Since my family and I have been in “self-distancing” mode more, we have really started appreciating the fresh air. Every day after work and school, we always get together outside and play in the backyard. One day, we had the idea to do a backyard makeover so we had more than just a table and chair set. The problem was, our backyard was so boring!

We wanted a place we would enjoy relaxing after a day of being inside or a place where we can even work outside during the day since we both work from home now. The idea of waking up and having a hot cup of coffee in the morning sounded amazing. AH! Or maybe even a nice romantic evening date night at home with the hubby. So much potential with a backyard that is actually inviting, comfortable and relaxing. I wanted that in my life and especially now more than ever.

spring 2021 back yard makeover ideas
2021 spring backyard makeover ideas

We went on Pinterest and found the ideal backyard for our space. We would have to purchase this and that and end up spending at least $2000.

At the time, that was out of our budget. With the situation at hand, we didn’t know what was going to happen and we didn’t want to spend more than we had to so we decided to get creative and use what we had to get the look we wanted.

Trust me when I say I am queen for using what I have to make other things. It’s important for zero-waste living.

This is what we did in one day to spruce up our backyard

Before: Flat Back, concrete slab and an old table set.

Cheap backyard makeover
Cheap backyard makeover

First, instead of buying outdoor lights that cost $50 for a 35 ft string of lights which would come to $150 for what we needed. We used the Christmas lights we had!

He built the planter boxes the weekend prior so I could paint them with a color I already had in the garage.

2021 summer backyard makeover ideas
Building DIY planter boxes

We also ordered the patio furniture on Amazon for a great price! I already had these outdoor pillows but they did come with some. Here is the link just in case you want to take a look at it on Amazon.


backyard makeover ideas

The day of:

We woke up and had coffee as usual. Then we get started!

My husband went to Lowe’s and made a b-line to the 70% off wood in the very back of the store. He found everything we needed! Score!!

While he was there, we purchased 2 bags of fast-setting concrete @ $3.50 each, outdoor command strips, 4 metal hooks and 8 L-shaped brackets, and 2 bags of spoil. The total spent was less than $70.

The biggest piece of the project was the post. Since we didn’t have an overhang or anything to attach the lights to, we had to create a way to hook lights.

You may or may not need this depending on your DIY backyard makeover needs. If you have some sort of posts, overhang or deck already you can use that to string your lights. Just make a few planters to add some flowers to your atmosphere.

The first thing we had to do was get the post in the planter boxes. First, we added a back trash bag to each planter. Then we centered them and used L shape brackets to secure them in place.

backyard makeover ideas under $500

Once they were where we wanted them, we mixed the concrete and poured it about 5 inches deep. My husband added a secure piece temporarily to keep the post from shifting while the concrete was hardening.

backyard makeover ideas under $500

Once they were done, that’s it! We added a hook on the top so we could hook the lights.

Once the concrete was dry, we added potting soil and plants! I found plants around our house, dug them up and replanted them in the planter boxes.

We also purchased a fire pit from Home Depot for $99 so we can roast marshmallows or sit and talk by the fire.

backyard makeover ideas under $500

Put the command strips on the house they went from one side to the other stringing the lights.

Again, you may or may not need to do this if you have a different situation.

backyard makeover ideas under $500

I traded this patio table and chair set with my neighbor who was looking for something smaller. SCORE! Now we have a table that sits six for our family of five! How perfect was that?!

Here is the finished project!

We had such a great night that evening eating dinner outside and enjoyed a nice evening gathered around the fire pit with our family talking and making memories.

spring backyard makeover ideas
DIY Backyard makeover
DIY Backyard makeover
DIY Backyard makeover

The total spent on this project was less than $500. That’s a great deal seeing that it would have cost at least $2000 if we purchased all new stuff.

Now we can enjoy watching our kids play in the backyard after work and have a place to relax on the weekends.

What simple upgrades would you do if you did a “One Day Backyard Makeover?”

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  1. This is a adorable. Your before pic looks like my patio now. We are definitely going to try this.

  2. We’re updating our back deck – so I may need to steal some of your ideas! I’m surprised the command hooks worked for this – very cool!

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