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I love a good DIY project. I only wish I had more time to get through my pile of “to be DIY-ed” stuff in the garage. With the Summer coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to finish up any projects you’ve wanted to get done before the cold weather hits. Unless you live in a temperate climate, and you can spray paint outside year round…lucky duck you!
I’ve rounded up 7 End-of-Summer DIY projects you’ll want to get a move on.
1. Build a Terrarium
Feel like a gardener year-round by building your own terrarium. Here’s some great step-by-step instructions from Garden Gate Magazine on how to successfully build a terrarium and keep it alive. There’s a lot of “ingredients” that go into a terrarium, but they’re all necessary to keep it growing long-term.
I hear so many people saying succulents aren’t as easy to keep alive as Pinterest makes it seem…but that’s not true! From what I’ve seen, most people kill their succulents because they’re actually doing too much, specifically, watering too much. It makes sense to want to water a plant often, but succulents can go weeks without it. I water my terrariums twice a month. I also control the amount of sunlight they get, because too much makes them grow faster than I want.
2. Make Homemade Vanilla
First of all, homemade vanilla is so much better than anything you’ll find in the store. Second, it’s the easiest thing you’ll ever do. Finally, it makes the BEST Christmas gifts! However, you’ll have to start now to have them ready by December. I like to make a big batch, buy small bottles, these cute stickers, tie a ribbon on them, then gift to neighbors and coworkers.
To keep a larger amount for myself, I use these bottles which are super cute. The whole thing costs about $50, and you’ll have enough vanilla extract to last yourself at least a year (mine lasts almost two!), and enough for about 8-10 gifts.
You can find my tutorial here.
3. Plant an Indoor Herb Garden
When Summer comes to an end, so do our gardens. However with this DIY project, they don’t have to! I love my indoor herbs, I use them year-round. With some extra care they can thrive all winter on your windowsill. Casey, from The DIY Playbook, teaches you how in this post.
I struggled to keep indoor herbs alive, until I came across Casey’s blog and learned how to prune them! After I started implementing her techniques, the SAME basil plant has been thriving for just under a year. I used to have to replace them every other month or so from a greenhouse, not anymore! This is my personal favorite of all the end-of-Summer DIY projects, because I can keep my cooking fresh during the cold weather.
4. DIY Floating Shelves
Unless you have a dedicated painting/working room, paint projects in the Winter are a no-go. In Utah where I live, it’s often windy, snowy, or wet. If I don’t feel like getting high in the garage, then I have to wait for warm weather to do any painting or staining. Plus, they dry much faster in the late Summer sun.
These floating shelves are an excellent end-of-summer DIY project, to spruce up your decor before the holidays hit. The Sanding Sisters have a great tutorial here, My favorite brand and color of stain is Minwax, it’s high quality, I’ve never had it chip or wear off after years of use.
Here’s a shot of my floating shelves…
5. Update the Hardware in Your House
So this follows the painting theme from above. If you’re tired of your used and abused hardware–doorknobs, cupboard pulls, etc.–you can simply paint them. You can’t use just any paint though, it’s got to be this stuff. I’ve also used this brand on outdoor furniture, with great results.
Remodelaholic has an excellent tutorial here. Small details are what make a house a home. Besides, we all know how expensive it is to update things around the house. This DIY project is simple, quick (relatively), and inexpensive. Now’s the time to freshen up your house before cozying up to hibernate!
6. Make a DIY S’Mores Pot
S’Mores should be enjoyed year round. Blogger Elisabeth McKnight has this BRILLIANT idea for creating small, safe fires anywhere to roast S’Mores. Your kids, or kid at heart, will be happy to have a taste of Summer when it’s snowy outside. You don’t even need to leave the house because you can find terra cotta pots and charcoal on Amazon!
Of course, you could use the stove, but that’s just not the same, right? Please be certain to take proper precautions when doing this indoors. To prevent smoking up the house, I’d open a window nearby, keeping the flame on the windowsill.
7. DIY Twig Letters
For all you homesteading farmhouse mama’s, this is the end-of-summer DIY project for you. This is the cutest dang idea. It’s also a clever way to utilize some of that yard waste. There are so many ways to utilize this tutorial from The Happy Housie. You could do one big initial, several smaller initials, or you could make the shape of a Christmas tree or something festive.
Here’s the super cheap glue gun I use, and it’s been working for over three years.