Playing house with a rusty tool themed work station… that works!

Cultivator wheel and funnel to hold twine / A rusty tool themed work station / funkyjunkinteriors.net
On my previous post about the crazy little (big?) old gate coffee coaters, someone made a comment that stuck with me.

She mentioned the fact that she lived in a condo, and didn’t have a place to make a mess with tools and building and such.

It didn’t even DAWN on me until now that not everyone is blessed with an ‘overstuffed single car garage – workshop’.

While I really love to create things out of reclaimed wood, it’s not all I like to do.

One of my fav things to do is just grab a pile of junk, and do something HAPPY with it! 🙂

Productively happy.

Who has room for anything but?

So today, I played in the photo studio with a rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and paint brushes indoors.

Who else collects rusty tools, but has yet to figure out a viable use for them?

start with a rusty tool collection / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
So, here’s how I go about creating something new.

I think of what I need, then go out and collect a theme of sorts.

Need – I’m always in a pinch for paint brushes or tools inside my home.

Theme – rusty tools

Lumping them all together in a pile, I started to play around, much like one big puzzle.

THIS old cupboard became the starting point. 

And the rest just followed. I hang one thing up at a time, sometimes two. Then move, remove, and move some more until it’s functional, and feels right.

Honestly? I LOVE ‘playing house with junk’ so much!

I did a beach entry HERE

An old sign and crate entry HERE

A quilted Canadian map workstation HERE

Ladder hammer holder, and saw magnetic boards / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
It’s easier to decorate this space than the rest of the house. We are always fighting messes and dark lighting and spaces that can’t breathe right. 

If you have a bare wall to play with, it truly will fuel your creativity like nothing else.

This CRATE ENTRY setup inspired my REAL ENTRY setup, just by playing like this. It’s kinda like… practice.

Now, I certainly understand it would be hard to copy this exact, because my stuff is different than your stuff. But don’t let that allow you to not play. You may come up with something even cooler with what you have on hand.

So, perhaps allow these ideas to fuel you, and try out some different uses with your gear.

Ladder hammer holder, and saw magnetic boards / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Old saw magnetic boards / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
As luck would have it, magnets love saws, (not all metal plays nicely!) so they became a magnetic board of sorts for small notes.

I am SO doing this in the workshop!

And now you have a GOOD reason to pick up rusty saws!

You’re welcome. 🙂

Clamp bookeend organizers / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Metal clamps can also hold stuff intact. Think a bookshelf, CDs, coasters, what have you.

For stencilling, I like to use these small square scrap boards for the paint loading, and prefer them within easy grasp. This worked great.

Clamp bookeend organizers and gear pencil holder / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Oil can recipet holder / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
How about a vintage oil can to tame floating receipts?

And how odd is it that I couldn’t find a floating receipt anywhere near me at the time?!

I’ve been a good girl with my tax receipts this year: they are in their proper files, but now need documenting. Hey, I’m 4 months ahead this year..

Hammer on a ladder organizer / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Who knew this ladder would be perfect for holding hammers? Just gotta make sure the rungs work out with the hammer handle length. Not all I had worked.

But I like a small arrangement of tools indoors, so this works great!

twine and clamp organizer on a ladder / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
A baby clamp holds a baby roll of twine… can a person ever have too much twine? Never!

vintage black metal lunchkit paint brush storage container / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Here’s cool idea.

Open up an old vintage lunch kit, and have an instant dual tray for paint brush storage. You can even close it all up together in a pinch if you wish to cart it around your place.

mason jars and screws in a crate shelf / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
And don’t forget to create layers.

A small sewing machine drawer inside this wall mounted berry crate creates yet another shelf of sorts, doubling your storage space.

oil funnel string dispenser and rusty gear pencil holder / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
My beloved cultivator wheel is storing loose twine. It’s great for computer wires too.

But perhaps my very fav organizer is this rusty funnel string dispenser. I don’t know what the thing is under it, but who cares! This contraption ought to be mass marketed, is all I can say.

Where do those product line maker people exist? We need to chat, guys.

hammer ladder storage and saw magnetic boards / A rusty tool themed work station for organizing tools and office gear / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Isn’t playing house with rusty tool puzzles fun? 🙂

And this is why repurposing will never get old for me. Tomorrow I can make this stuff to something totally different.

