Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

Learn how to create your own DIY garden totem from upcycled lamps!

Hello! It's time for another Thrifty Chicks challenge!

If you're new here the Thrifty Chicks is a group of blogging friends and each month we get together (virtually) and participate in an upcycling challenge project, this month's challenge is garden art!

I'll share my take on garden art and then be sure to check out the other ladies' projects at the end of the post!

Upcycled Lamp DIY Garden Totem

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem
I must give credit where credit is due, I originally saw this project on Karen's blog, Somewhat Quirky! Be sure to check out her totems, they are beautiful!

The great thing about this project is it checks 3 items off the Operation Garage Cleanout list... three vintage lamps I had been saving for this very project! Nevermind the fact that I had to go thrift shopping for three more lamps 😏 I think it's ok since they never even made it into the garage hoard!

Here are all my lamps for this project, six lamps total (one is not showing in this picture).

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

Once you have gathered the lamps you want, follow these instructions to make your own DIY garden totem:

First, take the lamps apart and remove the electrical parts to get to the globes.

The lamps will have a nut on the bottom and once you unscrew that the whole lamp will come apart!

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

I cut the wires to make it a little easier.

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

Once all the globes were removed from the lamps wash and dry them so they sparkle in the sunshine!

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

At this point, I discovered that two of my globes were not "true" colored glass but the color was "painted" on with some sort of colored film instead.

It's hard to tell when you are buying lamps but I think you can see the areas where the coating has flaked off.

I'm not too worried about it because I figure if it all comes off I'll still have a pretty plain glass globe and maybe I can try painting them at that point!

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

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Once all the lamps were disassembled, decide which metal lamp parts you want to use as spacers between the globes on your totem. Spray paint them the color of your choice. I used one of the Hammered Metal Spray Paints.

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

The globes and lamp parts will be threaded onto a piece of rebar stuck into the ground.

I'm not gonna lie, this was the most difficult part of the whole project! I had to call in some brute force (my boyfriend) and the neighbor's sledgehammer to get this thing far enough into the ground!

It's a 10' piece of 3/8" rebar and it's down in the ground 4', leaving 6' for my totem. I also added a little concrete into the hole for more stability. You may not need that length of rebar if you are making a shorter garden totem.

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

Once that had set up overnight I started creating my totem!

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

It would have been nice if I could have used 1/2" rebar but that wouldn't have fit through the holes in the lamp parts. Even with 3/8", I had to widen a couple of holes in the metal lamp parts (I used tin snips to do that).

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

Begin your garden totem with one of the metal spacers and then your first upcycled lamp piece.

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

Add your second spacer and the next upcycled lamp.

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

Continue until you use your last upcycled lamp and the last spacer.

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

The rebar sticks up a little on mine, but I'm on the hunt for a longer piece of something to cover that up.

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

I think it looks better to have a piece of garden art like this tucked in behind other plants and shrubs.

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

garden art totem pole

I hope that having it tucked back a little will shelter it from the wind... I mean I don't think it's going to go anywhere since the rebar is halfway through the earth and surrounded with concrete but it's still a little nerve-wracking to have all that glass outside like that! Time will tell! **UPDATE: It has been 2 years since I created this, it has been outside the entire time, through wind storms, heavy snow, and rain and still looks like the day I created it**

Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem

Be sure to check out the other talented thrifty chick's projects! Just click the link below to be taken to each of their posts!


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Upcycled Lamp Garden Totem