With the unseasonably warm weather across much of the nation, I’m guessing many of you are in the same mindset I am: Spring is coming! I’m itching to get ready for outdoor activities, which includes outdoor get-togethers in the fragrant spring evening air and garden preparation. We’ve included tons of fun crafts that repurpose common items in Natural Home & Garden over the years. Get ready for the spring season with these fun, useful crafts that will be perfect for your garden this year.
These crafts were all created by former Natural Home & Garden designer Susan Wasinger. You can find many more of her inspirational crafts in her book Eco-Craft: Recycle, Recraft, Restyle.
Tiny Garden Bench
This little garden bench uses a few pieces of recycled plastic lumber (which you can find at hardware stores) and an old inner tube (look for one that’s landfill-bound from a tire or bike store). These materials are both recycled and weatherproof, and the rubber will look better and better as it ages. It’s also quite comfortable if you’re using it for time-consuming garden tasks.
To make it, you’ll need at least 132 inches of plastic lumber, which you’ll assemble into a simple square with legs and supports. Then you cut strips of rubber and weave them to create the seat. You’ll need a carpenter’s square, an electric screwdriver and screws to assemble the frame, and a staple gun to attach the rubber strips.
Terra Cotta Pot Lights
Light pathways or steps in your backyard or garden with these charming terra cotta pot lights. Terra cotta pots are inexpensive and easy to come by at secondhand stores (or in your own basement, perhaps!). By painting the insides soft, pale shades, you can create a romantic atmosphere for a very low cost!
Here are a few tips:
- To give off maximum light, apply pale-colored paint to the inside surface. Try gloss for maximum reflection, flat for a warmer, subtler glow.
- Use a low-VOC latex exterior grade paint if you plan to leave them outside all the time.
- To get a range of tones, use white paint as your base and add small amounts of different pigments. Alternatively, most paint retailers now sell tiny containers of sample paint in a vast array of colors. Buy a few, then mix them to extend your palette.
- When dry, cover the hole with tape or a pebble, add a bit of sand, and a votive candle.
Inner Tube Tote
You can prepare for lugging garden tools, wood or other items by making your own tough tote out of a recycled inner tube. Check tire stores for a virtually indestructible truck inner tube destined for the landfill, attach a few grommets and a carrying dowel, and you’re good to go. The only tools required to make this tough tote are a pair of scissors and a grommet kit from your local hardware store. You could add a detachable strap if you think it might come in handy.