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Ever met a kid who doesn’t like toys?

I bet you haven’t. Kids love toys, that’s 100 % for sure. They always ask for new ones because they just can’t ever have enough.

There are times that parents would try to not spoil their kids by limiting the toys they buy for them and that’s good.

But did you know that giving toys to kids has benefits?

Although we are aware of how kids are fascinated by toys, it’s quite strange to think why some of them prefer to play with objects that belong to adults like a TV remote, keys, plastic bottles, and many more.

They are probably curious whenever they see things that are new to their eyes.

Another great thing is when kids want to try some tasks or jobs that adults do.

This is the reason why children are into pretend play. When they want to experience being a cashier, they can have toy cash registers.

When kids aspire to become a chef, it’s very easy to find some toy kitchen. For kids who love to experience doing construction activities, construction toy trucks are always available online.

Now, though, these kids can seriously level up their playing skills.

There’s actually an amazing place for kids where they can experience real construction equipment like bulldozers, drum-rollers, and many other types of machinery.

It’s at Diggerland Amusement Park and it’s located in West Berlin, New Jersey.

A beautiful weekend to spend @diggerlandusa. We're learning how to use real construction equipment in a safe and fun…

They are not toys, either. They are absolutely real but they are safe for kids.

Just remember that there are age and height requirements on every ride.

If the kid’s height doesn’t meet the requirement to ride the machinery, it’s still possible for them to experience them so long as they have their parents or guardian with them.

#diggerlandusa is open for 🤗 #mothersday this weekend from 11 am till 6 pm. Grab the family and treat Mom to a…

If your kids have a height below 36 inches, they can try micro diggers. This is perfect if they badly want to try to operate these huge machines.

The height requirement usually ranges from 36 inches to 48 inches but you can check more details here.

Diggerland Amusement Park has a lot more to offer.

We are releasing 🎊2021 season passes🎊 for a limited time and limited quantity this week! Get the early notification by…

Aside from construction equipment, there are more attractions that you could expect once you visit this amazing place.

There are kiddie rides, video arcades, and water attractions. There are actually many things to look forward to in this heavenly park.

It’s not only for kids.

There are also activities and attractions that are available for adults.

So it’s really a perfect place for family.

Once your loved ones go there, it’s sure that you would all enjoy it because of what they offer.

Diggerland has many visitors probably because they are also very generous in giving promos. According to their website, they offer 30% off for their season pass sale. From $159.95, it’s now at $129.95. That’s already a good deal.

With this one, you would get unlimited visits to the park and other discounts on their attractions.

A heavenly place

When kids and even adults discover this place, this will surely be added to their favorites.

It’s beautiful and safe for everyone.

Parents just need to be sure of keeping an eye on their kids whenever they try the big equipment. Although it’s fun, safety should always be the priority.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Michael Dabu is a contributor at Parenting Isn't Easy.

This content was originally published here.

If your yard needs an extreme makeover, improve the soil first. This sounds tough, but compost makes it easy. It’s the ultimate soil amendment – experienced gardeners call it “black gold.” And you can make it for free! All it takes is a blend of yard and kitchen waste.

Unlike sprawling compost piles, this bin keeps the contents neatly contained. Air can circulate freely, which is essential for breaking down the ingredients, and the bin opens on any side, so it’s super-easy to turn the pile. Once you learn how to compost, you’ll be sorry you didn’t start doing it sooner!

Materials:

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Step 1

Cut each 2×4 in half to make 16 3-foot pieces. Cut a 3-1/2-inch x 3/4-inch deep notch (a rabbet) in both ends of each piece. You can do this on a table saw or with a circular saw. Make several close cuts (about 1/8 inch apart) across the grain in the notched section. Use a hammer and chisel to break out the wood between these cuts. Smooth with a rasp.

Step 2

Fit notched ends together to make four 3-foot-square frames. Drill holes for two carriage bolts in the opposite corners of each notch. Use construction adhesive in each joint before assembling. The nuts should face the outside so the bolts won’t catch on your clothes when you’re turning the pile.

Step 3

Use tin snips to cut the hardware cloth into four 3-foot-square sections. Tack each corner of the hardware cloth to the frame with poultry wire staples. Then staple around the frame every 2 inches.

Step 4

Connect two frames with two door hinges, then put two hook-and-eye gate latches on the other ends. Repeat this step for the remaining two frames. Stand the frames to form a square and latch the sections together.

