15 Amazing Ideas to Make Art in the Garden

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The Little Gardener - Emily Hughes

Good morning – how are you? Did you make any flowers yesterday? Do feel free to share if you did, I’d love to see… 

Today we are going to spend the whole day making things for and in our gardens! I am going to share a variety of ideas for you to choose from, that will be split into two categories – Art for the Garden, and Art in the Garden, along with our other usual bits and bobs. 

Art for the Garden has lots of ideas for homemade and repurposed planters and garden markers. Art in the Garden is a list of art you can make to go in your garden, like wind chimes, sculptures, lanterns and games… Let’s get started, have fun!  

Art for the Garden

Tin Can Planters

Pillar Box Blue have put together a great list of loads of ways to make pretty planters from tin cans! This is a really easy craft that looks great, has a purpose and recycles rubbish – it doesn’t get much better than that! Of course, the most simple way to do this is to simply paint the tin, and then plant something pretty in it! 

Flower Garden Cartons

This is another way to recycle to make planters! Hands On As We Grow have a tutorial on how to make these here. Maybe you could  use this idea to make a fairy garden too? 

Painted Stones Garden Markers

These funny fruit and veg garden markers from Adventure in a Box are gorgeous! I love the different faces – what a great way to explore drawing faces, whilst helping with the gardening too! Of course there’s lots of ways to paint pebbles and stones to use as garden markers – here are a couple more… You could have a go at some fancy lettering? Or how about trying some observational drawing of the plants you are labelling? Or use the rocks to make the shapes of the vegetables? That’s a clever one!  

Bead Garden Markers

Working with beads is a great way to improve fine motor skills, as well as developing creativity! These wire and bead garden markers are a lovely craft to do together, hop over to Meaningful Mama for the instructions. 

Clay Plant Markers

clay coloured markers

For those of us who enjoy working with clay, these are a lovely way to make useful plant markers. If you don’t have alphabet stamps, you can try writing with a sharp implement whilst the clay is still soft instead. I love both these ideas. The white clay is so simple and chic, but the colours and patterns on the other ones are so pretty! Which ones do you like best?

Toy Truck Planter

Repurposing old toys as planters for herbs or flowers is a lovely idea, especially in a child’s garden! You could have a whole fleet of vehicles! To make this idea more art based, perhaps you could paint designs on your vehicles… What else could you make a planter from? An old colander? Buckets? Teacups? Wellie Boots? There are some great ideas on Pinterest! 

When you have made your planters, consider planting bee friendly flowers as they will help everything that is growing in your garden! Herbs like mint, lemon balm, lavender and oregano are also great, as they are useful in the kitchen, plus insects love them when they are left to flower! 

Of course, there are lots of other ways, besides planting, to help bees and butterflies in the garden, but I haven’t included them here, as they aren’t really art related… 


Art in the Garden

Bottle Top Wind Chimes

Bottle top crafts always look so pretty, and none more so than these wind chimes. I particularly like the flat curtain one – if you have a good spot in your garden or on your balcony for this, then go for it! These are such a lovely way to add a bit of extra colour to our outside space. Hop over to Crafts by Amanda for a tutorial.  

Tin Can Lanterns

Lanterns are always a delight of an evening in the garden… These tin can lanterns are lovely, and essentially, pretty easy to make! I have seen other ideas where the holes have been made to make patterns or pictures of butterflies – but I quite like the simple dotted effect myself; they remind me of the stars… 

Stick Star Mobile

We made stick stars at last year’s “real” art camp, and they were lovely – some of the kids decorated them with glitter paint and ribbon… I really like these yarn wrapped stars from Happy Hooligans – the different colours look really pretty, and I love that you could sit and make them outside! The mobile is lovely, but you could also make individual hanging stars too. 

Watering Can and Bead Sculpture

I saw this on Etsy by Willow Tree Loft – I bet you could have a go at making something just like it? There are lots of ways you could emulate this – obviously you need an old watering can… to make the “water”, you could use beads like the picture. Or you could try curling ribbon (the type you get for wrapping gifts). How about the bottle cap idea from the wind chimes earlier in the post? How about threading leaves and acorns? Is there another way you can think of? 

Marble Sun Catcher Fence

Marble Fence

I have had this idea pinned on my Pinterest for many years, and I really want to do it, but we don’t have the right fence for it! If you do, you should definitely have a go. There is a good set of instructions hereIt’s such a pretty effect when the sun catches it; nature makes the best art… 

Pebble Garden Games


Here is another way of painting pebbles – this time it is to make a garden games! What game pieces would you make with your stones? What other games could you play?

