Bowling ball gazing ball

These gazing balls, perfect for gift giving, are super easy to create and can be used in the garden or as a tabletop decoration.

Today I’m going to show you how to make a simple gazing ball with Mod Podge, neon food coloring, a clear plastic light fixture, and a dollar store vase.

Gazing balls were all the rage when I first started gardening, and when I started blogging I noticed a ton of DIY gazing balls. You may have seen them too. You know the ones made from bowling balls or light fixtures with marbles or gems glued all over. They are all so beautiful.

This post contains some affiliate links (that means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a very small commission.) .

Supplies

Globe fixture
Mod podge
Neon Food Coloring
Clay pot
Gold Spray Paint (optional)

Update: I’ve had the two gazing balls on my uncovered porch for a few months and they still looked great. However, when I placed them in the garden the smaller glass vase did start to melt a little and parts of it were white. The larger plastic version seems okay but maybe a little faded. I suggest that you place it in a shady part of your garden.

A reader offers the following:
“They work great with acrylic paint and PVA glue. I’ve had mine in full sun for over a year and they still look as good as new. Put them on top of 50p solar lights and they still light up regardless of the paint covering them.” ~ Andrea

Start by mixing some of the Mod Podge and food coloring together in small cups. I stayed with the four colors that came in the box. However, they also have ratios for mixing even more colors from the original four.

Pour a little of each into the bottom of the ball and swirl them around.

Continue rolling the ball around, allowing the entire ball to be coated with the mixture. Add more of the colored glue mixture if needed.

Once it is coated place it on some paper and allow excess paint to drip out onto the paper.

Here’s what they look like while the Mod Podge is still wet. They look so pretty that I’m thinking about trying this with a white base next time. Maybe some white craft paint, or leftover house paint.

Here’s what it looked like the next day. This particular one is a little glass vase from the dollar store. It’s cute but has a flat top which is why I decided to buy the vinyl light fixture online for a true ball-like effect.

DIY Gazing Balls

They fit nicely on clay pots. My daughter suggested that I spray paint one of them gold. Good idea, huh?

Now I need to find the perfect spot in the garden, or maybe I’ll just keep them out as a cool tabletop decoration.

P.S. If you enjoy making garden art you may like my post on a Leaf Embossed Fountain. Or, this Seashell Windchimes. Just of few of many DIY/Projects to enjoy creating.

Upcycling Bowling Materials

Every bowler needs the right combination of great-fitting bowling shoes, a convenient bowling bag, and a perfectly weighted bowling ball. But after lots of use, those items don’t always work as well as they first did. When walking around a rummage sale, you can guess what happens to those older pieces of bowling equipment. They are practically thrown out. But those shoes and ball that served you so well for so many years do not have to end up in the garbage at all. At your next rummage sale visit, grab an old bowling ball. You might not want to pass up the opportunity to buy it. We’re talking about reusing old projects and creating something new… upcycling!

Upcycling old bowling materials can be the perfect way to give new life to these items… without having to be wasteful. The idea of upcycling actually dates back to the Great Depression. During this time, material was re-purposed out of necessity. Modern upcycling is now a way to add some color to your life. This fun hobby turns old, worn material into something beautiful. Whether you are new to upcycling or a seasoned artisan, below are a number of ideas to consider for your next project.

Unique DIY Bowling Upcycling Projects

Do you want a lawn ornament with a little pizzazz? To start, cover an old bowling ball with pennies. Simply gather some pennies and clean them off so they are extra shiny. Then use a weather-proof glue to paste them onto the bowling ball. For full directions and suggestions on material like the kind of glue to use, visit the House of Hawthornes’ blog here.

Mosaic Bowling Ball

By far the most popular do-it-yourself project with bowling equipment, upcycling a bowling ball to be a beautiful mosaic piece of art is not as hard as you think. For example, some upcyclers have done a mosaic of all different colors of blue on a single ball to add an accent color to their garden. Some have created patterns like stripes or polka dots to make the ball a little more whimsical. Others have made beautiful landscapes or other scenes to make the piece truly unique.

Whatever your preference, you can find directions on DIY Network’s website here. It also lists several suggestions for material that can be used for your mosaic tiles. Try broken china, mirrors, colored glass, or flat-backed marbles. Each adds a unique texture and color to your piece of art.

