If you want to spend more time in your backyard, you'll want to upgrade your outdoor space into a place your whole family will love. But, you don't need to spend a lot of money sprucing up your backyard. From garden ideas to outdoor entertaining, we share 37 budget-friendly ways to update your backyard.
01 of 37
A Garden Mural
If you have a natural talent for drawing, a mural on a plain outdoor wall can really bring your outdoor space together. This cactus painting brightens up this outdoor dining space while adding Southwestern-style flair. Plus, it's an Instagram-worthy spot to post pictures of yourself enjoying your backyard.Continue to 2 of 37 below.
02 of 37
Stock Tank Pool
Not only is a traditional pool pricey, but it requires a lot of maintenance. A great alternative is a stock tank pool. Here, the_little_homesteader painted an eight-foot round galvanized stock tank with exterior white paint to match her home's aesthetic, and added a filter, pump and chlorine.Continue to 3 of 37 below.
03 of 37
Outdoor Bar Cart
For your next outdoor party, put your favorite concoctions on a wire shelf with wheels. It's compact, budget-friendly and you can stock and dress it up to fit your personal aesthetic.Continue to 4 of 37 below.
04 of 37
Hanging Flower Pots
If you love a backyard with plenty of color and lush plants, look to every corner you can to grow flowers including your porch ceiling or your fence. If you don't want to install any hardware or make any holes in the wall or ceiling, you can easily hang pots of colorful flowers to a fence using S hooks to add that extra pop of color.Continue to 5 of 37 below.
05 of 37
Bird Bath Fairy Garden
Both kids and adults will enjoy this summer activity. If you have an old bird bath or large planter, create a fairy garden with your kids filled with soil, moss, yard clippings, and trinkets from around the house. Your kids will love using their creative skills to make a place for all the little fairies.Continue to 6 of 37 below.
06 of 37
Cinder Block Firepit
A firepit is a backyard must (especially if you live in an area with a cooler climate), but they can be pricey. You can still gather around a nice firepit by making your own at a much lower cost. To do this, surround a metal firepit bowl with cinder blocks or pavers in a staggered pattern to mimic the look of a nice stone firepit.Continue to 7 of 37 below.
07 of 37
Colorful Seasonal Pillows
You'd be surprised at how much pops of color can change the entire look of your backyard. Brighten up your outdoor furniture seasonally with bright pillows for spring and summer and more earth-toned pillows for fall and winter.Continue to 8 of 37 below.
08 of 37
Garden Potting Station
If one of your favorite pastimes is gardening, designating a potting station will help you garden more efficiently and can even save you from back pains. Use an old table or scraps of plywood to create a space to hold pots, planters, soil and gardening tools and make sure the surface is about waist high to make it easier on your body when you're gardening. Or take a page out of Allie Wilson's book and upcycle a pallet into a slim vertical garden center. No storage is no problem—hang your supplies on the wall.Continue to 9 of 37 below.
09 of 37
A Relaxing Hammock Nook
You don't have to go far to enjoy a quiet sanctuary; you can create your own little getaway right in your backyard. Set up a hammock, and add pillows, string lighting in trees, blankets and even a plate (or basket) of food for when you get hungry to create a place you can quickly sneak away to enjoy some quiet time.Continue to 10 of 37 below.
10 of 37
Hanging Mason Jar Illuminaries
To create ambience in our backyard for quiet summer nights, completely fill Mason jars or other glass jars with LED battery-operated string lighting and hang from trees using rope and hooks. They're reminiscent of fireflies, and you can even keep them up year-round as winter decor against a snowy backdrop.Continue to 11 of 37 below.
11 of 37
Upcycled Strawberry Planter
Strawberries are a favorite crop to grow during summer months. If you have a large barrel or container, it's the perfect place for your strawberries to thrive. We love this bright blue one that instantly brightens up the yard. To make the pockets for the strawberries to grow, follow this video tutorial from Tim Burrows.Continue to 12 of 37 below.
