• Garden orb of modest materials

    by  • June 10, 2011 • Design, Projects, Something different, Spring • 12 Comments

    Everyone has seen these garden spheres in the garden, but recently after finding a bowling ball at Oakhurst’s “Clutter Clearance” I decided to try decorating one. I was inspired by an example found online on Google images, bought some bags of ‘gems’ used for filling vases to hold stems straight.

    First the materials were gathered, 5 or 6 bags of 'gems', stones or tiles

    First the materials were gathered, 5 or 6 bags of 'gems', stones or tiles and 2 tubes of G.E. Silicone II for outdoors, in clear.

    Start with a clean and prepped bowling ball. Use rubbing alcohol or vinegar to get any wax finish off. Sand lightly, then wash and dry the ball before painting. I filled the two smaller holes with tin foil and just glued right over them. Leave one hole uncovered and positioned at the bottom so if you want you can set it onto a piece of rebar in the garden. It helps to print out a photo of a design you like from Google images, shown. I used 5 0r 6 bags of ‘gems’, shown, and 2 tubes of G.E. Silicone II for outdoors, in clear.

    With pencil I marked the top, opposite the largest hole and  cut a five pointed star for a design to fill in

    With pencil I marked the top, opposite the largest hole and cut a five pointed star for a design to fill in

    I used pencil to mark a dot on the top, opposite the hole I left unfilled. Then I drew freehand lines vertically to mark four sections, then used a paper cut-out of a star to trace around as a starting point.

    How to cut a five-pointed star in one snip  This link comes straight from Girl Scouts and is a really neat trick.

    I experimented with different patterns.

    I experimented with different patterns.

    I placed the ball on a pedestal.  You could also use a folded towel. After drawing the shape on the ball four times, one on each side, I started gluing the gem's on.

    I placed the ball on a pedestal. You could also use a folded towel. After drawing the shape on the ball in four places, one on each side, I started gluing the gem's on.

    With gravity working, it’s easier to work at the top.  the gems or stones set quickly.

    I became obsessed , but it went quickly. I skipped breakfast to continue.

    I became obsessed , but it went quickly. I skipped breakfast to continue.

    Inside, it looked darker than I expected. I could have painted the ball a light color to reflect more light

    Inside, it looked darker than I expected. I could have painted the ball a light color to reflect more light

    The finished 'artwork'!

    The finished 'artwork'!

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.

    12 Responses to Garden orb of modest materials

    1. June 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Oh, that is sooo cool! I love it when a project like that works out so well.

    2. Sharon Emerling
      June 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      I probably missed it, but what type of adhesive is used? It is glorious! Thanks

    3. June 10, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      I think you’ve scored a perfect strike with this project. I’m sorry I sent my old bowling ball to the thrift store…

    4. June 12, 2011 at 9:31 am

      Fabulous! Maybe I should go and get that bowling ball James sent to the thrift store 😉 The possibilities for design and color combinations seem endless. I have one of those old fishing floats here, could be interesting to try making one with a glass float and glass pebbles, and illuminating it at night from below…

    5. June 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      That looks stunning, Sue! A charming complement to your garden. I was so impressed with the star design you selected. I would probably have gone with haphazardly glueing all the bits on, whereas you took a very systematical and well thought out approach. Bet you’re itching to do another one 🙂

    6. June 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks, Mouse. I was surprised how fast it went…the glue dries pretty quickly. It was fun! I got the idea from Flea Market Gardening FB page.

      Sharon, the glue, GE Silicone II, comes in a caulking tube and a smaller tube which I used, two for this project. It’s used to caulk outdoor windows, so is good for things like this. I plant to bring it in during the winter.

      James, next time you see an old bowling ball somewhere you might try it. You could put a pitcher plant motif on it. I saw one covered with pennies, about 6 dollars worth. When you leave it out, it tarnishes.

      Clare, I guess you can use glass floats and also the huge Christmas balls you see, but I like the heaviness and mass of the bowling ball. You can stand them on rebar, too.

      Desiree, I didn’t know how I was going to start it, but remembered that 5-pointed star. Try looking up the link, memorize the instructions and you can impress your hubbie sometime!

    7. Marie Niemann
      March 4, 2012 at 11:08 am

      Thanks for the tips, I’ve got all the supplies and my bowling ball ready to go! I love how yours turned out and the colors.

    8. Deann Grosser
      March 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      I am soooo looking forward to doing this project….looking for a bowling ball now…
      Thank you for all the ideas

    9. Deann Grosser
      March 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      I am soooo looking forward to doing this project….looking for a bowling ball now…
      Thank you for all the ideas

    10. Ruthy
      March 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      I’ve got an old gazing ball, might be glass or metal, not sure which, but it is starting to look pretty shabby. Do you think this would work on it? I’m really wanting to try it!

    11. Ruthy
      March 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      I’ve got an old gazing ball, might be glass or metal, not sure which, but it is starting to look pretty shabby. Do you think this would work on it? I’m really wanting to try it!

      • March 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

        Ruthy, if you think the glass is substantial enough to hold the weight of the beads or tiles, it may work…. Good Luck!

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