Build Your Own Wooden Lawn Ornaments

Lead Image
What You'll Need
1/2-inch sheet of plywood
Jig saw
Sander or sandpaper
Paint (spray paint or exterior acrylic)
Wood putty
Paint brushes and roller
Carpenter's pencil
Black permanent magic marker pen
Finishing nails
Several 1x2-inch lumber pices for stakes
Safety glasses

Holidays, special occasions, a party, or even a creative urge is the only excuse you need to build your own wooden lawn ornaments. Whether you want to attract attention to your yard, start a new hobby, or even a yard sale, or holiday, these simple decorations are a great way to get attention. And they're easy to construct, too!

Step 1 - Pick a Design

Once you've decided on the reason or occasion for the lawn or garden ornament, such as a Halloween decoration, or a way to identify what vegetables you've planted in a certain row, think about a simple design. You can search the Internet for images, or use a child's coloring book to get ideas. The simpler the design, the better. Let's say you're going to create vegetable shapes to let people know what's growing in your garden. The basic shapes you might use could be a tomato, a carrot, a radish and a squash.

Step 2 - Layout Your Design

Place your plywood on a table or other surface where it's easy to reach and draw on. Using a carpenter's pencil lightly draw the outline of the object on the plywood. If you aren't artistic, it's okay to cut out a design and trace it onto the wood. Don't worry about being too exact. From a distance small errors won't even be seen.

Step 3 - Cut Out Your Design

Once you're happy with the outline of your shape, darken the line with the pencil so you can easily see it. Then use your jigsaw to cut it out. Use a fine-toothed saw blade to avoid ripped and jagged edges. Work slowly and make sure you wear safety glasses as jigsaws throw up a lot of splinters and you'll be working close to the wood to see the line you're cutting on.

Step 4 - Attach Your Stake

You'll need to create a support to make your ornament stand up. Take the 1x2-inch lumber and cut two 45-degree angles at one end so you have a pointed end you can drive into the ground. Fasten the stake to the ornament with finishing nails. How far up the ornament the stake must go depends on the size and weight of the ornament. Generally 4 inches is plenty.

Step 5 - Prep and Paint Your Ornament

Once you've cut out your designs and attached your stake, you can fill any holes or gaps in the wood design with wood putty. Allow that to dry, then sand the wood smooth. Apply your primer and let it dry. Once the primer is dry use your pencil to make any markings or decorative designs on the ornament. If, for instance, you want tomato leaves, draw them in lightly.

Using the pencil lines as guides you can then begin to paint your ornament. You can use paint or your permanent black magic markers for lettering or finer details. But remember, these will be seen (usually) from a distance, so make your lines heavier. Allow the ornament to dry overnight before staking it in the ground.

Remember to clean the stakes of mud and debris when you pull up the ornament, and store them in a cool, dry place so you can use them the following year.