Bowling Ball Garden Bugs

Rather not paste pennies or pieces of tile onto a bowling ball? Then paint a design onto a bowling ball! It adds a lot of character to your lawn or garden. And what’s more perfect for the outdoors than cute ladybug bowling balls? Simply invest in some latex paint and possibly some copper wires if you’d like to add the subtle touch of antennae! You’ve got yourself a ladybug bowling ball! Check out Birds & Blooms’ directions here, which includes pictures at each step of the process.

Painted Bowling Pin

While there are many designs you can paint onto a bowling pin, the bowling pin penguin is one of the cutest! You can find directions and pictures here on HubaDub’s website. If the penguin doesn’t interest you, some other suggestions to try include: Olaf from the movie Frozen, a giraffe, a favorite team’s logo, Santa Claus. Similarly, try a quote from a favorite movie or book for teens and adults. Moreover, the options are limitless, but the fun is not for this upcycling project! Each family member will enjoy designing their own custom pin.

Re-purpose Pins as Household Decorations

If you’re looking for a more challenging project, look no further. Yearning for a more sophisticated look from upcycled bowling materials? Take a peek at Instructables’ website here. The user gives step-by-step instructions on how to strip the plastic from old bowling pins. What you’re left with is beautiful wood but the same great shape of a pin. Grab one or two and use them as chic decorations on your mantelpiece or unique bookends on a shelf.

The options for upcycling bowling material are vast. We hope our ideas have sparked your curiosity to try one of these projects or challenged you to find a new way to upcycle your old gear. Either way, make no mistake—the next bowling ball you see at a garage sale will be coming home with you! Then let us know what DIY projects you’ve made in the comments!

Garden Ball Decoration
This year I was thrilled to get these old bowling balls at tag sales. I’ve been looking for them for years and then this year I get 5 of them and a bag full of the duck pin bowling balls also AND a full set of Bocce balls in a case. It’s the best! I love to take old stuff and turn it into decorative or useful new stuff.
Michele, my niece, and I made decorative balls for the garden so this is what we did with 2 of the big bowling balls…

We started by lightly sanding the bowling balls so that the glue would stick really well.

Then we accumulated glass stones (which you can buy in Walmart, Target, or anywhere. We also bought some small colored stones from Petco.

When we went to Home Depot for the stones and the glue a fella there told us to get Power Grab glue so that’s what we used for this project.

Michele, my trusty crafter buddy, is all set up here. We put the balls on flower pots so that they wouldn’t roll around while we worked on them.


Picture of the new ornamental garden ball in the garden…

If you like this, please PIN to PINTEREST. Thanks so much.
I think this came out well…. now what to do with the small duckpin bowling balls and the bocce balls…. hmmm.. any ideas…. ?
Thanks for viewing.
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I have always loved gazing balls in the garden. They add such a decorative element and give you such a focal point. Of course, those things aren’t cheap. You could spend anywhere from $30 to more than $100 depending on the style of the gazing ball and where you get it. A better way is to simply DIY your gazing ball, and I have 10 wonderful ways that you can do that. Whether you want a mirrored ball or you prefer something with a bit more decoration, I have a great list of 10 gorgeous DIY gazing balls that you can make today.

I really love working in my garden and my yard. I love seeing people look at my outdoor décor when they drive by and adding a few gazing balls to my flower garden just seems like a wonderful way to get some extra design. If you love working in your garden, too, then these DIY gazing balls are the perfect project for you this weekend. You can make many of these in about an hour or so and they range is type, design and size so there is literally a gazing ball for every garden. And, be sure to also take a look at these 25 DIY garden pots. They will also add décor to your outdoor living spaces.

From upcycled bowling balls to DIY concrete projects, you can make your own gazing balls out of so many different materials. And the design aspects are endless. No matter what your outdoor style, you are going to find a DIY gazing ball project that is perfect for adding to your garden or yard. And did I mention that some of these are upcycling projects? You know how I love a good upcycling or repurposing project. Just take a look at these 25 ways that you can repurpose your old garden tools. They also add style and decoration to your outdoor living area.

Table of Contents

1. Easy DIY Concrete Garden Balls

These concrete garden spheres are so easy to make and you can fill your garden with them. You just need a mold and you can use a really inexpensive light cover for that if you don’t have something else on hand. Leave these plain or you could even paint them or cover them with mirrored objects to give them a great gazing ball quality. There are so many cool DIY concrete projects!

