you can build this tile-top table with simple tools and basic skills. Plus, you can customize the top with your choice of any pattern and colors of tile.
DIY Polished Concrete Table
If you want a tabletop that’s elegant enough for any indoor setting and tough enough to withstand outdoor weather, you’ve found it. Tables similar to this one sell for hundreds at garden centers and outdoor furniture stores. But you can make a DIY polish concrete table yourself for much less. And, this project is simple enough for even beginning woodworkers to tackle.
Add a DIY Remote Hose Connection for Easier Watering
If you’re constantly dragging long lengths of hose from the house to the far corners of your yard, consider adding a remote faucet instead. Depending on how much time and expense you want to put into it, this can be as simple as a length of garden hose connected to a fence with pipe straps, as shown here, or an underground pipe complete with a vacuum breaker at the house.
Learn more about how to install an outdoor faucet here. Either way, you’ll save a ton of time and effort by not having to deal with long hoses.