CraftSanity on TV: Making ‘Shovel People’ Garden Art

by jennifer

Today I’d like to introduce you to Sally K. Shovel. I made her last night in preparation for this morning’s “Take Five & Company” TV segment and the girls just named her a few minutes ago. (It seems that “Sally” is the go-to name around here. We have a lots of dolls and stuffed animals named Sally and now we have a blue-haired shovel.)

So what’s up with Sally K. Shovel? Well, is a personified shovel with blue mop hair, bulging mini-flower pot eyes, bejeweled spoon handle earrings, a broken spoon nose and bottle opener mouth wrapped with red yarn. Sally K. was inspired directly by Albert J. Ackerman II, the man I know simply as “Dad.” When I went to visit my parents last weekend in Metro Detroit, I was delighted to see what my dad has been making with flea market finds and odds and ends from around the house.

In the photo above, he’s posing with one of his earliest designs that features broken spoon eyes, a paintbrush nose and dial from an old stove. The ears are giant washers and the earrings are bent spoons. The hair is a mit for washing the car.

Okay, here’s today’s TV segment:

These shovel people are really fun to make and great for adding personality to the yard. I hope you’re now inspired to make one of your own.

Here’s what you need:

– a shovel (Use one you have or pick one up at a thrift store or yard sale. You can buy new, but probably won’t have to if you put the word out that you’re looking for old shovels. And keep your eyes peeled on garbage day. I picked a big snow shovel out of a stranger’s trash today on my way to this morning’s TV segment. )

– Gorilla Glue, or other strong, waterproof adhesive (Be careful, I got glue on four fingers when I was making Sally K. and had an heck of a time getting the glue off by soaking my hand in hot, soapy water. Wear gloves and save yourself the grief.)

– clamps to hold pieces in place while the glue dries.

– metal stake & plastic zip ties

– Hack saw

– Hammer

– Masking tape

– random assortment of large washers, beat up spoons, hair combs, cotton string mop refills, mini-flower pots, bottle caps, drawer pulls and whatever else you can get your hands on that looks like you can use it to make a face

* spray paint (This is optional. Some people prefer to paint the shovels before they start working with them, while others enjoy the weathered look.

Step 1: Select a shovel and round up pieces to make a face. Saw the handles off a couple spoons and use the part you eat with as eyes. Then hammer the handles in half to make earrings. Use washers to make ears and plastic combs or a cotton mop replacement to make hair. Spoons and knobs make good noses and drawer pulls can serve as mouths, mustaches and men’s hair styles.

Step 2: Once you have your face pieces selected, use masking tape to secure them in place to “test” your design. Then pick up the pieces one and a time, removing the tape and gluing in place. Use clamps to secure pieces until the glue sets.

Step 3: Connect the shovel handle to the metal stake with zip ties. (About half the stake should overlap the shovel.) Then pick a spot in your garden to display your garden art.

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