10 IKEA Hacks Under $100 to Get Your Outdoor Space Ready for Summer

published Apr 23, 2023
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Credit: Sarah Crowley/Apartment Therapy

Summer is right around the corner, which might have you itching to update any outdoor space you have, whether it’s a patio, a balcony, a deck, or an entire yard. And while you certainly could drop a ton of money on upgrades, you certainly don’t have to. In fact, you can make a pretty impressive impact on your space with less than $100. The secret, of course, lies in IKEA.

Outdoor-friendly IKEA hacks abound, but these 10 are particularly notable for being completely beginner DIY-friendly (and, of course, under $100 each). Read on to get inspo for your next outdoor project, and then grab an Allen wrench and roll up your sleeves to hack your way to a cozy and beautiful outdoor space.

Credit: Alice & Lois

1. Turn KNARREVIK nightstands into an outdoor bar.

Two KNARREVIK nightstands are almost instantly transformed into a budget-friendly outdoor bar table with the help of vinyl wallpaper applied to the shelf surfaces. The print that Sara of Alice & Lois chose for her hack, above, looks like tile — a great way to fake the look for way less money (and way less work). The result is a charming and practical setup that’s ideal for entertaining guests or enjoying a drink al fresco.

2. Create a custom rug.

A great way to turn a cold-feeling patio into a cozy hangout spot? Throw down a rug. Don’t despair if you can’t find a pattern you like — IKEA offers several plain jute rugs that are great candidates for a DIY makeover. Above, Laura Gummerman of A Beautiful Mess elevated a basic jute rug with a star stencil and acrylic paint, then added it to her patio to make the area feel like an extension of her indoor living space. Keep in mind that jute is durable under heavy foot traffic, but it doesn’t play well with water. It’s best to use a jute rug in a covered patio area, or bring it inside prior to inclement weather.

3. Zhuzh up a plain SAMSÖ patio umbrella.

IKEA’s SAMSÖ patio umbrella is a highly rated hidden gem that only costs $45. That price is even more impressive when you consider that decorative patio umbrellas can easily be double or triple that price anywhere else. DIYer Hayley Stuart transformed hers with decadent gold fringe and a hand-painted border. When she was done, the once-plain umbrella became the crowning centerpiece of her patio.

4. Create planters using FNISS trash cans.

Tall planters are another outdoor decor element that can be difficult to find at an affordable price. They bring visual interest to a porch or patio by drawing the eye upward, but it’s not uncommon to find these for $60 or more apiece. Here, Lisa of Garrison Street Design Studio got the look for much, much less by turning to a surprising IKEA item: the FNISS trash can. The trash cans cost just $2 each, so Lisa was able to create a whole planter for under $5.

Credit: Alice & Lois

5. Dye your cushion covers for a custom look.

White cushions on outdoor furniture look great to start, but they can easily get grimy from being exposed to the elements. Sara of Alice & Lois was tired of her white cushions showing every speck of dirt, so she experimented until she found a way to dye her outdoor fabric a custom color. The technique would work just as well on the FRÖSÖN/DUVHOLMEN seat cushions as it would on existing outdoor pillows or even outdoor curtains.

6. Turn a SNIDAD basket into a coffee table.

If you want guests to linger in your outdoor space, you need to give them a spot to set their coffee (or their cocktail) down. For a budget-friendly, boho-style coffee table, copy Michelle of Look What I Found and use a SNIDAD basket as the base. All you’ll need to do is remove the handles, flip the basket over, and add a wood round for the tabletop.

Credit: Burkatron

7. Use a LURÖY slatted bed base to create a vertical garden.

Can you spot the two IKEA pieces used in this vertical garden? DIYer Caroline Burke of Burkatron grabbed bed slats for the base, which is easy to attach to a wall or fence. Then, to hold her plants, she picked up ultra-affordable SUNNERSTA containers (just $1.29 each), which hang off the slats. This setup is an especially great option if you want to grow lots of plants but don’t have much space.

8. Transform a CHILIPEPPAR planter into an umbrella base.

Most patio umbrella bases, while perfectly functional, aren’t exactly showstoppers. DIYer Valerie Aguiar found a way to create an umbrella base that checked both boxes by repurposing a planter for the job. The best part is that she figured out how to keep the planter functional for live plants on top, so you don’t have to sacrifice any greenery. The CHILIPEPPAR pot would be an excellent pick for your own umbrella base.

Credit: Tag & Tibby

9. Elevate planters using TILLSLAG trestle legs.

Raised planter boxes can help you achieve a longer growing season by promoting better drainage and keeping your plants out of pests’ reach — plus, they make it possible to garden even if you don’t have any access to ground space. Julia of Tag & Tibby elevated her simple cedar box — literally — with the help of two IKEA trestle desk legs similar to the TILLSLAG.

Note: Never use pressure-treated lumber for containers that will hold edible plants, as the chemicals used to make pressure-treated lumber rot-resistant can leach into your soil. For your veggie and herb gardens, stick to cedar, redwood, or cypress for their naturally rot- and insect-resistant properties.

10. Make a side table out of a MARIUS stool.

For this durable and stylish side table, Lisa of Garrison Street Design Studio turned to IKEA’s seating section. The simple black MARIUS stool serves as the base for the table, while the industrial-cool concrete top is a store-bought stepping stone. Together, they come in under $15 — how’s that for budget-friendly?