Upcycling and Repairing Ideas for Garden Decors

Upcycling and Repairing Ideas for Garden Decors

The garden has become a special place, especially during Covid-19 pandemic. During shelter-in-place period, I made garden decors by upcycling locally sourced items. 

Sheltering in place makes me really appreciate having a garden. It’s my first time having a garden, learning about the existing plants there, and adding new ones.

I started with succulents (low risk of killing them) and several easy houseplants. Eventually, I found myself working outside in the garden a lot more to grow vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, radishes, and cabbages.

To be honest, working around the garden plays a crucial role in supporting my mental health during Covid-19 pandemic era. So it’s only natural that I’d like to decorate the garden by upcycling items sourced from local neighbors and garage sales.

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Upcycling Ideas for Garden Decors | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

It feels wonderful to expand my creativity beyond the wardrobe. Several small decorations and personal compositions start popping up in the garden. Rather than creating eye-catching structures, I tend to support and subtly amplify what’s already in the garden as naturally as possible.

Here are highlights of my garden decor making projects. While there’s already so many inspirations out there, hopefully they can further encourage your creative urges in the garden!

Vintage Lampshade Hanging Planter

A neighbor let go of a vintage lamp with Roman numeral-printed lampshade. After separating the lampshade, I switched the top and bottom rings, replaced the ribbons holding them together, and put some foam remnants on the bottom. Moreover, another neighbor donated a chain-link planter hanger.

Nowadays, a potted sempervivum cluster lives happily in this hanging planter, which reminds me to never take time for granted.

Repurposing vintage lamp shade as a planter - Reimagine | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Repurposing vintage lamp shade as a planter

Reconfiguring circular metal skeleton of vintage lamp shade and rebinding with new suede ribbon | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Reconfiguring circular metal skeleton of vintage lamp shade and rebinding with new suede ribbon.

Adding foam remnants to base of lamp shade. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Adding foam remnants to base of lamp shade.

After binding new suede ribbon to the top rim metal circle, the planter is done. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

After binding new suede ribbon to the top rim’s metal circle, the planter is done.

Chains are hooked to the top rim and a pot of sempervivum clusters is placed inside. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Chains are hooked to the top rim and a pot of sempervivum clusters is placed inside.

Finished vintage lamp shade hanging planter | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Finished vintage lamp shade hanging planter in the garden.

 

Yellow and black Paper Pumpkins

Inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s pumpkins, I started this project impulsively. A neighbor gave away two plain paper pumpkins after Halloween, and I couldn’t take shake the creative urge away.

After priming, painting, and stamping on them using available supplies, these two paper pumpkins are now loyal companions to a couple of potted plants.

Original state of two paper pumpkins. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Original state of two paper pumpkins.

After priming and layer coating with yellow acrylic paint. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

After priming and layer coating with yellow acrylic paint.

Decorating with commercial and homemade rubber stamps, Tsukineko's VersaFine black ink, and black Sharpie. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Decorating with commercial and homemade rubber stamps, Tsukineko’s VersaFine black ink, and black Sharpie.

Applying a couple layers of ModPodge as sealant. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Applying a couple layers of ModPodge as sealant.

Finished decorated paper pumpkins in the garden. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Finished decorated paper pumpkins in the garden.

Fairy Garden with broken terracotta pot pieces

I initially got broken terracotta pieces from a neighbor, with firm intention of using them as garden borders. The idea of making a fairy garden came after seeing several big intact pieces.

After arranging the broken pieces and some succulent cuttings, I stacked a couple of mini planters inside the fairy garden. The highlight is a pair of mini wooden clogs hanging on the front. I used a pair of light purple earrings hung on an “arbor” arch above a garden bench as a subtle finishing touch.

First draft of fairy garden composition using broken terracotta pieces.

“First draft” of fairy garden composition using broken terracotta pieces.

Front view of latest composition of the fairy garden. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Front view of latest composition of the fairy garden.

Right view of the fairy garden featuring a partially hidden clam shell. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Right view of the fairy garden featuring a partially hidden clam shell.

Light purple earrings hanging on the arch of fairy garden. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Light purple earrings hanging on the arch of fairy garden.

Left view of the fairy garden featuring a fabric butterfly. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Left view of the fairy garden featuring a fabric butterfly.

Main view of the fairy garden with two hanging mini wooden clogs. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Main view of the fairy garden with two hanging mini wooden clogs.

