40 Dope Ways To Upgrade Your Backyard For Under $35

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By Rachel Bar-Gadda

If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard space to enjoy seasonal changes, there’s a way to even further improve that outdoor experience — and on a reasonable budget to boot. Maybe you feel like your space could use a little greenery, some shade, or a bit more decorative pizazz to jazz up those backyard parties. These 40 dope ways to upgrade your backyard for under $35 prove that a little something can turn your yard into the place to be and you don’t have to shell out hundreds on improvements.

Opt for a gorgeous outdoor accent rug, waterproof pillow covers, or elegant string lights that create a chic atmosphere but can still brave the elements. Grill baskets or grill mats will keep your barbecue clean while helping you cook up gourmet food with that classic grill flavor. These affordable products will help you make the most out of that precious outdoor space.

Prepare to be amazed by the number of ways you can simply and affordably turn that backyard into a haven for relaxation and recreation. Check out the list below and let the season for outdoor enjoyment begin.


Effortlessly Grow Flowers Or Fresh Herbs With These Self-Watering Planters

These incredible self-watering planters will make growing fresh herbs or flowers in your backyard a nearly hands-off experience. Three planter boxes are included in every pack, and each features its own inner pot in different colors (green, orange, and brown). The innovative nesting pot design ensures you’ll never have to worry about over-watering or root rot due. Pour water into a bottom reservoir and water-absorbent strips beneath the soil will suck up as much moisture as the plant needs — no more and no less.


Let Backyard Breezes Through But Keep Bugs Out With A Magnetic Screen Door

Let all those cool breezes through (and keep all of those bugs out) with the use of this magnetic screen door. It attaches to doorways and installs easily and quickly to provide you with a fine mesh barrier to any mosquitos or flies looking to get inside. Strong magnets keep the screen closed but open easily to let people, pets, or kids through. This affordable pick has more than 53,000 reviews.


Enhance Your Deck Decor With This Outdoor Accent Rug

Make your deck area that much more inviting with this outdoor accent rug that comes in a braided design. Choose from a variety of sizes ranging from 2-by-3 feet all the way up to 12-by-18 feet. This pick comes in eight shades such as an earth-toned tan, dark charcoal, bright aqua, and pink.


Add Tunes To Your Backyard Party With A Bluetooth Speaker

Create the perfect backyard party vibe with this super popular Bluetooth speaker that has over 76,000 reviews on Amazon. It comes in three colors (black, blue, or red) and boasts a high-quality sound that includes an ability to analyze music and instantly amplify bass accordingly. On top of a battery life that lasts up to 24 hours, it’s also IPX5 waterproof so no pool splashes or inclement weather can stop the jams.


Extend Your Outdoor Dinner Party Into The Night With A Patio Umbrella Light

This patio umbrella light attaches to your umbrella with a built-in clamp to extend the life of that outdoor dinner party into the wee hours. The battery-operated light uses LEDs that are controlled by a wireless remote. The remote can be used up to 50 feet away to turn the light on and off, set levels of brightness, and activate different auto-timers for a carefree evening ahead.


Light Up Garden Paths With Easily Installed Solar Lights

If you’re looking for a simple way to tastefully light up your backyard garden, look no further than these solar lights that install in minutes. They assemble quickly, are free of wires, and have spikes that can be inserted into the soil. The solar panel on top charges during the day and the LED lights turn on automatically at night. These durable lights are also weather-resistant and able to withstand all sorts of extreme temperatures.


Bring Bistro Charm To Your Yard With These Outdoor String Lights

These outdoor string lights will no doubt add a good dose of charm to any backyard area. The lights are offered in three different sizes (25, 50, and 100 feet) and feature Edison incandescent bulbs for a warm glow. They’re waterproof and built to withstand all sorts of weather from wind and rain to hot or cold temps, so you can leave them up with no worries. This popular pick has more than 49,000 reviews.


Keep The Bubbly Chilled All Night Long With An Insulated Ice Bucket

Bring class and elegance to your backyard soirée by keeping that champagne chilled throughout the night using this insulated ice bucket. It’s made of sleek stainless steel with double-walled insulation and comes with tongs and an airtight lid. An ice strainer sits at the bottom to drain away any water from melting ice and keep your bottles as icy as possible. Use this bucket for storing anything that requires a chill — from bubbles to wine to beer.


