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Repurpose Vintage items into interesting flower pots and planters

Updated on April 26, 2013

Pick up junk vintage pots, kettles, and other unusual items at garage sales and even antique stores for less than what you might pay for a regular flower pot.

It’s probably not something that you would want to do with a family heirloom unless it has already been kept outside.

When items become dented, cracked, rusted through, or missing a lid, antique dealers and collectors see very little value in them.

The exception is the old vintage wooden wheelbarrows, iron wheel peddler carts, and galvanized wash tubs.

These types of antique items have been used for years to display plants and are considered collector items for just this purpose.

Using other old damaged items for pots and planters will expand your imagination on how you look at these old vintage items.

Most will just considered them to be junk making them available bargains to repurpose.

Even cracked or chipped vintage ceramic teapots, blue stripe pottery crocks and bowls make wonderful containers.

You know how exciting it is to drive up to a garage sale and see that old large blue granite coffee pot sitting in the middle of a pile of Tupperware.

You think that you are about to make a big score, especially with a $5 price tag.

It’s probably one of the last garage sales that you have hit and rather late in the day.

You just can’t believe a collector hasn't already snapped it up, must be your lucky day.

As you get closer you see the handle is broken off at the weld on the bottom and the lid is missing.

As you look at the bottom you find several holes that have rusted completely through.

Now visualize that coffee pot full of colorful flowers that will only be enhanced by the old blue granite.

This often happens to us as we spot an old antique crock under a table.

We think maybe this will be our day only to find a large crack down the backside.

When you think repurpose potential you begin to see these junk vintage items in an entirely new vision.

Most people especially at garage sales just want to get rid of this junk and will often take offers for pennies on the dollar.

We have found chipped granite pans in a regular antique store between $2-$4.

Pans that have pin holes rusted through the bottom make perfect flower pots.

We even found one creative person that took an old metal suitcase and turned it into a flowerbed.

As we looked over on her workbench we also saw an old child’s potty chair being readied for her next creation.

Large items like a suitcase can be lined with heavy plastic, or the rubber used for small fish pond liners. The item can also be used to set potted plants in plastic containers.

The picture of the old bathtub has a wooden rack added to elevate the pots up, but also to provide drainage.

Open items like a wire basket once used for eggs can be lined with moss.

Other items can have holes drilled along the top rims to add wires for hanging baskets.

Add other vintage items next to the pot or place them on a bright painted wooded step stools to make an interesting visual appeal

Successful planters will need to have drainage so that the roots do not become water logged.

The plant will also require enough potting soil mass around the root balls to maintain the moisture so the roots don't quickly dry out.

Consider the types and size of plants, as some of these containers such as a coffee pot with slanted sides will be most difficult to remove the root ball for transplanting.

There's limits to this wonderful creative expression that neighbors might not like to see in your front yard.

An old granite chamber pot or even an antique granite bed pan will make a nice planter, but an old toilet in the front yard, well not so much appreciated.

Too much also distracts from charm. A splash of color on a corner of the front porch adds cottage charm. A porch railing lined with old pots and pans will look like a professional garage seller, or worse a junk dealer.

If the container is still solid and will sit outside to collect rain fall, you will probably want to drill some drain holes in the bottom anyway.

We always add a few stones in the bottom of our flower pots to provide better drainage, and then add potting soil to about an inch from the top.


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    • Lizolivia profile image


      5 years ago from Central USA

      Useful and inspirational ideas, thanks.

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe Payne 

      5 years ago from USA

      Great articles, with some really great idea, I try to repurpose articles in my garden when possible..Although I have yet to use a bathtub or a toilet..LOL voting up

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      What great ideas here to repurpose vintage items!

      Great hub. Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper


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