20 Beautiful Ways To Repurpose Weathered Wood Shingles In Your Home & Garden

The distinctive look of wood shingles can add plenty of texture, visual interest, and rustic-inspired flair to your home, but, despite their style, they aren't the most popular option for building material for a couple of reasons. Wood shingles are great for warding off bugs, especially if you opt for cedar, but they weather and deteriorate more quickly than many of the other more common choices, especially if you're not willing to put in the work to properly maintain the material. If you are committed to maintenance and don't regularly face more extreme weather conditions, wood shingles can last for several decades, but this isn't always the case. 

Luckily, however, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to repair or replace your existing shingles, there are plenty of different ways to repurpose the old pieces that would otherwise go into the trash. Weathered wood might not be the most structurally sound, but its exposure to the elements can bring out interesting textures, encourage variations in color, and even slightly alter the shape of the shingle. Because of this, it can make a great base for a wide variety of different DIY projects, from items that are strictly decorative to pieces that are functional and useful in your home.

1. Collage

If you enjoy working with reclaimed and upcycled pieces, you've likely developed at least a small collection of miscellaneous items and materials that you intend to use in future projects. A collage is the perfect chance to put those scrap materials to use and experiment with mixing different textures and media. Use your wood shingle as a base for your collage, then stick down layers of other drawings, fabric, photos, and paper. Once you've created a background, top it off with three-dimensional inclusions that you might have left over from other projects, like beads, pieces of wood, and found objects.

2. Climbing board

Most of the time, vining plants need some kind of base to climb up and wrap themselves around. Traditional-style trellises can certainly do the job, but if you're on the hunt for something that better aligns with your style, consider using a repurposed shingle instead. Bury the shingle a few inches into your plant's soil so it's stable, then let your plant do the rest of the work. Over time, it should start to cling to and wrap around the shingle, giving it the support it needs to thrive without detracting from the look of the greenery and your home's décor.

3. Canvas

Painting is a great way to de-stress, get creative, and make your own custom handmade décor, but if you're getting tired of working with a traditional canvas, try your hand at painting on repurposed material like an old wooden shingle. The textured surface and the fact that the wood might be a bit more porous than canvas might present a few challenges if you're not familiar with the medium, but these unique characteristics can also create a more interesting final product if you're willing to learn and adapt your techniques. When you're done, hang the shingle directly on your wall, or frame it out for a more polished look.

4. Welcome sign

If you like the idea of turning an old shingle into a piece of wall art, but you're looking for something a bit less involved than a full-blown painting, consider creating a more simplistic sign using some vinyl cutouts or stencils. If you're planning to make a sign that's fairly common, like a simple welcome sign, for example, you can likely find pre-made wall decals that will do the job. For more custom pieces, however, like last names or specific quotes, you might have to create your own stencil or order a custom vinyl cutout from a store online.

5. Wall art

Wood, even if it's the same kind of wood in approximately the same location, weathers differently depending on exactly what it's exposed to. Because of this, it's not uncommon to find a wide variety of colors and textures in your shingles that have been exposed to the elements. These differences can make for an interesting contrast between pieces, especially when they're hung next to one another on the wall. This idea is completely scalable to fit your space, too — just hang more shingles if you're looking for something to cover an entire wall or fewer if you're only in need of a small accent.

6. Birdhouse

Birdhouses can be made from just about any old material you have lying around, but shingles are particularly well-suited for this purpose, especially when you're looking for something to use to build the roof. If your shingles are still in fairly good shape and not too warped or cracked, they can also be used to construct the walls of the house. They might be slightly thinner and cut a bit smaller than the wood you would normally use for a project like this, but, beyond that, you can treat your repurposed shingles like you would any other kind of scrap or reclaimed wood.

7. Wall sconce

Lighting is incredibly important for any space, both as a functional necessity and as a way to set the tone of the room. If you're only working with harsher overhead lighting, it can be difficult to feel relaxed, so it can be helpful to invest in some secondary light sources in spaces like the living room in the bedroom. While lamps are a popular choice, sconces can also serve this purpose and also function as a kind of wall décor when not in use. Add on an old shingle as a backing, and you have a rustic piece that looks great both turned on and off.

8. Coasters

If you only have a couple of wood shingles at your disposal, consider trying your hand at a smaller project like a set of coasters. The weathered textures and colors of the wood can make for an interesting and one-of-a-kind piece, and the fact that it's already been exposed to the elements means you likely won't be as worried about leaving behind stains or rings. To make coasters, all you need to do is cut your shingles down to size and decorate or treat them as desired. If you want to ensure they last, you could also give them a coat of resin to fully seal them.

9. Salvaged wood art

Reclaimed wood can be used for an almost endless array of projects, but some of the most interesting highlight the wood's unique texture and weathering. If you have some shingles with heavy variations in color and wear, consider using them in a reclaimed wood art piece. Simply lay them out next to one another and hang your picture on the wall, or get creative by cutting out different shapes and using them to make a kind of wood mosaic. This project can be as simple or complex as you'd like, so there's plenty of room to play around based on your desired final look and skill level.

