Make Your Own Garden Gazing Ball
Posted: February 12, 2012
By Mary Concklin
Gazing balls, often with vibrant colors, add an interesting element to any garden. You can make your own easily and for very little money. Do this outside when it is warm or in a room with good ventilation. This is a multi day project.
- Bowling ball (ask for old ones at your local bowling alley)
- Sand paper
- Grout (many colors to choose from)
- Tile glue
- Colored glass—can be purchased at any craft store
- Stand for the ball
- Wood putty
- Grout sealer
- Fill the finger holes on the bowling ball with wood putty.
- Allow this to harden (at least one day).
- Using the sandpaper, roughen up the surface of the bowling ball, smooth the dried wood putty, and then wipe the bowling ball. This allows the glue to adhere.
- Apply a thin coat of glue to a small area. (The glue may dry before you get to it if you cover a large area).
- Place the glass pieces on the glue, leave a small gap between pieces, and gently push so as to insure good contact.
- Continue around the ball glueing and placing glass pieces.
- Be sure the glass has set firm before rolling the ball onto the glass to complete the last section or your pattern may shift.
Set this aside to allow the glue to dry and the glass to firmly set.
Fill the gaps between the glass pieces with grout. Wipe excess grout off the glass with a damp towel. When the grout has dried, buff the glass pieces. Apply at least 2 coats of grout sealer. Place the gazing ball on a stand in your garden and enjoy the beauty you have created!
Be sure to bring the gazing ball inside during the winter to avoid water which may seep between the pieces from freezing and popping the glass off.
Tip of the Season:
Some seeds have a seed coat that is quite hard, restricting the movement of moisture in. Because of this, those seeds take a long time to germinate. In nature, the hard seed coats are broken down by microbes or environmental factors that scrape the seed coat allowing moisture in and germination to occur.
Hard seed coats are common on Lathyrus spp. (sweet pea), Alcea rosea (hollyhock), Lupinus spp. (Lupine), Malva sylvestris (mallow), and Baptisia australis (false indigo/wild blue indigo). To speed up germination simply scarify (scrape or roughen up) the seed coat. Place the seeds in a container with sand paper and shake. Then plant the seeds.