Though I don’t have a green thumb, I am always looking to enliven a room by incorporating plants. One challenge that comes with this attempt is finding vessels to hold my plants; there are only so many ways to paint or recover a terracotta pot. Nearly every time I go to the flea market or an antique store, I come across spittoons for under $5. Most are made of copper, brass or porcelain and have not been used for their intended purpose in decades. Their wide bases make them ideal for rooms where you’d want to prevent accidents. Though I find them both tarnished and polished, I’m drawn to the combination of the old and new together.
There are numerous ways to polish brass and copper that do not involve harsh chemicals. This is one of the simpler ways, using two items that most of us already have on hand: a lemon and coarse salt. This could be one of the easiest DIY projects ever — a simple and subtle change to create a planter that is both interesting and functional. — AshleyAnn
See the full how-to after the jump . . .
- tarnished spittoon
- 1 lemon
- about 5 tablespoons of coarse salt
- plant and potting supplies (I used a “Ponytail” Palm)
1. Cut your lemon in half and pour a small pile of salt on a cutting board or countertop. Firmly press the cut side of the lemon into the salt, covering it.
2. Rub the salt-covered lemon all over the tarnished copper. Keep rubbing until the copper shines. You will need to reapply salt and re-cut the edge of the lemon as it wears down. Be careful not to let any lemon juice drip onto the areas that you want to remain tarnished.
3. Once you are finished, wash the spittoon with soap and water. When adding your plant, consider including some pea gravel in the bottom for drainage. Fill it with potting soil, leaving just enough room to add your plant. Follow any specific planting instructions that came with your plant.