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Outdoor

DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Campfire Stools

Brighten Up Your Camping Trip with these DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Log Campfire Stools

By | Outdoor | No Comments

Are you afraid of the dark? Don’t let that stop you from going camping. Now you can make your own glow-in-the-dark log campfire stools with some basic materials.

You are going to need some sandpaper, glow-in-the-dark paint, paint brushes, a bright light – and a stool or a log. Bold, solid colors really stand out in the dark but you can be as creative as you like with your paint scheme. If you’re not comfortable free-handing your design, especially on uneven surfaces tape up some stencils to get you started.

Clean and sand down your log stool.

The first step is to prepare the stool or log. Clean it up, if necessary, and use sandpaper or a file to remove any sharp edges or splinters and even out the sitting surface.

Next, you’ll need to choose a spot to paint your stools. Lay out some newspaper to catch the paint splatter or drips. A back porch or garage is always a good choice.

Prepare your painting area.

Before you start painting, you should decide how you want to paint the stool. You could simply slap on a solid color across the surface of the stool or use an interesting design. Frogs, bees, ladybugs, flowers and other outdoor-themed designs are easy to paint and find stencils for if you choose to go that route.

Use 3-4 coats of paint for full coverage.

When you are ready to paint, apply one coat at a time. Allow the coat to completely dry before applying another coat. You will probably need to add two or three coats to get a nice, even finish and fill in the natural surface cracks.

That is all there is to create your own glow in the dark stools. Use an outdoor lamp or spotlight and shine on the stools for several minutes. When you turn off the lights, your new campfire stools should glow.

Use a UV light or sunlight to charge your paint.

For more details on the project, check out wikiHow.

DIY Backyard Movie Screen

Watch Your Favorite Movies Under the Stars with a DIY Backyard Movie Screen

By | Outdoor | No Comments

Summer is all about sun, fun and outdoor parties! So instead of heading indoors for movie night, enjoy your favorite flicks under the stars with your very own backyard movie screen!

Instructables user, MichaelS779, takes us through this quick summer project that you too can whip together in a day.

You’re going to need a few supplies and pieces of equipment for this project. Basically, you will construct a PVC frame for attaching a large white cloth. So, you’ll need PVC piping and fittings, along with something to cut the pipes. You could use PVC cutters or a hacksaw.

First, you will cut your pieces out of 1 1/2 PVC pipe. You will need enough piping for 4 legs, 2 vertical frame pieces, 2 horizontal frame pieces, and 2 risers. You will also need PVC fittings – 4 knockout plugs, 2 90-degree elbows, and 4 drain Ts.

In the original post, you will find the specific lengths for each piece. If you want to make the same size screen as in the original project, you can use the dimensions provided. Or, you can choose a different size. Remember, you can make the dimension any size you want, but most movies and television shows are presented in a 16:9-ratio.

You can use a calculator to get the exact dimensions if you want to use this ratio. For every 16-inches in width, you will have 9-inches in height. If you know the width that you want, divide the total inches by 0.5625 to get the height in inches.

After cutting your pieces, you will assemble the legs. Glue two legs into a drain fitting. Glue the knockout plugs into each end. Allow these pieces to dry.

Legs for the backyard movie screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

You will now assemble the top piece of the frame. The elbow pieces need to be attached to the top piece. Make sure they are positioned the same way before you add the glue.

Top frame of backyard movie screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

With the top assembled, you can assemble the sides. Glue a drain T, onto the bottom of each vertical PVC piece. Again, make sure the pieces have the same orientation before adding glue. Next, glue the risers onto the bottom of the drain T.

Sides of frame for backyard movie screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

Now, lay all the pieces in the yard. Arrange the pieces into the shape of your movie screen. You are simply going to put all the pieces together. Connect the verticals to the top piece and then the horizontal piece. Add the legs and lift the frame.

