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If you’re planning a Halloween or bonfire night party in your garden or want to entertain in style over Christmas and New Year, this illuminated outdoor bar is the ideal place to serve your guests. The bar is wall-mounted and can be closed away when not in use. To get the party started, open the drop-down bar, flick on the fairy lights and fill the cabinet with bottles, glasses and your favourite cocktail ingredients.

What you’ll need

To do this DIY project you’ll need the following tools:

Hand saw

Wrecking bar

Hammer

Palm sander

Drill with drill bits

Holesaw kit

Stapler

In addition, these materials will be needed:

3 x Identical pallets

Assorted sandpaper to fit your palm sander in course, medium and fine grits

1.5m length of  4mm x 32mm steel chain

Rust-Oleum chalkboard spray paint or brush-on chalkboard paint

1 x Rust-Oleum Metallic copper spray

Solar fairy lights in warm white or amber

2 x Coach bolts

Screws

Eye hooks

Carabiners

Cost, time and difficulty

The approximate cost of materials for this project is £35. You can access the shopping cart of some of the tools and materials used through this link. Depending on your DIY skills, this project shouldn’t take longer 5 hours to complete.

 

Step 1

Use a wrecking bar to carefully remove the planks of wood from all 3 pallets.

 

Attach 3 of the side supports together to create an L shape and screw together. Repeat with another 3 side supports. These will form the upright corners at the back of the bar.

Step 2

Assemble the back of the bar with the new L-shape supports on the corners. You only need to cover the bottom half of the bar (which will be visible from the inside) so position 5 planks closer together to remove gaps and screw them into the corner supports. Add one plank across the top for structural integrity and add a central support. Leaving the gap on the back gives you access to add the lights later.

Step 3

Turn the back section of the bar over and attach 5 planks at the top of the bar. Again, position the planks close together.

Using a piece of cardboard or paper stapled to the top of the front, mark out the BAR letters and decide where the lights will be. Using a drill bit slightly larger than fairy light bulbs, drill the holes through the cardboard and through the wood on the front of the bar.

Step 4

Measure the distance from the base of the bar to the plank section at the top and cut down 2 side supports to fit this measurement. These will be the supports for the drop-down bar. Lay out the planks close together and add the side supports, positioning them set in from the ends of the planks. This will ensure that the drop-down panel will fit inside the corner supports of the bar.

Step 5

Cut away an angle from the bottom of the corner supports at the front of the bar.

Place the drop-down section in position on the front of the bar and drill from the side through the corner support and the drop-down support. Add a coach bolt through the hole to act as the hinge. Repeat on the other side.

Step 6

Open the drop-down section and clad the top side with the planks. Use a tank cutter to cut holes along the back of the top layer. The holes need to be the size of your beer glasses, bottles or wine glasses, to allow them to sit inside the holes when the bar is finished. With the drop-down section closed, you’ll see a gap on the underside of the bar. Attach an extra support piece to fill the gap. This will create a ‘shelf’ behind the drop-down section when it is open.

Step 7

Sand down all the rough edges and paint the back planks and the hole section on the drop-down with copper spray paint.

Use chalkboard paint (either brush-on or spray paint) to paint the top, front and sides. This will allow you to use chalk to add the words ‘birthday’, ‘cocktail’ or any phrase you like to the top of the BAR sign.

Step 8

 

When the paint is dry, use an eye hook and carabiner to attach a chain to the inside edge of the corner support. Add another eye hook and carabiner to the front of the drop-down section and clip on the chain. To close the bar, add 2 eye hooks on each side and close with 2 carabiners. Working from the back of the bar, poke the fairy lights through the holes. Turn the bar over and paint a fine line of metallic paint between each fairy light to spell out the word BAR.

As with all our projects, please take care while using tools, materials and equipment.

This article was written by Cassie Fairy. You can find Cassie’s blog ‘My Thrifty Life’ at Cassiefairy.com, where she shares daily blog posts about her home DIY projects, upcycled finds, low-cost recipes and plenty of inspiration for living a lovely life on a budget.

