DIY Outdoor Games

We spent last weekend in Pennsylvania enjoying family, friends, food and fun. My sister’s in-laws hosted the event and did a great job arranging activities for over 30 people.

DIY outdoor games

They are the ones responsible for the dunk bucket, as well as putting together several other yard games.

Dunk Bucket

Many people have asked for the dunk bucket instructions. My brother-in-law just kind of made it without writing down instructions. Here is a very basic version of what to do:

1. Take some wood and cut out a target
2. Take wood and cut out base for 5 gallon bucket
3. Use hinges to attach bucket to tree and to attach target to tree
4. Use washers or some other mechanism to hold bucket up
5. Use piping as a delivery method to fill the bucket
6. Buy/find tennis balls
7. Sit person in front of bucket
8. Throw ball at target (repeat if necessary)

Also, a reader sent the following instructions:


  1. Take some wood and cut out a target
  2. Take wood and cut out base for 5 gallon bucket. Make sure the bucket is well attached to the bucket platform or base.
  3. Use hinges to make bucket and target move sideways and attach bucket and target to tree or fence.
  4. Use washers, doorknob or some other mechanism to hold bucket up. The knob will be pushed behind rim of the bucket closest to the tree/fence.
  5. Use piping as a delivery method to fill the bucket. Attach to tree/fence.
  6. Sit person in front of bucket and throw tennis ball at target (repeat if necessary).


The homemade corn hole game.

The cornhole game was pretty easy to make with some wood, paint, and a sewing machine. This game was a huge hit with everyone at the event. My arm was sore from playing too many times one afternoon.

Ring Toss

This game is really fun for little kids. This was a wooden box with a coffee can screwed to the bottom of box. We used washers for the rings. I almost beat my brother in this one, but not quite.

We also played Hillbilly Golf.

This was the one game they didn’t make themselves because it was cheaper to buy the kit. I have included a link for those DIY people out there if you are interested. It looks like it would be easy to make if you were so inclined.

My sister’s in-laws did a great job with these activities. The dunk tank was made the biggest splash with the kids last weekend! If you look close at the next two pictures you can see the tennis balls that were thrown at the target.

Hosting a great party doesn’t have to be expensive! Try a few of these homemade games to stay under budget and have a great time!

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Gardener’s Hand Scrub

The following is a guest post from Merissa from

Do you hear it? The birds have begun their yearly song…spring has arrived! On our little farm, this is a time of great preparation. I’ve started working on some simple meal plans that will get us through the summer when it’s too hot to want to cook much and when we are too busy to go to town often for groceries.

I’ve already planted my seedling starts and in just a few weeks it will be warm enough here in South Dakota to plant them outside in my garden.

I love to garden. It’s been my passion for many years to use my garden to provide as much food as I possibly can for my family. But of course, we all know that it’s not easy or clean work! We not only have a garden to sustain ourselves but we also plant extras to preserve food for winter and to sell at the local farmer’s market. By the end of the day I’m tired and full of dirt.

The signs of a good gardener right?!


That’s when I pull out my jar of Gardener’s Hand Scrub to clean and freshen up. It’s so simple to make with just a few basic ingredients! Today I’m sharing the recipe with you so that you can enjoy using it this summer just as much as I do.

Gardener’s Hand Scrub


  • 1 cup sugar (white or brown will work)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  •  ½ cup coconut oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil


  • In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and the salt.
  • In another bowl, melt the coconut oil until it’s liquid. (Or you can stick it in the microwave for a few seconds.)
  • Pour the coconut oil over the sugar mixture and mix all the ingredients together until the sugar is thoroughly coated.
  • Add a few drops of the tea tree essential oil and give the mixture another stir to incorporate it throughout, then pour the scrub into a container or jar that can hold at least 2 cups.

Store in your bathroom or wherever where you regularly wash your hands after coming in from outside.

The sugar and salt will scrub any garden goo from your hands.


The coconut oil helps to rehydrate your hands after you’ve worked with them and scrubbed them clean, and the tea tree oil is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and antimicrobial, so it adds several great properties to the scrub. You could also replace the tea tree oil with lavender essential oil since it has similar properties.

This simple hand scrub will help to keep your hands clean and free of dirt, no matter how much you work in your garden this summer!

Merissa Alink loves making the most with what she has and she blogs all about it on You can find her recipe for Gardener’s Hand Scrub and over 130 other DIY recipes in her book, Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life, which is available on Amazon.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Dresser to Wine Rack DIY

You are not even going to believe this amazing dresser to wine rack DIY project from reader Brandi!

Chalk paint dresser DIY

She took an old dresser and turned it into a wine rack.

She used Annie Sloan chalk paint on the base and re-stained the top to a darker color.

turn dresser into a wine rack

The bottom two drawers were removed and rests for the wine were created. You can make these yourself with a router, or take apart an old wine rack.

wine rack dresser

Brandi even reused the handles in the project (which is a savings- hardware is expensive!). Hardware can be easily spray painted any color so think about reusing your hardware instead of buying new.

dresser to wine rack diy 1

For more dresser to wine bar inspiration and tutorials check out these posts below.

The Charming Farmer

dresser to wine bar tutorial

That’s So Creative

dresser to wine bar

Old dressers are available at yard sales and Craig’s List for less than $100 all the time!

Compare these DIY dressers to this $1000 Pottery Barn version.

Pottery barn buffet

Do you have an AMAZING DIY furniture project? I’d love to share it.

Every month we’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card every month to one reader who submits their own DIY project. 

You can submit your project here! 

Get inspired! Check out all our furniture DIY posts here.  

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Clutter Control With 5 Minute Pick-Ups


clutter control post

Are you overwhelmed by the end of the day when your house looks like a tornado went through it? It is no fun to sit and relax, read a book, watch a movie, or check your email, when you know that there is a big mess waiting for you. Well, it isn’t fun for me…. some people can probably live with it! :)

My house is normally pretty neat and organized. It isn’t because I live with a bunch of organized people, my kids are MESSY! However I have trouble staying on track when I’m surrounded by clutter distractions, so I try to keep clutter to a minimum.

We do this with 5 minute pick-ups. My older kids will tell you that these are more like “clean up until it is clean pick-ups” but honestly, if you do 7 to 10 of these a day your house will organized and clutter free.

When all my kids were younger, we did a 5-minute pick up every hour. It was a break from routine and it kept things from getting out of control.

Now that my kids are a bit older and I don’t have sweet little toddlers running around making messes we do it a few times a day. Usually in the morning after breakfast, then after lunch, and again before dinner.

Sometimes we throw in one more pick up before bed if needed.

Even if your children are young they can participate in the pick-ups. 5 minute picks ups are actually a great way to teach toddlers how to clean. Most young children can stay on task for a few minutes without getting distracted.

I believe young children get overwhelmed with huge messes. It is much easier for them to pick up a few things, than an entire room filled with toys, shoes, bedding, and clothes. Short frequent pick-ups eliminate giant messes (for the most part) and kids learn to maintain their space.

In our house, one or two people are assigned an area to clean up and they work quickly for a few minutes putting things away. If there is a larger mess we will often all work together, but it works well to send the kids off in pairs (if you have enough kids). If you have young children work with them to pick up their area.

Make it fun, put on some music, and work together. They might have so much fun they won’t even know they are cleaning!

If you need an ideas for age appropriate chores for kids download my free chore checklist.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.