Don’t toss that broken terracotta pot in the trash! Put your green thumb to the test by recycling items and using them in your garden. Here are the some fantastic examples of trash to treasure crafts to get your backyard summer ready!
1. Rock Garden Markers
This is possibly one of the easiest ways to add a touch of creativity and practicality to your garden. The plastic markers that come with store bought plants can be easily lost among your foliage, so instead use your imagination to paint some large garden rocks. Opt for bright colors, and you’ll always know exactly what’s what in your garden – or if you’re feeling particularly artistic, you might want to add a little illustration.
2. Stone Garden Footprints
Stone Footprints are a great way to add fun elements to your garden. It takes a bit of effort to find stones that are right size and shape but there isn't much too it other than that. This can be a great way to involve the kids or grandkids with a fun outdoor activity. Playing a game of looking for tracks or finding them throughout the garden can be fun and they are easily moved to new spots to keep it fun. Also, mix it up and add other animal footprints like dinosaur, dog, or anything the kids can think of.
4. Mystical Mushrooms
When you think of a fairytale garden, what are some of the things that come into your mind? One of them might be the spotted mushrooms that are seen so frequently in fairy tale story books, and you can easily create your own with some round terra cotta pots and their drain plates. Tip the terra cotta pot upside down and paint it white, then get creative with the drain plates by painting them a variety of different colors. Once the paint is dry, coat them with a layer of clear waterproof sealer and find a good spot in your garden to put them on display.
4. Teapot Lights
We found this one on a the Navage Patch website and thought this was a great way to bring some interest to a garden at night. This teapot that looks to be spilling tea onto a rock doesn't require much in the way of material or anything special to build. Also, the one pictured below uses solar lighting so you can place this anywhere in your garden and you don't have to worry about running any power to it.
5. Soda Bottle Vertical Garden
Keep plastic bottles out of landfills and become an eco warrior by making this stunning vertical garden out of soda bottles. All you need to do is cut out rectangles out of the side of each bottle which are big enough for you to easily pour soil in. Then pierce two holes at the bottom and top of the bottle so you can thread string through the holes. Prevent your plants drowning in water by adding a small hole to the bottom of the bottle, so it can drain. Nail the string to your wall or other chosen structure, and fill up your bottles with soil and seedlings - whether it’s herbs, vegetables or other plants. Now watch them grow!
6. Moss Graffiti
Calling all eco-warriors! This moss graffiti is not only environmentally friendly, but it looks great, too. Gather up as much moss as you can find from pavements or damp bricks, break it into smaller pieces and put it in a blender. Then, add buttermilk, yoghurt, water, beer and sugar and blend until you achieve a paint-like texture. After that, simply paint your mixture onto the wall on which you wish the moss to grow. Check back regularly, and after some time, your moss should have grown into a beautifully green creation.
7. Self Watering Glass Planters
Whether drowning the soil until it can’t breathe or leaving it to become as a dry as desert, many of us are unintentional plant serial killers. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Say goodbye to sorrowful crispy leaves and hello to gloriously thriving plants, with self-watering planters! These are incredibly easy to make, and you won’t have to worry about over or under watering them ever again. Cut off the top of a wine bottle - or if you prefer - use a plastic bottle. Invert the top of your bottle and fit into a clear glass jar. The trick to make the plant self watering is the insertion of a piece of string through the bottle. This string absorbs water and draws it up to the neck of bottle, where the soil and seeds will be resting. Finally fill the bottle with soil and plant your herbs - basil and thyme are great choices for cooking.
8. Golf Ball Lady Bugs
That’s right; even golf balls can be repurposed. All that you need for this craft is some sandpaper and paint. Use the sandpaper to remove the gloss from the golf ball so that the paint will stick. Paint the entire ball red then once it is dry, add the face, wings and spots in black. Scattering your lady bugs around your garden will add an element of fun and could even be turned into a hide and seek-type game.
9. Spoon Rain Chain
Rain chains make excellent additions to gutters and will help to direct the flow of rainwater. Get together some old spoons and remove the bowls from a few of them. Drill holes at the end of each spoon handle, including those without bowls and then place them back to back, so the bowls are facing outward. Wrap wire around the handles and continue to do this until you’ve used every spoon. Your rain chain can be used to collect water for use in the garden if you place a pot or rain barrel below it, too.
10. Rain Gutter Garden
When you live in an urban area with not much backyard space, it can be disheartening when you see huge gardens adorned with beautiful plants. But you don’t need to have a large yard to show off your green thumb. Reuse old guttering to create a vertical garden on your walls. What’s great about this project, is it takes up virtually no floor space, so you could cover all of your walls if desired. Just attach your gutters to the walls and fill them with soil. When it comes to choosing plants, go for small ones that aren’t too heavy. Otherwise you might have to take on another DIY project to repair the fence.
