Turning an old wringer washer into a work of yard art is a surprisingly easy project. Depending on the type of washer and supplies, the configuration of the fountain and planter may vary.
• vintage wringer washer
• utility knife or scissors
• medium pot
• large galvanized bucket
• plastic bottles
• metal screen mesh
• decorative stones
• small water pump
1. Remove the plastic agitator located at the bottom of the wash basin. The wringer washer used here had a lower center agitator motor nob. When the plastic agitator was removed (it slides right off), there was only about a 4 inch part exposed beneath. Other models may have a longer part to contend with.
2. Place an old pot upside down and over the exposed center-part. For this project, an upside down pot was used for the purpose of stabilizing the bucket being placed on top. The bucket houses the water, pump and river rocks. The pot used here was large enough to set the bucket on to securely, yet low enough to keep your bucket under the wringer apparatus.
3. Place a galvanized bucket onto the pot. Be sure it is stable and the correct size. Note: the best way to insure a good fit is to take your old pot with you to purchase the bucket.
4. Once the bucked is placed, add soil around it to fill the remainder of the basin. You will later plant flowers in this part of your fountain. Here’s a money saving trick: empty plastic soda bottles with caps on can be used to fill in extra space in the bottom of the basin to reduce the amount of soil needed and help with drainage.
5. Remove the drain hose on the bottom of the unit and switch the lever to the open position to allow for plant drainage.
6. Place your small water pump at the bottom of the bucket.
7. Fill the bucket with water, then turn on the pump to test flow. Adjusted accordingly.
8. Wrap a metal basket in metal screen door mesh, then cut two slots – One large enough to fit the electrical cord of your water pump and another for the water tube.
9. Pull cord and tube through the slots, then place basket upside down over the water pump. The mesh basket will help keep debris out of the water, while creating a place to pile decorative stones. The water will run over the stones and through the basket and back into the bucket.
10. Run the pump hose through any open spot in the wringer component (not the ringer itself). Then bring it back, up and around, securing it so the water pours down and into the bucket.
11. Fill the bucket with river rocks and decorative stones. The dome top of the upside down basket helps the water cascade nicely over the stones, creating a relaxing, trickling sound.
12. Finish by planting flowers and plants in basin. Vinca flowers were added to the planter. Petunias and sweet potato plants are a great choice as well. They will grow and cascade over the washer nicely. Using vintage appliances as yard art is a nice way to add a little nostalgia to any outdoor space.
Extra: Adding another element to your fountain, like a small galvanized bucket, can catch the water and add to the sound of the fountain. Here, additional stones were added to the smaller bucket and some positioning was necessary to get the right sound and minimize splashing.
Would you try a project like this?
All photography by guest contributor, Shelly Benkman, HomeJelly