7 Eco-Friendly DIY Yard Projects

Previously we’ve discussed making your garden organic and eco friendly. If you’re still stuck at home like me, let’s look at a few eco friendly garden projects. There are several cool ways you can update your yard this summer, without compromising on cost, or your carbon footprint. These DIY projects all rely on recycled materials, so you’ll even be able to reduce waste. Here are seven eco-friendly ideas to improve your outside space.



Log & Upcycled Planters


Use a hollowed-out log as a beautiful planter for your flowers. Find a new use for a fallen tree. If you’re going all out from start to finish, you’ll need to drill, stabilize, and cut out the wood. There’s a quick tutorial here online at Family Handyman.   



Photo Family Handyman


Most woods will make a natural green container. Plant all your favorite flowers. Succulents work particularly well. If you’re starting completely from scratch you might need the tools to drill into the log first.  You can find out about tools and read reviews of Milwaukee tools on their original site


Photo HGTV


There are many household items you can also use as planters. If you’re looking to repurpose an old drawer or chair, this could be a quirky alternative to the log planter. You could even turn it into a little herb garden. If you get creative, the possibilities are endless. HGTV has a great article. Almost Free Outdoor Projects with many ideas. Use old furniture, shoes, kitchen items, and make an arrangement.



Photo HGTV



Upcycle Large Old Toys – Photo Toby & Roo




Air-Condition Cover & Pallet Ideas


If you’ve got a large unsightly AC unit in your yard, then when not cover it up? Try your hand a bit of beginner’s carpentry and build an attractive wooden cover for it from panels of planed wood. Here is a video tutorial from Backyard Scape to give you an idea. You could use wood scraps or re-use wood from other projects.  DIY Craftsy has 11 DIY Air Condition Cover Ideas.



Photo Making Manzanita



Looking for old wood pallets you can repurpose can many times cost nothing. In fact, there are several other really cool DIY ideas at The Spruce for wooden pallets  in the garden. This could cut out a few steps of the more difficult carpentry.  I love the pallet planter from Creative Homemaking.



Pallet Wall Planter Photo Creative Homemaking



Succulent or Plant Fountain


Do you have an old stone fountain in your garden that doesn’t work or you simply don’t use it? Why not repurpose this into a succulent fountain. By using the bowl structure as a container garden, you can fill it with gorgeous succulents. Here are some tips for growing succulents to help you. Plant Care Today,  has a great post How to Convert a Fountain to a Succulent Garden,  with all the necessary information 



Photo Succulents & Sunshine



Succulents are all the rage right now. Watch them grow and spill over the edge of your old fountain to turn it into a magical masterpiece. The more colors you can add the better. If you don’t want to use succulents, I suggest you use plants that will drape as they grow for a stunning look.






Spruce up your fence



Your fence is a great vertical space around your garden so you may as well make the most of it. Summer is the perfect time of year to give it a lick of paint and perhaps go shopping for some extra ornaments. A more dressed up fence will do wonders for your yard.  Below is a photo of a fence in Oldsmar, Florida I shared several years ago.  I wish I was a good painter who could replicate this. I could do the blue background but my clothes would not look like this!



Oldsmar Garden Fence


I also saw this fabulous fence on Pixabay.  Someone attached old garden implements to the metal garden gate.  I’m guessing welding? Don’t think super glue would hold up.   Far beyond me but I’m mad about it.   





If you’re more experienced at DIY or just feeling adventurous, you could build a new fence. There are various inexpensive types of fence that anyone can build.  Check out Rural Sprout’s 8 Inexpensive Fence Ideas Anyone Can Build.  Again, I’m not that talented but I love the wattle fence.  I’ve never seen anything like that in Florida. I bet the sun and rain would destroy it.  So much bright sunshine and humidity seems to destroy wood and metal quickly.



Photo Rural Sprout 



DIY vertical flower bed



If you want to cover up a particularly ugly or boring wall, you could consider a vertical flower bed. This is a super fun DIY project for the summer. It’s also great if you don’t have much space outside and want to make the most out of your yard.


