Tuesday, July 18, 2017

15 Ways to Liven Up Your Outdoor Living Space on a Budget

Decorate your backyard patio with this these thrifty ideas for summer décor!

If you spend your summers like mine, you are outdoors constantly.  When you spend that much time outside, you want your outdoor living space to feel just as cozy as your indoor living space.  Summer is the time for outdoor entertaining and fun times.  Impress your guests with your thrifty style and genius decorating sense.

Check out these 15 relatively free and quick ideas to spruce up that outdoor space and have you relaxing in no time.



1.  Paint logs for free a free side table

I had some old logs at my disposal and one was perfectly cut to turn it into a side table.  I threw a coat of paint on the top to make it more official and I had an instant side table for free.

2.  Spruce up your faded patio furniture with a coat of spray paint

Wicker sets are everywhere if you shop at the right thrift stores!  They are either chipped or look like your grandma's old front porch furniture.  But just give them a little love.  I bought this set for less than $100 at my local recycle center.  5 cans of grey spray paint later (~$25) and they looked brand new.  Finally, a use for this corner of my patio that did not include family junk refuge.

3.  Hang thrift store baskets for planters

Honestly, I can't even tell you where I got this basket.  It was laying around my house somewhere but if you are a thrifty sister, you see these at the resale stores everywhere for $0.50.  Throw some potting soil in these, some colorful flowers and hang them where you please!  Cheapest pots you can find.

4.  Repurpose a chandelier for solar lights

I couldn't believe my luck.  Near the end of my exhausting, yet exhilarating, sub-wide garage sale trip I found a $4 candle chandelier (my exhaustion stemming not from thrifty picking, but from corralling my kids from asking for ALL the toys they see and from looking both ways before crossing the street!  Motherhood has it perks for sure, but it can be exhausting.  Better to just laugh and roll with it mama!).  Add some solar lights from the dollar store to your chandelier and there you have it, new outdoor lighting!
(Thrifting TIP:  chipping paint = "distressed décor" which is in demand.  No need to be perfect!)

5.  Paint a Garden sign

Wanting to add some design to my garden, I painted a spare plank of wood I had, threw on some rope, and hung it on my trellis.  Outdoor décor for free.

6.  Color up your garden with painted rocks

Source: Crafts by Amanda

Trying to entertain the kids and keep them busy, we picked some rocks from our yard, out came my box of paints, and away we went.  This pin inspired my kid-tertainment for the day.  They are so cute! Each of my kids got through about 3 or 4 rocks before they bailed on me, but, we added some much needed color to our garden.

7.  Create wind chimes or sun catchers for a whimsical feel

This was another one of my gifting projects.  Mother's Day was around the corner and I was unable to buy anything substantial.  The great thing about moms and grandmas though, most of us love hand made items more than the store bought ones.  Especially when the grandkids jump in and help out.  I had an old muffin tin from the dollar store, pony beads (~$3) from the craft store and mason jar lids laying around.  Assort the beads to your style, melt them (preferably outdoors on your grill), drill some holes and hang 'em up!

8.  Paint and hang garage sale lanterns

This lantern was $1, from that same sub-wide garage sale I spoke of earlier.  But you can find old lanterns like these anywhere nowadays, for cheap!  This one was black, I chose to repaint it, hang it on an old hook I wasn't using and call it a day.  Next addition is a candle for it :)
(Thrifting TIP: I hung this lantern over an upcycled bin I used for a flower pot.  Keeps the lantern out of the way and I saved money on yet another planter.  Use what you have whenever you can!)

9.  Add Christmas lights to your patio

Source: Pinterest
Yes they sell beautiful patio lights everywhere.  But if you don't feel like shopping or spending the money, pull out some of your old white holiday lights and put them to use.  Maybe avoid the colored Christmas lights so you aren't labeled as 'That Neighbor' but white lights work ANY time of the year!  These lights are perfect to set just the right mood for relaxing and enjoying those warm summer nights!

10.  Move your flower pots vertical & hang them up for dimension


This can be accomplished numerous ways.  Hang baskets, hang your flower pots on your fence with brackets or find an old frame to hang your pots on any wall around your patio.  Dimensional wall art. Below is a picture of mine (obviously I can't change the color brick on my house at this moment, but I can afford to dress it up a little bit and have something prettier to look at).

11.  Plant wildflowers for $1

We ALL love flowers for our patio but as you know, the price can add up pretty quick for a good sized yard.  Lucky for us, those packets of wildflowers are displayed in almost every store and usually never rise above a $3 price point.  Throw your packet in a planter or sprinkle along that far corner that needs a little something extra.  Best of all, wildflowers are low maintenance.  Even I didn't kill these ones.

12.  Repaint your old flower pots for a pop of color to your patio

Terra cotta pots are usually reasonably priced.  However, if your like me and you love your colors, flower pots can start to rise above that budget once you venture away from the plain terra cottas and into the bright, ornate pots.  Grab a can of spray paint and make these terra cotta pots your own, OR upcycle your old ones for a fresh feel.

13.  Make cement planters, concrete bowls, or tabletop fire bowls for $5

Check out one of our older posts for a tutorial on how to make concrete designs.  It only costs about $5 for a 60 lb. bag of cement and the possibilities are endless.  More cheap planters, table top fire bowls, candle holders, the list goes on and on.

14.  Plant sunflowers

Just like the wildflowers, sunflower packets never cost more than $5.  Who doesn't love these?  Their bright flowers instantly cheer you up!

15.  Make a fairy garden with repurposed 'junk'

My daughter is 4 yrs. old, the perfect age to demand a fairy garden.  I love the idea but I was NOT shelling out a ton of money for the store bought accessories.  So, I began searching the corners of my house for any junk I had hidden away that I could repurpose. 
  • Bottle caps - spray painted and used for brick pavers
  • Popsicle sticks - glued together for a bench
  • Moss - transplanted and laid down for carpet
  • Pebbles - applied for fairy landscaping
  • Sticks - added some twine to make a fairy swing
Can't find all the 'junk' you need to complete your fairy garden?  Check out these cheap accessories that won't blow your budget.

    The possibilities are endless but here's the only thing you need to know:  Yes, you can buy a few accessories (they even sell some at the dollar store), No - you do not have to spend a fortune.

    So try any of these 15 ideas or use them as inspiration to create your own!

    Use what you have, think outside the box, and love what you do!

    Have any more suggestions?  Leave us a comment!  We'd love to hear what you came up with.


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