12 Genius Ways To Repurpose An Old Sink Around Your Home And Garden

The most common rooms to renovate in the home are the kitchen and bathrooms. This makes sense, as these spaces are often some of the most frequently-used rooms in the house and usually serve more functional purposes. With all of that wear and tear from daily use, it's common for homeowners to want to swap out their old appliances or countertops once they are past their prime.

However, a renovation doesn't necessarily mean that the items you're replacing have reached the end of their lives. Plenty of different renovation leftovers can be upcycled into new items, often with uses you wouldn't initially expect. Sinks, whether they're reclaimed from the kitchen or from the bathroom, are one of the best examples of this. Because they usually have a fairly-simple shape as well as a drainage hole and are built from materials that are meant to withstand both exposure to liquids and regular wear and tear, there is a world of opportunity to explore when it comes to upcycling your old sinks — including the 12 ideas below. After you complete your project, you'll be left with less waste to clean up and a brand-new item that required next to nothing to create.

1. Mini pond

Outdoor water features are a great way to bring some interest to your yard, but many people don't have the space or time to maintain something full-sized — not to mention the budget to build it. If you're open to scaling things down a bit, consider making a mini pond out of an old sink. Bury the sink in your yard, then surround it with bricks and gravel to frame it out. Fill it with aquatic plants, rocks, moss, and other pond decorations, and you'll have created a miniature paradise for smaller creatures like frogs, squirrels, and birds to stop by when visiting your property.

2. Play kitchen

Play kitchens can provide nearly endless fun for kids without exposing them to the dangers of a real kitchen, but it can be difficult to build your own realistic model. One of the best ways to get around this issue is by using actual items that were formerly in the kitchen, so long as they won't pose any risk to the kids playing with them. An old sink can be a fantastic inclusion in a play kitchen that helps to boost the overall realism. You can also add a drawn-on stovetop to the side and a couple of repurposed cabinets from a kitchen renovation for storage.

3. Potting area

While it's often necessary and can lead to a longer life for your plants in the long run, repotting greenery can be a messy, difficult, and stressful task. To ensure that you have a space that is easy to clean and has everything you need handy, you could create a designated potting area with an old sink. This will provide you with a place to wash off your hands as well as a helpful surface area. If you add a shelf below, it can also provide you with some storage space for things like planters, trowels, and extra potting soil.

4. Creative planter

If you want to use a sink as a fixture in your garden in a more decorative way, consider turning it into a planter. This idea is great if your sink is too damaged to hold water either through cracking or rusting, but it isn't deteriorating to the point that it's completely broken. Simply fill it up with dirt (covering the drain hole with mesh if necessary), then plant your flowers of choice in your newly-formed pot. You can leave it like that or lean into the sink theme with some on-brand decorations like plates, teacups, or even a soap dispenser.

5. Mudroom cleaning area

Mudrooms can be one of the messiest rooms in the house — "mud" is in the name, after all. If you truly want to keep the dirt and debris contained in the space, you need to have the ability to wash off without leaving the room. This is where a mudroom sink can be a major help. If you're simply tired of the style of your old kitchen or bathroom sink in that specific space or you're willing to get it reglazed for the fraction of the price of buying one new, this piece can find a new home in this more utilitarian room in the house. 

6. Water fountain

Sinks are obviously designed to connect to your plumbing, so why not take advantage of those pipes and turn one into a water feature? Pedestal sinks can stand alone in your garden and, with the addition of a solar fountain pump, can create a beautiful base for a fountain that both you and wildlife is sure to love. The exact specifics of this build, of course, depend on your desired end goal and the design of the sink you're working with, but as long as the piece is in fairly good shape, you should be able to transition it into a fountain with little effort.

7. Laundry station

Cleaning your clothes by hand can be a massive hassle, but when it comes to certain fabrics and delicate garments, it's a necessary evil. To make this process easier on yourself, especially if you have a large number of items that need to be hand washed each time you do laundry, consider repurposing an old sink as a convenient hand washing station in your laundry room. Hooking this sink up to running water is obviously ideal, but if that's too much of a hassle, it can also be used as a more permanent and presentable alternative to a regular bucket.

8. Succulent garden

Succulents are all the rage nowadays, and if you like plants that are both beautiful and low-maintenance, you're likely already familiar with them. If you don't like the idea of using your old sink as a more traditional planter, it can also make a perfect base for a succulent garden. In this situation, you'll want to add layers of pebbles and sandier soil to encourage drainage. Also leave the drain open to give the excess water a place to flow out. You'll have the perfect place for your succulents to live that will ensure they don't end up waterlogged, even if kept outdoors.

9. Grill

Sinks are designed to be durable and water resistant, but as it turns out, metal options can also hold their own when exposed to high heat. The design of a simple kitchen sink is the perfect base to modify into your own DIY grill, ideal for camping or backyard cooking. Flip your sink over, attach it to a metal base, and cut out holes on the top and the front so you can tend to the fire and ensure your pot is exposed to direct heat. Add on a third hole at the back to attach an exhaust pipe, and you're set to start cooking.

10. Birdbath

Birdbaths can be a major help to the wildlife in your area, especially if the weather has been particularly dry or hot. However, if you're not a fan of the basic birdbath silhouette, it can feel like you're out of luck when shopping around for a new addition to your garden. Luckily, making a charming DIY birdbath is much easier than you might initially expect. All you need is something bowl-shaped that can hold onto water, like an old sink, and a support to ensure it's not sitting on the ground if it's not already elevated. Then, add rocks, water, and a small fountain if desired.

11. Wet bar

If you frequently host parties or enjoy experimenting with your own cocktail recipes, a home bar is an absolute essential, whether it's a simple cart or an involved basement hangout spot. The problem, however, is that you likely still have to take a trip to the kitchen to wash out glasses, empty your shaker, and rinse off the counter. Transforming your regular bar into a wet bar by adding a sink can provide a solution, and using an old sink rather than buying one new can help save you a solid chunk of change on your home bar transformation.

12. Portable sink

If you don't have easy access to a waterline somewhere on your property but still want to create a spot where you can wash your hands or clean from time to time, consider creating your own portable sink. To do this, place your old sink on a vanity, then install a water source and drain under the counter to create your own functional sink without relying on plumbing. As you use the sink, you will have to dump out the wastewater and refill the clean water, but that's the price you have to pay for mobility. For even more freedom, consider adding wheels to simplify transportation.