12 of 37
Backyard Movie Night
Bring movie night home by hanging a large white sheet using rope or zip ties in your backyard. Lay down some blankets and pillows and use a projector (you can get a budget-friendly one that connects to your phone) to watch your favorite movie with friends or family. Take inspiration from Kel Harmer of OhSoKel and take your movie night up a notch with twinkle lights, snacks, candles, and a few glasses of vino—beautiful living at its best.Continue to 13 of 37 below.
13 of 37
Painted Ceiling and Flooring
Paint can go a long way in a backyard, and it's one of the most budget-friendly and easiest ways to update a backyard. Paint your patio flooring and ceiling in bold colors to add some visual appeal. We love this outdoor room by Dwell Aware where the ceiling and flooring are painted in contrasting colors.Continue to 14 of 37 below.
14 of 37
Upcycled Bottle Planters
Next time you're enjoying a cold beverage, don't toss the bottle in the recycling bin. Instead, you can fill them with blooms from your yard and hang them using rope or twine all the way across your fence or even hanging from a pergola.Continue to 15 of 37 below.
15 of 37
Bring the outdoors in by creating a living space in your backyard. Add a coffee table, comfortable furniture and even hang furnishings like mirrors to bring a welcoming feel. Simple furnishings like mirrors and candles will make your outdoor space feel like an extension of your home like Allie Wilson Home did here.Continue to 16 of 37 below.
16 of 37
Budget-Friendly Al Fresco Dining
Buying an entire patio set can be really expensive. Instead, you can dress up a budget-friendly picnic table for your next gathering outdoors. Here, southernsudsandsimpleliving dressed up a picnic table with patterned outdoor seat cushions, outdoor-friendly dinnerware and bistro lights hanging from DIY posts set in cement. Lay gravel and add outdoor rugs for a low-maintenance and low-budget patio alternative.Continue to 17 of 37 below.
17 of 37
Vertical Lattice Garden
No backyard, no problem. You can still grow and display plants even if you have a small yard or patio. This lattice wall by My Bohemian Nest is the perfect place to hang potted plants and other decor.Continue to 18 of 37 below.
18 of 37
For a lush garden, you'll want to add as many flowers and plants as possible to your backyard. Look to your garden for items where you can add more plants to your space. For example, you can fill up an old, unused wheelbarrow with your favorite blooms or succulents. Bonus: you can move it around the yard to the corner you feel needs dressing up the most.Continue to 19 of 37 below.
19 of 37
It's always nice to have some privacy when you're enjoying the outdoors with a book and a cocktail, but depending on where you live, it might be difficult to get that privacy. If you have a pergola or gazebo, hang curtains (you can even use drop cloths for a more budget-friendly option) so you can enjoy some peace and quiet like Kirsten Diane did here.Continue to 20 of 37 below.
20 of 37
A Lush Vertical Garden
An old screen or wired fence section also works perfectly for a vertical garden if your yard is too small for a traditional one. Use hooks to hang a variety of potted plants. This is a great idea for herbs and other edible plants, so you don't have to constantly bend down to clip what you need for dinner.Continue to 21 of 37 below.
21 of 37
A Napping Nook
If you spend almost all your time in your backyard, it's time to elevate your relaxation experience by creating a napping nook. Use a pallet of wood and add an old futon cushion and bedding for the ultimate place to take a snooze like s.u.s.a.p. did here.Continue to 22 of 37 below.
22 of 37
A Charming Garden Shed
Your garden shed doesn't have to be an eyesore. It could even be a feature! All you need to spruce it up is some shutters if it has windows, a fresh coat of paint on the door, and window boxes filled with colorful flowers or some twinkle lights.Continue to 23 of 37 below.
23 of 37
Enjoy your backyard overnight even if you don't own a tent. Use sturdy branches or even a tripod and tie a large sheet to the top and supports to create a teepee. Then, add some pillows, blankets, and candles to enjoy a solo or romantic night in your very own backyard.Continue to 24 of 37 below.
24 of 37
Giant Chalkboard Wall
Not only is a paint a way to add color to your outdoor space, but it can also bring some fun. If you have an outdoor wall or shed wall, paint it with chalkboard paint to create a giant outdoor chalkboard. You and the kids can spend some time outdoors together drawing and creating on this giant canvas.Continue to 25 of 37 below.
