55 Easy DIY Screen Porch Ideas on a Budget

A screen porch is a relaxing place to hang out during the summer. You can read a book, sit with friends, or enjoy dinner. If you’re on a budget, it can seem impossible to decorate.

Read on to learn about 55 easy DIY porch ideas you can accomplish on a budget. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started so you can decorate!

Homeowner works on repairing door to screened in back porch

1. Utilize an Existing Porch

When creating a screen porch, save money by building off an existing area on your house. Take a platform in your backyard and build the screen up from there.

2. Find Affordable Materials

Another thing you can do to save money when building a screen porch is to use cheap materials. Look for aluminum and an inexpensive screen to accomplish the task.

3. Thrift Furniture

Need decorations? Thrift stores are full of furniture you can take and use to decorate your screen porch. Some might need fixing up, but others will work with a simple wash.

4. Downsize the Space

Smaller is better, especially when you want to save money on a screen porch DIY project. There will be less space to decorate, which will also save money.

5. Try Bamboo Shades

Bamboo is an affordable and durable material. Rather than using a screen, you could attach horizontal bamboo slats instead. You can also put flippable shades on top of a screen if you want more sunlight.

6. Use Technology You Already Have

Some of the coolest screen porches have technology that controls light and other features. If you have an Amazon Alexa or television you don’t need, add them to your screened area.

Porch in luxury home with white curtains

7. Add Curtains

Attach drop curtains with cheap material to allow shade when necessary. You can find affordable cloth at many art stores, and there are many DIYs online.

8. Reinvent Old Decor

If you have old decor pieces sitting around, reinvent them to match the aesthetic of your new space. Alter the structure, or paint them a new color to fit the mood.

9. Hang Up Lights

Mood lighting is everything. There are plenty of cheap string light choices on the market, whether you’re looking for colored options or glass bulbs for nighttime illumination.

New modern screened porch with patio furniture, summertime woods in the background.

10. Take Advantage of Pillows

Pillows make everything better. If you have extra pillows inside your home, you can move them outside to fluff up the space. Pillows can make all the difference if you want a comfortable, inviting feeling.

11. Attach Lanterns to the Ceiling

Want a romantic atmosphere? Attach lanterns to the ceiling! Select lights that run on electricity and hang them from the ceiling at your desired height. It will create a unique atmosphere.

12. Find an Affordable Rug

Rugs are expensive, but they can transform a screen porch area. Search for a basic, affordable option at locations like Target or Walmart. From there, you can dye or paint the rug to your liking.

13. Transform the Shape of Old Furniture

If you have old wooden pieces, take control of your screen porch vision and transform the items. You can turn furniture into other items or add features to items like small tables for drinks. 

Bench swing hung by chain looking comfortable on a screened in porch.

14. Hang a Swing

It’s simple to construct a swing out of affordable wood. Make the swing, paint it the desired color, and attach a rope to hang it from the ceiling. Ensure it’s secure before you utilize it.

15. Reinvent the Ceiling Fan

The ceiling fan is the first thing people notice when they step into a room. If there’s a fan attached to the roof of your screen porch, paint it a color that matches the rest of the space. You might also replace bulbs and fixtures to make it look better.

16. Put New Color on Furniture

As with the walls, a new layer of paint can make all the difference on furniture. If you have wooden pieces suffering from age, add color to the surface and a sealant. You might need to sand down the wood to help it stick.

17. Attach a Fresh Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders. Pick a color you like and add a hue to any exposed surfaces, like wood and metal. Select something that will work well with the sun.

18. Buy High-Quality Items

If you want to save money, buy high-quality items. It might seem counter-intuitive, but purchasing more expensive items will help you spend less in the long run.

19. Fasten Shutters

Add shutters to any windows inside the screen porch for a mini-home look. Paint them a color that matches the rest of the area.

mom and daughter planting plants in planters

20. Address Your Green Thumb

Plants are an ideal way to liven up the area. Paint pots and decorate them to fit your screen porch, then fill the items with soil and plant plants. Put them by the sun for nourishment.

21. Build New Pieces

If you like to build, find cheap wood and construct pieces. You can form a table, bench, and chairs for the space. Then, locate affordable decor to go on top.

22. Make Decorations Into Storage

What better way to decorate a space than to have pieces that double as storage? Transform wicker baskets into small tables with carved wood.

23. Add Vintage Touches

Vintage shops are excellent places to find affordable decorations. You can locate old clocks, lamps, and more. Then, you can decorate them to match your style.

24. Pick a Color Scheme

Pick a color scheme and stick to it. When you’ve decided what hues you want, it will make it easier to narrow down your choices and spend less money.

25. Form Homemade Signs

Homemade signs can make a screen porch adorable. Take old wood and paint it an appealing color, then add the words of your choice.

Closeup image of a yard sale sign

26. Scour Yard Sales

Search yard sales for good deals on homemade decor. You never know what you might find, and there’s the potential to transform older items.

