We put the ‘fun’ in garden funnels!
Using vintage funnels as garden containers…see how to find and use these interesting containers in the garden.
a-b. These two beautiful examples thrive in Marie Niemann’s garden in Utah where temperatures are hot during the summer (planting tips below). To make, Marie recommends drilling three evenly spaced holes at the top edge of funnel using a 1/8” bit. Insert three small S-hooks. Cut metal chain into three equal lengths with metal snips. Attach chain pieces to the funnel using the small S-hooks. Close open ends of S-hooks with pliers to secure. Use larger S-hooks to hold all three ends of the chain together at the top. Close open ends of S-hooks again to secure.
c. At the other weather extreme, in Iowa, is this Fairy Tale Sweet Funnel with an old-world holly sprig to brighten the weathered paint on a fence, by Nancy K. Meyers.
Where to find copper funnels
Good second-hand funnels, even in solid copper, can be found for around $15. If you start with newer funnels and chains, and want them to rust faster, wash with salt water and vinegar and allow them to age for a few weeks. Rinse funnel again before planting.
Clean inside of funnel well. Line metal funnels with screen, recycled plastic funnels, or rocks so that you will have drainage but still retain most of the water and soil. Do not place metal containers in direct sunlight. Water once per day. Jeanne Sammons recommends Mexican Heather as a good candidate for funnel planting, as it is drought tolerant. This one enjoys a sheltered location attached to a wire fence. Marie Niemann (a-b) fancies trailing bell type flowers for hanging containers, and they are also sturdy in hot and windy climates if you remember to water them regularly.
Weekend crafts with funnels
a. Tipsy Funnel Rain Chain – To make this Asian-inspired craft, I started with 2 strands of chain about the size you would use for lightweight dog collar. Attach chains together with S-hooks, crimping the openings together with needle-nose pliers as you go. Thread mini stainless steel funnels though single chains and vintage cookie cutters through both chains. Funnels, cookie, cutters, bells, jewelry, and trinkets of all kinds can be held in place with charms and jump rings—allow about 2-3 hours to attach pieces together. Pretty when shiny, and even as it gains rusty patches, rain water is musical and pretty as it channels down to the moss bowl.
b. An adorable Tin Man by Nadine Gurto, was also featured on a February Valentine banner on Facebook. Nadine says: “The older he gets the more character he gets too.” Even more than a metal funnel—you need at least one big can—and of course, a heart. Punch holes with awl or drill (carefully) and wire or use brads to hold cans together. Paint with enamel model paint or nail polish for durable finish. Inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum.
Where to find tin and rusty funnels:
Yard sales especially, Flea markets, thrift stores, in the tool section and antique stores.
eBay has stainless steel funnels in many sizes, and sells them in sets for around $1.00 per funnel. Food cans for tin men can, of course, be purchased at most grocery stores and saved; vintage cans are available in second hand stores.
Bells, jewelry, and cookie cutters can sometimes be found for little or no cost with a little junking, hunting, and rummaging for unique pieces. Often you can use objects that you already have for fun-funnel crafts!
For new funnels see, Aging pots and metal in the garden