Easy Way To Make A Classic Garden Decoration
Decorative garden balls are an inexpensive alternative to the classic gazing ball plus the design possibilities are endless.
Using a bowling ball or thick glass light fixture globe (that’s what I use), some decorations, and adhesive, you can make one for approximately $5-20. I’ve provided free instructions below.
The best garden art projects (with complete instructions) from this site are now available in my new eBook: Empress of Dirt Garden Art & Ideas.
- Lamp globe or bowling ball. I look for globes that have strong, thick glass. Nadia uses old sports balls such as a soccer or football ball.
- Flat-bottom marbles or coins, mosaic tiles*, round glass flat stones or decorative accent glass, beads, necklacs, aquarium stones…. Quantity will depend on the size of your ball or globe. Leftovers can always be used for other projects.
- Outdoor silicone sealant/adhesive. I use CLEAR (not white or any other colour) GE Silicone II or Weldbond.
- Caulking gun (if you’re using a tube cartridge). Don’t worry: they’re inexpensive and they’re not guns. They simply dispense the glue. Phew.
- 2-3″ nail: I place a nail into the tip of the silicone cartridge to prevent the sealant from drying up when not in use.
- Optional: Spray paint. If the ball may show through between the stones or coins, consider painting it in a contrasting colour.
- *Mosaic tiles may also require special cutting tools and grout. Instructions are easy to find online. Google is still your friend.
Instructions and Tips
- Assemble all of your materials.
- If your globe or bowling ball does not have a stand or base, have a bowl handy to hold the project in place while you’re working.
- If you’re using a bowling ball, decide how you want to deal with the finger holes. They can be filled with wood putty or just hidden at the underside of your project.
- If you’re using a caulking gun for the first time, test it out to see how quickly the adhesive dispenses. Or make a big mess and figure it out as you go.
- Apply about a pea-sized amount of glue to each marble bottom. Work one at a time, from the bottom up, resting the pieces on the ones below as you go.
- The glue dries quite quickly, so apply the marbles carefully.
- Butt the marbles together, leaving minimal gaps.
- You may need to adhere half the marbles, leave it to dry overnight, and then adhere the rest when the glue is really dry. Patience: the final frontier!
Remember, money can buy anything. If you prefer to keep yours under your mattress where it belongs, look for free or inexpensive supplies. Not only will you save money, but you’ll probably find something cool and unexpected that will make your creation pop. It is the Way of The Empress.
- Habitat For Humanity ReStores, thrift shops, yards sales, and garbage day are good places to check for lamp globes and all sorts of other glass, wood, and metal items suitable for garden art.
- Flat-bottom marbles: dollar stores, craft supply shops, department stores.
- GE Silicone II Household Glue, 2.8 oz | Tube – labelled as ‘glue’.
- GE Silicone II Clear Kitchen Sealant, 10.1-Ounce Cartridge #GE5040 | Cartridge for caulking gun – labelled as ‘sealant’.