Do you have some scrap metal lying around your home or garage? Maybe you have some old copper wires, soda cans, metal tools, or even car parts you don’t need anymore.
Instead of throwing them away or selling them for a low price, why not turn them into something creative and useful? Unlike plastic, most metals can be recycled indefinitely without any impact on quality.
But recycling scrap metal is not the only way to give it a new life. You can also use your scrap metal to create DIY art projects that add personality and charm to your home.
Here are some tips and ideas on how to reuse your scrap metal in fun and artistic ways.
Tips for Reusing Scrap Metal
Working with metal isn’t an easy task, let alone scrap metal. There is a pre-prep process to go by before you start your DIY project to turn these junks into something useful or beautiful.
Here are some general tips to keep in mind when working with scrap metal:
- Sort your scrap metal by type and size. This will make it easier for you to find the pieces you need and avoid mixing metals that may react with each other. You can use a magnet to separate ferrous metals (those that contain iron) from non-ferrous metals (those that don’t).
- Clean your scrap metal. You don’t want to work with dirty or rusty metal that poses health risks or may damage your tools. You can use vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, or steel wool to remove rust and dirt from your metal pieces.
- Wear protective gear. Scrap metal can have sharp edges, splinters, or burrs that can cut or injure you. Therefore, you should always wear gloves, goggles, and long sleeves when handling scrap metal. You should also work in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhaling dust or fumes from the metal.
- Use the right tools. Depending on your project, you may need some tools to cut, bend, shape, or join your scrap metal pieces. Some common tools for working with metal include pliers, wire cutters, hammers, drills, saws, files, clamps, and welding equipment. Ensure you use these tools safely and correctly before starting your project.
- Learn to paint. If you want to give your scrap metal a new look after all the engineering, you may also want to learn how to paint metal. Painting metal can help you create different effects and styles for your DIY art projects.
Ideas for DIY Art Projects
Now that you know how to prepare your scrap metal, you can work on your DIY art projects. Here are some best ideas you can try:
1. Metal Sculptures – Transforming Rusty Scraps into Artistic Masterpieces
You can use any scrap metal to create a sculpture of your choice. You can make an abstract sculpture by bending and twisting wires or rods into different shapes.
You can make a realistic sculpture using metal parts resembling body parts or objects.
For example, you can use nuts and bolts to make eyes, spoons to make ears, forks to make hands, etc.
You can also make a themed sculpture using metal items related to a certain topic. For example, you can use bicycle parts to make a cyclist sculpture, kitchen utensils to make a chef sculpture, etc.
Easy Steps to Follow to Craft a Metal Sculpture
Start by brainstorming and sketching out your desired sculpture design. You can gather inspiration from various sources like artwork, nature, or your imagination. Next, determine the size and shape you want your sculpture to be.
- Gather a variety of scrap metal pieces that align with your design. Look for interesting shapes, textures, and sizes. Use sandpaper or a wire brush to remove any rust or debris.
- Using an angle grinder or metal saw, cut and shape the metal pieces according to your design. Ensure the pieces fit together securely for welding.
- If you aren’t comfortable working with a welding machine or don’t know how to, you can also use wire to wrap around or connect your pieces.
- For making the mold, spray foam insulation on your workbench in the shape of your piece. Let it cure for about 10 minutes, and then pop it off.
- Cast your piece. Pour fiberglass resin into the mold and wait for it to harden. Remove the mold and trim any excess resin.
- To finish, you can paint your piece with enamel, lacquer, or epoxy resin to protect it from weathering and add some color. You can also leave it as it is for a rustic look.
Amazing! You have just made a metal sculpture without welding!
2. Make a Planter Out of Old Jeans and Tin Cans
You can use scrap metal to create a plant container to add some greenery and life to your space. You can use tin cans, metal buckets, pots, pans, trays, or boxes as the base for your planter.
All you need are some old jeans (any color or style), some potting soil, some plants or seeds, a pair of scissors, a needle and thread, and some glue.
Simple Steps to Follow to Make Your Jeans Planter
- Cut off the legs of your jeans and discard them. You will only need the upper part with the pockets.
- Drill holes in the bottom of your metal container to allow excess water to drain out. You can also drill holes in the sides of your container if you want to add handles or decorations.
- Cut out circles of denim from your jeans that are slightly bigger than the rim of each tin can and glue the denim circle to the inside of each container, covering the sharp edges.
- Sew or glue the pockets of your jeans to the outside of each tin can. You can use as many pockets as you want, depending on how many cans you have.
- Add some gravel, rocks, or broken pottery pieces to the bottom of your metal planter to improve drainage and prevent root rot. Then add some potting soil and plant your favorite flowers, herbs, or succulents.
- Place your metal planter in a sunny spot and water it regularly. Enjoy the beauty and freshness of your plants.
Congratulations! You have just made a cute and rustic planter out of scrap metal and old jeans!
3. Crafting a Metal Candle Holder – Illuminate in Style
If you want to turn scrap metal into a shining light, You can use a tuna can and a soda can for this delight.
You will also need some tools and supplies such as a hole punch, pliers, scissors, a hammer, tin snips, wire, beads, brads, tape, and sand.
Complete This Beautiful Project with These 8 Steps
- Cut off the top of the soda can with a smooth edge can opener and cut out the bottom part with tin snips and scissors.
- Punch 16 evenly spaced holes along the top edge of the can and eight more holes lower down with metal punch pliers.
- Push a beading wire through one of the holes from outside to inside and tape the end down inside with clear tape.
- Thread some seed beads onto the wire and push it through another hole on the opposite side. Repeat until you have a beaded rim around the can.
- Add some colored brads to the lower holes for decoration and punch more holes on the sides of the can if you want.
- Decorate the can with silver foil tape, washi tape, or any other embellishments you like.
- Cut out a circle from the tuna can lid with a circle punch and punch a hole in the center. Attach it to the bottom of the soda can with a silver brad.
- Fill the tuna can with colored sand and place it inside the soda can. Put a tea-light candle on top of the sand and enjoy your metal candle holder!
You can also use other types of metal sheets, wire mesh, perforated sheets, or anything else that catches your eye. You can color them with watercolor or acrylic paint, add gems, stones, or tiles for extra flair or create different shapes and patterns.
4. Functional Furniture: Revamping Your Interior with Style
Give your living space a dash of industrial chic by incorporating repurposed scrap metals into your furniture. As a result, you can create custom furniture pieces that are not only visually appealing but also robust and long-lasting.
Tip: Balance the use of metal with other materials like painted wood or upholstery to create a harmonious blend of textures.
Some Ideas That Might Help You
- You can make tables from scrap metal by welding together different parts, such as cogs, wheels, chains, and treads. You can use wood, glass, or metal for the tabletops. For example, you can make a nested cube table by welding four metal frames of different sizes and placing a wood or glass top on each one.
- You can make a pipe shelf by assembling pipes and fittings into a frame and attaching wood planks to it. You can also make a ladder shelf by welding two metal ladders and placing wood planks between them.
- You can make stools from scrap metal by using springs, gears, bolts, nuts, and washers. You can weld them together or use nuts and bolts to join them. You can use wood or metal for the seats.
As you can see, there are many ways to reuse your scrap metal and make amazing DIY projects from recycled materials.
Recycling scrap metal can save money, reduce waste, and unleash your creativity. Plus, these handmade crafts can add charm and character to your home.
So don’t throw away your scrap metal; turn it into something awesome instead!
We hope these tips inspire you to try some recycling projects for yourself.