How can I reuse or recycle an old wrought iron gate?

Sticking in the garden after yesterday’s “how to make cloches” question, I’m a member of UKVegGardeners and spotted this question on the forum yesterday:

Anyone got any suggestions, please, on uses for an old wrought iron 3ft square garden gate which has reached the end of its gate life but must have some usefulness left?

Since UKVegGardeners is a community of, well, UK veg gardeners, the suggestions have mostly been about ways to use it in the growing of veg ;) People have suggested using it at the back of a trough for climbers or if you have two of them, making an A-frame for peas. (Someone else suggested a homemade BBQ grill for cooking “jumbo sausages” :) ) I think they’re great suggestions – but wondered if anyone else over here had other ideas to add.

I’ve seen iron gates that are no longer gate-able but still reasonably sound used to patch up fences in a shabby chic way – the spaces let small animals/wildlife nip through but not bigger things.

If it’s pretty wrought iron, I wonder if it could be used to make garden furniture… Depending on how heavy it is, it might be wall mountable and could be used as a hanging rack for tools, watering cans and whatnot.

Any other ideas?

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44 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle an old wrought iron gate?”


  1. Sandy says:

    Mounted from the ceiling with chains, it can be used as a pot rack.

  2. Alice says:

    Propped up at one end, the bars might make a good bike stand along the lines of this one http://www.bikerackshops.com/images/indoor_bike_racks/SA618large.jpg

    Put a wheel between the bars to stand bikes up e.g. inside a shed, outside a cafe or wherever. Would be nice and solid if you could bolt the “propped up” end to a wall.

  3. V. T. says:

    Hi,

    I just LOVE old wrought iron gates! They are so neat to work with! :-) So here are my suggestions:

    *Spray it with clear coat to seal it and make it into a head board for a bed

    *Spray it with clear coat to seal it and use it in as coffee table top either inset into a suitable wooden frame with a glass top or stand along with ornamental iron welded to it, again with a glass top

    *If you can locate another one or two, hinge together to form a decorative room visual divider like between a dining room and living room. Be sure to spray with clear coat and attach some sort of protection at the bottom where it will rest on the floor to protect the floor.

    *Use it as a indoor or outdoor plant stand that is wall mounted and have “hoops” for particular sized pots welded on. I visualize an cascading effect of the plants. If mounted indoors, used to grow herbs.

    *Use as an exterior “gate” for the main entrance of a house where security might be an issue or for purely decorative purposes.

    *I have seen multiple of these types of gates mounted together to form an interesting “fence” for exterior use and in commercial settings in the New Orleans area restaurants / bars as room dividers.

    Just thoughts! :-)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I know I’d use it in the garden for climbers. In the shade, with white clematis, would be stunning, don’t you think? Or in the sun with old fashioned cottage roses or climbing honeysuckle or Heavenly Blue morning glories peeking through? I admit if it was mine (oh! There’s a good idea! Send it to me!!) I’d install it firmly at the corner of my house where my hose spigot is to keep the plants by the spigot from infringing on my little entrance-way to the water source. It would look lovely against the house, and keep my little stone walkway free of interference. I like the headboard idea too. Other indoor ideas for the winter would be good, like maybe placing in a large window or wall to show it off and giving it a festive Christmas painting and decorating might be a fun project.

    So tell us, what did you do with it?

  5. Linda says:

    -Child-barrier
    -Clothes airer
    -Plastic-covered as a cloche
    -Outdoor wet-gear hanger
    -Pool towel rail (OK, just down here in the poolside weather)
    -Dress-up clothes rack
    -Tie rack

    more later…

  6. My suggestion would be to enhance the visual aspect of your garden by using it as a ‘Mirror Gate’. There are a lot of sites offering garden mirror sheets you can cut to size.
    I had a ‘Mirror gate, using on old cristal cut mirror from my parents but broke it in a clumsy refixing attempt. Becaise I could not find an affordable old gate – they tend to be offered as expensive architectural salvage – I ended up buying a manufactured Mirror Gate. Very nice, but you have the ideal starting point.
    One thing you will have to consider, however, is the fact that birds do not recognise your clever trick : they might fly into it and break their poor little necks – so make sure you put a sticker of a spider’s web or similar on the top part. You will also find bird stickers people use on large windows to warn birds of the danger.
    GOOD LUCK and I hope you enjoy the planning stage ! x

  7. Sorry, forgot to ask for notification – the story interests me ! x

  8. Patti says:

    A gate like that would be wonderful for climbing flowers such as morning glories, clematis, canary vines, cardinal climbers, etc. And if I had such a gate it would be used for the small pickling cucumbers I grow to climb on.

  9. Margaret says:

    I found a beautiful vintage wrought iron gate and I use in from of my fireplace is look fantastic.

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