5 DIY Backyard Projects On a Budget

If you’re planning on spending your days outside this summer, you might want to spruce up your backyard. Luckily, there are plenty of do-it-yourself projects that can transform your yard without breaking the bank. Here are five different DIY projects that will make your backyard the envy of the neighborhood without draining your savings account. 

Bird Feeders

Add a little color to your yard by attracting the local birds. You can get as creative as you want with this DIY project, but pine cones are the simplest option. All you need are the pine cones, a hook to hang the feeders on, some peanut butter or lard, and birdseed. Spread the peanut butter or lard on the pine cone and then roll it in the birdseed. You can also use simple twine to hang the pine cones from the trees in your backyard. Sit back and watch the birds flock to your yard.

If you want to get more creative, you can create colorful feeders with empty wine bottles or mason jars. Use a plate as the base of your feeder, drill holes in the side of the glass to allow the seed to spill through onto the plate, and hang the bottle or jar somewhere in your yard.

Fire Pits

Families who love to spend evenings outside in the yard will love this DIY project. First, pick the site for your new fire pit. Check local codes for any restrictions that dictate how far it has to be away from your house or any other structure. Then, you’ll need to gather all of the necessary supplies and tools. You will need gravel, ready-mix concrete, firebrick, and paving stones. Begin the project by creating the foundation for your new backyard feature. Then, build an outer wall. Next, you will use the firebrick to create the actual fire pit in whatever shape you want. Cheers to BBQs and s’mores all summer long.

Patio Furniture

You could always run out to your local store to buy patio furniture, but you might already have everything you need to make your own right at home. You can use old wooden pallets, milk crates, and cinder blocks to make simple, attractive outdoor furniture. You can simply stack the pallets to create the seat of the sofa. Vertically connect a pallet – use a drill or hammer – to the back of the stacked pallets to create the back of the couch. You can add more height to your couch with cinder blocks. Use some old cushions and pillows to make the couch comfier or you can make your own. Milk crates can be painted and flipped upside down to serve as an easy outdoor table.

Herb Gardens

Photo by Mazaletel / CC BY

Herbs are an easy project for a novice gardener or someone with a seasoned green thumb. You can pick from a variety of fragrant plants. As a bonus, you can use the fresh herbs when you cook. DIY herb gardens can be as big or small and as simple or involved as you want them to be. If you want your herb garden to be at eye level, consider using plastic bottles or mason jars. You can plant your herbs in them and attach the holders to a fence. Make sure whatever holders you use have holes for drainage -- too much water can kill your herbs. For a bigger, more ambitious herb garden, you can create a planter out of wooden pallets. Lean the pallet vertically against a fence or the side of your home. The wooden slates create shelves to hold all of your herbs. You can even label each plant with a little paint on the pallet.

Outdoor Theater

Photo by Jason Gessner / CC BY-SA

Whether you are planning a romantic date night or looking to treat your kids, this DIY project is simple to do on short notice. Grab a crisp white sheet and hang it up outside. You can use a clothesline or spread it out against a fence or the side of your house. You will also need a projector to bring the movies outside. The projector will be the most expensive part of this project, coming in at least $200, but it will last you for years. Next, you can get as creative as you want with your DIY options. Use your DIY patio furniture to make rows of theater seats or just bring out pillows and blankets. You can even set up an outdoor snack bar with popcorn and candy. 

Here’s to backyards that will make you want to stay outside all summer.

We've just released an update for neighborhoods.com!  You can click here to refresh and use the latest version.