• Everything, including the kitchen sink!

    Posted on July 9, 2012 by in DIY home and garden craft projects, Recycled and repurposed items as garden art, Things that inspire me in the garden
    potting sink http://ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com/everything-including-the-kitchen-sink/

    Kitchen sink fountain

    About three weeks ago, some friends asked if I would stop by and give them some planting ideas. While looking over their newly cleared hill, they mentioned the 1916 kitchen sink taken out of their Victorian house and how it was taking up too much room in the  garden shed. Well, thirty dollars later (and they delivered it too!) I was the proud owner of a very heavy, cast iron, porcelain kitchen sink.

    Of course when I bought it, I really wasn’t sure what I would do with it – but it was just too wonderful to pass up. So, for the next week I moved it around the yard in my head and finally settled on the wall next to my Garden Room Deck. It would be a potting sink, close to my Garden Room and handy to the hose.

    The night before we mounted the sink on the wall, I found a great white wood trellis in a neighbor’s trash while out walking our Labby girls, and hauled it home. Another great find, already the perfect kind of shabby, too!

    The next morning the sink went up on the wall and we put the trellis right above it. The combination looked great and I was very excited to have a place to clean my pots and transplant without making such a mess inside. But then someone mentioned that it might make a good fountain, and the wheels started turning again.

    Off to the hardware store for clear tubing, silicone and a pump, which cost about $30. I  already had a 5-gallon bucket and there was an electrical receptacle right next to the sink to boot! Carefully threading the tubing through one side of the faucet, I then squirted silicone all around the tubing so there wouldn’t be any backwash inside the faucet. It dried for a couple of hours (while I spread mulch) and then I connected the tubing to the pump, filled the bucket and slipped the recirculating, submersible pump into the filled 5-gallon bucket. Strategically placed under the sink’s drain, the bucket catches the water and then sends it back up to the faucet again.

    A nice surprise was that I discovered that I could control the amount of flow using the faucet handle. It is a good idea to get a pump that is adjustable, but I don’t have to even use that feature now. A white bungee cord was stretched around the sink base and I pinned a couple of aprons (from a yard sale, of course!) to it to skirt the sink and hide the pump set-up.

    The final touches were some pots, a few plants and a bowl to catch the water so birds can  get a drink. When I want to just wash pots, all I have to do is unplug the pump, wash away, then refill the bucket and turn it on again. I am one happy camper ! My kitchen sink looks good, sounds good and was way less money than most commercial fountains. It’s also one of a kind!

    potting sink http://ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com/everything-including-the-kitchen-sink/

    1916 kitchen sink attached to outside wall

    potiing sink http://ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com/everything-including-the-kitchen-sink/

    Clear tubing threaded through faucet &  pump

    potting sink http://ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com/everything-including-the-kitchen-sink/

    Bucket with pump placed under the drain

    potting sink http://ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com/everything-including-the-kitchen-sink/

    Aprons used to skirt the sink and hide the pump

    potting sink http://ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com/everything-including-the-kitchen-sink/

    Kitchen sink fountain as a fun outside display

17 Responses so far.

  1. Jeanette says:

    Love this…..now I need to keep my eyes open for a sink…lol

    • Barb says:

      Or, maybe it will find you like mine did : ) Thanks for stopping by my new blog! Hope you’ll be back soon ~ lots more to come!

  2. Kay says:

    $30!!! Man! I’ve been looking for one of these sinks for months and can’t find them under $100! Guess I’ll have to look for two now – it is very cute in the garden!

    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Kay! This really was a “stumble upon” kind of find. Keep looking at salvage yards, garage sales and maybe even check with local plumbers and remodeling companies in your area!

  3. sue shantz says:

    I have 2 of these old sinks, 1 with the backing and 1 without. I want to plant white alyssium in the smaller one, and put old plates on edge, sticking out of the bubbles. Love your water feature.

  4. sue shantz says:

    This is beautiful. I had 1 sink here when I bought my home, and it did not fit, o bought another newer cast iron sink that has no back splash. May do your idea with old one and with newer one, plant white alyssium in it for bubbles and old china place in at odd angles . My dirty dishes planter. Thanks for the ideas,

    • Barb says:

      Lovely idea, Sue! I am using mine as a water feature and potting bench and would love to do another with plantings!

  5. Lorraine says:

    Hi Barb! You are spot on with the fountain in there. It is terrific and that lovely little water “tinkling” sound is perfect in your setting. Love the site!
    Lorraine

  6. patricia stanphill says:

    i love your ideas! the sink as fountain is inspired! i’d love to find one to replace the non-inspired one in my kitchen!

  7. fran says:

    hi how did you mount the sink? i have one from 1918 i was able to salvage from a house that was to be torn down 🙂

    • Barb says:

      Hi, Fran! I was lucky that this sink came with it’s original mounting hardware still attached. I have also seen them set into a table or frame if you don’t have the mounting parts.

  8. Michael says:

    I have 2 sinks shaped like a bath tub. I removed them from some school builds that were being renovated. I did not even think of using them so I did not keep the hardware for the hookups or the facets. I can mount them on a stand or hang them on a steel fence in my pole barn. Not sure what I am going to do from there.

    • Barb says:

      Michael – how lucky to have those sinks, people look all over for them! They make great potting benches in a frame and some folks plant them up as container gardens. Mine is both potting bench and a water feature (which I can shut off when potting).

  9. Beth says:

    I love this idea. We are currently in a rental home in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Since I can’t do too much to the inside right now, I would love to do this in the garden. Then I can take it with me to our new old home.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Beth

    • Barb says:

      Sounds like a great idea, Beth! I have seen these sinks set into wooden frames as part of a potting bench too. That might really work for you and be portable too. Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to write me!

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