August 24, 2021
While what remains of August is a back-to-school frenzy, in the coming weeks we’ll have more time to think about upcycling projects for outdoors. We found a few genius ideas that take advantage of Colorado’s mostly mild climate – which if we can believe the Farmer’s Almanac (and they’ve been right so far this year!) – we should have pleasant temps well into October.
One idea are these cement leaves, which are made by pressing a LARGE, textured leaf into Quikcrete®, and then using disposable gloves, apply and shape the cement. We found a site that experimented with color tinting cement for projects like these, using latex paint, and while the result is more abstract and random than monochromatic, it does add a welcome punch of color.
We could see using these to direct water away from your foundation, placing them in staggered stacks under a downspout. Or, like Keri Sanders at HGTV, she created cement leaves to use indoors as “plates” or bowls for tabletop fruit arrangements.
Upcycled Projects for Entertaining Ideas
If you entertain outside a lot, consider this outdoor bar from Sam Henderson at HGTV – made from eight to 10 recycled wood pallets. With some screws, paint, glue and three feet of 30-pound chain, you can create a hanging bar, complete with fold-down shelf and room for plenty of glasses and spirits!
For chilly suppers outside, here’s a way to keep cozy by adding a little ambiance and heat with a ceramic pot-turned-tabletop fire pit. All it takes is a large ceramic planter, some lava rocks and three 2.8-ounce fuel cans (plus a few refills) and then all you need is a long-handled lighter. You can create this upcycle project in a couple of hours or less – depending how far you have to travel to gather all the materials.
A few wood beams and cinder blocks can combine to create sturdy bench seating with a little effort (the blocks are heavy – 38 pounds apiece – and so are the timbers!).
And you can recycle wine or interesting-looking liquor bottles, fill them with citronella oil and create torches to keep the bugs at bay, while beautifully lighting the way for nighttime patio enjoyment.
Upcycled Project Ideas for Kids
This kiddie car wash makes us laugh – it’s really the little boy’s face that’s so fun to see – but what a genius idea to help kids find another fun way to beat the heat this summer. With lengths of PVC pipe, pool noodles, sponges and party tablecloths cut into strips to mimic a car wash’s brushes, kids will spend hours cycling through this car wash. Just attach a hose to one open end of the PVC pipe and this car wash is ready for business!
What a great way to celebrate the close of summer!
Finally – and also a great idea for Labor Day Weekend, you can turn a canvas tarp into a backyard competition game and toss almost anything through different-shaped, cut-out openings. If you have a softball, tennis ball pickleball, football or frisbee.
They’ll all work as projectiles, and you can paint numbers next to the openings, from easiest to hit, to the hardest and pass out prizes for the highest scores.
As Summer Winds Down in Southshore!
Upcycling can be so rewarding, and so can living in the exclusive and amenity-rich master-planned community of Southshore. Check out the brand new homes from Taylor Morrison, Century Communities, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers, with ranch and two-story design options. We call it Life at the Lake because 800 acres of water awaits residents just a few minutes from the neighborhoods. Priced from the $400s, you’ll find Southshore is away from the hub-bub but close to everything you need.