Upcycled Raised Bed Ideas

In the spirit of creativity and sustainability, transforming everyday objects into raised garden beds is not only an eco-friendly endeavour but also a fun way to personalize your garden space.

I previously wrote about the best materials to you when building a raised bed, along with cheap raised bed kits you can buy to save yourself a lot of time.  This post is all about getting creative and saving some money along the way. I’m going to leave the comment section open on this post as I’d love to hear from any readers who have upcycled other objects.

Upcycling is taking items that would otherwise be discarded and giving them new life as something entirely different. Here’s a list of 10 unexpected items you can upcycle into raised garden beds, adding character and charm to your outdoor sanctuary.

Railway Sleepers Raised Bed

Railway sleepers are a great for creating raised beds, especially if you can find the reclaimed sleepers.  Most places like Wicks and B&Q sell new sleepers, which are best best solution if you are looking to start your project straight away.

You will need all the tools to be able to fix them together, but places like Travis Perkins will drill holes for you if you ask them nicely.

Here’s a video to give you some ideas.

Old Dressers

Transform an old dresser into a charming raised garden bed. Remove the drawers, place the dresser in your desired location, and fill each drawer and the top cavity with soil and plants. This method offers multiple layers of planting space and a unique vintage aesthetic.

Wine Bottles

Collect empty wine bottles and use them to create the borders of a raised bed. Not only does this innovatively reuse bottles, but the sunlight reflecting off the glass also adds a beautiful, sparkling effect to your garden.

Shipping Pallets

Shipping pallets are sturdy and can be easily stacked or reconfigured into various shapes, making them perfect for raised garden beds. Line the inside with landscape fabric to hold the soil in place, and you have a simple, rustic-looking garden bed.

Note: You can also buy pallet collars which can be used from making raised beds. These are handy as they can be stored flat for when you area ready to use them.

Cinder Blocks

Cinder blocks can be arranged in any shape or size to create a durable raised bed. The holes in the blocks are perfect for planting herbs or smaller flowers, maximizing your planting space and adding an industrial touch to your garden.

Galvanized Water Troughs

Galvanized water troughs, once used for livestock, can be repurposed into sleek, modern raised beds. They’re durable, deep enough for a variety of plants, and require minimal effort to set up—simply fill with soil and start planting.


An old bookshelf can be laid flat and filled with soil to create a ready-made raised bed with built-in sections. This is a great way to organize your plants and can easily be painted or decorated to fit your garden’s theme.

Old bookshelf used to make a raised bed


Old bathtubs offer a whimsical and spacious option for raised garden beds. Their depth allows for deep-rooted plants to thrive, and their enamel surface adds a quirky, vintage feel to your garden.


Stacked tyres can be filled with soil to create a durable, weather-resistant raised bed. Painting the tyres can add a pop of colour and transform them from eyesores to eye-catching garden features.

Carpenters’ Toolboxes

A carpenter’s toolbox, especially the large, wooden ones, can be repurposed into a narrow, elongated raised bed, ideal for herbs and small vegetables. Their handles make them easy to move, offering flexibility in garden layout.

Canoes/Small Boats

For a truly unique raised bed, consider using an old canoe. Seal any holes, fill it with soil, and you have a nautical-themed garden bed that’s sure to be a conversation starter.

making a raised bed from an old boat

Upcycling to create raised garden beds is a sustainable practice that adds personality and uniqueness to your garden. By repurposing these everyday objects, you’re giving them a second life and crafting a garden that tells a story. Whether you choose a vintage dresser or a rustic canoe, each upcycled item brings its charm, creating a garden that’s as eco-friendly as it is enchanting.