Subscribe to updates via email!

Small Backyard Patio, Small Budget: My Summer Patio Glow Up

How to Refashion a Dress to be Worn Backwards
5 Vintage Summer Outfits to Try

In my last blog post, I shared this image, which stoked lots of questions, mainly about where I got my sweet little pool, but also from folks wanting to take a peek at my patio.

refashionista sitting on small backyard patio pool
Oh hai.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps to keep this blog a-goin’. Thanks!

Since Mr. Refashionista and I are staying home a lot more than usual, I really wanted to make our small backyard patio something special…A happy oasis where we could cool off, play board games, and relax with a cocktail or two at the end of the day.

My paradise needed to be super low-budget, since, like many others, I was laid off a couple of months ago (which doesn’t make one feel super-spendy).

Welcome to my super budget small patio!

Small budget backyard patio panoramic view

It may not look like much, but this is the product of lots of scrounging, DIYing, and planting!

Here’s how I made my budget patio makeover happen.

The Pool

Everybody wants to know about the pool! Well, I have good news and bad news. Here’s the link to purchase one. However, you can see it’s currently unavailable. It looks like lots of other people are buying pools right now, so they’re in short supply (I’m seeing a lot of price-gouging as well). If you find one, please share the link in the comments section, so I can share it too!

intex small rectangular frame pool
Not very pretty, is it?

I purchased this pool a year ago for $83. Before that, I bought an inflatable pool every year, but I wanted something sturdier that could be re-used, hence the frame pool upgrade. It’s easy to break down at the end of summer and stash it in the garage until it’s ready to be used again.

The inside has been bleached from the sun and chlorine (more on that in just a bit), but other than that, it was perfectly fine.

Except…I couldn’t get over how ugly a big blue monolith of a pool looked on my patio. :/

I found some reed fencing and twine at Home Depot for around $20.

roll of reed fencing
You’ll do!

Since I was only covering the front of my pool, this was enough. I went with the cheapest fencing I could find, but a thicker weave would have offered better coverage. I ended up having to double up my fencing to keep the blue from peeking through. You can find nicer reed fencing here.

The nice thing about this fencing is that you can easily cut it with kitchen shears to get the right height.

cutting reed fencing with kitchen shears

After it’s cut, just tie it to the pool frame with twine, and you’re done!

roll of twine
Twine works fine!

It looks much better now, doesn’t it?

pool covered in reed fencing
No more big blue blob!

You don’t need a pump to keep your patio pool clean and sanitary.

To keep it chlorinated, just pop in one of these chlorine floaters with chlorine tablets.

You’ll also want to have to these on hand.

pool net and vacuum
The real stars of the show!

A pool net is a given, as you’ll need to scoop out leaves and bugs every day.

But the Aqua Broom is truly awesome. It’s a battery-powered pool vacuum and it works like a charm. Think of it as a dust buster for the bottom of your pool. Yes, D batteries are expensive, but this vacuum doesn’t go through them quickly (I still haven’t changed them out from last year).

If you keep your pool clean, you won’t have to dump it out and refill it all summer!

My Budget Patio Furniture & Decor

You might remember how I refinished an old patio set my friends tossed to the curb. They ended up giving me the chairs later, which recieved the same treatment as the table.

In other words, Mr. Refashionista and I scored a completely free patio table set!

refinished patio set
Refinished and getting lots of use now!

The settee you see in the background was given to me when I first moved in to my house by friends who were replacing their poolside furniture. The cushions were scored at Aldi for $15 apiece (the best price I’ve found for cushions like these).

I bought the umbrella three years ago for $30 in an online clearance sale.

In a recent dress-to-top blog post, I talked about how I scrounged this old bamboo coffee table that had been tossed out by a neighbor.

refashionista in car with table
Everything magically fits in my lil Yaris!

You can see how it’s been given a new life as a poolside bench/swim-up bar (once you set a tray on it)!

The cushions were originally bought about eight years ago, and have been recovered many many times. I sewed these covers for them out of outdoor fabric I purchased on sale at the fabric store for $13.

patio pool side view with repurposed table bench
View from the side!
brian in pool
Note the poolside ice bucket of rosé!

All of our small outdoor tables were purchased from junk stores, or found curbside.

You can see how we’ve repurposed items as planters too.

For example, when the City of Columbia switched from small recycling bins to big curbside ones, I decided the old little one would be a perfect home for some San Marzano tomatoes and radishes. I just grabbed some wood my neighbor tossed out (he was building a new deck, and these were scraps) to hide the blue plastic.

repurposed planters
Clever, no?

You can also see how I’ve repurposed a couple of old light fixtures (the bowl-looking planter on the right) into planters. The bottom hole where it would screw into the ceiling makes for perfect drainage!

The flamingoes were left over from an old apartment I used to live in. I thought they were fun and kitschy then, but hadn’t put them out in the yard of my house as I didn’t really like them being pink.

pink plastic yard flamingoes
Yes. One is missing a leg

So, I taped up their beaks…

pink yard flamingo with taped beak

….and grabbed a can of leftover spray paint from my wall garden project

can of aqua spray paint
I think this will look much better!

….and gave them each two coats!

spray painting yard flamingoes
Coat #1!

I think they look much better now, and that their new color complements the rest of my patio decor really well!

blue yard flamingo in pot
I drew in the eye with a sharpie. 🙂

The Plants

Most of the plants you see on our patio are food, rather than flower, and most of our veggies were started from seeds.

tomato plant
Our tomatoes are growing like CRRRAZY this year!
tomato plant
Even MORE tomatoes!
squash on plant close up
Lil baby poolside squash!
green beans
Green beans love sunbathing by the pool!

We purchased a few petunias, but most of the other flowering plants are simply the same ones we planted last year, that came back this year. 🙂

st johns wort flowers in pot
This St. John’s Wort didn’t look like it was going to make it at first, but look at it now!

Our biggest plant splurge was a $52 Meyer Lemon tree purchased from a local citrus farm. We can’t wait to make limoncello from our own lemons!

There you have it! My small patio (on a budget!)!

patio from another angle
Come over sometime!

I hope you enjoyed my little tour, and that this post gives you ideas of how to create a backyard oasis of your own!


How to Refashion a Dress to be Worn Backwards
5 Vintage Summer Outfits to Try