Thrifty Outdoor Cottage Style DIY Projects

Today I’m sharing 5 Thrifty, Cottage Style Outdoor DIY Projects that we have tackled since living in our home!

Today I’m sharing 5 Thrifty Outdoor Cottage Style DIY Projects that we have tackled since living in our home!

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I am so excited about these 5 Thrifty Outdoor Cottage Style DIY Projects! Whew! That was a long title haha! Not only are these DIY projects really affordable, they are also super easy!

Thrifty Outdoor Projects – Reclaimed Wood Walkway

This project takes a little muscle, but it’s so worth it in the end! Last summer our church tore out a very old and long wheel chair ramp in order to make room for an addition. All of the wood was pressure treated and had a beautifully aged, gray patina. When I saw that it was headed to the dumpster, my thrifty heart couldn’t bear it. 

We took all of the wood and used it for so many different projects, but this walkway is one of my favorites!! It was so simple that I did most of it myself. 

We simply dug up the grass with a shovel, creating a rectangle the same depth as the boards. We put down some weed barrier fabric, laid down our boards, and filled in the gaps with pea gravel! 

I love how quaint this walkway is leading into our backyard. We planted Snowball hydrangeas on one side of the fence and Annabelle Hydrangeas on the other…can you imagine when they are fully matured and bloomed? What a charming, cottage style entrance into our backyard. 🙂

Our Shed got a makeover!

It was so simple and now we have a beautiful walkway to the backyard! PS – be sure to use high quality weed barrier…as you can see in these photos, we got the cheap stuff and it shows!

Next time you see someone tearing down a building, barn, porch or ramp…maybe ask what they plan on doing with the wood! 

Thrifty Outdoor Projects – DIY Bench

This DIY bench is literally the easiest project ever! We bought eight blocks, stacked them up and laid a pressure treated board on top. BAM! Super cheap and the perfect spot for Mike to sit while he grills dinner!

DIY outdoor bench

I love the rustic touch that the concrete adds, and the over time the board on top has weathered beautifully! 

Simple outdoor bench, no tools required!

Thrifty Outdoor Projects – Stone Planter

Cedar shake adds so much character to our cottage shed!

I already mentioned this project when I revealed our Thrifty Shed Makeover, but this stone planter was honestly so simple! I got all the stone for free at a garage sale (I made a trade with a friend) a few years ago, and we installed it under our porch in the front of our home

I love stone so much, in fact some of my favorite English cottages are made completely of stone which is why I love incorporating it into my own home! 

Well, we had some stone left over from the front porch project, and I didn’t want it to go to waste. We happened to have two large cinder blocks just sitting in the garage, so we stacked them up and used some landscape adhesive to glue the stone onto the cinder blocks!

Easy, DIY stone planter!
Stone planter DIY

I put some plastic on the inside with holes poked through for drainage, then filled it with soil and planted some flowers. I just love the rustic element it adds to our shed!

Thrifty Cottage Shed Makeover!
How we saved SO much money on our shed makeover!

Thrifty Outdoor Projects – Raised Flower Beds

Our DIY English Flower garden in raised beds

Can you guess where we got the wood for these raised beds? Haha yes!! The wheel chair ramp. This wood came from that same batch! They are 2×12 inch boards and they could not have been more perfect for this project. Originally we had planned on making a vegetable garden in this area, but since the wood is treated we were worried about chemicals leaching into the soil. 

DIY Raised Beds with flowers

An English Cottage style flower garden seemed like the perfect solution! We planted things like Foxglove, Catmint, Lavender, Chives, Daisies, Delphinium, Phlox…I cannot wait until these beds fill out in the next few years! 

I would also love to add roses eventually as well, but sadly I couldn’t find the variety I was looking for this year. 

Our English inspired flower garden

As you can see in the photos above, my husband didn’t even mitre the edges of these boxes. We simply screwed the ends to the sides with exterior wood screws and called it a day! I just love the result. 

Thrifty Outdoor Projects – Dry Creek Bed

DIY Dry Creek Bed! Cottage style outdoor DIY projects

The last project I want to share with you today is a recent one…and that is our dry creek bed that we made out of stone that was free! 

We were having some moisture issues in our basement, mostly in one area where the ground would just get saturated after a rain storm. Instead of installing gutters which can cause issues in the long run, my Dad came up with the idea of creating a dry creek bed. 

That way, when the rain water runs off the roof, it will hit the stone bed and run off away from the house rather than saturating the ground. 

We have had two large storms since installing our bed, and so far we haven’t had any moisture issues in the basement! Hurray!

DIY Stone Dry Creek Bed

All we did for this project is lay down plastic sheeting, then cover it in field stone that we got for free. We live in a rural area surrounded by farmland, and often times farmers will pile the stone up that they pull out of their fields. We asked a farmer that attends our church if he had any stone he wouldn’t mind us taking, and he brought us to a massive pile on his property and said “take as much as you’d like!” 

Easy DIY dry creek bed made of stone - Cottage style outdoor DIY

I love the character of these stones along our house, and we hardly spent any money! Win win!

Well I hope you enjoyed these thrifty outdoor cottage style DIY projects! My hope is that they inspire you to get creative when you are updating your outdoor spaces. You don’t have to have a lot of money to make your backyard beautiful! Have you ever tried any of these projects? I’d love to know in the comments below! 🙂


Today I’m sharing 5 Thrifty, Cottage Style Outdoor DIY Projects that we have tackled since living in our home!


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      1. Thank you. We have a porch like yours and have been trying to find the right type of stone to attach to the decking. What you did looks fantastic!

  1. Andrea, thank you for more affordable, doable project ideas! Two reliable weed barriers are discarded trampoline mats & used billboard material. Mats usually cost $0, allow free drainage, & stop weeds under gravel (for a decade so far, in our yard). Used billboards far outlast tarps, & are used to cover haystacks & leaky roofs. One side has a giant ad. Holes can be poked for drainage under gravel. Here, 12’X24′ sells for $25, and 12’X40′ for $40, when taken down.

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