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Decorating With Junk: An Illustrated Guide

Updated on February 17, 2014
donotfear profile image

Annette Sharp holds a BAAS in Behavioral Science from Texas A&M. She is a counselor and motivator with an empathetic heart.

Learn How Today!

Starting your junk yard from scratch....scratch metal, scratch wood, scratch steel, scratch plastic, chicken scratch.....
Starting your junk yard from scratch....scratch metal, scratch wood, scratch steel, scratch plastic, chicken scratch.....

Decorating with Junk in Three (3) Years or Less

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to share with you the epitome of trashing. Now you can totally transform your farm or mini ranch in less than 3 years into a work of pure junk art. It takes great skill to create and scatter your debris over time. Today I'm going to discuss and explore this mode of ingenious talent. WELCOME TO THE

"ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO TRASHING YOUR PLACE WITH JUNK"

by A.T.donotfear


Pictured are old tires sustaining the weed growth and adding character to the abandoned camper trailer. Look at the lovely plumes this species of weed creates!

Weeds make great landscaping. Note the bent piece of metal against the barbwire fence adding a windbreak for the weeds.
Weeds make great landscaping. Note the bent piece of metal against the barbwire fence adding a windbreak for the weeds.

Getting Started: Decorating with Tires

The first thing you must do (or not do) is never throw away old tires because you might NEED them sometime.

You know what I mean.

When you live on a small farm or mini ranch, you have a good selection of old, unused tires to choose from: four wheeler tires, tractor tires, truck tires, lawn mower wheels, cattle trailer tires and bicycle tires to name a few.

Always hang on to them after replacing with new tires so you can use for spares, when needed.

They make great tree swings for the grandkids, if you ever put them up.

They also make a great container for sand, holding mineral blocks and supporting the wide variety of weeds that grow up around them.

You can make planters, tire swings, sculptures, retaining walls, shoes, landscape edging and line your driveway.

Old tires can be very useful if you know what to do with them. Please see examples pictured below.

How to Arrange Junk in Logical Sequence

The next thing you need to do is hang on to all the old scrap metal, car parts, plastic containers, cans, dead lawn mowers and twisted wire. It makes a great backdrop for your other tools.

Keep all electrical cords wrapped loosely and tangled and never keep them in the same place. A variety of colors of electric cords looks nice. Make sure everything is placed in full view so you can have a panoramic scene to observe from your bay window.

Keeping old camper tops is important to the wildlife, besides looking contemporary. When your dogs and cats don't stay under it for shelter, the skunks, coons, armadillos and possums can have a safe haven from the weather

. It's also a good draw for poisonous snakes, being hot and humid under the roof.

Ladders can be stored efficiently on top of the camper top to assure you can find it easily the next time you want to use it.

The space between the camper and storage house may accommodate lots of unused window frames and angle iron, which creates a geometric look to the outside of the storage shed.

In addition, piling all unwanted or unused rusty metal and twisted wire in the same spot makes it easy to locate when you need an extra part. You never know when you might need it!

Old barn wood, fence posts, chicken wire, metal, and iron pipe plays a significant role in the beautification of your old barn, now turned shop.

IN ADDITION, ALL OLD FENCING MATERIAL CREATES AN IDEAL ENVIRONMENT AND ATTRACTION FOR BLACK WIDOW AND BROWN RECLUSE SPIDERS, AS WELL AS GIVING THE OUTSIDE OF THE BARN/SHOP A "RUSTIC" LOOK.
IN ADDITION, ALL OLD FENCING MATERIAL CREATES AN IDEAL ENVIRONMENT AND ATTRACTION FOR BLACK WIDOW AND BROWN RECLUSE SPIDERS, AS WELL AS GIVING THE OUTSIDE OF THE BARN/SHOP A "RUSTIC" LOOK.
ABOVE:the steamlined corrugated metal fence.  BELOW:the landscaping to the shop/barn entry.
ABOVE:the steamlined corrugated metal fence. BELOW:the landscaping to the shop/barn entry.

