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    If You Want To Make Your Backyard *Even Better*, Here Are 40 Low-Lift Suggestions

    Your place will be the new gourmet pizza place that's so hard to get into after you install this pizza oven.

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    1. Pull together decor for an outdoor room or just cover up an ugly surface with an indoor/outdoor rug built to weather rain and more.

    outdoor room with patio furniture with printed rug on the patio surface

    2. Cover up a hard surface that, tbh, is beyond visual help with interlocking Teak tiles you don't need tools to install. They're great for rental properties because you can take them apart and take them with you when you move!

    3. Don't shy away from scattering container plants throughout your yard! They'll give your space ~levels~ of visual interest, especially if you're working in a space with few (or no) flower beds and lots of hard surfaces — like in this gorgeous Brooklyn backyard makeover.

    backyard with hammock and umbrella and container plants in it

    4. But if you're not sure where you start, invest in a pair of matching containers you can set on your patio, along walkways, or around seating areas.

    large plant container pots with gray gradient pattern on them

    5. Roll out a weather-resistant cedar pathway along garden beds or other paths where your family tends to tread and wear down the grass.

    slotted wood walkway beside a bed of hydrangeas

    6. Or place some smol picket fencing (1 foot tall!) around your prized garden beds to deter kids and pets from getting into them.

    garden bed with short white picket fence style edging
    Wayfair

    Promising review: "I have been looking for fencing to keep skunks out of my 'patio pond'....this fit the size, is good quality and is 'flexible' enough to bend around corners. Problems with the way they attach to each other but that seems to be common to these types of fencing. The manufacturer should look into some sort of clips to keep the pieces connected......decent price for as many as I got!" —Roseann from Dayton, OH

    Get 18 composite pieces from Wayfair for $34.99.

    7. String up waterproof globe lights for a big style impact when hung along your roofline, draped on outdoor structures like a pergola, or just strung up solo so you can enjoy the lights *and* the stars.

    reviewer pic of the string lights along roofline in back of house by a pool patio area
    reviewer pic of lights strung up in lines above a patio area with benches

    Reviewers note that you should remove the bulbs before stringing up the strands and then install the bulbs.

    Promising review: "These lights were perfect for my patio, I've recieved plenty of compliments so far. The Edison light bulbs and beautiful and offer the perfect amount of lighting for any occasion...the clips were ideal for my eaves, the overhang of the roof, which made for simple installation...now just need to find a dimmer capable of handling the required wattage and the package will be complete." —Brody Vins

    Get a strand from Amazon for $14.40+ (available in three styles and lengths).

    8. And stake solar lights along a walkway or pond right where you need 'em. Lighting is key for getting more use out of your outdoor space. Oh, and they look nice in the daylight too!

    the solar lights at night
    the solar night along a walkway in the day

    Promising review: "Impressed with the size of the cell which provides a larger surface area for charging. The lights are the brightest I've seen for a solar light and the illumination covers a nice range. Placed them along my pond giving the place a classy look." —Percussionist

    Get six from Amazon for $46.99.

    9. Stash recycling bins, bikes, a lawnmower, and other hefty tools you have no other place to look in this nice-looking shed if you don't have room for a full-fledged shed.

    10. Switch to rapid-fill water balloons so you can cut down on prep time and get to the backyard fun so much faster. 

    tub full of water balloons
    Amazon

    Promising review: "My family has had a blast with these this summer. Easy to fill up to get the fun started! Just make sure to make all players agree to the yard pickup afterwards, but it’s worth it!" —Momof3

    Get 350 balloons from Amazon for $24.99 (available in three color combos).

    11. Or try out a set of reusable water balloons in case you wanna keep the fun going with FAR less waste. *And* they won't sting when you get nailed, unlike regular water balloons. 

    person's hands holding the knitted yarn balloon-shaped toys
    Mama Love Boutique / Etsy

    Mama Love Boutique is a Sellersville, Pennsylvania-based shop that specializes in these balloons and knit hats.

    These water balloons are handmade with a chenille-like yarn, which means they're soft, absorbent, and a great alternative to wasteful plastic single-use water balloons. 

    Promising review: "Got them, opened them, used them in the same day. I have two boys with LOTS of energy and they had so much fun pummeling me with these water 'balloons' 🤣 and I had fun throwing them right back. Not just for kids. Very well made. So happy with this purchase!" —Carley Campbell

    Get the 12-pack from Mama Love Boutique on Etsy for $41.50 (available in three color combos).

    12. Win the Parent of the Year Award with a mini sprinkler pool that'll help the fam cool off and get some water time without having to dump out a kiddie pool's worth of water once the fun has wrapped.

    Several reviewers shared that this little pool kept their kids engaged for hours.

    Promising review: "My kids love this. It is soo easy to plug the hose into and turn the water on and the kids can have hours of fun. Once the kids are done playing, I disconnect the hose let the water drain, and hang it over the porch." —Austin

    Get it from Amazon for $24.98.

    13. Allow your neighbors to marvel over some magnetic grill lights that I'm sure even Hank Hill hasn't heard of!

    But really though, why isn't every grill equipped with these from the factory?

    Promising review: "This was a surprise for my husband. He loves them. The lights are nice and bright and make grilling those last few things that didn't get finished before dark hot. He's also used them early in the morning when he's setting the smoker up before dawn. He's happy and finding them very useful. He especially loves the magnet on bottom so he can hang them off of so many things while he's busy and he can use the flexibility to shine them where he needs them. Very awesome and easy to use." —Holly Gomez

    Get two from Amazon for $22.49.

    14. And keep an instant-read meat thermometer handy to help you FINALLY cook the perfect steak while you're grilling. Or maybe just not give your family food poisoning!

