Upcycle a Rusty Garden Fork Into a Concrete Doorstop
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. We used the prongs to make this “UPCYCLE” sign. 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.
Okay, but before we get to the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
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.
Pushing will get you almost anywhere - except through a door that says pull 🙂
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. BTW, if you have any concrete left-over grab an avocado peel and make this quick and easy sailboat.
To unmold cut the duct tape and remove 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.
39 thoughts on “Upcycle a Rusty Garden Fork Into a Concrete Doorstop”
I love how your door stop turned out. I’m just curious to know if you’ve had any issues with the shovel pulling away from the concrete if it is exposed to freezing temperatures. I’d appreciate if you would share how your door stop has held up. Thanks
Oh Doreen, how I wish I could answer that question for you. We stay in South Africa and I have never seen snow. I did have a look on google for you and found this article that might help – https://www.cement.org/learn/concrete-technology/concrete-construction/cold-weather-concreting According to the article concrete takes 24 hours to cure before it will withstand freezing temps. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful ?
The rustic charm of your concrete door stop is fabulous. I have some broken garden shovels and never would I have thought to do this with them. Finger’s crossed hubby didn’t throw them out.
Isn’t it fun ? I hope your hubby kept them for you Marie
Oh Michelle I LOVE this! It is so cool looking, the rusty sign too! I love how you are always thinking outside the box on your creations! When the weather gets nice I am going to have to make time to get outside and play with cement. LOL
Oh shame Linda, I hear you guys are having a rough Winter up North. Hope it clears up soon so you can play with cement. I’m sure there are tons of things you can make for that new little garden of yours
This has to be the coolest doorstop and the handle is really handy. I absolutely love it ?
Thanks so much Claire ? That handy handle works like a charm
I’m at a loss at how AMAZING & BRILLIANT & COOL this is!!!! WOW
? Thanks so much Deborah, I’m so happy you like the doorstop
Awesome idea, Michelle! This door stop would also come in handy if someone tries to break into your home, lol.
? OMW, yes, we can always do that too
This is the best looking doorstop I have ever seen! Perfectly rustic and loads of character! Love the rusty stop sign too that you made!
? Thank you Sam
This would be so handy for outdoors to hold open a gate or place in front of something so it doesn’t roll etc. Great idea.
It would be perfect to keep a garden gate open ?
What a great project, Michele!!
Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments!!
Hey there Debbie ? I’ve been thinking about you and I hope your knee is feeling better. Be safe and look after yourself please
Brilliant Michelle! I haven’t made anything with concrete for a while and now I feel like picking up a pack and making a door stop for our windy days here too. It looks fantastic paired with the rustic fork handle!
So happy you like it Katrin. It works like a charm to keep those doors open and the handle makes it real easy to move around too. It’s like they were meant to be together
OMG! What a brilliant idea! I adore this rusty label on it!
Thanks so much Christina ?
Great tutorial. I have been wanting to try working with concrete. I will be referring to this when I do it. Love the handle by the way!
Oh yay, so happy you like it Debra. There’s so much you can do with concrete
This is an awesome way to repurpose that old fork. It oozes with charm and rustic goodness now. Michelle the sign was a very nice added touch. I was thinking maybe you can make the top into a hanger of some sort.
Thanks so much Mary ? and I love your idea of using the fork bit as a hanger. For now, the hubby has stuck it in the ground and called it his “fork off” plant. I’m not sure if he’s giving it water though ?
Haha!! Shaun is too funny!!
That’s my hubby ?
Cement is on my to-do list for so long but I admit I am a bit afraid to try. Your doorstop is sooo cool that I can’t fail if I follow your steps. The addition of the fork is simply genius, not only you upcycle it but it is handy to move the doorstop around
Oh Pili, I know exactly how you feel. I also had this mental block about concrete, but it really is so easy. It’s kinda like mixing up a batch of that chalk paint of yours, except you’ll add more cement to the mix so it’s thicker. You’ve got to try it.
OMG! This is so cute! How creative you are my dear! I would have never thought about creating something so unique. I absolutely love it!
Thank you Carolann. Saving the garden fork from the dump was lots of fun to do
You guys are so creative! I love it!
Thank you Kim, I really appreciate that ?
Awesome. I love rusty things.
You and me both ?
What a superb idea ???
? Thank you Nico, I’m glad you like the doorstop