How to Decorate Outdoors On a Budget: 55 Best Ideas

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Ready to refresh your outdoor spaces? Get my favorite ideas to update and decorate outdoors on a budget for the spring and summer seasons!  Keep reading for some of our favorite outdoor DIY projects, porch decor, poolside accessories, and more!

Who else is working and planning for their outdoor spaces right now?  Decorating outdoors on a budget is definitely a top priority for us right now.  We have several spaces that are in need of some clean up, refresh, redo, and projects that need started to begin with!  In fact, there is so much that we want to do that decorating outdoors on a budget is 100% essential if we want to make any progress!

It is that time of year when most of us look forward to spending more time on our porches and patios.  Whether you need a complete overhaul of your outdoor spaces or just some quick and simple DIY decor, this post is full of all our favorite ways to decorate outdoors on a budget.

Let’s get started!

How can I make my outdoor area look nice?

I totally understand and relate to this question.  In fact, it’s been a questions we’ve been discussing over here as we work on refreshing and updating outdoor spaces.

Actually, in all fairness, we’ve never completed all of the outdoor projects in our home renovation.  Other things just always seem to jump to the top of the list.  Our goal for this year is to continue saving for and working on long-term outdoor improvements.  At the same time, choosing quality pieces that can help us enjoy our space in the here and now too!

Here are a few basic tips for making your outdoor area look like a beautiful retreat:

  1. Clear out the spaces and assess the need and priorities.
  2. Clean everything up: landscape, paint, weeds, broken items, etc.
  3. Fix the basics and make sure the foundation of the space is solid and ready to go. (We’ve had a lot of of this to do!)
  4. Define outdoor zones for relaxing, dining, and play.
  5. If you’re on a budget, prioritize which area you’ll use the most and focus your budget and time there.
  6. Make quality choices that will withstand the weather of your location.
  7. Check thrift stores, yard sales, Facebook marketplace, and clearance sections for good deals.  However, don’t buy just because it’s cheap.  Look for quality pieces that will last you for the long-term too.
  8. Add simple accessories that can be easily maintained.
  9. Price out the other outdoor areas you want to work on.  Next, make lists of what you’re looking for in those areas.  Then, you can save accordingly and develop a timeline for your projects.
  10. Use and enjoy the spaces.  It doesn’t have to be perfect in order to have fun!

How to Decorate Outdoors On a Budget: Favorite DIY and Decor Ideas

Here are some of our favorite projects and decor that we have done in our outdoor spaces.  One mistake I’ve made in the past is to try to disguise the “bad foundation” with some pretty decor.  While that can work for the short-term, we have found that approaching it differently definitely pays off.

If you want to decorate outdoors on a budget, consider investing in making sure the foundation is done well and looks great.  Then, you really don’t need or want as much decor as it may seem like otherwise!

Does that make sense?!

Check out some of our favorites:

1. Beautiful Driveway DIY for Budget Curb Appeal

We have the longest and ugliest driveway in our neighborhood, no doubt.  However, as ugly as it is, it was a huge selling point for us!

I love that there is plenty of space for the kids to ride bikes, roller skate, play basketball, set up corn hole or ping pong, and so many other activities.  Also, I absolutely love that our home sets back from the road just a bit.  While that is common for my northern friends, it is harder to come by in South Florida.

If I would have had any idea what an incredible transformation painting our driveway would have on the entire look of our home and property’s exterior, it would have been one of the first things we did.

After painting over the bright teal color of the house, of course.  Haha!

We saved thousands of dollars by making this a DIY project.  Even though it was a big job, the before and after is definitely evidence that it was totally worth it!

How to create curb appeal cheap?

Paint your driveway!  Can you even believe the difference?!

This goes for painting porches, patios, and even walkways too.  You can use this same DIY tutorial for any outdoor concrete spaces.  Not only did the project turn out great, but it also is holding up really well over time in our harsh Florida sun, humidity, and rain.

Get the full tutorial HERE!

2. Decorate outdoors on a budget with creative curb appeal.

Having a budget simply means you have the opportunity to get really creative!  However, I admit that sometimes I would really just love for a professional to come in and take over our outdoor spaces.  Since that definitely is NOT in the budget for us, we are working our way around the house, one project at a time.

One of my very favorite outdoor projects was the porch extension to the front of our home.

We immediately knew we really wanted to add an extension to the front porch.  For the size of our home, it’s a rather small concrete pad that acts as a porch.  Especially coming from our former home that had a wrap-around porch, I was desperate to make this not only look inviting, but to be a space we could truly enjoy.

We had to wait a year and a half to let the dust settle on the extensive, whole-house renovation on the interior, but as soon as we were able to consider options for the front porch and landscape, I literally couldn’t wait!

I think you’ll love this before and after also.  For me, this DIY literally changed the entire look of our home’s exterior!

What adds the most curb appeal?

To me, adding character and texture to the design of your home is a great way to create a statement with your curb appeal.  At the same time, work to blend your curb appeal into overall look of your home.  Investing in classic styles with quality materials will pay off in the long run!

You can get the full tutorial for our DIY pavers and artificial turf grass project, along with the plans for how we added this whole front porch extension, over on THIS POST!

