Enamelware Basin

I found this big old honking enamelware basin at an estate sale this weekend.

All the other good stuff that I had seen in the Craigslist ad was already gone by the time I got to the sale, 15 minutes after it opened, so I was surprised that I found this tucked away in the basement. Don’t you hate when you are standing in line to check out at the sale and you see the people in front of you buying your stuff.

It has a Lisk Flintstone foil tag on it still. Wonder if Fred and Wilma had one like this?

It’s huge – probably 2 feet wide. Not sure of its original use, but you could bathe a baby in this thing, as long as it doesn’t have a big butt. It has some chips around the rim, so it was used for something at some point.

This lavender is called Ellagance (Lavandula angustifolia) and no, I did not misspell elegance. That’s how it’s spelled on the plant tag. It flowers the first year and has a bushy appearance and, best of all, I found it at Walmart for a pittance. Pittance = $5.77 for pot.

My first thought was to make a fairy garden out of the basin, but now that I have it home, I’m not sure if I want to rusty it up by using it as a planter.

So, would you use it as a planter, as I originally intended, or find another less rust inducing way to use it?

Linking with Southern Hospitality‘s Thrifty Treasures, Coastal Charm‘s Nifty Thrifty Tuesday and Savvy Southern Style‘s Wow Us Wednesday.

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  1. says

    I love your enamelware basin! It looks beautiful in your garden but would also look great in the house. I love using things like this for extra storage and display on my laundry room shelves. :-)

  2. says

    I have one lovey and I soak my vintage linens, in OxyClean, in it because sometimes I do that for 24 hours and I do not like to tie up the sink, tub or washing machine for that long.

  3. says

    I would plant in it, Pam. The enamel is already worn- what’s a little rust? LOL Maybe you could line it for a little added protection? Did you get my e-mail with the schedule for the Vintage Marketplace?

  4. says

    No way! TAKE IT INSIDE! That’s a cool piece for sure. I would say it was a baby tub. Great job and yes, I hate it when I walk up and all the things I like are being carried around by someone else.

  5. says

    I have an old rusty one that I’m putting in my garden – this beauty may need to stay inside! Bathroom to hold towels, planter in the kitchen, centerpiece on the dining table filled with whatever catches your eye … the possibilities are endless!

  6. says

    Pam, I love enamelware and have collected pieces since I was a kid. when I didn’t know better, I knocked holes in them (if there wasn’t one rusted through already) and used them to plant in. These days I try to use them for different ideas to better appreciate their beauty and function. If you want plants in them, you can do as you have in your pictures, and just slip in some pots and maybe hide the plastic with some spanish moss.


  7. says

    Did I hear fairy garden? I love your Flintstone enamelware! I bet my butt was big when I was a baby, some things never change! I love coming over here, where have I been. You crack me up and find great things!

  8. says

    I made a fairy garden today. And I have a basin that’s not but about half that big that I’m probably going to make another out of. But I don’t blame you. So many other things you could do.

  9. says

    I have several pieces of graniteware that I have used for years and years outside with plants in them and they have held up really well! I wouldn’t be afraid to go for it – I also have a huge piece that I think was a baby bath and it’s been outside even thru the winter and it’s great. Go for it and enjoy!

  10. says

    What a great find! Love enamel wear and have few pieces my self. Your right it would make a very cute planter but I like you would be torn with finding another use for it. Maybe you could try it for little bit and see how you feel after a while. You could always plant the lavender in the ground somewhere if you decide you need the basin for something else.

    @ 3Beeze Homestead

  11. Barb says

    You are right on the money on the enamelware! It was the same tub my mom used to bathe my siblings and me back in the 1950’s. I am kicking myself for not taking it when she offered it to me when they sold the house years ago. All I could think of then was that I wasn’t having any more babies and wouldn’t use it. (Now I have all sorts of ideas, of course!) I have a smaller enamel basin that I, like Olive, use in my laundry room to soak clothes in… esp. vintage linens. I’m sure you’ll find lots of use for it!

  12. says

    Pam, this is the kind of problem I have all the time. Do I use my finds the way I sometimes want or should I be respectful of their age and be a caretaker of the piece? I would be on the lookout for a tub that was more worn for the outside and keep this one inside. The soaking tub wins my vote because I have soaked linens in less than pretty plastic containers.

  13. says

    well, funny you should ask that question. I found one exactly like that at a garage sale two weeks ago and it is still empty. I’m trying to decide the same thing. It would look really pretty with flowers, but it will rust for sure and it’s in such good shape. I was thinking about cutting a whole in something and making it part of a potting table but I don’t have the saw to do it…nor do I know how to use it if I had one LOL

  14. says

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I love enamel ware. I don’t think this is a baby tub even though you could probably bathe one in it. I used to have a baby tub and the rim is rolled over more. Blessings, Tammy

  15. says

    I have pictures of my mother bathing us in an enamelware tub just like yours. Of course that was in the Stone Age, so the Flinstones probably had one, too.

    You could roast a whole pig in it. Just a thought.

  16. says

    I like the idea of using it to keep adult beverages cold or maybe you can tuck in plants in plastic pots and fill in with moss — might help reduce rust but rust is the new black so maybe it’s not all bad.

    Also – thanks for clearing up that pittance thing. I have always wondered about that. 😉

  17. says

    Hi Pam. The chicken run was hilarious. Murphy and I were just sitting there and all of a sudden here comes the chicken squaking away. We both thought “video” but it was too late. So funny though. I’m not sure the Buxton is sold yet. They are selling all the houses that they have B & B’s in. The Orr’s are getting up there in ages. I would think that the cats and the ghosts would stay. I had an experience their in the pub……ghostly.

  18. says

    Well, would leaving it outside harm it that much? It is enamel after all but your tag would get wrecked. I have a big one like that and I don’t use it outside simply because I dye wool and they are great for that. But now I’m thinking how cute yours is with the plants in it and maybe I could find another one when it’s time to dye my wool? LOL!

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