Old window and door screens are versatile design elements for your home or garden. They can also be useful tools to protect a variety of freshly planted seeds or seedlings from the sun's harsh rays. Whether you use the old screens for protection, privacy or decoration, recycling them for the garden is good for you and for the planet.
Use old screens as a protective cover for tender seedlings and other plants that require protection from the sun's rays. Rest the screen's frame on the borders of a raised planting bed to shield fragile plants from sun during the hottest part of the day. Screens across a raised bed can also help protect young plants from being devoured by rabbits and other garden poachers. If your plants are not planted in a raised bed garden, prop the corners and support the sides of the screens with bricks or other materials that will elevate the screen off of the plants.
Painted Garden Privacy
Paint a window screen on one side with exterior latex paint to create a privacy screen for one section of your garden. Trace a design outline onto the screen using templates or stencils. Fill in with thin layers of color until the image is as vibrant as you like. Count on using more than two light coats of paint for a strong visual image. Coat the finished design with exterior polyurethane to protect it from the elements. Attach the screen frame to fence posts to make a privacy stand you can install anywhere in the garden. You can also hang the painted screen from a porch rail or patio pergola to shield part of your outdoor living space from prying eyes.
Decorative Garden Ornament
Create a decorative garden ornament to hang from a tree limb or to fit between two fence posts from an old window screen. Cut strands of 22-gauge craft wire to fit from one side of the screen to the other, plus 2 inches. Thread colorful glass beads or crystals onto the length of the wire, less 2 inches. Staple or glue 1 inch of wire on both ends of the strand to the screen frame. Make beaded wire strands to fit across the length of the screen, or evenly space a few strands across the screen's length. The glass and crystal embellishments will catch the sun and throw rainbows over your garden.