Tutorial: designsponge

2. DIY Glass Stone Covered Gazing Balls

You can buy glass stones at the Dollar Store for a dollar or so per bag. Once you have a couple of bags, you can use them to create a gorgeous gazing ball for your garden. This is a super easy project and you can use a Styrofoam ball or any number of other balls to create this one. You just have to cover the balls with your glass stones and you’re all set.

Tutorial: smartfundiy

3. Repurposed Bowling Ball Gazing Ball

You can find bowling balls at yard sales and at thrift stores and they cost very little. I recently saw one at my local thrift store for under $5, which is much less expensive than an actual gazing ball. Take that old bowling ball and cover it to turn it into a gorgeous gazing ball for your garden. Not only is a bowling ball a good idea because it’s cheap, it is also really heavy so you won’t have to worry about damage from wind and other inclement weather.

Tutorial: http://www.gardeninghelpinformation.com/bowling-ball-gazing-ball/

4. Repurposed Glass Light Fixture Gazing Ball

You don’t even need to have a ball on hand to make your own gazing ball. You can make a gorgeous garden ball from an old light cover – or a new one. Light covers can be purchased for less than $5 each in most cases and they are perfect for creating gazing balls. You just have to cover them with mirrored paint or something similar to give them that glittery and shiny look.

Tutorial: engineermommy

5. DIY Lighted Grapevine Balls

These lighted grapevine balls aren’t like traditional gazing balls but they will definitely add some style and décor to your garden. And, they are so very easy to make. Grapevine is really inexpensive and you can hang these or just lay them around in your garden. Add clear lights to make them glow at night or you could even paint these with some mirrored paint if you prefer a more traditional gazing ball look.

Tutorial: lynneknowlton

6. Easy DIY Mirrored Gazing Ball

Turn an old bowling ball – or basketball or anything round – into a beautiful mirrored gazing ball. All you need is the ball and some mirrored paint – and a couple of hours to put it all together. These are traditional looking gazing balls and they are perfect for placing anywhere in your garden. And, they are super easy to make – you can turn out a couple in about an hour. There are some great DIY spray paint projects out there and this is just one of them!

Tutorial: thegardenglove

7. Washer Covered DIY Garden Gazing Ball

You don’t have to have mirrored paint or buy expensive shiny objects to create your own garden gazing ball. You can simply cover a ball in metal washers and get the same effect. I love this idea for men’s gardens, too. You just choose the object that you want to cover, like a bowling ball or even a Styrofoam ball and then cover it with washers or other shiny toolshed type objects.

Tutorial: hgtv

8. Decorative Bowling Ball Gazing Ball

You don’t have to cover your garden ball in shiny objects to make a beautiful gazing ball. I love this upcycled bowling ball that you can decoupage with images instead of shiny objects. Choose your image and then just use Mod Podge to get it to stick to your bowling ball. This is a lovely idea for adding some extra color to your flower garden and these would look beautiful next to the porch or deck.

Tutorial: myrepurposedlife

9. Penny Covered Garden Gazing Ball

Pennies are money and spend just as well as any other denomination, although it does take several of them. So why not just turn them into a gorgeous garden gazing ball? You can use a couple of dollars’ worth of pennies for this project and still save a ton over buying a gazing ball in the store. And, this is a really simple project and a great way to repurpose those pennies.

Tutorial: kindredstyle

10. Miniature Gazing Balls

If you have a fairy garden or you just want smaller gazing balls to add in with your potted plants, you can use marbles and glass stones to make mini gazing balls. These are so gorgeous and perfect for adding some pizzazz to your fairy gardens. These would also look beautiful in house plants or just anywhere that you want to bring some color and beauty to your garden. You will definitely want to add these to your list of DIY fairy garden accessories.

Tutorial: gardentherapy

Add an artistic flare to your garden or yard by creating these bowling ball designs which your friends and neighbors will like.

As we have said time and time again, gardens are not only simple places where some colorful flowers and maybe a few vegetables can grow. Gardens can be a beautiful space full of creativity and life!

There are so many different ways you can express yourself through your garden, and these DIY bowling ball decorations are a simple and effective way of doing just that! While crafting a mosaic ball or transforming a bowling ball into a lady bug may seem like a task that only a seasoned crafter would be able to accomplish, all of these designs have simple step by step instructions, and once you learn how to use your materials well, you’ll be a mosaic master.

Most of these designs use colorful stones and pebbles, some feature chipped tile, and the benefit of working with materials like this is that they leave so much room for your own creativity to come into play. You have a big round canvas and the stones are the medium.

