Saturday, May 23, 2020

Glass Garden Balls DIY

By special and numerous requests, here you are, the tutorial for my glass garden balls ....originally posted in 2013!

My blog header shows my love of cobalt blue glass
 and I've added that love of blue glass to my garden art.

Years ago my family got me a big blue gazing ball for my 
daisy flowerbed and I knew I wanted more, more, more! 

But hey, those gazing balls are not cheap and they are surprisingly fragile. 

Basically they are just giant glass Christmas balls. 
And they break if they fall over.What to do?

My first idea involved a bowling ball and lots of glass half marbles from the Dollar Store. 
I got this idea from the Garden Junk forum over at Garden Web.

 I used Silicone II adhesive and  did a bit at a time, only glueing the gems
 on top and let the adhesive dry a bit the turning the ball and doing another little area.

 If you try to do the sides the gems will fall off before the adhesive sticks well, so slowly slowly.

 I LOVE how this came out!!! 

The bowling ball cost me $4 at a thrift store and I used about 6 bags of glass marbles.
The Silicone II cost $4.

 My first blue glass garden ball for about $14. I was hooked!

I snagged this round glass light fixture for 25 cents and knew it would be my next ball project.
 Dollar Store half marbles and garage sale finds gave me the blue glass I needed.
I decided to go with this Amazing Goop silicone adhesive because it was CHEAP.
 It is basically the same formula as  the Silicone II. The total cost on this 
pretty ball is less than $10.

This is definitely an OUTSIDE project since all the glues I've mentioned are incredibly smelly. 
Even outside I have a fan blowing across my work area to avoid the fumes. 
I settled on my front porch and started gluing. Put a small blob of glue on each
 individual marble, you do not have to goop it on. Smear a layer on the topmost 
area of your big ball and put your marble in place.

 I twist them a bit to make sure they stick together.


The adhesive does not set up instantly so you will have to do small areas
 of your ball and let it dry for several hours then turn it over to do
 the other sides. If you go too fast and  skip this step  you'll have
 glass marbles falling off all over the place! 

In this project patience will reward you with a beautiful art piece.

And done!!

Here she is (of course she's a lady! LOL!) nestled in a soft bed of creeping Jenny. 

A hot pink petunia will join her soon.

 I love the bright blue glass against my blue deck railings and house color.

Oooh ahhh!

And here is the first bowling ball I did 20 years ago!

 She's looking pretty good for her years.

Since then I have glued glass gems to lamp gloves, plastic Christmas balls, 
styrofoam craft balls, soft balls, plastic balls from Dollar Tree and even a hampster ball!

I am always looking for more round balls to decorate for my garden!

Friday, May 22, 2020

DIY a Fake Stone Planter from Styrofoam Box

This is a repost of a popular project which has been requested over on 
Facebook's Garden Art Junk group.
Here's what I do with those holiday ham styrofoam boxes 
I don't want to pitch into the landfill.


I make "stone" planters for my succulent pots!

Here's how....
and please note, this is best done OUTSIDE.

This part is messy!

Using a serrated steak knife, I cut the top edge down to make the box the size I wanted.
Then I scored all the sides with a wire brush.

I made stone shape grooves with a butter knife. You can cut as deep 
or as shallow as you wish to get the look you like.

Next, I brushed a some grey, white and black acrylic craft
 paint over the whole box.

Very sparingly, spray black spray paint at some of your stone joints. 
The paint will melt the foam and give it some very rocky texture. 

Don't over do it, you can always add more texture.
 Go slow and look at the results from all angles.

Now with a brush or a paint rag or a sponge of what have you,
 start layering on acrylic craft paint in rock and moss colors.

 I used black, charcoal grey, brown, several greens and even a bit of dark blue.

I do not plant my succulents directly in the styrofoam box. 
I keep them in their own pots so I can change them out as I wish.

 But I have to say, the sedum in this fake stone box look wonderful!

Pretty Faux Wood Grain Glass Table Top? Yes, Please!

We have this corner on our front deck that needed a convenient table and I also wanted  it to be pretty. Here is what we came up with and m...