Step 5

Put your bin in a level, well-drained area in full sun, with good air-circulation. Add equal parts brown and green wastes.

To aerate the pile, mix or toss frequently with a garden fork, or poke air holes into it with a broom handle. Keep the pile moist, like a sponge, but not soaking wet.

The process is finished when the bottom of the pile has dark, rich soil that crumbles in your hand.

This content was originally published here.

Gardening can be expensive! From buying fertile soil to your favorite heirloom seeds, there’s a long list of gear you need to grow a bountiful, productive garden.

Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank in order to create the lush-looking oasis of your dreams. You just need to think outside the box.

One of the easiest ways to reduce your gardening budget is to look for free gardening containers. While you should never skimp on seeds or soil – this can really make or break your gardening success! – looking for free or cheap containers can help you lower your costs and will make it easier for you to garden on mere pennies.

Here are 13 places you can get free gardening containers – they don’t have to look unattractive, either! 

1. Your Own Recycling

Without a doubt, one of the first places you should look when you’re trying to score some free gardening containers is in your own trash and recycling. There are all kinds of materials and containers you can use for gardening if you’re only willing to get creative!

Some of the best things you can use as planting containers include:

2. Give Pallets a Try

Just about every business will have a boatload of pallets to get rid of from time to time, so pallets, despite being a bit bulky and cumbersome to move, offer gardeners a great resource in the form of free gardening containers.

Check with local stores to see if they have any pallets they want to get rid of or check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for people who are hoping to offload them. You can plant just about anything in a pallet, but some of the best things to grow include lettuce and beans, along with any kind of crop that can be grown vertically.

3. Dumpsters

Don’t let pride get in your way – the dumpster is a great place to score some free gardening containers! Check ones next to plant nurseries or similar locations, though, or you’ll be wasting your time (plus, it could get kind of gross!).

4. Restaurants

Restaurants, cafeterias, and other places that serve up lots of food have all kinds of containers that they throw out on a daily basis. Usually, they’ll be willing to give them to you free of charge – it doesn’t hurt them any! From take-out containers to cartons used to store food, you’ll find everything you could ever want at a restaurant.

Just make sure you poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage before you plant.

5. Recycling Centers

Often,r recycling centers will have stockpiles of gardening containers and other durable materials you can use in your garden. Just head to the section of the recycling center where plastic goods are deposited. You can also check for tin cans, which can serve as good gardening containers, too.

If you head to the recycling center to get some free stuff, just make sure you ask permission first.

6. Use an Old Wagon Wheel

If you have an old wagon wheel lying around, this will make for a planter that’s not only attractive, but functional, too. Wagon wheels are great for growing just about any kind of crop, but especially things like succulents and herbs. You can use an old bicycle rim if you don’t have a wagon wheel!

7. Bakeries

Think about all the frosting, flour, sugar, and other bulk items that bakeries go through on a daily basis! You can score some free gardening containers by swinging by your local bakery and seeing what they may be willing to part with.

8. Craigslist

Craigslist, along with its sister, Facebook Marketplace, both offer a great source of information for people hoping to score free gardening containers. When you’re searching on Craigslist, just check the “free” section – you’re sure to find something there. You can also just type in whatever it is you are searching for (this works for both Facebook Marketplace as well as Craigslist) and see what pops up.

Of course, when you’re trying to score free stuff on either of these websites, it’s important that you trust your gut and meet the person you’re buying from in a safe location. Don’t go alone, either!

9. Freecycle

Freecycle is another website where you can score some free containers. It can be a bit hit or miss depending on where you live (Freecycle isn’t as actively used in some communities, particularly rural ones, as it is in others). You’ll want to act quickly, too – stuff tends to disappear in a hurry on this website!

10. The Big Box Stores

Sure, you can head to Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy a few planting containers – but why not see if they have anything they can give away to you for free instead?

In fact, these large stores present thrifty gardeners with one of the best opportunities to score free gardening containers. After all, they go through huge quantities of plants and have to put containers somewhere!

Check with your local department stores as well as nearby nurseries and garden centers to see if they have any containers they wouldn’t mind parting with. You might get turned away, but you might score some free goodies – it’s worth a shot!

11. Try Old Wine Corks

If you’re growing something small, like miniature succulents or tiny, fragile herbs, you can also try growing them out of wine corks. You’ll just have to hollow out some planting room in the cork first. There won’t be a lot of room in there for roots, so you’ll want to pick something that is shallowly rooted – that’s why succulents work great.

