Setting the Garden with Plate Flowers



When coming home from my day job I pass a house that has all kinds of metal garden decor for sale on the front lawn. There are metal birds, trees, obelisks, and beautiful large metal flowers. I've also seen this metal garden art at craft shows, and it can be quite expensive.

I thought that I could make my own scaled down (and inexpensive) versions of the flowers by collecting some thrifted items and putting them together.

Here are my finished plate flowers.

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This one is made up of a silver plated shallow bowl, a silver plated candy dish, and a silver tone flower brooch with a broken clasp.

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This one includes a rhinestone brooch that I already had that doesn't have a clasp at all.

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This one has a small diffuser bottle as its centre.

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I glued the pieces together to make each flower with Marine GOOP adhesive, which is clear and used with boat repair. It's very strong and can withstand being outside. Then I needed something to use for the stems.

A few years ago we replaced our aging deck swing and we kept all the parts, some of which I used for the flower stems. They were perfect because they were already green and they had flattened ends. You could use any type of piping that you think will work. I had these on hard, and I like to reuse everything I can.

If you use another kind of piping just be sure to flatten the ends that you're gluing to the backs of the plates with a hammer for easier gluing.

I bent the ends slightly and glued them to the backs of the plates with the Marine GOOP. I taped them with Gorilla Tape to secure them just until they cured completely. I used paint cans to hold the stems up on the angles they needed to be while curing.  

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And here are my finished plate flowers again. I still need something to put in the centre of the diffuser bottle of the blue one. I'll have to see what I'm able to thrift for that. I might find something tomorrow or not until next year. That's the fun of thrifting... you never know. But I'm patient and I'll know the right thing when I see it.

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What I really love about these plate flowers is that no two will ever be alike because everything is thrifted. The possibilites are endless, only limited by my imagination.

I see many more plate flowers in my future. If this summer's heat and drought is any indication of the summers to come I may plant plate flowers in my gardens next year instead of real ones.  LOL. At least I wouldn't have to water them. What do you think? Could you use some of these in your garden?

Thanks so much for reading!





To see my other garden art projects just click on the photo collage below.




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58 comments:

  1. They look awesome Tuula! Who would have thought plates would make such great "flowers"?
    Peggy
    The Painted Pear

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  2. OMG! Never thought about doing something like this before! This is so dang cute :) I bet you could do some really cute Christmas ones too--red and green stripes, polka dots and sparkles. I like the layering of different colors and textures. Awesome way to spice up the yard! Pinning this fo sho!

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    1. Christmas ones would be great! The possibilities really are endless, only limited by our imaginations. I've already thrifted alot more great stuff for more plate flowers. It's fun and addictive! Thanks so much for visiting!

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  3. These are so adorable!! I found you via Classy Clutter through my personal blog, Revolutionaries. I don't want to sound like a commercial because my intention in coming to your site was to see your project, but I also write for Crafting a Green World and they do a green crafts showcase every month for projects like this. You should enter-- we would love to feature you!! Here's the info if you're interested: http://craftingagreenworld.com/green-crafts/

    -Bonnie @ Revolutionaries
    www.revolutionariesblog.com

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    1. Thanks Bonnie! I'm on my way over to check it out!

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  4. Fun! Great craft to do with kids. Laura from Real Momma stopping by to say thanks for linking up to the Best of your Best Blog Hop!

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  5. Tuula I love these I have been drooling over some metal ones at the Yellow Daisy Festival here at Stone Mountain for years, They are $50 each so going to try this! Thanks for linking them up!

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  6. Those are so cute! I thought about doing something like this, but wasn't sure if they would hold up. Maybe using reflective paint a little so they can be used instead of those ugly things that are near driveways to guide people? We have them and I'm not a fan. Found you on Homemaker on a Dime and following :).

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    1. Thanks Doreen! Driveway markers are a great idea. Thanks very much for visiting!

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  7. Just beautiful. And so thrifty. I have purchased a few of these at our local garden art fair and as much as I love them, I have to say yours are just as pretty and at a fraction of the cost! Nice work.

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    1. Thanks Ann! I'm not sure what I enjoy more, reusing things or saving money. I guess they kind of go hand and hand. Thanks so much for visiting!

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  8. What a wonderful idea. I love how you used your treasures and made an awesome garden plate with them. Thank you for stopping by with your inspiring comment.

    Jody

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    1. Thanks Jody! I really enjoy using things in new ways. All these things were tucked away and not being used. Now I see them every day out in the garden. Thanks so much for visiting! I'll be sure to stop by your blog again soon.
      Tuula :)

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  9. You have a great idea here,where would you fine the Marine GOOP adhesive. I haven't been able to fine a glue that will hold to the back of my plates I want to hang on the wall, have tryed two kinds so far with out any luck.

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    1. Thanks! I found the Marine GOOP at WalMart, in the crafts section where the Gorilla Glue etc are. It took longer to cure than some other options I've tried in the past, but since it cured it's been holding strong. My plates have only been outside for about a week, but I've had a birdbath out for almost a month and it's holding great. I hope you find it and it works for you. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting!

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  10. You did an awesome job on these! I have seen them in other peoples gardens and didn't know how they did them! Yours are beautiful! Ana

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  11. How pretty and creative! I love how you used all the different bits and pieces to create the different parts of the flower! Thanks for sharing this week at GKWI!

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    1. Thanks Kathie! Putting these flowers together was a lot of fun. I always look forward to your party every week!

