Is your backyard a bit lacking? One of the best things about having your own place is the joy of being able to retire to your garden or patio at the end of a long day and just unwind for a bit while admiring your plants and decor. But not all of us own a perfectly manicured garden that we can enjoy in the spring or hot summer months. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to spruce up just about any kind of outdoor space, and we've found and listed some of our favorites for you!
Set Your Own Stone Walkway
If you've ever seen a nice walkway in a backyard, then you know what it can add to a space. It's also a really simple home improvement project that can be completed in a day or two. Stones can be found at more home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe's, as can gavel and a rubber mat to place everything on. Just think carefully about where you want to place your walkway and where you tend to spend most of your time.
For example, you can have a walkway leading out to your garden or build one that leads to an outdoor dining area for when you have guests over for a garden party.
Turn Old Pallets Into Flower Boxes And Fencing
Pallets are extremely versatile and are perfect to use for all kinds of different projects. If you don't already have a fence and want one in your yard, then why not consider making a fence out of pallets? The width of pallet wood is already the same width used in most wooden privacy fences. And if you want to go a step further, you can build hanging flower boxes to add to your fence.
The flowers are great for adding color to an area and just making it a lot more enjoyable to be in. Not to mention, this project is super cheap if you already have pallets on hand.
Construct A Simple Wooden Deck
Building your own DIY deck or patio in your backyard might seem like a tall task, but it really isn't that difficult. It's even simpler if you build a ground-level deck, such as the one shown in this photo. That way, you don't have to worry nearly as much about staking beams into the ground or making sure everything is raised and level. You can just build a frame over your existing patio or yard space.
Not only will it make your space appear more welcoming, but it can also add a lot of room for things like grilling out or just sitting around and hanging out with friends.
Plant Tall Shrubs For Privacy And Looks
We absolutely love this idea. When trying to add a little privacy to their backyards, most people tend to automatically go for a fence. However, planting tall shrubs or trees can be a great alternative. Not only are you being environmentally friendly, but you're also adding some green to your yard. Oh, and you're also getting that privacy you were looking for while keeping out those neighbors that are always staring.
You just have to make sure to plant those shrubs pretty close together so that you get complete privacy. This look can be achieved with shrubs, trees, or a combination of both.
Create Your Own Bug Haven
This one might not be for everybody, but building your own bug house is a fun project, and it can encourage useful bugs to stick around close to your garden. The idea is similar to creating a birdhouse. Just grab some things that bugs tend to like, such as leaves, pinecones, cardboard, etc., and place it all inside a wooden box next to your plants or another area of your yard.
Just remember to make room for small compartments inside of the house so that the bugs actually have somewhere to live. The compartments can also be different sizes to accommodate different bugs.
Decorate A Tree In Lights
Here's another great and easy DIY project for your backyard. If you have a couple of trees in the back, why not try decorating them with some white Christmas lights? Not only will this add some warm light to your backyard, but it looks great a night, too. If you only have larger trees in your backyard, you don't have to dress the entire tree (although that looks great as well), you can just run string lights from the branches.
If you don't have any trees in your backyard, you can add some lights to shrubs or fencing. And if you don't have shrubs or fencing, then why not take some tips from this list and add them?
Use Logs To Create Wooden Pathways
This fun home improvement project is a great way to make your walkway stand out. Most walkways incorporate stone or cement, but this one makes use of large wooden rounds from logs. You can cut up your own log or purchase wooden rounds from someone else. They can usually be found at home improvement stores or places like Facebook marketplace. If you want to go even further, you can add some gravel to your walkway.
The project itself is also pretty simple and could probably be completed in a day or two, making this a great weekend project to take on if you're looking to add a walkway to your yard.
Add A Couple Of Fountains To Your Yard
If you've ever walked into a backyard and heard the sound of a fountain churning out water, then you know how relaxing they can be. The best part is that they don't really have to be some huge home improvement project. You can go as large or small as you want. The main goal is to just get some water running and add a few calm sounds to your yard.
Most home improvement stores sell everything you need to add a fountain to your yard. You can also pick up iron or concrete fountains at most antique stores.
Build Your Own Planter Posts For String Lights
String lights are always a good idea. But what if you don't really have any branches to posts to hang your lights from? Well, you could make your own planter posts using nothing more than some planters, concrete, and 4x4 wooden posts. Secure your posts evenly inside your planter with a bracket before pouring your concrete so that the post doesn't move and the rest is an absolute breeze.
The best part about this project just might be that there's no need to dig a deep hole and hope that the post stays even while your concrete is drying.
Put Up A Custom Fence
When most people think about putting up a fence in their backyard, they usually think of the same boring privacy fence you see in most yards. However, homeowners and renters have tons of options when it comes to fencing. You can create a more modern fence, such as the one in this photo, or you can put up something a bit more traditional, such as the white picket fence.
