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

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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.


This mess-free flame colorant that adds a rainbow of colors to your fire pit

Add some vibrant colors to your wood-burning fires with these Magical Flames packets. They’re easy to use and virtually mess free — just add an unopened pouch to the flames in your fire pit or bonfire (it also works for certain indoor fireplaces). That’s all it takes to get a long-lasting rainbow of colors right in front of your eyes.


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 hot and sweet peppers

If you’re ready to add some heat to your garden, this Plant Theatre seed kit has everything you need to grow your own hot chili and sweet peppers. Each kit includes six pots, six peat discs, and all the seeds you need — plus some tips in case you don’t have a naturally green thumb. Thousands of reviewers have raved about this kit (with many noting that it also makes an excellent gift).


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.


This pump sprayer with an adjustable nozzle for seamless watering

With a convenient 5-gallon capacity and an adjustable nozzle, this garden pump sprayer takes the mess and hassle out of keeping your garden sufficiently watered. It has a lightweight but sturdy design, and it features a locking mechanism so you don’t have to continuously squeeze the pump. It can also double as a tool for other outdoor tasks, like washing windows or cars.


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.


This pretty planter box made of sustainably sourced acacia wood

This gorgeous wooden planter box is a worthy home for your flowers, herbs, and other small plants. It’s made of elegant acacia wood that’s naturally well-suited to outdoor conditions, and it’s certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council, which means it boasts sustainably sourced materials. Reviewers especially loved that this planter is sturdy and easy to assemble.


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.


A clear bird feeder that sticks right onto your windows

See birds up close from inside and outside with this clear plastic bird feeder that sticks right onto your window with suction cups. This 10-inch-by-10-inch feeder is large enough to fit a few feathered friends and has a roomy feeding tray that can hold plenty of food, and the tray slides right out for easy refilling and cleaning.


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).


A rotating sprinkler that can cover 3,600 square feet

There’s no need to worry about setting up multiple sprinklers in your yard if you have this 360-degree rotating sprinkler. This sprinkler has a lot of keen features, including adjustable spray directions, vertical nozzles, and multi-angle nozzles to truly reach every inch of your lawn. Despite having solid water pressure, you don’t have to worry about this sprinkler tipping over because it’s equipped with a properly heavy base.


This traditional horseshoe set that comes with a carrying case

One of the absolute best ways to upgrade your yard is by stocking up on fun outdoor games, and it’s hard to beat this classic horseshoe set. With two sets of heavy-duty solid steel horseshoes and two 20-inch stakes, this game is an investment that’s built to last — even if you forget to clean up after a long afternoon of playing. If you want to bring this to the park, this horseshoe set also comes with a super convenient carrying bag.


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 hose that can expand up to three times its length

This magical garden hose is easy to store, because it’s lightweight and shrinks up when there isn’t water running through it. Yep — this hose will automatically expand once you turn on the water to reach up to 50 feet, and then it retracts once you turn off the nozzle. That expanding feature also means this hose won’t get weird kinks in it that stop the flow of H2O. This hose is super lightweight too — weighing less than 3 pounds — so it’s easy to carry around if you have multiple water hookups outside.


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 flameless torch light that flickers like the real thing

Whether you’re dining al fresco or throwing a backyard party, this flameless torch light can dress up any outdoor space. The rechargeable solar light is weatherproof, making it ideal for the outdoors, and it flickers like a real flame for an added dash of ambiance. Snag one torch or multiple in packs of two or four.


These lawn stakes that make string lights even more versatile

With these lawn stakes, you can use string lights to decorate more than the eaves of your home. Just pop your favorite outdoor string lights into the 10-inch-tall stakes to use them as lawn decor or for lighting up walkways. One Amazon reviewer noted that the set of stakes is “easy to use and durable” and “makes pathway lighting a breeze.”


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.


This waterproof, adjustable cover to protect your grill

Made from waterproof polyester with a UV-resistant coating, this grill cover is a great way to help extend the life of your grill by protecting it from harsh outdoor elements like sunlight and precipitation. The built-in vents promote airflow without letting rain in, and the adjustable fasteners keep the cover firmly in place.


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 garden hose connector that transforms one faucet into two

Transform one outdoor faucet into two with this garden hose connector. It has adjustable valves so you can use the two sides at the same time or on their own — and you can control how much water flows to each. You can also purchase the four-way version for a few more dollars.


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.


A sprinkler for your trampoline — need I say more?

Don’t buy it if you hate fun. This trampoline sprinkler system turns back yards into miniature water parks, with nearly 360 degrees of splash zone. Built from a sturdy, double-walled pipe that can withstand water pressure of up to 300 psi, it attaches easily to safety nets on trampolines up to 16 feet with a couple of zip ties, then hooks right up to your garden hose for hours of playtime. It even makes the ambient air cooler, too – handy for manning the grill during a heat wave or cracking open a cold one.