Almost-Free Outdoor Updates

The creators of these amazing outdoor items saw value in discarded, ultra-cheap items and sweat equity. The result: cozy chairs, unique container gardens, garden art, potting benches, tool sheds and much, much more.

  • Painted Rug on Deck

    Painting a bright \"rug\" on the floor and adding bright orange stools and curtains lends a party atmosphere to this deck.

  • Garden Chair

    This chair cost $1 at a yard sale, and RMSer ltmulligan gave it a $2 paint job. Now it offers a pretty contrast to the yellow yarrow.

  • Durable Wood Outdoor Room

    When a neighbor tore out a deck and left the pieces on the curb, RMSer Chicago Recycler had the materials for her porch redo. She built this table out of the 2x12s (top) and 4x4s (legs), using scrap 2x4s for the supporting structure, and she gave it an antique mahogany stain. She also built the benches at each end, using a nailhead finish to secure the cushion fabric. To dress up the blank wall, she built a faux fireplace out of the scrap wood.

  • Yellow Pot with Tree

    This homeowner's path to the backyard wound past a blank side wall of the house. To camouflage its awkwardness, he hung a simple trellis and a birdfeeder, and thereby created an instant garden nook.

  • Mobile Container Garden

    Galvanized cans take on a whole new life, thanks to Brian Patrick Flynn, who drilled holes in them, added casters and turned them into sleek rolling container gardens.

  • Antique Dresser Becomes Cottage Chic Garden Planter

    An old dresser becomes a unique planter for a cottage chic garden. To extend its life in the garden, sand it lightly, then apply a coat of clear finish.

  • Homemade Stone Pedestal with Planter

    RMSer helawrence13 paid $1 for the concrete planter at a yard sale, then with her granddaughters, collected rocks from around the yard. With the help of her husband, she created this pretty stone pedestal.

  • Coastal Deck Chair

    Artistry had a hand in updating this Adirondack rocker with a custom paint job. Posted by RMSer turtle heaven

  • Clematis Vines

    Clematis has the support it needs with this old wooden ladder. Posted by Dotsgarden

  • Star Pot Plant

    Throwaway plastic and wood, combined with some ingenuity, were the ingredients for this cute little planter. Posted by RMSer LASG2120

  • Wind Chime Project

    Transform tiny terra-cotta pots into cheery music for your garden. These chimes are constructed entirely by knotting and gluing — no drilling required.

  • Patio with Brick Wall and Pond

    Every building material — brick, timber, slab — in this one-of-a-kind outdoor room is recycled. \"I built this courtyard a few years past to remind me of my travels,\" says RMSer andyrtcm. Next slide: another view of the space.

  • Grass Hut Patio Style

    In the same courtyard, RMSer andyrtcm built this amazing island-style \"pergola\" out of recycled materials.

  • Smart Chic Address Display

    Simple picture frames are the heart of this beautiful home address, and clematis adds the finishing flourish. Posted by RMSer nwphillygardener

  • Green Garden Structures

    This fabulous potting bench was built from old doors and trim that came from a garage sale for $1 apiece. The shelves were made out of old barn wood. \"Recycle, recycle, recycle,\" RMSer debbieO_indy says.

  • Bench Glider with Pillows

    A fabulous find at a thrift store: shams, a bolster and fabric for a total of $5.40. It was all RMSer scribbles2 needed to turn an older glider, purchased at a yard sale, into a cozy garden bench.

  • Shed Light on the Garden

    The beautiful patina of barn wood gives this rustic potting shed that always-been-there look. The wood and roofing material came from a century-old barn on the family farm, and the windows were collected from curbside. Posted by RMSer prairiegardener

  • White Shed With Glass Door

    Have some leftover doors? You could make a cute little garden shed like this one by RMSer ksfohio.

  • Upcycling Discarded Chairs

    RMSer santamaker rescued these two chairs from the landfill and \"dressed them in new 'frocks'\" for her French country porch.

  • coastalgardener-entryway-pots

    Style your container gardens by grouping planters with found objects. Here, RMSer coastalgardener created an \"arrangement\" by adding driftwood and a shell.

  • Vintage Sign

    Give any dresser new life as a mobile indoor/outdoor serving buffet.

  • Patio Door

    Revitalize a tired concrete patio with color stain. (The concrete needs to be unpainted and unstained.)

  • Checkerboard Front Porch Flooring

    A paint job worked beautifully on this porch flooring. Posted by RMSer wrightx4. Next slide: a painted rug.

  • Painted Rug

    This painted rug is a festive, weatherproof update for this porch. Posted by RMSer Valeriemissouri

  • Recycled Kitchenware Used for Garden Planters

    Recycle extra cookware — colanders are perfect because they already have drainage holes — into planters for your kitchen garden.

  • Container Butterfly Gardens

    Nancy Ondra turned these finds into container butterfly gardens for the porch.

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