May/Jun
2016

Recycled Creations: Glass Garden Art

Written by Melissa Eggler Photography By Melissa Eggler
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After a very long winter, most Midwesterners are looking forward to the warmth and green of spring and being able to step outside into our yards. Many of us have made our backyards into wonderful little utopias and places that renew and calm us. One of the ways I’ve added fun to my backyard is with recycled glass garden art made from glass dishes, lampshades or other glass serving pieces. This is a great way to recycle items you may have lying around the house.

If you don’t have any of these items available in your basement or storage, you can start with a fun trip to your favorite thrift store where the selections are endless. There are so many different shapes, colors and designs of glass, china and ceramics, and bringing these all together creates a wonderfully whimsical and surprising creation, at a very affordable price. 

 Glass garden art pieces can be used as birdbaths, bird feeders or just beautiful art. They will withstand weather temperatures and changes, but it is recommended to bring them in during winter months. Have fun getting your backyard utopia ready for spring by recycling glassware.

MATERIALS

  • 5-8 pieces of glass, china or ceramic bowls, plates or serving dishes. Any size or shape is acceptable. As you are gathering your glassware, choose pieces that can go well together, mixing bowls, platters and other pieces. Make sure that the bottoms of the pieces are even and can sit flat on the next piece. 
  • E6000(c) Industrial Strength Adhesive or GE Silicone II Door and Window Adhesive, clear in color. It is very important to read and go by directions on these glues. It is recommended to let the glue cure for a few minutes before you place pieces together.
  • Newspaper to protect the surface you are using to create your glass garden art, as the glue used can damage surfaces if it drips.

HOW TO BUILD

First, choose a solid platter or bowl placed upside down for your base, so that it will sit firmly on the ground or in the mulch. Experiment with the pieces by putting them together without glue first. 

When you have decided on your final structure, start gluing. Continue adding other pieces, letting the adhesive dry for a few minutes before placing another so that they do not slide. You can make this as tall as you wish, being careful that it won’t be so tall as to topple over in the yard. Let your creation cure for 72 hours (per adhesive instructions). After that time, the glue will have created a permanent bond, and your garden art will not come apart.

SHARE YOUR CREATIONS

If you try making any of the Recycled Creations that I’ve shown you how to do over the last year in RochesterWomen magazine, please share your work with me. I’ll give you a shout out on my Facebook Page, “Don’t Judge A Book Recycled Creations.” Email photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or share with me through Facebook.

Melissa Eggler resides in Rochester and is a stay-at-home mom and artist. Her Facebook group entitled “Don’t Judge A Book” Recycled Creations has over 500 fans.

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