7 Frugal DIY outdoor and backyard Projects

rock garden ideas for front yard

How to build a super frugal Backyard and Garden


You know I’m all about DIY. This time I would like to share with you our favorite garden ideas on a budget.

Most of these projects were made after hurricane Maria, and we used a lot of materials we found when cleaning debris on our streets.

Luckily we took a lot of pictures about our garden decoration in progress so you can enjoy them and create yours this Spring.

No matter if your backyard and garden are small or too big you’ll find super cool and cute ideas.

I would say most of these were reasonably easy DIY garden projects and can be done in a few hours or over the weekend.

Let’s not underestimate debris and junk and let’s create garden decorations on a DIME!

1. Mosaic house number signs

creative mosaic address signs

This mosaic house numbers DIY was so much FUN! Probably I was looking in the wrong places like Home Depot and other department stores and the end of the day I was disappointed and left without any house signs.

So I thought let’s get creative and make one from rocks and sea glass we collected on our beach walks. Oh, it turned out exactly I imagined!

So much better than those boring numbers you can buy. Aaaaand you guessed it right the whole mosaic house number DIY was FREE! All from repurposed materials.

1. The base of our mosaic house number plaque is a white plastic board which is a leftover from my office makeover project.

2. The frame is a rustic stacked stone tile from Home Depot. Also left over from my master bathroom DIY project.

3. The little turtles are beads I was going to use to make a bracelet, but I found it super cute to include them in my mosaic house numbers designs.

I used waterproof silicone sealant because it rains a lot in Puerto Rico, especially where we live.

If you don’t have a clear idea about what you want, you can always search for mosaic house number ideas on Pinterest. 😉


2. Exterior wood hurricane shutters

homemade farmhouse hurricane shutters

We bought our house without shutters. No good since we live in Puerto Rico right by the sea.

Buying shutters for the whole house were out of our budget, and we like to DIY, so we decided to make our own Farmhouse DIY shutters. If you are lucky and live in a place without hurricanes, you still can decorate your windows with these cute farmhouse shutters.

If you are up to the challenge just make sure you leave no place for the sneaky wind. Make sure your hurricane shutters close correctly and will take the strong winds for hours.


3. DIY driftwood patio lounge chair

rustic outdoor garden bench

Well, our Frankenstein patio lounge chair was born after hurricane Maria. There were ripped out trees everywhere, and we kept few of those pieces after we cleaned up.

We found some flat driftwoods on the beach, and those became the sitting area of the chair.

The metal base is a curb find, and we guess it was an old chair in its better days. Perfect for our driftwood Adirondack wannabe chair.

Spray painted the metal and put a protective wood finish on the wood. Hoping it will survive the weather for long. So far so good it’s holding up nicely.

I know it’s not the best looking guy but believe me, it is comfortable. Plus two adults and two dogs can fit on it. 🙂


4. Repurpose an old washing machine drum as a planter

uses for old washing machine drum

Turn that washing machine drum into a chic industrial planter if you have one from metal.

We found a plastic one. I never thought to save the drum after replacing our washer, but when we saw an old washing machine while walking with the dogs, we figured the drum is perfect for replanting one of our palm trees.

Cleaned it well, sand it a little bit and spray painted it. The drum already has holes on it, which will help not to flood your plant.


5. Make an above ground turtle pond

above ground turtle pond DIY

I found a little turtle in the pool. Poor guy, I don’t know how long he would survive in the pool full of chemicals so of course we saved him and took him home.

We bought this blue plastic pool for $10 and made him a nice turtle pond repurposing whatever plant we already had at home.

Hid the pool with some rocks we picked up on our street.


6. Rock garden with driftwood for the front yard

rock garden ideas for front yard

Completely free DIY rock garden project. It is all repurposed materials we found after hurricane Maria.

1.Rocks in every size shape and color from the mudslides.

2. Bromeliads, orchids from everywhere on our street. They were all over the places, and after cleaning all the debris, we kept the ones survived the storm.

