The worst of winter is over, and we’ve been cooped up indoors for far too long. It’s time to go outside and enjoy the fresh air! Last time, in part one of our series on senior-friendly DIY projects, we talked about projects seniors can do indoors.
For part two, these outdoor DIY projects are the perfect excuse for spending time in the sun, and you’ll be able to enjoy your creations all spring and summer long.
Build a raised bed gardenAll you need for a raised bed garden is a raised bed. You can create your own out of wood, or you you can get creative with your containers. A metal tub, wooden crate or a big pot can be perfect for small gardens! Just remember to put some holes in the bottom for drainage.
Create plantersSmall planters can go anywhere: your garden, your patio or in your kitchen. You can plant individual flowers or herbs in these little containers.
Here are some fun ways to create planters:
• Yogurt containers are great for upcycling. Wash them and use your creative talents to give them a coat of paint. • Mason jars look great in kitchens. They’re perfect for keeping individual herbs within easy reach. • Paint cans have lots of room for roots, and their outsides are ideal for decorating. Paint them, glue on decorations or wrap in fabric. Let your creativity shine! • Tea cups and mugs are fun ways to show off succulent gardens. Put those dusty cups in your cupboard to good use! They look great lined up on windowsills. • Rubber rain boots don’t do any good sitting unused in the closet. Fill them with dirt and plant some flowers in them. Rain boots and flowers are a colorful and quirky combination.
Create a backyard theaterConstruct a projector screen with a plain white sheet tied taut between two branches or pieces of PVC pipe. Grab a projector, some cushions and some popcorn, and you will be ready for a moonlit movie night.
Reuse an old chandelierDo you have an old chandelier lying around? Hang it in your garden as a bird feeder! Add bowls on each branch where the lights used to be and paint the whole thing to look like one piece. Fill the bowls with birdseed and sit back to watch the neighborhood birds. The chandelier will add elegance to your garden and your feathered visitors will love eating in style.
Fill the cracksWeeds love to grow where they are not wanted—like in the cracks in your cement. Fill the cracks with some concrete crack filler to prevent those weeds from sprouting up.
Use basket hooksBasket hooks are perfect for small spaces. Flower baskets are a classic way to brighten your garden or patio. To literally give off light, hang small solar lights. You can find them for cheap in your local dollar or garden store, and they look like classy sconces hanging off of the hooks.
Clean your windowsGet a fresh start this spring. Now that the sun is shining and the birds are singing you will want to look outside as much as possible! Take some time to clean your windows so you can enjoy the outdoors when you are inside.
Seal your woodOnce the snow and rain is gone, you should take the time to care for your wooden tables and patios. Give them a good scrubbing and then paint them with sealant. While you are at it, you can stain or paint them for a brand-new look.
Spruce up your potsThere is nothing wrong with terracotta pots, but there’s nothing exciting about them either. You can easily pretty them up with paint. This is a great project to do with the grandchildren, too!
Update your mailboxYour mailbox and house numbers are your house’s first impression. Make it a good one! You can find house numbers in a variety of styles and colors in your local home improvement store. As for your mailbox, you could get a new one, or you can paint and decorate your existing one. If you have a freestanding mailbox, try creating a little flower garden around its base.
Enjoy the outdoorsGet outside and stretch your legs. Have fun with these projects and enjoy the warmer months!
Shayne Fitz-Coy is the Co-CEO of Alert-1, an aging-in-place technology company with offices nationwide. Shayne is an NAHB Certified Aging in Place Specialist with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harvard College and a Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business