Make Your Own Miniature Yard Butts

Miniature Yard ButtsWhen it comes to tacky living, homeowners have unfair advantages over apartment dwellers. How can you leave Christmas lights up year round without a house to hang them on? How can you display ugly yard ornaments without a yard?

Now there’s a partial solution: whip up a batch of our miniature yard butts. You’ve seen the full sized versions bending over rural and suburban flower beds. Our adaptation works great with houseplants, container gardens, and is small enough to tuck in an envelope and send to someone special.

Supplies – these should be available at your local hobby or craft store

Our pattern – download and print it out.
. A length of thin, 4″ wide wood. We used 1/8″ thick basswood, since it’s thin enough to cut with scissors or a knife, yet is still fairly strong. We don’t recommend balsa, but try it if you like.
. An Xacto knife with a nice sharp blade.
. Acrylic paint in a variety of colors. Buy the cheap stuff.
. Acrylic clearcoat.
. 3M SprayMount® or its equivalent.

Stick the pattern to the wood
Trim some of the excess paper away from the edges of the pattern. Coat the unprinted side with a thin layer of SprayMount®. Allow it to dry, then press it onto the wood, as shown.Note that we wish to peel the paper off at a later stage – if the paper is pressed down before the Spray Mount® is dry, it will permanently adhere to the wood.
Cut it out
Using the Xacto knife, trim away the unwanted wood.
Mark the pattern lines
Trace the pattern lines with something thin and fairly firm – a ballpoint pen, a stylus made for that purpose(shown), a pair of nail clippers, or a very dull nail. Bear down on the pattern lines so that an impression is left in the wood.Tip: don’t bother to mark the polka dots. They don’t have to be precisely placed.
Peel the paper off
It should come off fairly easily. If not, you can sand it lightly with some fine grit sandpaper.You should be able to see the pattern lines you pressed down in the previous step.
Paint it
Our yard butt sports a white dress with red polka dots and a pastel yellow slip. The legs are of the overweight Caucasian persuasion, but feel free to make your yard butt of whatever ethnicity you prefer, as long as you’re not being racist.With a coat of green paint, the irregular area around the legs has become a green field. We’ve dabbed on some yellow and orange tones to make 70’s style “flowers”.

To give water resistance, give the entire painted piece several coats of clear acrylic.

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