4 simple weekend D.I.Y. updates that will make a big difference

·6 min read

Summer is finally here — and when it comes to making it the best summer ever, Everything Awaits you at Canadian Tire. From D.I.Y. projects you can do in a weekend to tips to create the ultimate patio setup for the smallest space, these ideas will have you counting down to the weekends.

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Having even a sliver of outdoor space has become the ultimate summer dream for many city dwellers. Following months hunkered down inside, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of whatever outdoor space you do have, and make it your own.

Whether you're working with a spacious backyard or a condo-sized balcony, creating the perfect outdoor space is easier than you think. By dedicating a few hours here and there to D.I.Y. projects, your space, and sense of accomplishment, will both get a well-deserved boost.

You don't have to make a major investment (of either time or money!) to make a big impact. These small updates are easy enough to do yourself, and will make your home feel refreshed for the summer.

Create custom planters

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

It's no secret that gardening is good for your health. By rolling up your sleeves and caring for plants, you can do wonders for your wellbeing, including lowering blood pressure and relieving stress. This summer, get your green thumb in the game and reap more benefits than just those of a good-looking garden with D.I.Y. planters.

Requiring only a handful of materials and a free afternoon to get started, custom outdoor planters can make a big impact in realizing your outdoor dream space. To build your planters, you'll need scrap wood, and a mitre saw to cut everything uniformly and down to size. If you're looking for a new saw, this mitre saw from Mastercraft has the TESTED Badge, which means it's been tested for quality by real Canadians — so you know it's a good product. 

First, you'll need to cut your wood to size (check out instructions and sizing here, but know that you can adjust based on the size of your space!) Once your slats are good to go, you'll need to assemble the bottom of the planter. A brad nailer, like this one from WORX, will quickly secure them together; a job made even easier with the help of wood glue. After that, attach the sides — you can even add legs if you're considering an elevated look. You can leave the wood as is or stain it to match your patio furniture once you're finished.

For a blooming, healthy garden, you'll want to make sure your D.I.Y. planters are large enough, so your plants have room to grow. Tomatoes, lettuce, and radishes, for example, are excellent crops for balcony planters as they don't require a lot of space to thrive.

Take your garden to new heights

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

If you're short on square footage, there's no better way to get the most out of a small space than going vertical. A D.I.Y. wall planter is easy to build and can live a double life as a privacy wall for close-knit balcony or deck areas.

A wall planter is a relatively easy D.I.Y. project that can increase green space in even the smallest or most urban outdoor spaces. 

There are dozens of different methods and styles depending on your personal preference — but one of our favourites is a twist on the traditional planter box. Basically, you build planters up vertically instead of horizontally — which is also great if you want to diversify plants with varieties that require more shade or more light.

To build a DIY vertical garden, it's useful to have a pocket hole kit and drill on hand. You'll need a few different lengths of cedar boards to complete the project, which can be cut to your liking using a table saw, like this one from Mastercraft.

Remember to drill holes through the bottom boards to have proper drainage for your future plants. The DEWALT Cordless Drill and Impact Driver, for example, features a compact and lightweight design that's perfect for small spaces — and it also has been put to the test by real Canadians as part of Canadian Tire's TESTED program. 

We also suggest using a one-handed clamp and spreader, like this one from Irwin, to hold the boxes together before using the Mastercraft brad nailer to secure the cedar boards.

The best part about this home update? There are so many ways to do it. If you don't feel like building your own vertical garden, you can also easily utilize an old step ladder, shelving unit or another piece of furniture that's seen better days. 

D.I.Y. wood pallet furniture

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Upcycling wood pallets into outdoor furniture is a testament you don't need to spend a lot to refresh your home for summer. From couches to coffee tables, the opportunities are truly endless when it comes to DIY furniture.

No matter the size of outdoor space you're working with, you can customize pallet furniture to fit your dimensions and aesthetic. An afternoon project new builders can easily tackle is an L-shaped pallet couch.

To create a pallet couch, you'll first need wooden pallets. The number you'll need depends on the size of the couch you want to build. Start by measuring your outdoor cushions and using those measurements to mark where you need to cut your pallets.

Using the TESTED-approved DeWALT circular saw, cut the pallets to size. Depending on the height of the couch you want, stack the pallets on top of each other and secure them with screws. We recommend using the Black + Decker Cordless Li-Ion Drill with 100-Piece Accessory Kit as its variable speed range allows for precision control.

After securing your base and back pallets, use a sander, like this one from Skil, to smooth any rough or uneven edges. Make sure to target any exposed areas to avoid any future splinters or painful run-ins.

The best part about upcycled furniture is you can create something that's totally you, and matches whatever vibe your home has. Complete your project by staining or painting to make it your own. Canadian Tire has hundreds of paints and stains to choose from — just make sure you choose the right paint or stain for where your furniture will be living. If you'll be building for outdoors, you'll want to go with exterior paints or exterior stains and sealers and may also want to waterproof your designs. If you're building for indoor use, there are plenty of indoor paints and stains to choose from.

Entertaining-friendly D.I.Y.

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

If you're looking for a quick and easy project, a wooden serving tray is an entertaining-friendly project great for outdoor festivities.

To craft your tray, decide how large you want it to be and cut pine boards to size using the MAXIMUM 15A Dual-Bevel Sliding Mitre Saw, 12-in. With your sander, soften jagged edges or any fly-away pieces. It's easier to sand before the tray has been assembled, so take your time to smooth away any roughness.

Once everything is cut and sanded, attach the boards using a combination of wood glue and brad nails. Finish the project off by customizing its design. Canadian Tire has a great selection of stencils and paint, so you can personalize your project as you see fit.

Summer is finally here — and Canadian Tire and Yahoo are helping you take advantage of every single moment. From weekend camping and roadtrip must-haves to tips on how to make your backyard the ultimate oasis, Everything Awaits you at Canadian Tire.

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