25 Inexpensive Backyard Patio Ideas: On A Budget DIY

We all want a backyard getaway for summertime relaxation, but have you checked the prices on patio furnishings? Even a basic dining set will cost you a lot! Luckily, all you need is some time and basic DIY skills, as well as a knack for thrifting, to score some good deals and create an oasis close to home that’s perfect for kicking back and relaxing, or entertaining friends while staying on budget!

1. Use Facebook Marketplace to Your Advantage

Facebook Marketplace is a great place to find good stuff for your home and garden, and patio furniture and materials are no exception. Just type in your search term, and you will find all sorts of pieces being offered for sale, sometimes quite close to home. If you’re really lucky, you may score a free deal, as many people simply want to get rid of stuff. Remember, almost anything can be transformed with paint and a little DIY!

2. Thrift Shopping Backyard Ideas

If you’re not prepared to scroll through Facebook and wait for the perfect items to pop up, try the thrift stores in your area. While they’re less likely to have furniture, you should have no trouble finding lots of accessories to embellish your patio. Never underestimate the quirky charm of mis-matched candle holders or assorted table linens to create a unique and welcoming space outside your back door!

3. Build Your Own Patio Furniture Using Pallets


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Considering making your own patio furniture? You can’t do better than free for the materials, and that’s just what you can get when you use pallets. Used pallets are often in excellent condition, and can be used as is, or pulled apart to utilize the lumber in any number of configurations. There are thousands of DIY sites out there to show you how to make comfortable and sturdy furniture that will last for several seasons. The most expensive part will be buying cushions to soften the seating, but even then, if you are handy with a sewing machine you can save lots of money by making them yourself!

4. DIY Raised Garden Beds

Raised garden beds are a great way to define the edges of your patio

Raised garden beds are a great way to define the edges of your patio, and add lots of growing things to soften the look. Whether you grow annuals or perennials, you can mix up flowers, herbs, and vegetables to create a colourful and vibrant backdrop for your outdoor space. Depending on their size, you can even grow shrubs and small trees in raised garden beds!

Inexpensive raised beds can be built from pallets, recycled bricks, or concrete blocks. Read Our Related Post 19 Cheap and Inexpensive Raised Garden Bed Ideas here.

5. Go Garage Sale and Yard Sale Shopping!

Patio season is also garage sale season, and you can often score some real deals while driving around on a sunny Saturday morning. Once people have hauled their unwanted stuff out to the driveway, they want it gone, and you can often bargain on the spot to get an even lower price than the one on the tag, especially if it hasn’t sold by mid-afternoon. Just make sure to carry small bills and be prepared to load up your vehicle if you find a good buy!

6. Easy DIY Planters

Easy DIY Planters

While raised beds are a great permanent addition to your patio, planters that can be moved around, and even stored for the winter, are a versatile way to bring more growing things into your outdoor space. You can often find used planters and pots at yard sales, but if you’re prepared to do some crafting, even a plastic pail can be transformed with some spray paint. Check out our post on DIY planters for more ideas!

7. Build a DIY Backyard Fire Pit


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While you may love the idea of adding a fire pit to your patio, the cost of buying one may have made you think twice. However, building a fire pit with found materials is easily done with basic DIY skills. If you’ve got lots of rocks lying around your yard, for instance, simply gather them up and mortar them together to create a safe and inexpensive raised fire pit. You can even add a grill and use it for cooking! If you don’t have access to rocks, scavenge for used bricks or cinder blocks to do the same thing.

8. Add Hanging Patio Lights


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A simple string of hanging lights adds a lot of atmosphere to a nighttime patio party, and it doesn’t have to be expensive! While there’s always a new and trendy lighting option for outdoor spaces, you can get much the same effect with an old string of Christmas lights from the attic, or picked up for almost nothing at a yard sale. If you want to get really fancy, you can make paper covers out of colourful cupcake liners for a special occasion!

9. Build Your Own DIY Birdhouse


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A charming way to add character to your outdoor living space is with rustic touches like birdhouses. Even if you don’t get feathered friends taking up residence in your birdhouse, it will still be a decorative touch. While you can find lots of birdhouses for sale, building your own isn’t a difficult job, whether you opt for purchasing a kit or designing it yourself from scratch. You can find lots of ideas online to come up with the perfect look for your décor. You can even build a birdhouse that’s a miniature version of your actual house!

10. Make a Pea Gravel Patio


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Maybe your patio doesn’t even exist yet, and you’re still in the planning stages of construction. Why not create it out of pea gravel, instead of paving stones or a poured concrete slab? This is a lower-cost alternative that won’t ever crack or break down, and can easily be topped up with fresh gravel when necessary. It’s a fairly easy DIY job, too: simply dig out the ground to a depth of 6 inches (15 cm), lay down a layer of rough gravel about 4 inches (10 cm) deep, cover it with landscape fabric, and then finish off with 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of decorative pea gravel.