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  12. I cannot even tell you how much I LOVE this idea, Whimsical fun and unexpected - my kind of craft! I will be featuring this tomorrow night on my big ole compilation of tickled pink features.

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    1. Thanks so much Holly! These were a lot of fun to make. I'm thrilled about the feature and I'm looking forward to seeing it! I'm a regular reader of your blog and love it. Thanks so much for visiting and following.

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  13. So cute! I have been wanting to make some of these cuties for my garden!

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    1. Thanks Mary Ellen! They are so easy to make and really add something to my garden. And they make me smile. I appreciate the visit!

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  14. Excited to find this tutorial, as I saw these at a craft fair and decided the $25 to $35 price tag was too steep for me. I dont quite understand why you had to angle the posts on a paint can tho, are the stems not totally straight. I sooo want to make these as Christmas gifts.

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    1. I'm so glad you like my plates! The reason to slightly angle the stems is to get a flat surface on the backs of the plates. The plates all had raised edges on their bottoms so there was no way for the stems to sit flat without bending them slightly so the glue would adhere. Also, I think they just look nicer slightly angled rather than just straight up and down. More like real flowers. These would make great Christmas gifts because every one can be unique. Thanks so much for visiting!

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  15. These are sooo AWESOME! I just all your garden crafty inspirations.. I really am going to have to grab one of them and create something beautiful for my garden!
    Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party!
    xoxo
    Amie @ Pinkapotamus

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  16. Thanks for sharing this creative project on Simple & Sweet Fridays. Love it!

    Jody

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    1. Thanks Jody! It's such a great party! I'm glad to be a part of it.

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  17. I love love love these. So pretty and perfect for adding some shine to the garden. Thanks for sharing on Tout It Tuesday. Hope to see you tomorrow.

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  18. Featured your beautiful plate flowers at Gettin' Krafty With It! Thank you so much for sharing them!

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  19. Tubular these are fabulous! Thank you so much for joining us this week.

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  20. Featured your pretty plate flowers on Friday Finds today!

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    1. Wow, that's great! I'll be popping over to take a look. Thanks!

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  21. These are sooooo adorable!!! Thanks so much for linking up to the Green Crafts Showcase! I'll have the features up next Friday (September 7) so be sure to check back!

    -Bonnie @ Crafting a Green World
    www.craftingagreenworld.com

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    1. Thanks so much Bonnie! I'll be sure to check it out.

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  22. Oh my gosh, you are too clever! I love these! And I can't wait to see what you do next :)

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    1. Thanks so much Britni! Stay tuned!
      Tuula :)

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  23. Tuula,
    These plate flowers are awesome!! How very creative and so colorful. I'm with you, with the drought that we've had, it's not a bad idea to have these instead of real flowers. :0)

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    1. Thanks so much Jana! I really appreciate you stopping by and following back. :)

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  24. These are SO cool. My mom passed away and I'd like to keep all her glassware but I don't have the room to store it. This is a great way to use them and remember her every time I see them. Did you use the marine goop to secure the glass pieces together? What else could I use for the stems?

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    1. That would be such a wonderful way to use your mother's glassware. Such a sweet idea! Yes I did use the marine goop to hold the glass pieces together. I used what I had for the stems, but you could go to the hardware store and see what types of pipes could be used. Maybe copper plumbing piping might work, but I haven't tried that myself.

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  25. I had to smile when I saw your flower plates! I made dozens of them last summer. Have a ½ doz in my flower beds, but couldn't give them away, let alone sell them. I'd tell everyone it was the only flower that wouldn't die and would keep it's beauty all summer long. I think they just saw them as "junk". There loss, my gain. But you can only have so many of your own. I also made what we called "yard art" out of recycled glass pieces. ONe I liked so well, I had my husband put a light in and it's a nite lite in the guest bedroom. I'll try to post a cple of pictures.

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  26. Tuula, I probably have asked this before on Hometalk, maybe not. How are you putting them in the ground? Someone else's post said she used cement, well, I am not doing cement. I am assembling some now, but not gluing until I find a way to secure them in the ground without them eventually falling over. Hope you can help me. I love them!

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    1. Hi Bernice. Thanks so much for stopping by! To stake the flowers into the ground just make sure that whatever you're using for stems are long enough so they go down deep. I would make sure they go down into the ground by at least a foot. I don't like to affix anything into the ground permanently because I have winter here and I don't want them to leave them out in the elements. Also, I don't use any items that I cherish too much in case there's a freak storm or something, and if you're worried about wind place them in areas you know are protected. It's very windy here,and mine were fine last year until I took them in for the winter, but every location is different. I hope this helps!!
      Tuula :)

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  27. Simple, but very creative > the best combination. You're the bomb.

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  28. These are so cute,it's a great way to use & preserve the memories of gramma's plates.
    I wrote a book called The Twisted Garden, check it out on amazon.com.
    I just set up a website - thetwistedgarden.blogspot.com, stop over!
    I love rummaging around in thrift shops ;)
    cindi

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  29. Cute. I made a bunch for a craft show last yr. I used copper bell hangers (Lowe's in the plumbing section) glued on the back. Then opened the screw, put on the poles, and screwed it down.

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  30. I use hockey pucks with a hole drilled into the side and insert a piece of rebar into the hole. I don't have a source for used hockey pucks but buy the cheapest ones I can get. The rebar can be inserted into a copper pipe if you want that look for your flower. They look nice stuck into a stack of planted pots.

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  31. That's a nice alternative. Your flowers look like they would be an attractive addition to the garden and beautify your home. The material you used should resist the weather and other wear and tear well too.

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