Here is Yard Art

So on Pinterest  you can find all these ideas…

pinterest pics

And if you’re in “Whimsical Mode” and into mosaics, you will probably want to try some of those ideas yourself. Especially if you’re trying to make your backyard drought-resistant and just a tiny bit bohemian (read: “eccentric” if you must).cactus in cornerThis is from September of last year, but other than the fact that the nopales have grown some and the bush at the right fell over during a storm this winter, it looks about the same now. Somewhere in the process of looking at mosaic yard art ideas, it dawned on me: they are pretty and you don’t have to water them. A win-win situation if you ask me.

Here are broken plates, what doth hinder me? (I’ve found that this Biblical phrase from Acts 8:36 has many practical applications to the “artist/crafter” life.) gems with glueOkay back to the DIY post. Which, by the way, should really be called DIM, as in “Did it myself” instead of “Do it yourself.” I would never dream of telling you how to do some of this stuff, because A) I don’t usually know what I’m doing, B) it might not work for you, and C) I don’t want anyone to hurt themselves (for prime examples see “Don’t Try This at Home” or “Just Add Water”). So in this blog I’m  really just showing you how I did it and then you can be the judge of whether you should try it or not.two partsDisclaimers aside, I had a plastic wastebasket (among other things) on the patio and I thought it would be great for what I had in mind. I figured I could mosaic different shapes and put them together somehow to form a beautiful piece of drought-resistant yard art.beginning of postI even set the pieces out by the nopales to get an idea of how they might look from different angles.working on baseIt wasn’t long before I had gotten some of the grout done. (I believe in the “grout-as-you-go” method. See “Because I Can.”)

The smallest pot was pretty flimsy plastic, and this is how I found out three things: A) I still don’t like unsanded grout, B) You can put sanded grout on top of unsanded but you might not like it, and C) It’s going to crack any time the lightweight plastic is bent.

So you might as well take it off and throw that one away.

Fortunately I realized early on that the sturdier plastic pot I was going to use for the base was too curved for the size of the tiles I had been using. I decided to make designs on mesh and then use Thinset to affix them to the sides of the pot. I thought it worked out pretty well.butterfly sideIt made sense to me that the less curved part would be able to handle glass gems and pieces of broken plates. Unbeknownst to me, it wouldn’t. mesh on potIt could be because I had used Liquid Nails instead of Thinset, or maybe the plastic surface was too smooth, but once the glue dried the larger pieces just popped off as soon as they were touched. So I put some mesh tape on the surface and started over.

The mesh idea worked a lot better, and the tiles and gems stuck nicely with the Thinset. All grouted and ready to go!

Some ideas in various stages of completion…

The next piece is being made from a lamp I got at my neighbor’s yard sale.2 plates and plant

random brick2Other progress from the past month include mosaic plates, more grout on the (not going to be a) birdbath and a random brick.fabric“Okay, Mom, here is fabric. Can we sew something now?”

12 thoughts on “Here is Yard Art

  1. I love your sense of adventure! I vaguely remember doing some mosaic artwork as a child and your post makes we want to try it again! Though I am not an artist and don’t expect my results would look like yours! Beautiful! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I guess it does involve a certain sense of adventure to have broken plates all over your patio😜I think mosaics are super fun and relaxing.

  2. What brilliant ideas you have! Even if they don’t come off first time, I admire the way you persevere. Such a good idea for a dry climate, too. Here it is very dry in summer but very wet at times in winter. I’m guessing that once your mosaics are finished, they’d stand up to wet weather? Or would they need varnishing maybe?

    1. Hmm…that’s a good question. I put a water resistant sealer on them, and spray with a clear coating, but when it does rain they may have to be covered with something. The “mushroom” (former birdbath) in the front yard has held up pretty well to the rain but not perfectly. 🤔Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you like them!

  3. They look fantastic. You’re like me, learning as I go thanks to trial and error! I’m yet to post about my latest learning curve. I also love your determination and humour through it all 😄

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