13 achievable DIY projects for the long weekend

It's time to tick off all those jobs you've been avoiding!

Whether it’s odd-jobs that you’ve been putting off, or it’s just time for a refresh, there’s no better time than the Easter long weekend to add value to your home.

So from power tools and pressure washers to lawn mowers and vaccums, it's time to get your tools and get started.

Here are 10 creative and practical ideas that will give maximum impact for minimum effort.

1. Make your entry inviting

A cheery front door and a touch of landscaping can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal. It can be as simple as dressing the door with a new doorknob or a lick of paint, adding a welcome mat and some potted plants. You may also like to update your mailbox or install some outdoor lighting to illuminate the walkway. Use a pressure washer to clean your paving, a hedge trimmer to manicure any unruly hedges and don’t forget to clean those dirty windows, clear the driveway and the gutters.

2. Declutter

A simple declutter - inside and out - is the easiest way to turn your home into a haven. Remove the chaos by taking a look at what enhances the look of your home and bin, sell or donate the rest. Be ruthless! If you can’t bear to part with something, store it or upcycle it. If you have boxes of cards and letters, take photos so you can keep those precious memories.

3. Dress up an eating area with a fresh light fixture

Replacing an existing lighting fixture is an easy way to update up an indoor space.  Fluorescent overhead lights are practical, but don’t exactly create an inviting space so consider replacing with a statement fixture with a dimmer to create atmosphere, or if you’re renting, add a lamp. Also look at the natural light available to you and make the best of it with roll up shades or fresh new curtains.

4. Give your walls an instant lift

Creating a feature wall can give your home an instant lift – but you don’t need to commit to a messy paint job to update a wall – it can be as easy as investing in some self-adhesive wallpaper. It works like a giant sticker so it’s easy to apply, remove and reuse, and is perfect for renters or those looking to update an area with minimum fuss. Simply peel the decorative paper and adhere it to a primed wall. The beauty of this temporary solution is that if you change your mind it’s as simple as peeling off. 

Alternatively, wall art is a great way to inject instant personality – and you don’t need to limit yourself to prints or painting. Frame your personal history such as playbills, tickets, magazine covers, invitations, Polaroids, postcards, letters and cluster them together to create real impact. Get the kids involved and personalize old frames with jewelry and buttons with a hot glue gun.

5. Prepare your garden for winter

The Easter long weekend is the perfect time to start clearing your garden for the winter months. Use a leaf blower to collect fallen leaves, a string trimmer to manicure garden edges and roll up your sleeves to remove weeds and get rid of any dead plants.

Now is also the opportune time to tend to your grass. Rake vigorously to remove dead thatch, and then apply top dressing. This will feed your lawn while encouraging healthy grown to quickly repair bare patches. Invest in a high quality lawn mower to keep your lawn looking great all winter

6. Add some flagstone

If you’re looking to update an outside area with minimal fuss, consider flagstone. You can easily make an outdoor patio or a pathway in a weekend, and best of all there’s no mortar required. Throw in some potted plans and some colourful chairs and you have an instant backyard escape.

7. Revive old garden furniture

Before you go and spend a small fortune on new garden furniture, consider upcycling some unloved pieces. Whether it’s something that you already have, or a set that you’ve salvaged from a junk yard or second hand store - giving it a whole new lease of life can be as simple as prepping with a cordless sander, a base coat and a few licks of paint.

8. Add a garden feature

Water features are a fantastic way to create atmosphere. Trickling fountains, gushing waterfalls, restful ponds or even a simple birdbath will create instant atmosphere. If a water feature doesn’t appeal, you could also opt for a DIY bird feeder which can easily be put together with the help of some power tools, or something ornamental such as a statue, large stones, or an arbor or trellis with climbing plants.

9. Create happy critter habitats

Next time you’re in your garden, think about how you can create a harmonious environment for the ‘ecosystem’ of a garden by providing havens of shade, safety and water for butterflies, bees, birds, lizards and small mammals. An easy way to start is by installing a feeder or nesting home for birds - they’ll reward you by making a feast out of plant destroying slugs, snails and caterpillars.

You can also help out our bee and butterfly populations by providing a pesticide-free sanctuary and growing a diverse variety of native flowers they're particularly drawn to. Your local garden centre should be able to recommend what plants are best for your area.

10. Turn your scraps into gardeners gold

Whether you’re a renter or home owner, adding a compost bin to your garden is a project that can be completed in half a day and really makes sense. You’ll save money, send less to landfill and in a matter of months you’ll have a nutritious brew to improve soil texture, aeration and water retention.  Have a look at your city council’s website – many offer free courses on how to turn kitchen scraps, grass cuttings, leaves and garden waste into compost and getting started is as simple as picking up a compost bin from your local hardware store.

11. Foodscape your garden

Dedicate this weekend to turning your traditional landscape into a bounty of herbs, vegetables and fruit. You don’t even need a dedicated patch; just look for opportunities where you can plant vegetables and fruit trees in your existing garden. Visit your local garden centre for advice on the best crop for your garden. 

12. Install a vertical garden

Vertical gardens have proved to be one of the biggest horticultural trends over the last five years – and are perfect for renters, townhouses or anywhere else with limited space. Ready made wall hanging kits are widely available, are easy to install, and can also be pulled apart and easily moved. They are also a great way to create a garden feature or cover up an eyesore with colourful floral displays or walls of green. Select compact, low growing plants with shallow root systems, and be sure to group plants with similar water and fertilizer requirements together.

13. Add an outdoor fireplace

Want to enjoy year round outdoor living? An outdoor firepit could be the perfect solution for an alfresco area. Not only does it expand use of your outdoor living area, it creates a beautiful focal point. Fire pits – that are sunk into the ground or sit as a freestanding, open bowl for containing the fire - are a great option as they are portable and can be packed away in the warmer months. Or if your council doesn’t allow fires that generate smoke, a gas burning system may be the best option.

Before you start planning your outdoor fireplace, but sure to check with your local council rules as these can vary depending on where you live.

This article is brought to you by RYOBI

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