Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dishes Repurposed into Garden Flowers

Last year my friend and co-worker showed me a garden decoration she received for Christmas. It is gorgeous and adds an extra special touch to her already beautiful garden when it sparkles in the sunlight. I think it’s a genius way to repurpose old dishes.  
My mother in law is a really fabulous vegetable and flower gardener and I thought a couple of these would make great Christmas gifts for her.  My sister and I have been searching Goodwill and second hand stores and found some gorgeous dishes at extremely good prices. 

Old glass dishes in small, medium and large sizes.
Re-rod (for the stems) 
Rod (for the leaves)
Bolts, nuts and washers

Chop Saw
Welding machine
Drill Press 
Ceramic drill bit

In addition to the materials and tools you need an AL.

Al is a farmer which means he has all kinds of tools and supplies for this type of project. It also means he’s automatically super skilled and knows how to use them. Here is how it’s done.
First you cut the rod and rerod for the stem and leaves. If you look closely my eyes are closed…real safe.  Not recommended. 
IMG_3483 Next, use a vice to shape the leaves.
Then, have Al fix the funky shaped thing you made so that it looks like a leaf.IMG_3497
You can shape and reshape using the vice until it looks like you want.
Lay the leaves on the stem and weld them on.IMG_3513
I gave the welding a try, but it’s more difficult than it looks. Al is a pro. I was having trouble seeing and it’s not safe to close your eyes while welding either.  I need some serious practice.IMG_0130I love how Al is laughing. He’s probably thinking, “Why is she trying to weld the flower to the table…it’s the leaf to the flower.”
IMG_0133Al is giving me pointers. You know like…”Open your eyes.”  “Put the welder right here.” “You are welding the leaf to the stem.”IMG_0134What do you suppose Al is thinking here?  “What is she doing? Awww go ahead and weld the flower to the table I can chisel it off.” 
IMG_0121 Next Al welded on the “L” shaped stabilization piece…IMG_3517
and a bolt which is where the dishes will attach.
Then, Al drilled a hole in the center of each dish with a drill press.
IMG_0166 IMG_0168 Judy and I began to assemble the flowers. We stacked the dishes on the bolt then added a washer and nut and they were complete.
IMG_0190 IMG_0212
We were appreciative that Al and his Judy gave up their Sunday afternoon to help us out! Truth be told as you can see from the pictures, Al did most of the work. Thanks Al and Judy! 

Oh and I did call my mother in law yesterday and asked her not to read my blog until after Christmas so she’ll be surprised.


  1. You are hilarious. I am still laughing. One of my very favorite posts so far.

    This is crazy creative too - I love the pink! :)

  2. Oh my goodnes....hilarious! I bet Al was also thinking "Could we have just made 1 and not 4?" HAHA! Hey I think I almost got a shout out when you mentioned A sister in the second paragraph of your post! Very vague...weak! I will take my dishes back, thank you very much!

  3. These turned out so beautiful! I'm sure your MIL will love them!

  4. Yes she does. They are sooooo awesome and it is so neat that Megan and Kent made them. I even happen to know the owners of the workshop where they made them. This is why I had to promise for the month of December that I wouldn't read her blog. It was really hard not to cheat, but I didn't and what a surprise when they carried them in and I unwrapped them. Thanks Megan and Kent for such a cool gift. Mom

  5. Stumbled across this and it is so entertaining. I make these too but I use a VERY STRONG glue rather then drilling. I have tested some in the freezer to test for the extreme cold and the ones in my yard have been thru heat upto 95 and still going strong. The glue is E600 and I use rebar, copper and or conduit and do not add the stablizer bar, if you pound it into the ground far enough it works. Oh..yea...probably wondering if I dont drill.....I glue old bud vases or salt and pepper shakers on the backs of the flowers and voila!!! I have a FB page and am on Etsy...Dish It Up Whimsyz....Thank you for your posts and pix...I totally loved it...You have a great personality!

  6. OOPs...I am the poster above. I am not on Etsy..(not yet anway) I meant to say Pinterst.