Create and Craft, Garden Thyme

Ho-Hum Plastic Hummingbird to “Vintage” Copper Garden Ornament (Easy DIY Dollar Store Hack!)

DIY Vintage Copper Patina Dollar Store Garden Stake Makeover

Hello there friends, I am excited to share another DIY dollar store hack with you today! Yesterday I gave a plastic “ho-hum” hummingbird garden stake from Family Dollar a DIY faux copper makeover using paints I had on hand in my craft stash. Recently I started creating a small hummingbird garden, so when I saw a plastic hummingbird garden stake for only $1.00 I figured it was worth a try to give it a quick makeover. I had originally intended to make it look white-washed and chippy, but it turned into an experimental project where I just kept trying different colors that led to a faux copper patina ( you will find all the details toward the end of the post.) I love how it turned out! *This post contains affiliate links.



Orignially I had intended to just white wash the hummingbird with chalk paint. Even though I have found that chalk paint will adhere to just about anything, I wasn’t sure how well any kind of paint would stick to the cheap plastic stake.  To start off, I decided to “prime” the stake with faux metallic spray paint to give it a “cast iron” finish as the base since I already had the spray paint on hand.


It actually looked pretty cool just as a “cast iron” stake. From a distance it definitely looked like real cast iron. I debated on just keeping it this way, but I wanted to see what it would look like chippy and white washed.




After the spray paint dried, I just dry brushed on some creamy white acrylic craft paint and lightly sanded a few areas with sand paper to let the black show through. Some of the green  also started showing back through which I liked, so I decided to layer on some green paint.


I had some new Deco Art Sage Blossom chalk paint that I had never used, so I decided to try it out on the hummingbird. I dry brushed the green all over the bird leaving some of the “chippy” white to show through.  I really, really loved how it looked here and would have been happy with this vintagey-green hummingbird in the garden, but the shade of green sort of reminded me of an aged copper patina. That gave me the idea to grab my copper acrylic paint!



Faux copper garden stake acrylic paint faux copper diy tutorial

I lightly dry brushed on the copper all over the bird making sure to leave some of the green and even a tiny bit of the white showing showing through. At this stage I had an almost believable copper patina…but not quite!



Chez Pluie

Using some photos of aged copper for inspiration, I realized I needed to add some kind of bluish-teal to achieve the aged “vergidgris” copper patina.





I remembered that I had Deco Art Vintage Wash Patina paint in my stash. Perfect! I just sponged on the watered down paint all over the hummingbird using a damp paper towel. Voila! A “vintage” copper hummingbird stake!  I placed the bird next to my new Hyssop plant from Lowes (a.k.a. “hummingbird mint”). The hummingbird mint smells wonderful!


Organic True Hyssop Seeds - 150 mg - Botanical Interests

I had bought some hyssop seeds from Botanical Interests last year, but completely forgot to plant them this spring! I won’t forget next year!


Here is a peek at my new little hummingbird garden. The old garden plaque is also a recent thrift store find. It used to have some sort of stake, but I like it just fine propped on my rusty antique garden chair. Garden ornaments, stakes, and junky finds add so much character and charm to gardens!



hummingbird garden stake in hummingbird garden hummingbird mint DIY faux copper garden stake

Now I have a pretty little “vintage” copper hummingbird to enjoy until the real hummingbirds visit!



plastic garden stake diy faux copper garden stake hummingbird garden hummingbird mint



DIY Faux Copper Paint Technique for Plastic Garden Stake

My “professional” artist palette! Hey, it worked!

I really didn’t take pictures of the painting process for a proper tutorial, but here are the colors and products (affiliate links) I used:


Step 1: I sprayed the entire hummingbird and stake with Rustoleum Hammered Black Spray Paint. In hindsight, a copper spray paint would have worked better in the end, but if you want a cast iron look, this paint works great!

Step 2: Apple Barrel Antique White Acrylic Paint (Lightly dry brushed over the bird using an inexpensive dollar store paint brush.) Any white or off-white acrylic paint or chalk paint would work for this step. Let dry and very lightly “distress” a bit of the white paint off with sand paper.  If you want a shabby-chippy looking bird, you can stop at this step! 




Step 3: Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paint in Sage Blossom dry brushed all over bird using an inexpensive dollar store paint brush.


Step 4: Folk Art Metallic Acrylic Paint in Copper dry brushed all over bird using an inexpensive dollar store paint brush. (I used antique copper but I think copper would be better.) 


 Step 5:  To achieve the desired antique verdigris effect, I lightly dabbed on my Deco Art Vintage Wash Patina paint all over the hummingbird using a damp paper towel.


hummingbird garden stake in hummingbird garden hummingbird mint DIY faux copper garden stake

I had so much fun experimenting with this little hummingbird makeover!  Even though I used several different paints, I think you could skip a few steps and just do a copper spray paint paint as the base, followed by any kind of green acrylic or chalk paint, copper paint and an acrylic teal “wash” to achieve similar results.

DIY Vintage Copper Patina Dollar Store Garden Stake Makeover

I hope this DIY dollar store hack has inspired you to try out a faux copper (or vintage bronze, shabby white or shabby green) paint technique on any inexpensive dollar store garden ornamnent or stake you may find at any of your local dollar stores. I also saw some butterflies and other birds at Family Dollar and Dollar Tree that this technique would work on. If you decide to make your own, let me know! 


Thanks for visiting today!


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  • Reply rachelle

    This is a wonderful dollar store craft Amber. I would really like to try it and make them for my outdoor planters.

    June 28, 2021 at 7:17 pm
  • Reply Tiffany Frost

    Amber, this little humming bird is adorable! I love it! This would even make great gifts! Thanks for sharing!

    Tee xo

    June 28, 2021 at 11:55 pm
  • Reply Michele Morin

    What a transformation!

    July 1, 2021 at 9:29 am
  • Reply Kathy A

    Enjoyed seeing your garden. The hummer is so cute. When I did ceramics years ago, I learned the easiest way to do a black base coat, dry brush with copper, then do a deal wash. A thin black wash if you wanted it more antiqued. Years ago, I did a cowboy statue for the SO of the day. A friend of his picked it up thinking it was a bronze statue and almost dropped it was it wasn’t as heavy as he thought it would be! Several years ago I had a stupid male hummer who liked pecking at my red reflector driveway marker!

    July 1, 2021 at 8:31 pm
  • Reply Cecilia

    Amber, what a fun dollar store hack! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm–pinned!

    July 11, 2021 at 3:28 pm
  • Reply lisa

    Best dollar tree makeover I have ever seen!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2021 at 9:59 pm
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