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17 Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Rain Gutters

As many homeowners know, a rain gutter is a confined channel that serves as a water outflow system for a home. While diverting rainwater may be its fundamental purpose there are many other ways to use a rain gutter, all you have to do is think outside the box. If this idea never occurred to you before, you’re not alone. But if you want some additional storage area, room for plants in your garden, or even a place to cool your beer or wine, repurposing an old rain gutter is a viable option. Before you opt to recycle your former gutters, check out the following 17 ideas for repurposing rain gutters to completely reinvent their place in your home.

Windowsill or Deck Railing Planter

Gutters can be an excellent way to hold and display flowers during the spring months. In fact, using old gutters as planters is one of the most popular and practical methods of repurposing gutters. This works well no matter what type of gutter you have, so the form is not a concern when it comes to preparing these planters. Seal off the end of the planter and make small draining holes at the bottom. Then attach the anchors and endcaps of your plastic or vinyl rain gutters together and connect them to a deck or a windowsill. Simply fill the planter with potting soil and begin planting. If you have a deck or patio in your backyard or on your front porch, these decorative gutter-railing planters can be a wonderful statement piece. In addition to adding planters to your railings, you can also use these planters to create hanging plants to place on your patio or porch.

Strawberry and Herb Planters

Herb growing

Since rain gutters are narrow containers, another repurposing option is to use them to plant and grow delicious fresh strawberries. If you love cooking and enjoy using fresh herbs when you cook, use a gutter planter to grow basil, parsley, and other herbs to incorporate into your meals. Attach the planters to a wall in your kitchen for easy access when you are cooking, but don’t forget to take care of them properly so they don’t wilt.

Gutter Bookshelves

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Gutter bookshelves can be great storage spaces for magazines, records, or oversized picture books. Though gutters may not seem like the most aesthetically pleasing way to create storage, there are a few techniques to repurpose them to create stylish shelving for your home. First, bolt the lengths of the gutter to the wall. Feel free to be creative with the way you arrange them. V-shaped gutters are great for crafting bookshelves, but trapezoid shaped gutters are the optimal choice for this project. Put them in your children’s room or your room to establish an organized structure for books or in the living room to display your favorite records, CDs, and books.

Another method of making bookshelves is to take gutters that are leveled at their bottoms and to chop them in half longitudinally, and simply put them in the back of a shelf or cupboard to establish an additional level in an already existing storage space. Tip: rain gutters make great corner bookshelves.

Seed Protector

If you live in an area prone to bouts of colder weather, use old gutters as shields to protect small plants during the evening hours or when the weather is bad by simply placing the gutter on top of your plants. This can help ensure that your time and money was not wasted when planting by assuring that your seeds will not perish in harsh weather.

Patio Cooler box for Wine and Beer


First, crimp end caps to a fit the range of gutter, then seal them completely with caulk. Remove a segment of the centerboard of a wooden table and adjust it to the size of the gutter. Simply drop the gutter into the opening slot, secure it to the inside of the table tightly with metal screws. Pack it with ice and delicious drinks for your guests. Finally, sit back and enjoy!

Rain Gutter Trees

If you want to get really creative with your gutter repurposing project, take on the ambitious project of creating rain gutter trees by using a collection of your rain gutter planters as branches attached to a root with Plexiglas tubes.

Aquaponics Gutter Garden

Another highly ambitious but unique project is to make an aquaponics gutter garden. Even though the process takes 4-6 hours at the minimum, the end result will be a nifty self-watering garden system made completely out of your old gutters, which is sure to be an eye-catching feature that will impress the guests at your next gathering.

Shoe Rack

If you are a person who has small children with tons of shoes, try using rain gutters as shoe racks to store their shoes. This can create some much-needed storage space and help you clear out your closets and hallways.

Picture Ledge

If you need an extra place to put your pictures for everyone to see, old gutters can serve this purpose. First, crimp the end caps onto 3-foot pieces of a gutter and paint them whatever color suits your fancy. Attach them tightly to the wall and use them to display artwork or family photographs.

Manage Cable Wires

If your office or living room is cluttered with annoying cable wires, you can use desk-mounted rain gutters as a tool to establish your own little cord basin underneath your desk. This reduces the mess of unsightly cables and de-clutters your workspace, making it more efficient and comfortable.


Supplies and/or Tool Storage:

Rain gutters are excellent for storing items like spray paint, seeds, garden gloves, and other small products that are typically kept in a garage. In addition to smaller objects, downspouts can be a perfect place to store long, slender objects such as rakes, torches, mops or brooms.

Rain Gutter Boat Game

If you’re looking for a fun outdoor game for a children’s party or school carnival, use rain gutters to create a rain gutter boat race. Seal the ends of the rain gutters with end caps and glue but remember to leave ample time for the glue to dry completely before starting a race. Fill the gutters with water and place toy boats inside. This is a fun, cost-effective way to create an entertaining game for a birthday party or a children’s function.

Children’s Toys

This idea may be for the handier people out there, but making toys for your children or grandchildren can be a fun experience that involves the whole family. First, cut the gutters until they are short and use either rotating fasteners or magnets to connect the gutters to the wall or another even surface. In order to avoid the chance of accidental injury, cover any jagged corners or edges before allowing kids to use. When it is safe and secure, children can move the gutters to create different designs and make water runs or marble channels.

Ribbon or Thread Spool Organizer

If you have a collection of spools sitting in a box or inside a drawer, use your old gutters to enhance their organization. Attach the gutters to the wall and line up your spools accordingly in order to make them easily accessible. In addition, if you use ribbon to wrap presents for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions, circular rain gutters are perfect storage spaces for ribbons.

Massive Ice Cream Trough

We all love ice cream! So, if you are planning a summer barbeque, birthday party, or a block party of any sort, an ice cream trough made out of repurposed rain gutters is a sure way to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. First, use 10 feet long plastic rain gutters with two end caps. Wash thoroughly in order to ensure that the gutter is completely sanitized for eating purposes. Then layer the trough with ice cream, cookies, hot fudge, whipped cream, or anything else desired. Your guests will love indulging in this great summer-time treat.

Garden Edges

If you’re looking to add a stylistic flair to your garden or backyard that doesn’t involve more planting, fill your used rain gutters with an assortment of rocks and use them as garden edges to add a decorative flair to your landscape.

Message Board

If you like to stay organized with post-it note reminders, create a message board with a steel gutter. This can be used with magnets, which is a good technique to stay alert, keep the days in order, and ensure that your family is coordinated with one another. If you need rain gutter replacement in Columbus,OH, call Able Roof to schedule a free estimate.