If there is one place it’s easy to flex your whimsy DIY muscle, it’s the backyard. The projects really are endless, everything from unique lighting ideas to creating your own furniture at a fraction of the cost of buying it new. We’ve highlighted some of our favourite D.IY projects here.

Ah, the humble garden gnome. These tiny, woodland creatures have quite a history. It stretches all the way back to the 19th century, when there were produced in Germany in the late 1800s. A German sculptor named Philip Griebel began a business where he molded ceramic into adorable little animals, which people used to decorate their homes and gardens. He branched out into actual gnomes after being inspired by the German myth of the “Gartenzwerg”, which translates to “garden dwarf”. The legends says that there were underground gnomes that came alive at night to protect the garden from evil. They lived underground during the day where they spent their time guarding their treasures, but if they were seen above ground in daylight, they immediately turned to stone.

Griebel started making the small, pointed hatted fellows that we know today, and they went to market in 1884 and became an instant success. Production of gnomes was halted during World War Two, and they were banned briefly in East Germany, but the gnomes prevailed, and their popularity spread to other countries where gardening was a popular activity. Griebels descendants actually still manufacture gnomes and there is a museum in Germany dedicated to their creation. >

Cement Block Furniture

cement block furniture

Concrete blocks can make for some unique DIY projects. You can use them to construct outdoor benches, planters and more. These DIYs focus on using concrete blocks to build outdoor seating. There are several different options you can try, and you can vary them all according to space and budget.

Patio Sofa

cement block patio furniture

If you don’t want to use the wooden beams, you could use even more concrete blocks and create a base which you put cushions on top of. One large foam cushion covered in fabric, plus some outdoor pillows would make this a super comfy seating area.

If space is a concern, you can use a set of six blocks and a thicker piece of wood to create a bench or table.

Cedar Pallet Succulent Planter

pallet planter

If you love the idea of having a nice garden, but don’t have the space to put one check out this DIY planter that lets you plant several succulents all in one convenient space. Check outdreamalittlebigger.com for full instructions on how to make this cute planter.

Optical Illusion Secret Garden

optical illusion garden

Check out this project from empressofdirt.net, there are full and detailed instructions on how to construct this super cool illusion for your own backyard!

Rope Ottoman

rope ottoman

If you are one of those people that keeps everything…maybe you have an old tire or two hanging around that you can now turn into a cute outdoor ottoman. Just check out stylemepretty.com to learn how.