November 30, 2023

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I’m an upcycling pro…My six tricks will give your garden furniture a second life without breaking the bank

WITH summer just around the corner, many are looking to work on their garden which might appear a bit tired after the winter months.

Whilst replacing all garden furniture could easily go into thousands, an upcycling expert has revealed a list of six easy tricks to refresh your green space without breaking the bank.

When it comes to brining the green space back to life, don't be afraid of getting creative


When it comes to brining the green space back to life, don’t be afraid of getting creativeCredit: Getty

As the cost of living has now sky-rocketed, splashing out on expensive new garden furniture isn’t an option for many – but luckily, there are a few things you can do to give your old tables and chairs a second life.

Speaking to The Express, Hannah Rouch, Gumtree UK chief marketing officer revealed: “With summer fast approaching but the cost of living increasing rapidly, we’re seeing more and more Brits on the hunt for second-hand treasures to kit out their gardens without breaking the bank.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen searches for garden furniture double, with tools and accessories also on the rise.

“Some of my personal favourite Gumtree good finds include an old tin bath and Victorian chimney, which could be upcycled and turned into planters – as well as aged terracotta pots that look more authentic than anything you could ever buy new.

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If you’ve never shopped second-hand for your garden, now’s the time to give it a try,” she recommended.


It’s not just the indoor space that can be livened up with a fresh coat of paint – your garden can look more cosy and inviting too.

“Opting for black and neutrals can create a relaxed and modern look, while a pop of colour on furniture can create a fun and playful feel,” the expert said.

“For longevity, make sure you use weatherproof spray paint on metal or an outdoor fence paint on wood.

Where needed, Hannah added, apply a glaze of varnish, so it can stay looking fresh year after year.


When it comes to outdoors, most of us don’t consider adding a mirror to the green space.

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But, according to the guru, these are particularly effective in smaller gardens, roof terraces or limited balconies.

As the reflective effect increases the sense of extra space, the garden will feel larger than it actually is.

“Look for old mirrors – either metal-framed or glass that you can mount on walls, or simply rest on outdoor furniture.”


Made mainly of plastic or clay, plant pots are one of the easiest items to upcycle.

If you’re going for a more industrial aesthetic, kitchen pots and pans work just as well – simply remove the handles.

Another great option for those who simply are not emotionally ready to part with a pan, thrifted pots are also a cheap alternative.

“Savings can be made by buying plant pots second-hand – you can get beautifully aged terracotta at a bargain,” Hannah said.

“In small spaces, planting a handful of the biggest pots you can find will create a more cohesive and relaxing feel than lots of little ones – your plants will be happier, too.

“Bigger pots can also act as a blank canvas for you to put your own mark on and make them truly unique to you.”


If like most you’re on a tight budget, find an old wooden palette and turn it into to a rusting coffee table.

Old decking cut-offs, on the other hand, can be created into a corner sofa or a garden path.

If trimmed to size, you can neatly curve the cut-offs amongst gravel to create a fun, bendy pathway.


“Hard landscaping can cost a small fortune – but you can pick up paving slabs and sleepers for a snip second-hand from local sellers on Gumtree.

“Often people doing a bit of a renovation job themselves will have discards they don’t need, plus you’ll be able to give them another lease of life instead of going to landfill.”


Sometimes, all your garden might need is a quick tidy-up to rejuvenate it.

“You can save a fortune by buying tools second hand, and they often come beautifully pre-loved.

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“In small, paved spaces, you can get by with a good hand-trowel, broom and dustpan and brush – though these are crucial whatever size garden you have.

”I love finishing off a good gardening session with a sweep!”

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Sometimes you garden might need is a quick sweep-up


Sometimes you garden might need is a quick sweep-upCredit: Getty