25 of 37
Lighting can really set the mood, and it's a budget-friendly way to change the look and feel of a room. Instead of hanging bistro lights across a pergola, hang them down like teardrops for a more whimsical feel. If you don't have anything to hang them from, go for candles and short strands of twinkle lights draped around your seating area.Continue to 26 of 37 below.
26 of 37
Contrasting Rock Garden
You don't necessarily need a green thumb or live in a good climate to have a garden in your backyard. You can create a beautiful, lush look with a rock garden. Use rocks in contrasting colors to create a visually-appealing design, and add a variety of succulents and planters.Continue to 27 of 37 below.
27 of 37
A S'mores Station
If you're throwing a summer night party, a s'mores station around the fire pit is a great way for everyone to have a good time. Fix a plate for every guest filled with everything you need for a s'more: Graham crackers, chocolate candy and of course, marshmallows.Continue to 28 of 37 below.
28 of 37
Upcycled Tea Cup Bird Feeder
If bird watching is one of your favorite activities, you can put out an inexpensive bird feeder by making one out of an old tea cup and saucer, like the one Kastles Vintage made here.Continue to 29 of 37 below.
29 of 37
If your patio is just a concrete slab, you can easily dress it up with the right furnishings like a colorful or patterned outdoor rug. You can find many outdoor rugs for a great deal on online stores, or you can thrift one from a secondhand store. We love the way this outdoor rug on this patio by Kirsten Diane pulls the entire space together.Continue to 30 of 37 below.
30 of 37
Easy Wood Walkway
Every garden needs a pathway, but pavers can get expensive. Make a budget-friendly one instead using a combination of pavers, wood slabs and gravel. You can create a pattern with it or add an interesting design to make it more visually appealing.Continue to 31 of 37 below.
31 of 37
Outdoor Kitchen Island
Your outdoor kitchen prep area could always use more storage. Add a pallet of wood, paint it and add magnetic strips to hold knives and towel rods to hold other essential items like Home on the Bluff did here.Continue to 32 of 37 below.
32 of 37
If you've run out of planters to fill with flowers and herbs, use different items around the house as plant containers. A teapot works great as an herb container. You can keep it outside on a shelf or place it on your windowsill.Continue to 33 of 37 below.
33 of 37
Dark Privacy Walls
When you think of a backyard design, you may initially think of bright, summery colors, but if you're more into neutrals, try darker, moodier colors for your outdoor space. If you have a privacy wall or fence, paint it in black and decorate with neutral furnishings for a polished more refined look like Ann Living's outdoor space here.Continue to 34 of 37 below.
34 of 37
Wood Pallet Furniture
Outdoor furniture is expensive, but with a little DIY work, you can have a place to sit and relax in your backyard. You can attach pallets of wood together and paint it in your favorite color and add some cushions to create a sectional, chairs or even a coffee table. We love this wood pallet furniture in Afro Bohemian Living's outdoor space.Continue to 35 of 37 below.
35 of 37
Towel Rod Utensil Organizer
Keeping your outdoor kitchen organized can be a challenge, but you can use your walls to store the essentials. Simply install towel racks and add S hooks. This wall feature works great for decor—hang small potted plants and lights from it—but also storage, for grilling utensils, outdoor kitchen gear, or even pool supplies.Continue to 36 of 37 below.
36 of 37
Outdoor Rug by the Pool
Normally you'd find an outdoor rug on a patio or outdoor room, but we love this look of the rug right next to the pool by jcdesign1.1. It adds a boho vibe and creates a relaxing space right by your favorite backyard feature. Plus, then you don't have to burn your feet on the hot pavement.Continue to 37 of 37 below.
37 of 37
Repurposed Backyard Oasis
Whether you want to create a backyard oasis for a special occasion or for everyday enjoyment, you can look around the house for items to make the perfect, relaxing nook. Here, denadanielle_designs used items from her house to create a backyard oasis. She used safety pins to attach sheets to a hula hoop, and used twine to hang it from a tree. She then added added a faux flower garland to the hula hoop and an old chandelier for a whimsical look.