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How to Build Garden Gnomes

Garden gnomes add a bit of whimsy to an outdoor space. The twinkle in their eyes and jolly smiles will add charm to your garden space. You can purchase your gnomes at a garden center. However, store-bought gnomes lack the special quality they would have if you created your own. A wooden garden gnome can be cut out of plywood and painted to capture the specific qualities you're looking for.

Things You'll Need

  • 3/4-by-12-by-24-inch exterior grade plywood panel
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Drill
  • 1/4-by-18-inch metal rod
  • Exterior paint
  • Paintbrush
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    • 1

      Draw the gnome's outline on the plywood panel. Add in the details, including the gnome's hat, facial features and clothing. Gnomes typically have exaggerated facial features such as a large nose and ears, and rosy cheeks.

    • 2

      Cut the outline out with a jigsaw. Follow along the pencil line and gently feed the wood through the saw.

    • 3

      Sand the edges of the gnome lightly.

    • 4

      Drill a 1/4-inch diameter hole 6 inches deep into the bottom edge in the center of the plywood panel.

    • 5

      Paint the details onto the garden gnome to bring the panel to life. Paint the edges along with the front and back. Follow the penciled-in details for guidance. Step back and review your progress from time to time until the gnome is completed. Allow the paint to dry before handling.

    • 6

      Push one end of the metal rod into the bottom of the gnome. Select a spot in the garden for the gnome and push the other end of the rod into the ground so the gnomes feet rest on the surface.