Decoupaged Planters

I have several Japanese washi papers that never got out of paper storage for several years already. I used some of them to rejuvenate a couple of old and slightly chipped planters.

Reskinning a metal planter with washi paper layering and ModPodge. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Reskinning a metal planter with washi paper layering and ModPodge.

Halfway through metal planter reskinning progress. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Halfway through metal planter reskinning progress.

Finished metal planter with blue washi textures. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Finished metal planter with blue washi textures.

Decoupaged planter housing an aloe vera on a multi-level plant stand. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Decoupaged planter housing an aloe vera on a multi-level plant stand.

 

I also used cut-up Japanese wrapping paper to work on another planter. This one is ceramic and had minor chips on the rim. Reskinning was done after caulking and priming. It’s now housing some of my favorite graptopetalum succulents.

Chipped ceramic planter got caulked, primed, and decoupaged with washi paper pieces. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Chipped ceramic planter got caulked, primed, and decoupaged with washi paper pieces.

Pre-cut gift wrapping paper from a local Japanese gift store. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Pre-cut gift wrapping paper from a local Japanese gift store.

Planter reskinning in-progress with cut up wrapping paper pieces and ModPodge. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Planter reskinning in-progress with cut up wrapping paper pieces and ModPodge.

The finished ceramic planter with decoupaged prints and washi papers. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

The finished ceramic planter with decoupaged prints and washi papers.

What the planter looks like several months after. The colors have changed from outdoor exposure. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

What the planter looks like several months after. The colors have changed from outdoor exposure.

Restored and Painted Wooden Clogs

I got these severely deteriorating wooden clogs from Netherlands at a local sale. After considering several upcycling ideals, I decided to restore and paint them.

After wood filling, sanding, and priming them, my friend Jesus Romero helped me paint on them. The color scheme is inspired by Spring / Summer 2022 Color Forecast by The Doneger Group.

Badly deteriorating wooden clogs acquired from a local estate sale. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Badly deteriorating wooden clogs acquired from a local estate sale.

Restoration of wooden clogs began with applying wood filler. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Restoration of wooden clogs began with applying wood filler.

Primed wooden clogs ready for an afternoon of hand painting session. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Primed wooden clogs ready for an afternoon of hand painting session.

I worked slowly on this still-in-progress pair of clogs. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

I worked slowly on this still-in-progress pair of clogs.

Jesus painted this dynamic and colorful pair of clogs, featuring gingham left insole. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Jesus painted this dynamic and colorful pair of clogs, featuring gingham left insole.

This pair of clogs that Jesus painted are immediately used to adorn and support some graptopetalum succulents. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

This pair of clogs that Jesus painted are immediately used to adorn and support some graptopetalum succulents.

Smaller projects around the garden

Aside from more involved garden decor projects, I also do smaller garden decor projects with quicker turn-arounds. Here are some highlights:

Reusing metal candle holder to cage a small planter. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Reusing metal candle holder to cage a small planter.

Reusing biscuit tins as planters after drilling drainage holes on the bottom. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Reusing biscuit tins as planters after drilling drainage holes on the bottom.

Reusing a shallow wine wood box as planter for baby succulents and cuttings. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Reusing a shallow wine wood box as planter for baby succulents and cuttings.

Reusing broken plastic clamshell container in a succulent arrangement. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Reusing broken small containers (in this case, a plastic clamshell dressing pin container) in a succulent arrangement.

Preserving an abandoned bird's nest and colored glass balls to decorate a succulent arrangement. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Preserving an abandoned bird’s nest and colored glass balls to decorate a succulent arrangement.

Arranging several potted succulents on a quite garden corner as a mini Zen area. | FAFAFOOM STUDIO

Arranging several potted succulents on a quite garden corner as a mini Zen area.

So there you have it! I’m looking forward to continue decorating the garden slowly and thoughtfully, using tools and supplies I already have or sourced from the local Buy Nothing community.

I highly recommend you to join or start one in your area! Not only it’s sustainable to share and receive lightly used items to your neighbors, but it’s also a great way to build positive relationships, support your neighbors, and spread joy to your community. Have fun!

Thank you for reading, until next time,
Musank

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About The Author

Mira Musank

Fashion lover who becomes obsessed to rescue fabric remnants, keep them out of landfill by making custom garments and accessories. Occasionally takes a break to play on PlayStation. An avid blogger since 2007.

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