Backyard Fun

Autumn is officially here and what a Summer it was! We have compiled a list of our Top 10 Backyard Games this past season. If most of these games aren’t on the deep sale aisles some of them are completely DIY. What better way to spend rainy afternoons or weekends inside making fun games for next Summer? Have them ready for the first sunny BBQ with friends and family, or if you’re lucky enough to still have warm weekends in your forecast, go grab some paint and get creative!

Here’s our list of the best Summer games with quick links below for sales or How-To’s:

DIY Jenga
Pam Garrison’s colorful Jenga post-share of a Beautiful Mess.

Our #2 comes from Maria Provenzano via the Hallmark Channel for a quick and easy how-to for Balloon Dart Board. We suggest filling them up and making it a water balloon game for an even bigger splash!

Four in a row
Giant Four-in-a-Row comes from our friends over The Home Depot where you can shop their handmade project here.

Dominos
Oversized dominoes are always fun with their high contrast and geometric patterns. This version comes from mariage.com as a backyard reception game.

Twister
This highly Pinned Twister game is fun for kids of all ages! You can even spray paint in different colors for your favorite teams, holidays, etc. Stay true to the Twister colors and simply bring the game’s spinning wheel outside. Spray paint more circles for even more players.
RingToss

Bring our your fair game with an oldie-but-a-goodie: ring toss! You can collect all sorts of sizes and shapes and designate different points. Kristi from I Should Be Mopping the Floor (great blog!) gives a vintage take on the classic game in her how-to here.

Tic-Tac-Toe DIY
So many variations of this game are out there. Our favorite is right from Taryn at tarynwhiteaker.com where she mixes neutral stones and a simple walnut stained board to bring one of our favorite games outside. Here is her How-To for the Tic-Tac-Toe project.

Ladder Golf
Amazon has great offers on ladder golf that is perfect for any backyard in various styles and finishes like this ladder golf toss by Beach Bums.

Bean Bag Toss

Across the board favorite game is the bean bag toss or cornhole to some folks.
Check out how the DIY Network spins this game here.

Lawn Chutes

Our last game (in no particular order) is Lawn Chutes and we recommend this all-in-one piece set from Etsy’s 5-star reviewed shop: The UndergroundShop

What are your favorite backyard games to play?
Here’s to a great weekend … have fun!

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Last Summer Bash

After the long weekend, so many of us are ready to call it a day to Summer. Some of us still hold on to our BBQs and plans of hosting outside gatherings until the Fall Equinox is upon us, (13 days left!) not that we’re counting.

After looking into backyard bashes and end of Summer parties online, one can get sucked into the Pinterest vortex. As overwhelming as it is, there are so many simply and easy ways to send off Summer in style.

Lighting in key to any party, but when daylight begins to transition into Fall, lighting can be one of the key features to a party that can be enjoyed into the fire-pit hours. Here are some really great ideas to keep the gathering well lit with dwindling daylight:

Lighting for the last Summer Bash

String lights are a super easy way to add that warm glow to any outdoor patio. If you are more into candles, try the tiki-torch variety or the little potted citronella votives to keep the bugs away around their biting twilight hours. We recommend adding our Patio Umbrella Mosquito Net Canopy to easily screen in the party and leave the bugs out:
Classic Accessories Mosquito Net Canopy Classic Accessories Mosquito Net Canopy

For lunch or dinner, we would suggest making one of our Art Director, Dorik Downing’s, Double D Burgers that we featured in our latest VLOG. They are spicy and delicious!

Double D's Burgers

Summer side dishes are a dime a dozen. Fresh produce is plentiful at any local farmers market. I am a huge fan of Delish.com’s  Watermelon Balsamic Caprese Salad:

and their Jalapeno Popper Potato Salad:

Or basically any kind of grilled corn on the cob!

Outdoor games are so popular these days and there are so many you can make as a simple DIY. Apparently LARGER versions of indoor games are all the rage as well like this fun idea for dice from Megan over at the Handcrafted Life:

The perfect ending to all the parties this season is and oldie-but-a-goodie … S’MORES!
They can be as simple or as elegant as you can dream up. With “bar” set-ups trending more and more each summer, a simple chocolate, gram and “mallow” have been thrust into the lime light with more refined flavors and ways to showcase the offerings. Sky’s the limit to what pairings hosts can serve up:
S'mores Bar
Check out the fun sign you can grab now on Amazon HERE.