Decorating the Barn/Shop; Rusted Metal Junk Art

At the photo to the right, you can see a long sheet of steel was used to act as a shield to protect the broken gate, while creating a streamlined 'fence look' to the area. The corrugated metal hides the shreds of wiring left from the old gate. It appears to give the area a "cleaner" look.

The entrance to the 'barn made into a shop' (photo right) is guarded from outside livestock by a wonderful old antique gate panel dating back to the 1950s found on the property. To add to the landscaping architecture of the entrance, weeds have grown solidly around the remains of some old car parts, bits of machinery and tractor pieces; a nice display of rusted metal junk art. This seems to generate the feel of "old times" as well as add symmetry and greenery to the area.

Decorating by Making the Most of Storage House Space

As you can see in the photo below, several items were stored OUTSIDE the storeroom in order to save room. In doing so, it added a bit of color to the shed porch. The orange ramps and generator are welcoming fixtures to the entry of this ordinarily drab storage house. Buckets and other items litter the entrance so they can be handily reached. The goal was to create color and draw attention from the rather plain doors to the shed.

The Lovely Storage House Entry

Finally, the Benefits of Decorating with Old Cars

This article wouldn't be worth writing if something wasn't mentioned about the value of using old cars to add to the appeal of your farm or mini ranch. In the below photo, one can appreciate the use of using 4 feet tall flowering weeds growing from the trunk of the old car. Without the use of thick weeds, the cars themselves would look stark, in contrast to the surrounding landscape. This only proves that wrecked automobiles have more substantial value than "junkyard parts".

The photo below is a prime example.

It took 2 years for the weeds to actually get to this size.
It took 2 years for the weeds to actually get to this size.

So In Conclusion of Junk Decorating........

Ladies and gentlemen, it's given me great pleasure to share with you how to trash your place in three (3) years or less. The above examples of 'junk art' took 3 years to create and develop. It takes time and patience to invent, arrange and distribute your accumulated debris into an appealing work of true "junk art".

I hope you've enjoyed reading my

"Illustrated Guide to Decorating Your Place with Junk".

Please take a moment to answer the following Quiz and Poll concerning Decorating with Junk Art.

What do you really think.....

Do you think this Junk Art should be hauled off?

See results

The 'Decorating with Junk Art' Quiz


view quiz statistics

Junk Artist Profile

How bout' this for recycling old tires!

Comments

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    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 5 years ago from The Boondocks

      ramaquwer:

      You think they would drive down from Seattle? It's only 2000 miles!

    • ramaquwer profile image

      ramaquwer 5 years ago

      Although Junk Warriors would still would be considered a young company by most people we are growing our customer base weekly and already have several satisfied repeat customers.

      http://www.JunkWarriors.com

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 7 years ago from The Boondocks

      Harvey: Now you can tell me what to do with it all!

      Granny: Good news about the camper! It's off the junk pile and in renovation. It actually looks good!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      This is so funny. My husband saves everything! I think the camper made good fertlizer, that's why the grass grows so good in that spot. lol

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 7 years ago from Illinois

      DNF, Stop; you're killing me! I was in the Scrap metal business (junk), and counted on getting these prizes. "One man's garbage, is another man's gold.

      I must admit I liked the article.

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 7 years ago from The Boondocks

      Thanks Christalluna!!!! Happy to share with you anytime. So we come from the same roots....very neat. Glad you liked my trashy hub...hehehe.

    • christalluna1124 profile image

      christalluna1124 7 years ago from Dallas Texas

      DNF,

      Thanks for following my hubs.Your pictures on this articles bring back many memories of my childhood on the farm in mississsippi. I miss that now. All I ever wanted was to have a carrer which manic depressive illness drrailed.. but I am also now a mental health professional and advocate in court for those with mental illness as I know what it feels like. I hope we can be friends...you have much to offer. This hub is beautiful. Please feel free to contact me at my personal email.

      Warmest regards,

      Chris

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 7 years ago from The Boondocks

      GreenGoods: Thanks for the tip!

