Uses for Old Bathtubs


If you are a homeowner, there is a pretty good chance that at some time in your life you are going to replace your bathtub. There are some creative ways to recycle your old tub to keep it out of the landfill. All it takes is a little time, some simple tools and materials, and a bit of creativity.

Statuary Grotto

  • It is easy to make a grotto for outdoor statuary. You will need to dig a hole to bury one end of the tub in the ground to form the grotto. Measure the height of the statue you intend to place in the grotto, and add 6 to 8 inches to that measurement. Measure from the top end (the one that will be showing outside) to the height you will need for your statue and mark the tub on both sides. You will have to dig a hole to bury the tub to that mark. Stand the tub up in the hole and fill in. You can tile, mosaic, or paint the outside of the grotto. Place the statue inside and trim with plants.

Simple Pond

  • First decide whether you want your pond above or below ground. If you choose to put the pond in below ground, you will have to dig a hole to sink the tub in. First plug the tub drain hole with a stopper by gluing it in with plumbing adhesive. Dig the hole and sink the tub inside, filling in the edges with dirt to keep it snug. You may want to use the leftover dirt to create a raised flower or plant bed around the pond. If doing an above ground pond, glue in the stopper and go to the next step. Fill with water, water plants, decorative stones and rocks. You may want to add koi, a popular Japanese fish, in warm weather months.

Kitschy Planter

  • This is a great look for an old cast-iron claw-foot tub. Place the tub in the garden or on a patio. Put a 6 inch layer of large stones in the bottom of the tub. This will act as a drain for your plants. You may want to sprinkle some activated charcoal, available in pet stores near the fish section, over the stones. This helps keep the soil clean. Fill with soil about 6 to 8 inches from the top of the tub. Fill the planter with an assortment of grasses, flowers and plants. This is also a great way to have a miniature vegetable garden if you live in the city. The tub planter is deep enough for growing carrots, small potatoes or other root vegetables, in addition to traditional planter-garden vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and lettuce.

Garden Party Beer and Wine Cooler

  • Place a stopper in the tub drain hole. Fill the tub about half-way full of crushed ice. Place beer, wine and other beverages in the crushed ice about 1 to 2 hours before your party. This creates a great conversation piece. A fun addition is the use of copper fish food molds to make fish-shaped ice for your tub. You can find these molds inexpensively at thrift stores and garage sales. Fill molds with colored water by adding orange, blue and green food coloring to water. Place in the freezer overnight or until set. Remove the ice fish from the molds and place in the tub with the crushed ice. When finished, remove the stopper and the ice will melt and drain from the tub.

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