After the party leaves and you find yourself starting to think about ending the BBQ season for the year, don’t forget the covers!

Madrona Collection

Check out our new Madrona Collection with taped seams ready for the harshest of Fall’s weather. We are even taking 25% OFF your entire order now through the end of September with discount code: PREFALL at checkout. (site-wide!)

Cheers to the last bash of Summer!

Sources:
BeaniPet
Bower Power
Optimum Garden
Handcrafted Life
Amazon
Catch My Party
Pin Img
Delish

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Last Summer Bash

Fresh Ideas to Kick Patio Season Off Right

We’re officially in patio season, why not mix it up this year? Below are some fresh ideas from some of our favorite bloggers.

1. Sarah Le from I am Food Blog has a delightful take on a summer picnic salad. This Vietnamese and foodie inspired the salad uses fresh ingredients like: mint, cilantro and lime, and features quinoa, veggies and a little sriracha for spice. Check it out!

2. Kristin Jackson of the Hunted Interior, created a beautiful backyard oasis as part of a HomeDepot.com style challenge. We noticed her work last year when she stenciled her stained deck with a large graphic pattern making it a unique and bold space: here. Take some inspiration from her latest outdoor creation with a simple palette that pops, a creative wall of plates, and a fun bocce court.

Kristin-Jackson-Patio-Style-Challenge-83. Apartment Therapy has a great post to help you get started creating your outdoor dream space. Sounds pretty practical and fun! Once you go through the steps, you’ll have a clearer idea of what needs fixing, what you would like to incorporate, what supplies you have on hand, and what supplies you might need. Browse Apartment Therapy’s site if you’re looking for DIY inspiration, they have a ton of great ideas.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Fresh Ideas to Kick Patio Season Off Right

DIY – Urban Patio

DIYUrbanPatio

 

Having a smaller outdoor space sometimes means you can’t fit everything in you’d like. You have to be a little creative and think outside the box (or balcony). Here are some creative ways to DIY your patio in style.

1.  Vertical Garden
Ash of Sugar and Cloth, DIYs the heck out of a hand rail – transforming it into a beautiful vertical garden. Genius, pretty and space-saving. She also has a tutorial for some cute stepping stones here. 

2. Outdoor Bench
This can be completed in under an hour, I don’t know about you – but time and space are two things I’m short on. This bench is made out of 12 cinder blocks  and 4, 4x4x10 pieces of lumber that fit into the cinder block spaces. These materials cost under $40. You can celebrate your own style by painting the cinder blocks and finding or creating cushions you love.

3. Hanging Pillows
Make your storage chest into a comfy bench for your outdoor space. This DIY uses a suspension/curtain rod, pillows and some fabric to transform an ottoman or trunk into a cozy, modern seat.

Happy DIY’n!

Photo Credit: “Vertical gardening” by Ruth Hartnup, used under CC BY / Overlayed text

DIY – Urban Patio

Weekly Round Up – DIY a Fire Pit

Weekly Roundup: DIY Fire Pit

1. DIY Burning Bowl – EvansvilleLiving.com
Skill level: Beginner
This is a great addition for a smaller yard, patio or balcony. You’ll use a plastic bowl as the a mold, so you can pick the size and depth of your new fire pit. The shopping list is short, and you probably have a few items on hand already – like Pam cooking spray (so the concrete doesn’t stick), and a plastic tub for mixing concrete. Depending on the size you go with, this firepit is easy to move around and enjoy wherever you like in your outdoor space.

2. Build Your Own Ring of Fire  – ThisOldHouse.com
Skill level: Advanced
This is a detailed tutorial for a pretty cool built-in pit. More complicated than some DIYs – but they do a great job with visuals and detailed explanations. All of the steps are accompanied with photos and clear explanations. We think it’s worth it.

3. Fire Pit from a Washing Machine Drum – curbly.com
Skill level: Advanced + Thrifty
This fire pit looks modern and sleek – yet the main part is a drum gutted from an old washing machine. If you don’t happen to have an old automatic front-loading machine lying around you’ll need to scout out a junk yard, garage sale or thrift store to score the drum.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve made a fire pit before or plan to try one this year.

Weekly Round Up – DIY a Fire Pit