Life in the outdoors can be hard on a garden gnome. Lawn mowers and garden tools bump and knock them, running children collide with and trip over them, and unexpected early cold weather can crack them. Follow these instructions to fix your broken ceramic, terracotta or resin garden gnomes.
Step 1 - Clean and Dry the Broken Area and Pieces
Brush the broken area with a wire brush to remove chips and debris. Wash off mud, leaf bits, leaf mold and other outdoor debris with a piece of looped terry cloth and warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and bring the gnome and its pieces into the house to dry.
Step 2 - Reassemble the Broken Pieces
If the part broken off the gnome is also in pieces, reassemble it and glue it together with waterproof, all-purpose glue. Use an adjustable clamp to hold the pieces together in their original shape while the glue dries.
Step 3 - Reattach the Broken Parts to the Gnome
Place the broken parts back on the gnome as closely as you can to how they were originally attached. This will reduce any cracks to their smallest size so you can fill them fully and effectively with the waterproof glue.
Step 4 - Apply Glue and Secure the Joins
Apply the glue to the pieces and secure the joined edges to the gnome. Keep the joined edges in contact with the gnome's body as the glue dries. Clean off any extra glue that oozes out of the joins so it will not dry all over the garden gnome.
Step 5 - Allow Glue to Dry Fully and Test the Joins
Keep the garden gnome indoors for 24 hours after its repair. Gently wiggle the glued area to ensure the join has set completely. If it is raining outside, allow the garden gnome to stay in an extra day to avoid dampening the new glued patch.
Step 6 - Repair a Cracked Garden Gnome
Use waterproof silicone caulking to fix a garden gnome that is cracked but not broken into several pieces. Widen the crack slightly with a thin shim of plywood, squeeze the caulking into the crack, and press the two sides of the crack together. Pull out the shim, and wrap a length of thin wire all the way around the garden gnome to hold the repaired section together.
Step 7 - For Cracked Terracotta Gnomes
If your gnome is hollow and made of old terracotta, you can repair it from the inside and out with a combination of resin epoxy glue, such as C7, and silicone caulking. Turn the gnome upside down to find the inner side of the crack. Coat the inside area with the resin epoxy glue. Fill the outer crack carefully with the silicone caulking. Push it into the crack with toothpicks or a very thin caulking spatula. Smooth out the outside edge of the crack, and secure it with wire around the entire gnome. Allow the gnome to dry for 48 hours before putting it back outside.