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Ever since we started working on the big backyard makeover, I’ve been searching all over for cool-looking garden decor for a reasonable price. I can hear you saying “good luck with that”…and I have to agree, as I found out “cool-looking” and “reasonably-priced” are about as compatible as me and snakes (yikes! Just writing the word gives me the creepies)! So, as usual, I tried to use whatever we had hidden in the dark corners of our wonderful resourceful basement.
What a basement right? But seriously… you can find almost anything in our basement. I promise you, one day I will give you a tour so you can see it with your own eyes. That is of course if you can promise that you won’t be calling me a hoarder 😉
I found quite a lot of hidden treasures: a metal teapot, a broken iron base/stand of something which I couldn’t identify, some bamboo paper plate holders, and a bunch of Dollar Store garden plaques and ornaments. Other than the Dollar Store stuff, all were either Put & Take finds or given for free. Aren’t I a lucky girl? 🙂
I actually found more bits & bobs in the basement which I will also be turning into garden decor. As we are just about to complete the second area in our backyard, you’ll be seeing them in my next garden decor post. Anyway… enough of me giving spoilers… let’s see how I made this set, shall we?
I started with the Dollar Store plaques. They were cute enough, and I liked the phrases on them. Besides they were cheap enough not to be upset if they broke.
But the issue was, they didn’t have anything in the back to hang them with. See?
Then again what do you expect for a dollar? Oh well… I still love my Dollar Store!
This was the point where I realized I could use the bamboo paper plate holders to hang them. But first I wanted to darken the color of the plates to have some contrast, otherwise the grey plaques would get lost in the whole thing.
Using very little paint on a chip brush, I brushed some FolkArt Chalk Paint’s Java color on the plates. It is a very nice dark brown chalk paint. I tend to use it to darken the color of wood or wicker things. As it is chalk paint, it dries faster than any stain, and it almost looks like as if the piece was stained. In a way it is my little shortcut.
See why I wanted a little contrast? Now the plaques pop!
Next, I heated my hot glue gun on the high setting and started hot gluing the plaques on the darkened bamboo paper plate holders. As the plaques were to stay outdoors the whole summer, I decided to use quite a good amount of hot glue to set the them on the bamboo.
To hang these plates, I cut a piece of wire and wove it through the bamboo to create a hanging loop.
And that was the end of the garden plaque decor!
Let’s move on to the next one: the teapot garden decor!
Click on ‘Page 2 of 2’ below to continue with the teapot garden decor tutorial.
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First off, I want to say that the idea is not mine. Two years ago, I saw a picture on Christy’s Front Yard Makeover One Year Later post (from Confessions Of A Serial DIYer), and I pinned it to one of my garden-related Pinterest boards. Two weeks ago, going through my pins again for some inspiration, I saw that picture…and the next thing I know, I was adding the dangling beads to my teapot. That is how quick and easy it was 😉
I started with priming the teapot. The original red color was so ugly, I couldn’t wait to change it. While the primer dried, I got on with fixing the broken iron stand. All it needed was a bolt and nut, so that was pretty easy.
Then I placed the pot on top of the iron stand, trying to see the easiest way to put these things together. The iron stand had a two-sided screw on the top, but it was too short to hold the teapot. I replaced it with a longer one…
…and I poked a hole at the bottom of the teapot using a nail and a hammer.
When I poked the hole, I made it so it would be a little bit off-center, closer to the spout.
I did it this way so when I placed the pot and tilted it towards the spout the whole thing would look more balanced, not like how it looks in the below picture.
See what I mean? But it is all because of the teapot I had: it has an odd spout that sticks-out too much. If your teapot / coffee pot doesn’t have an odd spout like that, just poke the hole in the center of the bottom and you should be fine 🙂
After poking the hole, I placed the teapot on top of the iron stand to see if it fit and looked decent. Seeing everything was how I wanted, I spray painted the whole thing with 2 coats of Rust-Oleum’s beautiful blue color: Robin’s Egg. Then I set it aside for a day to give the paint a bit of time to dry properly and harden before I fiddled around with it to attach the beads.
Meanwhile, with a pair of pliers, I re-arranged the beads to look like drops. These beads were part of a garden ornament that I got from Dollar Store. The original ornament was a big, cheesy-looking flower with lots of different colored beads hanging from it. Luckily, I had two of them which had enough blue and green beads to make the water drops.
The next day, when the paint was nicely set, I attached the beads to the post with a piece of wire and a washer. To do so, first I cut a wire long enough and pushed it in from the opening of the spout to have one end coming out from the spout and the other coming from the pot (as shown in below pictures).
Next, I attached the jewels to the wire coming out of the spout…
…and pulled the other end of the wire until the jewels were snug against the spout.
To the other end of the wire, I attached the washer then started wrapping the wire around the washer until all the slack was wound up and the washer was snug against the spout’s opening hole inside the pot.
Now that the beads were attached, I placed the pot on top of the stand, tilted it a little towards its spout and screwed the nut down about 3/4 of the length of the double-sided screw. Note, that I didn’t tighten the nut, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to tilt the pot. The nut is there just to prevent the pot from coming off in case the whole thing got knocked over. The friction created by the ridges on the screw against the hole poked in the bottom of the pot is enough to keep everything in its place under normal conditions.
See how easy that was? Now I have a beautiful garden feature for a couple of bucks!
Before I go into the beauty shots, I wanted to note that if you don’t have an old metal base like I had, a spindle and a piece of wood for the bottom part can be the way to go. Also, as the beads I used are heavy enough, my teapot stays in a tilted position without any issues. But if you are having trouble keeping your pot in a tilted position, then you may want to try hot gluing your teapot / coffee pot to the spot where it touches the base (as shown in below picture).
And now the beauty shots!
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