Garden Totems: 28 Design Ideas in Glass, Ceramic, Mosaic and Wood

What exactly is a garden totem, anyway?

Garden totems can be made of glass, of ceramic or pottery, of mosaic or wood, DIY or store-bought. But what exactly is a garden totem? We’ve all heard of totem poles – sculptures carved from large trees and depicting native legend and lore. And most of us have even heard of totem animals – the ‘spirit animal’ that we are said to possess. But garden totems?

Garden Totems: Glass, Ceramic, Mosaic, Wooden DIY Outdoor Sculptures


To be perfectly honest, we think some DIY guru started throwing glass pieces together and came up with the name. But it’s a great idea, and they’re clearly a thing now, quite the gardening trend. You can even buy off-the-rack garden totems online at places like Plow & Hearth.  Either way, it’s a great garden accent – DIY or retail. For DIY, keep your eyes open at thrift shops, yard sales, even under your own sink. There’s finally a place to use those florists’ vases you’ve been hoarding. Create your own garden totem.

Glass Garden Totem Ideas

vintage glass garden totem

Use different shapes, sizes and colors for your garden totems. It gives them texture and interest. Source

Garden Totem Stake

Pre-built garden totem designs are available at Plow & Hearth. Source

Tall Garden Totem Trees

Aren’t these tall garden totem design ideas interesting? And note the upside down compote glass on the left totem. Think like that when you DIY – upside down, right side up, sideways. Source

Repurpose old florist vases

Add a solar light on top of your garden totem for a night time twist.

Add beads to your garden totems

This charming garden totem has a wine glass crown and hanging beads. Get creative with your garden totems. It’s not expensive to collect old pieces of mismatched glasses, vases, plates and pieces. Source

Beads and Baubles for Garden Totems

Glass is such a natural garden accent – and glass DIY garden totems can be intriguing if you use unusual pieces. Source

Metallic glass garden totem

These metallic glass ball garden totems are available to purchase if you don’t want to make your own DIY totems. Source

Thrift store finds turn into garden totems

Glasses inside glasses, upside down plates – get creative with your garden totems. Source

Garden Totem Balancing Act

Use teacup toppers and plates for bases. Source

Mosaic Garden Totem Designs

Mosaic Garden Totem Trio

Mosaic designs take more of a measured approach. Source

Artistic garden totem

This mosaic garden totem almost looks like Millefiori glass.

Orange mosaic garden totems

Glass on PVC pipe – a great stained glass look for your entryway.

Lighthouse mosaic garden totem

This patio garden totem has a lighthouse look to it.

Creative art mosaic totem

A more intricate garden totem combining mosaics and mirror work, assorted shapes, colors and textures. Source

Flower pot mosaic totem

Ceramic & Sculptural Garden Totems

ceramic garden totems

These ceramic garden totems are works of art. We love th soft (and glossy) look. Source

Whimsical garden totems

Whimsical garden totems make great conversation pieces. All depends on your garden (or patio) style. Source

Ceramic Faces Garden Totem

Ceramic faces create a more contemplative garden totem – almost spooky. Source

Teapot Garden Totem

Isn’t this a cute idea? A vintage teapot stack makes a great garden totem. Maybe you have a teapot that was your mother’s or your grandmother’s? What a great way to remember times gone by. And check out the parakeets on the top. Source

Spirit Animal Garden Totem

These pieces feature charming animals, from birds to dogs and cats to fish. Source

pottery garden totems

If you happen to be a potter yourself – these ceramic garden totems should be a natural for you.

Sculpture garden totems

This is one of the more interesting and eclectic sculptural collections. Source

Wooden Garden Totem Designs

painted garden totems

These brightly colored wooden garden totems bring a splash of color to the garden. Source

Wood carving garden totems

Your poles can be painted – or intricately carved. Source

Painted Garden Totems

Painted wooden garden totems can be personalized. Source

Peace Poles Garden Totems

Peace poles are a garden trend that can be found around the world. Source

Carved Peace Poles Garden Totems

Carved Peace Poles are anotherway to advocate peace through your garden. Source

Original Peace Poles Garden Totems

The Peace Pole Project is where it all began. Source

About Joe Hats 176 Articles
Joe Hats is the founder of Joe has been remodeling homes since 1997 when he bought his first fixer-upper. He has built many pieces of indoor and outdoor furniture with his own hands and has every DIY woodworking tool in his possession. Coming from an engineering background, he has designed and built many patio fixture plans. Following his wife's lead, he is also very passionate about home decor and together they keep track of the latest trends. When he is not remodeling or trying a new woodworking tool, he is busy gardening or designing a new outdoor plan.