12 Cheap Backyard Patio Ideas

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Are you looking to give your backyard patio a new look without spending much money? The good news is you can transform your patio into a space perfect for those cozy nights under the stars or vibrant gatherings with loved ones.

With some resourcefulness and creativity, this project should not cost you a fortune. Repurposing items cleverly and undertaking simple DIY projects are but a few things that will help you build a budget-friendly backyard patio.

In this guide, we’ll explore multiple budget-friendly backyard patio ideas that will help you maximize both style and savings.

12 Cheap Backyard Patio Ideas

Cheap Backyard Patio Ideas


1.  Add String Lights

backyard patio string lights ideas

A well-lit backyard patio is charming, vibrant, cozy, and functional at night. The soft glow of string lights is sure to transform an ordinary backyard patio into a relaxing, delightful space. String lights offer an affordable and magical way to illuminate your patio.

Consider hanging them overhead to define the space or drape them along fences, pergolas, or trees for a whimsical touch. Choose LED bulbs because their warm white hue provides a cozy ambiance that complements any outdoor décor.

Add DIY mason jar lanterns to your outdoor lighting for a rustic touch. You can also hang string lights around the branches of the trees in your backyard.

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2. Build A Fire Pit

cheap backyard patio ideas

Building a fire pit yourself is a cheap alternative to purchasing a pre-made one, and it allows you to customize it as you wish. A few creative options include a basic stone circle pit, a recycled metal drum design, or a sunken pit with a paver surround.

Find cheap materials for your fire pit, such as inexpensive landscaping stones, retaining wall blocks, an old metal drum or washing machine tub, and a sizeable metal bowl or planter.

3.  Add Some Affordable Patio Furniture

Patio Furniture

Give your backyard patio a new life by upcycling thrift or secondhand furniture pieces for your patio. Look for sturdy chairs, tables, or benches at thrift stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces, and refinish or paint them to match your outdoor décor.

Alternatively, if you are up for a DIY project, build your own patio furniture using repurposed pallets that you can transform into rustic benches, tables, and even loungers with a bit of sanding, painting, and assembly. You can also construct patio seats with concrete blocks and wooden boards.

Instead of discarding your old indoor furniture, you can turn them into outdoor furniture for your backyard patio by making them weatherproof.

Read More: 15 Cheap Shade Ideas For Backyard And Patio

4. Use an Outdoor Rug

Outdoor Rug for patio

Elevate the style and comfort of your backyard patio instantly with an outdoor rug. It is affordable, versatile, and has numerous materials, colors, and patterns.

Use an outdoor rug to define different zones within your patio space, such as dining, lounging, and entertaining areas. Rugs with bold patterns and vibrant colors give your outdoor living area some personality.

An outdoor rug can be a focal point in your patio design to draw attention and create visual interest. To achieve this, place a rug with a striking pattern, bold color, or unique shape at the center of your patio seating area.

Alternatively, place your rug under a key furniture piece, such as a dining table or conversation set, to anchor the space and add drama to your outdoor design.

5. Establish A Greenery

Cheap Backyard Patio Ideas

There are plenty of ways to cheaply incorporate greenery into your backyard patio, regardless of whether you have a green thumb or a novice gardener.

Below are some creative and affordable ways.

a) Container Gardening

Growing plants in containers on your patio is easy and cheap. You can find cheap containers or repurpose old items like crates and old buckets to grow flowers, herbs, and foliage plants.

b) Vertical Planters

Incorporate vertical planters to maximize your patio space. This idea lets you grow plants upward, utilizing walls, trellises, or fences.

Repurpose pallets, hanging shoe organizers, or PVC pipes to create your vertical planters without spending much money. Excellent plants for vertical planting are cascading vines, trailing flowers, or herbs. They help add a lush and vibrant backdrop to outdoor spaces.

c) Hanging Baskets

Buy inexpensive wire baskets or repurpose items like wire mesh baskets or coconut liners. Next, fill them with a mix of annual flowers, trailing vines, or herbs, and hang them from hooks or brackets around your patio.

d) DIY Trellis Privacy Screen

Shield your patio with a DIY trellis privacy screen to make the space more private, shaded, and beautiful. Use wooden slats or lattice panels to build a simple trellis and attach it to a fence or wall on your patio.

