To Gnome is to Love ‘Em: The Rustic Garden Ornament & Decor List

Maybe because the sun has finally beaten back the rainclouds here in Austin, or maybe it’s because I live in an apartment and I want what I can’t have, but I’ve had gardens on the brain recently. (see the last entry The House of the Wild Bee). So I’ve pulled together this list inspired by my green dreams. Full disclaimer, despite the pun in the title, this list contains gno garden  gnomes. (I gnow, I gnow, I’m sorry)

Garden decor is a crucial element of making your garden feel like home. The shabby chic /rustic look is a popular theme–gardening is a simple pleasure, and it makes sense that gardeners want their design to resemble a simpler time. It’s also an easy design to maintain, as any wear from exposure to the elements only adds to the authenticity. Some of our other past entries have ventured into the realm of outdoor design, like our entries about mason jar design , rustic weddings, and summer backyard DIY projects.

French Country Birdhouse by Bacon Square Farm


Bacon Square Farms is a former cattle and hog farm-turned-workshop in Mankato, Minnesota. Owners Pete and Tanya converted their cattle barn into a metalworks shop and their pig feeding station into a woodshop.

Their garden decor–like the above birdhouse–combines the pastoral color scheme of French countryside design with the weathered and rusted materials of shabby chic. The result is a storefront of creations that seem fresh and nostalgic at the same time. Take a stroll through their garden decor by clicking here.  Bacon Square Farms also runs a blog about their process and their life on the farm. Check it out here.

Slate Garden Markers by Slateplate 

garden tagsTwo things make these garden markers–designed by Raleigh’s Slateplate–stand out: Firstly, the markers are made from black slate stone, which gives their unique chalkboard appearance. Secondly, they’re pretty tall. The markers stand about a foot high, making them a more prominent feature of your garden design than smaller, paper markers. Your order also comes with a white grease pen that won’t wash off in the rain.

The good folks of Slateplate specialize in products handmade from natural black slate. You can check out their storefront here.

Reclaimed Wooden Heart by Alma Boheme 

wooden heart

Savannah, Georgia’s Alma Boheme is a shop that works wonders with wood and wool. Their wooden indoor/outdoor design is often made with reclaimed materials–like this rustic, heart-shape wooden wall hanging. Buyers also can have the heart painted with a custom color or personalized message. Check out their shop here.

Reclaimed Wooden Planters from CountryByTheBumpkins


CountryByTheBumpkins makes decor from home, gardens, and special events–especially rustic-themed weddings. Their products are often made from reclaimed materials, making your garden even more ecologically friendly.  These planters made from reclaimed fence wood, thus retaining a character no big box corporation will ever imitate successfully. Check out their charming storefront here.

Mason Jar Planter by Wayne Works


This planter from Wayne Works of Dallas, TX can be used inside or outside to grow smaller plants like herbs. It’s a beautiful union of older materials and modern sensibility. The metal bands holding the mason jars are made of hammered copper, which over time will begin to weather and oxidize, giving the planter even more of a rustic aura. There’s plenty of awesome wall ornaments, lamps, and furniture to check out at Wayne Work’s store. Click here to have a look.


Airtight Mason Jar Design from Etsy

Mason jars are the go-to chalice for hip coffee shops and bars, as well as a mainstay of modern rustic chic design and DIY. We’ve featured a few Mason jar products in previous blog entries: one on wedding design, the other in vintage lighting,.

But before their return to glory, Mason jars were the Tupperware of the 19th century.

Mason jars are named after their inventor tinsmith John Landis Mason, who patented the signature square shoulders and airtight screw-on lid. Before Mason jars, containers of preserved food were sealed with wax. If done incorrectly, dangerous and potentially fatal bacterial could grow in the contents.

Mason’s story is  a sad one. Though his invention was widely used and potentially life-saving, he never saw much money for his patent (or his other claim, screw-top salt shakers), and died impoverished in a tenement house in 1902.

In honor of John Landis Mason, and in celebration of our new Mason Jar Shaker (available at our Amazon store), here’s a list of some inspired creations from Etsy.

Moroccan Style Lantern from LITDecor


LITDecors shopfront has a myriad of these Morrocan style laterns, a combination of the American  mason jar and Morrocan filigree copper detailing. This particular lantern comes in an aqua tint, but their lamps and candles display all colors of the rainbow. Each design is unique and hand-painted making these jars a truly individual gift or decor piece.

Shot Glasses from PGMBottleSupply

shot glasses

Perfect for turning the party up to 11 while keeping the homespun vibe. These mini jars come in a lot of ten from PGMBottleSupply.

