A neglected backyard area gets a DIY beer garden transformation using folding tables and string lights for a charming outdoor dining patio on a small budget.
We accidentally did another outdoor makeover. I don’t know how these accidental makeovers happen, but it’s pretty amazing when they do.
Like… oops! We made a beer garden. Okay, then. Haha!
What is a beer garden?
If you’ve never heard of that term, a beer garden is an open air dining area with shared tables where beef and food is served. The concept originated in Bavaria and is popular in Germany.
Refinishing a Vintage Beer Garden Table
A couple of summers ago when I was pregnant with Regan, we stumbled upon this old German beer garden table in an antique shop in the North Carolina mountains. And we thought it was so cool that we ended up hauling it home.
Then, the week Regan was born and Robert was home on paternity leave, he gave the table and benches a makeover so we could enjoy some nice evening dinners outside in the pretty fall weather during my recovery.
And then today, as I was doing some spring cleaning around our pool, I noticed it was starting to look a little worse for wear, so I rubbed it down with teak oil to give it some love. (This table and benches are similar.)
Setting Up a Low Budget Backyard Beer Garden
- Pea Gravel
- Folding Table and Benches
- String Lights
- 4 – 96″ Wooden Dowels (We sealed ours beforehand with waterproofing stain.)
- 4 Screw Hooks
When we were making our DIY fire pit at Christmas, we happened to have a lot of extra pea gravel, so Robert dumped it all in the back corner of our yard thinking we could later make some sort of hidden outdoor space behind our pool.
It came together really easily in one afternoon!
How to Hang Freestanding Beer Garden String Lights
Time needed: 30 minutes.
How to install freestanding string lights around a pea gravel patio area
- Attach Hooks
Screw the screw hooks into the side of one end of each wooden dowel.
- Place Dowels
Drive the non-hook end of the wooden dowels into the ground where you want to place your string light posts just outside the perimeter of your pea gravel outdoor dining area.
- Hang String Lights
Use a step ladder to run the string lights through the hooks on the wooden dowels to suspend them around the perimeter of the pea gravel area.
Backyard Beer Garden Decor
The beer garden table fit more perfectly than if we’d planned it out.
I filled this long planter with some hyacinth blooms, we rigged up some solar string lights, and before we knew it, we had a backyard beer garden hidden behind our pool.
The whole thing gives me flashbacks to that very first week home with a snuggly newborn where we sat around this table for dinner as a new family of 4.
So now, 2-ish years later, we can sit back here while the kids play on their swing set, listen to the sounds of the creek behind our house, and search the trees for the owls that live there.
It all makes me even more ready for all of the warm, summer nights ahead… and a little nostalgic about this table’s story.
2021 will be the year of gathering again, and we hope this table sees all the friends and family it can hold.
Cheers to happy accidents, y’all… and good memories… and many more good ones to be made.