42 things that significantly upgrade your backyard for under $35 on Amazon

Because making your outdoor area nicer doesn’t have to hurt your wallet.

Originally Published: 
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Designing your outdoor space isn't cheap. From buying flowers to shoveling dirt, sprucing up your yard takes effort — and money. But you don't have to spend a ton to get your outside looking picture-perfect. In fact, there are dozens of products on Amazon that'll significantly upgrade your backyard, all for less than $35.

I know what you're thinking — "If they're that cheap, how much of an upgrade can they really provide?" Truthfully, I was blown away at how many of these are genuinely useful. Take the miniature grill, for example. At less than 5 pounds, it's perfect for tight balconies or small patios (and who doesn't love a freshly-cooked steak?). Or, if you're looking for decor, there's also a large canopy you can use to add shade to hot yards, as well as waterproof pillowcases that come in vibrant colors. But personally? I'm a huge fan of this inflatable lounger — especially when I'm out camping, or running around at a music festival with friends.

Working with a budget doesn't mean you can't spruce up your yard into something out of Better Homes & Gardens. And since all the backyard upgrades I've gathered for you here are $35 or less, you'll likely be able to grab more than a few. Trust me — your yard will thank you for it.


The outdoor lights that are powered by the sun

You don't have to figure out any complicated wiring with these lights — just hang them up wherever you like outside, and the solar panels on the top will keep them powered. They're also waterproof, and even have motion sensors in order to help save the batteries.


A deck of cards that's completely waterproof

Go ahead and throw these cards into the pool — they're so waterproof that you'll be able to play with them right after you retrieve them off the bottom. And unlike some waterproof cards, these ones are flexible enough that they're easy to shuffle.


The screen door that closes itself for you

Leaving your screen door open is an invitation for bugs to fly inside — so grab this self-closing one. The center opening is lined with magnets that'll instantly seal themselves shut once you've passed through, and it even works great with pets. "Our dogs run right in and out," wrote one reviewer. "It snaps back together quickly and efficiently with ease!"


A pack of Mason jar lights powered by the sun

Just imagine how cute these Mason jar lights will look scattered throughout your patio — and since there's a solar panel built into every lid, you don't even have to worry about switching out batteries. Or, if it's been cloudy outside, you also have the option of using one AAA battery per lid to power them up.


A sunflower grow kit that you can start indoors

Sunflowers are a beautiful way to jazz up any backyard. And, bonus — they’re also fairly easy to grow, even for beginners. This kit includes everything you need to get started, including seeds from three different sunflower varieties. The seeds themselves are chemical-free, and everything inside the kit was made in the USA.


This lawn game that you can take with you

Looking for a game you can play everywhere from your backyard to the beach? Search no further than Slammo. It collapses down neatly into a travel-friendly drawstring bag — and it's so light that even children can carry it. "It's challenging, yet lots of fun," wrote one reviewer. "And way more portable [and] lightweight than our cornhole game!"


A DEET-free mosquito repellent that lasts for up to 12 hours

A few mosquitos can quickly ruin an evening outside — so grab this repellent. Unlike DEET-laden sprays, it uses a smoke-free and flameless cartridge to keep mosquitos at bay. Plus, each included cartridge comes with enough fuel for up to 12 hours' worth of protection.


The light that illuminates your patio table

Eating underneath your patio umbrella at night? This light will help you see where everything is — and it clamps onto your umbrella pole without any tools needed. Just supply three of your own AA batteries, and it'll be ready to illuminate everything from meals to card games. It also comes with a remote, so you can turn it on and off from a distance.


These wine glasses that are perfect for an outdoor picnic

Your backyard should be a place where you really like hanging out. Make the most of it. Try to put together an outdoor picnic with friends, and use this wine chiller set to make it even more memorable. This set is completely shatterproof, so even the clumsiest person you know will have no trouble using these tumblers. They’re great for an outdoor glass of pinot grigio.


A pair of throw covers that come in gorgeously vibrant shades

With more than 20 rich, vibrant shades to choose from, these throw pillow covers are an easy way to add a splash of color to your patio. They're made from waterproof canvas — and the zippers are even hidden in order to prevent clothing snags.


A marinade meat injector that’ll spice up dinner

Flavor is everything when it comes to your barbecue. Why not make things extra tasty with a meat injector? This model is especially good for chicken, turkey, and roasts, but it can also work wonders with pork chops and lamb. It’s easy to clean when the party is over and will help make your meal unforgettable. It also makes a great housewarming gift for a new grillmaster.


A thick coaster that collects drips & condensation

With raised grooves that siphon away drips and condensation, these coasters are an easy way to help prevent water rings on your table. They're also non-slip, which helps prevent accidental spills — and you can even use them as trivets since they're made from heat-resistant silicone.


