Junk finds… what would you do with ?

Rusty metal light box / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

This past week, I snuck over to spec out the new junk treasures at the new and used. I even came home with a few of them!

Junk finds… what would you do with ? Wanna play? Join in the comments with your ideas!

1. Metal box

This cool little metal box was one of them. It reads Ansco and it plugs into the wall with red and white lightbulbs inside. Strange! Any idea what it is? I have visions of just hanging it up on the wall with like minded metal toolboxes and such, kinda like this cupboard wall gallery.

Galvanized watering can / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

2. Galvanized watering can

This galvanized watering can also caught my eye. With spring right around the corner, I thought this would look adorable on the patio. Or inside. Probably inside. Maybe a spring centrepiece? Or just might hang it up over my kitchen windows with the Farmer’s Market sign like I did during Christmas.

Rusty gas can / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

3. Gas can

This beat up little gas can has caught my eye a few times, but it was due to come home for good this round. I just loved the rusty top and blue stripe! Wouldn’t it make a cool lamp base? I need a welder in my life.

Trouble light / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

4. Trouble Light

Ok, I know! It’s ‘only’ a trouble light! But it inspired me. Could you imagine a really old rusty one or two hung up as wall lights somewhere for a little junk quirk? I just found it amusing the store used it for an  outdoor light on a wall. And then I thought it was genius. No fancy wiring needed!

Kitchen Bavarian canisters and spice jars / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

5. Bavarian Kitchen Circus

Haha, well, these actually made me laugh. They were cool! But wow… where would one put all of these? They remind me of a trip I made a LONG time ago to Leavenworth in Washington. Ever been there? Amazing Bavarian styled town.

Bavarian Flour, Sugar and spices / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

Off topic! What would I do with these? I think I’d just enjoy them where they are. But the odd one could be cute as a little vase perhaps. Drawing a blank. What would you do with them?

Vintage cameras / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

6. Vintage cameras

These were fun! I think they’d just be fun to have a round as part of a collection, but maybe you can think of something cool to use an old camera for?

Rusty hay hooks / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

7. Rusty hooks

I’m thinking these things may have something to do with hauling hay. Hooking bales? I don’t really know. They were tempting to grab, but were a little too pointy for safety sake. But they sure were cool! Holding towels would be neat if the tips were rounded off a bit more maybe.

Model black and  white cars / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

8. Model cars and trucks

This entire collection of black and white models were really well done, but the coroner made me laugh! But they sure would have looked cute mounted on a wall in a boy’s bedroom or playroom. Maybe on a painted road? Fun!

White restaurant dishes / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

9. Restaurant dishes

There may be a better name for these, but wow… there were stacks and stacks of these restaurant quality dishes. It was tempting to grab a few. I just may go back. I love a good white dish and these had that bulk if you know what I mean. Hmm… even a stack for the trailer for camping… thinking here. Sure beats Corelle!

Navy and red milk cans / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net


10. Milk Cans

The red chippy one wanted to come home with me but I really don’t have the room. Sorry Red! I really like milk cans as plant stands. These two grouped in front of my picture window would have been cool. Rusted. πŸ™‚

Rustic wooden shoes / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

Wooden shoe wall hanging / Junk finds... what would you do with ? via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

11. Wooden shoes

And yeah… these wooden shoes? I am head over heels in LOVE with them just as they are. So much so I ended up hanging them on the wall with a spring theme going on HERE. But wouldn’t they also be rather cool hung the other way around illuminated inside for quirky mood lights? 

I didn’t get all of these things obviously, but the ones I did will have to hang tough until next week. On Thursday I’ll be busy whipping up some new toolboxes and kits for the Fraser Valley Women’s Expo I’m speaking at on Saturday. 

Ok, so it’s your turn! Feel free to cut and paste the list in comments below and play along if so desired!

– – – – –

1. Metal box

2. Galvanized watering can

3. Gas can

4. Trouble light

5. Bavarian Kitchen Circus

6. Vintage cameras

7. Rusty hooks

8. Model cars and trucks

9. Restaurant dishes

10. Milk cans

11. Wooden shoes

– – – – –

What would you do with ______?

Funky Junk Interiors newsletter

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram RSS

Subscribe to projects!

Categories: Junk Drawer, Staging / decorating

43 thoughts on “Junk finds… what would you do with ?

