home woodworking

In The Shed: Repurpose or Recycle?

The time comes in all our lives where we need to head off to the bottom of the garden and give the shed a good clear out.  This is quite often a regular job for me due to the amount of products and materials that come and go throughout the year.

wood working tools

For many of us, the shed is more than just a place for storage. It can be a sanctuary where you can while away a few hours and enjoy some peace and quiet from the family. It is a shelter if you are caught in the rain or it could be the start of all your best adventures, from camping to fishing trips. Whatever you use your shed for, the chances are from time to time it gets full of all the odds and ends you promised yourself you would do something with one day.  A hoarders paradise.

Amongst all the tools that we keep, there is a good chance we will also find some old paint or opened tins of wood stain and various other slightly gone off items. Some are worth keeping, but many of them have a shelf life and are just sitting taking up space. Consider paint recycling as an option—a way of disposing of these half-opened tins responsibly. 

paint pots

Wood is another common shed find, Whether it is parts of broken fencing or pieces of driftwood we found on a beach walk. If you can find a shed that doesn’t have at least two pieces of ‘that will come in handy’ wood, then you can probably find the holy grail in that shed too. 

home woodworking

Every piece of wood is unique. That is what makes it such a versatile and beautiful natural material to work with. It can be sanded and oiled to reveal stunning textures and patterns. You can saw it, glue it and nail it. If you have a few beautiful pieces of wood in the shed, then you can create some fantastic things for your home.  You could try using a small rectangular piece, sand this down to create a smooth surface and then give it a going over with some wax.  Within a few hours, you will have a beautiful chopping board for your kitchen. Something that is eco friendly and had zero impact on the environment to make. 

Driftwood or branches from trees that you found in your local woodland can be made into lovely pieces of art around the house. Using a glue gun to layer them up you could create a natural wood frame and use it to frame a mirror in your hallway. Some wood is so beautiful that you don’t need to do very much to it at all to create stunning visual pieces.  Here’s a lovely driftwood art piece my wife made after our visit to the beach.

drift wood art

However, even old broken bits of fence can be useful in the garden. You can repurpose these broken bits and create a border for your beds. Or even use them to create little signs, so you know what vegetables are growing where in your garden. Here’s an example of a recent project of mine.  Simply cutting to size and screwing these old boards together made a lovely low planter.  I even created a simple mesh cover to keep unwanted bugs out and prevent the neighbours cats using it as a toilet.

Here’s another example of reusing scrap wood to make strawberry planters.  These were super simple and can be mounted to the fence, out of the way of ground crawling bugs. 


Your shed is a den of treasures and useless rubbish, so why not get out there and have a rummage around to get creative or get organised.

Looking to build a shed or extend your existing shed.  Take a look at this DIY workshop post for some inspiration.

Try some of my other posts:

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