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The birds are chirping. The sun is out. And, yes, we’ll likely continue to enjoy our outdoor spaces. But that doesn’t have to mean missing out on the best summer has to offer, like backyard barbecues, replenishing our vitamin D (with a spicy margarita in hand) and yard games. It’s just about prepping your space—no matter how big or small.

We teamed up with Ford to show you how to create a DIY backyard lighting upgrade with the 2021 Ford F-150. Thanks to the available Tailgate Work Surface with functional tools like rulers, a mobile device holder, a cupholder and small-item storage, you can work anywhere and everywhere. See the full instructions below. For even more inspiration, check out our full list of summer projects here.

Joshua Kun

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Multiply materials based on the number of posts you want to create.
  • Sturdy outdoor flowerpot with at least 18”-wide base
  • 8’ tall 4” x 4” fence post
  • 5” wood screw
  • Plant hanger
  • (2) 40 lb. bags of gravel
  • 1 qt. wood stain
  • T-shirt rags
  • String lights

Step 2: Stain the Fence Posts

Brush on stain with a T-shirt rag. Let dry. Apply more coats if a darker finish is desired.

Step 3: Add Hangers and Base

Add decorative plant hangers to the top of each fence post. Cut a flat piece of wood to fit into the bottom of your chosen planter. Put a long screw through the underside of wood panel deep into bottom of stained fence post. Place into planter.

Step 4: Decorate

Fill planter ⅔ with gravel. Top with plants. String some lights between the poles, plug 'em in and enjoy.

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