  1. A quick google search turned up an Ansco 5 x 7 contact printing box for your metal box. Imagine, a photography related item – how neat is that?

  2. Good morning, Donna. What a haul! Here are some thoughts.

    Water can, possibly upright on a pedestal or hung outside your front door as a mail box.
    Gas can… a large vase for a budding branch, sunflower, what have you. If it can’t hold water, and it is rusted on the bottom, put a drop lamp in from the top, drill holes all around the side, and open the bottom for a light fixture.
    Trouble light… replace bulb with an Edison style and hang it on the wall. It’s perfect as is.
    Rusted hooks… hang them on a beam and admire their intended form.
    Restaurant dishes… use them as they don’t make them like this anymore.
    Milk cans… beverage cooler on your deck for your future summer soirees!

  3. Hay hooks:
    I have a friend looking for a set to hand an old ladder on the wall above her steps with.
    Cream cans and gas can:
    I would place on my porch for Memorial Day and 4th of July (I live in the US)
    Wooden shoes:
    I used to have two sets-adult and child wish I still did πŸ™ I would fill with moss and eggs and set next to the watering can in which I would put tulips and use for center piece on table.
    Vintage cameras:
    arrange on book shelves with books and black and white family pictures.

  4. Well the blue containers with the lids would be great for storing compost in the kitchen before heading outdoors with it. I found a cookie jar yesterday at my favorite junk store that was perfect for that same purpose. I was pleased no more plastic containers on my counter.

    Carole @ GardenUp green

  5. I would have tried to buy all the white restaurant dishes! I’m such a dish fanatic. I’d use them to serve and eat lunch for my lunch bunch buddies. I’d do a gallery wall with few punches of color. I’d make bird feeders and other garden art. Oh, but I’m just getting started.

    I, too, would take home the galvanized watering can to join my collection of galvanized goodies on my porch. I’d fill it with English Ivy and love every minute of having it.

    Using the light on my porch would be a plus. Sleeping the crazy hours I do I’m often outside reading or journaling when it’s still dark and that light would be cooler than the lamp I use now.

    The cameras would find a home in my apartment as bookends. They look good in almost any position and would keep my books from getting warped and look truly wonderful.

    I’m having fun just dreaming. Thanks, Donna, for the fun I’ve just had!

  6. The Ansco box has to do with camera/film developing I believe. I would love to have found a whole box of restaurant dishes. What a find! I’ve seen hay hooks used as towel holders but you are right they probably should be filed down a little for safety sake. Since we live on a farm hay hooks at our house are still used for hay! ha ha

  7. I made a lamp using a vintage camera on top of a wooden tripod. I tried to send a picture, but couldn’t attach (sad face)

  8. We are channeling the same junk I think.

    1. Metal box: Since it already plugs in, I think I need a metal box charging station, like your toolbox one.

    2. Galvanized watering can: This would go with my collection waiting to be hung on my shed.

    3. Gas can: Same as above.

    4. Trouble light: This would go in the garage and disappear like the other two I bought. The men folk think they are nothing more than trouble lights and use them.

    5. Bavarian Kitchen Circus: Not coming home with me.

    6. Vintage cameras: Odd, a friend called me yesterday to see if I wanted two of her old ones. I said yes of course. Guess they can sit in a box at my house just as easy as hers.

    7. Rusty hooks: well I have a rusty hook holding up a memo board, and they look similar to tongs, so maybe a toilet paper holder. A dangerous toilet paper holder.

    8. Model cars and trucks: I want that coroner hearse. That would go on the food table at a Halloween party.

    9. Restaurant dishes: The dishes could stay. I have a shelf in the garage that holds 300 plates for mosaics, I need not more.

    10. Milk cans: The same friend that asked if I wanted the cameras forced a nice milk can on me too. I already have many of those, but what’s one more right?

    11. Wooden shoes: I’ve been trying to give away the one wooden show just like that. Maybe today I’ll hang it on my wall for scissors. We’ll see.

  9. Donna – I love the watering can. One cannot have too many of those beauties. And the hooks with their rust would be hung as plant hooks (and yes I would file down the sharp points!) I like the milk cans and haven’t thought about using as plant stands…they would be great on my back porch (I love red and blue). The barvarian circus would not be coming to my town…too much fun! And the restaurant dishes, sadly I don’t care for them…too much bulk.

