These 40 cheap things do such a good job of upgrading your backyard

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.


A great backyard can be like a second living room, the place where you want to hang when the weather’s nice — and with a few handy additions — even when the weather’s not so nice. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your outdoor space ultra-livable; just check out these cheap things that upgrade your backyard.

First up, outdoor lighting makes a home look so luxe, and until recently, it’s been a relatively expensive addition (all that wiring and the electrician visit add up to a hefty bill). But now, you can stock up on these solar deck lights that are budget-friendly and easy to install — just screw them onto your deck railing, or — if you prefer — you can use them to illuminate pathways, steps, or any landscape features you want to highlight.

Once you have your lighting situation figured out, you can change out your patio chair cushion covers with this waterproof set that comes in 11 attractive colors — perfect if you need a color update. Next, add this beautiful braided rug that adds warmth and dimension to basic concrete patios or wood decks.

Whether your idea of enjoying your outdoor space means heavy-duty gardening, or just some intense games of cornhole accompanied by cold beverages, these backyard upgrades are sure to please.

These solar lights that illuminate gardens & pathways

With super bright LED illumination powered 100% by the sun’s energy, these solar garden lights are the perfect accent for your landscape — and they also add safety and visibility to paths and walkways. Once you’ve installed them by simply staking them into the ground, there’s no operation required; they automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn.

The hanging planters made from recycled plastic

Add some green to your outdoor decor with these hanging planters that have an attractive honeycomb texture and a matte gray finish. The planters are made from durable recycled plastic, along with stone and wood powder, resulting in totally unique water vapor patterns. Drainage holes at the bottom allow for breathability, and you can hang them from the high-strength nylon ropes.

A patio umbrella pole light for late-night dinners

It may look like a tiny UFO, but this uniquely shaped fixture is actually a patio umbrella LED light that clamps right onto the pole. Designed with a size-adjustable clamp, it attaches in just seconds with no tools needed. This light is battery-operated and comes with a remote control for easy operation, so you can enjoy hours of dining, playing games, and much more after dark.

This starter kit for growing your own unique veggies

With everything you need for growing four types of vegetables, this gardening kit is designed to give you the opportunity to try your hand at gardening, either inside or outside. The vegetable seeds included aren’t just any plain old veggies — you’ll get black corn, purple carrots, yellow cucumbers, and romanesco (a type of broccoli with a fractal appearance that looks like something aliens would eat). You can also opt for other kits, like peppers, microgreens, and pumpkins.

These unbreakable glasses that are perfect for outdoor sipping

Made from premium food-grade stainless steel, these wine glasses are ultra-durable and completely shatterproof, making them ideal for use outside, especially if you’re sipping next to a pool or on a hard concrete patio. Available in a veritable rainbow of colors, these glasses keep your favorite beverages at cold temperatures for maximum enjoyment.

  • Available colors: 16

These camping lanterns with hooks for hanging

Offering bright, 360-degree light, these camping lanterns provide plenty of illumination for late summer evenings — but they’re also great for camping or for keeping on hand in your readiness kit. They’re designed with hooks that allow you to hang them from patio umbrellas, tent posts, or branches, and — just as cool — the magnets on the bottoms let you mount then to the side of your grill, or a car hood (if you want to keep one in your vehicle for roadside emergencies).

A wall-mounted rack to straighten up all your yard tools

Tired of your yard tools leaning against a garage wall where they inevitably end up on the floor? This broom and tool organizer is the answer. It installs to any wall with the included hardware, and features three clamp hangers for your handled tools, as well as four hooks that can be used for other items like your gardening gloves, pruning shears, and the like. It holds up to 50 pounds, so you can even hang heavy shovels.

The grilling baskets that reduce post-BBQ cleanup time

If you love to cook out, these grilling baskets are a must-have that lets you skip the hard work of scrubbing the grates after dinner. Made from durable stainless steel, they have perforations throughout that allow smoke and heat to pass through, so you still get that authentic barbecue taste, without having to deal with food sticking to the grates. When you’re done, just rinse with soap and water or toss in the dishwasher. The set includes a rectangular pan, a round grilling basket, and a square grilling basket.

