How to Use Old Bed Pans

Written by louise harding
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In the late 19th century, bedpans were made of porcelain, but durable varieties were made of enamel-coated steel. These enamel-coated bedpans are most often stumbled upon in antique stores and flea markets. Often white, with red or black highlights, they can today be found in surprisingly good condition. An old bedpan need not be relegated to the shed, bring it out and use it: it's made of stern stuff.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bedpan with or without lid
  • Drill with a bit for metal
  • Soil & plant/flower
  • Sand
  • Duct tape

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  1. 1

    Use a drill to drill 2-3 holes into the bottom of the bedpan to serve as drainage for the plant. The flat base bedpans as well as the bucket style make good planters.

  2. 2

    Fill the old bedpan with potting soil.

  3. 3

    Plant the plant or flowers into the soil. Follow the gardening instructions for sun placement, etc.

  1. 1

    Place the old bedpan in the garage or storage closet.

  2. 2

    Fill with anything small that needs to be stored such as screws, nails, etc. The sturdy steel of the bedpan is durable enough to store nails and sharp objects.

  3. 3

    Attach the lid, if the bedpan has one, on one or both sides with duct tape.

  1. 1

    Fill the bedpan with sand.

  2. 2

    Place the bedpan on a patio table or other flat, stable surface.

  3. 3

    Deposit cigarette butts into the sand. The durable enamel-coated steel takes the abuse of scorch marks and holds up well as an outdoor ashtray against the elements. The old slipper style bedpans have a solid flat base and make good ashtrays.

Tips and warnings

  • Use caution when operating drills. Don't attempt to drill through metal without the appropriate bit for the drill.

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