Kitchen Kelli
Kitchen Kelli
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  • Norman, OK
Asked on Jun 24, 2013

How Can I Repurpose This Antique Water Cistern?

White Oak Studio DesignsTrent-Tonya SharpKitchen Kelli
+41

Answered

This came from my step-son's grandmother's home and was her grandmother's. It is a turn crank water cistern. We want to make something cool with it but don't know what to do. Can you picture something?
Isn't that the best patina?  may be copper
Isn't that the best patina? may be copper
The rotating thing will come out easily (according to hubs) so I think since it takes the least amount of work - we are going to make it into an ice chest for a while!
The rotating thing will come out easily (according to hubs) so I think since it takes the least amount of work - we are going to make it into an ice chest for a while!
44 answers
  • Kimberly Barney
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Trash can, mailbox post (insert mailbox), or if you have welding experience, you could cut the front to make a door, apply hinges and shelves for a cool storage piece.

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I love the idea of a storage piece - maybe I can just find a welder to do it! :) Thank you.

  • Melanie N
    on Jun 24, 2013

    What about a rain "barrel"?

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Great idea @Melanie N!

  • Cynthia
    on Jun 24, 2013

    very nice piece.

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Thank you @Cynthia maybe it would look good just sitting on the porch as is too.

  • Shelley Compton
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I agree, refurbish and use again as a water cistern.

  • Susan Krause-Wine
    on Jun 24, 2013

    looks like a fish tank to me....

  • Melanie N
    on Jun 24, 2013

    To convert it to a rain barrel, ideally you would want to drill a hole near the bottom and attach a short hose or spigot so that you could drain it easily into a watering can (not sure how to do this), and put a screen across the top to keep out debris, then replace a portion of one of your downspouts with flexible tubing and let it fill from rainwater out of your gutters. It IS a very nostalgic piece - I think whatever you do with it will be beautiful!

  • Kimberly R
    on Jun 24, 2013

    You could convert it into a big cooler for backyard BBQs. Ice chest/cooler.

  • Alanna Mullin
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I think it would make an awesome Ice chest!

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    What a great idea @Kimberly R! I just said something to the hubs about it and now he's out there trying to figure out how - not bad for about 1 minute between you commenting and me responding! :)

  • Hwh189953
    on Jun 24, 2013

    just refurbish it they are cool i have one in my well can pump water also

  • Marina Fraser
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Paint something on the front,put a plant on top?

  • Van Randall
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Do you have the cups? I fill them with Moss Rose.

  • TJ
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I would clean it up and seal it with a few coats of outdoor sealant, inside & out. Then I would put a planter inside of it. I'd probably also ask my hubby to come up with a way to put a shelf inside of it to raise the planter up without damaging or ruining the integrity of this fabulous vintage piece.

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    @Van Randall I do not see the cups - I know what you are talking about and there aren't any - the handle on the other side works great but no cups - however, we can figure a way to make it a planter! @TJ We are totally going to keep the integrity - it is pretty darn cool, isn't it?

  • TJ
    on Jun 24, 2013

    One of my biggest weaknesses (besides chocolate) is green antiques and especially metal. I would have snatched this up in a heartbeat.

  • Edna garza
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I HAVE ONE OF THESE .WE ARE GOING TO MAKE IT PART OF A FOUNTAIN !!!

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    @Edna garza that is exactly what my husband keeps saying - The woman whose home it came from is his former mother-in-law and she is lovely. We have asked her if he makes it into a fountain would she let it be put in her yard but she says no, at her age (75) it would be "too much work". It's not feasible for us to make a fountain for our yard so I'm thinking that if we make it into a planter or ice chest then when it is feasible - we could convert it to a fountain.

  • Jan Pate
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Refurbish it and make a water dispenser out of it since it was intended to catch water in the beginning

  • Pixie Schrimpf
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Looks like the perfect wine cabinet to me

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    @Jan Pate Do you think it is copper? I love your idea!

  • Z
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Kelli, if the top also fits inside the receptacle when overturned it would make a great tub filled with ice and pop for a family get together. No bending over to grab a pop from a cooler sitting on the floor/ground.

