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    Upgrade Your Backyard Without Breaking the Bank: 34 Items That Will Transform Your Outdoor Area

    It's time to start enjoying your outdoor room so much more.

    1. A bottle of dog spot repair if your puppy has a favorite pee spot and it shows... This stuff will get new grass growin' in no time so you can get back to hosting BBQs.

    Promising review: “We purchased this to fill some patches in our backyard that were damaged by our puppy. Works like a charm. The one caveat is that you really do have to water it a bit every day. Once it takes off though, it grows pretty quickly! Within one week of planting this, we had 1-inch long grass blades. One month later, all the patches are gone. Highly recommended!” —Jessica N.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in five sizes).

    2. Solar lights you can stake 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!

    Promising review: "These are great lights, we use them in our front and backyard. They are long lasting and create a resort-like appearance." —Michele 

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in packs of four or eight).

    3. variety of sunflower seeds that might just turn your backyard into the #1 destination for graduation pics this year. 

    Sunflowers blooming in an outdoor garden by a roadside
    Close-up of a vibrant sunflower with other sunflowers in the background against a clear sky

    Created by Nature is a small business!

    Promising review: "Planted a handful of the seeds in our front lawn area. Few months later, and we had a spectacular color array. Great flowers!" —Shane

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    4. A pair of matching containers you can set on your patio, along walkways, or around seating areas to help improve your plant situation faster than actual sowing seeds.

    large plant container pots with gray gradient pattern on them

    5. Some colorful flower pots that'll brighten up a railing or distract for other backyard elements you'd like to ignore. They have 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
    the pots hanging in a yard

    Promising review: "Used these for the outdoor herb garden in photo. They were a little smaller than I expected, but definitely fit my needs." —Katy

    Get 10 from Amazon for $16.99.

    6. A *nice* looking patio cooler with a built-in bottle opener and drainage spout so you'll no longer have to drag the coolers you use for soccer practice back and forth. 

    Portable wooden outdoor bar station with storage shelf and metal towel holder

    Promising review: "This was easy to use. The wood is rustic and what I would call a carpenter's cut (rough cut) Easy to assemble. Great conversation starter." —Paul H.

    Get it from Amazon for $95.32.

    7. An indoor/outdoor rug built to weather rain and more can pull together decor for an outdoor room or just cover up an ugly surface.

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

    Promising review: "Love this rug. These were recommended by a friend for use on my outdoor patio. They are terrific. So easy to clean and no matter what the weather brings, they always look fantastic. And they make my outdoors look like a living room. Great, inexpensive way to spruce up a backyard." —Miami

    Get it from Amazon for $51+ (available in four colors and sizes).

    8. Or some interlocking teak tiles to cover up a hard surface that, tbh, is beyond visual help. They're great for rental properties because you can take them apart and take them with you when you move!

    reviewer pic of patio with the teak tiles covering it
    close up of the teak tiles

    Promising review: "Living in Hawaii you have to select wise items that are weather-, salt-, and red dirt–proof, etc... In total I ordered 11 boxes to complete my yoga deck. I have a few left over to make steps on the back. Very pleased and happy. May order more for an outdoor shower project!" —Adazzle

    Get 10 sq. ft from Amazon for $81.99.

    9. weather-resistant cedar pathway you can roll out 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

    Get an 8-foot path from Amazon for $74.95.

    10. Waterproof globe string 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 $15.98+ (available in three styles and lengths).

    11. A smaller-scale nice-looking shed if you don't have room for a full-fledged shed to stash recycling bins, bikes, a lawnmower, and other hefty tools.

    reviewer pic of shed with a lid and to front doors on a patio
    open shed to reveal a trash can and recycling bin

    Promising review: "Good quality. Easy to assemble. Parts are individually bagged and labeled. Holds two 32-gallon round barrels — which is what I wanted it for. Very compact, which was a factor for where i had to put it." —Joe in Brooklyn

    Get it from Amazon for $279.98. Also check out a similar shed in several sizes to find the right one to fit your space and needs.

    12. Some rust-stopping spray paint that'll help you refinish tired metal furniture for a weekend afternoon project that'll have a substantial payoff. Just look at that zhuzhed garden gate!

    Promising review: "I used this Gloss White to paint an old garden arch, gate and a trellis over a garden bench. It was just a dreary, tired black; the white changed the look and feel instantly. Definitely get the trigger grip accessory if your project takes more than one can — mine was eight cans and that grip was a great idea.The paint is a true bright white with a bit of a shine after it dries. I did have to do two full coats to completely cover the original black wrought iron, but there's no color bleed through as a result." —Dogs & Horses

    Get it from Amazon for $15.94+ (available in a variety of metallic colors).

    13. And some outdoor fabric spray paint (yes, you read that right) can refresh your outdoor pillows and cushions.

    half of pillow spray painted
    The Home Depot

    Get it from The Home Depot for $14.98 (available in eight colors).

    14. An outdoor drink stakes set that'll hold your beer while you tend to the fire pit or check out how those burgers are faring on the grill. These are low-commitment so you won't have to deal with an ugly side table stuck haphazardly where you need it at the moment. 

    Five garden stakes with spiral holders containing different types of drinkware in a grassy yard

    Promising review: "As always, my order was shipped quickly and in perfect condition. I love the bright colors and they are tall 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!" —