Plant fast-growing vines like jasmine, morning glories, or clematis at the trellis’ base and train them to climb upward.

6. Utilize Thrifted Décor

Do you have a propensity for thrift shopping? If you do, this skill will be useful when decorating your backyard patio. You can find a treasure trove of affordable outdoor decor items like lanterns, planters, garden statues, and furniture at thrift stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces.

7. Add A Hammock

small apartment patio ideas on a budget

Create a cozy, comfortable spot to nap, unwind, read a book, or simply enjoy the gentle sway of the breeze by adding a hammock on your backyard patio. Choose a hammock that suits your taste and needs. Options include traditional rope hammocks, fabric hammocks, and hammock chairs.

To keep your expenses low, look for affordable hammocks made from durable materials like cotton, polyester, or nylon at discount retailers, online marketplaces, or buy during seasonal sales.

Alternatively, get creative and build your own hammock using repurposed materials like wooden posts, PVC pipes, or even an old swing set frame. Accessorize your hammock with pillows and cushions for comfort.

8. Use A Tent for Shade

ideas for patio

Install a large tent that covers your patio to add shade to the space without undertaking a significant and costly project. Below are a few options:

i) DIY Canopy Tent

Use PVC pipes, wooden poles, or metal rods for the tent frame. After that, drape weather-resistant fabric or canvas over the frame to create the canopy, securing it with clips, ties, or hooks. Accessorize it with string lights, curtains, or hanging plants.

ii) Camping Tent

Repurpose an old camping tent as a temporary shelter for your backyard patio. Set it up, then accessorize it with blankets, pillows, and outdoor rugs.

iii) Canvas Bell Tent

Look for budget-friendly canvas bell tents with durable canvas fabric and sturdy frames or poles. Set up the bell tent on your patio and accessorize with rugs, floor cushions, and lanterns.

9. Use Pea Gravel

backyard patio ideas

Are you looking for affordable ground cover for your tiny backyard patio? Consider using the budget-friendly, versatile, and charming pea gravel. It has a natural texture and is easy to install and maintain.

Read more: Cheap No Grass Backyard Ideas

Pea gravel is more affordable than other patio materials. In addition, this material comes in various colors and sizes and facilitates quick drainage because it’s porous. Also, its natural and organic appearance blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.

10. Re-use Nature

Mother Nature provides an abundance of inspiration and resources to help you establish a budget-friendly backyard patio that is serene and sustainable. For instance, use natural stones, pebbles, or river rocks to create borders and pathways for your backyard patio. Collect stones from your property or nearby areas and arrange them in patterns or clusters to define walkways and edging.

Consider salvaging tree stumps or logs from pruning or landscaping projects to create unique seating, tables, or decorative elements for your patio. Use a chainsaw or hand saw to cut tree stumps into different heights and sizes with a chainsaw or hand saw then sand and seal them as desired.

After that, strategically arrange the stumps and logs around your patio as stools, side tables, or pedestals for potted plants.

Moreover, plant fast-growing trees or shrubs strategically around the patio for privacy and shade. Alternatively, repurpose old sail shades, bamboo screens, or woven reed mats to create shade structures or pergolas.

Also, introduce native plants to your patio to create a biodiverse and sustainable outdoor environment.

11. Build an Outdoor Bar

outdoor bar patio

Turn your patio into an inviting, stylish entertainment space with an outdoor bar. You can create a bar counter by repurposing an old dresser, bookshelf, or pallets and then adding bar stools or tall chairs for seating.

Also, stock your outdoor bar with essentials like a cooler, drinkware, and cocktail ingredients. When selecting the location for your outdoor bar, pick a focal point in your patio and consider proximity to seating areas, accessibility to utilities like water and electricity, and potential for shade or shelter.

12. Simple Pathways

A pathway from your backyard patio to the house or garden makes this area functional and visually appealing. There are numerous materials suitable for creating simple but inviting pathways that suit your style and budget.

They include gravel, paver or brick, stepping stones, wood steps, dirt, and mulch. Note that wooden, paver, and brick paths require patience and time for proper installation.


Establishing a functional, beautiful, inviting backyard patio doesn’t have to drain your wallet or involve complex projects. Therefore, financial constraints should not dampen your dream of having the backyard patio you desire. However, you will need to be creative and ingenious and apply a little elbow grease. Incorporate the ideas discussed above to elevate your patio.

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