Step by Step Garden Totem Tutorial

I have a friend that loves blue glass. Her whole house is decorated in blue glass. Now, blue glass is definitely not my favorite thing so this was going to be a challenge to make a tasteful blue glass garden totem.

I went to thrift stores and bought all the blue glass I could find at reasonable prices. And the prices sure were reasonable. It seems that I am not the only one who does not like this stuff! The most expensive piece was the large vase which is actually quite cost 2.49. When I brought everything home, I put it through the dishwasher so it would be clean and grease free. Then I spread it out on the table and started the design.

I chose this plate to use for the base. This plate cost 2.29.

I turned it upside down and placed it on newspaper so I could rotate it easily.

Then I looked through my stash and chose this bowl. 49 cents.

I turned it upside down and glued it to the middle of the plate using 'super goop'. You put glue on both pieces and let it dry for about 10 minutes and then they lock into place when you connect them.

Then I chose this big blue vase to use next for the bulk of the pedestal.

I thought it would look better turned upside down so I added glue to the top and after it dried for a bit, I placed it open side down centered on the bowl.

Then I added glue to the exposed base of the vase.

Next I chose a plate with a rain pattern. It is called that because it looks like there are drops of rain on it. It sloped up at the edges so I turned it upside down and glued it to the base of the vase. Remember, if you want to use these outside, you should build them so they collect as little water as possible. Thus, most pieces will be turned upside down.

Here it is so far. What you really want to aim for when building these is an overall uniform look. You don't want to look at them and easily recognize glasses and plates and vases. They should look like a whole piece.

Next I took this cheap cost 49 cents. I applied glue to the bottom because I wanted to use this one standing straight up.

I placed it right in the middle of the rain plate.

Then I added glue to the mouth of this vase. And then I forgot to photograph the next couple of steps.

But basically I repeated the process by gluing another plate turned upside down to the top of the second vase and then added another smaller blue vase on top of that. Are you following this or have you fallen asleep? Bueller Bueller????

Finally I topped it off with a very small pressed glass bowl turned upside down.

And I glued a glass bell to the top of the little bowl. These two pieces were 29 cents each.

I held a black photo shield to try to get a good shot of this but the totem is bigger than the shield. But you get the drift. This whole totem cost about 8.00. At this price they are cheap enough that if they only last one season they are worth it. Something tells me that my freaky blue glass friend will keep this indoors!

***Tomorrow the winner of this weeks giveaway will be announced and the fancy decorated box will be listed. Stop back to enter!


Autumnforest said…
Positively brilliant! I could really see a couple of these in smaller versions in red and green glass used for Yule time.
Melodie said…
I am really loving that blue! That is so pretty!
Anonymous said…
That is a beautiful totem !!!! I love it, especially because of the transparancy, with all that crystal !!!
Sugar said…
You are so creative my dear! I am now thinking of making a few to add to my fairy garden! Can't wait for yard sale weather to come!!!
Thanks for the inspiration
Marie S said…
These are really wonderful Jaz, and a great way to upcycle glass.
Have a great weekend.
Blue Heaven is what I call this glass garden totem.

Beautiful indeed!!

xoxo to Teddy Girl.
Pricilla said…
I am sure she will love it!

I'm with you on the blue glass....
Dia said…
Great tutorial - & it is pretty!
Several years ago a County Artist's group had a potluck/glass totem party! They had folks bring their extra glassware, & the aquarium glue they sugg for sticking stuff together. You could choose from the different glass, & take some home, lol - great way to clean out the cupboards!

I do like blue, & made several for my garden - a couple came apart after awhile, & I've just left the scaled down version out there . . .
Lovely, thrifty project!
Now when I see how You´re doing it I started to think that it must be difficult to get it straight, if not it would become a smaller sort of the leaning tower of Piza :-). But I can see that You had no problems with that!

I love that glass bell in the top!
Have a great day now!
Not only will she keep it indoors, I'm sure it will occupy pride of place in her living room. You'll feel guilty every time you see it there because you'll remember how you dissed blue glass while constructing it!
TMCPhoto said…
I bet it looks stunning when the light shines through it
Celia said…
Love it!!! I went shopping today and started a green glass and red/yellow glass collection! I can't wait until I have enough to make a couple of these for myself!! Thanks for all the great ideas!
Suzie said…
I'm not a big fan of blue glass either, but my daughter is! And with you alternating the clear glass it makes it look very classy instead of being overwhelmingly blue. I love the crystal bell on the top! Nice touch!

This was an excellent tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to share the steps!
MarZel said…
I love blue glass.... This is a great project and I would love to try this...but if my kids break my plants and trees...they definitely would break that. One day...though...One day!!
Teresa said…
You make this seem so easy. What makes me think I'd end up with my fingers glued together?
Touchatou said…
Sorry to disappoint you... but I love blue glass ! lol I have some beautiful pieces at home. ;)

Nice job you did, your friend will be in blue glass heaven !
Linda said…
Such a great idea and just takes some time and finding the right pieces! Love how they look!!
Carapace said…
What a neat thing to do with old impractical glassware! What sort of glue do you use to hold it together?
Libby said…
Texan said…
I am so making some of these. I am not really a blue person either but well I really like the blue garden totem :O).
DeAnn Jahnke said…
can I use E6000 glue?
Unknown said…
What type of glue and brand of glue do you use?