A thrifty mum has given her neglected back yard a blue garden makeover complete with an upcycled fire pit for just £45 thanks to Facebook Marketplace bargains. Formerly a cluttered space she never used, it's now warm, welcoming and full of functional outdoor living room ideas.
Related: Brilliant budget garden ideas – boost your outdoor space without breaking the bank!
Sarah Takhtash was determined to make a lovely space to enjoy with her family. It took a lot of Facebook scrolling, then driving to pick up hidden treasures. But it now feels like they have a whole new room in their home.
‘Over the years I have never done anything to my backyard, and I absolutely hated it,’ Sarah says. ‘I wouldn’t even hang the washing out in it!
She follows lots of DIY groups on Facebook and was always in awe of their garden makeovers. Seeing other people’s creative garden ideas come to life, she was inspired her to embark on her own project.
Blue garden makeover with fire pit
‘I know I couldn’t afford to do it professionally, so I decided to do it myself - especially as I’m a big believer in reusing and upcycling furniture.’
It took around two months to collect everything she needed, so she cleared out the space while she waited. ‘The hardest part was driving out to collect items, as some people were a bit further out than where I lived.’
She used two tubs of outdoor floor paint for the walls and fence, which she managed to procure for £10. Sarah also nabbed a colour-coordinated green table and chairs. ‘They happened to be painted in mint green and matched my walls and floor!’ she said.
She found a large piece of astroturf to cover most of the flooring, plus some rugs, floor cushions and the best garden storage box she could get.
‘Someone kindly gifted me a large parasol, which I attached the light chain to. The last thing I collected was another table and chairs set - one was not enough as we are a family of six.’
Most people see a broken washing machine as a headache, but Sarah saw it as a potential fire pit idea. ‘My washing machine broke in February and I remembered how people had posted on Facebook about using the drum as a fire pit.
‘It was hard work taking it to pieces,’ she admitted, but the labour paid off. After searching through Facebook listings and finding a BBQ, plus some wood and bricks to place under the fire pit, her work was complete.
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals highlights the importance of removing all of the plastic when you’re taking the machine apart, as it can be toxic when it burns. ‘If your drum comes with a spindle, push it into the ground if your garden has a grassy area and you’ll reduce the risk of it tipping over,’ he says.
Sarah is thrilled with the result. ‘Honestly, I didn’t think it would all turn out so lovely. I love it and enjoy sitting out. It’s like I have gained an extra room.’ If you're feeling inspired and want to use your outside space better, read our expert tips on creating a workspace in your garden.
Tom Church says, ‘It’s great that she managed to get most of her supplies from Facebook - there are so many hidden treasures that can easily be repurposed.’
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Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.
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