Decorating a Backyard Gazebo on the Cheap

In this article: Eight affordable backyard gazebo decorating ideas that you can make work with most any budget plus frugal suggestions from other Dollar Stretchers.

DIY Landscaping for Less photo

Have you added a backyard gazebo but want to transform it into an inviting outdoor space before extending party or cookout invites to family and friends Or perhaps you simply want a cozy space for relaxing?

You don’t have to spend much money to turn your gazebo into your ideal outdoor space.

Below you’ll find some budget backyard gazebo decorating ideas to inspire you, followed by suggestions from our frugal readers.

Remember to choose weather-resistant materials and keep maintenance in mind when selecting decor elements for your gazebo.

8 Backyard Gazebo Decorating Ideas

You can find many of the items below at craft stores or big box home improvement stores. If you wait until the end of summer, you’ll find many outdoor décor items marked down for clearance.

If your local craft store offers 50% coupons, patiently add to your gazebo décor piece by piece as you get a new coupon. You may also discover some great outdoor finds at thrift stores or Goodwill.

1. Light It Up

Lights can create a warm and inviting atmosphere for evening entertaining. Add outdoor string lights, lanterns or LED candles. If your gazebo is wired for electricity, you may be able to repurpose some of your holiday outdoor LED string lights.

Choose solar-powered lighting options if you don’t want to run electricity to your gazebo or pay for battery-powered lighting.

2. Throw Something on the Floor

Add an outdoor rug or deck tiles for a finished look. Choose a durable and weather-resistant material like polypropylene, sisal or teak.

Check the clearance sections of sites like or You can sometimes find outdoor rugs as much as 75% off. It might not be the exact color you would typically choose, but it can save you a lot of money. You can then decorate around the color scheme of your gazebo flooring.

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3. Have a Seat

No matter how you use the space, you likely want comfortable seating. Consider benches, chairs or even a swing or hammock. Check Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and other sites where local folks may sell used outdoor furniture.

Add weather-resistant cushions and throw pillows for extra comfort. If you are skilled at sewing, you can probably make cushions far cheaper than buying them.

4. Set the Table

Add a small table and chairs for outdoor dining, or place a few side tables next to chairs that can hold your glass of wine or cold iced tea.

If you intend to enjoy your outdoor space often, you may also want to invest in outdoor tableware and glassware that won’t break if dropped.

5. Add Some Nature

Surround the gazebo with potted plants, hanging baskets or trellises with climbing plants. Plants will add greenery, color and a natural feel to the space. (Related: 12 Frugal Landscape Tips for Filling Your Yard with Plants.)

Look for thrift store finds you can repurpose into pots or baskets for plants. Do a little research or check with your local nursery for plant recommendations so you don’t waste money on plants that won’t thrive in your climate or backyard.

6. Keep It Private

If your added plants don’t provide enough privacy, consider outdoor curtains that offer both privacy and shade. Once again, you may be able to sew curtains for a lot less than buying them. Research cheap DIY curtain rod options suitable for outdoor use.

7. No Bugs Allowed

You don’t want mosquitoes or flies showing up while you enjoy your outdoor space. Get some citronella candles to deter most flying pests, or choose plants that deter mosquitoes, such as Lemongrass, Basil or Rosemary.

8. Heat It Up

There is something so inviting and relaxing about sitting around a fire at night. If a freestanding firepit will work in your space, watch for sales or perhaps a used one someone is selling.

If your gazebo is too small for a firepit, consider investing in an outdoor heater so you can use your space as much during the cold months as you do during the summer.

How To Decorate a Gazebo on the Cheap: Reader Tips

We also turned to our frugal readers for gazebo decorating advice. Here are some of the most helpful tips we received for decorating a backyard gazebo on the cheap.

Add Climbing Plants for Decoration and Privacy

Climbing plants like roses, clematis, and wisteria are great natural decorations, as well as adding privacy if needed. They can even be planted in raised planter boxes so that benches can be integrated and then add cushions.

Outdoor fabrics are available in a nice variety to make curtains to tie at the corners of the gazebo. Look for coupons for your local fabric or hobby shops. There are beautiful types of light strings to hang from the “ceiling” for mood and/festive lighting. Once again, use coupons at places like Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

Decorate According to Style

How to decorate your gazebo depends on its style and that of your home and garden. Since I live on a rural property, I planted cottage flowers that don’t go above the railings and Clematis to grow over the top and shade the roof. I elected not to have any hanging swing inside and instead have two benches that were former buggy seats, as well as a small table to rest drinks on. You could also use Adirondack chairs and tables. Some people put a cute tin sign or two on the outside railings with the property name or a phrase they like. Look for cute tin items at thrift stores or Goodwill.

If you have a more Victorian-style home, then the appropriate décor would be either white or wheat-colored wicker that has been treated with non-glossy polyurethane. You will also want a pot or two of lush elephant ears near the entry and a few ferns inside in pots or hanging from the rafters. You can also put an outdoor sisal rug down if you choose, although then you have to wash it down regularly.

Since birds and insects can and will get into whatever you put in your gazebo, you might as well have a bird feeder, so you can enjoy watching them while sitting there. And in light of that fact, do not add a lot of cutesy silk flowers, untreated fabrics, or other things you’ll have a hard time keeping clean.

Look for Expert Help

Check out Lowes website or contact their store. You could decorate with lawn furniture, plants, and an area to use for grilling. Add throw pillows, blankets, lawn chairs, small tables, stools, etc. Plan a theme and add lights, candles, camping lanterns, and spot lights. Then host a gathering to show off the new gazebo.

Make It Yours

Is the Gazebo totally open or enclosed? Partially enclosed? Use your imagination! A Hawaiian luau theme? Lights? Dollar Stores have some inexpensive waterproof decorations. How about a picnic theme or red, white and blue for the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, or Labor Day?

You make it yours! It would be a fun project!
Lilly P.

First Think About Lighting

If I had one, I would start off with Christmas lights (color or white). They can be turned on for Christmas with a potted fern for added decoration. And they will also add a romantic light setting for rest of the year.

Then I would get some mosquito repelling plants like lemon thyme, lavender, basil, lemongrass, rosemary, garlic, and marigolds.

Next, I’d add some built-in benches, a lounger, or a rocker?

Reviewed May 2023

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