12. Use Old Dishes and Pots

You can use just about any kind of dish or pot as a planting container – some of the best include old teapots, colanders, cooking pans, and decorative bowls. They’ll look absolutely whimsical! Just make sure you drill holes for drainage, of course.

13. What About Repurposing?

As long as you are willing to think outside the box, you can use just about anything you might have lying around as a planting container.

Some of the most creative ideas include:

What To Look for When Shopping for Free Gardening Containers

If you’re new to the gardening scene, know that there is no shortage of free containers. You can learn more about vegetables and fruits you can grow in containers.

There’s also no single container that’s better suited for garden use than another. It doesn’t matter whether the container is long or short, wide or narrow, square or round – all are perfectly suited to gardening. Plus, you can use a container of just about any shape or size. From wood to poetry, ceramic to fiberglass, all are fine to use in the garden.

However, you will want to make sure that your garden containers are suited to the plants you want to grow. They should have drainage holes (or if they don’t, be made out of a material that will allow you to drill holes into it without breaking apart). If your containers don’t have adequate drainage, they aren’t going to be able to foster plant life with any kind of success.

Otherwise, get creative! You can find containers all over the place, from yard sales to thrift stores – you can even use your grocery store leftovers! Whatever the case may be, there’s no need to shell out hundreds of dollars for new planting containers each season. Just consider some of these 13 places you can get free gardening containers instead. Make sure to learn other nifty gardening tips that’ll make your garden a smarter place.

This content was originally published here.

It might be helpful to grab a couple of cardboard boxes of varying sizes as you are sorting to help group and contain smaller items that are laying around like screws, paintbrushes, sandpaper, etc. Don't rush into purchasing storage bins quite yet until you have this step completed. This way you will be better able to assess the size and sturdiness of the container needed once you have items grouped together in piles.

I think it goes without saying, but the less you have in your garage the better and more organized it will be! If you can try to get rid of or donate anything that doesn't fit into your sorting categories this will help free up space and make your garage feel less cluttered. If you know this is something you struggle with perhaps enlist the help of a friend or family member that can help you go through your pile of miscellaneous items and pare it down. Or you can ask yourself a few simple questions:

Do I use this regularly or plan to in the near future? If you haven't in the last 6 months, with the exception of seasonal items, chances are you probably don't need it.

Does the item bring you joy? If it makes you feel guilty, sad, inadequate, etc it likely doesn't deserve a spot in your home.

Is the item worth the time/space/energy it takes up in your life? Everything we own requires our time and energy. We spend our money on it, spend our time caring for it, maintaining it, and storing it, therefore each item we decide to keep should be adding some kind of value to our lives.

Whew! Now that the hard part is done it's time to figure out the best layout to organize everything back into the garage. It might be helpful to grab some graph paper to sketch out your layout plan and to take notes on any pegboardshooksshelvesslatwallstrack systemscabinets, or organizational bins you might need to purchase to maximize your available space. Deciding how to best organize your stuff can be a challenging task, but can easily be achieved if you really use your vertical space wisely and really aim to get things off the floor and onto a shelf or some sort of hanging system. One quick tip, try to avoid using too many DIY garage organization hacks. Don't get me wrong there are some good ideas out there, but some ideas can end up really being an eyesore.

Remember to place things within easy reach of where they will be used. For example, tools near the tool bench or sports equipment and outdoor toys in a storage bin low enough for kids to reach. Don't forget to take advantage of overhead space for seasonal items if needed, as well. Keep the items you need to access regularly at eye level so it's easy to grab and stuff you don't reach for regularly store overhead or on a higher shelf so it's out of the way!

Once you've relocated all your items into their new home in the garage you might think your work is done! Hang tight, there are a couple more things you'll want to do to ensure that all your hard work wasn't wasted time and energy.

First, label bins and shelves as much as possible to make it really easy for everyone in your household to know where things go so they can be put away after use. If you are using a pegboard system it might be a good idea once you have all your items hung to outline them so it is easy to know where to put them away and everything stays organized.

Lastly, set an organizing or cleaning schedule. Ideally, everything would find its way back to its place after use, but that is just not reality. Just like inside your home, it is going to take some type of maintenance schedule to keep this space tidy & clean. How often you use the space for projects or use the items within it will determine how often it might need a little upkeep. We'd recommend setting an alarm on your calendar to do this. Let's face it, if you don't put a reminder in your calendar it is likely not going to happen.