So non builders, all I used was a cordless drill (THIS is my fav – affiliate link) and a few screws to mount things. The rest is just all stuff. So if you don’t have one already, treat yourself to a nice, powerful, but lightweight cordless drill. I give you permission!

Oh, and get this tiny drill bit kit too. (affiliate link) I really LOVE mine all intact like this. Go bigger if you can find one.

So! Did you get any cool ideas with this setup? What would you like to make?

If you’d like to see any other specific setups, lemme know! 

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Junk Drawer, Organizing
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  1. Donna, Fabulous ideas. Pinning for sure. I really love the clamps as bookends! I should play around with my junk and rusty tools more often. I have plenty, but I would have never thought about using them like this. I made a junk sign that I really adore. Of course it’s made with the smaller tools. Play time, Thanks!

  2. Donna, you show genius in simplicity. Not only are your rusty tool ideas practical, they become artistic and sculptural. Resplendent!

  3. That string in the funnel is officially one of the cutest things I have ever seen and the magnets on the saw just gave me the greatest idea for the lunch room in my husbands shop!! And my old black lunch box is going to be on my cupboard with wooden spoons and my cloth napkins soon!

  4. Love it all, Donna! Especially the saws…I have several antique family saws that I did not know what to do with. Thank you! Love the look and ideas of this whole station!

  5. I love your posts, as they are super friendly, and I feel like I am sitting around with an old friend, who makes me chuckle.
    Reason I am writing besides your cuteness, is that today I was wondering how to get rust out of the inside of my Mackenzie Childs teapot? So you want rust, and I need a rust remover. I tried soaking it in coca cola, didn’t do the job…I tried baking soda scrub, and that didn’t work…do you have any clue if it is ok to drink hot water from it anyway? It is only where the joint meets the spout on the inside…any help would be amazing since the pot is my favorite, and I can’t afford to replace it! lol

  6. Love your junky workstation. All the pieces are so rusty and functional! I just might have to steal your lunchbox idea as I have one of those hanging around in my pile o’ stuff! So much inspiration, once again 🙂

  7. What creativity and never-ending “vision” you have, Donna! You give the expression “thinking outside of the box” a whole new meaning! These are all very clever ideas that certainly don’t require a workshop area. I don’t think the average person sees things like you do, though … you do the work (the thinking/visualizing part) for us with your imagination so on behalf of all us readers, thank you for your terrific ideas; you make us all look good. I’m not sure which is my favorite … probably the funnel/string idea but I would never have thought of the vise as a bookend and utilizing a saw as a magnetic memo board …. all I can say is “wow”!

  8. Such fun, clever ideas! You have a great creative eye. Thanks for helping us tap into new ways of looking at old things!!

  9. PS: sorry …. I forgot to add that I love the gear/pencil holder too!! Very clever! It reminds me of my glass insulators because besides holding candles or tiny bouquets, I use one to hold a few pencils by the phone. (I also like them “as is” enjoying the pretty colors.) If you have any unique ideas for insulators, Donna, would you please share with your readers!

  10. Donna, This is now my favorite post of yours! I have the pieces parts for sure. I was immediately drawn by the magnetics on the saw for notes. While I would not skewer my receipts on my Grandpa’s oil can, I would wired a clip to it to hold them. I also have a couple of my Grandpa’s “hand made out of scrap” cabinets from the Depression era, I even have one of his spools of string 🙂 This would also be a memory tribute to him 🙂 Thank you. You made my evening on this 🙂

  11. funnel string dispenser
    The part you don’t know what it is could be be part of a flower vase. If you turn it upside down it fits a glass, funnel shaped, vase. I have one somewhere. Love your ideas!

    • Hi Linda! I just have an online stencil store and posts that showcase how I use them. That is the only thing I sell.

      My catalogue is my blog… but you have given me an idea of a look book… I will consider this!

  12. I like having permission to pick up rusty saws! Thank you for granting it 🙂 Your setup looks like such a fun place to get creative. And I agree, a bit of natural light will do wonders for what seems possible in your space.