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Garden Art From Trash

How To Transform Your Life And Your Yard

Garden Art From Trash: Some people are crazy about diamonds, furs, fancy cars, and fine art. Not me. My passion is rust!  

What about you? What's your found style? Let's find out!

Your perennials are sprouting and the garden gnomes have all been given their assignments next to the metal garden art.

But there's still something missing.

Could it be the art of trash? Of course it is!

The Garden Art From Trash Guide has lots of found style tips and unexpected surprises.

Trash artists take found objects and create ready-made, re-purposed, recycled treasures!

Metal Art

And what we can't find, we make -- with castoffs.

So find your inspiration! And make your garden flea market fabulous!

The Guide has hints to unify your eclectic garden style. Tips for bagging bargains. Techniques to avoid welding. And ideas for trash art projects.

So use the Guide. And create a one-of-a-kind garden experience in your own yard.

Okay, at the bottom of this article, you'll find a garden art from trash tree stump chair you can make right now.

Then there's a  show-and-tell of 2 garden art from trash pieces I've got in my backyard.

Garden Art Made From Junk Recycle & Repurpose

And take a look at the found style of one of Santa's little helpers I happened upon at a crafty Christmas bazaar.

Metal Garden Art - Outdoor Decorating Ideas

Making garden art from trash isn't just a passion. It also defines the eclectic garden style.

A good mix of the new with homemade, hand-me-down, and garage sale goodies make an eclectic garden a welcoming and personal place.

But the carefree charm of garden art from trash is really a journey of choices made with a good eye for composition and unity.

So use these recycled art outdoor decorating ideas to unify your garden composition and present your fabulous trash art with confidence.

Garden Trash Art

Unify With Repetition

Garden Trash Art

Garden art from trash blends various styles into a single scheme. 

So unify a mixed and matched collection by repeating materials like galvanized metals, stone and mosaic tile.

Choose a dominant color and weave it through your whole garden on plants, pavers and other garden decorations.

Paints and stains can make the new look old and the old look new. 

So paint and stain furniture, birdhouses, containers and such to tie together your color scheme.

Garden Trash Art

Let's Make A Deal

Garden Trash Art

Use these tips for bagging bargains! And you'll decorate your yard on a shoestring, unleash your creativity and find free stuff and great deals.

Arrive early at garage sales and flea markets.

Auctions and tag sales are less crowded on weekdays. So go then.

Always try to negotiate the price when something suits your fancy.

If a rickety piece can't be repaired, always plant flowers in, under it, or around it -- always!

At specialty shops, go straight to the clearance section. There are usually lots of broken and unwanted items perfectly suited for your trash art creations.

Keep an eye out for items with imperfections. Then ask store clerks for a discount. They usually say yes or let you have it for free!

Find curbside castoffs by prowling the neighborhood in spring when people clean out their attics and basements.

Garden Trash Art

Working With Metal

Garden Trash Art

If you love metal garden art from trash, then use these tips to avoid welds and work safe.

Lots of metal can be recycled and re-used as seating. And not all metal art requires a weld.

Drilled pilot holes, bolting and wiring metals together is a good way to make a connection.

Try stacking pieces on top of each other and let the weight hold everything together.

When a weld can't be avoided, make sure it's safe. Welding aluminum is impossible without special materials. And galvanized tin and steel produce toxic fumes when welded.

There are lots of tools that are used to work with recycled metals. But always be mindful to  wear safety glasses and gloves. 

Some trash artists are purists. They prefer to leave the metal as is. While others happily repaint and refinish their metal trash art. For these artists, a coat of sealer is perfect for arresting oxidation or weathering.

Garden Trash Art

Tree Stump Garden Chair Project

Garden Trash Art


Do you just happen to have an old iron chair with no legs laying around and an unused tree stump? Then this garden art from trash project is for you.

Examine the chair for any sharp bits of metal where the legs used to be and smooth them out with a grinder.

Put the chair on the tree stump with the front edge over-hanging just a bit.

Find 4 places in the ironwork that would be good places to sink a screw into the stump and mark the positions with chalk.

Lift the chair up. Position a washer over each chalk mark. Put the chair back into position by lining up the holes in the seat over the holes in the washers and chalk marks.

Drill the pilot holes, then sink screws through the holes in the chair, through the washers, and into the tree stump to hold the chair in place. 

How easy was that!

