DIY Garden Ideas: Glittering Glass Accents

Give your garden some glimmer and glam with accents made from glass and ceramics.


Stained glass window

Summer may be winding down but there’s still plenty of time to add some easy accents to outdoor rooms or to beds and borders that may be showing some blank spots. Fashion these easy-to-make and affordable accents from pieces found at tag sales, thrift shops, and flea markets. Check the recycling bin for colorful bottles and jars.


Orange clear glass totem

An overturned long-neck bottle secured to the bottom of this fanciful totem serves to anchor the piece to a length of galvanized pipe. Amber glass marbles bring the hue of the colored glass dish to the clear- glass segments of the sculpture.


Glass totem with bottle

Make your own glass totem for the garden with these easy instructions.

What You’ll Need

  • 3-5 pieces of old glassware
  • 1/2-inch copper pipe (or a length of rebar)
  • Epoxy

Arrange your clean and dry glass and ceramic pieces into totems or shapes that imitate natural floral forms. Use a reversed bottle as the bottom piece of your sculpture.

Using a weatherproof epoxy adhesive, glue together the pieces (glue the bottle bottoms up) and allow to dry undisturbed for at least 24 hours for a solid bond. Push the pipe or rebar several inches into the ground. Place the bottle end of your finished sculpture over the pipe/rebar stake.


Glass flower on stake

Make a flower ornament using the same method of assembly to the point of attaching the reversed bottle. Instead, glue the flat part of a ½-inch pipe cap on the bottom of your glass ornament.


90 degree pipe fitting

When dry, attach to your copper pipe using a 90-degree fitting for an outward-facing flower.


45 degree pipe fitting

Or try a 45-degree fitting for a more upward-facing flower.


Glass totem in border

A stack of colored and clear glass pieces creates a vertical focal point in a mixed border.


Large glass totem

Look in the attic or cupboards for old punch bowls, cake stands, light fixture globes, and other underused glass pieces to build a charismatic construction that stands on its own.


Large totem in border

Use the heaviest, largest item as the base; glue the pieces together using a weather-resistant clear-drying epoxy.


Bottles on rebar stakes

Blue-and-lavender-shaded vintage bottles blossom on iron rods to mimic a flowering perennial and energize foundation plantings.


Ceramic garden posy

Three layers of plates form the petals and a small bowl becomes the center of an eye-catching posy resting amid the foliage.


Clear plate birdbath

A stack of clear glass plates and compote nestled in groundcover catch enough water to create a butterfly watering station and birdbath.


Bottle tree

Recycle pretty beverage bottles to reuse outside. They add surprising pops of color and shimmer when partnered with textural foliage. Place them on a handmade iron bottle tree or on bare sturdy tree branches.


Bottles on post

Make a bottle tree by hammering long nails or spikes into a wooden post, then covering with wine bottles. Keep angles the same to mimic real trees.


Glass gazing ball

When you use colored glass in the garden, consider the bloom colors nearby. Blue coordinates with almost everything.


Glass beads on trellis

String glass beads on wire to dress up a garden trellis and mix a bit of glitter among the foliage.


Glass beads on wire

The color impact of airy wrought iron is punched up by adding wire strings of colored glass. Vary the length so it doesn’t look contrived.


Glass flower in border

Bring sparkle and shimmer to your garden with glass and ceramic accents and watch the glistening effect blossom in the sunshine.


Blue glass teardrop

Copper wire encircles a piece of art glass so it can hang on a shepherd’s hook. Enhance the look with wired beach glass or colored stones.


Ocean glass mosaic

Use bits of broken glass and glass marbles to design an oceanside mosaic scene. Use mastic to attach glass pieces to ¼-inch plywood or cement board. Apply white grout over the entire scene and wipe away excess with a moist sponge. Allow to dry and hang on a fence or wall.


Teacup birdfeeder

Glue mismatched yet coordinating teacups and saucers to 4-foot stakes. This cute creation serves double duty as a bird feeder.


Vintage glass insulator edging detail

Glass insulators that once covered telegraph and telephone poles provide a color burst edging a border. They come in turquoise, clear or other colors.


Glass coffee table

Fashion a fab patio coffee table from a glass tabletop balanced on a pair of garden urns.


Marble-filled urn

Fill the urns with pebbles to weight them and top with a colored mix of glass marbles.


Glass bottle side table

For a side table, consider a crated French wine bottle topped with a glass disk.


Water spigot and pail

Project and photo by Lisa Sherrer

Celebrate life’s greatest natural resource by repurposing old glass to simulate dripping water.

What You’ll Need

  • Spigot
  • Enamel bucket
  • Drill
  • ¾ inch drill bit
  • 6 mm drill bit
  • Approx. 20” rusted pipe
  • Broken clear blue glass and clear glass (windows, bottles, cups, glass marbles)
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Tile snips/glass cutter
  • Wire
  • Clean stones
  • Gorilla glue
  • Glass water droplet

Wearing safety glasses, drill several small holes with the ¾” drill bit in the bottom of a bucket so that any actual water accumulation can escape if need be. So you don’t have to fill the entire bucket with glass, fill it about ¾ full with whatever kind of clean stone you choose.

Wearing gloves and safety glasses, use the tile snips and/or glasscutter and cut various shapes about the size of quarters, dimes and nickels from the glass. Place the glass pieces in the bucket and fill to the top until they cover the stones completely.

Drill a hole with 6 mm drill bit into the back lip of the spigot. Loop a small piece of wire through hole and attach the droplet. Put gorilla glue around the base of the spigot and attach it to the pipe. Let dry.

Poke the pipe in the ground where you plan to display the bucket. Place the bucket underneath the spigot for the effect of water dripping. If you don’t like the idea of sharp glass in your garden, use only tumbled glass or glass marbles you can find at any craft or discount store.

Tip: Remove glass and ceramic (especially unglazed) ornaments before winter in northern gardens. Any moisture inside will expand when frozen, causing the pieces to crack.


© Caruth Studio

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  1. Debra Steilen

    I love these beautiful, inspirational projects! I have never used epoxy before, though. is it easy to work with? What are the downsides, if any?

    • Thanks, Debra! Epoxy is as easy to use as any adhesive that comes in a tube. The only downside I can think of is that it takes time to set. It’s a permanent adhesive and pretty much waterproof but that’s what makes it ideal for outdoor applications. We like JB WELD or Gorilla, both available at Lowes and the like. There is also a marine grade adhesive that is even more durable. Another option for a permanent bond is E-6000 industrial adhesive.

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