In either case, it's usually a good idea to browse around online in order to get some ideas before settling on a final design or material type, just to be sure you get what you want.
Add Some Color To Your Backyard With A Mural
Painting your own mural can be a relaxing and fun way to add some color to your backyard. It's also a really useful tool to make use of any awkward spaces you might have, such as the one shown in this photo. You don't have to be a trained artist to create something personal or fun either, and there are a ton of ideas floating around out there online to draw inspiration from.
You can also add a mural to a garden space to create a theme. For example, you can add a mysterious-looking door behind some vines or paint some cute creatures. The possibilities are endless.
Give Your Flowerbed A Border
Here's another simple and quick way to improve your backyard, and all you really need are some bricks. Just dig a shallow trench that runs the length of your flowerbed and start placing your bricks inside. This will also make it much easier to add mulch to your flowerbed in the future. If you're not big on the look of bricks, you can also use a couple of 4x4s.
Whatever you choose is sure to make your garden look that much better. This also makes for a fun project with friends or family since it's so quick to do.
Build An Outdoor DIY Cart
Sometimes, all you need to tie a space together is a simple piece of furniture, and the same can be said for outdoor areas. So, why not try building yourself an outdoor cart? They can be used for just about anything, from a planting bench and workstation to a place to serve food and drinks. They're also a lot simpler to build than you might think at first; just remember to add wheels for easy movement.
If you're short on time, you could also convert a small table or use a cart that you already have in your home. There are also plenty of DIY explainers online.
Attach Some Flower Boxes To A Shed Or Home
Building and adding flower boxes to things like sheds or your house is a fun and nice way to change the look of an exterior wall. It's also super simple since most of us have a couple of pieces of wood or scrap already lying around. Just build your box, give it a fresh coat of paint, and then attach it wherever you want using wooden brackets and screws.
These look especially nice when they're placed right under a window, such as the one pictured in this photo. But they also just look really nice anywhere you want to put them.
Plant Some Colorful Flowers
This might seem kind of obvious, but not many people take advantage of having flowers in their yard. It's a great way to add some color to a backyard and impress friends during your next get-together. You don't even really need to be that great at gardening. Instead, try searching for flowers that are native to wherever it is that you live, which will make it much easier to keep them alive.
Just be sure that if you do decide to add some flowers to your yard, you go all out and add a couple of different colors and varieties.
Build A DIY Hose Holder And Planter
A sure way to make your yard look a bit less bland is to get rid of that store-bought hose holder, especially if it's a metal or plastic holder that just sticks in the ground or attaches to the wall. Instead, why not add some color and character with your own DIY holder and planter? It's basically just a box with a space on the top for flowers or anything else you want to store there.
That means it's really simple to build, and if you already have some scrap wood lying around, you might be able to just use that, depending on the width.
Incorporate A Theme Into Your Backyard
If your backyard looks kind of bland or you're just starting to think about home improvement projects, it might be worth it to think over some possible themes. This is a great way to make that everything looks tied together. It's also really cool to be able to walk into your backyard and be transported into whatever kind of world you've built for yourself. This photo might look a bit intricate but you don't have to complete everything in one go.
Instead, try focusing on one small project or aspect of your theme at a time, and eventually, you'll have the backyard of your dreams. It just takes a little work.
Add Some Pallet Furniture To An Outdoor Space
If you're looking for some home improvement projects to take on, then odds are you've already considered adding some pallet furniture to your space. However, that's for a good reason, as pallet furniture is cheap, easy to build, and can be modified to fit whatever kind of seating needs you have. Just go out and buy some nice cushions and pillows, and you're ready for your next backyard party.
You can choose to give your pallets a fresh coat of paint or just leave them plain, depending on your decor and the color of your cushions.
Build A DIY Bed For Your Outdoor Space
There's nothing better than taking a nap outside, especially if you're lounging away on a comfortable outdoor bed. The best part is that outdoor beds are surprisingly easy to build yourself; all you really need to do is build a frame for the mattress and then find a good place to hang it. Of course, you could also just go a bit more traditional and hang up a hammock or two.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that the space around your bed or hammock is as charming and relaxing as the bed itself, or else you might not be able to get fully comfortable.
Build A Tree Bench Around An Old Tree
We absolutely love wooden tree benches. They just add a rustic and elegant look to any yard. It also doesn't hurt that they're pretty easy to build. If you already have the tools, then this might make for a perfect weekend project. Just don't forget to grab some stain when you go to the store if you want your tree bench to have a more finished look. You could also paint it if you want.
If you find yourself sitting underneath your tree fairly often, then it might be worth it to add some pillows or cushions for you or your guests to enjoy.
Convert An Old Shed Into A Relaxing Space
If you have an old shed in your yard, you have a ton of potential just sitting there. Just think about all of the things you could convert your shed into: a guest room, an outdoor working space, an outdoor dining area, or a space to just get away from the house and relax. The possibilities are endless and all it requires is a plan and a little bit of work.
You don't have to convert your shed into something as fancy as the one pictured here, but it should be a space that you find yourself gravitating towards when you're all finished.
Turn A Plastic Barrel Into A Large Planter
If you have a plastic barrel lying around in your yard or shed, then this project might be for you. It's fairly easy to turn that ugly barrel into a large planter for shrubs or small trees. Just cut your barrel to about the height you want it, and then use a brad nailer to secure your planks along the side. You can stain or sand whatever scrap wood you have or just leave your planks raw.
Also, don't forget to drill some drain holes at the bottom before adding gravel or soil to your new planter. If your planks are tall enough to cover the barrel, then you can forgo the border around the top.
Build Yourself A Pergola
Adding a pergola to your yard or patio is a great way to turn a bland space into your new favorite entertaining area. These spaces are also really nice if you're the type of person that enjoys sipping their coffee outside in the morning. And while it might look a bit complicated to build, we promise they're really not that hard. There are also a ton of DIY explainers online that break down the whole process.
There are also a ton of different styles and looks you could go for, but just remember to finish off the whole look by adding some seating and plenty of greenery.
Turn An Old Tire Into A Tire Planter
Here's another nice idea to turn some old junk into a productive piece of your backyard. If you have a tire just sitting in your yard, then why not consider turning it into a planter? Just dig a hole that's deep enough to set the majority of the tire in, fill the bottom with a bit of gravel, then fill the rest with soil. Finally, you can plant whatever you like.
If you want to take it a step further, then you can use a pair of thick scissors and a blade to carve out an intricate design in the tire.
Add A Bird Feeder To Your Yard
This might seem like a pretty simple project, but it can pay dividends. Adding a bird feeder to your yard can be extremely rewarding, as it invites wildlife to come and stay for a bit. There's nothing like just hanging out in your yard enjoying your morning coffee while being serenaded by all kinds of different birds. Not to mention, it's great for the birds themselves, who get a free meal.
You might also be pleasantly surprised by all the different species that visit your yard, especially if you live in an area where birds migrate to or through.
Upcycle Old Furniture Into Homes For You Plants
Recycling old furniture that's no longer being used or that's broken is a cool way to give your garden a more rustic look. You can take something like an old bench or table and simply turn them into flowerbeds like the one in this photo. However, you can also break the furniture apart to make other types of decor. For example, the back of this bench would make a great lattice for climbing plants.
There are tons of different ways to incorporate old furniture into your garden, so it might be worth searching around online for different ideas before starting your gardening project.
Create Your Own Outdoor Mosaic
Like murals, which are also mentioned on this list, mosaics are a great way to add a little color and personality to a space. However, they take a bit more planning than a lot of other types of home improvement projects. Still, after you finish, you'll be glad that you started. For details on how to create a mosaic, there are plenty of explainers online. If your yard has a theme, then this is also a great way to project to emphasize that theme.
Mosaics also work really well with things like fountains and gardens as entry points or as hidden art pieces. Not to mention, they'll last for years to come.
Build A Stone Fire Pit
Adding a stone fire pit to your backyard is a simple project that not only looks good but also gives you one more communal space to use. All you need is a bit of gravel and some stones, and you're ready to get started. Just remember to dig a shallow, circular trench for the foundation of your firepit. However, after that, everything else is completely up to you and the look you want.
There are nearly limitless stone colors, patterns, sizes, and gravel colors to choose from so make sure to browse ideas online or in magazines before getting started with your pit.
Create Your Own Magical Hideaway
You don't need a huge yard to create your own little secret spot. You can utilize things like tall shrubs, vines, and even trees to create paths, walkways, and openings. It might take a little planning, but once you have everything figured out, you can turn an area of your yard into your own personal getaway. And if you have a shed in your yard, try to incorporate it and turn it into a personal space.
We know that this one might not be possible for everyone, but it's pretty amazing what you can do with a little planning and imagination. You can also build in a tree or underground if you're short on space.
Strategically Place Mirrors In Your Garden
Mirrors might seem like a strictly indoor decoration, but they can be used outdoors or in a garden to reflect light and make a space look larger, much in the same way they're used inside. They're especially useful if your backyard or garden is small, and they just add a layer or two of depth to a space. Just remember to think about where you want to place them.
