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Upcycling in the Garden

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Recycling and Upcycling in the Garden

Upcycling is creating something of value from something of little or no value. This page will provide you with ideas and instructions on how to upcycle items from and for your yard. You'll find creative uses for shipping pallets, old ladders, old car tires, and more. You'll also find creative ideas for making planters, fences, paths and more from all kinds of recycled materials. Not only will this save you money and help reduce the amount of stuff you throw away, many of these item will be great talking points. Check out the pictures and stories to see what I mean.

Picture credit

© Copyright pennuja and licensed for reuse under the CC BY 2.0 License.

Ideas for Upcycling Materials from your Yard

shipping pallets

old wood

tools

tires / tyres

garden waste

Upcycling Scrap Wood / Pallets

upcycling pallets to make compost bins
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upcycling pallets to make compost bins

Picture credit: my own photo

shipping pallets and old fencing used to make compost bins

Instructions for upcycling scrap wood into useful items

  1. Instructions for making garden furniture:

    - laced hanging chair from a pallet

    - potting bench from one or two pallets

    - garden work bench from a pallet

    - potting table from pallets

  2. Make a variety of planters from scrap wood:

    - planter on legs from an old wooden fence

    - colorful planter made from recycled wood

    - long planter made from recycled pallets

    - another planter made from pallets

  3. Instructions for making more items for your yard:

    - door mat from old pieces of wood

    - kids' playhouse - this one requires many pallets!

    - compost bin from 4 pallets

    - vertical garden converting a pallet

  4. Instructions for making a bike trailer from a couple of recycled pallets

More Upcycling Ideas For Scrap Wood or Pallets - Click thumbnails to see bigger picture

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Upcycling Tools

Upcycling Tools
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Upcycling Tools

© Copyright wanderingone

and licensed for reuse under the CC BY 2.0 License.

Instructions for upcycling tools into useful items

  1. Instructions for making a stylish bookshelf from an old ladder
  2. Make a bench from scaffolding
  3. Scroll down for instructions for making a rake organizer for your jewelry
  4. Instructions for making a rake stemware holder

More Upcycling Ideas for Tools of All Kinds - Click thumbnails to see bigger picture

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garden seatshovel manbull sculptureorb sculpturerake faceladder bookcase
garden seat
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garden seat
shovel man
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shovel man
bull sculpture
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bull sculpture
orb sculpture
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orb sculpture
rake face
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rake face
ladder bookcase
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ladder bookcase

Ideas for Upcycling Tires / Tyres - Car and Bike

Upcycling Tires
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Upcycling Tires

© Copyright c.j.b

and licensed for reuse under the CC BY 2.0 License.

Instructions for upcycling car or bike tires into useful items

  1. Crochet a door mat from recycled bike inner tubes
  2. Tutorial for making a planter from an old car tire / tyre
  3. Instructions on how to make sandals from recycled tires
  4. Make a wallet from bike inner tubes
  5. A bunch of ideas for reusing tires in your garden for hotbeds, raised garden beds, heat absorbing wall for a greenhouse, compost bin, potato stack, retaining wall, and more

Recycled rubber tire flower pot basket from Amazon

Re:Tread Recycled Treads Tire Pottery - Wide Basin
Re:Tread Recycled Treads Tire Pottery - Wide Basin

This delightful basket which can be used for storage or as a planter has been cut and hand sewn from discarded tires which have been stripped of their tread and steel belts. Another tire which will not end up as landfill!

 

More Ideas for Upcycling Tires - Click thumbnails to see bigger picture

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letterboxwalltable and chairsbike tire chairswallflowerpotssandalsfashionbags
letterbox
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letterbox
wall
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wall
table and chairs
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table and chairs
bike tire chairs
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bike tire chairs
wall
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wall
flowerpots
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flowerpots
sandals
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sandals
fashion
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fashion
bags
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bags

Upcycling Tires into Playground Equipment

Ideas include a sandpit, bouncy walkways, dragons to climb on, tunnels, obstacle course, tire tower to climb, flying fox, stairs

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Upcycling Your Garden Waste

twig pumpkin
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twig pumpkin

© Copyright quinn.anya

and licensed for reuse under the CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

Instructions and ideas for upcycling your garden waste

Of course your garden "waste" does not need to be wasted. You can make compost or mulch, but there are much more creative uses.

