Last winter when I found the zigzag window frame in Joshua Tree I also fell in love with vintage mattress springs. You know, the whole mattress. I loved the rusted look and thought it would be great outdoors to use as a trellis or planter. But it was pretty expensive, $150+, so I walked.
It’s always been in my mind to buy one, but what would I really do with it? I found one at a local antique store for about $40 and wanted to get it so badly, but it was just so large, and where would I really put it. I can’t keep buying potential projects and storing them in the garage (or can I?).
While in Kansas for a wedding I went to an antique shop in Wichita, without anything in particular in mind…and I stumbled on gold. There was a stall that was selling just the individual mattress springs, small enough even to fit in a suitcase! I practically jumped up and down and ran through the store with excitement!
I had been looking for something for my employees for Christmas, and these would be perfect to sit on their desks as air plant holders. I snapped up 5 of the most evenly coiled springs and brought them home (3 for them and of course 1 for me and 1 for my friends).
The springs were perfectly rusty, but were quite flaky, so they required a little prep before being wrapped, but these were actually very fast and easy – something that never happens with my projects.
How I created it:
Rust: I removed as much of the loose rust as I could using a wire brush.
Lacquer: Laying out a plastic drop cloth, I spaced the springs apart from one another and sprayed with a clear lacquer. I sprayed from each angle until coated. I used the clear lacquer not for looks, but to keep them from rusting further and the keep the rust already on them from coming off on everything. This just seals it all in.
Add Plants: Next all you have to do is add your air plant. I again ordered these on ETSY, this time from CTS Air Plants.
I didn’t even realize this, but my team thought they looked like Christmas trees, which was perfect for the holidays.
These can be displayed on a flat surface or you could mount on the wall for a horizontal planter or even hang it upside down suspended from the ceiling.
These came out so great! I can’t wait to do another project with mattress springs – I already have one in mind and it involves another obsession – vintage style incandescent light bulbs.
Springs: $2.50/each x 5 = $12.50
Spray Lacquer: $4.00 (Home Depot)
Air Plants: $13.44 for 5 including shipping
TOTAL: $30.00 for 5 Gifts