Skip to main content Accessibility feedback

Upcycling inspiration to craft an elegant patio

By Dan Darvell March 14, 2022 blog

In nature, nothing goes to waste. Any waste created by one organism or animal becomes useful to another. While we humans can’t avoid waste entirely, we should be taking more cues from nature when it comes to our stewardship of the planet. 

Upcycling, or the practice of transforming something old or discarded into something new, has tapped into our natural instinct to reduce waste as well as our desire to create more beauty. From our closets to our living rooms to even the events industry, upcycling has facilitated an increase in creativity and elevated style while helping to reduce our carbon footprint. 

By the Yard was founded on the idea of taking discarded single-use materials and transforming them into something of higher value that will be used for generations to come. We’re delighted to see upcycling become a major force in design spaces, and we want to make sure the garden and patio are part of your upcycling plans this spring. 

Keep reading for some elegant upcycling patio inspiration.

Upcycling Inspiration to Craft an Elegant Patio

Create a Plant Wall 

If you’re seeking additional privacy, shade or just a pop of color, creating an upcycled plant wall is a simple but elegant solution. Upcycling a slatted mattress base, bookshelf, extra garden trellis or fencing, and even old ladders can create a stunning plant wall or vertical garden for your patio. Paint or finish the base of your plant wall with weather-resistant products that match your existing decor. Using new or repurposed hooks, hang planters from the slats, trellis or fencing, or place pots on the shelves or rungs of bookcases and ladders. In addition to providing ambience and privacy, a plant wall also maximizes your growing space

Upcycling Inspiration to Craft an Elegant Patio

Repurpose Tins for a Variety of Decor Options

From canned goods to tea tins, there are many upcyclable metals that we come in contact with every day. Keeping metals from landfills has a number of benefits, so when you’re finished using metal packaging, send them to the recycling bin or the upcycling table. Create stunning votive holders with upcycled tin cans by using nails of various sizes to punch holes into the surface. For an elevated look, coat the outside with a heat-resistant, matte paint in a color that complements your patio design. Tea tins are often adorned in charming designs. By punching holes in the bottom, you can create elegant planters for display on side tables or plant walls. 

Upcycling Inspiration to Craft an Elegant Patio

Give Broken Glass and Ceramics New Life

Because broken glass can’t be recycled, when we break or chip our glass, porcelain and ceramic pieces, they become landfill-bound. When these pieces tumble or chip, instead of throwing away large pieces, consider safely storing them to create mosaic walkways, trivets, hanging art and more. Set in cement or affix to your chosen surface with glue and fill in the spaces with grout. You can combine this with other upcycling projects to give new life to bird baths, trays and more. If you have a dremel, you can use a diamond bit to smooth edges of broken glass and make holes for twine to create light catchers and windchimes. When working with glass, always be sure to wear goggles and sturdy gloves.

Upcycling Inspiration to Craft an Elegant Patio

Make Upcycling a Tradition with By the Yard

Upcycling means taking discarded materials and repurposing them to create added value. Upcycling projects like those listed above, or the ones you dream up yourself, are excellent ways to connect with your children, partner and loved ones in creative ways, while doing something good for the planet. 

That is the spirit with which By the Yard crafts our sustainable, HDPE patio furniture. We revel in transforming recycled plastics into elegant settings for families and friends to spend time together. Proudly crafted in Minnesota, our furniture is built to last through inclement weather, lively parties and years of enjoyment, providing sustainable joy with sustainable materials. By the Yard furniture is customizable, with a number of styles and UV-stabilized colors to choose from, all of which are designed to be mixed and matched cohesively. Start your journey to crafting a more elegant patio by requesting a By the Yard catalog or shopping online at If you’d like more inspiration, we’re happy to help! To ask any question or order by phone, give us a call at 877-220-0448.