27. Make a Small Fountain

A small fountain can make any area into a meditation space. You can make a tiny fountain of stone and filler, attaching a water pump to the back. It can go in the corner of your screen porch.

28. Build With Recycled Items

We’ve all looked at a recycled item and seen potential in it. You can take items like metal containers and milk bottles and transform them into flower pots and containers.

29. Stretch a Sheet Screen

If you have a white sheet, stretch it across a wall to make a movie screen. On nights, project on the white to have a fun viewing party.

green and white vertical garden with plants on it

30. Plant a Vertical Garden

A vertical garden will add lots of green without taking up too much space. Stack small crates on the wall and plant.

31. Invest in a Tiny Pool

A tiny pool can be fun, especially if you have kids! If your porch is big enough, you can get a small plastic or metal tub and paint the area around it to resemble a pool area.

32. Make Plastic Your Friend

Plastic is durable and much cheaper than glass or metal. Get plastic bowls, cutlery, and vases to decorate the space. You can paint it to your liking.

33. Find Gorgeous Tablecloths

Tablecloths can turn an ugly table into something wonderful. You can thrift unique covers, or purchase cheap white tablecloths and dye them.

34. Make a Fireplace

A fireplace is an ideal addition to any screen porch. You can easily construct one from bricks or stone. Ensure there’s ventilation to avoid danger.

35. Add a Bed

Need an extra sleeping space? Add a sofa and transform it into a bed for guests. You can build the piece or purchase a frame from a thrift store.

Close up of patio furniture in modern screened porch, summertime woods in the background.

36. Bring On the Blankets

Blankets can make any area feel warm and cozy. Whether you bring them from inside your house or make your own, toss these over as many chairs and sofas as possible to make it more inviting.

37. Accent With Family Decor

Do you have a large family? Decorate the area with handprints and footprints made of paint. It will serve as a reminder of this special moment no matter how old you get.

38. Make a Drink Station

A drink station in the corner of your screen porch will be a hit with friends. You can put the cooler in a wooden box and decorate it to your liking.

39. Hang Wind Chimes

Wind chimes are an ideal accessory if you want to make your screen porch a relaxing area. You can make your own with string and pieces of metal.

40. Add Candles

Although candles pose a fire risk, they serve as excellent decorations for a screen porch. You can make your own or invest in cheap ones. You never have to light them.

41. Purchase Off-Season Accessories

The best time to buy anything is during the off-season. If you want a spring look, invest in items during the winter.

42. Grow a Wall Garden

A wall garden grows on the wall. You can construct hanging planters to grow sturdy plants, which will double as decorations for the screen porch.

Front covered porch with brown chairs and red cushions.

43. Invest in Wicker Pieces

Wicker pieces are affordable and easy to transform. You can paint them and add comfy pillows on top to help them blend in.

44. Paint the Ceiling

Want a screen porch that pops? Paint the ceiling! If you want something that stands out, go for bold colors. If you want something more serene, try neutrals.

45. Create Some Lanterns

You can construct homemade lanterns out of wood and put candles inside. Find affordable wood and build places for the lights to sit.

46. Make a Window Bar

Are there windows that open to your porch screen? Make a window bar for people to enjoy! Attach a counter by the window, and you can open the window when you have friends over to serve drinks.

47. Get Floor Pillows

Floor pillows are cheap, and you should have no trouble making them yourself if you want to save even more. They serve as decoration and also provide more seating space for any guests.

Two baskets on a window containing spring flowers

48. Fasten Window Boxes

If you have windows facing your screen porch, you can make wooden window boxes and fasten them underneath. Work your green thumb and plant gorgeous flowers or herbs inside these.

49. Transform Crates

Crates are versatile items. It’s easy to get your hands on free ones from places like grocery stores. You can transform this item into many things – chairs, tables, and even plant holders.

50. Paint a Floor Design

If you want to become extra creative, you can paint a design on the floor. Find paint colors you love and a sealant. You can paint checkers, polka dots, and more.

51. Layer Astroturf

It’s easy to make astroturf look tacky, but it might fit some aesthetics. If you’re going for a garden party look, put this material on the ground. Astroturf also comes in handy to make a pet-friendly screen porch.

52. Install Hooks

For future decorations, you can install hooks in the ceiling of your porch screen. Paint them to match the color scheme of your screen porch and secure them.

53. Try Scaled-Down Furniture

Scaled-down furniture takes up less space and allows the addition of more decor in a screen porch area. You can cut down already established pieces or create smaller versions yourself out of cheap wood.

Porch with patio views during the fall

54. Add Pops of Color

It’s not hard to add pops of color. Put a splash of paint here, or decorate a gorgeous table there. Choose yellows and pinks for an eye-catching result. Pops of color are cheap and draw the eye.

55. Make Hammocks Decor

Hammocks are more affordable than couches, and you can hang them up yourself with little trouble. You can even make one yourself with the right materials. 

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Kristen is the founder and content creator at Mom Managing Chaos where she teaches busy moms how to simplify and organize their life and finances. She writes about frugal living, budgeting, productivity and organization.