Skip to content
Home » 10 DIY Projects for Upcycling Cardboard in Your Garden

10 DIY Projects for Upcycling Cardboard in Your Garden

In the age of environmental awareness, finding innovative ways to reduce waste and repurpose materials is not only commendable but also essential. Upcycling Cardboard, often destined for the recycling bin, can be transformed into charming and functional additions to your garden. With a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of resourcefulness, you can embark on 10 exciting DIY projects that upcycle cardboard into delightful garden pieces. In this article, we’ll delve into these projects, exploring the step-by-step process and the magic they bring to your outdoor space.

How Upcycling Cardboard Saves Your Garden

Discover 10 creative and eco-friendly DIY projects for upcycling cardboard in your garden. Turn cardboard into functional and beautiful garden decor with these easy and engaging ideas.

1. Cardboard Planters: Blooming Creativity

One great idea is to create cardboard planters. You can cut and shape cardboard boxes into different sizes of planters. Line the inside with a plastic bag or waterproof material to prevent water damage. Fill them with soil and plant your favorite flowers or herbs. Cardboard planters are a creative and environmentally friendly way to add some greenery to your garden space.

2. Garden Path Edging: Eco-Chic Walkways

Garden path edging is another wonderful way to upcycle cardboard in your garden. You can use flattened cardboard pieces to create a natural-looking and eco-friendly border for your garden paths. Cut the cardboard into strips, and then lay them along the edges of your paths. To make them more durable, consider covering the cardboard with a layer of waterproof sealant or clear tape. This not only adds a charming touch to your garden but also helps define your pathways and keeps the gravel or mulch in place.

3. Cardboard Mulch: Nature’s Blanket

Cardboard mulch is a creative and sustainable option for your garden.

To make cardboard mulch, you can collect and cut cardboard boxes into smaller pieces. Lay these pieces on the soil between your plants to help suppress weeds and retain moisture. Over time, the cardboard will break down and enrich the soil. Make sure to cover the cardboard mulch with a layer of organic material like wood chips or straw to improve its effectiveness and appearance. This method not only saves money but also benefits your garden’s health.

4. Birdhouses: Feathered Friends’ Haven

Birdhouses made from upcycled cardboard are a charming addition to your garden.

To create cardboard birdhouses, you can follow these steps:

  1. Cut the cardboard into appropriately sized pieces for the birdhouse’s walls, roof, and base.
  2. Assemble the pieces using non-toxic glue or tape to create the basic structure of the birdhouse.
  3. Make a small hole as the entrance for the birds, ensuring it’s the right size for the bird species you want to attract.
  4. Decorate the birdhouse with non-toxic paint, markers, or even decoupage techniques.
  5. Attach a string or wire for hanging the birdhouse.

Remember that cardboard birdhouses might not be as durable as wooden ones, so they may need replacement over time. Nonetheless, they offer a cozy spot for birds to nest while adding a delightful touch to your garden.

5. Decorative Garden Labels: Stylish Identification

Creating decorative garden labels from cardboard is a practical and artistic way to organize your garden.

To make decorative garden labels:

  1. Cut the cardboard into appropriately sized pieces for your labels.
  2. Paint the cardboard with acrylic or outdoor-friendly paint.
  3. Once the paint is dry, use markers or pens to write the names of the plants or herbs you want to label.
  4. You can also add artistic touches like illustrations, borders, or patterns.
  5. Attach the labels to wooden stakes or dowels using tape, glue, or by punching holes in the cardboard and threading the stakes through.

These personalized and visually appealing labels not only help you keep track of your plants but also contribute to the overall aesthetics of your garden.

6. Raised Bed Templates: Crafting Convenience

Using cardboard as a template for building raised beds is a clever approach to creating a well-structured garden space.

To create raised bed templates using cardboard:

  1. Measure and plan the dimensions of your desired raised beds.
  2. Cut cardboard pieces to match the lengths and widths of the raised beds you want to build.
  3. Lay out the cardboard templates in your garden area to visualize the arrangement and spacing.
  4. Adjust the templates until you’re satisfied with the layout.
  5. Once you’re happy with the arrangement, you can use the cardboard templates as guides for building the actual raised beds using wood or other materials.

Using cardboard templates makes it easier to experiment with different designs and layouts before committing to the construction. It’s a great way to plan and visualize your garden’s setup effectively.

7. Compost Bin: Sustainable Decomposition

Making a compost bin from cardboard is a sustainable and cost-effective option for managing kitchen and garden waste.

