DIY Backyard Projects: The Outdoor Midnight Soiree

Putting on a swanky soiree or energetic party can be a problem if you don’t have a lot of space in your home.  If so, you definitely want to take full advantage of the break between polar vortexes we like to call Summer.  Remember that your home doesn’t stop at the walls. Your lawn, balcony, porch, and yard are a part of your home as much as your bedroom, kitchen, or living room, and really utilizing your outdoor space can make all the difference for a party.

Here are some easy and helpful tips to make your own DIY Midnight Soiree a huge hit.

Make some little shelters and nooks in your yard!  Raid your winter blanket storage and collect as many blankets and sheets as you can.  You might also want to grab extra pillows.  Make sure that anything going on the ground can either be washed, replaced, or wear grass stains for the rest of it’s life. Decorative rugs work wonders for outdoor ground cover.  With a rope between two trees, you can easily make the prefect little lounge, like this.

Pictured above, the perfect little lounge

With a few lights inside you’ll be able to party all night long in your yard.  You can also use your gathered materials to make a teeny tiny living room set complete with photos and a small end table, the best way to surprise your guests.

And if you want to take it one step further, throw a sleep over in your back yard, complete with camping tents, lighting, and chaise lounges.

Nothing says camping like chaise lounges.

Want to make drinks without going inside?  Put up an outdoor bar!  You could put up a small self service bar on the wall, like this

Or make a more permanent fixture with little money or effort, like this pallet bar

Which can be improved upon with a bit of stain and a counter top

The choice is up to you, and if you need any DIY bar hints, you can view them here, here, and here.

And finally, if you want the ultimate party game for your DIY Midnight Soiree, break out Scrabble, but take it one step further, like this!

How can you make this in your back yard?  A few different ways.  You can follow the directions for the photo above here or you can replicate it without having to pour cement by following these directions below.

You will need:

Outdoor space you can attach tile to, such as cement or hardwood

Tile rated for outdoor use

Tile adhesive

Flat wood pieces that fit on the tiles, baseboard trim was used in the photos


Wood sealant, such as polyurethane or shellac

First, plot out your space.  A Scrabble board is 15×15 spaces, so if your tiles are 4×4 inches, you’ll need a surface area that is roughly 60×60 inches.  Clean your surface area to ensure a solid adhesion.  Make sure you have your 225 tiles to make up your board.  Get different colored tile to mark out double word scores and such.

Next, lay down your tile without any adhesive material.  This is just to see if you have enough space and that the tiles are correct.  Remember to have a spacer on hand to make sure each tile is spaced a certain space apart, usually 1/8th or 1/4th inch works out well.

Make any adjustments you need, such as cleaning a larger area or buying more adhesive, then proceed with putting down your tile.

Put down a swath of adhesive, follow the directions, and firmly place your tile.  Use your spacer to place another tile next to it, and repeat 223 more times.  Then, let the board set before putting any weight on it.  Now it’s time to make your words.

Cut out 100 wood squares.  You can use vinyl letters on the square to make a tile, or you can use a stencil and paint, or you could put your own twist on things and freehand paint on each letter and value.  Here is a full photo you can use for reference

Once you have the letters on the word tiles, apply an even coat of wood sealant over the wood and letter, and then just wait for everything to dry.  You’ll be ready to play Scrabble outdoors in no time.