How To Make A Gorgeous Garden Gazing Ball ~ A garden gazing ball is an easy to make garden décor accent using items from the thrift store and the dollar store!
I have been wanting to make a garden gazing ball for my garden décor for quite a while and I finally got around to completing this DIY project. I could not believe how easy it was to make using inexpensive materials and I was super pleased with the final result.
Making your own garden gazing ball is not new. There are lots of great examples on Pinterest and Hometalk where I like to hang around for my inspiration and ideas. They can be made from different materials as the base and decorated with everything from copper pennies, metal rings, mosaic tiles to glass gems. They can be made into any single colour or combination of colours as well as with or without a pattern. I love the gazing balls created by Melissa from Empress of Dirt. Just search garden gazing balls on her site and you will see all of her great projects. She has made so many different kinds and shares her tips for how to make them. It is based on her instructions that I made my own. But as I always seem to do in everything I do, I like to figure out my own way and that is what I am sharing with you today.
Most DIY gazing balls sit directly on the garden soil. They look very pretty tucked in amongst the garden plants. But I wanted to make mine with a type of stand or pedestal so they stood higher up and the base of the garden gazing ball was not touching the ground. In the town I live in there is a thrift store that only takes home building supplies. Rather than sending leftover or used building supplies to the landfill site, builders and home renovators can donate them to this shop. The money raised from the sales is put back into the community for building affordable housing for its qualifying residents. This is where I bought the globe lights and the lamps that used to belong to a chandelier light fixture for a really good price.
The colour black is the main accent décor colour at the front of the house and in the front yard. The front door and garage doors are painted black and all of the plant pots and solar lights are black. Outdoor Porch Spring Decorating Ideas gives you an idea how black is used as a complementary and accessory in my outdoor home décor
So to keep the colour theme consistent I painted the garden gazing ball black. I explain how I did that a little later in the instructions.
I love glass gems. I am not sure why but it might be because they add a lot of colour and sparkle to a project and they are so inexpensive. I like to pretend they are real gemstones! It is just fun to play with them and photograph them!
I also love the colour turquoise and thought it would look great when paired with the black. I even created a faux stream with glass gems in a black shale garden bed that runs along the west side of the house. I share how I did this in Landscaping With Shale Rock And Glass Gems.
I ended up making all three garden glazing globes at the same time and I think they look pretty gorgeous!
Here are my tips and instructions for…
How to Make A Gorgeous Garden Gazing Ball
- white globe light
- white glass chandelier lamp
- multi-surface glue designed for outdoor use
- white spray paint primer
- black gloss spray paint
- turquoise glass gems
- latex disposable gloves
- tube of silicone designed for outdoor use
- blue painter’s tape
- clear finishing spray
Wash the globe light and chandelier light in warm soapy dish water. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Attach the globe light to the chandelier light using a multi-surface glue that is also designed for outdoor use. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly.
Tip: Plan to hold the two items together for a minute or two or till the glue sets a bit. You want to avoid having the globe slide around and end up permanently crooked.
Tip: In the photograph you can see some of the glue through the glass globe. This is not a problem because you are going to cover it with black spray paint.
Apply two coats of white spray primer. It is better to apply light coats rather than one thick one because that is a recipe for dripping paint. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly.
Apply two coats of black gloss spray paint. Just like the spray primer it is better to apply light coats rather than one thick one because you will then get the drippy look. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly.
Tip: The white spray primer and the black gloss spray paint also helped to adhere the globe light and chandelier light more securely.
Now you are ready to apply the glass gems. Here are my tips for making it a successful procedure:
~ I like to use silicone that comes in a tube that looks and works like toothpaste. This is the product I used when I created a Restyled Outdoor Plant Pot Using Spray Paint. It is a little more expensive compared to the bigger tubes that need to be applied with a caulking gun. But I found a little bit goes a long way. I was better able to control the amount of silicone being applied and keep the project from not getting too messy.
~ I like to wear latex gloves when working with silicone.
~ Start at the top of the globe. Apply one glass gem at the very top. Then apply a ring of glass gems around the single top glass gem. Allow this to set or dry before applying the next ring.
~ If you apply too many glass gems at once you will have a problem with slipping and sliding gems because you are working with a curved surface.
~ This is a project where you apply a section of glass gems and then go away and do something else and then go back and work on the next section.
~ Blue painter’s tape is very handy to stop the gems from misbehaving as you work down the sides of the glass ball. It is very effective in keeping the glass gems in their place as they dry. It is also easy to remove once the glass gems are dry without leaving a mark.
~ The glass gems I worked with had subtle different sizes and shapes so it was impossible to apply them in a perfectly lined up pattern. This did not bother me too much because I like to think that homemade DIY projects do not have to look perfect. It is the little flaws that give it its sense of beauty. My goal was to fill in the black spaces as much as possible but I was comfortable with some of the black showing because it complemented the turquoise gems beautifully.
~ My system for applying the silicone was to put a dollop on the flat part of each glass gem six at a time. The photograph shows how much I applied and you do not need very much. I recommend not applying too much silicone because it will squish out from underneath and make the gazing ball look messy. The silicone will not be visible underneath each glass gem when it is dry.
~ Your roll of painter’s tape will now have a second role. Once you have worked halfway down the globe you can flip it over and work on the bottom half of the glass globe. Place the globe on the tape roll to provide support. This portion of applying the glass gems will go very fast because each row can now easily rest on the previous dry row and there will not be as much slipping and sliding. Keep in mind you will still have to work in chunks but just bigger chunks as you get to the end.
~ I have one more word of advice. I set up a station in the garage with a portable table and chair so I could leave everything set up for a couple of days. We happened to be in the middle of some very hot weather so the silicone was a little more slippery to work with!
After covering the glass globe with glass gems and the silicone is thoroughly dry apply two coats of a finishing spray. I used a clear coat spray that works to provide a protective and water-resistant coating. The instructions recommend applying two coats and it only takes six minutes to dry between each coat. This product comes in a matte finish and a clear finish. For this project I chose the clear finish that was left over from How To Paint A Ceramic Glazed Indoor Plant Pot.
Here is how to make a gorgeous garden gazing ball turned out..
… and here is how all three gorgeous garden gazing balls turned out!
Final Comments: How To Make A Gorgeous Garden Gazing Ball is part of a series of coordinated projects that I have been working on. I previously shared how I turned an Ugly Bird Bath Becomes Upcycled Outdoor Plant Stand using the same black gloss spray paint and turquoise gems.
I also created a matching Restyled Outdoor Plant Pot Using Spray Paint embellished with the same turquoise gems to place on the outdoor planter. In a very near future post I will share how I used the three garden gazing balls as garden décor in my garden bed in the front yard!
Your Turn: Have you made your own garden gazing balls? It so, what tips do you recommend? What materials and colours did you use? Where did you place them in your garden?
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