 

12 Easy And Cheap DIY Outdoor Fire Pit Ideas

 

Outdoor Storage Bench Tutorial

 

Here are some Halloween door decorations which will literally throw you off of your hinges! All you need is a door, and some ideas. Oh wait, we’ve got that one covered for you. 😉

Use these terrifyingly brilliant ideas to decorate the outside of your home in order to prepare for visitors this Halloween – and let them know whether they’re in for a trick or a treat…

https://www.practicallyfunctional.com/diy-halloween-door-decoration/

We love the Tim Burton ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ spin on this design, an ultimate spooky classic! Do you recon your neighbours could handle it?

https://www.michaels.com/monster-door-d%C3%A3%C2%A9cor/B_82014.html

This monstrosity is sure to be bagging a few frights and giggles.

http://twindragonflydesigns.com/jack-skellington-door-free-printable/

This design only uses only one sheet of black paper, and is high on the scare scale, easy as pie!

https://alwaystheholidays.com/mummy-door-decorations/

Can you wrap your head around how this one was done? Don’t knock it till you try it.

http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/halloween-googly-eye-door

The key is to make sure that people think they are being watched…

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/10/13/welcome-trick-or-treaters-9-easy-diy-front-door-decorations-for-halloween_n_8285058.html

This creepy number is not exactly what we’d call a-door-able. Also this door is not a door since it’s slightly a-jar?

http://www.homejelly.com/how-to-make-a-halloween-paper-bag-door-monster/

Shut the front door! You mean, that’s not a real monster?

https://davelowe.blogspot.com/2014/10/countdown-to-halloween-day-28-zombie.html?spref=pi

If there’s a zombie apocalypse I wouldn’t trust this boarded up door. They’re practically dying to get to you through those gaps!

We hope that instead of shutting out the idea of decorating your door, your brain is wide open to the potentials of door decorations! If you wood catch my drift…

If you have a go yourself, please use the hashtag #ManoMaker we would love to see some of your ghouly transformations. 🙂

 

6 Easy Homemade Halloween Decorations

DIY Pumpkin Planter and How to Grow Your Own

 

Many homeowners have a lawnmower, but few know how to use it and often end up causing more damage to the grass by making simple mistakes! Read our lawn mowing tips to make sure that you cut the lawn perfectly, every time!

Lawn Mowing Tips and Tricks

thehandymano mano lawn mowing tips feature cover photo

Don’t set your mower too low!

Many don’t realise that you only need to cut the top third of the glass blades at any time, this sounds like a waste of time as you’ll have to cut it again sooner, but, longer grass blades develop a deeper root system which mean that it is easier for the roots to find water. If you cut the grass too low, you risk ‘scalping’ the lawn, which means that the roots will focus on growing upwards rather than downwards and growing longer roots. It also means that you’re more likely to get weeds, as taller grass blades shade the soil and prevent weed seeds from sprouting.

Choose your time wisely!

Many people mow their lawn on a hot afternoon, but, this can cause a lot of damage to both the lawn and the mower! We recommend mowing in early evening when the lawn is dry, as this allows enough time for the lawn to recover before the afternoon heat the following day. The lawn has to be dry otherwise you’ll risk getting an uneven trim and any wet clippings can clog your mower and, if not raked up, can end up thrown out onto your grass and result in patchy, brown spots!

Stay sharp!

For the cleanest cut every time you mow you lawn, make sure that you keep an eye on your blades and sharpen or replace them as necessary. Dull blades can do more harm than good by tearing up the grass and causing their edges to brown,leaving you with an unhappy lawn! You can find many tutorials online about how to sharpen mower blades or you can head to your local hardware store or a sharpening service.

How often?

Many people choose to mow their lawns based on a routine, ie every weekend. However, this can cause problems for your lawn, and one of our most important lawn mowing tips is to mow it as of when it seems like it needs cutting. Make sure to cut it less frequently in early spring as the grass takes longer to grow at this time of year. In late spring and summer, you may need to mow it more often (such as every week) which is possible as long as you’re never cutting off more than a third of the grass blades. In summer, we recommend leaving the grass clippings on the lawn as they can help retain moisture and add in more nutrients!

