This yard art made from old tools shows many ways to turn rusty old tools into garden decor. Look for hammers, shovels, wrenches, and hardware including metal washers, crowbars, rakes, and more.
This is part of my virtual collection of tool art ideas.
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Rusty Tool Art
Garden tool art made to look like animals and other creatures has probably been around as long as there have been rusty, old tools.
While many of these creations would require welding, you could also find clever ways to attach parts with wire.
Plus, there are many skilled welders around who may take on extra hobby work like this. Bring them your old tools and design idea and let them put it together.
If you are thinking of making garden art projects from tools, start collecting old hand tools such as rakes, shovels, hoes, clippers, hammers, saws, wrenches, hand drills, and so on. I look for anything with a wooden handle and metal parts. Those odd boxes of junk at country auctions can contain a treasure trove of rusty tools!
It’s Time To Bring Out Your Inner Tool Art Animal
These garden junk/art pieces were made from old metal tool parts. I photographed them at a garden centre. I’ve labelled the photos so you can see what each one is comprised of.
As you’ll see, most of them do not require any metal cutting but to aseemble them, you will have to make friends with a welding torch or find someone willing to put your assembled pieces together.
Hammer Head Bird
First up is Mr. Hammer Head. Here’s what he’s made from:
Here’s his parts:
His base is the handle of an old garden tool. Bury the other end in the ground, and ta-da!–you’ve got a great addition to the garden.
Rake Tail Bird
This one is a different type of bird known as the Rake Tail:
Here’s his parts list:
Shovel Back Bird
I love how this one looks happy:
Hedge clippers form the smiling mouth:
This one has a bent shovel pipe forming his beak. I can think of several old tools I’ve bent out of shape that could be made into tool creatures:
Is it just me or do these guys start seeming like real animals? Ok, maybe it’s just me….
Here’s a top view. I think it’s time to rescue old tools from the trash!
Tool Art Tips
Helpful ideas for making your own old tool animals
1. You don’t have to make animals like these ones. See what old metal parts you can find and come up with something unique to those parts. And think outside the box: you could make robots, giant flowers, spell out words to hang on the fence, symbols, faces…
2. Possible tool sources:
- your garage
- garbage picking
- ask friends or neighbors for their old tools
- auctions, thrift shops, discount shops selling crappy tools
3. Make friends with a welder or learn to do it yourself
Owning the right torch for the job might be the only thing standing between you and some fantastic garden art. Imagine all the stuff we could make if we had welding skills: tool critters, trellises, arbors…. Some towns still have blacksmiths or auto shops that will do welding for you.
Or, support a local artist and buy some tool critters ready made.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
PS: If you ever wonder where many of the old tools in the world end up, I think this shed is the answer! I saw it on a garden tour and could not believe how many tools they have collected.
The sheer volume gave me a sense of intrigue and envy all in one!