  1. Home décor made from from upcycling your garden waste:

    - wreath made from branch prunings

    - sunburst mirror frame

    - twig basket

    - twig chandelier

    - framed stick artwork

    - cherry blossom decoration made from tissue paper and twigs

  2. Furniture made from from upcycled garden waste:

    - willow twig table

    - plant stand made from twigs

    - three-legged stool constructed from logs (video instructions)

  3. Garden structures made from from twigs and branches:

    - arbor constructed from twigs / small branches

    - raised garden bed (or compost bin) woven from flexible sticks eg willow, wisteria

    - willow tepee

    - garden arch made from tree prunings (picture with brief instructions)

    - 5 easy trellis ideas (pictures with tips and brief instructions)

  4. More items for your garden created from your garden waste

    - path made with wood sliced from a trunk and branches (picture only)

    - pathway and a garden chair made from wood slices (pictures only)

    - plant labels made from sticks

  

  

  

  

  

Make your own rustic garden accessories

Rustic Garden Furniture & Accessories: Making Chairs, Planters, Birdhouses, Gates & More
Rustic Garden Furniture & Accessories: Making Chairs, Planters, Birdhouses, Gates & More

This book contains a variety of projects ranging from candle holders, window box and birdhouses to chairs, benches and garden gates - using sticks, twigs and other recycled wood.

 

Upcycling Items for Use in the Garden

Planters Made from Recycled Materials

Planters Made from Recycled Materials
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Planters Made from Recycled Materials

© Copyright :mrMark:

and licensed for reuse under the CC BY 2.0 License.

Instructions and ideas for upcycling items into planters

  1. Make self-watering planters:

    - from plastic buckets, a tin can, and some plastic piping

    - from a soda bottle

  2. Make hanging garden planters:

    - from recycled soda bottles

    - upside down planter made from a soda bottle

    - from milk bottles

  3. Make a planter from a coconut shell
  4. Use teapots as unique planters
  5. Make a herb garden from plastic bottles bottles and a pallet
  6. Another herb garden made from plastic bottles and scrap wood

More Planters Made from Recycled Materials - Click thumbnails to see bigger picture

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tyrescarcanstiresguitarsoft drink bottlestoilets!Dutch clogred shoeold shoe
tyres
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tyres
car
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car
cans
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cans
tires
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tires
guitar
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guitar
soft drink bottles
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soft drink bottles
toilets!
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toilets!
Dutch clog
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Dutch clog
red shoe
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red shoe
old shoe
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old shoe

Starting Seedlings with Recycled Items

starting seedlings in toilet paper rolls
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starting seedlings in toilet paper rolls

© Copyright girlingearstudio

and licensed for reuse under the CC BY 2.0 License.

  1. Start seedlings in toilet paper roll containers
  2. Start seedlings in newspaper pots

More ways to start seedlings using upcycled items - click thumbnails for bigger pictures

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newspapernewspaper potsegg cartonnewspaper potsplastic from advent calendarspam can
newspaper
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newspaper
newspaper pots
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newspaper pots
egg carton
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egg carton
newspaper pots
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newspaper pots
plastic from advent calendar
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plastic from advent calendar
spam can
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spam can

Garden Fences, Walls and Borders from Recycled Materials

fence made from bottles
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fence made from bottles

© Copyright Gruenemann

and licensed for reuse under the CC BY 2.0 License.

Ideas for upcycling items into fences and gates

  1. Pictures of an interesting fence made from recycled wine and water bottles.
  2. Pictures of colorful bottles used as a border for a garden bed
  3. Picture of a garden privacy screen created from old metal wheels

Upcycled Garden Paths and Driveways

recycled bottle path
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recycled bottle path

© Copyright Christmas w/a K

and licensed for reuse under the CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

Instructions and ideas for upcycling items into paths and driveways

  1. Instructions for making a mosaic stepping stone
  2. Instructions for making a mosaic stepping stone
  3. Brief instructions and a picture of a path made from glass bottles
  4. Create a driveway from recycled rubble - bricks and broken concrete
  5. Use the arrows to scroll to pictures #8 and #9 for pictures showing the use of old tiles or ceramic plates to decorate stepping stones and a path

More Upcycled Pathways - Click thumbnails to see bigger picture

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mosaic pathpathpath
mosaic path
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mosaic path
path
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path
path
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path

