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Upcycled Garden Ideas

21st Jan 2015

Picture courtesy of GooglePhoto courtesy of Google

If you already have a garden, you already know how wonderful (and green!) it can be to grow your own fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, etc. If you’re looking for unique and thrifty ways to add to your creation, try making a planter out of an old shoe – or plant markers from corks. Our deer fencing company has created a list of neat ideas for you to try:


Tea cups – Old tea cups are perfect for growing small flowers. Just drill a hole in the bottom for drainage and plant your favorite miniature roses, geraniums, violets, or herbs like parsley or chives.

Shoes – Any type of old shoe can be turned into a planter – simply drill holes (about an inch apart) in the soles for drainage, line the shoe with cheesecloth or thin fabric (to prevent soil from escaping), and plant your favorite plant! You can even apply a couple coats of outdoor acrylic sealer to the inside and outside of the shoe to make it last longer.

Food tins – Whether it’s a can of coffee, a tin of popcorn, or a can of mixed nuts, tins are great for upcycling. Drill a couple drainage holes in the bottom, then line, fill with soil and start growing!

Colanders – Since they already have drain holes, old-fashioned metal colanders are perfect for planters. Just line the bottom and choose your plant. If your colander has handles on it, you could also easily turn it into a hanging planter.


Pallets – For leftover wooden pallets in your area, check a gardening store, hardware store, or power equipment store (preferably a small business, since big businesses tend to have pallet pick-up contracts). Lean two together to form a triangle or stack them side-by-side for a rectangular trellis.

Doors – Old French doors (or any door with glass panes) make great trellises. Simply knock out the glass to give plants empty space and re-paint to match your garden decor.

Bird Baths

Bird baths can be made from many different household items – try turning a ceramic chalice upside-down and gluing it to the bottom of a ceramic bowl. Or drill a hole in the bottom of a teacup and saucer and attach a rod and hook to make a hanging bird bath. An upside-down pot makes for a good base while an old pot lid makes for a good bowl – or, simply drill holes in a plastic bowl and attach some twine to make another kind of hanging bird bath. As long as you have something to hold water and a “stem” to display it, you can get creative.

Garden Beds

Kiddie pools – Have a kiddie pool that your son or daughter has outgrown? Repaint or embellish it, then fill it with soil and use it as a bed for your garden!

Dresser drawers – If you don’t have any unused dresser drawers, you can easily find some at yard sales, flea markets, or even out by the curb for the trash. Simply apply a few coats of waterproof sealer to keep the wood from warping – you can even leave the drawers in the dresser and pull them out.

Cribs/beds – You can literally make a garden bed with an old crib or bed. Take the springs out, then line bricks from the ground up around the inside of the frame to keep your soil and plants inside the bed.

Stones – Whether they’re unused stones, pieces of concrete, leftover pavers, or another type of hardscaping element, you can line them up in a neat shape and create your own space for a garden bed.


Bottles – Brightly colored bottles can be used for a variety of things in your garden – try painting them with a pretty pattern and hanging them. Or, turn them upside-down and line your garden for a pop of color and sparkle. You can also turn them into their own planters.

Corks – If you’re handy with a box cutter, carve your corks to make little designs like mushrooms and place them throughout your garden. Or you can use corks to make markers for each of your plants – simply write the plant name on them, then skewer and place in your garden.

Silverware – Need a new set of silverware? Use your old ones to make a wind chime. Or, paint your spoons or knives with chalkboard paint and write the names of your plants to use as plant markers. You can also attach four spoon heads together in an “X” and glue a large nail through the center to make a decorative butterfly.

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