PVC frame for backyard movie screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

You have a frame, but you still need a screen. You can use any solid white material, such as an old white tablecloth. Cut the cloth to the right size. Make sure you leave about 2 1/4-inches of space around the edge of the screen, for adding a hem for the grommets.

Add grommets to the screen. You will need about 32 grommets and 36 canopy ties. Try to space out the grommets evenly along the edge of the screen.

Adding grommets to the screen

MichaelS779 | Instructables

You can now hang the screen. Start with the corners and work your way across the top. You are ready to use your backyard movie screen. Bring out your video projector and adjust it until the display takes up your entire screen.

Hanging the screen on the frame

MichaelS779 | Instructables

This is a fairly easy DIY project and a fun way to spend an afternoon that gives you an excuse to use your video projector more often.

For a detailed step-by-step explanation, take a look at the original post on Instructables. See for yourself how to build your own drive-in with a DIY backyard movie screen.

Explore the Outdoors in Comfort with this De-mountable Pickup Truck Camper

By | Automotive, Outdoor | No Comments

Owning a pickup truck is one of the great pleasures in life. Having a truck gives you freedom. You have the freedom to drive through rough terrain for no reason whatsoever. You also have the freedom to fill up your truck bed with anything you choose. This includes everything from lumber to a full-sized camper van constructed from said lumber.

Expert DIY handyman at Handmade Matt has provided the world with a unique project. He has outlined the steps needed to construct your very own demountable camper van for a 4×4 pickup truck. Shock and amaze your friends or fellow campers as you invite them into your rustic redneck getaway only to watch their expressions as they view the inside. Your completed camper will include a full kitchen with running water, a fridge, a grill, and even a heater. It is a major undertaking, but well worth the effort.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Interior

Handmade Matt

Matt wanted to create a demountable camper that features a rustic exterior with a completely modern interior. Well, he completely succeeded and if you follow his steps, you too could have your own luxurious camper hidden away inside a DIY camper.

Demountable Pickup Truck Camper - Measurements Diagram

Handmade Matt

Before you can get started, you need to take measurements of your truck. For Matt’s project, he used a 1999 Mitsubishi L200 with a 2.5TD engine and four-wheel drive. You do not need to use the same vehicle unless you want to follow his specific measurements. Matt provides a rough sketch of his camper design, but this can easily be adjusted to fit your truck bed.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Fabricating the jacking points

Handmade Matt

Once you have the measurements, you can get started on the design and construction of the camper. The first construction project is the jacking points for the legs, as this is a demountable camper. Matt used 50mm box sections to accept 50mm timber. The steel jacking points are fitted with lumber and form the base of the camper. The hollow box section faces outward, in order to accept the jacking leg.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Building the frame and roof

Handmade Matt

After completing the base, you can begin the floor plan. You are essentially building a standard 4-wall room with a curved roof. It is important that you start with the frame of the camper. Matt constructed the frame for the walls followed by the roof. The roof is fitted with corrugated tin. Completing this step before finishing the walls and interior helps protect the rest of your project from rain or snow.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Adding insulation

Handmade Matt

With a frame in place, you can begin adding insulation. Matt recommends using loose rock wool insulation in horizontal spaces, such as the cavity under the bed, as it is cheaper. For vertical insulation, he uses solid insulation boards.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Exterior insulation

Handmade Matt

The exterior of the walls is wrapped in recycled PVC plastic sheeting. This is then covered in the cladding. For this, Matt used treated feather edge board.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Interior trim

Handmade Matt

At this point in the project, it is time to move inside and complete the interior. The bottom of the roof is skinned with foil lined air bubble sheeting. You can then start taking care of the interior trim and boarding.

Demountable Camper Pickup Truck - Securing the camper to the pickup truck

Handmade Matt

Steel brackets are needed to secure the camper to your truck. You don’t want the camper tipping off or sliding off while on the highway. 12mm steel coach bolts are used throughout the lower frame of the camper to secure it to the existing mounting rails of the truck.

