how to make glass totems?

quinceloverFebruary 19, 2007

Flagtruck, Slowmedown and others

I am soooo new to all of this and I feel way out of the loop. How did you put together the beautiful glass totem poles I'm seeing in your pictures??!! Did you drill holes and run a steel rod thru the pieces? How did you attach the wine glasses I'm seeing in the totems. Man, I'm so inspired by these. This is my next project. Right now I'm doing some mosaics and doodling with other things. I'll have to send pictures of my copper trellis I made. I just joined this website last week. I've only posted once. But I love what I'm seeing and reading. I need to share too! Keep those creative juices flowing!!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Quincelover- first of all, Welcome to the Garden Junk forum! We all have a wonderful time here! Most of the Glass Totems are just stacked glass pieces, glued together with GE Silicone II. The trick is to find pieces that fit well together so you get good contact between them, and of course you want them to look good together! The ones on posts have a bud vase glued on, upside down, so the pole fits up into it. Some folks have made totems using components from old lamps that already have holes up through the middle, so the pole fits into them. A word of caution... TOTEMS ARE ADDICTIVE!! Searching for pretty glass pieces is sooo much fun! You may very well find yourself with boxes and stacks of glass, just waiting for perfect companions to complete a totem!! Enjoy, and be sure to post pics when you finish some!


    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 6:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Welcome! Post those pictures we love pictures here.

Some people use a heavy plate,like from a microwave as a base and don't put them on a pole.

If you use the search at the top you will find enough to keep you reading for HOURS.They are addictive!!


    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 6:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kathy and Maria

Thank you for the helpful info. Sounds like the glue is the thing. We have a flea market up the street that opens on the weekends. I can't WAIT to scoot up there. I've always been in love with colored glass, especially in the sun light. LOVE IT. I'll share with pictures whenever I can. I've got to get my husband to help me out with that. I'm computer challenged. Thanks again!

Lu Ann

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 6:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is GE silicone II for windows and doors.....

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Welcome to the Junkyard. I seldom visit this side anymore cuz I hang out on the Stained Glass and Mosaic side - it's on "That Home Site". You said you dabble in mosaics - do visit us and show us some pics.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 7:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Welcome to the forum Lu Ann. So glad you joined this wonderful, funny, very helpful, fantastic group of people. Pretty soon you'll be checking in every day just for the fun of it. Here is a pic of the garden totem I made after being inspired by the ones I saw in this forum. I used a stained glass hanging kitchen light I found. It looks brown in color but is actually a purple color in the base sections. I took the light apart and then reused the pieces in the totem along with other glass pieces. The base is heavy so it sits on the ground and doesn't fall over and I didn't have to use rebar into the ground. The next round vase sits perfect in the top of the base. Again, welcome, hope to hear from you often.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just found this site a few days ago and I can hardly wait to get started on some of these projects. We moved into a new house and have a whole yard to landscape.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I recently saw the glass totems at a local garden show and would like and am trying to make my own. I just finished this evening trying to "glue" the pieces together using GE Silicone II (only I used the type for Kitchen and Bath -- my husband picked it up for me) -- don't seem to see a great deal of difference in reading the labels other than the mildew issue, but perhaps you have more input as to why the Window and Door type is better.

When you use the sealant, how much do you apply and how long does it take to set up (the label doesn't provide this information -- with the multiple pieces the complete totem seems like it will be quite heavy and will require a really strong bond. I am just so afraid of not having the bond hold strong enough when moving it or placing it in the garden. I thought I'd give as gifts, but I would be horrified to have the pieces fall apart easily. I also thought of using epoxy, but the application of having to mix the two parts together doesn't sound feasible -- especially if I want to make several. Any advise you can give me would be most appreciated. Another question, you mention re-rod for the post -- will the totem sit straight with just the re-rod stuck up through the bud vase at the bottom or how do you do this application.

I am so thankful for your help. I love the photos -- they are most helpful as well.

Many thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 11:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Start small with your totems!

The window and door work better, because windows and doors are outside, and baths are not! (at least that's what I think!)

Start from the bottom, find glass that has a good 'lip'- I've tried wine glasses, but the silicone always ooozes out, and I don't like to see it!

Put two pieces together at a time. I give it at least 24 hours, in a moderately temperature room- my craft room has no heat, so I blast a space heater in there!

Then attach two/two pieces together. but like I said, unless you want to scare your family, neighbors, cats with a loud crash, start small!!
and save that special piece for when you are feeling more confident... experience speaking here...

Experiment,and you'll get the feel for it, I promise...

once they are set, pull HARD on them- they should stay together, but if they don't - you didn't seal them well enough- scrape off the silicone with a razor blade (carefully!!!) and start over. You'd rather have them fall apart now, rather than in your garden, or if they are a gift, in someone else's garden! EMBARASSING!!!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Someone told me to use Marine silicone because it holds up to water so well...haven't tried it but it makes sense!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 7:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My sister and I are new to this craft so we are experimenting! We found silicone at Ace Hardware for half the price of GE S II. Like I said, we are experimenting, so we're about to put our totems in the garden and see what happens!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good luck!!!
The first silicone I used said '100% silicone'
and things fell apart in a couple of weeks.
I have had Bowling balls and totems with the
GEII outside since around 2003 and most are still together.
The ones that were not together usually
got knocked over and had to be re-glued.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 7:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
adina72(z5 CNY)

I use Lexel for my totems. It takes a while to cure, but it doesn't get cloudy and it hasn't fallen apart and I leave my totems out all year round. I get very cold temps and lots of snow too. I have a page on my website on how I make mine if you'd like to take a look. - Dottie

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Make Glass Garden Totems

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 10:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
My Summer Project - Potting Shed Makeover
We had a cute little shed used for storage of our mower,...
Changing Landscape part TWO
The time has come. A new idea is a must come spring....
bowling ball revisited
Just finished a couple of bowling balls for the garden;...
Hanging Garden Globes
Here's one of my favorite garden junk projects ever:...
Flower Bed Bed Ideas
I was given two white plastic fence panels (similar...
xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska
Sponsored Products
Transitional 1-light Outdoor Wall fixture in Oil Rubbed Bronze
Charlotte Peacock Feather Glass Bowl - MULTI COLORS
$4,500.00 | Horchow
Elk Lighting Vanity 3 Light Vanity in Aged Bronze & Copper Mosaic Glass
Beyond Stores
Deep Lichen Green Niko Swing Arm Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Progress Lighting P3515-81 Three-Light Close-To-Ceiling With Etched Glass Bowl
Progress Lighting
Classic Lighting Corporation Barrington Bronze Oxide 12-Light 35 Wide Chandelier
$529.10 | LuxeDecor
Congress Oil Rubbed Bronze 14-Inch One-Light Sconce
$149.00 | Bellacor
Kichler 340108 13 in. Universal Glass Bowl - 340108
$35.98 | Hayneedle
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™