Don't despair if extensive landscaping is beyond your means at the moment. Creative backyard decorating ideas don't have to cost a bundle. Use flea market finds, everyday objects and hardware store bargains for cheap outdoor decorations you'll be proud to display.
Hang a Chandelier
Remove the wiring from a flea market chandelier and add some real candles. Hang it from a low-hanging tree branch. Nestle an inexpensive, outdoor table for two beneath it. Light the candles and enjoy a romantic, alfresco dinner.
Build a Goldfish Pond
Dig a free-form hole and line it with flexible black plastic from the hardware store. Install an inexpensive pump to keep the water moving. Stack flat rocks around the perimeter and add a few potted ferns. Recycle and repaint an old bus stop bench, or make one by resting a 1-by-10 painted plank across two clay flower pots.
Artwork and wall hangings aren't just for interior walls. Your fence and the exterior of your house serve as your backyard's walls. Display colorful thrift store plates and platters. Hang them with cheap dollar store wire plate hangers. Hang a large mirror to reflect sunlight. Mount an old iron headboard or fence section as a trellis for climbing vines or just enjoy it for the sculptural shape.
Create an Outdoor Living Room
Creating outdoor rooms in backyard spaces is popular, and it doesn't have to cost a bundle. Buy an outdoor sofa or settee. Discount stores have inexpensive selections in the spring. Pick up some old metal garden chairs from the flea market. Pile your seats with colorful cushions. Group your seating around an import store chiminea, and make end tables from tree trunks or upended flower pots. Light a fire in your chiminea, scatter some votive candles around and plump the cushions. You'll be ready to entertain guests under the stars.
Add Potted Plants
Plants in the backyard don't have to be rooted in the ground. Add another layer to sparse backyard greenery with a few strategically placed potted plants and trees. Flea market sellers and hardware stores offer inexpensive options in the spring and summer. Use simple clay pots or hunt the flea market for vintage planters. String your potted plants and trees with outdoor lights for a festive feel.