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Mini Oasis: 12 Budget Small Backyard Ideas For Every Homeowner

Do you like what you see when you look out the window into your backyard? Is it a place where you feel relaxed and happy? If you’re unhappy with your backyard, it might be time for an upgrade! Redoing your backyard might seem like an expensive job, and that’s why many keep putting it off. But inspiration from a few budget small backyard ideas can keep you and your wallet happy!

So, if you’re ready to get started, check out these budget-friendly ideas to turn your backyard into something beautiful!

Budget Small Backyard Ideas

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1. Build a Firepit

Closeup of glowing outdoor campfire in fall

Spending time by a crackling fire in the summer and fall is always fun. But good quality pre-made firepits or paying someone to make one can get expensive. Luckily, you can keep the cost down by making a firepit out of common hardware store items like pavers.

Concrete pavers are one of the cheapest options, and you can customize them with paint if you don’t like gray. Hardware stores often offer rectangular block pavers or curved ones. You’ll need to choose the shape based on what you want your firepit to look like. If you have your heart set on a circular firepit, the curved pavers are much easier to work with.

This budget small backyard idea is an easy and quick project that shouldn’t take you more than a few hours. You’ll create an outline of where you want your pit and dig out a few inches. Then you’ll need to fill the shallow hole with sand or crushed gravel. And you can begin stacking your pavers around the hole to form the firepit.

Concrete can handle high temperatures. But if you’re worried about damaging the pavers, a fire ring can help keep the heat away from the pavers.

2. Create a Living Fence

A budget small backyard idea like this can take some time, as you need to wait for the plants to grow. But the final result will be beautiful and will offer some functionality. You’ll get a good amount of shade out of the fully-grown fence. And it can also make a nice privacy fence!

To make a living fence, you need a lattice fence and vining plants. If you need ideas, Clematis flowers are a great choice, as they’re fast-growing and love climbing.

All you’ll need to do is plant your vining plants under the fence and allow them to grow! Vining plants will usually find their way to the fence. But manually wrapping the first few vines on the fence can give them a head start.

3. Make DIY Planters

someone watering vegetables

Do you have any old containers lying around your house? Don’t throw them out just yet, as you can repurpose them and make planters for your backyard! Think along the lines of old containers, strainers, teapots, cans, and other household items. You can also paint them to revamp them and make them look more presentable for your backyard.

If you don’t like the budget small backyard idea of household item planters, you can also build your own. Take a trip to the hardware store, pick out some wood, and cut it to size to create planter boxes. You can leave the wood as it is or use an outdoor wood stain for a deeper color!

4. Create a Cozy Space with Ambient Lighting

Decorative Small Solar Garden Light, Lanterns In Flower Bed In Green Foliage. Garden Design. Solar Powered Lamps In Row generative ai

Are you trying to create a more inviting environment in your backyard? Soft lighting can enhance this feeling, and string lights are a great way to bring this into your yard. But instead of reaching for your typical Christmas lights, try ones with larger bulbs, like vintage string lights. These types of lights usually emit a warm white or yellow-tinted color, creating a relaxing ambiance.

This budget small backyard idea also allows you to enjoy the outdoors even when the sun goes down. Combine these lights with a firepit to create the ultimate relaxation space!


5. Make Some Flower Beds

Flower beds are an excellent budget small backyard idea if you want to bring pops of color to your space. You’ll only need a few materials, like a weed barrier, your selected plants, and some wood mulch.

Your flower beds will look great as a border for a patio or even scattered throughout your backyard. To make them, you’ll dig up a few inches of dirt in the flower bed shape you want. Then you’ll lay down the weed barrier, plant your flowers with soil, and fill the bed with mulch. After that, you’ll continue to care for your new blooms with watering.

6. Plant a Vertical Vegetable Garden

Small backyards don’t leave you a lot of room for decorating and planting. So you’ll need to make the most of your space by thinking outside the box. An innovative way to do this is by planting a vertical vegetable garden!