To give you a better idea of where to begin for your own bowling ball art, we gathered some of the best examples of these decorations, all backed up by easy to follow DIY instructions. There is even a design that suggests using a lamp globe instead of a bowling ball, which we thought was a wonderful idea! Check out more of the design ideas and follow the links below to get started!

1. Pebble Mosaic Ball

This pebble mosaic ball takes a little bit of effort to create, but once you get the hang of how to work with the grout, its pretty simple! Any old bowling ball will work for this design, and the result is this colorful and fun garden decoration! If you feel like you need some step by step instructions to re-create this design, see the designer’s post here.

2. Lamp Globe Garden Ball

This design can be created with either a bowling ball or a lamp globe. The advantages of using a lamp globe is that the surface will be more friendly to adhesives, whereas with a bowling ball it might be necessary to sand the surface to help the adhesive hold its bond. Another advantage is that the lamp globe has a flat opening, making it easier to set up on a pedestal. Find out how this specific globe was created and get some good advice on how to make your own here!

3. Chipped Tile Mosaic Ball

Small chipped tiles are arranged around this bowling ball to create this classic mosaic design. You can use similar shaped tiles to try to re-create this look, or use whatever shapes you want to create your own original design! The construction of a ball like this is the same as any other mosaic design, and is fairly simple to learn. For some tips on how to go about creating a decoration like this, see the designers DIY.

4. Lady Bug Ball

These wild bowling balls have creative paint jobs that make them look just like lady bugs! With this clever design, the round shape of the bowling ball is hard to see, as your eyes will want to see the shape of a lady bug instead. With a bit of copper wire and a couple round beads, you can glue some antenna on to create the full effect! To get some pointers on how to create your own lady bug balls, see the designers post here.

5. Gazing Ball

A gorgeous “gazing ball”, this bowling ball was spray painted silver and then transparent pebbles were used to cover the outside, with some colorful stones used to make a flower design! The designer provides great step by step instructions on how to recreate this decoration, with some useful tips on how to best utilize the tools needed.

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Way back when I first started blogging, I showed you how to turn a garage sale bowling ball into a piece of yard art. In that case, a penny bowling ball.

(Instructions for making the penny bowling ball can be found HERE)

I think bowling ball yard art has a sort of cult following, because that post is by far the most Googled of my posts and brings quite a few people to my blog.

This summer I decided to make a slightly different version of bowling ball yard art.

MOSAIC GARDEN BALL SUPPLY LIST:

(This post does contain some affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.)

Bowling Ball
Mosaic Glass Flat Gems

Jennifer’s Mosaics White Powdered Grout
Dap White Kitchen and Bath All-Purpose Adhesive Caulk
Dap Clear Silicone Rubber Sealant

I picked up a bowling ball at my local thrift store. Bud’s ball, to be exact.


Some “gem” stones from the mosaic and glass tile aisle at my local craft store. I used approximately 6 bags of these.


I started off by filling in Bud’s finger holes with some wads of paper towels until there was about 1/2 inch still open and then I topped that off with regular old caulking.

Bud had some huge fingers and I didn’t want to use up a whole tube of caulking, so that is the reason for the paper towels.


I just used the stuff you would use in a bathroom to caulk around a sink or tub or baseboard molding.


I roughed the ball up with sandpaper a little just to give it a better tooth to grab the glue. I used DAP’s Clear Silicone Rubber Sealant for Doors and Windows as my adhesive. Since this was going to be placed outside I wanted something that was waterproof, plus would set up quickly.

Then I glued my gems on to the ball.


This took me two months.

A person with more patience and less ADD could finish the gluing in less than two hours though. And most of that time would be waiting for one section to set up before you go on to the next section.

I decided to grout this ball, so I bought a small tub of powdered grout made for indoor/outdoor mosaic projects.

I split the grouting up into two halves.

I grouted the first half by spreading the grout over the gems and pushing it down between them. I let it dry for just a few minutes and then ran a damp sponge over the gems to get the vast majority of the grout off the TOPS of the gems (you leave it in the grooves and sides though).

If you let the grout dry completely on the tops of the gems, it will be very hard to get off later.

When the grout was completely dried, I used a clean dry cloth to polish off any haziness caused by the slight grout residue.

Then I flipped the ball over and grouted the rest using the same technique.

After it was dried, I applied some grout sealer.

