Gazing Balls

posted in: Garden Projects, Whimsy | 11

Every garden deserves a bit of whimsy.

One of my many trash to treasure ideas is converting an old bowling ball into a gazing ball. You can get old bowling balls from Freecycle groups, from the bowling alley, from thrift stores or garage sales.

Using glue such as E6000, Crafters Goop, Silicone II, or No More Nails I glued on those flat sided gems you can buy at dollar and craft stores. When it was completely dry the whole ball was covered in a waterproof grout. When partially dry, use a wet cloth to remove the extra grout. This took a fair bit of time but eventually you have a wonderful gazing ball to add to your garden decor.

Be patient as this is not a quick project, but all your work will be worth it when you see the gazing ball in your garden, especially when the sun reflects off it.

Some garden folklore : A gazing ball will ward off witches from your garden. During the 17th Century in England, gazing balls were used to protect plants from the wicked witches who would come to steal them. The gazing balls attracted witches, but once the witches saw their ugly reflections, they fled the garden and the plants were safe.

an old rusty milk can makes a lovely stand for the gazing ball
gazing balls at
gazing balls in the garden

Mini gazing balls are very easy to make.  You need a solid, hard rubber ball, a drill, some strong glue, grout, and flat gems/marbles. The hardest part was drilling the hole in the ball.

a mini gazing ball at
a mini gazing ball

I coated the ball in grout and pressed in flat sided marbles (from the dollar stores) Or you can glue the flat sided marbles on first and then grout.

At first I used 2 thin metal rods to support the mini gazing ball to give it a bit more support. This gave it a mini tripod so it could be pushed into a pot or the garden.

a mini gazing ball at
a mini gazing ball

I had an old feeder for peanuts that the woodpeckers ruined. Being the thrifty person I am I save the bottom, which looked like a stem with leaves and fixed the mini gazing ball onto the top of it.

a mini gazing ball at

Now I can move it around in the gardens and it looks like a magical flower.

This year the big gazing ball has a few self seeded morning glories growing around it. It is beside the gate tree in part of the trellis garden.

a gazing ball at
morning glories twisting around the gazing ball

A really quick way to make a gazing ball is to spray an old bowling ball silver. I used a metallic finish silver spray. I always use an old cardboard box to put the item in that I want to spray. This really helps stop the spray from going everywhere.

a gazing ball at
the mirror gazing ball reflecting in the fence garden

The silver gazing ball is hiding at Herb’s Place this year.

Herb's Place at
garden line

Lots of garden whimsy.

garden whimsy at

11 Responses

  1. Joy

    I am in total awe of that silver painted one Linda !
    How did you ever think of that ? .. I guess just about any colour would do but I really like that silver.
    I have a gorgeous gazing ball and stand .. but I have kept them in my office because I can’t part with them for my garden .. now how funny is that ?

    • Crafty Gardener

      I wouldn’t be putting a gorgeous gazing ball outside either Joy. The ones I made are just from junk and recycled stuff so I don’t mind them going in the garden. I do store them all inside over the winter though. Have a great day.

  2. Sue

    We have a couple penny balls in the garden and i just love them….but that silver one of yours, what a great idea! Did you use the mirror silver spray paint or just plain ole silver. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Crafty Gardener

      Hi Sue, glad you popped by for a visit. I used a metallic finish silver spray (did add that to the post for others to see). Have a lovely day.

  3. Jeanne

    I like your gazing balls very much – I have made several myself, they add a focal point and a spot of color to the spot in the garden where you put them. Check out my last 2 posts to see 2 of mine!

    • Crafty Gardener

      Hi Jeanne, I saw your mosaic table and gazing ball and they are lovely. I’ve done mosaics but not on such a big scale as your table. Thanks for stopping by today, have a great day

  4. Michelle

    What an ingenious idea! I will featuring this in this week’s Creative Compulsions.


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