A planter that waters itself & gives anyone a green thumb

Designed to store enough water for at least a week, this self-watering planter makes it possible for even the most inexperienced gardeners to grow plants — and it’s also great for travelers who want to leave home without worrying about their greenery. The secret is in the coconut coir disks that retain water and discharge it slowly over time. Just add some plant food, and your plants will thrive with little attention on your part.

  • Available colors: 2

This easy way to add a screen door to any doorway

With this magnetic screen door, you can make access to your backyard easy, while keeping mosquitos, flies, and other pests outside, where they belong. Measuring 38 inches across and 83 inches long, it’s suitable for use with most standard doorways, and the self-sealing magnetic strip automatically secures the “door” behind you. Plus, even children and dogs will be able to go in and out without you having to constantly man the door.

A stainless steel ice bucket that’ll upgrade your al fresco cocktails

With double-walled, insulated construction, this stainless steel ice bucket keeps ice cold much longer than traditional options — and it’s so much better than journeying back to the kitchen freezer to re-up. The matching airtight lid keeps pests out while you’re outside, and the matching tongs make it easy to dole out the cubes.

This mosquito net that shields you from bites

Get a bite-free outdoor living space with a classic Out Of Africa vibe, thanks to this mosquito net that you can drape over your deck or patio. It comes with its own hanging kit, so it’s easy to install, and also has its own carrying bag if you want to take it with you camping. You can even hang it in your bedroom for a romantic vibe.

The pizza stone that gives you the perfect crust every time

Suitable for use on both charcoal and gas grills, as well as in your oven, this pizza stone gives you a pizzeria-grade meal every time. It absorbs dough moisture, which results in a crispy crust, and won’t crack under high temperatures. Durable and extra-thick, this stone cleans up easily with just soap and water, and comes with a bench scraper for ease of use.

This glass dispenser for easy party drinks

Add some style to your next event by using this drink dispenser for ice tea, lemonade, or batch cocktails. Designed to look like a Mason jar, the glass container features a large, wide mouth that makes it easy to fill, along with a tin lid to keep the bugs out. Plus, the spout dispenses without dripping.

The outdoor table that stakes right into the grass

This outdoor table goes wherever you go, so you can set it up for snacking in any part of your backyard. Made from bamboo, the table is designed with notches to hold your stemmed drinkware, and even comes with cutting tools for your hors d’oeuvres. The stake can be inserted into grass, dirt, or sand, which means you can even take it to the beach.

These solar lanterns that turn your backyard into a fairyland

Crafted from heat- and frost-resistant glass with a unique crackle finish, these solar lanterns give your backyard a delightful dash of fairytale magic. Great for outdoor dining and parties, these weather-resistant lights charge in daylight, then automatically come on at night. Plus, the rope loops make them easy to hang anywhere.

An oversized serving tray so you can carry everything outside at once

This serving tray is oversized to accommodate all of your dining items, so you can get everything outside at one time — no more trips back and forth to the kitchen. Also ideal as a cheese plate, it’s made from BPA-free melamine that’s dishwasher-safe. It looks modern and sleek, and you can choose from black or white.

  • Available colors: 2

The 10-setting hose attachment that makes watering your garden fast & easy

Screw this sprayer attachment onto your hose for more efficient watering of your garden and plants — it has 10 adjustable spray patterns, so you can concentrate the flow of water on small pots or target a wide area all at once. Corrosion-resistant, it screws onto all standard hoses, and features an ergonomic rubber handle for ease of use while you’re at work.

  • Available colors: 3

These understated deck lights that are solar-powered

Outdoor lighting looks so stylish, but it can be so expensive. With these solar deck lights, though, you can add the upscale look of landscape illumination to your deck for less. These lights work on solar power and don’t require expensive wiring or installation. With a sleek, low-profile design, they turn on automatically, and can also be used to illuminate walkways and stairs.

