Another Plastic Pot Statue

trianglejohnOctober 24, 2002

Heres the main duo in my display garden at the fair.

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garden_of_mu(Z7/8 PNW)

Wow! That is so neat! What a creative idea.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2002 at 5:27PM
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Dora Vann Snider

John, went over to the writers forum and read your posts. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. You really did a great job!If you still lived at Oklahoma City, you would not be too far from us. We live close to Amarillo. I was born close to Okla City at Davenport. Good Luck!
Dora Lou

    Bookmark   October 26, 2002 at 1:56AM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Really neat statues John. You should teach a class on how you made them.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2002 at 7:33AM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

John, that is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!!! Love it love it love! Great job!


    Bookmark   October 26, 2002 at 11:27AM
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Love it! Gotta have some for the vegie garden!


    Bookmark   October 27, 2002 at 2:08AM
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wvgal(z6 WV)

LOVE THOSE!!!!! Tell us more!!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2002 at 10:16AM
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My friends and I get together each spring and do a garden craft. We would love opportunity to make these, if you would be willing to share your instructions.

You are extremely creative. I saw your other pot people also.
Thanks for sharing the pics!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2002 at 4:05PM
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Great job. Please, Please, Please share instructions for making these.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2002 at 2:19PM
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Well, I was gonna teach a workshop at the local Botanic Garden on building these but they haven't called to arrange anything sofar, so it might not happen. The problem with the statues is that they require some pretty expensive connectors to make them sturdy enough to hold plants on all three levels (base pot = pelvis, middle pot = torso, top pot = head). All can be bought at any home improvement store in the PVC pipe area. The hardest part was making the boy statue with two legs, which is why the girl statue only has one! I bought the pvc pipe that was like 4 inch kitchen drain pipe around 10 feet long and cut it into thirds for the three legs. In the rack above the pipe are all the sewer connectors that take drain pipes through floors in your house. I bought three of the type for 4 inch pipe that do not have a valve (they cap the pipe instead of letting water flow through). At the same store I found the cheap plastic pots for hanging baskets that are about 2 feet wide and 8 inches deep. They were made of some really thin plastic so I bought some wood circles at the next door craft store that fit perfectly into the base of these pots (I'm usually not that lucky!). With the wooden circles on either side of the plastic pot base the connector could be screwed into place, making the pot able to have legs without any looseness - you could fill the pot with gravel if you wanted to and it would support that much weight. In order to make two legs coming out of the bottom of the boy pot I had to cut the flange off of two connectors so that they would sit really close to each other and still be under the base of the pot (they did over hang the base by an inch on either side). Then at the hardware store I bought floor flanges in the metal pipe area and screwed them into the center of wooden circle on the inside of the plastic pot, into the flange I screwed a short section of metal pipe - they sell them in the bins right beside the floor flanges, they are already cut to about 10 inches and threaded on each side. After you screw it into the base pot you can slide slightly wider pvc pipe over the top of the metal pipe. You can buy pvc pipe elbow or connectors that make a cross so four pipes can connect in a "T". I found a small plastic trashcan that fit the proportions at Target and used a hole saw on the hand drill to cut 1.5 inch holes on the bottom and the two side up near the top for arm holes. I had to lay everything out on the floor to get the proportion just right. But pvc pipe is easy to cut so you can just keep cutting it shorter and shorter until you get the pipes the right length. I fed the arm pipes into the trash can after I mounted it onto the pipe running up the middle of the chest. I used another metal floor flange with a really short piece of metal pipe to make a neck on the bottom of a 1 gallon flower pot (plastic). I used a dremel hand held saw to cut the eye and mouth holes in the plastic pot. I used hot glue to draw features and decorations on the face. I used odd metal things that I found at the lumber yard for sort of crowns ontop of the heads. I made arms out of pvc pipe with connectors and I used rubbery gardening gloves with wires and plastic bags stuffed into them for the hands. Everything got painted with a base coat of cheap black spray paint. Areas that had trouble with the paint got an extra coat of expensive black spray paint. Then I used this new spray paint product that looks like rusted metal (I fooled everyone at the fair - no one knew that the statues were made of plastic until I told them!) You spray on an orange coat and then after it dries you dab on this purply latex coat which takes a while to dry and after it has aged for a day or so really looks like rusted metal (even up close). The paint stuck to everything - and is still looking good while the statues weather out in my backyard. I spent maybe $85 on the supplies to make two people statues and the two garden god heads that guarded the entrance to the garden.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2002 at 4:42PM
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By the way - they also sell some special paint at the craft stores that actually has tiny bits of iron in it. So you can paint it on, let it dry, and then paint on an activator that causes the metal bits to rust. You can even use the activator on real metal objects to get them to rust instantly. I found it too expensive for the pot people statures but it would work well on something small. The spraypaint technique cost about $10 and they have other colors like "leather", "ivory" and "patina". You could also just use one of the speckly stone like paints if you didn't want it to look rusty.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2002 at 2:27PM
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Did anyone see the pot statue they had on the diy channel yesterday?I believe it was from Disney world.I've been trying to find pics of it or any others.Please email me if you know of a place thank you.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2003 at 8:55PM
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anne54(East Coast)

I love the whimsey, humor and fun of it, just darling.
I hope you don't mind--I clicked on the instructions,
then "select all" from the Edit menu, then "copy" and pasted the info into Notepad.

Does anyone know a better way to save a post?

Thanks for showing us this wonderful thing

    Bookmark   June 28, 2003 at 1:14PM
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John, those are just amazing!!!!!!!!! I'm wondering how I can get my boyfriend interested in this kind of thing. Really, really cool.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2003 at 5:46PM
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ceebee(8b FL)

Love them! Thanks for the instructions.

Anne, I just copy and paste into a new message and email it to myself.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2003 at 10:35PM
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Since this thread is still alive and kickin' - I guess it's time for an update.

Someone visiting the fair took a photo of the "pot people" and sent it in to a book publisher, who contacted me about using a photo of the statues. After a couple of back-and-forth exchanges they hired me to write the instructions (with photos) as a chapter for a book they are publishing next spring on Scarecrows. I did everything they asked and even took the photos, they've already paid me, I've already spent it, but I no longer hear anything from them so maybe it's not gonna happen - I'll let you know.

If the book does come out, the local Botanic Garden is planning an all day workshop on making Pot People Statues. For that workshop I will have hand outs showing all the pieces needed and explaining how to put these guys together step by step. After that happens I will post the instructions and handouts on Garden Web. Right now I am busy making a miniature castle for this years state fair garden exhibit (my theme is Harry Potter) so I don't have time to write it up.

Currently the pot people statues are living at the J. C. Raulston Arboretum where they change the plants seasonally. They have weathered ok but there has been some paint flaking off and the two legged statue doesn't have the "up-the-center" support that the single leg statue has, he kinda leans to one side. So if you build these be careful to keep the head pot light or even not planted at all.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2003 at 1:55PM
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anne54(East Coast)

Thanks for the tip Ceebee. And John, when these old
threads come alive again, I often wonder if the
originator even knows about it or reads the posts.
Very good to hear from you and thanks for the updates.
Your life sounds like fun.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2003 at 5:12PM
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