13 Creative Ways To Repurpose A Rusty Kettle Around Your Home And Garden

According to data from the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc., tea is the second most commonly consumed beverage globally, second only to water. If you're one of the many people that contributed to that ranking, you more than likely have a kettle at home to make it easier to brew this soothing and historically-loved drink. After consistently using your kettle day after day, however, it's likely that it's developed some wear and tear. Whether it's completely rusted and chipped or simply a little rough around the edges, don't worry — there are plenty of different ways to repurpose your old tea kettle, from using it has a helpful tool in the garden to completely transforming it into a piece of décor in your home.

While it might seem a bit silly to repurpose something as small as a kettle, rather than simply throwing it away, taking a second look at the items you have and how they can potentially find other uses around the house can help to reduce your waste, save you money, and leave you with more unique pieces than you might be able to find in stores. This approach is both good for the environment and good for your home, so why not give it a try?

1. Hanging light

Building your own hanging light might seem like an intimidating project, but if you have the proper tools, it only takes a couple of minutes to pull off. This idea will, of course, require you to remove the bottom of your teapot and drill a hole through the top, but after you're done with the prep, all you need to do assemble. Pick up a hanging light kit and thread the wire through the hole you created in the top. Screw in your bulb, mount the fixture on your ceiling, and plug it in to illuminate your space.

2. Wind chime

Because they're meant to withstand quite a bit of wear and tear, kitchen essentials are some of the most common items to include in repurposing and DIY projects, and with this idea, you can give life to two pieces at once. To make your own tea kettle wind chime, drill a few holes into the bottom of the kettle, then thread some wire or fishing line through and secure. From there, attach some old pieces of silverware to the wire and finish it off with any beads or other small decorative pieces you might want to include. 

3. Planter

There are quite a few common household items you can turn into beautiful planters, but because kettles are already designed to withstand frequent exposure to water, they make for a great choice. Remove the lid of your kettle, paint the kettle if you would like a different look (as seen above), then fill it with soil and your plant of choice. The spout on the side might feel like a purely decorative element, but you can use it to ensure water gets deep into the plant's soil, or as a way to dump out some excess water if you accidentally went a bit overboard.

4. Lamp base

If you like the idea of turning your kettle into a piece that can illuminate your space, but a hanging light isn't in the cards, you can also repurpose it as a lamp base. Pick up a lamp kit, drill a hole in the bottom or side of the kettle to thread your wire through, and use the existing water hole at the top of the kettle as a place to easily install your socket. After installing your lightbulb, repurpose an old lampshade to top everything off and keep the upcycling trend going.

5. Garden sculpture

Most outdoor decoration comes in the form of landscaping, but a few sculptural pieces here and there can really take your garden over the top. This tea kettle sculpture, in particular, is great for adding some whimsy to your space, "Alice in Wonderland"-style. Secure your tea kettle to a pole, pipe, or post at an angle, then mount a repurposed old teacup below it. Finally, finish off the sculpture with a dangling crystal to really make it look like something's being poured out of the kettle, all without having to worry about hooking it up to a water source.

6. Hanging planter

Hanging planters can give you more space for your plants and help you keep them away from nosy pets, but if you're looking for a more unique spin on the classic pot with a hook, consider using a kettle as a planter instead. The handle on the top of the kettle makes it super easy to slip on to an existing hook or post, and, if you angle the spout slightly downward so it looks like it's pouring, it can even help to increase drainage and prevent the accumulation of excess water that could lead to root rot

7. Watering can

Having a watering can handy can help make the process of watering your plants much more convenient, but if the options on the market aren't living up to your standards, an old kettle can make for a fashionable substitute. They're already designed to pour water, so you don't have to worry about annoying spills, and they also typically have a convenient handle for easy transport. If you plan to use it frequently, fill up your kettle with water, close the lid to prevent evaporation, and place it next to your plants so you're ready to go. Or, just fill it up as you go. 

8. Vase

If you like the idea of using a kettle to hold on to some greenery, but you're not in the market for any more houseplants, you could always use it as a vase. Fill the kettle with water, trim the ends of your flowers, and place them into the hole on the top. It's a good idea to routinely replace the water in vases to keep your cut flowers fresh longer, and, conveniently, you can use the spout on the side of the kettle to dump out the dirty water and swap it without having to disrupt your arrangement.

9. Candle vessel

When you're looking for something to use as a candle vessel, it has to be able to withstand heat, hold on to wax, and ideally, look good displayed on your tabletop. Luckily, a tea kettle checks all of these boxes. Once you melt down your wax and add any scents you like to the mix, glue down a wick inside of your kettle and get started pouring. Because kettles have a spout on the side, it might also be a good idea to tape this area closed to avoid any accidental spills until the wax cools.

10. Clock

Clocks are surprisingly easy to make at home with the help of a DIY clock kit, and as long as you have a surface that you can drill into to install the hands and motor, there are next to no limitations on what items you can use as a base. Sand and paint your kettle to conceal damage and prevent the spread of any additional rust, create a small hole on one of the sides with a drill, install the motor inside, and secure the hands in their proper position to complete this project in minutes.

11. Letter box

Decorative mailboxes are a great way to bring some more fun to your home's exterior and set yourself apart from others on the street, and a tea kettle can make for a surprisingly functional option (if it's large enough). Remove the handle from your kettle, carve a slot into one of the sides, and secure it to your mail post. Your mail person will be able to deposit letters into the slot, and you can collect your mail by opening the hatch on the top of the kettle as you would a typical mailbox.

12. Faux fruit bowl

Fruit bowls, even when used simply as decoration, can bring some much needed color and texture to your kitchen or dining room. If you're looking for something a bit more unique than a plain bowl, however, consider using an old kettle to hold your faux fruit instead. As long as the hole at the top is large enough, you can use your kettle to hold just about anything you'd like to display, though it's a good idea to stay away from using real fruit you're planning to eat if the kettle is exhibiting rust and deterioration.

13. Bird house

Birdhouses can help out natural wildlife and encourage them to continue visiting your yard, and luckily, it's easy to build your own using a repurposed kettle. If you're looking for an ultra-simple project, all you need to do is remove the lid from your kettle and secure it to a tree to act as a cozy place for birds to build their nests. If you want something with a bit more structure, however, consider mounting your kettle to a piece of scrap wood or inside of a repurposed drawer before hanging it in your garden.