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Easy Garden Decorating Idea Garden Tool Art

Updated on March 21, 2014

Common yard and garden tools add beauty to landscape.

Add beauty to your landscape with this colorful and easy garden project. Image shows lawn and garden rakes, shovel, trowel, baskets in colors of pink, blue, and green.
Add beauty to your landscape with this colorful and easy garden project. Image shows lawn and garden rakes, shovel, trowel, baskets in colors of pink, blue, and green. | Source

Garden Tools Become Show Stopping Décor

Busy gardeners know how quickly rakes, shovels, trowels and other common garden tools can become weathered and worn looking. And for most people, having all the tools picked up and put away at the same time can seem like a pipe dream. You start to rake up a corner of the yard and before we know it, the phone is ringing, a child needs attention, or a neighbor comes to call. So the rake or shovel leans against the fence while you do the other things you need to do.

Before you know it, you have a rake here and shovel there, and a Wal-Mart bag with two tomatoes and a green pepper sitting in the vegetable garden waiting for more bounty to be added to the harvest.

This easy project will solve the problem of having unsightly tools detracting from the beauty of your landscape.

Water Fountain and Garden Rake

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Colorful Lawn Rakes

Create color pops in your garden with colorful lawn rakes.
Create color pops in your garden with colorful lawn rakes. | Source

Weathered Garden Tools

Rakes, shovels, and other DIY equipment can create an unsightly mess in your back yard.
Rakes, shovels, and other DIY equipment can create an unsightly mess in your back yard. | Source

Small Plastic Garden Spade Becomes Decor

This garden trowel, (or hand spade) was purchased at the local dollar store and painted in copper and metallic finishes.
This garden trowel, (or hand spade) was purchased at the local dollar store and painted in copper and metallic finishes. | Source

Shovels Make Good Decorator Tools

An old, but favorite shovel becomes a show-stopping garden decoration.
An old, but favorite shovel becomes a show-stopping garden decoration. | Source

Paint and Primer in One

The new spray paints being offered come in a wide variety of colors and are formulated to stick to a wide variety of material including plastics and metal.
The new spray paints being offered come in a wide variety of colors and are formulated to stick to a wide variety of material including plastics and metal. | Source

Remember to Check the Label on The Can

Not all spray paint will stick to any surface. Choose a type of spray paint that will stick to plastic, metal, and wood.

Wear Garden Gloves While Sanding Tools

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Preserve and Protect Your Garden Tools

Spray painting your garden tools helps to preserve and protect the equipment. This helps to eliminate getting slivers in your hands and helps to prevent accidents from stepping on a rake or shovel that blends in with the ground.
Spray painting your garden tools helps to preserve and protect the equipment. This helps to eliminate getting slivers in your hands and helps to prevent accidents from stepping on a rake or shovel that blends in with the ground. | Source

How to Decorate Your Garden Tools

Create your own decorated tools using these guidelines. As you work through each step of the process, allow inspiration to come from your surroundings. This project is something everyone can do, so do not worry if you are not especially artistic when it comes to painting designs. You can use stencils, swirl the spray paint in different colors, or let it drip down the tines.

Choose The Garden Tools to be Decorated

Shovels make good canvases because they offer a wider space for your design. For this project we selected three rakes and one spade. The finish on the rake handles, after two years of use, was flaky, and small splinters from the wood handles was becoming a painful problem while using these tools. The shovel is an old one that is being retired. Because it is a cherished family shovel and not ready for the dumpster, it was a great candidate for using it to create some garden art.

Assemble the Spray Paint and Other Equipment

Gather everything you will need for cleaning the tools and applying the base coat. For this project we used Valspar paint and primer in one. You may want to use up spray primer that you already have. Doing this will make the cans of spray paint go farther and the project will cost less. The image at the right of the screen shows the items needed to begin.

Clean the Shovels and Rakes and Sand the Handles

For this stage of the project, we gathered the tools to be painted, found a good piece of medium coarse sandpaper, collected the cans of spray paint, and remembered to use those pretty garden gloves. To clean the shovel spade and tines of the rakes, we used a garden hose and a plastic bristle brush.

