Repurposing old objects and turning them into amazing garden decorations and useful things is fun and relaxing. In fact, not only you will do yourself a favor, but your garden will benefit as well.Search the attic and basement, and even the stagnant pile at the bottom of your closet, for reusable items. You can look for recyclable materials outside the home but avoid the temptation to spend more on new stuff.
Here are 12 creative ways you can upcycle old junk into your garden!
1. Pallet garden furniture
Pallets are lightweight, and just right for making garden furniture that you may want to move around occasionally.You can look for pallets in Lowe’s or Home Depot, as these pallets they have would otherwise go to the dump yard, so you’ll do a good favor to the companies as well as the environment.
Sand the pallets down and apply a coat each of primer and paint. Allow to dry, and apply another coat of waterproof paint for outdoor use. Now, they are ready.
This is the simplest way to use a pallet. Attach sturdy ropes to all the four corners of the painted pallet and hang it from the branches of a tree at a height of 1 ½ to 2ft from the ground. Paint your project the way you desire.
In order to create a table from pallets, you will need wooden boards from a dismantled pallet. Cut 8 pieces of the required length. Attach the long side of one piece to the long side of another at right angle to form an L-shaped leg. Repeat with all the pairs. Place the legs at the corners of the pallet so that they fit snugly into the L. Nail the legs on. Again, you can paint your project the way you want.
2. Old tires for growing herbs
You can control the vigorous growth of some plants (like thyme and sage) by growing in pots, but a better idea is to grow them in the ground, but strictly limiting their spread with impenetrable physical barriers like old tires.
Place tires where you want to grow herbs. Use a small stick to mark their outlines on the ground. Dig out the soil so that the tires can go into the holes with only their tops visible above the soil. Fill the inside of the tires with the same soil or fresh potting mixture.
3. Glass bottles for flower bed edging
If you have lots of glass bottles lying around, use them to create an eye-catching border for your flower beds. First take an estimate of the number of bottles that would be needed, according to how big your flower bed would be (be careful, as you may need to collect a lot of bottles if you want to make a big flower bed). Usually three bottles can cover a foot.
Get warm water in a large tub and immerse the all the bottles in it. Wash the bottles clean and leave them to dry. Dig a small trench around the bed and level it down, removing excess soil into a wheelbarrow. Water the trench lightly. Starting from one end, push each bottle upside down into the soil until its neck is fully under the ground.
Once you are done with the work, water the bottles thoroughly.
4. Old desk for seed starting
The first thing you should do in order to create this awesome project is to pull out the drawers after marking them so that you will know which one goes into each slot. Line the drawers with plastic sheet, covering the bottom and the sides to protect them from water splashes. Sow the seeds in individual paper cups or seedling trays and water them lightly. You can arrange all the cups and trays inside the drawers and insert them into their original slots.
If you plant light-loving seeds, assign the top drawers for them to get the light. Keep them fully open during the day and close them in the evening to keep them warm. The drawers with seeds that require darkness can be kept closed until the seeds start to sprout. Check your drawers every day.
Once most of the seeds have sprouted, you can pull out the drawers again and keep them where they get filtered sunlight.
5. Terracotta mosaic birdbath
In order to recycle terracotta scrub down the pots and the pans to remove all the dirt and algal growth. Sand the sides down to make it easier to paint. Add some rainbow colors and pretty designs to decorate the pots. Bright colors grab the attention of birds.
Stack the pots upside down, starting with the largest pot and make a tower of the desired height. Paint the outer surface of the largest tray and spread a thin layer of cement on its inner surface. Stick broken pieces of china into the cement.When the cement is dry, spread a layer of grout all over the mosaic, pushing it into all the gaps between pieces, and allow it to dry for a couple of days. Afterwards, rinse it well.
6. Old boots for planters
This recycling project is very popular and it can be seen in many gardens. It works especially good with boots in different colors and designs.
Make sure to remember to provide good drainage. Drill a few holes into the soles of the boots and fill them up with potting soil. Plant seeds or seedlings and arrange them in a place where they get plenty of sunshine.
7. Colander planter
Old colanders make excellent planters because you need not drill any holes in them.
Line the colanders with a layer of sphagnum moss to prevent excess water loss. Add potting soil and plant with ornamentals that you desire. Hang up the planted colander by attaching plastic covered steel wire to 3 equidistant holes near its rim.
8. Old jeans planters
Another popular projects, that is easy to make and it doesn’t take much effort. To make the planters, you can either cut off the legs of the jeans at the knees or just stuff them with straw. Staple the openings and fill with straw, sphagnum moss and potting soil.
Filling the jeans is easier if you hook them up by the belt loops or nail them to a post or wall. Remember that soil can make them really heavy.
9. Cup and saucer bird feeders
To create this lovely project as a hanging feeder without having to drill, attach a sturdy string to the handle of the cup and hang it from a hook. Add bird seed to the cup to see how it hangs now. Stick the saucer in position to catch the grains that spill from the cup. Use a strong adhesive. Hang the arrangement from the branches of trees to feed visiting birds.
10. Tin/Aluminum can bird feeder
Paint the cans and remove their labels. Take a long piece of dowel and attach it to the inside of the can with duct tape in such a way that it reaches at least halfway into the can, with 3 inches of it remaining outside. This will serve as a perch for the birds. You can further decorate it the way you fancy.
11. Baby bathtub lily pond
If you have a baby bathtub laying around, it is time to repurpose it. Choose the site of the lily pond carefully and keep the bathtub upside down there. Mark the outline. Measure the height of the tub and excavate the soil to that depth, making it slightly wider than the outline marked. Fix the bathtub in the hole so that its edges remain an inch below the soil line. Use a hose to push the loose soil down around the edges, adding more soil as necessary. Arrange smooth rocks or flagstones around the edges.
12. Wheelbarrow planter
Select a nice spot in the garden for the spruced up wheelbarrow. Line it with plastic liner and arrange a variety of flowering plants to create a nice display. Use some trailing plants like ivy to soften the hard corners.