How to upcycle a bicycle wheel into a garden chandelier

Upcycle old bicycle wheels to create a unique focal point in your garden in 5 easy steps

What could be better than a summer gathering under a canopy of flowers? This easy DIY guide on how to upcycle a bicycle wheel is perfect for brightening up your garden. Hang your new decorative garden accessory above a dining table or use to adorn a pergola or walkway.

This alternative DIY and decorating idea means instead of scrapping that old bicycle, the wheels gain a new lease of life. By painting them colourful shades and planting with cheerful flowers in upcycled tin cans you can create a unique hanging display.

How to upcycle a bicycle wheel for the garden

upcycle bicycle wheel for the garden

(Image credit: Pelargoniums of Europe)

What you'll need

  • Bicycle wheels
  • Spray paint
  • Empty cans
  • Drill
  • Jute twine
  • S-hooks
  • Potting soil
  • Geraniums

1. Prepare and paint the wheels

Detach the bicycle wheels from the frame and remove and discard the tyres. Give the wheels a good clean with soapy water to get rid of any dirt and grease. Leave to dry.

In a well ventilated area, lay down sheets of newspaper or an old sheet to protect the floor. Lightly coat the wheels with spray paint and allow to dry. Apply a second coat. Once dry, turn the wheels over and spray the other side, making sure to coat the spokes.

TIP: Paint the wheels to match your chosen blooms

2. Paint the tin cans

Clean and dry several large tin cans. You’ll need three-four for each wheel. Paint your chosen colour and allow to dry. Apply a second coat if needed. If desired, paint a coloured band around the base of each can using masking tape to achieve a straight edge.

3. Make holes for hanging

Measure and mark three equidistant points around the top edge of each can, just below the rim. Drill to create small holes, ready for hanging.

4. Plant up your cans

Fill the planters with soil and a selection of colourful geraniums. Alternatively, pick your favourite flowering pot plants. Make sure not to add soil above the drilled holes.

5. Assemble your garden centrepiece

upcycle a bicycle wheel for the garden

(Image credit: Pelargoniums of Europe)

Use strong string or twine to securely hang the painted bicycle wheels horizontally from a canopy or pergola. Thread long lengths of twine through the holes in each planter and tie in a secure knot at the top. Use S hooks to hang from each wheel, adjusting the length as desired.

TIP: If you find your planters are hanging too low over the table, simply remove them from the hooks, adjust the length of the twine, and rehang.

Another imaginative idea  to consider is making a DIY garden signpost using leftover outdoor paint and upcycled wood battens. See all of Upcycling ideas for the garden from budget planters to making DIY garden furniture.

Alternatively, why not attach your painted wheels to the wall or fence and hang your planters vertically?

assemble your garden centrepiece

(Image credit: Pelargoniums of Europe)

Both of these DIY ideas are simple but effective for adding a quirky decorative touch to gardens.

Stephanie Durrant
Deputy Editor Style at Home

Steph Durrant is the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home’s sister magazine, Style at Home. Steph is an experienced journalist with more than 12  years under her belt working across the UK’s leading craft and interiors magazines. She first joined the team back in 2016 writing for both homes brands, specialising in all things craft, upcycling and DIY.