I have updated these instructions to include a video walk-through. If you are new to making garden art items like this, this video (in two short parts) will show you everything in real time so you can see how simple (and inexpensive) it really is to make a totem or bird bath for your garden.
Glassware totem garden art is very easy and inexpensive to make. All you need is some used glassware and outdoor adhesive. And the desire for greatness.
Pick any combination you like of old plates, trays, bowls, and vases, and arrange them to form a unique piece of outdoor art.
I added a plate to the top of this totem so it could be a little bird bath for my garden. The small song birds love access to fresh water that is near the ground.
Because I’m a fan of debt-free living, I challenge myself to find supplies at really good prices. I got these pieces for a grand total of $4.50 at the local thrift shop. I’m always on the lookout for durable glass pieces in any colours I like. Bold blues are a personal favourite. If you live near me and go to the same thrift shops, please pick a different colour to obsess over.
Tips For Making A Glassware Totem or Bird Bath
- Outdoor silicone sealant /adhesive. I use CLEAR (not white or any other colour) GE Silicone II or Weldbond. You can buy these in cartridges that use a caulking gun or in a squeeze tube.
Here’s some examples:
- GE Silicone II Household Glue, 2.8 oz | Tube – labelled as ‘glue’ OR
- GE Silicone II Clear Kitchen Sealant, 10.1-Ounce Cartridge #GE5040 | Cartridge for caulking gun – labelled as ‘sealant’.
- Dap Waterproof Adhesive Sealants are also very good.
Check the product reviews of the sealant you choose and make sure the product is fresh (check date on label).
- Used glassware pieces you like. Check thrift shops, yard sales, your kitchen cabinets.
|I put books on top of the vases to help press them together while the adhesive is drying.|
- Wash and dry the glassware and keep your hands off to ensure the surfaces you need to bond are not oily.
- Decide on the arrangement of your glass pieces: You want the surfaces you are joining together to be snug fitting. Some glass is warped, so test it out first.
- Use small glass plates to provide a flat surface between two vases that might otherwise be impossible to join.
- Work in sections: join items together in groups of two. When dry, join these units together.
- TIP: I keep an old comforter on the floor around the drying glass pieces so they won’t break if they fall over. It happens.
You could embellish the surfaces with any weather-resistant items like flat-bottom marbles, coins, trinkets, and so on. Just make sure you keep a bird bath water area easy to clean and never use anything deeper than an inch or two or the birds can slip and drown.
- See lots more ideas for colours, styles, and combinations through this Google image search for glass garden totems.
- l want to see what you make! Join us at Facebook and post your photos there.