green cactus plants on brown clay pots

18 Yard Art Garden DIY Ideas

Originally contributed by • last updated 5/5/2021

Stephanie Harvey

For all of our garden lovers reading this, you already understand the benefits a garden can provide. On top of being a source of calm and quiet inside of a loud world, a garden is a space where you can truly express yourself.

Beyond planting beautiful flowers and plants, interspersing our garden with DIY yard art can capture our personalities in a wonderful way.

If you love to infuse creativity into everything you do but don't know where to begin, here are a few of our favorite garden art ideas to get you started.


Bicycle Planter

There's something extremely charming about old tools and machines upcycled into garden art.

Mixing rusted metal with vibrant green leaves and sunny flowers provides such a contrast between old and new, adding character to your yard decor.

With a few tweaks here and there, try using an old bike. Attach old vases, pots, or boxes to the seat, then plant trailing vines and blooming flowers into their new bicycle home.

It's always a shame to see old belongings fall into disrepair. Rejuvenate your old bike and watch your garden ride itself into a fairytale with this simple DIY.


Toadstool Benches

Are you looking to add a spot of whimsy to your garden? Birds and Blooms cleverly transform old clay pots into adorable toadstool benches to liven up their garden.

Painting the pots with white paint and primer, they flipped them on their heads and gave them a hat!

Promoting the drainage trays from bottom-of-the-barrel to belle-of-the-ball, all they needed was a vibrant coat of paint to steal the show.


Rock Caterpillar

Great for anyone hoping to pass on the love of DIY to their kids, this project is just as fun as it is simple.

First, go on a hike with your little gremlins and have them collect all of their favorite rocks. Then invite the rocks home for dinner and give them a fresh coat of paint!

Glue two tiny pebble-toes to the bottom of each rock, two twig-tennaes to its head, and one cheery smile on its happy face!


Mosaic Stepping Stones

Creating pathways through your garden can transform a simple flower patch into an interactive nature experience.

One of our go-to favorites will always be mosaic stepping stones. Easy enough to create for someone new to DIY, mosaics bring vibrant pops of color, pattern, and variation to a garden space.

Using a mold and a cement mixture, create your desired stepping stone shape. Then, arrange shattered pieces of tile on top of the cement while it's still wet.

After polishing and perfecting the stone, allow it to dry, then place it down in your garden in its new home! 


Birdcage Planter

There's something so quaint and lovely about an upcycled birdcage planter.

Found at antique stores and flea markets, keep your eyes peeled for one of these treasures the next time you go shopping for DIY yard art!

Their vintage design can easily be refurbished with a fresh coat of paint, while bird stands within can be removed and swapped for a bed of plant-ready moss!


Shoe Planter

It's always sad to let an old pair of shoes go, so what if we told you we have a better use for them?

Instead of watching them trot off to the dump, repurpose them as adorable DIY shoe planters! Fill them with some healthy soil and plant your favorite succulent or flowering plant within! 

So simple and cute, place them on top of a stump or stone and watch them bring a sense of fun to your backyard.


Toaster Planter

Though it may not be everyone's slice of bread, you can even upcycle a toaster to make a clever little toaster planter!

We at Makey are of the mindset that almost anything can be upcycled, and our conviction has yet to be proven wrong.

Even though you may not want to eat the breakfast this planter is serving, you can't say it isn't a creative DIY!


Donkey Tire Art

We've seen tire yard art ideas before, but this is taking the DIY to a completely new level. Trundling along with its cart full of flowers, this donkey never gets 'tired.' 

Cutting up a tire and screwing it together to keep its shape, this talented DIYer sculpts a visual story out of rubber wheels.

Placed in the center of your yard or hidden amongst plants, the rustic, silly nature of this DIY is bound to bring a smile to everyone's face.


Teacup Tire Art

Now we've seen a donkey pulling a wagon, but have you ever considered placing a giant pink teacup planter in the middle of your yard?

