Introduction: Artful Fences
I like to enjoy beauty in everyday things. My family spends a lot of time in our backyard and recently I found myself looking at my drab fence. I was sitting in a patio chair with a blue glass bottled water; the sun was shining through it and it gave me an idea. Bits of glass lit up by the sun would turn our drab fence into a beautiful object to enjoy. This is a simple project that you can do with very little time and money. The results bring beauty and light into your backyard, you'll have a pretty spot to relax and gaze away.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
This project is very simple, all you need is:
1. A drill
2. A 3/4" drill bit
3. flat glass marbles, also known as vase filler, in the colors of your choice
4. clear silicone outdoor caulk
The drill bit should be slightly larger than the circumference of your glass bits, so you may need a different size drill bit based on the size of your glass marbles. We're going to use a loose fit.
Step 2: Drill the Holes and Find a Pleasing Color Arrangement for Your Marbles
Drill random holes in your fence pickets. Avoid placing holes where the framing runs behind the pickets. You want the sun to be able to shine through the holes to light up the glass. When you're happy with the amount of holes, start filling the holes with glass marbles. Choose marbles that are round, not oblong for a better fit. Be mindful of the fit, you want a loose fit on a dry fence. Wood will swell when it becomes wet or humid, this will squeeze the glass marbles and you don't want them to crack or dislodge.
Next stand back and look at the color arrangement, is it pleasing to the eye? Change the colors around until you are happy with the overall look you've created. Note how the sunlight changes the appearance throughout the day, some colors are more prominent when lit by the sun and others are more prominent in shade.
Step 3: Secure the Marbles With Silicone
Since we loose-fitted the marbles in the fence we need to secure them. Using outdoor grade clear silicone, squeeze a bead of silicone around the outer edge of the marble. The silicone will snug the marbles into the fence.
There is one other item to note, when selecting your glass bits, be sure not to use marbles that magnify. Although they can be very pretty, you don't want to magnify sunlight and set something (dry grass?) on fire.
Feel free to make patterns, or spell out words and phrases with your marbles. Or, use a heavier or lighter pattern to suit your tastes. Let your imagination run wild. When you've finished your project sit back and enjoy your new artful fence.