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Backyard Blast: DIY projects amp up fun outdoors

Photos by Tashia Doyle / Special to The Forum

FARGO - The most fun you could be having is out your back door.

Yard games, water blobs and outdoor movie parties transform backyards into fun spaces friends and family can enjoy without spending a lot of money or traveling.

Need more inspiration? Sites like Pinterest have countless ideas for backyard DIYs, including giant Scrabble boards, outdoor Jenga and other crafty concepts.

Water blob


Painter’s plastic/plastic sheeting as large as you’d like the blob, such as 10 feet by 20 feet

Ironing board and iron

Parchment paper

Duct tape (optional, for sealing the hose hole)


1. Turn the iron to its highest setting.

2. Roll out the plastic on the floor and fold it in half – this is the size of the water blob.

3. Cut a two-foot piece of parchment paper and fold it in half length-wise and a draw a line two inches from the fold. This will be your guide of how far to iron the plastic.

4. Pull the plastic onto the ironing board and place the parchment paper over the edge. Slowly iron following the line you’ve drawn. The parchment will protect the iron from the melting plastic.

5. Gently press the iron against the parchment and plastic. Don’t press too hard because the plastic could melt too much and stretch too thin. You can always go back and re-iron it.

6. Let the section cool a few seconds before removing the parchment and moving onto the next section.

7. Continue sealing the edges, making sure to overlap so there are no holes. Work from the sealed edge toward the fold.

8. Once the plastic blob is sealed, carefully cut a small slit large enough for a hose in the folded end of the plastic near a corner.

9. Insert a hose a few feet and prop the corner up so the water flows into the blob. It’ll take about 30 minutes to fill a blob 8 inches deep. Add food coloring to the water for a colored blob.

10. Once full, seal off the hose slit with duct tape. The blob is ready – spray water on top for extra splashy fun.


Glow-in-the-dark rocks


Glow-in-the-Dark paint, such as Krylon or Rust-Oleum




1. Clean the rocks by brushing away any dirt and debris.

2. Lay them on newspapers and spray an even coat of paint. Allow the paint to dry and turn over the rocks. Spray again.

3. Spray a second coat of glow paint.

4. Once dry, spray with a clean coat.

5. Use the rocks to create pathways or glow in gardens.


Outdoor movie theater


Curtain hanging wire hardware

Screen fabric, a white sheet or a white tarp

1-by-4 for frame

Staple gun





1. Hang curtain-hanging wire between two trees or posts.

2. Build a wooden frame using the 1-by-4 pieces of wood. The frame should create three sections.

3. Center the fabric/tarp or screen fabric on the frame and staple the top and bottom first, followed by the center and sides. Be sure to stretch the fabric as you go.

4. Hang the screen with hooks and eye screws. Small bungee cords attached to the screen and posts/tree can be used to keep the bottom of the screen from swaying in wind.

5. Use a projector to play movies off your computer. Amazon and Best Buy carry projectors that start at about $150.


Lawn Twister


Large piece of cardboard (such as a pizza box)

Craft knife

Something round and large that’s the size you’d like the circles, such as a large bowl

Red, blue, yellow and white spray paint, such as Rustoleum 2X coverage (you want the colors to stand out)


1. Trace the circular shape from the bowl or other circular object onto the cardboard.

2. Use a craft knife or box cutter to cut out the circle. Discard the center. You’ve created the circle template.

3. You can measure the distance between each row of circles, or eyeball it.

4. Use the stencil to spray paint four columns with six circles of each color.

5. Allow the paint to dry before playing Twister.

6. Use a Twister spinner or slips of paper to play.


Anna G. Larson

Anna G. Larson is a features reporter with The Forum who writes a weekly column featuring stylish people in Fargo-Moorhead. Larson graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in journalism and joined The Forum in July 2012. She's a Fargo native who enjoys travel, food, baking, fashion, animals, coffee and all things Midwestern. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @msannagrace 

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