Things to build out of old wood for your garden

Updated February 21, 2017

If you recently replaced your old wood deck or fence with a new one then you probably have old wood that is just sitting around waiting to be thrown out. And just because the wood is aged doesn't mean it is no longer functional. There are many things that can be made out of old wood, especially for the garden. Just use your imagination and then recycle that old wood into something new. However, avoid using pressure treated wood near anything that is edible; this type of wood has chemicals and can be harmful.

Planter Boxes

Use the old wood to build planter boxes. Planter boxes can be used for flowers, herbs or vegetables and look great at the edge of a garden or placed in rows to give your garden an organised look. Measure your old wood so that you know what you are working with. Decide on what you want to plant in your boxes, then sit down and draw them out. When it comes time to build your planter boxes, cut the old wood according to your measurements and use OSB (oriented stranded board) for the floor of the planter box. Other materials needed would be a power drill and drywall screws (size will depend on the thickness of the wood you are using). Use planter box liners since whatever the old wood has been treated or finished with may have harmful chemicals, which can interfere with the health of your plants.

Garden Bench

Garden benches can be used as ornate pieces or for functionality. How fancy or simple you build your garden bench will depend on what its purpose is or the style of your garden. For a simple bench that has no back, the bench will consist of a top (used for the seat) and two legs at each end. Or maybe you need your bench to have some storage. In this case, build a large box with a pop-up seat. For a more ornate bench, you may want to have an attached back with arms at each end where you and your guests can sit and enjoy your garden. To get you started, visit Resource 1 below for more ideas and plans.


Birdhouses are another great way to accessorise your garden using old wood. You can build them small or big, it's up to you. Visit Resource 2 below for ideas and plans. And if you have a lot of wood to use up but not enough garden space to put many birdhouses, give them as gifts.

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About the Author

Kelly Nuttall is a student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She is set to graduate in the spring of 2011 with her bachelor's degree in technical communications. She has been writing for various websites since March of 2009.