Repurposing an Old Enamel Basin

A MOTHER reader receives a basin from a friend to make into a planter and in the process finds many different ways of repurposing an old enamel basin.

| December 2000/January 2001

  • Repurposing an old enamel basin
    My mom told me she has a similar basin, one that belonged to my grandmother.

  • Repurposing an old enamel basin

A used item finds a new home and in turn is used a number of new ways by repurposing an old enamel basin. 

I recently received an old enamel basin from a friend who was cleaning out his house. It's about 4 inches high and 16 inches across, and my friend said it had been in his family for generations. I took it home with the thought of repurposing an old enamel basin into a nice planter. Before I could get plants in it, though, my partner used it to mix a small batch of adobe plaster to mend an earth berm. It was a hot afternoon, so I filled the basin with cool water for us to dip our feet in while we sat on the porch. I noticed that some of the houseplants were looking a little dry, so I gave each plant a good sit in the basin of water. Then a pair of the neighbor's geese stopped by, and they were looking quite thirsty. I filled the basin with fresh water, and the delighted birds had a good drink and a bath. My mom told me she has a similar basin, one that belonged to my grandmother. She takes hers out to the garden to gather greens and then washes them in it. These antique basins are so useful, I don't think they'll ever get to retire as planters!

Susan Grelock
Ash Fork, Arizona


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