That covers the basics of constructing the camper. But, Matt took this project much further. With the camper constructed, he then added a solar panel electric system for powering appliances. He also added a full kitchen, with a grill and a sink.

This is not an entry level DIY project. You will need experience in several different areas. You will need to be knowledgeable about construction and electrical work. This is especially true when you start adding the solar panels and appliances – as Handmade Matt only provides a basic overview of these steps. Luckily, Matt is always quick to respond to inquiries. The last thing you want to happen is to have a partially completed wood cabin stuck to the back of your pickup truck.

For detailed instructions and more information to build your own, visit Handmade Matt’s full demountable camper project page.

Grill made from an old oil barrel.

This Old Oil Barrel Now Serves Up Some Delicious Grillables

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

Every single day millions of oil barrels are produced and disposed of across the planet, most of which end up in landfills where they live the rest of their days contributing to global pollution and posing a serious hazard to our health and the environment. It’s no wonder when you think of oil barrels, it’s the last thing you’d want anywhere near your home. But luckily there’s DIYers like us and njoyard at Imgur who believe even the biggest eye sore can become something blindingly beautiful.

It all started with a red 200L motor oil barrel he found that was obviously used to store fuel from the smell of it. Although it was in great condition, it would need a lot of work before it was ready for a cookout. The first order of business was getting it clean!

He started by pouring sand into the barrel to soak up any remaining fuel and then washed it out with dish soap and water while shaking it vigorously quite a few times. After rinsing it out and letting it dry overnight there was no more traces of fuel.

Cleaning up and stripping the old oil barrel.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

Two passes with an orbital sander got most of the red paint off and he finished the entire surface with a steel brush on a drill. Although it made a huge mess and left red dust everywhere, the barrel emerged shiny and ready for the next step: cutting it open.

Cutting out the lid on the oil barrel.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

Making straight lines with a marker on a curved surface is not very easy so njoyard found it better to use painter’s tape instead. The hole he cut on the side was 5/16ths (1/4th + 1/16th) of the circumference of the barrel and he left about 2″ of steel on the right and left. Using a jigsaw with lots of lubricant on the slowest speed and lowest pendular setting gave him smooth cuts with barely any force.

Building the table for the grill.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

The grill and lid piece then got two coats of heat-resistant paint. While the paint dried, njoyard began to assemble the wooden frame out of douglas fir and wood screws. Once the frame was complete along with wheels on the legs, it was sanded and stained to bring out the wood’s rich color. The barrel grill laid inside the frame perfectly.

Attaching the hinges and handle for the grill door.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

He then attached the lid piece to the grill with hinges using rivets and added a steel handle to make it easy to open and close.

Completing the inside of the grill.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

For a cooking surface, he used two rectangular grids he found online and secured them side-by-side with 1-inch steel shelf supports.

Adding vent holes to the grill body.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

He was now in the home stretch with only a few details left before the much anticipated taste test! Air intake holes were drilled on the bottom surface of the barrel so the flame gets oxygen. The lid also wobbled a bit when open so njoyard added some reinforcement strips to give it more rigidity as well as bumper stops so the lid had a resting position when closed instead of collapsing inside the grill. With the thermometer as the finishing touch, this old barrel was now ready to start its new life by churning out some carnivorous delights!

Grilling up some chicken on the new completed grill!

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

Check out more photos and get extra details: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

Turn hub caps into garden decor.

Blooming Hubcaps Garden Art

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

Ugh, hubcaps! Not even your car likes them. Much like those smokin’ hot but uncomfortable stiletto shoes that have no function other than to look good, cars can’t wait to kick them off their feet after being in them for a while. They end up discarded on the side of the road like heels piling up against a wall towards the end of a party.

