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Our kids - now in their low to mid-twenties - have always loved making things. And we've always enjoyed the things they made, covering walls, tabletops and the refrigerator with their art and creations while they were growing up. Now that they're grown and (mostly) out of the house, we still have this fairly large collection of things that they don't want, but that can be hard for us to part with.

Among our favorites are the little ceramic and clay sculptures they made. We tried putting them around different places in the house and then discovered they make beautiful garden accents!

Step 1: Patio Accents

One year, in their art classes, the kids made these clay houses. This one is more than 20 years old, and has sat in a patio garden for a while now, with no ill effects from the weather. It's become a Lizard Mansion. The lizards love it, since it has a little lizard-sized doorway and a mouse king to welcome them in. It's a great place for them to go to get away from the cat!

Step 2: Rock Garden Features

The little ceramic figurines go especially well in a rock garden, sometimes looking like primitive art features. Pieces with bright sunny colors especially stand out and add a whimsical touch, made even more compelling when you have a personal insight into the young artists' whimsy.

Step 3: Hidden Delights

Tucking different pieces among foliage is like having year round Easter Eggs to surprise and delight.This is an especially useful trick for pieces that might not be in the best of shape. The clay hornbill parked among caladiums is struggling, these days, to keep his bill on. So wedging him among the stems serves to anchor his beak and to provide some nice color among the already colorful leaves.

The piece tucked into the lantana is in poorer condition, but the cover of thick leaves makes it look like elven art. You can also arrange broken pieces into rocks, to appear to be coming out of the ground, for another interesting look.

Step 4: Potted Plant Art

Old ceramics look good in potted plants, too, adding another visual element to any container garden.

So dig out those old art class pieces, the kids' or your own, and give them some new life in your garden or yard!

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Bio: At the Eureka! Factory, we love making things, and thinking about things, and learning about things, and enjoy helping empower others to a curiosity driven ... More »
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