  • Georgeanne I
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I didn't read all above. Hallway table (add glass top) for junk drop off 'table' in foyer. Minus the 'Cardinal's hat - no disrespect intended'.

  • Robin Seefahrt
    on Jun 24, 2013

    make an arrangement in the yard with vintage farm implements and flowers- make it interesting

  • Jamie
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I would use it as storage. Preserve the patina, hinge the lid to it and put an insert into it. Something more shallow than the container itself. I would fold up a throw blanket an place some books/magazines in it, leaving the lid open. I like to take old tool boxes and paint only the inside a crisp, clean fun color and use as daily storage, always leaving the lid open. By reducing the depth with an insert of some type you can use it for anything, Rolled up bath towels, beach towels, display small keepsakes with glass top and use as end table-Good Luck!

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    @Z I loved your idea so I ran out and tried to see - it will fit if the rotating cup holder is out and the hubs said it is easily taken out. I put some things together to see what it would look like and took a pix - posted it. I like it. But I also like @Jamie 's idea for storage -and @Georgeanne I but it would be too tall for a table - we have the glass piece - it's chest high on me and I'm 5"5'. I would make a hanging lamp with the top part (Cardinal's hat) @Robin Seefahrt I love YOUR idea too! We have my Nana's push plow, it's all iron and a one of those black silhouettes of a cowboy that was my dad's from about 1985 - I took very good care of it. That would be fabulous too! now I have to think!

  • Marie S
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I have one too. Husband is going to use it as trash can in his work shop.

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Cool @Marie S I just can't decide - there are so many people with such great ideas here!

  • Sharon
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I like all those great ideas & won't add to problem of too many choices~ha,but IF you have a deck that it could sit below ,a planter would be great... could see flowers from above..still decorate around it on ground level... Keep us posted! It is so pretty!.

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    @Sharon Thank you so much and it does sound fabulous but we are a one story house so that's not what I could do - but sitting it on the porch with flowers in it and my Nana's plow would look great!

  • Sharon
    on Jun 24, 2013

    SEND LOTS OF PICS!!!

  • Z
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Kelli that looks great that way and will look even better when you get the cup thing removed and the lid can sit down inside the bottom. I see now there were more comments before mine and that someone else mentioned it as a cooler before I commented but I think they meant the whole thing. Which would work it it were smaller. If you don't make any permanent changes to it you can use it for multiple purposes. I would recommend making a little cart with casters to set it on and adding rocks or other weight to the bottom so it will not be top heavy and tip over, but still easy to move if needed.

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 24, 2013

    Great idea @Z a cart will be fantastic for us so we don't have to lift it taking it different places. Thanks!

  • Z
    on Jun 24, 2013

    I'm all about making things easier Kelli. I have a problematic neck injury that if I'm not super careful causes extreme pain so I always think of ways to make moving heavy things easier.

  • Monica Koerperich
    on Jun 25, 2013

    Maybe you should continue to use it to collect rain water, as it was intended to do. I just love it.

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 25, 2013

    Thank you @Monica Koerperich we want to keep the integrity of the piece as close to original as possible!

  • White Oak Studio Designs
    on Jun 25, 2013

    How about placing a piece of glass on top for a unique "table?" I've seen crocks, whiskey barrels and bird baths used as bases and they make wonderful low cost tables. BLOG: http://smallhouseunderabigsky.wordpress.com

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 25, 2013

    @marie I am at work and can't see it well - when I get home I will look. It's very pretty with pretty flowers - I can tell. @donnaallgaierlamberti@gmail.com I like that idea but it comes up to my chest and I'm 5"5'......it's a little tall for a table.

  • White Oak Studio Designs
    on Jun 25, 2013

    How about a bar table then on a patio with some kind of bar stools?

  • Kitchen Kelli
    on Jun 25, 2013

    @donnaallgaierlamberti@gmail.com -- now THERE'S an idea! We picked up a 45" radius piece of glass at curbside on big trash day - That could work! I can use my milk can/ tractor seat stools. Love it! Thanks!

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp
    on Jun 26, 2013

    i love the color i wouldnt change it all, so pretty

  • White Oak Studio Designs
    on Jun 26, 2013

    Glad to help. Now please be sure to post your "after" photographs so we can all see and enjoy!

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