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How to Recycle a Wooden Ice Cream Churn

Have you ever picked up roadside trash? You may luck up and find treasures for recycling, repurposing, or just great junk. Today, I’m sharing about updating a wooden ice cream churn, which is a true trash-to-treasure adventure. I found this wooden ice cream churn by the side of the road on trash day. Home with me, it came! With a little paint and some flowers, it’s a perfect budget-friendly centerpiece option.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo before I decided to give the bucket a whitewash of chalk paint. But before, it was just a plain, aged wooden bucket with some water stains. Once I added the whitewash, I loved the new look so much that I couldn’t wait to fill the bucket with fresh flowers.

Recycled roadside ice cream churn filled with black eyed susan flower arrangement.

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Pinterest Challenge

Each month, Cindy at County Road 407 sponsors a Pinterest Challenge, and it’s always so much fun to see each participant’s version of the inspirational photo. This month, the challenge comes from Anderson and Grant, and here is her repurposed picnic basket.

What a unique #DIY project!  A broken picnic basket has been transformed into a decorative basket.  |

If you are joining me from my friend Julie at My Wee Abode, here’s a little introduction in case this is your first visit. Although I don’t like to cook, I love to entertain, and my blog is filled with entertaining tips and tablescapes. I love DIY projects, thrifting, vintage, farmhouse-style decor, and trash-to-treasure transformations such as today’s project.

How to add Fresh Flowers to Recycled Decor

To add fresh flowers, I added a combination of containers to hold water inside the recycled churn. First, fill each container 3/4 full of water before adding plants.

use recycled tin cans to add water to flower arrangement.

Next, begin to add the greenery or herbs to the recycled ice cream churn, spacing evenly around the containers. I used fresh herbs because I have an abundance of sage and rosemary planted around my landscape. You can also read How to Dry Herbs and How to Make Botanical Art with Pressed Herbs for things to do with an abundance of herbs.

adding black eyed susan & fresh herb arrangement to a roadside trash find.

Finally, add your fresh flowers by tucking them into the greenery. Be sure that each stem is placed in water.

adding black eyed susan arrangement to a roadside trash find.

These photos are from last summer when the Black Eyed Susan’s were showing up in a big way.

Black eyed susans in roadside ice cream churn.

Adding Faux Flowers to Recycled Decor

I’d love to keep the recycled churn filled with fresh flowers and greenery, but it also looks lovely with faux flowers.

Gather a selection of faux flowers that work well with your decor to create a faux flower arrangement. If the stems are longer than necessary, bend the wire stems to the length needed to fill your container. This allows you to use these same stems in a deeper container at a later date.

Once again, begin by adding the greenery stems and then fill in with the floral stems. I like to create a loose, natural arrangement.

Ice Cream Churn with faux flowers on screened porch

The mix of various stems gives the Ice Cream Churn a completely different feel than the Black Eyed Susan arrangement.

Ice Cream Churn with faux flowers on screened porch

These lovely stems will last until the black-eyed susans bloom again. I saw a couple of faces starting to pop out early, so it won’t be long.

I love a trash-to-treasure transformation, and one of my first blog posts shared how to Repurpose an old Silverware Box.

In this previous post, How to Use Chalk Paint, you can learn more about using chalk paint to transform your finds.

These great planters were also roadside finds; they look amazing with a DIY Concrete Planter finish.

If you love creative floral arrangements, check out this wildflower arrangement. With these tips, arranging hydrangeas in a basket is super easy.

Ice Cream Churn with faux flowers on screened porch
Check out more Recycled Decor on the Pinterest Challenge.

Next up on the Pinterest Challenge, Lora at Lora B. Create and Ponder is sharing her Welcoming Guest Room Basket Ideas. Be sure to click on the photos below to follow along on the Challenge.

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Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Pin It To Remember It

Did you find some great ideas you’d like to save for future reference? To save, hover over the images and pin to your favorite Pinterest Boards when you see the PIN button in the upper left-hand corner.

Trash to Treasure Recycled Ice Cream Churn.
How to recycle a wooden ice cream churn.
Recycled ice Cream churn from trash to treasure.


Wednesday 29th of May 2024

Wow! I love what you've done with the old wooden ice cream churn, Rachel! The flowers are so beautiful in it. You always have so many wonderful ideas and I absolutely love reading your posts! Thanks for sharing!


Thursday 30th of May 2024

Mary-Ann, I really appreciate you for all your comments and encouragement. Thank you so much.

Christy @ Our Southern Home

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

I am totally kicking myself for donating the old ice cream churn that we never used. Why in the world didn't I keep it for a plant bucket! This looks amazing. Your screened porch is fabulous!

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Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

Christy, We've all gotten rid of items that we later regret. Maybe you'll find one on the roadside. LOL

Kristin | White Arrows Home

Monday 31st of May 2021

Your bucket looks so pretty whitewashed and with any variety of flowers! It's so inspiring Rachel!

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Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

krisin, Thanks so much.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Friday 28th of May 2021

You did a great job with this Pinterest Challenge Rachel. So beautiful!

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Saturday 29th of May 2021

Kim, Thanks for stopping by.


Friday 28th of May 2021

How awesome to find that old ice cream churn, Rachel. I love the white-wash treatment you gave it. Fresh or faux flowers both look great in the churn, inside or outside. Great use of someone else’s discard.

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Saturday 29th of May 2021

Carol. I really appreciate your kinds words