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Easy DIY Patio Ideas on a Budget

7 DIY backyard patio ideas on a budget to add life to any outdoor space that are both functional and perfect for renters.

Cheers to sunshine and the easiest small patio makeover done in just a day!

If you need us, you can probably find Robert and me hanging out on our friend Kristina’s new back patio. She may never get rid of us now. 😉

simple backyard patio makeover with outdoor rug over cracked concrete, string lights, and an outdoor beverage station made from a potting bench

If you weren’t around the last couple of times we did makeovers here (in her powder room and bedroom), Kristina is our amazing friend who is also a cancer survivor, single mom, teacher, and gives so much to our kids’ school and our community.

She moved into this cute little townhouse last year, but it needed some love. So she has been painting everything in sight and fixing it up.

townhouse patio before

Budget DIY Patio Ideas You Can Do in a Day

I have so much fun decorating Kristina’s home because it reminds me a little bit of our first house. There are days I miss the cosmetic fix-ups of builder grade spaces. And her townhome is often proof that you don’t need huge renovations to completely transform a space.

We didn’t make any permanent changes to this patio in the small backyard area of her townhouse. In fact, it didn’t even require a single power tool.

We hauled in furniture, thrift finds, and decor, and even though Kristina owns her townhouse, we thought it might help to focus on renter-friendly ideas in the process.

Look how cute now!

townhouse patio in a small backyard

1. Seating Makes the Space

Decide what functionality you most need in your outdoor space- dining, relaxing, or recreation. Then choose your seating based around that need.

I chose these outdoor loveseats that are so comfortable and look like they’re straight out of the pages of a high-end catalogue.

Related: Our Walmart Patio Furniture Review 1 Year Later

renter friendly patio ideas on a budget using outdoor sofas, garden bench as a beverage station, and string lights
outdoor loveseat with garden stool tables and plants

2. Use Outdoor Furniture That Serve Multiple Purposes

Even though this is technically a potting bench, it’s perfect to create an outdoor bar that’s budget friendly without taking up much space. I added this large galvanized bucket with ice for holding drinks, filled up this dispenser for easy access, placed a couple of plants in pots to add a little “life”, and a couple of cute dish towels to keep handy.

potting bench used as an outdoor bar with thrifted containers for backyard entertaining

Mostly the rest of the bar decor are just items I found at the thrift store! That bottle rack, citrus bowl, and rattan basket were all Goodwill finds for around $3-5.

potting bench used as an outdoor bar

In the seating area, I stole these gardens stools from our back porch to give to her since they work great as outdoor tables in place of a coffee table but can be repurposed as overflow seating if needed.

garden stools used as tables with plants and candles on top

And these outdoor poufs are great as extra seating too.

outdoor poufs and rug covering a small patio

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3. Cover Up a Damaged Concrete Patio with a Rug

The poured concrete pad out here had some stained spots and cracks, but since we didn’t have the time to repair and paint, covering it up with an outdoor rug was totally fine. I love that this one is reversible. It definitely makes this patio feel finished.

If you have a concrete or brick patio that you can’t fix permanently, a rug can be a simple temporary fix.

Related: DIY Painted Concrete Patio

backyard patio styled with outdoor furniture and plants behind a townhouse

4. Lighting Adds Magic

I swear by string lights every time. They add so much wow factor for around $20. You can hang them up with siding clips that are damage-free.

This jute lantern and faux rattan lantern are so cute too and add a little nighttime glow.

Related: How to Hang DIY Outdoor String Lights Anywhere in a Backyard

outdoor lanterns on a patio

5. Incorporate Pillows for Comfort

I’m a throw pillow-aholic. (Ask Robert… he’ll totally tell you I have a problem. Haha!) Throw pillows add so much personality. This outdoor lumbar pillow is my favorite, but you could definitely get away with using it indoors too.

6. Plants Are Your Friends

If a space feels like it’s lacking something, chances are it probably needs a plant. That goes for interiors too, really.

They’re also great for hiding unsightly, utility things. I used that tall palm plant in the corner there to disguise a water meter and the plug to the string lights.

outdoor sofa with pillows and plants
outdoor loveseat with pillows and palm tree on a patio

7. Light a Few Candles

Having a candle lit makes a regular evening feel extra special. But bonus points if it’s citronella to keep bugs away.

I still can’t get over the difference on this patio.

backyard DIY patio on a budget behind a townhouse

Take it a step further with a small DIY flower bed beside the patio for some easy backyard landscaping. Or add a wall planter for some vertical gardening.

Patio Sources

If you need to know any of the sources we used, you can find them all below.

Do you have any renter-friendly decorating ideas? I’d love it if you shared them in the comments so that we could make this a continuing resource.

More DIY Backyard Ideas on a Budget

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  1. It is sooo cute. The colors are beautiful as blue is my favorite color. So bright and cheerful makes you want to go outside with a glass of something! I know your friend appreciates what you have done to her townhouse. You are a huge Blessing to your favorite teacher.

  2. I love placing solar lights in flower pots, because it gives of fabulous glow of light on the flowers in the pot, at night. I love your beautiful transformation to the the patio.

  3. This looks beautiful! I do love those sofas and the rug. I don’t know where to put all these outdoor cushions when they aren’t being used, stuff them in a closet I guess.
    The best thing for mosquitos is a Thermocell Patio Shield. It really does work, we have 2. I saw one in a copper finish the other day.