I love to find new purposes for old items, in my home as well as my yard. Here are 7 of the items that I have repurposed for my yard. Hopefully you will find some inspiration for your own yard!
I love shopping garage sales and thrift stores! Quite a few years ago, I really got into the “primitive” or aged look, and garage sales and thrift stores are great places to find items that fit that style. Unfortunately, (or probably fortunately, if you ask my husband!), we have small everything at our house, and I’m running out of space. So, I’ve had to be more selective. Which means I’ve had to turn down some really great deals!
But sometimes, if the deal is too good to pass up…Anyway, thanks to Pinterest and garage sales, my yard is sprucing up. However, over the last couple years, we’ve had two horrible hail storms that have stripped the paint on our fence and borders, as you can see in some of the photos. I guess maybe I need to stop adding decor to our yard and spend some time painting!
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7 Items to Repurpose as Yard Decor
1. Old Bird Baths
This bird bath was in our yard when we moved in 25 years ago (it obviously needs a new coat of paint, as well!). I used it as intended for several years, but it was always dirty, and it took a lot of work to keep it cleaned out. I never really noticed the birds using it, anyway!
One summer, I had brought a hanging plant home to hang by our back door. However, my husband had just painted the railings and hadn’t put up the hanging hardware yet. I needed a place to set it, so I stuck it in the bird bath. I loved it so much, I’ve been using it that way ever since! And, by the way, my husband never did get the hardware put up. So I guess it’s a good thing I found a new place for the plant!
I have also planted fairy gardens and succulent gardens in the bird bath, but they haven’t done as well. By the end of the summer, this plant should be filled in pretty good and cover up some of the ugliness!
2. Hanging Planter Cages
There are a lot of ideas on Pinterest for repurposing plant cages. I have seen some really neat orbs, and also some succulent orbs. I saw this idea a few years ago. Sometimes you can find the cages at garage sales or thrift stores. I actually made two and couldn’t find two used ones that matched, so I ended up buying new ones. I picked up two $.99 solar lights at Walmart. The lights were a little small for the hole in my cages, so I took two canning lids (just the flat part that seals) and made a hole in the center of each just right for the light to sit on. I spray-painted them black and glued them to the hole in the bottom of the cages.
Then I took the stake off the bottom of the solar lights and dropped them in. Now, when one of them stops working (actually, one has!), I can just pick up another one at Walmart and replace it. I used the hanging chains from the planter to attach it to the shepherd’s hook. I also found some little shiny baubles at Hobby Lobby that I hung around the bottom to make it more decorative. Now we have floor lamps on our patio!
You can find these small insulators at garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, etc. Several years ago, I had seen an idea in a magazine where they placed them along a fence with a string of lights lighting them up. I loved that idea, so we picked up a few at a thrift store. But we don’t have enough for the whole fence, and plugging them in is a little bit of a problem right now. So they have sat in the attic for a few years.
But a couple weeks ago, my husband’s sister asked us if we wanted the big green one. Their uncle worked for the power company years ago, and she had nabbed on to it, but didn’t want it anymore. Then I saw the idea of placing the little ones on copper pipes, so I decided to put them all together! I love the large one. It had a post attached to it, so I just “planted” it in the ground. I’m thinking that maybe I will find a string of solar lights and glue them up inside it to make it into a little lamp!
The small insulators I just glued on to the copper pipes with E6000 glue. I pounded the pipes in to the ground first to the desired height, and then glued them on. They fit over the pipes pretty well, so I didn’t have to hold them while the glue dried.
4. Old Furniture
I found this chair at a garage sale a couple weeks ago. The garage sale listing said “Repurposer’s Dream”, and she was selling all the things she had planned to fix up but never got around to it. I could have spent a lot of money there! But I decided to stick to my budget, which I was sure included at least one item! I chose this old chair. The pot of flowers fits perfect in it, and I didn’t have to do anything except place it where I wanted it!
There are lots of other ways to use furniture in the yard. I have seen dressers repurposed as potting benches as well as just placing plants in them. I have also seen beds made in to flower “beds”, which I think is a cute idea. I’ve also seen old sewing machine bases, and even tubs and toilets. I don’t think you’ll ever find a toilet in my yard…just saying!!
5. Old Machinery or Pumps
I found this old pump for $10 at a garage sale last summer. It was toward the end of the summer, so I just sat it by the back door, and that’s where it stayed all winter! It is broken in a few places, but I felt the price was perfect, and I think it looks great with my pot of plants!
You can also repurpose wheel barrows, wagons, bicycles, and other similar items as yard decor. One of the things we’ve always wanted to do is get some old trolley cars or mining cars and plant them with flowers. Even better, is if we could get some of the rail to place them on! But that’s a future project!
6. Pavers and Other Stone
Several years ago, I found a small column at a garage sale. I tried setting a plant on it, but I just never really cared for how it looked. Then, I was on the Martha Stewart site one day, and she had an article about using whatever you have to make temporary side tables for a yard party. One of the examples she gave was setting a stone paver on top of a clay pot, and that got my creative juices flowing!
We picked up a 16″ paver for the top, but my husband didn’t feel it was as tall as it should be, so we got a 12″ paver and glued it to the bottom. Then we painted the entire unit. It was yellow, but it needed an update, so a few days ago, I painted it aqua. It is so sturdy, and we don’t have to worry about the wind blowing it over! We use it all the time, and I’ve been looking for another column so I can make another one.
7. Clay Pots
I made this lantern a few years ago for my mom for Mother’s Day. I had previously made one for myself with an actual lantern, but I couldn’t find the right lantern when I made hers. That’s when I decided to go with solar. I like hers so much better than mine, so I’m probably going to need one for myself one of these days! I especially love the paver I found to place it on. It kind of looks like a jagged rock sticking out into the ocean! If you want to find out how to make one for yourself, check out this post.
This solar lantern was also featured at the Inspiration Monday Link Party. Be sure to check it out!
There are so many other items that can be used. One of my current quests is to find a potting bench that I can repurpose as a drink station for my patio. I could buy a new one or make one (I’ve pinned several ideas on Pinterest!), but I’d really like to find one at a garage sale or thrift store for a really good price. It seems like nobody in our area is looking to part with theirs!
So what kind of repurposed items do you have in your yard?