If you have too much shade, you can place them in a space that gets sunlight to reflect more light back on a desired area. They can also be used to put more focus on an area that you're proud of.
Place Some Lights Along Paths And Gardens
Outdoor lights are a great way to add some warmth to a space, especially if you find yourself entertaining guests pretty often. Not only can they be used to light a path, but they can also be used to light up and show off a garden or a seating area. They're also incredibly simple to install, and most run on solar, meaning they won't make a dent in your power bill.
Whether you go for more traditional lights, such as the ones pictured here, or string lights, try to place them in places that you find yourself in and your guests gravitating towards.
Incorporate Stones Into Your Landscaping
There are a couple of different projects on this list that utilize stone materials, but don't forget that you can also incorporate stones into just about any landscaping project you have. They make for great filler material around flower beds and walkways, and there are a ton of different combinations to choose from. Just remember to go with something that matches the colors of your other projects or stones used in your yard.
Stone or gravel is also a great option if you live in an area that doesn't receive that much rainfall, as there's basically no need to water those areas covered in stone.
Add A Raised Planter Box And Lattice To Your Yard
There's just something about raised planters that look so organized and neat. They work well on their own or when placed in a garden with other plants. They're also really simple to build, as you're basically just building a box with legs. If you want to add a lattice for climbing plants, then check your local home improvement store, as they usually sell sheets like the one pictured in this photo.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure to really think about the types of plants you want to use your planter for, as they're probably going to be one of the focal points of your garden.
Don't Be Afraid To Add Some Color To Your Yard
Accessorizing with bright colors is a fantastic way to change the look of a space. Think of things like cushions, chairs, pots, and plants. Not only are these easy ways of changing things up, but they can work great with whatever furniture or greenery you already have in your backyard. For example, you might choose to incorporate pink cushions and fabrics into your yard if you already have azaleas growing.
If you're more into white linens and cushions, then try to mix up your whites and add some creamier colors to your backyard. The same goes for furniture.
Turn An Old Bathtub Into A Flower Bed
These can sometimes be kind of hard to find, but if you do come across an old clawfoot bathtub, consider adding it to your garden and turning it into a flowerbed. It's a great way to add a rustic and magical look to your yard, and it also makes gardening a lot easier. These can be set up and used as a standalone flowerbed, but they often look better in a garden.
Sometimes, it's also worth checking sites like Facebook marketplace for old tubs. Depending on where you live, you can sometimes find deals from people just looking to get rid of them.
Highlight Your Trees In Your Landscaping
There might be no better way to make your yard more livable than by adding a tree or two. Not only do they provide shady places to lounge around, but they can also be incorporated into your landscaping. You can extend gravel walkways out to trees or build a stone seating area around them. Lights and hammocks can be hung from their branches, and open-air gazebos can be placed next to them.
Trees also work really well with iron benches and other types of seating. If you don't already have trees in your backyard, then just start by adding a couple and watching them grow.
Build A Communal Table With A Cooler
What's better than enjoying an ice-cold beverage in your backyard with friends? Nothing, that's what. So, why not build your own communal farm table with a spot to store drinks? Not only will it get a couple of compliments at your next cookout, but it's also just really practical and saves people from having to step inside to constantly grab drinks out of the fridge. Just make sure to make the cooler part pretty large.
There are different designs and how-tos online, so it might also be worth looking around a bit in order to choose a design that fits your decor or the look you're going for.
Give An Awkward Space A Paver Patio
If you have a space between your yard and your fence that you're not quite sure what to do with, then it might be worth considering adding a paver patio. It's a great way to create more space for seating or grilling out without having to pour concrete. You just need some large tiles or stones and some gravel to get started, as well as a mat to lay underneath it all.
Just dig a shallow trench in the area you want to lay everything down, place your mat, and then add your other materials. Finally, place your seating and planters and you're finished.
Use Terracotta Planters As Candle Holders
This idea for terracotta candle holders is an elegant and simple way to add some nice lighting to your next dinner event or for nights hanging out in your backyard. Just fill your planters with some gravel, and you're pretty much done. Not only does it look great, but it has the added benefit of helping keep bugs away, and if you use a scented candle, adding a relaxing scent to your backyard.
Just remember to go with smaller planters. If you don't already have some, these can be found at most home improvement stores or antique shops that also sell yard decor.
Consider Concrete Alternatives
There are a couple of different products out there that work as alternatives to traditional concrete. However, they all have one thing in common, they're faster and easier to use than traditional concrete mix. That makes them great for many of the projects on this list that involve setting posts. Some of them, such as the one pictured here, are actually foam, so their use is usually limited to securing posts into the ground.
Still, it might be worth checking your local home improvement store to see what they offer, especially if you're nervous about mixing and setting your own concrete.