Get Your Backyard Ready for an Outdoor Party
Summer means fun al fresco, so make sure your landscape is picture perfect and tricked out before the guests arrive
After a long winter and a messy spring, your backyard may not be ready to host guests. Don't panic! Here's what you can do to prepare for your next outdoor party.
Many homeowners neglect to prune their plants, but it's simpler than it seems and can do wonders for the health and appearance of your landscaping. Learn how to prune properly by reading Shrub Pruning Dos and Don'ts.
Planting in containers is a quick way to add color and variety to your outdoor space, even if you don't have a green thumb. For more ideas, see and Garden Beauty on a Budget.
Install lights along dark walkways to brighten the area and take away tripping hazards. Solar- and battery-operated lights are convenient because they do not require wiring. See Exterior Lighting Right Where You Need It for a common sense approach to outdoor lighting.
Impress your guests by telling them you made your own solar lanterns. These DIY lanterns are charming and cheery, and they'll brighten a drab dining table. See How to Make Mason Jar Patio Lights for full step-by-step instructions.
Add workspace for platters and storage for cooking tools by creating a grilling center. You can prepare meals and be around your guests with minimal time spent running back inside for plates, beverages, or tongs.
Serve drinks in style with an outdoor bar. It will provide a sturdy surface to prevent spills, and you'll be less likely to lose the bottle opener if there is a dedicated station for beverage necessities.
Left outdoors in rain and shine, metal deck and patio furniture takes a beating. Frames accumulate unsightly nicks, scratches, and rust; vinyl straps discolor and loosen; mesh slings rip; fasteners pop out. Follow these tips and learn how to revive outdoor furniture like a pro.
Squeeze the whole family in at the summer barbecue by creating a classic American picnic table with benches. This staple of backyards and parks—with its elbow-to-elbow dining and climb-over seating—works in all terrains, so you can move off the deck and onto the grass. See How to Build a Picnic Table and Benches for full step-by-step instructions.
Harp-back chairs are frequent finds at used-furniture stores and flea markets ripe for a DIY reinvention. Transform a pair of vintage chairs into an outdoor bench that you and your guests will enjoy for years to come. See How to Build an Outdoor Bench From Dining Chairs for full step-by-step instructions.
Perk up a picnic or add drama to your deck by adding affordable accessories. See 25 Thrifty Ways to Create Outdoor Dining for creative design and repurposing ideas to transform the look of your outdoor space on a budget.