How to Upcycle a Piano into a Garden Planter!

How to grow a sustainable spring garden

I get very excited when someone sends me an amazing upcycled project! This is a cracker guest post from one of our community, Liz. She said a friend of hers needed to “clear out her crap because that’s what you do when you move. It’s liberating”. Amongst her various collectibles, said friend had a piano that had been sitting in her carport for nearly 20 years. It was old, dirty, falling apart and Liz is sure it had things living inside it.

How to upcycle a piano into a garden planter – by Liz

She asked me what she should do with it given it hadn’t sold on Gumtree. Now anyone who knows me will be aware that I tend to be brutally honest and can often think after I’ve spoken. My response was “the only thing I would do with it is stick it in the garden”…and just like that was how it became that I had unknowingly committed.

Now this is an unusual thing, I appreciate that, but I have NEVER been afraid of being a little different (I prefer the term ‘unique’). So then it happened. I received a call months later, to say that the piano was actually coming over. Sure enough, it arrived. Children were horrified! Completely horrified. Boy, well he was hesitantly on board after he had seen the piano once but he tried to be supportive of the vision I had. Girl (that’s me) I ignored everyone’s negative thoughts and comments and stayed in my own little world thinking about how it would look.

I don’t know whether you have ever tried to move a piano, but I can tell you, they aren’t light and old ones, well they have dodgy wheels that don’t move, so this further complicated it all. I am a fairly determined person once I have made my mind up but I needed every inch of my 5 foot 3 (and a half) inches to even nudge this baby slightly.

So I removed the loose bits, cleaned it, undercoated and enamel painted it (totally love gloss black at the moment but that is an entirely different story). Then I had to add a shelf for the pots to sit (self watering of course because who has time to water these days?) and an added planter topper because it looked a little odd, (again I appreciate that it is already odd but this was a design balance thing) add in the plants and ‘Presto!’ A day or so later allowing for drying time with not a great deal of effort or skill, I present to you one completely out of tune Garden Piano!

Feel free to share your thoughts but understand that I don’t really care for negative criticism because I’m kind of stuck with this piece now…besides…it adds a little class to the neighbourhood when the kids venture outside to play it 🙂
Well I LOVE it Liz!! Do you have a project to share? Drop us a line!
Originally posted in 2015


  1. normal_ness on November 27, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Helen_Creates I actually do have an old piano in my garage! If I had skills I would turn it into a bar.

  2. Jenny Harrington on November 27, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Now I know what to do with the piano U0001f60a

  3. Ellen Smith on November 27, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    It looks gorgeous – like you

  4. Dani Ellem on December 1, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Lisa Simmons Laura Middleton Judy Moulton U0001f3b9 x

  5. Jasmine Pimm on December 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Nicolle Gadd you could have done this?!?!

  6. Peter Dearman on December 3, 2015 at 12:16 am

    If you are thinking of doing this with a piano, let me know, I’ll swap you a packing crate, , and report you to Cruelty To Instruments

  7. Peter Dearman on December 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    In a general sense, all musical soundboxes improve with age

  8. Peter Dearman on December 3, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Nice page by the way . .

  9. Recycled Interiors on December 3, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Fair enough. I have an old piano and would never do this and thanks!

  10. Leesa Harper on December 3, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Hahahahaha thought it might be handy one day

  11. Andy Mac on December 20, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Nice work, although I would worry it will disintegrate quickly with water on/in it. I have now recycled 3 pianos and a pianola, by carefully pulling them apart and working with the timber. Some of the veneering and engraving is beautiful. The latest project is a very ornate (over-the-top!) queen-size bed.

    • Helen Edwards on December 21, 2015 at 8:35 am

      yes I think it would too, having used timber pieces in the garden but i guess with the finish it could last a long time – your project sounds amazing!

  12. Lee Fuller on July 30, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Tracey Roberts – thought of you when I saw this.

  13. Karen Bell on July 30, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Ben , this is why you need a second piano!!!

  14. Tracey Roberts on July 30, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks Lee – great idea! x

  15. Debbie Brown on September 27, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    This is great someone just gave us a piano .But the piano is not in good condition I was just going to trash it.Looked on-line how to take the piano apart and found your garden piano. What a good idea so that’s what I’m going to do .Thank You.

    • helene on October 4, 2018 at 8:53 am

      oh that is fabulous! Good luck with the project – we would love to see it!

  16. Jea on March 18, 2022 at 11:21 pm

    Did you gut it? Take the Harp out? I have a piano that is needing to be “de-spidered”(shutter) but not sure if i want to power spray…..

    • Helen Edwards on March 28, 2022 at 9:30 am

      No, I left it in which is quite a nice touch. We sometimes run our fingers across it 🙂

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