3. Driftwood. We collected them on our beach walks close to the river bed.

4. Blue Planters. We found them in bad shape and gave them new life with a little sanding and spray painting.

7. bamboo garden bed

garden bed landscaping ideas

We always find bamboo on our walks, on the beach next to a river bed or around our urbanization. It’s sturdy, available, comes in a variety of sizes, and it’s free. 

This time we decided to use the old sturdy ones to build a new garden bed.

The salad greens, like our favorite, the arugula got its new shady bamboo garden bed at the best corner of our patio.  

You can use the bamboos as a building material for almost all of your garden projects. They will survive practically forever. 


If you want to live frugal DIY as much as possible. Think outside of the box and look around the house what materials you can repurpose.

I know sometimes it is very tempting to go to the department store and buy the newest outdoor and patio decoration but you can create your own beautiful garden bed, repurposed planters and rock garden on a dime if you DIY on the weekends.

For more frugal DIY outdoor and backyard projects check out my related articles.

Backyard DIY ideas: https://hungaricanjourney.com/backyard-patio-ideas-on-a-budget/

Backyard games: https://hungaricanjourney.com/backyard-activities-patio-game-ideas/

Boho mini planters: https://hungaricanjourney.com/diy-boho-petterned-pot/

Blue plastic pot tutorial: https://hungaricanjourney.com/blue-pot/

I’m always on a lookout for DIY ideas. Please leave your favorite outdoor DIY project in the comments.

Spring is here, summer will be here in any second! So don’t forget to pin it and you can start your outdoor DIY projects.

Backyard DIY Ideas on a budget


Do you wanna DIY more?


  1. Betty

    I think the mosaic house number idea is a cute idea.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Andrea

      Thank you, Betty! Actually, the mosaic house number project is one of my all-time favorites and it was a fairly easy DIY to make.

  2. Jaimi

    Loooove the mosaic house number! And you’ve done a beautiful job with your home! We live in a high altitude desert region so I’m envious of all your vegetation 😆 looks like paradise!

    • Andrea

      Jaimi, thank you for your comment. I’m very happy with all the DIY home decor indoors and outdoors. I know I can’t magically transport vegetations to your home, but I’m sure you have other ways to decorate. Succulents, cactus etc…

  3. Megan Kling

    I have always loved backyard ponds…but with a water-loving dog and as well as a toddler, I think we may have to wait. We always had goldfish when I was growing up but I love the idea of a turtle pond!

    • Andrea

      Megan, I know what you mean about the water-loving dog. 😉 Luckily this pond I made is too small for her and she has no interest. If you want you still can DIY one turtle pond, just make sure you cover it with big rocks and vegetation. Good luck!

  4. Cindy

    Love the mosaic house numbers and the rock garden. Repurposing is such great way to save money and benefitthe planet. I do lots of repurposing inside the house and in the garden!

    • Andrea

      I agree with you 100%. We (humans) collect and have much much more than we need. Repurposing is a great way to save money and help our planet to survive.

  5. Cherryl Ehlenburg

    I love your ideas! I am always looking for ways to make my house and yard beautiful without spending a lot of money, so I will definitely be using some of these!

    • Andrea

      Cool, Cherryl! I’m glad I inspired you to spend some DIY’ing time instead of money and create new unique home decor.

  6. Jenn Summers

    I love that you can find bamboo along your walks. I’m not envious at all 😂 such an amazing idea for a garden bed 😍

    • Andrea

      Hahaha Jenn. 😉 Don’t be envious. If it makes you feel any better I have a really hard time to find wood slices and nice real wood to my other rustic projects. Somehow they are not that common in PR. We have to drive an hour to a very isolated town to buy them.

  7. Kerri

    The mosaic house numer is my favorite! Great job!!! Happy DIY-ing!

    ~The DIY Mama

    • Andrea

      As a matter of fact, I had the most fun with this easy mosaic number DIY too. It is a great addition to my DIY patio home decor. Thanks!

  8. Marna Altman

    I love the mosaic house number project. SO unique and fun!

    • Andrea

      I think that is one of my favorite DIY projects too. This mosaic house number was actually simple and fast to make.

  9. Sarah

    Those are some neat ideas! Thanks for sharing!


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