Photo Rebekah Lowin Lifestyle Editor for Pioneer Woman



There are several creative ways to plant a vertical flower bed. Country Living has several posts that are helpful including 35 DIY Vertical Garden Ideas.  Even people living in tiny apartments are doing it.  A vertical garden is a growing trend and would make a lovely addition to your home. Below is a balcony vertical garden using clay pots.



Photo Rebekah Lowin Lifestyle Editor for Pioneer Woman




Pallet Path


Another use for wooden pallets is a walkway. Deconstructed pallets laid out make a unique looking garden path that’s easy to build. It doesn’t take more than a day to build, depending on the length of your path. There is a great video with instructions and  tips on how to build a pallet walkway.  I love the wooden pallet walkway by Funky Junk Interiors.




Photo Funky Junk Interiors



A homemade garden path is both attractive and practical. You could even get creative and create stepping stones from old pieces of china or wood. It’s a lot of fun to work with what you’ve got lying around, not to mention eco-friendly.




Piping for Plant Protection


Make plant protection and support from recycled materials such as old piping or wood scraps . This actually works really well if you want to make low hoops for your edged beds for example. If you grow crops in your yard like beans or other climbers, you can also make arches for them to grow up from used water or gas pipe supported by wood or metal stakes. Blyther Farm has a how to video, How To Make a Low Hoop Tunnel.   Mother Earth News provides great instructions with their post on low tunnel construction



Photo Mother Earth News





These types of projects can change the function and look of your yard.  The next time you are about to throw away an old or broken item, look at with fresh eyes.  Is there a place in the yard or garden for it?  Perhaps you can make something from nothing.  If you’re looking for more help on how to grow vegetables or other plants, check out gardening tips for beginners.









This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.




If you liked this post, you might like 



Soften A Metal Fence With Flowers


5 Best Ways to Add Privacy to Your Garden



A Neighbor’s Garden




Thanks for the visit. 





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Please see my Link Parties page for the parties where this post was shared.






I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

23 thoughts to “7 Eco-Friendly DIY Yard Projects”

  1. Some great ideas here Carol – I love vertical gardens they add real unusual interest as it that chair in the flower beds!

  2. Lovely projects with interesting ideas.
    Thank you for the collection. I’ll be back to see more carefully!
    Happy WW and all the best!

  3. There are some great ideas here. I wish I could cover my neighbor’s air con with that plank thing — It might cut down the noise, but I don’t think it would go over well with them. We did a log planter at Southern Exposure but this year I never got to the nursery to get new plants for it. Next year!

    1. I don’t think a cover would affect the noise unless it had some sound absorbing material. I just hate looking at mine. I’ll look forward to seeing your log planter next year

  4. Hi Carol, being a lover and collecter of cactus and succulents I do like the idea of creating a log planter to display them in. I’ll have to speak to the husband about that. I also like the idea of a succulent fountain, which could be very attractive with the right succulents. The garden implements fence is fun, not sure the husband would go for that though, but brilliant for a cottage garden.


    1. thanks for the visit Debbie – I’d love to have a log planter and/or fountain of flowers – on my wish list!

  5. Lots of creative ideas here! I love how pallets are so versatile, I’ve seen so many brilliant projects using pallet wood.
    Happy Sunday! x

  6. I’m definitely pinning this for later, so many fabulous ideas, and I’m looking for ways of making my garden prettier without spending a fortune…I’m going to go through my Little Man’s toy box right now to find some planter trucks. I love the painted fence. Way back when my older children were young and we lived in another house, we had a brick wall at the bottom of the garden which was pretty boring. I gave the kids a pile of paint tins which were left over and let them free to paint what they wished. It looked lovely, definitely like children had painted it, but so colourful and pretty.

    1. I bet the kids loved painting the wall too. I wish I knew someone with an old toy truck – I want that planter so much. Have a great week!

  7. What lovely ideas! I particularly like the vertical plant displays and the succulent fountain. Thank you so much for sharing, Carol and for your support of the Hearth and Soul Link Party Take care and I wish you a wonderful weekend!

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