11. Toy Crop
Sometimes, it can get a little boring using the same old pots in your garden. So if your kids have grown out of their toy trucks, why not turn them into a cute planter for your flowers or succulents? Add a small layer of stones into the truck and then a thicker layer of potting soil before you plant something. A toy that still has working wheels will give you the advantage of wheeling it in and out of the sun or avoiding heavy weather that might drown your whimsical creation.
12. Broken Pot Plant Markers
Don’t let a few broken terracotta pots shatter your hopes of a beautiful garden. We’ve all suffered a few accidents with our plant pots - so you’re not alone. But instead of throwing them in the trash, have a think about what other purpose you could give them. If you’re a keen gardener, why not turn them into decorative plant markers? They’re already broken, so that’s the hard part done. All you need to do is label them. Write on the top with a wax pencil or if you’ve got a steady hand, paint on the label. Then just match them up with the corresponding plants and your garden will instantly be dressed up.
13. Bottle Cap Wind Chime
Make good use of unwanted bottle caps by creating an outdoor chime that will make the wind seem less bothersome. If you’d like, you could paint the bottle caps to create a uniform look before cutting some fishing line in different lengths. Put a dot of tacky glue on the cap and set the fishing line in the glue before sandwiching it with a smaller button, then add a bell to the end of each line to achieve that little jingle. Once everything is dry, feed the strands through the drainage holes of a plant pot and tie another piece of fishing line at the top to hang it.
14. Tic Tac Seed Saver
Those that regularly plant seeds in their garden will know how frustrating it can sometimes be to keep them organized. An easy and cheap way to combat this is to keep them separate in empty tic tac or mint boxes. Add a sticky note to each container, and you’ll always be able to know which is which without having to worry about the original packet ripping and scattering your seeds in the wrong place.
15. Fairy Garden
Do you believe in fairies? Even if you're a skeptic, we’re sure when you were younger, that you thought you encountered one. Recapture the magic of your childhood and invite these fascinating creatures into your backyard by building them a fairy garden. If you have a pot that’s not too far gone, you can easily arrange it into a fantastically beautiful home for the little people. Fill up your pot with plenty of soil, and arrange your shards any way you like. If you're feeling creative, why not try building a staircase out of the smaller broken pieces? Decorate the soil with pretty plants, cute miniature ornaments and anything else you desire. It’s your fairy garden so let your imagination run wild!
16. Cute Tire Frog
Animal lovers will love this cute frog made from recycled tires. For this, you’ll need two car tires, one truck tire and two smaller wheelbarrow tires with rims as well as some old garden hose, a recycled rubber doormat and some Duco cement. Use the larger tires to form the frog’s body and head, and the smaller wheelbarrow tires will make the eyes. The garden hose can be used to form some front facing arms, and the recycled rubber doormat can be cut to create the little flippers. Your frog is bound to be a talking point!
17. Hubcap Flowers
How many times have you seen an abandoned hub cab on the side of the road? Well, next time you drive past one, take it home and create a hubcap flower for your garden. Once home, wash it thoroughly before applying a coat of spray primer. All that you need to do next is paint your hubcap flower a color of your choosing, before attaching it to your garden wall or fence with a fully secured hook.
18. Teacup Tire Planters
If our tire frog wasn’t for you, perhaps you’ll prefer these teacup tire planters. They’re not only a safe way to recycle tires, but also enable you to add an Alice in Wonderland feel to your garden or yard. Simply use a sharp kitchen knife and a dowel to create a bigger hole in the tire, before painting it in the color of your choice. Use an old hose for the handle and an old table top for the base and then you’re free to start planting.
19. Eggshell Seedling Starters
After making a tasty omelet for breakfast, don't throw out your eggshells! Did you know they making cracking seedling pots? Keep the roots of your plants undisturbed by planting your seeds in soil filled egg shells. Prick a hole in the bottom of each egg, so when you place them in the ground, the roots can easily reach the soil in your backyard. Avoid confusion over which plant is which by delicately labelling each egg - we don’t want them to break! Keep your eggs safe in a carton during the initial growing stages before planting them in the garden - this is especially useful if the weather isn’t delightfully sunny. Ensure the soil is moist by watering them regularly, and prepare to be delighted as you see the first green shoots plants sprouting up.
20. Owl Bird Feeder
This craft is a great one that you can do with little ones because it’s quick, easy and cute. Plus, it can be created out of something you’re bound to have lying around – an empty juice carton. Use enamel paints to make the coat even. Once dry, use a knife to cut out a hole where the tummy will be and of course, flaps for the wings on each side. Finally, glue on bottle top eyes. Inside the carton, add some bird feed and insert a wooden lollipop stick for your friendly garden visitors to perch on while they munch.
