Monday, July 12, 2010

JunkFest-Vintage Washstand Repurpose

Being a Junker has its perks. This vintage washstand is glorious all on it's own. Add a few flowers and put it on a (my) porch....perfect.

At first my Junk Sisters and I didn't know for sure what it actually was. We tossed between a washstand of some sort or some kind of grain cleaner.

It wasn't until I pulled it from my barn to wash it up recently that I noticed the paper label still attached to the inner wall. Fabulous!

Can you imagine washing all your laundry with this "manual" machine? I'm sure it was a Cadillac in it's day! I can sorta relate because I spent a short while using a ringer washer when I was first married. Yuck. Busy kids, sports, and jobs...thank goodness for the conveniences we have these days!!

See how when the handle is moved, the wash basin "rocks" causing an abrasive action against the clothing?

I didn't want to destroy this fine piece but loved the thought of making a planter out of it. so I found a plastic tub that fit inside...added a few drain holes in the bottom. The washstand conveniently has a drain hole in the back too! Then, I added some burlap to the tub, and started with some drain material in the bottom. I had styrofoam sitting around so crumbled a bit of that.

Then before adding dirt I put in my experimental-repurposed-secret-ingredient. Can you guess what it is?

The lids from spray paint cans! I put them open side up so they would be an extra reservoir for holding moisture until the plants needed it. (you see, I'm not the best at keeping my flowers watered and ALIVE) So far so good.


  1. OH MY GOSH!!!! I live in Portland, MI. so imagine my surprise when I saw your wash stand! That is so crazy! I love that you were able to plant without destroying the label, and the caps are a great idea. I am still trying to imagine how you acquired that in ND, did a family buy it before they moved away? I am trying to think if we still have Portland Mfg. so far my husband and I can't think of one. Thanks for sharing this, it was fun...Theresa

  2. This is such an insanely cool piece, and no, I can't imagine washing clothes with it. As a matter of fact I went bonkers when I was without my front loader for a WEEK recently! Ack! Good stuff, Melissa.


  3. I am so loving anything these days to plant flowers in! This is a great piece Missy (great shape, graphic, etc.)and looks awesome on your front patio!


  4. Now if this were for sale at junk fest I would buy it - in fact I would arm wrestle, pinky wrestle and just wrestle in general for it!!! How awesome!!

  5. That is so cool. The colors and patina are gorgeous! And your flowers look great to me!

  6. That is so cool! I think I saw something like that on American Pickers one night. They actually called it *an automatic washer* back in the day. (That's what Mike and Frank said.) It was considered automatic because you didn't have to stand there over the washboard and scrub manually. Yikes! Can you imagine?!

    Love the flowers, too! I've decided that I'm not doing anything *live* this year with little Macy puppy around. She's into chewing. Everything.

    Happy Tuesday, Missy!


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