DIY IdeasHome & Garden

6 Fun DIY Projects Using Bamboo

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By Jeffrey

bamboo-diy.jpgBamboo has the uncanny ability to make even the most mundane of items take on a luxurious and exotic flare.

That’s great, considering it’s MUCH more sustainable, eco-friendly, and affordable than wood of all varieties.

Here at The Fun Times Guide to Living Green, we talk a lot about bamboo — from how to make your home panda friendly to incorporating it into your sex life (and everything in between).

But something we’ve never done is get all DIY with the not-so-tasty panda palate pleaser… until now.

While I was on the elliptical machine this morning at the gym, getting in my hated 30 minutes of cardio training, I was watching HGTV. Yeah, yeah, keep your comments to yourself.

I can’t recall the show that was on, but they were revamping a family’s patio in an Asian motif.

I took one of the ideas from that show to use at my house this weekend and got to thinking about what other fun ways we could work bamboo into DIY projects.


6 Fun and [Relatively] Easy Bamboo DIY Projects


#1 – Build Your Own Bamboo Tiki Bar


If you want to be the masta’ bartenda’ of your domain, and don’t want to shell out big bucks for a tiki bar like this, then build your own.

Humu Kon Tiki has your step-by-step instructions on how to build a tiki bar like the one pictured here.

That said, you’ll also need to order this back copy of Atomic magazine, for the full instructions… and I guarantee it’ll cost way less than those expensive tiki bars you can buy!


#2 – Transform Your Patio With Bamboo


This is actually the idea I saw on the HGTV show I was watching this morning at the gym.

Do you have ugly 4×4 wood, vinyl, or aluminum posts supporting your deck or awning?

How about buying some bamboo poles to fasten together (vertically) around the eye sore?

This way, it looks like your deck or awning is stylishly supported by pieces of bamboo instead of utilitarian building supplies.

Here are some other good examples of things you can do with bamboo poles around the patio area.


#3 – Build A Bamboo Water Feature (Shishi Odoshi)


While we’re on the topic of outdoor spaces, take a couple of hours, a few basic tools, and these step-by-step instructions (complete with pictures and video) and you’ve got an authentic Japanese water feature.

The Shishi Odoshi is actually an ancient Japanese deer frightening device that is the perfect addition to any garden!

You can see one in action in this video.


#4 – Build A Bamboo Bike


A guy named Brano Meres has got this beautiful bamboo mountain bike that he designed, built, and has been riding for 2+ years!

Here are Brano’s step-by-step instructions for making a bamboo bike.

Another bamboo bike maker, Calfee Designs, says that bamboo bikes have some incredible features and benefits like:

  • Amazing Vibration Damping: Even better than carbon fiber.
  • High performance frame: Weighs about 4 pounds but has good stiffness.
  • Crash tolerant: Bamboo is a lot of tougher than most people realize.
  • Looks cool. A work of art!


#5 – Make A Bamboo Ladder


This is a great idea and design from Marcel Gull at Your Home and Garden.

Though this design is listed as “advanced”, replacing the mallet and chisel with a power drill should bump it up into the novice category to be sure. Can’t beat this idea for $50… might as well make several and sell them!

I love how the ladder pictured here tapers towards the top. What a great accent piece to your favorite room — or to the tiki bar you just made from idea #1!

Here are some photos and instructions to make a bamboo ladder yourself. More here.


#6 – Make A Bamboo Trellis For Your Garden


We’ll wrap up the list with another outdoor idea.

If you’ve got a green thumb and peas, beans, tomatoes, or even a vining plant are in your garden, this one is right up your alley!

Instead of buying cheap looking lattice or those ugly metal tomato planters, eHow has some great instructions and pictures to guide you through making a bamboo trellis that will bring both function and form to your garden.

It will look great next to your Shishi Odoshi from idea #3!

More great bamboo trellis tips from the DIY Network here.


Helpful Resources To Aid Your Bamboo DIYing

You should be able to find bamboo of different breeds and diameters at your local nurseries. You could also purchase some from, starting from $15.95 or from, starting from .50 cents each.

Check out this MetaFilter for tons more ideas of things to make with bamboo.

Here are some fun bamboo ideas from Pinterest.

Well, that’s about all the ideas I’ve got for now.

What are some of your favorite DIY projects with bamboo?