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Save Money By Recycling Unused or Broken Items - DIY Recycled Creations

Updated on July 7, 2011

Think about all the items that are sitting around your home collecting dust. Whether they are broken or just no longer needed doesn't mean that they are junk. You can recycle many different items to make new things your family may need. So why just throw unused items away? Instead save yourself money and make something you need!

Front of Gate
Front of Gate
Back of Gate
Back of Gate

Current Issues or Problems You Need Solved

A good way to start determining what you can make from recycled items in your home is to sit back and think about any issues or problems that you may need to solve. For myself it was to figure out a way to keep neighborhood children from running in and out of our entryway. I felt it was a safety hazard due to the fact that if a car was traveling down the street the driver may not see a child running out and have time to stop. This was a fear for me with my own children who also tended to run in and out of our entryway.

So I knew what I needed to accomplish. I needed to supply a gate to keep the children out of the entryway. The problem was that gates are relatively pricey to buy or make with purchased materials. So I put my creative mind to work and this is what I came up with.....

Completed Gate
Completed Gate
bungee cord
bungee cord
hook and eye latch
hook and eye latch

Broken and Unused Items

After doing a little research online I found the basis to my gate, lattice. We had five complete pieces of lattice sitting out back next to our garage that was no longer in use. We had originally bought it about four years ago to keep our new dog in the backyard. She was able to squeeze between the rails of the porch and would constantly escape. So we hung lattice along the entire outside of the porch. Once she was big enough to not fit through the rails we took the lattice down and there it sat for at least the past two years.

So I had one piece of what was soon to be my new gate. Now I needed pieces of wood to frame off the lattice. All the scrap pieces we had in the garage were not big enough to complete a side of the gate. As I sat there staring off thinking of what to do it hit me. There it was right in front of my face. The old wooden ladder that was not sturdy enough to hold anyone any longer. All I needed to do was take the ladder apart and I would have enough wood to frame off the gate.

I always save hardware and screws from anything we are getting rid of. So we had an abundance of hinges and screws. This especially came in handy when it was time to hang the gate in the entryway. All I needed was a few small pieces of 2x4's to mount the hinges to and to place on the opposite side for the latch and to keep it from closing to far. I had extra hook and eye latches to be able to lock the gate shut so that no children can open it from the outside. The only problem I had was keeping the gate shut when not latched. So I solved that problem with a bungee cord because it acts just like a spring to keep the gate closed at all times.

Once the gate was completed I had to apply a coat of paint to make it look better. I used all leftover paint that was unused from other home projects. This also helped to save quite a few dollars. In the end the gate only cost me about $3.00 to produce. Only because I purchased a "No Trespassing" sign and decorated it with some fake flower vines. Pretty good if you ask me.

Materials Used


Old Ladder

Hinges from old entertainment stand

Paneling nails leftover from attic remodeling

Screws collected over the years

Latch and hook from junk drawer

Bungee cord

Scrap 2x4 pieces

Leftover Paint

Sheers to cut lattice

Circular saw to make frame

How To Make Gate

  • Measure space for gate
  • Cut lattice slightly smaller to allow it to work properly (ex. space 48" cut lattice 45")
  • Frame lattice with recycled wood
  • Use paneling nails to attach lattice to wooden frame
  • Secure 2x4's for gate hanging
  • Attach hinges to 2x4's then to the gate
  • Attach 2x4's on opposite side to keep gate from closing to far
  • Attach hook and eye latch to gate and 2x4's
  • Attach bungee cord to keep gate closed (optional)
  • Paint and decorate as desired

Recycled Vs New Costs

The costs will be dramatically less when you use recycled items you already have laying around the house. Just because an item no longer works as it is intended to function does not necessary mean it is trash. You can really save by turning your "trash" into something better.

Store Bought Project
Recycled Project
$ 5.91 
screws, nails, hardware 
paint (1 quart)
extras (sign, decorations, etc.)
Total Cost
*Prices are estimated by amount of materials needed*

Be sure to have permission from other property owner before attaching anything to their home or placing a gate in a shared entryway. My neighbor and I both wanted to have a gate in between our homes for the safety of our children and other children in the neighborhood.


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    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 5 years ago

      It is great when people are creative and you get to use things you would normally not think of.They make the gate fancier and save money at the same time.Love the tips.Keep them coming.

    • JillKostow profile image

      Jill Kostowskie 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks again prairieprincess... I am always thinking of projects and easy inexpensive ways to fix existing problems. I will be sure to keep sharing my ideas. I am glad to have got you thinking!!!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Love, love, love this idea! You have inspired me; we have some unused lattice sitting in the garage, and I sometimes thought it would be nice to do something with it.

      Now, you have inspired me to work a little harder to think of a solution, and also to use up some other "junk" around the house and yard. Love your ideas, and would love to hear of any more projects that you come up with.

      Thank you. Voted up awesome, useful and beautiful!