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Repurposed Garden Trowel

Repurposed Garden Trowel

It’s my favourite time of the month again… time for the Thrifty Chicks project challenge.

On the second Wednesday of each month I join some very talented blogging friends for a project challenge, and with a different theme each time it’s really a lot of fun. This month is old yard tools. Here are the befores.

Thrifty Chicks July 2019 Old Yard Tools Project Challenge

If you missed any of the past projects you can find them here.

I’m so excited to see what my blogging friends have come up with for this month’s old yard tools challenge. You’ll find links to their projects at the end of this post. Be sure to visit and check out the fabulousness.

But first I’ll share my project with you.

I’m going to be honest here and confess that I totally forgot about this project challenge this month.

John and I have been busy renovating our gardens and having a blast doing it I might add, and it totally slipped my mind… until this past Monday.


I quickly went through my stash of rusty stuff and thankfully, to my delight, I found something I could repurpose.

Thank goodness for stashes.

Rusty old garden trowel before

So for my old yard tools project I’m repurposing this old, rusty, and even a little bit crusty garden trowel.

Rusty old garden trowel before 2

Here’s a close up of all that gorgeous rustiness that I’m going to cover up.

I often like to leave rust alone, but for this project that just wasn’t going to work


Preparing my garden trowel for spray painting

removing loose rust from garden trowel with wire brush

The first thing to do is to take a wire brush to the trowel to get rid of any loose and flaking rust.

If you have any concerns about the pointed end of the trowel, you could round it with a sander or just use a trowel that already has a more rounded end.

cleaning loose rust off garden trowel with water

Once you’ve scrubbed it enough, give it a bath with some water to clean it up.

Spray painting my garden trowel

spray painted trowel with rust spray paint and primer white

After it’s good and dry, I taped off the shovel part and spray painted it with a Tremclad Rust Paint & Primer combo.

It didn’t come in a color that I wanted so I thought white would make a great base coat.

I gave it two coats, letting it dry in between for about 2 hours.

Then I let that cure for another 24 hours.

spray painted trowel with pink top coat

From here I could have gone with any color, but since I’m a pink-loving girl and it’s been so hot here lately… it absolutely had to be hot pink.

I  covered the handle in plastic before painting.

spray painted handle of trowel green

After the pink spray paint was dry I taped it off and spray painted the handle with two coats of a green spray paint and primer combo to make it look like a stem.

Creating a garden trowel flower

spray painted garden trowel with clear glass beads and GOOP adhesive

To create my flower I needed some clear glass beads and some GOOP adhesive. E6000 glue would work too.

Supplies used for Repurposed Garden Trowel Flower

– old garden trowel
– wire brush (if needed)
– glass beads
– Tremclad rust covering white spray paint and primer combo
– green and pink spray paint
– Goop adhesive or E6000 glue

diy upcycled garden trowel into garden flower

Using the GOOP adhesive I glued the beads onto the shovel part of the trowel.

I didn’t worry about it too much, I just followed the contours of the shovel, and it worked out.

Glued on beads held in place by painter's tape

To make sure the glass beads didn’t move I taped them in place with painter’s tape for about 15 minutes.

GOOP will set in that time, but it does take a good 24 hours for it to cure.

Repurposed garden trowel flower garden art

When I first found the rusty crusty trowel in my stash the first thing that came to mind was the newly planted Lupins in one of our newly renovated gardens.

And here’s my finished repurposed garden trowel flower beside one of them… a pink Popsicle Lupin.

Considering this was an 11th hour project I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

two rusty old garden trowels

A few days after originally posting this project I found two more rusty crusty trowels and I made two more flowers to go with the pink one.

Three repurposed garden trowel diy garden art flowers

When the real lupins aren’t in flower I’ll move my trowel lupics around to fill in the spaces.

Save this project for later by pinning to you favorite board.

DIY repurposed garden art trowel flowers

Now be sure to check out what my friends did with their old yards tools.

Just click on the links below.

  1. Itsy Bits and Pieces – A Fun Yard Tool Makeover
  2. Audrey Would – Upcycled Bulb Planters
  3. Lora B. Create & Ponder – 10 Easy Ways to Decorate with Vintage Garden Tools
  4. That’s mine.
  5. Little Vintage Cottage – Upcycled Yard Tools Wreath

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!


I sometimes share my projects and posts at these fabulous parties.

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  1. Too cute, Tuula! Looks adorable with the real lupins!

  2. OMG Tuula! You are killing me with all your cute upcycled garden flowers! So cute!

    1. Thanks Tania! Honestly, I can’t stop seeing flowers in pretty much everything. lol.

  3. This is garden bling! What a fun idea, Tuula, and super cute next to the real lupin! I’m amazed, not only at how you put this together at the last minute, but how you even came up with this idea. It’s awesome!!

    1. Thanks Sheila! Since I love flowers so much I just can’t seem to help seeing flower wannabees in things. This challenge was so much fun!

  4. How fun, Tuula! It looks just like the lupine…which I should plant in my garden since I love it! Glad you are having fun re-working your garden! Stay cool, friend!

    1. Thanks Lora! I love lupins too, and now I need to make more trowel lupins for when the real ones stop blooming.

  5. LindaSonia says:

    Great project – love the look of it and how it looks next to the real lupines!!

  6. Again you have amazed me with your creativity and imagination, it looks great beside your lupin too!

  7. Loved it! Not realizing it was going next to a lupine, I was sure it was a hyacinth! Got any hyacinths come spring???? I lose my trowels almost as fast as I can buy them; they hardly ever last long enough to get rusty! Even ones with orange handles!

    1. Thanks Kathy! I can see how it could be a hyacinth too. I do have a few of those in the springtime and they are so pretty. I can relate to your habit of losing trowels because I tend to leave them all over the gardens, which is why some of them get rusty.

  8. This is so fun, Tuula! Your repurposed trowel is the perfect likeness of the flower next to it! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm–pinned!

  9. I loved it before it became a flower! I feel like painting all my garden tools hot pink and kelly green just for the fun of it, LOL. Great project, Tuula 🙂

    1. Thanks very much Diana! I love pink and green too. They’re a great garden color combo!

  10. Seriously girl, when I thought you couldn’t out beat your other junk garden flower creations you make this! Very creative and ADORABLE. These are my new favorite!

    1. Thanks so much Marie! I just can’t stop seeing flowers in everything. lol.