Real Estate

From dusty teapot to useful container

Grandma's china can snazz up your home or yard

You probably have a teapot or two in your kitchen cabinet that you aren't using. Why not repurpose your teapots instead of letting them gather dust?

I use a lot of twine in my garden to tie up floppy branches and blossoms. I put a ball of twine in an aqua teapot, and threaded it through the spout. The lid protects the twine from getting wet during the winter. My teapot looks great on my potting bench and is a perfect string dispenser.

I have three generations of doll tea sets: my grandmother's, my mother's and my own. Since I don't hold tea parties anymore, I decided to enjoy the sets in a new way. I used easy-to-bend copper wire, wrapped it around the handles and then around the branches of a tree by my front door. I made sure that the wire is loosely wrapped around the branches so that it won't hurt the tree. I really enjoy seeing the teacups and pots from my kitchen window -- much better than just keeping them stashed away.

Make a birdhouse. A very simple way to do this is to hang the teapot (without the lid) by its handle from a tree. You can make a bird feeder by plugging the spout with a cork and filling the pot with birdseed.

For a fancier birdhouse try this: Cut a 1-inch-by-6-inch board to about 18 inches or 20 inches in length. Drill a hole about 2 inches from the top. Position the teapot and its top on the board in a way that looks good to you. Slather E6000 glue or epoxy to the bottom of the teapot and around the lid. Let dry for 24 hours. Hang your birdhouse from your fence or a tree.

I have seen delightful garden totems made from stacks of teapots on Pinterest. Some involve using special drill bits to pierce through the ceramic pots and plates, and lengths of rebar or other metal rod. But there is an easier and faster way to make your totem. You'll need E6000 glue or epoxy and a large surface on which to work. Collect a combination of various sized plates and your teapots. Stack your plates from largest smallest, and line up your teapots from largest to smallest. Fill the two largest teapots with rocks or sand to stabilize your totem. Put the largest plate down first, squeeze a generous bead of glue around the base of your largest teapot and center it in the middle of the plate. Slather glue onto the opening of that first teapot, grab the second largest plate and center it over the teapot. Keep repeating the process until you have a totem three feet tall or less -- any taller and it won't be very stable.

Cut some flowers from your garden, add a few sprigs of greenery and arrange them in your teapot. Place your arrangement on an end table or in the middle of of your kitchen table for a bit of happy color.

If you have a collection of teapots, group them together on a table runner in the middle of your dining room table.

If your bookcase isn't too full, position your most unusual teapot between some books or on top of a horizontal stack of books.

Make a sewing caddy. Go through your teapots and find one that you can fit your hand into. Glue a handful of pillow stuffing to the inside of the lid. Cut out a circle of fabric that is an inch in diameter wider than the mouth of the teapot. Squeeze a bead of glue onto the inside rim of the lid and glue the fabric to the lip. Use painter's tape to keep the fabric in position until the glue dries. Fill your caddy with spools of thread, notions or other sewing supplies.

Designer Kit Davey owns A Fresh Look, and can be emailed at kitdavey@aol.com

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