Above photo credits:

mosaic path by auntylaurie (CC BY 2.0)

path by learnscope (CC BY-SA 2.0)

path by kaitlinmarie (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Upcycled Outdoor Decor

Upcycled Outdoor Decor
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Upcycled Outdoor Decor

© Copyright turtlemom4bacon

and licensed for reuse under the CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

Instructions and ideas for upcycling items into lovely garden decor

  1. Instructions for making a teacup bird feeder
  2. Instructions for making butterfly wind chimes from soda cans
  3. Make a wind chime from recycled computer hard drives
  4. Make a door mat from recycled flip-flops
  5. How to make a rainbow wind spinner from a recycled soft drink bottle
  6. A mosaic bird bath made with a salvaged clay saucer, left over PVC pipe, tiles, and ceramic plates
  7. Another project for a mosaic bird bath using a broken bird bath

Recycled Glass Bottle Windchimes from Amazon

Recycled Glass Bottle Windchime : Aqua Drops
Recycled Glass Bottle Windchime : Aqua Drops

Delightful 24" wind chimes made from melted down reclaimed wine bottles.

 

More Ideas Showing Upcycled Outdoor Decor - Click thumbnails to see bigger picture

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Mosaic to match tea for twoHard Drive WindchimesMosaic TableComputer component wind chimesKey ChimeMosaic Bird BathFlowery Bird houseChristmas pot recyclingRecycled Birdhouse
Mosaic to match tea for two
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Mosaic to match tea for two
Hard Drive Windchimes
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Hard Drive Windchimes
Mosaic Table
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Mosaic Table
Computer component wind chimes
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Computer component wind chimes
Key Chime
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Key Chime
Mosaic Bird Bath
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Mosaic Bird Bath
Flowery Bird house
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Flowery Bird house
Christmas pot recycling
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Christmas pot recycling
Recycled Birdhouse
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Recycled Birdhouse

Do you have any suggestions or ideas for upcycling in the garden?


 Last updated on April 13, 2014

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What is your favorite way of upcycling in the garden? 18 comments

PapaKork profile image

PapaKork 2 years ago

Actually, I've picked up some great ideas on upcycling here, so I plan to use some of these ideas in my garden.


anonymous 2 years ago

Thanks for your share. Great lens.


Onlinemum3 profile image

Onlinemum3 2 years ago

Great lens, loads of fantastic ideas here.


Auntie-M LM profile image

Auntie-M LM 2 years ago

The teacup birdfeeder is a great idea! Nice lens.


anonymous 2 years ago

Thank you for the data base of ideas and inspiration and links!


chezchazz profile image

chezchazz 2 years ago from New York Level 1 Commenter

loads of great ideas. Thanks for sharing.


favored profile image

favored 2 years ago from USA Level 7 Commenter

Using old containers for seedlings and plants. Like to try the teacup birdfeeder.


KateHonebrink profile image

KateHonebrink 2 years ago

Love all these clever recycling, upcycling ideas! Great job on this article and congrats on making the upcycling monsterboard!!


Anthony Altorenna profile image

Anthony Altorenna 2 years ago from Connecticut Level 1 Commenter

Interesting and creative ideas for upcycling! I always try to find new ways to re-purpose old items, and often add things to my garden projects that were tossed away by others.


WhyCleanCounts profile image

WhyCleanCounts 2 years ago

neat ideas!


lionmom100 21 months ago

Some great ideas. I have been using old bottles to make a bottle border in my garden. I love it. They seem to work well as hose guides too.


anonymous 19 months ago

Any Ideas for old Electric Geysers


GonnaFly profile image

GonnaFly 19 months ago from Australia Hub Author

@anonymous: Off the top of my head - a compost bin, a planter, protection around plants


JimHofman profile image

JimHofman 18 months ago Level 1 Commenter

Really cool ideas here! We want to do more upcycling in our garden.


Cynthia Haltom profile image

Cynthia Haltom 17 months ago

Neat idea, you inspired me to reuse some of my old tires in the garden. Thanks for the ideas.


Spirality profile image

Spirality 7 months ago Level 2 Commenter

So creative. Now if only I had a garden


Lionrhod profile image

Lionrhod 5 months ago from Orlando, FL Level 4 Commenter

Fantastic lens! Thank you!


EmmaGraceEllis LM profile image

EmmaGraceEllis LM 5 months ago Level 2 Commenter

Awesome post, thanks a bunch for all the details

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