Of all the posts I have put up since I started blogging, the ones that are the most popular are the posts where I show how to make garden totems. I just made this one yesterday.
First, I go to thrift store and buy pieces I think will work. Most of these pieces can be picked up for less than a dollar, some as cheap as a quarter. You also need a tube of clear aquarium glue which you can buy at any craft store or hardware. Wash all the glass thoroughly or run it through your dishwasher.
Fit pieces together as you build your totem. If your totem looks like a bunch of old plates and glasses glued together, you have failed! The finished totem should look like one solid piece that was meant to be. It should actually be difficult to see what the individual pieces are. Use enough glue on each piece to get a good seal but be careful that it doesn't glob or run.
I look for small ceramic flowers and birds at the thrift stores and add them to a clear orb to make the totems more interesting. Just glue them in place.
Also, turn any plates you use upside down so rain can run off of them and not collect. Built the right way, these totems are surprisingly durable. I've mad ones that people have had in their gardens for years and years.