cheap backyard ideas

Welcome to the ultimate guide to transforming your backyard into a stylish haven without breaking the bank! With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can turn even the most modest outdoor space into a retreat that you’ll love spending time in. In this post, we’ll explore cheap backyard ideas that will elevate your outdoor living experience, all while keeping your budget in check.


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Every inviting backyard has key elements that when combined, create a tranquil and dynamic oasis. These include:

  • Water
  • Fire
  • Greenery
  • Textiles

Each of these ideas that are listed, incorporates these elements on a budget-friendly scale that you can do today! So without further ado… let’s get into it!

12 Cheap Backyard Ideas

1. Pallet Furniture

One of the cheapest ways to furnish your backyard is by repurposing pallets into stylish furniture pieces. From pallet sofas to coffee tables, the possibilities are endless!

Get your hands on some pallets, give them a fresh coat of paint, add some comfy cushions, and voila! You have yourself a chic outdoor seating area that didn’t cost a fortune.

**Tip** Check with your local grocery store to see if they have any unused wooden pallets around. They sometimes get some on their delivery days.

2. Patio Table With Built In Ice Boxes

This idea is pure genius! You take a table and cut square sections in the middle to place a metal tub underneath the table’s surface for ice and drinks to sit in!

This idea keeps you and your guests from having to keep going inside for more drinks and keeps them handy on the table nearby for ultra-convenience!

To learn how to make your own DIY patio table ice box, click Here!

3. DIY Outdoor Lighting

Lighting is KING. It is the epitome of low-cost, big-impact decorating. It always adds such an inviting festive mood and there are SO many options to choose from!

You can hand string lights across your patio or backyard for a cozy ambiance. You can also repurpose mason jars into lanterns by placing candles inside them. These simple yet effective lighting ideas will instantly add warmth and charm to your outdoor space!

Here Are Some Other Popular Options To Inspire…

  • String Lights: String lights are versatile and can be hung across fences, wrapped around trees, or draped along pergolas to create a warm and inviting glow. Choose between traditional incandescent bulbs or energy-efficient LED options in various shapes and colors.
  • Fairy Lights: Similar to string lights but on a smaller scale, fairy lights add a magical touch to any outdoor space. These delicate, twinkling lights can be intertwined with foliage, placed in jars, or woven through trellises for a whimsical effect.
  • Solar-Powered Lights: Solar-powered lights are an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for illuminating your backyard. These lights absorb sunlight during the day and automatically turn on at dusk, providing soft, ambient lighting without the need for electricity.
  • Lanterns: Lanterns come in various styles, including paper, metal, and glass, and can be hung from branches, placed on tables, or used to line pathways. Opt for flameless LED candles inside lanterns for a safer and long-lasting glow.
  • Tiki Torches: Tiki torches not only add a tropical flair to your backyard but also provide ambient lighting for outdoor gatherings. Fill them with citronella oil to help repel mosquitoes while creating a cozy ambiance with flickering flames.
  • Spotlights: Spotlights are ideal for highlighting specific features in your backyard, such as trees, sculptures, or architectural elements. Use adjustable spotlights to direct light where it’s needed most and create visual interest after dark.
  • Globe Lights: Globe lights, also known as globe string lights or cafe lights, feature large, round bulbs that emit a soft, warm glow. Hang them above outdoor dining areas or along fences for a charming and elegant look.
  • Underwater Lights: If you have a pond, fountain, or water feature in your backyard, consider adding underwater lights to illuminate them at night. These lights can enhance the beauty of your aquatic features and create a mesmerizing effect after dark.
  • Uplighting: Uplighting involves placing lights at ground level to illuminate trees, shrubs, or architectural features from below. This technique adds drama and depth to your backyard landscape, especially when used to highlight tall plants or statues.

There are so many options to choose from! Go ahead and get creative!

My absolute favorite light idea is to add curtain lights to my back patio! I pair it with some sheer white curtains and it creates such a beautiful ambiance during the evenings!

I love these outdoor curtain lights from Amazon! They are the perfect length for my patio and the lights are stunning!

cheap backyard ideas
cheap backyard ideas

4. Utilize Spray Paint

Have any old patio furniture that could use a little lift? Buy a can of Rustoleum and go to town! You can totally revive any patio set with a little outdoor spray paint and new patio cushions!

This idea is SUPER easy and low-cost! You can have new patio furniture by the afternoon!

5. Create A DIY Fire Pit

Gather around a DIY fire pit with friends and family for cozy evenings under the stars! Building a fire pit doesn’t have to be expensive. You can construct one using inexpensive materials like bricks, gravel, or even a large metal bowl.

Other ways to add fire that are inexpensive are:

  1. Tiki Torches
  2. Table Top Fire Bowl
  3. Candles
  4. Table Top Fire Pit

To learn how to create a DIY firepit for only $60, click Here!

For DIY firepit designs and inspiration, click Here!

6. Add A Vertical Garden

This option is perfect for those avid plant enthusiasts. It’s also a popular trend as well and for good reason! You can use old wooden pallets or repurpose a ladder to hang pots and planters vertically.

This not only saves space but also adds a pop of greenery to your backyard oasis! Grow herbs, flowers, or succulents for a touch of nature that doesn’t require a green thumb or a big budget.

The possibilities are truly endless when creating a vertical garden. No matter what climate, there are several options to choose from. You can get as creative with this as you want with patterns and colors.

7. DIY Pathways

Define your backyard space with charming DIY pathways! You can use materials like gravel, stepping stones, or even reclaimed bricks to create pathways that lead to different areas of your outdoor oasis.

Not only do pathways add visual interest, but they also make navigating your backyard more enjoyable for you and your guests.

8. Outdoor Rug Revamp

You can instantly refresh and brighten up any patio space with a new rug! A stylish rug can instantly tie your outdoor furniture together and add a cozy touch to your backyard retreat.

Never underestimate the power of fresh new textiles such as rugs!

Amazon has so many affordable outdoor rugs to choose from! I always check there first for the best deals.

9. Create A Cozy Reading Nook

Transform a quiet corner of your backyard into a cozy reading nook where you can unwind with your favorite book. Hang a hammock between two trees, add some outdoor cushions and throw blankets, and you’ll have a serene retreat where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life without spending a fortune!

10. Host A DIY Outdoor Movie Night

Turn your backyard into a cinema under the stars with a DIY outdoor movie night. All you need is a white sheet or a blank wall, a projector, some cozy seating, and of course, popcorn! Invite friends and family over for a memorable movie night experience that won’t break the bank.

11. Add/Create A DIY Water Fountain

The peaceful sound of trickling water adds the ambiance for an outdoor oasis!

To find out how to build your own DIY water fountain, click Here!

12. Create a Grill and Bar Cart

I love it when there is a functional idea for a patio living space! This is another great way to keep those drinks chill and optimize your grilling experience!

To learn how to build your own bar and grill cart, click Here!


With these cheap backyard ideas, you can transform your outdoor space into a stylish oasis where you’ll love spending time all year round! From DIY projects to implementing elements, there are countless budget-friendly ways to enhance your backyard and create a retreat that reflects your style and creativity.

So roll up your sleeves, unleash your imagination, and get ready to turn your backyard dreams into reality!

XOXO,

Olivia Jay

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