10. Garden markers

Garden markers are a necessity, especially if you like to cultivate a wide variety of plants. While they're usually fairly cheap to buy, however, there's no reason to spend your money on something so simple. If you have some old wood shingles and a couple markers or paint pens, you can easily create your own custom plant markers that add some handmade charm to your garden setup. Cut them down into smaller pieces with a point on the end if you want to make the most of a smaller amount of material, or stick the whole shingle into the ground if you want something more visible.

11. Floating shelf

Building a shelf might seem like a bit of an involved project, but, if you go for a more minimalist design, it's one of the simplest DIYs out there. If you have a shingle that's still in fairly good shape, all you need to do is install some floating shelf hardware underneath and hang it on your wall. For a more boho look that would pair well with some DIY macrame décor, consider drilling two holes on either end of the shingle, then threading a rope through both, knotting it, and suspending it on the wall from the top of the string on a hook or nail.

12. Starburst mirror

Decorating with mirrors can help make a room look bigger and bring some functionality to your space, but a lot of the affordable options on the market are either small or flimsy and low-quality. With a bit of a DIY transformation, however, you can easily upgrade a piece into something that you're happy to display. For this project, take a small round mirror and begin adding some shingles around the edges to create a sunburst pattern. You can trim down the shingles into unique shapes or leave them as-is — either way, you'll be left with a rustic-style mirror that's sure to impress.

13. Wall vase

Wall sconces might be a great way to add some more interesting lighting and wall décor to an area, but if you're not a fan of having to complete a full wiring install, consider going for something with a similar look, like a wall vase. This DIY only requires you to have a shingle, a jar, and a method to attach them to one another. Hang your creation on the wall, then fill it with whatever you want — flowers if you plan to stick with the traditional vase look, battery-operated fairy lights if you want a lighting source, or even pens if you need extra storage.

14. Fairy door

If you're looking to incorporate a bit of whimsy into your outdoor space, there's no better option than building a fairy garden. These miniature-themed areas combine nature and folklore to create a space that resembles a small neighborhood, complete with tiny houses. Scrap wood, like some weathered wood shingles, can act as the perfect base for this project. Carve them into the shape you want, cut out doors, add on windows, and get creative with the paint job. After incorporating a couple of these miniature buildings, you'll have turned an otherwise nondescript corner of your garden into something magical.

15. Pavers

Weathered wood shingles might be past their prime when it comes to protecting your roof, but they can still serve a functional purpose in your outdoor spaces. If you're in need of some simple pavers or stepping "stones," consider using old shingles rather than buying new rock. Lay them down on the path, and after a while, they should settle in just like any other stepping stone. Lay them out in a simple line if you just want to create a path, or get creative with some herringbone or basketweave patterns for a more complete and polished final look.

16. Clock

They might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a DIY project, but clocks are incredibly simple to make out of just about anything if you have the proper supplies to do so. An old shingle can make for a particularly interesting and rustic-looking base, and can easily be customized with the numbers or markings you feel best fit your style. Once you've created your face, all you need to do from there is install a clock kit, which includes hardware, a few different hands, and a small motor to move them at the correct speed.

17. Christmas tree decoration

Holiday décor can get expensive, but you can save quite a bit of money if you decide to make some of them yourself. This project is made primarily out of scrap wood, so it's the perfect opportunity to use up some of those old shingles, and its fairly simplistic design means it doesn't take a ton of skill to pull off. Create a backing piece out of some wood or repurpose a baking sheet, then start gluing on pieces of your shingles in a tree shape. Add a trunk, decorate with some mini ornaments, and top everything off with a star for an easy Christmas decoration.

18. Jewelry holder

The way you store your jewelry all comes down to the specifics of your collection and your personal preferences, but this idea can work for plenty of different people, especially those who wear more bracelets and necklaces than anything else. Take an old shingle, then attach a few things that can be used to hang jewelry to the surface. This can be anything from old spools to cabinet knobs — whatever you have on hand. After you hang it on the wall, you can drape your accessories over these pegs to allow you to see your full collection and easily grab pieces as needed.

19. Serving tray

Serving trays are a particularly useful item to have around if you enjoy hosting dinner parties or backyard barbecues, but they can also be used as a decorative and organizational tool around the house in your day-to-day life. In their simplest form, all serving trays need to include a flat surface and a couple of handles so you can carry them. Because of this, the flat surface of a weathered shingle can make the perfect base, so long as you treat the wood and ensure that it's still in good enough condition to face wear and tear, moisture, and weight from different items.

20. Planter

Making a simple planter out of a couple of pieces of wood is nothing new, but using old shingles to create the structure instead of investing in new material can give your project a more budget- and eco-friendly twist. Combine a few shingles to create your basic box shape, then make sure to properly line the planter with waterproof material to ensure the wood doesn't start to rot after being constantly exposed to water. For an added layer of protection, you could also use your shingle planter as a way to cover an existing plastic planter and make it look a bit more presentable in your garden.