8 Charming & Creative Ways to Use Vintage Watering Cans

You can use an antique watering can for way more than keeping your geraniums alive! We love these sweet ideas.

Published January 17, 2024
Vintage gardening tools and flowers

There's nothing quite as charming as a vintage watering can, but you only need one to do your actual watering. After that, they need to serve another purpose. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to show off a cute antique watering can besides giving your petunias a drink. These are some of our favorites.

Upcycled Watering Can Lamp

Watering Can Green Metal Accent Lamp

A watering can makes an awesome lamp base, especially for a bedroom or office. You'll need a vintage or antique can you don't mind drilling, plus a standard lamp kit from your hardware store. Drill a hole in the lamp for the cord and base according to the lamp kit directions, and add weight (like glass beads) if you're worried the lamp won't stay up on its own.

Quick Tip

Use a simple shade here so you don't detract from the beauty of the watering can. You can add some fabric flowers if you want to give it a garden flair.

Rain Chain of Mini Watering Cans

Watering Can Rain Chain

A rain chain is handy (and pretty) for directing rain away from your house. You can buy a rain chain, but it's even more fun to make your own with mini watering cans. Connect the cans together (drilling holes as needed) and hang them from your eaves. You can also mix watering cans with other vintage finds like teacups.

Farmhouse Front Step Planters

Collect vintage galvanized steel watering cans and arrange them on the front steps of your house for an awesome farmhouse porch decoration. You'll want to stick to one color (like the galvanized silver) to give them a feeling of unity, and it's a good plan to use the flowers in them as well. You can find vintage steel cans like this at thrift stores and flea markets.

Watering Can Wind Chimes

The spout of a watering can makes the perfect hanger for wind chimes, especially if you use the handle of the can as the base. Attach a hook to the handle of the watering can and then suspend chimes or garden items from the spout. When the wind blows, it will sound beautiful.

Watering Can Centerpiece

Rustic watering can tin Centerpiece

If you're having a spring wedding or just want to make a special decoration for your table, fill a vintage watering can with flowers. This is a really easy way to repurpose a garden item like this, since flowers are a natural choice. Plus, a watering can is designed to hold water, so it's awesome at doubling as a vase.

Crystal Cascade Watering Can Decoration

Crystal Pouring Water Watering Can

Instead of water, let crystals pour from the spout of a watering can. You can use antique chandelier crystals for this or buy some strands of crystal beads. Either way, it's an awesome sparkling garden decoration that also looks great inside.

Outdoor Light Sculpture

Hang a watering can from a shepherd's hook in your yard and add some strings of twinkle lights from the spout. It's a wonderful and playful way to add a light feature to your outdoor decor.

Quick Tip

You can use battery-powered or solar-powered lights if you want to avoid running an extension cord to your watering can light sculpture.

Watering Can Water Feature

You can also use an antique watering can as a water feature in your garden or on your patio. We're talking about something that was almost made to be a DIY fountain. Pick up a fountain kit at your local hardware store and run tubing into the watering can so the water can flow out into a basin (antique wash tub, perhaps?).

Related: 7 Ideas for Upcycled Water Features for Your Garden

Put Vintage Watering Cans to Work (or Show Them Off)

Don't worry if you fall in love with yet another vintage watering can at the antique store or flea market. These things are useful in so many ways, and there are lots of options for putting them to work (or just showing them off) around your home.

8 Charming & Creative Ways to Use Vintage Watering Cans