Creative Garden Designs Using Recycled Materials: 15 Ideas

You can do a lot with old, used, or recyclable items outside of throwing them away or taking them to the recycling center. While recycling is great, you can recycle right at home, even in your garden! If you want your garden to take on a neat, eco-friendly look without compromising on beauty, this is the guide for you.

1- Planters or Pots

recyclable materials Planters

Many recyclable materials or containers make great pots or planters for a garden. Old plastic bottles, glass bottles, milk cartons, or egg cartons can host a variety of plants of all sizes. You can even turn old bottles into raised bots or planters for a more versatile look and function.

Even items like old shoes can be used as planters—boots specifically work great for this. You don’t have to only use plastic. Even old steel drums, sinks, or bathtubs can be placed in the garden for planters. Painting them can give them a unique look!

2- Rainwater Collection

Rainwater Collection with Old plastic

Old plastic or glass containers can collect rainwater for eco-friendly plant watering or other purposes. Rainwater collection may be illegal or require a permit in certain locations, so be certain to check local laws before starting.

3- Seed Germination

Seed Germination Process

Small plastic or glass bottles are perfect for seed germination. You can also use tubes from old paper towels or toilet paper to germinate seeds. These can even be planted directly in the ground, as paper is compostable or biodegradable. Egg cartons can act as seed germinators for many different types of seeds.

4- Watering Containers

Watering Container garden look

Milk cartons, plastic containers (think juice or soda bottles), or any other type of container that can hold water can turn into a free watering container. A container with handles can be a bonus, as water can get pretty heavy. You can even decorate it yourself to give it a cute, garden look.

5- Garden Decorations

Garden Decorations with Many old items or recyclable materials

You can get in touch with your creative side to create garden decorations from recycled materials. Make a soda can statue or scarecrow. Decorate your flowerbeds with shiny pieces of glass or tile.

Many old items or recyclable materials can make interesting, beautiful wind chimes. Old tires, shoes, and barrels can make for interesting decor and planters (a two-in-one combination), especially if you paint them to fit in with your garden’s themes.

6- Doors and Entryways

Woods Doors and Entryways

You can use repurposed wood pieces or glass to separate garden sections. This can also make garden gates or doorways. Using recycled materials can make energy-efficient and eco-friendly doorways—greenhouse doors, garden entry doors, garage doors, or entry doors. Try googling ‘eco-friendly entry door near me’ or ‘garden door materials’ for some inspiration.

7- Composting


Compostable waste such as eggshells, banana peels, and other biodegradable foods can make great compost which promotes plant growth. You don’t have to pay for expensive plant food or sometimes dangerous fertilizer.

8- Paths and Stepping Stones

Paths and Stepping Stones Garden

Used congrats slabs, stones, or wood blocks can be purposed into beautiful DIY paths and stepping stones for your garden. Sporadic stepping stones can create a wonderful secret garden look as well, including mixed materials.

9- Walls, Fences, or Flowerbed Edging

Walls, Fences, or Flowerbed Edging

Glass bottles make wonderful flowerbed edges or trims to separate plants or garden sections from one another. Repurposed old wood, concrete, or glass can create walls or fencing. Colored glass can shine at night as well, adding flair to your garden’s design.

10- Glass Windchimes or Decorations

Glass Windchimes

Glass windchimes can create a subtle but unique type of windchime in both sound and look. As mentioned previously, certain colored glass often features a glowing look at night, adding to your garden’s ambiance. Glass can be used to create glass balls or glass ‘rivers’ in your garden as well.

11- Patio Furniture

Patio Furniture

Many materials can be repurposed as patio furniture, like old indoor furniture, used concrete, or old wood. An outdoor sealant will make these materials more outdoor-proof if not already.

12- Miniature Greenhouse

Old plastic bottle Miniature Greenhouse

An old plastic bottle or bowl will become a beautiful miniature greenhouse for indoor or outdoor use. Plants inside these miniature greenhouses can enjoy a warm, moist environment for plans who love such conditions, even when the temperature outside the bottle gets cooler.

13- Sprinklers or Irrigation

Plastic Bottle Sprinklers

Strategically cut holes in plastic bottles or other containers to create a makeshift sprinkler. This can reduce a lot of money on garden irrigation costs.

14- Garden Theming

An old piano overflowing with plants and vines,-recycled materials

Certain items can add a theme to your garden. Transitioning an old, broken piano outside for plants and vines to grow on can create an artsy, haunting, or apocalyptic look. Old metal objects add to a more rustic look. The sky is the limit when it comes to your imagination.

15- Vertical Gardening

Vertical Gardening-recycled materials

Old shelving, gutters, fenceposts, and more can turn into outdoor shelving to add numerous rows of vertical gardening. This helps to both utilize vertical space in your garden as well as add organization to your garden’s look.


There are a ton of ways we can repurpose recyclable materials for the garden. Plastic bottles can be used as watering cans, and old furniture can be moved outdoors with a few steps. You can even make your garden themed or more organized with certain repurposed materials!


Terrill Welch
Terrill Welch
Meet Terrill Welch, your home transformation expert, offering sage advice on creating blissful backyards, serene bedrooms, and securing your sanctuary with expertise in home improvement and security.

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