What would you do with this?


I bought this at a garage sale and had great plans to use it in my garden but I can not quite nail it. I painted it but it continues to rust out from the water. I was thinking of putting some sort of base on each one to let the water gather as the birds enjoy it but can’t find anything. Then I was going to plant each one with a trailing succulent but never really knew if that would work so just left it.i don’t want to do candles although I guess I could do citronella ones. So I am throwing it out to this creative community to give me ideas.

It’s about 2 feet tall

q what would you do with this
  23 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Aug 26, 2020

    What a fun idea to plant trailing succulents, love the piece I think planting it out would be really neat. You could consider solar lights "planted" in with the plants too.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 26, 2020

    Ooooo, how nice, very interesting. If you are in the mind set of painting, clean up the rust be sanding with sand paper or a metal bristle brush and use an exterior paint on it like Rustoleum. You can find these items at diy stores. Have fun.

    • Susan Susan on Aug 26, 2020

      Thanks. It was painted with rustoleum previously but I guess because the water sits in the “cups”. I would love to do something for the birds (we have tons) that would not be for the squirrels too.

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Aug 26, 2020

    Do you have a covered porch or patio? You could put it there so it stays dry. I would use outdoor spray paint on it. Maybe you could put mini pots on it that you can decorate. You could fill the pots with herbs, flowers or succulents.

    • Susan Susan on Aug 26, 2020

      Yes I do on the front porch. I hadn’t thought of using it there. I will have to think about that.

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Aug 26, 2020

    I also agree that you should try using sandpaper on it to remove the rust before attempting to paint it. Good luck!

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Aug 26, 2020

    You could also put it in a large planter on your porch that you fill with seasonal flowers, etc. You could use the stand for seasonal decorations like pumpkins or fairy lights, etc.

  • Oliva Oliva on Aug 26, 2020

    I wonder if after sanding, you drilled off center holes (to release any water) before applying a good coverage of Rustoleum paint would prevent rust recurrance? Then it could be used for small flower pots. If you wanted it for birds, you might glue small saucers/dishes over the tops. Ideally, if a small saucer could be inverted and glued on, it would reduce the potential for rust. Then you could glue another saucer of similar size on top of the first one.

    • Susan Susan on Aug 26, 2020

      That is a god idea. I have been searching for something that would fit in there like a saucer etc but haven’t found anything that fits. Hence the struggle. I hadn’t thought about a lower upside down one first. I’ll have to look at that.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Aug 26, 2020

    Clean up the rust with WD40, wire brushing to clean it up. You can prime and seal it with Rustoleum spray paint. You could also put small glass saucers or pots on some of them for a small bath for birds. I think it looks like a great project! Good luck and stay safe!

    • See 1 previous
    • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Aug 26, 2020

      Have you tried glass or plastic yogurt containers? Yoplait has a bowl shaped yogurt container for their whipped yogurt. They are the perfect size to use for small areas. I helped my granddaughter with her fairy garden last year and they were perfect little pools. Oui yogurt has a container made of glass that I use for everything from storage to votive candle holders. Or a small bowl - I think there are different names for them, but, I use them for food prep. The worst thing if you try yogurt containers is that you'll eat some really good yogurt!

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Aug 26, 2020


    You need to use a paint like rustoleum to prevent rust. You could use plastic pots to put your plants in with a small tray underneath to keep further damage - use potato vines, or any trailing vines or plants

  • Annie Annie on Aug 26, 2020

    Could you put small mosaic tiles in the holders? That could look pretty and wouldn't rust?

  • Oliva Oliva on Aug 26, 2020

    Hi, Susan, if you take measurements of your item, you might find what you're looking for at Goodwill, thrift stores, etc. Many of these stores have a large number of porcelain/ironstone/glass saucers, dishes in smaller diameters.

  • Bonnie Miles Bonnie Miles on Aug 27, 2020

    I like the idea of drilling holes in the bottom so any water can drain. You could try lining it with say a silicone muffin liner if it's really small. Some small stones and succulents might look cool in it.

  • William William on Aug 27, 2020

    Have your looked into flower pot plates. They may fit inside or you could glue them on to the bowls. Of course drill holes in the bowls first to drain any water that gets in them. You would need to sand ,prime, and spray paint the unit.

  • Katie Sara Creates Katie Sara Creates on Aug 27, 2020

    Going off of William's idea, if you could find some tiny ceramic or terracotta dishes (small plates or pinch bowls) that could fit in each little dish (something like this: https://www.theartofhome.ca/terracotta-pinch-bowls.html)? And either fill them with/let them collect water to act as a cute bird bath, or fill the dishes with birdseed? That would require some sort of overhead cover of course to prevent the seed from getting washed out by rain.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 27, 2020

    I think you could try RustOleum paint. Make sure to remove the existing rust first.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Aug 29, 2020

    Clean and spray with Rustoleum spray paint. You can add fairy lights to any succulents and/or plants that you use on the stand. You can also spray paint and then place on your front porch and change out the decor. You can use mini pumpkins as succulent holders and place on the stand - that would look adorable for fall.

  • Nancy Nancy on Aug 29, 2020

    What about metal tart shells with drilled drainage holes?

  • There are gold pans for prospecting that I saw someone use to make a bird bath once. You can find them on amazon in all colors, shapes and sizes and they're cheap.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Aug 30, 2020

    Sand those rust spots down best you can then paint it with rustolium paint then if you want water add cups on the ends so that won’t rust

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Aug 31, 2020

    super cool flower pot rack

  • Susan Susan on Sep 08, 2020

    Thanks Oliva. I took a piece of foil and made a mold so I would have the size and shape handy. I went to Value Village and found a set of 6 glass dishes that fit perfectly and even echo the fluted edges. But while I was there I also saw some green glass items. There were 2 that fit but I just grabbed one for now to see what I think. I like it. I might do all different green glass as I find it over time. I’m the meantime the clear glass is good. I haven’t sanded or repainted yet (lazy) but will do that. I also saw cute hummingbird feeder and a water cooler at Home Depot that might look nice in the top spot. Here are some pics.

  • Debbie Goodman Debbie Goodman on Sep 10, 2020

    Put on Porch and fill with decorative gourds and fairy lights

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