    I enjoyed this game πŸ™‚

  10. 1. Metal box ~ sit it in a corner, or on a table and open the lids up and plug the lights in.

    2. Galvanized watering can ~ I’d sit it on my deck, and use it to water flowers.

    3. Gas can ~ Prob sit it on my deck on one of the shelves I have.

    4. Trouble light ~ Hang it in the garage for when I need it.

    5. Bavarian Kitchen Circus ~ I’d totally use these ~ love them.

    6. Vintage cameras ~ I do have a collection of vintage cameras ~ I move them around. Right now they’re on top of one of my glass cabinets.

    7. Rusty hooks ~ not sure.

    8. Model cars and trucks ~ kewel for a kid.

    9. Restaurant dishes ~ love them ~ great idea for your camper.

    10. Milk cans ~ sit it on the deck and put a plant on top of it.

    11. Wooden shoes ~ not sure.


  11. Donna, I use my milk can to store my rakes and other tall lawn tools – just stand them up in the can. I good way to keep them handy

  12. What goodies you have! Here’s some of my ideas:

    *Metal box – Treasure chest of some type.

    *Watering can – Birdhouse! Turn it on it’s side and cut a hole on the side.

    *Bavarian Circus – I see something Anthropology inspired. Glue them together with different colored glass pieces…a candle holder perhaps?

    *Cameras – Make them into bookends, glue them onto wood pieces. The camera lens..glue one of those restaurant dishes on top..a display piece? candle holder? Take out the glass on one end and make a pencil holder.

    *Rusty hooks – Wreath hangers

    *Restaurant dishes – These last forever! Paint them, hang them on your wall, small ones make good plant saucers, large ones use for underliners for colorful plates at each place settings.

    *Milk cans – Make into a lamp (my dad did this years ago!, planters, holder for kindling wood.

    *Wooden shoes – drill holes in the bottom and plant Hens & Chicks!

  13. Hi Donna,
    I’m dutch but I live in Italy and I love your newsletters.

    Thanks to you I see “junk” with different eyes now, and my kids are starting to do so too, although they sometimes complain that the backgarden is getting too full now…

    Out of all the things that you listed, I picked 2 that inspire me. This is what I would do with them:

    Milkcan: makes a nice umbrella stand

    Rusty hooks: fix both of them on a wall, and position a (small) tree trunk either on the hooks, or through the holes, screw small hooks in the tree trunk and hang up anything you like

    Oh, and the small hardware drawers near the model cars: that I would have taken home, clean it up and save all my craft stuff in them πŸ™‚

  14. I live in Washington and have been to Leavenworth. Such an adorable place to visit.

    I use my hay hooks to hang pictures from. Since I’m always changing things around, they make it easy to have a new, unique look.

    The watering can I have used for the top of a fountain I made with small, round galvanized troughs. I loved the sound of the water being poured out from the spout and splattering the lower container.

    You always have such amazing ideas, I’m sure you’ll come up with something totally different and interesting with all the items listed.

  15. 1. Metal box…I am always looking for extra storage so I might pull out the electrical and keep small things in it.

    2. Galvanized watering can…a lamp or a planter?

    3. Gas can… Love the lamp idea.

    4. Trouble light… Pass

    5. Bavarian Kitchen Circus… Cute, and I love blue and white, might have picked up the salt &pepper shakers.

    6. Vintage cameras… Just as accessories on bookcase, but I was interested in the shelves they were on, always need more shelving.

    7. Rusty hooks… My first thought was they were for hauling blocks of ice, back when they cut blocks from frozen lakes for ice boxes now known as refrigerators. Using to hold toilet paper in a rustic bathrm maybe? But you did mention they were sharp, probably pass.

    8. Model cars and trucks… I love old toys on top of kitchen cupboards, or window valance in family room

    9. Restaurant dishes… I probably would have skipped these, I own way too many dishes now.

    10. Milk cans… Plant stands or extra seating on the porch

    11. Wooden shoes ..I like what you did with the shoes

    – – – – –

  16. Leavenworth was awesome!!! πŸ™‚

    Those little mice in the background? I have collected 5 so far! Love them at the holidays…


  17. Hooks – hang the dangerous part against the wall and use the pretty curled part for a towel…..

    Milk cans – attach an old round or square board to the top and call it an end or side table anywhere.

    Trouble light would look really cool in a boy’s room – attached to the headboard for reading maybe?

