To make this project a SUCCESS, there are a few things you absolutely MUST KNOW first.
I'm totally serious – there's a definite trick to making these DIY gazing balls!
- Smoothfoam Ball
- Acrylic craft paint
- Hot Glue or Clear Construction Adhesive
- Foam paintbrush
- Flat bottom glass marbles
Why THESE products?
Smoothfoam Balls – Smoothfoam has a flat, smooth surface that is easy to glue and paint. It is really important that you use this exact type of foam ball: SMOOTHFOAM. No, you cannot use styrofoam – styrofoam will melt, it's hard to paint, and it will look gross. Trust me. Get the Smoothfoam. You can use a bowling ball (from the thrift shop or a garage sale to get the best deal) as well, but it is alot heavier. The Smoothfoam is lightweight but it will not blow away in the wind because it is heavy once all the glass stones are glued on.
Smoothfoam balls come in lots of sizes and the larger ones come as halves – you'll need to buy two halves to make one ball if you opt for balls larger than 6″ wide. Smoothfoam is NOT Styrofoam. Oasis foam will not work either. It must be SMOOTHFOAM. Styrofoam and Oasis will crumble, melt, and soak up a TON of paint – do not use either of those for this project. If you want to know more about how Smoothfoam is different from Styrofoam, READ THIS.
Acrylic Paint – acrylic paint dries fast, is affordable, and looks opaque with one coat using a foam paint brush. Choose paint in the same color as the marbles – matching exactly is not necessary. The Apple Barrel craft paint at Michael's stores will work fine (and it is cheap!).
Flat Bottom Marbles – Don't judge me when I say: flat back glass marbles! People have been gluing flat back glass marbles onto things and calling it art since the 1980s. Question is, what CAN'T flat back glass marbles do?! Why not make a gazing ball the same way? The flat side of these marbles makes them easy to glue to any surface. Any brand of flat back glass marble will do – I recommend buying these Flat Back Marbles on Amazon because the dollar store doesn't always have the colors in the quantity you want or need for this project. The craft stores charge too much for flat back glass marbles so avoid shopping for them there, even with a coupon. Round marbles will not work for this project.
Glue – I used hot glue on my balls and I bring them inside when it gets really hot or cold. If you live in an area with extreme temperature changes or plan to get these wet, use clear construction adhesive instead because hot glue won't hold up well over time. If you use hot glue, this project is TEMPORARY. If you want this project to last longer, you need to use construction adhesive.
Now that you have all the supplies, you are ready to go make your garden SHINE!
Here are some more ideas for using these faux gazing balls:
- in large potted plants or in flower beds
- piled in an old bird bath or fountain
- decor for weddings along the aisle
- centerpiece for parties
- spooky orbs in your yard for Halloween
- mosaic – add swirls or other designs by changing the colors of the marbles.
Where are you going to display your NEW gazing ball?
Looking for more fab backyard ideas on a budget? CLICK HERE
Thank you so much for visiting. I can't wait for you to start entertaining in your backyard now!