Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vintage Before and After - Bernz-O-Matic

I love old vintage metal boxes. Artist boxes, fishing tackle boxes, tool boxes, you name it. After years and years of use, these boxes develop such character and personality each one is as unique as a thumbprint. I like to imagine what they held and the person who used them. One of the very first things I sold in my shop was an old metal box with a cool tray. After that I started picking them up when I liked the character or color or if I could imagine the story behind the box. I got this great Bernz-O-Matic box that used to hold a torch! It came with all the torch paperwork, but no torch. I loved the color and the shape of the box so I brought it home.


I listed the Bernz-O-Matic on Etsy. Where it sat for months, unloved. When the listing expired, I was a bit sad for this great box and decided it just needed a bit of a makeover.


Voila! Old meets new in this succulent vintage container garden. Lately, I’m really into repurposing vintage items as container gardens or terrariums.


They just create a vignette that someone can’t replace with a garden purchased at Home Depot or Target. I want to create something unexpected that breathes new life into an old item.


Are you working on any projects? If so, post 'em up and leave me a comment! I love seeing how other people are repurposing items and bringing vintage into their every day lives.


  1. oh Flo
    I absolutely love, love ,love what you've done with the Bernz-O-Matic! It looks brilliant. I want one! Did you have to drill holes in the bottom?

    ps still haven't planted up my glass terrarium...wish you lived here, I'd get you to help me.

  2. haha.. I wish I lived there too, I'd totally help with your terrarium. I didn't drill holes in the box, but I did put down a rock layer to help with the drainage. I had to use the smallest succulent plants I could find since the box was fairly shallow to begin with. It's been a few weeks since I put it together and they all seem to be thriving but I'm keeping my fingers crossed =D

  3. This little garden you made is perfect! I have the same love of vintage metal boxes, always looking for them but without much luck. I love the texture in the garden you've carved out.

    I'm planning a few thrifted terrarium/garden style posts in the next couple of weeks. I loves me some plants.

  4. Thanks, Van! I'm looking forward to those posts! I've got another that I'm going to share when I get pics taken. I loved your garden with the dinos! I've got one like it in my bathroom except that it's an enclosed terrarium with neon orange dinosaurs roaming around. hehe.

  5. This is the perfect way to repurpose these boxes, I see them a lot in the garages or basements of estate sales-- will have to pick up a few soon and try this out! Did you put river rocks in the bottom to pick up excess moisture?

  6. Leilani - thank you for commenting and becoming a follower =D I did use river rocks, just some small ones that I had around the house. By small I'd say they were around 1" wide and I used several of them in each side of the tray. I'd love to see any gardens you come up with!

  7. Look at you! I love that! I know how to kill me some plants unfortunately. Might have to try my hand at some succulents :)

  8. what an awesome idea! love your blog - glad I stumbled on it!


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