Looking to spruce up your backyard for a fun summer? Even if your budget is tight, you can create a great space for large parties, small gatherings, or just some relaxation.

1. Repurpose a Mailbox

Purchase or reuse an inexpensive mailbox and use it to store small items such as sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and water guns. Any fun summer toys you need to store can fit inside one of these mailboxes, but the kids will still have easy access to them. Plus, you can use one to store your garden tools. 

2. Water Blob

Kids love water, but if you don’t have a pool, the sprinkler can get boring after a while. A DIY water blob is a great way to have fun in the summer. These step-by-step instructions from Home Made Toast are easy to follow and the entire project should only take you about an hour.

3. Outdoor Movie Screen

Invite the neighborhood families over for an outdoor movie night after you create this easy and affordable DIY movie screen from Running with Scissors. Just hang it between a couple of trees and set up some blankets and chairs. Turn on the projector, and you’ve got your own drive-in. Don’t forget the snacks.

4. Simple Treehouse

If your kids want a treehouse, but you don’t have the time or the money, this might be perfect for you. Apartment Therapy has the instructions, you just need the perfect tree.

5. Rope Swing

This super affordable rope swing is easy to make with these instructions from Dukes and Duchesses. The kids will have a ton of fun with it, and you might just be tempted to get in on the action, too.

6. Tiny Greenhouse

If you’ve always wanted a greenhouse, but don’t have the time or the space, this DIY tiny greenhouse might be just what you need. Design Dreams by Anne has this easy to follow tutorial, and if you’ve got some old storm windows, you’ll be able to make this quickly.

7. Porch Bed

Yes, please! How great would this be on a beautiful summer day? Sit back with a book on this porch bed — with a tutorial by Apprentice Extrovert — while the kids play in the yard.

8. Canopy Tent

Need a cool, shady spot for the kids to relax in during the summer? Try your hand at making this canopy with old sheets and some rope. KidsOMania has the instructions.

Pick one, or create them all! Have a fun summer!