DIY Projects that Breathe New Life into Salvaged Fence Wood

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When you tear down your old wood fence, you may turn all of your focus to replacing it with a shiny new one. Getting a new fence is certainly an exciting project whether you’re working with a contractor or doing it yourself. However, that’s no reason to completely forget about your trusty old fence. Certainly, it’s done serving you as a fence–but that doesn’t mean its life is over! With a little creativity, your wood fence can become anything that it wants to be. Recycling your wood rather than trashing it is not only awesome for the environment–it also opens up endless possibilities for a new project!

We recently posted about techniques for removing your old wood fence. If the wood is in good enough condition, the next step is to salvage it! Here are some of the cool things that savvy DIYers can do with salvaged wood.

Build a Planter and Bring Life to Your Fence Panels–Literally!A planter is a simple DIY project for your old fence panels.

Planters are one of the most common DIY projects for homeowners who want to salvage their wood. Plus, if you’re getting a brand new fence, what better way to complement it than by adding some gorgeous flowers to your yard?

A simple planter is extremely easy to build even if you’re not much of a carpenter–after all, it’s just a box! However, there’s no reason not to be a little more creative. For instance, you could incorporate fence pickets into the design so that it looks like your planter has its own mini fence. If you’re interested in starting a whole garden, you can also build some raised beds for your yard.

Building a compost bin is another eco-friendly way to reuse fence panelsBuild a Simple Compost Bin

Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting into composting but haven’t gotten around to it. Building a compost bin is another ecologically friendly way you can use salvaged wood, and it’s just as easy as building a planter! The only difference is that a compost bin is open on the bottom. You don’t actually need a bin to compost–you can always just make a compost heap–but the bin keeps your yard looking much tidier, especially if you’re going to be composting food waste in addition to leaves and yard trimmings.

Attract birds to your yard by turning your old fence wood into a birdhouse!Make a Birdhouse and Save Two Birds with One Stone

Like birdwatching? By building a birdhouse with your salvaged wood, you can attract birds to your yard and give them a home. In developed areas, birds have a hard time finding shrubs and tree branches where they can build their nests, especially when they have to compete with invasive species. A recycled DIY birdhouse therefore allows you to do double duty for the environment. Not only are you reusing your fence wood, but you’re helping out the birds!

Turn Your Fence Panels into Art


Do you prefer to work with paint rather than hammers and nails? Then you can turn your recycled fence materials into a wall hanging for indoor or outdoor use. This is one of the easiest ways to recycle your wood because very little carpentry skill is required–but artistic skill is! Bummed out about the upcoming winter? Create a tropical scene. Love your dog? Display a portrait of him! Or you can make a simple “Welcome” sign. Your options are pretty much unlimited.

Help Someone Else Make Their DIY Project

Not feeling creative? If it’s a matter of confidence, you should know that anyone can attempt the DIY projects we’ve discussed here! It may just take a little trial and error at first if you’re just starting out. However, maybe you’re not interested in taking on a DIY project or you simply lack the time, or maybe you have so much salvaged wood you don’t know what to do with it. Never fear–you can still do your part for the environment by recycling your wood. It’s easy to find a home for your wood with someone who will put it to good use. Websites like Freecycle and Craigslist enable you to recycle your wood by connecting you with people who want it.

As you can see, there’s loads you can do with old fence wood. The only thing you shouldn’t do is trash it!

Have you made any cool DIY projects out of recycled fence panels? We’d love to see! Share them in the comments.

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