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Novel Uses for Antiques
A LARGE NUMBER of antique articles have little or no practical use today other than that oŁ decorative value. Often these same articles can be used for other purposes than those for which they were originally designed, without any alterations or disfiguring changes. Thus the item is kept intact, retain ing its charm as an antique, yet serving a useful household purpose. It is the vogue today to use anything possible for a planter, and what cannot serve to hold plants is then converted into a lamp base. Many unlikely articles have been used with ridiculous results. Other than these common uses and mis-uses, there are unlimited ways to make the pretty little articles you collect work for you.Here then, are a few ideas:
BIRD CAGE, can makes an unusual planter. A clay pot with several house plants-one or two of which should be trailing vines, such as philodendron-will be sufficient. Place on a stand or hang on a bracket for a delightful sight in the breakfast room. If you have a patio you might decide to hang a planted bird cage outside during the summer months.
A little wooden or pottery bird in fancy (or even fantastic) colors will be a cheerful touch.
BUTTER CHURN, Its size makes a butter churn ideal as a clothes hamper for a small bathroom. Make sure the inside is smooth, and sand, if necessary, to protect clothing.
Can be used as an umbrella stand, or made into the base for a standing lamp.
BUTTONHOOKS. Every home should have at least one long-handled button hook. You never know when some small item will fall into an inaccessible spot. Often a buttonhook will save you the effort of moving a large piece of furniture in order to reach something which is maddeningly just out of reach.
Also useful for threading a wire or piece of string through a narrow opening, and removing hair caught in the sink drain. Keep the hook either in your sewing basket or in your Husband's tool case.
WOODEN BUCKET,a small wooden bucket makes a good wastebasket. Or in the kitchen one can be used as a holder for those necessary evilspaper bags.
CANDLEMOLD, glass vials purchased at your drugstore to fit into the candlemold will convert it Into a charming flower holder. The individual vials can be filled with flowers and leaves, or cuttings of such greens as ivy or wandering Jew which will root and grow in water.
CHAMBER POT, a convenient size to hold a large potted plant. Also can be used for a wastebasket next to a bedroom dressing table. Chamber pots can be sterilized and used for soup tureens or punch bowls.
COLANDER, Made of tin, copper, or brass, it can be used for a ceilingfixture shade in an informal room. If you must have a kettle or a pot for a lamp base, here is a novel lamp shade for it.
COOKIE JAR, Any large glass jar with a cover can be used for a cookie jar. Large apothecary jars are often used this way, as are old candy bottles from grocery stores. Use your nail polish and an orange stick to paint small polka dots evenly around the jar for a gay, yet simple decoration; or, if you are artistic, use the little brush to paint sprigs of flowers with a wavy line top and bottom. This makes a washable decoration that can be changed or removed whenever you tire of it.
CRADLE, If your child is a girl then the cradle can become a doll's bed after she has outgrown it.
Some use cradles to hold magazines or firewood by the fireplace.
CRANBERRY SCOOP, Makes a nice fruit bowl for a center arrangement at the table. Can be hung on the wall to hold a potted plant.
STONEWARE CROCK, A good place to store small articles since it is waterproof and can be set upon the basement floor or in a damp garage. In the kitchen, a stoneware crock can hold the paper bag containing garbage until you can take it outside. Filled with ice cubes and cold water, it can keep many soft drink bottles cold for your outdoor barbecues.
DECOYS, Many use them for mantel decorations. If the decoys are heavy enough, they can also be used for book ends. Place them in the garden, nestled amid a clump of flowers, or sitting nonchalantly in a vegetable garden surrounded by tomatoes and carrots.
DOUGH TRAY, When used as an end table next to the sofa, it can become the storage place for extra bedding for an overnight guest. As a lamp table, the storage area inside the dough tray can become a good place to keep those extra light bulbs, ash trays, and the candy dish when not in use.