How to Make a Garden Art Dish Flower

The most difficult part of making a plate or dish flower is finding the pieces to put it together. I find all of my pieces at thrift stores, garage sales etc.
Once you have some pieces that you'd like to use the actual assembly of your dish flower is pretty easy.
For this dish flower I'm using a vintage 9" silver plate tray bottom from a tiered stand, a large but low glass bowl, a blue decorative bowl, and a flower shaped candle holder.
So first the glass bowl gets glued on.
Always apply the glue to the raised parts of the bottom of each piece or they won't adhere well if at all.
Hopefully you can see in this pic that the glue is applied to the raised outside edge of the bottom.
Once each piece is down just wiggle it in place a bit to make sure there's a good connection between the pieces.
The candle holder also had raised parts on its bottom so that is where the glue was applied.
And again wiggle a bit once put in place.
Here's the glue I use... Marine GOOP adhesive. It's used in boat repair and is UV and water resistant. I've heard that E6000 works well also, but I've never used it for outdoor projects.
Tape all the pieces with painters tape for about 30 minutes so they don't move. Believe me that can happen.
Remove the tape, and let your dish flower cure for about 24 hours in a cool place. This is important, the glue won't cure properly in hot and/or humid conditions.
I find stainless steel tablespoons for 10 cents each at my local thrift store. The spoon should be flattened and bent like above.
Glue the spoon to the back of the flower.
Decide where the top of you dish flower will be at the front and glue the spoon accordingly on the back.
Tape the spoon in place and let it cure for about 24 hours. It needs to be fully cured before you place it into the pipe to display in your garden.
Before you glue the spoon make sure the end is not too wide for whatever pipe you're going to use. I use 1/2" or 3/4" copper pipe, but any pipe you have around will work. Just make sure your spoon handle will fit.
Once your dish flower is cured place the spoon into the pipe, which should be inserted into the ground about 10-12" to give it strength on windy days.
When picking pieces for your dish flowers take into account what it will look like from the sides.
The best thing about a dish flower is there's no watering required.
If you have cold and snowy winters dish flowers should be safely stored out of the elements to keep them looking good.
I added a vintage cufflink as the centre of the flower.
Now that you see how easy it is I hope you'll make one to decorate your own garden.
The possibilities are really endless. To see a few examples of others I've made please pop over to my site using the link.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Sandra K Salisbury
    on Jun 13, 2016

    I love your dish flowers! The components you use are so complementary to each other they create a beautiful flower. You have a great eye and you're very creative! My question is--do the silver plates tarnish and require polishing?

    • Charly
      on Jun 16, 2017

      My friend made one for me but the back of hers is flat. When I put it outside there's a copper rod that screws into the back and then I can stick it in the ground. When I bring it in for the winter, I take the rod off and I wash the flower and then I put it on my coffee table to use for a candle holder. Votive candles fit perfectly.

  • Charmaine
    on Jul 30, 2017

    How did you flatten the spoon ?
  • Hs37090
    on Sep 23, 2017

    Do you ever paint glass to suit your needs? How do you do it? All I get is brush strokes. It looks horrid. Tyvm. Love your work.
    • Color Me Thrifty
      on Sep 23, 2017

      Thanks so much. I've never painted glass to make dish flowers so unfortunately I can't help you with that process. I look for pieces that I love that will work in their natural state.

Join the conversation

2 of 104 comments
  • Jackie
    on Apr 16, 2019

    I made a bunch of these a few years ago. I loved them but the glue I used didn’t hold up and they all fell apart in the hot humid Georgia summer. I’ll try again with this glue. Thank you for sharing.

  • Lovesunique
    on Jun 16, 2019

    Very pretty. Adding the cuff link was icing. I think this is a way to use up old costume jewelry out in the garden where you can see and enjoy the shine it brings (along with the glass).

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