3. Decorate outdoors on a budget with curtains!

How do you make a boring patio look nice?

One of my favorite outdoor hacks are these DIY outdoor curtains.  So inexpensive and easy to use in almost any outdoor space!

At our current home, our gazebo space has a rod to hang curtains.  However, our previous home had a long, covered patio with no rod.  This DIY works easily either way!

Pro Tip: If you want to add a budget-friendly statement to a covered porch or patio area, a staple gun works perfectly!  That’s what we did at our previous home!

Sound fun?  I love my DIY outdoor curtains and most of all, I love the price.

You can get the quick and simple tutorial HERE!

Update: While my DIY outdoor curtains still look great, I did find some wonderful waterproof outdoor curtains for a great deal too.  Check them out on my storefront HERE!

4. Make an easy DIY lantern for outdoor decor.

I love this DIY project for decorating outdoors on a budget.  The best thing is that you can adjust the tutorial, found HERE, to make beautiful outdoor lanterns in whatever size you need for your space.  We love the huge, 36″ ones we have on our front porch!

Secondly, I love that they are solid and will last outdoors for a long time.  Decorating outdoors on a budget is wonderful but if you don’t invest in quality, you’ll just have to replace your decor sooner rather than later!

Get the easy tutorial, tips, and idea for these beautiful DIY outdoor lanterns on THIS POST!

If you want to just make an easy purchase, I also have THESE outdoor lanterns in several sizes and love them!  I added the gold this year and they are beautiful!

5. Decorate outdoors on a budget by refreshing your front porch!

Decorating outdoors on a budget can feel like a daunting task.  However, focusing on just a quick refresh each season for your front porch is a great way to keep your curb appeal looking welcoming and fresh.  At the same time, it kind of forces me to give the front porch a good deep clean throughout the year too!

Decorating your front porch doesn’t have to be expensive.  In fact, I usually reuse a lot of things from year to year for the different seasons.

Here are some tips and ideas for refreshing your front porch for the seasons:

  1. Easy Front Porch Decorating for Spring
  2. 9 Beautiful Ideas for Your Summer Front Porch Decor
  3. 9 Fall Entryway and Porch Decorating Ideas for Your Home
  4. 9 Gorgeous Porch Decorating Ideas for Christmas

6. Add functional and charm with an outdoor dining space.

Doesn’t dining al fresco just have a lovely ring and charm to it?!  To be honest, we tend to eat outdoors more in the fall and winter than we do in the summer here in Florida.  I’m not big on sweating while I eat. ????

However, I do love having a casual outdoor dining space.  Actually, it gets used a lot during the summer when our kids and their friends are enjoying pool days.  I don’t mind at all to carry lunch out to them, especially if it keeps them all from dripping inside!

Over on THIS POST, I’ve shared my best tips and ideas for how to plan and create an outdoor dining space that can really work for you and your family.

If you’re looking to bring people together, dining is a great way to do that.  Outdoor entertaining can be so fun and really expand your guest list too!

Check it all out HERE!

7. Incorporate an outdoor lounge space.

How do you build a welcoming outdoor space?

Nothing invites you, your family, or friends to come on over and relax like a comfy outdoor lounge space!  Whether you have a large enough space to add several outdoor lounge chairs or a simple corner that you can designate as the official lounging corner, I highly recommend creating an outdoor lounge space.

In fact, one way to decorate outdoors on a budget in any size space is to create a comfy outdoor lounge space.  From a small balcony to a stretched out poolside retreat, outdoor lounging can be oh-so-relaxing!

Here is what you need:

  1. Comfortable lounge chair that is weather resistant and can withstand the elements.
  2. Umbrella and stand (optional)
  3. Small side table to hold your lemonade or coffee
  4. Cute throw pillow
  5. Good book or magazine
  6. Don’t forget sunscreen!

That’s it!

I’ll link several favorite options for outdoor lounging here:

8. 5 Ideas to decorate outdoors on a budget for under $100

How can I make my outdoor area look better?

Needing just a quick and simple refresh?  Try these budget-friendly projects:

  1. Paint your porch.
  2. Install new door hardware.
  3. Replace or paint your mailbox.
  4. Add new planters by the front door.
  5. Replace tired plants with these beautiful faux, UV and weather resistant topiaries.
  6. Add lights around the patio or porch.  (We love THESE!)

Follow my storefront for updated ideas to decorate outdoors on a budget!

I am continually adding new things to my outdoor design and decor storefront.  You’ll find everything from furniture to accessories, to clever ideas for easy curb appeal.  Whenever I see something new that I love, I add it there for more inspiration for you (and me too!).

I’d love for you to follow my storefront HERE and keep updated with all of my favorites!

How do I make an outdoor area on a budget?

Start by setting your budget.  Then, choose one area to focus on.  Next, channel your creativity and find some inspiration (hopefully this post helps!).  Then, just get started!

Any kind of design, especially on a budget, requires some patience.  However, look for ways to enjoy what you currently have while working toward your goals to make your home the most welcoming for you and your family.

We have lived in our home for several years and feel like we’ve barely started outdoors.  However, when we look at how far we’ve come, the patience has definitely paid off.  I can’t wait to see how it all looks in another few years after we keep budgeting, working hard, and being creative!

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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