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backyard

DIY Fire Pit ~ Backyard Budget Decor

It is finally summer and I am so excited!! Why? Because my cabin fever stent is over and my family and I can finally get into our back yard. I have been staring out my windows all winter scheming and planning new and improved ways to make it more hospitable. I’m also about making it easier to care for (can I get an amen?). Today is all about our forlorn fire pit. It has served us well over the last four years, but today is demo time. Follow along as we show you how to create your very own DIY fire pit. pssst…giveaway alert!!

Top View of Messy Fire Pit | prodigalpieces.com

Before we get started, I wanted to give you a bit of history on this fire pit. Four years ago I shared this original post detailing how blessed I was to be able to create it for JC on Father’s Day without spending a dime. All the materials were sourced from Read more

Our Patio Reveal

The time has finally come. Are you ready for a tour of our patio makoever? We are!! First, I want to give a huge shout-out to my hubby and kids. Without them this massive undertaking would not have happened. We’ve poured countless hours outside of our normal workload building and creating a family space we can now all enjoy. Second, I would to thank my sponsors, DFO Home and HomeRight. Their awesome products (see previous post for details) have made this makeover even better than imagined.

Let the tour begin! It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t take you back to where it all started…with the hand-me-down patio set my parents gave me. You can read more on the before here.

This DIY patio design with pergola features a rustic and repurposed touches with a harvest table, faux fireplace, and curtains for privacy. All completed by one couple on a budget by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Here’s what we started with…

This DIY patio design with pergola features a rustic and repurposed touches with a harvest table, faux fireplace, and curtains for privacy. All completed by one couple on a budget by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

…and the after…

This DIY patio design with pergola features a rustic and repurposed touches with a harvest table, faux fireplace, and curtains for privacy. All completed by one couple on a budget by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Quite the difference eh? I can’t tell how much more we are using this space now that it’s inviting and family centered. Read more

Backyard Fun ~ DIY Style #1 ~ Sand Table

Summer is quickly coming to an end, but there is still plenty of time left to enjoy the beautiful weather and outdoors.  Previously, I had shared with you a couple of backyard projects, the fire pit and my mud bar that were created by using reclaimed materials.  This time, my project is not made with reclaimed wood, but most certainly could be.

Check out one of our favorite backyard projects….the sand table!

DIY Sensory Fun Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Not only was this easy to build, but you could use reclaimed materials as well – decking, fence posts, or even turn a pallet upside down (I would have done that if I would have thought of it sooner!).  We wanted a place where the kids could play without sitting in the sand or creating a community litter box (you know it happens!).  We also wanted it large enough that all our gang could build their sand castles, highways, and sand pies.  Ours measures 50.5″L x 36″W x 24″H.  This table is over 2 years old and is still going strong, even after 5 kids!
DIY Sensory Fun Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesIf you want to build your own, the layout is simple.  The construction is similar to a deck with a frame and decking attached.  Here is a view from below:
DIY Sensory Fun Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesBasic 2×4 frame with decking on top and 4×4’s for the legs, reinforcing with carriage bolts.
DIY Sensory Fun Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
BUT how does the sand stay in, you ask?
Naugahyde!  (Otherwise known as marine grade vinyl.)  You can find it on ebay or in specialty marine stores.  You see, I wanted a table where the sand stays in, but can also have the option of removing the sand so that it can be used with water as well!  {Pump fist – yes!}
DIY Sensory Fun Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
DIY Sensory Fun Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesThe naugahyde is attached with a stapler by folding in the top edge and folding up the corners – no cuts made to the naugahyde at all.  When buying the fabric, just measure the bottom surface, add the height of the walls (4 sides) to your dimensions, plus an inch for folding under.  Just make sure your staples are well-driven in so your little guys don’t catch themselves on it.  You can view my tips here – it’s the same as adding upholstery.  We’ve never had a problem.

As for keeping out the critters, we just use a small tarp and bungees to keep the rain and neighborhood furry friends out.  The main problem you will have is keeping your kids out of it once you get it built!

DIY Sensory Fun Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesThis table nd our mud bar are by far the most used and most loved toys we have.  Your kids will love it!

DIY Sensory Fun Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DIY Sensory Fun Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesGot questions?  Please feel free to ask – I’d love to help!  We are working on putting together a diagrammed tutorial, so become a follower to get all the details.

More DIY projects:

Build Mud Bar Play Station out of Reclaimed Wood by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DIY Farmhouse Cotton Branches by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Budget Fire Pit from Reclaimed Brick

Welcome back to those returning to see the next installation of the Backyard Fun Series!  If you’re just joining in, you can catch up on the first post about making a Mud Bar. Now the first project was for the kids. (secretly it’s for you so you can catch up on that book you’ve been trying to finish while they’re up to their elbows in fun – ha!) How about something for the family?  For a while, I had wanted a fire pit so my family and I could make memories, just like I did as a kid.  What better than a budget fire pit?  You might be saying…okay, how is that reclaimed?

diy backyard fire pit from reclaimed materials via Prodigal Pieces
If you look closely, there isn’t a single item I had to purchase to make this whole set.  All was found junking. (You can read about my other junking adventures here and here.)

Father’s Day was coming and I was feverishly trying to save up some money to buy brick.  It just wasn’t happening.  While on my city cleanup junking run, I came upon a neighbor of mine as he was putting red brick out for city cleanup.  He even asked me if I wanted his landscaping rocks….of course I do!  God is good!  Do you know I had just enough brick to make this entire set?

diy backyard fire pit from reclaimed materials via Prodigal Pieces
To make the tall table in the picture above, simply stack the brick in a pattern to make it sturdy (3 east-west, 1 north-south, then reverse in next layer).  The other piece holding our roasting sticks is a scrap piece of drainage pipe set on a couple of bricks for stability.
diy backyard fire pit from reclaimed materials via Prodigal Pieces
 I made three different benches using cinder blocks, fence posts, and some scrap 2×4’s…all from city cleanup.  You could use any wood you have on hand.
diy backyard fire pit from reclaimed materials via Prodigal Pieces

To make the pit, lay out the bricks in a size circle you want (mine is about 3ft diameter). Then take sidewalk chalk and trace the outside of the ring.  Remove the bricks temporarily and grab a basic garden shovel (or a sod shovel if you have one…a square nose shovel) and take up the sod.  Then, build your ring to about 3 bricks high, overlapping the seams.diy backyard fire pit from reclaimed materials via Prodigal Pieces

safety note: red brick is fine to use in a fire pit as long as you don’t plan on building large or very hot fires.  It can pop if it gets too hot, so if you plan on building large fires, then you better go to a home improvement store and purchase fire brick.  We’ve used ours for years with no problems, but we only roast small items over small fires.  It’s also safe to place the pit 12-20ft. away from any building.

We also built another low profile table for little ones, and even scored a plastic table – perfect for containing the food items we use.
You can easily make one of these if you know where to look.  Craigslist free items (or put a wanted post), Freecycle (put a wanted post again), city cleanup, and even word of mouth works.  Is there a neighbor who has a pile of unwanted brick from a building project or fallen chimney? Or lumber they would love for someone to take off their hands?diy backyard fire pit from reclaimed materials via Prodigal PiecesDon’t waste any more time or money trying to figure out how to build your very own budget fire pit.  There are materials just waiting to be found!
Budget Backyard Fire Pit from Reclaimed Materials via Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

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How to Freshen Up Your Outdoor Decor with Repurposed Planters and Succulents by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comUnblelievable! A Repurposed Bookcase Headboard becomes 3 New Projects, Including a Bench, Wall Bin, and Shelf by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

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