12 affordable and simple ways to turn your backyard into a summer oasis

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

One of the best parts of summer is being able to enjoy time outside. if you’re anything like me, you dream of turning your backyard into the perfect little oasis.

It can be expensive to transform a backyard though. So we found ways you can add charm and coziness to your outdoor living area without spending a fortune.

Here’s 14 ideas to kickstart your creativity.

1. Choose A Theme

Are you looking for a serene space filled with neutral colors perfect to practice your morning yoga? Or are you more into creating a playful backyard escape with every color of the rainbow and different patterns? Try to have an idea of the overall ‘theme’ for the area. Consider this a good place to start when thinking about turning your backyard into your little oasis.


2. Add Fun Furniture And Accents

Creating an inviting space makes it ready for entertaining anyone. Adding things like fun seating, outdoor pillows and colorful rugs add character and fun to your backyard retreat.


3. Use Plants For Privacy

Do you live in tight quarters or feel like your backyard is on display? Then plants can definitely help create a more private space.

You can find quite a few tutorials online that show how to make things (like this plant privacy wall) that are both easy to create and affordable.


4. Keep The Mosquitos Away

Nothing is worse than trying to sit outside, enjoy a glass of wine and a good conversation when you’re having to fight off those pesky mosquitos!

You could always invest in citronella candles. Or if you’re feeling crafty, you could make these beautiful DIY Tiki Torches using old bottles.


5. Bring In Some Fire

Fire pits or bowls add a touch of coziness to an outdoor area while keeping the bugs away.

You’ll find all sorts of fun handmade fire pits on Etsy, like this wine barrel fire pit from A Wine of a Kind. But if you’re wanting to save money or looking for something a tad smaller, then you could try making your own fire bowl.


6. Make Your Backyard An Outdoor Movie Theater

Why sit on the couch when you can watch your favorite flick under the stars?

There’s plenty of tutorials online, such as this one from My Barefoot Farm, to create the perfect outdoor movie screen yourself.


7. Create Your Own Shade

If you’re not blessed with large trees or a wooded lot, then you can always create your own shady hangout. Try using a boat sail or even installing curtains. Jennifer Stagg of Stagg Designs offers this DIY solution on her YouTube channel:

8. Hang Art

Adding artwork outdoors can simply dress up what would otherwise might be a dull blank wall.

9. Install A Tree Swing

Sometimes the simplest of things can be so much fun, including tree swings. Using rope, a board and a few tools, this super inexpensive DIY project from The Merrythought can really bring a backyard to life.


10. Consider A Kid-Friendly Area

Going to have little ones out in the backyard with you?  Then create something that will keep them busy. Here are 9 DIY ideas to get you started, including a little brick racetrack. These ideas don’t cost a lot of money or require too much manual labor. Our favorite kinds of projects!

11. Create a Pond

If you’ve always wanted a pond, but shuddered at major construction, then here’s a great idea. Pick up a stock tank, fill it up and ta-dah! A pond! Or you could use it as a small swimming area. You’ve got possibilities! And plenty of people, including blogger Vickie Hallmark, have posted ideas and how-tos online to help you out.


12. Hang Some Lights

Strands of lights can really add to the ambiance of an outdoor space. You can also hang them in many different ways. For example, you can dangle them from a large tree, line a deck railing, suspend them from a pergola … the list could go on.