  • Available colors: 2

This pack of wildflower seeds with 24 perennials

Packed with only heirloom selections, this bag of wildflower seeds includes 24 varieties of perennial flowers and more than 90,000 seeds — more than enough to give you a truly bountiful garden. You’ll attract birds, bees, butterflies and more with these blooms (think: Shasta daisies, black eyed Susans, blue flax, and much more).

An accent rug that cozies up your patio

Ultra-durable and designed to withstand the elements, this outdoor accent rug is ideal for pulling together your patio, while giving it a cozy indoor vibe. Available in a range of sizes and colors — like ivory, aqua, and tan — it’s constructed from braided, woven fiber and is spill- and stain-resistant.

  • Available sizes: 20
  • Available colors: 8

This Bluetooth speaker that’s waterproof & dustproof

If you want to jam by the pool, this waterproof Bluetooth speaker is a must-have — but it’s also just great for any outdoor use. Designed to deliver crystal clear sound, it features enhanced bass that really resonates to get the party going. About the size of a can of soda, the USB-chargeable speaker is also dustproof, and weighs just 13 ounces. The best part? You can choose from unconventional colors like mint, yellow, and lilac.

  • Available colors: 8

The UV-protective canopy that shelters you from the sun’s rays

Almost architectural in nature, you can add this sun shade sail to your deck, patio, or anywhere else you need a little shelter from the sun’s brightness. Its striking shape instantly pulls together an outdoor seating area, and it’s available in a variety of sizes and colors, so you can get one that’s just right for your particular landscape. Crafted to block 95% of the sun’s UV rays, this shade is ultra-durable and comes with ropes and everything else you need to hang it.

  • Available sizes: 13
  • Available colors: 6

These LED rope lights that turn any porch into a party

With 16 colors that can twinkle or be set to steady, these rope lights turn any outdoor setting into an instant party. This set plugs into any standard AC outlet, and can be controlled via a convenient remote that enables you to select from 16 colors and four different lighting modes to set the mood you’re after. Great for holidays and for every day, the waterproof tubing makes this set extra durable. Single-color sets are also available.

  • Available colors: 7

A unique-looking grate cleaner for your grill

So this gadget may look like a prop from a martial arts movie, but it’s actually a grill grate cleaner, and it’s genius. With four different notches to accommodate different grate shapes, it gets off all of that baked-on gunk, without leaving behind little scrubbing brush bristles (that might later get in your food). Dishwasher-safe, this is a must if you love to barbecue.

The waterproof pillow covers that add color to your outdoor space

Cushions and pillows are a great way to transform any room inexpensively and instantaneously, and your outdoor living space is no exception. These waterproof pillow covers come in almost two dozen colors and are crafted from a durable canvas-polyester blend that has a waterproof coating, so you don’t have to worry about the elements. They’re cheap, too, so you can change them out seasonally or as the mood strikes.

  • Available sizes: 6
  • Available colors: 21

These motion-sensor lights that are solar-powered

Perfect for lighting up a walkway or illuminating the space outside your garage, these motion-sensor lights turn on whenever they detect activity within 10 to 16 feet. Boasting a 4.6-star overall rating after 18,000 reviews, they’re solar-powered, waterproof, and have powerful LED bulbs that provide plenty of brightness.

A patio umbrella to add shade & style

Whether you have a patio table that needs some shade, or are looking to create a conversation area outdoors, this patio umbrella is a terrific choice that instantly pulls everything together. Crafted from durable, fade-resistant polyester, it filters out 98% of UVA and UVB rays. The pole and ribs are constructed from sturdy and rust-resistant steel for long-lasting durability.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 4

This wine chiller that doesn’t require ice

Crafted from stainless steel, this wine chiller doesn’t require ice to keep your rosé cold — simply stick it in the fridge or freezer before use. Available in stainless steel and copper, it has a mirror-like finish and is large enough to accommodate sparkling wine bottles. You’ll also enjoy the fact that this wine chiller doesn’t sweat, thanks to its condensation-resistant design.

  • Available colors: 2

A ring toss game for endless backyard fun

Friends and family of all ages will love playing this ring toss game that looks like a miniature surfboard, perfect for adding a beachy vibe to your outdoor decor. It’s an easy pick-up game, so you can engage in some friendly competition at any time, and it mounts to the wall with screws or the included adhesive in just five minutes.

These waterproof cushion covers that update your patio chairs

One quick and inexpensive way to perk up your outdoor living space is to update your patio chairs, and these waterproof seat cushion covers are the perfect hack to do that in an instant. These covers are available in nearly a dozen ultra-vivid hues, and are crafted from a highly durable and waterproof canvas polyester. They’re easy to slip on, and the piping around the edges gives them a finished look.

  • Available colors: 11

An oversized towel for lounging in the great outdoors

Large enough to accommodate two adults, this oversized towel is great for lounging in the grass, but you can also take it to the beach or on your next camping trip. Measuring 4 by 7 feet, the striped towel is made from fast-drying microfiber, and features a sewn-in loop that makes it easy to hang dry.

  • Available colors: 3

These waterproof strip lights that add party vibes to your space

With a water-resistant silicone coating, these LED strip lights are ideal for use outside. You can set scenes, choose colors, and adjust the brightness of the lights via the included remote control, which means more customization over the vibe of your outside space. It installs quickly and easily with the included ultra-strong 3M adhesive, and can even be trimmed to size.

These silicone coasters that are durable for outdoor use

Made from heat- and water-resistant silicone, these coasters protect delicate outdoor surfaces while also ensuring that your drinkware doesn’t slide around. (You can even use a second coaster to keep annoying insects out of your beverage in between sips, too.) The set comes with a holder for storing the coasters when they’re not in use, and you can choose from two colors: gray and black.

  • Available colors: 2

This storage basket that’s ideal for gardening tools & more

Crafted from sturdy steel wire, this storage basket adds a touch of rustic charm, and it’s perfect for storing gardening tools and grilling essentials. Available in gray and satin nickel finishes, the basket’s unique teardrop handles make for a nice design statement, making this one stylish storage solution.

  • Available colors: 2

A collapsible lantern that you can take on the go

This collapsible lantern shrinks down to one-third its size — making it about the size of a hockey puck — for the ultimate in portability and storage effectiveness. Great for camping or just casual backyard use, it has three modes and can be powered charged via USB or solar power. Make sure to get an extra one to throw in your car’s glove compartment.

The net pots that make hydroponic gardening easy

Get your own hydroponic garden started with these net pots that let you get growing instantly. Hydroponic farming has been shown to produce higher yields with less soil and water, and these mesh-lined pots are convenient and have a small footprint, so they’re an ideal way to dip your toe into the trend, whether you have a house or live in an apartment with a terrace. They’re not only perfect for fruits and veggies, but they’re a great way to grow orchids, too.

A grilling caddy for tools, condiments & paper towels

Made from sturdy steel with a wooden handle for easy carrying, this grill caddy has room for everything you need when you’re whipping up a meal on the barbecue. There’s space for grilling tools, silverware, all your condiments, and even a paper towel dispenser. Carry it straight from the grill over to the table for convenient use during your meal.

These flameless candles that set the mood outdoors

Featuring a realistic flickering effect these flameless tea light candles are battery-powered, so you never have to worry about whether you’ve extinguished them or not. Each pack comes with 12 “candles” that provide a warm, gentle light, and they can be operated via a simple on/off switch.

This seagrass basket that acts as storage or a planter

Crafted from beautiful woven seagrass, this basket makes a lovely accent to any outdoor decor, and can be used as storage for pool towels or gardening tools, or as a planter. Great for use indoor, too, it’s available in a wide variety of sizes. You’ll find so many uses for it, it just might be worth buying more than one.

  • Available sizes: 6