Long weekends are the perfect time to start (and finish) some DIY projects around your home. We all lead busy lives, so there are lots of projects we’d all love to work on, but never seem to have the time to get them done.

This coming long weekend, why not make a change and get a project finished!

Here are 8 DIY projects you can complete this long weekend.

1. Build an outdoor garden

Whether it’s vegetables, herbs, or flowers, or trees, there’s nothing like growing your own plants to enjoy. The good news is you don’t need to buy a house with a garden to become a green thumb. In fact, you don’t even need to break ground to build yourself a fabulous outdoor garden, which is great news for renters.

This long weekend, here are a couple of outdoor gardens you can knock up in a couple of hours:

A dug-in garden:

If you have a few square metres of ground, all you need to do is get digging and plant something! You could plant veggies, flowers, or a foresty mix of ferns, snake plants, and philodendrons. If your available ground is visible from the street, you’ll be adding something to your neighbourhood as well!

Front Yard Cottage With Garden Garden Own Garden

A no-dig garden:

You can also build a semi-permanent garden that doesn’t require digging, by laying out a few wooden sleepers. This is a good option if you don’t have soil available in your backyard. Bunnings has a great step-by-step guide to building a sleeper garden bed. If you’re a renter, make sure you run this by your landlord first!

An outdoor veggie garden made from timber sleepers, a great long weekend DIY project

A potted garden:

You don’t need a garden bed to be a gardener! If you’re a renter, or want to make a garden you can take with you when you move, spend this weekend sourcing pots to plant in. You can often get second hand pots online, but terracotta or plastic pots are also fairly inexpensive new. You can plant anything from herbs, trees, to climbers in a pot… the only limitation is your imagination!

Image

2. Create a vertical herb garden indoors

If you don’t have space outside, or you live in an apartment, you can still benefit from growing your own plants. Vertical gardens are a great way to add some healthy greenery to your home, or grow herbs you can use for cooking.

There are vertical garden kits you can buy, but it’s also a fairly easy DIY build. While there are several styles of vertical garden, they all have a few things in common:

  • Horizontal beams or slats fixed to a section of wall,
  • Pots to put your plants into (at least nine or so),
  • As many indoor appropriate plants as you have pots, and
  • A way to attach the pots to the slats (like a hook or shelf).

Check out this page for some inspiration, and get busy growing!

Vertical Gardens in an indoor home

Image: Wicker Paradise
 

3. Pick up some new furniture

If you’ve just moved into a place, or if your idea of minimalism involves milk crates, a little furniture can really add some flash! For a bonus activity, head to IKEA and pick up a flat pack piece you can assemble yourself.

If you’re keen to be a little more frugal, why not check out what’s available on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace? Grab a GoGet van and pick up a bargain!

Man loading a flat pack into a GoGet van in an IKEA car park - car share vs car ownership

4. Upcycle indoors

Why let someone else tell you what furniture has to be? Useful furniture can be made from anything, from discarded pallets to 40 gallon drums! Upcycling is common these days, and you’ll find lots of inspiration online (like here and here).

If you’re looking for inspiration and materials, drop into a community reuse centre in your city. These centres source and sell still useful stuff that would otherwise go to the tip. Here are a few reuse centres you can check out:

Pallet furniture seats and tables, a great DIY project for the long weekend

5. DIY Decor

Craft and upcycling doesn’t have to stop with furniture! By getting crafty and and creative, you can update your home’s decor by reusing an old widget, or by breaking out the tools and making something from scratch.

The possibilities are endless, but here are some ways you could get started:

  • Sew pockets onto your couch’s pillow cases,
  • Use any sort of container as a vase, from Mason jars to test tubes,
  • Find some wood from nearby bush, then carve and lacquer it into something useful like a candle holder, book end, or chopping board,
  • Turn an old chopping board into a key rack, or
  • Add wallpaper to something that isn’t a wall, like a door, wardrobe, chest of drawers, the list goes on!

A living room with IKEA storage options

6. Transform a garage into a rustic living space

So you’ve joined GoGet, sold your car, and now have a spare garage you’re not using? Why not make it an extra living space?

To make a proper room from a garage you’ll need to be a qualified builder and maybe have a mate who’s a sparky. But if you’re happy with a rustic vibe, there’s no need to overthink it. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Throw down a big rug to start. Carpet off-cuts and excess AstroTurf are also great options for floor coverings.
  • Pick up a couch online, or from a council cleanup… just make sure it’s clean if you opt for the latter option.
  • Run an extension cable from another room if you don’t have power in the garage already.
  • Add a table, TV, stereo, and booze rack and you’re starting to make yourself a decent adult rumpus room!

Of course if you have kids, you could let them play in it. Or you could not. If you’re after more suggestions, here’s 10 ways you could repurpose your garage.

7. Tidy the garden 

Transitional seasons are the perfect time to clean up the yard. It’s not so hot that standing outside for a minute makes you redder than your roses, but it’s not so cold that gardening makes you want to swap your ground cover with a doona cover.

Whether it’s weeding, mowing, fertilising, or trimming back bougainvillea (ideally all the way), a few hours in the garden now can save you needing to do emergency work when the weather is less than ideal.

8. Build a kitchen in your backyard

Why not use the long weekend to set up your backyard up with a new cooking appliance, either home-made or store bought?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Wood-fire pizza oven. There’s nothing like a great wood-fired pizza, especially when you can cook one yourself! Pick up a kit from most hardware or outdoors shops, or build one yourself with a few bags of cement.
  • Outdoor fire place. If you live in the outer suburbs you might be able to get away with an outdoor fireplace. From a ring of stones to a brick barbeque nook, a DIY fireplace is achievable for even the least skilled home-handy-person.
  • Smoker. Feel like some American style, slow cooked brisket? An outdoor smoker might be just the ticket. You can purchase one for a crazy cheap price these days, from around $50 or so! Otherwise, you can build a smoker with a rubbish bin or a couple of aluminium pans and bulldog clips.

Just DIY it this long weekend!

Whether you’re seasoned handy folk or a bit of a klutz, there are plenty of DIY projects you can complete around your home over a long weekend. Whatever you do, make sure you do plenty of research ahead of time to avoid doing something dangerous, and get help if you need it. After all, DIY long weekends are more fun with friends!

About Tim Beau Bennett

Tim is an ex-journalist and radio presenter, and has been a professional writer for over a decade. He regularly writes about technology, lifestyle, and smart cities, and has written for news site including the ABC, SBS, and Australian Financial Review.