Picture of Superhero Garden Gnome Mod
Evil lurks in the shadows of our backyards.  Rogue snails.  Radioactive skunks.  My yard has a maniacal possum that will stop at nothing until he controls the entire area behind the compost pile.  That's why every backyard needs a hero.  One that can clean up the garden and make it safe for all law abiding neighborhood critters.  This Instructable will show you how to turn an unassuming mild-mannered garden gnome into a tiny butt-kicking purveyor of justice.

Step 1: Choose your Hero

Picture of Choose your Hero
The first thing you'll need to do is determine your gnome's alter ego.  Spend time with the gnome.  Sleep with it if you have to.  Look into its eyes...its soul.  Look around your yard too.  What type of issues are the yard inhabitants facing?  Are there other-worldly invaders? Common street thugs?  Neighbor's dog?  This will help you determine if you need a dark vigilante type or a hulking all-powerful brute.

Additionally, you'll want to consider the physical feature of your gnome.  Is it standing? Sitting? Does it have distinct features that lend itself to a specific superhero?  In the case of the three gnomes I have here, there were definite characteristics that led me to choose the heroes I did.  From here forward, I'll describe the steps to create a Batman, Robin, and Spiderman gnome set.  These techniques can be used to make any garden hero.

Batman and Robin: One gnome is in a proud, alert stance.  The other is sitting with his head resting on his hands.  This gnome pair struck me as a great duo.  To me, the obvious choice was the classic Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin.  But I thought I'd change it up a bit and make the standing gnome be the Boy Wonder and the sitting gnome be the Dark Knight.  I thought this was more unexpected.

Spiderman: I also had a crawling gnome.  As I was holding it and positioning it in different orientations, I noticed that if I held it vertically it looked like it was crawling up a wall, and the knee area had a hole in it to use as a place from which to hang it.  So to me Spiderman seemed like a no-brainer.  I could position the gnome so that it looked like Spiderman clinging to a wall.
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Gary Gnuman3 years ago
Just wanted to thank you for the Instructable! Been wanting a Devo gnome for years, but never had a clue as to how I could pull it off.
pgalimba iv3 years ago
where can I buy these unfinished gnomes???
The Papier Boy (author)  pgalimba iv3 years ago
Try eBay. That's the best place I have seen.
The biohazard symbol on the possum's forehead was a nice touch.
DarkRaven4 years ago
Poor Batgnome! The person that I made the gnomes for has decided to keep them inside he is too worried about something happening to them. Here is my spiderman it's hard to see from the picture but you get the idea. Thanks again for the instructable!
The Papier Boy (author) 4 years ago
A bird pooped on Batgnome's head.
DarkRaven4 years ago
Pleased with how my gnomes came out thanks for the instructable
The Papier Boy (author)  DarkRaven4 years ago
Fantastic! Where did you end up getting the gnomes from? They look great.
This site had all the gnomes you had and then some so I was pretty excited when I found it also the prices were great compared to the paint your own pottery places in town which was my first try (they wanted $30 for a gnome only about 5 inches tall) I actually have another gnome making it's way to me in the mail now he got left behind cause of bad weather so I'll be making yet another one, I'll post pics whenever he gets here.
Aeneas4 years ago
This is a brilliant idea. With a bit more development, you could try to get this sort of thing into a gallery.
DarkRaven4 years ago
About how tall are each of the gnomes?
The Papier Boy (author)  DarkRaven4 years ago
the standing gnome is about 13 inches. They are measured here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Nook-of-Justice/#step2
bajablue4 years ago
WOO-HOO! Big CONGRATS to you!!!!!!
Hey what primer did you use/suggest??
The Papier Boy (author)  Firmsoggytoast4 years ago
I used white acrylic plaint. If the gnomes you use are unpainted then there is no need to prime.
Thanks, this was the coolest idea I've seen in a while
justjimAZ4 years ago
Congratulations on being featured by MAKE!
The Papier Boy (author)  justjimAZ4 years ago
kkern34 years ago
Dude - Felicia Day just posted your project on Twitter. Kudos!
The Papier Boy (author)  kkern34 years ago
I must be old or out of it b/c I don't know who that is. It's nice though.
I'm doing Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy!!!

Nice idea and great way to modify an existing product.
The Papier Boy (author)  balloondoggle4 years ago
Great. Make sure I get to see the finished product ;)
The Papier Boy (author) 4 years ago
The Nook of Justice...HQ for the Legion of Extraordinary Gnomes: http://www.instructables.com/id/Nook-of-Justice/
The Papier Boy (author) 4 years ago
just realized I forgot Batman's eyebrows.
OMG, the yellow lines! You rock. I'm going for Iron Man!
Ldybugsrus4 years ago
From what I have read about this clay if you bake in your home oven you should bake it in an oven bag the kind you would use for a turkey or ham. it keeps any polymer toxins off the walls of your oven. I use a toaster oven for my clay pieces but I don't think a gnome will fit in it. I love this idea though there are so many places to take it. :o) thanks for the instructable.
The Papier Boy (author)  Ldybugsrus4 years ago
That's probably a good idea. Especially now that I have a young daughter in the house. Although for this particular project the toxins help give the gnome its superpowers. Thanks.
LOL I love it, ok well give the gnomes a super concentrated dose in the oven bag. the gnome gets all the toxins keeping your oven "Kryptonite" free. LOL :o)
Genius! I love these gnomes!
The Papier Boy (author)  bradmumpower4 years ago
Genius is a strong word. But you're right in this case.
bajablue4 years ago
This gnome is ADORABLE and I love the humor in your very detailed instructable!

5 Stars and you'll get one of my votes, too!
The Papier Boy (author)  bajablue4 years ago
aww, thanks.
Even more than liking the instructable, I loved just simply reading this. Thank you for the inspiration and the read!
The Papier Boy (author)  venusenvy4 years ago
bajablue4 years ago
Voted... Good Luck!!!
The Papier Boy (author)  bajablue4 years ago
that's sweet. Thanks.
rosebud19434 years ago
I don't understand these instructions. Where does the original come into the picture in order to make the copy off of? Please elaborate.Maybe I'm just dumb. Thanks
The Papier Boy (author)  rosebud19434 years ago
Clacsi4 years ago
Sims3 Mysterious Mr. Gnome
XD lol
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