Clever Uses for Everyday Items in the Garage

Upcycled decor is smart and savvy, so why save all the best ideas for inside the home? We've gathered clever redos from inspired DIYers with a talent for giving new life to old things that are perfect for the garage.

By: Sharon Merritt

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Kelli Wilson

Photo By: Haydee Letonja

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Jamie Humphreys

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Michael Helander

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jones

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Michael Helander

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jones

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Brian Carlisle

Toy Story

Kelli Wilson had a creative idea for keeping outdoor toys under control, and a lightweight hand-me-down shelf was the starting point. After adding a coat of white paint and some bright yellow trim to the shelf, she organized the kids' toys using inexpensive galvanized buckets. Kelli made fun and easy-to-read labels for each bucket so that finding and putting away toys would be a breeze. Plus, the shelf carries easily in and out of the garage for handy storage.

File Under Creative

A beat-up file cabinet was headed for the landfill until Haydee Letonja rescued it and transformed it into the perfect storage bin for her larger yard tools. Using spray paint, she painted it a bold red hue with white racing stripes on the front. The ends are sporting pegboard facades for even more handy storage. Haydee also added a wood plank to the bottom in order to attach casters, making her creation completely mobile for busy outdoor days.

Space Saver

In small work areas, it's all about giving yourself a little elbow room. In Jamie Humphreys' garage, she accomplished that by using the space under the shelf. She fastened the lids of used salad dressing jars to the underside of the shelf with screws, filled the jars with tiny, easy-to-lose garage accessories and then screwed the jars back into place. Voila!

Chic Recycled Containers

When it's time to plant your favorite spring flowers, the best containers may be sitting right in your garage. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn used galvanized metal trash cans and added casters and drainage holes to create a modern, portable container garden right on the patio.

Hubcap Hanger

Storage solutions don't get any simpler than this. For Michael Helander, space in the garage is a precious commodity. So, she created this hanging basket made from discarded hubcaps. She simply spray-painted the hubcaps black, attached a chain and hung up the finished "basket." This smart upcycling idea keeps items off the bench but still within reach in a clever way.

Can Do

Sure, you could lay down a few dollars for fancy storage containers or you could just look in your kitchen cabinet. Organizing enthusiast Jennifer Jones added a little flair to her workbench with ordinary soup cans covered in decorative paper. They're perfect for storing often-used tools and supplies that you would like to keep close at hand.

Artful Gardening

Michael Helander sees potential in just about everything she finds. Here, she has created a grab-and-go garden tool rack from reclaimed wood, a piece of driftwood and an old wire basket. And just for a decorative touch, she added the floret made from a glass plate decoupaged with magazine pages.

Super Seed Storage

No more searching the garage for those seeds you didn't end up planting last season. An empty tissue box is all you need to keep seed packets organized and easy to spot. After covering the empty box with floral-patterned paper, Jennifer Jones whipped up a pretty label using leftover scrapbooking materials. Now when spring rolls around, you'll know exactly where to turn for those wildflower seeds.

Clocking In

Just because you're having fun out in the garage, you don't want to be late for dinner. What better way to tell time at the workbench than with a license-plate wall clock? Brian Carlisle used these colorful old Illinois plates and some vintage wooden dominoes to make this quirky timepiece. The weights were made with antique doorknobs, and it's topped off with a decorative brass piece.

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