Primer and Spray Paint the Garden Tools

Using an empty cardboard box, we laid the tools out to be painted. When painting, hold the can about 6 inches away from the object, and proceed in medium slow, but steady strokes until all of one side has been coated with the paint. Let that side of the object dry until you can touch it without paint sticking to your hands. This can take several hours depending on your weather and humidity levels. After it is dry to the touch, flip each object over and paint the other side. Let dry.

Assemble the Decoration Paints and Supplies

This is when the real fun begins. Grab a friend or family member and settle in with your favorite cup of Joe. Flip through some garden magazines for color, pattern, and design ideas. Go through your craft stashes searching for craft paint and even crystals and beads you can use for decorations.

Decide on a color scheme for your project. Stick with about three to four colors per item. Use one or two of those colors as accents, or color pops, and the other color or colors as the main body of your design.

If you need to purchase paint, you may want to choose acrylic paint from the craft department of your local big-box store. This way, you can purchase a wider variety of color for the same amount of money that you would spend if you had small cans of exterior semi-gloss latex paint mixed up.

Decorate Your Garden Tools

After you have selected your colors and assembled the paints, paint brushes, and any other supplies, begin to experiment with applying the paint. Small designs in repeating patterns work well on the rake and shovel handles. Painting the tines a solid color is easiest, but you might want to consider creating a rainbow of colors by painting each rake tine a different color.

Enjoy the process of decorating the tools while visiting with friends and family over a cool beverage. When others join in, the fun really begins.

Garden Inspiration

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Using and Caring for Your Decorator Garden Tools

These painted rakes can be used to work in your garden. The handles hold up well under normal use, but can be expected to wear with time. The tines of the rakes may need an annual touch up with a can of spray paint. Shovel spades will wear mainly on the lower third part of the spade, depending on how deeply you dig. Keeping your design to the upper third or half of the shovel spade will help to preserve the design so that you only need to touch up the lower portion with spray paint.

Color for Your Garden

A collection of hand painted gardening equipment.
A collection of hand painted gardening equipment. | Source

Garden Cheer

Even when left lying about, these colorful garden tools add cheerfulness to your back yard landscape.
Even when left lying about, these colorful garden tools add cheerfulness to your back yard landscape. | Source

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In Conclusion

In Conclusion

Stripes, poka-dots, swirls, drips, or tiny flowers are just a few ideas for easy-to-do painted finishes. This is a project that you can walk away and come back to when you have time. You can choose to spray the base coats of color, and then come back to the project a week later when you have a little time. It only takes about an hour or so to decorate each tool once it has received its base coat of spray paint.

The most important part of this project, however, is that it is relaxing and fun. The entire family can contribute something to this kind of artwork. Tiny tots can apply their own brand of squiggles and swirls to a handle, and older children and family members can create their own artistic vision.

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Comments

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  • profile image

    Tracen 2 years ago

    A bit sueisprrd it seems to simple and yet useful.

  • Nancy Owens profile image
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    Nancy Owens 3 years ago from USA

    Thank you, Gypsy48! It is fun, and I am not particularly artistic. The shovel came out good, but I messed up on the pink rake. I was trying to draw angels, but it didn't work out right. My neighbor did the green and blue rakes. She somehow "got" that it wouldn't work to draw wide stuff on a narrow handle. :)

  • Gypsy48 profile image

    Gypsy48 3 years ago

    What a creative idea! The painted garden tools really add a pop of color and freshness to the lawn and garden. Voted up.

  • Nancy Owens profile image
    Author

    Nancy Owens 3 years ago from USA

    Hey, BillyBuc! This was fun. I am one of those people who just can't seem to keep everything picked up all the time, and if they look bright and colorful, the tools can be a part of my garden. One additional bonus is that when I take tools to a volunteer project, like a yard or church cleanup, I can easily identify my tools when it is time to go home!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I love the bright color ideas, something I never thought of doing. Thanks for the ideas; you can bet I'll be out in the yard soon with some paint.

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