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Rusty garden decor ideas and examples: here’s how to turn rusted iron into great garden art

There are many ways to recycle rusted iron, and using old metal items as rusty garden decor is just one of them. In addition, rust on scrap can be transformed into great garden art with a little creativity and an artistic touch. So, just get inspired by the following suggestions to decorate your garden area in an inexpensive and unique way this spring.

Good reasons to use rusted outdoor garden decorations

old bicycle as rusty garden decoration with flowers attached to a fence

You can complete the look of your garden by adding garden art made from rusted metal and salvaged items. Although some materials like stone, concrete, and iron don’t look very organic in their forms, they represent natural entities like earth, fire, and water because they actually come from them as well.

use classic patterns on rusty gate in garden to create trellis for climbing plants

Rusted metal is often thrown into scrap yards as useless, unsightly material. Rusty elements or corten steel, however, add a certain charm to the garden. There is something truly instinctual about such materials, as they remind us of the amazing power of natural forces and also how strong the cycle of life is. These are the things that a garden always reminds us of.

creative garden art with flower made of rusted metal objects in the ground with gravel

Gardens that contain unique design elements can actually be inspiring. Moreover, a rusty garden decoration can be perfectly combined with green moss or plants. Remember to look around your neighborhood and local gardens every day for inspiring scenes. Here are just a few of the rusted metal projects that might get you started with this type of recycled garden decor. The ideas come from home gardens where the owners have clearly used their affinity for rust as an accent.

Turn rusted planters, flower pots or buckets into garden art

rusted planter as accent on fence in a garden


If you keep old and rusty planters or buckets in your shed, don’t necessarily throw them away. Instead, stick some colorful flowers in them and hang the containers on a fence or wall in the garden area. In doing so, you will be able to see how their lifespan can be extended by their new role as garden decorations. The brownish-red color of the rust can really complement certain flowers and add a visual accent to the garden.

combine rusty bucket with water hand and glass bead in the form of drops as garden art with water feature

Using old buckets with rust is also a great idea and really fun. If you have an equally outdated faucet in your garden, you can combine it with a rusted bucket. Put the two elements together so that they look like a water feature. Then get a glass bead in the shape of drops and attach it to the top of the faucet to create a great rusty garden decoration yourself.

Make rusty garden decoration from old shovels

create owl from old and rusted shovel and use it as garden decoration from rust


Here is another creative idea, but it may take some effort and time. For this, you can take old and rusted shovel heads and use them as the head of an owl, for example. Then you can twist other rusted metal pieces to mimic the characteristic features of the bird according to your own imagination. However, if this suggestion seems too ornate for you, then there are other ways to craft rusty garden decorations with shovels that don’t require so much effort. Simply use a rusted shovel as a signpost for your garden or yard and paint it with colors of your liking to create a simple and fun decorative element.

Rusted iron rings made from wine barrels as decoration in the garden

rusted iron rings from wine barrels used as artistic garden decoration

These rusted metal balls stand artfully on a stylish stone garden wall. They are big enough to attract your attention in the garden. It seems that this kind of garden decoration must either hide quietly, be secretly discovered under an arbor or make a great impact. Accordingly, have old iron rings from wine barrels repurposed as such decorative elements.

Place old gates with rust instead of trellis in the garden.

beautiful color combination of roses and rusted gate in garden area

This is another great option, as there are many ideas for which you can use a rusted gate. If you find one like this, you can place the old rusted gate in a garden area where you can use it as a stunning garden decoration. However, this element can also be applied as an actual entrance. In the other case, you can use it as a trellis for your climbing plants and mix matching colors with it to give your garden a real rustic look.

Create rusty garden decorations from bicycle rims.

use rusty bicycle rims in a garden bed as a divider and visual accent

This involves a lot of fixing and tidying, but all the work is definitely worth it. Assemble rusted wagon or bicycle rims and use them to line flower beds or garden areas. Not only does this add charm, color and style to the garden, but it works just as effectively as a well-maintained lawn edging .

Turn old garden tools into art

create garden art from old and rusty garden tools in the form of a clock

Other outdated items like the shovel mentioned above can also be creatively repurposed to create garden art. For example, if you have a whole bunch of unusable tools in your shed that got caught in the rain or just got old and rusty, you can namely use them as decorative elements. Simply attach garden tools to any place or hang them on walls, fences or on a colorful piece of wood. Use them to make your garden shine with rusty beauty.

Combine rusted garden furniture with colorful flowers

create rusty garden decoration from old chair and flowers in glasses

For a fun and simple garden design with a rusty look, outdated garden furniture offers numerous possibilities. For example, you can use it to combine glasses with flowering plants. An old chair is perfect for this as a base and doesn’t have to be rusty. Thus, you can simply add a retro touch to your garden area. It is best to choose fixtures and furniture pieces that match the style of your garden. Arrange the flowers as you like to take full advantage of the functions of the chair, as shown in this example.

Build birdhouse from rusted metal objects.

build iron bird house yourself and use corten steel or rusted metal to create garden decoration

If you have small pieces of metal that have been affected by rust, then this idea for rusty garden decor can be both attractive and pet-friendly. Take the metal pieces and use them to create any number of birdhouses that you may be able to place in a suitable area of the garden. If none of these ideas suit your fancy, then make your own rusty metal art with whatever you find.

old bird cages as rusty garden decoration in rustic style hang over flowering plants

Rusted iron can also be used to make artificial bird cages or fun lawn decorations, for example. Use all sorts of materials for this that you would otherwise never use again. Your imagination is the limit for the kind of DIY projects you can come up with on your own. In the process, you’ll also no longer have to worry about your crafts eventually rusting away.