Garden Trash Art

Make Garden Art From Trash Ideas

Garden Trash Art

Here are just a few quick ideas that you might want to do in your lost-and-found garden.

Re-do shed windows in stained glass

Cap an old store sign with bowling ball finials

Let coleus thrive in old rusty cans.

Use chunks of limestone unearthed on your property to outline a garden bed.

Use old plastic dishpans as molds for hypertufa.

Sign Me Up

Use a discarded fence post and bare wood scraps to create a personalized garden street sign.

Picture Frame Wind Art

Decorate your tree branches with discarded picture frames. Remove the glass and paint them in dramatic colors.

Then use fishing line to hang them from tree branches. Play with the angles. Try hanging them from the frame corners.

Who doesn't love bowling balls in flowerbeds?

Bowling balls as garden art is old news in found style and trash art circles.

Let's put a new spin on it. Spray paint pretty patterns on old bowling balls using stencils.

Then line a garden bed or path with the balls. Sprinkle around a smidgen of marbles and stones for added sparkle.

Or transform bowling balls into architecture by turning a metal table upside down, and using the legs as a mount for your bowling ball.

Reuse old tools

Don't trash your old damaged garden tools. Re-purpose them as garden sentinels.

Cut the handles to a length you like. Stick them in the dirt behind tall flowers with the business end up.

Get saucy with saucers

Edge a planting bed with old saucers, dinner plates, or discarded metal pot tops.


Create a classic look with re-claimed brick. Dig a trench 4 to 5 inches. Put in an inch of sand for drainage. And angle the bricks in.

Positioning them with half the brick above ground and other half below.


Put an old collection of seashells to work as garden edging. Place them upended or lay them flat.

Alfresco Checker Board Game

Re-purpose old concrete pavers for an alfresco checkerboard game. Find a level surface in your garden.

Place square pavers on the surface keeping 2 inches of space between each paver. Paint every other concrete paver black with concrete paint.

Be creative and come up with what you'll use for game pieces.

Personify your garden

Make a flowerpot scarecrow and plant the head with perennial dreadlocks.

Wheel Barrels

Use a rusted wheel barrel as a planter. You can let it set up right and just plant flowers in it.

Or make it look as if the flowers are spilling from it by turning it on its side first, and then planting the flowers.


Trash Art

This beautifully rusted chiminea was just hanging out my backyard with nothing to do.

Now it has its mouth full!

I purchased a fern, and just dropped it in the mouth of the chiminea. It sits in the shade and gets watered deeply every day.



Trash Art

Shabby Chic Garden Art









This next garden art from trash project is made from wrought iron wine racks I rescued from the back of a department store trash bin.

Hens and chicks are one of my favorite succulents. So my mom glazed some terra cotta pots in bright colors. Then I planted hens and chicks in them.

Shabby Chic Garden Art

Shabby Chic Garden Art









And just dropped the pot in the wine rack hole that's made to hold wine bottles, and nailed the wine racks to my deck posts. The hens and chicks hardly need watering and love to have their roots crowded, so they are a perfect fit for these small pots.

Garden Trash Art

Garden Trash Art








I was invited by my friend Vali to a women's Christmas crafts bazaar here in East Tennessee.

Once I got there and started looking around, I couldn't help but notice the beautiful backyard of our host, Carolyn Ayers. 

Carolyn graciously gave us a tour. And as always, Vali had her trusty camera handy and viola, below we are treated to some of Vali's images of Carolyn's garden art from trash.

The 3 windows you see are decorating a fence. Carolyn has other plans for them, but like all of us, she has too much to do, and so little time. I think they look just fabulous where they are.

And as you can see, Carolyn decorates her tree stumps, too. I think those are succulents she has growning in the shallow bowl sitting on top of the stump. 

Garden Trash Art

Garden Trash Art









This rusted watering can piece is my favorite. Carolyn re-purposed the rusted watering cans by nestling them in the English ivy that's climbing up her side fence. Totally whimsical!!!

Isn't it amazing how something so simple can have so much impact?!

Garden Trash Art

Garden Trash Art











Next we have a toppled strawberry jar right at home among her lambs ear shoots. 

And to the right, keeping her oxalis company and giving it even more visual appeal is the base of an old baby carriage. The rusty tones of the carriage look great against the purple oxalis.

Garden Trash Art

Garden Trash Art








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