Does anyone have any ideas for making or buying inexpensive fence post tops that look nice? Many that I have seen cost nearly as much as the 4x4 posts, which seem excessive. Any advice or ideas would be appreciated!
You could glue a 4" styrofoam ball to the top. Spray paint it with the color you want and spray several coats of waterproof varnish after.
A 4" wooden ball or other piece from the craft store. Paint them in different colors that complement the fencing. Sand one area of the ball so you have a flat piece to affix it to. Spray with a waterproof sealant after painting.
You could glue different images of the same item with waterproof adhesive (turtles, frogs, Japanese sculptures, native American themed items, etc.) Again, spray with several coats of a clear waterproof varnish sealant.
Are you just looking for something to keep the wood healthy? milk jug bottoms work longer than you might think.
If you have the tools,you can modify the posts themselves.
Use a jig saw,skill saw or even a hand saw, and cut off the top of the corners of the posts. Cut them on a slant,it will sort of look like a pencil with the lead broken off.
Then use a router to make a groove all the way around the post about 2-3" lower than the cuts on the top.
For years ranchers and cowboys have put their worn out boots on the tops of the fence posts. Simply turn the boot upside down and slide it over the post. It is visually interesting and has a nice message in it..."When cowboys die, their souls go to heaven."
COPPER FLASHING - At my Home depot they sell a roll of Copper Flashing for roofs ($20). It looks like it has a very thick but easily bendable cardboard on the back... But this thick paper is super porous so that when the hot sun heats the copper up, the tar that's sandwiched between the layer of copper & the paper will "bleed" through the paper & it will stick to anything.
* MY favorite idea is to cut the posts off at an angle, then cover these with copper roof flashing or, take a piece of wood that's a nice shape & cover this with cper flashing, All you need is a pair of scissors!
* Buy a roll of this Copper Flashing. (You can easily cut it with scissors) Then first make a cardboard pattern or template for the tops of your fence posts in a shape you'll like. It's kind of like wrapping a package. (You can make ANY shape you like!) Then cut the copper out using the cardboard pattern you've created. You'll need to use a carpenters glue. But after the hot sun comes out & shines on the copper, it will adhere itself with the tar that's sandwiched between the layers (You can't see the tar, but it's there!) OR you can simply heat it up with a heat gun or hot blowdryer.
---> Another idea is "Anodized" or ALUMINUM FLASHING or GALVANIZED ROOF FLASHING that's spray painted to attached your fence. You can cut it with tin snips. Look in the roofing area for ideas!
---> Another idea. Have you thought of MOSAICS (like those flat clear marbles) glued & grouted DIRECTLY on to the fence post. OR mosaics put on to something else, then glues to the post. You could even tile the top of the fence with 4' tiles, then grout & seal them.
---> You can also use an upside down plastic or TERRA-COTTA FLOWER POT that's been sealed inside & out. One without holes on the bottom!
Look in the Office supply area or dish & kitchen area for plastic cups or glasses. You might find GLASS or PLASTIC BOXS or containers you could use---> Like the bottom of a square PLASTIC GARDEN POT or VASE. They have those round Heavy Duty 20 - 32 ounce PLASTIC CUPS they are 3 or 4 for $1 at the dollar store. You can paint them brown or gray with that new spray paint made specially for plastic. Either screw these on with large washers on the sides. Or use industrial carpenters adhesive (the kind you put into a caulking gun) to attach the cups or whatever to the fence posts.
Just go into the different dollar stores with an open mind or the roofing area & take a look around. Look in a floral decorating area for square glass vases (Walmart) or in the craft area.
---> TIRES or RUBBER MATS, cut up & bent. I needed something better than wood for my window sills for my constantly dripping windows. I found this brown hard PLASTIC GARDEN EDGING. It's that stuff you use to separate between your grass & your dirt in your garden. I cut it with my jigsaw & caulk the sills with brown silicone caulk & I now have some of the most awesome window sills around. You could also use that white RUBBER-STRIP caulk that's about 4 inches high made to seal & caulk between your bathtub & your floor. Or that rubber stuff that goes around your kitchen floor at the very bottom of your cabinets, a rubber/plastic "MOP GUARD?" of sorts. This just might do the trick! Look in the "Garden" area or the "WEATHER STRIPPING" area or "rubber Floor mats" stick on kitchen tiles, linoleum/vinyl flooring clear plastic carpet covering a child's RUBBER BALL cut in half
BIRD HOUSES - Yesterday I saw some cute wooden bird houses at Dollar Tree. These would look cute stuck on top of some copper flashing on top of your fence posts.
WOOD PLAQUES - they sell routed wood plaques & boxes at Dollar Stores & Craft Stores in to wood painting isle... Craft stores also sell all kids of thin metal that can be used to cover any shape.
LIQUIDATION & SURPLUS STORES - sell all kinds of goodies.
BROKEN GLASS - Have you ever seen where someone takes broken pieces of safety glass as uses them as mosaic pieces, since they are clear, anything can be place under the, like pictures, or colored or copper foil, then you glue on the chunks of clear safety glass then grout.
SOLAR LIGHTS attached to a sealed wooden plaque or directly attached to the top of your fence posts!
What I did was go to Michaels craft store or any craft store that sells the premade bird houses, mine cost $4.99 each. I painted them, varnished them and placed them atop my post. Looks great. You don't have to paint them just varnish them very well and glue them with contractors glue to the top of the post. I bought only the birdhouses with the 4 inch x 4 inch bottom.