15 Screen Porch Ideas on a Budget
You just finished making dinner and carrying your food out to your porch to eat. It's raining a little, and mosquitoes are out, but your screen porch keeps you dry and keeps insects where they belong - outside. As you look around, though, you see worn furniture and peeling paint. Overall, the porch is depressing, but you can't afford to do much about it. As it turns out, you can improve it inexpensively using these Screen Porch Ideas on a Budget.
1) DIY Outdoor Curtains
Whether your screen porch is designed for summer, or you have storm windows for a year-round outdoor experience, there'll be a day when you need to block the glare from the sun, or when you don't want to watch your neighbors' construction workers all day. For those days, you want outdoor curtains. Rather than spend a lot of money on expensive outdoor curtains from a store, learn to make your own outdoor simple, cheap, and easy-to-make exterior curtains using this article from Miller Design Style.
2) Mason Jars
Mason jars and screen porches are some of the staples of a country or farmhouse home exterior. If you want to keep that country farmhouse style, you'll want plenty of mason jar decorations. One way to make cheap mason jar decorations is to look at garage sales and flea markets for cheap mason jars or buy them in bulk. Then, use kits like this light kit from Amazon to design decorations. You can use this kit around the edges of your porch for solar lighting or use string lights inside a mason jar. Try filling jars with pretty stones.
3) DIY Murphy Bar
One of the benefits of a screen porch is that you can spend time outside out of the weather during cooler and rainier seasons. Since you can use it year-round, you'll want more permanent fixtures, like a home bar. A screen porch has more limited space since guests can't spread out into the yard as easily, so try using these instructions from DIY PETE to make a "Murphy bar" that folds up into the wall. A bar might seem expensive, but making it yourself will cut your costs down to make it affordable.
4) DIY Bandana Wreath
Wreaths are neat decorations that have gained popularity as year-round decor, and even more so on farmhouse porches. As such, they're perfect for a screened-in porch that can be used all year. While you can buy or make fall-themed wreaths and exchange them for summer, winter, and spring wreaths, doing so will cost more in the long run. Instead, you can make a wreath like this bandana wreath from cheap materials that will work year-round. Check out these instructions from Amanda Formaro with Crafts By Amanda to make your wreath.
5) Restore Old Furniture
While you can buy new items to furnish your porch, that will get expensive quickly. Instead of buying new chairs and side tables, find old furniture and restore it. In some cases, you'll want to do a full restoration like Keith from rag 'n' bone brown did in this article, but for furniture without cloth components, you can power-wash them and paint them. Make sure to use waterproof coatings so your furniture can stand up to the weather when the windows are open.
6) DIY Battery Decorative Lights
A screen porch is a great thing to have because you can spend time outside at night and feel like you're out in nature. Since you can spend time outside at night, you'll want some decorations that light up. One great way to do this is with cheap battery-power string lights. You can use them for mason jar crafts, perimeter lighting, or to create light fixtures like these ones by romierenae DIY. Decorations like these are great because they provide decoration during the day or at night when they're lit up.
7) Calculate Expenses
You're excited about your screen porch, and look for ideas to build it cheaply. Before you get started, though, make sure to plan your costs ahead of time. Instead of getting the cheapest materials and using the cheapest methods, you can decide which parts of the project you're willing to spend extra on, and which aspects you can go with more economical methods for. This guide from inchcalculator.com is a great resource to help you break down the little expenses related to installing a screen porch. This way, you can get the most for your money.
8) DIY Do It Yourself
If you're planning to build or repair an existing screen porch, you may be looking at expenses and thinking it seems impossible on your budget. One way to cut down your expenses and better plan for the total cost of the porch is to build it yourself. While this may seem like a daunting task, you can use this video with step-by-step instructions by Trisha Harris to make your own screen porch with a bit of know-how.
9) Old, Worn Furniture
Your porch is screened-in, but the things inside are still exposed to sunlight that can fade fabrics and rain if you accidentally leave the shutters open. This exposure means you might not want fancy new furniture, and since you're already on a budget, there's no reason to spend money on something new. Instead, use old, worn furniture like the furniture in this photograph. You can paint it to make it look nice, or buy new cushion covers, instead of buying new furniture altogether.
10) Outdoor Seat Cover
Your porch should be a comfortable place to sit and relax or hang out, so you don't want to rely entirely on cheap furniture. After all, inexpensive things are rarely comfortable. One way to get better furniture without spending a lot is to add cushions like this one from The Home Depot to existing furniture. This way, you have a comfortable seat, but without the expense of buying new furniture, or the need to store your old furniture.
11) Yards Sale Decor
Sometimes designing a space on a budget isn't about getting cheap items or settling for the best you can find. Sometimes it's all about where you buy the items. Keep an eye out for garage sales, tag sales, and flea markets in your area where you can buy unique vintage items like the buoys in this image. You can also get high-end outdoor furniture this way for a fraction of what you'd pay in a store. You won't always get a specific item you want, but you can shop around to build a collection of decorations and furniture you like.
12) DIY Pendant Light
Screen porches often have sloped ceilings, since a simple shed roof is the easiest orch ceiling to make. If you built your screen porch on a budget, you probably have a sloped ceiling. This works well for a porch ceiling, but it makes it hard to add overhead lights. One way to hang fixtures on a tilted ceiling is to make or buy pendant lights. Pendant lights hang from the ceiling using a chain and a fixture like this one from Amazon. You can get a cheap fixture and outdoor light kit, then customize your shade or glass coverings.
Flowers are expensive, but sometimes there's nothing better for your porch decor. After all, the point of having a screen porch is to feel close to nature without going outside in the elements. With that in mind, you'll want some plants to decorate with. One way to do so inexpensively is to buy potted plants that will last for several years. This way, you don't have to replace flowers in a vase regularly, and since the flowers live longer than one year, you don't have a lot of maintenance to do.
14) DIY Hangings
Your porch needs decorations, but the hobby stores with the nicest decorations are often the most expensive. Instead of spending your whole budget on decorations, head to your local dollar store to pick up some cheap materials, and make your own decor. In this video, Araceli Chan DIY shows you how to make a few different spring porch decorations. You can modify them for different seasons, or use these ideas to make different crafts that fit your taste.
15) Magnetic Screen
Your porch windows have screens so that you can open them and let in the fresh air, but is your door? If you don't already have a screen door, there's a cheap way to add a screen to your doorway without spending a lot. Add a magnetic screen like this so that you can let fresh air in through the porch doorway. You can also replace the door into your house with this, so fresh air from the porch can get into the main part of the house.
Did these ideas fit into your budget? What other ideas could we have suggested? Please let us know in the comments below.