I’ve gathered up a whole bunch of ideas for adding creative touches to your garden fence or outdoor walls. Just like inside a house, these vertical surfaces are perfect for creating focal points with groupings of favourite weather-resistant pieces from dishes to old tools. If you’d like specific ideas for privacy fences, I’ve got a collection of them here.
If you have some old household item or piece of junk you want to make into something cool, have a look at my Recycled DIY & Craft Idea Project Idea Bank.
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Use What You Have and Find Ideas Wherever You Are
I go on local garden tours to gather ideas for my garden. There’s all sorts of incredible but expensive garden art you can buy these days in floral shops and plant nurseries but my favourites are still the ones that are upcycled, repurposed, and unique.
It’s easy to get locked into the idea that we need to make our own art exactly like an example we saw elsewhere, but, if you can let go and innovate, you might just come up with something even better simply by making use of things you have on hand or can find dirt cheap at yard sales or thrift shops.
Another place to grab ideas is online shops. You can see all sorts of things here on Amazon.com. Pick a favourite and see if you can make something similar.
I’ll show you some favourite ideas. I took most of these photos on garden tours.
1. Rustic Stars
Create your own unique star with reclaimed wood slats, a grape vine wreath, rustic metal star, and a raffia bow.
2. Plates and Dishes
Have your plates and dishes seen better days? Let them live on outdoors. Here a collection of blue plates is combined with some metal art pieces and blue orbs.
3. Salvaged Metal and Wood
Several of these pieces might be kind of bland on their own, but arranged together on this fence they look quite wonderful.
4. Rusty Old Tools
I often see boxes of rusty old tools at auctions. They’re filthy and there’s probably some useless junk in the box too, but if you’re willing to lug them home and clean them up, you can get a display like this for a real deal.
5. More Rusty Tools
The side of this shed is used to display old garden tools, a cast iron frying pan, and more. So what works? I think it’s a simple of choosing items you like. If it appeals to you—hang it up. You can always switch things around later.
6. Old Gate and Metal Word Sign
Old gates, headboards, shelves—they all work. Add your own touch with a favourite metal sign. Here’s some examples at Amazon. Check thrift shops and yard sales to find ones in your area.
7. Shelves and Decor
If you have some favourite items you want to display but find them difficult to hang, add shelves. It’s a great way to show off bulkier items that you don’t want to keep on the ground.
8. Window Frame with Shutters
This is from my garden. An old window frame matched perfectly with some junk shutters to create a focal point in the garden.
9. Framed Succulents
10. Galvanized Buckets
Along with some very sweet framed succulents, this garden has a series of galvanized buckets mounted on the fence. Simply drop potted plants in to change things up through the growing season.
11. Candle Holders and Kitchen Trivets
This is also at my house. I added the hanging planters to add interest to the long brick wall but it still looked too plain. The addition of metal candle holders and kitchen trivets added the artistic touch I wanted.
12. Garden Tools
I hung these garden tools on the fence after realizing I was never going to use them but didn’t really want to get rid of them. While some love the look of rust, in this case I opted to spray paint the ends silver.
13. Plants With Character
The succulents chosen for this fence-mounted planter are a perfect choice for the ornate style. Plus anything long or cascading tends to kick it up a notch.
14. Outdoor Art Gallery
Display collections of similar items that work together likes these hanging metal sculptures.
15. Pick A Theme
16. Fence and Gate Inserts
In the old days we used old floor grates for this but today you can buy metal or plastic inserts that do a good job of adding interest to a plain gate or fence.
17. Giant Bug Art
This giant dragonfly is from a shop but you can also make your own from an old ceiling fan.
18. Repetition Repetition
This unusual fence is between two houses where they wanted privacy and creativity. The “roof” up top is a smart way to add height to a fence without having a tall, plain wall. The repeated hanging baskets definitely bling it up.
19. Old Frames and Mirrors
Along with broken garden tools, I started hanging old wooden picture frames and mirrors as well. This is a great way to add interest to a long fence while you’re waiting for the plants to grow up. This tells you which mirrors to choose and how to keep it safe:
20. Colour (or Color)
There’s nothing like a zing of colour to grab attention. These brilliant blues are a great distraction from a long, boring wall.
21. Indoor Decorating Style Outdoors
This sitting area is set up the same way you’d do it indoors. The table and chairs set the stage, and the various plants and decorations on the wall accent the setting.
22. Simple Can Be Very Good
This little mask works perfectly on this expanse of black fence and gate. Simple touches like this are my favourite.
23. Living Art and Perennial Favourites
Train a clematis or other vine up a fence. Here some annuals and birdhouses add to the living art.
24. Natural Materials and Matching Textures
Stacked firewood and hanging wicker baskets look gorgeous together. Think about grouping items with similar colours and textures for an eye-catching display.
25. Add Some Humour
I’m a big proponent of having your garden your way. Forget what anyone else has to say and follow your muse. If you like goofy faces like this or anything else that adds some fun, go for it.
I hope you got some ideas you can use. There’s also a whole bunch more idea galleries here. Enjoy!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