Just about anything can serve as garden art these days. If you want to ornament your garden without investing a lot, create your own garden art from things you already have around the house.
Look at castoffs in a new way. Before you bring your recycling to the drop off, look through it and see if you might have anything in your bucket that could be used to decorate your garden. There are probably some amazing choices in there that could make your garden look like a folk art grotto. Bottles are especially good for garden art. Turn them upside down and put them on a stake or a piece of bamboo. Blue bottles or especially pretty glass bottles can be used to line a walkway in a unique way. Use large mouth glass jars and canisters as candle holders. Drop in a pillar candle and place it on a garden table. You can also create floating flower candles when you fill a mason jar with water and put in a floating flower candle. How suiting! When you’re dining outdoors, you’ll have lovely candlelight in a decorative container that cost you nothing.
Watering cans can serve as lovely garden art. Either set them out in groups and let them weather. Or paint them with acrylic paints and a coat of protective gloss. They’ll look adorable when painted in garden or nature themes as well as with animals such as garden critters or dogs and cats. Same goes for gardening baskets, dress them up and use them as tools, they're multipurpose!
Use old clay pots to create a garden statute. Stack them and glue them in place at odd angles. You can then plant in them, or leave them as is to collect rainwater for the animals. Paint them first or leave them in their natural state to grow moss and a patina.
Old shutters make perfect garden art. Create a little outdoor garden room by putting up shutters against a fence or a walled in area. You can leave them open or shut them for some shade. An antique metal bed frame also works well. Set it up and drape sheers over it for a dramatic look. You can also place an outdoor cushion on it so you can lounge away in glamour in the garden.
Of course you can always scout yard sales for wheelbarrows, bird baths, birdhouses, and other “junk” that you can turn into art. There’s nothing that can’t be used. The more weathered, the better. Any pieces of metal that will age nicely are perfect. Twist them into shapes or just stand them up and let them become abstract sculptures.
Mosaics are another fun way to upcycle your household junk. Any broken pottery or ceramics can become pavers in your walkway, a bird bath or just a pretty pot. Use cement to create a surface layer and then add in piece of broken china. Arrange it in a pretty pattern and then allow it to dry. Once dry it will work well in the garden and last forever. Check out crafting stores for kits that save you the work of finding all the materials on your own.
You can always add a garden seat. Instead of investing in expensive garden furniture, look for cast off seating at garage sales. You’ll often find unwanted chairs by the side of the road on trash day. Those can be turned into treasures. Repaint and seal, add a waterproof seat pad and you’ve got yourself a cozy place to sit with a cool drink and relax.