wind chimes

Create a wind chime out of flattened glass bottles. ATTRIBUTION: SurFeRGiRL30 (Flickr)

From old glass bottles to pieces of broken glass, all sorts of materials can be recycled to make creative knickknacks to beautify your backyard. Creating your own outdoor décor not only saves you money and helps the environment, but it also allows you to put a personalized spin on the look of your yard and garden. Take your outdoor space up a notch with these fun DIY projects.

Glass Bottle Wind Chimes

Adorn your porch, patio, or garden area with a musical glass bottle wind chime. Slender wine bottles work perfectly for this project, but I suggest thoroughly washing the bottles with hot soap and water to discourage insects. You’ll need at least three bottles with the labels removed. Use a glass cutter to score around the middle of each bottle so that it’s cut in half. Screw a hook into each side of each cork, then attach a chain to one hook. Push a cork into the top of each bottle so that the chain hangs inside. Use a small bell or other accessory as your clapper: Attach it to the chain so that when the wind blows, it dings against the bottle.

Broken Glass Mosaic Pots

Like most people, I’ve broken my fair share of dishes. But now, instead of throwing out the pieces, I save them for projects. There are thousands of mosaic projects you can make with broken glass. A flowerpot is a great starter project. Start with a basic clay pot that is clean and fully dry. Prepare thin-set mortar by adding water to mortar powder until you have a consistency similar to peanut butter. Spread a thin layer of mortar onto the clay pot, followed by a piece of broken glass. Continue adding pieces until you’ve covered the pot. Leave a quarter-inch space between each glass piece for grout. After grouting, allow the pot to fully dry before it’s ready for use.

Lighted Grapevine Balls

Create a whimsical space in your backyard by hanging lighted grapevine balls. These easy-to-make balls create a romantic ambiance that sets a relaxed mood. If you don’t have grapevine growing nearby to make authentic balls, you can get the same effect with thin fencing wire. Use a balloon or beach ball as a form to wrap your grapevine or metal wire around until you’ve created a ball shape. Use floral wire to hold crossing pieces together. Once the ball has been formed, remove the balloon or beach ball. Finally, wrap a strand of mini lights around the ball. Hang the light from a rope or chain.

Bird Cage With Succulents

Have an old bird cage lying around? Put it to good use in your garden. Spray-paint the bird cage a vintage white or leave it as is. While many types of plants can be grown in a bird cage, succulents fit well and create a pretty appearance. Before adding your plants, line the bottom of the cage with a plastic or paper plate or a piece of cardboard. Add a thin layer of sand to the plate to absorb excess water. Nest, line the cage with sheet moss and add the succulents. Use moss to prevent the soil from spilling out of the cage. Give your plants a good soak about once a week to keep them healthy and vibrant.