14 Ways to Make Your Tiny Backyard Super Awesome for Summer

Tiny backyard with decorated seating, gray table and wicker chairs

The Spruce / Almar Creative

Wait, what? Your tiny backyard isn’t exactly warm weather ready? No matter how small, outdoor space is an awful thing to waste. Stealing a few of these summery ideas will transform your itty-bitty slice of nature into an inviting retreat.

  • 01 of 14

    DIY Wood Deck

    DIY Budget Wood Deck
    Blog Home Depot

    This custom wood deck was designed and constructed by Alexi Politis, for Home Depot's DIY blog. The gutsy DIY'er had no prior carpentry or deck building experience. Say what? Most contractors would charge thousands of dollars to build a beauty like this one. How much did Alexi's project cost? Less than $900—Booyah!  

  • 02 of 14

    DIY Stock Tank Pool

    DIY Stock Tank Plunge Pool
    A Stroll Thru Life

    No self-respecting adult should spend the summer wading in a plastic kiddie pool. When the heat is on, you should be cooling off in a plunge pool instead. You can hack one for cheap using a galvanized steel stock tank. 

    If you're not in the know, stock tanks are giant water bowls for cattle and horses. Most farm and ranch stores sell them in a variety of shapes and sizes.

    Arguably, round 8-ft wide tanks make the best plunge pools—one that measures 2-ft tall holds more than 500 gallons of water.

    Most do-it-yourselfers fill it up with a garden hose. But if you want to get fancy, you can follow one blogger's lead. This stock tank pool by Marty, the DIY blogger who pens A Stroll Thru Life uses PVC pipe as pool plumbing. 

  • 03 of 14

    Vertical Garden Wall

    diy vertical garden wall
    Living Green/Plants On Walls

    Nothing spruces up an ugly backyard fence like a vertical garden. Take advantafe of one of our outdoor wall to implement this lush wall garden designed by Brandon Pruett from Living Green that uses a pocket planting system called FloraFelt to show off colorful and shade-loving coral bells.

  • 04 of 14

    Glamping Tents

    Lotus Belle

    Glamping in your tiny backyard will take outdoor living to a comfy new level. But if you want to do it in style and comfort, get a cotton canvas tent like this one by Lotus Belle. It will look way better than a nylon option, plus cotton is more breathable keeping you cooler.

    You want your backyard glamping experience to feel luxurious. Decorating your tent with cushy elements like a floor bed, throw pillows, and a soft rug will make your outdoor space hard to resist.

    Continue to 5 of 14 below.
  • 05 of 14


    Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses

    The problem: Mandatory water restrictions killed your green lawn. Now you're stuck with a poor, sad dirt backyard. Whomp-whomp (sad trombone.) What can you do?

    A no-mow yard that's also drought-tolerant—also known as a xeriscape—is the solution. 

    The owners of this sweet teensy home in Austin, Texas built by Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses spruced up their backyard using low-water native plants that thrive in hot conditions. Instead of planting grass, mulch was added to both cover and protect the soil.

  • 06 of 14

    Outdoor String Lights

    DIY overhead patio lighting
    Elizabeth Burns Design

    Interior designer Elizabeth Burns wanted to use outdoor string lights to brighten their pitch-dark Brooklyn patio. But a few problems stood in her way. First, her home doesn't have an exterior outlet. Second, there is no above structure in her backyard for hanging lights.

    The solution: Build a pole-mounted lighting system using electrical conduit. The latter is a type of pipe or pole used to cover and protect electrical wires.

    Elizabeth's DIY not only concealed the extension cord that plugged into an interior outlet, but it also provided the support to hang string lights. While this project sounds a tad complicated, it's easier to rig than you think. Even better, the supplies cost less than $50. 

  • 07 of 14

    Egg Swing Chair

    Greenery NYC/Brownstoner

    We believe that inside every adult is a wide-eyed kid longing for an outdoor swing set—not to mention a tree house. This cozy urban garden designed by Greenery NYC features a free-standing egg chair. You can shop for weather-resistant swing chairs like this one at sites like Wayfair, Hayneedle, and Overstock.

  • 08 of 14

    Solar Outdoor String Lights

    IKEA Ideas

    Solar lights like the ones above spotted on IKEA Ideas are an inexpensive outdoor lighting solution. How do they work? The sunlight they absorb during the day recharges the batteries that power the bulbs at night. Lights like these are available in a wide range of styles, sizes, and types including string lights and wall fixtures.

    Continue to 9 of 14 below.
  • 09 of 14

    Paver Stone Patio

    DIY Paver stone backyard
    Amber Freda Garden Design/Houzz

    Who would believe that this beautiful stone patio in Harlem, New York by landscape designer Amber Freda was once a cramped dirt yard? The porous surface was relatively inexpensive to create using polished beach pebbles and paver stones. You'll find both at most home improvement stores. The greenery along the walls are a mix of shade-loving native plants.

  • 10 of 14

    Painting Metal Patio Furniture

    paint your patio furniture
    Jen Woodhouse

    Nothing perks up tired old patio furniture like a coat of fresh color. But who wants to inhale those pee-yew paint fumes? Not Jen Woodhouse. That's why she used eco-friendly chalk paint by Annie Sloane, to revive ​her wrought iron dining set.

  • 11 of 14

    Outdoor Umbrella

    outdoor living room
    IKEA Ideas

    When the sun is beating down, a backyard umbrella will keep you protected from harsh daylight. In fact, a recent study revealed umbrellas can block at least 77 percent of harmful UV rays. Umbrellas with a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating like the free-standing BAGGÖN by IKEA found on IKEA Ideas, can block up to 98 percent of UV rays.

  • 12 of 14

    Bohemian Patio Furniture

    bohemian backyard ideas
    El Jardinde Los Muffins

    What's the secret to creating an outdoor living room you'll enjoy using? Make it just as comfy and stylish as your indoor living room. 

    The first step, avoid matchy-matchy patio furniture. It looks boring with a capital B, which isn't very inviting. Decorating with a la carte pieces will create a more welcoming vibe.

    This bohemian style patio by Kat Ibáñez is a beautiful mash-up of different textures and styles. The key is to use pieces appropriate for outdoor use like weather-resistant fabrics, resin wicker, rustproof aluminum, or wood like teak or acacia that stands up to extreme weather conditions.

    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14

    Backyard She Shed

    Built from Scratch Home Depot

    If you think garden sheds are just for storing tools and lawn mowers, listen up. People across the country are converting them into personalized backyard bonus rooms like this She Shed by​ Built from Scratch Home Depot.

  • 14 of 14

    Flower Boxes DIY

    Home Made Modern

    Just because your backyard is nothing but a concrete slab, doesn't mean you can't grow a garden. Flower boxes like these made by the DIY'er behind Home Made Modern will make growing pretty posies and summer vegetables possible. Even better, you can stack them creating a privacy wall