10 Easy & Affordable Ways to Upgrade Your Patio

Last week, I did a major makeover of my patio, which included the installation of a metal pergola.

This of course was an upgrade to my patio, but I knew that if I did a few more easy projects, I could create an outdoor room that is truly an extension of my home.

A fun and cozy place where my friends and family members actually want to hang out.

So if you need some more ideas for upgrading your outdoor spaces, let's get started!

Butterfly rocks

1. Make your rocks interesting

Last week, I killed off the weeds in the gravel pathway leading to my patio, so it is now time to beautify the pathway.

Using a small gardening trowel, I cleared away the rocks and the top layer of dirt in a small area of the path.

I then used rocks of different colors and sizes from a large bag of river rocks from Home Depot, I created flower and butterfly shapes.

I pressed the stones down into the dirt and then brushed the smaller gravel back over the dirt. I just wanted the stone shapes to be a subtle surprise, but if you really wanted them to stand out, you could spread mulch around them instead of pea gravel.

Fairy door

2. Add a fairy door

I got a fairy door set and adhered it to my house with flex glue, gluing the bottom of the door to a river rock to create a little stoop and sticking a miniature birdhouse and some fencing on either side of the door. I also replaced a plastic flower on the door with a little wreath I had made from faux greenery. So fun!

Seating area with curtains

3. Create privacy with curtains

I picked light beige waterproof curtains with Velcro tabs that make them easy to put on and off my curtain rods on the pergola.

I used some extra long curtain rods to hang the curtains. I drilled holes in my metal pergola inserting plastic anchors, screwed the curtain brackets to the pergola with metal screws and anchors, and added my curtain rod to the brackets, adjusting the length to the size of the pergola.

Attaching the curtains to the rod was so easy, and it took six curtains to cover the three sides. The tiebacks made the perfect finishing touch.

Cushioned seats

4. Swap out chairs for cozier sofa

All of my outdoor furniture has been purchased at Goodwill over the years, but this year I decided to splurge and buy a new metal sofa from Amazon for $300.

Metal furniture is easy to store and really withstands the elements. It only took me about 10 minutes to assemble. I chose the sofa that fit the style of the other furniture in the patio, but eventually, I will spray paint it black to match even more.

Seats with pillows

5. Boost coziness with pillows and throws

To make my patio really look and feel like a living room, I added pillows and throw blankets.

I thrift throw blankets and pillows, and get pillow covers at the Amazon clearance center for just a dollar or two, which I then stuff with thrifted pillows. Even my old patio furniture looks cozy and welcoming with new pillows.

DIY water feature

6. DIY a water feature

For a water fountain, I thrifted a cheap vase that was large enough to hold my water pump and I spray -painted it black. I put the vase inside a gutted light fixture, inserted the water pump into the vase and then inserted a dish that I had created by cutting the bottom off a plastic planter pot.

This held my plastic tubing upright in the center of the vase and allowed me to add just a few rocks at the top of the vase. I ran the cord through the door in the lantern and then added some driftwood and faux succulents that I had on hand.

DIY double decker planter

6. DIY a double decker planter

Two-tiered planters look great but are so expensive!

To make one myself, I bought a large ribbed lampshade, ripped off all of the fabric, and spray painted the metal frame with a couple coats of white spray paint.

I found a terracotta pot in my garage that fit in the top of the lampshade and a pot that was the right size for the base of the lampshade.

Once my plants fill out and my vines grow around the lampshade, I believe it will look great.

Hedgehog and butterfly transfers

8. Dress up your plain planters

If you have many economical plastic and fiberglass planters in your outdoor spaces, I have an idea for dressing them up. Get some pretty IOD transfers of animals, plants and bugs, and attach them to the planters and maybe even windows!

They adhere both to the glass and to the plastic pots easily and firmly. I did not use any sealer over them. I think they will hold up just fine, and next summer if I decide to do something different I will be able to scrape them off.

Ambient lighting

9. Add some ambient lighting

Lighting options are necessary if you want to hang out outside after dark.

Solar lights are a great way to avoid having cords all around. I decided to add a string of solar lights to my birdhouse chandelier, wrapping a branch around each arm of the chandelier.

I cut off the wood spindles and attached stems of a wreath to the chandelier with zip ties. With the addition of the greenery, now the chandelier looks pretty during the day and will provide ambient lighting at night.

I completed the lighting with a 40 feet strand of solar lights hung around the inner edge of the pergola with small S-hooks.

Wall planters

10. Get some plants off the ground

Hanging plants are so fun! I decided to be creative and put my plants into old plastic containers, which I then inserted in a couple of wall baskets which I had spray painted black.

To hang them on my brick wall, I just drilled a hole in the concrete and inserted an anchor and screw.

Patio upgrade

I hope I have shown you that upgrading your patio can be fun and inexpensive. What do you think makes a patio truly cozy and comfortable? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Next, Follow Along With My Incredible Small Kitchen Makeover For Only $100.

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