We hope this post has helped take the overwhelm out of organizing the garage and given you a plan or at least a place to start! Now, crank up the volume on one of your favorite playlists, roll up your sleeves, and get to work!

This content was originally published here.

Cleaning Your Garage

This DIY project combines a large, raised garden bed with a privacy wall to block out your neighbor’s view of your garden while providing a good size growing space. I have provided plans for building 6×3 and 8×4 beds.

For this project, I used pressure-treated lumber. The Best Wood for Raised Garden Beds has more information on sustainable, long-lasting wood options.

DIY Raised Garden Bed With Privacy Wall

As you can tell by the name of the project, I built this to have both a tall, raised garden bed and find a way to provide some privacy in my back garden.

The plan is simple: build a raised bed with 4×4 posts and make the two back posts tall enough to support horizontal fence boards, essentially forming a privacy wall.

After building the original box, I liked the privacy aspect so much, I added “wings” on either side for extra privacy. I staggered their placement to keep it stable and add interest.

I’m an amateur woodworker and often build things without following plans, just figuring it out as I go. But, so many of you have written to request details since I originally shared this so I have drawn up some plans.

My actual raised bed has a footprint of 8×4-feet. Many of you have asked for 6×3 specs so I have included material lists for both sizes.

Table of Contents

This video shows an overview of how I built mine:

I used pressure-treated wood that comes in a ‘sienna’ brown color.

To avoid wasting wood, I try to create my designs working with standard lumber sizes so there are as few waste cuts as possible. For this project it means creating a box to match your fence board lengths.

Be sure to measure your boards before you start. It’s expected that actual lumber sizes are different than the common names we use for them (e.g. a ‘2×4’ is actually 1.5 x 3.5), but the lengths can vary too, even in the same lot. Check all your boards before you build. The plan includes corner covers to conceal the fence board ends so that will hide any variances around the box.

DISCLAIMER
I’ve done my best to provide accurate measurements but I cannot guarantee them. Please double check before buying or cutting lumber.

Lumber Names Versus Actual Sizes

These are the actual dimensions of the lumber I used. Check yours to confirm the sizes (length, width, and thickness).

1×6 Fence boards

2×8 Fence boards

2x4s

4×4 posts

Tools and Hardware

8x4x2 raised bed with 8-foot privacy wall

1×6 fence boards

2×8 fence boards

2x4s

4×4 posts

3Prepare Your Location

Before You Build

Prepare the location where you will be placing the box. You will need 6×3-feet or 8×4-feet of level ground, depending on which size box you build.

You will also need enough soil to fill the box. I had recently built a pond and used some of the soil from the excavation plus compost for the top 12-inches.

4Assembly

As you work, consider where you will attach screws both for maximum hold and best appearance. For some of the boards, you can attach the screws from inside to conceal them.

The difference between a good build and a bad one is how square and level it is! Check your work as you go. It will look professionally-built if you do this.

Assemble the Front and Back Sections

The footprint of the raised bed is 6-feet by 3-feet (for Option 1).

The two tall 4×4 posts go at the back corners and the two short 4×4 posts go at the front.

The posts will be inset 1.5-inches (the width of a 2×8) to allow room for the fence boards to neatly butt up against each other.

Work from the bottom up by lining up the bottom of the first board with the bottom of each post. Add the remaining two boards.

Remember where you’ve placed your screws so you don’t run into them when attaching the corner covers.

Repeat for back section using the tall 4x4s.  

The front and back box sections also have vertical 2x4s at their middle points to further support the horizontal boards.

Mark the middle of each unit and attach the 2x4s from the inside so the screws are not visible on the outer fence boards.

Join the Front and Back Section By Attaching the Side Boards

With the front and back sections assembled, it’s time to assemble the box by attaching the shorter horizontal boards on each side.

Add the side boards, starting from the bottom up, attaching them precisely between the front and back sections. They will fit nicely behind the overhang of the long front and back boards.

Complete both sides.

Now you have the basic box.

Attach Back Support Board (for Mitered Top)

Attach a 2×4 across top back of box. The top edge of the board should line up with the top edge of the top horizontal board. The purpose of this board is to add extra support for the mitered top we’ll add later.

Attach Corner Covers

Attach the front corner covers first, placing the front boards 5/8 beyond the edges of the front section.

Add side covers, butting each one up behind the front cover overhangs.

For back corners, use the shorter pieces (18.25-inches) at the back, attaching each one right below the 2×4 support piece with their edges aligned with the corners.