Take your time

If you mow the lawn too fast then you’re likely to miss parts of the lawn and create more work for yourself in the long run. If you rush your job, then you’re more likely to have an uneven cut and leave behind poorly mulched clippings, even if it’s dry grass!

Got green fingers for more advice? Try our other articles: 

Types of Shrubs – Seasonal Guide

Top Nine Low Maintenance Flowers

Looking for a pergola for your garden or patio but can’t get your budget to stretch far enough? This tutorial will take you step by step through how to build a DIY pergola easily and without spending too much. You can even match it to the rest of your garden furniture!

With the arrival of the good weather it’s important to have shade to protect you from too much sun (yes, even in the UK… 🙂 ) . Pergolas, arbors, or gazebos can be ideal, however, it can sometimes be difficult to find the one you want for the price that suits the size and style of your garden or patio.

To get the perfect pergola for your patio, why not make your own DIY pergola and match it to the rest of your outdoor furniture?

Tools and Materials

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola tools needed

To make a DIY pergola such as the one in this tutorial, you will need the following tools and materials:

Cost, time and difficulty

To make your own wooden pergola for your patio or garden will cost you less than £150, which is a huge saving when compared to the price of a shop-bought one. If you need any of the tools and materials that have been used here, you can find some of them in this sample shopping basket.

However, this DIY project is easier than it looks at first sight, although, it does require a certain level of experience when it comes to carrying out DIY jobs. That’s why we’ve given this project a medium level of difficulty.

In addition, you will need a couple of days work to finish your pergola:

  • The first day is used to prepare the structure and treat the wood.
  • The second day is devoted to assembling the pergola. To do so, you will need to ask a few friends to help out.

You should also keep in mind that this project needs to be done in good weather, otherwise it will take much longer to set up.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola finished

How to make a wooden DIY pergola

Building a DIY pergola may seem like a complex project given its size. But, trust us, it’s a lot easier than it looks!

Step 1: Sand the wood

The first step is to sand the wooden posts and crossbeams with an orbital sander. This will produce a much more uniform surface and remove any imperfections. When sanding, it is recommended to sand with the grain (rather than against it).

On a side note, sanding helps to open the pores of the wood and so prepare it for the application of treatments that protect it from different weather conditions.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola sand wood

Step 2: Cut the crossbeams at an angle

Next, cut the ends of the crossbeams using the mitre saw or a handsaw and mitre box. In this specific case, the side beams have been cut to achieve a length of 2.2 metres. The rest of the crossbeams will keep their original 2.4m length.

In addition, to bring a rustic touch to the pergola, the edges have been bevelled. To do this, leave a margin of 3cm at the top of the beams and cut the rest at angle of 45º.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola cut wood

Step 3: Make the notches to insert the crossbeams

The next step is to make a couple of notches in each crossbeam to slot them onto the pergola’s side beams. The steps are as follows:

  1. Mark the notch in pencil, leaving a margin of 3cm from the top and 15cm from the side. To help, you can use a wooden template with the same width as the crossbeams.
  2. Use the jigsaw to cut the sides of the slot.
  3. With a chisel and hammer, tap on the top part of the notch until the surplus wood falls away.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola insert cross beams

Step 4: Treat and colour the wood

Next, you should apply protection and colour to the wood.

When applying the varnish, the following points should be taken into account:

  • You will need a minimum of two coats to allow the product to penetrate the wood fully and adequately protect it.
  • To achieve greater impregnability, it should be applied by brush.
  • You can choose between different colours and shades to match your terrace or deck, as varnish can be decorative as well as protective.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola treat and colour wood

Step 5: Attach the bases of the post

Once the varnish is dry, you will have to attach the galvanised post bases to one end of each post. These bases allow you to screw the posts to the floor of your terrace or deck, so that they are properly secured.