Painted Rock Sculptures

If you don’t want to make game pieces with pebbles, you could make some animal sculptures to live in your garden. I love the ladybird crossing – what a lovely way to add fun and colour to your outside space! 

Old CD/Washer Mobile

I saw this idea of using washers to make a mobile, and thought you could do this with old CDs or DVDs too – its the same principle! The CDs would make good bird scarers too, if you need to keep your veggies safe – just leave the mirrored side as it is and the light reflections will put all the birds off coming near your crops! 

Paper Mâché Lanterns

I shared this idea in our leaf crafts, but I’m sharing it again because I think they are so lovely! I actually had a go at making one, but my balloon went down before the glue dried, so it didn’t hold it’s shape. I will definitely be having another go though! Let me know if you have success with this one! 

Lunchtime Viewing

Here is your short film for today. 

“Attraction transports its viewers into a ‘a tiny alternative universe’ where we are dazzled and disorientated by images of flowers blooming, mushrooms sprouting and insects in motion.”

Afternoon Reading

This is The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes, and it is being read to you today! It is a lovely story with the most beautiful illustrations. Enjoy… 

Play Video

And here is something extra for you – an excerpt from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett… you can click the link at the end to continue reading if you want. 

Mary skipped round all the gardens and round the orchard, resting every few minutes. At length she went to her own special walk and made up her mind to try if she could skip the whole length of it. It was a good long skip and she began slowly, but before she had gone half-way down the path she was so hot and breathless that she was obliged to stop. She did not mind much, because she had already counted up to thirty. She stopped with a little laugh of pleasure, and there, lo and behold, was the robin swaying on a long branch of ivy. He had followed her and he greeted her with a chirp. As Mary had skipped toward him she felt something heavy in her pocket strike against her at each jump, and when she saw the robin she laughed again.

“You showed me where the key was yesterday,” she said. “You ought to show me the door today; but I don’t believe you know!”

The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off. Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off—and they are nearly always doing it.

Mary Lennox had heard a great deal about Magic in her Ayah’s stories, and she always said that what happened almost at that moment was Magic.

One of the nice little gusts of wind rushed down the walk, and it was a stronger one than the rest. It was strong enough to wave the branches of the trees, and it was more than strong enough to sway the trailing sprays of untrimmed ivy hanging from the wall. Mary had stepped close to the robin, and suddenly the gust of wind swung aside some loose ivy trails, and more suddenly still she jumped toward it and caught it in her hand. This she did because she had seen something under it—a round knob which had been covered by the leaves hanging over it. It was the knob of a door.

She put her hands under the leaves and began to pull and push them aside. Thick as the ivy hung, it nearly all was a loose and swinging curtain, though some had crept over wood and iron. Mary’s heart began to thump and her hands to shake a little in her delight and excitement. The robin kept singing and twittering away and tilting his head on one side, as if he were as excited as she was. What was this under her hands which was square and made of iron and which her fingers found a hole in?

It was the lock of the door which had been closed ten years and she put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key and found it fitted the keyhole. She put the key in and turned it. It took two hands to do it, but it did turn.

And then she took a long breath and looked behind her up the long walk to see if any one was coming. No one was coming. No one ever did come, it seemed, and she took another long breath, because she could not help it, and she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly—slowly.

Then she slipped through it, and shut it behind her, and stood with her back against it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight.

She was standing inside the secret garden… 


Journal Prompts

  • Write about a secret garden that is hidden at the bottom of your own garden…. how did you find it? What is it hidden by? What is the garden like inside?
  • Design your perfect garden and sketch it out – where do veg beds go? What about the flowers? Would you have a play area? 
  • Can you think of a  special time you spent in a garden… who were you with? What did you see, do, smell and hear? Why was it special? Write about it or draw a picture… 
That’s all for today – join us tomorrow for some bugs, bees, birds and butterflies!

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Katherine is a mixed media artist, art teacher, writer, designer, photographer – and mum of 2 – who works and lives in North Devon, nestled in the woods on a little smallholding. She has a BA in Performance Studies, an MA in Fine Art, and an MFA in photography, alongside a background in early years childhood and special education. Katherine uses her artistic talents, passion for helping people, and unique creativity to create articles, courses and classes that promote creativity, artistic skills, self expression and well-being. She believes in the power of the creative arts and how engaging with them can improve so many aspects of life.
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