10 Ideas for Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor

A few pillow covers and a portable fire pit will enliven your space.
A few pillow covers and a portable fire pit will enliven your space. / Amazon (Pillow covers and fire pit), Justin Dodd (background)
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As summer approaches and your mind starts to drift toward cookouts, the price of outdoor furniture and décor might drag you back to reality. It seems like setting up a picnic-friendly space requires a lot of cash, but you can find less-expensive backyard décor items that are still full of personality if you know where to look. Here are a few of our favorite frugal but fabulous picks.

1. Sunnydaze Rope Hammock and Stand; $127

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: Sunnydaze Rope Hammock and Stand
Sunnydaze Rope Hammock and Stand / Sunnydaze/Amazon

Hammocks are cheapish and comfortable options for relaxing in your backyard or taking an afternoon snooze. The key is choosing the right type. A traditional knotted rope style, which typically includes wooden spreader bars at the head and foot, gives you more space to stretch out. (A camping style hammock without the spreader bars will close up around you like a burrito.) This model, which comes in a range of patterns and shades, includes with a padded cover to lay over the knotted rope base, a detachable pillow, and a tree-saving portable steel stand.

Buy it: Amazon

2.  MYard Rustproof Garden Trellis; $43

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: MYard Rustproof Garden Trellis
MYard Rustproof Garden Trellis / MYard/Amazon

Need to hide an unsightly compost pile or garbage bin—or just block your nosy neighbor from spying on you? Wood or composite fences are pricey, so invest in an inexpensive trellis and some fast-growing vines to create a living screen. This option is 6.5 feet tall, can be set up in different configurations, and provides support for attractive climbing plants like the purple passionflower or Virginia creeper (both of which are native to eastern North America).

Buy it: Amazon

3.  LORRYTE Crystal Globe String Lights, Pack of 2; From $24

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: LORRYTE Crystal Globe String Lights
LORRYTE Crystal Globe String Lights / LORRYTE/Amazon

Lighting is the deal hunter’s favorite way to create ambiance for less. These string lights with dimmable, spherical bulbs are solar-powered so you won’t need to pay to illuminate your backyard. String lights also come in a multitude of bulb and wire styles; combine them with solar-powered pathway lights, like this minimalist stainless steel set ($22), to give your walkways a little extra sophistication while showing visitors the safest place to step.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Gardener’s Supply Company 3-Tier Galvanized Vertical Wall Planters, Pack of 3; $70 

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: Gardener’s Supply Company Three-Tier Wall Planter
Gardener’s Supply Company Three-Tier Wall Planter / Gardener’s Supply Company/Amazon

If you’re low on space but still want a lushly landscaped backyard, consider a wall-mounted planter. This three-tier model is great for low-maintenance succulents or for growing culinary herbs, and the contrasting tones of the steel trays and supporting bracket give off industrial-farmhouse vibes.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Room Essentials Metal Mesh Outdoor Folding Chair; $40

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: Room Essentials Metal Mesh Outdoor Folding Chair
Room Essentials Metal Mesh Outdoor Folding Chair / Room Essentials/Target

Here’s a hack for outdoor furnishing on a budget: skip the four- or six-piece furniture sets, which can cost several hundred dollars or more, and buy matching items from the same collection à la carte. For example, Target’s Room Essentials collection includes these adorably retro seat cushions ($7 each), a side table ($21), mesh folding patio chairs ($28 each), and a bistro table ($49), all sold separately. Because these are popular items, you may need to pick them up in your local store.

Another swell option: Room Essentials’s patio lounger ($70), which has an adjustable back so you can choose your angle of repose. A matching side table and cushions are sold separately. Curate your own configuration and you’ll be set—without having to spring for an actual set.

Shop the collection: Target

6. Sanghing Outdoor Pillow Covers, Set of 2; $10

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: Sanghing Outdoor Pillow Covers
Sanghing Outdoor Pillow Covers / Sanghing/Amazon

You can’t go wrong with a pair of pillow covers to refresh your outdoor space, especially if you already have a few lying around that no longer spark joy. This floral-patterned set has a psychedelic look and fits 18-inch-by-18-inch pillows (or pillow inserts); you can find almost any size and style online—such as this cottagecore duo ($16) or this midcentury-modern pair ($17) .

Buy it: Amazon

7. Amazon Basics Classic Tray Tables with Stand, Set of 4; From $47

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: Amazon Basics Classic Tray Tables with Stand
Amazon Basics Classic Tray Tables with Stand / Amazon

Tray tables are a space-conscious throwback for apartment balconies and small patios: They provide dining space for four people, but can be folded up and stored in their own stand when not in use. This classic TV dinner model from Amazon Basics is a cheap solution for grown-up picnics and cookouts, as well as a handy place to put your laptop while you work from your backyard.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Threshold Check Diamonds Outdoor Rug; From $14

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: Threshold Check Diamonds Outdoor Rug
Threshold Check Diamonds Outdoor Rug / Threshold/Target

Adding a rug to your backyard setup not only gives continuity to your space; it can also hide stains or hideous tile left over from your home’s previous occupants. A neutral-toned rug with a geometric pattern, like this one that comes in multiple sizes, amps up the visual interest of your patio without competing against the rest of your outdoor furniture or décor. On the other hand, a dramatic botanical print (from $40) in bold colors will instantly become the center of attention.

Buy it: Target

9. Fire Beauty Fire Pit; $64

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: Fire Beauty Fire Pit
Fire Beauty Fire Pit / Fire Beauty/Amazon

Do not let the house renovators on HGTV make you think that everyone needs an elaborate, high-tech fireplace built into their backyard. You can attain a similar cozy ambience with an inexpensive, portable fire pit. Whether it’s a simple metal ring set on the ground, a big dish on legs, or one of the higher-end smokeless models (like the $214 Ranger 2.0 from Solo Stove), a fire pit will allow you to build a campfire without laying down a lot of dough. Just be sure to read the product’s safety information and know your community’s fire regulations before breaking out the s’mores

Buy it: Amazon

10. ShadeMart Sail-Style Sun Shade; From $50

Budget-Friendly Backyard Décor: ShadeMart Sail-Style Sun Shade
ShadeMart Sail-Style Sun Shade / ShadeMart/Amazon

No trees? No problem. Create a shady canopy over your backyard gathering area with an inexpensive and easy-to-install sunshade. This sail-style shade—basically a big triangle of densely woven material—attaches by its corners to any available poles or columns and suits smaller spaces. A rectangular or square shade works the same way over larger areas. After a summer spent hanging out on your patio, your skin will thank you. 

Buy it: Amazon