14 Cheap DIYs for a Better Backyard

Most homeowners are eager to improve their outdoor living space, but professional landscaping services and patio furniture cost a pretty penny these days. Don’t give up hope! With a little imagination, you can create the backyard of your dreams on the cheap. Check out these 14 budget-friendly DIY projects from around the web. Maybe they'll inspire you to transform your space before the next neighborhood barbecue.

By Jamie Birdwell-Branson | Updated Jul 31, 2020 01:35 PM

Hanging Horticulture

DIY Hanging Basket Planter

Do you want to plant an herb garden but fear that pesky puppies or curious kiddos will dig it up? This DIY hanging basket from A Beautiful Mess is the perfect solution! All you need are a couple of durable containers, braided ropes, and some flowers or herbs of your choice. After a few hours of work, you’ll gain a functional, fabulous hanging planter that fits in virtually any space.

Related: 20 Ways to Garden Without a Backyard


Wooden and Wonderful

DIY Topiary Planter

When filled with your favorite blooms, stylish planters can personalize any home exterior; however, they also put a dent in your landscaping budget. An alternative to store-bought options, this gorgeous DIY cedar container by The House of Wood costs less than a single plant!

Related: 10 Affordable Landscaping Projects You Can DIY in a Day


Twinkling in Twine

DIY Twine Lighting Fixture

After the sun sets, twinkling light fixtures—like this rustic-chic chandelier by All Things Heart & Home—lend a dreamy atmosphere to the backyard. To re-create this project, you simply need twine balls, a birch branch, burlap ribbon, and white string lights—plus a delicious meal to enjoy alfresco, underneath the romantic, sparkling lights.

Related: 16 Brilliant Lighting Ideas You Can DIY on a Dime


Retired Tire

DIY Tire Planter

Do you have an old tire lying around the garage? Instead of tossing it in the trash, recycle it into a farmhouse-style planter for your backyard, like the blogger behind Addicted 2 DIY did. You’ll declutter your space and get a new backyard accessory to boot! 

Related: 12 Backyard Updates You Can Do in a Day


A Shady Spot

DIY Pergola

A pergola adds style and shade to a backyard, but such structures usually cost several hundred dollars. To save some cash, heavy-lifting DIYers like those at The Created Home can build a semi-attached pergola off the back of the house for significantly less. It's not so much effort when you consider that you'll be creating your new go-to spot for picnic lunches or even a glass of wine at the end of the day.

Related: 9 Creative Ways to Build a Backyard Hangout


Light Up Your Life

Rustic DIY Lantern

To enjoy your backyard at night. it’s vital to have plenty of lighting to illuminate your cookouts, soccer games, and casual get-togethers. This rustic DIY lantern by The House of Wood is both charming and cheap—and a great way to recycle your leftover scrap wood.

Related: 8 DIY Pick-Me-Ups for a Plain Patio


Faux Cement Flooring

DIY Stenciled Patio Tiles

Cement tiles instantly elevate a backyard, but most homeowners balk after seeing the price per square foot. Fortunately, there’s no need to empty your wallet to attain big visual interest on your patio. Take a cue from the bloggers behind A Beautiful Mess, who created patterned flooring with nothing more than paint, a stencil, permanent markers, and a little bit of patience.

Related: The Best Painted Tile Floors on the Internet


Rocking Out

DIY Rock-Covered Planter

Whether you live five miles or 500 miles from the ocean, you can bring the coast to your backyard through beach-themed accessories like this DIY planter by Centsational Style. The rocks are adhered to the metal bucket with thin-set mortar and held in place with an application of grout. Savvy crafters can also add beach stones or seashells for a twist on the seaside theme.

Related: 14 DIY Project Materials Hiding in Your Backyard


An Array of Flower Pots

DIY Flower Pot for Deck

Does your backyard look a little dull? Add some color by planting flowers in shiny tin pots, then attaching the pots to a tension rod on your deck—a clever approach taken by Yellow Bliss Road. As a bonus, you won't need to worry about ground pests nibbling on your greenery!

Related: 10 Totally Unexpected Things to Remake as Planters


Patio Pom-Pom Pillows

DIY Patio Pillows

Weather-resistant throw pillows add comfort and visual appeal to patio furniture. They also, however, add cost, so this season, skip the store and sew your own using old bedroom pillows and some outdoor-certified polyester fabric. Adorn your new accents with festive pom-poms like I Heart Naptime did to create a backyard that’s ready to party at any moment!

Related: The Best Outdoor Furniture for Under $100


Cinder Seating

DIY Cinder Block Bench

From neighborhood barbecues to pool parties, backyard gatherings require plenty of seating. Don’t rush to the furniture store, though! Instead, take a cue from Somewhat Simple and whip up this cinder-block bench for just $30.

Related: 12 Doable Designs for a DIY Bench


A Portable Pallet Bar

DIY Pallet Bar

Do you and your friends hop from house to house for various neighborhood gatherings? Then this folding pallet bar by My Repurposed Life is the perfect DIY project for you. Strategically placed hinges make it easy to pack up the bar and take it over to a  neighbor's, or toss it in the car when you head off to tailgate.

Related: 15 Doable Designs for a DIY Patio Table


Curtain Call

DIY Outdoor Curtains

Do you have a pergola or a sun-soaked deck that gets unbearably hot during the warmer months? Cool it down by hanging some outdoor curtains! These no-sew curtains by Table + Hearth bring both style and function to the backyard, creating the ideal hangout for warm summer afternoons and evenings.

Related: 18 Design Ideas to Make Your Deck a Destination


Raise the Roots

DIY Raised Garden Bed

Banish those wicked weeds for good with this easy-to-build DIY raised garden bed from The Merrythought. Not only does a raised bed add visual variety to your backyard, but it also prevents weeds from colonizing your flower bed.

Related: 7 Weirdly Effective Ways to Weed


DIY On a Dime

DIY On a Dime

You don't have to hire a professional, or drop a lot of cash, to get a better backyard.


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