How can I reuse or recycle washing machine drums?

Washing machine drum turned into an ottomanWe’ve had an email from Nathalie, telling us about the fab ottoman she made from an old washing machine drum (links includes full instructions). She also links to another site where one has been turned into a floor lamp – very cool.

Involving less crafts, I’ve also seen them used as planters in allotments (since the holes let excess water drain away) and an outside toy bin in a garden – so they’re obviously versatile little chaps but has anyone else got any other suggestions?

(Image courtesy of Nathalie and Esprit Cabane)

(Oh, and we got a mention on Zaproot yesterday – a cool eco-show. If you’re already here, you already know about us of course but still, it’s nice to be mentioned.)

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64 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle washing machine drums?”


  1. Ms L. says:

    BBQ! Have the open end of the drum facing upwards and load with coal or wood. We put a thin sheet of metal over the top and cook on it in the summer. When it’s colder, makes A great campfire that can be easily monitored (also, you can spin it – not that I condone playing with fire!)

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  8. GlenG says:

    I’ve seen one used as a “drainage well”. In a damp part of a garden a hole was dug and the drum put in, open end upwards. After a time, it filled with water which could be used for buckets or a watering can. The area has to be boggy or wet, and of course the water should only be used for watering plants or similar, It can take up to 24 hours to refill depending no how wet the area is.

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