Your DIY Guide to a Backyard Makeover on a Budget

Are you ready to give your outdoor living space an upgrade? A backyard makeover doesn’t have to be costly to be luxurious. Sometimes, the right night-time lighting, patio furniture, and DIY magic are all you need to create your dream yard. Check out our list of backyard design ideas to help you transform your green space into a beautiful oasis on a budget!

Build a DIY Deck or Patio

DIY deck with twinkle lights. Photo by Instagram user @seekingalexi
Photo via @seekingalexi

If you’re not sure where to begin with your backyard remodel, why not start with a deck or patio? This feature will instantly give your yard major appeal, and it adds resale value to your home. Lay down a concrete patio with this easy DIY project or build a wooden deck that you can adorn with cute chairs.

Lay Down an Outdoor Rug

Patio with fire pit and black and white rug. Photo by Instagram user @alexandmike
Photo via @alexandmike

Need something to jazz up your patio space without big renovations? Consider a large outdoor rug! Not only is this a good way to include a pop of color in your backyard, but it’s also an inexpensive way to change up a space without having to go through the process of painting or staining a deck.

Create a Stone Path

Outdoor stone path lined with flowers. Photo by Instagram user @plaids.and.poppies
Photo via @plaids.and.poppies

A garden isn’t necessary for this DIY backyard transformation idea! Put down materials like mulch, bricks, or stones to create a clear path from your house to the pool or playhouse in your backyard. You can also include a little flair to your pathway by adding yard decorations like glow-in-the-dark rocks or garden stakes.

Construct a Tree Bench

Green bench that wraps around a tree. Photo by Instagram user @cottagesandbungalows
Photo via @cottagesandbungalows

Utilize that big tree in your backyard makeover by building a tree bench! Some protective eye gear, wood pallets, and a saw are just a few of the items you’ll need for this crafty outdoor bench idea. When you’re finished, paint it your favorite color and add some decorative pillows for a shaded reading spot!

Set Up a Trellis

Brown trellis with vines wrapped around it. Photo by Instagram user @thehappygardeninglife
Photo via @thehappygardeninglife

A trellis is an excellent idea for adding a little charm to your yard. Create your own trellis out of metal poles or wooden boards, and plant climbing roses on either side to grow a garden to new heights.

Create Shade with a Pergola

Pergola draped with floral curtains and pink flowers. Photo by Instagram user @wainwrighthousetohome
Photo via @wainwrighthousetohome

A pergola is a fantastic idea for your dream backyard. Clear out an area on a deck or in your yard and build your own pergola with this guide from DIY Network. Planning to spend a lot of time outside with your backyard remodel? Add curtains for extra shade to create the ultimate outdoor living room!

Invest in a Fountain

Watering can fountain covered in flowers. Photo by Instagram user @alexzorz
Photo via @alexzorz

Need some ideas for a small yard? Invest in a fountain! These backyard items are great for adding a water feature to your outdoor space without costing too much or taking up lots of room. Tuck the fountain away in a small garden or place it on an end table to show off your decor.

Use a Stock Tank Pool

Silver stock pool surrounded by pink flowers. Photo by Instagram user @86andeverettedesignco
Photo via @86andeverettedesignco

This outdoor feature is not only an inexpensive way to cool down during the hot summer months, but it also adds some backyard fun that the kids will love! Place it on a concrete patio or custom-built stone platform to protect your grass from water damage.

String Up Some Mood Lighting

Outdoor table with mismatched chairs and twinkle lights. Photo by Instagram user @cl_urbearq
Photo via @cl_urbearq

If you’re looking to have one of the most beautiful backyards on the block, invest in outdoor lighting. Drape string lights down from a pergola or across your outdoor living space to give it a starry-night feel. You can also line any patio or garden path with torches and lanterns for soft lighting.

Get Crafty with Your Fence

Fence with colorful marbles in it. Photo by Instagram user @suchgaul
Photo via @suchgaul

Cool backyard ideas don’t have to be expensive to have that “wow” factor. All you need is a drill, several different sizes of multi-colored marbles, and a rubber mallet for this cute DIY project. Your backyard will be illuminated with color when the sun hits just right!

Paint a Fence Mural

Red and yellow flowers and a bee fence mural. Photo by Instagram user @bettysmith.art
Photo via @bettysmith.art

Designing a unique mural on your fence is another great way to make over your backyard on a budget. Just be sure to determine what paints you’ll use and the scale of the mural first in order to properly prepare the fence for your masterpiece.

Grow Your Garden Vertically

Vertical wall garden on fence. Photo by Instagram user @jess_ruston
Photo via @jess_ruston

Whether you’re looking to expand your garden without taking up horizontal space or searching for small backyard ideas, wall planters are terrific for changing your outdoor area on a budget. The experienced carpenter will love this custom DIY vertical planter. But if you’re looking for something simpler, drill plastic planter boxes or pots into a wooden pallet to place against your house.

