8 Budget-Friendly DIYs for Your Deck or Patio

Tackle these projects and spend more time outside this season.

It’s that time of year again: With the weather warming up, you’re likely thinking about sprucing up your deck or patio to get more use out of it this spring and summer. Outdoor furniture and decor can be expensive, especially for a space you may only use a few months out of the year. Luckily, you can make a big impact outside with wallet-friendly DIYs. Tackle some of these projects — from privacy solutions to entertaining essentials — and create an outdoor space you’ll want to spend time on. Bonus: Many of these ideas are great for renters and small-space dwellers, too.

Upcycled Bar + Buffet

Upcycled Cabinet Mini Bar 01:31

Transform a hutch into an outdoor snack and mini bar.

Have an old hutch or cabinet at home that's just collecting dust? Transform it into an outdoor entertaining station with plenty of storage and serving space. You can even add a mini fridge to keep drinks and snacks cool.

Almost-Free Entertaining Ideas

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Storage Bench

DIY Outdoor Storage Bench

DIY Outdoor Storage Bench

Add extra seating to your patio or deck with this DIY outdoor bench featuring beautiful fretwork panels and hidden storage under the seat. Using minimal tools and a few supplies from the home improvement store, you can build this stunning storage bench in one weekend.

Photo by: Jen Woodhouse

Jen Woodhouse

Who couldn't use more storage outside? This DIY bench with beautiful fretwork panels has a hidden compartment under the seat. Get the lumber cut to size at the hardware store to simplify the project.

3 Outdoor Furniture Flips

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Movie Screen

DIY Outdoor Movie Screen 02:12

Make your own collapsible screen for outdoor movie nights.

There’s nothing quite like watching a movie under the stars. An all-weather TV can cost hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, but you can set up a projector and screen for much less. Make this easy DIY movie screen using PVC pipes and a white sheet.

Family-Friendly Backyard Tips

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String Light Solution

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

How to Hang Outdoor String Lights From DIY Posts

Café lights add a gorgeous glow to an outdoor living space, but they can be tricky to hang if you don’t have trees or other tall objects to string them from. Here’s a freestanding solution for hanging lights that uses planters and wood posts. It’s totally temporary, so it’s perfect for renters.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Café lights add a gorgeous glow to an outdoor living space, but they can be tricky to hang if you don’t have trees or other tall objects to string them from. Here’s a freestanding solution for hanging lights that uses planters and wood posts. It’s totally temporary, so it’s perfect for renters.

Low-Budget Lighting Tips

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Plant + Privacy Wall

DIY Plant Wall 02:15

Learn how to make a DIY plant wall in just a few easy steps.

Don’t let a tiny patio (or a tiny budget) stop you from enjoying lots of lush greenery on your outdoor space. Make this DIY living wall with a few low-cost supplies, then hang potted plants from it. As the plants grow, they’ll also provide privacy.

Small-Space Gardening Ideas

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Easy Rug Update

Gray Outdoor Rug With Painted Stripes

Gray Outdoor Rug With Painted Stripes

Give a drab gray rug the color treatment with paint samples and tape. With a few colors or a lot of colors, this pattern offers infinite ways to add a punch to your patio.

Outdoor rugs can be pricey, but you can give a plain, inexpensive one a colorful, customized makeover with some paint and tape. 

3 Outdoor Rug DIYs

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Tabletop Fire Pit

Tabletop Fire Pit 02:20

Create a cozy area on your porch by building a tabletop fire pit.

The warmth of a fire pit can instantly cozy up a patio, but they can take up a lot of room. Make this space-saving tabletop version that’s just as beautiful as a full-size one.

Patio-Sized Fire + Water Features

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Portable Privacy Screen

DIY PVC Pipe Privacy Screen

DIY PVC Pipe Privacy Screen

Can’t hang curtains from your deck or patio? Get the look by making this portable privacy screen with PVC tubing and simple, inexpensive bedsheets. You can use any color sheets for this customizable project to complement your other outdoor decor.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Can’t hang curtains from your deck or patio? Get the look by making this portable privacy screen with PVC tubing and simple, inexpensive bedsheets. You can use any color sheets to complement your other outdoor decor.

18 Outdoor Privacy Solutions

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Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Add a Colorful, Geometric Pattern to a Basic Outdoor Rug

Give a drab gray rug the color treatment with paint samples and tape. With a few colors or a lot of colors, this pattern offers infinite ways to add a punch to your patio.

How to Paint Mod Black and White Dots on a Basic Rug

For the modern patio, take a basic outdoor rug and give it your personal spin with simple painted dots. Choose any colors that complement your other outdoor decor.

Upcycle a Hutch Into an Outdoor Bar and Buffet

Have an old hutch or cabinet at home that’s just collecting dust? Turn it into a beverage and food station for your outdoor entertaining area. Add a mini fridge and wine glass racks, and you’ll have yourself a multifunctional piece of furniture for serving and storage in no time.

Warm Up Your Patio With a DIY Tabletop Fire Pit

The warmth of a fire pit will instantly cozy up any outdoor room. If space is an issue, make this tabletop version. It's easily customizable to fit any table, yet just as beautiful as a full-size one.

How to Make an Easy DIY Outdoor Movie Screen

Transform your backyard into an open-air movie theater with this easy DIY screen made from PVC pipes and a white sheet.

How to Build an Outdoor Bench With Storage

Add extra seating to your patio or deck with this DIY outdoor bench featuring beautiful fretwork panels and hidden storage under the seat. Using minimal tools and a few supplies from the home improvement store, you can build this stunning storage bench in one weekend.

How to Make an Outdoor Privacy Screen From PVC Pipe

Can’t hang curtains from your deck or patio? Get the look by making this portable privacy screen with PVC tubing and simple, inexpensive bedsheets. You can use any color sheets for this customizable project to complement your other outdoor decor.

How to Add a Rope Border to a Basic Outdoor Rug

For a nautical touch, use cotton rope to make a border on a basic rug. Add lots of plants, lanterns and bowls of seashells to create a coastal-inspired outdoor space, no matter where you live.

String Light Solution: Hang Patio Lights Using Planters and Wood Posts

Café lights add a gorgeous glow to an outdoor living space, but they can be tricky to hang if you don’t have trees or other tall objects to string them from. Here’s a freestanding solution for hanging lights that uses planters and wood posts. It’s totally temporary, so it’s perfect for renters.

How to Keep Your Deck Safe for Kids and Pets

Follow these eight tips to keep your outdoor space kid- and pet-proof.

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