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51 Budget Backyard DIYs 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.

Peggy Wang / BuzzFeed

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

sun-gazing.com

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

marthastewart.com

The flat stones will feel so good on your feet!

3. Replace the lightbulbs in an old chandelier with inexpensive solar lights. Hang it from a tree branch.

leahglass.blogspot.com

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

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

thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com

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

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5. Or make some mirrored lawn ornaments by spraying different-sized orbs with looking-glass spray paint.

amazon.co.uk

You can actually buy the orbs here, or try DIYing your own.

6. Turn an old chair into a swing.

husohem.se

Get the instructions here. (In Swedish.)

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7. It only takes about 20 minutes to make this skateboard swing.

littlebitfunky.com

See how they did this here.

8. A pallet and some rope makes a multi-person swing.

havven.com.au

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9. Make your own rock-climbing wall.

pinterest.com
houzz.com

See how she did this here using wall grips purchased from eBay.

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

stagetecture.com

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

bethlehem-pa-gardening.blogspot.com

In June, it grows tiny yellow flowers!

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

amazon.com

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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13. Put some stakes in the ground to make a lounging trio of hammocks.

google.com
google.com

14. Reuse those wooden stakes to create the most epic game of Scrabble ever.

au.lifestyle.yahoo.com

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

homemadetoast.com

Your kids will love it, I promise. Get the directions here.

16. A tarp and sprinkler will create a fun splash pad for a slide.

littlehandsbigwork.com

The sprinkler keeps the tarp wet for a full day of fun splashing.

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17. Tie rope between trees to create a fun obstacle course for the kids.

ashleyannphotography.com

18. Use glow necklaces and glow bracelets for a few rounds of nighttime ring toss.

mommadidit.blogspot.com

19. Break glowsticks into bottles of water for some nighttime lawn bowling action.

parents.com

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20. Placemats + fabric waterproofing spray = cheap and easy outdoor throw pillows.

domesticimperfection.com
domesticimperfection.com

Get the full directions here.

21. Make toadstools out of cut logs and repurposed wooden salad bowls (!!!).

twigandtoadstool.blogspot.com

Get this adorable DIY here.

22. Paint the stones in your garden.

shemovesthefurniture.blogspot.com

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

thefarmersnest.com

24. Spray-paint metal folding chairs for entertaining in the backyard.

kellysmoonlight.blogspot.com

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

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

cabelas.com

Get it here for $29.99–39.99.

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

whenthepigsfly.com

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

27. For a touch of whimsy, add some funny fuzzy hedgehogs made from just a water bottle.

prakticideas.com

Get the full directions here.

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28. Make a race car track.

nz.lifestyle.yahoo.com

Instructions here.

29. Create a little privacy with a plant wall made from old rain gutters.

30. An inflatable pool fountain is perfect for frolicking.

ehow.com

Get the directions here.

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

organicgardening.com

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.

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

ladybirdln.com

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

33. Make a "wee village" garden.

facebook.com

Your kids will have so much fun playing with this miniature village, and it's a great way to get them outside.

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34. Repurpose your tree stumps.

interiorholic.com

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

35. Use latex floor paint to color cement tiles on an outdoor patio.

abeautifulmess.com

Get more info about how they did this here.

36. Did a tree fall down? Use it as a a bike stand.

Stu­dio Sjoesjoe

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37. Have a backyard drive-in party for the kids with cardboard boxes.

instagram.com

Get the instructions on how to make a DIY backyard movie screen here.

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

Flickr: hartlandlibraryvt

39. Or build a cheap and easy bean fort.

joyfultoddlers.blogspot.com

See how they did this here.

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

innerchildfun.com
chasing-fireflies.com

Hula-hoops work too. Get the directions here.

41. Use rope lighting to line your garden.

ozzu.com
its-a-green-life.com

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

You could also use a border of rocks to separate the lawn from the deck.

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

instructables.com

Get the instructions here.

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43. If you already have throw pillows, make them patio-ready by using a grocery-bag insert.

inmyownstyle.com

Directions here.

44. You can build a backyard beach for $200.

sunset.com

It'll be a nonstop summer vacation. This one takes up only 100 square feet of space.

45. If you plan on doing a lot of entertaining, this simple fence table will give your guests a place to eat and drink.

sensiblysara.com

Get the instructions here.

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46. These shady book nooks require just a hula-hoop and a curtain.

alannageorge.com

Get the directions here.

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

giving.innerchildfun.com

Get the directions here.

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

fiberfarm.com

Get more information here.

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49. Mount a chalk-painted board to the fence so kids can unleash their creativity outdoors.

handmadehq.com.auoutdoorchalkboard.html

50. This cinder block bench should only cost you about $30.

creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com

Get the directions here.

51. Make a garden umbrella stand using a pot or a barrel.

thesoutherninstitute.com

Get the directions here.

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If you're still daydreaming about backyard fun, check out this list of 32 Outrageously Fun Things You’ll Want In Your Backyard This Summer.

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