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April 2014

Home & Garden:
Show Your Metal
Written By: 
Joan McDonald
Photographs By: 
Olivia Rae James

Recycle unwanted silver-plate pieces or garage-sale finds into interesting and elegant containers


Have a pile of vintage chafing dishes or other old silver-plate pieces collecting dust in the garage? Repurpose those castoffs as unique planters.

First, make sure the item is not a collectible or a prized family heirloom. Just check the manufacturer name or stamp on the bottom and look it up on servingware websites such as replacements.com. If it’s not a true treasure, it’ll make for an elegant stand or container for myriad plants. Next, check that your piece has proper drainage. If not, drill a few holes using a one-quarter inch or smaller drill bit specifically made for metal. Note: be sure to secure the piece so it cannot move before you drill.

Finally, select a plant or two appropriately sized for the vessel. Vintage casserole caddies are perfect for those with shallow root systems, such as wheatgrass, bulbs, and succulents, and chafing dish bases make great stands for garden globes. Group them together for a polished look on your porch or patio.




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