      Cailin: so glad I could share the joy of junk with you.

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 7 years ago from New England

      I love your tongue in cheek article! And I, for one, feel that this is a completely beautiful way to live your life if one desires...this is what owning your own property can mean...just living your life your own way. :D

    • GreenGoodsGuide profile image

      GreenGoodsGuide 7 years ago from Lehigh Valley PA

      I've been a junk dealer all my life. It's only junk when I'm buying it, it's fine antiques and decorative art when I'm selling it!

      http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf001318.tip.html

      (this is just for illustrative purposes, and there are some questions about the safety of recycling tires this way.)

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 7 years ago from The Boondocks

      Cheap: I'm honored to have been graced by your visit to the junk heap. However some of the junk has been removed and sold for scrap.

    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 7 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      What a Luxury to have the space you have!I have a WTF is That!drawer on my boat but its to full to arrange things in an artistic manor lol

      Thanks for the entertainment

      Dean

    • Rascal Russ Miles profile image

      Rascal Russ Miles 7 years ago from Show Low, AZ USA

      This is a Hot Issue. It is about time that someone presents a beautiful recognition of real artists. Yes, our medium is a little different but our canvasses are large. Some of the colors change as our masterpieces age. Great Job Sweet One. Yes indeed, I'm a fan.

      Rascal Russ

      BTW, Here's my latest little Hub:

      https://hubpages.com/health/2010-Hooters-Callander...

    • aefrancisco profile image

      aefrancisco 7 years ago from somewhere down the road

      VERY Creative!

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 7 years ago from The Boondocks

      Thanks marigoldow. The difference with my ordeal related to your grandparents relics is that this junk is in the present. No historical value to it, just plain trashy. I'm getting ready to figure out something, but I don't know what. I wish I could see it as a monument. Love your comment and description of your grandparent's place. Thanks!

    • profile image

      marigoldow 7 years ago

      Wow! that really faces the issue. I never want to own those kinds of things, but I do have fond memories of exploring the huge property owned by my grandparent. It was decorated in a similar style. I remember those relics in great detail. Through the years everything stayed put, while grasses and trees grew through it all, and rust and rot chewed on what it could. All those things were both evidence of, and monumental to, the different activities that once took place, and the people who once lived there. It was like a tale of another time, with life like images scattered about like museum pieces. Interesting!

    • profile image

      sbeakr 7 years ago

      Hysterical! I wish I thought of this first! The rural areas of Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, and Hawaii (and I've lived them all) are fraught with this intrinsically admirable décor!

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 8 years ago from The Boondocks

      Bravo, dahling, bravo!

    • Eric Graudins profile image

      Eric Graudins 8 years ago from Australia

      I can see that you've put a tremendous amount of thought and love into your gallery.

      Stunning use of green has allowed me to encapsulate a compelling experience while other artists are bogged down in transforming interventions seen only as poetries of the cutting edge

      (There. That should be pretentious enough to go with the highbrow tone of this page):lol:

      Cheers,

      Eric G.

    • It's just me profile image

      It's just me 8 years ago from Alaska

      The tires can be turned inside out and made into planters. Saw that a lot in the south too lol I don't know how they turned them inside out though.

      At first I thought you we're being sarcastic about some bad renters. Oh well, a lot of us have a problem child it's just that some of ours are our mates.

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 8 years ago from The Boondocks

      I'm glad to spread the tastelessness...

    • broussardleslie profile image

      Leslie Broussard 8 years ago

      PRICELESS hub! I have a friend who will enjoy it VERY much!

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 8 years ago from The Boondocks

      Gee, thanks, Miss Markayla!! I needed that.

    • Miss Markayla profile image

      Miss Markayla 8 years ago from Indiana

      This was great! I needed a good smile today...Thank-You! And I agree with Dolores...has to be the best hub ever...You can't beat the thought that you put into this!

