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DIY Projects and Tips

Garden Shorts

Fun, timesaving ideas for your home, yard and garden.


garden short bath shelf

No windowsill? No problem.

Use a bath shelf or tray to grow plants right on the glass. Apply the suction cups to a sunny window and hang your shelf. Then add some small pots filled with your favorite seeds, herbs or other plants. Add a little water and a lot of sun and watch them grow. It’s a great way to green up any window.

self-watering plants

Seedlings that water themselves.

Cut your plastic bottles in half. Flip the top half upside down and poke a hole in the cap. Thread a piece of clothesline or rope though the hole. It needs to be thick enough to absorb water. Leave plenty of string on both sides of the cap. Add soil to the top, coiling the string into the soil as you go. Pour water into the bottom half of the bottle, and place the top half inside. Plant your seeds and gently water from the top down to get things started. Your clothesline will soak up water from below and distribute it to the soil above. Simply add water to the bottom when low.

Plant in a bottle

Mini Greenhouse

Clean, then cut a soda bottle in half. Drill or poke holes in the bottom and use it to cover your seedling. Voilà! Instant humidity.

muffin tin

Start Seedlings

Cupcake papers make perfect holders for soil and seedlings. And when it’s time to transfer, they can go straight into the ground. The papers decompose as your plants grow. (Do not use foil-lined papers.)

pinecone with peanutbutter

Pine Cone Bird Treats.

Spread peanut butter over pine cones, roll in bird seed and hang using wire or twine. Birds will flock to your yard!

Spider Pumpkins Craft

Spooky pumpkin spiders.

Create spooky spiders using pumpkins and rebar. Remove the pulp from small to medium pumpkins and drill holes in the sides to match the diameter of your “legs.” Bend the rebar and insert into the sides of the pumpkin. Depending on the weather and other factors, your spider pumpkins will last approximately 5-10 days before showing signs of decline.

Tool Storage

Keep your tools in tip-top shape.

Store small garden tools in a pot or bucket of sand mixed with mineral oil to keep them clean, dry and free of rust and other corrosion.

grapevine ball outdoor light

Have a ball with outdoor lighting.

Lighting is an easy way to add fun and ambiance to your yard. Find a grapevine ball at your local hobby or craft store. Put a flameless candle inside and hang from your tree. It’s that easy!

binder clip garden glove hangers

Hang out with your garden gloves.

Garden gloves are like socks – sometimes they go missing. It’s time to take a cue from your organized office friends. Gather up a few binder clips and then hang them from nails. You can then clip your garden and work gloves to keep them organized and ready to go for the next job.

mason jar fairy lights

Create magical summer lighting.

Mason jars have so many uses and we really love this one. Create the perfect ambiance for your next gathering by putting battery-powered fairy lights in various sized mason jars. Just tape the small battery to the top of the Mason jar lid, flip the switch and you’re ready to go.

DYI garden hose guides

Give your garden hose some guidance.

Dragging the garden hose around the yard can be a chore, especially when you’re taking out half your plants as you do it. Protect your plants with this great DIY hose guide. Pick up sections of 1/4 to 1/2-inch copper pipe. Find some doorknobs to put on top and you have the perfect hose guide.

cup and saucer bird feeder

Fine dining for feathered friends.

Do you have mismatched cups and saucers or a set you don’t know what to do with? Mismatched or not, a cup and saucer is the perfect match and DIY bird feeder for your feathered friends. All you need is a cup and saucer, all-weather glue and wire and you’re good to go.

wine cork planting holes

Uncork perfect planting holes.

Don’t throw those wine corks away! Use them to make perfectly shaped planting holes in your garden. Just push in the soil, fill with seed, cover and make the next perfect hole. Don’t have wine corks? Ask your friends to save a couple for you.

hummingbird on feeder

Make a hummingbird hot spot.

Hummingbirds get the energy they need from flower nectar and he sugar water they find in feeders. Here’s a super easy nectar recipe you can make: Mix together ¼ cup refined white sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat. Cool and place in feeder. You can keep the nectar in the fridge up to 5 days.

preserve herbs in ice cubes

Preserve your herbs.

Do you have extra herbs? You can preserve them by freezing them into ice cubes. Pick up some inexpensive, plastic ice cube trays. Place the chopped herbs in the tray and top the wells with neutral oil like canola or light olive oil. Freeze. Now you can enjoy the fresh flavors all season long.

trash can rain barrel

Collect some rain.

Create your own water supply and save on your water bill with these DIY rain barrels made from trash cans. Learn how to make it here. Instructions courtesy of FamilyHandyMan.com.

milk crate uses

Got milk crate?

Milk crates have a ton of great uses; here are two of our favorites. You can use a milk crate with a grid bottom to sift your soil. It also doubles as a veggie washer. Place your fresh-picked garden veggies in the crate and hose them off before bringing them inside.

toilet paper tube planters

Turn toilet paper tubes into planters.

Just because you’re at the end of your toilet paper roll doesn’t mean that’s the end of the cardboard tube inside. Use the small tubes to create biodegradable seedling planters. Just fold one end in and voilà!

popsicle stick plant markers

Popsicle stick plant markers.

Once you’ve finished that final lick on that Popsicle, don‘t throw the stick away. Recycle and use it as simple plant marker. There’s plenty of space to write what type of plant it is and it adds a little fun to your potted plant display.

painted pail planters

Painted pails.

Want to add some color to your garden or potted plants? It’s easy. Pick up small pails or pots and spray paint with your favorite color. You can add even more fun by painting different designs and shapes.

Egg shell seedling pots

Egg shell seedling pots.

To give seedlings a jump-start, plant them in little eggshell pots. Break the eggs and clear out the contents. Gently wash and dry. Take the clean eggshells and pierce the bottoms with a safety pin to create a drainage hole. Put the eggshells in the egg carton; add the soil and the seeds. Mist with water.

use plant markers to know where you grow

Know where you grow.

With so many things planted in your garden it can be hard keeping track of where everything is planted. Next time you plant bulbs or late-starting plants place plant markers next to them to avoid disturbing them when you begin spring soil preparation.

hydrating houseplants with mist or saucers

Hydrated plants are happy plants.

Central heating can dry the air in your home and cause damage to indoor plants. Mist houseplants regularly and stand them on a tray or saucer of pebbles filled with water to increase the humidity.

milk jug watering can

Watering can fun.

Turn a plastic milk jug into a simple watering can by poking holes in the lid. Presto, you have a DIY watering can for your garden!

ladder plant stand

Ladder up!

Give your plants a new place to hang out by using a ladder as a plant stand. You can also add wooden shelves for even more display space. If you don’t need that much display space, use a small step stool or regular stool.

whimsical plant display

Whimsical plant display.

The possibilities of creating a fun plant display are endless! Just look around you to get inspired. Use colorful baskets, rain boots, trays, teapots and more to create a one-of-a-kind display and garden conversation piece.

hanging plants on wooden fence

Fanciful fences.

A wooden fence makes the perfect backdrop for hanging garden decorations and even plants. Hang colorful potted pails on your fence using s-hooks for a fun look.

Create garden stakes with vintage glass

Vintage glass garden stakes.

Create garden stakes using vintage glass vases, plates, bowls and dishes. Turn a bud vase upside down & slip it on top of a wood dowel rod or copper pipe. Then use exterior glue to add the remaining pieces to the vase to complete your garden stake. 

Add some bling to your planters

Planter bling.

Recycle old jewelry and beads to create unique ornaments for your pots. Thread beads and trinkets onto a wire and wrap it around the top of the pot to create one-of-a-kind garden art!

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