One of the problems with projects around the home and in the backyard is that the materials required can be costly or require several trips to the hardware store.

Fortunately, with a bit of imagination and a rummage through the recycling bin, you can construct many new projects for your backyard that are functional while looking good.

Old Tire Planters

When the tires of our cars and trucks need replacing, it is tempting to have the tire shop take them off our hands, but there are a couple of ways to repurpose them in the backyard as planters.

Old tires can be placed on the ground and filled with dirt to be used as a simple planter. Alternatively, an old tire can be hung from the wall or fence and have plants planted inside it to make a more unique and decorative planter.

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Soda Bottles

Soda bottles are often returned for a few cents, but they can also see new life in your backyard.


Building a full-scale greenhouse requires a lot of space and materials and is often not appropriate for the average suburban backyard. However, there is another option that may not be as efficient as a full-scale greenhouse, but can replicate the effect of a large greenhouse on a much smaller scale.

You can turn a standard soda bottle into a mini greenhouse by simply cutting the bottom off the bottle and placing it over a plant that you want to house in your new mini-greenhouse. Be sure to thoroughly clean the inside of the bottle and remove the label.

Insect Traps

You can create an insect trap by cutting the top off a soda bottle and turning it upside down into the bottom. Then, all you need to do is place bait in the bottom of the trap, which can be apple cider vinegar and dish soap, brown sugar and yeast, or dish soap and a light source.

Related: DIY Cheap Mosquito Trap

Then, all you need to do is hang it in an area where you have a flying insect problem and leave it for the insects to fly into and become trapped.

Milk Jug Bird Feeder

Empty gallon milk jugs can make lovely hanging bird feeders and an excellent project for children to build. There are as many variations as your imagination can come up with, and this basic design can be modified and improved to suit the size and type of birds you want to feed.

Moreover, building a basic milk jug bird feeder is a very straightforward project, and all you need is a milk jug, some wire, dowels, and birdseed.

  1. Firstly, thoroughly clean the inside of the milk jug with soap and water.

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  1. Cut openings in the sides of the jug large enough for the birds to access the birdseed inside.

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You can cut one hole or four holes. It’s up to you.

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  1. Cut or drill holes large enough to fit the wood dowels just underneath the large openings that you cut.

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  1. Pass lengths of dowel through the hole and the hole on the other side, leaving enough sticking out for the birds to perch on comfortably.

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  1. Make two holes in the top and pass some wire through to make a hanger.

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  1. Fill with birdseed and hang in an area where birds are likely to feed.

You can use your imagination to develop different designs for this style of DIY bird feeder.

Repurpose Pallets

There are many different ways to repurpose old pallets in the backyard for innovative projects. What I am about to detail below are only a few ways that old pallets can be given new life.

As Wall-mounted Storage

There are many ways to repurpose pallets, but one that you are not likely to have thought of is to hang a pallet from a wall and use the slats to hang garden tools on.

You can also disassemble some of the boards on a pallet to make shelves and cubbies. Your imagination is the only limiting factor in what you can do with a pallet mounted to a wall.

As Furniture

With a bit of DIY know-how, you can make furniture by either disassembling the pallets and repurposing the wood or joining the pallets together to make tables, chairs, benches, or storage units.

Make sure to take the time to sand and adequately protect the wood if you want to use pallets as furniture.

As Fencing

If you have access to many pallets, you can stand them up on their side and join them together to make an effective garden fence. They are especially good for creating a fence around a garden area or an enclosure for some animals.

Rubber Boots into Planters

Rubber boots will inevitably succumb to the abuse inflicted upon them and begin to leak, leaving us with soggy feet. So instead of discarding these worn-out items of footwear into the nearest trash can, take them out to the garden to be used as a unique planter idea.

All you need to do is fill them with potting soil and plant whatever seeds you wish inside them. The leaks that make the boot no longer appropriate for keeping our feet dry will allow for drainage of the plants’ soil.

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Dresser as Planters

Another unique planter idea is to use an old dresser as a garden planter. All that’s required is to open the drawers so they resemble a staircase, installing some boards inside so that you can only place the dirt in the area protruding from the body of the dresser.

Be sure to line the bottom of the dresser drawers with landscape fabric to help keep the dirt in while allowing for drainage.

Milk Crates

You can repurpose milk crates in all sorts of ways in the backyard or the garden. Of course, one of the more obvious uses is to use them as storage boxes, but you can also use them to make seats, tables, and planters.

With a few components such as a couple of axles and wheels and a makeshift handle, you could also turn a milk crate into a DIY wagon.

Securing milk crates to a wall or fence with the open end facing out will create a good and sturdy shelving unit.

Finally, there are many more ways to repurpose old household items to make new and creative projects in your backyard.

Once you complete a few repurposed backyard projects, you will definitely find yourself having second thoughts before throwing anything away again.

This article first appeared on Ask A Prepper.

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