(BPT) – What is upcycling? Upcycling is the process of reusing discarded objects or materials to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.
Why upcycle? With many materials like lumber in high demand but with limited availability, building things like fences, planters or raised planter boxes has become more costly than ever. Consider upcycling materials you already have to create new focal points in your yard, adding color and creating interest while being environmentally responsible.
Projects like these can be a simple way to bring vibrancy and vitality to your patio area. With only five easy steps, turn wood logs into beautiful and natural planters. Follow along this project step by step with a how-to video or with the instructions below.
- Chain Saw
- Protective Apparel
- Tape Measure
- Power Drill
- Wood Boring Bit
- Spade Drill Bits
- Potted Annuals
- Potting Soil
- Wood Logs
Cut logs to desired size but be sure to cut sections long enough to allow room to drill a 4′ section for space to place plants. Consider using a battery-powered chain saw, like the STIHL MSA 120 C-B, when cutting your logs. It’s lightweight, easy to use and has zero exhaust emissions.
Drill a hole about 4′ wide and 4′ deep to create a pocket for an annual plant.
Optional: Place landscape fabric in the hole to create a barrier between the wood and the soil to help prevent decomposition of the wood.
Place an annual in the hole and fill the remaining space with additional soil as needed.
Display in your outdoor space and enjoy!
Being able to take something that has been cluttering your yard and make it into something useful and colorful is just one of the high points of upcycling. Whether you upcycle tree logs, fallen fence boards or old ladders; the possibilities are endless!
Basic Chain Saw Safety Tips
A chain saw cut will give log-centered projects a rough-hewn look. A battery-powered chain saw can be a great option if you prefer a more lightweight feel, however, the battery-powered chain saw requires the same safety measures as any other chain saw on the market. Follow Sara’s basic chain saw safety tips:
• Read and follow your chain saw’s instruction manual so you understand how to properly use and maintain the tool. Always make sure you prep your saw chain using bar and chain oil to ensure it is sharp and ready to use. Authorized local STIHL Dealers can demonstrate how to properly maintain and use a chain saw.
• Wear the appropriate protective gear, including protective glasses, noise-reducing hearing protection (you should still be able to hear how your tool is operating), heavy-duty work gloves, durable and snug clothing you can freely move in, and sturdy boots with nonslip soles. A helmet, sturdy chain saw, and protective work pants or chaps are required and will help protect you. Lastly, make sure to secure your hair so it is above shoulder height.
• Set up your logs either in a sawhorse with X-shape supports that will hold the logs firmly in place as you cut, or simply on level ground where the log is firmly secured so it doesn’t roll or shift in any way.
• Always make sure you have stable footing and keep your body away from the plane of the cut.
• Pay attention as you use the chain saw. Listen to how the tool sounds and how it feels as you’re cutting. If something feels like it’s getting tougher to cut, instead of forcing it, stop and take a step back. Ask yourself why you are getting resistance here and see what the problem is before proceeding.