When Reeves at The Weathered Door kept seeing them along her commute she took up a new sport: hubcapping! To play, keep your eyes peeled while driving and when you see a hubcap, pull over, jump out of the car and grab it. Transforming these abandoned hubcaps into desirable garden art is a great recycling project and displaying them out front is a clever way to say “hey, a car guy/gal lives here so you know we’re awesome.”

How to clean and paint the hub caps.

Photo: Reeves | Hubcapping | The Weathered Door

Having battled the outdoor elements, your hubcaps will probably be covered in dirt and grime so give them a good wash. Sand down the entire surface to smooth down any scratches and to create mechanical adhesion for your paint. Reeves chose really bright colors so they’d stand out against her bushes and mixing up different hubcap shapes will give you some stunning results. You can even add embellishments like gems, beads and other craft store decorations to bring the more plain hubcaps to life.

The stems were just some broken shovel handles she already had and the leaves were made out of wood or foam to make the hubcap flowers look more realistic. Reeves attached the leaves to paint stirring sticks that were then screwed to the stem for extra support.

I could only imagine using some of the more ornate vintage hubcaps for this project, back when they were still made of metal. Time to start my own hubcapping league!

For more details on starting your own hubcap garden: Reeves | Hubcapping | The Weathered Door

Turn an ordinary inflatable raft into a fishing boat.

Transform an Inflatable Raft into a Practical Fishing Boat

By | Outdoor | No Comments

Nothing complements a thrilling day at the track like the serenity of floating down a quiet lake and casting a line into the water in hopes of hooking some fresh caught dinner. But owning a fishing boat comes with ongoing expenses and storage challenges that makes it impractical for the occasional fisherman or woman.

After having to sell his aluminum fishing boat, Reddit user, lifeisgood_dude, began to miss his fishing trips and set off to find a compromise. His two main constraints were budget and space so he needed something collapsible for easy storage. Knowing he probably wouldn’t find anything “off the shelf” he looked forward to turning this into a project.

He bought a 12-foot inflatable boat and blew it up in his house with the pump that came with it. In order to create a more stable floor, he made a template out of cardboard which he then transferred to 15/32″ plywood. Rather than cut one giant piece of wood for the floor he decided on 2 halves for easier storage. After smoothing the edges and surface with a sander, he lined the wooden floor boards with indoor/outdoor carpet. I suggest using a sealer on the wood first to protect it from water damage and eventually rotting out. The carpeting allowed the 2 wooden floor boards to fit snug against the bottom without moving around.

Reinforcing the floor with wooden boards.

Photo: lifeisgood_dude | Imgur

No fishing trip is complete without some onboard entertainment and storage, so he built a wooden box to serve both purposes. A basic stereo system off Amazon ran about $50 and he was able to hide the wiring inside along with lifejackets, a battery, and other supplies.

Building the speaker and storage.

Photo: lifeisgood_dude | Imgur

With seats and a motor, the final outcome was a practical fishing boat he could enjoy on weekends and then break it down for the trip home. Even with 2 people on the boat, he reports it being extremely stable and he even enjoyed doing a few donuts to test it out.

For more photos: lifeisgood_dude | Imgur

DIY tree swing from an old chair.

Turn an Old Chair into a Beautiful Swing

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

Like most DIYers, I hate wasting good things. When a piece of furniture breaks, like this dinner chair, it’s often tempting to just throw it out. Instead, Amy at This DIY Life knew it would make the perfect backyard attraction to hang from their old maple tree and be a hit with her nieces and nephews.

Removing the legs and painting the chair was the easy part but hanging it securely from the tree took a little trial and error. It turns out that simply throwing some rope over a tree branch can seriously damage the tree. Luckily, one of the experts at This Old House had helped another reader with this same dilemma.

How to hang a swing from a tree.

Amy | Just-a-Swingin’ | This DIY Life

The first step is to find a strong branch at least 8 inches in diameter where the swing can hang at least 3 feet from the trunk. But hanging your swing too far out overstresses the branch and it could eventually snap off so keep it closer to the base. Use 5/8-inch or larger stainless steel eye bolts and drill holes through the limb to install them. Secure your eye bolts with a large washer and 2 nuts. The second nut locks the first one into place. You’ll need a thimble to tie a “bowline” knot to the eye bolt.

