published Saturday, October 15th, 2011

5 tips on Do-it-yourself yard art

Yard art can add an unexpected touch of whimsy to a lawn or garden, said yard-art artist Jeanne Brice, who retired five years ago as the local director of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Brice began making colorful and interesting yard art several years ago after seeing handmade ones displayed at the Chattanooga Area Food Bank Teaching Garden tour. She was so inspired by the pieces that she began making her own. A year and a half later, Brice was conducting yard-art workshops in her home.

"When I first starting making them, I went to Goodwill (Brice's husband, Dennis Brice, is president of the local Goodwill stores) because I knew I could find items to use in my pieces. My credo is that if something makes me stop to look at it twice, I'll buy it. I work mostly with glass and ceramic."

Brice said she glues pieces together with Plumber's Goop, a waterproof, permanent adhesive.

"Making yard art is so much fun because I love to give people a chance to uncover their own creativity," she said. "And with a few tips, they can."

For more information on Brice's workshops, contact her at


1) Shop your house, thrift stores and garage sales for supplies. Yard art can be created from items you may have on hand but have tucked away, such as things that are chipped or one of a pair, or that can be had on the cheap. As you accumulate items, keep a list of what you still need. Dinner plates add width to a structure, for example, and you need toppers for the final touch.

2) Use Plumber's Goop to glue items together. This super-strong but flexible adhesive is available at many stores, such as Big Lots, Home Depot and Lowe's.

3) Find a large container for the base of your yard art. Use a punch bowl, soup tureen, salad bowl, jug or similar container, fill with stones or sand to weigh it down, or glue the base to a heavy stone.

4) Play around with your design before applying the adhesive. Keep in mind balance and form. Make sure your components are centered from all sides by using a water-based marker to assure proper placement, and then put glue on the inside of the mark.

5) When assembling the pieces, use Plumber's Goop sparingly. If you use too much, the goop will ooze out and drip onto the structure. Make sure the heaviest piece is at the bottom. Whatever piece you choose for the top, make sure it covers an open container (if you used an open container), so no water gets inside.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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