Turn THIS into THAT.
A new use for an old bucket.

Earlier this spring I was on the hunt for a basic utilitarian object that pretty much anyone who owns a house has.  Of course I’m talking about a full sized Merry-Go-Round outfitted with genuine Lippizaner stallions with pink feather plumes coming out of their heads.


I didn’t have any luck finding one I liked.


So I turned my attention to finding something else that pretty much every homeowner has.  Again, I had no luck at all finding something that suited my needs, for the price I wanted to pay.  I didn’t want something fancy.  I didn’t want something ornate.  I wanted something pretty plain.  And sturdy.  Plain and sturdy.  Like a bucktoothed farmboy.

I never did find it.  I ended my search when I came up with this …










Yup.  You can turn a bucket into a hose reel.  Who knew finding a plain garden hose  hanger would be so difficult. They all had anchors or fairies or frogs on them.  And if they didn’t, they were either made out of ugly plastic or metal that was so flimsy you could bend it with your mind.

Then this idea hit me out of the blue.  Like most ideas do.   Screw one of my many galvanized buckets (the one that leaks a little bit) to my fence.  Instant storage for my hose, work gloves, and tools.


Just take a bucket, 4 screws, and screw it to your fence.  I didn’t even pre-drill the holes in my bucket.  That’s how confident I was feeling.  I don’t mind telling you I felt kind of brilliant after this one.



And then I happened to notice on Remodelista that Martha Stewart has already done the bucket thing. Which is both horrifying and satisfying at the same time. But I want it to be known that even though someone else thought up the bucket thing should in no way deter from MY thinking up the bucket thing as well. We both thunk it up. And I’m still kind of brilliant. And humble.





Now granted, it’s not to everyone’s tastes, I know.  BUT, it might get you thinking about what you could use as a hose hanger instead of what you have right now.  Or you might be thinking of other uses for a bucket.


Either way you’re thinking outside the bucket.


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  1. Mowerify says:

    OMG! Karen,
    This is really amazing article about a new use for an old bucket.
    keep your good job.

  2. Leah says:

    Karen, I think I love you. Now, where does one find a wine barrel? Not the dollar store! I’m going to check the agriculture section on Craigslist.

  3. Leah says:

    Mother-friggin’ genius. I am doing it this weekend. I wanted a cute/not ugly hose station at my veggie garden. Woot! Now, any idea for rain barrels?

    • Karen says:

      Leah – For a rain barrel it’s more costly but totally doable. (I’ll be doing it whenever I have time) You need the kit for diverting your eavestrough into your rain barrel, you need one of those big blue plastic water barrels they use on construction sites and such, and a wine barrel. Ugly plastic barrel goes inside the lovely wine barrel, cut a wood lid to fit on top and run the piping for the eaves kit into a hole cut in the centre. Make sense? ~ karen

  4. Samantha says:

    Great idea! It looks very awesome

  5. Diane Stairs says:

    this is such a fantastic idea….I have been struggling for two years now with one of those hose holders that winds up, now leaks and is just an ugly plastic holder….I am going to use my old bucket. Now THIS is why I love your blog.

  6. Molly says:

    Yes, this is a gorgeous idea!

    BTW, not everything ‘Martha’ is her/ their invention. This exact same idea was first published in UK magazine ‘BBC Gardener’s World’ – around 12 years ago! And who knows where they’ve got it from? An idea isn’t bad just because it isn’t brand new.

    I’m using such a bucket for my hose for a few years now. I also drilled a few holes into it at the lowest point to prevent rainwater sitting in there. And every other spring I can’t use it at all because blackbirds build their nest in it :-)

  7. Tickled Red says:

    Oh the things you can do with a bucket. I especially like how it twirls, almost got your Merry-Go-Round :D xo

  8. Karen that is THE most awesome re-use I’ve seen. Too clever by far. I am totally jealous I didn’t think it up too! (Is that thought envy?)
    Now all you have to do to become a god is to figure out how to stop hose parts (sprayers etc) from leaking and having to buy new ones every other year!

    Hope no one asked this already, I usually read thru all the posts b4 posting but poor old horsie is going thru laminitis/founder, I have an art show in two weeks and not enough mushrooms! Things are krazy.

    • Karen says:

      LeeAnne – You probably just need to replace the rubber washers with new ones. ~ karen!

      • Thanks Karen. Been there, done that. I just don’t get it. I’m no genius but I was blessed with a large dosage of mechanical ability. For some reason though, washers never work for me! Use the hose a few times and they’re leaking all over the place again. Maybe it is all a big joke? Are the stores all practical jokers and only sell “dribble” washers? They always seem a little big so that might be the problem. I’ve never been able to find ones that look exactly like the ones in the hoses. The new ones jam in but never work for long. Oh well. At least it is warm in summer and being a little wet can be nice. :-)

  9. Karen says:

    Hey there…I got a sturdy farm boy who happened to be strong and handsome. 29 years later he is still the “MAN”. Not all of them are bucktoothed. I got a damn handsome farm boy son out of the deal also. When I need a good laugh (and and idea or two) your blog is where I land.

  10. I love this… not too bad for thinking outside the bucket!

  11. Lillykay2002 says:

    Hi Karen,
    Love your blog and I have loved Martha since the early 80’s when she first started.

    I don’t think you should ever apologize for thinking of the same brilliant solution as she did. Martha actually opened the door for creative people like you and created an industry that didn’t exist before she made it. She needs to be recognized as the true pioneer she was and not an object of scorn.

    • Karen says:

      How exactly did I scorn her?? I love Martha. Although I must agree with a previous comment that she does very little of her own creative thinking now. She now does a lot of creative approving. ~ karen

  12. Carole says:

    For the same reasons of cost/ugliness I screwed a new empty paint can to the wall but find the circumference a bit small….the bucket is brilliant!

  13. Pat says:

    Wait a minute, wait a minute; did someone say they use an old tire rim mounted on the wall for a hose holder? Damn, that’s a fine idea too! You’ve got to read the comments for your posts because the follow-ups are hilarious and brilliant! Crap I love this blog …

    • Karen says:

      Crap, I love it too. I was going to a plethora of hose ideas (including the tire rim oddly enough) but figured the readers would take care of that portion. And they did. :) ~ karen

  14. amy mills says:

    my bet is that you came up with the last line first and then had write a whole blog around it:)

    nicely done on both counts!

  15. Susan says:

    Well you’re waaay the heck more Fun than Martha! But I’m still looking for the Lippizaners…

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The Art of Doing Stuff