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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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 (!!!).

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.

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

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

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

28. Make a race car track.

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

30. An inflatable pool fountain is perfect for frolicking.

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

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

33. Make a "wee village" garden.

34. Repurpose your tree stumps.

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

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

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

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

39. Or build a cheap and easy bean fort.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.