Glass Garden Totems
Make these totems from old glass dishes, vases, lamp parts and more
- Avoid colored glass that has been painted. Over time the paint will begin to peel and this usually happens on the inside where you can't do anything about it. A lot of people have begun to use ceramic pieces. I have not done this yet, so experiment, if you like.
- To display your totem, make sure the bottom piece of glass on the totem is a vase, wine bottle, toothpick holder or something similar that a pipe can fit into. I use copper pipe, re-bar or PVC pipe that has been painted; it just depends on the size you need. Make sure the pipe you are using fits the bottom piece well before gluing everything together. There should be no need to glue the pipe to the totem if you've planned your pieces in advance. I buy the gray PVC conduit that is in the electrical section of my home improvement store. Spray it with a paint specifically for plastics, and you shouldn't have any trouble with it peeling.
- You can make the pipe fit better inside your glass totem holder by purchasing white PVC adapters and fittings (or copper ones if you are using copper) from the plumbing section of the home improvement store like the ones you see in the photo to the right. You can also wrap the ends in duct tape if you just need a little bit of tightening. I use this technique quite often.
In addition to totems, you can put the pieces together and make plant stands and birdbaths. You can also display them as free-standing pieces. Large plates/platters or microwave microwave turntable plates work great for bases.
I've also created glass mushrooms using bowls and vases or toothpick holders as the stems.
These totems to the left look like hose guides to me. I suppose if you have a lot of the right pieces that are the same, you could do just that. This piece is made up of two glass saucers, one ice cream dish and a bud vase.
- Choose dishes that have the flattest surface as possible where you will be gluing them.
- Let adhesive cure 1-2 weeks indoors before putting them outside.
- I prefer to use Lexel for the adhesive as it is clearer than silicone, but may take up to 30 days to cure.
- Use pipe fittings to add size to the PVC to make a more secure fit.