Super-Cheap & Cute Tiny Balcony Makeover Ideas on a Budget

Katy | LaughCryDIY
by Katy | LaughCryDIY

If you love small spaces, you will love this balcony makeover idea. Welcome to a special spring-summer edition of “Laugh, Cry, DIY.” Today, we are doing our very first tiny, tiny balcony makeover.

Tiny balcony makeover on a budget

This balcony makeover on a budget focuses on my friend, Bri’s balcony. Bri lives in Hollywood, California. She moved in five months ago and hasn’t been able to use her balcony much at all yet. It is two feet by 13 feet and right next to a busy parking lot.

Bri’s balcony makeover vision is a more private space, that is maximalist, goth, fun, and breezy. The challenge is to make it cozier, greener, and cuter, and all on a budget, of $150.

Moving the blinds

Moving the blinds

These blinds are loose. We need to reposition them to give Bri a properly-shaded patio, and we need to stop them from flapping.

As Bri said, she doesn't have the prettiest view, so we want to half-block it. She wants to enjoy coffee in the morning, without the bright sun in her face. We will move the blinds to the side, to shade half the balcony, and use a staple gun to tie them down.

Making a faux plant display

Faux greenery

Next up, we want to cozy up this space with some greenery. We want to add big, bold, green moments, and there’s this wooden wall, so I made a full faux plant display, fit to the exact, custom dimensions. 

Making a frame

I custom-made this frame. The plants are Dollar Store faux greenery. The whole piece cost $30.

Because Bri’s balcony is so long and narrow, there’s no space to have standing plants, so I thought, what if instead of putting plants on the ground, we added greenery to the fence?

I bought $28 of faux green vines at the Dollar Store. I bought two types of greenery to add visual texture and depth.

Tacking the ivy to the fence

We are going to use thumbtacks and wind these all around on the fence. Firstly, I’m laying a base foundation – consider this a faux plant “primer” – and then I’m going to add pops of color with the prettier, striped, creeping figs. Studies have shown even fake plants can change your mood. 

Adding faux ivy to the balcony

You guys see how nice the faux greenery looks? Nature approves.

Real greenery

Next up, Bri gets direct sunlight and can grow really beautiful things on the balcony, but we don’t want to take up floor space, so we will add hanging shelves.

Using pine boards and sisal rope

To make simple hanging-rope shelves, I’m using pine boards and sisal rope. 

Drilling holes in the corners of each board

We will start by drilling holes in the corners of each board with a half-inch drill bit that’s exactly the size of the rope.

Threading rope through the holes

Next, we will thread the beautiful rope through each hole and tie it to a ring that can be hooked onto wall hooks.

DIY shelves with ropes

The real challenge today will be making sure they are level. 

Hanging up rope shelves

I just kept knotting and leveling, and now we have hanging shelves.

Adding a rug

The one thing to instantly cozy up an outdoor space is flooring. But, rugs don’t necessarily come in the right width. Also, we are on a tight budget.

What do you do when you want a rug, but don’t have a lot of money? Welcome to “how to make a rug from many other rugs.”

Cotton jute rugs from Five Below

I went to Five Below and bought these beautiful cotton jute rugs. They are the perfect width and texture, and we are going to sew them all together to make one long runner.

Combining rugs is a great hack; you can make a bigger rug from mini-rugs, placemats, or really any sturdy fabric if you believe hard enough.

We want the stitching to look intentional so, since this is cotton jute, I have dollar-store twine and the biggest, fattest needle.

Pinning rugs together

I pinned these rugs together ugly-side up. Because the twine is going to show, I am going to mark evenly-spaced, one-inch lines on both sides of this seam with a marker. 

Apartment balcony makeover ideas

We are just going to do a single-thread stitch, and tie it off on both sides. 

Adding a rug to the balcony

Now, I’m going back and tightening every stitch and knotting it off, and…Ta-dah!  

Folding table for the balcony

Folding table

One thing Bri really wanted is a table. They make some incredible products these days, like a hanging, fold-down table made for balconies. 

They sell lots of versions of these online. We are trying to be budget-friendly, so I scored this on Facebook Marketplace, but it was all black. 

Adding wood contact paper

I spray-painted it, hit the top with wood contact paper, and no one will ever know.

Tucking a bench under the table

Bri had this IKEA bench that tucks under the table perfectly.

Plant stand

Now, it’s time for the piece de resistance. Bri wanted a plant stand. I was trying to find something with lots of surface space. I looked at everything: kitchen islands, console tables, all sorts of things, but it was really challenging to find a plant stand that fit nicely.

Cheap cabinet from Facebook Marketplace

Then, I saw a piece on Facebook Marketplace for $18.

Hand-painted cabinet

It's a cheap little cabinet that I hand-painted with an Indian-bone-inlay-inspired design. She can use the inside to store extra gardening supplies. Sometimes bringing the indoors out is a beautiful way to bring soul and vibes to a space.

Adding more greenery to the balcony

More greenery

We are still not done adding greenery and “oomph” to the space. Bri already had this sphere, so I saved one piece of ivy to add some drip-drip. I also added fake flowers from my stash.

Seating for the balcony


Bri wanted extra seating for friends. I found this little beauty at Goodwill for eight dollars. It’s a seating ottoman with storage. This is the perfect thing to maximize storage and provide a cute seating option.


What is a cute patio without lights? I found lights that are USB, rechargeable, and on a remote. We are going to string them along the ivy, and at night it will be gorgeous.

Balcony makeover before and after

Time for the big reveal! 

Tiny balcony makeover ideas

Tiny balcony makeover ideas

I’m not going to lie, this is the most drastic transformation I ever made, for the least amount of money. There are always ways to get creative with DIY and spice up small spaces for cheap.

What are your top balcony makeover ideas? Drop a comment and let us know.

Join the conversation
  • P P on Dec 23, 2022

    in Southeast Louisiana, that rug would get rained on, moldy & mildewy & gross, the indoor furniture - cabinet & footstool would get wet, warp, MDF would swell & fall apart. Tropical storms & hurricane force winds would rip the shelves & shade off. Kinda jealous they can do what we can't! Suggest add small, rectangular planters for 4" - 6" or even 8" pots, designed to hang off balconies or that fit between the front & back of 'fencing' across front of balcony, with more herbs, small veggies, or seasonal flowers -

  • Phyllis Zepeda Phyllis Zepeda on Jan 12, 2023

    Instead of faux greenery on the fence, how about stenciling climbing greenery, it would look neater and be cleaner . Great job 👏