Before you get started, sit down and brainstorm what you have on hand that could be made into a garden sculpture. Here are a few inspiring ideas to get you going:
Broken Yard Tools
Shovels, stiff or flexible rakes, wooden handles and smaller hand tools are great for tails, heads, bodies, wings, and feet for larger yard sculptures.
Supply hoses, valves, bathtub and sink handles, hose bibs, threaded pipes and a vast array of brass fittings are easy to assemble into an animal.
Furnace and Gas Fittings
Copper furnace supply lines or black metal gas pipes and fittings can be ideal animal armatures.
Metal conduit and fittings, copper wire, fuses, plugs, worn-out circuit breakers, lamp parts, and even outlet covers can be repurposed.
Hardware and Tin Cans
Magnets, nuts and bolts, and other hardware attached to tin cans create whimsical creatures. Door hinges, big bolts, springs, doorknobs, and a host of other everyday hardware are sources for animal inspiration.
- Assorted disassembled lamp pieces
- 2 tin cans
- Needle-nose pliers
- Hole punch
- Flower stake
Play around with the disassembled lamp pieces by arranging them in different ways to see what your final bird might look like. Choose a favorite combination.
A lamp rod is what holds everything together. Drill a hole in a finial (the fancy topper) if it doesn't already have one, and slide it and a few more pieces onto the rod to create the bird's head. (Don't forget to leave some extra lamp rod for the rest of the body.) Then, secure a flower stake to the rod.
Now it's time for the wings. Cut one long, wing-shaped piece from a tin can, punch a hole in the center and slide it onto the rod. We bent the wings on our hummingbird to make it look as if it's flying. Secure the wings in place and slide on a couple of pieces to round out the body.
Cut two tail feathers from a tin can and slide them onto the lamp rod. Use a washer with a nut to tighten the feathers against the body.
Prevent rust by spraying your bird creation with clear lacquer or acrylic sealer. Stake the bird in the garden or in a planter.