13 Ways to Upcycle Old Garden Tools

Did you notice at the end of gardening season that despite taking great care of your tools over the years, many are past their prime, worn out or broken? Maybe you’ve decided to treat yourself to a new set of gardening tools but what to do with the old ones?
Don’t throw them out! Rusty shovels, rakes, hoes and hand tools can be transformed and repurposed into fantastic new items for your home and garden. Here are a few ideas:

Shovels and spades

Have a few metal shovelheads whose wooden handles are cracked or rotted out? Turn them into a vertical plant stand.

Who doesn’t want to attract more fine-feathered friends to the backyard? Here’s another way to get birds to visit your outdoor space: make a birdhouse stand out of an old shovel.

A resourceful DIYer in Missoula, MT crafted this gorgeous garden gate using repurposed tools, and he also made this practical trellis using old tools and patio chairs out of salvaged pitchforks. These types of projects allow you to get as creative as you want!

If you’re up for a more involved DIY project, check out how this Swedish artist turned an ordinary spade into a fabulous garden table and how this Dutch artist fashioned a sleek bar stool out of a shovel. Don’t have the skills to try this at home? Check with a local sculptor or welder and see what you can design together!


Past-their-prime rake heads can be repurposed for many things. Flipping it upside down, you can easily transform it into a wine glass holder. Or, if you’re tired of always hunting down your hand tools, create this practical display rack.

You can also transform your rake (or other long handled tool) into a measuring tape. Using a permanent marker, indicate different measurements – at each foot, half-foot and quarter-foot — directly onto the handle. You’ll have one less tool you have to haul out to the garden and know exactly how tall your gorgeous plants have gotten.

Hand tools

When you’re ready to retire your hand tools, why not turn them into something spectacular, like this garden pallet wall clock?

Looking for a way to corral all your smaller tools and gardening gloves? Transform a tattered mailbox into an organized solution.

As you can see from these ingenious examples, the options are limitless! Send us photos showcasing how you’ve re-imagined your old garden tools!


Garden Pallet wall clock (courtesy of Melaine Thompson, MySweetSavannah)

Birdhouse stand using old shovel (courtesy of Lindsay Eldahl, MyCreativeDays)

Rake Rack (Courtesy of Natalie Wright, Natalme)

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