Finish by adding the final two corner pieces (21.75-inches) at back of sides, extending 5/8-inch beyond the box to end flush with the back corner pieces.

Attach Mitered Tops

Plan your mitered boards so they conceal the perimeter of the top of the box on all sides including the front 2×4 posts.

The measurements I’ve provided are approximate.

If you don’t want to miter them, butted square ends are fine too.

I lined my raised bed with landscape fabric because I had some on hand. It may help extend the life of the box—I hope. If you want to do this, staple it in place before adding the mitered tops.

Attach Privacy Boards

Use a spare 2x4x6 to secure the back posts in position so you can add the privacy boards without worrying about movement.

Starting at the top of the tall posts, attach your fence boards. Line up the top edge of the top board with the top edges of the posts and be sure they extend (overhang) equal distances from the post edges. Double check the boards are level before securing them.

Attach remaining boards, working your way down. Leave a slight gap to allow for board expansion from humidity.

You may also want to add a 2×4 along the middle, back of the privacy wall to prevent warping.

5Extend the Privacy Wall

These next photos show the evolution of my privacy wall.

The “wings” are staggered which provides better stability and a less boxy appearance.

The wing boards are attached to the back of the main box posts but in front of their own posts.

I also varied the heights and widths to add more interest.

For some of the post supports (next picture) I made cylinders of hardware cloth, tied shut with cable ties, and filled with stones.

Here is the final project:

6Alternate Design

I cannot tell you how fun it is when someone emails me to share photos of a project inspired by something I have shown on this site.

Helen Prier did a beautiful job on her version of these raised beds with privacy walls. It’s a huge undertaking, but so worthwhile if you have a yard lacking character and privacy.

And it is a fabulous way to workaround any fence height restrictions simply by building a little higher within your own property.

A few details to note:

Here are a few photos Helen shared of the building process.

1Before

This first photo shows a common situation: a good size garden space but no real definition to the space.

2During Construction

The taller raised beds were built first, complete with the tall 4×4 support posts.

3Adding Privacy Boards

Notice how the horizontal privacy boards are placed? They alternate between the front and back side of the 4×4 posts. It’s a good way to break up the effect so it looks more interesting than a solid wall of wood the whole way across.

4Ready for Planting

You can see it was big job but wow, it looks great. The alternating wall placements, different stain colors, and varying box sizes really transform it into something special.

And what a fabulous place to get really creative with art and plants.

Thank you, Helen for sharing your wonderful project. Well done!

~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛

This content was originally published here.

Homeowners renovate their homes for different purposes. You may want to add on the resale value of your house, enhance the environment or lighten the mood inside. Anyone refurbishing a house has a constant question in mind, ‘do I do it myself, or hire professionals?’. When it comes to home renovations, doing it by yourself is not easy. At times you will need to hire professionals for some tasks or the entire project.

But, hiring professionals can turn out to be too expensive. Most people will end up working on their own and involve professionals when they can’t do something. The incentive towards DIY renovations is saving an extra coin unlike hiring professionals. But the main question is, ‘is it worth it?’. Let us look into some factors to consider in the decision and the pros and cons of DIY renovation.

Considerations to make before a DIY renovation;

Plan and commitment

Before diving into DIY remodeling, have a plan. Assess whether you have the skills and motivation to go through the project. The motivation includes research, trips to the store, buying the tools, and working to the end. Some do not want the hassle, but they also want to save money. It is this indecisive attitude that leads to project failure.

Do you have enough time to set aside for the project? Before starting the project, assess the previous few days and track how you use your time. You can track using a productivity app like Toggl or noting everything down. From your schedule, identify the activities that you must do. If they take up a majority of your time, DIY may not be your best option. You don’t want to start a project that you cannot finish.

Saving cost

Most people assume that DIY renovation will save on costs. Yet, if you will have to buy all the tools at a go, you may rethink that idea. Most companies give a quote of their services on their websites or upon inquiry via email. Compare the quote with the cost of the tools and decide depending on the price and convenience.

Pros and Cons of DIY renovation

For most professionals, the labor quotation is usually between $30 to $130 per hour. Depending on the number of hours they work, the price can go up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. Doing it yourself will mean exchanging the labor cost with your time. If you have the time, then DIY is a good way to save some coins.

Professionals work within a given period. If the renovation is not a necessity, this may not be your best option. DIY renovating allows you to work within your timeline. If something urgent comes up, you can attend to it and push the renovation to another day.

