…Plus 5 ways to attach them to the ‘stems!’
Our Flea Market Gardening experts show how to make dish flowers, how to attach the ‘stems’ and how to put on the finishing touches!
Why we love dish flowers
Mainly, we, at Flea market Gardening, love ceramics of any kind! We love the idea of using recycled and unloved dishes in our favorite places, our gardens. Even off season we can get some color there. We love the search for just the right colors, patterns and sizes to complete the project. That’s part of the fun! Making dish flowers can be done in or outdoors and in any season, too.
‘How to’ …drill or glue?
Nell Stelzer shows us her first dish flowers ready to drill. She lays them out, by color and shape and plans them out. “This is before picture of my two dish flowers. No glue was needed for these. ” Nell tells us.
Nell uses the most common way to secure dishes together, an electric drill. She says, “My father in law drilled the holes with a drill bit made for glass. He used a drill press for the small pieces, then a hand held drill for the dinner plates and larger bowls. He finished with a Dremel tool and a flare grinding stone. It takes a bit of time and patience, but it’s the most secure way to hold the pieces together.”
“I then put it together with nylon bolts and washer to cushion between pieces and used nylon wing bolts to fasten on a piece of conduit but not too tight. I have added a red gem to this one since I posted the pic to cover the bolts head. Hope that helps! Have fun with it! The nylon bolts, washers and wing nuts came from the hardware store.”
If you glue your plates and bowls, use GE Silicone II Clear Caulk or E-6000 glue for outdoor use. Both have been tested by our group for years. Let the glue dry for 24 hours.
Decide on either all glass or all ceramic for your flower. It makes for an expert look.
Jeannie Merritt says, “Let me give all you new garden art designers ( like me) a lesson sadly learned from experience. Let the glue cure! DO not, I repeat, do not get overly anxious and move, touch, or even pick and show someone your project until it has completely cured (dried)..”
For stems, use:
- Aluminum pipe
- Rebar rods
- Wooden dowels
- Copper pipe
- Recycled railings
- Curtain rods
Five ways to attach stems
“This is the dish flower with the bottle attached to the center back. I used a small old curtain rod because of the bottle opening is small, then inserted into aluminum tubing. I need to get some smaller diameter rebar to use next time.” Nell says
Lisa Wilson says, “I flattened the bowl of a serving spoon with a hammer and bend it nearly in half. I glued the spoon part to the plate..make sense? The handle fits into a pole. GE Silicone II weatherproof is the glue I use.”
Nell says, “The finished leaves here are attached to the tube. I attached the plate to a pint flat bottle with GE II clear silicone weatherproof caulking for windows and doors.”
Nell shows how she made the leaves. “This shows the leaf making for my sunflower plate flower. I used an industrial piece of aluminum, a leaf for a guide then used a sanding block to rough up. I scored the veins in and cut out the leaves with kitchen shears. I sprayed them with Krylon outdoor paint. I had long stems that I wrapped around the tube the sunflower is in.”
Ann Elias says, “Making my first glass flowers is what started me looking at plates in a whole new way! My hubby drills everything and then I use a screw to secure the plates together…then a wing nut to screw it to the copper tubing. I bent the tubing around a paint can to get the shapes of the leaves. I no longer use copper…to costly…and people didn’t want to pay that much.”
Delores Elliott tells us, “For leaves I used green plastic coated wire found in the hardware store electrical department and attached them with zip ties. I sprayed the 1/2″ electrical conduit green. Through many different trials, I found I like gluing square glass salt shakers the best for mounting the dish flower on the stem.”
Dishy flower gallery