A bowling game that's fun for the whole family

If you're looking for a game that the whole family can enjoy — from little kids to grandparents — search no further than this backyard bowling set. Rather than plastic, the pins are made from genuine New Zealand pine. And since each order comes with a tote bag, you can even take it with you on trips.


This pump that turns bird baths into water fountains

Ever wish you could have a gorgeous fountain out in your yard? Just buy a cheaper bird bath, then add this pump to the center. The built-in solar panel means there's no need to purchase batteries. Plus, each order comes with six interchangeable nozzles to change up the water's height and shape.


A set of roasting sticks with thousands of positive reviews

Whether you're roasting marshmallows or hot dogs, these sticks help you do it from a comfortable distance. The handles are telescopic, allowing you to adjust how closest you have to sit to the fire. Plus, the handles are made from real wood that won't grow hot over time.


The citronella candles in stylishly printed tins

Made with 100% soy wax, these citronella candles will help keep pests away while you're relaxing outside. Each one burns for up to 80 hours — and the printed tins are a cute touch on any patio. "The citrus smell is better than the OFF Products I've purchased previously," wrote one reviewer. "Also, I haven't seen containers nicer than these."


A set of wine glasses that won’t break

Drop these wine glasses as many times as you like — they won't shatter. Each one is made from tough stainless steel that's not only 100% break-proof, but also keeps your white wine or cocktails extra cold and crisp. Plus, you can choose your pack of four glasses in one of 16 different hues.


This giant canopy that adds shade to hot patios

The next time your patio gets too hot for comfort, try putting up this canopy. It's made from thick, high-quality fabric that blocks up to 95% of the sun's UV rays. And with four colors to choose from — graphite, cream, sand, or terra — there's one to suit any style.


This rug pad that’ll keep your party guests safe

If you’ve decided that your backyard is the backyard when it comes to barbecues and parties, then there’s a good chance it’ll be a high-traffic area. With guests walking indoors and outdoors constantly, rugs make sense. And, rug pads are a good way to make sure those rugs don’t become a tripping hazard. Nothing’s worse than dropping a plate of burgers that never made its way into the kitchen due to a slip and fall.


The hammock that can fit 2 people

If you want to spend more time outside, you should be prepped with the right tools — and this wood chip smoker box is a great way to turn barbecues into real events. This box is excellent for charcoal grills and gas grills and will release a ton of smoke that’ll help your food have an irresistable flavor. Reviewers have noted it’s especially wonderful for grilled fish and chicken.


A flameless tiki torch that flickers like real fire

With its powerful solar battery that lasts for up to 10 hours, this LED stake is a safer alternative to fiery tiki torches. The light flickers just like real flame — and the lights can withstand practically any weather.


The durable, handwoven blanket that elevates backyard picnics & other outings

Whether you're out for a picnic, sitting in lawn seats for a concert, or out on the beach, this extra-large blanket has got you (and your butt) covered. Soft and durable, woven on a traditional loom with timeless, gorgeous coloring, it’s ideal to use as a yoga blanket or even as a wrap on chilly nights. It’s machine washable and made to get softer and fuller with every wash.


A smart outlet you can use outside

Ever wish you could put your patio lights on an automatic schedule? This smart plug lets you do just that — and since it's also weatherproof, there's no need to worry about using it outside. Plus, if you pair it with Google Home or Alexa, you can even control your devices using voice commands.


These durable gardening gloves that stay cool in the summer & warm in winter

These comfortable, durable gardening gloves are made from bamboo (a naturally breathable material that absorbs sweat) with a grippy, textured rubber coating. Made to fit like a second skin, they maintain ultimate hand dexterity and even work with touchscreens. If you prefer a looser fit, size up.


A hose sprayer with settings for watering the lawn, washing cars, & pets

Keep that lawn gorgeous through the summer heat with this heavy-duty hose nozzle. It fits all standard hoses and is made of solid metal with a baked enamel finish, and has a comfortable, ergonomic rubber handle. Spin the front to select from eight different watering patterns to tackle everything from washing your wheels to misting the orchids with aplomb.


A wind chime that lights up at night

Made with LED bulbs that last for up to 100,000 hours, this wind chime adds soothing sounds, and light to your patio. The colors change at random, softly transitioning from one to the other — and the solar-powered battery lasts for up to eight hours when charged.


These glowing rocks for walkways and aquariums

Your options are almost endless with these small glowing rocks. Add them to aquariums and koi ponds for a fun touch, or even scatter them along your walkway. They look green in the daytime, blending seamlessly into your landscaping — and one reviewer even wrote that "they glisten in direct sunlight."