Skill improvement

When starting, you are most likely unaware of most of the things you are about to do. The research and practical application allow you to learn a lot of skills. The project can also turn into a family bonding moment where your kids can learn a few fixes. At the end of it, you will have a lot more knowledge than you ever did.

Being unaware of a lot of things leaves room for mistakes. Sometimes, your DIY renovation may not end up like the images and YouTube videos in your research. Even though you get to learn, you might bear an extra cost to fix an error. If it is too big, the cost advantage that you enjoyed becomes null. Even worse, you may make an irreversible error.

Possible injury

DIY renovation poses danger to you and your helpers. The danger may be due to ignorance or failure. For instance, an electric failure or loosened door hinges may cause serious injury. If the renovation poses danger, it is better to entrust professionals. They most likely have experience and knowledge on how to handle such cases.

When should you consider DIY home renovations?

Typically, DIY home renovation projects are ideal for smaller and fewer complex projects, particularly for people with minimal experience. Projects like painting your bedroom, installing kitchen shelves, replacing light bulbs, among others are some of the most recommended DIY projects. You can learn how to tackle these projects at YouTube and other DIY sites. 

However, if you’ve ever done some home renovations before, you can handle other tasks like light demolition. Things like drywall demolitions, or replacing or removing doors are a bit technical, but you can handle them. However, if you aren’t confident about doing some light demolitions, consider seeking professional assistance. 

According to the home renovation contractors from AFS General, Florida, if you choose to start your DIY project, make sure that you set a budget for the project. When doing so, you should set your budget on the higher side, but be extra careful to avoid going over your budget. Therefore, if you opt to do a DIY home renovation, make sure that you factor in all the costs in advance. That means the cost for the materials and tools required. 

If you opt to hire a professional contractor, try to do some work like removing the carpet in your living room and bedrooms since the contractor might charge you for that. However, you need to be firm and avoid getting services that you didn’t order or budget for. 

This content was originally published here.

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I have never been so ready to throw some hot dogs on the grill and have myself a summer BBQ with my best friends. That being said, I’ve spent the last few months online shopping my little heart out, so I’m in need of some cheap barbecue ideas that will help my party look amazing without costing me a million dollars. Fortunately, this is far from impossible, as you can create the ultimate Fourth of July barbecue without spending much money at all. Even with decorations, cocktails, food and party games, there are ways to save your cash while still hosting an incredible celebration.

From creative ways to dress up your table to little details that are sure to delight all your guests, you can totally create an at-home barbecue that still feels festive for cheap. For decor, you can snag some cute banners to hang or even try filling up some clear balloons with red, white and blue confetti for a fun accent that works either indoors or outdoors. When it comes to the food you’ll be serving, stock up on BBQ basics and ask friends to bring some sides. Also, make sure to find a cute ensemble that will look oh-so-good in all of the pictures you’re about to post on Instagram. Oh—and try making some delicious cocktails and batch drink recipes for everyone to enjoy. See what I mean? The possibilities are endless—and if you plan accordingly, you don’t have to spend a ton of coin.

To help get you started, we’ve rounded up some easy at-home barbecue ideas that will make any party amazing (while also saving you major dollars). It doesn’t take much to make your next summer barbecue memorable and these ideas make it easier—and cheaper—than you could have ever imagined. Fire up the grill, because this will be one Fourth of July you won’t soon forget. Read on to shop all of our essentials. 

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

Courtesy of FirstKitchen.

1. Put Up Fun & Inexpensive Decor

Whether you’re outside or inside, decorations make a difference at any party. Luckily, you don’t have to spend much to create a super cute space. By hanging up a cute pennant garland, string lights or even streamers, you can take your barbecue to the next level in seconds. We suggest snagging a few decor items in shades of red and blue that feel festive but aren’t too holiday-specific, too, so you can continue to use them all summer long, rather than just on the Fourth of July.

Having libations on-hand at any barbecue is a must, so go ahead and whip up some tasty drinks. If you’re expecting quite a few people at your event, you can save cash by making drinks in big batches, rather than serving up individual cocktails. Big-batch cocktails allow folks to serve themselves—and you can cut your costs by buying in bulk. Or, if you’d rather not make your own, you can always grab some canned cocktails to serve in a cooler along with beer.

Courtesy of RealPero.