  18. 1. Metal box – if it works & can take a current bulb, how about a light for a small room. OR an up-light for a photo wall?!
    2. Galvanized watering can – would look SUPER cute on one of those Pinterest inspired gardening tables! Use the hay hook to hold it.
    3. Gas can – a table base for a man cave side table
    4. Trouble light – (thinking man cave again) GOOD man cave light by a recliner!
    5. Bavarian Kitchen Circus- you’d just have to love all that blue! (ohhh in a yellow kitchen!!)
    6. Vintage cameras- I can see a few of them hung in a photo wall grouping
    7. Rusty hooks- beat the end till dull, hang on a cabinet to hold your favorite pot or pan Or..see #2.
    8. Model cars and trucks- I have several friends jobs including a coroner & fire chief. Would totally be cute in an office (where tastefully placed.)
    9. Restaurant dishes – just good to have a few extra around when extra family come in?
    10. Milk cans – lamp bases, table bases
    11. Wooden shoes – I love what you did!!!

  19. I don’t have ideas for everything, these are great things that I see here and there, and am never sure what to do with them! I look forward to seeing what people come up with – my mom does have a milk can side table (just has a topper on it), but that’s nothing new. They look good filled with vintage rakes. I know there’s just the one trouble light, but I just saw an episode of Restaurant Impossible where the designer used a bunch of trouble lights hooked to a bike wheel for a chandelier – it was awesome! The other share I have isn’t on the list, but in the pictures – specifically the garage organizer behind the toy cars (LOVE the coroner’s car!!). I recently saw a great makeover for one on http://www.serenitynowblog.com/. I see these things frequently, and am a bit of a container hoarder, but never know what to do with these! Hope it was ok to share that! I love what you did with the wooden shoes. The bale hooks are killing me, they are great! I think if I had them, I’d use them for my “shower” curtain. I have a clawfoot bathtub in a tiny bathroom, that needs a curtain for privacy when someone needs the toilet while the tub is being used. These would be great with some rope tied to each hook with the curtain attached! I use white dishes, so I’d just use the plates, though a whole wall covered in them would be cool, too. I live in Oregon, but have only gotten to stop for coffee in Leavenworth, it looks so fun!

  20. I have an old rusty family milk can that I used for an end table for a while. Just added a thick piece of round glass for a top that I picked up at the thrift store. (Little clear rubber dots kept it in place.). Put a large round doilie on it with a small vintage lamp & a couple other things. Loved it!

    Hay hooks would make great hangers for old pails full of flowers.

  21. I would make designs on the watering can by poking holes in it then using as a lighting element by putting a large candle in it, then using a chain and the “hook” to hang your new creation.

  22. Hi Donna,

    For the cameras, #6, I would use the lens and flash areas as frames for vintage family photos, double duty collection to display. Would be col to match photo era with camera, ex. have 70’s photo displayed in 70’s camera.

    Love the wooden shoes as is and the trouble lights. Could you do a washi tape around light cord if used inside? Color and function, gotta love it.

    I have red painted hay hooks that need a (safe) use too, so I’ll be looking for ideas.

  23. Just to put in my 2 cents worth (oops, we don’t have pennies anymore. Make that a nickel lol)…

    Those large rusty hooks are definitely hay baling hooks. Ice tongs are different in that there are two handles and hooks together in an ‘X’ shape (like scissors).

  24. Since I lived in Southern Bavaria for the first 5 years of my life, I’d have LOVED the whole set! How lucky that you have such cool thrift shops where you live. Not so good here–usually Goodwill stores, some thrift stores and some which have either garbage or overpriced used junk (but not your kind of junk!!)

    Love thrifting with you!

  25. The watering can – I saw where someone put some bling in the spout of the watering can to mimick water and then hung the watering can from a sheepherders hook. I’m looking for a can.

    • The hay hooks — one could hang an old bucket planted with pansies or some other flower that would trail down the bucket. That way one wouldn’t be in the way of the hook all the time. Used lots of these hayhooks when I was younger moving hay.

  26. Hi Donna:

    I generally agree with the ideas previously posted for the various items on your list.

    The only original idea I would like to add would be to use the milk cans as bird baths. I would suggest taking the lid off one of the milk cans and add an old Chinese wok or some other rimmed lid that can hold water – them simply place the wok or rimmed lid on top of the milk can, add water and you have an easy bird bath. Place your new bird bath outside away from your cats.