A swinging hammock seat with built-in cushions

There’s pretty much nothing better than relaxing the day away in a hammock. This sturdy hammock swing chair is topped by a solid wooden bar and an S-hook for easy setup wherever you want to swing — indoors is fair game, too. It’s woven from 100% cotton, holds up to 400 pounds, and has a handy accessory pocket in the back for books and/or snacks.


The pouches that turn your campfire fun colors

Toss one of these pouches into your campfire, and it'll begin to light up with brilliant colors. They're safe to use regardless of where the flames are — from backyard fire pits to indoor fireplaces. The best part? Reviewers raved about how the colors lasted "longer than expected."


A gadget that boosts weak wi-fi signals

If the Wi-Fi in your house is spotty, this Wi-Fi range extender can help boost the signal by up to 1,500 square feet. It's powerful enough to maintain connections with as many as 25 devices — and it's designed to work with any router, gateway, or cable modem.


The door mat that traps dirt before it can get inside your home

Unlike some door mats, this pick features a slightly-raised pattern and dirt-scrubbing bristles that help trap dirt so that it doesn't make it inside your home. It's made from tough, wear-resistant material and it comes in four colors.


A spray that repels water from your upholstery

Don't let spills ruin your patio furniture — use this spray to keep your upholstery looking spotless. Not only does it repel water so that it flows right off surfaces, but it also helps reduce fading caused by UV light. "In Miami, we have showers and brutal heat and sun," wrote one reviewer. "I find by spraying fabric front and back, my flags remain fade-free longer than without spray."


This versatile pool toy that looks (& acts) like a watermelon

Not all pool toys are created equal. Meet the Watermelon Ball, a unique plaything that looks like a watermelon, sure, but also behaves like one — meaning it sinks under the water, then slowly surfaces (though I haven’t experimented with a real melon). This makes it capable of being bounced, dribbled, and passed underwater for more fun. Fill it using the included hose adapter.


These walkway lights that are easy to install

You don't need help from a professional to get a chic walkway — just press these lights into the ground. There's no wiring necessary, and the built-in solar panels keeps them powered for up to 10 hours. Plus, they're waterproof as well as rust-resistant.


The light that helps you see what you're grilling

Grilling in the dark is an easy way to wind up with an inedible meal — so grab these lights. They're made with magnetic bases that let you stick them to your grill, while the flexible goosenecks can be adjusted to point in any direction. The best part? Batteries even come included.


These mesh tents that protect your food from bugs

Sometimes you just can't do anything about how many bugs are outside — but you can at least protect your food with these tents. They're tall enough to accommodate larger dishes or bowls, and you can even use them indoors to help keep your pets from taking a nibble.


This ring swing game that's surprisingly addictive

The rules of this ring swing are simple: stand as far back as you think you need, then release the ring and let it swing. The ring should swoop onto the hook if you eyeballed it correctly — and if not, then you'll just have to try again, again, and again. Consider it a must-have if you're looking for fun outdoor games, but don't have the space of a backyard.


An inflatable stool that can hold up to 260 pounds

Need a few extra seats on your patio? This inflatable stool is the perfect place to sit in a pinch, as it's made from tough PVC that can support up to 260 pounds. The outside is lined with soft fabric, so it looks like a real ottoman — even though it costs significantly less.


The sprinkler that'll help keep your yard looking green

With 16 clog-resistant spray nozzles, this oscillating sprinkler makes it easy to keep your yard looking green — and it's designed to work with any standard garden hose. The connection is also leak-resistant, and reviewers even raved about how it's the "best sprinkler" they've "ever owned."


A bird feeder that gives you an up-close view

Stick this feeder to your window, and you'll get a front row view of any birds that come by for a snack. The suction cups are extra-strong, so there's no need to worry about them shaking loose — and squirrels even have a hard time accessing the seed depending on where you put it.


A big glass dispenser with an ice cylinder that doesn’t water down drinks

Everyone loves an icy-cold lemonade or cocktail on a hot day. Get the effect without the watering-down with this Mason Jar-esque glass beverage dispenser with a special secret — it has an internal ice cylinder that keeps things cold without affecting the taste or texture of your special bevs. A tin lid keeps bugs and debris out, and a stainless steel spigot lets you serve with ease.


A float with built-in cup holders for your poolside cocktail

Take relaxation to a whole new level with this kitschy inflatable pool lounger that has a special cup holder to keep a refreshing drink by your side. This watermelon pool float is super durable, easy to inflate, and big enough for you to fit your entire body on it while you float around your pool on a hot summer day. (Oh, and it pairs fabulously with the aforementioned Watermelon Ball.)