    Promising review: "Couldn't be easier to use really. I tested it with ice water and boiling water and it seems to be pretty accurate. I've already cooked some steaks using it and they came out perfect. Plan to use it a lot with my smoker and expect good results there too. I love that it has the magnets so I can stick on the fridge, the grill or the smoker and it's always handy. And you really can't beat the price at under $10!" —FCC

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    15. Let an outdoor drink stakes set hold your beer while you tend to the fire pit or check out how those burgers are faring on the grill.

    Promising review: "As always, my order was shipped quickly and in perfect condition. I love the bright colors and they are talk and sturdy. They are perfect for bottles, cabs, and cups... Not so good with stemmed wine glasses! No problem: I just ordered silicone stemless wine glasses!" —LaDonna Clark

    Get a set of six from Amazon for $36.49. Or get a set made for stemmed wine glasses here.

    16. Spruce up stained concrete patios or walkways with some concrete paint for a refreshed look that'll make a HUGE difference.

    17. But if you're renting or painting is out of the question for other reasons, a power washer will give you an oh-so-satisfying "after" when it comes to stained and worse-for-wear concrete surfaces. (And the same goes for fences!)

    18. Extend your backyard time by investing in a lighted umbrella that'll tilt (literally) to your whims and give you the right amount of shade and light when/where you want it.

    19. Use a brick pizza oven building kit (with a foam form for easier building) in case you've given up hope on having one after trying to price them out...this Etsy shop has tons of plans to help you DIY and save!

    finished oven in backyard
    Brickwood Ovens / Etsy

    Brickwood Ovens is a Lynden, Washington-based shop that sells downloadable pizza oven plans for less than a buck, along with this form! With this form you can build the base and oven in just three weekends (or less). And it looks great with any color of fire brick.

    Get the plans from Brickwood Ovens on Etsy for $189.99

    20. Buy a conversation set with coordinating seats and a table so you can sit and enjoy your revamped backyard awhile. You deserve it!

    the wood patio set with white cushions

    21. Attach a roll of faux ivy to ugly wire fencing, railing, or a trellis to obscure a view you don't love.

    22. Place a handsome privacy screen as a design element that'll also help obscure something less than desirable (like recycling bins or a neighbor's super ugly swing set).

    three panel wood privacy screen with planters for flowers at the bottom

    23. Make a lil' oasis for yourself — even in the smallest of backyards! — with a hanging lounge chair your dog will adore too.

    reviewer in chaise lounge chair suspended off the ground with an umbrella for shade

    24. Nestle some light-up flowers amongst the *real* flowers in your flowerbeds around seating areas for a whimsical touch that'll make your backyard look like it's out of a fairytale once the sun sets.

    light up pink and purple faux flowers

    25. Bring the island(-ish) vibes to your landlocked home with a light-up palm tree as a fun lighting option where you need it.

    26. Set up shop in your new grass-side paradise with a double hammock you totally have permission to use just by yourself.

    double hammock strung up between two trees in a yard

    27. Add a pretty focal piece in a seating area with a celestial fire pit that'll look great in the daylight and downright magical when lit at night. (Oh, and it'll be a toasty addition on chilly nights!)

    fire pit in a yard

    28. Invest in a set of s'mores sticks to *safely* reach closer to the fire for you so you can achieve the perfect level of toasted on that marshmallow. It's extremely important!

    two pronged sticks with wooden handle spears marshmallow and hotdog
    reviewers roast marshmallow over bonfire in backyard

    Promising review: "These roasting sticks will get the job done. They retract easily and will be perfect for light use (roasting marshmallows) with our fire pit. Not extremely sturdy but not flimsy either. The metal points are not sharp which is a good thing if kids are handling them. I like the storage pouch it comes with too." —Sheri J. O

    Get a set of five from Amazon for $8.48 (available in five color combos).

    29. And some chocolate-stuffed marshmallows that'll take an extra step out of making s'mores. Plus they'll perfect your chocolate-marshmallow ratio!

    two bags of the marshmallows with marshmallows visible so you can see the chocolate inside
    Amazon

    Promising review: "A friend had come across these once when they had gone camping for making smores. I thought that they would be great for our 'camping' that we have done during our lockdowns. They make the smores making experience so much easier. I love how the chocolate gets all warm too.

    I have been brave and even tried some of their recipes for other uses for the marshmallows like making hot chocolate for the chocolate/chocolate ones. Super yummy, just make sure to cut them in half and that your milk is very warm before adding them." —MG.

    Get two bags (one original, one chocolate-on-chocolate) from Amazon for $13.49.

    30. And park a cute s'mores station nearby so no one has to hunt down the marshmallows when it's time for the best dessert on the planet.

    tray with compartments for different s'mores ingredients

    31. Tap into your fam's interests with cute Brontosaurus sculptures. Don't worry, no lawyer is getting eaten by a T-Rex in a bathroom stall so you can marvel at these.

    small brontosaurus shaped yard decorations in front of a bush

    32. Swap out your gate hardware for substantial handles and latches that'll make a serious (but practical) style statement.

    33. Brighten up a railing thanks to some colorful flower pots with draining holes and hooks so the plants inside can ~thrive~ while they sit there looking pretty.

    row of colorful plant pots with hooks that rang on a railing

    34. Show that there are ~levels~ to your outdoor paradise with this tiered planter stand where you can display your thriving plant bbs.

    35. Establish a garden focal point with an easy-to-install trellis. This one's made of PVC so it'll be super easy to take care of!

    rectangular vertical PVC white garden trellis in a garden bed with vines trained up it

    36. Or really create an outdoor room within your backyard thanks to a dome trellis you can train plants onto for a straight-up magical effect.