Typical vegetable gardens are on the ground and can take up quite a bit of space. But you don’t need to sacrifice fresh home-grown veggies due to your lack of space. This budget small backyard idea of a vertical garden takes your vegetables off the ground, freeing up ground space. You can make this type of garden with stackable pots or by hanging your vegetable plant pots on a fence.

7. Try Out Hardscaping

Closeup of patio outdoor spring flower garden in backyard porch of home, zen with pergola canopy wooden gazebo, plants

Hardscaping might be best if you’re having trouble growing grass or don’t have enough room for a lawn.

This budget small backyard idea uses things like rocks, wood, metal, pavers, and other hard structures. It’s a method that focuses on non-living parts of a yard, while landscaping focuses on living parts like plants. It’s especially helpful if you live in a dry or hot area where many plants can’t grow.

You could try setting up a rock garden, a paver pathway, a pergola, a patio, seating walls, and more. Non-living aspects like these can spruce up your yard just as much as plants.

8. Hang Some Window Boxes Filled with Flowers

You could hang window boxes if you don’t have enough room for flower beds! And if flowers aren’t your style, you could even fill the window boxes with herbs. A budget small backyard idea like this takes up minimal space while still allowing beautiful, colorful blooms to grow.

Hanging them under your back windows or on walls and fences will give your backyard space a charming feel. Flowers create a welcoming environment. And their colors will instantly enhance your yard as well as your view from inside your home! Your nervous system reacts positively to flowers, so you may even feel happier and more relaxed seeing them every day.


9. Create a Few Seating Areas

Garden Or Backyard Outdoor Pavilion With Wood Pergola, Bar Counter, Brick Oven, Fireplace And Barbecue For Cookout Food. Summer Party Place. Green backyard

Even if your outdoor space is small, you can still create multiple spaces within it. A great way to do this is with small outdoor bistro sets. Try placing a set on your patio (if you have one) and another set next to some flower beds. Having multiple areas to explore and relax will make it feel like your backyard is bigger than it is.

This budget small backyard idea shouldn’t cost much, especially if you already have furniture! It’s also one of the less time-consuming ideas that you can enjoy almost immediately after setting up.

10. Hang Some Hammocks

hammock in garden

Do you have any trees in your backyard? You can instantly make your backyard feel cozy with the addition of a hammock or two! You can also enjoy their relaxing sway with hammock stands if you don’t have trees.

Swinging on a hammock is a relaxing experience that you and your guests will enjoy. Maybe you don’t have room for a furniture set or can only fit one seating area, and that’s okay. Hammocks are an easy budget small backyard idea that can take their place!

11. Make a DIY Outdoor Movie Nook

It seems like many people are turning their backyards into outdoor entertainment centers. While your backyard may be small, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this trend. A DIY movie nook is the perfect thing to add to your backyard!

You can easily set up this budget small backyard idea with floor cushions and a mini projector with a screen. The best part is that you can put it all away if you need the space open again!

Create fun movie nights right in your backyard by setting up your screen on a fence or your house. Backdrop stands can also work if you want to be able to break everything down in a pinch. Lay your cushions on the ground, grab some popcorn, and watch your favorite movies under the stars! Try combining this with the vintage string light idea for the optimal cozy movie experience.

12. Incorporate Outdoor Rugs for a Homey Feel

If you already have an outdoor furniture set or plan to get one, they can be plain on their own. Finding an appealing outdoor rug can make your backyard more eye-catching and feel like an extension of your home. This budget small backyard idea can transform your outdoor space into an outdoor living room.

Rugs have a very home-like and inviting feel to them, which essentially creates a more relaxed atmosphere. Outdoor rugs are also helpful in keeping people safe by preventing slips and falls.

Wrapping Up Budget Small Backyard Ideas

Don’t let the size of your backyard or your budget stop you from creating a fun and relaxing environment. Turning your backyard into an oasis can be affordable with the right materials, a can-do attitude, and some elbow grease. So think about these budget small backyard ideas and begin your backyard upgrade!

Do you need more inspiration for your outdoor space? Take a look at our Backyard Living page for more ideas to get you brainstorming for your next project!