Sure, you could take the easy route and head on over to Ikea or your local lawn-and-garden shop and pick up a few pieces of outdoor furniture for your backyard. But if you really want to impress your friends and indulge your creative flair, you might want to consider some of these more unusual options:

Tree-Trunk Seats and Tables

Comfy garden benches, seats, sofas and tables can be made out of many different and unexpected materials. Tree trunks, old pieces of metal, large rocks and railway ties (also known as “sleepers” in some parts of the world) are just a few of the resources you can utilize when buying or building attention-grabbing garden furniture.

Stumps and Roots Make Great Legs

Tree stumps, tree roots and thick logs, cut with straight ends, are perfect for building outdoor chairs, stands and tables. Depending on the type of wood you end up using, tree stump furniture can add heaps of class, as well as plenty of functionality to your garden or patio area.

If you know your way around a saw, you can make most of this stuff yourself. Otherwise you can just order your tree-trunk art and furniture from a reputable dealer, then combine your creations and purchases with some of the items you already have strewn about, crafting an entirely new look for your garden

'Living' Furniture

If you have a ton of patience (and a green thumb), you can create “living” garden furniture as well. There are how-to guides and kits available online that can help you get started. Once you’ve mastered some of the basics, you’ll be able to alter small trees as they grow—bending and shaping them to your whims—until you’ve made a living chair, table or piece of garden art. Of course, you’ll have to wait a few years to complete your project, but if you’re the type of person who's invested in your garden for the long haul, your patience will be rewarded with some exceptionally unique garden furnishings.

Railroad Tracks Are a Gold Mine

For those garden enthusiasts living near a disused or abandoned railway track—stay away from active tracks; we can’t stress this enough—or who happen to have easy access to a shop selling old railway ties, you can use those ties to create a variety of backyard furniture pieces. Railway ties, as well as wood pallets, can be used to construct sofas, benches, chairs and footrests, or to alter the landscape of your garden. They’re fairly cheap and easy to bolt or hammer together, making them a superb material for building heavy-duty garden furniture.

No matter the route you go when populating your garden with places to sit, rest or have a meal, there are plenty of inventive options for you to select from—beyond than the standard choices offered at most home improvement stores. There are so many choices, in fact, that you might have a hard time deciding where to start.

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