How to Give Your Outdoor Living Space a Facelift with Repurposed Items

rustic bar

Most homeowners are always looking for new ways to improve their landscaping and backyard. It provides a place to relax, play, and entertain, as well as adding value to the home itself while boosting the appearance of the home. A little curbside appeal goes a long way in beautifying a home. However, improving your outdoor living space can be expensive, especially if you plan to hire someone else to do all the work. Then again, some people are very creative and talented enough to do most of the work themselves–even if you haven’t tried in the past, it doesn’t mean you can’t now.

Along with flowers, trees, and foliage, there are many items you can add to your yard to make it a great place where you want to entertain. I am going to share some ideas of repurposing items to create the perfect backyard oasis for tons of fun and relaxation outside. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never thought of yourself as handy or crafty; the outdoors are meant to be rustic, and having the items you create come out looking a little rough around the edges is just fine.

Build Your Own Table

Having more than one standard patio table outside is vital when you’re having multiple guests over. To create a rustic outdoor space, large wire spools have made great tables for years. However, if you want to update the look, you can cut a square piece of wood for the top and instantly give it a more current look. You can make the table larger to fit more people, or make multiple tables and keep them small to use throughout the yard.

Another table idea is to use an old tree stump as the base and cut a top for it out of wood. End tables can be created by cleaning up old shipping crates, painting or staining them, and then flipping them over.

Whichever type of table you choose to create, make sure to stain and seal the pieces to protect them from the elements. If it gets too weathered, sand it down to stain and seal again or use a tablecloth throughout the year.

Decorative Fencing

If you want to fence off part of your yard to hide an air conditioning unit or where you store your garbage cans, try using some old barn wood to build a rustic and unique cedar fence. You can plant flowers around the bottom edge or hang a few pots over the top to soften the look.

If you don’t know where to find wood, you can often find great pieces laying out in and around deserted country roads free for the taking.

Instead of wood, you can also use wire in between fence posts and grow beautiful plants along it to provide the same privacy as a fence just with a little more going on. Inspiration for fencing can come from anywhere, such as reading an article about a Milwaukee fence installer and running with small ideas, turning them into big ones that can end up becoming your favorite aspects of your backyard renovation.

Mosey on Up to the Bar

You can take wire spools and tree stumps that I mentioned above to create a great outdoor bar for entertaining. Just elongate the top and put a front on it and build shelves behind it and you will have a great rustic bar.

If you don’t like using wire spools or tree stumps, another way to make a bar is to ‘plant’ a couple tall pipes or fence posts into the ground and create a top and front just as above.

Adding Ambiance with a Fire Pit

By planting a large, old tire rim halfway into the ground and placing several rocks around the exterior of it for character and safety, you will have a near-instant outdoor fire pit that works well, looks great, and costs practically nothing. Another item you could use is an old washing machine drum.

If you don’t want to bother with metal rims, then you can still create a nice pit out of large rocks and bricks alone, although you will need a lot more of them than when using them to accentuate and add character around a rim.

Artwork for the Outdoors

Here is where you can get real creative. There are many items you can repurpose into art that will work for the outdoors, such as the following:

  • Tennis rackets as frames
  • Abstract wire used to create sculptures and wall hangings
  • Birdcage as a hanging flower plant or candle holder
  • Old skateboards as sconces, either to hang or set on the table

Art is all a matter of taste and creativity, so just use your imagination and you are sure to create something phenomenal.

Light it Up

Of course, if you plan on entertaining outside after dark, you should consider lighting so people can see, as well as provide a nice atmosphere. Some of the suggestions I am about to make will require some supervision when using them. A flame of any sort should never be left unattended for any length of time.

Now that we have had our impromptu safety lesson, there are some wonderful ideas for lighting out there. For example, light bulbs can be made into small oil lamps and placed in a stand that will hold them upright. These are small, so it might require a few of them to provide ample light depending on your area.

An old birdcage can make a great lantern when placing a candle inside it. You can also consider flameless candles for safety, as well as for convenience because you won’t have to keep bringing them inside when you aren’t using them.

Finally, you may have once thought that white icicle lights are only for the holidays, but wrapping a deck in them all year round provides beautiful ambiance and ample lighting for any outdoor get-together.

Photo by elysemj/Pinterest

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