Thrifty Deck Decorating Ideas on a Budget

When it comes to deck decorating ideas on a budget you may be surprised at the many decorative ideas you can do to make it instantly more attractive and inviting without making any new purchases. Even if you are on a tight budget, these DIY deck decoration ideas can help make your deck, porch or patio a place you and your family will like to hang out.

How to decorate a deck

Deck Decorating Ideas on a Budget

Working with what you have doesn’t have to be boring. With a little bit of time and vision, you can have your deck looking grand in no time.

outdoor DIY chandelier

Start with a Plan

Before gathering items to give your deck a DIY deck refresh, start with a vision. Knowing the answers to the questions below will help you to achieve your deck decorating goals.

Consider These When Decorating Your Outdoor Space:

1: Function
How do you want to use your outdoor space? What is the main purpose for the update – to relax, dine al fresco, container garden, or all of these? Do you need to provide shade in the way of an outdoor patio umbrella? Focus on what is most important to achieve the functionality you desire, then add the rest as time or budget allows.

2: Budget
How much do you have to spend on new items or paint to transform thrift store finds or items you already own? How much DIY are you willing to do?

3: Style
How do you want the overall deck or outdoor space to look and feel? Classic, modern, coastal, rustic, etc? How about the mood? Bright, cheery, or more subdued? This will keep you from spending money on things that don’t fit the decorative look you are after.

4: Color Scheme
What colors do you want to see when you are outside? Can you see the space when sitting inside your home? Staying within your interior color scheme is one easy way to continue the visual living space while making both interior and exterior spaces look more cohesive.

Deck Furniture Ideas & Makeovers

If you would like to create or makeover seating or dining areas on your deck here are a few easy DIY furniture projects.

1. Spray Paint Existing Outdoor Furniture

Spray paint your outdoor furniture to give it new life. If you are starting to decorate your deck from scratch, you can pick up a few sturdy pieces of outdoor furniture at a yard sale, thrift shop or from a neighbors curbside discards.

Spray painting will not only make the outdoor furniture look new, but it will add a pop of color that will add interest to the outdoor living space. One can of spray paint will transform a few chairs or a small table.

2. Cover Existing Outdoor Cushions With Fabric

If your outdoor seat cushions are worn and faded, you can revive them using outdoor fabric. I wait for the fabric to go on sale at stores like JoAnn Fabrics and Hobby Lobby where you can get quite a deal.

Covering chair or outdoor swing cushions with no sewing needed is an easy DIY that can be done in about 10 minutes.

outdoor pillow

Existing throw pillows can be covered in colorful dishtowels with no sewing needed. If you don’t have any pillows, try using plastic bags to make your own outdoor weather resistant outdoor pillows.

If your budget or space on your backyard deck doesn’t allow for trendy outdoor sofas or a complete set of patio furniture, you can still create a comfy spot to sit on an outdoor bench using old bed pillows that you cover with fabric.

3. Use Beach Towels Instead of Fabric On Seating

You can even use bath or beach towels to make simple covers for chairs.

These covers work very well when sitting in a chair when in a wet bathing suit.

4. Make Easy Sew Cushion Covers

Large box cushions can be covered without having any slipcovering skills. I semi-covered these easy to remove to clean covers. The underside of the bottom cushion hides my lack of sewing skills.

When out at your local thrift stores, look for small benches like the sewing bench that I bought for a few dollars. Covering the cushion with matching fabric turned the bench into an outdoor ottoman.

5. Keep an Eye Out For Free Furniture

Trisha Yearwood Home Collection-

Look around the woods near your home for sections of a tree trunk to use as a small outdoor table. You may also find one at a local landscaping service that sells firewood as they have many different size sections of tree trunks that they haven’t chopped into firewood yet.

DIY Deck Lighting Ideas

If you plan to use your deck as an outdoor living room at night, you will need to add a few points of light. On the table as well as overall deck lighting.

Make a DIY chandelier and hang it from a pergola, tree branch or overhang on the house that goes over the deck or patio. I made mine from a brass thrift store light fixture.

Strands of string lights come in all price points depending on the bulbs. You can find affordable string light strands at Walmart and also on Amazon.

As a string light option consider using a strand of white Christmas lights.

Glass light fixture globe turned into a outdoor hanging light

Glass globe replacements for a light fixtures are very budget-friendly. Add some chain and you have a very stylish light to hang over an outdoor dining table. You can find both of these at the home improvement store.

Candle Centerpiece for Patio Umbrella Table

Classic jam jars can be repurposed into chic bistro worthy dining table candle holders.

outdoor deck lighting idea on a budget
Lighting a Deck TIP

For overall deck lighting – use solar powered path lights placed around the perimeter using “u” brackets.

Add Flowers

Adding railing flower planters adds color to the deck without taking up any deck floor space. These types of railing planters are inexpensive and can be purchased at Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot.

If you need a vase to place cut flowers from your yard, consider using glass bottles.

Or for more color, place a piece of gift wrap in a glass thrift store vase to change the look.

Summer outdoor decorating

A mass of colorful flowers in a planter on a table is simple, yet creates a nice focal point.

Deck Decor Accessories

Once you have the furniture and lighting in place, then add the last layer of deck decor – the decorative details for a finishing touch.

outdoor table setting

When setting the outdoor table to eat alfresco, mix and match dinnerware. Use dishcloths for napkins and easy to clean woven vinyl placemats that you can buy HomeGoods.

And Lastly – Add Sound

Having a pleasant sounding wind chime hanging on or near your deck, porch or patio adds to the relaxed outdoor oasis.

Don’t settle for one that you haven’t heard. Make sure you like the sounds it makes. A soft tingle, chime or tone can be very relaxing sound.

As you can see, even if you only have a small budget allocated to decorate your deck, with a few tweaks, your outdoor room can be more than just a place for grilling and plants. It can become a stylish place to relax or hang out with family and friends?

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  1. You’ve inspired me on many occasions to think outside the box with quick and professional results on a small budget. The wheels in my brain started turning. My challenge is small covered front-door entry patio in Arizona, with lovely view and landscaped yard. Your suggestion of considering usage before anything switched my thinking from bistro table and two predictable uncomfortable metal chairs to two comfy arm chairs, for coffee with a friend and morning reading. Simple beverage table. Your ideas are fresh and inspiring!

  2. Very inspirational, Diane! I can’t wait to start enjoying the outside again. Mother Nature keeps teasing us but one day soon (I hope) the weather will cooperate.
    I bought red and white dish towels to use as napkins for our 40th (ruby) anniversary for our party. Inexpensive and they wash up beautifully. I’ve found I am saving lots of money by using cloth napkins instead of paper ones. Though I can’t get rid of paper towels!
    Thanks for reminding us that spring will soon be here and to start planning our outdoor spaces.

  3. Looking forward to sprucing my house inside and out. PT hopefully will start within 2 weeks. Your flowers looked so pretty!

  4. Fun/economical outdoor space inspiration! Just waiting for the weather here in Illinois to cooperate so I can start pulling the deck together.

  5. Once again some great ideas Diane. So hopeful that this rain will wash away all that pollen from the Pine trees so I can get to decorating the outside deck.