10 Creative Projects You Can Make with Garden Scrap Wood

Audrey Bruno
Written by Audrey Bruno
Updated January 25, 2022
Navy wall paint wood frame
Photo: Brittany Goldwin Merth

Turn trash into treasure with inspiration from fellow DIYers

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If there’s a pile of scrap wood accumulating in your garden, leftovers don’t have to go to waste. There are so many ways to reclaim wood scraps into something entirely new, from designer-level furnishings to functional outdoor fixtures.

Whether you’re looking for a quick and simple, beginner-friendly project to shrink your scrap wood stack or want to push yourself to the limits with an expert-level woodworking conquest, you’ll find inspiration in these creative ideas. 

1. A Personalized Dish Stand for Your Pets

Kitchen black and white dog dish
Photo: Thalita Murray

This pet-friendly, reclaimed wood project from Thalita Murray from The Learner Observer is a great one for beginner woodworkers because it requires only the most common tools, like a drill and handsaw. Add the food and water bowls and personalized name tag and it’ll be done before you know it.

2. An Outdoor Planter for All Your Gardening Needs

Patio wooden planter plants
Photo: ToolBox Divas

This do-it-yourself garden box from Timisha Porcher at ToolBox Divas is a bit more advanced and requires tools that novice DIYers may not already have, like a circular saw. If you’d rather not have to make an investment in new equipment, you can usually rent what you need from your local hardware store instead.

3. A Stylish Stand for Indoor and Outdoor Plant Life

Tall wooden planter plants watering can
Photo: Caitlin and Manda McGrath

Plant parents Caitilin and Manda McGrath from The Merry Thought know that you can never own too many plant holders. Both soft and hardwoods will work well for a project like this, but do make sure that your scraps are still capable of bearing the weight of a freshly watered, healthy plant by testing them out beforehand.

4. A Wall Installation Worthy of a Museum

White wood texture wall bed pillows
Photo: Jaime Costiglio

You’ll need as many two-by-fours as you can get to make this intricate wall installation from Jaime Costiglio, so save it for after large construction projects when you’re more likely to have a lot of wood and materials leftover. She finishes hers with white paint, but you can just as easily use another color or wood stain that you prefer.

5. Wood Lanterns to Light Up All Your Outdoor Spaces

Black candle lantern porch
Photo: Amanda Hendrix

“I’ve always loved the look of large wooden lanterns filled with cozy candles, but they can be really expensive,” says Amanda Hendrix from Love and Renovations. Instead of paying up, she realized doing it herself would be both more affordable, customizable, and sustainable. “It feels great to know I’m not wasting any of the materials I’ve purchased for other projects,” she adds.

6. A Mug Holder That’s Also a Lazy Susan

Brown wooden mug cup holder
Photo: Smitha Philip

Smitha Philip from Charise Creations says she loves a quick DIY project, and that this one appealed to her because of its functionality. In addition to being an excellent resting place for your cutest tea cups and plates, the whole thing doubles as a turntable, too. And she says that all it takes is a nail gun and a saw to put the whole thing together.

7. A New Wood Frame for an Old Mirror

Navy wall paint wood frame
Photo: Brittany Goldwin Merth

Despite the elegance of this dark wood mirror frame, designer Brittany Goldwyn Merth doesn’t deny that working with scrap wood could be difficult at times. “I needed to seal the wood with the adhesive, and had to rely on some unconventional items, like weights, to help,” she explains. In general, she recommends going with the flow. “Some of my favorite DIYs have required me to change my plans mid-project!” 

8. A Functioning Scrap Wood Clock

Wooden clock on wall
Photo: Charles Melbin

This homemade clock from mechanical engineer Charles Melbin is an excellent accessory for any part of the home, both indoor and outdoor. However, novice DIYers may need the help of a skilled technician or clock repair person to make it function properly. 

9. A Perfectly Sized Shoe Rack

Porch shoe rack bench
Photo: Jedadiah Hutt

Building this shoe rack by Jedadiah Hutt requires just a few pieces of scrap wood, a couple common tools, and an afternoon of work. Finish the whole thing off with a can of paint or wood stain, or leave it as is for a mixed and matched, raw wood effect. 

10. A Designer-Level Scrapwood Chair

Wooden chair carpet plant
Photo: Silvana Ralphs

Though you’d never guess on looks alone, this chair from Silvana Ralphs of Sil Ralphs Design is made from 100% scrap wood, some pieces she even found in the trash. Being able to build something of this level requires years of experience and knowledge, but it’s nothing an avid DIYer can’t eventually do if they put their mind to it. 

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