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Unique Ways to Upcycle Your Old Tools


Is there a corner in your garage filled with old tools? Maybe you have a rusty rake with a loose handle or a garden shovel that’s seen better days. You’ve replaced these tools, but you just don’t have the heart to throw the old ones away. Good news! There are plenty of ways to upcycle those old tools so they can enjoy renewed life.

A Shovel

Make a creative trellis out of that trusty shovel. Plant it in the ground handle-down and let it serve as a trellis for morning glories, clematis, Blue Moon wisteria, or bougainvillea. Your old shovel will look right at home in the garden or near a border fence. Another idea is to remove the shovel’s handle and paint a design or logo on its metal head. Display your yard décor on a gate or fence or hang it next to your front door.


A bow rake can be upcycled by making it into a rake rack. Attach your bow rake to a wall of your garage or garden shed and hang small tools from its tines. For instance, you can use twine to hang a garden trowel, weeding fork, watering can, and mini-hoe. An upcycled bow rake keeps your small tools organized and safe. Meanwhile, an old leaf rake can be attached to a wall in your garden shed and used as a place to store seed packets. You can slip several packets in between the tines so you know what you have at a glance.


If you have several wrenches you want to upcycle, try making a wrench picture frame. I think a wrench picture frame would look great in a man cave or sitting on top of your workbench. It would fit right in with the décor! If you or someone you know has some metal-working experience, you also could transform your old wrenches into hooks for hanging coats, tools, or other items.

A Saw

Did you know that an old cross-cut saw can be a fun piece of décor? Clean off your old cross-cut saw and use a stencil to paint your house number on the metal. Hang it next to your front door or attach it to your fence.

A Wooden Ladder

Your old wooden ladder may be too rickety to climb on, but it can serve as an attractive display for plants. Use narrow sheets of plywood to make bridges between the steps of your open ladder. These newly made shelves can hold plastic planters or small pots of flowers. Painting your ladder and the shelves makes this upcycled project even more colorful.

A Wheelbarrow

An old, rusting wheelbarrow can take up a lot of space in a garage or shed. Why not make it into a planter for your yard? If it already has a hole or two in the bottom, that takes care of the drainage for your flowers. Load it with soil and fill it with petunias, pansies, geraniums, or other favorite blooms. One of the best things about a wheelbarrow planter is that it’s easy to move to a different location in your yard.

I hope these ideas spark your creativity and give your old tools new life. Thanks for reading. – Alan

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