DIY

DIY Cornhole board

DIY: Cornhole Board

illustrations by Jenna Lechner The origins of the modern lawn game known as cornhole are a bit of a mystery, but a patent filed on September 25, 1883, seems to offer a clue. For it, a person named Heyliger Adams de Windt of Chicago, describes an apparatus for playing a game called Parlor-Quoits, which was an indoor bean bag toss game using inclined boards with a designated hole as a target for the bag. “My present invention has for its object to provide a new game which shall be particularly suited to indoor amusement, and which may be played with an apparatus that will be inexpensive, simple, durable, and noiseless,” wrote Adams de Windt. These days, cornhole is typically played outside in lawns and parking lots rather than a parlor, but, as in Adams de Windt’s day, it’s still a fairly simple and inexpensive apparatus to make, requiring basic tools…

DIY Treehouse

DIY: Backyard Treehouse

Photography by Christopher Dibble The beginning of Grey Shaeffer’s treehouse adventure was as a child at her parents’ farm in Forest Grove. Her father built an A-frame treehouse that spanned two trees, and as an adult, Shaeffer made some updates to the original. “I was 19, and I didn’t want to move back into the house because I’d gone to school overseas, so I moved into the tree house,” recalled Shaeffer. “So, I actually remodeled that tree house and lived in it, with plumbing and everything.” Years later, as a designer and founder of Willa Work, Schaeffer was building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in her Portland backyard, and it was a natural decision to add a treehouse, using leftover building materials from the larger project. “I wanted a treehouse for me and my kids,” said Schaeffer, who fashioned hers into an office space, but also saw it get used…

A covered deck lets you take in the bucolic scene from The Farmhouse at Tabula Rasa Farm.

DIY: Tips for a Successful Airbnb

MAINTAIN INVENTORY No guest wants to have to run to the store for a sponge or toilet paper on vacation. Higgins uses Amazon’s subscription service to stay on top of supplies for the River Cabaan. “A lot of the admin of an Airbnb is the stock and the cleaning,” said Higgins, so streamlining the process with regular deliveries is a time-saver. Have on hand things that visitors commonly forget to pack as well, such as extra toothbrushes and deodorant, said Smola-Foti. DON’T FORGET THE OUTDOORS While the Carlton farmhouse has a lot of dedicated outdoor space, including a deck and covered porch, Smola-Foti makes sure to populate it with ample seating so that guests can take advantage of finding a place in the sun. Likewise, at the River Cabaan, there’s a hammock, too. KEEP IT FRESH No one wants to dry off with a towel that’s lost its fluff, or…

DIY Container Water Garden

DIY: Design a Container Water Garden

A container water garden, also known as a patio pond or “pond in a pot,” is much lower maintenance than an in-ground pond. The formula here is simple: container + water + aquatic plants = container water garden. PICK A CONTAINER Start with a water-tight pot that’s big enough to hold the chosen plants. A wood vessel won’t work unless lined with a plastic tub, so look for ceramic, metal, plastic, or sealed cement. Or, get creative and repurpose something, like a vintage pail or crock. PLACEMENT Make the water garden a focal point among the plants in an existing garden bed, or tuck it into the landscape to create a sense of discovery as people walk around. It will also work well on a small patio or balcony. Beware of plopping it where there’s super-hot afternoon sun, as that may be too intense for the plants, depending on what…

DIY Concrete Planter

illustrated by Esther Loopstra AS ANYONE WHO HAS EVER STROLLED through the nursery knows, outdoor pots can add up. Try this straightforward method for making a concrete outdoor planter to spruce up your stoop. 1. Make a mold A concrete mold or formwork is used to hold the concrete in place while the material hardens to the desired shape. For this project, the mold will have two parts: the exterior vessel, which will dictate the planter’s overall shape, and an interior vessel, which will fit inside the first to create the cavity needed for the plant’s root ball and dirt. The mold doesn’t have to be complicated. You can reuse objects, like cardboard boxes, or two different-sized plastic buckets. 2. Add Drainage If you want a drainage hole at the bottom of the planter, glue or tape a 1- to 2-inch piece of plastic tubing to the inside center of…