11. Install a DIY Hanging Chair


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Who doesn’t appreciate a hanging chair to swing back and forth on a lazy summer afternoon? While there are plenty of hanging chairs available at stores, you can also make your own from pallet wood or fabric. You can even weave your own macrame chair using a hula hoop!

12. Build DIY Log Patio Furniture


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If you’ve been cutting down some trees on your property, why not use some of the wood to make furniture for your patio? You can pay lots of money for trendy tree stump side tables, but with the investment of a bit of time, you can create your own! Strip off the bark, give the whole piece a good sanding, and apply a finish to seal the wood.

13. Add Some Outdoor DIY Wall Art

Outdoor spaces like patios are a super place for displaying art that maybe wouldn’t quite work inside your home. Don’t invest a lot of money in these seasonal items; instead, create some colourful pieces that will add some interest outdoors. If you’ve got a blank wall, why not turn it into a gallery wall, with thrifted mirrors and other decorative touches interspersed with your own artwork?


14. Build a DIY Outdoor Privacy Wall


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If your patio is in a small yard in a crowded urban setting, privacy is always at a premium. You don’t have to spend a fortune to add a privacy screen alongside your patio; you can do something as simple as sinking a couple of posts to anchor a trellis for growing annual or perennial vines to create not only a secluded getaway, but also some much-needed shade on a hot and sunny day!

15. DIY Bottle Lights


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Bottle lights are an easy way to add some whimsical lighting to your evenings on the patio, and battery-powered or solar lights mean that you don’t even need to worry about plugging in the strings!

16. Build a Picnic Table


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A sturdy wooden picnic table is a patio classic, and you can make your own to save money. If you want, you can buy pre-cut kits that you just need to put together, or take advantage of one of the many free plans available, and armed with just a circular saw, a drill, and a hammer, put together a table in a few hours.

17. Install a Shade Sail


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Not all of us are lucky enough to have mature trees casting cool shade on hot summer days. You could invest in a gazebo, or a large canvas umbrella, but a shade sail takes up less room and creates a sleek, modern look. It’s also possible to create a DIY shade sail to save money!

18. Setup a Fun Backyard Sprinkler System


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Sure, you might like the idea of a backyard pool to cool off in when the temperatures rise, but that’s a really big expense, and it’s not necessarily a selling point if you put your house up for sale sometime in the future. You can, however, always set up a sprinkler or two for kids, dogs, (and you!) to run through when it’s getting hot outdoors.

19. DIY Backyard Patio Bar


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What’s patio life without a cool drink close at hand? Build your own bar to keep drink supplies nearby! It can be as simple as a shelf suspended from a wall, or built from pallets or other recycled wood. You might even have an old dresser that can be painted up and repurposed for life outside. Add a plastic or galvanized tub filled with ice, and you’re good to go!

20. Build DIY Hammock Stand or Integrate into Space


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Hammocks really are a summer classic, and adding one to your patio will create a perfect spot for reading or napping. It’s easy to suspend a hammock from a couple of sturdy trees, or even by installing heavy-duty hooks on walls meeting at a 90° angle. However, if you need to bring in additional support, you can build a stand out of 2x4s.

21. Setup Cheap Backyard Games

Setup Cheap Backyard, Games

When it’s time to get out of the hammock and get more active, why not have games on hand for outdoor fun? You can make your own giant jenga out of scraps of 2x4s; paint or stain them to make them more colourful. Cornhole boards or ring-toss are easily made with re-used materials for an inexpensive set of games for young and old alike!

22. DIY Pergola


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Building a pergola may seem like an overwhelming project, but with careful planning even a new DIYer can end up constructing an attractive and long-lasting pergola to cover at least part of your patio. Whether you train annual or perennial vines across the rafters, or install retractable cloth panels to create shade, a sturdy pergola can add lots of value to your backyard hangout.

23. Build a Dog Obstacle Course


In the dog days of summer, it’s nice to find a way to keep your pets amused and exercised, and a dog obstacle course can easily and cheaply be built out of recycled pallets. Set it up on the grass next to your patio and cheer your pets on while enjoying a cool drink in the shade!

24. DIY Vertical Planters


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Even in a small yard where the room is at a premium, you can find lots of ways to add more growing things to your patio area. Use vertical space whenever possible! Whether you build them out of pallets, or attach individual planters to adjoining walls, it’s easy to find ways to grow flowers, herbs, and vegetables on your patio.

25. Start Painting!


Paint is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to transform a tired patio. Use stencils to create a patterned floor, choose complementary colours for the adjoining walls and fences, and even spruce up old furniture with a fresh shiny coat of paint! And if two years from now you get tired of it, all you have to do is switch it up with a new paint job!

Read our related post “13 Cheap Ways to Make Your Yard Look Better” here!

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