Spending time outside in the summer should be sheer bliss. But if your back yard isn’t up to snuff, being outside can end up being a real downer. Whether you’ve neglected your prime warm weather hangout area for years, or have just moved into a new home, giving your back yard a boost can do wonders for your mood—and doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Tackling these weekend projects is a creative way to add charm to your bit of the outdoors. Take your back yard from drab to fab in just two days with one of these ten simple projects.

1. Beat the Heat

Keep your cool no matter how hot it is outside with an easy-to-install patio mister kit. Misters work wonders to improve the livability of your outdoor space during hot summer months and are easy to install if you’re looking for a DIY project. You can also hire a professional who can install a more robust, full-scale system.

2. Think Vertical

Vertical planters require little maintenance besides occasional watering, but create much more drama than an ordinary potted plant. Try planting strawberries or herbs instead of flowers for an edible vertical garden.

3. Take a Load Off

No matter how gorgeous your backyard, if you don’t have comfortable seating, it’s unlikely you’ll want to spend much time there. For an inexpensive solution that can adapt to any space, try a DIY modular sectional.

4. Test the Waters

Have an unused corner or awkward space in your backyard? Consider incorporating a soothing water feature. For around $300, you can create a breathtaking stone pond in just a few days.

5. Go Under Cover

Even if you love your neighbors, having privacy in your back yard is important. To discourage prying eyes, install a privacy fence that borders your patio area or yard. While wood is a classic choice, non-traditional materials like corrugated steel can add a modern edge to your backyard décor.

6. Get Fired Up

A fire pit creates an instant focal point, and the warmth of the fire will make your backyard a comfortable hangout area even into the fall and winter months. No matter the size or design of your yard, it’s easy to find the perfect DIY fire pit.

7. Make a Drink Station

A durable, attractive outdoor table is a must for every patio, but what about one that also keeps your drinks cold? Make a versatile beer and wine cooler table that’s sure to impress guests this BBQ season.

8. Throw Some Shade

As wonderful as it feels to bask in the sunshine, sometimes you need a break. Kick back and relax in the shade with a stylish, portable DIY umbrella stand planter.

9. Set a Path

Revamp your backyard walkways with stone or concrete pavers and landscaping pebbles. Use lava rocks instead of pebbles for a burst of color, or even make uniquely-shaped pavers out of quick-dry cement.

10. Hide it Away

Mask unavoidable eyesores, like your A/C unit or watering hose, by building a decorative case. You may not be able to eliminate ugly items, but you can easily hide them behind something beautiful.

Top Image Credit: Charles and Hudson