Decorating a garden can take your space to the next level—from lush, but plain, backyard paradise to an extension of your home, with all the personalized style that comes with interior design. But these exterior design projects won’t break the bank: They use up-cycled secondhand furniture and other home goods to create each fun and fulfilling project.
Silverware Wind Chime
After years of misplaced spoons and bent forks, you may find yourself in the market for a new cutlery set. But what should you do with the old set? With some common tools and a little elbow grease, you can create a whimsical wind chime. Drill a hole in the end of each utensil using an iron drill bit. Bend the prongs of a fork to 90-degree angles—half to one side, half to the other. Curl the end of the prongs up; this end is the piece from which the other utensils will hang. Hang the rest of the utensils with metal or fishing wire. Add beads, or hang the cutlery from a serving platter for extra personality.
Solar Lamp Posts
Grandma’s brass lamps may not go well with the living room decor, but don’t give them away just yet. Remove the electrical components, give the posts a coat of spray paint, and glue outdoor solar lights on top. Now you have stylish solar lamp posts.
Laundry Basket Planter
A broken laundry basket is easily transformed into a stylish planter with a little hot glue, burlap, and rope. Close the holes in the basket by gluing burlap to both sides. Then, cover the rest of the basket in burlap, gluing it down as you go. Next, cover the edges and handles with burlap. Tie the rope around the basket, covering the seam, glue it down, and tie a bow or knot in front.
Tin Can Lantern
Few things seem as shabby as tin cans, but they are easily dressed up into lanterns with some creativity and a coat of spray paint. Cut vertical slices in the can all the way around, leaving an inch at the top and bottom. Squish the can down, pushing the middle out, and add a wire handle and spray paint. Finally, put a tealight in the lantern, and hang it up.
Most homes don’t have chandeliers, but just because you don’t have one in the living room doesn’t mean you can’t have one in the garden. You can find chandeliers at thrift stores and yard sales, and it doesn’t matter if the electrical components work if you turn the chandelier into a planter. After stripping down the chandelier, glue pots and saucers where lights would be, and cover everything with a coat of paint. Put some flowers in the pots, and hang on the porch for guests to admire.
Ceiling Fan Blade Dragonfly
Old fan blades don’t offer much in the way of usefulness, but they make great wings for a dragonfly garden sculpture. Paint and decorate the blades for wings, and add a table or chair leg for the body. Screw the fan blades to the back of the leg. You can add a twine ball head, wire antennae, marble eyes, lace wing decorations—the possibilities for customization are endless.
Garden Hose Rug
Garden hoses are usually thrown away after they outlive their usefulness, but with a sharp knife and some zip ties, old garden hoses are given a second life as an outdoor rug. Cut off the ends of the hose and spiral it around itself, periodically using zip ties to secure each loop to the previous one. Not only are garden hoses very tough, they are also slip-resistant. Try using different colored hoses, making the rug in an oval shape, or changing up the stripe pattern.