All you need to do is cap them on the end of the wooden posts using the rubber mallet, then screw them in with hexagonal-head coach screws.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola attach bases

Step 6: Assemble the DIY pergola on your terrace

This final step involves assembling the pergola. This will require the help of several people because, due to its size, the structure is difficult to move. The steps to follow are:

  1. Slot the crossbeams and the sides of the pergola together, leaving the same space between each crossbeam (in our case, 50cm).
  2. Drill the top to make it easier to insert the coach screws and prevent the wood from splitting when screwing in the screws.
  3. Turn the roof of the pergola over and screw the posts to the inner side of each corner.
  4. Turn it over again, with the help of friends or family (in our case we needed 4 people).
  5. Reposition the pergola in its end location and screw the post bases to the floor of your terrace, deck or patio.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola assemble

Et voila! You’ve gone and done it! As this is a huge project, we would love to see yoru take on it! Send us photos on social media @manomano.co.uk 😉

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola finishedthehandymano mano mano DIY pergola finished drinking friends

This article was written by: Bricoydeco and translated. Mari Luz authors the blog ‘Bricoydeco’, she is a DIY fanatic, lover of recycling and customising furniture. Her passion is giving a second chance to turn once forgotten things into unique pieces!

Not ready to put your hammer down, yet? Check out our other DIY projects!

How to Make a Pallet Planter

How To Make Your Own Pallet Coffee Table

DIY Pallet Garden Table

Feeling like getting into gardening this Summer but have no idea where to start? Save money with our garden ideas on a budget to give you an idea on how not to splash out on the wrong things! Go on, we bee-leaf in you 😉

Garden Ideas on a Budget

Reduce, reuse, recycle…

There are many things around the house that you can use in your garden! To save a few pennies, we’ve came up with a few suggestions to get you started:

-Plastic food containers or egg carton tray to plant seeds
-Bricks or lumber to frame garden beds
-Use some old fencing to create your own compost bin
-Create little soil trays out of empty toilet rolls and plant seeds until roots start showing
-Turn a mason jar upside down and use it as a little greenhouse for seedlings and plants
-Make your own weedkiller by spraying the weeds with white distilled vinegar and reapplying on any new growth until the plants die

thehandymano mano garden ideas on a budget seedling

 

Growing cheap, radishing vegetables

Make your own compost with veg peelings, weeds, egg shells and general garden waste.

Or, if you’re not feeling like making your own, hunt down local tree-cutting companies as they often have big piles of mulch on hand that they give away for free. However, sometimes these freebies aren’t always the greatest quality (due to shredded trash or seeds of invasive species, for example) so make sure that you double-check it before using it!

Grow new vegetables using scraps! Not only are you cutting down on food waste, but you can easily regrow vegetables such as celery by placing the bottoms of the stalks in water and planting them into the ground once they grow roots

Worried about growing too much or too little at once? We recommend starting small and growing crops vertically to save space. Don’t forget that you can always give extra food to your family and friends if you accidentally grow an abundance of it!

To save money on your water bill, make the most of British weather by collecting rainwater in a container and use that to water your plants

thehandymano mano garden ideas on a budget vegetables grown in basket

Give it a new look, for less!

Did you know that gravel is much more affordable than paving and can completely change the look of your garden? To lay it in place mark out the area, scrape away loose soil or grass, pin down a permeable membrane to prevent weeds from pushing through and spread gravel over it. A large bag will cover up to 20 square metres!

We suggest colour coordinating a corner or a large section of your garden! Spruce up old planters and furniture by spray painting them with a metal paint to make your garden look coordinated and less cluttered.

Clean your patio! It sounds simple, but scrubbing your concrete patio with a hose or bucket of soapy water can give it a completely new look that it’s been dying to have for a long time

Consider adding a mirror to your garden! Regardless of the size of your lawn, a mirror can brighten up a dull corner or make the space look a lot bigger!

If you want to add a lot of greenery to your garden, and fast, we suggest growing something leafy such as mint. Simply plant one or two plants about 2 feet apart in moist soil and watch them grow to be 1 or 2 feet tall and cover the area below them!

thehandymano mano garden ideas on a budget furniture colour paint

Hungry for more garden hacks? We’ve got your back 😉

Fortunately, they are garden ideas on a budget, too!

Garden Design Ideas – Furniture Inspiration

 

Garden Design – Spring Garden Planter Ideas