And then it was good to go.

I had thought about making one with pebbles on it, since The Dollar Tree has bags of them for $1.00.

But I don’t want to become the lady with all the bowling balls in my yard. Then I’d have to change the name of my blog to House of Bowling Balls and there would be a lot of work in making that change.

Can I tell you that I had second thoughts about ever posting this project on my blog. I couldn’t decide if it was cute, weird or tacky? So be gentle with me.

BTW, The Summer Kitchen Girls mentioned my penny bowling ball in a post recently. I believe they found me in the first place through Googling images of penny bowling balls.

You can find some more gardening ideas and projects on my Gardening Page. Anything from instructions for making Hypertufa containers to using copper to help keep your birdbath cleaner to stamping silverware for garden markers.

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    These easy do it yourself Garden Balls create a neat attraction piece to any yard or garden. Read this article and learn how to make one today.

    Visiting the gardens of friends or even professional displays at public and private installations, you may have noticed a certain eye-catching sphere glinting in the sunlight. These are called garden balls, and they come in a dizzying array of styles. The best part is, you can make your own!

    We hunted down an assortment of DIY guides across the internet to bring you the very best projects to add some sparkle and surprise to your garden. There are an assortment of methods for creating the balls and making them sparkle, and we’ve shared our favorites below.

    One of the major methods of creating these fabulous attractions involves the use of old bowling balls. Another involves repurposing old light fixture globes. The surfaces can be made to shine via a plethora of methods, from gluing on baubles to spray paint. The point is, there are a nearly endless variety of ways to go about creating your own garden balls.

    Let’s dive into the gallery and check these beauties out! We’ve provided a brief description, but remember to click the attached links for the full breakdown of instructions needed to create your own garden ball in a given style.

    Mosaic Garden Balls

    Source: Thegardenglove

    The mosaic garden ball is a general term covering a range of different styled balls, all with a common element: pieces of a material are applied to the surface by hand, for a truly detailed mosaic look. The above images showcase a handful of the possibilities.

    Source: Diyforlife

    This truly unique take on the mosaic design requires an abundance of multicolored marbles, but the results speak for themselves. The whimsical and absolutely eye-catching design evokes a bright, playful sense of style.

    Source: Flickr

    The bold arrangement of mosaic garden balls on this lawn showcases the intricate designs possible, when you start off with a plan and stick to it. Using specifically colored and mirrored pieces during the crafting process, you can add beautiful designs to the surface of your garden ball.

    In addition to these individual projects, we’ve got a great how-to guide found at DIYNetwork that can be used to craft a mosaic garden ball of any style.

    Mirrored Garden Ball

    Source: Thegardenglove

    Here’s another project making spectacular use of old bowling balls. With some silver chrome metallic spray and filler to conceal the finger holes, you can have a stunning gazing ball, mirrored to perfection.

    Painted Lamp Globe

    This project involves a minimum of fuss, so long as you can part with a light fixture globe. All you need is spray paint in the color of your choice to produce this fine garden addition.

    Source: Empressofdirt

    Living Garden Balls

    This first green-infused garden ball incorporates sheets of moss, wrapped in twine, resulting in a bespoke, almost rustic appearance that would be at home in any garden.

    Source: ChicCalifornia

    Here we have a project that neatly combines succulent gardening and decorative ball design. Using a spherical planter and some skill with succulents, you can have a perfect round array of beautiful greenery sprouting from your garden ball.

    Source: Pinterest

    This grapevine garden ball is deceptively simple. Using virtually any inflatable ball, you can begin wrapping the vines and get started on a perfectly spherical and natural garden ball.

    Crystal Ball

    Source: Flickr

    This final idea isn’t so much DIY as “buy it yourself,” because we generally like the idea of leaving glass blowing to the professionals. However, with the purchase of a nice gazing sphere like this, the placement and framing possibilities are up to your imagination.

    WHERE TO BUY MOSAIC TILE

    You can make your own Mosaic, or you can buy a variety package from Amazon.

    Mosaics Classico Glass Mosaic Tiles Color Variety, Great for Arts & Crafts

    YOU’ll LOVE THESE OTHER GREAT IDEAS!

    >> 15 Grand Ideas For Gardening With Antiques

    >> 35 Incredible Garden Design Ideas of All Styles

    >> 10 Fantastic DIY Garden Projects

    >> 15 Pallet Planters For A Unique Garden

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