Think Outside the Toolbox: 9 New Uses for Old Tools

When it’s finally time for old tools to retire, don’t ship them off to Florida. Give them a second career as a crafty DIY project.

By Daniel Mintz | Updated Aug 18, 2015 01:18 PM

Wrench Hooks

DIY Hooks

Bend wrenches into hooks, and you’ll make a spot for other tools to hang out. Whether you dangle hammers and saws in the garage, or pots and pans in the kitchen, you’ll stop wrenching your back lifting them up from below.

Related:  Get Hooked—10 Favorite Wall Storage Ideas

Toolbox Nightstand

Toolbox DIY

Now that all your old tools are gainfully employed, transform your empty toolbox into a nightstand. Secure the base to an old swivel chair and wheel it into position. It’s the perfect place to set down your how-to book before you drift off to sleep, perchance to dream up new DIY projects.

Rake Head Wall Hanger

Rake DIY

No need to keep sifting through drawers to find your favorite accessories when you can make a great set of wall hooks from an old rake. Simply detach the head from the wooden rod, then secure it to a wall. A fertile field of fashionable frills will always be within reach.

Related: 5 Rakes Every Homeowner Should Know

Apartment Therapy

Garden Tool Obelisk

DIY Trellis

Don’t confine your vines to the earth—let them reach for the stars! Train your twining plants to climb an obelisk trellis made from rakes or hoes; three to four will make a fine structure. In no time, your garden will rise to new heights. 

Related:  Flowering Climbers—8 Cures for the Common Garden

Hammer iPad Dock

iPad DIY

Prop up your iPad with a dock made from hammers and a screwdriver. Use a wooden dowel to join the pieces together, and saw a notch in each hammer handle to make a spot to fit your device. Now you'll have both hands free for tinkering with other old tools.

Related:  Make Your Own iPad Stand—10 Cheap and Clever Ideas


Tooled-Out Gate

DIY Fence

How do you keep monsters from trespassing in your garden? Scare them away with a gate made from an angry mob's tools. Start by sawing down your old tools' wooden poles to fit within the gate's frame, then bolt everything together in the center. Frankenstein will be forced to look elsewhere for organic tomatoes.

Related:  7 Top Options in Fencing Materials

Clamp Bookends

DIY Book End

If books have a vice, it's their failure to stay upright. Why not keep them on the straight and narrow with a couple of clamps? You can paint the clamps to match your decor or keep them as they are to demonstrate your love of the workshop. Either way, you'll have two gripping pieces of interior decor.

Related:  Weekend Projects: Build a Better Bookshelf


Saw Handle Key Rack

DIY Key Rack

Get a handle on your spare keys with a key holder made from a wooden saw handle. Start by sanding and staining the wood to give it a fresh finish, then nail in a few wall hooks. Don't worry; you can handle it.


Shovel Seat

Shovel Chair

Here’s the scoop on turning a shovel into a chair. First, dig around for an old stool. Then attach the shovel’s handle to serve as a backrest. If you can’t find a stool, start from scratch by using the shovel's blade for the seat. We bet you'll find that sitting on a shovel sure beats digging with it.

Related:  Trash to Treasure: 10 Upcycled Products We Covet

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