DIY Garden Gnome Brick Door Stop
One of my favorite current decorative accents is the Danish gnome. They are everywhere. I’m so glad they made the jump from the Christmas tree in 2018, to the garden in 2019. I will be decking my house out in garden gnomes and toadstools (love them too!) for the spring. My first gnommie project of 2019 is a Garden Gnome Brick Door Stop. Hopefully I will be using it to prop open the doors (to let the lovely spring air inside) very soon.
About 20 years ago, I taught an art class for 5th grade homeschoolers at the Woman’s Life program at my church. Each student hand-painted their own brick door stop. Several of the kids were unhappy with their brick, and never took their project home. As a result, I’ve been using these two fence post (we painted an outdoor scene) brick door stops for two decades. Luckily, one of those brick door stops received a Danish garden gnome makeover today!
- brick paver
- felt for backing
- yarn in the desired beard colors
- acrylic gloss sealer
- hair dryer
- glue gun and glue sticks
- scissors for paper and fabric
- 1″ sponge brush
- small stencil brush
- liner brush
- green, lavender, and pink craft paint
- Elmers Glue All
- wooden knob for gnome nose
- black marker
- an object with a 2″ diameter (for tracing the gnome’s head)
Trace the bottom of the brick onto the felt with the black marker. Cut it out with your fabric scissors ( you need a good, crisp cut), then paint a thick layer of Elmers Glue All onto the back of the brick. Apply the felt to the glue-covered brick. My brick had red felt glued on it before, so I removed it and scrubbed it to get it ready for the fresh, green look. Smooth it with your hands and make sure the corners are securely glued.
Paint the brick background lavender, blue, or purple with the 1″ sponge brush. Pounce in the grass with your two colors of green and the stencil brush, then use the liner brush and the dark green to make a few grass sprigs. You can see where I used the lighter green for the top of the grass. Paint a pink rectangle at the bottom of the brick for the garden gnome body. I always sign my painted pieces with my initials and the current year. You can rush the painting process along with a hair dryer. Once it’s dry, take it outside and spray it with the acrylic gloss sealer. You can use the blow dryer to dry it too.
Trace the 2″ diameter object for the garden gnome head. I used a salt shaker. Then draw in his hat and body. I’ve included a YouTube video below to show you how. If you’re not that artistic, gnome patterns are abundant on the internet. All you really need is a circle for the head, and a triangle for the hat.
Cut out the paper hat, and trace it onto the felt. Cut out the felt hat and set it aside for now.
Now for the fun part! Let’s make the beard for your garden gnome brick door stop. If you have a 2″ gnome head (and based the hat size on that 2″ head), your fingers will be the perfect size for wrapping the yarn. First, wrap the darker color, then a few strands of the lighter color, around your fingers. The two colors of yarn will give the beard depth.
Now, run a string through the center of your yarn loop, then tie it in a knot. Cut the yarn loop close to the knot on one side only.
Lay everything on your brick and see how your garden gnome brick door stop looks while you’re letting the glue gun get hot. Make sure you know where you want to place your beard. Mark the spot where it goes with a pencil, if needed. My gnome’s nose looks wet because it is ; I washed it (don’t ask).
Place a line of hot glue on the back of the beard, along the knot line, then place it on your brick.
Gently lift up the beard, and put some hot glue underneath. This will keep your beard in place, but allow the top strands to move freely.
Next. glue on the hat and decorative buttons. Don’t touch the hot glue directly with your hands.
Finally, glue on the wooden knob for your nose, and the green pom pom for the hat.
For the last step, trim the beard. I cut my gnome’s hair in increments, because I didn’t want it to drag the ground when I placed it against the door. I didn’t want to accidently cut it too short either. As my teenagers say, that would have been tragic.
You’re done! Before you know, it that storm door will be propped open with your Garden Gnome Brick Door Stop. Those gentle spring breezes will be blowing through your home.
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