Try Xeriscaping

Cacti in gravel. Photo by Instagram user @desertcoastdesigns
Photo via @desertcoastdesigns

Reduce water usage when you xeriscape your green space. This budget-friendly backyard landscaping idea is easy to do, requires minimum maintenance, and saves you on water all while giving your yard major appeal and adding value to your property!

Make a Space for Outdoor Dining

Outdoor table with wine barrels. Photo by Instagram user @urbangardenstudio
Photo via @urbangardenstudio

If you love entertaining guests, having family barbecues, or working outside, then a table is a must for your green space! Buy a patio set that comes complete with table and chairs, or build your own outdoor table out of a few wine barrels and wooden boards for DIY yard decor.

Include Comfy Seating

Wooden pallet benches with grey cushions. Photo by Instagram user @nataschajanina
Photo via @nataschajanina

Outdoor seating is one of the most important features to include in your backyard transformation. Large outdoor pillows, benches, and rocking chairs are all fantastic pieces to create a cozy space for you and your guests to relax. For a great cheap outdoor seating idea, make your own day bed with a wooden pallet.

Heat Up with a Fire Pit

Stone fire pit surrounded by bench. Photo by Instagram user @katrinacanerealtor
Photo via @katrinacanerealtor

The best backyard designs are the ones that include a fire pit! Show off your DIY skills by building your own fire pit out of wall stones with this simple tutorial, or find a metal one that’s also budget-friendly. Make sure that you include ample seating around your fire pit for roasting marshmallows!

Don’t Forget a Hammock

White hammock under twinkle lights. Photo by Instagram user @thefarrisgroup
Photo via @thefarrisgroup

A hammock is a fun backyard idea that both kids and adults will appreciate. Suspend a hammock between two trees and fasten the ropes with either industrial hooks or tree straps. Affordable hammocks with stands are also an option if a sturdy tree isn’t available.

Create a Relaxing Meditation Space

Chair hanging from tree with red rugs on ground. Photo by Instagram user @trangjanick
Photo via @trangjanick

Give your outdoor living space a facelift with a calming meditation space. Find a secluded spot in your yard and set up large pillows and blankets for lounging and a table for incense. If your relaxation station is near a tree, hang decorative ornaments or a swinging chair for some extra flair.

Set Up a Backyard Theater

Outdoor theater with cushions and twinkle lights. Photo by Instagram user @rissipiecies
Photo by @rissipiecie

Grab the popcorn and appreciate the outdoors with this backyard makeover idea. Add a few blankets, large pillows, and string lights for a comfortable theater ambiance, and hook up a projector and screen to watch all of your favorite flicks right in your yard! This DIY screen is a cheap and easy way to create the ultimate backyard viewing experience.

Flip Burgers in an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchen with grill. Photo by Instagram user @mrs_rackley.home
Photo via @mrs_rackley.home

Let your backyard be the supreme spot for entertaining guests with a kitchen! There are plenty of ways to build an outdoor kitchen that fit within your budget. Add a charcoal grill and table on a patio for a simple look. Or install a kitchen kit under a pergola, which includes an island, grill, storage, and refrigerator.

Invest in a Portable Bar

Wooden outdoor bar cart by yellow door. Photo by Instagram user @thekatrinablair
Photo via @thekatrinablair

Say goodbye to making multiple trips inside with a bar cart! Load your cart up with glasses, small appetizer plates, a pitcher for lemonade or water, and an array of snacks to have a convenient fueling station right in your backyard. And if it starts to rain, you can easily transport it inside to keep the party going!

Add Some Kid-Friendly Fun

Tree house swing set with yellow slide. Photo by Instagram user @marc_d_porkchop
Photo via @marc_d_porkchop

Jungle gyms, swing sets, and treehouses are basically a backyard decor necessity when you have little ones. Create a tire swing with some rope, a sturdy tire, and pillow for added comfort. Or build a treehouse to give your children a playspace they can call their own.

Set Up Some Lawn Games

Croquet in backyard. Photo by Instagram user @laurynprattes
Photo via @laurynprattes

Complete your yard makeover by setting up lawn games. Croquet, bocce ball, ladder golf, and bucket ball are all awesome ideas for including recreation in your backyard green space. This DIY backyard project is a cinch and will provide immediate outdoor fun for you and your family!

Plant Bright Flowers

Bright blue flowers near stone path. Photo by Instagram user @manda_narie
Photo via @manda_narie

When it comes to simple backyard ideas on a budget, you can never go wrong with flowers. This is ideal for adding a natural pop of color to your landscape. Plant hydrangea bushes or tulip bulbs along the fence if you have a major green thumb. Or go to your local plant nursery and buy a few pots to fill with your favorite blossoms.

Whether you want to upgrade your yard with fun water features or create the perfect area to chill out, there are tons of cheap backyard ideas to make your outdoor living space a hangout spot everyone will love!

Backyard Design