Maybe you'd like to live out an Alice in Wonderland dream, or maybe you just love the idea of feeling really, really small. Either way, teacup tire art is surprisingly easy to make!

Without too much cutting or finagling, simply stack two tires on top of each other to form the cup of your dainty pink glass.


Golf Ball Ladybug

Another classic garden art idea, this well-loved lady just won't stop bugging her way into our gardening hearts.

A quick DIY yard art project for kids, gather together every golf ball you can find to create your very own family of golf ball ladybugs!

Completed in only a few easy-to-repeat steps, each one can be as similar or different as you wish.


Hubcap Garden Art

If you love how tech and old parts contrast with the natural texture of a garden's plants, then this happy DIY may be a project for you!

Removed from their tire, the variety of hubcap spiral styles is actually quite expansive. With different spokes, grooves, holes, and sizes, you can create any number of unique flower designs!

Spray paint them in your chosen color, then weld them to a pole so they can stick in the ground.


DIY Strawberry Palette Planter

Palettes are affordable, easy to come by products that just so happen to make pretty excellent garden planters.

Used for large grocery shipments, you can often find stacks of them sitting behind a big box store, ripe for the taking (with permission of course).

Once you get a hold of one, there are so many great yard art ideas it can be used for. One of the most tried but true options is the DIY strawberry palette planter.

Fill the brand new box with a lining of straw, then pour garden soil up to the top. Next, plant your strawberries and sit back to enjoy the fruits of your labor - literally! 


Spiral Herb Garden

Sometimes a series of flat gardens can start to look a little mundane. Especially when it comes to herbs, if you plant them amongst large plants they're likely to get lost.

One of the best ways to get your herbs to flourish is to plant them in their own separate garden. That way they get all the room they want, you can keep an eye on how they're faring, and they don't have to compete with other plants. (I know, a snooty bunch, aren't they?)

Now since they're getting their own bed anyway, why not get creative and try building your own fancy spiral herb garden? That way you get the benefits of a raised garden bed, but in a structure that's just as pretty as the plants themselves!

They're relatively easy to make by hand (no cement needed), and they're truly a fun garden art idea.


Frog Tire Art

Another creative example of tire art, this garden art DIY is just waiting to hop into your garden (and into your heart).

Instead of throwing old tires away, repurpose them into adorable tire frog planters!

Seasonal flowers give this happy hopper a fetching hairdo of ferny leaves, and a hose wraps under its head to act as arms.


Barrell Planter With Lamp Post

A slightly tweaked version of the classic barrel planter, a small addition like a lantern makes such a difference in this yard art DIY!

Adding a rustic-looking lantern into a planter can take the mundane into the land of whimsy, making a simple idea feel thought-out and complex.

Filled with low-growing annuals, a barrel planter is perfect for swapping out new flowers year-round.


Stenciled Wheelbarrow

Here's another example of a simple tweak that makes all the difference. Not only can you use an old wheelbarrow as a planter - you can also pretty it up with a stencil to boot!

Already at home in a garden, the shape and design of a wheelbarrow bring rustic sweetness into your yard.

Filled with sprawling wildflowers and vines, welcome guests to your garden with words that literally say, "Welcome to my Garden."


Chair Planter

Tired of sitting on your old chair? Upcycle wooden furniture into colorful chair planters!

By simply removing the original cushioning to reveal the wooden frame, you're left with the perfect pot-sized planter hole!

Refinish the chair surface with a nice sanding and vibrant paint color, then place your favorite flower basket inside its new home.


Barrel Planter Overflowing

Optical illusions are always wonderful, and when the illusions are made out of flowers they're even better.

If you have an old wooden wine barrel lying around or find one at an antique store or flea market, don't let it go to waste!

Placed on the ground with the cut side down, if you plant a clump of sprawling flowers beneath it, it will look like they're spilling out like water!

And the best part is, after you've created one overflowing barrel planter, you still have the second half left to build another!