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8 budget-friendly DIY backyard makeover ideas

Is your backyard in need of a makeover, but you’re worried about the cost? Don’t fret! You don’t need a bottomless budget to transform your outdoor space into a stunning oasis. With a little creativity and some DIY skills, you can achieve a beautiful backyard on a tight budget. We have 8 budget-friendly DIY backyard makeover ideas that will breathe new life into your outdoor space without compromising your budget.

When you can’t go to Bali, bring Bali to your backyard space! You don’t need a grand water feature or a stone pathway to make your backyard an outdoor oasis. Try these easy and cheap backyard makeover ideas.

Budget-friendly DIY backyard makeover ideas

If you’re looking to transform your backyard space on a budget, don’t worry! There are plenty of budget-friendly DIY ideas that can give your outdoor area a stunning makeover without breaking the bank. Here are 8 inexpensive backyard ideas to get you started:

Get festive with festoon lighting or lanterns

One of the simplest budget-friendly DIY backyard makeover ideas that adds instant warmth to any outdoor living space is some outdoor lighting. You can make any outdoor look fabulous if you hang solar powered decorative lighting (or twinkle lights) from your fence, your veranda or even overhead from tall posts.

If you’re lucky enough to have a tree in your backyard, consider hanging some solar lights or outdoor string lights from the branches for a bohemian vibe that will add whimsy at all times of the day – even when they’re not lit up. Add a picnic rug or outdoor carpet on the lawn underneath the tree and a couple of scatter pillows and you’ll have the perfect place to wile away the hours this summer.

Cheap backyard makeover ideas: Hang festoon lighting or lanterns in your garden

Create cosy corners with DIY shelter

For a shelter that blends in with the environment, consider a simple wooden pergola built over an entertaining area (you can purchase DIY kits from Bunnings) or an ornate garden arch above your favourite reading nook. Pair these with climbing native plants to create the ultimate canopy.

No verandah or beautiful pergolas? No worries! There’s a DIY solution for that.

If you’re renting or don’t want to create any permanent backyard renovations, utilise walls and fences as much as possible, as these will help block any wind. Turn a garden bench into a sheltered retreat by pushing it up against a wall, and adding an outdoor umbrella. Or pop down a waterproof rug, scatter with large, flat cushions in a variety of materials and add a portable shade sail for shelter. Pair with a low coffee table to keep cool drinks and reading materials at hand.

Add a fresh coat of paint to walls, trim and furniture

Refreshing your exterior walls is one of the easiest ways to give your dream backyard instant summer vibes. When choosing exterior house paint, you’ll need to use a waterproof acrylic paint, which will allow moisture and air to be released while preventing rain from damaging walls.

For a quicker backyard makeover that still makes a big impact, why not dress up your trim – that is, your window frames, shutters and door frames – with a fresh coat of paint?

Traditional homes generally suit nature-inspired hues like warm muted olive greens or blue greys while modern façades, and look fabulous dressed in more contemporary shades such as deep greys, warm teals or rich aubergine tones.

Have timber garden furniture that’s seen better days? Don’t throw it – paint it! Warm reds and pinks are great for garden furniture – their intensity acts as a wonderful contrast to the rich greens of foliage.

Update your decking

If your timber deck is looking a little worse for wear but is still structurally sound, taking the time to re-stain the timber will give your yard an instant facelift, and is an easy backyard makeover that can be done over the course of a weekend. Bunnings have a step-by-guide to staining your deck that requires only a handful of tools and materials (paint brush, stain, masking tape).

If you don’t feel confident with a paint brush, even giving your decking a power clean will drastically improve your outdoor area. You can either rent a power washer at your local hardware store, or hand wash the deck with a mild cleaner like dish soap, water and a wire scrub brush.

Cheap backyard makeover ideas: Backyard renovations can include refreshing the paint or stain of your patio or deck

Grow a DIY garden in your backyard makeover

Plants can actually be one of the most expensive aspects of a backyard renovation, so it’s good to try and save where you can.

Pick out plants that evoke the aesthetic you’re going for, and redecorate terracotta or plastic pots to help achieve the look for less. If you’re going for Bali vibes, pick out lush potted plants that remind you of a tropical paradise and paint your pots in calming neutrals that blend in with the environment, like charcoal, stone and soft greys.

Looking to create a Palm Springs vibe? Go for succulents (which are extremely low maintenance) and cacti and mix up the colours of your pots with lots of pastels and even geometric patterns. You could even get the kids to help with this one as a fun school holidays painting project!

If you want flowers in your backyard, go for perennial plants, which will rebloom every year. Be mindful of the level of rain your yard gets naturally, and pick out plants that won’t require extensive watering if you don’t want to see your water bill grow alongside your garden.

Check out Facebook groups for plant sales or online marketplaces to source well-established plants for cheaper than you’d get at a garden accessory centre.

Cheap backyard makeover ideas: DIY garden pots when you pick out plants

Create a statement plant wall

Got a boring exterior wall that needs some love? A fun DIY outdoor project is to make a plant wall, and there’s a wide variety of ways you can create this look for less.

You could use pallets to create shelves or even planter boxes, use hooks to hang pots directly onto the wall, or even install a hanging plant wall by attaching a weather-proof curtain rod to a wall and hanging pots and at different heights. And you can likely find plenty of secondhand pots on Facebook Marketplace.

This is a great way to spruce up a sparse side-wall or add some bohemian vibes to your verandah, and is one of the easiest DIY projects on a budget.

Succulents can look great in plant walls, and it’s also a great option to grow your own herbs. Ask a friend or family member with a green thumb if they can give you a cutting of some of their plant babies, or plant some from seed packages rather than buying established plants from the garden centre.

Create a plant wall by hanging plants from a curtain rail

Try your hand at building DIY pallet furniture

You can make some really cool outdoor furniture out of wooden pallets (often spotted being given away for free on the street!). From benches to coffee tables to even bars and vegetable garden beds, deck out your wooden or concrete patio with patio furniture and some outdoor cushions and wow your guests next time you have BBQs for backyard cookouts.

Whether you leave the pallets raw, or give them a coat of varnish or paint, you can DIY pallet furniture to suit practically any style from a tropical Balinese villa to a Palm Springs vibe, and even modern industrial.

There are loads of outdoor seating tutorials on YouTube and Bunnings that will guide you safely through the building process, and if you need some inspiration on what style to make. Just be sure to smooth out any stray wood chips down to a flat surface.

Build your own outdoor wooden pallet furniture, like chairs and coffee tables

A beautiful lawn area

Creating a beautiful lawn area in your backyard doesn’t have to break the bank. With a few budget-friendly DIY backyard design ideas, you can transform your outdoor space into a stunning oasis.

By making a small investment in some essential lawn equipment, you can keep a small lawn area neat and tidy for friends and family to relax on. And to make your flat lawn area more enjoyable, consider adding some lawn games. Games like croquet, bocce ball, or horseshoes are not only fun to play but also add a playful and social element to your backyard gatherings. You can easily find affordable sets online or even create your own DIY game setups using items you already have at home.

How can MyBudget help me budget for a backyard makeover?

We hope you liked these simple backyard ideas on a budget! If you need help budgeting to turn your outdoor area into a backyard oasis, the budgeting experts at MyBudget can show you how to budget and save for your personal goals including a backyard projects reno. Call us today at 1300 300 922 or enquire online for a free appointment.

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This article has been prepared for information purposes only, and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.