7 Easy Patio Ideas on a Budget You Can Try This Summer

Posh Pennies
by Posh Pennies

We’re looking at affordable ways to update your patio so that you can enjoy it all summer long. If you feel your patio could use sprucing up, but you don’t want to flash a bunch of cash, I’ve got some easy patio ideas on a budget to help you create the perfect space. Here’s how to update a patio.

Outdoor furniture on a patio

1. Outdoor furniture

I know I said affordable patio updates and furniture can get pricey. But, having inviting and comfortable seating can make or break your space. 

DIY your patio furniture

If finding new patio furniture isn’t on the table and you already have some, try to refinish it, like by painting or sanding and staining it; repurpose what you already have (bringing something outside from inside); or try and build your own furniture.

Dining area on a patio

Furniture purpose

First, consider how you want to use your space. Are you dining outside or entertaining guests? Then you’ll want a proper table and chairs.

Chill-out area on a patio

If you are just planning on having a chill-out area, you need a coffee table and sofa.

Patio with a pool and sun loungers

If you have a pool, you need loungers and a side table.

Cedar and eucalyptus

Patio furniture materials

Second, consider whether to leave the furniture outside year-round. If you’re not able to physically bring your furniture in at the end of the warm season, you’ll want woods like cedar, eucalyptus, and teak, which are more resistant to humid conditions.

Softer woods

Softer woods, like pine and oak, are not going to do well in the rain. If you get a softer wood, be prepared to refinish it periodically.

Powder-coated iron patio furniture

Another great option for rainy countries is powder-coated iron. It’s usually rust-resistant.

Patio furniture with cushions


Cushions that come with patio furniture are generally weather resistant. I would still recommend bringing them in at the end of the warm season, just to prolong their lifespan.

Cushions and throws on patio furniture

2. Cushions and throws 

Cozy blankets and accent pillows

You can always update and refresh your look with updated textiles. Add cozy blankets and accent pillows to spruce up your space and disguise shabbier-looking furniture. 

Cushions and throws can soften metal furniture

Cushions and throws also help soften metal furniture, which can sometimes be harsh. If your textiles are not weather resistant, they will have to come in if it rains and at the end of the warm season. 

Patio lighting

3. Lighting

Types of patio lighting

There are four types of lighting that make a huge difference in your evening patio situation. They are string lights, rope lights, solar lights, and candles.

String lights on a patio

String lights

String lights are super versatile because they look good anywhere you put them. You can get the plug-in kind, the battery-operated kind, or the solar-powered kind. 

Some ideas for where to hang string lights would be:

String lights in a lantern

In a lantern, 

String lights under an umbrella

Or under an umbrella.

String lights on a gazebo

You can anchor them across your patio or gazebo,

String lights along a balcony railing

Along a balcony railing,

String lights around tree trunks

Around a bush or tree trunk,

String lights cascading from branches

Or even cascading from branches.

Cool white and warm white string lights

Cool white lights tend to be kind of office-y and sterile, whereas warm whites cast more of an orange-yellow glow and feel a lot more cozy and inviting. Definitely go for the warm white when you’re buying your string lights.

Rope lights

Rope lights

Rope lights are essentiallly Christmas lights in a plastic tube. The plastic casing makes them weather resistant.

Rope lights outlining a path

Rope lights can be used to outline a path,

Rope lights on steps

To highlight steps,

Rope lights delineating a patio

To delineate an area of your patio,

Rope lights illuminating railings

Or to illuminate railings.

Tuck rope lights under a lip or the edge of something. When they’re off during the day, they’ll be invisible – you won’t see the plastic tube. At night, they’ll glow from this unseen source.

Solar lights

Solar lights

Solar lights are a great addition. You don’t even have to switch them on and off. They do it on their own. 

Cheap solar lights

Those cheap one-dollar ones that seem to die after a couple of weeks are popular. You can swap out the battery in those to extend their lifetime.

Candles on a patio


Candles can add to a patio’s ambiance. 

Candles in clustered lanterns

Place them in clustered lanterns,

Decorative candles on a patio

Or individual holders.

Flameless candles

Candles are a fire hazard, so never leave them unattended. If you’re scared of real candles, go for flameless candles. They create the same effect.

Citronella candles for repelling mosquitos

Don’t forget citronella candles, if you live in an area with mosquitos.

Patio with a firepit

 3. Firepits

You can DIY a firepit or buy a basic one for under $100 if where you live allows for firepits.

Patio with plants

4. Plants and planters

Plants and planters

Plants and planters are probably the single most impactful addition. I buy them affordably from my local supermarket and the dollar store. 

Hanging baskets on a patio

Hanging baskets

If you’re short on space, try going vertical. Use hanging baskets or a grid.

Large planters on a patio

Large planters

If you have more space, get larger planters, which make a big impact visually.

Mixing planters

Try mixing planters in different widths and heights, grouped in odd-numbered clusters.

Hammocks and hanging chairs

5. Hammocks and hanging chairs

Hanging chair on a patio

Hammocks need more space, but hanging chairs don’t. You can get ones with freestanding bases if hanging them is an issue.

Hammocks and hanging chairs on a patio

This macrame-style hanging chair and this hammock are my favorites. They are both super affordable and look amazing anywhere.

Outdoor rugs

6. Outdoor rugs

Before you shake your head and leave me an angry comment, outdoor rugs are a thing and are a great way to tie your outdoor seating area together. 

Outdoor living area

Usually they’re woven out of manmade, synthetic materials. They’re quite durable and can pull your look together.

Outdoor rug on a patio

They’re also great for covering up ugly flooring.

Patio with a pop of color

7. A pop of color

Pop of color

Adding a pop of color is a tried-and-true, affordable way of refreshing any space. 

Painting areas of a patio

Grab a can of paint of your favorite color and paint something, whether it’s the railing, or the trim around the door.

Easy patio ideas on a budget

If you can’t paint your patio, try painting your furniture or planters. 

Easy patio ideas on a budget

These easy patio ideas can make a huge difference without costing a lot. Which of these tips was your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments
  • Carol Carol on May 13, 2023

    How are the plants attached to the grid on the vertical wall, what is used ?

  • Robin Spargo Robin Spargo on Jun 03, 2023

    Love all of your ideas!! I already use many of them and can’t wait to try others! Thank you for sharing!