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10 Budget-Friendly, Backyard Concrete Projects

Close up of craftswoman hands making decorative concrete vase in her workshop.

With the right touches, your backyard can become an extension of your home, especially during the summer months. Creating a cozy, welcoming space requires a little creativity and a little elbow grease, but it is definitely possibly to do so without completely blowing your budget.

Concrete is the perfect DIY medium, because it is relatively inexpensive, easy to work with and ideal for a range of projects. If you want a project that you can complete in a weekend, check out these 10 budget-friendly, concrete ideas for your backyard patio, garden or pathways. Some are great for beginners, while others may require a bit more experience. Just choose the one that fits your skill level!

1. Pavers

Grass and Stone Pattern Drive Way in a Luxury Home[/caption]Buying pavers from a store to create a walkway in your backyard can add up really quickly, especially if you want your path to extend a fairly long distance. Luckily, it is easy to make your own using concrete. There are many different shapes and styles that you can make that rival those you’ll find at your local garden center.

A popular style is sleek, rectangular pavers that are pretty easy to recreate at home. You can build your own mold out of wood, use a plastic container to form the pavers—or arrange for a stamping die at of our seven locations. This allows you to make pavers that are just the right size for your space, and you can get creative with the shape depending on the mold you use.

2. Fire Pits

Want to ensure that people will be enticed to stay at your house? Put in a fire pit! This patio accessory is a great way to keep the conversations going and the s’mores roasting all night long. Some store-bought options are rather expensive, but making one yourself is pretty straightforward and takes just a couple of days to complete.

You can pour your own concrete bowl that will serve as the base for your fire pit or you can go more modern and build a square form that is sleek and stunning. Either way, you’ll end up with a heatproof end product that is perfect for cookouts on summer nights and cuddling around the fire during the winter.

3. Garden Planters

No backyard is complete without some greenery and flowers and you can make your own planter containers out of concrete. There are a couple of ways to complete this project: you can either use a mold to pour a planter or you can use premade concrete slabs that you connect to build a planter. Either option is a quick project that won’t cost you much money.

The great thing about concrete is that it can be tinted or stained to give you a color other than gray. While some people prefer the minimal styling of gray concrete, you can dress up your DIY garden planter by making it a color that matches the overall design scheme of your backyard.

4. Hand-Painted Faux Rugs

If you have a concrete patio that you want to spruce up a bit, you can do so with a stencil and some concrete paint. Create your own hand-painted rug that you’ll never have to wash or vacuum! This project really lets you show off your creativity, as you can go with a large, area rug or a smaller, painted rug that looks like a doormat. Plus, you can find a stencil that resembles the patterns of a woven rug to get a look that is authentic but completely unique. After your painting is completed, it’s a good idea to add a layer of sealant to ensure that the paint doesn’t wear off too quickly.

5. Garden Bed Edging

When you add edging to your garden beds, it creates a clean line that looks great and keeps your grass and plants well separated. You can certainly hire a landscaper to come and pour a mow curb around all of your garden beds, but that will probably cost you an arm and a leg. This project may be better suited for someone with a little more concrete experience, but it is completely possible for the average homeowner.

You’ll need to decide ahead of time the shape you want for your garden beds, then build your own forms using plywood and stakes. After that, all you do is pour the concrete into your DIY forms and wait for it to dry, and you’ll end up with professional-looking curbing.

6. Stepping Stones

Stepping stones are must-haves for every garden. They create pathways through areas that you want to protect, and they give you the opportunity to add whimsy to your space. There is no limit to the type of stepping stones that you can create with concrete, but some of the most popular options include mosaic stepping stones or stamped stepping stones. Most people prefer the round stones, but your only limit is your imagination.

7. Garden Benches

Every patio needs seating, and even if you already have a table and chairs, you may need extra seating spaces when you have a large gathering. A bench is the perfect addition, because it gives you the seating your guests needs when you’re hosting a get-together, but it also provides a place to show off plants when it’s not in use.

Pouring your own DIY concrete bench requires some ability to build a sturdy form, but there are numerous plans online that guide you through the entire process. You can combine materials and go with a concrete and wood bench that is striking and sturdy.

8. Patio Side Tables

In addition to seating, your patio needs a place where people can set down their drinks or you can leave the book that you’re in the middle of reading. A concrete-topped, side table is a fun, easy project that doesn’t require a lot of time. All you need is a mold that’s the shape you want your table to be and a strong base that you can attach the top to. Grab your handiest carpenter friend if you need help with the base.

9. Garden Décor

Adding small touches to a garden can make it feel really special. Concrete pieces, including sculptures or artwork, are easy to DIY. Does your backyard have a modern feel? Go with some unique concrete spheres made using a round mold. Do you prefer the classics? Get a mold of a favorite sculpture, such as a cherub, and pour your own! All it takes is a little time to prep the mold and pour the concrete, plus drying time, and you’ll have one-of-a-kind pieces to tuck into flower beds.

10. Walkways

Installing concrete walkways is a great way to encourage backyard visitors to wander through your garden. Whether you go with pavers, stepping stones or a more traditional concrete pathway, it’s a good idea to map out where you’d like your walkways to lead and include meaningful stops along the way where people can enjoy the hard work that you put into your landscaping.

In the mood for a backyard upgrade that won’t break the bank? These concrete projects are low-cost and low-effort so you can create an outdoor oasis that you’ll want to spend time enjoying! And be sure to contact the Intermountain Concrete Specialities team at any of our seven locations with you concrete related questions.

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