8 cheap DIY garden projects that will transform your outdoor space

Spruce up your garden with these easy DIY projects, and they won’t break the bank!

garden tools hanging up DIY
(Image credit: Tom Merton / Getty Images)

Creating an outdoor space that is perfect for you is a lot of fun. Most of us love to sit outside the home, especially in the evening when it's warm and there's beautiful light. However, renovating your garden can be an expensive task, especially when you have so many wonderful ideas but not quite the budget to match. 

Whether you have a small or a large garden, DIY is 100% the way to go. You can make your outdoor space fun however you'd like it by just reusing unwanted materials about the house, making it cheap and cheerful at the same time! Follow these 8 easy DIY projects to make your garden the perfect space to relax and enjoy quality time with friends and family.

Before we begin, check out our 2023 guide to maintaining and entertaining in your garden this summer!

1. Tin can planters 

Homemade tin can planters

(Image credit: Homeedit)

Salvage those old bean tins from the rubbish and make a planter out of them! Just remove the label and keep them as they are for a rustic look, or paint them your favourite colours to make them stand out more. These look brilliant placed around your garden or can even be used indoors for houseplants. A sustainable choice and will hardly cost a penny - what more could you want? 

2. Herb garden stones 

Herb painted rocks

(Image credit: Etsy / Country Magicco)

Have a herb garden but struggling to tell which is which? Grab a few flat pebbles from around your garden (or ask if you can steal your mum's!) and get painting. It's a great way to remember what you've planted whilst still making it look nice. 

3. Pallet planting 

Woman planting in her pallet

(Image credit: The Spruce)

It can sometimes be daunting knowing where to start when your garden is on the smaller side. We've already given our top tips on how to maximise your space, but pallet planting is great as they can be placed vertically against your wall or fence. Fill the pallet spaces with a waterproof layer, followed by soil and your plant of choice. It's best suited to smaller plants such as herbs, strawberries or tomatoes, and you can even paint their names onto the wood as well!

4. Fold-down bar 

Pallet bar

(Image credit: The Telegraph)

This venture may seem a little more out there than our previous ones, but it’s certainly still doable! Recycle any unwanted wood, perhaps from a dismantled shed or a few leftover pallets, and turn them into a fold-down garden bar. You will need someone who's experienced with a drill and nails to help, and it's important to not overload it with too many bottles. That being said, it's a perfect addition to your hosting facilities and it looks rather nice as well! 

5. Brick fire pit 

DIY grey brick fire pit with flame

(Image credit: The Spruce)

A fire pit is another hugely enjoyable addition to any garden, but buying them brand new can be pricey. Make your own by collecting any unused bricks and placing them in a circle. This also means you can choose how high you want it and how wide you want it, perfect for making it adaptable to your own space. However, make sure you're building it on a flat, hard surface such as gravel or a patio - grass is not recommended for obvious reasons!

6. Bird table 

homemade bird table DIY

(Image credit: George Hill Timber)

Another great way to use up scrap wood and offcuts in by making a bird table. Use wood that will not split or disintegrate when wet and nail the pieces together. Whilst there isn't a maximum size, don't make the table too small or the birds will squabble and the shyer species will be kept away: 30cm x 50cm is about right. Cut some plastic sheeting and roofing felt to fit over it – this will act as a waterproof membrane. A few nails or hooks at the edges of the table will be useful for hanging nut or seed feeders! 

7. Hanging candle lanterns 

hanging candle lanterns

(Image credit: iStock)

Hanging candle lanterns are a really easy DIY project that will make your garden feel cosy and warm in the evenings. Grab a few votive candle holders (they can usually be found cheap in places like Ikea or Flying Tiger) and attach a piece of strong rustic string around the edge. Attach them to trees or off fences and you're sorted!

8. Bird feeder ornaments

Bird feeder ornaments DIY

(Image credit: Countryfile)

For those who love watching garden birds, these easy DIY feeders will be a joy to hang around the garden.  Pour 300 ml of water into a pan on the hob and add 2 and a half teaspoons of Agar Agar. Mix with a whisk until the powder has resolved. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer until thickened. Add the birdseed and pour the mixture into hollowed fruit or cooker cutters to shape them. Leave them to dry and thread a bit of string through them so you can hang them off your bird table or a tree. The birds will love you! 

Transforming your garden space shouldn’t be costly if you do it yourself, and you can do most of the work with materials just hanging about your home. Make your garden somewhere you’ll want to spend family time together in the warm weather!

Interested in more? Read about the 9 gardening trends that are popular right now! Who knows? You may get some more ideas. 

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.