Modifying the chair to hang from the tree.

Amy | Just-a-Swingin’ | This DIY Life

The next step is securing the rope to the chair so it swings in a stable manner. Amy’s husband drilled 2 holes through the top of the chair’s back, 2 on the back of the seat that matched the ones on the chair back and 2 on the front of the seat. Pull the rope through the holes until the chair is 1-2 feet off the ground and tilt the chair back so it is reclined a bit. Amy discovered that without a bit of a recline the chair tips forward and you slide right off. Tie a large knot on each rope under the chair and cut off the excess.

For less than $30, Amy and her husband created a one-of-a-kind piece for their backyard and share fond memories every summer. The adults even manage to get their turn on the swing too!

For more details and photos: Amy | Just-a-Swingin’ | This DIY Life

Floating pool cooler out of pool noodles.

The $2 Pool Noodle Floating Cooler

By | Outdoor | No Comments

Your grill and cooler are the most popular guests at any pool party. People can’t help but gather around their delicious and refreshing personalities. Unfortunately, they are not great swimmers so any time you want a hydrating conversation (a drink) you have to get out of the pool and drip over to the cooler. Wouldn’t it be nice to hang out in the pool together?

Commercially available drink floaters run about $40 and they only hold a few cans or bottles so MacGeek at Instructables decided to rig his own for about $2. He hit the local dollar store and picked up a pool noodle, a medium-sized plastic storage container (with a locking lid) and some waterproof nylon rope.

Cutting and stringing together the pool noodles.

macgeek | Instructables

Cut the noodle into four pieces to roughly match the lengths of the container and use the rope to tie the pieces together so they cradle the container and catch on the lip. Add some ice and your favorite beverages and your floating cooler is ready for its maiden voyage. MacGeek even tied a long piece of string to the assembly so that he could grab onto it and pull the cooler towards him.

Now this gets me thinking… What if we were to attach a couple of remote control boats to the cooler and sail it from guest to guest?!

For more photos: macgeek | The $1.99 Noodley Beverage Boat | Instructables

Transform Your Storage Shed into Your Own Private Bar

By | Outdoor | No Comments

Backyard sheds can be a lot like mini haunted houses – dark, dusty, spider web-covered storage for “second-tier” equipment and tools. These are items that are too bulky to store in the garage or things you don’t use often enough to justify taking up valuable space in your car’s domain like lawn equipment, old paint cans, patio umbrellas or even out-grown children’s toys.

But thanks to a new trend that seems to have come out of the UK, more and more people are converting those scary little backyard structures into hip pub sheds. Cleaning out your shed or garage is no easy task but it doesn’t take much convincing to trade in some unused items for a few taps, a large fridge, and a TV to build a private outdoor oasis of your own.

If you need a little inspiration to get started, check out these incredible sheds-turned-pubs and soon you’ll be kicking back and unwinding after a hard day’s work – and best of all, you don’t have to drive anywhere. Don’t forget the tip jar!

Grill made out of car wheels.

Redneck Car Rim BBQ

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

If you have an impressive junk pile …err …treasure pile, chances are there’s a spare set of wheels buried somewhere inside that trove. Why spend beaucoup bucks on a grill or fire pit when you have everything you need to build your own and wow your friends with a one-of-a-kind piece.

Cut off matching rectangles on the backside of each wheel so that when you join them together it creates a hole where you can put your logs or charcoal. Put the wheels on top of each other back-to-back and weld the back sides together and you’re ready to use it as a fire pit or stove! To unlock its full grilling potential cut a circular piece of metal mesh to lay on top to hold your delicious steaks, hot dogs and other carnivorous delights.

Redneck BBQ grill

thumb nail ranch | Youtube