Vitaly Friedman July 12th, 2010

40 Terrific Works of Art Made From Common Trash

We've all heard that "one man's trash is another mans treasure". That saying takes on new meaning when we view the world through the eyes of the artists featured in todays post. These talented individuals see possibility in the things we throw away every day. Instead of heading to the art supply store they just collect common trash and turn it into works of amazing art. Take a look at these 40 terrific works of art made from common trash and be prepared to start looking at your garbage in a whole new way.

Artworks Made From Trash

Ann P. Smith This awesome owl and bird sculpture was made from reclaimed electronic trash. It reminds me of the mechanical owl in The Clash of the Titans. image This ram looks like anything but trash. Each piece fits perfectly. image These delicate birds and other sculptures by Ann can be bought at her store online. image Belen Hermosa Got a few thousand CDs lying around? Have a seat. image Lamponi Lamponi make some really cool lamps from trash. This one was an old steam iron. image An old ice scoop makes a good lampshade. image This old school hair dryer lamp and others are actually available to purchase. Check out the site for more far out creations. image Alex Andromeda This three-legged beast is made from electronic garbage. image Computer circuit boards make up this work of art that almost looks like a burning man effigy. image It's hard to believe that this intricate motorcycle was made from random bits of trash. Amazing! image Austinevan This huge dragon was created using aluminium cans. image Law Kevin What a stunning sculpture. Notice the computer mouse teeth and the washing machine door eyes. image Sayaka Kajita Sayaka uses reclaimed plastic material to build her wonderful sculptures. Look closely at these two and you can see plastic spoons. image Another great creation made from common plastic trash. image This dog sculpture has a great pose. How many plastic spoons do you see? image Paul Villinski This awesome piece was made from old soda cans and a hiking backpack frame. Great concept. image This whimsical butterfly spiral was also made from old soda cans. image David Mach This huge Gorilla was made from old coat hangers. image Another coat hanger sculpture from David. The protruding hangers make the sculpture almost look kind of blurry. Nice effect. image Robert Bradford Robert Bradford uses discarded toys to bring his ideas to life. How many of these toys did you play with as a kid? image These sculptures have a nostalgic quality to them that takes you back to more innocent days. image Jeremy Mayer The artist obviously has a great understanding of the human form. Notice the old typewriter pieces on the lower abdomen. image Actually, both of these pieces from Jeremy were made from old typewriters. Notice the cat's eyes. Check out his site for more of his awesome work. image iri5 iri5 uses old cassette tapes to create the likenesses of celebrities. This one's Kurt Cobain. image Michael Jackson released from the tape. I love the super clean lines and the curly hair. image 185Queens This polar bear is made out of used grocery store bags. Is plastic OK? image Brian Jungen This skull was crafted from old baseball coverings. image That's the fossil remains of some ancient dinosaur, it's plastic chairs. image This walk-though sculpture was created from old plastic storage bins. Notice hoe the negative space is in the shape of a person. image Strife Scrap metal was used to construct this sea horse looking sculpture. image Moonlightbulb This fantastic mosquito was once just ordinary trash. Now it's a beautifull work of art. image Christian Fuar Christian uses crayons as pixels to produce captivating images. image This stunning image almost looks like an old (blurry) photo. image En Pieza Got some old ball point pens lying around? Make a cool lamp out of them. image Brian Marshall Brian Marshall creates wonderful bots that are full of personality from discarded materials. image This little guy is ready for battle with his pencil sharpener shield. image I just love this one. Check out the old camera and oil can. image Bernard Pras Bernard Pras takes trash art to a whole other level. Absolutely stunning rendition of Bruce Lee. image This geisha looks fantastic! Notice the little face to the left of her eye. image Albert Einstein never looked so cool. I love the colors and shapes in this masterpiece. image

Further Resources


  1. This post is a load of garbage. Or maybe it was simply ruined by the title. Little of this would ever be classified as art – many are functional objects, some is craft, much remains as garbage.

    That being said, there are certainly some gems in here. Just think for a few minutes about your headline next time.

    1. It is art. Maybe not fine art, but it’s all art. The concept and meaning or statement behind many of these is what makes it art.

      If anything, some of these are not made out of garbage, but art made out of other functional items. (I tend to think of garbage as stuff discarded-thrown away- after use) The pen lampshade is one. It looks like those are all new pens.

      1. HEY! This is totally art! If you think that this isn’t art, then you aren’t a true artist, you downer! These works of art are great. I love the delicate beauty of the birds at the beginning.

  2. fantastic work … love the wire hanger sculptures in particular + the owl, goat + birds toward the beginning

  3. I always try to get rid of my rubbish responsibly however it is at times demotivating whenever I take a look at what some nations seem to be doing to this wonderful planet!

  4. plastic and storage bins are both great, if i want a more durable storage bins then i would opt for steel storage bins :;.

  5. These are so awe inspiring! My little 2D guys look so mild in comparison but your fabulous post has inspired me to try more/different/harder.
    Thanks so much for putting these in one place to soak in the brilliance of these (without question) master artists.
    One thing I would say, though, is that it seems to me that a lot of ‘found object’ artists are using new objects (or at least cleaning them to within an inch of their lives!!!

  6. A neighbour of mine makes amazing clocks out of found objects. You can see his clocks on this sight. I cannot get over how clever he is!

  7. These are truly marvelous works of art! I love your concept on using garbage to make such creative artworks! Thumbs up!

  8. The essence of every art is expression, whether it’s made of garbage or gold, is not the heart of the matter. These works are living proof of that thesis. Respect !

  9. Many wants to be surrounded by beauty and gold, and they say “who wants to be surrounded by garbage?” i say, i want to be surrounded by these treasures. excellent work to the artist. <3

  10. I build a lot of things out of trash or scrounged materials as I like to call it, my house, art work, and other stuff. This art is amazing thank you.

  11. Hello, everyone. Here’s a artistic robot sculpture I’ve made from junk materials brought about by the Typhoon Sendong (Washi) that ravaged our homes in Iligan City, Southern Philippines.

    I hope that this may serve as an inspiration to everyone that after life’s challenges, one can get back on their feet and find the positive things in life. Cheers!

  12. In front of my shop I have a tiny patch of dirt w some plants and to keep the dogs from doing their business there I made a chain fence from which i hung old discarded little plastic toys (it’s a children’s shop) as if they were ornaments. Little kids were absolutely fascinated by this fence- it was all junk, thrown away toys, but they recognized things or characters that they may have played with at some point. I also wanted to try to make the point of how all this stuff is way too disposable and there’s not enough people to be making it into art to keep it out of the landfill or that swirling vortex of plastic in the ocean.

  13. A great selection showcasing some fabulous artists. I’m pleased to see a couple I haven’t come across before. Thanks!

  14. If all the trash in the world is converted into art the whole world would be a big and beautiful art museum. The art works are terriffic. Congrats.

  15. Am an artist of the sort but OMG!!!! They are wonderful and prity cool!!! Fascinating wow!!Franklino

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