Cozy from RogueTheoryLOOP


Those-y on the go-sy should buy this cozy from RougeTheoryLOOP. Mason jars are fun containers for hot and cold beverages, but the glass walls aren’t great for temperature regulation. The good folks at RougeTheory got you covered. Plus, your morning coffee will look great in its new sweater, which comes in a spectrum of different colors.

Bird Feeder from HeritageTreeDesigns 


Bird feeders make great gifts and conversation pieces. It’s hard to say whether the birds themselves will appreciate the pastoral element the repurposed Mason jar adds, but they will definitely appreciate the free food. Check out HeritageTreeDesigns’ store for other great indoor and outdoor pieces made from repurposed materials and–of course–the iconic jar.

Wood Wall Organizer from OldNewAgain


The distressed wood and jam-style jars give this wall piece a very home-in-the-country feel.It’s a great way to display handpicked bouquets of fresh flowers, or to organize small objects in any room of the house. OldNewAgain has a great store full of upcycled wall hangings that you should definitely browse through.

String Lights from sweetteaclothingco


String lights always add an element of warmth and magic to outdoor decorating. They’re also great for wedding design. Mason jars only add to this effect, creating this lovely and unique curio from sweetteaclothingco. The lights pictured above are pint-sized jars.There’s also a half-pint version. The light strands come in 10 and 20 foot lengths.

Sippy Cup from Onerobinroad


Onerobinroad is the “home of the original canning jar sippy cup”. The mouth is made from medical grade silicone. According to the listing, this sturdy glass jar survives falls without breaking. The glass jar also means no harmful chemicals like BPAs leeching into to the contents. Onerobinroad also carries a great selection of cozies and travel mugs, for babies and grownups.



Home Bartenders and Baristas should check out our Mason Jar Shaker here. Create perfect iced libations with rustic flair–like James Bond, if he grew up on a farm.

Vintage and Industrial Lighting from Etsy

Featured image: Wooden Minimalist Edison Lamp from our store.

Lighting style is often overlooked when designing a room, which is a shame. Light has an enormous effect on our mood–it wields influence over our behavior, performance, and even the decisions we make.

So it’s worthwhile consider how lighting will influence the tasks you hope to accomplish in a room. A well lit study, for example, will boost productivity and focus, while a softly lit bedroom will provide a place of comfort and relaxation.

Vintage-style filaments gives off a warm yellow light that evokes feelings of nostalgia and comfort. Many cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants use this to their advantage to draw patrons into a calming ambiance . This lighting style is often incorporated into “industrial” or “shabby-chic”.

If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve compiled this list of our favorite fixtures from Etsy. You can check out our own lighting collection at The Rusted Key’s store here.

Signature Bookend Lamp from WorleysLighting


WorleysLighting celebrates the warm, simple beauty of wood and light.  All of Worley’s work shares a natural, minimal style. This set of bookends would be perfect for a study, living room, or bed room.

Wheel Hub Pendant from junkyardlighting


Junkyardlighting uses salvaged materials to create new living pieces, like the hanging lamp above, made from a repurposed wagon wheel hub. Junkyard is a combination of industrial and vintage design, and a great place to look if you’re decorating and looking for a functional yet eye-catching wallpiece or chandelier.

Vintage Clock Radio Lamp from Itsalamp


Itsalamp’s Etsy store offers only this description: “We make lamps out of stuff.” The lamps speak for themselves, though, and the above clock-radio-turned-lamp is only the tip of the iceberg (the iceberg of stuff that has been turned into lamps).

The store’s selection includes a wide swath of salvaged antique curiousites including old coffee tins, a percolator, and some children’s toys. Check it.

Rustic Wooden Arc Floor Lamp from AWalkThroughTheWoods


AWalkThroughtheWoods is the Nashville-based company that makes these rustic style floor lamps. They feature an arced base of stained wood and silver hardware. There’s tabletop versions in the same style, if this is a little larger that you’re looking for. There’s currently a “Daylight Savings” sale happening at their Etsy store, so now would be a great time to check it out.

Rotating Wooden Lamp from KKornerInnovations 


KKhorner is an awesome shop hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. It’s very hard to pick a single lamp from their stock of quirky wooden designs. I recommend checking out their store, which in addition to lamps also carries candle holders, clocks, and cell phone docks–all crafted in this strange, unique mechanical style.

Mason Jar Lamps from BootsnGus

colorful mason jars

The store BootsandGus–named for the two owners’ cats–sells these whimsical table lamps that come in a variety of colors. This store is definitely also worth a peek for beautiful Mason Jar Chandeliers (all 100 listings!), which range from modest four-piece ornament to ten-piece canopies.

Edison Bulb Chandelier from UrbanChandy


As their name suggests, UrbanChandy carries lovely chandeliers for urban households. They use repurposed materials–the above piece is made from a reclaimed ceiling tile from a warehouse in texas, according to the site. It also comes in four different colors.