    That’s all for now, Nancy

  27. Wow, looks like fun. I think the hooks are ice hooks, too big for hay hooks. I have a set of each that were my father in laws, I hung one on the wal with a pair of his od work gloves on the hook.
    You could get a few meow trouble lights and use for hanging lighting at a bar where you could use the milk cans (if they are tall enough) as bar stools. My milk are 5 gallons, some are only 2 gallons. Some milk cans are only a half gallon there are only a few of those. Have fun with your treasures.

  28. Watering can and/or Gas can: a pole support for the deck umbrella under the table. Fill with plaster, pvc pipe big enough to hold the umbrella pole. Saw this somewhere, have a watering can and one day will do this.

  29. Each summer I use my old vintage cameras along with momentos from Yellowstone, (including a palm sized photo book from the 30’s I got at a yard sale for $2.00) old maps and things we loved to do when the kids were little like fishing flies, creels, an old oar, etc. and create a vacation themed fireplace mantle! The rusty hooks look like old ice block hooks! Might be nice to hang heavy, flower laden baskets! They would certainly be strong enough!

  30. – – –What would I do with ______?

    1. Metal box; Storage

    2. Galvanized watering can: Have one already, added fake plants to it, sits on top of my cabinets.. it would also make a nice lamp.

    3. Gas can: Lamp as well

    4. Trouble light: Hang it over my sewing area. I don’t have enough light

    5. Bavarian Kitchen Circus: Definitely would pass

    6. Vintage cameras: Add it to my collection and display with old photos

    7. Rusty hooks: I would pass on these

    8. Model cars and trucks, how about a lamp? Must think I need lighting here πŸ˜€

    9. Restaurant dishes; Keep a few plates. Add a candle ring and of course a candle (more lighting of a different kind πŸ™‚

    10. Milk cans: Have enough of them, would pass

    11. Wooden shoes: Hang on my wall and have it hold a few paint brushes

  31. What would I do with…?
    1. Metal Box – If the lights work-use as light fixture or night-light, depending on brightness of bulbs – wall-mount or table. If lights don’t work or empty inside- storage.
    2.Watering Can – Use as watering can! If leaky- vase w/ water jar or tin can inside. Or dried arrangement. Or “as-is” for garden/porch ornament.
    3.Gas Can – Lamp base-I have jillions of lamp ideas for my next incarnation! Or as-is for garden or porch.
    4.Trouble Light – MY FAVE ITEM ON YOUR LIST! β™₯ 1 or more hung as pendants above kitchen island w/ vintage-look bulb!β™₯β™₯
    5.Bavarian Ware – Lamp bases – w/lids as finials/toppers! Vases! Original idea: kitchen canisters-LOL! Storage.
    6.Cameras- ? Cool for display; can’t think of another use.
    7.Rusty Hooks – hang high for safety- suspend planters w. trailing plants or seasonal arrangements/vignettes!
    8.Cars/Trucks- Man-cave decor!
    9.Restaurant Dishes – MY 2nd FAVE ON LIST-would be my #1 except for the fact that…I collect these! The chunkier the better! I have hundreds & use them for EVERYTHING – eating, of course! PLUS: vases, make-up/toothbrush holder, entryway-keys/mail/coins), multiples in wall display, office- pencil holder (you’d covet my gorgeous square ironstone divided portion plates to organize desk items- imagine paper clips & pushpins where the Blue Plate Special used to be served!) So versatile!
    10.Milk Cans – lamps, display
    11.Wooden Shoes – β™₯ your cute idea – change w/ seasons- a little wooden egg, rusty β™₯, mini-pumpkin, tarnished xmas ball, etc.

    And a questions for you, Donna:
    What are your favorite reader ideas for each item on the list?


  32. I love the wooden shoes! We had some that were painted when I was kid. I used to wear them around the house and was so sad when they wouldn’t go on my feet anymore. I love them hanging on your wall.

    Love the milk cans, big wildflowers would be gorgeous.

    The hooks are sort of scary. They remind of The Shining or something. Sorry!

    Would love to know what that box is. I have come home with things I have found that are old and rusty, probably old farm implements and have no idea what they are sometimes.

    • The metal hooks could easily be made safer….and would make lovely towel holders…curtain rod holders, etc. Simply drill a hole in a small cube or circle of wood….or a small slice if tree branch….and hot glue over the sharp ends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *