Budget Friendly Backyards – Cheap Outdoor Decorating Ideas


Lovely summer, spring, and even fall temps lure us outside, as they should. Extend your outdoor time by creating a budget friendly backyard. You don’t have to spend a fortune, there are plenty of cheap outdoor decorating and inexpensive backyard design ideas, especially if you’re a little bit handy. Read on to learn about outdoor decorating on a budget.

Inexpensive Backyard Design

If you don’t already have a deck or patio, you can lay your own paving stones or even pour a patio for very little money. For that matter, you can create a space under a tree or other cozy area of the garden. Once you have an outdoor space, think about adding some shade with umbrellas, a sun sail, or build a pergola.

If you do the work yourself on a patio or deck, you may have materials left over. Utilize leftover cement to pour stepping stones using an inexpensive mold, unused pavers, or bricks to create a pathway leading from the garden to the outdoor space.

Once you have a place to sit and relax, it’s time to decorate. Outdoor rugs add pizzazz and/or cover up less than attractive deck or concrete flooring. Outdoor seating can be created in a myriad of ways. A table can be constructed of some whiskey barrels and an old door or free pallets can be screwed together to make raised lounge chairs. Don’t forget to add some comfy cushions that can be handmade, used and recovered, or purchased.

Of course, you can also buy furniture for your outdoor space but to keep in line with a budget friendly backyard area, look for sales or scour garage, estate sales, and consignment stores. As long as the furniture has good bones, any cosmetic defects can be sanded out and refinished or even spray painted.

Additional Cheap Outdoor Decorating Ideas

Plants warm up a space and can transform a boring area into a Shangri-La. For more bang for your buck, opt for perennial plants which will come back year after year. Either plant them around the deck or invest in some pots and group them around the deck or patio. Look for some tall and shorter plants along with blooming perennials.

To further extend your outdoor living area, hang a hammock or a suspended chair either from trees or build a simple wooden structure.

Build a fire pit (if legal in your area). Add some lights via tiki torches, solar candles, or strings of patio lights. Introduce some media with a Bluetooth waterproof speaker and/or an outdoor screen for movie nights.

Cheap Outdoor Decorating Tips

Outdoor decorating on a budget is actually a lot of fun and allows you to play around. Think about what sort of skills you have or feel you can learn and the sky’s the limit.

Maybe you have an artistic streak to paint fencing, a privacy screen, or outdoor wall. Maybe you’re a gardener extraordinaire with a flair for floral décor, or perhaps your forte is cooking so you want to create an outdoor kitchen with a pretty herb garden.
Take advantage of social media and see what your friends and neighbors have for sale. Again, cheap outdoor decorating doesn’t have to look cheap. A good way to accomplish that is to splurge on one nice thing and then repurpose, repaint, and DIY the rest of the décor.


For Jen, the founder of the lifestyle blog City Farmhouse, visions of backyards from the Hamptons include plenty of teak, rattan, and white wood, along with gorgeous prints and well-tended gardens surrounding a pool. While some of these elements were out Jen's grasp, one item was accessible: pea-gravel patio covering. With the addition of a do-it-yourself firepit, string lights, immaculately trimmed hedges, and Nantucket gray wicker furniture, Jen can have the gorgeous patio from her dreams.


Hardscape Needn't Break the Bank

Water features needn't bust the budget to make a big splash in your yard. Modern pumps and pond liners are inexpensive and easy for do-it-yourselfers to install. Add some stones and an extra bit of effort, and you can even build small waterfalls. Scrounge around for free stones at construction sites (obtain permission) or on the property of your country cousin. Or go slightly more upscale with a cascading clay pot fountain.

Not only water features but other hardscape projects can be easier than beginners at first imagine. It's just a matter of choosing the path of least resistance.

For instance, brick patios laid in sand are easier to build for do-it-yourselfers than those laid in concrete. By planning properly, it's also possible in many cases to avoid having to cut any of the bricks, a task daunting enough to drive many a homeowner into paying someone else to lay a patio for them. Similarly, bypass the pricey pros and lay your own stone walkways in sand.


Backyard Ideas on a Budget

Cheap Patio Ideas

First of all, if you don’t have a backyard patio, time to fix that now. You can build one easily in a corner of your yard with brick pavers, like they did over at ‘Lovely Indeed’. Start small if that’s all your budget allows, and add to it when you can! Great step by step directions and photos.

Use inexpensive paint to turn an ugly concrete patio into a gorgeous entertaining space! Check out ‘Jen Woodhouse’ and her tutorial for a stenciled patio rug. Isn’t this insanely beautiful?

You can make these colorful DIY planters for your budget patio without any power tools. These are made from corrugated plastic, so they are lightweight, weather resistant and easy to make. Check out the tutorial over at ‘BHG’. These are a cheap patio idea that will add personality and style, on a budget!

Cheap Landscaping Hacks

This idea from ‘Country Living‘ will have your garden beds “sharing the love” while watching your budget. Freshen your beds with plants that give you more bang for your buck, like lavender. It’s fragrant and beautiful, tough as nails, fast growing and it self propagates new baby plants every spring!

Maybe all you need is something to draw your eye through the garden. Install this gravel path in a weekend, with this tutorial from ‘Gardener of Good and Evil‘. Great tips on how to make the gravel stay in place, and to keep the footing stable. While this is a great backyard idea on a budget, it’s not as simple as just dumping the gravel on the ground. If you want it to last (and therefore be a real value) make sure you read this tutorial.

Want to hide a boring view, or simply bring an element into the garden that is at eye level, and can change as often as you want? Try this DIY vertical wall garden from ‘AKA Design‘! Great tutorial with lots of tips on how to turn a little lumber and chicken wire into a cool focal point in the garden. This is a great way to garden on a budget, and in a small space!

DIY Outdoor Decor on a Budget

Save your recycled tin cans for the garden! Make this charming fence planter with the instructions from ‘I Should Be Mopping the Floor’. I love polka dots, and what better way to create cheery, but cheap garden decor!

Make this easy garden obelisk with this tutorial from ‘Flower Patch Farmhouse‘. This is a great way to add height and interest to the garden, and by painting them in a color to match the mood of your space, they are pretty all year long!

These DIY twine lanterns from ‘Splash of Something‘ will keep you using that garden space well into the evening. We love using lights in the garden, and this is an easy DIY project using glue and balloons. Jump on over and check it out…

Need a little whimsy? These DIY mushrooms will do the trick, and they are as budget friendly as can be! From ‘My Paper Inclination‘, they are made from branches and dollar store bowls, plus a little paint. Awesome backyard idea on a budget!

If you want to know how to add an arbor to your garden, check out how to build a simple garden arbor over on our gardening site, TGG. That in itself will really spruce up your garden, but how about you take it one step further? Add birdhouses to the top of your arbor like they did in this pic from ‘BHG‘. Charm!

Have you been hanging around Pinterest and have caught sight of those amazing chicken wire garden sculptures? Well ‘Ehow‘ has a full tutorial on how to sculpt with chicken wire! Start with this small dragonfly, then use the next photo to inspire you!

More Cheap Backyard Ideas

This DIY tree swing from ‘The Merry Thought‘ looks right at home in that natural setting. You do not – we repeat, DO NOT have to be a kid to have a swing in your garden!

Add water to your backyard, on a budget! Make this DIY water fountain with bubbler with the tutorial from ‘Frugal Family Times‘. A great way to to bring a soothing element to your budget garden space.

Now that you know how to spruce up your garden with these backyard ideas on a budget, try our posts on DIY Window Boxes or 12 DIY Ideas for Porches, Patios and Decks. And don’t miss DIY Stock Tank Pools for summer fun! And if you are having trouble with our flying friends in the backyard, check out DIY Wasp Traps over at TGG! Also, Natural Weed Killer tutorials, and Outdoor Herb Planter Ideas & DIY’s!!

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The shed office

$1,395: Deck out the office. The number-one expenditure, the shed from the Home Depot was outfit­ted in Di’s quirky style with art—including a Spanish cross. The desktop inside is an old door.

$240: Repurpose. This tall chartreuse pot (left rollinggreensnursery.com) was purchased for a client and intended as a fountain. But Di couldn’t make it water-tight, so she “gifted” it to her garden.

Other costs: Pushpin wallboards, $300 desk (old door), $30.



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