Patio Makeover: 15 Charming Ways to Update Your Patio

In this video, I am doing a patio makeover. I begin by assembling a sturdy metal pergola with an adjustable louvered roof. Then, I add 15 budget-friendly ideas/projects to give my patio cottage-like coziness.

Installing a pergola

1. Easy-to-assemble pergola

My patio is a cozy spot, but in the middle of the summer, with all that stone, you can feel like you're sitting in an oven. So after living here for eight years, we finally decided to install a pergola.

I wanted something big and sturdy but something that we could assemble ourselves. I loved this metal one by Gardesol because I can adjust how much sunlight is coming through. It's also rain and snowproof. 

Cleaning patio furniture

2. Clean & paint what you have

Before I ran out to buy some new stuff to put under my pergola, I decided to assess what I already had. Almost all of my patio furniture has been picked up at thrift stores over the years. I recently thrifted this little side table for $4, and it just needed a fresh coat of black paint, and now it looks brand new. 

Outdoor carpet

3. Buy outdoor carpet by the square foot

Nothing makes an outdoor space quite so cozy as adding a rug. I chose to buy carpeting off the roll, paying by the square foot to get a large, durable carpet for not a lot of money. It is cheaper than buying a premade rug, but you can also get the exact size you need. 

Getting rid of weeds

4. Get rid of weeds

I always seek easy but chemical-free ways to remove weeds from my yard, so I thought I'd try a weed burner. Burning each weed takes about 30 seconds, so it's not great for large areas.

But it did a fantastic job on the grass tufts growing up around this tree. You have to be careful, though, because sometimes the weeds catch on fire.

Turning an unused chair into a planter

5. Turn an unused chair into a planter

A few years ago, I found a metal chair on the curb, brought it home, and stuck it on my patio. And as far as I know, no one has ever sat on it. So using an angle grinder and a Sawzall, I cut a large circle out of the seat so that a wire hanging basket could fit inside. Then I used my angle grinder to remove any sharp edges. I added a liner to the basket, then used spray adhesive to attach pieces of sheet moss to the remaining sections of the chair seat. 

Firewood storage bench

6. Firewood storage bench

We had no good place to store firewood on our patio, so I decided to see if I could build something just using the wood scraps in my garage. Using scrap wood, and a few easy steps I go through in the video, I created a useful bench. 

Repurposing plants from your yard

7. Steal plants from your yard

In my opinion, a patio isn't cozy without many plants. Plants are expensive, so look around your yard and see what you could move to your patio.

I also swiped a few house plants to create this terrarium to sit atop the fire pit when we don't have a fire going. 

Separating plants

8. Separate plants to make them go farther

Another way to save money on plants is to buy large hanging baskets with various plants and then separate them into pots.

I filled five pots from two hanging planters and another five pots with two large ferns I purchased at Walmart. Be sure to water your plants immediately to help them overcome the shock of being transplanted. 

Adding interest in a planter

9. Add interest

I love to add things to planters that aren't plants so that even if the flowers aren't blooming, the planters still look interesting. One of my favorite things to add is old outdoor lanterns.

For an additional surprise, I like to put a small plant inside the lantern. I also like to pick up small statues and garden ornaments when I see them at a thrift store. 

DIY mushrooms in a garden

10. Make mushrooms

Mushrooms are so trendy right now, so I decided to make a couple to add to my patio. I used wood glue and a wood screw to attach spindles to two wood salad bowls.

I painted one with white chalk paint and the other with dark purple chalk paint. I applied two coats of paint, and when the paint was dry. I applied polka dots using a sponge dauber.

Plants in unexpected containers

11. Put plants in unexpected containers

Not only do I like to put unexpected things in my planters, but I also like to use unexpected things as planters.

I picked up this plaster column at Goodwill and used a hammer to bust out a hole in the top, so my plastic pot would fit inside. I used ivory spray paint on the outside to tone down the gold accents. Then I used part of one of those Walmart ferns to fill the pot. 

DIY lantern bird feeder

12. Feed the birds

I saw a male and female cardinal in the trees outside my patio, and so I knew I wanted to make a bird feeder for them. I repurposed a wall-mount lantern to create a bird feeder. 

Making a hose stand

13. Make a hose stand

I didn't have anything to store my hose on near the patio, so I made a hose stand using an old spindle I had in the garage. I drilled a couple of holes on either side of the spindle and then used screws to attach some old shelf brackets I had on hand.

I didn't even bother repainting it. I just dug a hole near my spigot and stuck my new hose stand in the ground. Use a fence or porch post to hold a big, heavy hose. 

Repurposing old chandeliers

14. Repurpose old chandeliers

Last year I thrifted an old chandelier and used its parts to create a plant stand and a wind chime candelabra. This year, I decided to make a chandelier for the birds.

I spray-painted four small birdhouses from the dollar tree. Then I drilled a hole in the bottom of each birdhouse. I had previously gutted a chandelier, removing the light bulb, candle tube, and candle cup.

I applied Gorilla Glue to the screw at the end of each chandelier arm and then screwed on the birdhouse. 

Atmospheric lighting

15. Add atmospheric lighting

I always add inexpensive solar lights to my planters. But this year, I added some fairy lights in a very interesting way.

I bought a set of solar-powered rainfall fairy lights and ran the lights through the spout of a ceramic teapot, and then using florist wire, I attached the teapot handle to some metal decor that I had already hung on my brick wall. 

Patio makeover

Patio makeover

I hope my patio makeover gave you inspiration for your DIY patio makeover. What have you done to spruce up your patio? Share your makeovers in the comments below.

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 1 comment
  • Lizzie Lizzie on Aug 06, 2023

    Love the makeover.

    l was wondering if you secured the pergola? Or is it freestanding?