How can I reuse or recycle scraps of chicken wire?

We’ve had an email from Bruce:

I’ve got a large amount of chicken wire leftover after conducting some work in my garden. The biggest 1ft by 2ft, the rest smaller. Can I recycle them in my can bin?

While it certainly could be recycled as scrap metal, it might cause problems further down the can recycling line if you add it to your recycling bin, particularly if your recycling is sorted by machinery. If that bin is your only way of getting it into the recycling system, it might be worth contacting the recycling people at your local council and seeing what they advise (every council is different). Other than that, roaming scrap metal collectors are becoming more common again and most tips/household waste and recycling centres have scrap metal bins.

What about reuses? If you’ve got room to store it, it could be used for patching holes in the future and I know many sculptors use it to make wire frames for their work too. Other suggestions?

(Photo by Elné Burgers

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9 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle scraps of chicken wire?”

  1. Cipollina says:

    Chicken wire is super popular as door filling (where you normally put a glass pane) in the shabby chick home decorating style. I’ve seen small candle/tealight boxes (20x20x20cm or thereabout) and egg/cheese/pie cabinets (somewhat bigger) where the door was made like that.

    I’ve also seen it used in old picture frames (in place of glass, picture, and back) used as notice boards. You can get small clips or clothespins in hobby stores to hang notes, postcards, and small trinkets on it.

    I’ve even seen a bit wrapped around a thick candle and held in place with old fashioned string into which an old rusty nail was stuck. Not my taste, admittedly, but pretty decorative in a way all the same.

    If you got a pond you could make a… er… whatsitcalled… scoop to fish out leaves and debris from it with.

  2. Dyneshia says:

    When having problems with our dogs digging under the fence we were told to put chicken wire (or other type of fencing) along bottom and that the dogs would stay away since it isn’t comfortable on their paws.

    We also seen that it can be used along the top of a fence (fence “leaners” which lean slighting into the yard) to prevent dogs from climbing the fence.

    Keep insulation from sagging by stapling chicken wire to the rafters or floor joists.

    Reinforce concrete

    Make a form from it for paper mache items

    Just found this website that lists 7 uses for it:

    Another website with lots of ideas:

  3. Michelle G says:

    You could attach some to a simple wood frame to make a garden sieve. We did this to get some of the many many stones out of our soil – very effective.

  4. Some great ideas, I built a frame around some and used for a gate to keep out dog in a kennel while we are out.

  5. Crazy Al says:


    I have a friend who runs a community Art Room/studio, and they use chicken wire for sculptures and papermache modelling.

    So find your local Art Room and donate it!

  6. Jane47 says:

    Crumple chicken wire and cram into wide-mouthed, low vases to make flower arranging easier.

    Use it as a first filler when patching plaster or drywall.

  7. jaye says:

    I use chickenwire/wire remnants by balling them up in the garden and planting morning glory or similar vigorous vines next to them…it provides a great freeform support, and with some creativity you could make a nice topiary by forming peices into interesting shapes.

  8. diana m. francis says:

    I would dearly love to have any size of chicken wire as i am a ‘craft’ homemade person.
    i can if you like show you what i can do.
    nothing is waste or left over in craftsmanship. diana.

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