If you're looking for inspiration, here are some ideas on what and where to look for tools, and how to use them after you find them:
1. Small spade shovels from the past can be placed at the edges of your garden rows and labeled with what each row has planted. This not only provides a way to see what is growing but creates a very shabby chic look to any home garden. Simply place the shovel end into the dirt at the end of the row and with a marker on the wooden handle label what the row contains. For extra protection you can add a clear coat over the handle turning an old piece into a creative work of art.
2. Many farmers have old plow pieces lying around and are ready to part with them. Taking an old rusty plow wheel and hanging it over a fire place alongside excess pieces from farm equipment can add a bit of nostalgia to any decor. At Christmas time hanging garland from these pieces paired with pine cones and candles along the mantel provide an old world style and memories of a time of peace and tranquility.
3. Try turning an old wagon wheel into a vintage chandelier by simply adding a lamp kit that can be found at any home repair store. Use rusty chains from the garage to hang this re-creation for an even more rustic look.
4. Turning an old barn door into a dinner table is not only the perfect pairing for a new wagon wheel chandelier but is more simple than one could imagine. Simply sand down the edges of the barn door to ensure safety and coat with a food-safe clear enamel. Placing the door atop of a wooden spool creates stability along with a very early western look.
5. Most of us have been part of a house remodel at least once in our lives and often we throw out bedroom doors that have character from a time of crystal door knobs and skeleton keys. A great way to re-use this wonderful piece of vintage history can be done by painting a square in the middle part of the door with chalkboard paint and hanging it in the kitchen for weekly menus and shopping lists. Adding small garden tools such as rustic shears, spades and a vintage thermometer or rain gauge to the frame can create a calendar for planting. Small metal buckets filled with plastic can be used to plant herbs right in your very kitchen.
There are many uses for vintage garden tools and with a little imagination and a lot of love for the past these re-creations can be in your home as a useful tool and a conversation starter.