A few weeks ago I made my mom a mosaic doorstop and then promptly realized that we don’t have one of those things to stop our doors from slamming shut when the wind picks up. And we’ve had some serious wind storms lately on the Highveld. I think it’s the changing seasons. Mother Nature seems to be reorganizing just like all of us 😀 Anyhows; we had this really rusty garden fork that either needed to be thrown out or repurposed. And since we love recycling, we turned that worn old fork into this doorstop.
That poor fork had definitely seen better days. I have no idea how it got so rusty and banged up, but she wasn’t going to last too much longer 😉
Well to be totally honest, we only repurposed the top half of the garden fork. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the bottom 😉 If you have any ideas let me know in the comments. I do love the way it turned out though. The rusty handle contrasts so beautifully against the concrete base.
So just in case you have some rusty garden tools lying around and don’t want to throw them out, here’s how we made this doorstop.
What You Need to Upcycle a Garden Tool into a Doorstop
Besides that rusty garden fork, you’ll need a PVC pipe that has a diameter of at least 8” (20cm). We used leftover bits of PVC pipe from when we made the gabion planters. If you don’t have any PVC pipe, you can use one of those cheap buckets, or you can make a mold using cardboard.
You’ll also need:
- Premix Concrete
- MDF or Cardboard
- Hammer and nails
- Duct tape
- Glue gun
- Sharpie (optional)
Preparing the PVC Pipe to Make a Mold
Use a sharpie to make a squiggle down the side of the PVC pipe and cut it in half with a saw as shown in the piccy below.
You should end up with two halves.
Using the squiggle as a guide, stick the two halves of the PVC pipe back together again with duct tape.
Make a base for the PVC Pipe mold by hot gluing the pipe onto a piece of cardboard or MDF. If you’re using cardboard cover it with duct tape to make it waterproof.
Okay so now that the mold is done, we can get the rusty garden fork ready for her makeover 😉 Measure how long you want the handle of the concrete doorstop to be and cut the garden fork down to size.
Give the handle a good wipe to get rid of old dirt and spray with a clear lacquer to seal and protect it from further rust. Make a hole in a piece of cardboard and slide the handle through. The cardboard will help keep the handle center when it goes into the mold.
Hammer a few nails into the bottom of the handle. I’m not sure this is 100% necessary, but I wanted to create “extra grip” for the handle once it’s been set in concrete.
Mixing up the Concrete
I used to be scared of concrete. Crazy right. I had this idea in my head that it was a terribly scientific thing 😀 But it turns out it’s pretty straightforward. Just start with a small quantity of powder and gradually add water. If you make a well in the middle of the concrete, it makes it easier to mix and stops all that dust from going all over the place. Stop adding water when your mix looks like thick cream, and there are no more lumps. Here’s a handy tip. If you want your concrete to set faster add a teeny bit of sugar 😀 For something like the recycled garden tool doorstop you’ll only need a few grains.
Pour the concrete into the PVC pipe. Make sure to give it a few hard taps as you fill it up to get rid of any air bubbles.
When it’s filled to the top carefully push the garden fork inside.
Some of the concrete will spill out, but that’s okay, just wipe it off. Check that the handle is centered in the concrete mix and put the doorstop somewhere safe so it can cure. About 24 hours. To unmold cut the duct tape around the PVC pipe.
The PVC pipe can be reused again for another project. Sand any rough spots away, and the garden fork doorstop is ready. We made a little rusty “STOP” sign for ours and screwed it onto the doorstop.
The sign was made from a tin can, and I’ll share a tutorial on how we did that soon.
What do you think? Isn’t it a great way to recycle those old garden tools?
I love me some rusty bits, don’t you?
If you like the idea, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then you’ll love these.
Until next time, hope you have a beautiful, creative week.