    • Dirtdog profile image

      Dirtdog 8 years ago from New Smyrna Beach / Edgewater , Florida

      So glad to see a sense of humor . thanks for the smiles . I take pride in my junk too. an proud as hell to irritate my neighbors . an if n when i feel its not enough i do my best to try harder . my favorite is the 4 am wake up call by throwing ICE not regular ice but perfectly created throwing hunks of it by filling whisky tumblers an freezing the baseball size ice chunk n by the time it thaws enough to let loose of the glass it is perfect for throwing at the neighbors roof at 4 am n waking up all the dogs in the neighborhood . ha! snickers he he he ...

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 8 years ago from The Boondocks

      Jerilee: Yeah, I know what you mean. As long as the stuff stays far enough away from the house and not crammed up against it, it's not so bad. But it still irks me! Been saying he's gonna haul off the pile of rubble for 2 years now and I've yet to see it happen. I know it won't be soon, cause now it's deer season! I wonder what my sweety will say when I make a sculpture out of the tires?

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      I could certainly relate, one of the many reasons we left the farm. If I didn't know better I'd swear my husband was moonlighting as a decorator while pretending to be a couch potato. Even here in the city, he's saving for a rainy day -- pickle jars to drink from (won't use the glasses in the cupboard; free paper napkins from McDonalds; receipts from McDonalds; metal store display elements from local dumpsters. He still hasn't forgiven me for having the 11 cars he was decorating our lower field with hauled off -- claims he could be a millionaire because by now they would be antiques.

      The old camper top gave me a good laugh as his turned into a racoon hotel. Great treatment of the world of exterior design.

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 8 years ago from The Boondocks

      arrgonaut: I'm glad I was able to assist you with a better understanding of your relatives.

      Delores: the sofa that was on the side porch (breezeway) was drug off and burned. It has not been replaced. But thank you for your compliment.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      donotfear - Have I never read your hubs? What a fool! Look what I was missing. This has got to be one of the best hubs ever, the teaser title, not to mention the photos. But I do think that this ever so tastefully decorated property is missing an essential element - where is the sofa on the porch?

    • arrrgonaut profile image

      arrrgonaut 8 years ago from Tennessee

      I feel like I understand certain relatives so much better now.

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 8 years ago from The Boondocks

      maven101: Your comments have me rolling, dude! Great satirical response and welcomed indeed!

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      I love the circular art forms of the sad and tired tires, lying nestled amongst the lush green bedding of the airy weeds, and there, the stark concreteness of the lonesome trailer, standing aloof and proud, gave me a deep sadness I find hard to explain...A most poignant study in contrast....I feel my artistic bones have been given a rare treat in this Hub....Thank you so much for sharing this remarkable journey through trash heaven...Larry

    • donotfear profile image
      Author

      donotfear 8 years ago from The Boondocks

      I'm very honored to receive such wonderful and honest comments! Thank you ALL for contributing to this hub.

      Veronica: Yes, there is a method to the madness. I gave up a long time ago!

      Steffsings: It makes me feel much better knowing that other states have the same problem.

      Godslittlechild: It does seem like a southern thing, doesn't it?

      hellohello: Please don't send more junk. List it on Ebay.

      breakfastpop: Where do you live and when can you get started on the junk removal?

      Robert B & awsydney: I'm thinking of making a sculpture out of the tires.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      Junk makes me very, very nervous. Throwing things away makes me happy and light.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      I'll send you some more junk, I got a house full of it and don't how to get rid off. Thanks for a well written hub.

    • Godslittlechild profile image

      Godslittlechild 8 years ago

      This is one of many traditions we find here in the south.

    • steffsings profile image

      steffsings 8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Hmm...I didn't know you could put a dainty white lattice wall on your four wheeler shed? Wow, you learn something new every day. (Seriously, the pics of abandoned cars in beautiful green foliage reminds me of the good ol' days in Washington State)

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Love this, I had no idea there was actually a "method to the madness." :)

    • profile image

      Robert Ballard 8 years ago

      Guess we all have some "tresures" around. Nice hub.

      Robert Ballard

    • awsydney profile image

      awsydney 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Can get pretty fashionable..:)