tools to create cheap diy landscapes

10 of the Best Cheap Landscaping Ideas

Great landscaping doesn’t have to come at a price. Some of the best yards use frugal landscaping ideas to create an interesting and distinct look. These DIY landscaping ideas can be better than shopping around at stores. Landscaping ideas on a budget don’t always have to be a last-ditch effort to save money. Instead, they’re a way to be thoughtful in how you cultivate your lawn or garden. They are often more environmentally-friendly as well.

Cheap DIY landscaping ideas can be original. However,  there are a few that are done often and well. The list below is full of some of our best ideas, to benefit anyone that has an interest in landscaping on a budget!

Create a Dazzling Display of Lights

String of lights in a garden

Outdoor lights are one the quickest ways to turn a backyard into a veritable dreamland. There are plenty of styles to choose from, all of which can be purchased inexpensively. Not only are lights easy to string up, they come with a variety of power sources. You can use old fashioned plug-in lights or battery-powered lights. You can even use lights that solely rely on solar power!

Use Borders to Organize Your Landscape

Path with border cutting through a landscape.

Whether you buy your landscaping borders at the store or make your own, it will add a nice touch. Aesthetically, keeping your space neat and organized is pleasing to the eye. You can even break up your yard by plant-type, giving your landscaping a botanical feel. Borders can be purchased at your local lawn and garden store or be improvised. That pile of bricks or stone in the corner of your yard can finally find its true calling!

Forgo Grass for Something Cheaper & Just as Beautiful

Dark stone as a cheap garden feature.

Grass seed and sod can be expensive, time-consuming, and hard to maintain. The truth is, the concept of a yard filled with grass is a relatively recent one. While grass is great, so too are things like mulch, stone, or whatever local substrate you can get your hands on. Not only is it a cheaper alternative than grass but with a little maintenance, it’ll look just as good.

Rehabilitate Old Furniture

Old bench as a garden feature.

You may not want to put that old bench you found on the side of the road in your living room. Yet, it could be a great seat in your garden. Weathered furniture can inhabit a green space without looking strange. The truth is, any furniture you put outside in the elements will soon show the signs of those elements. Don’t immediately cast away or write off beat up or old furniture. Consider first if it has a home amid your landscaping. 

Add Mystery to Your Yard with Mirrors

Mirrors in a garden.


Give your landscape a surreal, storybook quality through the strategic use of mirrors. Hang them on your fence, lean them against a gnarled old tree, and tuck them away into a shaded corner. They’ll perfectly reflect the space around them, giving your garden a magical quality.

Replace the Usual Cobblestone Path with Wood Rounds

Replace the Usual Cobblestone Path with Wood Rounds

Wood rounds are great platforms that can replace cobblestones and concrete slabs.  Try contacting a tree removal service to see what they have on hand. For a small amount of money they may be willing to shave off a few thick slices of a tree stump for you. Once they’re in your hands it’s a simple process to place them in your yard.

Create Raised Beds with Old Pallets

Old pallets turned into a raised flower and vegetable bed.


Pallets are a constant byproduct of the trucking and retail industry. They can be found anywhere, most often for free, as long as you’re willing to haul them away. Pallets are made out of sturdy wood and  can be easily transformed into a raised flower bed or garden. Simply stack, secure, fill, and plant!

While You’re at it, Make Your Pallets into Planters

While You’re at it, Make Your Pallets into Planters

If you have some more pallets laying around, turn them on their side and use the slats as shelves. The shelves can hold pots or even be modified to hold potting soil all on their own. From there, go crazy planting, decorating, and growing within your new planter. Pallets can be leaned against a wall or anchored to a fence or exterior wall to hang.

Use an Old Wheelbarrow or Bathtub as a Planter

Old bathtub repurposed to be a landscape feature.


What do wheelbarrows and bathtubs have in common? They can both hold their fill of, well, fill. Turn an old wheelbarrow or old claw foot bathtub into a giant planter. Many people would pay to have someone haul away their old cast iron tub. In your garden, both act as an interesting piece of functional décor. They both have plenty of depth to keep your plants rooted happily.

Turn Old Tires into an Aquatic Landscape or Garden

Painted automobile tire with flowers growing in it.

Along those same lines, an old tire is one man’s trash and your treasure. Set it down, line the bottom with plastic pond liner, and fill it to the brim with water. Suddenly, your old tire has transformed into a miniature aquatic landscape! Lilies and other aquatic plants will flourish and the tires will naturally catch the rain throughout the year. You could also use the aforementioned antique bathtub for this purpose! Inversely, you can also fill the tire with some potting soil, making it into a planter.

Landscaping Ideas on a Budget Can Help You Reuse & Recycle

Today, we live in a world that is constantly buying new things. But if you stop and think about what you’re doing and why, you’ll realize there are other ways to achieve the same result. Cheap backyard ideas aren’t just a way to keep money in your pocket. They’re often the most environmentally conscious way of cultivating an innovative landscape.