How to create yard art in five easy steps

Anyone can easily create one-of-a-kind yard art or accents to add whimsy and individuality to a yard.

Courtesy of Helen Yoest
These are the items you need to make your own yard art of garden accent.
Courtesy of Helen Yoest
Place the object upside down and add welder's glue and a copper cap. Let rest for at least 24 hours before taking the next step.
Courtesy of Helen Yoest
An old-fashioned metal coffeepot makes an intriguing accent in a flower garden.
Courtesy of Helen Yoest
A vase outdoors in the garden is unexpected but appropriate.
Courtesy of Helen Yoest
Many different kinds of knickknacks can be turned into interesting accents in the garden.
Courtesy of Helen Yoest
The finished piece is an attractive accent in the garden. With a candle inside, it's also functional.

Gardens, like your home’s interior or adding the perfect piece of jewelry to a stunning outfit, are enhanced with accents.

Making your own accents adds your personal wit and whimsy to your garden style and are easy to do. Armed with a little know-how, you will be emptying cupboards or heading off to the flea market to find items to make your own garden art.

How about a little teapot for your formal rose garden? Roses and tea are a nice combination, don’t you think? Of course, there are butterflies for your butterfly garden, candles to light paths during an evening soiree, or even a small bird to sit happily in a container garden. [To see examples of items that you might use, click on the arrows at the right base of the first photo above to see the third, fourth, and fifth photos.]

Making your own garden art gives once-loved knickknacks new life in the garden. With a little imagination, found objects can be repurposed into garden art.

What you need to get started

  1. Found object from flea market or cupboard.
  2. Half-inch or 3/4-inch copper tubing from the plumbing section of a hardware store.
  3. Copper tubing cap to fit the tubing you bought (1/2 or 3/4 inch).
  4. Tubing cutter.
  5. Weather-resistant adhesive.

The pictured example [see top photo) also uses a $4 candle.

How to do it

  1. Ensure that the accent is clean and dry, with all tags removed.
  2. With the accent upside down and on a level surface, apply a heavy dollop of weather-resistant adhesive such as Heavy Duty Welder Adhesive to the bottom of the object and set the copper cap into the adhesive. [See second photo above.] Let dry for at least 24 hours.
  3. Cut the copper tubing with a tubing cutter to the desired length, plus about 6 inches to go beneath the surface of the soil. I buy 10-foot sections to get several stakes from each, at the exact height I need.
  4. Insert copper tubing into the cap.
  5. Place in the garden.

The cap on the accents not only allows the accent to be attached to the stake, it also allows the accents to be traded out -– candles at night, flower vase during the day, for example. For better stabilization, hammer a section of rebar into the ground and then place the copper tubing over it.

When placing accents in your garden, remember that the garden accent is just that – an accent. Ultimately, the whole garden is the work of art. The garden accent serves as a small part of the bigger picture.

Most garden accents are best placed where they're only whispering for attention. Tuck the accent in among the flowers and shrubs. Garden accents speak best when whispering in the shadows of the foliage and flowers.


Helen Yoest lives in North Carolina and writes about Gardening With Confidence. She's a garden writer, speaker, and garden coach. She's also a field editor for Better Homes and Gardens and Country Gardens magazines and serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum. You can follow Helen on Twitter and Facebook. To read more by Helen here at Diggin' It, click here.

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