For many people, summertime means sunshine and a sensational opportunity to “live” outdoors. For designer Debbie Mumm, it’s also a terrific time to create decorative projects for the patio and porch using natural elements.

Sticks and stones won’t break your bones, or your budget, when you use them to create charming accessories for outdoor living spaces.

Earth And Water Fountain-Create an organic and unusual accessory for your garden by creating a fountain from a tin flowerpot, polished rocks, decorative gems and sea glass. Premixed ceramic tile adhesive and grout (available at any home improvement store) makes it easy to adhere and grout stones and glass pieces in one easy step. A fountain kit turns the flowerpot into a bubbling water feature.

An important tip to remember: Start with the areas that determine the design. Apply adhesive/ grout evenly with palette knife to area selected. Depth of the adhesive/grout depends on thickness of items being placed. Allow each section to dry completely before moving to the next area.

Stone Birdhouse-An unfinished birdhouse becomes a quaint chalet with the addition of paint, a stone roof and accents and a twig perch. Unfinished birdhouses are available at many craft stores, or make your own from leftover lumber. Marine varnish on the painted surface and grout sealer on the stones help protect this birdhouse from the elements.

Rock And Rope Flowerpot-A terra-cotta flowerpot takes on natural charm when rope and rock combine to add texture and interest to the flowerpot. Apply gesso to the flowerpot to prepare it for painting. Because terra-cotta absorbs water, plant foliage in a plastic flowerpot, then place it in the painted pot to avoid water damage to the painted surface.

Project Ideas and Instructions