5 Art Projects to Personalize Your Outdoor Space

5 Art Projects to Personalize Your Outdoor Space

Liven up a dull outdoor space with color and fabrics to make it uniquely yours.

By: Kelly Lee-Creel

Having an outdoor space to call your own can be a dream come true for renters and homeowners alike. Perhaps you have visions of backyard barbecues, picnics or just relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book.

If you’re woken up from those daydreams when you look out your window to a dull, boring yard, here are five ways to wake up your space with personalized art projects. Each of these ideas can be accomplished in a weekend and will dramatically change the way you feel about your yard.

DIY Outdoor Rug
Treating your patio or backyard as an extra room is just plain smart — adding square footage to your home and luring your guests and you outdoors.

An outdoor rug can help ground the space and make your patio furniture look intentional. The least expensive varieties are simple jute or woven mats. Why not personalize one with exterior grade paint? Tape off stripes, chevrons or your own custom pattern to make an inexpensive rug look higher end.

Leave a Note In Moss
If you live in a damp climate where ferns and mosses flourish, you can use the humidity to your advantage. Mix up some live moss and plain yogurt in a blender (not one you will use again for food!) to create a paintable liquid.

Paint the mixture on old planters, walls — or even spell out a secret message.

Soften Up Your Space
Fabric is one of the simplest ways to dress up a space. Pillows, quilts and curtains can all add a layer of softness and help cozy up the outside.

To create removable curtains, attach cup hooks to a wooden awning. Use iron-on hem tape or a sewing machine to hem the fabrics to the desired length. Craft and fabric stores sell grommets, which you can attach to the top of your curtain with a hammer.


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When working with fabrics you have two choices: You can select the more expensive, fade-proof outdoor fabrics that won’t mildew or use regular indoor fabrics and bring the pillows and cushions inside at the end of the day. Be warned, though, less-expensive fabric sheers and curtains may only last through a season or two — which may be just fine if you have found a fabric bargain or like to change your décor often.

Say It In Cement
Cement candleholders and planters make perfect outdoor decorations. They will not rust, melt or blow away!

To make your own cement creation, you will need some fine-cement mix and some old containers or paper cups you won’t mind throwing away. First, find two containers (the outside shape of the planter and then one to put in the middle, where the plant will be). Mix the cement according to the package’s instructions and fill the larger container. Place the smaller container inside and leave it alone. Once the cement is warm and totally set, remove it from the mold.

Personalized Planters
Planter boxes and pots can begin to look tired after a while. Try creating a change with a coat of paint.

Experiment with bold, saturated colors or patterns (even polka-dots!). Your outdoor space, like any room, can benefit from a cohesive color palette — so look around and ask yourself, what’s missing? Look for colors that complement or contrast with the shades in your yard — and be sure to consider how your palette will look at different times of day.

Perhaps you will add a deep marine blue, an emerald green, or a hit of red to give your outdoor space that extra something special. And because it’s only paint, you can further customize it to match seasons or holidays, too.

There are all types of things you can do to make your outdoor space something to be proud of. And if you really start thinking outside the box, you can make it uniquely you, too.

Kelly is a fabric and craft designer in Seattle and the founder of Ever Kelly, a popular craft blog where she posts projects and tutorials for a vibrant community of online crafters and parents. Her line of fabrics and patterns from Andover Fabrics hit store shelves in 2012.

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I love those ideas! Another way I personalize our outdoor space is by using permanent paint markers to write out verses that inspire and encourage on various large stones in our yard. It's a pleasure to walk through our yard and see these and remind me of things important to me.

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What cute ideas and so easy!

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