Frugal Ideas for a Backyard Makeover

Written by ashley kurz
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Frugal Ideas for a Backyard Makeover
Redesign your backyard frugally. (Polka Dot RF/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Turn your backyard into a relaxing retreat for adults or a playful area for children without spending a fortune on planning, materials and labour. While the costs of landscaping, outdoor designer furniture and decor can add up quickly, you can do the planning and work yourself, which can save you money on your backyard makeover.


Revamp your current patio furniture, or purchase some used pieces at a garage sale. Give them new life with a fresh coat of spray paint and some new outdoor cushions. Paint some end tables and small plant stands with complementing colours of exterior spray paint to complete an outdoor sitting area for your family and guests.

Patios and Walkways

Create your own faux flagstone walkways by digging shaped holes in the ground and filling them with easy mix concrete. As an alternative, create homemade stepping stones with kits from craft stores to create a pathway. Old roofing shingles make slip-proof and eco-friendly paths as well. Cover an entire sitting area with a square hole filled with gravel or playground mulch.

Fun and Games

You don't need a professionally designed baseball diamond to turn your backyard into a recreational area. Build some horseshoe pits to play horseshoes during backyard barbecues. Erect a permanent volleyball or tennis net if you have a large yard. Hang old tires from tree limbs to make swings for the kids, and dig a sandbox for play as well. If you have a large tree with sturdy branches, build an old-fashioned tree house for the kids.

Lighting and Fire

Add some glow to your backyard with lighting or campfires so that you can enjoy the space during the summer evenings. Use large rocks or bricks to create a fire ring, or pick up a semi-truck wheel well to use as a surround. Place stumps around the fire ring for natural and inexpensive seating. If you have a patio or deck, string white outdoor Christmas lights or strands of tasteful lanterns around your railings to create lighting. Citronella tiki torches can be placed along pathways in larger yards to lead from one area to the next.

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