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How to Make a Bee Garden Art Pole

Garden Art Poles come in every size and design imaginable.  They can be very simple or astounding works of art. Most of those that you see for sale are handmade and require a lot of lead time.  Rather than pay for one, you can make your own.  Why not make a Bee Garden Art Pole to show your love for bees and other pollinators.

DIY bee garden art pole with bee designs image.

DIY Bee Garden Art Pole Design

The colors and designs possible with your art pole are infinite.  This may make the project more difficult in some ways.  Too much to choose from can be as difficult as a lack of information. 

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Things to consider include, where do you plan to place you bee garden art pole?  Will it be outside in a shady spot of your bee friendly garden? Or in the sun? Maybe you have a covered location such as a gazebo and your creation will serve as a small table?

Size becomes a factor as well.  Many of the purchased garden poles are 5’ tall.  If you want to put a birdhouse on top of one – that’s fine.  However, if you wish to put a solar light cap on top – a shorter art pole may be more practical.

If you wish to continue with your bee theme, be sure to include some colors that signify bees.  Yellow, black, white and some pretty flower colors. 

As you design your project, it can be bright and bold or something subtle that blends into the background.

Will you place your pole in an area with flowers that bees like? What color will those flowers be? You might consider that as you choose a design.

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Bee craft projects are very popular and make great gifts too!

Choosing a Wooden Pole

The most popular type of wooden pole is a simple 4×4 designed for outside use.  These generally come in 6” lengths, but the nice folks at the store will cut it for you. 

Because the wood is often treated it may feel damp or “green” to the touch. If you get a greenish pole, lay it flat in a shady location for a month or more  and let it dry. 

This will help your paint adhere better. If you are lucky enough to find a dry wooden pole, that is even better.

Handmade bee garden art pole near green shrubbery image.

Painting Your Garden Pole

Painting on wood designed to be put outdoors is not for the faint of heart.  I have a little OCD and I love crisp straight lines.  That’s almost impossible on a wooden pole with lumps, bumps and cracks. 

So, cut yourself a little slack here. Using brushes to adhere the color and paint pens to outline worked best for my less than steady hand. 

There are many possibilities for design when making a garden art pole.  If you are blessed with artistic talent, the sky is the limit.

However, most of us are not and we are faced with the problem of how to get designs on the pole.  Because these are often made with a folk art design, simple shapes and colors are suitable.

Stencils and Tracing

You will find many beautiful stencils to use on your art pole.  Personally, stencils hate me.  Seriously, and I have tried every method out there to prevent bleeding – just could not get it work on lumpy, bumpy wood. 

However, if you have the touch required to make good use of stencils, they can help you create a beautiful design in a short time.

Tracing worked better for me.  After printing out some simple designs on paper, the back was coated with pencil lead. 

Then, I could trace over the image and leave a slight imprint on the bee garden pole. From there you can proceed with painting and outlining as you wish.

Materials Needed:

How to Make a Custom Bee Garden Art Pole

Time needed: 4 days.

Creating a custom design of a bee themed garden art pole.

  1. Prepping the Wooden Pole

    Most likely, the pole chosen will have some cracks. Take the time to fill any major cracks with wood filler.

    After drying for the required time, use sandpaper to smooth off excess wood filler and other major wood imperfections.

    Wooden pole for art project with crack and wood filler image.

  2. Paint Wooden Pole With Base Coat

    To ensure the best chance of a good painting surface, spray all sides of your pole with a good sealer. Kilz or a similar spray works well. (Black Cat helper is optional).

    Wooden pole sprayed with white sealer and black cat helper image.

  3. Using Ruler to Keep Designs Straight

    Because the pole has 4 sides, you may find a ruler or square very helpful. Of course, no one says you have to have the sides line up – but if you plan a stripe of color around the pole – this tool is handy.

    Using square ruler to line up design on art pole.

  4. Background Colors & Sections

    If you bee garden art pole features several sections with different background colors, now is the time to do so. Mark off the sections for different colors and get to painting.

    Painting black color on bee garden art pole image.

  5. Add Small Designs

    Now is the time to add small design elements. Use stencils if you can. Other wise, print simple images, coat the back with pencil lead and trace the image on your project.
    Flower image traced on wooden pole for garden image.

  6. It’s Okay to Start Over

    Be prepared for some over painting – something it looks like a good idea until it isn’t. Acrylic paint is very forgiving.

    Painted design on wooden art pole image.

  7. Cure and Seal

    Once you are pleased (or as please as you are going to be) with your design, let the project dry for a day. Then, it is a good idea to spray with a good coat of acrylic sealer.

    If your post will be exposed to really harsh weather, you can use marine sealer or something similar for increased protection.

    Acrylic sealer spray for garden art pole image.

Using Your Bee Garden Art Pole

Know that you have created this masterpiece, what are you going to do with it? You know I feel that way often when I return from the plant store. I see a wonderful bush or shrub my bees would love – then get home and think – now what!

You can use your project anywhere you wish. A decorative cap for the top and a nice wooden base will finish if off nicely. Perhaps, a post cap with a solar light for a walkway area.

You can simply drill a hole about 6″ deep in the bottom of the pole and use a piece or rebar to anchor it. Or, you can make it a little longer and use concrete post mix to set it permanently.

Once your garden is decorated with the custom art pole, you might consider adding another bee craft – this Clay Pot Honey Bee would love to visit your garden.

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