Add Eco-Friendly Outdoor Lighting With These Solar-Powered Lights

Light up your outdoor space in a way that won’t cost you a fortune in electricity bills with these outdoor solar lights. The lights conserve energy by using motion sensing to turn on, so they’re great for spending time in the backyard at night or using as an added security measure. You can easily install them with adhesive tape or the included screws, and they are both weather-resistant and waterproof.


Upgrade Outdoor Tableware With These Glass Carafes

Make your outdoor table feel just that much more refined in an instant by pouring beverages from these glass carafes. They’re made of durable glass that features a narrow neck style, which makes drip-free pouring a breeze. The carafes even come with plastic lids to easily store them in the fridge or to keep drinks fresh while they’re on the table.


Barbecue Food To Perfection With These Grilling Baskets

You’ve got the backyard. You’ve got the barbecue. Now it’s time to turn out perfectly cooked food with the help of these grilling baskets. Each set includes baskets in three sizes: square and circular baskets and a grill pan. All are constructed of stainless steel with a perforated design to help evenly distribute the heat and smoke from the grill. You’ll end up with perfectly cooked food vegetables, fish, and meat, not to mention a cleaner grill.


Get That Grill Flavor Without The Mess With This Grill Mat

Get all that good grill flavor without dealing with a messy grate by using this dishwasher-safe grill mat. It works on any grill, whether it be gas, propane, or electric and can be easily cut to fit your needs. The mat is thick enough to be heat resistant up to 500 degrees yet thin enough to let your food be imparted with delicious grill flavor and even those classic grill marks.


Keep Spiked Seltzers Ice Cold With This Insulated Can Cooler

There’s nothing worse than enjoying a warm evening outside while your once refreshing drink gets even warmer. This insulated can cooler is designed to specifically fit 12-ounce slim cans (think: spiked seltzers, beer, or sparkling waters) and to keep them 20 times cooler than your run-of-the-mill neoprene sleeve. It uses double-walled stainless steel with an additional copper layer to maintain those frigid temps and will keep your hands comfortably dry by not creating any wet condensation. Choose from 30 fun colors.


Protect Outdoor Furniture With These Versatile Non-Slip Coasters

Do double duty of both protecting your outdoor furniture and keeping drinks stable with these non-slip coasters. They come in a set of eight and are made of soft and grippy silicone that can be popped into the dishwasher for quick cleaning. As an added bonus, drinks will never annoyingly stick to this coaster due to its ridged surface. And because the material is heat-resistant, you can actually use them as trivets to sit underneath hot pots and pans.


Enhance Backyard Lighting With A Decorative Wall Lantern

This beautiful wall lantern adds that special decorative touch to make your backyard even more welcoming come evening. It’s constructed of clear glass and durable steel with a black finish intended to keep corrosion, tarnishing, and discoloration at bay. The lantern also features waterproof sealing so it can withstand any weather from rainstorm to snowstorm.


Make Backyard Seating Extra Special With This Hammock Chair

Create a small outdoor haven of relaxation by hanging this hammock chair to gently sway in at any time of day. Easily hang it from a tree branch or a beam above your deck. It can handle up to 330 pounds and is made of a soft cotton-blend cloth. The long wooden bar and 26 hanging cords help distribute weight evenly, creating a safe place to relax. Choose from two sizes and three colors.


Maintain Your Barbecue All Season Long With A Grill Brush And Scraper

Keep your grill in fighting shape throughout the season with the help of this grill brush and scraper in one. The scraper removes all traces of past barbecuing and the brush features three rows of stainless steel bristles that are tough yet flexible enough for a thorough clean. It can be used vigorously on all kinds of grill surfaces without fear of the brush falling apart or any bristles falling off.


Serve Appetizers In Style With These Sleek Serving Trays

These white acrylic serving trays come in a set of three and are perfect for displaying appetizers, desserts, or tableware for your backyard event. The BPA-free material is shatter-proof so you won’t have to worry about any disruptive accidents and the trays can be conveniently washed in the top rack of the dishwasher. These are the handy trays you need for effortless hosting in your yard.


