If you've recently replaced your windows and screens, you may be wondering how you can reuse the old material and keep it out of the landfill. Old screens have a variety of uses in the garden, from protection to decoration. Old screen doors have similar garden and landscape uses. Explore thrift and antique stores for old screen doors that are architecturally appealing.
Recycle old screens into shade protectors for tender plants and young seedlings in your garden. Cover a vegetable, herb or flower garden with an old screen to minimize the sun's rays while the plants become established. Prop the screens up onto paver stones or some other type of garden border and brace them with metal stakes or weighty objects in each corner. Create a border around the garden with old screen doors to help keep rabbits and deer from stealing the fruits of your labor. Connect the old screen doors with hinges to create the size border that you need.
Old window screens and screen doors can work as barriers between sections of your garden. Wire old screens together at the corners to create a row to separate rows in the garden. Prop old screen doors horizontally for the same effect. Separating the rows with the old screens still allows visibility throughout the garden. If you insert the edge of the screens at least 4 inches into the ground, you can create a barrier for encroaching plants and weeds. Plants in the mint family are notorious garden spreaders; keep them in their place with old screen barriers.
Re-purpose old screen doors and window screens as decorations for your garden or outdoor space. Many old screen doors have architectural detailing that can be a charming addition to a country, shabby chic or rustic-style decor. Hang the old screen door from a pergola frame or a tree limb to separate a space, provide privacy or add a bit of shading to the area. You can also decorate old window screens with latex paint, wire, beads, crystals and other embellishments to create an art display for your garden space. Think of the old screen as a canvas you can use to add eclectic and whimsical color to your landscape. Glue flat-backed cabochons or bits of stained glass to one side of the old screen to create a colorful image. Clear waterproof construction adhesive or jeweler's glue will work to attach the glass to the screen.
Add color to the old window screen by threading thin 26- to 30-gauge wire through the holes in the screen, adding beads and crystals as you go. If you prefer a more useful garden decoration, attach narrow treated wooden boards across the old window screen to create outdoor shelving.
- Photo Credit black moths image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com
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