To create a cardboard compost bin:

  1. Choose a suitable spot in your garden for the compost bin.
  2. Gather large pieces of cardboard to form the walls of the bin.
  3. Cut the cardboard into panels and assemble them into a square or rectangular shape, leaving one side open for easy access.
  4. Secure the corners using tape or twine.
  5. Start layering compostable materials inside the bin, including kitchen scraps, yard waste, and shredded cardboard.
  6. Periodically turn and mix the contents to facilitate decomposition.

Keep in mind that while cardboard can be used to build the sides of the compost bin, the base and lid might require sturdier materials. Using a cardboard compost bin is an eco-friendly way to turn organic waste into nutrient-rich compost for your garden.

8. Cardboard Wind Chimes: Melodic Whispers

Making wind chimes from cardboard is a creative and enjoyable DIY project to add a touch of art and music to your garden.

To create cardboard wind chimes:

  1. Gather cardboard pieces of various shapes and sizes.
  2. Cut the cardboard into desired shapes, such as circles, stars, or abstract forms.
  3. Decorate the cardboard pieces using paints, markers, or even glued-on paper cutouts.
  4. Punch holes near the top of each cardboard piece.
  5. Attach strings or wires through the holes to hang the cardboard pieces vertically.
  6. Attach the strings to a central ring or structure, leaving enough space between the cardboard pieces.
  7. Hang the wind chime in a breezy area of your garden.

As the wind blows, the cardboard pieces will gently clink together, creating a soothing and melodic sound. It’s a simple yet delightful addition to your garden that adds both visual interest and auditory pleasure.

9. Garden Sculptures: Artful Expressions

Creating garden sculptures from cardboard is a unique and artistic way to enhance the aesthetics of your outdoor space.

To make cardboard garden sculptures:

  1. Decide on the design of your sculpture. It could be an abstract shape, an animal, or any other creative idea.
  2. Sketch the design on paper to plan the structure and dimensions.
  3. Collect sturdy cardboard boxes or sheets for the sculpture.
  4. Cut and shape the cardboard according to your design, using a utility knife or scissors.
  5. Assemble the cardboard pieces using glue, tape, or even small fasteners.
  6. If desired, paint the sculpture with outdoor-friendly paints to protect it from the elements.
  7. Find a suitable spot in your garden to display the sculpture.

Cardboard sculptures can add a whimsical and artistic touch to your garden. While they might not be as durable as sculptures made from other materials, they can still provide a temporary yet captivating focal point in your outdoor space.

10. Seed Starters: Green Beginnings

Using cardboard as a seed starter is an eco-friendly and cost-effective method to kickstart your garden plants.

To create cardboard seed starters:

  1. Cut cardboard tubes or toilet paper rolls into smaller sections, around 2-3 inches in height.
  2. Place the cardboard sections in a tray or container with sides to catch any water.
  3. Fill the cardboard sections with potting soil or a seed-starting mix.
  4. Plant seeds in each section according to the recommended depth and spacing.
  5. Water the soil gently, ensuring it’s consistently moist but not soaked.
  6. Place the tray in a sunny spot or under the grow lights.

As the seedlings grow, the cardboard will naturally decompose, allowing the plants to be transplanted into the ground or larger containers without disturbing their delicate roots. It’s an environmentally-friendly way to give your garden a healthy start while minimizing plastic waste.

Experience the Joy of Creative Sustainability

These DIY projects showcase the endless possibilities of upcycling cardboard in your garden. By combining your imagination with simple materials, you can nurture both your plants and your creativity while contributing positively to the environment.


Embarking on these 10 DIY projects for upcycling cardboard in your garden not only enhances the beauty of your outdoor space but also embodies your commitment to a more sustainable lifestyle. By giving new life to cardboard, you’re not just creating art – you’re contributing to the well-being of the planet. So, gather your cardboard, your creativity, and your enthusiasm, and let your garden flourish with these innovative and eco-friendly creations.

FAQs – Upcycling Cardboard in Your Garden

Can cardboard really be used in the garden?

Absolutely! Cardboard is an eco-friendly material that can serve multiple purposes in your garden, from weed control to creating decorative elements.

Will cardboard hold up in outdoor conditions?

With proper preparation, such as waterproofing with paint or tape, cardboard can withstand outdoor conditions surprisingly well.

Do these projects require specialized skills?

Not at all! These projects are designed to be beginner-friendly and require only basic crafting skills.

Can I use these projects to involve my kids in gardening?

Definitely! These projects offer a fantastic opportunity to engage children in gardening and teach them about repurposing materials.

How long do cardboard wind chimes last?

The lifespan of cardboard wind chimes depends on the weather conditions. They might last for a season or longer if properly protected from heavy rain and strong winds.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when upcycling cardboard?

When using paint or other chemicals, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area and follow safety guidelines. If involving children, choose child-safe materials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *