Bottle Bottom Plant Stakes

Plant stakes are a huge seller in an annual show that I participate in, but I don’t usually make them. Well, I DO NOW!! Using recycled glass is tricky because I can’t just fuse on a glass spike, and I don’t really like fusing large gauge metal directly into glass, it doesn’t feel very durable to me. So, I fluffed around and figured out a little method using heavy duty stainless steel barbecue skewers and fiber. Let’s have a look:


Materials for Recycled glass plant stakes

We’re making 4 stakes using different glass combinations:

Yellow unrolled bottle glass sheets

2 brown beer bottle bottoms (from the same 6 pack, checked for compatibility)

Green domed bottle bottom (with unrolled glass from the same bottle)

90 Coe cobalt blue fusible art glass (I know, I know, but someone will want it, so I just did at the same time)

Bottle Bottom Molds

Kiln Wash

Fiber paper 1/4″, but. you can use different thicknesses, it can be trimmed

Stainless Steel BBQ Skewers with the round head

Heat shrink tubing (not shown)

Locktite Extreme Glue (not shown)

Step 1

We’re going to be fusing in a small pocket at the back of the plant stake to insert the BBQ skewer, so the first thing we need to do is trim the fiber paper to fit the skewer. I left mine square at the top in this tutorial, but I think I will try trimming it to be rounder on the next one. Why do it this way? Because I think it looks cleaner than glueing something directly on the back of the glass, although that is also a viable option. And because we can, so why not?

Make one of these pieces for each of the plant stakes. You can trim the top square edge to be round like the skewer if you like, it will look more tidy if you do.

Step 2: Building the glass part.

When using a bottle bottom mold, it’s important to have enough glass to drop down into the details of the mold. The fiber will make the top layer a little stiff, so we want to make sure we have TWO layers (or one bottle bottom) directly on the mold before we add the fiber. The second think to keep in mind is to always put the fiber at the correct spot so your mold design is the right way up, one of my is a little wonky. Let me show you:

2 Brown Bottle Bottoms Stake:

Unrolled Yellow Sheet Glass Method

Bottle Bottom plus bottle glass

90 Coe fusible art glass

This is the exact same method as the unrolled bottle, just with fusible art glass

Step 3

Fire to a full fuse using the schedule appropriate for your glass type and for bottle bottom molds. What? That sounds like work? No worries, see the full list of schedules here.

If you will be embellishing these stakes with mica, do that step now before removing the fiber paper. It’s okay, we’ll wait.

Making the stakes

Once you’re all fused, embellished, shiny, and have removed your fiber (while wearing a mask), you’re ready to assemble the stakes. There are two methods for keeping the skewers in the pockets. We can glue them in, or use friction. The methods can also be combined for extra durability. I don’t have a particular favorite, but I will say the heat shrink tubing (friction) method is less messy.

Friction method

The idea here is that we cover the round part of the skewer with thin plastic heat shrink tubing so when you poke it into the fused pocket on the back of the bottle bottom, the friction keeps the skewer from moving. This only works if there is enough space, so check how tight the skewer is in the pocket. If it seems roomy, you can eliminate some of the space this way. Be careful though, forcing a metal piece into a glass piece can cause breakage and mayhem, be gentle.

Glue in Method

Check to make sure the skewer will fit into the socket, and then fill it with glue. I use Locktite Extreme Glue, but you can use any silicone based glue. Why silicone? Well, I’m assuming these may live outside, so we need a glue that will expand and contract with the temperature changes. You can also add glue to the ones with tubing for added durability.

Once you have added the skewer and the glue has dried, go ahead and try them out in a plant.

Related Products:

Bottle Bottom Molds

Related Tutorials:

Fusing with Bottle Bottom Molds

Fusing Sheet Glass on Bottle Bottom Molds

Adding Mica to Bottle Bottom Molds

Making Sheets of Glass From Bottles