Small Garden Ornaments to Make

Updated April 17, 2017

A garden is not only a place of beauty and serenity; it's also a place where you can add creative touches to delight garden visitors. Tuck small garden ornaments in amongst flowers or herbs, or hang some from a tree to add a whimsical charm to your garden. It's not difficult to add flair to your garden if you learn how to make small garden ornaments.

Cement Garden Ornaments

It's fun to make small cement garden ornaments. The easiest way is to buy ornament moulds available at most craft stores. You'll need a small bag of cement and some sand and water.

Following the instructions on the cement bag, add sand and water to make your mix. A good way to gauge the correct consistency of your mix is to run a knife along the top of it and watch how quickly the line disappears. If it disappears immediately, the mix is too runny.

You can add pigment to the mix before pouring for added colour. Pour your mixture into the mould and let set according to instructions. Once it's formed and dry, pop it out and it's ready for your garden.

Tree Ornaments

Trees in gardens in Mexico often have small, colourful metal ornaments hanging from them. These ornaments are simple to make. You'll need squares of sheet metal that measure about 8 by 10 inches, a pair of tin snips, small tubes of oil paint and brushes, heavy-gauge sandpaper, thin metal wire, and a pattern on a piece of paper, such as a bird, fish or cat.

Sand the sheet metal and wipe off remaining dust. Outline your pattern onto the sanded sheet metal using a thin-point Sharpie or other kind of marker, then use your tin snips to cut it out. Puncture a hole into the top for hanging. Paint the metal and let dry. Brush on a sealant, such as Top Coat, and let dry.

String wire through and hang from a tree. Clusters of small garden ornaments create more visual impact.

Painting Terra-Cotta Pots

According to Claudia Brownlie, owner of, painting terra-cotta pots is an easy way to add your personal artistic stamp to your garden art. Water-based acrylic paints are well suited for this project.

If you're painting used pots, clean the surface before painting. Soak the pot in a water and bleach solution overnight, using about eight parts water to one part bleach. Use a wire brush to remove any debris. Soak the pot in water for about 15 minutes, then let dry thoroughly.

New pots just need to be wiped off. Keep water from seeping through to the outside of the pot by coating the inside twice using a clear acrylic spray, such as Krylon. Using your acrylic paints, apply a base coat to the outside of your pot before painting your design. Once you've painted the outside of your pot, let dry and then use two or three coats of Krylon to seal the pot. Let dry for a week or so before using. These garden ornaments are a great project to do with your kids.


Prepare your surfaces and seal properly to help prevent premature ageing from weather and sun exposure. Wear a smock, and paint on a covered surface. Water-based acrylic paints and oil paints do not come off clothing.

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About the Author

Lisa Brei is a freelance writer who has written for "Los Angeles Family" magazine, "L.A. Parenting" magazine and various nonprofit newsletters and blogs. She frequently covers education, family travel, gardening, children's health and infertility. Brei holds a Master of Arts in education from University of California, Los Angeles.