Style Your Patio Furniture With Waterproof Pillow Covers

Style your patio furniture with something durable but chic by incorporating these waterproof pillow covers into the mix. They come in a set of two and in 21 shades including colors such as khaki (pictured above), teal, light grey, and purple. They’re made of durable canvas polyester with a waterproof coating but are still breathable. Simply toss them in the washing machine when they need to be cleaned.


Bring On Backyard Parties With These Unbreakable Wine Glasses

Party to your heart’s content with no fear of a broken glass ending all the fun. These stemless wine glasses are cleverly made of fine-grade stainless steel that promises to be unbreakable. As a bonus, the steel helps to maintain your drink’s temperature so these are perfect to keep that rosé chilled all afternoon long. Choose from 17 colors and designs from cheery turquoise (pictured above) to lava grey to several ombre shades.


Create A Bug-Free Zone With This Mosquito Repeller

Buzzing, biting, and all-around annoying bugs can truly ruin a pleasant evening out in the backyard. This DEET-free mosquito repeller creates a 15-foot bug-free zone by using heat-activated repellant. Insert the 12-hour fuel cartridge inside the canister, activate it, and let the heat trigger the repellant to work its magic. This is a great option for those wanting to skip chemical sprays or other scent-based repellents.


Float With Your Drink At Your Side With An Inflatable Drink Holder

Reaching out for that margarita floating by makes a day spent in the pool that much more enjoyable. This inflatable drink holder comes in a pack of three and offers you a plethora of different designs to choose from ranging from flamingos and gators to sharks and unicorns. The floats are guaranteed to not tip over and can fit almost any sized beverage.


Artfully Present Silverware On Your Patio Table With This Stylish Kitchen Caddy

This kitchen caddy is a perfect asset to any backyard party as a way to cleverly distribute tableware. It has a stylish wooden handle for convenient portability and features three small and one large compartment to carry silverware, napkins, condiments, or even crafts. Use it whenever you want to keep your table clean and organized.


Illuminate Your Backyard Without Attracting Bugs With Amber Yellow Light Bulbs

Let that garden party last into the night without fear of bugs ruining all the fun by using these amber yellow light bulbs. The light produced by these LED bulbs does not give off any blue light that can attract flying insects, yet it’s still bright enough to illuminate your path. As an added bonus, the yellow light helps to release melatonin, which can increase relaxation and help you get a good night’s rest (once you’re all done partying, of course).


Turn Your Backyard Into A Game Zone With A Ping Pong Set

No need to invest in a full-size ping pong table for some backyard entertainment. All you need is this portable ping pong set that includes four durable wooden paddles and six ping pong balls (all you’ll need to provide is the net). The set has a 4.5-star rating — and according to many reviewers, it’s “good quality.”


Provide Protection From The Heat With A Sun Shade Sail

Keep your backyard comfortable no matter how blazing the sun gets by putting up one of these sun shade sails. It’s constructed of high-density polyethylene fabric that attaches using the included ropes and durable D-rings. The fabric promises to block 95% of UV light but is still breathable so it won’t trap heat. Choose from six colors and 13 sizes to suit your space.


Add Charming Ambiance With These Flameless Candles

For a delightful ambiance that doesn’t play with fire (literally), opt for these flameless candles complete with a moving wick for serious realism. They’re waterproof, powered by two AA batteries each (which aren’t included), and are specially designed for the outdoors. Each set comes with two candles and they even include a remote that allows you to set timers and adjust their brightness.


Keep Wine Perfectly Crisp With A Stainless Steel Wine Chiller

Form meets function in the most aesthetically pleasing way with this insulated wine cooler. The cooler is made from stainless steel and is available in a polished copper or silver finish that will elevate the elegance of any patio table. It fits any standard wine bottle and the double-walled insulation keeps your white wine crisp without producing condensation.


Relax In The Sun With The Help Of This Folding Side Table

Pull out this folding side table anytime you need a place to rest your lemonade, cocktail, or book while you’re relaxing in the sunshine. It’s made of plastic, which means it’s waterproof and weatherproof, so say goodbye to any rust, splinters, or rot. It has a classic Adirondack style that screams summer and can be folded away in a pinch to store when not in use.


Trick Out Your Backyard Camping Style With A Durable Lantern

Set up your tent or teepee in the yard for an impromptu camping trip close to home and bring this weather-resistant camping lantern with you to provide just enough light. The $20 compact lantern provides bright light as well as three different modes: high, medium, and warm yellow. It’s battery-operated, lasts up to 72 hours, and includes a hook for convenient hanging.


Easily Crack Open Beer With This Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener

Never again turn the house inside and out searching for that one precious bottle opener. This handy bottle opener mounts to your wall using the included hardware to help keep the beers flowing and the party going all day or night. Match it to your backyard decor by choosing from three different finishes: matted nickel, gunmetal black, or antique copper. And as an ingenious perk, this bottle opener features magnets that catch falling bottle caps, preventing them from cluttering up your deck.


Grow Your Very Own Delicious Vegetables With A Salad Kit

What could taste better than a salad made of vegetables grown by you? Even if your backyard is the size of a postage stamp, you can still make great use of it with this salad kit. Every kit comes with five growing pots, five peat discs that expand with water, and five different types of seeds. Soon enough you’ll be growing and eating your very own red lettuce, golden beets, radishes, cucumbers, and onions.


Cool Off On Sweltering Days With This Portable Fan

Want to spend time in the backyard but the lack of breeze is too suffocating? Set up this portable fan wherever you need it to make a day spent outside completely comfortable. It has a unique flexible tripod that lets you place it in tons of different positions — you can wrap it around a beam or adjust it to different heights. It’s conveniently cordless and powered by a built-in battery that’s rechargeable via USB to work for anywhere from five to 12 hours.


Indulge In An Outdoor Tea Party With A 3-Tier Party Tray

Cue the backyard afternoon tea party with the help of this three-tier party tray. You may be wondering where the heck you’re going to store something that’s three tiers, but fear not, this one ingeniously twists and collapses down to one level for discreet storage. It’s made of durable plastic and washes up easily, so go ahead and start stacking those macarons and crustless sandwiches for a delightful afternoon outdoors.


Char Marshmallows To Perfection With These Color-Coded Roasting Sticks

The highlight of every backyard get-together has to be the moment s'mores supplies arrive on the scene. Let everyone char their marshmallow to their desired crispness with this set of eight roasting sticks, each with their own designated color. The wooden handle protects hands and the stainless steel stick extends to put a safe distance between you and your fire. You can also use these to roast anything from vegetables to hot dogs.


Effortlessly Add Color To Your Backyard With Artificial Flowers

Gaze upon a backyard full of color all year long with these gorgeous and no-effort artificial flowers. Choose from several different colors of flowers from magenta to yellow to white and either position them in a hanging planter over your deck or place them in planters around your patio. The plants are UV-resistant so no matter how much time they spend in the sun, they won’t lose their vibrancy.


Create Outdoor Accent Lighting With These LED Strip Lights

Add some serious outdoor vibes with these LED strip lights that let you create affordable accent lighting. These waterproof lights are perfect for the backyard and three LEDs per inch offer lots of long-lasting brightness. Cut the strip to the measurements you need, attach it anywhere you’d like using the included wall-mounting equipment, and plug the end into an outlet to create a dreamy backyard atmosphere.


Throw Elegant Outdoor Dinner Parties Using Classic Plates

These melamine dinner plates will make your backyard dinner party that much more elegant, with no fear of possible breakage. Melamine is essentially a hard plastic that is shatterproof as well as dishwasher safe (note: these are not recommended for the microwave). Each set comes with six 10-inch plates that are both lightweight and sturdy, making them perfect for eating outdoors.


Turn Your Backyard Into The Riviera With An Oversized Towel

These charming striped towels will instantly transform your backyard into a Mediterranean resort. Four brightly colored towels come in each set and each are luxuriously oversized. They’re designed with cotton terry on one side and velour on the reverse, which makes them soft on the skin as well as absorbent.


Add Decorative Plants To Your Backyard With An Outdoor Flower Pot

Adding potted plants is a great way to add some greenery to yards if you don’t have enough soil space to garden. This flower pot comes in two sizes (8.6 and 14.2 inches) and features a chic minimalist speckled design that’s available in either white or black. The material is porous and breathable, making it lightweight and portable and it features four drainage holes to help keep plants hydrated.