21. Spoon Fruit and Vegetable Markers
For a craft that requires minimum effort but will maximize the look of your vegetable garden, all that you need is some old wooden spoons. Simply decorate the spoons so that you can quickly identify your crops, whether this is with bold words, colors or pictures. This is another craft that can keep children occupied and might even get them interested in growing (and eating) some of their own fruit and veg.
22. Cleaning and Sharpening Tool Holder
This is a great one for those who regularly spend time on garden-related chores and need to keep their tools clean and maintained. Find a terra cotta pot and fill it with a mixture of sand and mineral oil. The rough sand will keep your tools sharp, and the oil will keep them well lubricated, protecting them from rust. Make sure you cover the drainage hole with duct tape to keep your oily sand tightly packed. Easy, right?
23. Preserve your Flowers in Panels
Are you prone to picking flowers from your garden? If so, here’s a creative idea to display them. Make frames out of cardboard and arrange your chosen flowers in between sheets of thin plastic. These will make cute decorations in a garden shed, and kids will love showing off their artistic handiwork. It’s also a good way to learn more about the flowers that are growing right on your doorstep.
24. Milk Jug Watering Can
Don’t fork out for brand new watering cans when you can easily make them out of milk jugs. These are so simple to create - you’ll wonder why you haven’t done this before. Heat the end of a needle for a few seconds and then pierce holes into the lid. Repeat this step until you are satisfied with the amount of holes in the lid. Unlike standard watering cans, you’ll find the water doesn’t leak or drip back down the spout - so no mess! Try out different sized needles to create a finer or heavier spray.
25. Rock Cactus Plants
Succulents are huge right now, particularly cacti, so why not create some faux plants out of rocks that will be a lot easier to care for throughout the year? Find some rocks of different sizes (long oval flat rocks work the best) and paint them different shades of green. Adding these into a little pot with some decorative sand will really modernize your patio.
26. Seed Packet Lettering
Don’t throw away your empty seed packets! Instead, use them to create some unique lettering on your garden wall or shed. If you’re a dab hand with a jigsaw, you can create your own wooden letters, but otherwise, these can be easily sourced at a craft store. Then, all that you need to do is arrange the seed packets in a desired pattern on the letters and affix them with decoupage glue. Once covered completely, add an extra layer of decoupage to seal it.
27. DIY Compost Bin
A compost bin for your garden can be made out of typical household items that you’d otherwise end up throwing away. The easiest is probably one created with wooden pallet planks and wire mesh. Use one pallet as the base while the other will be separated to form a square, topless frame. Surround the frame with wire mesh and roll the second piece of mesh into a cylinder to act as a chimney among the compost pile. This will allow the compost to breathe. Once you’ve done that, all that’s left is to add your own compost (and optional worms) into the bin.
28. Ice Ornaments
This is a great little craft for the winter months, as it adds some holiday charm to your garden. It’s also a good way to use up old fruit and flowers that you might have lying around or you can even include some seeds to help the birds out when the cold weather creeps in. Arrange your materials in a glass pie dish and then gently add enough water to cover them. After a couple of hours in the freezer, the decorations should release from the dishes. Then, drill a hole into the decoration and thread some twine so it can be hung. Of course, for your project to last it’ll need to be pretty cold outside! Keep this in mind.
29. Wheely Lawn Ornament
Have you got an old wheelbarrow that’s beginning to rust in the garage? Instead of throwing it away, use it as a rustic planter in your garden. Drill some holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain from the soil, before placing your choice of flowers or crops into the wheelbarrow. Make sure you plant everything as deep as they were planted in the seedling trays or cell packs and follow the correct spacing guidelines to get the best result.
30. Wine Cork Herb Planters
If you enjoy the odd tipple, you shouldn’t have a problem with this easy trash to treasure project. Just a drink a bottle (or four) of wine and save the corks afterwards. Make sure you’re sober for the next part as you’ll be handling machinery. Drill a hole into the bottom of the corks, and insert metal skewers so you can stand the markers next to the plants. Write your labels onto the corks with a sharpie - and that’s it!
31. Watermelon Hammocks
Give your melons the support they need - keep your mind clean, we’re talking about the actual fruit! If you have ever experienced growing melons or even pumpkin for your pumpkin pie, you’ll know they can get extremely heavy. To support their weight, build them a hammock out of old pantyhose. Just tie up each end of the pantyhose so it hangs down like sling, and carefully rest your melon or pumpkin on top.