3. Set Up A Picnic Area

If you have some cute towels, quilts or blankets around your house, you can lay them out in your yard to create a fun picnic vibe. Your guests can soak in the sun, watch neighborhood fireworks and just sit and munch on some good food. If you don’t have any extra blankets lying around, though, there are plenty of inexpensive picnic blankets online that you’ll get plenty of use out of all summer.

4. Try Some Easy Recipes

Arguably the best part about any barbecue is the food. Even if you’re not a whiz in the kitchen, there are still plenty of easy Fourth of July recipes you can try—and many of them don’t cost all that much to make. Staples like hot dogs and hamburgers along with a few delicious side dishes are easy to find and keep costs low. Additionally, you can turn your barbecue into a potluck and have all your friends bring a dish to share!

5. Play A Few Games

If you’re looking for some free entertainment at your barbecue, organize a few games for your guests to play. These could be anything from charades—with a Fourth of July theme!—to games like an egg toss or relay race. You don’t have to spend extra money to make sure your friends and family have a great time at your barbecue. Even if you’re stuck inside, you can play some fun online games and keep the party going.

Courtesy of Fun Express.

6. Set A Pretty Table

Indoors or out, it’s always worth it to set a pretty table. You can use fun placemats, fill jars with colorful candies and put out some gorgeous flowers—all easy and inexpensive decor ideas! Barbecues are a time when you can use disposable plates, napkins and cultery, too, which makes cleaning up a breeze. If you’d rather not spend any cash, though, you can always use your own plates and silverware and add some cute little decorations to each setting (like a red, white and blue ribbon tied around the cutlery!).

7. Make A Fun Playlist

A party without music? There’s no such thing! Make your barbecue a memorable one by creating a fun playlist of upbeat songs that sound like summertime. Whatever genre of music you’re into these days, you can tailor your playlist to what you and your friends love. Or, if you need a little inspiration, you can just turn on Spotify’s 4th of July Party playlist!

8. Light Some Sparklers

Leave the fireworks to the professionals this holiday and break out some fun sparklers instead. Once the sun goes down, you can break out the sparklers for some after-dark fun. Use them to write your name in the air, run around creating a stream of light or have a photoshoot while you pose. Just stay safe and make sure you keep the sparks clear of anything flammable!

Courtesy of Kirundo.

9. Wear A Barbecue-Chic Outfit

Last—but certainly not least—is the addition of a barbecue-chic look. Style a simple blue mini dress like this one with a pair of fun red earrings and a white headband an easy Fourth of July outfit that doesn’t feel too on the nose. Easy white sneakers or wedges complete the look.

This content was originally published here.

Host An Inexpensive Summer Bash

DIY Cottage Garden Obelisk

I am so excited to start doing DIY projects to go in our outdoor spaces for the season! I had the idea to create a cottage garden obelisk for our garden and Jose was kind enough to build one [or three] for me! While we have many structural supports for our garden plants, an obelisk is one that I have been wanting to add, as I love their unique shape so much!

A garden obelisk is a tall structure with a pyramid-like shape used as a decor and also plant support. An obelisk can vary in style but each has a common taper at the top. As you can see our garden needs to be cleaned up and isn’t close to being planted yet, but once we start planting I’ll let you know what we decide to grow on the obelisks. Lots to do in the garden yet. These photos show the work we have to do in here & were taken a few different days so the lighting is weird, sorry about that!

Materials:

Two 1 x 4 x 8′ Cedar Board

Two 1 x 2 x 8′ Cedar Board

Fence Post Cap

Fence Post Decorative Topper

1 1/2″ 18 gauge Trim Nails

2″ GRK Trim Screws

Cutting Legs

Rip two 1×4 cedar board in half to make a 1 x 1 3/4. These will be the legs of the obelisk.

Set your Miter saw to 15 degrees. Cut each of the previously cut 1 x 1 3/4 to 6 feet. Each end is cut parallel to one another ( / / )

Installing Legs

Attach each leg to the post cap. Using two 2″ Trim Head GRK Screws, drill through the top of the cap down onto each leg.

Lay the obelisk on the ground.

Using a bar clap midway up the obelisk, tighten the clamp to adjust the overall width at the bottom of the legs. Our desired measurement was 22″ to fit inside our 24″ garden bed.

Installing Button Rung

Measure, from the bottom up, and mark 18 inches on each leg. This is going to be the bottom rung of the obelisk.

Set the miter to 7 degrees. Cut a 1 x 2 to 17 inches with each end cut mirroring one another ( / \ ).

Using a nail gun with 1 1/2″ nail, nail the rung in place with the long edge lining up to the 18″ mark on the leg.

