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.

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.


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

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.

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

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

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


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

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

6. Turn an old chair into a swing.

Get the instructions here. (In Swedish.)

Nifty Home
Sign up to the Nifty Home Newsletter - DIY projects, organization tips, & home decor recommendations.

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

See how they did this here.

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


9. Make your own rock-climbing wall.

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.

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

In June, it grows tiny yellow flowers!

12. 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.


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

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

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

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.

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


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

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

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


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

Get the full directions here.

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

Get this adorable DIY here.

22. Paint the stones in your garden.

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

24. 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.


25. 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.

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

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.

Get the full directions here.


28. Make a race car track.

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.

Get the directions here.


31. 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.

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

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

33. Make a "wee village" garden.

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


34. Repurpose your tree stumps.

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.

Get more info about how they did this here.

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

Stu­dio Sjoesjoe


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

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.

See how they did this here.

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

Hula-hoops work too. Get the directions here.

41. Use rope lighting to line your garden.

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.

Get the instructions here.


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

Directions here.

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

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.

Get the instructions here.


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

Get the directions here.

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

Get the directions here.

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

Get more information here.


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

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

Get the directions here.

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

Get the directions here.


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.

Nifty Home
Sign up to the Nifty Home Newsletter - DIY projects, organization tips, & home decor recommendations.
Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Share More More

More like this:

More entertainment, shopping, and quizzes in the BuzzFeed app!

Unable to load comments. Try reloading this page or viewing the full site. Pop out
Show more Expand