Image by Bonney Lassie
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No matter how hard you work to preserve your fence, there will come a time when certain fence panels become broken or too worn out to continue their purpose. It can be very annoying having to replace your fence and then having the broken ones lying around, so why not consider upcycling your fence panels. This allows you to get more use out of your fence panels and you may find they are very useful for something you never even knew you needed. You should look on an old fence panel as a few pieces of wood and from there think of all the wooden items you have/need. This is much easier that simply thinking of reusing fences. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling in your mind, but you may be able to think of many more that are more specific to your needs so start thinking of innovative new ways to prolong the life of your fence panels.
Construct useful wooden boxes from old fence panels
Although these wood panels may no longer be suitable as a barrier around your garden, they may still be viable in your outdoors area. You can use the panels to construct wooden boxes of various sizes and for various uses. For this kind of endeavour you are likely to want to have a handsaw, nails or screws, and a hammer or a screwdriver (preferably electric). It will also be useful to have rulers, pencils and tape measures to ensure that you can get a neat looking box that all fits together well. Making an open topped box is relatively simple and you can use it to hold flowers and plants.
Make outdoor furniture from used fence panels
Furniture for inside such as tables, chairs and outdoor furniture can all be constructed from the remnants of an old fence with a certain degree of skill and a lot of hard work and dedication. This is likely to be a big project to undertake but it will be worth it if you are able to pull it off. You will need to make precise measurements in order to ensure that any furniture you build is safe and you might want to look into paints, varnishes and extra coats to add to the wood to make it more comfortable to sit on or at. There are a lot of different designs of chairs and tables out there so be sure to properly evaluate how much wood you have and what you yourself will be able to make; if this is your first time doing any woodwork, it will probably be best to stick to a simple design as opposed to any carving or intricate shaping work.
Design picture frames from fence panels
If your old fence panels are still in relatively good condition appearance wise, they could be used to make cheap and attractive picture frames. Like most of the projects mentioned above, this is all about sizing but it is still a relatively simple task to undertake. You are likely to need measuring tools, a handsaw, sandpaper, a hammer and maybe a paintbrush and some paint.
Create garden decor from fence panels
Wooden welcome signs can add a very cosy and homely feel to a building, so why not try utilising your old fence panels in this way? These can be constructed in a similar way to picture frames and using similar tools, but allow for more creativity through the decoration of the sign once you have created your wooden base.
Recycle old fence panels
If you are less adventurous with your upcycles, you can always just store your fence panels somewhere dry so that you can use them to fix up other panels. It is likely that some of the wood will be salvageable so in the future, you could use this to mend parts of other fence panels if they too begin to wear away or break. In fact, if you want a more kitsch and unique look for your garden, you could use the wood from old fence panels on new fence panels that are a different colour or different kind of wood to create a kind of patchwork design. Some people have even been able to use these old panels to make a gate on the fence, so there are a lot of ways to upcycle old fence panels into your existing fence.
Fencestore is a great website to know when you need to buy new fences to replace all the old fence panels that you have upcycled.
Upcycling your old fence panels can turn out to be great for your wallet, great for the environment and great for whatever you end up using them for, so be sure to consider trying out some woodwork and making the most of those old, unused fences.