DIY Patio Ideas on a Budget

Kate Mitchell

August 10, 2023

It won't be long before the Florida weather begins to cool down enough for us to want to spend plenty of time outside. Most of us enjoy spending time in the yard - and WebMD has a list of several reasons why outdoor time is good for all of us.

If you want to increase the amount of time you and your family spend outside, it's a great idea to set up your yard or outdoor space to make it easy and pleasant. To help you with that, we have a list of backyard patio ideas that will make it easy to enjoy your outdoor living space.

Building a Patio

Two ornate chairs and a small table on a tiny patio outside a window

Of course, not all of us have a deck, patio or porch to create our very own backyard oasis. Walking outside onto damp grass is not always inviting, and you don't want to bring mud or bugs back in with you.

A custom-built patio can be expensive to commission - but don't worry! Here are some affordable backyard patio ideas with inexpensive materials and simple tutorials.

DIY Gravel Patio

A gravel patio with chairs, a table and bright plants

One great DIY option on a budget is to create a pea gravel patio. The Rose Table did this and her patio looks fantastic - check it out here. The post gives lots of great tips on how a few attractive building materials and a little elbow grease can transform your backyard into a beautiful space.

The process is pretty simple. First, you need to choose your materials. You can price up bags of gravel at your local garden center or go for a wholesale delivery. You'll also need bricks, masonry blocks or another type of edging material to keep everything in place and some landscape fabric. 

First, clear any grass from the area where you plan to create your patio. Lay down your edging, using spikes and string to ensure that you get a straight line. There should be a hollow area in the middle for the gravel.

You'll need to cover the ground with plastic sheeting or landscape fabric to make sure weeds don't grow up in your gravel. Landscape fabric will allow water to soak through, but if you use plastic sheeting you'll need to poke holes in it so you don't end up with a big puddle.

Finally, use a wheelbarrow to transfer your gravel to the patio. Pour it in and make sure it's level.

Then you're ready to add furniture, planters, fairy lights and any other finishing touches!

DIY Paver Patio

If you're up for a bit more of a challenge, or already have some DIY skills, a paver patio is another possibility for your yard. Lowe's has some great instructions here, along with links to some of the tools you'll need.

Whether you choose concrete or brick pavers, this DIY backyard landscaping project is an affordable option for a backyard transformation that will make your outdoor space even easier to enjoy.

Once your outdoor project is completed, you're ready to add some style to your patio space. Let's think about privacy features, outdoor furniture and creative ideas to add to the ambiance! 


Restaurant patio with a screen providing privacy

Is your deck or patio out front, in full view of all the neighbors? Does a sidewalk overlook your yard? If so, you may want to consider some ways to add privacy to your patio area.

We have some awesome ideas for creating privacy without decreasing curb appeal. If you don't want to build a wall or put up a fence, you could use plants to create a feeling of natural seclusion.

Fast-growers such as alphonse karr bamboo are an excellent choice for a privacy screen that keeps your outdoor living area a green space. You'll also have the advantage of shade as the bamboo grows taller.

Another option is to install a trellis. You could then create a garden bed on the other side, or use plant pots on the patio. Our article on climbing plants has some beautiful suggestions for perennial plants that will add shade and privacy to your backyard space.


A small outlay for furniture can make outdoor living so much simpler and more convenient.

Chairs and a dining table mean you can enjoy meals outside with ease; or an outdoor side table gives your guests a place for their drink as they hang out in your backyard oasis. You could even take your favorite book or craft outdoors!

If you don't want to buy new yard furniture, here are some other options.

Look for Vintage Furniture

Two wooden folding chairs lean against an outdoor wall

Pre-loved outdoor furniture is often available on local reselling sites. You may even luck out and find some suitable items at a larger thrift store. It's worth doing some research locally to check what's available. You could get a bargain - or you may score some vintage furniture pieces with bags of style.

Sometimes pre-loved furniture looks great and is ready to use as right away. Other times, it may need a little elbow grease to get it clean. Use an old rag and soapy water to wipe off any dirt. There are some great tips here for cleaning a glass patio table.

If you want to change the look, it's easy to give wooden garden furniture a fresh coat of paint. You'll need to clean it first, then sand it down all over. Once you've painted with primer, you're ready to add some color. 

Here's where you can get creative with a tin of bright paint to add a pop of color to your outdoor dining - or, if you're feeling fancy, you could try using painter's tape for color blocking. Tidy Away has a great tutorial for that.

DIY Outdoor Furniture

A classy outdoor couch made from old pallets

If you don't find what you're looking for in the vintage market, you might be surprised to learn that creating your own outdoor furniture doesn't necessarily require a lot of time or advanced carpentry skills. You can actually build your own chair or couch from old pallets!

The Boondock Blog has a tutorial for creating a pallet couch. All you'll need is some old pallets, a saw, some rope, and cushions and a throw to cover the couch when you're finished.

Hang a Hammock

A woman reads in a hammock on a deck

A hammock, swing, or hammock chair is a wonderful way to add seating to your outdoor space while increasing the fun factor for kids. You can either install hooks in a sturdy joist or, in the case of a hammock, find some suitable trees to tie it to.

If you don't want to install hardware or don't have any convenient supports, all is not lost! You can look for a hammock or chair with its own stand, allowing you to enjoy swinging in the shade anywhere on your patio.


A large patio with overhead string lights

Want to make your backyard a magical place to hang out in the evenings? Or create a shady, relaxing spot for some daytime reading or a chat with friends? Here are some quick suggestions to help with that!

Add a rug

As well as adding to the comfort of your deck or patio, an outdoor rug can tie the space together, creating a unified outdoor living area. A rug can protect surfaces (e.g. wooden decking) from scratches. It will also make bare feet more comfortable. Adding a rug is an easy way to update the look of your outdoor space.

If you already have an outdoor rug but it's looking a bit tatty, or you want to change things up, East Coast Creative has an easy tutorial here for using stencils and spray paint to create a new look!

Twinkling Lights

If you're planning on spending time outdoors during the evening, don't underestimate the beautifying effect of some lovely twinkly lights! Whether you go for tiki torches, string lights or a firepit centerpiece, you'll be turning your outdoor space into a magical place to be as the sun goes down.

If you want to use string lights, make sure you choose a set that's suitable for outdoor use. You can use hooks to hang them, or wrap them around a nearby tree. We also love this DIY string light arbor by the Honeycomb Home.

If you want to gather round with the kids or your guests, toasting s'mores and telling tall tales, a firepit may be what you need. Several types of firepit are available to buy, ranging from tiny folding ones designed for camping trips to large, sturdy firepits that can double up as a grill.

If you know you want something permanent, you could even use stones to build a long-term firepit right there in the middle of your patio!

We hope we've inspired you with some fun and easy projects for your backyard remodel. As always, if you want any help with landscaping or yard design, the friendly experts at LawnMore would be happy to help!

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