The Beginner’s Guide to Upcycling for Your Garden

Posted on Jul 29 2016 - 8:07am by UOG

The Beginner’s Guide to Upcycling for Your Garden

If you love gardening and trying new DIY projects, upcycling old household items into fun pieces for you’re garden will be your new favorite thing to do. Regardless of your experience level, time investment, desired budget or workable space, these upcycling hacks will turn your garden into a recycle-friendly oasis.

image courtesy of Empire Siding & Windows

image courtesy of Empire Siding & Windows

Find Materials

Most “junk” cluttering your garage or closet can be revamped into both functional and ornamental garden décor—this is the foundation of upcycling. The key is to find the right items to work with.

Below are some of the best items for your upcycled garden project:

Mason Jars: Convenient for housing fresh basil on the kitchen counter or illuminating the garden bench with hanging lanterns. This typical household item is highly versatile, and if you save all your empty sauce, jelly and pickle jars, you’ll have plenty to work with.

Shutters: If distressed or “shabby chic” is your design preference, this object makes a charming canvas for all types of landscape projects. Raid garage sales, flea markets or the local home supply store for low-cost inspiration.

Wine Corks: Vino lovers everywhere, rejoice—this object can be transformed into a clever and whimsical garden marker. Set aside your happy hour remnants, or visit a local bar and ask for discarded corks. Then put a stick in them, write the name of the plant you want to mark on a decorative piece of paper, and then attach it to the cork.

Utensils: Anyone who gravitates toward the vintage look love using old antique utensils for upcycling. You can find large bags of silverware at Goodwill and hang them as wind chimes or place them in the ground to reinforce greenery.

Choose Your Project

Blogs, websites and social media platforms are the most accessible resources to jumpstart your foray into upcycling. These Pinterest-style projects are popular among a wide variety of people, and for both indoor and outdoor uses; as such, you can find plenty of ideas and innovative projects online.

Give the following gorgeous shutter idea a try (Step-by-step instructions below) or find inspiration from the websites below.

Instructables: From growing herbs on your windowsill to expanding your hydroponic skills, this website consolidates numerous indoor gardening tutorials into one simple-to-navigate collection.
Recycle Scene: This website explains how to cultivate vegetables, flowers and succulents, even in limited square-footage.
Natural Living Ideas: Whether your crafting pursuits are geared toward Lego bird-feeders or milk crate vertical gardens, this website is ideal for budget-conscious DIYers with an aesthetic bent.
Organic Gardener: Here you’ll find tutorials for making your own self-watering containers, coconut shell planters and more.
Recycle Art: Based on the tenets “repurposed, reused, “reclaimed and “restored,” this website features an extensive database of green thumb ingenuity like planters made from chairs, boots or soda cans.

Elegant Shutter Planter

Pre-Potted Perennials
Louvered Shutter Panel
Oil Based Wood Stain
Heavy-Duty Jute Fiber
Small Flower Planters


Coat the shutter with a generous layer of wood stain and allow to dry for about two hours before wiping off the excess stain. Transfer the perennials into your planters of choice, then fasten these planters to the shutter’s louvered panels with jute fiber.

Mount this vertical garden onto a bare wall in your garden or on your patio, or lean it against a corner to “greenify” any confined space such as a 3-season room or garage work space.

image courtesy of Empire Siding & Windows

BIO: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and has five years of experience in the marketing world. She is currently a lifestyle blogger and has been featured on and Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.

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