decorating,  DIY,  gardening and landscape

Shovel Head Owl Art

It’s hard to find an appropriate title for “she took a rusty old shovel head and a bunch of random metal scraps and made something cool.” But that’s what happened.

As you might have guessed, this is a Junk Whisperer project. Who else do I know that would turn a shovel head into a funky, awesome piece of outdoor art? No one.

The Junk Whisperer had the vision for this shovel art project, but she used the mad welding skills of my uncle to make her vision come to life.

Interestingly enough, my uncle is quite the talented guy, as are many of my relatives.

He made my first car – a Plymouth Duster. Literally made it. To give you the overly simplified story, he welded two wrecked cars together to make one complete, unwrecked car and finished it off with a snazzy new paint job and interior.

Unfortunately, I wrecked it.


The Junk Whisperer hung her shovel art on one of the barns on the family farm.

That’s why the angle on some of these photos is a little funny and why I photographed them in their natural element – cobwebs and all. Let’s keep this real. It’s a farm after all!

I had to climb up the railings of the cattle chute and precariously lean over to get the photos against the red barn. I could have gotten out a ladder, but that seemed like…um… a lot of work. Besides, then I wouldn’t have a reason to tell you about a cattle chute.

A cattle chute is a paneled pathway where you lead cows when you need to load them into a trailer or give them medical treatment. Don’t you feel smarter now?

Ironically, when I was hanging off the cattle chute taking the photos, the Junk Whisperer noticed that one of the owls was missing the shiny bead for its eye. So being the perfectionist that she is, she got out the ladder so she could take the shovel head down and fix it.

Of course she did.

Other than the fact that I cannot relate in any way, shape or form to the Junk Whisperer’s perfectionistic streak, we get along great!

I’m not sure at what point in cleaning out an old storage shed (or three) that the Junk Whisperer decided to turn rusty shovels and random junky metal pieces into art, but it’s really cool. Especially if you like owls. And who doesn’t?

See what I did there? Yes, I crack myself up. All the time.

What I call “random junky metal pieces,” she calls “treasures.” It’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? I love that.

Not everyone has access to a welder, so The Junk Whisperer and I had a lively conversation about whether or not you really needed a welder to make this project come to life. Pros and cons were debated. Spreadsheets were crafted. Chocolate was consumed. Well, I consumed chocolate.

Here’s what we theorized. If you were using a super strong epoxy or metal glue, you probably wouldn’t need to weld them on. However, welding the metal pieces to the shovel head makes them more permanent or perhaps weather resistant if you are displaying the art outside. So pick your poison.

Also, someone with a welder is probably going to have access to other tools in the event that you want to bend any of your metal pieces. Some of that occurred for this project.

The moral of this story is twofold. First, take a hard look at the materials most people would overlook. It could be the beginnings of your greatest project yet. And wouldn’t that just make you beam with happiness? Second, don’t be afraid to collaborate on your projects. To quote the famous saxophonist and composer Steve Lacy, “I think it is in collaboration that the nature of art is revealed.”

Here are some other Junk Whisperer projects you might enjoy!

Potting Shed Part 1

Clothespin Holder

Riveter Machine Turned Flower Hanging Basket Holder

Bowling Ball Lawn Orb

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