32 Cheap And Easy Backyard Ideas That Are Borderline Genius

Can’t afford that dream deck or in-ground pool you’re dying for? There are still ways to get a beautiful backyard that’s perfect for entertaining.

1. Replace the light bulbs in an old chandelier with inexpensive solar lights. Hang it from a tree branch.

You’ll have gorgeous outdoor lighting without having to provide electricity.

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2. Turn an old chair into a swing.

Get the instructions here. (In Swedish.)

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3. Put diapers in the bottom of your potted plants.

They’ll help your plants retain their moisture and keep them looking fresh longer.

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4. Place scraps of yarn in a suet feeder and birds will use them to make their nests.

Get more information here.

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5. Make a giant outdoor water bed for the kids.

Get the directions here.

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6. Use glow necklaces and glow bracelets for a few rounds of night time ring toss.

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7. Break glow sticks into bottles of water for some nighttime lawn bowling action.

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8. Plant some ornamental Kochia Scoparia grass.

It’s a a hardy and drought-tolerant foliage plant that germinates super fast. They start out green but turn a pretty red color once it starts to get colder.

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9. Having a party? Tie vases to the fence and fill with plants or flowers.

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10. Spray paint metal folding chairs for entertaining in the backyard.

Go here to learn what sort of spray paint is best to use on metal.

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11. Make a wind chime out of old keys and acrylic paint.

Get the directions here.

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12. Don’t own a grill? This camping grill is a more inexpensive way to have a BBQ.

Get it here for $29.99-39.99.

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13. Opt for a splash pad instead of a pool.

They start at about $2-3k, which isn’t exactly cheap, but they are significantly cheaper than a pool. And safer, too, because there’s less risk of drowning.

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14. But actually, this DIY splash pad made from a tarp is even cheaper.

Find out how they did it here.

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15. Reuse your empty wine bottles by making mosquito-combating tiki torches with them.

Fill ‘em with citronella oil. Get the directions here.

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16. Plant lemongrass as a natural way to keep mosquitoes away.

Buy a mature plant from an Asian market or grocery store. When you get it home, trim the tops of the plant and remove any dead parts. Plant it in a clear jar of water and place on a sunny windowsill. Within a few weeks, it will develop roots and can be transplanted to your garden.

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17. Rinse your dirty feet off in a waterproof frame filled with flat stones.

The flat stones will feel so good on your feet!

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18. The sedum sarmentosum plant makes a fast-growing ground cover.

In June, it grows tiny yellow flowers!

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19. Coat planters with glow-in-the-dark paint for instant night lighting.

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20. Put mirrors up on your fence to make the yard look bigger.

Find out how to make this upcycled one from old windows.

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21. Toilet paper makes the best, cheapest seed paper.

It can be difficult to space out small seeds like carrots. Get the directions here on how to use seed paper to plant your tiny seeds.

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22. Repurpose your tree stumps.

Turn one into a table, a planter, or just cover it in moss and flowers to make it look pretty.

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23. Enlist the kids to help you make stepping stones out of cement, cereal boxes, and glass stones.

Get the full directions here.

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24. Grow a sunflower house for the kids to play in.

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25. Get some rainbow fire crystals for your fire pit.

At $14.95 for a pack of two, these are pretty enough to be worth it if you’re having people over.

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26. Set up pool noodles for a game of kickball croquet.

Get the directions here.

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27. Sugar water or apple juice in a milk jug will trap bees, wasps, and hornets.

There are plenty of reasons NOT to kill these creatures, but if someone’s allergic to stings or you need a way to deal with them without using chemicals, here’s an easy method. Fill with sweet sugar water and cut a small slit into the side. They won’t be able to escape.

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28. Epsom salts make the best and easiest fertilizer.

It’s considered the secret to a lovely, lush garden. For potted plants, dissolve 2 tablespoons of epsom salts per gallon of water, and substitute this solution for normal watering at least once a month. Or sprinkle it into the soil before planting seeds.

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29. Use rope lighting to line your garden.

It’s waterproof, and you can put it on a timer.

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30. Hang a tarp between two trees and cut shapes out so the kids can practice their throwing motions.

Get the directions here.

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31. This pool noodle floating cooler only costs $1.99.

Get the instructions here.

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32. Drill holes into your fence and replace them with marbles.

The marbles will cast pretty colored light onto your yard.

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