Outdoor Projects from the Archives

By Kate Riley March 28, 2019

Raise your hand if you’re ready for warm weather! Spring is my favorite season, all the trees and plants are just starting to bloom, promising months of outdoor relaxation!

If you have a pergola or cabana, check out this tutorial I recently wrote for making your own outdoor grommet sheer curtains, find the step by step on the Arrow Fastener Projects Page.



I’ve also made outdoor grommet curtains from drop cloths, you can see that version in this older outdoor makeover post. I was going through the blog archives and up popped a few other other outdoor projects, so I thought I’d give an update on how they’ve held up over the years.

One of my favorite building projects was making these criss cross outdoor planters six years ago. They are still in my courtyard, but they have weathered for sure. It’s mostly just the paint that needs some maintenance, I need to sand it in the places where the paint has come off and give them another coat of primer + paint and they will look fresh again for another few seasons.



Two years ago we built this outdoor wall trellis with an X motif and it was the perfect project for adding both a decorative element and a functional trellis to a blank wall. Despite months of rain it still looks amazing and I’m excited for the vines to bloom again soon!



Back in 2012, we built this redwood potting bench and it still looks great, however it will need to be treated with some oil this spring to prevent the redwood from drying out or cracking in the future. (Notice how the wood has weathered over time in the picture below.)



I love this bench so much, but truth be told I use it more for summer entertaining then I do for its original purpose, it is the perfect surface for propping drinks and appetizers.



Waaaay back when I started blogging in 2009 I made these little cement tea light candleholders with plastic container molds and you know what? They’re still so awesome for outdoors! Find the step by step here.



Back in 2013 I had an idea for a custom coffee table in a rectangle shape so I designed this mosaic tile outdoor table, and while it looked great the first year I made the mistake of leaving it outdoors during the rainy season and it got moldy underneath then the little tiles on the edges started peeling off so I got rid of it. (Insert sad face). I still like the idea of this project, but if I was to recreate it I’d choose a more contemporary tile and leg design, and be sure to protect it from the elements in winter.



This gray and white planter bench was not something I built, I bought it in a raw wood state and then gave it the stain/paint treatment six years ago, but I still have it and it’s held up well! Thumbs up to the brand of gray stain I used, it has stood up to many years of weather and it looks great. I could give it another coat of water based polyurethane and replant it for spring!



This rocky bucket DIY was so popular when I made it back in 2012, it got featured on just about every garden website and surprise, I still have it! It’s held up all this time, so if you want to add a coastal vibe to your yard, grab a few sheets of river rock mosaic tile at your local home improvement store and give it a go!



I have a few new ideas for DIY outdoor projects to feature this spring and summer, stay tuned for those!


  1. A quote that I like “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!”

    Well, Kate thanks for sharing this post, me and my husband will surely implement these ideas this spring for sure.

  2. I also have an outdoor redwood potting bench that has held up well. What kind of oil would you use to refresh it? I use a food safe oil on a black walnut cutting board, would that work? Thanks

    • Hmmm not sure! I’m going to do some research for an outdoor protectant, I’ll be sure to report back!

  3. I enjoyed this recap, Kate! I have been with you for almost all of these posts and I remember almost of all of them. The only thing I’ve done myself was put together a potting bench and I agree with you – they are great for entertaining!

    • Thank you Kim! I really appreciate you following along all these years!! And I totally agree, that potting bench is makes a great bar for entertaining!

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