Installing Middle Rung

From the bottom, measure up and mark 41 inches on each leg.

Set the miter saw to 7 degrees. Cut a 1 x 2 to 11 inches with each end cut mirroring one another ( / \ ).

Using a nail gun with 1 1/2″ nails, nail the rung in place with the long edge lining up with the 41″ mark on the leg.

Installing Top Rung

From the bottom of the post cap, measure down and mark 8 inches on each leg.

Set the miter saw to 7 degree. Cut the 1 x 2 to 6 inches with each end cut mirroring one another ( / \ ).

Using a nail gun with 1 1/2″ nails, nail the rung in place with the long edge lining up with the 8″ mark on the leg.

Repeat all rung steps on opposite side of obelisk

Now the two opposite sides are complete stand up the obelisk.

The remaining open sides, all the rung steps are the same, however you will add 1 1/2″ to the length of each rung, in order to cover the total width plus the thickness of the two rungs previously installed.

Top Decorative Piece

This could have been done earlier in the build, however I like the idea of finishing the obelisk with a little decorative cherry on top. We used a pre-built decorative post topper. Find the center of the Post Cap, drill a hole and screw the topper in place.

Screw Reinforcement

Using 2″ Trim Head Screws, reinforce all joints. I screwed from the inside to keep the outside looking a little more seamless, but either way keep the structure a little more sound with trim head screws.

What do you think of this Cottage Garden Obelisk? Let me know on either Facebook or Instagram! Thanks for stopping by the blog today and every day!

This content was originally published here.

Create a Beautiful Outdoor Living Space

With summer temperatures on the way, many of us are beginning to think about how we can create a welcoming space to gather with friends & family and really create an integral extension of our homes! If your current space needs some sprucing up or you're just starting to make plans to create an outdoor space you'll love, you're in the right place. We're going to share some ideas and must-haves to create the perfect outdoor oasis!

Decide what purpose you want the space to serve

Before you start purchasing items to furnish your space, you'll really want to figure out how you intend to use it and what kind of outdoor lifestyle you envision. Do you like to host and have parties? Do you have kids and need to create a hybrid space that is fun for them and relaxing for you? Do you want dining space, chat-style seating, a fire-pit, bbq setup, space for laying out food & drink for parties? Maybe you need a combination of several of the above.

It is easy to get inspired by all the Pinterest-worthy spaces out there on the web, but remember you'll need to be realistic about the space you have available and then prioritize how you can make that space work for your needs.

Make a Plan

Whether you want your place to be the go-to for neighborhood BBQs, family picnics, or a respite from everyday responsibilities, making your backyard a hub for relaxing, entertaining, or simply soaking in the warm weather is easily achievable! All you need to do to start is make a plan!

We'd highly recommend measuring and even sketching out a plan on paper. It will only make purchasing furniture or other functional items that much easier. You can even revisit our previous blog post, "How to Create a Mood Board" to help you design the look and feel of your outdoor space.

Always make sure you have the right equipment for the job. If placing hardscape, make sure to remove existing sod with a sod cutter and then compact place substrate with a plate compactor to prevent settling. We have the right equipment available for your project at West Ashley Tool & Rental.

One of the best things about summer is the smell of food cooking on the grill! Since food & drink bring people together, a grill will likely be a necessity. Whatever your preference gas, charcoal, smoker, etc investing in a good grill will be money well spent!

Another outdoor essential to snatch up is a utensil caddy. Having a clean, organized place for utensils is a good idea and is easy to grab and carry when preparing to dine outdoors.

This content was originally published here.

Just a head's up that tropical season is 6 weeks away.

That generator that has been stored in the shed for the past two years unused is going to need a tune up.

Even if it has been covered and well kept, just sitting without regular running can cause a host of problems such as:

NOW is the time to get your generator checked out. Most of the above is an easy and inexpensive fix.

Let our repair department get your equipment in working order.....just in case!

Schedule your service appointment HERE online or drop it by our store at 13 Amy Elsey Drive.

Feel free to call 843-225-7934 anytime.

 

If we don't have it, you don't need it!

SEARCH OUR RENTAL INVENTORY
West Ashley Tool & Rental
(843) 225-7934
13 Amy Elsey Dr.
Charleston, SC 29407
rentnow@westashleytoolrental.com
© 2021 West Ashley Tool & Rental, LLC
Photos are for illustrative purposes only. Actual equipment may vary.
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