4 Creative Uses Of Old Garden Tools

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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If you love spending time outdoors and doing some gardening, you probably have a whole collection of tools that you use regularly. And it's more likely some of these tools are starting to show their age and eventually collect dust in your shed or garage. 

While it may be tempting to call a donation pickup or toss them out, there are many ways you can opt to recycle your old garden equipment and give them a new lease on life. With a little bit of imagination, you can repurpose them into unique pieces that add character to your home or garden. 

Here are some creative uses you can do with your old garden tools:

1. Create A Bird Feeder With An Old Wheelbarrow 

Do you have an old wheelbarrow that you no longer use? You can transform it into a charming bird feeder for your garden. All it takes is to add a few coats of paint and some hooks and fill it up with birdseed. You can also add some flowers or plants around it to make it more inviting for the feathered friends in your area. 

This beautiful bird feeder is best placed near a window where you can see the birds up close while they feed. Or perhaps you can position it in your backyard to enjoy the birds while tending to your plants. There's nothing more relaxing than being surrounded by nature. And more importantly, you're giving these old tools a new purpose.

2. Turn A Rusty Shovel Into A Candle Holder

A candle holder is a great way to inject some ambiance and warmth into any area—indoor and outdoor. You can use an old, rusty shovel and turn it into a quirky and one-of-a-kind candle holder. Start by cleaning the shovel and sanding down any rough edges. You can leave the rust spots if you prefer a vintage look. But if you want a more polished feel, you can always repaint the shovel in any color. 

Subsequently, secure some holder rings on the shovel's body using a strong adhesive, or you may weld them on for a more permanent fixture. Make sure the rings are evenly spaced out to accommodate the candles of your choice. You can use tealight candles, pillar candles, or even LED candles. Just be mindful of their size and weight so, they don't topple over. 

You may position the shovel near your seating area, porch, patio, or even in your living room by the fireplace. It'll make for a great conversation starter and add some personality to your space. Not to mention an excellent way to brighten up any area and create an indoor garden oasis.

3. Use Hand Trowel As Plants Holder

A hand trowel is one of the most basic and essential gardening tools. It's perfect for scooping and transferring soil, planting bulbs and seedlings, and removing weeds. But once it's no longer usable, you can recycle it as a holder for small potted plants. It's one of the most straightforward ideas you can give new life to your dated trowel. 

After you tidy up the trowel and remove any dirt or debris and paint as you desire, bend down the neck part of the trowel or the handle so it can act as a hook. Tie the bent neck or handle around a tree branch or any support you want. And you can now place some small plants like air plants, cacti, or succulents. Just ensure you securely tie the trowel so it won't fall and break the plants. 

This creative approach is a fantastic way to display your plants, especially if you don't have much space in your home. You can even use different colors of paint to achieve a shaded tone effect on the trowel. Thus, it can easily blend with any home decor.

4. Recycle Ladder For Your Climbing Plants

A ladder can be pretty handy, especially if you have a climbing plant in your outdoor area. These plants need support to grow taller so they don't collapse under their weight. You can use an old ladder and repurpose it into a garden trellis or frame for your climbing plants. 

The rule of thumb is to place the ladder against a wall or any support so it won't tip over. You may also want to dig a hole and bury the ladder's base in the ground for more stability. Once it's in place, start attaching your climbing plants using ties, wires, or hooks. You can arrange the plants in any way you want. But be sure to give each plant enough space to grow and climb. 

This idea isn't only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. It'll add more character to your outdoor space and give your plants the support to flourish healthy and strong. Alternatively, if you don't have any climbing plants, you can reuse the ladder to display some of your other potted plants.


These are some of the most creative ways to give your old garden tools new life. It'll help declutter your space and add more personality to your home. So next time you have some old garden tools lying around, don't hesitate to put your creativity to the test and see what you can come up with.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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