Wooden yard decorations make a suitable landscaping choice, whether you want to honor a holiday or provide a year-round accent to the rest of your landscaping features. Depending on your preference, you can use anything from unfinished logs to lumber or plywood to make your own wood yard decors. Naturally rot-resistant cedar and redwood are among the best types of wood to use to make decorations that will last year after year.
Types of Wooden Yard Decorations
Plywood Cutouts – Plywood cutouts are one of the easiest do-it-yourself wood yard decorations, requiring only a simple shape that you cut out of half-inch exterior grade plywood with a jig saw. Design possibilities include snowmen and other holiday symbols, animals, people and words. You can draw your own design for the decoration or use a template. Wood decorations are completely customizable because you can choose your own paint scheme to finish the decoration, from colorful cartoonish designs to simple black silhouettes. The cutout also requires a stand made from a triangle-shaped piece of plywood attached to the back with a strap hinge. Alternatively, you can screw wooden stakes to the back of the plywood and push the stakes in the ground.
Carved Wood – With a bit of imagination and patience, you can carve a large block of wood into various shapes, such as toadstool mushrooms, animals or totems, to decorate the yard. The difficulty and danger of carved wood decorations mostly depends on the equipment you use. Manual tools, such as wood chisels, hammers and knives can be used to achieve the design, while chainsaw carving is far more dangerous, requiring advanced skill to execute. Driftwood can be carved into virtually any animal, but the driftwood must be hard instead of spongy. You can leave the rough edges on your carved wood decoration or use sandpaper to give the wood a finish as smooth as glass.
Advanced Woodworking – Large wood yard decorations, such as bridges and wishing wells, transform the yard into an oasis, but some advanced woodworking skills are required. A small bridge requires two curved 2-by-6-inch boards with 2-by-4-inch planks nailed into the 2-by-6-inch boards to make a walking surface and three posts on each side of the bridge. A simple wishing well design calls for several courses of 6-inch lengths of 2-by-4-inch lumber arranged in a circle, with each new course staggered over the joints of the previous course. Two 4-by-4-inch posts attached to the inside of the well support a pitched roof. The well needs a dowel to span between the posts and support a bucket
Bentwood Designs – Basic garden structures, such as trellises, arbors and furniture, also make beautiful yard decorations, especially when constructed using flexible branches. Willow is perhaps the most common branch used in twig arbor, trellis and furniture construction, but willow is often difficult to find or expensive. Instead, you can use the green tips of branches from other tree species. If the branches are difficult to bend, you can soak them in water for a few hours to soften the wood. The structure might require thicker branches for stability, with the bentwood pieces used simply as embellishments. Ring shank nails work for securing most branch pieces, but the narrow, wispy ends can be tied together or wrapped with wire to hold the shape.
Wooden yard and garden ornaments add a whimsical touch to your landscape. You can make wooden yard decorations to complement your outdoor decor using treated plywood in any shape that you like.