Garden Totem Tutorial

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.

Comments

laurie said…
they are so beautiful, and all you need is aquarium glue?
That's amazing!
I know you know I live under a rock, lol,
but I had never heard of these until I visited you a few years ago..
Yes, me,,
under a rock,,
sad, sad,,
You've got the crafter's touch, Joyce! They look amazing.
Heritage Hall said…
Fascinating ... they must look enchanting in an evening garden..
You make it all seem so simple...
but look at the results! You
are so creative....
Leeanna said…
OMG!! I love this! Never thought of doing this for my garden. I have a crystal pumpkin that I can use for the base and go from there. Thank you so much for this beautiful idea.
I would need it made in iron if it should survive here :-) I do like how You've put that bird in it!

Have a great day!
Christer.
kymber said…
jaz - they are very beautiful and you really have an eye on putting them together. do you not get much wind where you are? i am like thecottagebythecranelakethree - the glass would never survive our winds. but that doesn't mean i can't make one for the kitchen and put them with the kitchen herbs. also, everytime you show pics of your garden i always think of faery doors. i know that you make faery houses in your pots but with all of the interesting nooks and crannies you have in your garden, and with how creative you are, i think you would make some beautiful faery doors. and you also know that if you build it - they will come. teehee. just a thought.

your friend,
kymber
Ian's Girl said…
I know this is a weird question, but I live in the Deep South, and it gets so hot here... I was wondering if there's any danger of fire with these? You know how you can start of fire with a magnifying glass and twigs.... do you think these might have that kind of effect?

I could keep it in the shade, but then I don't think it would be as sparkly!
Craig said…
That really is amazingly creative! Beautiful.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
there is no worry bout these working like a magnifying glass. they are just like window glass.
1st Man said…
O.M.G. This is fabulous!!!! You KNOW I spend time at the thrift stores, ha...I am going to see if I can figure this out. Thanks!!! Have I told you lately that you are awesome??? ;-)
Jeri Landers said…
This is so elegant in your garden space.Hmmm, I'm thinking colored glass would also be reflecting beautifully in the sun.
BY the way, Beverly thinks you are a culinary genius. I need to go visit her, she's getting a little heavy on the keyboard, lol!
Kay said…
Oh wow! I love it! I can really see how this would add such interest to a garden. There's another blogger I need to share this with.
TARYTERRE said…
What a clever idea. I had never heard of garden totems before. Love the little bird in the bottom of yours.
My gosh, who would think of such a thing! That's amazing!
Ian's Girl said…
Thank you! Can't wait to make one!
Barb said…
They are so pretty. Thanks so much for the how to!
Linda Reeder said…
Kay of Musings sent me to your blog to see your glass totems. Cool!
We make glass flowers the same way: thrift store glass, Dap household/marine sealant, with a bud vase on the back side which we slip over rebar.
chickpea678 said…
Beautiful! I saw a lamp base made of tea cups that reminded me of you.
Alice said…
I made some last year and was too lazy and really did not have room to store them inside. Even with the brutal winter we had, they were all fine. But like you said, build so the rain drains off. I see people just slapping them together and wonder why they break or get moisture inside. Yours are beautiful.
Kay said…
I don't know if Linda has already sent you a link to her glass flowers, but just in case... here it is:
http://lindaletters.blogspot.com/search?q=glass+flowers