Wondering what to do with old tools? Creative gardeners use them for garden art and trellis. Display them on their own or turn them into tool art animals. Have a look at these ideas from home gardens.
Want more upcycling ideas? See 17 Ideas for Old Doors and Windows in the Garden.
Recycled Tool Art Ideas
These are some of my favorite junk art ideas taken on garden tours over many years.
Some feature old tools simply displayed as art on walls and fences.
Other times long-handled tools get a new purpose as trellis for climbing plants.
The most charming are the animals like cats, birds, and imaginary creatures made from a compilation of rusty tools. This usually requires welding but you could collect the tools and bring them to a welder to assemble.
This woodpecker was clearly made by a pro with some artistic skills. See how a shovel was cut and made into wings?
Related: Rusty Garden Art Idea Gallery
I love this piece but it’s not always easy to give them names.
In this next picture I listed the various parts used to make it.
This is another bird from the same garden.
The parts are simple and easy to find in junk shops.
Some gardeners really like the look of rusted metal. Others can’t wait to give it a coat of paint.
These painted crows are quite comical.
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Older garden tools made from wood and metal get a gorgeous patina as the years go on.
This roadrunner bird has shiny new head feathers. Perhaps the old ones fell off?
Another expert piece which I’m sure was not cheap.
Related: 22 Creative Wagon Planters
This idea was more common years ago before scrap metal started fetching a good price. I love how the tools look arranged on the shed wall.
This is the largest tool collection I have ever seen. I have a feeling if this gardener shows up at an auction sale with boxes of old tools for sale, don’t bother bidding. S/he will win.
See what I mean? That’s a lot of tools.
Most are in their natural state but I did notice a painted saw too.
Related: 50 Creative Garden Shed Ideas
Another fun idea: collect an assortment of old gears and weld them together to form a trellis.
This one is in my garden. I was trying to get the orange nasturtiums to climb up but they had other ideas.
If this was mine, in hindsight I would wish the shovel had been placed facing down to avoid collecting water. But, cute bird.
I made this owl from an old metal stove vent filter, whisks, canning jar lids, springs, and forks.
Related: Make a Garden Art Owl
I had to include this one since I still see it fairly often on garden tours. Old licence plates and tools go together like….I dunno. They just seem to go together.
This was in my first garden which you can tour here. I wasn’t sure what to do with tools as they got damaged so I just hung them on the fence for further consideration.
This is some of the stuff on my shed walls. Sometimes it’s not the single pieces that work but how they all go together.
Related: Garden Shed Makeover
I’ve had this tool for ages and never found it useful so I painted the handle blue and hung it on the arbor.
Not a great photo but a favorite little metal garden cat made from various metal scraps.
Related: Garden Art Favorites From Etsy
It’s never recommended to put a perch on a birdhouse used by real birds (because it makes it too easy for predators to get in), but I love this tool as an art piece.
Related: Creative Birdhouse Idea Gallery
No, it’s not a tool, but old metal wheels are always awesome in the garden.
Related: 22 Creative Wagon Planters
And there you go. Hang onto to those old tools and get creative.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