What is it about oxidized iron that makes it look so perfect in the garden? Have a look at this huge collection of rusty, old tools: World’s Largest Tool Art Collection.
I’m sure garden art started many years ago by circumstance. Long before there were landfills and we could send unwanted or too-far-gone items “away”, they were stashed in the yard, left to deteriorate over time.
But, of course, there have always been creative people with artistic impulses, and it would be rather irresistible not to turn that old metal bed frame and a bunch of rusted tools into some fabulous creature or ornamental statue for vines to grab onto. If it’s going to be there anyways, might as well make it spectacular.
Today, most metal garden junk is welded (something I wish I could do), but no matter how you make it or get it, it’s clear the love of rust lives on.
I’ve gathered some favourites from my garden and garden tours.
Rusty Garden Art Ideas
Classic Garden Orb
Whether a garden is formal or casual, I think these look great anywhere.
Metal Bee Skep
This one is in my garden. The bee is from a golf ball craft project. You can find the instructions here: DIY Golf Ball Garden Buggies.
Rusty Shelf, Birdhouse, and Hardware
This display of rustic items was on a Country Living Style Garden Tour I attended several years ago. Love the hardware and tool box!
Rusty Garden Bells
I remember a version of these being popular for front doors years ago. This one is on a garden stake.
Rusty Garden Birds
A new garden art piece that has rusty very nicely indeed.
Licence Plates and Old Tools
This is a scene from the same garden where I saw the Hairy Potter potting bench. It’s one of my favourite junk gardens ever. The artist is off-the-charts creative.
Are you on Team Rust or Team Paint?
I love a rusty patina, but I do paint when the lifespan of the item is in jeopardy. I painted this coal burner and use it as a waterfall by my little garden pond.
Rusty Garden Bird
Another contemporary garden art bird. I’d love to display one in a barbwire nest.
Rusty Old Copper Kettle
This kettle has been in my family for years. It’s always had a funny combination of verdigris and the worn copper finish which appears rusty. This is part of a collection of ideas here: Watering Can Garden Art.
Rusty Garden Orb
This one was also on a garden tour. I love the simplicity of it.
Rusty Old Tools
Trust me when I say you will probably never see a larger display of old tools! I’ll show the whole thing in an upcoming post. There has to be at least 2000 tools on this shed wall.
Metal Garden Art Dog
This crazy looking guy is outside a junk/antique shop. The whole garden has some very clever junk ideas. You can see more here: Wild and Wonderful Garden Art/Junk Guard Dogs.
Garden Junk Pipe Men
These are made from old tin / metal pipes. They’re super simple but so cute.
Welded Tool Art
These are so fun. I love the creative minds that see old tools and metal junk and see what they can be transformed into. You can see more details here: Garden Art Made From Old Tools
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the world of rust in the garden.
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